The Trashalanche Pokemon Podcast

Ep 24 - Players Cup 3 deep dive, Mike can't stop winning, Limitless API, Channel Fireball, Pika vs Centi, Top Cuts, old school players, Expanded Format, Shock Lock, Wall Stall, 2018 Worlds format, 2014 Worlds format, Tag Switch v Energy Switch

January 20, 2021 Brent Halliburton
The Trashalanche Pokemon Podcast
Ep 24 - Players Cup 3 deep dive, Mike can't stop winning, Limitless API, Channel Fireball, Pika vs Centi, Top Cuts, old school players, Expanded Format, Shock Lock, Wall Stall, 2018 Worlds format, 2014 Worlds format, Tag Switch v Energy Switch
Chapters
The Trashalanche Pokemon Podcast
Ep 24 - Players Cup 3 deep dive, Mike can't stop winning, Limitless API, Channel Fireball, Pika vs Centi, Top Cuts, old school players, Expanded Format, Shock Lock, Wall Stall, 2018 Worlds format, 2014 Worlds format, Tag Switch v Energy Switch
Jan 20, 2021
Brent Halliburton
Transcript
Brent:

Congratulations on throwing down a ton of results this past week, it made it seem like you were playing a lot of Pokemon. Did you feel like you were playing a lot?

Mike:

Not, not that much because a lot of the. Well, like the Atlas one is just like a game every day. And then both of the old format tournaments weren't that big. So they weren't super long.

Brent:

Right, right. How about you Brett? You play much.

Brit:

I played Hank stairs, but now I've been really busy and presumably will be, I like, I'm somewhat worried about finishing all 50 keys. It's going to be a little hard. I think I mean, I guess I can play on the weekends. I usually don't do anything important on Saturday, at least. So I'll always have the, and I suppose.

Brent:

That's I, you know, I keep, I keep telling myself I have this like, kind of like, Mike's a, a project to like, learn how to code. I keep saying, I want to like build this at AWS thing to like mess around with Amazon web services. And every time I think, you know, maybe I should try and like actually do something tonight. And I actually played Pokemon. I'm like, no, anyway, if I'm going to have like three hours of free time, I should work on this stupid thing. And then I just a hundred. It's terrible. All right. All right. You guys ready to? I feel like we have so much good stuff.

Mike:

Yeah. The the thing that you have at the end with the, my ask for limitless, I can kind of talk like you, I mean, like you talk about what you want and then I, I've kinda been like doing my own thing. Just like learning myself, teach myself how to code and like scraping data from limitless this past, the past couple of days, Sam.

Brent:

So, so what, so what are you doing, man? Maybe we should kick off the pod, but talking about this. So, so what, what's your project?

Mike:

Well, so what the, the last couple of days, what I've done is basically you go to the completed tournament page Input a player name. So I've only done myself so far, but input a player name, it finds all of the tournament's that you've played in over, you know, whatever the past interval. And then it'll kind of like individually go into each of those tournaments and extract what deck you played and your match-ups. And that's how far I've gotten so far.

Brent:

So, yeah, like it's just funny to me that there's not a. Like, like kind of like an API end point that you have to do all this like page scraping to do that. You know,

Mike:

Yeah. Yeah,

Brent:

like it, it seems to me like, basically, yeah. My ask is a, like, why can't I click on magnet you on like any given tournament page and see a list of all the pages that you got to. Oh, so you, are you going through every tournament and just looking for magnitude?

Mike:

exactly.

Brent:

Yeah. See, like it is, it is crazy. That they don't give you some ability to like, quote, like claim an ID or access all the tournament's associated with an ID. Like it would be really, really easy for them to just make like some, some end point that's like, here's an idea. And here's all the tournaments that was in, you know,

Mike:

And I messaged Robin yesterday actually. Just because since I like doing this process, I'm kind of like pinging the limitless site a lot. And I want to, I just kind of wanted to give him a heads up. So he doesn't think I'm like attacking his website. But he said,

Brent:

shaded us.

Mike:

yeah. Right, exactly. So he said that there might be some API stuff that semi-public, that I could use, but I haven't heard back from them again. So there might be something out there and he just. You know, he's the only one I think Cody and limitless. But yeah, I agree. In theory, it shouldn't be too difficult to do something like that.

Brent:

You know what limitless is built in.

Mike:

I don't know.

Brent:

Yeah. I mean, like, like I assume most of the like quote, modern things these days, like if, if they built it in like Ruby on rails or Python, it's probably like really, really easy for them to like, just make a URL. People can hit like does stuff, you know,

Mike:

The the other thing that I thought would be really cool is, you know, how they have the, if you go to like a deck. That's being played in a certain tournament. They have like the average card amounts for each deck, which is really sweet. But I think what would be even cooler is to be able to, you know, click on a card or select a card and see the. Match up percentage differences. So, and I think we actually talked about something similar, like earlier in the year, but you know, like, you know for a peaker if they play one great catcher versus zero great catcher, how are the win percentages different?

Brent:

Right. Like in the aggregate telling you the peak rom has the best wind percentage and the average person plays 3.2 at Bolton's. Doesn't tell you that, like Bolton's bad and you should only play two.

Mike:

right, right, right. Exactly.

Brent:

And like, if you had some ability to say like, but how did it perform with Ford? How did it perform with three and how did it perform it to like, let me see that data, right. You could do all that. Right. And like, I just get the feeling that people like you and like Emmy, and I know you know him well, I know, you know, he's the same kind of nerd you are, Charlie Lockyer, like. Oh, I, I just get the feeling that if, if they took those like semi-private API APIs and made them semi-public API APIs, people would build a bunch of weird and interesting things really quickly, you know, like the, the poker stats guys would go from essentially like infographic incorporated to like, like, we, I feel like we need much more interesting, like statistically, like nerdy stuff.

Brit:

Yeah, I was assuming that's what we've been saying. I want the data data, the real person to kit Hearthstone kind of statistics. I want that level.

Brent:

Yeah. Yeah. Like totally. Right. And you know what I mean? So the great, great, great, great, great thing that limitless has done is they've kind of centralized all the tournament activity, you know, Like that's, that's a hundred times better than what, like may, I guess Pokemon at some level was getting all that data. Like they actually didn't have deck lists. Cause they were just collecting paper, deck lists. Like there was all this data. People didn't have access to, even if Pokemon had said we're going to publish this data and like limitless has fixed this problem a little bit. No. All they got to do now is kind of open it up and yeah, somebody would build Hearthstone analytics and you'd be set. Right? I mean, you, you if you could say, Oh, I'm playing this guy, you know, you pull up like all of his past performances, all of his prior lists, like how this list is different. Like, you know, if you say, Hey, I want to play sentence Gorge. What if I put this card in? And it shows you like how win percentages have changed in the last, like. You know, all of a sudden scorch decks in the last two weeks that it like had that card versus not had that card. Like, you know, all that stuff is like easy, but like it's, it's hard, but it's not hard.

Mike:

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It takes time to do, but it shouldn't be, shouldn't be that crazy.

Brent:

Yeah. Well, that's, I think what Robin's got to do is like you know, if you make the APIs available, then you can set yourself up for like a thousand flowers to bloom.

Mike:

Yeah, right, exactly. And like, I don't think any of us expect women to do all of this himself. It is cause it is like a bunch of different things. And so, yeah. Maybe, yeah, maybe I'll I'll since I, since I'm already talking to him on Twitter, I'll like mention something like that. Tell him, I'll tell him to listen to the podcast. So we get some ideas.

Brent:

that's what it's about. But yeah, like, I don't know. I don't know how he's storing all that, like all these data structures, but. It would seem like you could get there somehow, you know, like this, this seems like a thing that people could do. All right. Welcome to the trash lanch. It's the greatest podcast about Pokemon stuff and attendance is 100% as always Brett Halliburton. I'm here with Mike and We are bringing you all of the great Pokemon stuff going on in the universe. alas, no five-star reviews. People that leave us five star reviews, get their reviews, read on the pod. I've been thinking about randomly tweeting at people that I'm reviewing them. So that will incent them to leave me a review. I don't know if that would be effective or not. I thought we should kick things off by talking about channel fireball for two seconds. Cause I feel like we should give channel fireball some love. Since I feel like we, I don't want them to feel neglected. Two things jumped out at me that I thought were worth mentioning when it comes to channel fireball first. I guess it just goes to show how some top players have kind of jumped on the online, fully online gaming train and some have not because Jimmy pen Darvis, his articles are totally strange to me. Like here's a guy that I think everyone would say is like definitely a like top 10 player and all of his, yeah. I mean, he's like how many regionals is he won five.

