"A Color, It is Not" – Restoring the Reputation of Rogue​

Obligatory SixPrizes visual pun​. The word ‘rogue’ (sometimes spelled ‘rouge’) has enormous cache in the world of the Pokémon TCG. Despite the fact that major tournaments are always dominated (and usually won) by a handful of archetypes, many players shy away from admitting that they use them at all and prefer to describe themselves as ‘rogue’ players and deck builders. Why do they do this? I would argue that it is largely because there is an implied superiority involved. A superiority that transcends the ability to win tournaments. By self-identifying as a rogue deck builder, a player is implying that they are a creative, free-spirited individual with the imagination to…

Link: http://www.sixprizes.com/2014/05/20/a-color-it-is-not-restoring-the-reputation-of-rogue​/

This is the companion discussion topic for this article.

May rogue be defined as using archetype cards, but in a way/with others that make the strategy entirely different?

That’s kind of a vague statement. I’m not sure what you mean exactly.

If you are using an archetype, you’re using an archetype. There isn’t a ‘rogue’ way of playing it. All players should adapt their strategy to deal with situations and match ups. That’s part of what it means to be a good player.

As for using other cards, that sounds more like ‘teching’ than anything else.

I really recommend this article. It basically breaks down the major kinds of TCG players according to how they play and enjoy the game. A lot of what troubles @baby_mario seems to be people that aren’t familiar with these profiles, so instead of realizing “I felt like being Timmy this tournament.” they think they went “rogue”… or else they are lying and trying to save face, and narrowing the definition won’t solve that problem. :wink:

Intent matters for “rogue” decks. Success is optional; if you net-deck and lose, you still net-decked; if you try to go rogue and lose… you still went rogue, you just didn’t do it very well. :wink: If you need to further clarify… use more words. I know, this seems contrary to my clamoring for words like tech to be restored to earlier, more precise definitions (instead of being a synonym for “add” or “tweak”)… but “rogue” isn’t a TCG only term, and from what I can tell the TCG usage of the term is derived from some of the more recent, modern usages for “rogue”.

@baby_mario won’t agree, but there’s at least some precedent for strategy (as much as cards) defining “rogue” status (with “success” being optional). The thing is… I can’t think of any good examples from recent formats. You go back far enough, I’m confident you’ll find a deck built and run a certain way… and with just a few, relatively minor changes the secondary tactic became the primary tactic, and the former primary tactic downgraded to secondary, tertiary, or flat out abandoned.

Going “rogue” is metagame dependent; if we aren’t paying attention to what is playing or winning, the term would be meaningless with how baby_mario or I or just about anyone defines it.

So, would a Rogue deck be something like my Cinccino/Reshiram deck that won me a Battle Roads back when it was something like, HG-NV? It was able to keep up with all the major decks of the time (and most importantly, had a good matchup against ZekEels). Unfortunately, I only got to play it in that one tournament, and I wasn’t involved in any communities at the time, so it never went anywhere beyond that.

I’m not the almighty judge of what is and isn’t rogue.

What I was trying to argue in the mini-article is that we should save the word for those rare, special decks which come from nowhere and succeed by countering the meta with unexpected strategies. Cinccino was a known card that people tried out, but wasn’t played very much and didn’t do anything major because it struggled to keep up with the OHKOs that Zekrom and Reshi could perform much more easily.

I wouldn’t call it a rogue myself, but if you want to think of it that way, then by all means do so.

All this talk about Rogue decks and what it means is crazy.

With the existence of the internet and shared knowledge across all the blogs and communities, it’s extremely hard for anyone to call any deck they play an “original” or take credit for being the “creator”. Championship deck or not. Most are just variants of a mainstream deck.

Almost every deck and combination/variant has been played, designed, tested. IMO, a deck is “Rogue” when it is not mainstream. Rogue is by definition something not generally accepted or cast as inferior. IMO, any deck that wins with cards that are not in the mainstream and/or a very close variant of mainstream should be considered a Rogue deck.

@baby_mario, if Cinccino is considered a inferior card by the mainstream to Reshi or whatever card is picked instead and a player uses it, it’s Rogue.

For those players who create variants, ie techs, then congratulations for being talented enough to create your special deck, it “MAY” have been Rogue until you published it, qualified with it and now it’s mainstream. :slight_smile:

At the end of the day, anyone is free to call anything rogue. Put 2 Psychic Energy in Yveltal/Garbodor so Garbodor can attack and call that rogue if you want.

Yes, most successful decks are mainstream variants, but a few . . . a select few are not, and those are the decks that I would save the term ‘rogue’ for. If you want to use rogue to mean anything that isn’t a standard build of a mainstream deck, then ok, I guess. But when we do that, the term has little meaning and zero prestige. I guess that could be ok too, as long as everyone realizes it.


Ah. So, to you it’s more about the individual cards than the combination of them. I know Cinccino had been used, but mostly with cards like Jumpluff, or Zoroark, Yanmega or other stage 1s. Reshiram was also used quite a bit at the time, but hardly ever without any energy acceleration. This deck was pretty unique in that format. It was hardly a “variant” of a mainstream deck.

In this deck, Cinccino did do something major. It killed Eels 100% of the time, and a lot more efficiently than Reshiram or Zekrom could. It also could finish off a Zekrom that damaged itself with Bolt Strike without an eviolite. And then there’s the fact it just plain hits for 100 with minimal setup, which was great against most of the other decks. Reshiram was in the deck for that raw power, and the fact I was already using fire energy for Ninetales’ Roast Reveal. Reshiram did what Cinccino couldn’t, and that was OHKO Reshiram or Zekrom with a single Pluspower mid-game. And it didn’t even need any energy acceleration with Cinccino there. Each Cinccino would usually survive a few turns, since other decks tend to slow down quite a bit when you take away their energy acceleration starting turn 2. That gave me time between playing DCE to put a fire energy here and there onto Reshi so he was ready when I needed him. There wasn’t ever a game where I felt I was playing an inferior deck, or where I felt a different attacker would have been better than either of mine.

