The Trashalanche Pokemon Podcast

Ep 21 - What makes a player good at Pokemon, Azul's stream, Players Cup 3, Team Challenge, Seaking, Mad Party

December 22, 2020 Brent Halliburton Season 1 Episode 21
The Trashalanche Pokemon Podcast
Ep 21 - What makes a player good at Pokemon, Azul's stream, Players Cup 3, Team Challenge, Seaking, Mad Party
Chapters
The Trashalanche Pokemon Podcast
Ep 21 - What makes a player good at Pokemon, Azul's stream, Players Cup 3, Team Challenge, Seaking, Mad Party
Dec 22, 2020 Season 1 Episode 21
Brent Halliburton
Transcript
Brent:

Mike, I, I, I put it in the show notes, but it's probably not suitable for the pod, but I did think that it's crazy that is it Natalie Natalia?

Mike:

Oh yeah. The woman from Brazil.

Brent:

Yeah. Yeah, it gets, it gets her MD, but we can't get Kelly or Connie to play. I mean, apparently like real doctors are professional players. Why is it not a socially acceptable thing?

Mike:

I think it's socially acceptable. They're just not interested.

Brent:

They just don't want to give us the satisfaction. I

Mike:

Yeah. That's probably it.

Brent:

a real thing, right? Oh, well, All right. And the other stuff that I didn't have like a, I feel like I didn't have some extreme set

Brit:

We have, now we can talk about mad party cause it's been Danny's deck of the week,

Brent:

Yeah. I felt like I did. I definitely thought we should talk about med party and seeking.

Brit:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But beyond that, now it was fairly slow of a week.

Brent:

Yep. All right. All right. Let's, let's welcome to the trash lanch and it's me Brett Halliburton here as always with Mike crochet and Rick privates attendance continues to be 100%, although we are taking off next week. So you guys really got to milk all the love and joy out of this pod because the joy of this pot has to last you two weeks. Speaking of joy, no new five star reviews. This week, I think that means we've gone two weeks without people leaving a review people you gotta, we can't break records for number of reviews. If people don't leave reviews, you got

Brit:

We can take records for the longest time without a review. You know,

Mike:

it looks like I'm just gonna, I'm going to just have to win a tournament again, and then we'll get some more reviews.

Brent:

that. That's that's exactly. We have a new strategy guys. We have a new strategy. And we should definitely talk about that because I feel like once again peek around was everywhere this week, winning stuff. And yet you were not a peak around many people at the tournaments where you did well. So I'm eager to hear how you guys did, but let's, let's talk about a couple of the, like, I felt like we had really grindy pods last couple of pods in terms of all of the stuff going on and all the winning that Mike was doing and all this stuff. And, and I feel like the philosophical questions have stacked up. So I thought we could dig into those little guys. Is that fair?

Mike:

Sounds good.

Brent:

Yeah. All right. So one of the questions that, that Britt had put down that we should ponder and I agree it is a good one is what makes someone good at a Pokemon TCG? I think that's a really interesting question because like I feel like you see people from all walks of life who are incredibly good at Pokemon. So, like you would think that, that like, you know, maybe there would be some sort of path there or something like that. Like, you know what I mean? I think when I, when I started playing Pokemon and I met Sam Chan, I was like, I'm not surprised that you're good at Pokemon.

Brit:

Yeah, I think, I think same channel is really a really good example to start with, especially because the example you've used a timer or on the podcast about. How he'll play in a casual game and be sort of announcing his, plays, his routes, his percentages and stuff, and updating it as the turn goes on. And then, you know, obviously that would be very, very useful, but naturally, like not everyone can do that and certainly not every top player is doing that. And so I think that's sort of like a question you know, at what point. Like at what point do you have to do? You have to be really, really good at the math to be good at the game, because I, at a certain point, it doesn't seem like you really have to know it all that. Well, certainly not as precisely as someone like Sam Chen would know it because I think you and you in general, like, you know, like certainly like players win regionals with different sorts of decks. And I think depending on the decks and the formats Those sorts of will gravitate towards like being math heavier or not. But I don't know, like, cause sometimes you just have kind of like a general feel like, you know, a play is going to be favorable or not, but you know, you don't have it down to a precise percentage or something and sort of within the main thing, I'm wondering like, Was like, where's the line at what point are you being lazy and like does not learning the math and at what point is it just sort of excessive and maybe make, like, making your turns take too long or something like that? I think that's sort of my, my first question. Like, I, what level, what level of the math do you have to know to be good or to be great, even, you know, above average.

Mike:

Well, one of the things that has always, since I was a young, young kid, when I first started playing, you know, obviously I've always been a math guy. I'm a math teacher now. But I've always been surprised that people that are very good at the game consider themselves not very good at math academically. And like even I'm not even talking about higher level math, but there's lots of very good players that have said, like I failed algebra one, I failed algebra two. And that has always just seemed very insane to me because so much of the. Critical thinking and problem solving processes that go into Pokemon or almost directly, you know, that that's what math is at its essence. And so maybe it's just that they didn't make those connections. Maybe it, they Didn't have very good teachers that helped them make those connections from this, you know, from the symbolic representation that is taught in schools to the actual conceptual stuff that they're thinking about. I don't know, but that, that has always blown my mind. I don't think you need like a super high level of math, but kind of the converse of what you're saying, Britt is just always very much surprised me.

Brent:

I, you know, I've never really asked Azule if he thinks of himself as like a math guy.

Mike:

I would bet that he doesn't. That would be my bet.

