Discussion What is a "healthy meta"?

Discussion in 'PTCG Competitive Play' started by Yaginku, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    I think going into your third point, trainers back it the day weren't as powerful as they are today so the good draw and search abilities balanced out and Max Potion is leaving? I may buy a few SR Max Potions when they rotate.

  2. Otaku The wise fool?


    I don't think every Type (or Stage or other variations) need the exact same support if they are balanced in their differences. However, I would recommend the powers-that-be keep it as similar as they can until we knew they had the hang of it... and I don't think they've ever had the hang of it. ;) I'm going to borrow some terms from another game I like to explore this a little more as well:

    • Generic "support" cards, be they draw, search, disruption, etc. are fine so long as they are properly balanced. Namely, their big selling point ought to be that they are generic (working in most if not all decks), and thus they shouldn't be as good as the equivalent Type (or other theme) support.
    • Universal search is very, very potent. Of course, this is where it seems like I am nitpicking and... maybe I am. I classify something that gets anything as "universal".
    If you think these terms aren't helpful, go ahead and ignore them. The main thing was getting the idea of balancing cards that work with a specific Type/Theme/Etc. balanced against those that work with anything. It is like Energy requirements; [C] Energy requirements are their own reward, given they can be filled by any Type of Energy. If you make them worth just as much as [X] Energy requirements - where "X" is any non-Colorless Type - you'll create balance issues.

    In all cases, the rest of the cardpool matters. Electromagnetic Radar and Net Ball seem balanced right now, but we're just one Pokémon away from either becoming too good.

    Depends on how far back we go. Some of the most powerful Trainers of all time are from Base Set: Bill (before being reprinted as a Supporter), Computer Search (before being reprinted as an Ace Spec), Energy Removal, Item Finder, Gust of Wind, Professor Oak, Scoop Up, and Super Energy Removal. There are also some Trainers that proved far stronger after being reprinted, like VS Seeker.
  3. Yaginku Aspiring Trainer


    I haven't got around to checking this thread after the first two replies and I didn't realize I received so many answers. Thank you!

    Anyway, it seems like a lot of people are focusing on how wide or narrow the metagame can be, how many decks and colors are viable, etc. While I agree that having a "best deck" is definitely bad, I can also imagine a situation where there are 20 viable decks in a meta, but every single one is either stall, or completely non-interactive. If all decks are mono-type and the format lacks tech options, you could end up with many match-ups that are decided before the first card is even drawn. This can happen regardless of whether there are many decks or just a few and I don't see that mentioned here a lot.

    From what I've played, Pokemon is very prone to auto-piloting, something that is usually regarded as a big downside in other TCGs. When you have two decks that care more about building up their plan than interacting with each other, you end up with games where your deck and draws have a heavier impact than your or your opponent's decisions.

    However, I do see a lot of current competitive decks (winning, too) that try to cover as many bases as possible. Instead of a single line of play, they have many and they can adjust based on their opponent. When two of these decks meet, it's an absolute joy to play and watch. While S&M+ Standard had decks like that, the ladder was usually just streamlined versions of popular decks. I am wondering, if there has ever been a format where more complex decks weren't just an option, but a popular norm.
  4. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    I agree with this a lot. It does feel like the game is just waiting for your opponents to finish their ten minute turns before you can play and hope you didn't get a bad hand. This got so bad for me to the point to where I stopped playing the game because matchups were so inconsistent, even with techs. You could ave techs and counters and never keep them alive because they got gusted and killed. It never felt like there was interaction and you had to hope your tech or counters survive your opponents turn. There was almost do downside to playing Lysandre/Guzma or Field Blower to remove something and I felt this interaction broke the game. You're always much better playing four Choice Band because you instantly get the damage over playing a defensive option since they almost never worked do to the much better brain-dead cards.

