Sept. 14, 2000

Whoa!  For this week’s chat, if you missed the first five minutes you missed something really special.  This week’s announcements covered some information about the STS and the Australian “Pikachu promo set”, but most importantly a very detailed “must read” description about WHY Prop15 and other restrictions are being considered. 

Chrisbo Note: It is VERY important to emphasize that Prop15 is designed and intended for “Tournaments Only” and is not currently being considered as a “Rules Change” for casual play.  So if you are not into the heavy tournament scene or if you are just playing in the Pokemon League, then Prop15 will probably not affect you.

Read on, my friends...


·        Master_Trainer_Mike says, “Speaking of the East Coast STS, the Mall Tour stops so far have been hitting capacity for the qualifying tournaments. If you plan on going to one, make sure to get there early. There is good prize support as well with the winner getting a game boy, the TCG cartridge, a box of boosters, a jacket, a t-shirt, along with his invitation to the STS.”

·        Master_Trainer_Mike says, “If you do not win an invitation in a qualifying event, then as long as you have earned at least 5 badges through the league you can enter. Capacity has been doubled from the West Coast STS but it is still limited. We are working on a pre-registration program for the main tournament that will start 3 weeks before the STS. If you plan on participating in the main tournament and have not won an invitation, then watch our web site and the chat for details.”

·        Master_Trainer_Mike says, “Also keep in mind that the construction rules for the main tournament will be announced on Oct 9th on both our web site and you will be able to call us here at customer service for details as well. Make sure to find out what it will be before you go to the event!”


·        Master_Trainer_Mike says, “We have also been receiving lots of email and calls about the various tournament formats that are being tested and considered. The 15 trainer limit is probably the one that you have heard the most about. There seems to be lots of confusion about this and the other formats being tested so I wanted to give a brief explanation.”

·        Master_Trainer_Mike says, “As we have said before, the Pokemon TCG was never intended to be a truly competitive game. It was made to be socially competitive (meaning friendly fun). The tournaments that are held in Japan are few and infrequent with an emphasis on fun for all. Here in North America we play our games a bit differently. Its all about winning in our tournament scene and so we tend to play harder, quicker, and much more cutthroat than the game was designed to be played. With that in mind, it has become obvious that out of the 500+ cards that have been released so far, roughly 20-30 of them are ever used in the must-win tournament scene. This is a sign of a broken game. There have been many discussions about the dominating Archetypes in Pokemon, mainly being Wiggly decks, Haymaker variants, the new Trapper deck, with some other deck types being occasionally played (Raindance, Stall, Sponge, etc.). In the West Coast STS (the first main competitive event we have held) almost 90% of the decks play were almost identical. This is clearly a sign of an out of balance tournament environment.”

·        Master_Trainer_Mike says, “Since we do [not] own the card game, bannings and restrictions are not really an allowable option. Nor is changing the rules of the game (like only allowing 2 trainers played per turn). That leaves us with constructed tournament formats to try out. We have been playtesting various formats here in the offices and also reading all of the results that you have sent in to us. Whatever format we come up with (if any) might NOT be a final answer in an ever changing and growing competitive environment. Keep in mind that we are looking at the overall longevity of the game and the competitive scene which is remarkedly different than the Japanese market, which the game was originally designed for. Sort of fitting a square peg in a round hole.”

·        Master_Trainer_Mike says, “The reasoning behind these proposals is to promote diversity in the competitive environment. To help players try other sorts of decks and have even a slight chance of competing with these decks.  Trainer profusion, BBP’s, the relative slow speed of evolution decks, the rapid spreading of any new deck tech through the internet and popular fan sites are all issues we are aware of and are discussing with Creatures for our different market than that of Japan. We are also talking with them about becoming more involved in the creation and playtesting of Pokemon and possibly even helping to design additional cards (like Dark Raichu) that may help to bring balance to a “fun” game that we in North America play so hard with.”

