6th August 2016, 9:21 PM
Looking to get back into the game - couple of (heady) questions
Hello all! I used to be an avid fan of the card game and of this forum. However, about 6 months ago I lost interest when rumors began running around that BCR was rotating out. It would have severly injured by beloved Keldeo-Blastoise deck, and I was getting tired of stuff rotating every time I finally assembled a deck.
However, after having discovered TCG One, I'd like to once again jump into the fray. But I'm not sure where to begin. So my primary questions are:
1) How are stage 2s faring? I know they were somewhat bad when I stopped playing due to the prevalence of quick EX-based decks. Are they any better?
2) How has the speed of the game changed overall? Has it become significantly faster? Or has it eased up a bit on the decks that take a couple turns to get going?
3) How do rogue decks fit into the meta? Are they viable at all, or are the established archetypes the only real usable decks? I always loved the deckbuilding part the best, so I'd love to hear that it's possible to create your own deck with some degree of success.
4) Piggybacking onto #3, if rogues are viable - what are some mechanics that are possible to build a deck around, and what should I keep my distance from? That might be a bit of a silly or unanswerable question, but I may as well ask.
5) Finally, what are some popular archetypes nowadays?
I apologize in advance for the broadness and potential noobiness of these questions. I really appreciate any and all help on this front. Also, sorry if this is in the wrong place - I tried to post it where it would best fit, but I may have missed a sub-forum or something.
8th August 2016, 4:10 AM
I think I can help somewhat on this front. Note, that next month a new rotation is coming up in official standard tournaments that limits TCG expansions from Primal Clash to the latest sets - and with that, no one knows how exactly the meta will work after this rotation starts. But I'll answer the best I can.
1. Stage twos have become quite powerful, particularly with the introduction of "BREAK" cards, much like Level X cards in Diamond/Pearl series, that 'evolve' pokemon, yet retain the attacks and abilities of their Pre-evolutions. Greninja Break and Trevenant Break are super powerful stage 2 (and Stage 3!) strategies. Outside of Breaks, Fighting Type Garchomp, Vileplume, Serperior and Gallade are pretty good stage 2's as well, so watch out for them.
2. The speed is still quite fast, with Shaymin-EX making it very easy to draw loads of cards, and Max Elixir making it much easier to accelerate energy for attacks. But if you know what you're doing, you can slow the game down by locking down Items and Abilities from being played.
3. Before Rotation hits, there aren't many hyper-competitive "Rogue Decks" to speak of. The one deck that will put a huge show in the World Championships this month is the all notorious Night March strategy - and nearly every other deck out there is all about countering that particular strategy, and are very well known... But once rotation hits, Night March will no longer be in the format, and in this regard, Rogue Decks will be crafted up once again - and I think they'll fare better this time around.
4. In terms of Rogue mechanics, I will speak in terms of Post-Rotation, since as of now Rogues are more for fun than hyper-competeitive. In the future, I see Milling (Discarding all the cards out of your opponent's deck to win), Vileplume (The only major item locker after rotation), Multitype Pokemon, Damage Reduction, and hard counters against threats as really good mechanics to build a rogue deck from. The trouble spots will be Heavy Ability-Reliant strategies (More on that later) and Hand Size Variable attacks (N lives again in this format).
5. The big players for the World Championships this year look to be Night March, Trevenant Break, a clever Seismitoad-EX/Manaphy-EX "Water Toolbox", the latest Darkrai-EX with Giratina-EX, Vespiquen/Vileplume, and Yveltal/Zoroark. The Pokemon website does contain decklists used by the pros if you wish to check them out.
After rotation, though, only the Dark decks stay mostly intact, while the others loose crucial cards. Some speculate that Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, Mega Rayquaza, and Mega Sceptile will make a comeback, and that Ability Lock will really hard to stop.
Another thing: While the Standard Rotation loses cards, the Expanded Rotation will still be the same old Black & While-onwards as last year, and is still playable in the official PTCGO app. Now that place has a completely different Metagame that I don't know much about, other than that it's full of really horrific fast paced and toxic strategies... Of which make me appreciate rotations a lot more.
I hope this helps...