Discussion State of Standard - CEC

Discussion in 'PTCG Competitive Play' started by Yaginku, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Yaginku Aspiring Trainer


    This could honestly be a thread created every three months, but I want to get your opinions on the current state of Standard. I have played it a lot, heard a lot of third-party opinions and read many articles, and came to a few conclusions.

    First thing that's very apparent to me is how rouge decks are extremely limited. It was bad enough with GXes, where regular Pokemon had to deal over a 100 damage for an OHKO, but with Tag Teams running around it's either scaling damage of bust - there's no point dealing very efficient 100s, when TT's attacks go off the rails, accelerating or killing your benched Pokemon. And this is a spiraling effect - the less "regular Pokemon" decks there are, the less relevant is it to deal below 300 damage. The gap between the two is just too wide and I'm afraid SwSh's response will be just more powercreep.

    Second, while there's no point listing again why Tag Teams are unbalanced, there's one core issue they inflict on the gameplay (in contrast to deckbuilding), and that is streamlining the hell out of it. While there are definitely decks with options and variables, the game is simply too fast for them to truly matter in a strategic sense - you either set them up, or you don't. This makes the format so much more polarizing, where match-ups turn from disadvantageous to immediate scoops.

    What I DO like are Gust effects, though Great Catcher is too much for me. I always felt Lysandre/Guzma are a tad too powerful, and the fact that you either have to heavily invest in Custom Catchers or limit your options with Great Catcher is a cool distinction. However, Great Catcher should really be a supporter (maybe without the discard). The option to have ridiculous blow-out turns with Welder and then pull the opponent's biggest target is just too much.

    Should Welder be banned? Honestly, when non-Fire decks are running Welder - hell, when every deck that doesn't have any other solution to Energy defaults to Welder - I think it should be at least considered. It matches all check-boxes for a broken card - it's imbalanced even in a vacuum, it warps the whole format around itself and has no counterparts. It also isn't some expensive GX that people will cry about losing value. With the format being so fast and Welder being the main culprit, a ban would have a serious - and I believe a positive - impact on it.
    Pokeman and Otaku like this.

  2. Otaku The wise fool?


    Let me present a slightly different perspective, that of the long time player who may love his Theorymon a bit too much.

    "Cycle" is the right word. We're near the end of one now, when a lot of insane stuff is happening and - for better and worse - there are some crazy powerful cards and combos. I'm not seeing enough changes in Shield & Sword to avoid repeating the cycle, and that is bad because not only is this specific cycle unnecessary, it comes with a lot of problems.

    Pacing is that main problem. Another way of putting it is "Do the cards break the metagame or does the metagame break the cards?

    Out of the three things you cited, Welder is the one that seems to be the real problem. TAG TEAMs aren't so hot if they get slowed down; they'd remain hard to KO, maybe even a bit harder because some of the stuff KOing them is also utilizing Welder. However, they'd also be slowed down in their own offensive capabilities. I think I know why, when the game was new, the designers thought Gust of Wind - Lysandre as an Item or Pokémon Catcher without the flip - was balanced. With the right pacing, it is. Forcing something up front and OHKOing it is powerful. So... remove the OHKO aspect and you suddenly have something on par with Switch for its usefulness.

    The thing is, I'm finally seeing some long overdue changes with Sword & Shield, so even if the cycle does repeat, we're closer to actual progress as well.
  3. Yaginku Aspiring Trainer


    I don't want to go on a whole tangent against Tag Teams, but while it is possible to have a varied and "healthy" meta with Tag Teams, it's also true that - by design - they make the game more degenerate. It's a feature they already share with GXes, but they multiply it threefold.

    Because a GX isn't just two-three times the health, it's also two-three times the damage, it WILL knock out your regular Pokemon. But sure, you can front another Pokemon and take the two prizes - sound fair on the surface.
    However, to do that, you had to also use twice the resources and twice the amount of Pokemon cards. And if there's Full Heal or Acerola legal in the format - you are screwed if you don't OHKO right here and now.

