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Luck
by Ace28

February 21, 2005

Briefing:

Hi! It’s good to be writing for all of you again! Today, I will be discussing how “Luck” plays a role in the game of Pokemon. First off, let me ask you something. Were you ever in a game and you were pretty much dominating the whole of it but managed, somehow to lose in the very end? Or have you ever been in a game where you were being crushed, but managed to pull out a win? Most of us have been in both of these situations before. Both of these situations might have you scratching your head afterwards and cause you to wonder how it happened. This is one great thing about Pokemon. No matter what situation you may be in, a comeback can always be very probable.

Intro:                              

Lets get started with some basic calculations. As we can see there are sixty cards in a deck. (I am going to be using “X” as the variable.) The less cards you have in a deck the less likely you are to draw them.  Having 1 X : 0.0166666% , Having 2 X: 0.0333333% , Having 3 X: 0.05% , Having 4 X: 0.0666666%.

Obviously, the more of a card you have the better chances you have of drawing it in the beginning of the game.  *Note The above percentages of drawing a card only apply to the first card you draw. You see, after you draw your first card the number you divide by changes from sixty to fifty nine percent etc and therefore, changing the whole likeliness of drawing it. Basically, as the number you divide by decreases the likeliness of you drawing the card increases and having more of the card increases it even more.

I will give you an example of a deck that took advantage of this knowledge. Back in the day, when only the Base set was out, a pretty funny deck people would play consisted of the following cards: One Mewtwo and Fifty Nine Psychic Energy. The decks purpose was to deck the opponent. The game would start and the person using this deck had high chances having a bunch of mulligans (Not having a basic pokemon in their hand.) The opponent would draw two cards because of this. The cards drawn would start to add up and by the time the game actually began, the hand size of the player playing against this deck would be pretty big. The Mewtwo would just keep using barrier over and over again until the opponent ran out of cards. This deck would lose to energy removals pretty easily...but still I guarantee you wouldn’t find a more inexpensive deck to play. :D

Mid:

Moving on...The following equations are the chances of drawing in your opening hand. (Once again I will be using “X” as the variable.)

First Card (Drawing from 60/60)

Having 1 X : 0.0166666% (1/60), Having 2 X: 0.0333333% (2/60), Having 3 X: 0.05% (3/60), Having 4 X:

0.0666666% (4/60).

Second Card (Drawing from 59/60)

Having 1 X : 0.0169491% (1/59), Having 2 X: 0.0338983% (2/59), Having 3 X: 0.0508474% (3/59), Having 4 X:

0.0677966% (4/59).

Third Card (Drawing from 58/60)

Having 1 X : 0.0172413% (1/58), Having 2 X: 0.0344827% (2/58), Having 3 X: 0.0517241% (3/58), Having 4 X:

0.0689655% (4/58).

Fourth Card (Drawing from 57/60)

Having 1 X : 0.0175438% (1/57) , Having 2 X: 0.0350877% (2/57) , Having 3 X: 0.0526315% (3/57), Having 4 X:

0.0701754% (4/57).

Fifth Card (Drawing from 56/60)

Having 1 X : 0.0178571% , Having 2 X: 0.0357142% , Having 3 X: 0.0535714% , Having 4 X: 0.0714285%.

Sixth Card (Drawing from 55/60)

Having 1 X : 0.0181818% (1/55) , Having 2 X: 0.0363636% (2/55), Having 3 X: 0.0545454% (3/55) , Having 4 X:

0.0727272% (4/55).

Seventh Card (Drawing from 54/60)

Having 1 X : 0.0185185% (1/54), Having 2 X: 0.037037% (2/54) , Having 3 X: 0.0555555% (3/54) , Having 4 X:

0.074074%. (4/54)

*Notice that these are the chances of drawing “X” before you put prizes down. After you put prizes down the percentages increase, but “X” might be in prizes making the chance of drawing it 0% :) If you followed this procedure throughout the whole game chances are the game would be boring and the person who would win would probably be whoever can get the most energy out on all their pokemon first.

This is why we play trainers, and Pokemon themselves that search for the cards you want and let you get what you need at that moment. I am hoping that those are the kinds of cards you put more then one of in your deck(unless there is no need to). Now that you look at it, you should see that the purpose of these cards are to speed up what you want to set up. If you can draw the cards you need faster then your opponent you win. Imagine you are playing Zap-Turn-Dos or whatever. If it is a good deck, you will have cards that are meant to get Zapdos out as fast as possible. Cards like Dual Ball and Lanettes Net Search you put in for the purpose of getting Zapdos. Other cards are put in to abuse Zapdos’s Pokemon Power like Super Scoop Up. Using these cards gives you the option of not playing four Zapdos.  Theoretically you have better chances of getting Zapdos if you play four instead of three. However, by playing those trainers instead of more Zapdos you have a better chance of getting Zapdos faster. (Kinda Ironic ;\) My advice is to play four Zapdos though and the trainers since you want to keep rotating them and in order to do that you need them.  This is just one example and be applied to every deck in Pokemon since every good deck uses cards to abuse something, rather it be the attack requirements or the poke power wording.

One thing that I have not discussed yet is the Odds in rolling dice or flipping coins. There have been many games won by outstanding flips and many lost by horrible flips. Theoretically if you flip a coin 50 times you will get Heads fifty percent of the time and tails fifty percent of the time. Experimentally...there have been some well, very different outcomes. I have been to tourneys and seen people flip more then eight tails in a row during a two turn span. I myself have flipped and/or rolled many tails and it is frustrating, BUT you must not dwell on your miserable flips. You must remain focused and try to make the best of it. If you dwell on your flips you will not play as good during the game and become probably become pretty unpopular for whining about it constantly :X Playing your best in the worst situations is what will develop your skill so much more. Make it a habit to expect the worst in flips/rolls and always play as if you have six prizes left and your opponent has one.(But keep in mind that even though you are playing like that scramble energy still won’t count as three until your opponent physically has more prizes taken then you ;x)

Closing:

There are many names to label this as...Luck, Odds, Chances, etc. Regardless of what you label it, remember to not depend on it 100% of the time. :) If we plan to learn we need to learn to plan. Whatever deck you play make sure you know it front and back by the time you play it at a tournament so you do not get lost and forget the purpose of the cards in it. Think carefully and do not rush yourself into a bad decision because that is where most bad decisions come from. Play great and have fun!

~Ace28

*As always, comments and feedback are greatly encouraged. :) Email: PwN@adelphia.net

 


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