Brit:

It's an interesting point, but I do, especially for someone like us who has been playing a really long. Time and has had lots of success for, Oh, like a majority of the time that he's been playing. Like, I think you don't, it's not even about knowing the numbers. I would feel like you just like. You know what it feels like, like intuitively I don't know if that makes any sense, but the plays in your head, sort of you just like, I've been in this scenario before, and I recall them that, you know, that my odds were good then. And so, you know, you just kind of like, I don't know, the brain, the way the brain works is just so much of it is just kind of pattern matching and pattern recognition and things like that. And I would think like, that can sort of like, maybe I don't want to say replicate, but sort of like replaced the kind of like really. You know, Sam Chan level of mathematics, there's something you just having this sort of in game experience? I don't know. I don't know. That might be just a weird suggestion, but I kind of think that's how I would maybe think about it. I don't know, in the same way that like you can kind of bounce around between card games, like Pokemon is not all that much like magic or anything like that, but kind of just there, there are general sorts of rules and feelings to playing card games at sort of, we'll just always apply and. Just thinking about your hands conservatively and things like that. And, you know, it's just sort of like a scale maybe in a way that just crunching the numbers is, I mean, not that that's not sort of a skill in certain ways, too, but in a way that it's kind of you know, down to a science quote unquote, whereas playing a card game is always has so many different routes or what have you.

Brent:

so, I mean, I think there's actually, I mean, if you asked me, I would say. Brit does not think of himself as a math person, but he doesn't think of Pokemon as much as a math game. He thinks of Pokemon is a logic game and he thinks of himself as a logic person. Is that, would that be accurate or inaccurate? Would that be.

Brit:

No, I mean, I, I loved, I would love, I love that people consider me a logic and or math person, but that's always sort of just a thin sort of persona. No, no, I, I like, I like it. I just, don't never, it was really my, like, I'm better at. At writing and being critical about people's grammar better than I am at math. But no, I don't know. I just sort of think that, I don't know, there, there are different, there's just, there's so many different ways to think about it in the same way that like Mikey, someone, someone could be, could consider themselves like bad at math, but be such a good player that too just like seems wrong. I think they are good at math. They just didn't sort of figure, figure it out in the. The rigidness of public education curriculum, or what have you like it's, you know, a skill they have deep down, they just didn't sort of find the right way to access it. That would be, that'd be my sort of intuitive guess about someone who's like good at logic, critical thinking games, exercises, but then sort of struggled at just the finer points of, you know, even. Plotting a line you know, on the X, Y axis and things like that. Like, I was really kind of bad at geometry, but like a lot of that was my own fault because I was just so illegible, I would like sort of, sort of botch my graphs and things like that. Just cause I was messy and didn't check my own work. So stuff like that could always bog you down too.

Mike:

Yeah. So I pretty much agree with that, but you've also made me think about something else. I watched the new smash brothers, super smash brothers documentary over the last week and I watched the original one and I feel like they really emphasize, especially in this one, kind of the differences. In the five gods approach to the game and their play styles, like how MuTu King is, you know, studies, every frame and every sequence and is like very scientific and very methodical. And then on the very other side is mango. Who's just kind of a more intuitive, free flowing type of flier. And then. You know, everyone else has kind of somewhere on that spectrum. And so I feel like we're kind of starting to kind of talk about that a little bit in the context of Pokemon as well. Right? Where you, someone like a Ross or a Sam is very methodical. Very their strong suit is kind of the, you know, the detail oriented mathematical component of the game. Where he's, you know, someone else may be like Danny or Missoula's is a little bit more on the fly, free flowing. And, you know, everyone is some combination of those two approaches, but I don't know. That's kind of an interesting way to think about it.

Brit:

is there a, do you think there's like a right way to do it? Do you think like the, the. Perfect player, the player that would have, you know, say more credentials than Jason Kaczynski or something like that, do you think they would have like, you know, this is what I did and that's why it worked so precisely, like, you know, something closer to like a scientific method or something that just like, if you only did it exactly how I did it, you would win as well. You know, like what's the. Is there one, could it be, could it be the case that like, people need to be more mathematical about it or the mathematical people need to be a little more EMT? Is the language we've been using? Like free-flowing like, I'm not sure it doesn't, it doesn't seem like there should be. I mean, I guess maybe it's because that, because of the variance, because of how the variance, just the game itself has inherent randomness, there's never going to be, you know, a hundred a way that always lets you win. Obviously.

Brent:

Right. You can always make the right plays and still lose. You can get slaughter, right.

Brit:

Probably not just as I've been talking to it, talking about it to myself out loud, but it'd be curious. I don't know. Like I wish I was better at the math to be sure. And I think some of that too is not just the math where we talk about in game, but like, like we've mentioned the data and analytics that heart certain has. That's, that's a, that's what, I'm more serious about learning more in terms of Pokemon. I want, I want like, Percentage is for like, like how, how often do you win the game when you play Marni going second, you know, on your first turn and things like that, or, you know, pair that, pair that to specific match-ups, let's say pair that just like, how often do you win when you go second and play Miami against ADP or something like those sorts of statistics that interests me a little more.

Brent:

You know, I think, I think the thing that's interesting is there, I mean, eh you know, I, I'm a mathy guy, so I like to be like, just like reductive about math, but I also recognize that being great at Pokemon has this element of. Like thoughtful creativity to it. That's really, really important. And like, I think when once you're, once you're playing a deck, like when you're in tournament, yeah. There's almost certainly an element of like, if you're just some like magic math, logic, God, and you just sequence every turn properly, you get whatever the optimal outcome you can get for that tournament is. But, but there's the, I mean, the moment of deck selection is this like creativity thing. Where you're like you know, if he does X, what kind of cards do I need to counter? Y like, what's the metal, like, how are people feeling? And, and that's a different kind of thing. I think it certainly is right.

