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Georgia State Championships 01/31/2012

Posted by raznprince in Events.
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Hey, all!

I just wanted to announce the Georgia 2012 Pokémon State Championships this year. It will be on Saturday, March 10 at The Gaming Pit in Lilburn, GA. Registration is from 9:00 to 10:00 A.M.

This is a Constructed-Modifed tournament, so you will need to build your deck with using cards from Heart Gold Soul Silver through the Next Destinies sets. HGSS and Black & White Black Star Promos, McDonald’s Promos and the Victory Medal and Victory Cup item cards, and cards from the HGSS and BLW Trainer Kits are also allowed. You will also need to bring damage, poison, and burn counters if your deck requires it. Also, remember to bring (or at least memorize) your Player ID number when you arrive at the event.

For more information, please click on the following link: http://pokegym.net/forums/showthread.php?t=159807&highlight=State+Championships

This information is also posted in our Tournaments tab above. Hope to see you guys there!

Professor Raz

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Professor’s Corner – Next Destinies Pre-Release Edition 01/28/2012

Posted by raznprince in Events, Pokemon TCG, TCG News.
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Disclaimer: The following blog may contain spoiler information regarding the Next Destinies set. Read at your own risk!

I have just returned from the Pre-Release event today up in Lilburn and I was quite pleased with how the tournament ran today. I have learned some useful information regarding the rare cards of the set that may surprise many of you especially if you’re a collector:

  1. The pull rate for full-art EX Pokémon is 1 per box.
  2. The pull rate for regular print EX Pokémon is 2 per box.
  3. There are 4 secret rare “shiny” Pokémon in this set: Emboar, Chandelure, Zoroark, and Hydreigon. Each Pokémon are printed with the same attacks as their originally released sets (Ability BLW, NVI, BLW, and NVI respectively).
  4. The pull rate for secret rare “Shiny” Pokémon is 1 in 3 boxes.

Also, I have learned that Tymon (the state PTO for Georgia) runs his Pre-Releases in the following way if none of you have ever played at any of his Pre-Releases:

  1. This tournament is only run Limited-Sealed Deck as I explained in a previous blog.
  2. Your Promo card is given to you once you have paid for your registration. You cannot use this card when you construct your 40-card deck, however if you pull the same card in a Booster Pack, you can use that one. For Next Destinies, it was the promo stamped Arcanine.
  3. All players will play 3 Rounds of Swiss regardless of the turnout (especially if it’s large). This is more efficient use of the players’ time as it cuts down on unnecessary extra rounds because no more tournament prizes can be won from playing more rounds. Everyone gets two packs regardless of their record at the end of the tournament.
  4. Matches are played to a straight 20 minutes without “Plus 3” rule. At this point, the winner for the round is the player with the most Prize Cards drawn when time is called and at the end of the current player’s turn.
  5. Door prizes are conducted prior to the start of Round 3.  Several sets of two Booster packs of the Pre-Release set, a Theme Deck (1 per age division), and other promotional items (posters, etc.) are up for grabs. I won the “Voltage Vortex” (Zekrom) theme deck.
  6. You must return your Basic Energy that you borrowed to construct your deck in order to receive your two Booster Packs and your other promotional item. In this case, it was the Next Destinies deck box.

If you haven’t gone to a Pre-Release yet, it’s not too late! There will be more opportunities tomorrow in Newnan and next Saturday up in Canton. Let me know if you have any questions!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty: N/A

Professor’s Corner – Erratas 01/25/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG.
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Wait…the card wasn’t supposed to say that?

Another exception to playing cards using its literal transcription comes in the form of what’s called the errata. An errata is an official change recognized by the Pokémon Company in which the cards are to be played in a way different from what the cards actually say as written.

Erratas occur for the following reasons:

  1. The way the cards were originally written cannot be correctly played based on the current rules of the game.
  2. The same cards that have been reprinted in future sets have now taken on new effects and the intention is to make all cards of that same name in older sets to have that same new effect.
  3. The cards are worded in such a way that has been subject to several interpretations.

Some common specific examples of erratas (may be paraphrased from the actual errata text):

  1. Rare Candy – Place the appropriate Stage 2 on top of the Basic Pokémon. This counts as evolving that Pokémon. You cannot play this card on the same turn you place the Basic Pokémon on your bench. Also, you cannot use this card to evolve your Basic Pokémon to a Stage 1 Pokémon (Diamond & Pearl previous effect). You cannot play this card on your first turn of the game.
  2. Potion – Heal 30 damage from one of your Pokémon (vice 20 damage as previously printed based on Diamond & Pearl rules).

Please note that not all erratas are limited to Trainer-Item/Supporter/Stadium Cards, but also include attacks and effects on Pokémon. I will post links to erratas relevant to the current Modified tournament rotation as they become available.

Also, some old cards that are Modified-Legal (old cards that are actually legal for tournament play) may have a significant errata associated and will require players to have a reference card of the correct wording (not actually played as part of the deck) handy should they be allowed to use those old cards in their deck. This allows both players to understand that the associated old card being played has the equivalent meaning of that with the latest wording.