Mike:

Something like

Brent:

Like a lot, like, he's really, he's very good at Pokemon. And like a year ago today, I think people would have said, he's a guy who absolutely has his fingertip on the pulse of like, what is the best act and format, like how to win at this game. And all of his articles are like how to get your cards graded, how to sell your cards. And I actually went and read the how to sell your cards. Cause I was like, this is something that. I guess I should think about it in our modern era and, and like, you know, it was, it was a Workman like article. That was exactly what you would expect. Like it was like, well, you know, you can sell them one at a time. You can sell them on eBay. You can sell them in bulk. You can sell them to vendors. Like, you know, kind of like laid it all out. And I, at some level it's good to get it all documented, but I mean, it's, to me, Penn, Darvis, couldn't be a better articles.

Brit:

I don't think he's playing, man. I think this is what he's doing now. He's into flipping cards and other things, but I don't think he plays at all anymore. Like, and I, I'm not so sure. That's just an on, like in the statement about online was like, I don't, I don't from my, what I understand. I don't expect, I don't think him and Igor or like coming back to the game or, I mean, you never know with Pokemon players, I suppose, but. From what I've heard, they're not involved in any sort of aspect. And, you know, I guess Jimmy's just so prolific that riding per channel fireball is easy enough. If they let them do this sort of thing.

Brent:

Right. Well, I mean, that's, you know, he'll be, he'll be, you know, a top X player in the game until, until like, like real life tournament to resume. And he doesn't come back. Right. I mean but, but it's an interesting point.

Mike:

Yeah. I know, personally, I, when I found like a ton of cards over the summer I did a little bit of selling myself, but then I reached out to Jimmy because I knew that he had been doing this for a while and he he helped me get rid of all the other ones that I hadn't sold individually, which was great.

Brent:

Oh, fascinating. I was unaware that he had like gone into the business of selling cards.

Brit:

Yeah, he's been doing it for awhile. I think I had known, I had heard him talk about it at least once or twice. I think even this was three or four years ago. I think.

Mike:

And I imagine the last six months to a year has been a huge boom for him.

Brent:

I mean, I definitely saw people like a tweet doing a, like the angry tweets about like, The boxes of evolutions that are selling for zillions of dollars. Now, man, I did not see that common.

Brit:

It was a city set. I think wasn't it. I believe, I feel like I

Brent:

I think like everybody, it was something that like, we want boxes and boxes and boxes that should have regionals. And we were just like, we should just burn this. I felt like vendors were offering me like 50, $60 a box. And I was like, are you serious? And, and like, I, you know we should honestly just burn this to show them how much we love what we think about their $50 offer. And they were like, these cards are all terrible. Well, you know, what, what do you think we should offer you

Brit:

Hey man, the red, it was like the best card in that sentence.

Brent:

it? I think that just goes to show you how bad tool removal was that people were like, that seems like a reasonable thing we should do.

Mike:

Matata and dragon IDX. I think those were the, literally the only two playable

Brit:

I think there was a

Mike:

playable as a strip.

Brit:

there was a piggy

Mike:

Oh yeah, the PGRT RTX.

Brit:

That it helped mere move and something else. I think I know Dean played it at a regionals, I think, and actually did. Okay. Like topped maybe I would just pitch you out garbage or something with like a ton of max potions. So you just healed and when mere move or something, I don't remember,

Brent:

So, so true, true story. Right. Yeah. After that I think was EIC and Leah, like this was when, like, this was like the, the time when developed a guard was like the deck everybody was playing. Right. And so I remember this distinctly because it was, it was EU and Liam was planning on playing a volatile and we had really mixed feelings about it because like, I think every junior was planning to play of Alto because like they don't have any original ideas and. He decided the day before the tournament, like all the side events and like fooling around with all the other kids there that he would play Pzegeo and he won, he beat everybody like every game and was like, I should play this tomorrow. I should play this tomorrow. And no surprise like three, he won like his first four rounds. And then the next three kids, he played all had Pzegeo texts for me to remove. Because like they were, yeah, they were like top players and they'd seen him play in it. And like, they showed up with all these like texted for piggy out. And I was like, Oh my God. And he goes like four 30 Ms. Scott. but, but like the second he was like, I should play Pinto. And I was like, this is a bad idea because you know, William Wallace just spent an hour watching you drum kids with pitch yet. Like, why would you do that? And like, then it gets paired against like William Wallace around six and round William almost rubs him. It's like, man, that's not good. It's not good, but, but PGL was a good card at Dean Dean didn't have an awesome list. And his fingertip on the pulse with that, I mean, like, it was, it was a, a perfect, like kind of grant Manlius deck and that, like, it only works in the most specific metagame in the universe. But you know, always fun watching somebody do well with something weirdly out of the box.

Mike:

Yeah, absolutely.

Brent:

So, so the other channel fireball comment that I wanted to make was that I looked at his rules, power rankings, and Pico rom has been number one in the power rankings since December 21st. And, and he talked about in his first video, he's like, you know, peek around really should have been first, probably last week. And like the thing he doesn't do is give the trash lunch podcast credit. I feel like peak around has been the top deck ever since. Mike set up pig around Maine now. That easily people.

Brit:

even before that too, Mike was talking about peak around way back when, when it was still zigzag, errands and scoop of nuts and stuff. And even back then he was, you know, proclaiming that it was good. Or at the very least I had a good ADP matchup and it's stuck around ever since.

Mike:

Yup. Let's just change. Yeah. Same, same principles. Yeah. It's just, it's just the most 50 50 deck, like in the format and therefore, if you play it well, you're going to do well generally.

Brent:

therefore a good players will disproportionately benefit.

Mike:

I so based on the, like, as I was talking about, I I've kind of analyzed some of my data. And so I looked through my tournament's and a lot of them have been played with beaker. And so I, I think I had like some, I don't have it pulled up right this second, but I think I had something like 140, 130 games with Picloram rom and. Some of the numbers are really funny. Like I went 14 and one against scent discourage in tournament. So like the match of it's in my opinion. So, so, so favorite and I, now I have the numbers to back it up.

Brent:

I was going to make a comment of that. Like, you know, we're propping up sentence, Gorge gang. We were saying sentence scorch was good early to no samskaras turns out.

Mike:

I mean, I think it's good. It just doesn't. Feed peek around very often, but I know you've been playing center scorch a decent amount.

Brit:

I don't even really play against. Yeah. I've actually been testing the silver Valley version quite a bit, but it is what I played for the egg stares too. But I don't remember. I don't think I really played against any peak arounds on ladder. It just hasn't been popular this week, at least for whatever reason, I'm playing a lot against everything else. It seems at least because I remember after the first players cup or the second one, rather than since I didn't participate in the first one, I was experiencing a little bit and just trying to get back into the game and remember trying to ladder and it just being miserable because there weren't no one was playing real decks and that seems to have changed now. Or at least maybe I just got, I was just playing at the right time, but hopefully that's a good sign. I think maybe more people are getting involved with the game. Probably stuck online for another year. So maybe more people are deciding to jump in. Like some of our friends have recently just bite the bullet. It's really, really very cheap to get started too. Especially with bigger on you by the pick on a league deck or whatever it's called. And the trainer that's inspired those codes for like 20, 50 bucks or something. And then you're basically done.

Brent:

Yeah, it does it. Doesn't take a lot of code. If you have the pick around battle deck to like get there. Right.

Mike:

yeah.

Brent:

I, you know, my, my on hearing you say that it's like, I wonder if people don't play peek or I'm on the ladder because of what Mike just said, like, if it's a 50, 50 deck where good players disproportionately benefit, if you're on the ladder, you're like, I should definitely shouldn't put Pico from, Hey, I'm not a good player. Be like, that means it's like 40, 60, everything I play.

Mike:

right.

Brent:

Like you want, you want something where you're like, you, you like guessed the Metta and like Cray that, you know, they'll random ladder skews to you. You feel like that's been the case that playing center, silver Valley on ladder. Are you like counting everybody?

Brit:

Yeah, because I really do. I think when, I mean, it's hard to know it's ladder. I don't think I've recognized the name. Played anyone streaming or anything like that. So it's hard to know how good my opponents are, but I haven't been taking notes either. So probably not great there. I plan to take good notes on the players cup again, but off the top of my head. I don't think the only games I lose are the wonky welder starts games. I feel like I really win every game that even going first, sometimes I found as I've been toying around with the build a lot. The logic in my head, at least for the moment is that like, when you go, if you have to go first, really what you want to prioritize is getting a type note on your bank. Sorry, Ben, you evolve. And then you're, you're accelerating and you're drawing were parts of hopefully seeing a welder every return, all the turns you need to. So you want to get typing along the board as fast as possible. So my current bill is like that. I play a lot of great ball. I just play a ton of search naps. You. The logic being helps you not only get the Tylenol, but then you could also like sometimes on the first turn you open, you know, say elder gossip, something, you need a lot. So lots of balls help you get a, you get your set of sparks, you get your whole Canyon and you get your type notes. So I'm planning almost as much research as possible. And then it goes well with the silver Valley because we can just fail them. And it's an extra card and things like that. You just want to send your deck as much as possible. And then it's only. It's only welders and bosses essentially. It's hopefully what you do, but I need to mess with it more, but I'm happy with where it is for the moment still has typical welder problems. Unfortunately, I think.