I really don’t want to trash a deck that you have fond memories of. Especially as that has nothing to do with the article. There are lots of reasons why Cinccino wasn’t especially good in the HGSS-NVI format. It couldn’t handle Goth/Reuniclus or The Truth (see what I did there?). Neither did it have a good match up against 6 Corners or Chandelure. Donphan was a major problem, as were Terrakion and Revenge Bouffalant - all popular cards/decks.

Sometimes it IS the combination, rather than the cards that makes a genuine rogue. The Truth was a good example, as Donphan and Vileplume were both pretty mainstream cards.

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Good Clarification. A few cards changed is not a rogue deck, its a variant/tech on mainstream, I just used a card for example of my “Rogue” definition and it needs to apply to the majority of the deck.

@baby_mario - I agree the term “Rogue” should have some “notoriety” when used. I think it’s a lot harder to gain that distinction today. Maybe a measuring stick would be when 75% of your pokemon is unlike any other built deck in a big tournament and you qualify top 10, it’s Rogue?

Not that “we” have decided, I’ll leave it to you to make it known across the Pokemon World. :smile

I completely understand how you can think Cinccino wasn’t good in that format. Cinccino by itself, does have a lot of flaws. The biggest was Donphan, and I’m sure if I had run into one that day, I would have had a loss. I don’t think Reshiram would have been enough to stop a deck focused on Donphan. I didn’t have a problem with any of the decks I ran into though. I can’t remember which decks were and weren’t at that tournament, but none of them were that much of a problem to beat. That’s not necessarily because of Cinccino or Reshiram alone, but because they both worked well together. Chandelure and Reshiboar/phlosion were too slow to keep up with Cinccino and Reshiram. 6 corners wasn’t really a threat to this deck, as most (If not all of their attackers) were easily OHKOable with Cinccino or Reshiram and a pluspower, and their attackers took more energy to get going than Cinccino. Bouffalant? Easily beaten by Cinccino, or Reshiram, who would survive a revenge. Terrakion? 100% Reshiram food.

In this case, it was the combination of cards. Cinccino was a really fast attacker, Reshiram was a slower, yet stronger attacker, and Ninetales kept everything going strong the entire game. If a player tried to outspeed me, Cinccino was already attacking. If they thought they could survive hits from Cinccino, I’d switch to Reshiram. All the decks I’ve seen with Cinccino tend to have just fast attackers. No one really had a Pokemon that could hit for 120+, and most didn’t have anything like Ninetales to easily refill the bench. I’ve also heard someone say on here that a lot of decks start to fizzle and slow down mid-late game, and while everyone there agreed, this deck did NOT have that problem. This deck started going turn 2, and didn’t stop until it won.


First a disclaimer… I am not enjoying this bbs format, because I am finding it even harder to keep track of responses. I just had to eat a lot of crow because not only was I misunderstanding someone (which happens all the time online) but even after searching I failed to find several comments related to the one to which I was responding and basically ended up being quite rude without the intent. >_<

So… smaller “discussion” that I have already commented on before. I disagree with both you and baby_mario that “rogue” needs this special definition because we don’t do that with other, similar terms. The one that springs most readily to mind is “net-decking”. Like “rogue” it refers to a choice with deck building/playing… regardless of whether a player wins or loses or does anything noteworthy by net-decking.

“Rogue” I believe should be similar; a “bad rogue” deck is still a “rogue” deck; as long as it actually meets the other criteria one has for rogue, its rogue. Yes some people will try to cover mistakes by claiming it was an attempt at successfully “going rogue”, but such players will just find another excuse or figure out how to abuse the more restricted term.

Addendum: Apparently I’ve reached my limit for replies to a single topic (…yeah @_@) and the bbs itself “suggested” editing this into an older post so… “Net-decking” refers to the act of running a (presumably successful) deck list you got online with no changes. It used to be viewed as a very negative “thing” among a decent portion of the player base; we are not just talking getting the basics of a deck from the internet, but the entire list and making no significant changes to it.

This was frowned upon for being lazy as well as foolish. I forgot how much the culture has shifted; few people truly net deck anymore but most do look online for a list. Still, even if the term is obsolete now… for older players it may still suffice as an example; if someone “net-decks” by just going online right before a tournament, getting a list that is supposed to be “good”, builds it, and then runs it… they net-decked. If they win, they net-decked. If they lose, they net-decked.

As such, I prefer to keep “success” apart as separate from “rogue”, a single word modifier doesn’t seem like too much to ask to clarify which a person means… though even then I am also fine with context making it clear e.g. “He went rogue and took first place!” versus “He tried to go rogue but it blew up in his face!”

I haven’t heard the term net-decking in my limited exposure to pokemon…

I had heard the term rogue in both my play w others and in reading blogs of several sites, so I believed it to be part of the generally accepted lingo for Pokemon and corresponding to uncommonly built deck combinations.

In the article, he said to give him the rogue Ideas and he would verify their rogueness. Is there any way to contact him directly?

if you want to PM someone you click on their avatar to go to their profile then click Private Message

What’s his screen name?

baby_mario 2020202020

Please tell me that you realize the last line of that article was a joke.

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