The Strategic Philosophies
of The Impossible Man

By Henry-Michael Brown
(an IPGeek21 Exclusive!!!)

Greetings everyone. I am Henry-Michael Brown aka The Impossible Man. Well it is 2001 and has been well over 2 years since I started playing the TCG, But on July 9th, 1999 I entered the Old Pokegym boards and introduced a new Deck. At first I named it Status Speed but later that same night I renamed it the Cleaner. From that point on I studied and researched every possible aspect of Deck Construction and Strategy with the Cleaner while facing many decks including the Haymaker, Raindance, Wiggly, and Damage Swap. Since then I have come across many decks people came out to say it was broke or going to change the Meta-game. Some of it came true and some of it didn't.

During this time I started to experiment deckbuilding using various cards
some Conclusivly claimed "unviable" without even first experimenting the
card. The result was that I ended up with three decks that compete in a
tournament without using much of the "usual and viable" cards people have
glorifed and treated as godlike in the TCG.

All Political views aside. I am here to leave behind many of the Philosophies
that I have developed through Deck Building and Strategy.

Note that these Philosophies are not an Opinion View or Hard Based Facts.
These are my skills that has been tempered and perfected through the 2 years
of my tenure in the TCG. This is not gospel and should NOT be taken as the
absolute way to deck building. The purpose of these Philosophies is to help
Deck Builders seek advice or research in the Art of Deck Building and

Everyone has their own Natural Skill and Ability in the TCG. Mine is one
method among many.

Where to begin?

Well just a few minutes ago I posted up my Latest upgrade of the Converter. I was suggested to use
Goop Gas Attack. Which is bad a Suggestion. Here is why.

Philosophy #1 "Never use a Trainer that can Compromise your Strategy no matter how effective it may be".

Converter Strategy is to use Dark Gloom's Pollen Stench Pokemon Power to Confuse your Opponent. Then you use Porygon to change the Opponent's Weakness so you can do Double Damage with your Basics. I just recently added Dark Vileplume. But the reason Goop Gas is a bad Suggestion is because you Need Pollen Stench Pokemon Power to make the Converter work. Yes you can get around it but Strategically you may find yourself in a position that would force you to use Goop Gas before you Pollen Stench and could backfire your whole Strategy. The last thing you need is to use a card that can hinder your Strategy and give your opponent an advantage. Another example is Prof. Elm in Trainer Heavy Decks. Elm doesn't let you use your Trainers after playing the card so if your whole deck relies on Trainer Combos Prof. Elm will disrupt it.

Which brings me to this Philosophy#2... "Don't overlook anything"

Just because you have control over the whole game does not mean your Opponent is out of it. I remember in one of my Matches I had absolute Control of the Game but lacked one
Fire Energy to start a Take Down on my Opponent. Since I had control of the Game I arrogantly opted not to use Flamethrower on a Energy-less Wigglytuff because I was going to try to topdeck Fire Energy. The result was an Embarassing loss because I overlooked the overall aspect of the round. In the end he had an Oak in his hand and recovered nicely.

Philosophy#3... "Give Each Pokemon a role"

It is very important to give a Pokemon a role in your deck while doing the
overall part in the deck. In the
Cleaner each Pokemon I use have a special
role that voers each other. One of the most noted is
Koffing. Many people
flamed me for using it because they limited their mentality to 10 Damage on 2
Grass Energy. (Never mind that it has a Win-Win coin Flip for Confusion and Poison.) Well I figured that since Koffing is the only Pokemon that has a Win-win flip I would make it a good distraction to my Opponent. So all I did was place one Grass Energy on Koffing. My Opponent wastes their ER (Sometimes SER) on that lone Grass Energy. All this so they don't have to face Confusion or Poison from Koffing's Foul Gas. And thus Koffing's Role as the Pokemon that flushes out ER/SERs. Lickitung in the Cleaner acts as my Staller. It sits there does Tongue wrap while at the same Absorbing all that Damage and then Scoop Up Comes in. I only lose one Energy card but lasted long enough to regroup and retaliate. When Building your deck, always give your Pokemon a small seperate role from the Entire Strategy. It really helps make your deck Consistent and gives you a small Strategy to fall back on.

Philosophy #4... "Stay Versatile"

You do not need to build your deck to focus on
Beatdown Completely. Haymakers work so well because it has a balance of Trainers that Protect it and provide Disruption. It is also one of two Archetypes that can use a multitude of Pokemon and is not restricted to a Group of Pokemon (I.E. Wigglytuff, Raindance). The Cleaner is the other. Basically I designed the Cleaner so it can take on anything that comes at it and makes the opposing deck play at its level of pace. Haymaker is the Same thing. With the Cleaner it features Attack Combos, Disruption, Healing, an adjustable speed, and respective Beatdown. The Haymaker has Trainer Combos, Disruption, Healing, Adjustable Speed, and Respective Beatdown. The thing is that if your deck does a little of something it will keep your deck Unpredictable and throws your opponent off putting them in a guessing game.