Brent:

All right, the next, the next thing on our agenda was talking about top cut and online tournament.

Mike:

So I've seen in the last couple of days, a lot of people just talking about, should we be cutting to top 32, top 16? Should we be doing the day? That phase two phase two Swiss rounds as these tournaments are getting so much bigger. And I feel like on one end of the spectrum, you have limitless, who's been really kind of drawn a hard line and saying we're doing X amount of rounds of Swiss, whether it's seven, eight. I don't think they've done more than eight. Maybe they've done nine once, but even like the, the tournament that I won this past weekend was. High three hundreds, almost 400 players. And we did eight rounds of Swiss cut to toppy. And it wasn't quite top aid. It was asymmetrical. So everyone that was seven one or better made it. But, you know, that ended up being, I think, 12 people or something like that. It's still, it was still essentially a top eight. Right. And on the other end of the spectrum, some of these other tournament's we're cutting all the way to top 32 with. Even less people than that. And I just think it's a, a, an interesting discussion there's pros and cons. I think of both. And I think one thing that people don't talk about when they're really advocating for the smaller top cuts is you don't really, I don't think people realize the history of top cuts in Pokemon for a long time. I don't remember exactly when they stopped doing the large top cuts, but 2012, 2013, somewhere around there.

Brit:

2012, I think.

Mike:

Yeah. There used to be like huge top cuts. Like nationals was like top one 28. Maybe even top two 56 one year. Like I remember it.

Brit:

Yeah, it was 2012, I believe or knows the 2012, 2013 season after Hawaii worlds.

Mike:

Okay. Yeah. So I don't know if they ever did a top two 56, but I definitely remember playing top one 28 more than once.

Brit:

I think there was a two 56 ones and then almost always one 28.

Mike:

yeah. And so like the, I don't, what, what do you, what do you guys think? So that's kinda like.

Brent:

That's kind of like, I assume that's essentially like an emotional data. Right. Except that like, if you lose, you're just done for, whereas like our, our new modern era, it's like, you know, just because you took a, you took an L in day two, doesn't mean you're out of the tournament unless you like really scraped it. I mean, it would seem like it would seem like the in practice at regionals events is, is better than these than like giant cut. Right. Everybody would agree with that. Do you like that better than just as a participant? Do you like that better than just the, like the, the pokemon.com CPCI two losses in your out model?

Brit:

Conflicted because I, I don't think there's any denying that what we have now it's preferable to the immediate. Single elimination bracket, but there is just that there's definitely a different feel to being in that bracket, not just to, you know, competing in it, but to winning and even losing and things like that. It just, it's just an entirely different experience. And I miss it for reasons that I don't think are just nostalgic that has, I just, I'm a sucker for love March madness tournaments. I guess I love the bracket experience. There's, there's something very, I just a competitive person, I guess. And I really do miss that sometimes. So. I wish there would be a kind of like a middle ground, because I'm not because sometimes day two just feels like such a waste. Like you do, you, you, you do poorly or something. And then it's just like, what was, what was the point of all this? You got one in four or something like that. And then at the same time too, I think prompt was talking to Zander about standard parent per hour. Just about various things and talking about worlds, how like, Like, it's really hard to do well at work, or it's really hard to like pop or win worlds, but it just never, at least in my opinion, never feels all that well, all that difficult like to do well, because so many of the records that are top 16 or top 32 or out of contention after the first two rounds. And so like, you know, you, the, in those performances too, to me, it never feel all that great. Like one of my world's top 30 twos, I went like four, two, and one, like. I barely won a third of my games. Like what does that even mean? Things like that. So sometimes it's just, it helps to have a, I don't know, more defined like threshold or qualified notorious

Brent:

You know, what's funny. I've always felt, I've always felt like. And I think worlds is a great example is I was wanting one more round. Like, I always felt like it was not quite granular enough. And if we had one more round, we could have tested it and I'll give you, I'll give you the a, this is a true, true to life example. So Liam was at worlds. I don't know maybe this is Anaheim, cause I think it was a year after San Francisco and he gets to, he gets to the last round of whatever date too, I guess. And, and it was, if you wins he's in top eight and he lost to the kid that won the tournament. And the second he lost, he was out of top 16 too.

Mike:

Yeah. Yup.

Brent:

And it was C it was like, he took, he took a loss to the kid that got fourth and he took a loss to the kid that won the tournament and he's top 30 to finish. And we were like, really like, And, and some kid that got into the top eight, like he got down paired and played a kid that was like 41.

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

Oh, the on land was against the kid. That was like six hours. I was like, you know, and so that kid gets the better finish then, like Liam does, man, I want one give us one. She has to beat that kid or something. You know, like, I thought there was a gap between you know, a six and. 19th. And we can play one more round that would like Miro that a little bit.

Brit:

Yeah, I know. It just always feels so strange to me to, to be certain, to have a fin, like, to have been so close, to even being able to win and then finishing alongside. You know, the person who scraped who ID is Oh, into, into six and two and they draw their last round and then they go like one, three and one the next day, like,

Brent:

Right.

Brit:

say you were eight Oh

Brent:

into money and you're like, man, I was playing for top eight a second ago.

Mike:

Yeah.

Brit:

it's brutal. I suppose it certainly doesn't need to be fair, but it's, it's hard like that. Sometimes I like that idea of an extra round. I would be curious to know statistically how, how much that would change things like, because since surrounds are always predicated on it, the round numbers are predicated on your attendance. I just don't know what, having an extra round that's not based on attendance happens to look like in terms of the way it affects resistance, standings and all that.

Brent:

Yeah, well, and that's, I think you make a really good. Good point. Cause I mean it varies, right? I mean the classic problem with juniors during that like 2016, 20, like, like before they went to the inner Continental's model is like a lot of these regionals and nationals they'd have like 215 kids, 220 kids, like as you get close to 228, without going over, like the edge cases get more and more disappointing. Right.

Mike:

Yeah. And the other thing about worlds in particular, I've always found it odd that you play all year to get you qualify for this tournament. And then it's six rounds, seven rounds, like, come on.

Brent:

Yeah. You know, that's, that's why one of the I feel like the, the greatest thing I ever did for Pokemon probably was the year Liam won the national championship. The prior year I had like, really like leaned into Schwimmer and complained to him because like all the juniors who had shown up, like they played Friday, but there was no day two because they didn't have enough. And so by like Friday at five o'clock, they were done. And I was like, Whoa, like, so, you know, there's only eight kids left to play and you're saving all those kids for Sunday. Like, but there's like, you know, all these nine-year-olds, they like came across the country to play Pokemon. Like they're done competing on Friday. I when I told them I was like, you could just have more rounds and they would just keep going. And, and they, they decided they had like a day two that was like top 32. Where they played five more rounds and they couldn't figure out how to set it up in time. So they just reset the bracket and had kids play five. Yeah. They started out with zero, but like they played five rounds on Saturday, but and then they got rid of it for the Intercontinental is then they moved to this model where they were like, there's too many masters. So the masters get the whole hall on Friday. And then the juniors and seniors play Saturday. And that's weird because like so many juniors and seniors just draft off, like whatever master does. Well.

Mike:

Right, right.

Brent:

play, right? Like, like Intercontinental is, are definitely weirder for juniors and seniors than they are. Then like regionals, because so much of it is like, well, we should see what the masters play on a Friday. And then yeah. Let that inform our DEC decision or we should techniques that or something.

Mike:

right, right. That makes sense. Yeah. So the only other thing I, I do feel pretty strongly that the asymmetrical cuts is generally a very good idea.

Brent:

Super pro symmetrical cuts.

Mike:

yeah. So I do hope that more and more, and maybe that is the middle ground that you were talking about. Brit. I don't know. But I do hope more online organizers start adopting it and I hope. That maybe T PCI will do it in the future. I mean, they have experimented with it and like the some of the opens I think, right at worlds, they've done it once or twice. So there is a little bit of precedence there. So I dunno, that would be really, really nice, especially at regionals.

Brit:

I always like, it's hard to do, but I mean the, the, the more your numbers are the better it is, but at a certain point, Swiss and double elimination are functionally equivalent. At least in my book, like I just never. I S I have never been in a one to my detriment. I, the year I failed to qualify for worlds by a handful of points, I of course, was doing this, but I just never play for what the pity points. Like once, once I can't make day two or I'll play day two out. So I'm an exception there, but like, I just don't CA I never want to play for a top 64 or something like that. And so at that point, like double elimination is often the same as Swiss for me. And so I think in a lot of it, In a lot of ways, it just functions the same way. Like with better pricing and stuff. There's always incentive to play. Like I think they changed it, but for a while you got cash for top 64, I think you got two 50.