    To be balanced, GXes would need to have WORSE attacks than regular Pokemon (or at least more expensive). Obviously that is not going to happen. Snorlax VMAX already has maximum of 240 damage for 3 energy. The health numbers on regular Pokemon are absolutely superficial at this point.
  4. Serperior 319/500

    Advanced Member Member

    I like the state of the meta right now. Despite seeing Mewtwo dominate overseas this weekend, North America saw zero Mewtwo in Top 8 at San Diego. Lucario/Melmetal found a spot in Top 8 in two of the three majors this weekend, and Malamar seems to have a new breath of life. Unfortunately, the game's top players will likely not work too hard to find anything new in the current meta with the fact that our next Regional isn't until the legality of Sword/Shield in March, so we can expect to see more of the same for the next couple of months. However, I could also be completely wrong and other players might find some spice in order to take down the weekend's top-performing lists.
    The Neatoqueen likes this.
  5. Otaku The wise fool?


    Then you're about as bad at this as I am. ;)

    They do seem relevant, given they're one of four reasons you highlight for your concerns... but everything you don't like about them has been seen elsewhere in the game, including before multi-Prize Pokémon were even a thing.

    What is "healthy" to you? What is "degenerate"?

    This game has always been one where a small percentage of the cards released are competitive, a good chunk are blatant filler, and the rest are probably filler as well (just not ambiguous). I don't like that, but I doubt that is changing anytime soon.

    There are things I believe the powers-that-be could do differently, without negatively affecting sales or dramatically increasing production costs but... explaining that is better via PM. I think constantly adding new gimmick mechanics is a bad idea... at least until the fundamentals are more sound.

    If the fundamentals were solid, then I believe things like Pokémon-GX and even TAG TEAM Pokémon could be properly balanced.

    I'm out of time, so let me just point out yet again, this ain't unique to Pokémon-GX. Nor Pokémon-EX. It also is not inherent to them from a design standpoint. Yes, that matters; the powers that be introducing a mechanic then intentionally making it too powerful is different than them designing one that cannot help but be too powerful.

    Plenty of Pokémon can hit like a truck but they're too slow to be worth it. Some can dominate the game while only doing 30 damage per turn because they've got a crippling control effect. Yes, this is me rushing the point. You're so close to seeing it - as you talk about resources - but you need to consider what those resources can really do.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
    jamashawalker likes this.
  6. jamashawalker Ikouze!


    The state of the metagame....

    Healing high HP pokemon...
    Personally I don't find TTGXs to be as much as a problem as I do Mallow & Lana. In a metagame where damage from non-gxs are doing around 130-180 damage, that's not enough to compete against healing 120 damage per turn. The 2 shot from certain non-GXs gave them some competition before mallow and lana was introduced, despite the large amount of consistency that TTGXs have. And SOON we will have Pokemon Vmax cards with 300+ HP. This along with Hyper Potion will just make KOs from nearly anything alot harder.

    Making non-GX/V pokemon not it's own archetype...
    I understand their focus on catch cards like GX/V cards more powerful than non-GX/V cards. They will continually go this route, and I would %100 rather have alot more non-GX/V card be like Rillaboom/Perrserker. A support pokemon that helps out more powerful pokemon rather than be it's own attacker such as the new Corviknight. This concept can't be for every pokemon because they need "filler" card, but it would really expand the card usage creating more fun archetypes. While also allowing people to be more creative with their builds.

    Rewarding for stage 2 pokemon....
    Since unified minds, stage 2s have been horrendous to down right unplayable. They took away their consistency and gave it towards big basics. I've found a template to make Stage 2s super consistent BUT I've run into another huge problem with stage 2s. This goes back to my first point about Mallow & Lana's healing. Stage 2s don't do enough damage for the work you have to put in to get them going. There are a few stage 2s who can hit TTGX numbers with a large amount of wombo combo pieces. And while these Stage 2s can have a decent TTGX match up they lose super hard to stall, control, and Malamar.

    Stall and Control Decks...
    If you aren't a basic TTGX deck with a direct counter to Stall(Omastar/Cryoganal) or a random item lock (beheeyem) deck then you may as well scoop. While our current stall decks are vulnerable the first few turns, that's the window to decide the victor of the game. I'm happy they are limited to regionals and online play because I know PTCI won't be doing anything about them, despite it being extremely solitaire once it sets up. This makes it difficult to create a a deck to beat both TTGXs and stall with your deck.

