The State of Pokemon

By Scott Gerhardt

          For quite some time now, people have been asking me about my involvement with Pojo and Pokemon.  “Scott, I don’t see you as much as I used to!”  “Scott, are you still working for Pojo?”  “Scott, do you still even play Pokemon?”  If anyone has wondered those questions, allow me to answer them with my “State of Pokemon” address here. 

         I guess you would have to say it started with Gym Heroes.  Here was a set that was, well, stale.  Honestly, it kinda stunk.  It was horrible to draft with unless you made special rules.  The cards in it were mostly bad, with very few truly playable cards.  There was little addition to the decks I was running, but of course, a depletion from my wallet as I went out to buy the cards. 

          Clefairy Doll and myself went to an STS qualifier in Independence, MO in late September.  I think my deck had 1 Gym card in it (a Narrow Gym, for those wondering).  The environment had grown stale.  For the most part, even Rocket only added NGR, RSA, and Rainbow Energy to the environment.  Most of the Pokemon were too weak.  Yes, some good decks came out, but for the most part, stale.  So, when Gym came out and IT was stale, it really left a bad taste in my mouth.  Both myself and Doll qualified for New Jersey that weekend, but that’s not where the story ends.

          A little later, Invasion comes out for Magic:The Gathering.  Magic, the game that WAS stale, come out with new concepts and fun cards.  Looks like I am back into the game in a BIG way.  The game is fun again.  Pokemon is going the other direction.

          Next, we have Challenge.  Outside of Rocket’s Zapdos and a few other random use cards, Challenge sucked – plain and simple.  The environment was as stale as a bag of potato chips left open for a month.  Pokemon was absolutely no fun.  Magic sure was, though.  If Magic is so much fun, let’s spend more time there.

          On top of all this, Wizards makes the East Coast STS Prop 15-3C.  I will not rant here – most of you already know my feelings on the subject.  Let’s just say this made things worse.

          I have not played in a tournament in quite some time now.  I have not had a desire to play in such a bland environment.  On the other hand, I have played countless Magic tournaments.  So, if Pokemon stinks so much, why should I stay in it?  Good question.  Let me sum it up in 3 letters:




This is the answer to all our woes.  Working for Pojo, I have the unique perspective to individually rate cards from future expansions.  I knew Gym would stink.  Neo, on the other hand, RULES!  Now, I must admit, from drafting the other night I can tell you Neo is a BAD draft set.  It is a really cool constructed one, though, and I can not wait to get going with new decks and ideas!  Look at Cleffa, Professor Elm, Sprout Temple, and COUNTLESS other cards and you’ll see what I mean.  The game has changed for the better!  I, luckily, knew this 6 months ago, and that’s why I had no problem with sticking with the game through the dry season – I knew it was getting better!

Look to see more of me now, and hopefully, a whole new batch of Pokemon Players.  Those who thought Pokemon was dead?  Think again!  It just had it’s slow time.  Magic had one for over a year, and now is back with a vengeance.  It’s time for Pokemon to do the same.  Get all your friends back, give them some Neo cards, and get back to one of the most fun games I have ever played!!

Thanks for listening to my little rant.  Hope maybe you found some truth or personal enlightenment in it.  I know looking back has been enlightening for me.


Good luck and keep playing!!!!


Scott Gerhardt