Brent:

Brit Brits always played Pokemon. Like it's double money sternum. Yeah.

Brit:

That's why the online ones are so easy. It's because I get to do what I always do from the

Brent:

Here's a question in Hearthstone. Do they do a symmetric cuts? Like how do other people do it? I know like, one of the things that I've found is interesting at Liam's debate tournaments, it turns out they're all asymmetric cuts now. Yeah. Everything everything's asymmetric cuts.

Mike:

Hmm. That's cool.

Brent:

And what's actually, this is an interesting kind of comment about your bracket. Brit, they break everyone with a winning record and you go and do asymmetric cuts, but there's no ties,

Brit:

her stone is all just Swiss and cut the top 16. I believe.

Mike:

our top eight. And then sometimes once they, so they've done some different things, but like at some of the bigger tournament they'll do Swiss, then it cut to top. Eight let's say, but then once they're in top eight, they'll do double elimination,

Brit:

Sometimes hearts hearts, don't always does this a structure that just seems unfair to me. And that they'll like they fake a double, they almost do a double elimination bracket, but then the person from like winners doesn't get a redemption shot for some reason. Sometimes that's always very jarring to me.

Mike:

yeah. Or like the, like the world championships they had. Eight people, or let's say it was eight people and they had two groups of four. And in those groups of four, you played double elimination. And the top two people made it out of it and it was true double elimination, but then the top two people make it out of it. But then once they're in the top four, it's just single elimination then. So like, like what was the point really of doing double elimination in the first place? I don't know. It just seems silly.

Brit:

Yeah.

Brent:

I think part of the job, if you're like doing an event is you want the drama of like, this is the final round.

Mike:

Right, right, right.

Brent:

And if, if you get to the finals and one guy has like no losses and stuff, it's true. Like double elimination. And you're like, well, this might be the finals. If he wins. If it's not that how's the commentator supposed to hype, like there's a million dollars riding on the line here.

Mike:

Yeah. Fighting games. As far as I know are like, have always been strictly double elimination.

Brit:

Hmm.

Mike:

Is that sound right? It.

Brit:

they've ever really varied unless they're like a fun tournament. Like there's these summit tournaments that do goofy or formats, but yeah, I've just always been a double elimination and no one's ever really seemed to question it.

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

Yeah. So, so as, as I think I've told you guys offline, my, my youngest son Walker is like, He thinks he's a Fortnite e-sports pro these days, right? So they'd been just announced this morning, the fortnight championship series, pop format, and it's trios. So you pair up with two of your buddies to fight everybody. And since the Fortnite thing is always like you drop a hundred people on the map, what it is. It's like 33 teams get dropped on the mat and you'll you'll kill each other. And their traditional format is you played 10 games. And you get a point for each elimination and you get a point if you're one of the last eight teams and you get a point, if you're on the last five teams and then, you know, 0.4, three, two, one, right? So you get like 10 points. If you're the, if you win the game and then you get points for each elimination, so you, and send it to both kill people and stay alive. And the Fortnite championship series qualification process, what they do is they have like kind of four weekends of qualifications and the top eight teams each weekend advance to the finals. And then, then what they announced was if you were nine through 16 in any of those, they're going to have, they have a, because they'll have 32 teams at that point, they have a special a redo round or something that they call it. And it's then two, four, nine through 16 teams. So 32 teams, they're going to drop all of them on a map for one game. And whoever wins that game advances as like gets in that large bid.

Mike:

That's cool.

Brent:

And yeah, like, I think that's a perfect example of like, it's just goofy enough that it'll kind of work. Like whoever wins that gets an invite to the championship finals and like, there's, you know, there's not a, there's not another game. There's not like you can't get so far in the lead that you know, no one can co can overcome you. I it's just stay alive, do not die. And, and like that, you know, that, that kind of drama, I'm sure people are going to watch it. I could see so many people watching that. Right. That's bonkers. You have like no incentive to kill anyone because like, you can't, you just can't risk yourself. Right. Someone else should kill a guy. I'm going to stay right here, hiding in this little tiny box. But yeah, it's, it's interesting that there's so many different approaches people have And experiments, but it does seem like asymmetric cuts is the one thing that I've, I've never heard anyone feel like that was bad.

Mike:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Cause it was like, so incentivizes some of the potential top seeds to play out some of their later game rather than ID, because. You know, it, it, you could get a buy versus not having a buy in the first round of top. Cut it, which is just huge. And like what, what's the worst that happens. You lose and then you have to play the game anyway. Right. So yeah.

Brent:

Or does that just make, does that just make people start ideating sooner or like people further down tables ID, but like either way I'm okay with that because like it's an asymmetric cut. Like, Hey, good job. You got there.

Mike:

Well, so I guess it depends on cause there's I guess, two qualifications for it. So you could asymmetric cut for a certain point threshold where then you might incentivize people to ID early, or you could say whatever the eighth place person is. You know, everyone with that same record and that's a much riskier. Right. Cause you don't necessarily know what the the eighth place person's going to have

Brent:

Yeah. That I'm assuming that's what they would do,

Mike:

right, right. Yeah,

Brent:

Yeah. That's fair. So I guess, I guess they couldn't start ideating on tables further down until they saw what was happening at a table four. And they were like, okay, that's going to inform what happens here. Right.

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

Awesome. All right. Do you want to talk about some old school players, Mike?

Mike:

Yeah. So both Britain eyes, some of our good friends that haven't really played in a, in a while have started getting back into the game the last couple of weeks. So I just think that's kind of been a cool thing to see. And in particular, Alex Brisso, AK big Chuck posted on Burbank. Is that where he posted something about Turnitin this, and I'm not playing Pierre's and how he's been playing again and whatnot. And I haven't even talked to Chuck recently at all, but it's just cool to see people that I've known for 15 years, 12 years and having played some of them haven't played in like, 10 years coming back into the game. And I think part of it is what you were saying a little bit before Brit it's accessible. There's not too much else going on right now. And it's it's pretty cheap to, to play online comparatively and you don't have to travel. It's not a huge commitment. So it's, it's been fun. It's been cool to see.

Brent:

Do you know, I guess it would be interesting. And maybe we can reach out online and find out like what brought him back. Like I, yeah. I assume it's this element of like, you're trapped in the house. So it isn't like you have anything to do. And, and like, there's, you know, all these players who were big players 10 years ago, now they're out, you know, lives, families, children, whatever. Like before they may have felt like, I mean, they have way too many commitments to actually go to a tournament. I mean, Even now I see the day coming, when I'm dropping Liam off in cups, instead of sticking around like a historic, they always have because the masters cups take all freaking debt, new juniors and seniors, man. It's like three rounds and you're done, you know, you're just praying. There's eight of them. So they don't get squished in with the masters to be having that.

Mike:

Yep.

Brent:

I ain't got time to get mixed in with the masters. We'll be here all day. Although, I mean, masters, the good news is if they get mixed in with the masters, it's because there's so few of them that there won't be any top cuts. All I have to do is get through Swiss and then they're done masters. It's like, you still got to stick around for another, like five hours to play a top. Cut. Yeah. Like, Oh, let's, let's kick off the 75 minutes. Best a three

Mike:

One of the, one of the calls. Things in VR. I don't know if you've experienced this too, but kind of talking to some of these older players and seeing their perspective on some of the new cards, obviously, you know, there's been huge power creeps, so that's one thing, but even just like Chuck's comment was basically, you know, why are you not playing for Pierre's in a Turnitin? And I feel like that's such a an, a conceptual difference between the modern game versus old, old game, where search was. Premiere and, you know, draw was good, but you know, search was the thing. And now it's much more the opposite. And I feel like, I don't know. So have you, have you experienced that too? Talking to some people recently?

Brit:

no, I'm trying to think. No one really has. No one really brings that up. It's more in line with just, you know, not enjoying the way that Pokemon are designed and they're just like it being frustrated that it's just so redundant at this point, you know, just another Sycamore and other junior pair. So and so forth. But no, I haven't heard too much about sort of this disparity in search card. I do see in some of these friends lists, like, it's like, Oh, that's too many supporters. Like you don't want to play for Marnie and ad party. And for instance, you know, things like that, like yeah. Like, you know, it is, you typically, you do want to just play for, of both of the good supporters and then a couple of the gust of wind one But, yeah, it's usually just comments about just so much HP, so much damage.

Brent:

Yeah, I'm sure if you're coming back in, like, you know, you were praying playing before we started playing, you must look at these Pokemon and say they've lost their mind. I mean, I think we all look and say they've lost their mind, right?

Mike:

it was funny. I'm one of the. One of the earlier, I don't know, maybe two weeks ago I was talking with a lot of the, our guys and it was kind of like one of the first days they were all looking at stuff and they had all they'd stumbled upon the expanded band list. And they were like, why is this card band? Why is this card band? And I was kind of just shooting them different deck lists that be like, well, this deck got this card band and, you know, The Prevnar got the melodic band. They're like, none of these cards seem that broken. And you're like, you're right. Like individually, a lot of these cards aren't like super, super broken. It's just the interactions with other cards.

