"I Choose You" – A Pokeparent's Guide to Getting Started in Competitive Pokemon + 2x NAIC Top 8 Juniors Report

This is the companion discussion topic for this article.

Hey Brent,
I plan to bring a lot of stuff due to Aiden tends to be indecisive on his play. Let me know if you need to borrow anything.

Echoing what @pygohan said, Theo is also super indecisive. We’ll have several decks and card around.

Also, the Super-Rod Cast is way better than it used to be when it comes to kid-friendliness. Sometimes the guests slip up, but the hosts rarely do.

No doubt, we will want to just use the same deck Theo played on Friday after he X-0’s the competition Day One. Bring three copies.

I see you’re in to comedy now


Indeed. Nice parenting work there!

What do we all think the chance is that the average worlds junior plays items more like Regan, versus like some of those other no doubt brilliant but item-excitable kiddoes?

Regan is probably the best player in the world right now, based on his NAIC victory. Having said that, it is worth noting that the “played too many items, lost” games were all day one. Day two every game hung in the balance.

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Virgen was never a budget deck. There were never any Genesect EX Tins. The better advice for building decks on a budget is to buy the Tin promo card on the secondary market and use the rest of the $20 that you would have spent on the Tin to buy other needed cards. But above the local tournament level, the cost of cards isn’t really a factor. For Jrs/Srs the cost of traveling to all the events, both in actual dollars and also time, is by far the biggest thing to understand when getting into the competitive arena.

Nice article. It was nice meeting you at NAIC. Wish Jared had started with at least 2 years in juniors. Not sure if he will continue after worlds. See you there.

While I can’t speak for others, I’d argue not to count him short when moving into seniors. The transitions can be brutal, but with proper practice and skill, anyone can succeed in the coming year.


That is totally true, @geneboe . It was so long ago that I forgot. Virgen was the “impractical” deck - each Pokemon was ~$20-25 and you needed 8. Very tough.

While there is no question that buying singles is the cheapest way to to build decks, I think the tension in my mind (at the time) was two-fold: First, we kind of needed bulk. We just didn’t have the cards we needed to build decks for testing. One thing I didn’t mention that might bear mentioning was that PTCGO was totally useless at the time. It is much more practical now to test online then it was when we got into it. Second, my kid loved cracking packs. My youngest still does. Cracking packs was part of the joy of the game for us and tins gave us a nice combination of guaranteed outcomes and pack crackin’ good times.

I didn’t really continue the narrative, and this is a dimension where I could have expounded on what a good time it was for us to get into the game, but our first full year I think the only regionals we went to were Philly, VA, and MA. I lived in Philly for many years and we stayed at my best friends house. Our travel expenses were negligible. We bought him a fancy dinner. VA was local for us. MA was a “fun trip” at the very end of the year. And there were no fees for juniors. So our out-of-pocket expenses were incredibly low. Getting an invite that year and the following year were pretty easy, as most people know and we didn’t really travel that much. I think we added one regional the following year.

We traveled a lot this year because I felt like I had an obligation to my son after winning Nats to give him enough at-bats to have an extraordinary year. To our misfortune, James Kowalski was too good and his success at Pheonix and Australia locked us out of Top 4.