NAME: Chad Mills
RANKING: # 69 (as of 10/15/1999)
CITY / STATE: Gilbert, AZ
LOCATION: Arizona Gamer,107 E Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ, (480)
[POJO] What do you like best about the PokeMon TCG?
[CM] The point of playing for me is fun, and I hope I never forget
[POJO] What do you dislike about the PokeMon TCG?
[CM] The fact that wizards doesn't recognize older players, and
also the lack of cards - leaving haymaker as the only (in my opinion)
viable deck to use in a tourney and have a good chance at winning.
[POJO] Do you find casual play or organized competition to be
more fun? Why?
[CM] I find casual play a lot more fun. It's nice not having to
play a haymaker, variant, or some sort of deck that the objective is
to crush your opponent. Right now, bench destruction is my favorite
deck to play, but on the tourney scene, it just won't stand a chance
with the lack of trainers.
[POJO] Where do you usually play?
[CM] Arizona Gamer, Waterloo, my house, friend's house, school,
anywhere I have the room and time to play and a person to play
against. Also, I play at Arizona Collector's Paradise when I have the
time to go to the tourneys all the way across town.
[POJO] How often do you participate in organized tournaments?
[CM] I used to every week, sometimes 2 per week, but with the
coming of soccer I'm going to be participating in probably 1 tourney
every 2 weeks till I get a break between games. The tourneys overlap
with about half my soccer games, and my dad doesn't see playing a
Pokemon tourney a reason for not going to a soccer game :(
[POJO] What was you most thrilling victory?
[CM] Hmmm, this is a tough one. After soooo many games, it's hard
to pick a single favorite win. I'd probably have to say it was my game
against an adult at the Pokemon League the other day. Probably this is
my favorite cause it happened so recently (just a couple days ago),
but it's very hard to pick a certain victory. There's about 20 of
them, all of which I find equal, some from tourneys, some for fun, and
just as many that I've lost by stupid mistakes. I guess I chose this
one because it's so fresh in my mind. I went to the Pokemon League for
the first time (with only 3 weeks left in the session). I just heard
about it over the weekend, and it's open to all ages, and free! :).
So, I went with every intention of having a blast, and I did. There
was this guy there, a gym leader, that everyone thought was
indestructible. He hadn't lost a game the entire time, and had played
everyone there several times. I brought up my new Fossil deck, and it
was a Haymaker. I figured this guy was good, so I didn't want to help
my image by beating "the best". He was using his usual deck.
I brought out my new deck, which was simply Magmar and Scyther.
A little info on it: It has only 4 Magmars and 4 Scythers, 21
energy, and 31 trainers!
WOW! It's undefeated so far. I've come to realize over the past few
weeks that trainers are what win the games, and evolutions are what
lose it, which goes against my Wiggly deck I was previously using. I
do lose a couple mulligans once and a while, but this deck is so good
against everyone I've played against. I played the winner of the
tourney at Arizona Gamer (I was unable go to the tourney) and beat him
fairly easily, and he's a great player - Todd M. I've come to realize
that having 8 basics, 21 energy (17 fire/4 DCE), and lots of trainers
(including a couple retrievals) works great! I've toyed around with
the trainers, but I usually have: 3 Computer Search, 4 PlusPower, 4
Professor Oak, 4 Energy Removal, 4 Super Energy Removal, 3 Gust of
Wind, 2 Item Finder, 2 Energy Retrieval, and 3 Scoop Up. That's my
deck. It works great, I wish anyone to try it out and see how it does.
Anyway, sorry about all that on my deck. I just
creamed him. He started out with a Goldeen, a Squirtle, and Articuno.
I had a single Magmar, a hand full of Fire Energy and 3 Scoop Ups. I
went first, paralyzed, smog, drew a Magmar. YAY! Now, I scooped up my
Magmar, and Smokescreened again to KO Squirtle. I drew another Magmar,
and an Item Finder, having 3 Magmars, 3 Scoop Ups (1 used, 1 Item
Finder), and a hand full of energy. I took out his Goldeen, and he
came up with Articuno. I poisoned it, he got bench support, and I had
2 prizes to none. I finally got a Bill, which gave me a Professor Oak,
and I got out a Scyther. My Scyther took out a Gyrados, I got a
Computer Search for a Professor Oak, and just took over the game. He
couldn't believe it. He knew he had been out played. I had the worst
hand in the world against his setup, and I beat him with it. He was
amazed. He said, and I quote, "I've never seen anyone play like
that! WOW!". I give all the credit to my deck, which is great. I
did get some lucky draws and coin flips, but it was fun.
