Welcome back! This is my last article before Latin America’s International, where hopefully I’ll be able to get a few points and keep my road to Top 16 alive. At the time of writing, I’m #16, but should be able to maintain my spot if I continue to snag points at each event. Unfortunately, I’m missing Salt Lake City and Toronto Regionals, both of which the rest of Top 16 are going to. Nevertheless, I’ll be at both Mexico Special Events and well poised to keep climbing.
In today’s article, I’ll cover a wide variety of topics that may appeal to you. I’ll cover the new rule changes and how it might affect things. Also, I’ll briefly rehash my thoughts on the Standard metagame for those going to Brazil and my strategy going into it. Spoiler: not much has changed since the past few articles and tournaments. To conclude, I’ll write a little bit about Forbidden Light and its potential influence moving forward into Roanoke and beyond.
It seems as if the rules are continuously progressing towards harsher punishment. It’s undetermined whether this will be good or bad for deterring cheating and the future of the community. There are definitely two ways to look at it, both of which I’ll cover, and then conclude with my own thoughts on the matter. To start, I recommend revisiting one of my former articles in which I talk about the initial leap in terms of penalties this year.
In my opinion, the most important change is in how the Penalty is given. Instead of the player taking 1-3 Prize cards, they win by having however many remaining at the end of the game. For example, if my opponent received a Prize Penalty (under the old numbers) then I would win the game when I took my fifth Prize. This change is more effective when paired with the next major change: an increase in the Prizes taken for penalties. Under the old system, the penalties were given for 1 Prize and then 3 Prizes. Now, it is 2 Prizes and 4 Prizes. This ultimately helps tighten the reigns on severity and increase effectiveness of the former change mentioned. The 2nd Prize card taken is much more influential because of the 7 Prize game.
Because the lowest tier of penalty besides a warning is higher, I’m curious how much more often it will be de-escalated. Christopher mentioned this in a Facebook group a few days ago, and it really got me thinking. If a double Energy attachment, which is recommended to start at a Double Prize Loss, is caught immediately, will it continue to be de-escalated? In recent tournaments, it has always been nodded off as a warning, but I’m curious if any judges will interpret the overall changes made as a message to increase severity. If so, it’s possible that more judges will enforce this for what it is: a GPE Major, and issue a Double Prize Loss.
The flip side of this that the error is much more impactful on who will win, because the penalty’s effect is doubled, and therefore will be less likely to be given. The judge would be more lenient because the penalty will impact the game more than it used to.
Pros and Cons
In making these assessments, I’m only considering the change in how the Prize Cards are “taken” and dismissing the change in number.
- Anti-Counter cards and N.
- Greedy Dice/Missing Clover.
- No card taken from Prizes.
- Interactions aren’t worked out yet.
2 > 1, but the pro(s) definitely outweigh the cons here. The biggest hit in the “cons” side is the loss of cards taken. Sometimes, whatever is drawn is the exact card needed. Greedy Dice and Missing Clover also become worse with this change. Greedy Dice is worse because there will be 2-4 unturned Prizes, and therefore missed opportunities. Missing Clover will be worse because one is likely to be Prized for longer.
The final point is one that will be resolved soon, but is completely mysterious as of now. It was mentioned that these Prize cards do count towards Prizes “taken” when determining Top Cut Time procedures, which is nice. Other cards like Buzzwole-GX’s Absorption GX, Shaymin-EX’s Revenge Blast, and new Ultra Beasts are all Prize related. What will probably happen is that these “taken” Prize cards continue to be factored into these attacks. If my opponent gets a Quad Prize Penalty and I use Absorption GX, I predict that it will do 80 damage. However, the wording is different on each card, especially throughout each era. The use of the word “remaining” and “taken” may very well be interchanged, or kept separate, depending on the card.
Editor’s Note: I disagree with Xander’s assumption as to the nature of these penalties’ interaction with attacks like Absorption-GX, but with a lack of clear direction, we’re still a bit in the dark right now. There is no directive, at this point, to believe that these Prize Cards count as taken other than at the end of a timed-out Game 2 of Single Elimination when determining whether that game counts toward the overall match.
A neutral change that I’m unsure of is the right to decline the penalty. There was an obvious right to deny it before because of Counter cards and N. Under the new system, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious reasons to decline. One thing this can do is relieve the pressure on newer players when they’re given the option to take or leave the penalty. This also prevents friends from declining the penalty against the other, which will result a judge not being called in the first place if they want to continue normally.
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