On June 15th, Play!Pokemon announced what most players knew was coming…. a first ever mid-season rotation. Not only the first ever, but also the largest cut of legal sets since we have been playing the TCG (7 sets cut…ouch). Why did they do this? Well, here is the short version. The new Black & White rules along with cards dating back to Majestic Dawn opened up the game to anyone who could buy 4 Sableye (SF) being able to beat the best decks and best players with a garbage “donk” deck (winning on the opening turn before your opponent has a chance to draw their 1st card). It basically removed any real strategy from the format and would have made Nationals a joke. Play!Pokemon did the correct thing for the game. The Modified Format, effective July 1st 2011, will be limited to sets from Heartgold Soulsilver sets and newer (see list at the bottom).
So, what does this mean? Here it is in 2 parts…. what it means to you the player and then what it means to the Fincastle Pokemon Gym.
You the Player:
Does this affect you. Of course it does. We just cleaned out our binder of “the old stuff”….. now it is 1/3 its original size (or less). This means no Spiritomb, no Sableye, no Uxie, no Azelf, no Level X’s, no SP pokemon, no Broken Time Space…. pretty much everything we revolve our decks around. Is this bad? We don’t think so. It may take a while for our collection to recover, but it also opens up the whole format to completely new strategies and creativity. The challenge of making new competitive decks is very exciting for the Gym Leaders and hopefully will be for all of our trainers. Those new to the game have hopefully been purchasing cards from the newer sets anyway, so it may not even affect them. Those who have large collections of cards that will be cut may choose to hold on to some cards for the sake of collecting, but may want to look into trading them for newer cards or even selling them (ebay or card shops/online stores that buy cards).
The Fincastle Gym:
We know that a lot of our trainers have cards that will be cut, so we will not observe the rotation at the Gym until after World Championships. Worlds are in August (no date set yet), so we will go with September 1st, 2011 at the Gym. This will still give you lots of time to play your favorites and get some use out of the league promos (about 1/2 of which are being rotated out as well). We do not have a date set, but we will hold one more tournament at the Gym (end of July sometime?) to give everyone one last “hurrah!” with their favorite deck. Any events that we run and all gym leader challenges will be in the new format after September 1st. Just don’t forget that if your thinking about Nationals, you will have to have a current format deck for the main tournament (they do allow Unlimited Format decks is some leagues that go on that weekend).
After September 1st, we encourage everyone to shift to the format. Will we prevent you from playing with older cards? Of course not. We want you to play, even if you don’t a lot of newer cards. All it takes for a new player to get into this format is purchasing a theme deck (the newer it is, the longer you can use it) and making a few trades and you’ll be set. All players are welcome and we will help you put together decks that work as you get the cards. We will separate league promos into current cards and rotated cards. After September 1st, all cards from the league binder pulls will be HGSS and newer. As for all of our rotated cards… does anyone want to try wallpapering a room in pokemon cards?
The Modified format for the rest of the 2011 season and the entirety of the 2012 season will include the following sets:
HeartGold & SoulSilver
Call of Legends
Black & White
HS Trainer Kit
Black Star Promo Cards numbered HGSS01 and higher and Black Star Promo Cards numbered BW01 and higher.
Any questions, email us or come by the Gym. Gym is at the normal time this weekend. See you there!