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Penny Arcade - Comic - The Pokemen

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The Pokemen!

Penny Arcade - Comic - The Pokemen

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

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    Johnny17Johnny17 Registered User regular
    edited August 2022
    This is how going to prison is like after years of child abuse.

    fa43bf8262cc83246e2ac966b37a93f0.jpg

    Johnny17 on
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    DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited August 2022
    I haven't played the Pokemon card game ever since the very, very first "season" when it was totally new, so I'm completely out of the loop; has it become an actual game?

    Back in the days, it was a brainless luck fest of coin flipping and hoping to get your evolution card before your opponent.

    EDIT: Went on Reddit to find the answer to my question, and it sounds like the game has gotten even worse over time: in trying to explain to a newcomer that there are many different strategies nowadays, an experienced player described a few decks, and they all revolved around creating an invincible Pokemon, or making the situation unwinnable for the opponent. That doesn't sound fun at all.

    Djiem on
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    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    Djiem wrote: »
    I haven't played the Pokemon card game ever since the very, very first "season" when it was totally new, so I'm completely out of the loop; has it become an actual game?

    Back in the days, it was a brainless luck fest of coin flipping and hoping to get your evolution card before your opponent.

    EDIT: Went on Reddit to find the answer to my question, and it sounds like the game has gotten even worse over time: in trying to explain to a newcomer that there are many different strategies nowadays, an experienced player described a few decks, and they all revolved around creating an invincible Pokemon, or making the situation unwinnable for the opponent. That doesn't sound fun at all.

    No, but there's cute pictures on the cards.

    Target audience: kids who like to collect stuff.

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    MaryAmeliaMaryAmelia Registered User regular
    So even Gabe's Dark Deck won't be enough against those guys?

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    FireballDragonFireballDragon Registered User regular
    Way to make someone feel like a small Magikarp in a big pond.

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    twmjrtwmjr Registered User regular
    Djiem wrote: »
    I haven't played the Pokemon card game ever since the very, very first "season" when it was totally new, so I'm completely out of the loop; has it become an actual game?

    Back in the days, it was a brainless luck fest of coin flipping and hoping to get your evolution card before your opponent.

    EDIT: Went on Reddit to find the answer to my question, and it sounds like the game has gotten even worse over time: in trying to explain to a newcomer that there are many different strategies nowadays, an experienced player described a few decks, and they all revolved around creating an invincible Pokemon, or making the situation unwinnable for the opponent. That doesn't sound fun at all.

    Like many things of the sort, the game is much more fun when played in its "intended" form (i.e. playing with my 8 year old using pre-made decks) vs. playing sweatlords wringing every drop of metagame from the proverbial towel. I get that constitutes fun for some people; I'm just not one of them.

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    GrendusGrendus Registered User regular
    It's kind of like comparing competitive DotA to Fall Guys. DotA is heavily balanced, and while there's endless arguments about which champ is broken and the meta it's generally designed for "sweatlords". Fall Guys is mostly to watch a bunch of clumsy jelly men get smacked into oblivion by a cartoon hammer. While you can play Fall Guys seriously (and DotA casually), it's not really what they're designed for. One is an esport, one is a goofy game to play with friends.

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    DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited August 2022
    twmjr wrote: »
    Djiem wrote: »
    I haven't played the Pokemon card game ever since the very, very first "season" when it was totally new, so I'm completely out of the loop; has it become an actual game?

    Back in the days, it was a brainless luck fest of coin flipping and hoping to get your evolution card before your opponent.

    EDIT: Went on Reddit to find the answer to my question, and it sounds like the game has gotten even worse over time: in trying to explain to a newcomer that there are many different strategies nowadays, an experienced player described a few decks, and they all revolved around creating an invincible Pokemon, or making the situation unwinnable for the opponent. That doesn't sound fun at all.

    Like many things of the sort, the game is much more fun when played in its "intended" form (i.e. playing with my 8 year old using pre-made decks) vs. playing sweatlords wringing every drop of metagame from the proverbial towel. I get that constitutes fun for some people; I'm just not one of them.

    I'm not necessarily adverse to sweatlords and sweatlording; in this case, my problem with the game comes from how victory is achieved by either creating one unstoppable Pokemon or unwinnable situation, and decks centered entirely and exclusively on reaching that state. If the game's design was such that playing the game seriously looked similar to casual play, with back and forth and tactical decisions, just on a much higher level using custom decks with good synergy, I would probably actually want to get into it. I love Pokémon.

