Discussion Side decking in PTCG; yay or nay?

Discussion in 'Pokémon Trading Card Game' started by Sheimeix, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Sheimeix Aspiring Trainer
    Sheimeix

    Member

    I've been thinking lately about possible changes to mechanics in PTCG and what kind of impact they could have on the game, and I think the one that would deserve discussion the most is what changes a side deck would have to the game.

    For those unfamiliar, in other TCGs, the Side Deck is up to 15 cards that are separate from your main deck that you can swap cards between after your rounds. IE after Round 1, you can switch 3 cards in your main deck for 3 cards from your side deck to help you in the matchup to give you an edge in your Round 2. Of course, you can'd have four copies of a card in your main deck and another four cards in your extra, both decks would collectively adhere to card totals. This is common in other TCGs, notably in YGO and MTG.

    I feel like it could be used quite well in PTCG, especially in the current metagame. For example, you could side a 1-1 ULP Electivire line juuuuust in case of going against a Metal deck matchup, or if the opponent is playing a very search-heavy deck, you could side an extra N or two, or other disruptive cards.

    It could also lead to some very interesting decks that could possibly switch from one type of deck to a completely different kind of deck by changing your core pokemon lines.

    I haven't yet had a chance to test this with friends or anything, but I feel like it would spice up the metagame now and in the future.
     


  2. Mario W Aspiring Trainer
    Mario W

    Member

    I've always LOVED the idea of a sidebar.

    Sidebars (side decks) put more emphasis on a good PLAYER rather than a good DECK just showing up and running through everything there. The best players adapt to what's happening around them. Plus, a between-rounds card swap could totally seal a win OR backfire in the users face. It's just another skill to practice and master, I'm totally for it!!!
     
  3. CrownAxe Aspiring Trainer
    CrownAxe

    Member

    I don;'t think side decks work in pokemon because of the way pokemon is designed. Deck in pokemon aren't flexible enough to deal with being side decked against because of how you have to dedicate yourself to a specific set up of pokemon. So there isn't a way to deal with someone siding in Pokemon that hit your deck for weakness or a bunch of E-Hammers if you deck is heavy on special energy. Or a more specific example is that Greninja just ceases to be a competitively viable deck because any tech a single Giratina and instantly shut the deck down.

    What I believe would happen are the only competitive decks remaining are decks that just aren't vulnerable to being sided against which are few and far between
     
  4. jessalakasam Floette is love Floette is life
    jessalakasam

    Member

    But you can’t tech against the deck if you have no idea what your opponent’s playing
     
  5. PlinfaTheBest Plinfa means Piplup in German!
    PlinfaTheBest

    Member

    Having played Magic myself, I don't think a sideboard could work in Pokémon. There are two main reasons: First, you can go through your deck much quicker in Pokémon. Second, because of Weakness and because Pokémon is more linear, the counters themselves are much more effective. For example, I could play 2 Giratina Promo in my sideboard. Because I can get one of them out nearly every game with the combined power of draw supporters, Ultra Ball and by just drawing into them, the chance I will ever lose against Greninja again is lowered tremendously. I could also just play Gallade in my sideboard while playing Gardevoir. This would allow for a much more consistent deck in game 1 while I could just side in Gallade if I'm playing against Zoroark or similar matchups.
    You could make the point that my opponent can also sideboard against me, but ultimately I would try to sideboard against my opponent's sideboard and it would just end the same way as it's now, your deck becomes the skeleton and your sideboard is the one mostly modified.
    To add to that, many players are already complaining about not being able to finish BO3 games on time, forcing an unintentional draw or enabling an opponent to stall the second game out. If there is time for sideboarding added to that, those complaints would just grow.
    The question of a sideboard comes up ever so often in Pokémon, but I don't think that it, at any point, was useful or will be useful, based on the current structure of the game.
     
