The Set Up
Pokémon has been part of my culture since I was in primary school. But, despite being obsessed with the cards to the point of lunacy, no-one I knew would actually sit down and play the game! Why would I worry about trainer cards and energy cards when we could trade our way to ‘Catching Them All!”
That all changed on one cold, winters night. IM PLAYIN’s Alec Ward and myself were invited to a Pokémon event in London to play the card game and see the latest expansion cards being released.
Located near Kings Cross station, The Star of Kings was the venue to host this momentous event, and as we entered the pub, trepidation set in. There were no Pokémon to be seen, but upon further inspection and a keen eye, we spotted posters directing us up to a function room. Whilst not the largest space in the world, we immediately knew we had the right place – a giant Pikachu welcomed us and there were dozens of like-minded individuals already battling away. We were greeted by the friendly staff, asked to pick a starter deck (I chose Pikachu while Alec chose Mewtwo) and the fun began!
The Pokémon Battle
Once we had the rules explained, we were free to go head-to-head and battle each other in a Pokémon rumble extravaganza! The first & second game went to Alec, with a superb Nidoking combination that decimated my poor Pokémon. The third game was to be mine, however, as my humble Caterpie took down Alec’s mighty Mew to reclaim some of my lost dignity.
The logical next step for two aspiring Pokémon masters was to enter the Pokémon tournament. Mostly to see if we could win the grand prize of a giant sleeping Pikachu plush (not the best prize, I grant you). After being given our first round opponents, we were feeling pretty confident that we could be in this all the way to the top. As the first game started and I drew all Pokémon cards, with no energy or trainer cards, it was clear that instead of a dramatic journey to the top, I would be having a swift trip directly to the bottom. Alec, on the other hand, managed to use the Nidoking combo he had effectively used against me to triumph, and moved onto the second round! With excited jubilation, we grabbed a third beer and waited for the placements. What followed was perhaps the quickest game I have ever seen, with Alec being beaten so swiftly I hardly had time to see what Pokémon he was playing…
We left the event with a gift bag featuring a smaller sleeping Pikachu plush (that’s right! I didn’t need to win to get one) and a few booster packs. We looked back at our time at the event with a smile. The fact that we couldn’t wait to get in the train and open our booster packs brought us back to that primary school feeling, where every shiny card was treasured like gold. Sadly Alec didn’t get a shiny Charizard, but the search continues!