Mike:

Yeah, for sure. And on top of that, I think even if you're playing a long tournament, even with the deck that you're very comfortable with, you're going to end up in situations that you hadn't thought about previously. Because of whether it's because. Your opponent played it in a very different manner than you ever thought of before, or they have played a deck that you never considered before because of that whole process. And so there's, there's always these times in tournament's where you got to think on your feet and that some, you can't always break it down completely mathematically, logically, even in game. You got to think about like lines of play a little bit more. It's kind of like a combination of being creative and logical at the same time at that point.

Brent:

Even like, you know, figuring out like, what deck should I play? Like. Yeah, I think we're gonna talk about it later, but like this whole, you know, Oh, let's all play a med party. Like Danny somehow figured out how to beat the meadow with this like 60 card lists of mad party. Like why pick med party? Why test med party? Like, how do you think through med parties? Match-ups like, yeah. I mean, maybe it's just play thousands of games, but I had no idea. My party would be with me in this week. Like, how, what is it about Danny that allows him to do that? Do we know.

Mike:

component of it is you think a lot about the game that is certainly one aspect of it. And thinking about how. So you got to think a lot about the game and you got to think a lot about how other people think about the game too. Especially in this this online format where the met is somewhat circular and changes and whatnot. So I mean, that's just one component, but it's certainly an important one.

Brent:

Right, right, right. I, I, I suspect that the reason why Sam doesn't win more tournaments is Sam doesn't care that much.

Mike:

Yes, that's true.

Brent:

Like he got our roles in a couple of days before the tournament and he's like, okay, somebody give me a deck.

Mike:

A couple of days. That's really, if you could to give them a couple of days, usually the morning.

Brent:

I was trying to be generous. I didn't want to, I didn't want to make it feel too bad. Yeah. Yeah. Like Danny's been probably one of the more like I mean, involved, involved with like air quotes, like top tier players in kind of the online community. Right. I mean, he plays a lot of tournaments, man. It just moves the needle.

Mike:

It was funny. Just thinking about it a couple of weeks ago. I remember he tweeted. He's like, I'm going to take a break for the game. And then like, since then he's played almost every single tournament available. Made fun of him about it at one time.

Brent:

Yeah, I actually, it's interesting. I would say, I mean, I know some people have said like people who haven't had the chance to like necessarily travel a lot, have had more opportunity in this online, but you're probably in that category too. Right. Mike, like I recognize there were a lot of regionals that you couldn't go through. Cause you're like, I can't take that Friday off. Like I can't travel that to that tournament. Blah-blah-blah like, it's easy for me to take my kid out of school for a day, but like, Or for the teacher to call in sick every Friday for a

Mike:

right? Yeah. Yeah, no, it's true. I it's, for me also, it's part partially that, and I've always kind of had this I've always played online. Like it's always been my primary source of Plains since I started. Because I grew up in such a rural place. I had my brothers, but you know, the closest, anything else was like two hours away, minimum. So I'm just like, this is kind of like my comfort zone, even though PTC geo is, is what it is like. It's just, I've always played online. No. What else makes someone good at poker mind? Like if I was actually listening to I don't know if you guys have heard of Angela Duckworth, she wrote a book called grit big psychologist in kind of the world of motivation and human behavior and whatnot. And she, I heard her talking the other day on a podcast. And she was kind of like talking about how in her mind she has mapped Newtonian physics onto success and how to be a successful person. And it essentially, she says like success equals talent times, amount of time that you apply that talent, which in another, it's kind of a fancy way of saying effort, right? So talent times effort and. So the more like you could be naturally good at the game, but if you're not doing anything with it, it doesn't matter. And you know, you're putting a lot of effort in your skill does matter, but it's also a weird thing though, because the more time you put in your skill also grows up. Right. So I, I think there's just always going to be that some, some type of equation like that, where it's, you know, You gotta be good. You gotta be at a certain level, but you also have to try. You have to put time in, you have to give effort. You have to give purposeful effort and it is, it is cool playing a game like this. That is not so, so, so big compared to something like chess or I don't know, even poker or basketball or football. There's not as many people playing. So like you can realistically be a, you know, a top 200 player in the world. That's not a really unrealistic goal for anybody out there, which is one of the really cool things I think about this. And it's really nice to be able to tell yourself, like I'm one of the top hundred players in the world. And so that's something that I appreciate about games. Like this is that they are challenging and interesting, but you can set. Cool and attainable goals for yourself.

Brent:

No another person I think about when I think about this stuff is like Israel, like. You know, I mean, no disrespect, but I've read a 600 articles. Like Israel is not the world's greatest. Right. So, so I look and I say like, like, I don't know how, I don't know how strong or not strong he is like academically, but, but in that light, like when I read his writing, I say, Oh, like Wherever, like, like the Dylan Brian writing, where it's just like so analytical and so precise and every word is like, did you teach it? Did, did you? It was real. And yet, you know, he came up with Butterfree and like, ha I had this like incredible run with this crazy rogue deck. And that's probably a good example of that like creative leap where I don't, it's harder for me to define what it is that makes Israel so incredibly successful at the game. Where he just like, he just wins all the time, but, but it you know, I guess I assume if I asked him, he would say, I, my game is nothing like Sam and, and, and like my approach to success is like a totally different thing than like Sam's thing. And yet obviously, like it, there's a guy who's won zillions of regionals and had as much success as anybody in the game. I, I I wonder how he would describe what he does that makes him so good at the game. Weird question.

Mike:

Maybe this is the, a launching point of Fritz new series where he interviews players and figures out what makes you good at the game?