Brent:

Right, right, right. I mean, you read melodic and you're like, how bad could this be?

Mike:

Yeah. Now I think that was a, that was really cool to kind of walk them through some of those, but there's other ones that are like very obviously strong and like, like to giant plants. I don't think they. And you know, that did that didn't need too much explanation.

Brent:

Right, right. Just a matter of finding like the most broken grass types. I mean, just like we talked about last week, right there, there was a brief window where it was like find broken grass types. When tournaments get off by a bloom. yeah, I remember I saw, I saw Alex make that post and my, yeah, my immediate reaction was do old school players. Just not know like when a card is not good enough anymore, because like they look at all the cards and they say, all these cards seem pretty good.

Mike:

Right, right.

Brent:

Let's go.

Mike:

Yeah. Something like that.

Brent:

I had no idea. All right. Let's, let's talk about results this past week and then we'll swing it and talking about a players cup three. Although I want to like along the way, talk a little bit about expanded and, and like old worlds formats because you guys put some tournaments there, there let's talk about expanded shock lock.

Mike:

Yeah, so, well, I played a bunch of time this week or this past week. So the first one was an Atlas expanded tournament. So one round every day, best of three un-timed I don't think I would have the confidence to play this deck in a. In a timed environment yet. I think you probably could, but yeah, it's kind of the new school shock lock, a Porygon Z that devolves your guys, you have solid B prison star, which has the same attack and melodic, right? You and Lola and muck that discards the items from their deck. And so the concept first came out a couple months ago, someone played a list of this that was. In my opinion, very out there ran multiple strike and run done sparse. It played a bunch of greens exploration. And so I kinda just took the idea and made it into. In my opinion, a cleaner, more straightforward deck list. He didn't have the muck either. He just had the trick shovels. And so his whole goal was to just kind of end and then trick shovel, lock them, which I think is still a good strategy. But, and I, and I did it a bunch, but I don't think it can be your only strategy because that you got to think about a deck like this is that every Guzman that they play. Is a prize. And so every time that you're able to discard a Guzman or a S seeker, you're essentially drawing a prize yourself. And so MK just accelerates that timetable so much faster for you and takes away those resources from them. So I really think muck is it. Very very, very good. It also makes your mirror like stall match-ups much better as well because you can attack their resources. You can be very aggressive by attacking their resources where he's, if you just play trick shovels, maybe they can draft a rig away your trick shovels, and then you're, you've just lost the game then. So the deck was really fun to play. I only, I lost to a peaker rom and Swiss. Because they played Vika volt and stealthy hood. And so I like, I can't beat that. And then I lost ADP Z with triple Guzman Cobelli and GX stealthy, hoods. And I think they played other good things against me, but those were the main things. So like both and they played like multiple swells. So like, you know, silent lab was very hard to get down. So like just, but just Cavalli and GX by itself. Plus the GX attack was like really hard to deal with. So I lost that in Swiss and then I lost her in the finals. But yeah, really fun deck. It's it's cool. It's a unique wind conditions.

Brent:

Your list versus Sanders list sander had cut essentially all the poor guns and just put it in a rescue scarf and said, when will they ever like be able to double gun? My salary, as long as it celebrates just in the act of all the time, I'll always get there.

Mike:

the. I, I, I think his list also has some other wind conditions that I didn't, because he was able to save some space from that. But the thing about this, if you're just relying on syllabi, even with rescue scarf against something like. Colossal. Well, let's look at colossal cause that's pretty good expanded deck. What they can do then is they just keep their basic colossal active and just attach a bunch of energy to it. And you can paralyze it as much as you want, but then when they're ready, they can go field blower, evolved knockout, and now you've lost your only, you know, way to devolve your guys. And so if you have another wind condition through that, it's fine, but I'm not sure really. What you would do. So it's really a safeguard against the decks that don't necessarily need to play a Guzman to to knock out the yeah. To get out of the, get out of paralysis.

Brent:

Was it like, did you have to do a lot of playing around ends? And like, like if you've got all these right shoes and all these. Melodics in your hand after turn after turn, like, I'm assuming that they're trying to reset your hand to make it hard for you to do the thing.

Mike:

Yes. Yes and no. I mean, most techs don't really play that very many ends, so it's really just a one N and if they're using via seeker on an end, generally, you're happy. And you play so like there's so much search there's so many items searches that even if you do get end and it did happen, actually, I got marinade once, which is super weird. But you usually play enough that as long as you. You really only need the right shoe to keep up the lock and then you get just, you can just dry out the game. Like if you're just riot, chewing and devolving that like you're okay for a while. Eventually you'll draw back into the melodic stuff. So it's usually not that big a deal, but it did hurt me. I can think of one instance where I did get penned relatively early in the game. And I lost because of that.

Brent:

Right. Do you if you had to do it again would you add your rapper rig?

Mike:

No would not play draft rig. The only thing that I for sure would change is put in a ranger that might, that might help the ADP matchup enough, not instill skeptical. It would just cause it's kind of hard to find early, but

Brent:

Right. And that helps with the beacon match up too. So they're like the two games you lost.

Mike:

That's true. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, I didn't think about that. Yeah. Okay. So ranger definitely goes in. The Mr. Mine probably comes out. I had put it in because I had played one game in LA. On ladder and I cued against the the bird trio deck. And that just like destroyed me. Cause you know, they go Guzman kill key things. And I was like, Oh, that's sucks. I actually did play against a Tina chomp deck, one, one round in top cut and I forgot about boom burst GX. And so they drew four prizes from a Bloomberg GX and I still won that game. So after that I was like, Mr. Mom can go out

Brent:

I'm not scared of that. I'm not scared of anything.

Mike:

right.

Brent:

So. My impression, like looking at the other expanded results that I saw, I felt like all of the time tournaments, it seemed like Santa scorch and dark patch decks were kind of the order of the day. Like, is it, how much do you feel like the, the, like you guys have a take on the expanded Mehta right now?

Mike:

The wall stall deck seems very good.

Brent:

Yeah, the pyro box deck was definitely, I wanted to kind of.

Mike:

Yeah. The last expanded event that happened this past weekend, I think like four out of the five people that played it made top eight. Like that deck is,

Brent:

It was like six of the top 16. Like it was like every single person played it.

Mike:

Yeah. So like that deck is really strong, so I, who would be hesitant to take a loss to that. But yeah, like a colossal is very good. The The dark decks are very good peak her arms. Very good. It's kind of like you have these big tag team. It's like, there's a lot of similarities to the standard in that there's like these big tag teams slash Remax decks. But then you also have the control stall decks that are also very good. And there's not a whole lot of in-between.

Brent:

So have you guys played against this power box deck?

Mike:

I've only played against it with with the shot clock. And that's a good matchup.

Brent:

Yeah, like my I was trying to figure out like if, if you were some person, like, what advice would you give someone on how to beat that deck? Now I recognize it varies from deck to deck, but like, as you said, you wouldn't want to take a loss to it. Like what's the strategy besides plain chocolate.

Mike:

I haven't thought about it too much. I actually, I played in the expanded event this past the one that did, so that did really well or where the Waldeck did really well. And I played it because I thought it would be the wall stall deck. And I think I sh misplayed, but like I lost to it around too. Because they ran me out of energy between and and stuff. So I don't know, it's like a, it's a really hard deck to tackle because like, even if you play a counter to the, like, Like, let's say you're an all basic stack and you play some counter to a pyro or you could still lose because they play ways to get rid of your counters. Like they played the Lugia GX to loss, zone something, and then, you know, then they shuffle the pirate back in their deck with bumblebee or stretchers. So I don't know. I don't, I don't have a good answer right now. It's something I, I have to think about.

Brent:

Yeah, it is how much, so, so you've played a game against it. Like my initial reaction, having played zero games against it is like I think, I think I could have told you, you know, bumblebee is going to be a good card. That's going to see a lot of play and expand the decks, like with the bending of a ringer. I always thought. Because Bartleby gives you the option to mill one or, you know, resource manage one and you get to do to do it twice. Like one of them is a really good card. How much is how much of that deck is just like Barnaby is a super good card. If people are going to build like the next wave of toxic techs around a bumblebee.

Mike:

Yeah, I think that's a big part of it. These next kind of like strap live on. Infinite recursion. So you, you really need something like that to be to be in the deck.

Brent:

Yeah. And just the fact that you have the optionality to like mill or resource manage, man, I love that card. I've always loved. Bartleby.