It was also great to see the look on his face several
times: when I flipped over my opening Magmar, when I used my first
PlusPower to screw up his plans, and when I beat him with my
"stupid, cheap Magmars", as he said earlier. Anyway, it was
just fun to beat someone that everyone thought was the best. I had so
many people wanting to play me, I got the Pikachu card within my first
session (2 hours)!!! Wow, that deck works wonders.
[POJO] What was your most crushing defeat?
[CM] My most crushing defeat was in a tourney. It was my first
sanctioned tourney, taking place at Arizona Gamer. I had a
water/electric experimental deck, not realizing the competition at
Arizona Gamer since I hadn't been there. I ended up not going to the
Final 4 because of a bad call by the judge. I won the first game, and
if I won the 2nd game in this series I would go on to the Final 4. If
not, there was always the 3rd game. In this second game, I was winning
fairly easily, and was, in my opinion, definitely going to win the
match. Then, I played a Japanese Dewgong on my Seel on my bench.
My opponent called the judge over (Mike Bahr). He said Japanese
cards were illegal (I had red backed sleeves on, and this was the
first tourney there). I NEVER played Pokemon without my computer
printout of the DCI floor rules and penalty guidelines. I opened my
binder, and they were gone! I had been reading them over the night
before (a little anxious for my first sanctioned tourney), and I had
left them at home! I was kind of mad, I was trying to figure out how
to prove they were legal, and also trying to remember if I could
appeal the decision to DCI when I got home. Then, I was saved. Mike
said no big deal, he'd just log onto the Internet and look for
himself! My opponent and I went over by the computer, while Mike tried
to log on. BUSY SIGNAL! Great! Not a whole lot of time left in the
round, and he had to make a decision now. He said I lost the match,
and had to replace my card before game 3. GRRR... I replaced it, and
into game 3 we went. Time ran out, and we got a tie for our match,
giving us each 1 point. I needed 2 more points to tie for second
(along with 2 others), and 3 more points to be tied for the lead! You
get 3 points for a win, 1 point per tie, and 0 for a loss. A win would
have gotten me tied for first, and in the Final 4 for sure. Right
after he had made the decision and just before time ran out, he
finally logged on, and saw he was wrong. I have basically memorized
that document, and would be surprised if I was wrong on any tourney
ruling. So, I was knocked out of the tourney, and just out of luck.
That was pretty depressing, but I came back since then, and have
had a lot of fun at that place. I try to forget about that, everyone
makes mistakes, I just wish it hadn't happened then :). No big deal,
really, I don't care whether I made it to the Final 4 that day, I know
I was good enough to be there, and that's all that matters to me.
[POJO] Who is your toughest competition? Why?
[CM] My toughest competition is definitely David O‘Connor
(ranked 44). He's beaten me in 3 of 4 tourneys we've been to. The
first one, I was messing around with my decks, and had a Gyrados /
Dewgong / Electrode / Electabuzz deck that was not too good. He came
with a Haymaker and killed me easily. The 2nd time, he had a Stall
deck, and in the best 2 of 3 games per match, he won the first easily,
I won the 2nd easily, and the third was SO close, but he barely won.
The third time was my favorite (I won). It was crazy.
We talked for hours the day before the tourney (he lives way out on
the other side of Phoenix, so we don't go to many of the same
tourneys) trying to figure out each others decks. With no luck for
either of us, and a lot of boasting of how good our decks were, we
came with virtually the same idea. Jungle had been out for not too
long, and I came loaded with a Hitmonchan / Scyther/ Wigglytuff deck,
and he had a Scyther / Pinsir / Wigglytuff deck. His deck was inferior
because of the Pinsir versus Hitmonchan. I beat him easily this
tourney, and it was my best deck up to that point that was original.