Brit:

I mean, that's what I'm interested in. I want to hear that, you know, all these people, because we really haven't even mentioned like toward yet. I don't know, toward, towards seems like he's probably somewhere in the middle, I think, but I don't, I don't see it. Cause I know there is something to the effect when he was. The year he won, the several internationals was I think he played, you know, thousands of games or something like that. I don't remember the quote, but I don't ever see him always posting like that. Like he seems to come up with really interesting things, but I'm not quite sure where his decision-making is coming from compared to like other players. But but Israel is a really good example too. Or like preying on Ross. Like all these players everyone's different. Even like Pooka compared to Jason and fall off and people like that full up always kind of made different choices compared to lots of players. He was always, I think, sort of priding consistency more than anyone, at least in older lists.

Brent:

And what would, how would you characterize prim style, Mike?

Mike:

Graham's another one. That's like always been a bit of a, an anomaly to me. Like, I mean, I think he did okay. In school and he went to college, but since, since we've become adults, he's kind of like bounced around on some different stuff outside of Pokemon. And he's very, I mean, he he's played like a bunch of games and just like very good at all of them. So like, it's not, it's not like a one trick, pony and Pokemon. Right. He's like very, very good at a lot of games. His, I mean, his style is much more on like the intuitive side of things. You know, we're talking about those two camps I haven't like had a deep discussion with pram about Pokemon in a long time. So I don't, I don't know. I don't really know how to explain it before beyond that, but he certainly, yeah. Yeah. I don't know.

Brent:

Yeah. So my impression Brit kinda is like, I suspect if you drill into it toward would be like pretty analytical. Like, I feel like the kind of like famous reputation he has for, you know, like extreme consistency index probably comes from this like mathematically Venus. Like, like the way he thinks about it. And, and I think you're right. I think he just grinded a lot of games. I remember there was a really funny, I don't know if it was like, Hey, Fanta on Facebook or on Twitter or something where, where somebody was like, why did toward put blah, blah, blah, you know, a fourth, the card in his list or something like that. And, and he actually like answered and he was like, and the guy was like, I'm going to replace it with blah-blah-blah and. He answered it. He was like, well, I'm sure toward didn't test that in like 200 games to determine that that was the right card, as opposed to you're just like, knee-jerk, I don't like it in this list, but it just it just drove home, like, you know it was playing a lot of games in preparation for those inner Continentals, whatever.

Mike:

Well, like, while we're talking about toward to Jason is also like another example of someone that. Has always been a bit of a mystery to me because I feel like he is, he is almost certainly on the more analytical side and mathematical side, because, you know, he was a professional poker player. Very, very good at that. And so you have to, you have to know the math,

Brent:

Yeah. Yeah, you can't, you can't not be extremely mathy at the point where you become a professional poker player, right.

Mike:

Right. But on the same side, I don't get the sense that he was ever. That's super strong academic students either. So it's like a very like it's. So it's, it's just so interesting to me to think about these people and I, you know, in a quote, normal life context when you know that they're very, very, very good at.

Brit:

I mean, I wonder, I wonder too, but for someone like, maybe Jason who's like, like poker is math, but poker it's, it's still kinda like not math and a lot of stricter senses. It would still maybe be this kind of like pattern matching math. Like if anything that, you know, maybe people just have an intuitive. Grasp of that and something about the game format, the gamification of it has just makes it easier. But I would wonder if maybe these are, we're almost talking about like separate masks. There's something in that, in that sense, because like, like it's like what's the card game, math, you're kind of you're. You drilling it again and again, and again, it's kind of the same problems in the same context, whereas like math generally, like can, you know, you have your algebra and your geometry and calculus and trig and so forth. And like, that's sort of just what, the way it's manifested is what's difficult about it, but maybe there's just this kind of like separate, separate sort of math going on. That's just easier, more intuitive for certain types of people. I don't know if that was maybe an unfair characterization.

Brent:

you're I mean like way for all this talk, I recognize all these players or I have like a little bit of casual statistician in them. Right? Like you just cannot get to that level without having some intuitive feel of probability, how that works. And I, you know, I mean, I think you can project that true. All the way down to like the top of juniors and seniors, like there's lots and lots of juniors that, you know, they've never even taken an algebra class, but you know, if you ask them, what are the odds of Columbus, this professor Juniper out of a deck, they're like, Oh, you know, it's about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like they got some idea of how the probabilities work, even if it's just kind of your point, like an intuitive feel. It's, it's such a real world problem. It's like, When you're teaching a baby math, like if you just try to teach them one, plus one equals two, like they have no grasp of the abstract concept of, you know, one, because it's imaginary number. But when you're like one Apple, one Apple to apples, like one plus one equals two, let's go. And, and that way I think you're probably right, like just playing card games and, and this kind of gamification of it. Makes the, like the statistics so real, it helps them kind of have a sense of how that works. This is the part where Mike explains how he used this Pokemon in all of his classes.

Mike:

I want to, I would love to like, I mean, I have used it in an abstract sense before multiple times. It's individual problems. But I did tell one of my coworkers at the last glow is that I was like, I could teach algebra one pretty much solely through not solely through Pokemon, but like you could get through like most of the content, if everybody knew how to play the game and, and like relating things back to it. Maybe pretend I was pre algebra, algebra one somewhere around there. But that would be something that I would love to do. Like if. At some point, if I ever was teaching, I don't know how I would be able to, you know, convince kids to like buy enough cards. The hard part about it, right. Is if you're going to borrow, it's really going to do it. I would need everyone to get to a certain level of playing the game. And that would be the hard part, not teaching them and whatnot, but like to really appreciate and learn at a deep level, the mathematics behind it, you gotta be a somewhat. Proficient player that'd be the hardest part,

Brent:

Why, why, why would I have to make this choice? What does making this choice even mean?

Mike:

right?

