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New Announcements from TPCi and WRAPL! 09/25/2012

Posted by raznprince in League News, Pokemon News, Pokemon TCG.
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Pokémon has gone social!
You can now follow the Pokémon Company’s announcements by “liking” their Facebook page or adding them to your Twitter feed!
To follow them on Facebook, click on facebook.com/Pokemon OR
To follow them on Twitter, click on twitter.com/Pokemon or when already logged into your Twitter account, search their profile name @pokemon. (period not included…)

Introducing League Badge Cases!
These will be given out to all players who have attended League last year and have active Player IDs as explained in this post here. Please complete the requirements stated from this post as you may not be able to order a league badge case if you don’t. League Badge Cases helps all players hold on to the badges they earn throughout the League Cycle and are very nice to display your collection of badges you earn to show off to your friends and family!

To order a League Badge Case, log into your Trainer Club account and under the “My Play! Pokémon” tab, scroll down until you see the Leagues section. Click on the link and select the season and League location (if you attend more than one League) you want your case to be sent. Mr. Dan Brandt from TPCi has provided the following additional information as posted in the OP forums:

  • The Badge Cases being offered as league support are ordered one per player.
  • Because players can attend multiple leagues, they will need to log onto their accounts and select where they would like to pick up their badge case.
  • They will be able to choose between any league that they they have attended in the previous season. (Legend Season in this case)
  • Players who did not get reported as attending a league in the previous season will need to wait until next season to order their Badge Case.
  • Badge Cases that are being sent to a league will go out with the other league materials ordered by the League.
  • When a league orders materials they will also receive Badge Cases flagged for pick up at their location.
  • Leagues will be able to tell by looking at their roster which players have set up a Badge Case delivery for their location.

Please keep this information in mind when placing your order for a League Badge Case. You cannot order a League Badge Case if you haven’t been reported as having attended a League Session during the Legend Season. Each player can only order one (1) League Badge Case.

New League Policy
It has been brought to the attention of Gryphon and myself that a good majority of our players currently do not have their Player IDs linked to their Trainer Club account on pokemon.com. I will re-empahsize that it is imperative that you do this as the amount of prize support on our future league kit orders will be dictated by the amount of players who attend our leagues having actively linked Player IDs. Click on the link under the League Badge Cases section above for instructions on how to complete this requirement.

For the reason stated above, starting on October 22, 2012 (the beginning of the Aspertia City Gym season), Gryphon and I will monitor our league roster for activated Player IDs. If our records show that your Player ID isn’t activated, you can continue to receive stamps on your tracking cards but you WILL NOT receive any promos or badges for any of the seasons in the B2W2 Unova cycle until this happens as it is very unfair to the players with active Player IDs to not get their rewards.

You will need a (new) Player ID if:
1. You possess an old Player ID (issued within the past 3-5 years) which never included an activation code, and your Trainer Club account currently shows that your Player ID is not linked. Since pokemon.com did a new website system revamp about 2 years ago, all the old Player IDs may have been completely purged from the system. You can tell your Player ID is old if your physical ID card doesn’t contain designs that are reminiscent to that of HeartGold/SouldSilver or Black & White.

2. You possess a more recent Player ID card that you have never linked to your Trainer Club account since it was issued and you have misplaced the PIN code that came with your Player ID.

3. You have never been issued a Player ID before.

Please let either Gryphon or myself know that you will need a new Player ID for any of the above reasons the next time you attend League. One of us will have an electronic medium for you to access your Trainer Club account to link your Player ID, especially for the new League members and players, every weekend we have League or a tournament. As another reminder, please activate your Player ID number to your Trainer Club accounts as soon as possible! 

New Tournament Scheduled: Modified-Constructed!
For the month of October, I will be conducting a Modified-Constructed format tournament. It is the standard format recognized at all Premier Events, and this tournament is designed to test your readiness for the upcoming City Championships season. This tournament will be held on Saturday, October 20 with registration from 11:00 A.M. to noon with the tournament starting immedately afterwards. All players will play with a 60-card deck made from their own personal collection of cards using only those from the sets defined here (click on the link). Dragon Vault (not included on that list) will be released on October 5, and all its cards will also be legal for play this tournament. Modified-legal reprints (cards printed in older sets with similar text or meaning) will be acceptable in this tournament provided that if the words do not exactly match their most recent reprinted text that a reference card to the correct ruling is required (i.e. Potion now removes 30 damage instead of 20), or if an errata has been issued by TPCi to a specific card (i.e. Rare Candy).

