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2012-2013 Season Play! Pokémon TCG and VGC Information Announced! 08/31/2012

Posted by raznprince in Game News, Pokemon News, Pokemon TCG, Pokemon Video Games, TCG News.
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Hey, Trainers!

TPCi has released their Play! Pokémon season information for both the TCG and VGC for this year! I will provide a brief summary of the highlights from each section and you can click on the respective links highlighted for the full information.

For all you TCG‘ers:

The Championship Points system has been revamped to allow a minimum requirement for an invitation to the 2013 World Championships in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada! Unlike last year’s system, the amount of Championship Points earned this year are multiplied by a factor of ten (10), and there won’t be a “Top X” system based on Championship Points earned, meaning that if you manage to earn 400 Championship Points by the end of the U.S. National Championships, you will receive an invite to the World Championships without the fear of any players outranking you for a spot! For more information about the Championship Points system, click here.

There will now be three (3) Regional Championship events held this year (Fall, Winter, and Spring) as opposed to the two (2) held last year (Fall and Spring).

Play! Points will again be used this year to ensure players have enough experience in tournaments before becoming eligible for the National Championships. Junior and Senior Division players will have a slight decrease in Play! Points requirement, whereas Master Division players will have a slight increase. More on the exact amounts will be announced later.

As I have previously discussed, there will be no Top Cut (single elimination) matches held at all Battle Road events. However, the incentive for Championship Points will increase depending on attendance numbers at every event.

Since the new tournament season started back in July 2012, all Play! Points and Championship Points earned since then will count towards eligibility to attend the U.S. National Championships and an invitation to the World Championships respectively.

For all you VGC‘ers:

Regional Championships will coincide with the TCG, and participation will net you Play! Points to be applied only to your VCG participation and not towards the TCG.

The GBU Wi-Fi tournaments are making a big splash this year! By participating and doing well in these tournaments, you can earn byes at the Regional Championships to be applied starting at the Winter Regional Championships!

Championship Points are also being awarded in the VGC and are key to determining the Top Four (4) North Americans who will receive invitations to the World Championships. Championship Points earned in the VGC will not count towards the TCG.

To ensure you are being awarded your Play! Points and Championship Points throughout the year, you must have an active Trainer Club account with a Player ID, and that you are opted into Play! Pokémon programs and have accepted all Organized Play Terms of Use.

Please take the time to read on the links provided for more information. Let me know if you have any questions!

Professor Raz

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Update on the Last Professor’s Corner Article 08/30/2012

Posted by raznprince in Pokemon News, Pokemon TCG, TCG News, TCG Strategy.
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Hey TCG’ers!

I just recently read on an announcement regarding the recent ruling on Terrakion EX’s (DRX) Pump-up Smash attack. Rules Team guru PokéPop (Michael Martin) has posted on the PokéGym that TPCi R&D team has overruled the current ruling and cited that the hand is considered a “Private Zone” therefore, attaching energy from the hand is optional and will as such be ruled that way for all games. You can read the citation of the recent post by clicking here. Whether the opponent has seen the player’s hand in a previous turn due to a card or attack effect does not matter; the player is not obligated to attach the energy in his/her hand if there are any when attacking.

Perhaps a couple of reasons for this overrule could be of the following:
1. While players must exercise maximum integrity and honesty at all times in with the game, it is impossible for judges to keep track of all plyers who run Terrakion EXs in their decks let alone devote the time to everyone making sure that those who have basic Energy are attaching them when they “should.”
2. Penalty assessments are a nightmare for both players and the judges. The potential for cheating is too great, which makes it cumbersome for the judges to constantly review hands for basic Energy during every attack and spend time writing up penatlies and essentailly slow down the flow of the tournament.

As a result of this new ruling, I have updated the previous post to reflect the new information (click here for the post). Please let me know if you have any questions about this ruling!

