No.003 My Pokemoncard Life 2001 to 2002

1.1.2014 wrote: Tsuguyoshi Yamato in category Trading Card Game

 Welcome back to my Pokemon Card Life articles! This will be my 3rd article, and I will be talking about seasons in the late 2001 to 2002.

 Before I get to the main topic, I would like to write a quick recap about the last article. I won the 3rd place in a tournament held in Summer 2001, and I was really motivated to be a top player. I started working very hard to win 1st place after that.


The 4th Booster Pack released in the Neo Series gave an end to the series which was based on Pokemon Gold and Silver. The next series were the “Pokemon VS series”, which was only released in Japan. However, this set gave a big change. First of all, the design of the rear side changed, so we call all the cards up to Neo Destiny “previous rear”, and the cards after the VS series “present rear”. By the way, there are still some card collectors that collects previous rear, and some of them are really expensive.

Back to the topic, the VS series were the first time that Evolved Pokemons were treated as basic Pokemon, just like Pokemon SP. However, there weren’t any powered cards or key cards in this set although TM’s were added from this set. (The latest TM’s is Team Galaxy’s TM.)

Pokemons in this set had many basic Pokemons which were a little bit stronger than the previous basics, but Pokemon’s from the VS series were able to use attacks from TM’s, which some of them were pretty strong, and not so many Energies were needed. TM’s were just like Tools, so it made the game interesting in the point that it was unpredictable when the TM’s were used.

On December 2001, e series were released. Because of the cards being complex in previous rear, most cards became weaker comparing to the previous series since it became hard for Beginners to take part in PTCG: The Damage done by attack, Special Power, the number of cards you can draw with a trainer card- all of these became less or fewer.

For example, in the previous series we had Professor Oak and Professor Elm which makes a player able to draw 7 cards. However, Professor Oak’s Research was mainly used in e series, which makes a player to draw only 5 cards from your deck.

Some people say that these few years were a dark age in the PTCG history, but I personally don’t think so. I think that we have the cards today because we had these series. The game can easily breakdown if the number of attacks or HP increases and if stronger cards keep on coming out. Even if the game environment renewals, the number still goes up. When the first series came up, the highest HP was 120, but 17 years later, it became 220. (Like Mega Blastoise and Mega Venusaur) The thought that the maximum HP can be up to 200 is now gone, and I think that by the time I became an old man, the maximum HP may be up to 400!

PTCG sometimes changes the effects of the cards time to time (just like Pokemon Catcher had), and I assume that it was around this time that Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal’s had eratta. (Energy Removal to Energy Removal 2, in most countries I assume) Although I sometimes feel against those eratta, I’ll be keeping an eye on it. I personally think that it is better for the effects to be weaker because the game itself will be exquisite.


Now I will be explaining the legal cards in that time.

It was probably in Spring 2002 when the rule for a Supporter became legal. The legal cards were different in each division- Junior and Senior was able to use Neo Genesis (Neo1) up to e Series, while Master division was able to use ALL series (First Generation to e series). 13 years old to 17 years old were in Senior division, and Master division were from High School Students (15-18). This Master division was added from 2002, and it was a wonderful news for players who graduated High School- Before this division was added, players who graduated High School didn’t have the right to play in official games since there weren’t any divisions for them. This means that there was right for them to continue playing PTCG!

For the rules, we had limits in cards available in play again. (Please check last time’s article if interested!) However, there were changes in the cards for the limit from last time due to the results from the last tournament, so I wasn’t able to play my Kingdra Deck I used last time nor the other decks that won through the last tournament. (Although I still could have made a Kingdra Deck, it won’t be a powerful deck since Recycle Energy was now limited.)

Also, we could now use our own deck for the preliminary round. In the previous tournaments, we were only able to use decks that the sponsor has made. However, the deck should be made out of 30 cards, which probably is a legal rule in Japan only.

30 cards-deck-rule is basically the half of 60 cards, so we can have only 2 cards with the same name, and the number of prizes will be 3. Basically, the games will be simple- It will be hard to add a card for a mirror deck and a card for the meta. Therefore, the meta is pretty simple, and your effort maybe worthless with your playing techs.

Now, from these explanations, this game might seem to be boring, but making a deck out of 30 cards is different from making a 60, and making a deck for a meta deck may be pretty fun, although I don’t like it since the game is too simple.


Now, I will talk about what kind of decks there were at this time. (By the way, most of the decks I’ve talked about in the last article is still left.)


Entei(Neo3) + Fire Pokemons (Such as Ninetails, Arcanine, Ho-oh)

Because of the Supporter Cards, the speed of each game became slower. Usin Entei’s Special Power “Howl” (Whenever you play Entei from your hand, you may discard the top 5 cards of your deck. (If you have fewer cards in your deck than that, discard all of them.) If any of those are Fire Energy cards, attach them to any of your Fire Pokémon of your choice. Using this power ends your turn.)), it became easier for a fire type to attack with a big damage. However, because you can only look through the top 5 cards from your deck for Fire Energy, discard other cards and ends your turn, it didn’t always gurrantee for Fire Energy acceleration.