I hope this clears up any further questions about the wording of cards. Let me know if you have any feedback!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty: Advanced

‘Next Destinies’ Explosive Edge theme deck released early 01/24/2012

Posted by Gryphon in Pokemon TCG, TCG News.
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One of the two theme decks for the upcoming English set has been released before the street date. Explosive Edge, due for release Feb 8, has been revealed to feature Water and Fire type Pokémon, and will feature the Vast White Pokémon, Reshiram. The other theme deck, Voltage Vortex has not yet been revealed. Click here to read the rest of this article on Bulbanews.

Professor’s Corner – The “Plus 3” Rule 01/23/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG, TCG Strategy.
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I have previously mentioned about the “Plus 3” rule for tournament play back in the Limited-Sealed Deck blog, so now I’m finally going to explain how it works.

In a tournament, the time (minutes per round) Plus 3 rule means that once the normal round time is up, both players are given a 3-turns total overtime to resolve all status of player progress in that round in the following way:

  1. The player whose turn it is when time is called is Turn 0. The opponent’s turn is Turn 1 and both players alternate; the first player Turn 2, then the opponent Turn 3.
  2. At the end of Turn 3, whichever player has taken the most Prize Cards wins the game.
  3. If both players have the same number of Prize Cards remaining, the game continues until one player draws the next Prize Card. In turn, that player wins the game.

Typically, Limited Tournaments (especially Pre-Releases) use a 20 Minutes Plus 3 Turns rule because of the nature of the format of playing with 4 Prize Cards. Constructed Tournaments (explained later) use a 30 Minutes Plus 3 Turns rule, and in the Single Elimination portion of the tournament employs a 60 Minutes Plus 3 Turns which the 60 minutes spans across the best of 3 games matches. (I will go over tournament styles in a future blog.)

So why are Pokémon tournaments run with this type of time format? It allows an opportunity for players to catch up on Prize Cards when the early game started off slow, and it discourages clock manipulation by a player who is ahead in Prize Cards. In tournaments, players have a tendency to slow down once time is called in order to be a bit more deliberate in their actions to catch up or stay ahead to win but in keeping with the spirit of the game, that is highly discouraged. Judges will enforce the brisk, lively game pace that is always expected throughout all rounds and are obligated to issue penalties should this become a repetitive issue from a player.

Let me know if you have any feedback!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty: Basic

Professor’s Corner – Pitfall Conventions: What Does the Card Say? 01/23/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG, TCG Strategy.
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As I have previously stated, it is important to understand the cards you play with as they are written. As a judge for several tournaments, I get a lot of questions regarding the rulings of the cards players play during their games and my most common first response is “what does the card say?” However, in some cases, it’s not always clear what to do, but here are some tips to watch out for when it comes to understanding the cards you play:

  1. The words “you may” specify that particular effect of the card or attack is optional. In other words, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.
  2. The words “up to” specify that the outcome of the effect must be less than or equal to the magnitude of the effect written on the card.
  3. The absence of the above phrases assumes that the effects must be performed as written.
  4. Do not confuse what you can or can’t do between playing Trainer-Item/Supporter/Stadium cards with effects of attacks:
    1. The former requires that you satisfy all conditions associated with the card in order to perform the effect (Example: For Pokémon Communication, you must have a Pokémon in your hand to exchange for a Pokémon in your deck). You cannot play an Item or Supporter Card for no effect. However, if the effect requires you to search for a card in your deck you may “fail” the search regardless of whether the desired card is in your deck or not because the contents of your deck isn’t public knowledge.
    2. Unless otherwise specified, the latter doesn’t require all effect conditions to be satisfied for the attack to succeed, however what can be done with the attack must be done. (Example: If an attack does 30 damage, poisons the defending Pokémon, and then your opponent must discard a card from his/her hand, but he/she has no cards in his/her hand this turn, the attack still works minus the discard effect.)
    3. If an effect requires you to move a card from the discard pile to either your hand, deck, or attach to a Pokémon, you must reveal that card to your opponent before placing accordingly.

I hope this helps de-mystify the concerns you have on understanding your cards. Any questions, comments, or constructive feedback? Let me know!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowldege Difficulty: Basic

Professor’s Corner – Pitfall Conventions: Damage Calculation 01/19/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG, TCG Strategy.
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The following tips will clarify the situations regarding damage and damage calculation:

  1. An attack that does damage is one that:
    1. Has a number associated with the attack, clearly and commonly found to the right of the attack’s name.
    2. Does not have a number associated with the attack but the supporting text of the attack specifies that the attack does damage. Do not think of this as “effect damage” as there is really no such thing.
  2. Attacks that do damage shall factor in weakness, resistance, all damage-increasing/decreasing effects, and all effects induced as a result of damage from an attack unless specified otherwise.
  3. Attacks or effects that specify placing damage counters on Pokémon are also legal but do not incur the effects stemming from damage done by attacks. Specific examples:
    1. Confusion self-damage doesn’t apply weakness or resistance because you are placing 3 damage counters on your confused Pokémon when confusion check fails.
    2. The effects of PlusPower, Defender (Pre-BLW-on format), Eviolite, Black Belt (Pre-BLW-on format), Special Darkness (Pre-BLW-on format) and Special Metal Energy (Pre-BLW-on format), etc. does not increase/decrease damage counter placement.
    3. The effect of Rescue Energy (Pre-BLW-on format) cannot be applied to the attached Pokémon that was Knocked Out due to damage counter placement.
  4. An attack that fails with an effect that could raise damage does nothing because there isn’t damage to increase. Specific examples:
    1. An attack that fails when tails is flipped and a PlusPower was applied prior to the attack.
    2. The above is also true for a Darkness Pokémon with a Special Darkness Energy (Pre-BLW-on format) or Dark Claw attached.

