Pokemon 15+ Rant
December 6, 2001 - by Ness (Jason Klaczynski)

A harsh reality exists..

What I have here isn't an STS tourney report... I can get to that later.. I'll just put it this way: All of us Pokémon players have a problem. Wizards of the Coast is often obvious in thought and their next moves are hardly capricious or unexpected- yet they always manage to make horrible decisions.

What's next? What's next is the elimination of 15+. I think it was quite obvious WotC has been planning this for a while. At first they simply just tried NOT putting a 15+ category at the STS. You can see little things, though, like the STS poster not listing the winning 15+ deck, but the 14- and 10-. And Gossip gets around. I'm beating Wizards to it. WotC wants us in Magic. It's a sad fact. They want us to play Pokémon for a year or two, then go straight into Magic so they can bring in more money. They have no respect for Pokémon players at all. I think we already know that.

But don't say it's not happening, because it is. Like Goldstein said to me, rumors are generally true with WotC, and he's 100% right. This is a threat, and it has to be stopped. Wizards is ruining the game, and I would bet a nickel (or even a dime =/) that a 12 year old blind boy that lives in a box could make better decisions for Wizards involving Pokémon. I seriously don't laugh when people say things like 'WotC handed out unfair dice to make us hate Pokémon'. Well, I guess that might be unreasonable, but, they've done stupid stuff. =)

Another thing I can't stand is being told by Wizards or DCI Judges especially, that know Magic, but not Pokémon, is "Standard is all luck! I go first- I get my Sneasels going first- and I win." With no disrespect to the judges that repeated this almost exact line to me, they're wrong. Standard format DOES have less luck than modified, and it always will. Modified is old and done. Let's tryout standard in some tournaments, again. =) When Gatr is 7 of the 8 Top 8 decks in one day, I think we realize it's not as fun as it was before. The judges know Magic though, and since "Magic is so much more complex than Pokémon- they easily understand EVERYTHING about Pokémon." They're wrong, they're too. I mean not to offend any Magic players. I myself play Magic occasionally and it is definitely a perfectly designed, strategic, excellent game. It's great. But I think a lot of people would agree with me that they are happy with Pokémon- and that they may want to continue playing in it as they get a little older. Or parents who play because their kids do- are you telling me Wizards wants to take the serious competition away from the parents who are enjoying it? How is this beneficial to Wizards? What is wrong with them? =/

Wizards is known for making poor decisions. We've seen it over, and over, and over, and over, and over. They ruin the game. They are now something we have to fight to enjoy this game. I hate having to worry everyday how I won't be able to play in a large Pokémon tournament because "Wizards won't let me." Barely 13 I got into this card game, and I'll be damned after everything it has brought me, that I will quit it. I know almost everyone reading this is greatful that they got the chance to learn and play Pokémon. I know I am I've made many friends off of it.. I've loved writing for pojo.. I have the opportunity to meet everyone who reads articles on Pojo.. I am free to speak my mind and have fun- with a game that I love to play. I remember parties at my friend's house from years ago where we'd play Pokémon at night and eat pizza, and how much fun it was.

Now to those of you who stick up for Wizards, think about it logically. Of course, they gave us an STS, and we are grateful, but also realize, they discriminated bad against the 15+ so they can get us out of what we are fine and dandy and content with, and stick us into Magic. It's sick, it's cruel, it's unnecessary, and it's hardly beneficial. I see it losing a lot more money than it would be gaining, too. I will not quit Pokémon and move completely and exclusively into competitive Magic because WotC wants me to.

Also, for you younger ones, who are less effected by this. =/ You're not safe, either. Say you get into actually playing the game at the age of 12. You begin to play, start attending tournaments, and by 13-14 you actually become good, you have strategy, and you love playing in tourneys. You look forward to the big events! Is it really that exciting to know this is your last year that you are 'allowed' to do this; knowing you'll have to quit and go to Magic if you want big tourneys? I don't think it is. =(

Wizards cannot deny their plans. Wizards of the Coast has given us our last Super Trainer Showdown. Next most likely will be Regional Tournaments for the 14- group, and that is all. 15+ is done. Those are the plans. 

This is not a nice letter, and it wasn't intended to be. This is Wizards of the Coast getting what they deserve by even thinking about such an obtuse decision. I think we must all realize they are planning to get rid of 15+. Some of you may accept it, but others, like myself, like playing this game, and don't want to quit simply because WotC believes we're better off in Magic. We have to do something about it if we want to be able to play... this is the most formal way I can write this, and I'm afraid that if I didn't, no one else would.

-Jason Klaczynski