  6. mirdo Seagull Overlord and Business Entrepreneur
    mirdo

    Member

    Just so you guys know. I don't have any experience with TCG's that have Side Decks.
    But having one in PTCG would definitly change deck building a lot.
    Because your "Core" would be much more consistent. You wouldn't need any tech cards. Because those would be in your side deck and can just be put in by game two as needed.
    But as i read from @PlinfaTheBest im against it aswell.
    This mechanic would compleatly DESTROY some decks. Greninja would not be playable anymore in a BO3 because "Whoops im putting 3 Giratina in my deck for Game 2 and 3"
    Aswell as this:
    I see this as a negative point. Because with how Pokémon works it would turn from a game with at least somewhat strategic elements to a litteral game of Rock Paper Scizzors.
    There would be litteral Decks where you Play Zoroark and have all other Main Attackers in your Side Deck.

    Sure i see the intent. And i kinda like the Idea tbh. But i don't know if it would fit in the current meta. It is probably to late to implement such a feature. Because the card game that uses such a thing needs to be kinda designed around it. Or atleast with such a mechanic in mind.

    I wouldn't doubt that Pokémon might evolve to such a thing. But if, it's gonna be a small change. E.g. Side Deck =3-5 Cards and you are only allowed to switch 1. Or something like that.
     
  7. Otaku The wise fool?
    Otaku

    Member

    I say thee nay! ;)

    While most major TCG's have a lot in common, being compatible with a Side Board/Side Deck isn't one of them. Pokémon has, at least based on my own experience with TCG's, an almost unprecedented level of draw, search, and recycling effects. What is more, many of these cards are not deck specific and have low (or no) costs to use, and are mostly (or totally) generic. The only real cost many counters have in Pokémon is the opportunity cost of running them instead of running something else that is likely to be more useful.

    It has probably been over a decade since I played Yu-Gi-Oh and really knew what I was doing, but I think the Side Deck hurts that game. You usually traded of "balancing" (and I use the term loosely) out one powerful deck at the cost of rendering several others totally non-competitive, because they have the same vulnerability to the cards you'd side-in to counter the powerful deck, but were already balanced relative to the metagame. With Magic: the Gathering, I barely know how to play, but it seems to be they have a reputation for keeping certain mechanics native to certain Colors and having an intricate resource system (at least relative to Pokémon. This is very unlike Pokémon.

    With Pokémon, say you could counter a top deck, a deck that is probably too strong for the overall health and enjoyment of the game if only players could more easily include Enhanced Hammer. Well, a Side Board means anyone and everyone can easily run enough copies to balance out this theoretical deck. However, while you might tone down or completely eliminate the problem deck's edge, you kneecap all the other decks that rely heavily on Special Energy cards, even if they are perfectly balanced or underpowered!

    For those that want a Side Board element to Pokémon, I propose asking for a different rules change; turn the Prize Cards into a kind of sideboard. During setup, instead of your Prize cards being the top six cards from your deck after resolving opening hands, you would instead select six cards from your deck, shuffle them (not into the deck), and lay them as your face down Prize Cards. After that, players would draw their opening hands and otherwise proceed as normal. Instead of the rule being "All decks must contain at least one Basic Pokémon.", it would become "All decks must contain at least one Basic Pokémon after Prizes have been set aside." Match-Up/Situation-specific cards may thus either be set aside so as not to interfere with the rest of your deck, or they may be allocated where you'll have ever-increasing odds of snagging them after a KO (or with Gladion).

    Yes, this was the short version. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  8. Kietharr Aspiring Trainer
    Kietharr

    Member

    Sidebars would favor decks that have consistent, flexible cores, like Zoroark. All of the easily teched against rogues would simply disappear, we never would have had fun stuff like Gyarados AOR making deep runs into events last year with a sidebar available. A 15 card sidebar could even reasonably be enough to run two Zoroark variants as one deck. IMO compared to just 3-4 sets ago, the metagame has already been unhealthily centralized in both expanded and standard around this card. Sidebars would just cement that, if not around Zoroark, around other similarly flexible cores in the future.

    On the whole, sidebars are basically guaranteed to reduce deck diversity.
     
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  9. Attix Electric Delivery Driver from Washington
    Attix

    Member

    I like this idea. Having to decide what you're willing to lock off instead of leaving it up to luck could be a potent game-changer and strategy core.

    I think I'll actually play with this idea at my next league meet. Play a couple rounds with these rules and see how it plays out.
     
