Discussion Is the Format Unhealthy?

Discussion in 'PTCG Competitive Play' started by crystal_pidgeot, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    This got me thinking. A company will do whatever it takes to promote its new product. Remember what Nintendo did with Super Smash Bro. Melee? At EVO, the biggest fighting game tournament of the year, Nintendo prevented them from showing the game because they weren't playing Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U, though that came with a huge backlash with some an agreement being, "we'll show both".

    I don't know where the rest of you stand but I feel that the design of the cards from Black and White damaged the game. I didn't think it was possible but the Plasma block made the game more toxic. I was actually impressed. Like it's how you know a person is so stupid that nothing they can do will come of surprise to you but then they do it and you realizes it pisses you off but you can't be mad because you're so impressed that they were able to do what they did. That is what Plasma did to the game to me. The XY block started and nothing changed, like at all. Well, I lie, we got evolved Pokemon as Basic Pokemon, which was cool but it was still just big basics. Even well into the the Sun and Moon block, EX Pokemon will still be legal for at least another 3 years, depending on how rotation works.

    Lets talk about that rotation for a bit. I know its too early to talk about this but how many of you remember Sabledonk? It was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo powerful that TPC forced an early rotation (something like 2 months early). As a matter of fact, here is a quote from TPCi

    We don't know as of now (maybe we do) if any rule changes will come with Sun and Moon but based on the quote above, card interactions are enough to move the game forward, which we could see in order to protect the new focus of the game. Unlike now, the game never considered banning cards ever since Nintendo took over. The correct move for the Sabledonk deck was to simply ban that Sableye rather than effectively ban every card that had nothing to do with it but that is what they chose to do. It was a very harsh rotation.

    Looking at things now, we have a few possible rotation and they are;

    - BREAKthrough-On (Removes Ancient Traits)
    - Generations/Fates Collide-On (Removes Greninja BREAK)
    - Evolutions-On (Removes the problem)
    - Sun and Moon-On

    What I mean by removes the problem is unhealthy card designs are gone and none of these things really exist in Evolutions (I'm also biased because I want Pidgeot EX to be around longer) but I want to ask a honest question. What exactly in XY Evolutions was unbalanced, if you had to compare them to any of the other sets. The only "real" deck you can make is Pidgeot EX and it isn't really a powerhouse when you can compare it to say, Mega Rayquaza or even Mega Audino, who can do 110 (which can still 2HKO most of the meta) and snipe for 50. Pidgeot does 80 and 20 snipe and the mega is just a beat stick. Evolutions gets better as a set if everything else before it is removed. Another factor for that is 7th gen is heavily focused on 1st gen Pokemon, so it would be a nice starting point. EX Pokemon will still be a legacy feature but can still exist, like how Mega Evolution still exist.

    So if we were to consider that, for the sake of a evolution based format, which will be slower than what the game has been for the last 5 years, it seems like the right answer is to either ban or force a early rotation to something more reasonable for the game's slower based format and to me, Evolutions-On would be less damaging to the goal of an S/M format. We are already seeing the effects of the Sun and Moon base set on the player base. Many are trying to figure out how do you even play the game without Professor Sycamore and Shaymin EX. It's those two cards that make decks too good. They don't reward smart play and often favors the "throw the deck at your opponent" play style, which directly affect how cards are designed. Take a look at GX attacks. This is now how Pokemon do very powerful attacks, which means they want to control how often these huge knockouts happen. You want to do 240 damage? well now you can only do it once and with this new design choice, removing cards from the card pool that can get around this seems like a good idea.

    Imagine the game without Setup or a Discard your hand and draw 7 effect or how do you power up a Pokemon without Max Elixir? There was a time when the best draw supporter in the game was a draw 3, discard one effect. That was a four of in every deck and the game was fine. Rotation aside, there is now a less aggressive way of controlling the meta to come. We can now ban cards that would be a problem.

