Back Again For More Advice: Consistency, Playstyles, and Winning

Discussion in 'PTCG Competitive Play' started by Blah, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Blah DBT


    After my previous thread about luck, I thought my losing streaks might have been caused by lack of enough Supporters and a possible shuffling problem. After several recent tournaments though, and significantly increasing supporters and fixing the way I shuffle, I'm not winning anymore than I normally do.

    Whenever I'm playing a match at a tournament, my opponent always seems one step ahead of me. No matter how lucky I get, they always have a winning combo they can pull of just in the nick of time so that I lose. Every tournament, I always have one game where I whiff all of my supporters and can't do anything, but as an overall matter, that normally isn't the issue anymore. Whether it be misplays or some trick my opponent has, I never seem to win as much as I would like to.

    Now, since I'm not making this thread to lament on my issues, I want to figure out just what I'm doing wrong. What is it exactly that causes me to lose? Is it a bad playstyle? Am I not looking ahead in the match enough? Could it be that my decklists are bad?

    And so I turn to you, the community, to answer these. When you win consistently, how do you feel you played those matches? Are there any specific techniques you use to win? How do you deal with a bad situation like the lack of a supporter? When you lose, how do you get yourself in the mindset to win the next game? Please be as specific as possible.

    As another note, I am always a completely nervous wreck before a tournament, which often causes misplays. What are some good techniques to calm down? Being the person I am, I probably will never be able to make myself completely calm, but I'm curious as to how all of you keep your focus and not break under pressure.

  2. Ice Returnee


    RE: Back again for more advice; Consistency, Playstyles, and Winning

    If you tell us your decklist and strategy we could help you more.
  3. Blah DBT


    RE: Back again for more advice; Consistency, Playstyles, and Winning

    I use an extreme variety of decks, it would be silly for me to post them all. There's a reason I posted this rather than something in the Deck Garage; I'm less looking for deck advice and more for overall strategies. For example, if one of your strategies is to conserve resources, how would you go about doing that? Would you not play Juniper at a time that you might have otherwise played it if you didn't have important resources in your hand? Would you not use Catchers early even though you may feel you need them, so that you can have more of them to use later in the game?

    These aren't exactly what I want, but I'm just trying to give you a general idea of what kind of advice I'm looking to get in terms of strategizing.
  4. Bo$$_89 Two Posts a Day Kept the Trolls Away


    RE: Back again for more advice; Consistency, Playstyles, and Winning

    Well can you tell us the average amount of supporters? That might help us help you.
  5. Blah DBT


    RE: Back again for more advice; Consistency, Playstyles, and Winning

    I never run less than 14-15, and normally it's 15.
    Ice likes this.
  6. Keeper of Night It's Always Cradily Day if You Believe
    Keeper of Night


    RE: Back again for more advice; Consistency, Playstyles, and Winning

    -1: Game Plan for Deck Building
    Before you build a deck, take a look at the format as a whole, and then pick either a deck that is good in our format, or is a counter to most of them. If there are many Keldeo decks in your area, a deck that ises multiple Mewtwo/Sigylph would be good, or Terrakion/Landorus if you see lots of Hydreigon or Eels decks, ect. Or Build whatever deck you think works best, using a good meta deck is never a bad thing.

    1: Deck Building
    When I have a problem building a deck, this is a guide I follow, it helps when I need a new deck, or have a problem with an old one.
    The first thing I do when I build a deck is set aside room for:
    4 N
    3 Juniper
    3 Bianca/Cheren
    2 Skyla
    2 Random Reciever

    Of course, you edit this line before you complete the deck, but it's nice to know you already have most of them in the deck already.
    Next I set aside room for 10 energy cards, this also can be edited, but most decks need 10-12 anyway (including specials).
    Then I put in the pokemon, usually 3 of my main attacker, 3 back up attackers, and 4-7 supporting pokemon (depending on if you use a stage 2 or not).
    Next add in necessary Items, this includes Computer Search, Dark Patch, Max Potion, ect.
    Now you should have about 42 cards, the rest is used for other pokemon, extra energy, other trainers, ect.
    This is a good guide line for cnsistant decks, as long as you have enough supporting Items and pokemon to keep your deck running the way it should.

    -2: Before the match
    Before you play a match, take a deep breath, and put this thought into your mind: It's just another game of cards. This works for me all the time. And you could also avoid eating much sugar or caffine before a tournament, this can heighten any nervousness or anxiety you already have.

    2: During the match
    Whatever you start with, go with it. Never tell yourslef you got a bad start, and never tell anyone else that either. Keep tabs on your hand, and play what you can when you can or when you think you should. If you truely have the worst hand you could have, don't show it, chances are really good your opponent could play an N if they think you have a good hand. Also, check your opponents discard often, see how many Catchers, Junipers, Ns, ect. they've used, because then you dont have to worry about guessing if they'll have them later or not, because you'll know.
    My playstyle changes, I always react to what my opponent does calmly and accordingly, if my opponent thinks I know what I'm doing (even if I don't) it keeps them on edge. If they misplay, then it's fine with me. Also, surprise KOs can really frustrate any opponent and make them think I can do it again.

    -3: Keep Playing
    Lots of times when a deck doesn't work for someone, they'll change it. But that isn't always the answer. Lots of times, you just need to get comfortable with the deck or tweak it a bit to make it work better than before. It's important to find what playstyle you're most comfortable with and use decks that match that style, I myself prefer agressive decks, but everyone is different.

    3: Playstyles and Deck Types
    I like to think of our format being split into 5 different deck types:

    Agressive: Includes decks like Terrakion, Darkrai/Tornadus, Landorus decks, and other big basic decks.

