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Sebastian  P.

The Path of the Online Warrior

Hello everybody, as this marks my first article here on 60 cards, I thought it'd be wise to start things of with a little introduction. My name is Sebastian, I'm a 24 year old Student from Germany and I'm currently setting everything into motion to start my very first season of competitive Pokemon TCG play.

08/12/2015 by Sebastian P.

Chapter 1: The Beginning

My love for TCGs started in the 6th grade, when “Yu-Gi-Oh” introduced me and my fellow classmates to a whole new world, where buying 10 paper cards for 5€, even though the material was hardly worth 10 Cents, seemed to be as normal as brushing your teeth, because you could get lucky and get one of those super rare ones, that you could sell for a small fortune, which you'd then use to buy more cards, a never ending circle. Once I lost interest in the game, I moved on to “Magic the Gathering”, a game that I enjoy till this day. After a couple of years I was introduced to the wide world of competitive tournaments and after several failing attempts and mediocre placements, I eventually made it to the second place in a tournament with 52 people, winning cards worth roughly 300€, nothing to be compared with the really big tournaments, but also nothing to shabby for an 18 year old. Till this day I played in numerous tournaments, made it into the price money of two Grand Prix events with over 2000 people attending and most importantly, I met numerous people, who shared my ambition for the game.
However, after I moved to Dusseldorf due to my studies, I eventually got less and less time to play on a regular basis, yet alone at tournaments and while I enjoy a couple of rounds with friends here and there and sometimes visit at my local card shop for old times sake, my glory days seem to lie in the past.

Chapter 2: The golden Age of the Internet

Fortunately, nowadays you hardly have to leave your house, at least if you want to play card games against people all around the globe. After I moved away from home I played several Online Trading Card Games, including “Elements”, “Hex” and of course “Hearthstone”, where I reached place 56 in Europe in the last season of the beta.
Although I loved the game, starting “Magic the Gathering Online” was never an option for me, as I'd had to invest real money, something that I strictly forbid myself from doing, because I can at least sell my collection of paper cards, something that is rather difficult with digital copies.
However, it was due to MtGO, that I initially learned about the “Pokemon Trading Card Game Online”.
In July 2014 I watched a random deck tech video on Youtube, when I noticed an odd video in the recommended list on the right, something about the 3rd place at US Nationals. As someone who grew up with the first generation of Pokemon, I naturally played anything related to the topic, including the TCG game for the Gameboy Colour. The video from “TheTopCut”, hosted by Kyle Sucevich, rekindled my old love for the franchise and since I had a lot of free time in between my exams, I decided to give this PTCGO a shot.

Chapter 3: I am the best... and other lies

After the initial phase of having to grind with Theme Decks, due to my limited card pool, I got enough packs to build my very own deck, which obviously had to be the Yveltal EX + Garbodor list Isaiah Williams played at the nationals. Due to my competitive background, I grasped the mechanic behind the game pretty quick, as it was nowhere near as complicated as other TCGS I played in the past and hence I swooped through the game with almost no effort, winning both on the ladder and in online tournaments, ending up with a final score of 298 wins to 28 loses, although the game only tracked states for the versus ladder, so the absolute number of wins should be a bit higher.
Naturally, I grew a bit cocky, as there was apparently no real challenge in this “children's game”, so the next course of action was to go around the official forum and look out for any custom tournaments, where I'd proof to be the very best, like no one ever was... you get the idea.
Little did I know, that the discrepancy in skill between me and the seasoned veterans of the game was beyond my imagine. Until this point, I had several factors working for me:

- I was playing a really strong deck that was also rather straight forward to play
- the ladder system was really flawed in terms of pairing opponents with the same strength
- only a small fraction of the player base had the necessary cards to build an optimal deck

Once I played in said custom tournament, where all of the above mentioned factors had been nullified, I got put into place by opponents who played decks that I seemingly knew, but never bothered to really look into the small details, or do my own testing to fine tune a list for a specific meta game.
I felt as if I was the youngster yet again, who had a loud mouth, but eventually was just a mediocre player like so many others.
Sparked by this wake-up call, I proceeded to take the game more serious, gathered information around the internet and just soaked as many knowledge into me, as I could.

Chapter 4: A New Dawn

Fast forward to May 2015, Roaring Skies is upon us. With my ever so growing online card pool, I decided that it was time to attend a real life tournament, as my local card shop would host a Sealed event for the release of the new expansion, hence a perfect opportunity for someone like me, who's own card collection only consists of the Mew Promo from the first film.
Even though we had only a small attendance of 9 players, the feeling of real cards in my hand was a vitalising experience, because no matter how many hours you look at pictures of marvellously cooked food, you'll only get real nourishment when you sit in front of a dining table and vice versa, the online card game could never compete with the real life experience.

Once Ancient Origens is released, I'll finally have a stash of cards and decks on my own,as I did not wanted to invest prior to the rotation, even though I'll have to get the “older” cards for Expanded play anyway.
After more than one year, of playing the online game, I did not only got to meet a variety of amazing people from around the globe, I also expanded my knowledge towards TCGs in general and obviously towards the PTCG. So look out for me world, a new challenger is approaching.

Chapter 5: Worlds and some final words

As for the 2015 World Championships in Boston, I'll be only attending as a spectator from my own couch, equipped with notebook and pen, to watch the best players in the world come together and turn some paper cards. If I had to predict a deck that will be placed in the Top Cut, I'd have to go with Manectric EX + Garbodor, as it has a favourable typing against the powerhouse that is Metal Rayquaza, as well as some pretty neat tools to fight the rest of the field. Due to their popularity, I also expect at least one Toad and one Metal Rayquaza deck in the round of Top 8, although Toad is by far the more interesting archetype, as all current pairings, Garbodor, Bats and Manectric, have a solid number of arguments towards them, making the choice for a final deck list rather complicated.

In terms of the next season, I'm quite excited to meet new people, play in larger tournaments after my years of abstinence and all in all have a good time with the new set.
Last but not least, I'll show you the deck I'm the most hyped for, since I love combo decks and crazy ideas and even though it can't really be compared to the raw power of Unlimited, I'm sure that this little bad boy will cause some trouble in the expanded format never the less.

That being said, thank you for reading my story, I hope you enjoyed it and I'd love to hear any positive or negative feedback from you.

With best regards,

Sebastian P.


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