·        Master_Trainer_Mike says, “Please feel free to keep sending in your opinions and thoughts on the future of Pokemon, we do read them, and listen on the phone. Understand though, that no matter how strongly you may feel about a particular aspect, there will be lots of others who feel the exact opposite :) Such is the spark that a democracy gives us :)”

Q. On a poll at Pojos the question is Do you want Prop15/Prop2T to pass?  Many many people (I haven’t checked recently, though) do not want it to pass. What do you think of this?

A1. Master_Trainer_Mike says, “Look at the announcements for our thoughts on this. Most every email that has been against any changes has not given any other suggestions. Everyone is allowed their own opinion but the game is broken my friends. At least in the competitive environment. If you have other ideas, feel free to send them in.”

A2. Master_Trainer_Pat says, “It does concern us, but it seems to me that many people react that way just because they fear change and do not want to use their experience to guide them through making and experimenting with new deck types.”

Q. What is the main intention of Prop15? To weaken Hay and Wiggly and Trap, or to even the playing field, or all of those?

A. Master_Trainer_Pat says, “To encourage diversity in the tournament scene...to prevent the game from getting stale.”


·        Master_Trainer_Mike says, “I hope you have all heard about the Pikachu Promtional set that is being sold at the Australian Olympics. We have info about it on our web site. Check it out! Don’t worry though, the unreleased cards in that set will be coming out in North America (and the rest of the world) in your local language through various promotions like the Pokemon League and movie releases.”

 Q. I’ve seen the list of when the pikachus will be distributed in english and they are quite spread out through next year. Does that mean those will be the only promos distributed during that time?

A. Master_Trainer_Pat says, “No it doesn’t”

Q. It says you get the non holo B-Day Pikachu at Wizards Pokemon site in America-how would I get it from there?

A. Master_Trainer_Pat says, “There will be a promotion set up later in November.”

[Chrisbo says “Cool!”]

Q. On your info site on when the pikachu cards will be released in the US, it said that the non holo B-Day Pikachu will be release Nov 2000, how is that going to happen?

A. Master_Trainer_Pat says, “No, we’re just releasing the holo version here.”

[Chrisbo says “huh?”]

Q. Can you explain further how you would get the birthday pikachu (BP) card on the website and explain if the BP card from the 9 card pikachu set and one from the league will be different A. Master_Trainer_Mike says, “The web promotion isn’t set up yet so no info available. The birthday Pikachu in the set is non-holo and has a special holo- pika tail stamp on it. Our card over here will be holo and not have that stamp.”

[Chrisbo says “Ah, I see...”]

Q. Why did you make the 9-card pikachu set ONLY available in Australia? That makes it really hard for everybody else to get them...

A. Master_Trainer_Pat says, “Nintendo ‘asked’ us to do that for the Olympics

as a special deal. We will be releasing all of them in the US in english at

a later date”

Q. Other than flying to Sydney in the next 2 weeks, is there a way to obtain the 9 card Pikachu set?

A. Master_Trainer_Mike says, “Nope.”

[Chrisbo says, “Heh, they’re probably already being sold on eBay...”]

Q. What issue of Nintendo Power is Sabrina’s Abra coming in?  A. Master_Trainer_Mike says, “Not sure, I’ve heard it’s the December issue which comes out before December.”


·        Master_Trainer_Mike says, “Also, we are having our first in-house Pokemon tournament tonight! MT Pat, Dark Master Trainer Mike, and I wille competing with Mike Elliot from R&D, Kiernan Chase from the DCI, and lots of other tough WOTC Pokemon Trainers. It is a 15 trainer limit tournament and we will give you a report of how we did and what deck types were used next week.”

·        Master_Trainer_Mike says, “Lastly, I want to recommend that you check out the Team Compendium web site at http://pokegym.thedojo.com/compendium/. They do a great job of collecting our wisdom (and screw ups from the chat) and put it into an easy form for you to research at. Check them out!”

Well that’s abut it for this week,

·        CHRISBO