Philosophy #5... "Trainers Support the Pokemon"

So many decks these are Trainer Dependant and don't rely on Pokemon. Some of them work like
Insanity and others are Flawed like Trapper. Haymaker when first Introduced follow the Trainer Supporting Pokemon Philosophy. But as its Popularity grew many people eliminated that Philosophy and turned Haymaker into a despisable Mindless Beatdown deck. Haymaker can still return to its roots since it can be adjusted to fit its own strategy. One of things I have always noticed is that the Players waste half their deck just to get a certain number of Pokemon out to do beatdown. At the same token a Status Effect Deck can make all that a waste with a simple attack. This is where Status Effects can hurt Trainer Dependant Decks. Trainer Dependant decks lose the Trainers that they can use to eliminate Status Effects later in the game just so they can have a quick beatdown. Basically the point is that if you depend on your Trainer more than Your Pokemon's attacks you will find yourself on the losing end.

Philosophy #5... "Consistency"

It is vital that your deck be Consistent. That means that your Attack is
Consistent, but also your Card Drawing. When building your Deck make sure you use a Ratio that can give you good Consistent Draws. When I build my Deck I usually go with
15 to 18 Pokemon, 20 to 24 Energy, and 20 to 23 Trainers. This provides me with the ability to draw the cards I need when I need them. If you are drawing cards that you need Consistently then you have a High Topdeck Probability going. Next you need to Attack Consistently. Alot of Pokemon have Attacks that don't damage but people ignore them and consider it "Sucks" because it doesn't do damage. Damage is needed but it is not eveything. Shuckle for instance can Withdraw but it doesn't do Damage. Psychologically I don't want my opponent to try to Withdraw because then they can get away from having damage dealt to it. No matter what kind of Attack it may be, use it. That Particular attack, whether it damage or not, can be difference in the game entirely.

Philosophy No#6... "Know your deck"

It is very important that you know your deck inside and out. Especially when you post it in Message Boards or submit to a Deck garage. The people that reply to your deck Don't know your deck and thus give bad advice or just random advice. Sometimes people don't understand your deck and assumes it does one thing but will be in for a rude awakening when you do the other. Some people will flame, so it is vital to keep yourself in check and just explain thoroughly what your deck is supposed to do. But you should also understand thoroughly, inside and out of what your deck is capable of. I am still discovering things about the
Cleaner that I never realized and the Cleaner gets better and better. Analyze your deck methods and you too will be amazed at what it does.

Philosophy# 7... "Thinning the Weakness"

By "Thinning the Weakness" I mean Spreading the Weakness your Pokemon have. The Weakness that cause your Pokemon to suffer Double Damage is no joke. A Simple 10 Hit Attack can turn into a consistant 20 hit Attack that results in a fast KO. You don't want that. The thing you do not want at all is Sharing Weakness. Alot of Pokemon Share Weaknesses and when you have two or Pokemon sharing a Weakness you give your Opponent a Smorgasbord of Easy Ko's. One of the things I do when building my Decks is Spread the Weakness to one per Pokemon. It is very difficult to do but it can be done. Remember that the 6 Color Types have Two or Three Weaknesses among their Pokemon.

Colorless: No Weakness, Fighting Weakness or Electric Weakness
Fire: No Weakness or Water Weakness
Electric: No Weakness or Fighting Weakness
Grass: Psychic Weakness or Fire Weakness
Water: No Weakness, Electric Weakness or Grass Weakness
Fighting: Grass Weakness, Water Weakness or Psychic Weakness
Psychic: No Weakness or Psychic Weakness

No Weakness means Pokemon that don't have a weakness to any Type I.E. the Legendary Birds, Girafarig. As you can see is possible to have a Deck with Fire, Grass and Colorless and the Weakness are thinned to Fighting(via
Colorless), Water(Via Fire), Psychic(Via Grass) and Fire(Via Grass). That
means you have four Different Pokemon with four Different Weaknesses making it hard for your Opponent to Exploit with 1 Pokemon of their own.

Philosophy #9... "Playtest to measure your Deck"

When you build a deck you are using 60 cards in a deck with up to 4 of an
Individual card.
It is important to never use only 1 card of anything.
Usually I start with an
Energy ratio of 24 Cards in a Dual Colored deck. That is 10 of each Basic Color and 4 DCEs. From their I use 15 to 18 Pokemon and 20 to 23 Trainers. Once you fix it up then playtest. Get a feel as to what is your weaknesses in the deck, Which Trainer are most effective and which Pokemon getting the most out of their Attacks. Also it is Important to feel how fast your Pokemon are recieving Energy in which they can attack Right away. If they are taking too long to power up then throw in some 1 Energy Attacking Pokemon. If the Energy is too much for Your Pokemon then shave some off. You feel the flow of your deck as you playtest along. Who knows you might find an unknown Combo or Strategy that reall does work.

Philosophy #10... "Focus"

Finally it is very important to keep your deck Focus. Don't scatter your
Strategy or try to build a deck that does too many at once. There are alot of
obvious Strategies like
Swift Deck or Agility to build but there are others
that are hidden and can work when experimented on.
But when you build your deck make sure Trainer are Focused on Helping the Strategy and your Pokemon work the Strategy in. If one Trainer card or One Pokemon disrupts the flow of your deck remove it at once and try something else. Focusing a deck requires Patience and endurance. Playtesting is the only way to know where your decks abilities lies at. In the end your deck might be focused to the point that it can spend a few turns beating your opponent down without giving them a a chance.

Wow 10 Philosophies. I didn't think I have this much. Well I hope this will
help you Deck Builders out researching on building a good deck or developing a good Strategy. I Thank you in advance for reading my Philosophies and I wish you the best of luck.

Good Night.


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