    Look at the cards designed now. We have a basic Pokemon that can draw cards until you have 3 in your hand and a new Muk card that turns off the abilities of Basic Pokemon, which are less powerful than cards we have now and as of now, the cards seem balanced for a Sun and Moon on format, or at least Evolutions on. The question I as here if a rotation doesn't happened to better support the vision of a S/M block, what cards would you ban to help support the block until a rotation happens? I would target cards personally that are very overpowered. I know this means something different for everyone but things like Volcanion, Rainbow Road and Greninja would have to go way since they are either too fast or have other interactions that wouldn't be healthy for the game.

    For me personally, I want to see what Sun and Moon offers to the game and based on the base set, the game will maintain the high damage output but are returning to the way things were in the last ex format or at least R/S and HGSS, which in my opinion were some of the most balance times the game saw.

    I'm sure I forgot some other things I wanted to take about but I think this is a good start.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
    superdan51 likes this.

  2. 21times Aspiring Trainer


    Very interesting post crystal. I hadn't thought about everything up to and including evolutions rotating out. That would mean evolutions would have been standard legal for less than a year though so I kind of doubt it's going to happen, but there's a lot of good logic to your argument, especially about changing the fabric of the game, structurally, functionally redesigning it. Definitely something to think about!
    crystal_pidgeot likes this.
  3. Problem2 Aspiring Trainer


    With XY-Evolutions left in, I would think Dragonite-EX would be a deck as well. I know he's mostly known for his supportive roll of recycling Pokémon, but his HyperBeam still hurts.
  4. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    Yes, Hyper Beam is a very harsh attack and Enhanced Hammer hasn't been reprinted so that could be a thing but Doesn't that fighting dog do better?
  5. Yixagurpuldink Aspiring Trainer


    crystal_pidgeot, I like the way you are thinking, but remember that pokemon is also a business.

    If you rotate all those sets out the way you wish, competitive players who have spent many, many precious dollars will watch their purchases drain to nothing rather than getting some play time with them. With a bunch of people largely starting from square one you might see many just walk out and leave. Not the hyper competitive ones, but who do you think produces more revenue, people (like me :| ), who initially buy assloads of packs thinking that this is how
    people get their cards, or the tight singles community, which is glorified loaning?

    Will most people have 6 working decks by SM2, which I think will be the last set before rotation 2017, items and techs and everything? NO.

    Moreover, a lot of card sellers, distributors, and singles merchants would end up with huge quantities product that go to low value in moments. Rotating cards out of format reduces cards to their collector's value, with few exceptions. Mewtwo Next Destinies, the X-Ball version, saw the full art go from a 60 some dollar card down to about 20ish (if I remember) when it rotated. A 70% drop in one day. Competitive cards, like battle compressor, are now pretty much nothing (9 cents US, for a meta-defining item!). These people who are sitting on thousands of dollars of Mewtwo-EX, Volcanion-EX and the like will find out their stock will soon take a 70% price value cut because the players don't like the meta.

    "Why buy such a volatile product?" they will think, and subsequently reduce their stocks of pokemon in fear of losing money. That hurts everybody.

    Pokemon puts planned obsolescence and power creep to keep people buying and playing the newest thing. They won't simply drop cards out of format like that because time will remedy it. Already the new GXs with 250 HP on a stage 2 are 3-shot by EXs doing 110, compared the 2-shots of today. Also, without Shaymin and Hoopa, EX deck consistency goes away for many things. Volcanion? Mega Gardevoir? Mega Mewtwo? Largely crippled.

    3 Sun and Moon sets and 1 rotation later, I think there will be nothing to worry about.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  6. Yixagurpuldink Aspiring Trainer


    Unrelated quote. BTW I just realized that Professor Oak (Discard, and draw 7), has been around since Base Set. Mulligans are going to stay in some way.
  7. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    Yes, because they are a business they will do this. They want to sell their newest product, which Sun and Moon is their newest product. Remember what I said about what Nintendo did to EVO for Smash Melee?

