Mar 21, 2017 - Pokemon, Thoughts    No Comments

Read You Bastards

I’m a dying breed and that makes me a sad panda….well…um…shark.

I wrote a really long post several months back, about Pokemon, and I posted it a few places. Overall, it started some great discussion and was well received but I noticed a lot of folks saying stuff like –

“this was too long, I only read a little of it…”

“I just skimmed this”

“TL;DR” (too long, didn’t read)

Truth is, it wasn’t really that long….maybe 2 pages in Microsoft Word; however, when you post that in a forum, it looks like a lot more and I understand that but what happened to reading exactly? 

I’m just as guilty as most because I love YouTube these days…however, I see the problems daily. I watch Pokemon videos and people will post their deck lists- so you have to pause it to actually be able to look at what it. They will even say stuff like- “pause the video if you want to read/look at this better” and I just don’t get that. Even on Facebook, I scroll and more than 75% of the stuff is video…how about posting a picture (because that will last longer…or so I’ve had a few attractive girls tell me.)

I guess I’m more “old skool” because I’m an “old guy” but if you pull something really cool out of a pack, I want to be able to click on a picture of it and zoom in on it and take it all in. If you are posting a copy of your deck list, I want to be able to look at it (clearly) and understand your thinking process and how it works. 

The written word is dying and I think it’s because it takes time to write and read and people are just constantly on the go these days; they want their news in 140 characters and everything else in something they can just stare at- without doing much thinking. I think writers don’t really want to put that much effort into things anymore because they realize that it will only be seen for a few minutes as folks scroll past for the newest thing. 

Maybe I should get me one of them there fancy videoing cameras and become a YouTube star?

Nah…it’s like I always say – “I have a face for radio and a voice for blogging.” (do the kids even know what a blog is these days….god, I’m soooo old.)

Love, Peace and Sharkyness!
~~~~shArky~~~~

Mar 16, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments

PokeTubers

As most of you know, I am very new to the world of Pokemon TCG so I’m taking in all that I can. I’m reading up on websites like Pokebeach or the TCGO stuff on Reddit but the main thing I’m doing is listening to YouTube channels during my work day.

My day job is basically maintaining a database and running reports, so it’s perfect for listening to podcasts, videos and stuff that can keep my mind occupied.

sharkyyoutube

I have subscribed to several YouTube channels focused on Pokemon TCG, but, honestly, I’m more excited to see notifications from some over others…all of the ones I follow are good but there are some that I specifically look for on a daily basis.

Here is my list of my top 5 with a couple of “honorable mentions” thrown in….they aren’t in any type of order but they are the 5 I go to first.

The Meta Deck – I posted about these guys before- they are one of the first channels I found and Safraz does a great job of explaining decks- not just building them. I really don’t like videos where someone just shows you their deck build, without showing you HOW to actually play the deck…knowing how to play it is the key point in being successful. He does a good job of making decks for the Shaymin and Non-Shaymin players and he’s videos are a great way to learn the basic techniques to the game.

The Pokemon Evolutionaries – Professor K and N are some of my son’s favorite Pokemon TCG folks, so I had to check them out. The channel is a great combination of the PTCG and PTCGO- from doing fan mail, to decks to opening new product and giving you an idea of what to expect when you spend your money. They also do a great job of trying to focus older set as well, like opening up 1st Edition Jungle packs. I will admit, there is a lot of goofiness going on, which takes a little getting used to but, once you do, every video is highly enjoyable.

Omnipoke – This channel is mostly ran by Joe (who is a commentator for Pokemon.com streams) with Jack and a few others making for great conversation. They do a great job of building decks and showing how they work, but I love them for the 3-4 hours long “live” streams that they post…now, when I watch them on YouTube, they aren’t “live” but it’s cool to listen to them answer questions from viewers, build decks suggested by views or just play against viewers. On top of all of that, they are a great channel to get the heads up on the best decks for up coming events and they do an amazing job of really breaking down the current “meta”.

PTCGRadio– AKA The Wossy – this is another one of my first YouTubes and it mostly focuses on the newest stuff coming out. Most of Ross’s videos are quick and to the point and focus on a specific card that is coming up and how it will affect the meta in the future. Ross is also a commenter for Pokemon.com streams so he has some great commenting videos of “real life” matchups. If you need to know what is coming out soon- this is the channel to be watching. Ross also has a Podcast called “PTCGRadio” which is way more in depth and is a great way to hear interviews and really know what is going on in the real world of Pokemon TCG (and not just the online version.)

Next up is actually two channels in one- YellowSwellow and YellowSwellow TCG– these are ran by Dennis and this is another great “best of both worlds” channels as Dennis plays in a ton of tournaments but is also big online as well. He does a great job of keeping folks updated as well as building new decks and trying new stuff…such as a an ALL PIKACHU DECK! While The Meta Deck goes into more detail (my opinion), Dennis is more entertaining with his voices and intensity. Also, Dennis has videos that deal with PokemonGo and Pokemon Duel as well.

I do have a few “honorable mentions” that I’m just now following but really seem promising.

Demon Snowking (DSK) – this is kind of a “local favorite” since he is in my area (sort of). He seems to be the “newer” guy on the block but already has a ton of great content focusing on both real and online aspects of the game.

Last, but no where near least is Sheriff Crazy….honestly, he doesn’t post as much as I would love because his videos are entertaining. It looks like he mostly focuses more on the online stuff but I would love to see more uploads from him.

I’m sure there are TONS more channels out there that I just haven’t found yet and hopefully I’ll discover them during a down time when these other guys haven’t posted anything new.

AND yes…there are a few that I’ve found that I just can’t watch….a few folks with HUGE amounts of subscribers but I just can’t do it….I’ve tried! I won’t bad mouth anyone because everyone in this gaming community seems really awesome- let’s just say they don’t match up with my taste buds.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness!
~~~~shArky~~~~