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  10. Otaku The wise fool?
    Otaku

    Member

    Groovy. I switched over to the PTCGO a few years ago, and no longer have any physical cards. So... I cannot actually test this idea out on my own. XP Let me know how it goes, please. :)
     
  11. Fou-Link MVP
    Fou-Link

    Advanced Member Member

    No, it's just not how Pokemon works.
    In MTG and YGO it's normal, because of variaty of decks and stuff, but in Pokemon, side-deck would easily kill the game IMO, because you can side 15 cards for pretty much every deck: 4 Field Blowers for Garb, 1 Giratina for Greninja, Enhanced Hammers for Sp. Energy decks, etc
     
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  12. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*
    crystal_pidgeot

    Member

    And this is a bad thing why? Side decks increase the skill of the game and make players honest. You can't play quad deck or stall deck. Night March wouldn't have ever existed or Vespiquen. Decks with only four Energy would never be competitive and you wouldn't be able to spam Special Energy

    Pokemon is full of "side deck" cards. Giratina is a perfect example of such a card. I would love the option of not killing my decks consistency for the sake of a matchup I may never see. It's poor game design to expect such things of players.
     
  13. CrownAxe Aspiring Trainer
    CrownAxe

    Member

    All your post sounds of is personal bias. "I think side decking is good because it gets rid of the decks I don't like"

    Giratina is the perfect example of why side decking is bad in pokemon. That card single handidly invalidates Greninja Break decks. How is it good game design when decks a completel-y not viable when all you have to do is put a single card in the side board
     
  14. Otaku The wise fool?
    Otaku

    Member

    Even though it is "normal" for Yu-Gi-Oh doesn't mean it is good for Yu-Gi-Oh. Well, maybe by now it is, but from when I actually tried to keep up with the game (North American release until 2009), it mostly meant you could spot the intentional filler by all the creative, interesting cards that were hard countered by something generic or - worse yet - had an obvious, specific counter released that would go into everyone's Side Deck should such a group of cards ever prove competitive. All while failing to tone down the powerhouses most people wanted a Side Deck to counter in the first place. In fact, it often would enhance that which one - or at least I myself - wanted Side Boards to reduce.

    You know you did just what @Fou-Link did that annoyed you, crystal_pidgeot; you asserted your stance, but your examples don't actually explain it. In fact, some of your examples go against your premise, and I'm going to explain why and how. Again, since this is what I stated in less detail earlier. This is gonna get lengthy, so I'm breaking it down into major points, behind spoiler tags.

    Currently, Pokémon requires skill for countering decks with how you build your deck. In a sense, your Pokémon deck is really a Main Deck + Side Board, except you don't have a fixed count of what is what (just that they total to 60) and you've got to deal with your Side Board even if you don't want to actually use it. This is where things like "TecH" demonstrate advanced skill in this TCG; knowing what and how much to add, without cluttering up one's deck. If you add Side Boards, TecH all but disappears, and is replaced by the Skill of knowing what to run in your Side Board and when to side it into your deck, and for what. The luck of Side Boards also joins the game; maybe someone isn't good at knowing what to include in your Side Board or when to include it, but with 15 cards allowed (the typical Side Board amount), the game mechanics and card pool available for the Standard and Expanded Formats, I'm not sure how much one really can know.

    Every deck gets a Side Board and every player gets to Side Cards in after a game finishes. For example, as you side in your anti-[insert deck] cards because after playing me, you realized I'm running [insert deck]. Unfortunately, with how Pokémon works, I will almost certainly have my own counters for your anti-[insert deck] cards, possibly taking advantage of how this game works to almost totally change my deck's focus, or maybe by just finding the counters to the counters.

    I have no idea why it "makes players honest". I have an idea or two, and even was going to answer those... but I remembered how annoying and confusing (to the discussion) it is when someone does that and is wrong. So, feel free to shed some light on what you meant by that snippet.