Professor Raz

2012 Autumn Friendly 08/29/2012

Posted by Gryphon in Events, Game News, Pokemon News, Pokemon Video Games.
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Pokemon.com has announced an upcoming wifi competition for players of Pokemon Black and White. Like the 2011 Autumn Friendly, this competition’s format is double battles, with a number of pokemon banned from use (Mewtwo, Mew, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Chatot, Celebi, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza, Jirachi, Deoxys, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Phione, Manaphy, Darkrai, Shaymin, Arceus, Victini, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, and Keldeo) as well as the moves Dark Void and Sky Drop. Registration for this competition opens on September 6th, and closes on September 13th; the competition itself starts on September 14th and will run until September 17th. To learn more about this competition and how to enter, you can visit the information page here, and read the rules and regulations PDF here.

Professor’s Corner – Special Rulings: Terrakion EX’s (DRX) Pump-up Smash 08/27/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG, TCG Strategy.
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[F][F][C] Pump-up Smash – 90 damage
Attach 2 basic Energy cards from your hand to your Benched Pok
émon in any way you like.

If you were playing in a tournament and were running Terrakion EX in your deck and you use this attack:

  1. Does this attack work if you have one or no basic Energy cards in your hand?
  2. Does this attack work if you don’t have any Pokémon on your Bench?
  3. If you had up to two basic Energy cards in your hand, could you choose not to attach them since your opponent doesn’t really know what cards are in your hand?
  4. Are you supposed to show your opponent your hand to verify if there are any Energy cards in your hand or not?

These are some questions that don’t immediately come to your mind unless you are thinking about how it will affect your performance in a tournament. However as of recently, this has become one of the most hotly-debated issues regarding tournament rulings and play since the release of Black and White: Dragons Exalted (DRX). After extensive discussion and consultation of rulings made from Japan, the TPCi rulings officials have finally declared a ruling that will be regarded and enforced at all tournaments…and just in time for the upcoming Fall Battle Roads events! In order to understand this final ruling, I will answer the individual questions I addressed earlier respectively.

  1. It has been long agreed that for all attacks that you do as much as you can unless the attack specifies otherwise. In this case, yes…if you have only one basic Energy card in your hand, you attach whatever basic Energy you do have in your hand to your Benched Pokémon.  No matter how much energy you attached to your Benched Pokémon (zero, one, or two) the attack will do 90 damage.
  2. Yes. Per the “do as much as you can” rule, the attack will do 90 damage.
  3. Based on recent rulings updates presented on August 30, 2012, the hand is considered a “Private Zone,” therefore attaching energy is optional. Whether or not your opponent has seen your hand with basic Energy in it due to some card or attack effect on his/her last turn does not matter; you don’t have to attach the energy if you don’t want to. This ruling removes the potential for severe penalties to be issued at tournaments due to suspected cheating or slowing of tournament progress from constant hand verifications if attaching Energy was mandatory.
  4. You do not show your hand to your opponent when using this attack; the attack does not tell you to do it. Therefore, unnecessary hand reveals are not an acceptable game practice by any means.

Quick Recap: Pump-up Smash will do 90 damage, and if you have basic Energy and any Benched Pokémon to attach them to, you may attach it. Don’t show your hand to your opponent when attacking, and just attach the basic Energy if you have any and want to attach them.

I understand that some cards can sometimes be difficult to understand and work with, and my intention with this report is not to scare you away from playing Terrakion EXs in your decks. However, this ruling is important to understand if you are going to play it in a tournament as you will be expected to know how the tournament staff and judges will rule on it if there are any problems that come up from it during a tournament.

As usual, please let me know if you have any questions regarding this topic!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty: Advanced