Mike:

And that's like when I was playing the Trev deck, I was just stuck for a couple of turns and he would just double mill me. Like for like three or four turns in a row. And you know, he didn't hit good stuff most of the time, but he hit one energy and just hitting one energy was like the difference, honestly. So yeah,

Brent:

Right. Right, man, hit you every time you hit an energy, you're like, well, that's another that's frankly, another turn where I'm going to double Milam.

Mike:

Right. Whenever I think of Barnaby, I think of Dean, like Dean love has always loved bumblebee.

Brent:

The bottle is good. Yeah. I mean, Bartleby was bumblebee was a Wrangler before a ringer was the thing,

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

but, but I, and I always thought it was interesting that like obviously you know, resource managing three cards is, is insane, but the, that, you know, that optionality has value.

Mike:

Yeah, absolutely.

Brent:

I mean, it's a really good car. And any, any other like hot takes on expand on the expanded format?

Brit:

it seems fun. I don't have much to say unfortunately, cause I haven't played it at all. It looks fun. Looks the Waldeck seemed I'd probably just take a loss too. And I think, and I think I, most people probably, well, just too many things you can't in tech for all of, all of the options they seem to have. But otherwise mitigating fairly dictated by the few people who play in the expanded events. Just the typical stuff. Even if it doesn't win, seems to be present at everything there's Like ADP, darks, they Sheehan bigger. I guess it's two at the same, at the same time you could, you know, I don't have expanded cards, but I do have standard peak around what am I missing to play expanded? You know, I imagine that's probably pretty easy. So maybe, maybe that's some players. What I,

Mike:

That's true. The Oh, yeah. The only other thing, the center scorch garb that did win, I do think has a good wall matchup. So that's something that is probably underexplored. Yeah, well there's no, there's no card that walls be maxes that I think these decks play and send a skirts. Just get to tender. Yeah.

Brent:

Right. Right. The, the, the Excel is built an acceleration.

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

Fair enough. Fair enough. All right, let's talk about 2018 worlds for a hot second.

Mike:

Sure. So, yeah, so I played on a number of old format events this week that were live events and the first one was 2018 worlds. I played guard of war in the event and I ended up top four, which is pretty sweet. I only, I lost to Greninja around one against mellow magic AARP, Kevin Clemente. Who then subsequently like went to Oh, drop like com or two, one or something like that. But then I won the rest of my games and made top cut and then I lost very, very close set against Dora pod in top four. So it was fun. I didn't play Gardy at worlds that year. I played Bud's garb shrine, but I played Guardi at NIC I've just always loved guard of war. And I think it was very underrated in that format. I think. Mysterious treasure was a huge, huge people. Did not recognize how huge mysterious treasure was for making that deck viable again, because you played in the psychic world. Since I get curly as, and treasure, like, obviously gets Laylay for Bridget. So you just had, so it was way more consistent than the deck had ever been before. And when Gardy gets set up, it beats almost everything. So Yeah, it was fun to play and it's a good deck.

Brent:

Yeah. So, so you saw the two questions I have for you. The first question is why not play buzz garb? They played it at worlds and postcard was a good deck.

Mike:

What's a good deck. I thought more people would play control, like Zorro control. I feel like in a lot of these old format events, people disproportionately play control decks because they think it's fun. And I think bus guard has a really tough time against control. So that was part of it. And then rake, why not Rayquaza? I mean,

Brent:

So, yeah. So my question there was, I felt like coming out of worlds, everybody was like Petros deck was the best.

Mike:

Yeah, I kind of agree. Yeah.

Brent:

was there was this I feel like, like consensus that Pedro had broken the format and it was strictly bad luck that he didn't win worlds that year because he was definitely playing the best 60.

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

There were definitely a bunch of people playing his list at that tournament, like that lost in the top eight. I think.

Mike:

Yeah. Well, and maybe so I agree with that statement and that's, I think reason enough why I played Gardy cause Gardy destroys Rayquaza. As long as you don't get like let loose into a totally dead hand. The matchup is very, very, very good because you just need, you just need one guardian with one energy and you pretty much. I did play right Casa in top eight game one was a slaughter game to game two. I kid you not. He had four, five. He had, he hit all four rate clauses, all four lectures and his attachment on turn one. So he had nine energy on turn one. And I lost that game because, you know, I got out of Gardy killed his thing, but he had enough energy to just kill me right back. And I, and I lost, but

Brent:

be nice.

Mike:

yeah, but, but so that's like part of the reason why I do think Rayquaza is very, very, very good, perhaps the best deck and therefore Guardi is a good play then.

Brent:

Right, right. That's fair.

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

All right. Talking about the 2015 a city championships, I felt like we talked about this a lot last week.

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

you had success with Megan two. It does not come as a surprise to me.

Mike:

Yeah, we don't need to talking about it too much, but yeah, I w I started for, Oh, it was only a five round Swiss event. No, top cut. I started it four. Oh. And then in the fifth round, I played against like a toxic seismic deck. Just for towed in. All the flippy cards. And I, I think I actually should've won that match. I think I could have decked him out, but I didn't. So I lost that and got third. that one? Yeah. I don't particularly like that format, but I did play in it. I played Ross, played a landrace right shoe. Lots of other random crap in it deck that year. And I just copied that list. Like it ran a Char's RDX for the VG match-up he played a Kyron edX for mirrors. It played a drift Blim line for plasma. Yeah, it was like just, just like a counter deck. And I lost two did pretty well, but I lost a Sosa in top eight with his evil, tall, dark red deck.

Brent:

Did you play 2014 worlds?

Brit:

Yeah, I did. I played, I played a really weird deck for worlds that year. I don't really like that format either, but there are a couple of pretty fun decks. I think. I really regret not playing. It was funny. We were talking about the, our guys, they were actual, they were on aromatase that year. Two of them, I believe it was Omar and Bianchi. I want to say both did very well at nationals that year with like an aromatase toolbox. And I've always really regretted not applying that for that worlds. My friend Curtis lion for Canada was also on it. It was Mason. Hacks Aziz's deck that year as well. But I actually played like flagon mill tank, which was Frank Diaz's deck from nationals that he made, I think top eight with I don't remember why I chose to play it. Dustin's Zimmerman played it with me as well. I seem to remember. And Kyle Sable house played as well.

Mike:

Was it, the flag on that, like when it's active, you put one counter on all of their guys.

Brit:

Yeah. So you didn't have Excella Gore like a, a real pivot to it. And the Milton tank did like 80 for one, I believe if you had a stage two in play. And it was just kind of a non edX deck. I can't, I remember Is there any other ways there was something else I think you could attack with in there, but you just spread and had Dustin more and. You had a good pirate matchup. I think that's part of why you played it. You just had your ability to deal with the pyro or things you had. Mr. Mime, you were pretty good against the Garber or decks, I think, or at least. Okay. I didn't do ended up doing very well. And I don't think any of us who did played it, I don't think we had a good VG matchup and we just didn't, we didn't anticipate the VG metagame that turned up. So yeah, I think we were just like a meta-game behind, but it was a fun deck. Just really, really foggy on what, what other cards that played other than Dustin or in tropical beach? That was a really peculiar worlds for me. I didn't have a phone or anything the whole time. All my stuff had gotten stolen, like

Mike:

Oh, that's when that happened.

Brit:

And so I had to, like, I flew to DC from Portland and just didn't have anything. Didn't have cards.

Brent:

So what was the thing? When I look back on that format, that was the first format that we played. And like the thing that I always wonder about is, I mean, we felt like going into that tournament, you were like, you were another to plan for is in Genesek or available or TDK. And like, there was like, and like, when I look back on the format now, and even like, we would hear people like talking about like rogue, like you could play Blastoise with black, Kira, like all that stuff, all that stuff. It felt really, really fringe to us. And it felt like the meadow was really, really centralized on like these three decks. And I don't know if that was just that we were not, like, I always wonder is that like, we weren't deep enough to be like surrounded by all this noise where you run around frantically trying to think about switching decks a hundred times the night before, because there's like all these crazy rumors and stories and secret decks and all this like stuff. Like, I wonder how much now it's that. Like, I don't see how simple a meta-game actually is because I'm so deep in it. And, and that was like, or if, if it really just was like that in 2014, man, there were only three decks and everything else was super fringe.