    Healing/Defensive: Bouffalant, Hydreigon, Klinklang fall into this catagory.

    Status: Decks in this catagory use special conditions to mess up the opponents game, Amoongus, Munna, and Raikou EX are in this catagory.

    Assistance: These decks use pokemon to get set up, stay set up, and ruin the opponents plan, these include decks like Empoleon, Emboar, Blastoise, or Dusknoir. Hydreigon and Klinklang can also go here, but they are more used for their healing aspect with Max Potion support.

    Special: Decks that don't fit in the other catagories go here, such as Mill or Donk decks.

    On top of that, there are different play styles for decks:

    Agressive: You want to hit for lots of damage early, and keep up the pressure every turn, letting up on damage can be a bad mistake. You shouldn't worry about resources too much, just so long as you can continue KOing your opponent.

    Conservitive: This style is very common, using Super Rod or other means of keeping the deck full and cards in your hand.

    Special: Everyone is different, so everyone plays differently, no 2 people can play even the same deck the same way.

    Sorry for typos, or anything confusing. I'd be happy to answer any other questions latter. I hope this helps somewhat.
    Cobalt Phoenix, Blah and Bo$$_89 like this.
  7. exdarkrai01 Aspiring Trainer


    RE: Back again for more advice; Consistency, Playstyles, and Winning

    Blah, there is one question that I have been trying to answer for a long time now and it seems that you are as well. That is, What separates the players that consistently top cut, and the ones that don't. What I have found so far is that it comes down to the smallest details of the game. Crossing all of Ts and dotting your Is so to speak. A couple things I have learned to do that have effectively increased my win percentage is.

    1. Not to play supporters unless I need to- When I have a decent hand, I tend not to either use a supporter or play out every card I don't have to. Especially early game, I this could bluff your opponent into not using a N, which is very useful.

    2 Be careful with N- N is a card which can change the course of the game when either player uses it. I tend to only use it if my opponent has a large hand and I don't want to waste resources. I also tend to usually play 3 N max unless its a stage 2 deck that sets up slower. I prefer to use Juniper, Bianca, and Skyla, and Computer Search to get the cards I need for my combo. (This could just be my playstyle, and you may already know all of this information but this is my first year playing and using all of this has significantly improved my skill. Understanding the gravity of N can be the key to either swaying the game into your favor or your opponents. Some people tend to forget and use N as draw support with no discard.

    3. Not loading your bench early game- This is fairly specific to the deck I play, but putting Pokemon on the bench for no reason other that not discarding them is a bad idea. I use Tornadus/Landorus and benching a Landorus when I have a Tornadus running in the first few turns is a bad move. Watch your retreat costs on the bench if you play a deck that relies on switch for retreat.
    4. Do your math right, and eviolite is your friend- With tool scrapper prevalent, some people opt out of using eviolite. This card is a godsend in winning the prize war. Its as simple as that.

    5. Watch your bench when dealing with Darkrai- Your going to see Darkrai, Its a well known fact. Its another situation to watch your bench. Having a Tech on the bench just because you didn't want to discard it will hurt you in this matchup. 30 adds up. If you have a benchsetter or your loading up another attacker, consider eviolite. Darkrai players will sometimes neglect to even consider why it would be worth hitting your for ten damage. Darkrai in reality is not such an amazing card. Its engines are what makes it killer. When your facing off agianst Darkrai, Target the engine first. Whether that be Deinos in a Hydreigon list or Sableyes in a hammers list, Hit them first. (denying sableyes will be huge in the hammers matchup, N also works very well here). Darkrai is not so scary alone, howver pair it with its engines and you can be in for a tough match.

    As far as being consistent goes, everyone will have games with bad draws. Figuring out how to bluff a good hand so you get N'd will help to an extent, but dead draw games will happen. Figuring this stuff out has really helped me win a lot more matchups and you may already know all this stuff, but I hope it helps.
    Blah likes this.
  8. dmaster Aspiring Trainer

    Elite Member Advanced Member Member

    RE: Back again for more advice; Consistency, Playstyles, and Winning

    I'm almost always nervous inside before the start of any tournament. I think it's fairly normal for almost everyone (IIRC, I heard high profile players say that they still get nervous at big events, etc.)

    Usually it's best not to show that you're nervous and just calm down and take a few breaths before you play. Drinking some water and going to the bathroom can also help. I find that once the first Round is over, I'm usually pretty calm (at least until a must win Round comes up at the end, Top Cut, etc lol). So for me, getting past that Round 1 is step numero uno for getting over my nerves for the rest of the day.

    I'm not normally one to say that I win consistently but when do I get on a roll, it almost feels like I'm unstoppable. It could just be my playstyle and some of the decks that I've chosen to play recently, but it might also have something to do with my list. If a list is consistent and it starts winning, I definitely feel like I can win the whole thing (which never happens but still haha).

    Even with my Darkrai/Mewtwo deck that has 16 outs for a Supporter, I have dead drew before. Sometimes I can get away with it though because I either topdeck a Bianca or another Supporter within a few turns or I draw after an N to a low number and it's a Supporter. It just usually depends on the deck though. Obviously Keldeo/Blastoise cannot go through dry Supporter spells or it just loses games. I find Sableye based decks to have the most options even with dead hands. When I lose, I usually just either chop it up to a bad matchup, bad luck, or misplays (and it's very commonly the former or the latter and very rarely the middle). You just have to take one game at a time and come out swinging the next one (especially because that's usually a must win game if you're talking about making Top Cut at a Cities).

    dmaster out.
    Blah likes this.

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