Minor Updates 08/27/2012

Posted by Gryphon in Game News, Pokemon News, Pokemon Video Games, Site Updates.
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  • For those planning on attending Battle Roads, an updated decklist form has been added to the Library. Don’t forget to bring your Player ID along, too!
  • Today is the first day of the Keldeo download event at GameStop. It has been confirmed that the Keldeo you receive will be level 15, will have the moves Aqua Jet, Leer, Double Kick, and Bubblebeam, will have the ability Justified, and will be holding a PP Max. After getting your Keldeo, you can take it and the other three “Muskedeers” (Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion) to an area of the Moor of Icirrus, where Keldeo will be tutored by its three mentors on how to use Secret Sword. However, if you wait until Black 2 and White 2 are released, you can trade your Keldeo over and have it learn the move in Oath Woods instead, where it will also trigger an event that causes it to change forme.
  • For those who have Pokedex 3D, an update for the app will be available starting August 31st. This update will unlock certain pokemon in your game that you otherwise could not obtain through scanning special codes, or by sending/receiving information to other people: Pansage and Simisage, Pansear and Simisear, Panpour and Simipour, male or female Unfezant, male or female Frillish and Jellicent, all four seasons of Deerling and Sawsbuck, Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, and Victini. While they will be unlocked in your game, you will still have to wait to receive them through daily SpotPass.

Battle Roads Dates Announced! 08/22/2012

Posted by raznprince in Events, Pokemon TCG, TCG News.
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Hey, TCG’ers!

The dates for Fall Battle Roads 2012 have been announced:

September 1 – Lawrenceville
September 2 – Lilburn
September 8 – Buford, Statesboro
September 9 – Douglasville, Macon
September 15 – Franklin
September 16 – Newnan
September 20 – Roswell
September 22 – Suwanee
September 23 – Marietta
September 30 – Canton

Click on the respective location for more information. Not all locations have event information and I will update as soon as I have official listings for those locations.

As you can see, there will be plenty of opportunities to play and earn Play! Points towards eligibility to attend the National Championships next summer! Each Battle Road event you attend is worth one (1) Play! Point and there is no limit to the amount of events you attend.

Registration is free for all events, but in order to participate, a decklist is required for all Battle Roads events, and your deck will need to be constructed according to the Modified, Tournament-Legal set rotation (click on the link for more info).

One major change to the Battle Road structure is that there will be no Top Cut rounds (single elimination) to determine top finishers. In this case, the final rankings of players in each age division will be determined by their tournament record during Swiss rounds. This change is to re-exemplify the purpose that Battle Roads are an entry level tournament competition at the local level as a way to introduce and expose Organized Play to the communities.

Top finishers in each age division can earn booster packs from the currently-released set (Black and White: Dragons Exalted), and even a special promo card!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Professor Raz

Scrapple from the WRAPL: Aug-Sept-Oct Edition 08/20/2012

Posted by Gryphon in Events, Game News, League News, Pokemon News, Pokemon TCG, Pokemon Video Games, TCG News.
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After the Legend Badge season ends on the 25th of August, there will be 2 months where the League will be out of season, until the upcoming Aspertia Gym season begins on October 22nd. Between now and then, of course, there will still be League sessions, with plenty of promo cards and badges for players to earn. However, there will be a whole lot more going on as the new 2012-2013 Championship Series starts up.

  • There will be Battle Road tournaments in Georgia all throughout the month of September. Details on these events will be added in a later post.
  • The Keldeo download event begins on August 27th. This event is exclusive to GameStop stores, and will require a visit to a local GameStop to participate. The event ends on October 6th.
  • Pokemon versions Black 2 and White 2 will be released on October 7th for Nintendo DS. Trading the Keldeo you downloaded from GameStop over to this game will allow you to unlock its Resolute Forme in a special area close to the starting point of the game.
  • Pokemon Dream Radar, an app for the Nintendo 3DS available through the 3DS Shop, will also be released on October 7th. This app allows you to find and capture pokemon with hidden (Dream World) abilities using augmented reality (similar to FaceRaiders) and gives you the option to send these pokemon to your Black2/White2 game. It is also the only available means of obtaining Thundurus, Tornadus, and Landorus in their Therian Formes.

The local League will also be working on organizing more tournaments for October and later in the year. Stay tuned for updates!

Gryphon

Black and White: Dragons Exalted is Tournament Legal! 08/15/2012

Posted by raznprince in Pokemon TCG, TCG News.
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Hey, TCG’ers!

Today is the official release date of Black and White: Dragons Exalted, and as such, this set is legal for tournament play!

When filling out your decklists for tournaments that require one, refer to the symbol and input the appropriate abbreviation below:

DRX

I hope to see you guys come out for the sealed tournament tomorrow at 4 P.M.!