Mar 9, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments

Call Me Scrubachu

I’ve been playing Pokemon for several months now and I’ve noticed one big thing that I would like to throw my 2 Pidgeys in about…..fancy cards.

I watch a lot of Poke Tubers and they love to use the flashy cards- the full arts, secret rares, etc and that is all fine and dandy but it can really throw people off and on top of that, I think some players find it very intimidating and I’m here to tell you…don’t.

The thing to remember is- the amazing looking secret rare Ultra Ball does EXACTLY what the basic Ultra Ball does- there isn’t anything special about it.

Now, if you are talking about cards as a collector, then YES…that gold Ultra Ball means way more…but when it comes down to the actual game- they are identical.

When I first started playing, I would play against someone with some fancy cards and think “I don’t have a chance against someone this good! Look at them there fancy cards!” Then I started beating a lot of them and I quickly understood that they don’t really mean much.

I remember pulling a full art Shaymin EX when I first started and I traded it for tons and tons and TONS of amazing cards…simply because it was full art….while my regular Shaymin does exactly the same ability.

I pulled one of those fancy cards with some of my first packs, before I even knew what Shaymin EX was…..before I even understood 99% of the game- I was completely lost but I had one of the fancy cards and it didn’t make me any better of a player.

I’ve seen some videos calling folks that use the basic stuff – “scrubs”…well then…call me Scrubachu!

The more I watch the folks on YouTube, the more I understand something else….a lot of those folks get tons and tons of FREEBIES for advertising, so while they have 4 secret rare Ultra Balls, there is a very good chance they didn’t really cost them that much out of pocket, while Scrubby over here is trying to pull together $4.19 to get my Pokemon fix from the local Wal-Mart.

The majority of the Pokemon community I have been in contact with are amazing people but there are a few that look down on us age challenged newbies with the scrubby deck of non-gold Ultra Balls and I’m here to say…don’t let them!

