There are several different ways to enjoy playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game — some people like to aggressively pursue championship points and other people casually play with friends at their local game store.
But there is another group of people who adhere to the philosophy of Karen, the final member of the Indigo League Elite Four in the Generation II and IV games.
“Strong Pokemon. Weak Pokemon. That is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites.”
There is a hint of truth to that when it comes to the Pokemon TCG. Of course, you won’t win the Pokemon World Championships if you’re not playing a top-tier deck in the metagame.
However, competing against other players isn’t the only component to the Pokemon Trading Card Game. There is also deck building.
Some players acknowledge the meta but choose to build decks around their favorite cards instead.
Often times, these off-meta decks use cards that are unexpected and rely on cheesy strategies like milling or status conditions.
These players know that they are at a disadvantage when playing against top-tier decks, and often expect to lose. But sometimes their ridiculous strategies work out, much to the dismay of their unsuspecting opponent — and that’s the moment they live for.
You’ve completely missed the point if you approach these players with questions like “why not use X Pokemon instead?” They play strange cards because they love deck building, and sometimes simply because they want to.
These players might have decks that don’t stand up to whatever behemoth is dominating the meta at any given moment, but that doesn’t make them any less skilled.
The adherents of Karen’s philosophy can become truly skilled deck builders by pushing a subpar card to its absolute limits.