Continuing with our Top 10 players in North America, we have Brit Pybas, who is currently #3. Many people might not recognize the name, so this will be a good chance for you to get to know an up-and-coming player! Brit shares his thoughts with us below.
For those who may not know you, can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from, what is your history with Pokémon, etc.?
I’ve sort of lived all around the country, but I guess my story with the Pokémon TCG starts in 1999 in Athens, GA. I was seven and the game was a national phenomenon and my parents bought my sister and me the two-player starter kit deal, but nothing really came of that. We attended league at a local bookstore once, but soon lost interest. Fast forward several years later to the middle of my high school career and some friends of mine received starter decks as joke Christmas presents, but we had fun playing and quickly found out about a local league. This league lead us to pursue the competitive scene and while most of my friends who got me into the game no longer play, I’ve never looked back.
Right now you are ranked #3 in North America for Masters with 37 Championship Points. How did you go about getting to such a high number, and what do you attribute your success to?
Since I first started playing competitively, I’ve always taken every event seriously and thus when the invite structure changed from an ELO rating to Championship Points, I knew this train of thought would pay off. I got off to a good start from the Autumn Battle Roads with eight championship points and after a disappointing bubble at Regionals, I knew I had to pick my game up for City Championships. I live in a nice location where two big hubs for events (St. Louis and Kansas City) are within travel distance and through a well-timed Winter Break, I was able to hit up many of those cities as well as travel with friends to Dallas for the Texas Marathon.
In this format, there seems to be a ton of viable decks. Do you think it’s better to pick a deck and stick with it, or do you change decks based on the metagame?
I haven’t been playing for a very long time compared to most, but until last year’s National Championship, I had never played in a tournament where SP Pokémon weren’t legal, so perhaps my opinion on this matter is skewed. That being said, I think sticking with one deck is key to success. Last year, I played Dialga/Garchomp at about 95% of the events I attended and it helped me earn my invite to the World Championships and this year I’ve tried to stick to one deck throughout events. For Battle Roads, I only played Typhlosion/Reshiram and for Cities, most of my success came through Chandelure/Vileplume. In this meta-game, a lot of success can be attributed to what match-ups one has to face, which is something that we as players have no control in, so for me, being confident in one deck is more important than having to worry about all of the other ones.
Do you playtest a lot, or do you prefer relying on theory and discussion with your friends? Also, would you rather play online or in person when you practice?
I playtest quite a lot, especially when I’m gearing up for the bigger events. In preparation for these tournaments, assuming I have time, I try to get in a least three to four games a night. A lot of time, I play against myself since there is really no one local to test against, but if I can, I like to get games in on PlayTCG and Apprentice. I initially jumped into the Pokémon TCG Online craze, but only play for fun since there are just too many glitches to get accurate testing results.
At this point, you are well on your way to earning an invitation to Worlds this year. Do you plan on going to Nationals still? More importantly, will you be making the trip to Hawaii?
I certainly hope I can earn another invite to Worlds this year and with a solid States performance, such a goal should be well within my reach. I will definitely be attending Nationals this year. Nationals is the most enjoyable week in the year for me and anyone who plays this game really should experience it at least once. Last year, I made a run into the Top 32 only to lose to Jayson ‘Dream Crusher’ Harry and take 26th overall, so I’d really like to try and go further this year. Hawaii is such a beautiful location and with an invite, I think I will scrape up the funds to attend. San Diego last year was one of the most memorable experiences of my life and I can only hope that Hawaii could provide similar results.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
My goals for the rest of the season are to secure another invite to Worlds and have another satisfying performance at Nationals. Winning a States or Regionals would be nice as I have yet to do so. A win against Jayson ‘Alpha-Nerd-Baller’ Harry would be fantastic, but I won’t get too greedy.
Do you have any other hobbies besides Pokémon?
Outside of Pokémon, I am very interested in film and cinema as well as music. I’ve been following professional Starcraft II (which seems to be a strange trend among Pokémon players these days) for about a year now and I spend almost all of my free time that is devoted to Pokémon watching and playing, I just wish I was better at the game. I also enjoy playing soccer and basketball in my spare time.
Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
At the core of things, I am incredibly thankful for what this game has done for my life. It’s hard to think that a card game would be responsible for all of the relationships I’ve developed through playing. Almost all of my closest friends (Colin Moll, Michael Kendle, Jayson ‘Dr. Jay’ Harry, PJ Wallace, Brad Curcio and Adam Garcia to name a few) have been made through this came through this game and I wouldn’t trade them for anything else. Also, you guys should check out mah boi Jack Lange’s band The Faded Age.
There you have it; Brit Pybas, ladies and gentlemen! It’s always great to get perspectives from different players because each one has a unique story to tell. Be on the lookout for Brit in the future as a major player in Pokémon. I hope everyone enjoyed the interview, and we’ll have more of the same from the other Top 10 Players in NA! Thanks again to Brit for taking the time to answer our questions!