Becoming a Better and Creditable Player in an Area Lacking Tournaments

Discussion in 'PTCG Competitive Play' started by bbninjas, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. bbninjas Ready or Not!

    Advanced Member Member

    I am an Australian that is technically in the Seniors division that started getting into a more competitive mainframe after being told about a local, unofficial Pokemon Tournament (see Spoiler for details) in my area about half a year ago. This was after playing casually for about three years. I got the hang of the competitive scene pretty quickly, managing to rise as a threat despite my age, reaching the Top 8 and coming first with a self-built Night March deck recently, which I was pretty happy about. CNow, this tournament is very unmeta. In the Top 8 that I won in there was a TrevGar, M-Latios (2nd), 2x Colourless Ray, Gardy, Psychic Toolbox (Toxicroak/Mewtwo/Mew/Cincinno LT/Trevenant XY type of stuff), Nightmarch (i.e. me) and something I else I can't remember. The nearest official tournament then was roughly two hours away, which I couldn't ever make as I don't have a car. Now, I've had to move recently into another area that is roughly 12 hours away from the nearest official tournament, and there is no unofficial tournament in the area. This isolation not only makes it difficult for me to battle but also difficult to obtain cards I need for decks.

    Here are some details on the unofficial tournament I used to attend so you can make a better judgement:
    • The tournament has rarely split groups up into Juniors, Seniors and Masters, instead compiles everyone into a single draw. There is literally no Juniors, maybe 6 Seniors and 24 Masters that attend the tournament on a regular basis.
    • The meta and skill standard is quite low. About a third of the decks are theme deck alters, a quarter are generally type-base decks that perform quite averagely while the remainder are decks that range from Tier 5 to Tier 1. Before (and after) Trump's ban, Seismitoad decks, Exeggcutor, Raichu and Flareon decks (not that Flareon is much of a threat now) are nearly unseen, while the most common variants out of the metas are Mega Rayquaza (both Dragon and Colourless), Yveltal (popularly with Manectric; is becoming less popular), Fairy (Mega Gardevoir or Florges), Bronzong and Fighting as of Roaring Skies.
    • There is a prize pool of $100 and a $5 entry fee.
    • Meets weekly
    • Located in probably one of the biggest inland Cities in North Australia, ~two hours from Brisbane
    • I believe there has only be 1 or 2 people regulars there that has actually been to an official sanctioned tournament.

    That's a little bit about my competitive experience and current competitive state. But here's the problem. I feel I have the potential to become a better and eventually more creditable player (non-premium article writing credibility/standard is what I aim for) that can perform well in official sanctioned tournaments, and without any tournament available in the area, my options are extremely limited. Being an Australian also severely limits online tournaments as the timezones clash with American and European zones inconveniently. Improving my knowledge, judgement and gameplay is something I'd love to also do, and since I am not able to afford things like PB's Premium Article subscriptions, I am limited to battling players and exploring PB to improve.

    So here's what I'd like to know. What ways can I become a bit of a better player and reliably battle experienced players that you'd find at things like Cities, States and Regionals? In what ways can I expand my gameplay? Aussie TCGers, is there any tips from you guys? I'd also like to know if there's a way for me to become a bit more of a credible player, but this is a bit of a long shot.

    Thanks to all the help me - I appreciate your time :)

  2. Mora Don't Panic

    Forum Mod Member

    Yeah, I'm running into a similar problem. I find that I'm easily one of the best players in my area, and I can't find anyone on my skill level as a play-testing partner. Also I find that online, I tend to play against a long streak of opponents who just simply don't put up a challenge. If you had made any connections with players before you moved, you could get in touch with them and see if you can meet up online to play a few games. You might also be able to reach out to some well-known players on Facebook. You'll never know if you don't try.
    bbninjas likes this.
  3. bbninjas Ready or Not!

    Advanced Member Member

    Am glad someone else feels the same way - much more comforting. Probably gonna need to find some contacts elsewhere (not on Facebook cause I don't have it) as you said, but I do have a few friends back where I came friend I could try testing with.
  4. TheStrictNein Has tried turning it off and on again


    It is a pain, but travelling is truly the best way to do so. I'm in a similar situation - unless I learn to drive, I cannot make any leagues or tournaments at all with my work schedule (9-6 Monday to Friday) beyond my Sunday league (which has two Masters players including me and no one has heard of Standard format).
  5. bbninjas Ready or Not!