After I posted my report at the PokeGym, it was really funny. I got
about 10 letters from other players saying they took full credit for
the deck - while nowhere had I ever seen the deck posted on the net,
other people had the same idea. They thought that word had spread
about their great deck, when actually we all had the same idea –
kinda weird. Anyway, the fourth time I had the same Wigglytuff deck
against a great Haymaker. Wigglytuff fell in the 3rd game of the
David is just great to play against, and can analyze any situation
better than anyone I've played against. The games with him are almost
always close, and I wish I could play him more often. Not to mention,
I've beat him on Apprentice a lot, it just seems at tourneys, he
somehow pulls it off. 3 of 4 is great for him, and I give him all the
credit in the world as a great player. I know, however, if he kept
coming to tourneys I went to, I could pull that record up :)
[POJO] What is your favorite card? Why?
[CM] My favorite card is PlusPower. While it may not be as good as
Bill, Professor Oak, Computer Search, etc., not many people have a
favorite card of PlusPower. It is the best card at disruption, in my
opinion. Your opponent is planning in his/her head exactly what they
will hopefully be doing over the next several turns, what cards they
could use if they drew them, and their basic strategy. You slam down a
PlusPower for the KO, and you put yourself one turn ahead in your
opponent's plan. While Computer Search can get any card, Professor Oak
gets you a new hand, and Bill draws you cards, I just have some little
thing for PlusPower. It's not the best card in the game, and
surprisingly few people use it around where I live. My favorite card
will probably change from time to time, it used to be Electrode (Base)
until Energy Rremovals cropped up all over the tourney scene. This is
something that changes a lot for me. I favor one card one week, then I
go to a tourney and it does me absolutely no good, and I rethink it's
value in my deck. But, for now,it's PlusPower.
[POJO] What kind of deck to you dread having to play against?
[CM] I dread playing against Haymaker. Because, either I have
to use a Haymaker variant (my decks I try to keep a little different
at least from the regular Haymakers, Rain Dance, etc.). Right now I
have this deck that crushes anything it's played against (just since
Fossil came out). It's a variant of a Haymaker, so I dread having to
play it. Once it gets out in the open in my area, it will probably
dominate the tourney scene until Rocket comes out. Haymaker is an
inexpensive deck. I remember several years ago when I played Magic. I
was a kid and had no money. If there was a deck that was cheap and did
well at the time, I had built it. I looked in InQuest and was always
discouraged to see Black Lotuses and Moxes and expensive cards in all
the decks. Haymaker provides a relatively cheap deck for kids to
build, and does surprisingly well. However, though they are good, game
after game against Haymaker after Haymaker just gets incredibly
boring! I can't wait until Rocket comes out, then Haymakers should be
a little less powerful! YAY!
[POJO] What does it mean to you to be ranked as one of the best
Pokemon TCG players in the world?
[CM] Well, it means a lot, but at the same time not much. I think
it's great to be one of the top players. I go to tournament after
tournament, and do well in all them. I have kids (and adults too) that
sometimes copy my deck (sometimes the adults just kinda copy the basic
idea, not the exact deck list). While that is great that I do this
well, it's also kinda bad. I don't have too many people on my skill
level. While there are a few that are close, I love playing against
David O’Connor, because he is the one person who actually
understands every concept of the game, anticipates your attack and
trainers you will use. I think you reach a certain point (in terms of
skill level), where you can't get any better at playing the game.
Yeah, you might make a couple mistakes (like every once in a while
energy removal a Pokemon you're about to KO is one that I hate). But,
you can anticipate what will happen, judge a deck by the first couple
Pokemon played, and guage what you're opponent's strategy is. At this
point, deck building and luck are the only things that separate you
from first and second. When everyone plays Haymakers, luck is more of
a factor. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is: Being one of the top
ranked players in the world is great, but I still seek competition
from others on my level. I'm looking forward to Apprentice games at
the Pojo, because that will definitely give me a chance to play others
from other places, and see where I really stand in the world. My area
of the country may be extremely horrible, and I shouldn't be ranked in
the top 100. Who really knows? It's great to be in the top 100, but I
really want some competition.
[POJO] Do you play the Pokemon video game?
[CM] I played it when it first came out. I'm in high school, and
people get made fun of for playing Pokemon. I personally don't care,
nor do my friends. After beating it, and getting some level 100
Pokemon, I haven't touched it in months. But, playing the game is what
got me into the cards. I was one of the first ones to start the TCG
thanks to the game (I got a starter deck the day the TCG came out,
then WAY too much sincethen :). I rented Pokemon Snap, and am probably
going to buy Pokemon Stadium (not Pokemon Yellow, though, probably).