    One thing I don't care about is the second market. If people want to complain because their cards will lose value then its their fault for not selling them when they could. This is a card game and these things can happen. Roaring Skies is getting a second print run and people are complaining that their Shaymins are going to lose value. It happens and the players just adjust. We had a rotation like this before where they cut something like 10 sets from standard. Should such a deep rotation like that happens again, we do have Expanded. Those cards will be useful still.

    I don't think most people have six decks.

    This is what retailers have to deal with on a regular bases. They take a chance with everything. They have no idea what cards will get banned in Yugioh or Magic or what formats these games will get. All of these can affect card price but in the best interest of the game, TPC/i doesn't care about what the secondary market suffers. They should care within reason because they largely move cards but their thinking should never be "We shouldn't do a rotation because X card(s) will lose value." Walmart doesn't care about a rotation because believe it or not, the competitive market isn't the largest, its the casual and collective market and they love to buy packs.

    This only applies to card stores and even then, they know this can happen. They have no problem moving Pokemon cards because of their collectors value. Thats what they bank on!

    I simply can't believe this. This is coming from the same people who through reprinting Garbodor to stop Greninja BREAK was a good idea. The same people who thought printing a card that said shuffle your discard pile back into your deck was a good idea. Sun and Moon feels like the first time since HGSS, they are actually quality testing cards. Sure they do this to move cards because they want players to move on but they aren't. They want to move the format back into evolution based gameplay and doing such a rotation will in fact be a way to move on to the newest thing.

    They have done this before because of how the game was changing and I'm sure they will do it again if they need to. They want to move the game back to making evolution relevant and anything before Evolutions doesn't do this. If left alone, we will have the same decks in format all the way up to rotation and if the format shift is the very first one I listed, we could still have two years of the same decks, which can affect how cards are designed in S/M. Evolutions on is the least damaging to the game.

    Also cards like Shaymin-EX and Hoopa-EX are the problem with the games pacing right now. Those decks are the way they are because of how fast you can draw through your deck. They are far less powerful if the draw card in format is only a +2 rather than a +7, followed by at a plus 6 many times and powerful searching effects.

    I think we will have 3 SM sets before rotation but who knows.
  8. Yixagurpuldink Aspiring Trainer


    "This is coming from the same people who through reprinting Garbodor to stop Greninja BREAK was a good idea. The same people who thought printing a card that said shuffle your discard pile back into your deck was a good idea."

    What is the problem with that? Long ago, when tool removal was a thing, Garbodor wasn't a problem. That's why Garbodor sees much less play in expanded. They reprinted Garbodor when abilities (Shaymin/ Hoopa/ Trevenant/ Pyroar(?) ) became a problem, now HE is the problem.

    What is the advantage of a much slower game? I play MtG as well (not competitively) and sometimes the game is so painfully long it gets boring. It is like playing theme decks in pokemon. You open with a bunch of land or spell cards and you pretty much do draw,place,pass,wait unless you spent a bazillion dollars on the best cards for the best combos, or you resort to the equivalent of a 90HP attacker with a 1 energy attack for 30 so that you probably do something. A single game can take 1 hour or more.

    How would your ideal meta be different than theme deck? Besides consistency increase, it would be slow, many energy, lots of evolving... those kinda things will reappear. If you can only +2 cards, you better hope you have enough energy to guarantee you keep charging something. I feel that kills consistency. Yes, nowadays, the game is so fast that a single miss or whiff can make you lose, but I don't want a meta where "Oops I opened Litten and 6 energies " would be common.

    Also, unless item cards get teched like crazy to allow you to pry your deck for the right cards (professor's letter/ timer ball/ trainers' mail/ etc.), I feel that the meta will shift to "which deck evolves easiest and literally just attaches energy and does a plain attack."

    Also, what is it in the Evolutions set that is so great (I like Pidgeot-EX and wish he had been printed in an earlier set)? It is a nostalgia set from what I can tell.
  9. Yixagurpuldink Aspiring Trainer


    No we won't. I believe hoopa-EX loss will be the end of Mega decks unless they start teching tons of timer and ultra balls and just keep churning, and that will mean inconsistency. The only thing that might save them is if the meta slows down just enough that they have 1-2 more turns to find the spirit link and evolve safely.