Registration fee is $5 per player and that money will be pooled to provide prize support for the tournament’s top players (ideally the top one or two players from each age division). Total rounds and top finishers will be determined based on attendance in each division with Top Cut rounds if any division reaches at least eight (8) players in attendance. As this tournament is designed to prepare for future Premier Events, it is only fair to reward players for performing extrememly well in a more competitive type of environment.

In addition to bringing your Player IDs, completed decklists will also be required at this event, and all decks will be checked to make sure your cards exactly match the order on your decklist starting with the first card on your list face-up. While decklists will be available for you to fill out at the tournament, I highly recommend that you (or your child) arrive to the event with one already filled out to make your registration process go a lot quicker. You can print out a decklist to fill out by clicking on the Library tab above and clicking on the BLW to DRX decklist document.

Like the sealed events I’ve conducted in previous months, this tournament will be sanctioned by TPCi, and as such you can receive player penalties for improper game performance and unacceptable behavior that can be reported to TPCi for tracking purposes. Please review the Official Tournament Rules document (also under the Library tab) for answers to your general questions about Pokémon tournament play and feel free to ask me about more specific tournament and card rulings questions before the tournament. Remember that the worst time to learn about what not to do to receive player penalties is after you’ve received them!

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

Professor Raz

Iiiiit’s AUTUMN! 09/22/2012

Posted by Gryphon in Events.
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Happy First Day of Fall!

If you’re coming up for the Dragons Exalted sealed tournament today, remember to bring your $25 registration fee, your Player ID (look it up on the Pokemon Trainer’s Club website if you can’t find your card), your coin/dice, markers and damage counters, any basic energy from your collection that you wish to use, 40 card sleeves and a playmat (if you have them) and a small container with which to keep your extra cards safe, and in which to tote all your new cards back home.

See you there!

Tournaments Reminder (9/20/12) 09/20/2012

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

Just a reminder that we will be having our DRX Sealed Tournament this Saturday (9/22) with registration starting at 11:00 A.M. at HV. Please remember to bring or at least memorize your Player ID number if you don’t already have one, and $25 to register. Basic Energy will be provided, but you are allowed to use your own Basic Energy for this tournament. Like the previous tournament, you will receive six (6) Booster Packs of DRX to make a 40-card deck. At the end of the tournament, all players will receive an additional two (2) packs of DRX. Door prizes will be given out, and one of you can possibly win an Ultra Ball playmat! Remember that League will be cancelled on this day, so you will not earn stamps towards your missing promo cards and badges for playing in the tournament.

The last leg of GA Fall Battle Roads for the month will be as follows (click on the links for more information):
September 23 – Marietta
September 30 – Canton

Hope to see you come out for any or all of these events!

Professor Raz

Professor’s Corner – Deck Analysis: Darkrai-Hydreigon 09/19/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG, TCG Strategy.
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This article is a supplementary commentary to Gryphon’s competitive deck article on Darkrai-Hydreigon and is not intended to reiterate the overall strategy already explained in her article but rather to discuss my choices in cards that make this deck effective.

I have had the pleasure of running this deck for the 2012 Fall Battle Roads and it has its successes in a 17-4 overall record through 4 BR events and granting me the following finishes:

Statesboro – 4-1 for 4th Place
Macon – 4-1 for 2nd place
Franklin – 5-1 for 3rd Place
Newnan – 4-1 for 6th place

My decklist:
3 Sableye (DEX)
3 Deino (NVI)
1 Zweilous (DRX #96)
1 Hydreigon (NVI)
2 Hydreigon (DRX #97)
3 Darkrai EX (DEX)
1 Mewtwo EX (NXD)
1 Shaymin EX (NXD)

1 Super Rod
2 Tool Scrapper
2 Pokémon Communication
2 Eviolite
3 Max Potion
3 Random Receiver
3 Rare Candy
3 Ultra Ball
3 Dark Patch
3 Pokémon Catcher
4 N
4 Professor Juniper
1 Tropical Beach

8 Darkness Energy
3 Blend Energy GRPD

Why it works:

  1. Shaymin EX is my choice for an offensive tech against fighting types, namely Terrakion and Terrakion EX because of their weakness to grass types. For Revenge Blast to maximize its attack potential against these Pokémon, your opponent must have taken at least two prizes. The risk with running Shaymin EX is its low HP compared to most other EXs. Other players would run Tornadus EX (DEX) as a defensive tech against Terrakions, but it all comes down to player preference when it comes to choice techs.
  2. Blend Energy GRPD can be moved via Hydreigon’s (DRX) Dark Trance Ability and fuel Shaymin EX’s Revenge Blast attack as necessary.
  3. Hydreigon’s (NVI) Berserker Blade can OHKO or 2HKO most benched Pokémon between 40 to 80 HP making it ideal against popular strategies like Garchomp-Altaria (aka Fluffychomp) and some Eelektrik decks (generally a 3HKO). Another Bench sniper of choice would be Registeel EX (DRX) who could possibly 3HKO three (3) Eelektriks at one time with its Triple Laser attack.
  4. Mewtwo EX is really used for anti-Mewtwo EX, although I have found a few random situations where it won me a few games. It is not recommended to bench Mewtwo EX early on if it can be avoided so you don’t find yourself on the receiving end of the Mewtwo “war” in a crucial situation.
  5. I preferred Pokémon Communication over Level Ball as I have found myself in situations where my starting hands contained Hydreigons that I could be forced to discard because of a Professor Juniper as my only Supporter card in hand. This card allows me to grab a different Pokémon from the deck without having to discard that crucial Hydreigon.
  6. Tropical Beach is a very useful Stadium Card that is very difficult to obtain as it is a World Championships promo card from 2011 and 2012, however it is not necessary to have in order to make similar Darkrai-Hydreigon builds work. Tropical Beach allows you to draw cards from your deck until you have seven (7) in your hand, but the result ends your turn. This is useful if you are willing to sacrifice one turn to replenish your hand especially if your Active Pokémon is Asleep or Paralyzed and cannot attack this turn. If you cannot run Tropical Beach, I recommend substituting either three (3) Cheren or Bianca in lieu of the Random Receivers to keep your Supporter line for this deck sustained.

This is a lot of information to absorb, but this deck can be very effective if you employ your strategy and your techs at the right moments. Let me know if you have any questions about this deck!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty – N/A

Professor’s Corner – Techs and Counters 09/19/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG, TCG Strategy.
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Did you win or lose?

I lost…it wasn’t even close. My opponent played to my weakness and I couldn’t do anything about it. Those Terrakions really demolished my Darkrai EXs…

Has the above situation ever happened to you? Did you play with a deck that ran so well in a tournament, but eventually you ended up playing against a deck that had the perfect strategy to combat yours with little or no way to stop it…and lost?

Introducing tech cards; they are generally afterthought cards that work in a deck to counter a strategy that counters your original strategy…if that makes sense.

Techs are basically cards that you include in your deck to ensure that when you’re up against something that targets a particular weakness of your deck (be it type and/or strategy) that the intended tech will keep you in the game (and possibly win) if used properly.

A simple example would be like if you were running a lightning deck you can throw in a water, grass, or psychic Pokémon to counter its weakness to fighting accordingly. Just make sure that you 1) have the appropriate deck space and 2) the appropriate energy to perform the necessary attacks.

An effective tech is one that can be used to benefit or complement, not compromise, the overall consistency with your deck, meaning the tech has to “fit in” rather than “stand out” with your deck. It wouldn’t be prudent to construct a deck designed to counter everything otherwise it’s like building a deck full of techs that have no real strategy to winning games. You are highly encouraged to use a deck with a strategy that suits you best and add techs where they will help keep you in the game and not lose quickly. In some of Gyphon’s deck analyses articles, I will address useful techs as a commentary to show how they work.

I hope this gives you a basic understanding of what techs are!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty – Advanced

Competitive Deck Spotlight: Darkrai/Hydreigon 09/15/2012

Posted by Gryphon in Pokemon TCG, TCG Strategy.
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You can consider this another new deck borne from the release of Dragons Exalted, or a rebuild of a popular deck from last year which dominated at Worlds; no matter what you call it, it’s still a super-powerful deck that matches up well against many popular strategies.

