New Year, New You — How to Succeed in the 2024-25 Season

Hey PokeBeach readers, I hope you’re doing well and are excited to read another one of my articles. We have just entered one of the most exciting times of the year for many players, as July 1st marks the start of the new Pokemon season. Everyone’s Championship Points get reset to zero, and we all start competing on even footing! With a new season, I’m sure many of you have goals you’d like to achieve, such as winning a League Cup, making Day 2 at Regionals, or earning an invitation to the World Championships. Whatever your goals are, I’m sure becoming a better player is at the core. That’s why today I wanted to focus this article on how to plan your season and best set yourself up for success. I’ll cover how to effectively practice, pick your decks, prepare for tournaments, and learn from your performances!

Practice

Let’s start off with one of the most important things for improvement: practice! Like anything in life, if you want to get better at Pokemon, you need to put in the time to refine your skills and improve before it translates to real-life tournaments. I think this is obvious to everyone, but I see a lot of people not practicing efficiently or in a way that will actually help them improve as a player. One thing that is critical to improving is learning how to practice with others and how to practice by yourself.

Testing Partners

One of the best things you can do if you’re trying to improve is to find someone else or a group of players who have similar goals to you or are committed to improving as well. Having people to work with who are on the same page as you makes improving much easier. Not only do you have someone to practice with, but also someone to bounce ideas off of and to push you to get better. When I think about the season I had my largest improvement as a player, it was when I got a dedicated testing partner who I worked with for the entire season. We would message each other our deck ideas, metagaming thoughts, deck lists, and matchup thoughts, and practice games together for five to 10 hours a week. By doing this, I always had someone to challenge my ideas and introduce new ones to me as well. You can learn a lot on your own, but by working with others, you expand the number of ideas you are exposed to and have another pair of eyes on your play to identify mistakes you’re making. When playing with others, I suggest playing games open-handed and discussing every play with your playing partner(s). This way, you can work through turns/problems together and challenge everyone’s assumptions. You might play a deck or matchup a similar way every time, but somebody else can identify weaknesses in your approach.

If you’re a newer player or don’t have a network yet, there are a few places I suggest you look to meet potential testing partners. The best spot would be at your local leagues or smaller tournaments such as League Challenges and League Cups. Normally, these tournaments will have players who live in close proximity to you, but it is also a welcoming environment with competitive players in my experience. If you don’t have a lot of locals near you, I suggest looking online for people to work with. I suggest using a site like X or even PokeBeach to find people who like to play similar decks as you!


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Let me save you the trouble of subscribing to find out what it takes to make it to worlds in the 2024-2025 season, unless your wealthy and got cash to burn doing a lot of international traveling save your time and money.
you sound salty. My friends here do it all the time. Going from Germany to Poland, the UK and France. They don't pay that much tho and getting an invite to worlds is like the goal of their hobbies. I doubt they spend more than people on other hobbies (a sport club, cars, clanging). maybe even less.
 
> When playing with others, I suggest playing games open-handed and discussing every play with your playing partner(s).

But seeing your opponents hand changes things, so how do you “practice” then? Only 1 side plays open handed?
 
you sound salty. My friends here do it all the time. Going from Germany to Poland, the UK and France. They don't pay that much tho and getting an invite to worlds is like the goal of their hobbies. I doubt they spend more than people on other hobbies (a sport club, cars, clanging). maybe even less.
One you do know that they drastically lowered the number of invites they are giving this year and comparing it to other hobbies like cars makes you sound rich
 
Let me save you the trouble of subscribing to find out what it takes to make it to worlds in the 2024-2025 season, unless your wealthy and got cash to burn doing a lot of international traveling save your time and money.
I agree that Pokemon is a game that requires time and money for most players to grind the circuit, but this article is aimed at helping people become better players overall, it isn't about qualifying for Worlds. Most people who play Pokemon aren't trying to make Worlds, but just do well at locals and the majors they attend!
 
> When playing with others, I suggest playing games open-handed and discussing every play with your playing partner(s).

But seeing your opponents hand changes things, so how do you “practice” then? Only 1 side plays open handed?
When I practice I don't change my plays based off of what is in the other persons hand. Eg: I wouldn't Iono them to 6 if their three card hand has Bibarel, Rare Candy, Baxcalibur. When you start your turn you still want to think about what your goal is and how you would play around every possibility.
 
One you do know that they drastically lowered the number of invites they are giving this year and comparing it to other hobbies like cars makes you sound rich

Nothing of what you said makes my point less accurate. Worlds remains the main goal of the competitive side of this hobby and how does bringing up an expensive hobby (which was the whole point) make me sound rich? Cars is not my hobby, I hate cars but a lot of people do have tuning as their hobby and it is expensive. So I don’t see why investing in the main goal of your hobby is bad just because you personally deem it to be most likely because your aren’t able to hold up.
 
Nothing of what you said makes my point less accurate. Worlds remains the main goal of the competitive side of this hobby and how does bringing up an expensive hobby (which was the whole point) make me sound rich? Cars is not my hobby, I hate cars but a lot of people do have tuning as their hobby and it is expensive. So I don’t see why investing in the main goal of your hobby is bad just because you personally deem it to be most likely because your aren’t able to hold up.
I think this sort of thing is dependent on region. The cap on NA championship points is much higher, making it so that one would have to go to a lot more events than you did before. Cups and challenges having less best finish limits also makes succeeding at larger events a requirement to secure an invite. I can see why one who wants to make a worlds push would be discouraged by the expenses. In NA, the large cities that Regionals and IC are held at have high hotel prices, gas is high, and everything else is also expensive right now. You have to be doing financially well, depend on others, or making a living off the Pokemon TCG to make it work, at least where I am. If you live in the area a regional is at, it's a little better. Regardless, I definitely think the financial investment gatekeeps a lot of skilled players from making waves in the scene.