    A lot of the item cards that serve the purpose of helping basic pokemon, like Fighting Fury Belt or Max Elixir, will slowly disappear and their constituent decks will take a hit.

    Lastly, if you don't think sun and moon cards will have any effect, Seismitoad-EX/ Decidueye-GX is topping Japanese tournaments, even in the presence of big basics and night march. I think the Sun and Moon decks will play like Greninja BREAK in terms of speed. Tech talonflame and life will be easier.
  10. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    Garbodor wasn't a problem because of the balance it had with the meta. It wasn't a "free" card and that was fine. The card was still good but could be easily stopped. The point of a slower format is more skill based games. Players can't build bad decks anymore and have massive draw to bail them out. I don't mean bad decks as it the deck is bad but I mean things like decks with four Energy and the ability to see like 30 cards a turn. Believe it or not, the game used to be like this and no one had a problem. As for Evolutions, I feel it would be the less damaging to what Sun and Moon wants to do with the game.

    The loss of Hoopa EX isn't a problem. It will rotate if a rotation happens. The loss of Hoopa EX and Shaymin EX in Standard means decks need to be more consistent, which means they will have to give up options to do so but this has happened before. The point of a rotation is to bring new ideas to the game.

    Decidueye GX has FoGP and can get into play in one turn and Item locking a player while placing damage via Ability is overpowered. This is why these cards can't exist together for the sake of a balanced game.

    I believe that Expanded will go to XY one and Standard will be Evolutions-On because it's the least damaging rotation to what Sun and Moon wants to do. I do want to ask you when did you start playing Pokmon? Can you play the game without Professor Sycamore, Hoopa-EX and Shaymin-EX?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  11. cookie1117 Aspiring Trainer


    Evolutions on?? I don't understand, I've seen multiple posts of people thinking standard will be Evolutions on as of next year. That's is an incredibly terrible assumption as that means about 7 sets would need to go out of format???

    am I missing something??
  12. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    Evolutions would be the most balance set going into sun and moon. They could of course rotate nothing at all.
  13. cardgjammer Aspiring Trainer



    But if Sun and Moon prove to be significantly more powerful than even Megas, outclassing XY-EVO in the process, they could upgrade legacy for a real-life BW-LTR format, while BW-LTR get rotated from Expanded, leaving only XY-STS/EVO for Expanded, leaving just two sets, three sets, maybe four(including the August set) in terms of sets eligible for standard format, but at this time, we don't know what will be included in the next standard, and until we do, I suggest that you don't even try to make another rotation-speculation thread like this one(NOT mini-modding, but as much as I don't want you to go overboard in terms of rotation-guessing that will be destined to turn into a mess of guesses that may or may not be true, I believe my advice is a good choice, but only you are the judge of whether or not to ignore me), but while I'm here, allow me to mention one more thing regarding the above scenario: In the event they make such a drastic change, however, it will result in the 2017-18 standard having the fewest standard-legal sets since the early Wizards era of pokemon TCG, and what a hollow standard that could be, as three or four sets, depending on when rotation happens, to start a new P!P season at a time that's way past series infancy, is previously unheard of!

    ^ Time will tell if they plan to follow through w/ the implied legacy update... I hope they don't, because if they do, many will be disappointed, but in that event, at least regionals will still allow XY-STS/EVO in case they are all out of standard by being outclassed by SM-On...
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  14. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    Didn't noticed the title was renamed to this. The intent of this thread wasn't to say whether or not this format is unhealthy because it really isn't but to talk about how the Sun and Moon block will be affect by current card design.

    Evolutions by design (in the current format) are inherently weaker. Greninja works because because of its swarm ability and FoGP allow any grass deck to be competitive. Stage 1 Pokemon were always in a limbo but Basic Pokemon now are far too powerful. There are a lot of good cards in S/M base and they could get better as time goes on but if the next rotation is BREAK-On, that means we will have XY sets in a block printing SM cards for about two years and those decks are still very powerful so it could taint SM card design if they have to compete with XY cards in Standard.