    You need to explain both how Side Boards would eliminate quad decks, and why it should be seen as a good thing that they do. I have no issue with quad decks, at least a fundamental concept. Does someone want to run a deck built around just four copies of the same Pokémon? Maybe with a few supporting Pokémon, but not many and probably they are all singles? Go ahead. Just like I want to be able to run a competitive deck built around only Basics, focused only on Stage 1 Pokémon, focused only on Stage 2 Pokémon, and all the mixes of these and any other Stages they add. In fact, I might want to run a Quad Deck myself; it is just another variation. This is just one variation. Now, the ones we've seen do well tend to be abusive because they have so much room in them for consistency and counter cards. Not only should you see "Tie Goes to the Defender", but remember that these decks would love an extra 15 cards to play around with, as they are already highly modular.

    Stall decks win by... stalling. So, only at the top cut where the rules insist it be best two of three regardless of how long it takes, will Side Boards always matter. Round by round, it will all be a matter of how soon a player is willing to accept a single game loss to access his or her Side Deck. That also means this player cannot afford to make the wrong call with the Siding; give in too soon, and you won't know what you need, but too late, and you still won't have the time. After all, see "Tie Goes to the Defender", above.

    It is just plain false when you say Night March (or Vespiquen) decks wouldn't exist if Side Decks were a thing in Pokémon. Why would Side Decks change the minds of the people who created the cards so that they were never printed? Yeah, you probably meant that they would never have been competitive if Side Boards were a thing but that might make less sense. I may not know for a fact, but I like to think that Pokémon Card Laboratories plans ahead as they design cards, that they have at least an idea - if not most of the contents - for sets worked out months, maybe even a year, in advance. Night March rose to prominence, not because of a lack of counters, but because its main counter was banned. Its main counter was banned because it was dubious before factoring in how it comboed with VS Seeker, and blatantly broken to anyone who understands how Pokémon (as a TCG) works beyond the superficial. Though Vespiquen released 9 months later, Lysandre's Trump Card wasn't banned until two months before Vespiquen release e.g. long after it had probably been designed and approved.

    In the present, yes a Side Deck would likely kill these kinds of decks. Why is that good? Night March is one of the few decks where Evolving Basics actually get to do anything, let alone be the main focus. While I believe the deck is overly powerful, I also believe that of the rest of the competitive metagame. I also believe Night March is a fantastic diagnostic deck: easy to learn, difficult to master. Especially by the present, a deck crushed by Night March is non-viable. Not "ruined because of Night March" but "Loses to Night March and at least one other good, relevant deck." Strip the most expensive staples from the metagame, and Night March becomes the budget deck that is competitive, or at least it would have been before more recent additions have been necessitated by ham-fisted counters. While Night March ultimately having been a "good thing" is my opinion, I'm willing to explain "how". A lot of what I said about Night March applies to Vespiquen, with things like how Night March gave us worthwhile, attacking, Evolvable Basics being replaced by how Vespiquen brought competitive Stage 1 decks back to the competitive sphere.

    Similarly, you aren't explaining why decks with just four Energy are a bad thing, nor are you explaining how Side Boards counter them. Since we've already been discussing Night March, it is a deck that usually runs on four Double Colorless Energy and adding Side Boards won't kill it because of the four DCE thing. It probably would help, as the cards needed for the variants that can make use of basic Energy would become strong Side Board candidates. Even if you run four Enhanced Hammer in your main deck... it is Night March. It has Special Charge and/or Puzzle of time to reclaim them and rarely drops a DCE onto a Pokémon before that Pokémon is ready to attack. FYI, I do worry that decks built around four DCE is an issue; I just think this is a cure that is worse than the disease, and maybe not even an actual cure. @[email protected]

    You said "Side Deck" cards, I say "TecH" cards or overly potent cards or broken cards. I also point out that the problem isn't you needing to TecH something in to counter a deck, it is either

    • Your concept isn't really competitive because it doesn't have room for the TecH it needs while still being adequately consistent.
    • Your skill is lacking because the deck should be consistent enough.
    • The most likely: the deck being countered is too strong for the game's own good.
    Notice how these have nothing to do with Side Boards, at least, not really. Now notice what happens to a lot of the "Side Deck" cards when they stop being simply TecH; they go from "balanced" to "overly potent", "overly potent" to "broken", and "broken" to "even more broken".
     
  15. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*
    crystal_pidgeot

    Member

    I felt I did say enough.

    Well, Pokemon doesn't have a side deck. That mechanic doesn't exist but players are expected to put cards in their deck to prepare for a bad match up, which is a complete failure of game design. To me tech and side deck are the same thing - cards used to make a matchup better except they exist in the main deck.

