Hey DDG Readers, and thanks for stopping by to check out my new article. I wanted to take some time to go over my personal take on the new changes that were recently announced by Pokemon as it pertains to the upcoming Championship Season as well as some tips for the newer players on how to remain competitive during a busy life.
Many of us live in areas where competitive play is hard to come by. Every single one of us have responsibilities and obligations that may prevent us from participating as much as we would like. However, it is important to remember that whether you have been in this game for 12 days or 12 years, when a new season starts every single person is on level ground. That is what I love about this game and it is noticeably prevalent in our current standard format. Anyone can come up with excuses or reasons as to why they are not achieving their goals. The best players find ways to overcome these obstacles.
TPCI finally crawled out from under a rock last week to update us on the point structure changes being implemented in the 2016-2017 Championship Season. One of the changes that it seems has caused the most complaining is the updated requirements to receive an invite to the World Championship next August in Anaheim. Last season, 300 Championship Points was all that you needed to obtain an invite. This season, TPCI has bumped that requirement up to 500 Championship Points.
When I first saw this new requirement, I admit that I wasn't overly thrilled. For someone who is currently sitting at their highest Championship Point total ever (6/500), I felt this was an impossible achievement. However, after thinking about things a bit more and reviewing the tournament structure a little closer, my stance has changed completely. First of all, the World Championships are supposed to be an elite event. The best of the best are supposed to be in attendance. 500 Championship Points may seem like a lot, but if you look at the tournament structures a little more closely, it really isn't. The updated requirement simply no longer rewards players for simply "showing up" at events. A player can no longer bank on getting the majority of their points from lowly attended LCs and Cities. Instead, players are going to have to properly plan out their season, do their homework, and perform solidly at a few larger events. This new structure erases laziness, and rewards dedication.
I understand that we all have responsibilities. I really do. I personally have a wife, a 1 year old, and a full-time job. Again, if you want to be considered one of the better competitive players, you will find a way to overcome whatever obstacles stand in your way. Critical thinking is in my opinion the most important attribute of any good Pokemon TCG competitor. If you are someone who doesn't have a lot of time to travel, it is vital that you study the championship point breakdown closely.
Memorize the point payout, take out a planner, and start scheduling out your season. You don't have to attend every event to earn your invite. You just need to take advantage of the free time that you do have. Study the cards, test your builds, and read up on what others are playing. Pokebeach can be a huge asset because they have scans of every card in format. There are loads of great resources out there for new and old players to utilize to learn about what's going on in the format.
Some1sPC had a great Facebook Post that detailed the resources available:
TFK - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKnCZa82pg6TBorwHcJ45HA
Omnipoke - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9k2vZA_jd83-4gMzRupYrQ
The Meta Deck - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGTo_aQ-hbZe7oaSY7DJz_g
All Day Games -https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYY9hsqfnlZifMe7ov1ppHA
Top Deck Nation -https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAVjFVUykLRj9VM8dPSpXgw
If you are looking for a podcast, I have also thoroughly enjoyed The Super Rod Cast (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theSuperRodcast/?fref=ts ). They are great for my long drives to work to catch up on ideas of the current format. By researching what's going on in the current format, and studying scans, you should be able to start thinking about ways to tech in those crucial cards to help you cut at tournaments.
Along with the updated points structure. It is also worth noting the TPCI has released their payouts for Regional Events. I'm not going to touch too much on it here because of how much it has already been discussed. The important thing to know is that if you get 1st or 2nd, your rich...if you take 3-8...you get boned.
The most exciting thing about this season would have to be the new Standard format. Ridding ourselves of such a toxic format in which Night March was king means that everyone is on equal ground. This is truly a whole new game. The only thing that separates the good players from the bad players right now is the level of testing that has been done. It seems almost daily right now people are asking what the best deck is in the current format. The answer for that is simple: There isn't one. Sure there are decks that are being played more consistently than others and there are ideas of what the top tier decks are currently in standard, but there is no "meta" or "BDIF" in existence. This is another reason why it is so important to use your time wisely. There is a good chance that the best deck in format hasn't even been discovered yet. With a format that is so wide open, it really is a brand new game where even the newest of players can make an impact.
I was not lucky enough to attend San Francisco Worlds last season. However, everything I heard about it painted the event to be a fiasco. An overcrowded event with poor planning doesn't seem like the best way to end a season. By raising the point requirement to 500cp, Worlds will finally represent the event you work so hard to achieve. Critical thinking will be the key deciding factor on whether or not you will be able to attend this event. Plan your time wisely, due ample amounts of research, and never consider yourself to be the underdog because we are all on a level playing field right now. There is no bad idea because the format literally features tons of decks that can cut at the top tables if they are built right. Write down ideas, build the deck, and test it out. The best players are always looking for ideas and solutions to give themselves every possible advantage. In this format, your level of format will literally determine your season's fate. Best of luck to everyone in their 2016-2017 season, and I look forward to seeing you at the top tables!