Gengar (e )+ Feraligatr (e )

Although I told you readers that these series are really weak, the combination of these two cards were probably the only cards that can be strong enough to have games against the previous rear. Feraligatr made a good with switching with a bench Pokemon, and with Gengar’s “Chaos move”, Rending Jaws made a great shot. However, since these 2 cards were both 2nd Stage Pokemon and Genga’s Poke Power’s use was limited, the time out was one of the worries when using this deck.


Misty’s Staryu & etc

This deck existed previously, but because this was a pretty interesting deck, I will introduce it anyways. Using Misty’s Staryu and Plus Power, Misty’s Staryu’s Star Boomerang can hit a big damage and KO the defending Pokemon with 1 or 2 attacks. Also, Misty’s Staryu’s attack ables to return every single card attached to Staryu to his or her hand so Plus Power will also return. It was able to hit a big damage in this time, but if your opponent gets away with it, it will be harder to win.

Also, because the Supporter rule made it harder to draw many cards from your deck, this deck was useless in this format.


Now, it’s time to talk about myself.

In this tournament, I was able to take part in either Senior or Master Division. I have no idea why, but I decided to take part in the Master Division in Sendai Battle Road Spring 2002. 1t’s not like I’m acting superstitiously, but I kind of loved taking part in tournaments held in Sendai.

 The preliminary round was same as last time: There were 6 to 10 people in each table and have 3 games with 3 different person. The 1st place winner gets to pass the cut.

 This time, I used Karen’s Tyranitar/ Gengar. Since Gengar’s Chaos Move can be used from the beginning of the game, so it can make me easier to win the game. Attaching a Dark Energy to Karen’s Tyranitar, it can hit a big damage. Also, I had a few mirror games with Gengar, but because Karen’s Tyranitar has a resistance to Psychic types, I was able to win all of the games and passed the cut. If I win the 1st place, it means that I won in Sendai for 2 tournaments in a row!

 Now it’s time for finals. The deck should be made out of 60, and the rules were back to the original one. The deck I used was Gengar / Feraligatr, and I was so proud of it that I expected to win the 1st place if I wasn’t donked. Even if my opponent leads the game, I can get the game back by using Gengar. Feraligatr can beat anything within 2 turns once Energy cards were attached to it. I also had a few Baby Pokemons in my deck to hold the game for a few turns because I can’t attack for the first few turns.

My first game was against Feraligatr (I assume). I strongly felt that my deck had advantage since I had Gengar in my deck. Although my opponent took more prizes than I did, I had my cards set so I expected to win. However, as I got closer to the number of prizes my opponent has taken already, his playing style suddenly changed and he started to use Baby Pokemon such as Magby to set the game slower.

Magby’s attack “Sputter” made our Pokemon unable to use Special Power, Poke Power and Poke Body. Time goes by quickly, and whenever I flip a coin to attack Magby, it Tails. The judge calls for time up, and although my field looked way better than my opponent’s, I lost just because my opponent got more prizes than I did. I never felt I lost that game, but I did. I was really upset that I couldn’t go home with a happy face.

 Now, this game looks like it only gave me a negative effect. However, this game taught me a lesson to be a better player - I have to be careful about time.

In order to win a game, not only a good deck and a good skill is needed, but you need to be careful about the time-consuming. Also, check carefully how your opponent acts. From your opponent’s face and where he / she is looking at, guess what they are trying to do, and what they have in their hand. I think that if I was able to tell what my opponent was trying to do in this game, I could have won. I am ashamed of myself that I lost that game, but I still think that this game taught me a great lesson- Maybe that’s why I still remember that game.

 I think many of you recalls your memory why you’ve lost in tournaments. Don’t just say “Oh, I lost because I got a bad hand” or “My opponent got a better hand”. Think back and try to find an answer on what you could have done to win that match, and that will be a great experience to any players.

I personally have many great experiences about winning, but as many as that win, I’ve lost a game and I am very proud of every single match.

Be proud of what you’ve experienced- That is what you need to enjoy PTCG.


As a previous notice, I will be revenging on the latter 2002.
Stay tuned until my 4th article comes out!!


Written originally by Yamato Tsuguyoshi

Translated by Madoka. U (魔女 / Majyo)

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Tsuguyoshi Yamato

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Tsuguyoshi Yamato is famous, iconic and respected player from Japan, World Champion in Masters from 2004, and he is pretty sure that he has the greatest life thanks to Pokémon Trading Card Game. Other than 60cards Team member he is also member of prestigious japanese team called Team Torchic.