Pokemon ratings...  I get totally ticked off every time someone says
Electabuzz is the best Pokemon in the game or Mewtwo is a broken card.  Or
when someone says Lass sucks or Mew sucks.   It doesn't matter how good or
bad the card is, it's the players and the trainer cards.

My philosophy is that every card has its value or meaning in the card game. 
Just like the beginning of Magic the Gathering, some cards were excused as
being useless.  I remember when the game just came out; Channel was
considered usless crap.  Long and behold, someone came up with a
Fireball/Channel combo that devastated tourneys for a while.  The same goes
for Necropotence.  When that card just came out of Ice Age, people thought
it was another unusable rare just to fill in their binders.  Then someone
creative built an entire deck type out of it.  Necro decks are still one of
the most feared decks ever created in Magic the Gathering.   What they all
have in common is trade-off, high-risk sacrifices and good players.  The
same goes for Pokèmon.

In the Pokemon trading card game, deck types are pretty much the same for
the time being.  Most decks are built specifically for speed; while one deck
type so far, for stalling.  Decks consist with 10 or more Pokemon, 16 or
more energy, and 10 or more trainers.   Ever thing is predictable.  A
beginner might only use less then 10 trainers, while an experienced player
might use 30 or more in a deck.  The Pokèmon are also predictable as well. 
Mewtwo, Hitmonchan, Magmar, Scyther, Blastoise, Wigglytuff, and Electabuzz
are so common in any deck.  It's obvious that they all cancel each other out
in some way, but that doesn't mean they are unbeatable.  It's a huge cycle
of resistance and weaknesses.

It's a combination of the player and trainer cards that can make any Pokèmon
successful.   As the player, you have a choice whether or not to play an Oak
or a Plus Power.  A Lass or an energy removal.  The player decides whether a
Pokemon retreats or take the beating for another turn.  Take a 6-year-old
for an example.  Do you really think they know how to abuse a Wiggly or a
Mewtwo on the second turn?  How about letting their Electabuzz go up against
a Himonchan?  I seriously doubt a normal 6-year-old knows how to without
hurting themselves.  Sure Wigglytuff might have a score of 10.0 or
1,000,000, but do you think some people know how to use it properly?  If you
gave these cards to experienced players such as Scott Gerhardt or
Henry-Michael Brown, you know they'll abuse every ounce of the card.  I mean
look at their decks yo!   If you gave Scott Gerhardt's Sponge deck to a
10-year-old, they won't even know how to use it, let alone Brown's.

I may sound like a hypocrite writing this up since I use a scale of 1-5
scale to grade cards; but I grade them based on a prudent player.    A
player that knows how to take risks.  A player that doesn't go on and on
about how many badges that they have.  A player that doesn't show off how
many holofoils they have in their binders.  A player that has a life.  And
most important of all.a player that realizes winning doesn't make them any
better then losing.

Patrick Tran


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