Size is the key to victory, right?
A Pokemon TCG player by the name of Matthew Verive left judges baffled after choosing to enter the North American International Championships with a deck of entirely jumbo cards.
For those unfamiliar, as of late, whenever the Pokémon Company releases a new set of cards, they offer a product that includes a jumbo version of the featured card from said deck. These cards are often limited to the latest popular card from that set, which, up until now, prevented anybody from attempting to use them in competitive play. This is because competitive decks typically consists of a variety of Pokémon, trainer, and energy cards that make up a 60-card deck. This fact, however, did not stop Matthew Verive from gaining massive attention after he entered NAIC with a jumbo-sized deck, leaving judges baffled as how to proceed.
According to Matthew himself, who tweeted out his deck and the story along with it, his deck was not the most successful in play. Upon being asked how exactly this deck attacks, Matthew explained, “It doesn’t. Impossible to pull off any attacks. Main path towards winning is decking out the opponent”. It’s nothing if not a creative strategy. “For those curious – I lost game 1, my opponent scooped game 2 (just to force a game 3 for funsies), and then I got deck checked,” his tweet reads. Matthew went on to describe the event as the “longest deck check ever,” with the judges revealing that they weren’t sure if the cards could be declared legal or not, and to speak with them afterwards.
In a somewhat baffling turn of events, it wasn’t the size of the cards that solely put their legality into question. As there isn’t a rule at the moment that explicitly prohibits the use of jumbo cards, the main question of legality actually seemed to stem from the presence of marked cards in Matthew’s deck. In TCG, the term “marked card” refers to a card that has some distinguishing mark on it that makes it look set apart from the rest of the cards in a deck. This can refer to a crease, tear, or otherwise notable marking that allows the player to identify what card it is before drawing. In tournaments, no marked cards are to be used, and all 60 cards are to look the same to guard against unfair play. “The oversized cards aren’t cut to as high a standard as regular cards, so some cards could understandably be identified,” Matthew tweeted.
Ultimately, Matthew was allowed to finish his first, and only, best of three round. After losing game 3, Matthew then dropped from the tournament, stating on Twitter as was his intention from the start, so no disqualification was necessary. He went on to post a picture of the deck on Twitter, needing two pictures to show off the whole deck. He also added a disclaimer for any potential future copycats that it is likely the rules will get changed in the future to disqualify jumbo size cards.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this will go down in TCG history. It’s very reminscient of the 2222 Yu-gi-oh card deck incident that ultimately forced Konami to institute a rule limiting deck to 60 cards. This German Yu-gi-oh fan had a deck so long that it required two people to carry, and the main focus of the deck was to waste as much time as possible by shuffling the entire massive deck. Similar to Matthew, the German player dropped out after a few rounds too, but it just goes to show that passionate TCG fans are always coming up with new and creative ways to have fun with the game they love.