Focus on the mechanics of the game and having fun and if you happen to pull something fancy, awesome…but don’t feel bad because that regular art Ultra Ball for a regular art Shaymin EX will still give you more cards in your hand….it’s WHAT you do with those cards that actually matter.

PLUS…on top of all of this- the regular art Shaymin EX just looks better than the FA Shaymin EX anyway!

Here is an analogy for my redneck readers…..you can have the nicest looking paint job in NASCAR but it doesn’t matter if you can’t drive in a circle.

Love, Peace and Sharkyness!
~~~~shArky~~~~

Feb 23, 2017 - Pokemon    No Comments

My First Pokemon Card 

Ok, well…not my first but the one that got me into this mess. 

I’ve been a card collector since 1987- I took several years off from time to time but always came back to it…everything EXCEPT gaming cards! I would collect sports cards, movie, music, Garbage Pail Kids…any cards I could get my hands on, but I didn’t get gaming cards and didn’t bother with them.

During my teenage/young adult years, I would buy entire collections at flea markets or yard sales and sometimes Pokemon cards would be in there….I thought Pikachu was cute so I kept a few of those but I would sell the others because I had no interest. 

About 5 years ago, I got back into trading cards and quickly realized the bottom had dropped out and most of the cards I had in my collection was worthless, so I started Commons4Kids and started giving my commons to kids around KY.

Around the same time, my son started getting into Pokemon cards- he didn’t play the game but the cards were kid friendly and he thought they were cute and I really wanted him to get into trading cards so I was all for it. He was strictly Pokemon though…he hated every other trading card, so my only option was just to donate most of them. An addition was that, if he got doubles, I could add them to donations and help teach him about charity. 

He would talk about Pokemon all of the time and show me cards but I still wasn’t really into it….then he brought me a card and told me that it looked like us, so I put it in some plastic and put it on my shelf. I still wasn’t into Pokemon but it was a cute card and there was a lot of meaning behind him giving it to me, so it become special.

Fast forward several years and he loves Pokemon…..then Pokemon GO comes out and I downloaded it for him, quickly realizing that it was amazing so I started playing and he played on his mom’s phone. Eventually, we got him a phone so we could all play. We also realized that the codes in his Pokemon packs were actually for an online game, which he showed no interest in…so I set it up just to see what it was. I already have the Topps Digital Cards on my phone and just figured it was another way to collect them….and it was, sort of. You use the codes to get packs to actually play the game online! 

Soooooo many codes we just tossed because we had no clue…it makes me cry now that I think about it. (RIP all the digital Shaymin’s from Roaring Skies that went into the trash….)

SO…long story short, I started trying to learn to play the game and the more I played the more I got addicted and, now…here I am….PokeMaster sharkAchu. 

Well…PokeApprentice maybe? PokeNotGreatAtTheGameButHighlyEnjoyIt maybe??? 

Who knows…

It’s an amazing lifestyle- it’s not JUST a game…it’s a way of life and it’s WAY better than just stressing on Trump destroying the world. 

Now, the card was Ursaring from Legendary Treasures and it’s extremely cute and does look like my son and I. As far as the card being played in a deck, it’s not that great of a card….4 energy (or 2 DCE) with only a chance of doing 0-150 damage isn’t really great. That much energy to flip zero heads and hit for nothing would be heartbreaking! I could see it being used to maybe discard a few Teddiursas and using the Picnic Weather attack to bring them back to your bench with some energy to build up another Ursaring with better attacks. 

Either way, the card is really cute and all sparkly and that is always awesome!

I did happen to catch one in the wild on the night that Generation 2 was released in Pokemon GO with decent stats and I’ve powered him up to full power and even put him in a few gyms. Easily in the top 5 of my favorite Pokemon.

If you play, add me – SharkyHitchens! 

Love, Peace and Sharkyness!
~~~~shArky~~~~