    Welder Turn 2 donk...
    It's hard to justify Mewthree doing 300 damage TURN 2, spreading 200 damamge around TURN 2 or Abilityzard hitting hard out of nowhere. All of this is possible thanks to Welder. Do I believe Welder is broken? Yes and no....Yes because of the reasons I have stated above. No because it's a one of a kind card that no other card competes with. If other archetypes had a broken style similar to Welder we could possibly have a balance. IE...Let's say in the near future the text in Milo's Supporter card says "Search your deck for any number of cards equal to the amount of grass pokemon you have in play" Something along those lines. This ties into what @Otaku said about "Does the card break the metagame or does the metagame break the cards?" I believe it is the latter. The metagame right now has so much support for Welder and no other cards are created on the same level for welder.

    While I wrote all this over a few days, San Diego decklists have been posted and it has shows TONS of creativity that can be done in this metagame. While at the same time Australia regionals still tells us Mewthree is the undisputed Best deck out there right now. And I agree with that. While a metagame is always consistently changing with each set release and throughout a set's lifespan, there's definitely a set "standard" going foward with big TTGX basics. With non-GXs falling far behind,
  7. Wechselbalg *****


    ADP decks removed even the prize advantage of 1-prizer decks, so there is literally no reason to play anything other than TTGX decks. (Unless it's control.) Mallow&Lana is just the icing on the cake.
    pikachuuuu101 likes this.
  8. rewster1 Aspiring Trainer


    My biggest problems with the current state of standard could easily be fixed with just a few things that rotated just this summer, namely machoke to block cross division and other counter based spread, nest/ultra ball (which we get decent alternatives to with sword and shield) and heal block lunatone to stop mallow and lana and other healing. If I had those, in a post guzma/acerola world, I'd be very happy.
  9. Otaku The wise fool?


    This seems like an oversimplification. Am I missing something? Even if all current single-Prize decks can't cut it, this is Pokémon. Odds are probably even (at worst) that some powerful deck built around mostly or exclusively single-Prize Pokémon will eventually show up and either outpace ADP at KO's (and taking Prizes) even after factoring in Altered Creation-GX, or even a Pokémon-GX and/or Pokémon-V focused deck.

    Even if ADP was really the end of any deck that lost its Prize advantage from Altered Creation-GX, wouldn't we just end up in a weird cycle where ADP rose to dominance, then lost out to mono-TAG TEAM decks (which usually don't care about Altered Creation-GX), and then as ADP decks dropped off, we'd get back to what we had before they were dominant?
  10. SableyeGuy Creating the future big brian BDIF...


    Well they can try to just KO two dedennes, or KO a tag team and a jirachi.
  11. rewster1 Aspiring Trainer


    We should probably keep in mind that some things are about to be addressed with SWSH. Evolution incense is everything timer ball should have been, the new 3 prizers coming out will be evolutions themselves, metal patch will provide acceleration to something other than fire, providing at least a little variety in accelerating options.

    On the other hand metal patch means turn 1 altered creation, vmaxes have even more HP with immunity to great catcher but still compatible with M&L, and quick ball makes big basics and their friends jirachi and dedenne all grabbable with the same item... so maybe things will get worse before they get better?
  12. Otaku The wise fool?


    And? I didn't say they couldn't.

    (No, really; am I completely misunderstanding your point? >_<)

    Is the translation I saw for Metal Saucer bad? It is supposed to work like Aqua Patch and Dark Patch, attaching to your Benched Pokémon of a matching Type. Meaning Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX needs you to Metal Saucer to a Benched [M] Type, then use a card like Energy Switch or Tag Switch to move the [M] Energy to ADP itself for a T2 Altered Creation-GX.
  13. rewster1 Aspiring Trainer


    Oh, yeah, I forgot aqua patch worked that way.:oops: so yeah, it will be tough, but will probably happen sometimes.
    Otaku likes this.
  14. Otaku The wise fool?


    At least you didn't write an entire article about how [insert card] was broken or garbage only to realize you'd misread the English scan of the card.


    Yeah, been there, done that. ^^'
  15. SableyeGuy Creating the future big brian BDIF...