    This is fine. It's why its called counter play. Imagine if you played Call of Duty and you could only pick one class the entire match. You are stuck with that role and aren't able to change and adapt. The reason Pokemon needs it is because if you get a bad match in a best of three, you are stuck. Do you remember that one game at a regional or worlds where the player didn't even play the second game on stream? He did that because there was no way he could win and he didn't want to waste his time knowing the outcome. Weakness is the one mechanic that justify the addition of a side deck so you can at least play the game.

    I say honest as "players wont show up with jank" decks. Those really odd decks that shouldn't work if a check existed. Those decks that I listed. A handful of such decks exist like that and if a side deck existed, players wouldn't have shown up with those decks because of how easy they would be to stop.

    I felt my statement did explain it but a quad deck wouldn't work because of common cards to stop quad decks. That is my point. A deck with four Pokemon wouldn't be competitive. If I came across a quad mill deck, I would have Oranguru in my side deck to shuffle the cards back. If I can across a Safeguard deck, I would have something in my side deck to stop the Ability. Side Decks prevent abuse of such concepts. Those decks would work once and then would be side deck against. Oricorio is a perfect card that could exist in a side deck for Night March and related decks. Just its existence in a side deck would discourage the use of the deck without proper tech for it.

    Yes, that is because the game is poorly equipped to deal with such. Bunnelby or Oraguru existence in a side deck would give players a way to stop those deck. They just can't win because of game design. What a player sides in is irrelevant because knowing what to side in is a skill, just like it's a skill to know what cards to play at what time.

    I can say that though. Night March would have won one, maybe two tournaments before people considered it a threat and sided for it. I don't know what your experience is with side decks but I've played three games competitively and that is how they worked. A unknown deck would win and people would side for it and that deck wouldn't win anymore of have an easy time doing so because of the counter play. Such a thing doesn't exist in Pokemon and it should. We shouldn't have to wait sets before a proper answer is made but the players can figure out what to do about the deck.

    The game shouldn't care about evolving basics doing work. That doesn't matter. For years in Yi-Gi-Oh, four star Monster cards were the meta, despite being a "evolving basic". The game will do things and players will adapt. The thing is such a concept shouldn't be allowed to easily exist and decks should be more or less complete and not meme decks.

    Let me be clear. None of these things are a bad thing at all. My argument is a proper side deck mechanic would kill off concepts because of the additional card pool that could counter it. It would be too high risk to play given all the energy hate in the game. The side deck would balance out these concepts. if said deck won, it would have a target on its head and wont do as well next time because of the player adapting.

    I'm not sure how you are defining "TecH". Forcing a player to make their deck inconsistent for the same of, well I don't know, is a failure of game design. Why does TecH need to exist over a proper side deck mechanic? It is never a good idea to force a player to have to run something they don't need for a matchup they may never see. That is what the side deck is for. Skill means nothing if you start your one-of Giratina promo for Greninja and never even saw the deck that day. All it does is risk you losing for no real reason at all for the sake of being different than other games.

    I'll have know know I never use personal feelings for arguments or debates.

    This is why it's a perfect example of a side deck card. Now the Greninja player has to run counter tech to prevent such. Plenty of options exist. If they can't be used then the deck dies. Nothing wrong with that.

    As for your last statement, this is the same game that allowed Gardevoir to exist. This is the same game that allowed Night March and related decks to go uncheck for tournament seasons. The game is full of bad game design.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
  16. Shfinx I Solemnly Swear To Never Play a Meta Deck
    Shfinx

    Member

    I think it would be both quite interesting and quite frustrating. It wouldn't necessarily make the game more skill based, just a different kind of skill. The beauty of player vs. player games is that, no matter how easy it is, it's that easy for your opponent too, so it isn't really easy at all. You still have to outplay. I think side decks would probably just shift it from a careful balance of techs and consistency to a hyper consistent list of a deck with as few counters as possible (or at least counters they think people will play) played game one and then a side deck of techs for the next games. I think this could be hilarious to see in my Fairy Box deck, being able to play even more random techs, but, biases aside, this wouldn't really do much, good or bad. Instead of being Pokemon, it would become a different, equally as fun and interesting, game.
     