Brit:

I think there, there was quite a few. Yeah. Cause I know some people did well with like Trevena, Accela, Gore does snore at that world. I believe that's what Ryan stable house played that year. And I had another friend who made top 64 with it,

Brent:

Yeah. The guy, the guy, the one seniors, I think played that

Brit:

Oh, okay. I forgot that it did well in a younger division. There was a handful of decks. I wouldn't say at least in my opinion, what made that meta game. And I can think of another worlds meta game that was similar to this difficult to call is because it was sort of It was a medication that was dependent on pirate or a wall Pokemon. And so I think that so much of your D it's a harder deck choice when it's not just like, what deck do I play? It's just like, do I take an auto loss if without playing attack or do I have to play something that can be to pirate a deck or something like that? It's just, you can't quite Put one card in your deck to be pyro or something. And so I think that's what made it a harder meta-game to call. And the other one that comes to mind has got the tele Accella Gore, both, both of them had very huge Nash, very big presence at nationals, us nationals, which typically is the last one, the last tournament before worlds. And so there too, it was also just this question that, that much of it, you got to tell Excel where you could. Tech a little easier for and you could just play an extra Callio and things like that, but it was also just do I counter it, do I play it? And neither, neither of them, in both cases, neither of these like troublesome decks and ended up really doing anything at worlds. I think they both, like you just mentioned and DC and the seniors division, I think oxtail, Accela Gore does do very well in the senior division again, but neither of them have like a, to Pete appearance in the masters division, but I always

Brent:

got out to Trent Orndorff, the winner of seniors that year with trimming itself.

Mike:

Yeah, but I think, I think that's a good point because. The year before in 2013 you saw got the telesales or do really well at nationals and then not do anything really at worlds. And so I think people had this in the back of their mind because it was so recent. They're like, Oh, pirate were just did so well at nationals, but the same thing happened last year. So let's just kind of disregard pirate or or at least some people did. Right. Clearly the VG people did, they were like, well, you know, pyro or screw that, we'll take the loss and beat other things.

Brent:

Yeah. I always felt like, I felt like the conclusion they came to was it was going to be fine. They're just going to G boost the heck out of it. And like, it's going to kind of work itself out. And, you know, I like, I, I thought I felt kind of what happened to pyro or was mean, it just turned out that like, yeah. I mean, if you're eager Costa, you're just going to figure it out. It's gonna be fine. Like there's no pirate player. That's going to be able to be like, Oh, I'm going to, I got him.

Brit:

I guess I have a, sort of a question about that. I've never, I've never quite understood why the Portuguese list is what did, well, obviously a start ends up winning, but. I've always been sort of confused. I've never thought that like colorists engine coldest machine engine was any good in the VG deck. I've always been perplexed that their performance at worlds do either of you have any thoughts about how that, that build with the heavy bicycles as well? Why it did well, it just strikes. That's like how we built the deck when the cards first came out and it got replaced with better cars. Cause you, you would play Lugia too. Sometimes when people were first building. VG in, you played laser bank sometimes too.

Mike:

Yeah. So I didn't really play very much that year, but part of my assumption was that they were like some of the only people that played VG. So like, if I, but I don't know.

Brit:

And that was just all, it just really showed up out of nowhere, at least in my experience, a strata. So it was way more normal, I seem to remember, but it's always just kind of been a mystery to me.

Brent:

I, you know, I was always down with like, like the bicycle engine in general. Like I thought bicycles were kind of good in that format because, I mean, if you were playing a supporter that was not Juniper and you were playing like a bedrest supporter and. Yeah, but, but like, I felt like you needed more draw engine than just that. And so like, that was like the best item-based drawing the format. So like,

Brit:

the, the synergy or strategy is that you just want to strain consecutive G boosters, I think. And that's what the machines are supposed to give you that easier, extra energy and then bicycles to draw the rest, I suppose. But that's a lot.

Brent:

Yeah. And it's certainly mean that, you know, they're even running like the heavy switches, so they're like, we're just gonna, I'm just gonna keep depo staying. We're just gonna all the energy that was on this very busy and there let's put that over there too. Yeah, you're probably right, right. I mean that their goal is kind of ADP style. We're just going to achieve those three times in the game. So, you know, a couple of coldest machines, couple of energy switches. It'll be no problem.

Brit:

Yes. I'm actually warming up to it a little bit more. Now. I don't know something about, it just clicked in my head. It was like, ah, it's not as bad as I think I was. It's just, didn't get it clearly. But now I realize the synergy is consecutive. Got it.

Brent:

Yeah. After, after playing our power format, the, the ability to like take a bunch of

Brit:

think I ever played VG really for tournaments. I, there was just not a deck I ever chose. Boring.

Brent:

same, same. right. All right. Let's talk about, let's talk about the current format. Mike, another big dub at a huge limitless, no ADP tournament. There were like 390 people, I think.

Mike:

Yeah. Yeah, that was cool. I took good old peak. Her arm went minus four, crushing hammer, put some other good cards in and it seemed to work out. I played, I don't have my match-ups up right now, but I would say I got to buy the first round of the asymmetrical cuts. I played bla Cephalon and top eight good matchup played mad party, top four, pretty close. But we got there and I played the Vika bolt. The one game that I attacked with speakable in my top four against mad party is the one game I lost. So

Brent:

The same med party guy in Swiss.

Mike:

yeah. Yeah, I did. Yep. Every game, both games, both games. I lost, I attacked with Vika bowl, both games I won did not attack with Vika volt. So breakable not great against mad party clearly. And then finals against Dennis scorch was like, he drew kind of awkwardly and the match-ups so good. So topcoat was pretty. Well, mad party was tough, but like the other two match-ups really straightforward. And in Swiss, generally my matchups were just really good. I dodged all the alternatives. I didn't play against an internist. I didn't play against a colossal. So those were the two match-ups that I was most worried about. I think I played against like some Luke medals, some mirrors some bliss epsilons into us. So yeah, I got good. Match-ups played well.

Brent:

Yeah, I was going to ask if you'd played a turn at this, because obviously that's the only other bad thing that happens when you cut the hammers. Right.

Mike:

right. So I was able to Dodge those, which was, which was great.

Brent:

So, so keys are coming out. Is it put the hammers back in and just play peek around?

Mike:

That's my plan. I'm I'm debating, I'll probably play some with hammers and some without hammers. Yeah, I don't know. I might be cool with just taking the last two alternatives and making all my other match-ups better. We'll see.

Brent:

Well, I want to spend a little more time on this, but I feel like we should start with you and Brit players cup three. What's the strategy, man.

Brit:

I don't know I'm I, I already catch myself. I don't know. I just do sort of very psychologically defensive. Like I, you know, I don't want to. Fall a little short again. So I'm already, already sort of like devising strategies. So for instance, I just, I noticed Pablo I think is going to play 50 different decks and my head, I see that I was like, Oh, I can do that. You know? And just immediate, immediately, no stress. Right. I'll have, I'll have some good stories for the podcast. Maybe I'll do. Okay. But now I'm gonna, I'm going to probably probably plan to take it pretty seriously. I've been thinking about strategy a lot. I know. That last time around, I had by far the best results with just vanilla ADP, really zoned in focusing hard. And I know ADP is kind of in a, in a weaker position in the meta-game, but that's sort of work. I think I might start, I need to, I'm going to try to practice a lot with Pekichu if I can, because I might maybe like Mikey was just talking about that actually sounds like a pretty good idea too. And you just hope, hope to Dodge fighting, things like that. But I sort of am anticipating people trying to counter pick her room initially. And so that's also part of why I thought I might just start with ADP no sort of terrible matchup. So on paper, you always have your unfair strategies that can just beat anything. And, you know, I know the statistics are. Can I say that the good center scorch players are probably favored. But I'm confident I can be some lackluster ones and things like that. I know we joked about for the last one, writing down the names of center scorch players that you run into, just so you can remember to not give them all Canyon. I think I'm going to try to do that actually. But the firearm, some sports was never very popular last time, but maybe it will be more this time, but

Brent:

This, this theoretically should be another utility of the limitless thing. Like if you got everybody's screen names, you can be like, just give it to me, give it to me, give it to

Mike:

Yeah, that's true.

Brit:

Yeah. I, I, I can't imagine I'll, I'll, I'll play one deck the whole time. I'll probably bounce around. Not nearly as much as I did in the first one. And like I said already, the main thing I've been testing is sent a score. It's still Valley. So maybe I'll just start there too. It seems relatively safe to me for similar reasons. Yeah, I'm, I'm optimistic. There's a lot of, a lot of good options. I, even though I haven't played Pico very much, I feel pretty confident in my ability to play it well. Like I'll have to think about some things and probably just talk to Mikey and in this week leading up to getting the keys, but you know, I kind of know how the metric works, I think, and I'm not super I feel like the sequence, the way you have to sequence a isn't as difficult as say, mad party or something. So I might be able to do that without as much practice, but I think a list that's prepared for mirrors seems wise to me like Mikey, without. The crushing hammers played a great catcher and a car just really seems like a necessity to me for a lot of metrics right now. We talked about it last week. It has kind of a natural synergy with silver Valley. And obviously the Geraci builds. I've been playing it for a while and so I've put it into my soul Valley build and it's not getting cut. It's an incredible card. And just for kind of the same reasons you just helps you navigate the peaker on match up a little bit better. And so I, I wonder if the great catcher or the fourth boss might just be needed from even the crushing Hammer's list. Because like, if on paper, the matchup is kind of, if you can get the first gust of wind effect and hit your opponent's tag team before they can hit yours, like, cause bolt-on say you typically win those games. So if that's the case, I would think maybe risking it with four boss and a great capture and like no Christian hammer, just try to outlast the mayor, but. I dunno, playing the mirror when you don't have hammer. And they do, like we've said before, I just feel so bad.