Deck: Darkrai/Hydreigon
AKA: Darkraigon, Dragon’s Dance
Strategy: Energy Control/Damage Spread

Deck Base (incomplete):

3 Hydreigon (DRX #97)
1 Zweilous (DRX #96)
3 Deino (NVI)
3 Darkrai EX
2 Sableye (DEX)

4 N
3 Professor Juniper
3 Bianca
4 Ultra Ball
4 Max Potion
3 Eviolite
1 Super Rod

8 Darkness Energy (Basic)
4 Blend Energy GRPD

The basic objective is to set up Hydreigon so that you can start moving your attached Darkness energies around (since the Blend Energy GRPD includes Darkness as one of its types, it counts as a Darkness energy affected by Dark Trance, since it doesn’t call for only “Basic Energy”). Use Sableye to set up, using its Junk Hunt attack to retrieve item cards from the discard pile (after you’ve used cards such as Professor Juniper and Ultra Ball to put them there) so that you can use them again next turn. Once you’ve got some Darkrai EX stationed on the Bench, you can attach energy to them, as well as move energy using Hydreigon’s Dark Trance, to get them ready to fight. Since anything with Darkness energy attached to it gets free Retreat from Darkrai’s Dark Cloak ability, you can bring out a fully-charged pokemon without having to worry about discarding energy (this also makes you practically immune to Pokemon Catcher’s stalling effect). It’s also easy to keep your heavy-hitters in play when you can retreat for free, move energy to the new Active pokemon, and use items such as Max Potion to heal all damage from pokemon which you’ve taken all the energy off of beforehand. And finally, since Darkrai also sends damage to your opponent’s Bench, you can easily snipe weak Basics which your opponent may try to set up mid- to late-game.

This is just a skeleton list, but it can be built up a number of different ways, depending on your favorite strategy. To boost energy acceleration, you could put in some Dark Patch, which let you attach Darkness energy from the discard pile to Benched Darkness pokemon. Including Darkness Hydreigon (NVI #79) gives you more spread damage, while Giratina EX gives you more attack power, plus a means of taking out most Dragon types as well as EX-blocking Sigilyph (DRX). You may also want to add a Shaymin EX just in case your opponent gets far ahead of you in prize draws.

Since this deck is mostly immune to popular strategies in this format, there isn’t much to say about its weaknesses, aside from simple deck failure (inability to get your “engine” started in time before your opponent fully sets up, mostly just bad luck). Since it runs on Abilities, it can be crippled by DRX Garbodor’s Garbotoxin, though not completely shut down. Garchomp’s Mach Cut can force discards of irretrievable Blend Energies, as well as take out DRX Zweilous and Hydreigon with their Dragon weaknesses. Since Darkrai EX is weak to Fighting, NVI Terrakion and Terrakion EX may have an advantage. All in all, there is no single shortcoming to Darkrai/Hydreigon that is easy to target, since every game is a different experience; however, if you allow your opponent to set up completely, you will be left grasping at straws, so take advantage of your opportunities when they present themselves.

Since this contains many cards from competitive decks of yesteryear, veteran players likely won’t have much problem acquiring the new cards to build this deck; on the other hand, new players may have a problem with the card cost. However, the release of the DRX tins, one of which includes Darkrai EX as a special promo card, may make it a bit easier on them.

Tune in next time when we cover another popular competitive deck!

League Schedule for 2012-2013 09/10/2012

Posted by Gryphon in League News.
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Here are the themes and dates for the Black 2/White 2 series of Pokemon League seasons!

Aspertia Gym: Oct 22 – Nov 25
Virbank Gym: Dec 3 – Jan 6
Castelia Gym: Jan 13 – Feb 17
Nimbasa Gym: Feb 25 – March 31
Driftveil Gym: April 8 – May 12
Mistralton Gym: May 20 – Jun 23
Opelucid Gym: July 1 – Aug 4
Humilau Gym: Aug 12 – Sep 15

In between each season closing and opening is a week where the League is out of season; any League sessions held on this week will give out double points.

As of yet, we still don’t know what the prize support will be for the upcoming season, but we will update when we find out.