Brent:

Nice. All right. So I had a couple of stupid questions that I've been queuing up. Let me, let me ask you guys my stupid questions. So among us was like a thing and I think it's kind of faded a little bit, but, but for awhile it was definitely a thing and it seemed like there was never a like big among us Pokemon stream thing. I assume if there had been tournaments at that time among us would have been like all the rage at the tournaments or something like that. Yeah. Should, should the Pokemon, like streaming community have jumped on the among us thing more like th do you think that helped people somehow become like more content creator successful? I don't know. That's really a thing I saw. Did you guys ever play among us?

Brit:

I did once, like one afternoon I played, I played a couple of games.

Mike:

I played it pretty good, a decent amount, mostly actually with a group of students. And like we played a bunch of times together. Aye. I'm a little surprised. I do know that among us is like quite big streaming, especially with a lot of the big variety streamers, like food and this guy's toast and et cetera. But that still surprises me a little bit. It doesn't seem like a really great game to watch Beanstream but I don't know. I do think that, yeah, I think it would have been cool if, you know, you got Pablo and Azule and JW and all these people kind of like in, in, and among us game and they're all kinds of streaming from their perspective.

Brent:

Yeah. I'll and it seems like, like my impression was when you, when you're talking about those writers' terms, like, I, I think the variety streamers were doing it because like, if they got other variety streamers on it, like rising tide lifts, all ships in some way, like you can somehow kind of like engage the community more in some way.

Mike:

Yeah, that's true. And then the coolest part of that whole thing was then they started getting, like, not gaming people. Like not gaming celebrity tech people to play now, but that, that, that was pretty sweet.

Brent:

So who is there somebody you have in mind when you say that?

Mike:

Well, like AOC was on there, like the whole government thing. And then logic has played with some of those people I saw, there was only like a week or two ago. There was like a whole group of, I don't remember exactly who, but it was, it was like poor. It was like four big streamers and then six, six celebrities.

Brent:

People can disagree or agree with AOC politics, but I've never seen a like Congress person. Really, really, really try to connect with like 20 somethings and like people who like, essentially just got the ability to vote yesterday. Like she has props to her for like, like, I mean, that's that's the kind of viral marketing that people pay millions of dollars for. Right. It's a, it's astounding to see. So, so on a related note, I had, I had written down our PTC geo Twitch streams, really boring. Like I was thinking the other day, like I went to watch a Azul stream for reasons that I can't fully explain frankly. And like, it was interesting. Cause you know, he has like, like 300 people watching the stream and he was just like playing random decks, playing like random ladder. And it was, I was like, Why are we watching this? And I think like my initial reaction was we're watching this because you know, chip and grant are in the chat. Like, like the community was there because the Zol has like, created a space for the community. And he's like, like the biggest PTC geo streamer. So they were all there. Cause like, Where are you going to go? And, and in that way, like you had a little bit of like a network effect of like, everybody goes there because that's where everybody is. But I don't know how much it was to watch him play PTC geo, because like PTC, geo, man, it's like, it's okay.

Mike:

Yeah, I agree. I usually don't keep watching Zulu stream with these just kinda goofing around with random decks. But I will say, and I've kind of watched like a bunch of people stream and, you know, I appreciate everyone's screaming and sometimes I'll watch and whatnot, but those Zul is much, much, much more energetic and lively than almost every other PTC, geo streamer. And I think he does a good job of what good streamers do in general, which is kind of make you feel like you're there with them kind of just hanging out. That's why I watched someone like my, probably the, the, the streamer that I watch the most is his name, his dog, and he streams Hearthstone. And he's just kind of like a normal guy, but he, he interacts with chat like just enough. And he makes some like little jokes every now and then, and he's got not too much energy. He's not doing like ridiculous things, but got enough energy where he's kind of like keeping up with conversation and And I think as well is very, very similar in that sense. So I think that is a part of the reason that, I mean, obviously he is very good. Right. And that's obviously a huge component of it, but I think he's I don't think people would be watching just cause he's good. He really has that streamer intangible that

Brent:

That was always fun.

Mike:

yeah. Right.

Brent:

No, I, I, yeah.

Mike:

agree with the chat room kind of stuff as well. And that kind of plays into the, what is the, what has kind of set up for himself?

Brent:

Yeah. I, I, you know, I, I, I mean, I like how he is kind of set up a thing that is like customized to the Pokemon environment and it's, he's kind of changed things over time, but I remember when he introduced the misplay counter, loved it, loved it. Like to me that I was like, I was like that, that's the essence of you know, Azula polka bot. There's not that many in this place, but we are keeping track at all times and sometimes they're just roll it in and like, we keep track of that too. Fascinating, fascinating Pokemon team competition. How's that going guys? Has there been more team challenge for you, Mike

Mike:

Well, since I won that one now I can't, I'm like not involved now until the next phase.

Brent:

too much success.

Mike:

Yep. Yep.

Brent:

How about you, Brett? Were you able to find a team challenge?

Brit:

Just there's one I'm aware of in January. I think that I will try to play in so many of these people I've seen seen on Twitter. I was like one of four personal one. So hoping, hoping to have a similar experience, but no, I've not seen anyone else advertising them. Now it's been impenetrable.

Brent:

You know, I don't exactly know how it works, but I reached out to the guy that runs the, a league at the fantastic store, which is. Is like a pretty good sized Pokemon league in Northern Virginia. And, and he told me he was doing it and gave me an invite to the discord. So I assume like at some level it's that easy if you knew the hookup, but like I couldn't tell if anybody could compete or if you like how much I, my impression is he doesn't really care who competes, but when I looked at the list of people that were competing, I didn't recognize anyone. And then I went by my, my local store dream wizards in, you know, beautiful Rockville, Maryland, and you know, Christmas is coming up and I thought I should just buy some random packs for my kids, because I literally have not bought packs in like a year. And, and I talked when I walked in, the owner of the store was there and I asked her like, how pandemic was going. And she was like, It is just absolutely brutal. And I could tell that like, thinking about organizing online Pokemon events was the last thing on her.