I'm looking forward to Pokemon Card GB, especially for the promo :)
[POJO] Do you watch the Pokemon Animated Series?
[CM] I did, at first. I watched the regular episodes on UPN until
they kept rerunning the same things over and over. They are now
running new shows all the time, so I have watched a couple new shows
recently, but I don't watch it daily or anything, just when it happens
to be on and I'm not busy.
[POJO] Do you have a collection of Pokemon toys?
[CM] Kinda. I have a couple little 1 inch tall figures - Pikachu
and Charizard. That's it. I have shirts, a hat, and more stuff. I
think this will change when Burger King gets the new Pokemon toys in,
I'm sure I'll get a few if they're cool.
[POJO] Do you have a favorite card? Favorite video game
character? Favorite animated series character?
[CM] The favorite card I have is 1st Edition Charizard because I
like seeing the looks on kids faces when they see it in my binder
(remember I was around since the beginning of the TCG).
My favorite game character is Articuno, I pretty much beat the
Elite 4 with my Articuno.
[POJO] Anything else you would like to add to this interview?
[CM] I guess I'd like to add a little about rankings. Rankings
could be accurate, and they may not be. I guarantee if I had as little
money as some of the kids do to spend on Pokemon, I wouldn't probably
be ranked in the top 1000, let alone the top 100. To be in the top
100, you need to have lots of cards, or just a really good deck, which
usually (not always) means spending a fair amount of money. I am
thankful that I've gotten all these cards, and that is why I am in the
top 100. So many of the 4093 ranked players do not have enough cards
to remain competitive. I hope everyone that has a good ranking
realizes all those that are less fortunate than those that have a lot
The reason I play Pokemon is for fun. Though I only
have 4 tournaments ranked, I have played in over 15-20 that were
sanctioned, and lots more that weren't. I just wish WOTC would get
them up a little quicker. However, the reason I play is for the fun.
In tournaments, we (meaning most players, but not all) forget why we
play the game (or at least I hope that's why anyone does). The reason
it was created was for money, and the reason we support it with our
money is for the fun involved. Yeah, some people go to a tourney and
are completely cut-throat, mean, nasty, and trash talk. I go for the
fun. Sure I don't intentionally lose to people to make them feel
better, but I also don't go all out for my rating.
Here's just a stupid little example. In one instance
in a tourney, me and my friend were the 2 remaining undefeated players
(Swiss), and were gonna play each other in the final round before the
top 8. If we played, and one of us lost, we still would have been in
the top 8, but we would play harder opponents (1st vs. 8th, 2nd vs.
7th, etc is the format). I played my friend with the exact same decks
we had more than 25 times within the last week, and he hadn't won a
single game. That was really boring, but he kept insisting I play it
(not my fun deck), because he wanted to beat it. Since we play pretty
much every day, I still had plenty of time for the fun deck also. He
doesn't have the money to invest, and his deck is very original and
does well. It's a Psychic deck (with Colorless) with
Alakazams, Mewtwo's, Jynx, Snorlax, and some weirdo cards nobody uses.
However, it works pretty well. The point is, he had a good deck, but
in best 2 of 3 games, I was positive I could beat him. While some
people would go for the ratings and kill their opponent despite the
fact that he's your friend, I still drew (as I'm sure most of the Top
100 do) for the tie, and we both went on to face each other in the
finals, and THEN I killed him :)
The point is, sportsmanship is very important in
Pokemon. That is one of the reasons I quit Magic a couple years ago,
and traded all my cards for Star Wars. I moved from Iowa to Phoenix,
and knew nobody to play Star Wars. So, I have a bunch of cards that
aren't worth anything. Star Wars had pretty good sportsmanship, and I
liked that. Then, Pokemon came around. I was SO surprised by how the
people in the game acted. They didn't cheat, trash talk, or anything
like that (most of the time...). I loved it! Finally a game without
the majority of the players being all-for-their-rating. I guess my
point here is that I don't do anything for my rating. I'll do whatever
is the smartest thing to do in any situation, and see how it affects
my rating later. While these ratings do tell you how good of a player
you are, they aren't so important that you need to base your playing
Pokemon around bringing up your ranking.