Nationals Interview: Patrick Comes Prepared
05 July, 2013 in Play! Pokémon
Pokémon TCG player Patrick Marting makes the leap to the Senior Division this year. But he's prepared for the tougher competition.
The National Championships brings out the best players in Pokémon TCG from coast to coast. One such player is Senior Division player Patrick Marting from California. Even at age 12, Patrick has a lot of competitive experience. As a Junior, Patrick was a frequent winner in top tournaments. But in his first year as a Senior his road to the top has been more challenging. We caught up with Patrick to hear about his time at Nationals and his preparation as a top player.
Pokemon.com: How long have you been playing competitively at Pokémon TCG?
Patrick: For about three years.
Pokemon.com: What do you like about playing Pokémon TCG?
Patrick: You get to hang out with friends, and if you win you get good prizes!
Pokemon.com: What do you look forward to when you come to Nationals?
Patrick: I get to hang out with people I know from out of state. It's my only chance to see a lot of people. I'm probably going to go on some tours around Indiana, too.
Pokemon.com: How do you keep in contact with friends in other areas throughout the year?
Patrick: I have a lot of connections with players around the world. I'm always asking, "How are you doing? What's your record? What decks are dominating your tournament?" So I find out what they're playing, I see what decks are being played around me, and I try to come up with a deck that will win.
Pokemon.com: It sounds like you and your friends are pretty open about sharing strategy.
Patrick: Yeah, but it changes when we come to Nationals. My friends are pretty secretive. They won't tell me what they're playing. I end up having to hope I play against a favorable match-up.
Pokemon.com: How do you train for Pokémon TCG at home?
Patrick: I have two brothers that play and we test against each other a lot. We talk a lot of strategy about what will win in the Senior Division. I usually have friends over to test around three times a week, and we play about five hours at a time. I go to a League in Pasadena once a week, too.
Pokemon.com: This is your first year in the Senior Division. What's the jump been like from the Junior Division?
Patrick: Well, there's a lot more people. The competition increases a lot.
Pokemon.com: After a first-round bye, you lost in the second round. What happened in that match?
Patrick: I was playing against a Garbador deck, which is a bad match up for my deck. It came down to two prize cards, and all I needed was a Max Potion for the win... but it was prized.
Pokemon.com: What do you think is the top deck to beat right now?
Patrick: Team Plasma is played a lot, but I think Blastoise is really competitive. It can beat all match-ups except for Garbador, which is why I lost! But I think my deck still matches up well against most others.
Pokemon.com: After an early-round loss, do you think you'll need to change your strategy?
Patrick: I might. But I just didn't draw that well. A bad draw changes the whole game.
Pokemon.com: How has your record been in tournaments prior to Nationals?
Patrick: I usually make single-elimination in tournaments, but the past Regional Championships haven't been as good. I wasn't drawing what I needed. Before this year as Junior I won two Regionals, though.
Pokemon.com: What advice would you give to someone who's new to Pokémon TCG who might want to compete at Nationals next year?
Patrick: I would say make some friends, and have fun. Testing with friends makes you more competitive, and helps push you to want to win.
Good luck in the rest of your matches, Patrick!