Professor Raz

Local Tournaments Reminder 08/14/2012

Posted by raznprince in Events, League News, Pokemon TCG.
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Hey TCG’ers!

Just a reminder that this Thursday (August 16) will be our Dragons Exalted Sealed Tournament! Registration will be held from 4:00 to 5:00 P.M. and will cost $25 per person, which pays for six (6) booster packs of Black and White: Dragons Exalted! The tournament will start promptly at 5:00 P.M. so please make an effort to arrive and register within 10 minutes early, but you are welcome to call the store (listed on the right side of the page) if you anticipate being up to 5 minutes late past 5:00. Basic energy will be provided to borrow, but bring-your-own energy is encouraged! Please remember to bring or at least memorize your Player ID number if you have one; I will only provide IDs to those who never had one before. All players will get two (2) additional booser packs at the end of the tournament! As a result of this tournament, league will not be held on Saturday (August 18).

The originally-scheduled unsanctioned tournament on August 25 is cancelled due to staff memebers who will not be available to run the tournament. As a result, regular league session will take place instead at the normal time. I am looking to sanction a Modifed-Constructed tournament in October, and I will let you all know when I have the date decided.

I am still waiting on all the events for Fall Battle Roads in GA to be posted online before I post them here so that everyone will have a chance to see and decide where and when they want to play. Battle Roads are a great introduction to competitive tournament play on the local level and will help you earn Play! Points towards your eligibility towards attending the U.S. National Championships next summer!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions. Hope to see you come out on Thursday!

Professor Raz

WORLDS!!! 08/09/2012

Posted by Gryphon in Events, Game News, Pokemon News, Pokemon TCG, Pokemon Video Games, TCG News.
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This weekend, the World Championships will be held in Waikoloa, Hawaii. This is the ultimate premier event in the championship series. Participants have to earn their eligibility to be invited to this event by competing at several premier events and winning championship points for placing. Those that earn enough points to get an invite are some of the most skilled and knowledgeable Pokemon trainers of our time. Whoever comes out on top in the Worlds tournament will earn the title of the best Pokemon trainer in the world.

This tournament is held once a year, and is typically held in San Diego, California or near Kona, Hawaii, alternating every year (though in years past, it has also been held in Florida). It marks the start of the new season for premier events; all Championship Points (CP) earned from the previous year’s premier tournaments count towards eligibility to compete at Worlds, and thus any CP earned from competing at Worlds contribute toward a player’s CP total in the new year. The tournament takes place over 2-3 days and is celebrated with its own special opening and closing ceremonies. Game Freak staff members show up to take part in the ceremonies, and stick around to talk to players and give autographs (Game director and soundtrack composer Junichi Masuda covers his Worlds attendance on his blog; you can read about his 2011 experience in San Diego here and here, and 2010 in Hawaii here).

While the top players in the world are competing for the champion crown in Hawaii, there are still lots of special things going on for the spectators!

  • A special limited-edition C-Gear skin (for Pokemon Black and White, though it will be compatible for the upcoming Black 2 and White 2 versions as well) will be made available on the Pokemon Global Link site soon (if not today). The password to unlock this skin will be posted on the Worlds site.
  • The final rounds in the tournament will be broadcast in live streaming video on the Worlds site, starting this Sunday afternoon. There will even be live commentary!
  • After Worlds each year, replicas of the winning decks are released for purchase in stores. Each comes with a special booklet that gives information on Worlds, the top competitors and their decks, and includes photos from that year’s event. The cards that come in these decks cannot be used for tournament play (they have special card back designs, and typically have a different color border on the front, as well as the signature of the player who built and used the deck) but they are perfectly fine for casual play, and can be used to practice and earn points at Pokemon League sessions.
  • When Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 are released on October 7th, a promotional download will become available for the Pokemon World Tournament feature of the game. Players will be able to download a special tournament set that includes the top players from the 2012 Worlds tournament, plus the pokemon they used. This will be a great opportunity to find out how the strongest teams work, and to find out the best combinations and strategies to beat them!

Check the Worlds website this weekend for news and updates as the event unfolds!