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  17. Otaku The wise fool?
    Otaku

    Member

    Then I suggest not criticizing people who state their own opinion in a similar way, in a similar amount of detail. ;)

    Whereas I consider the need for a side deck to be a failure of game design. I've stated why; you should be able to deal with all matchups with what is in your deck. If you can't, and you've built your deck well, you play your deck well, etc. then that means the designers haven't balanced things out. That is my opinion, but I do try to explain the thoughts as well as the feelings behind it so that when folks disagree with me, they can go "Ah... so that is why it is that way for Otaku."

    I've never played Call of Duty. I've never even watched someone really play Call of Duty. I'm not sure if I've even watched theory videos or the like on Call of Duty. From what I can gather from the rest of this, Pokémon doesn't need a Side Deck, it just needs to fix its broken mechanics like x2 Weakness (something I believe we've discussed before). So, arguing that we need a Side Board because you might get stuck in an impossible to win situation doesn't work for me; I'd rather argue that the game just needs to be designed better. Neither is likely to happen, which might make them seem even, but getting Side Boards is possible... at which point we get to how I think Side Boards will do the exact opposite of what you expect it to do, for the very reasons you want them. Pokémon is not properly balanced to accommodate Side Boards.

    I wouldn't refer to those as "jank" decks. I also pointed out how Side Boards might not eliminate any of them, and could even strengthen them. Even if you were correct about those exact examples, I'm not seeing how Side Boards don't produce other gimmick decks (which is how I would describe them).

    You made a claim, then you followed by making other claims that would support it... if I agreed with them. If we were already mostly in agreement, that might work, but I thought I made it clear we were definitely not in agreement on this issue.

    The original counter for Night March released alongside Night March. Side Boards don't change the release dates for later counters. So even using examples that don't involve Card Bans, it in no way proves the need for Side Boards.

    My experience with Side Boards/Decks is from Yu-Gi-Oh, where they mostly failed to do what you say they'll do, at least while I played. That doesn't prove they'll fail in Pokémon but it does mean you've got to present a better case for why it will work than "I say it will work." or "It will work because [insert reason], and [insert reason] will happen for reasons I'm not giving." I've seen it fail. The reasons it failed are because so many cards in Yu-Gi-Oh were good in many or most decks. While Side Decks created additional room to counter these decks, those decks, in turn, had room to counter the counters, either directly, or by including what would sabotage other decks. This led to much less deck diversity, and an increased homogenization of decks, so long as you disregard the specifics of what went in the Main Deck and what went in the Side Deck. Now, if the game has changed since then, okay. While I was never a highly successful Yu-Gi-Oh player, there were times when I would have been considered "competitive", even if only at the local level.

    As for your "Side Board counters new deck" scenario, that does happen in Pokémon but without Side Boards. People just adjust their 60 card decks; at the competitive level, most decks aren't truly 60 cards in that there will be a core strategy that takes up most of the room, but the rest will be used for counters to various situations. That is why I said it is like Pokémon already has Side Boards, to some degree. If you really want to push for them, consider also pushing for a lower Main Deck size as well.

    The game should care about satisfying the demand for a Pokémon-theme TCG; why else does it exist? As not everyone likes the same Pokémon, it behooves those who design and market the game to make as many Pokémon viable as they are able, provided the rest of the game remains enjoyable. That way, they maximize the number of people who can enjoy the game.

    As for your argument about players adapting to the game, by that reasoning, this game doesn't have a Side Board and never has, so after nearly 20 years, shouldn't you have adapted to this by now? ;) If the emoticon isn't enough, I would not make this as a serious argument. You presented this argument, and I am now showing you why it is flawed; it can justify anything which means it really justifies nothing.

    Your word selection makes it seem very much like you considered several of these things "bad", hence using words like "honest". Disregarding that, why change how things are done if the things you claim will be changed aren't bad? You aren't really presenting an argument, either, but making assertions. You say they will be different, but you don't explain how and sometimes demonstrate a dubious understanding of how or why these decks worked in the first place. Most of the "Energy hate" like Enhanced Hammer means very little to decks that run on four Double Colorless Energy. Why? Either they are decks - like Seismitoad-EX - that can protect against some of that Energy hate, they are decks that expect their Double Colorless Energy to hit the discard pile anyway because it is fueling glass cannons, and/or they have a means of recycling their Double Colorless Energy cards.