Mike:

sure that's probably not a unique experience.

Brent:

Yeah. You know, it's interesting cause I, I mean, I suspect that I don't know what the fantastic store is doing, but like, like dream wizards was always somebody that, where they had one of the store employees was kind of the person running league. Versus like the fantastic store had Ken young come in and like run league. Right. And like Ken young was more of a, he was a Pokemon person first and a card store person later. Right. His son, Alex Young went to worlds like two, three, four times something like that. So, so like he was always more connected to Pokemon. I suspect it's like that. Like, there's, there's probably that dichotomy between like stores that are store centric and probably like, they don't care about this cause it doesn't help the store at all. Versus like, like real legally or illegally leaders that, you know, like drew Gorecki is like, he's more of a Pokemon first. He's not really tied to a store. I assume as much as tied to Pokemon and he'll go wherever the Pokemon action is. Right. Interesting.

Mike:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we'll see how it goes, but I do think the common experiences to all, to have these events be very small, like four to four to 10 people.

Brent:

Yeah. Yeah. Players come three. It starts in January.

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

I think that's, I think that's all we know about it.

Mike:

Yeah. I mean, I think all of the information that has been shared is basically identical. That's what I heard you said. That also seemed right to me. But so it qualifying is like the third week of January ish, third week or fourth week, and then,

Brit:

the 26th of January. It's like the same. Playing like the 26th or the 26 or something like that. And then it was basically the same,

Brent:

So I, I think we should save for future pods discussion of like a strategy particularly because we probably want some more detail there. Do you think that they'll just do the same 50 keys thing or do you think there's going to be tweaks? And are there things that you would do if you were though?

Brit:

they said it's just 50 keys. The only thing they're tweaking is that. The only way you can, the only way you can land on the, the leader board is through the tournament. Key rep. There's no other, there's no way to re earn standard rep for the, for this time period, which, cause I know last time it kind of threw it off. It made it harder to tell where you were on the leaderboard because people who weren't playing the keys. Could, you know, we're floating around on there so that I'll make it, I guess just easier to tell where the cutoffs going to be. But otherwise it's just 50 keys in the exact same payout. Point-wise where top four better.

Mike:

the the, the thing that's most interesting for me to think about is when, whenever the next set comes out in regards to this, I assume it's after the qualifying period. But probably before, like, like this time it was the visit. Alta didn't come out until after like the first round of the playoffs. Right. Before like the global finals, but after the, you know, the

Brent:

Well, we had, we had that mini set with Altera drop. Right.

Mike:

Yeah, that's true. But it seems like the timing of this one will be like, you'll have your month using your keys. Then the next set will come out and then they'll do the, you know, the two 56 people playing. So that'll be that'll that will actually, I think, make it quite interesting going into that event. Cause this was like that qualifying part will be like the first. Major events probably. I mean, there'll be these online events I'm sure. But like, that'll be like the first major event with the, with the new set.

Brent:

So speaking of which, why don't we talk about online events that happened recently, guys? Mike, you Brett, you guys want to talk about what you guys have been up to from a tournament perspective.

Mike:

Briefly, I played a handful of them last week. Mostly with Barry as I said, we went into detail last week. Didn't really do too well. And any of them, I don't think. And then I played in the Sunday, open the other day with Vichy and Luke metal and I top aided there. So that was good. And then I got convinced by Matt party last night and it didn't go well,

Brent:

How about you, Brett? Any, any tournaments?

Brit:

No, I've only, I only played one and it was last night as well with mad party. And I actually knew it was, I played it half because I had stuff to do. And so I figured. And I would do poorly and be able to drop. And I did. So it was all part of the plan. But I had been, I had been convinced to test med party. I had already, I had learned that it mad party was bad, but I decided to play it anyways. And I said, Hey, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's just variants. Nope. I wasn't. It wasn't wrong. That's not very good.

Mike:

Yeah, I.

Brent:

Party. Why? Why is it bad? When, when I recognize that, like, you know, there was definitely the hype train happening in the last 48 hours. And, and it did have like some good results for something. I can't remember what

Brit:

I don't even think they were that good. It's just like top 16. I think Danny top 16 with the like the heck stairs or something last week or so. And. No, some person taught 32 with it last night. Like, but I don't think it actually did anything super spectacular, but maybe at one something. And I'm just forgetting.

Mike:

I think you're a Brit

Brit:

Yeah. Say I think, I think, I think it just got hot because Danny is a convincing guy and good enough to do well with any deck. So a lot of other people decided to try it, that sort of thing.

Brent:

Right, right. I, I feel like the hard thing is it. If Danny told me this is a good deck, like, even if it's a bad deck, I know he could beat me with it. Like whatever deck I played, but like, that doesn't mean anything. So, so why is mad party? I assume no one should play mad party this week. Yeah. You guys want to talk a little about what's wrong with mad party.

Mike:

Right. You have a little more experience than I do.

Brit:

I mean, it's just, it's like, I just, I don't think it's as powerful as those sorts of deck needs to be. Like, it's not the damage you, you don't do. It's kind of like the equivalent of damage that night March would do for the stages of the game. The stages of how many things you have in the discard is just not equivalent. And you just take too long to get going for the most part. And every, like every deck just has soft answers to you for the most part. And so naturally ADP is probably your most problematic matchup and that they just. They can just do the double Boff play. If you have a DNA and a Acrobat bat or two to them or something like that, or they can just take three prizes, three knockouts to presidency each really quickly.

Brent:

Yeah. I mean, I assume if they ultimate rate, you just lose right.

