Prop 15/3C
November 14, 2000

Re: http://pojo.com/Features/0900/103000ScottsRant.html

The point of prop 15-3c is to increase the decks played. Well I'll guarantee you one thing - it will increase the number of playable decks - whether everyone chooses to play the same decks or not, prop 15-3c definitely increases the number of 'quality' decks.

This, however is the problem. No, not that the number of playable decks are increased, but how they are increased! Normally, you run through most of your deck (like with wigglytuff decks...that's what i'm used to playin obviously) by turn 2 or 3. You see almost all the cards in your deck, so your deck list is very important. You see almost all the cards, so you can use whatever, so the exact quantity and cards you have matters a great deal.

Prop 15-3c, however... You see much less of your deck. Fewer oaking first turn, not as much card drawing, or if you do, not anything to help you except drawing cards to get the pokemon you need. First, the easier of the two to understand. If all you have is 15 cards to draw cards (3 oaks, bills, cpu, misty's wrath, item finder), then you'll have plenty of cards, but nothing to do with em. So, pretty much, that is pointless and the game is reduced to trainers not helping at all...just a speed race with high HP basics like before, without the trainer aspect. The 2nd, however, is a bit more complex. Say you have maybe 3 oaks, 3 cpu searches, and 9 other good trainers. Well, now you have much less card drawing than the standard 4 oak/4 cpu search, etc... So, you're seeing less of your deck. You draw fewer cards, and the exact quantities of cards in your deck matters less.

Point 1: deck building matters less - not more as others tell you

you may have to find a deck to use, but the exact decklist matters less, and only the concept. Since there's so many concepts that will work with this few trainer type environment, that won't even matter much. Just, in general, it's more random on the deck building.

okay...on to something else about it. They say this prop 15-3c is supposed to increase the number of evolutions played. Wow, this is certainly helpful, no? Now we only get 3 bellsprouts to evolve into weepinbell, and victreebel is now out of the question. Props to wizards on getting around their mysterious rule on how to ban cards. There's a very effective ban, only it's on stage 2's. With pokemon breeder effectively screwing your chances of winning by taking up 3 valuable trainer slots, and a 3/3/3 evolution line being ridiculous with less card drawing, wizards just banned the cards they're trying to encourage to be played.

But, that's not entirely true. If you build a card drawing deck with breeders and 2 big evolution lines, you're bound to get one or two out, but they'll just get killed and you'd have wasted a ton of energy. enough on that point.

This is kinda touching on what i said earlier, but I connected it to something else. I said that having fewer card drawing messes up deck construction to where it doesn't matter. Something related to this is really interesting. Now, your opening hand matters much more. That just messes everything up. Not to mention, exactly what pokemon you get will matter more, and weakness and resistance will play a bigger role - once again increasing luck. Now, we also have more different decks being played, so there's more different pokemon that can have your weakness, as didn't happen before. Nice, even more luck. good job once again wotc.

wait a sec...hold up. Wasn't the point of prop 15-3c to let more cards be playable? Man, how am I supposed to fit room for revive into my deck now? WotC has once again gotten around the banning rules, and banned all but maybe 12 trainers, being generous. The decks that don't use the good ones will die just for the fact that they don't use em . So, once again WotC goes against what it's trying to do.

This isn't everything, but it should be enough to prove the point.

What WotC hopes to accomplish [bold = ones that really worked]:
Increasing number of decks played
increasing number of cards played (half bold cause they kinda did...changed cards being played anyway...but not for the better, but decreased skill involved in choosing pokemon)
Make the game more fun
Increase skill

Now, what WotC actually DID:

    Increase Luck
    Decrease Skill
    Make the game more random = less fun
    increased the number of different decks being played
    decreased the importance of what deck you play
    they did the exact opposite of what they wanted
    went about changing the metagame in the wrong way

effectively, what they've done is this (a short synopsis):

Increased the amount of luck so that more decks are viable in the tournament scene.

What does this mean? It means you get to see different cards being played, and the better players not doing as well. Wasn't the point to increase skill and deckbuilding? Oh well, it was just supposed to be a fun game, right? Then why do people fly across the country just for the title Grand Master Trainer Champion Whatever The Rest Of It Is for half a year? Doesn't make any sense. Obviously, it's more competitive than they originally expected, so that excuse can't be used.

Ya know what, the old environment wasn't bad. It was actually amazing. Did nobody notice that despite everyone having similar decks, the same players win week after week?! It's amazing how 'lucky' that is, eh? Well, let me clue you in on a little secret: it's not luck!. There is a skill involved in playing this game - if there wasn't, the same people wouldn't win over and over. Nobody would be ranked anything but first, because the luck would even out and everyone would be rated at 1600, just like when you start...or nothing near the 2100's that are up there today.

I actually love playing wigglytuff? Ya wanna know why? I had a wigglytuff the weekend jungle came out. I won a tournament with it. Not bad, eh? Well, of course I get called unoriginal. As a matter of fact, there actually was a thread a friend of mine posted on pokegym [david oconnor...currently top 10/world, and hasn't played in about a year] about how powerful wiggly would be. We both showed up at the tournament that weekend with wiggly decks, and we both made it to the finals. Wanna know what decided the game? He decided to use pinsir and keep grass energy for scyther, while I used electabuzz, scyther, and wiggly, knowing electabuzz was the best basic in the game. Now, that was what won me the tournament - but the 2 wigglies that week were made by me and him, and we dominated. We playtested together, yet kept our decks secret so we had something different coming. It was great, and ya know, wiggly was talked about a little bit before jungle was released. The point is this. Many people probably played wiggly the first weekend. many people. All these people were probably original in choosing it. Jumping to conclusions and calling people unoriginal. It had to come from somewhere...

But that's a little off topic...just complaining about the complainers Anyway, my point originally was this. I love playing wiggly vs. wiggly. Wanna know why? I build decks that do well. I play well as a player, and my decks usually work well. I win tournaments relatively frequently, so no prop 15 works for me. I love mirror matches against players that don't win as much. I have a better deck [or in most cases they have the exact copy of my STS deck...2 sets out of date] and I can beat them because they don't practice as much. Well, I should win every one of these matches excluding bad hands. No problem there. Works for me. The people that are complaining and getting prop 15 to come into effect are the ones that need that luck to win. If you are already winning, you don't want it to occur. Look around...scott's against it, doll's against it, etc. When this board goes public, lots of people will say yes, prop 15 is great. Think about why they're saying it. They don't win as much as us, and so they need an edge to win sometimes. Winning half the time due to luck is better for them than 1 out of a hundred times when we get a bad hand. It just works that way. So no matter what, the majority of players will want more luck. This will give them a better chance. People that aren't on the top want to be, so they'll resort to any means possible - including cheating for some - to win. So just increasing the luck just will make them happier cause they'll win more.

So what will you see from the STS? We'll see more decks being played. We'll see really happy players when randoms win the tournament. We'll see a bunch of bragging from people that are not on top but will be. How much of that junk is there now? Not much trash talking. Imagine when the lucky players beat the real players, how much it's going to suck for the good players to listen to the lucky ones brag. To me, it just sounds stupid. That's just me though... But the point is this. WotC will see deck diversity, happy players, and a general better mood than the last STS. This is because the whiners get their way, the format is changed, and randoms get lucky and win. This is how it will happen, I'm predicting now :-P Guess we'll wait and see...

Props to WotC for increasing luck, decreasing skill, and giving in to reducing the point your premeir deck builders and players play - because they can win with skill.

- Jediman