Mike:

Yeah. I do think great catcher in the mirror is better than hammers, so but yeah, if you want to, if you want to play some games and talk peek around, I am down to coach and talk you through stuff. I. Talking about my strategy. I might not play peek around the whole 50. We'll see. I do agree like ADP Z just also seems like a super, super safe thing to play in these events. It's what I played mostly for the, for, or for players cup too. So yeah, I mean, those are the two decks that I would probably play the most of them.

Brent:

I think that answers my, my next question was like, if you're not a good player, what's the deck you should play. And the answer is always ADP, right?

Mike:

Yeah, I think so. I think it turned into, this is also quite strong as well. So you could, you could play it, turn into this too, and it's pretty straightforward.

Brent:

I just find playing a turn. It is incredibly unpleasant. Like, you're just, you're just so reliant on, like, you gotta find the BMX, you gotta fill your bench. Like you gotta, I don't know. You know, I think I don't like the dry engine. It just seems unfun that you're so like reliant on getting your hand size down and then CRO bedding. And like, if you don't draw well with the crowbar, you're like, well, this is going to be a terrible term. So quick question about peek around Mike. I saw you were running a poll on tax switch versus energy switch and any conclusions. And I know you said you have strong feelings about it, but you're interested in other people's feelings. What, what's the answer? The answer is energy switch, right?

Mike:

I mean, the answer is energy switch. I think anybody that is playing tag switch doesn't really understand why you're playing those cards in the deck. Like most of the tags, which has its uses don't get me wrong, but the. More than half the time that you want to use this type of effect. You want to use it for one of two reasons. So these two situations make up, I would say at least 50% of the time. And one of them is they've gusted around your Bolton early in the game. And. Either hit a tag team or knocked out a tech team. They're trying to draw six prizes by killing two tag teams. So they're going around your Bolton and that's annoying for you. You want them to take eight prizes essentially. So by playing energy switch, it gives you the ability to move that early energy from a Bolton onto a tag team later in the game. Very important to be able to do that second situation that comes up a lot is you often need to cocoa Onto either a DNA or a CRO bat, because you just need to do it to be whether maybe you went first and you needed to get a, you know, it turned to full blitz or something like that. And you end up having this spare energy on a useless Pokemon and you want to move it off that, so those two situations are at least half the time you want those effects. The other half of the time. Yeah. You're moving it off of a tag team to something else. But I just feel like if those two situations come up half the time, like I'd rather just take it. Like a slightly weaker, slightly weaker card half the half the time, but it's useful in, you know, all of those situations where you see, you just have a dead card. So I feel very strongly that energy switches better. I have messed around with like running one and one. It just doesn't, it's just not that it's not as consistent. It's just, I don't know. I think energy switches significantly better. I'd probably even play three energy switch before I played two in one.

Brit:

I would too. I think I even sort of missed the point where people were even back to experimenting with tags, which it just doesn't seem right to me at all. I would definitely play three before two and one, and certainly not one-on-one or two of tag.

Brent:

Right, right. I understand. They're there. They imagine when they're like playing out these games in their minds, that they're like, you know, locking in that GX. But I don't think it works quite the way. They think it's going to work in their head.

Mike:

Just don't come up enough like that. Like, it's so easy to just, and like one of the big arguments for a tag switch is that you can bring like in the mirror, you can just make them U2 out of nowhere to kill their MuTu. But you can do that with energy switch too. You only need one energy switch. If you save cocoa, you can go like attach Coco energy switch. Like you just are a little bit more mindful of that using Coco. If you want to do something like that.

Brit:

Yeah, to me, to me, my sort of prevailing logic similarly, is that the, the scenarios where the texts, which truly is truly the better card are, are not all of them. Right. Whereas the. The switch is always going to be live. And so it's always going to be relevant even in, in sort of makeshift scenarios. And I think that's always just an easy litmus test for like a card or not like, are you sure? Is it good and ideal circumstances? What does it do in poor circumstances? It was going to kind of help me navigate a bad hand and energy such quaint can, and a great, a great many of scenarios that I can think of off the top of my head that. Tax, which can, like you say, you start like elder gas research or something and you slap an energy on it. You drop all tons, switch, energy, switch, boom,

Mike:

Right. Yeah.

Brit:

normal turn and things like, things like that. Whereas the tax switches is not going to be helpful. And you know, maybe that's too cherry-picked I'm not entirely sure, but I, I think we're we're right on. Most of the other points here.

Brent:

I think that's a really good example of just like, like a tax. I mean, it's not when more, cause I'm sure like the times you're thinking of where you're like, I really, really need this GX. Like it's critical to winning, but like that's the situation, right? There's, there's no other scenario where you're like tax, which like it's just one thing where you have this, like one incredibly linear victory, energy switch helps you in lots of situations. So one other question I have for you guys about players come three, and that is like, do you guys have a key strategy? Like Mike, is it, is it one game every day again? Or like I could almost imagine Brit might be more successful in imitating Kyle less in a way it's a strategy of like going to carve up a Saturday and I'm going to play like 20 keys.

Mike:

Yeah, I'm currently planning on kind of spreading it out again. I'll probably pull, not play as many of the online events. I probably won't play any during the week, to be honest with you, maybe just one on the weekend and just use, you know, the two hours in the evenings to play a couple. But yeah, I plan on

Brit:

interesting to see how will, how will the keys being live affect attendance? Are people going to, I mean, people are crazy. Surely a good amount of people will do both, but I would, I would think the numbers go away. Attendance depths for. A considerable amount of time.

Brent:

I mean, it's not somebody like cash was already doing these tournaments at like three in the morning. He's got like 20 hours in the day. He can play his keys. Right.

Brit:

No, I don't. I don't think cache gets keys. So certainly

Mike:

Oh, yeah,

Brit:

Asia Pacific Pacific or out a lot.

Brent:

Sure. Sure.

Brit:

Right.

Brent:

But, so, so how about you Brett, and any thoughts on what your key playing strategy will be?

Brit:

I know. Well, last time around, I, I don't think I did it a lot, but I still tilted a little bit too much. So if I feel frustration, even if it's just like a round one dead hand and I get mad, you know, I'm, I'm going to, I'm going to be aware of that and take a break. But otherwise I don't think I'll have a real strategy. I'm just going to play them when I can. And if I'm in a good mood, And then just feeling it I'll play three, four or five in a row. Just whatever I have time for. Well, we'll see. I'm sure I'll be able to play all 50, but I don't know. Who knows. Maybe I'm I get off to a really bad start and I just stop after 10 or something like that. Like,

Brent:

maybe it does win 10 and you're like, we got to keep going.

Brit:

yeah, we'll see. I definitely won't finish as fast as I did the first time around.

Brent:

Aye. I felt like last time it was weird because like, there was definitely a little bit of like the meta-game changed a little bit over the course of keys. And I think out of the gate, we thought people were playing keys really, really aggressively. And then like, somehow it seemed to get even crazier, like the last week or so of keys play. Right.

Mike:

Yeah.

Brent:

I, I don't understand, like, I guess it'll, it'll probably be like that again, like the last week, no matter what happened, like before that the last week will be just like people going crazy.

Mike:

Yeah, I'm going to definitely avoid playing too many the first week and too many, the last week.

Brent:

That seems like a reasonable thing. But, but do you think, Mike, do you feel pressure to try to try to play your keys a little earlier? Just in that like. Obviously you're, you're on a hot streak right now, peak rom is in a really strong place in the Metta. And like maybe, you know, a later on it will not be in such a good place. Or are you less concerned with that?

Mike:

Not too concerned about that. Partially for what kind of Britt was talking about? If anything, I wonder if right out of the gate, peaker on might be like heavily countered against. And so maybe like a week and a half in, it might actually be a better meta-game for Pika. I don't know. But yeah, so not too worried about that.

Brent:

what does a meta-game look like where people heavily counter peak, a Pico always wins.

Mike:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Brent:

And people are going to play a colossal. Colossal is just going to lose.

Mike:

is a good match. Anyway, it's really like decidual I ops to goodness, like an, it turned us are like the two, the two decks that I really would not want to play.

Brent:

Right, right. Yeah. See decidual I obstacle I mean, those guys are just going to find their way to losses. Right? You

Mike:

just a little place in the scorches round one. And then

Brent:

Yeah. Yeah. But deck, that's just not good enough. All right guys, we've been going for awhile. I feel like we've covered all the ground there is to cover. And anything else that we should talk about?

Mike:

Well, thanks. So next week will be nice update on start a players cup

Brent:

Yeah. Next, next week. So purlative commentary on plants and keys, right?

Mike:

big. Yup. All right guys. Good stuff.