    You are misunderstanding it. I was responding to the second half of your message. You said something along the lines of“mono tag teams decks that don’t care about altered creation can rise up and adp would die” but there is only one “mono tag team” deck, the rest have stuff adp can take advantage of and KO.
    Otaku likes this.
  16. Otaku The wise fool?


    Thank you for clarifying. There is still some misunderstanding; my larger point was that I didn't believe it was as simple as @Wechselbalg had said, at least if I was understanding him. Basically, if ADP was the only reason for these changes, then the metagame would shift a certain way in response. But if that happened, then ADP would lose its big advantage, and fall out of favor... at which point those previous changes to the metagame would begin to revert, ADP would rise again, etc.

    And of course, all of this was with respect to earlier points in the conversation, about why TAG TEAM Pokémon are or are not inherently broken. Which probably comes across as a nitpick (or worse), but I've been playing on and off since 1999. There are a lot of mechanics that people said were inherently broken, and would be vocal about how the game needs to move away from them to get better... but it wasn't the mechanic that was the problem, but the approach to card design by the powers-that-be. Not that we can necessarily do anything about it either way, but I do like to understand what is causing the most problems and why.
  17. Yaginku Aspiring Trainer


    That won't happen if ADP is both a good deck on its own and has a toxic side-effect that impacts the metagame.
    For the longest time, Pokemon has given non-EX/GX decks various tools to fight their overpowered brethren. Tools like Choice Band, Choice Helmet etc kept the balance in check, allowing regular Pokemon to sneak under defenses. I did not like the meta during pure GX days, but at least it had a variety of GX and non-GX attackers, which formed two archetypes your deck had to be prepared for (and possibly employ).
    Now, the trainers are in favor of GXes, which is totally backwards. Non-GX lost all of their balls, while GXes have Cherish Ball, Tag Call and Electromagnetic Radar. ADP's GX attack is worse for regular GX and non-GX decks than for Tag Teams. The only upside of a non-GX is that it can't be pulled by a Great Catcher.

    I can only assume that they wanted to create an absolute dumpster fire of a format leading up to Sword and Shield, to leave themselves a lot of design space for V-Pokemon.
  18. Otaku The wise fool?


    Which was also part of my point; the situation was being presented in an oversimplified manner. I mean, ADP also has a pretty bad [Y] Weakness. I get that Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX are seeing success in part because they can smack decks like ADP so hard... but I didn't think that was their only claim to fame. ;)

    Yeah, here we agree. Maybe not exactly, but based on how most recent "eras" in the TCG have ended, this seems to be their standard operation model. They'd frame it a bit more positively, as "Well, we're near the end so we can experiment more." I mean, Welder makes a lot more sense if they already knew that, once Sword & Shield rolled around, there would be no T1 Supporter or attack, instead of just no attack.

    While it is quite unlikely, it could even be a bit of brilliant foresight to justify the pending change to the general player base. I'd be a lot more annoyed at this rule change if stuff like Welder hadn't convinced me it was necessary. At least, necessary given the failure of the designers to just add "This Supporter cannot be used Player 1's first turn." or "If this is your first turn..." with an alternate effect as compared to what the card does the rest of the game.
  19. Wolfe_XD Aspiring Trainer


    If people want a viable non-GX option pidgey [baby] blowns is right there, sure it's a little vunerable to stamp but it uptrades on ADP, beats mewmew like 70 30, autowins gardeon (assuming you get pidgeons up) and uses busted welder engine. Only problem in swsh meta is no T1 elm, but quick ball seems decent enough for early game and finds 80% of your pokemon anyway.

    Also ban Florges before welder, welder is the reason ADP isn't pretty much the only attacking deck in format right now.
  20. jamashawalker Ikouze!


    That's been a thorn in my side ever since the rotation. The amount of gatekeeping TTGXs create on non-GXs, put non-GXs in a huge scramble. Blowns beats TTGXs while Malamar beats every non-GX deck(with techs a lot of TTGXs as well) After that we have control variants. I'm not sure if this is a "Healthy"(In pokemon TCG standards) metagame or not, with the limited amount of non-gxs we can play.

    Banning Florges...I can get behind that. That +Oranguru. But until Florges+Oranguru absolutely turn the metagame into a single player game, it ain't happening.

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