Brit:

And presumably it cause like, even, cause even then, like, even if you say, say you're the mad party player and you, you hit the ADP. And then they alter and then you hit it again like that. The three prizes is obviously going to be really awkward for you. You're never going to be able to just knock out another three Prizer if the 80, 80 people replays it. Right. So it just like, you're going to have to go down to one price anyways, and they still probably have enough time. From there you're kind of on the same clock, but you need to hit certain things and as new day, but. You're just sort of at a disadvantage for the most part, but then, then again, it turned into this, they've got Hoopa and poisons and things like that, and then can go into just double cause they're never going to be able to one shot the, the max. And then so one can take a hit and then you can stamp it and promote another one. And it's just really hard. And then sent a squirt similar position. They just, they have a big guy that they can use to have, as well as having a lot of Noni Xs with Volcani canyons. That can just kind of outrace you. But I mean, some of your match-ups are probably fine. There's probably Mehta games where you could do well with it. I don't think I actually played against Pika wrong at all, but it seems like. Maybe for, okay. Danny says it's a set. It was a good match up. And I could see why it would be better than some of these other ones. Like the, those, these three I've named so far. Because you're kind of, you're, you're in a similar position. You're just, you're racing to take out, I guess, the MuTu. Well, yeah, no, I guess not the MuTu. Cause you don't want to. Have the weakness, but you're racing to kill their peak around before they can do tackle with six energy. That seems like a closer race, but I don't know. It seems like around would probably be fine a lot of the time. And if they ever did get it, the tag bald, then I'm sure they would always.

Mike:

I haven't played as many games. It's just. Like one of the rounds that I put against in Hexter I played against the one dragon ball in the tournament. And so that was not very pretty, but yeah, I played against ADP and I had a pretty decent start, but they had turned like I went first and they turned one GX and then the game is essentially over at that point, if you can't do two 80 on turn two, which is not that realistic.

Brent:

ultimate ready the next day. And you're like, I'm just going to get, take a massive L here.

Mike:

Yeah. So yeah, you didn't even boss, boss, right? He just was able to take three knockouts. So yeah, it just seems like a deck that I think Brett, I think you put it perfectly in that it doesn't hit the numbers at the time, the game where it needed to do like it can hit the numbers. It's possible to hit those very high numbers, but not at the time where it's really relevant. So that's really. I think what it comes down to.

Brent:

Yeah. I mean when you described it Brett, you're like, here's a deck with a bed ADP matchup and a bed center score to match up. And it probably loses to a turn of this, but other than that, it might have a place in the Metta. Doesn't sound good.

Brit:

Hey, if you play a small online tournament that has comprised. Primarily of So like, I don't even know if that's a good matchup, but like surely, surely clowns, maybe. I dunno.

Mike:

Yeah, you could be blind, I think, but yeah, even Luke metal seems quite hard to me because after full metal wall and metal goggles, like minus 60 is a lot like on as Emma's enter, that's two 90. That means you need 10, 15 guys on the discard. Like the one shot it. You can get 15 guys. Like the only place 16. Right. So,

Brent:

You're going to be too shotting. Everything. The question is just like, if they convert the two shots into three shots, like how horrible does it get? Because.

Mike:

Well, even if, even if they're, even if you're trading two shots, like you're in a unfavorable situation, I think because Like at some point, they'll be able to get up with identity. So, yeah.

Brent:

You have to stream attackers like crazy. And they, you know, I mean, they're just sitting there poking you, right.

Mike:

Yeah. And I, I think ultimately it's the general problem with single prize decks is they need to replace every single attacker. And even if you're forced, even if you're forcing them to take six prizes, does that mean, do you have to set up six attackers while they only need to set up two or three attackers? Throughout the game. And so their, all of their other resources going to other things, so.

Brit:

Yeah, that was sort of like, I, I was awkward to know how aggressively, like you're trying to describe them. Cause like in theory you would think you would want to set up Like at least one, maybe two, depending on the matchup of the older guys, just so you can discard more and draw more. But then at the same time, I was just like, well, now I have four guys on my bench instead of in the discard. But like, I wouldn't even matter. Like if it had, I described the dark, discarded them all, I would have only been doing you know, one 60, which is still not like super, super duper threatening, anything like that's, that's where you need to get to even knock out the DNA. And that's still a ton of work so much about. I don't know the the loss March, well enough to speak. I don't think it was overall that good, but the, the numbers that nine March here, it was just in, in different times. So like, it just feels, it feels like these, the mad party numbers are similar to those formats. Like this probably would have been really, really good. Like way back in the second round of the Xs or something, it just like 20 times isn't enough to deal with these BMX Pokemon was three 20, three 40, but I mean, at the same time, if let's say it did, let's say this deck was really, really good or something, it would probably just be as unhealthy for other reasons. Like for the same reasons that night March was like, it was like, Whoa, why is, how has it been, will be one shot and. Semi escort or something like that, that, that wouldn't in particularly healthy either. But.

Brent:

Yeah. Like I recognize I mean, I assume having played like one game with mad party, that mean, it seems like the real differences. There's no battle compressor, man, like battle compressor and the ability to play multiple shame within a turn gave you the ability. Like it was easy with nine March to be like 201 shot, turn one, let's go. And, and you could, even, your supporter for turn could be a boss. Like you biggest effect that turn. And take out their threat. And then they were like having to build a way to respond to your night March. Because you were like, if you were going second, you knocked out whatever, like attacker they were building and they had to figure out a way to respond to that, you know,

Mike:

compressor is a hell of a card.

Brent:

battle confess. That's a great card. Yeah, I mean, if battle compressor was still in the format and he played multiple data's like probably the way people think about the deck is totally different because you would definitely, like, you would know, okay, we're going to shut that ADP. Right. But and you might be able to like one shot inconsistently, but like you can get there it's but Yeah, I agree with you Brit. I mean, if they did that, they would be so stupid. Do not Fred battle for friends. So the answer, the fix to the Metta is not printing battle compressor.