    Advanced Member Member

    Sadly, it is pretty obvious that a trip 13 hours away from the closest tournament is a bit impractical. Plane trips are also out of the question cause poor >.>
  6. crann777 I See You


    Start investing in PTCGO and participate in online tournaments? The tournaments don't lump players by an imaginary ELO rating like the pickup game system does, so you'll actually be playing against meta decks and (hypothetically) skilled opponents. I'm not familiar with TCG One and how you find opponents in that, but that might be a free option.
  7. Espeon"s Maze Resident Sociopath
    Espeon"s Maze


    i feel the exact same way, there is a league in range of me but nobody who is actually competitive there, looking for playtesting partners, using something like
    bbninjas likes this.
  8. pkolaboy Tyranitar be taunting'


    This is what you do. I lived in Hawaii (Oahu) when I started playing and the only competitive card place was flooded with Magic and Yugioh players. All in all there were maybe 5-6 at the most Pokémon Master players. What I found myself doing was staying in touch with the guys through out the week, so when Sunday came around we would try to meet up and play. You have to try to reach out to players in the area or even out of area. Sometimes you may have to bug them, but eventually if they really enjoy PTCG they will stick with it. Try to get some of your friends to play also and show how fun it can be. Maybe help the other players build better decks by trading or just giving them extras or what not. The more you put into it the more you will get out of it! Lmk how things come out.
  9. TuxedoBlack Old School Player


    Consider building a network of close "Pokepals" with whom you can discuss deck ideas and game strategies. Although I've yet to do so, playing online is a way to test your ideas, as well as share thoughts with your Pokepals. The internet is definitely your friend in matters where geography is a challenge.
  10. bbninjas Ready or Not!

    Advanced Member Member

    tbh, this is where it falls apart. I only knew two people from my previous area that actually was into competitive TCG, and so far I've found noone where I am now. I'm actually a bit confused on how exactly I can actually do that. I've been testing online, which is fine, but tbh, I don't have any Pokepals that I have contact that I'd be able to share ideas with. From an Australia timezone, it is also pretty difficult to communicate with other TCGers (especially those from America and Europe that I meet on these forums) due to school, etc.
  11. TuxedoBlack Old School Player


    Understood. I am fortunate to be physically located around some world-class players, some of whom I can discuss a lot of Pokemon with in great detail.

    Two thoughts: 1) Have you ever used the conversation "chat" features/functions here or other social media to discuss decks, ideas, and/or strategies? One of my Pokepals is a regular night owl; so, our face time is limited since he works too and attends college; but we share a lot of ideas via numerous chats (which could span over days). 2) I just started sharing deck lists in docs so that ideas can be shared and communicated. Those who can view the docs can edit them also in a collaborative manner. Arranging a "meeting" time to discuss (via live editing) may prove to be a challenge, but well worth it, imo.
  12. bbninjas Ready or Not!

    Advanced Member Member

    Sorta. I've used Skype and the chat on PB here, but not really much to discuss deck ideas and strategies. It sounds like a good idea, although I don't have any contacts irl to chat to about the game D:. I could always find some people on PB, I guess.
  13. infernape1245 Aspiring Deck-Building Master


    you're not the only one brotha. haha, I'm currently in my hometown for medical reasons and the community comes and goes, but there's no league. I'm normally on top and it was only recently that someone made a deck that can go toe-to-toe with my own.

    on a side note, i practically made the decks for newbies using what resources we have available.
  14. SilverSilent Dem Eeveelutions


    That's what I do quite a bit is online like here or Skype. My job can make me go all over the place on a whim if needed so sometimes it can be rough to play face to face or get ideas from people because of it. I know where I'm originally from it was at least an hour drive an any official league and further than that for actual tournaments.

    Setting up a group and doing small online tournaments are really nice too, it helps you out by getting ideas and group help on what could be made better and how to adjust it to your play style.
    bbninjas likes this.

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