    Djiem on
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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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    Armored ChocoboArmored Chocobo Registered User regular
    edited August 2022
    Djiem wrote: »
    I haven't played the Pokemon card game ever since the very, very first "season" when it was totally new, so I'm completely out of the loop; has it become an actual game?

    Back in the days, it was a brainless luck fest of coin flipping and hoping to get your evolution card before your opponent.

    EDIT: Went on Reddit to find the answer to my question, and it sounds like the game has gotten even worse over time: in trying to explain to a newcomer that there are many different strategies nowadays, an experienced player described a few decks, and they all revolved around creating an invincible Pokemon, or making the situation unwinnable for the opponent. That doesn't sound fun at all.

    If you like big numbers, maybe. The power creep went from High Hp being like 70-100 to like 210+, with moves that can completely wipe out an opponent's HP in one attack.

    It's kinda like competitive Pokemon where you set up a sweep, except your setup is just bringing out your Pokemon V or VMax.


    Yup, that's MTG. I just wanna play my Yakuza Rats and pilot some vehicles, stop summoning 100 goblins.

    Armored Chocobo on
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    ShowsniShowsni Registered User regular
    Djiem wrote: »
    I'm not necessarily adverse to sweatlords and sweatlording; in this case, my problem with the game comes from how victory is achieved by either creating one unstoppable Pokemon or unwinnable situation, and decks centered entirely and exclusively on reaching that state. If the game's design was such that playing the game seriously looked similar to casual play, with back and forth and tactical decisions, just on a much higher level using custom decks with good synergy, I would probably actually want to get into it. I love Pokémon.

    The deal with Pokémon TCG is that in general card draw and tutoring effects are so strong you are highly likely to be able to put together your strategy (unless, as Tycho alludes to in the news post, you've managed to prize all copies of a key component and aren't running Gladion or similar). At a high level, most decks will have a board state or plan they are aiming towards, and will be able to pull off with regularity. This deck might be aiming to have Eternatus VMax in play, then use Weavile to move energy on and off of Kecelon to continually bump Darkrai into the graveyard and back so it can pull every energy from its discard into play and then smack the opponent with a fully powered up Guzzlord. This deck might want to get double dragon energy onto Ultra Necrozma with a Garbodor or Silent Lab in play to turn off its bad ability. This deck wants to use Tapu Koko Prism and Thunder Mountain Prism to Full Blitz with Pikachu & Zekrom turn one.

    So you do sometimes get matches where both players are "this is my strategy, I will try to complete my strategy, I don't care what you're doing" and whoever gets there first wins, but it's not always the case. There are plenty of disruption cards. I think part of the reason is that there's no sideboarding - in Magic, you play best of three, and you bring 15 extra cards to modify your deck to better deal with your opponent. In Pokémon there's none of that, so your deck has to be able to cope with anything the opponent is trying in the main deck, or just be doing something strong enough that you don't care what they're doing. Like most TCGs, half the battle is won in the deckbuilding side of the game, and without sideboarding that's even more important. If your opponent throws down a Path to the Peak that shuts down your entire deck and you have no answer for it, that's an issue.

    I would recommend you look into Gym Leader Challenge, though. That sounds closer to what you want. It's a game mode where Pokémon with ruleboxes aren't allowed, every Pokémon you use has to be the same type, and your deck is singleton/highlander format (i.e. only one copy of cards, except basic energy). Without rule box Pokémon (EX, V, VMax, GX, etc) games are forced to actually go to six prizes, and the lack of consistency by making everything singleton means people bring more diverse decks with some more interesting and lesser used cards.

    The more casual format offered on the online client with a ladder is theme decks only, which is certainly more casual with more back and forth, so you might find that interesting too. Of course, with precons you know exactly what is in the opponent's deck, but that also adds to the tactics somewhat - I know that the Stormcaller deck only runs one Zebstrika, so I can target it down before they get their Naganadel engine running, etc.


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    EvermournEvermourn Registered User regular
    Is the joke that he isn't very good and those adult players would destroy him, so he leaves? Or that he considers them losers and so by extension if he plays them then he will be too?

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    DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    Evermourn wrote: »
    Is the joke that he isn't very good and those adult players would destroy him, so he leaves? Or that he considers them losers and so by extension if he plays them then he will be too?

    The first one. There is a HUGE difference between casual and hardcore play when it comes to Pokémon.

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