Brit:

mostly it's like the, just misreading the room. It's like, we thought you said, do you want to, you know, one prize there's that we're good. You know, options that weren't multi. It was where do you mean it was not like this? So you're asking for too much. I can't be, it can't be the night marchers. It can't be the tag teams. It's just right. And the Goldilocks and the three bigger hits.

Brent:

Yeah, we decided to massively speed up the format to fix your problems. That don't go to that. That's the wrong problem. Wrong problem. All right, let's talk about, let's talk about a really good single price deck for a second and see King.

Brit:

Yeah, I look forward to the next couple of days leading up to Christmas, I guess, of just every, every content creators seeking video. I'll see, who has the best seeking video.

Brent:

yeah, that, that definitely like, there's going to be some seeking like clip art. That's going to be pretty funny. Yeah. Oh, that's

Mike:

I was glad

Brent:

how, how bad is he doing?

Mike:

I don't think it's that bad. It got it got streamed for the top eight or top 16 texters were the round that it lost. I watched it on stream last night.

Brent:

That was against ADP, right.

Mike:

Yeah, it ended up losing ADP feed a bunch of ADP's in the tournament, but it ended up losing the ADP. It's cool. Cause it has some, it has like different lines of play that it can take, like it can go the seeking route, but it can also go multiple apps, solves boss crag and all. And then couple that with energy disruption So it looks really cool. I'm sure lots of people will be testing out and kind of refining the list over the next week or two. So the one thing that jumped out to me from the list is that it didn't run reset, stamp at all. Which seemed to me, I feel like he could have won. He could have beat ADP potentially if he played reset stamps. Yeah.

Brent:

so what, what happened in the ADP game? It was it just like ADP doing ADP things. Cause like I recognize you know, quote unquote the problem in our format with single prize attacker decks is they lose the ADP.

Mike:

No, not really. Actually the seeking kind of got like some pseudo locks up every game that I saw, the, the, I remember the one turning point and one of the games that it lost is seeking plays its own sachets. To drop cards and it got Boston up on like he, he corralled in a, locked up something that had no energy. He had a bunch of apps I was in play. So there was no way that I was getting out of the active. But the opponent bust up the seeking and then he didn't hit a way to go back to crack at all. And then that opened up a way to win the game. So that was like a big place. That's something to like watch out for, I guess. But yeah, I mean, the seeking like was doing its it was doing its thing. It's just, I imagine even if you're doing your thing, some things have to go your way more so than they did in, in those games.

Brent:

You know, I, I also thought the one other nice thing about this list and like, I, I thought I agree it was a, it's a fun list. Like non-linear in a way that I enjoy where he's got, he's got, the absolutes has got the crag and all, he plays the bench barrier mew and the bench barrier mew. I am sure many, many games he attacks with that and I love it. Right? Like the, you know, if you, if you get that a bunch of apples and you strip something of energy and the guy's just rotting there, the Europe, your opportunity of the snipe, the bench seems hilarious and deeply fulfilling to me.

Mike:

At least it gives you, it gives you like a way to win the game too. Right. Besides just decking them out.

Brent:

Right. Like how many times do you think he just like I assume most games given to this PTC geo, he took six prizes. Like he started attacking for 50 with the seeking and just like guilt stuff. Do you think that that's unlikely?

Mike:

Like once he's run them out of energy, I mean, yeah. I think that's probably true.

Brent:

Yeah. Like, I, I assume he is like, you know, you, you start building up something on the bench and he gusts it up and he strips it of energy. And then if you start attaching energy to something else, he gust that up and strips of energy. But otherwise he's like, poke, poke, poke, poke, poke.

Mike:

Yeah,

Brent:

saw that his other loss was to LMC and I assume the LMC guy just decked him because he had no way to hurt it.

Mike:

Or you can just like set up one thing, right? You can just set up one guy and Intrepid sword and get interviews back and whatnot. Yeah, I don't know. I also imagine that a lot of people might just concede, like if they're in a, in a spot and they don't feel like playing anymore against something like this, they might just concede. So that could be it. But on the flip side, like if you're playing against this and you don't want to concede, but you're going to lose, you might, you might be able to drag it out to a tie.

Brent:

Or, you know, he had his only tie I think was in the final round and I assume he just, he was just ideating and to cut. Right. So, so if he, it, it seems like he didn't go to time in the tournament. It made me think like maybe this is a decent thing to do.

Mike:

I'm interested in seeing how it goes the next couple of weeks. I probably won't touch it for a couple of days, but I'll be interested to see if other people do.

Brent:

So, so are there, so if you were playing, let's say peek around, are there things that you would change about the list to prepare for a seeking meta.

Mike:

I don't think I'd change anything about the list and maybe just play differently. Just gotta be like, I don't know. I worry that it's a deck that if people think about how to play against it for, you know, more than the two minutes, when you see their deck list, that it might not be as good. Like, I feel like it with peek around. I could probably just never bench anything and just attack with a bolt with a bolt-in for the whole game would probably be fine.

Brent:

Right. Yeah. Like I recognize there's something to be said for like, you just sit there until you have an energy switch in hand and type of cocoa, and then you're like, okay, now I'm just going to do whatever I want. Right.

Mike:

Right.

Brent:

And he probably doesn't have like that many amazing answers.

Mike:

But it'll be interesting to see. My mom just texted me saying dinner is ready.

Brent:

No, it's five 45. Where? Right on the money guys.

Mike:

Perfect.

Brit:

Happy holidays. When your customers

Mike:

Good stuff.

Brit:

stuff.

Mike:

Thank you guys. Enjoy the week up