I hope this clears up a little bit of concern on damage. I understand that the transcription from Word to the blog has changed up my bullet formats. Besides that, please let me know if you have any feedback!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty: Basic

Professor’s Corner – Pitfall Conventions: Cards In Your Hand 01/19/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG, TCG Strategy.
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A lot of common mistakes occur in the TCG when it comes to playing certain cards during a player’s turn. Most of that stems from the player’s interpretation of the cards based on experience with other TCG’s besides Pokémon and sometimes those cards are played incorrectly. Other times it may be a simple misinterpretation of the cards in general. The best way to understand how the card works is to understand it in its literal meaning. However, sometimes the meaning of the cards, and sometimes rules, isn’t always clearly understood.

The following tips will clarify the situations regarding hand size:

  1. There are no limits to the number of cards in your hand at any given time. Your opponent is entitled to know how many cards are in your hand, but not allowed to view your hand unless playing a Trainer Card or using a Pokémon effect that requires it.
  2. You can never “not” have a hand in this game. In this case, you can have a hand with zero cards. If you or your opponent plays a card or effect that requires shuffling your hand into your deck, you must still shuffle your deck (especially before drawing any cards) because your hand consisted of zero cards at the time the effect took place. Effects from Trainer Cards and attacks do not necessarily fail because you have no cards to shuffle back into your deck unless the effect says otherwise.
  3. The above is especially true for when you have to discard cards from your hand of zero cards. Effects from Trainer Cards and attacks do not necessarily fail because you cannot discard cards from your hand unless the effect says otherwise.

Specific Examples:

  1. You can play Professor Oak’s New Theory and shuffle your resulting hand of zero cards into your deck (basically just shuffling your deck), then draw 6 cards as the Supporter Card instructs.
  2. The above is also true for cards like N, Judge, Copycat, and Pokémon effects (attacks, abilities, etc.).
  3. You can play Professor Juniper and discard your resulting hand of zero cards, then draw 7 cards as the Supporter Card instructs (basically just drawing 7 cards).

I hope this clears up a little bit of concern on hand size. Please let me know if you have any feedback!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty: Basic

New Next Destinies information surfaces 01/17/2012

Posted by Gryphon in Pokemon TCG, TCG News.
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Various new cards have been revealed from the upcoming English Next Destinies TCG expansion. Click here to read this article at Bulbanews.

Professor’s Corner – The Limited-Booster Draft Format 01/17/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG.
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Sometimes the Pre-Releases you go to also offer Booster Draft tournaments. This is also an opportunity to get even more cards for your collection or deck, but not all PTOs hold Booster Drafts. It usually depends on the remaining prize support the PTO has on hand for him/her to determine if a Booster Draft can be conducted. However, like the Sealed Deck tournaments, the Booster Draft also comes at a price to purchase the booster packs. Booster Drafts can also be held by TO’s for any other occasion other than Pre-Releases.

Building from the knowledge of the Limited Format from my previous post, the Booster Draft employs slightly different rules compared to the Sealed Deck:

  1. You and a group of people (a pod) are seated at a table, and all of you receive your packs. The number of pods is determined by the number of participants in the Booster Draft.
  2. At the TO/PTO/Judge’s signal, you open one of your booster packs. You choose a card from the pack, and put it face-down in a pile in front of you. Place the remaining stack of cards face down.
  3. At the TO/PTO/Judge’s signal you pass your cards to the player on either the left or right of (or in certain seating cases, across from) you as chosen by the TO/PTO/Judge. You will pass your stacks of cards in this one direction until all the cards have been taken.
  4. Pick up the pile that was passed to you by the player next to you, choose one card, and put it face-down in your pile. Pass the cards in the same manner as above until all cards have been taken.
  5. When all the cards have been taken, you have about 20 seconds to look at your pile of drafted cards to get an idea of how you will build your 40-card deck.
  6. Repeat Steps 2 thru 5, passing your piles in the opposite direction. You will alternate directions for each booster pack opened until all booster packs have been opened.
  7. Proceed to build your 40-card deck!

Booster Drafts are fun because you are essentially building your deck on the fly and at the same time trying to figure out what you are going to need for your collection. However, it is rather essential to balance playing and collecting in this tournament as how well you do in the tournament could earn you even more booster packs! Booster Drafts aren’t as commonly run as the Sealed Deck tournaments, but when TO/PTO’s do hold them, they can be pretty exciting!

Questions, comments, or constructive feedback? Let me know!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty – Intermediate