    If that does happen and a rotation happens to go onto SM-On, then some sets designed early on (to compete with EX Pokemon now) will affect that formats decks. Also, there is nothing wrong with talking about it because this is a very big change for the game. Nothing changed from BW to XY so there wasn't really nothing to talk about but the game is fundamentally changing from a basic dominated game to evolution having a place now so the way cards exist now and possibly a Standard format where XY sets are still a thing, I think its worth talking about what rotation could happen and which is more healthy for Sun and Moon.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  15. Fayld Rayquaza / Eelektross Master


    Unless I missed an update (and I am almost positive I didn't), I think simply rotating RS will do more for S/M than anything. Think about the cards lost. Everyone talks about Shaymin / Hoopa with a BKP on rotation, but they forget about arguably THE most important card in every deck. VS Seeker. As of today, that card gets rotated if BKP on is the rotation. That is a HUGE loss to consistency and general deck construction across the board. There are some top decks that can get away with not running Shaymin / Hoopa. There are literally zero top decks that aren't running a bare minimum 3 VS Seekers. Just the loss of that card alone makes for a completely different approach to deck building and a ton of the current decks that are powerful lose a lot of "steam" (HA!) and tech flexibility. Half the reason you can afford to Sycamore 7 and grab more is because there is virtually no harm in discarding supporters because you have 4 cracks at getting them back. In fact, most people I know prefer to get those supporters in the discard pile for easier access precisely because VS Seeker makes grabbing those supporters out of the discard pile that much easier. Long story short, unless it gets reprinted, VS Seeker is far and away the biggest loss to decks going forward.
  16. Otaku The wise fool?


    Is the Format Unhealthy? Yes, but sadly it has been this way pretty much the entire time. I am less concerned with the imbalance any more than the attitudes I feel the current gameplay engenders; I don't feel like I am supposed to want a fair battle anymore, but that I am always meant to desire to crush my opponent. If my deck works by being aggressive, I am meant to steamroll them. If my deck has some control elements, I am meant to quickly leave my opponent with fewer and fewer options. In both cases, it seems like the designers want the winner to enjoy a game of solitaire more than a duel with another player.

    Focusing on what the thread actually seems to be about, I do not believe the newest cards are going to make things significantly better. I still see a lot of filler, including filler Evolving Basic and Stage 1 cards. I'm not trying to obsess with such a thing, and it is possible to have them and yet still have an unbalanced format, but they seem a solid litmus test. There is one tiny thing I do wish to address:

    It seems most probable that the profitability of the Pokémon TCG stems not from players, not even collectors, but from the "other", the people who don't really do either. Who would that be? You know, those random little kids who get a booster pack in place of a toy at the store, but never get enough cards to properly have a collection and probably will never learn to play. Add to them nostalgic adults who just get a booster pack because it reminds them of their childhood. They don't buy a lot individually, but collectively they so outnumber any level of serious player or collector that this game could carry on as a profitable venture with only them. At least that is my conjecture.
  17. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    @Otaku That is a very valid point. It does seem like they are making decks that can completely dominate an opponent rather than wanting their to be any player involvement and I think this could leak over to SM with the way the game has been the last five years. Yes there is still a lot of filler but at least more of the card pool will be played as opposed to just big basic that might exist in sets. Yveltal/EX is still a thing after all this time and will more than likely be around, depending on how rotation is handled. While you may not think the current format may affect how cards are designed in SM-on, it could affect them because of how fast cards are now. The design of SM cards seem to be less "nuke" base and not as fast and seeing how there isn't a discard and draw 7 effect printed, it does seem they want a slower game. If the rotation removes only four sets from the game, we will still have big basics and other fast cards in the format, which might force them to remake a discard your hand and draw 7 card effect just to keep players engaged rather than rewarding smart play.

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