Announcement: Website Update #1

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Hello again, Top Deck Nation readers! You might have noticed a lack of content in the last couple weeks or so. Not to worry though — the website is still kicking! Recently, I have been hard at work scouring the web and learning about what makes a good website, particularly a Pokémon-centric one like Top Deck Nation. Though the initial site looked decent, you will notice that the design has been drastically changed. Overall, I feel like the color scheme and layout look a lot cleaner and inviting to viewers. In addition, the new header is finished and should be showing on your devices now (if not, clear your browser’s cache or press the ‘refresh’ button at the top). In particular, I believe this header is a good summation of what Top Deck Nation represents — Pokémon TCG content for everyone, whether you are just starting out or a veteran player.

Notably, we have (finally) started doing Twitch streams! Similarly to The Top Cut and other Pokémon TCG sites, Top Deck Nation will be streaming Pokémon Trading Card Game Online (PTCGO) games online from this point forward. This is a huge step for the site, as it gives us an opportunity to interact with you, the players, while also entertaining you guys with countless hours of online matches.

As a reminder, we stream on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:00 PM EST. Wednesdays are geared toward core players, as we will solely be testing competitive decks in both Standard and Expanded formats. We will also do this on Saturdays, but we will also play a number of fun deck as well! These decks may not be up to par with commonly played ones, but they are still a blast to both play and watch.  Be sure to follow us on Twitch by clicking HERE and spread the word around!

The Deck Vault is another site feature that will be given a major overhaul in the coming days. At the moment, the design is a bit clunky and can be difficult to navigate — at least in my opinion. However, this is about to change. The new Deck Vault will allow you to first choose a season (i.e. 2014-15). You can then choose between the format (Standard or Expanded), if applicable. Lastly, you will see various deck choices for the given season and can look at lists accordingly. This is a much better system than simply seeing a clunky page of text and having to scroll until you find the correct deck list.

Eventually, I hope to include things like World Championship decks lists, older format lists (i.e. 2000-01), and other useful features. Since I started playing the game competitively in 2012, I have felt that there was a genuine lack of viable deck lists for the Pokémon community to look at. There seems to be a stigma associated with the concept of ‘net-decking’, but I feel like the majority of players, new and veteran alike, could benefit from viewing a solid deck skeleton for reference and building upon it.

Lastly, if you have not noticed, our “Videos” section currently just has some placeholder text. Expect that to change this week as well. Fortunately, I have been able to acquire video editing software, so I will be pushing out videos as often as time allows. There has been a huge uprise in the amount of quality Pokémon TCG video content in the last year or so, thanks to people like Kyle “Pooka” Sucevich, Josh “J-Wittz” Wittenkeller, and Josh “Squeaky” Marking. However, with the closing of The Top Cut months ago, there has been a noticeable lack of video content in certain areas, particularly beginner’s content. In the near future, we will be starting a variety of video series to address this need.

For example, one of our series, aptly titled “Pro Deckbuilding 101”, will focus on teaching beginners the basics of competitive deckbuilding and the mindset of a typical tournament-level player. Another series, titled “Deckbuilding on a Budget”, will showcase a variety of competitive decks that are guaranteed not to break the bank. Lastly, we will also do some basic deck analysis videos in order to showcase certain decks in the metagame, such as Vespiqueen/Eeeveelutions, the notorious Shiftry ‘donk’ deck, and the M Rayquaza variant of the Metal archetype. Feel free to suggest any other video series you guys would like to see soon!

In closing, we still have a lot of work to do to make Top Deck Nation one of the best Pokémon TCG sites out there, but I feel like the changes above will help push it to another level. Top Deck Nation will always be a free resource out there for players of all skill levels — that is something that I have always prided myself in. My hope is that this website will help others learn about the game and get as much enjoyment out of playing as I have these years. The Pokémon TCG is a truly unique card game, in the sense that it is something that everyone, young and old, can enjoy, as well as the incredible sense of community that is one-of-a-kind.

Be sure to like our Facebook page HERE and continue to spread the word. Until next time, trainers!

 

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Residing in Lexington, Kentucky, Zach Carmichael is a 24 year old who has been a Pokemon enthusiast since the early days of the original Base Set. A competitive player since 2012, he has won multiple City Championships and made Top Cut at various Battle Roads, Cities, and State Championships. Outside of Pokemon, Zach is a graduate student at the University of Kentucky where he studies music theory. This is probably why he enjoys deck analysis and theorymon'ing as much as actually playing the card game.

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