Newsflash! GENESECT download event coming soon!! 09/08/2012

Posted by Gryphon in Events, Game News, Pokemon News, Pokemon Video Games.
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For those planning on getting a copy of Pokemon Black 2 or White 2, a wifi download event will be available to you just as soon as you can crack open the packaging. Starting October 7th, the day of BW2’s release, you will be able to download a Genesect via Nintendo WFC to your BW2 game. This event will last until November 12th, so even if you’re not one of those planning on camping out in front of the store to pick up your BW2 copy, you’ll still have a little over a month to be able to get one. There’s no word yet on what level Genesect will be; though, while Keldeo was distributed at a low level for the purpose of being used early in the game, it’s likely that Genesect will be received at a high level, so that you’ll need to collect a few gym badges to be able to control it, and therefore won’t be able to breeze through the start of the game with it.

What we do know about Genesect is that it is a Bug/Steel type, that it has 120 as its base stat in Attack and Special Attack (same as Arceus), and that its signature move, Techno Blast, can have its type changed depending on what type of Drive is attached to it. These Drive items are obtained by bringing a Genesect to the P2 Lab, found on Route 17, and showing the pokemon to a scientist found inside. If you’re playing Black or Black 2, you will receive the Shock and Burn Drives; with White/White 2, you will get the Douse and Chill Drives (these are regular items, not key items, so they can be attached to pokemon and traded over into another game, in order to collect all four on one game). In order to get Genesect on Black or White, though, you will need to trade it over, since the download event is exclusive to versions Black 2 and White 2.

This pokemon will also be the star of the 16th Pokemon movie, which has yet to be released in Japan.

2012-2013 League Cycle Early Information 09/05/2012

Posted by raznprince in League News, Pokemon News.
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Hey, Trainers!

TPCi official Dan Brandt (a.k.a Biggie on the PokéGym) has announced that in order to take full advantage of the League prizes for this upcoming League Cycle, make sure that your Trainer Club account:
1. Has your Player ID linked to it
2. Is active
3. Shows that you have accepted the Play! Pokémon Terms and Conditions

All the above are very important if you want to keep receiving promos and other great items from this League! Please activate your Player IDs to your Trainer Club account NOW if you haven’t already! (When we or another LO/LL/TO/PTO issued you a Player ID, an activation PIN was included to link your Player ID number to your Trainer Club account. Make sure you have this PIN to input when you go to link up, otherwise you will need a new Player ID!)

I also wanted to add that if you are opted into receiving Play! Pokémon prizes, you may receive additional promos and prizes directly from TPCi if you participate in plenty of Premier Events and Leagues throughout the year!

As of yet, we are currently in offseason meaning that while there are plenty of opportunities to get caught up on missing badges and promos over the next several weeks, you cannot earn Play! Points via League at this time because there is currently no active season for me or Gryphon to report attendance. The new League cycle will begin on October 22, 2012 with the Aspertia City Gym season, which is a little over a week after the Fall Regional Championships. Again, I will re-emphasize that you please complete the requirements explained by Mr. Brandt above before this date.

Gryphon and I will start monitoring attendance and activated Player IDs online starting with the Aspertia City season. If our league reports show that your account is not active and your Player ID not linked, we cannot issue you any league prizes until this happens; the amount of prize support for our future league season kits are based on total active accounts in our League. Also for you players needing Play! Points to meet your eligibility for the National Championships next summer, this is a reminder that you must have attended at least one League session per season in order for you to receive your Play! Point for that season.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Professor Raz

Fall Battle Roads Updates 09/05/2012

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

Here are the dates and locations for the latter part of the month for Fall Battle Roads events in GA!

Thursday, September 20 – 4:00 P.M.
Super Games
11060 Alpharetta Highway, Suite 134
Roswell, 30076

Saturday, September 22 – 10:00 A.M.
The Tower Games Center
145 Satellite Boulevard NE, Suite A
Suwanee, 30024

Sunday, September 23 – 10:00 A.M.
Stevi B’s Pizza
50 Barrett Parkway NW
Marietta, 30066

Sunday, September 30 – 10:00 A.M.
Stevi B’s Pizza
1554 Riverstone Parkway
Canton, 30114

The TO for these events is Greg Wyman. All times listed above are registration start times and actual play begins one hour later. No meal breaks will be given at these events so you are encouraged to eat during the registration hour after you have registered. Please note that on the 22nd will also be our scheduled DRX Sealed tournament as well.

Professor Raz