Hello! My name is Morris Levy, Pokêmon TCG player and member of the Tricky Gym community. I have really enjoyed my time playing the Gym Leader Challenge Format so far and wanted to share some of my thoughts in an introductory post. Thanks for checking it out!
Why Gym Leader Challenge Format?
Whether you’re tired of losing half of a game of Standard in one turn, got your Crobat V Bossed for game one too many times, or simply bored of the current meta, you’ve come to the right place! Gym Leader Challenge is a new singleton, monotype, single Prize Pokemon format that’s easy to get into, affordable and a lot of fun!
What is Singleton?
Singleton is a format with one special rule: your deck can only contain a maximum of one copy of any card except Basic Energy. The GLC card pool encompasses all available card sets from Black & White and newer (Expanded) except, with the caveat that it allows all previously banned cards like Forest of Giant Plants and Lysandre’s Trump Card at this time. The other usual rules of the Pokemon TCG such as requiring 60 card decks and playing six Prize games still applies.
What is a “Rule Box”?
As defined by The Pokémon Company, International, a “Rule Box”
refers to any Pokémon that has a text box that says the word “rule,” such as “V rule” or “TAG TEAM rule.” This will also apply to any potential future Pokémon that may have new rules that don’t exist currently. As of right now, here is the list of Pokémon that are considered to have a Rule Box:
- Pokémon V / VMAX
- Prism Star Pokémon
- TAG TEAM Pokémon
- Mega Evolution Pokémon
- Pokémon BREAK
Per Andrew’s rules set forth, this also applies to Rule Box
Trainers and Stadiums, such as Lance Prism Star, and
Thunder Mountain Prism Star. At this time he also is not allowing Ancient Trait Pokémon such as Bunnelby PRC.
What is monotype, and why?
When we think about monotype, we think about Gym Leaders from the
video games. Personally, I like to think of Lieutenant (Lt.) Surge, whom was famous for using powerful Lightning Pokemon like Raichu, Electabuzz and Magneton.
All of these Pokemon have been printed as Lightning types in the TCG with a common Weakness to Fighting. You might think it difficult to overcome a common Weakness without the ability to play different types of Pokemon, but there are always ways to overcome a bad matchup in GLC! There’s Weakness Guard Energy, Weakness Policy, and sometimes Pokemon of a Type that don’t share the common Weakness with the majority of that Type, like Moltres from Team Up. Generally speaking, Weakness makes less of a difference when the Pokemon getting KOd doesn’t give up three Prize Cards.
Why is it fair?
Single-Prize Formats, such as Gym Leader Challenge, have the potential to teach many essential Pokemon TCG strategies. They teach thinking out planned attacks and how to take the best course of action given the board or cards in hand. They are great for learning sequencing and playing to the best possible outcome given the cards in deck. Single prize decks also make the Prize race much more fair overall. Players can strategize and look for the best method of overcoming a rough start, or a dead hand, and then get out of the rut by utilizing Abilities, hand disruption, or cards like Hex Maniac. Since each card can only be played as a one-of, each resource carries much more weight, and weighing how best to utilize those resources makes for a fun an interesting game! Since games usually last more than 10 turns, there is much more room for skill-based decision making, which makes for a more rewarding game overall.
Why is it fun?
Imagine generations of Pokémon cards wasting away in a basement with nowhere to go. Many have sweet Abilities but can’t keep up with the behemoth Pokemon VMAX or Pokemon GX of the modern era. Many Pokémon fans, players, and collectors, such as myself, have been amassing “bulk” common, uncommon, and rare cards over the years with nothing to do with them. Digging through all the cards released in the last ten years and uncovering new strategies has been so much fun! It feels good to put old and new Pokémon Cards to use in exciting new ways.
What does it teach?
The GLC format is useful for players of all skill levels, beginners and veterans alike! It teaches good fundamentals such as setting up a board, using Abilities and thinking ahead in a match.
It also teaches how to properly manage a Bench and respond to what the opponent is playing. Last but certainly not least, GLC is fantastic for teaching sequencing and resource management. Thanks so much for reading! Good luck building your own Gym Leader Challenge deck, and above all, have fun!
— Morris Levy