    What a Side Board, by making it easier for every deck to run heavy Enhanced Hammer (or other, similar cards) might do is punish any deck that tries to utilize Special Energy cards without expecting them to hit the discard pile during the opponent's next turn. Even that isn't certain, because your Side Board slots still need to be optimized; you'll still run out of room for all the counters you'll want (maybe even need) because now you need to pack counters for what might be in your opponent's Side Board in addition to whatever is in his or her Main Deck. If everyone starts Siding four copies of Enhanced Hammer to deal with Deck X, and it works, then Deck X declines in popularity and potency, and suddenly you might need the slots occupied by Enhanced Hammer for something that counters Deck Y... but if enough people do that, then Deck X becomes viable again. Oh, and in either case, Deck Z is screwed over because of Enhanced Hammer, even though Deck Z was your favorite, and not super competitive. Oops.

    "TecH" is kind of hard to define, mostly because the person who originally defined it didn't feel like lecturing others, but some folks did, and so the meaning became garbled. XP It was derived from using probability to determine optimal deck builds with regards to reliability. However, what was discovered was that sometimes violating what the formulae suggested would actually lead to an increase in wins. It was discovered that, while reliability was important, sometimes a particular element was so common in the metagame, that it was better to lose a little bit of reliability to counter it; the matches you'd lose due to decreased reliability were less than the amount you won by having a counter to a problem situation.

    With that out of the way, forcing a player to fine tune their consistency (in terms of the main strategy) versus their capacity to handle diverse situations isn't unique to Pokémon. Not every TCG has a Side Board. It is a skill that this game cultivates, and even if not intentional, that the game's mechanics seem to favor... unlike Side Boards which appear very unbalancing with how Pokémon actually works as a game. The notion that you should always need all cards in your deck every matchup makes no sense to me; to combat this wouldn't require adding a Side Board, it would require removing player choice, not just in terms of building decks but in actually playing the game. Only then can you ensure every card you see is a needed card that match. Side Boards don't solve this problem. You aren't actually eliminating the problem you want to eliminate. You side in that Giratina to counter your opponent but surprise! Your opponent sided in four Silent Lab or a 2-2 Alolan Muk line or actually uses his or her full Side Board to gut the BREAK Evolution line you sided Giratina in to counter. You still open with Giratina, which is a bad open even against something like Greninja BREAK, and even with Side Boards, Giratina was a wasted card.

    You know what else would solve that bad opening situation with Giratina? Multiple other possible rule or card design changes that don't introduce so many new headaches. In fact, it might be as simple as the game's designers stop making such counters necessary in the first place. No, really: I get tired of the Superman-Kryptonite approach to game balance.

    Okay, I spent way, waaay longer typing that than I ought to have. If you made it through all of that... congrats. Unfortunately, if I failed to convince you, I think it is clear you've also failed to convince me. We can agree to disagree, or you can keep going at it, but I'm thinking it is time for me to take at least a short break from this. Maybe just a few hours, maybe a few weeks, I dunno.
     
    Shfinx likes this.
  18. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*
    crystal_pidgeot

    Member

    @Otaku not saying your points aren't valid but I listed my reasons and it's indirect meta control. Don't think I can make it any more clear than that really. I will agree that silver bullets need to stop being made but that's not what I want to talk about. My point is the existence of a side deck will prevent such decks from existing because of the counters to the concept of just do one thing. Quad decks and other "jank" decks, as definded by Urban Dictionary is "unnecessarily redundant, superfluous, or meaningless; stupid or ridiculously moronic; bootleg or of questionable quality", which something like a quad deck or Night March is. A side deck would kill this kind of deck building.
     
  19. CrownAxe Aspiring Trainer
    CrownAxe

    Member

    You do realize referring to those decks as "jank" is your personal bias right?
     
  20. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*
    crystal_pidgeot

    Member

    You can call it what you like if you don't like the word jank.
     

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