    My Pidgeot-EX deck was good and I got some results with it but the biggest problem with it were how, no matter the deck I came up against, there was always some way to do 220+ damage to my birds. The point of the deck was to take with the megas huge 220 HP (260 with Assault Vest if their active had a Special Energy), Max Potion and damage on my Pidgeot and use Shrine of Memories to return the damage to my opponent. It wasn't unbeatable but it was a very reactive deck that was going back and forth with the opponent. It was always fun to see who broke first and I was always looking for ways to help Pidgeot do its job better. The problem with it was 170-260 HP wasn't enough. We now have a game where 260 effective HP doesn't work for a tank deck. GX Attacks also didn't help either since players now had a way to nuke my 220 HP M Pidgeot-EX, a way to remove my Shrine of Memories and ways to remove my Celebi and keeping things in my had didn't help any since N got rid of them. Every deck could do everything. Every deck could tank, nuke, disrupt and any other play style you can think of. It feels like when I play and win a game, it because my opponent wasn't able to play the game and if you didn't absolutely curb stomp your opponent, it wasn't a fun game. The game has a lot of problems to fix.
  5. Wolfe_XD Aspiring Trainer


    I think the current meta (post rot) is pretty healthy, there's a lot of competitive decks about and the stuff thats less competetive can hold its own. This is probably the best the TCG has been for a while, at least compared to SM-UNB formatl.
    jamashawalker likes this.
  6. Wechselbalg *****


    We don't even know what the meta will look like, until the end of Worlds it's all just speculation. Just because it's harder to gust know doesn't mean that all of the game's problems will magically be solved.
  7. Otaku The wise fool?


    Indeed; plus, the things we're happy about now can easily be the problems of a future Format, at least if they're not carefully qualified. "Gusting" effects can be too good, but not enough of them (or alternatives) means the Bench becomes too safe. Suddenly, decks are built around crazy Bench-sitters and once those bad boys hit the field, it is game over unless you've got your own and can create/maintain the Prize lead.

    We saw this to various degrees in the early era of the game. We've had periods when Basics were too strong, so they start to get nerfed while Evolutions get buffed... and while it may have only happened once, we had a long stretch where most non-Evolving Basics seemed to be "dead ends". There was even a period - and it overlaps with the former - where most Trainers seemed blatantly nerfed.

    In other words, overcorrection happens.
  8. jamashawalker Ikouze!


    I'm definitely on the fence about this next Metagame being healthy. Going into this format I was extremely worried(wanting to even take a break) because search options are severely limited to certain archetypes, mostly non-gx pokemon. But after a ton of testing and playing more online, I found you can be very creative in this metagame and there are still a plethora of archetypes that can hold their own against Top Tier decks. ATM the metagame feels oddly "balanced" between top 5 decks. Mally builds, Pikarom, Reshizard, Blacephelon, and possibly 1 more that can appear at worlds. All of them have a pretty good matchup against each other and can determine the better player.

    In terms of it being "healthy." This is coming from a personal bias, I'm annoyed that there are sooo many good competitive pokemon that had potential when they were introduced in Unified Minds but is crippled by lack of search options. (Seriously give us a Luxury ball that searches non-gx pokemon) While under that same breath I can say I appreciate the slower pace of the metagame and the lack of options top tier decks had before hand. Turn 1 donks aren't as prevalent anymore, no Let Loose means that basic decks can't dig through their deck as easily while bricking their opponent, and lack of gusting means players have to be smarter about their plays. The metagame is really young but so far I'm digging it
  9. Fafnirchaos Aspiring Trainer


    It's a pretty shallow game if you look at it from it's current point of view. Like almost every other new game coming out... it's all about the money, and not the entertainment value. I go back every once in a while to see if there are any players trying out non meta decks. However like the matches you play, it's only fun for a short period of time.
    Wechselbalg likes this.
  10. Lanstar The Funny Fairy Bug


    To me, a healthy meta is one that has room to constantly evolve - where Rogue Decks can be built successfully, and various playstyles, types, and stage lines are accommodated. Yes, there could be only 5 BDIF's - But each one with an entirely different playstyle than just GX's everywhere.

    Since the intro of tag teams, I feel this doesn't describe the standard meta right now, nor after rotation. Water, Fighting, and Metal are 'dead' types so far, and Non-GX decks beyond Malamar just aren't keeping up with the monstrous 240+ HP big basics. Stage 2 decks are in an even worse state, with very low access to search cards to set up, compared to the almighty cherish ball GX decks get to use. The meta is way too focused on either Tag Teams, or strategies designed solely to recklessly 1-hit or cheese tag teams.

    Really, though: I want a meta where stage 2 attackers can flourish somehow, and where Non-GX decks can go head to head with GX's. Of all the card's I'd like to see reprinted, Level Ball is the biggest one, if just to improve the consistency of those strategies.
    sweetbrieR20 likes this.

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