The Top Cut Mailbag Week 2 – Josue “Crimz” Rojano

Alright guys, guess it’s my turn to take a stab at some of your questions this week.  Remember that to send in a question, just email us at  *Cracks fingers* let’s get right to it.

I know TCPI has pretty specific rules in regards to card sleeves. I would like to know if there are any kinds of similar rules regarding playmats. – Justin Morante

Their rules in regard to card sleeves have more to do with preventing cheating than anything else.  As far as playmats are concerned, I believe that as long as they aren’t obscene or don’t cause an outrage, you’ll be fine.  Playmats are supposed to be fun and personal, so TPCi definitely gives you some freedom to express yourself.

What do you like about this format? And what do you dislike about it? – Jesse Tapia

I haven’t been so excited to play Pokémon in a very, very long time.  I think this format is incredible.  There’s some variety in the metagame and the number of playable decks is likely to increase with every set released this year.  So far, I like what cards like Silver Bangle and Silver Mirror will do for the game in terms of deck viability and deckbuilding.  I dislike Hypnotoxic Laser as a card.  I dislike what it does to the game.  It’s easily my largest gripe with the game right now.

So if I’m not supposed to call it a comeback, what should I call it?  In all seriousness though, you did really well calling the matches at Worlds, so did you have any experience in announcing or public speaking prior to that? If so what was it? – Ibun West

That, my friend, is a very good question.  I didn’t think very far ahead when I came up with the title, I guess!  All of my experience with public speaking or announcing has come through The Top Cut, and I’m pretty sure the same applies for every other member of the group as well.  I’m really proud of how far we’ve come as commentators, and I’m glad people like you appreciate what we do.  It really does mean a lot to me.  For what it’s worth, I’ve been interested in making a career out of announcing / public speaking since beginning to commentate.  I love it that much!

1. Will you play Sableye in every deck you play for the next format?

2. Did you finish the Sableye Plasma freeze deck list yet? – Jack Blythe

Hahaha, although my love for Sableye (and Junk Hunt) is legendary, I’m pretty sure I’ll give the card some breaks at various points in the season.  If I feel like, say, Blastoise gives me a better chance at winning any given tournament, then I’d happily audible into that deck and give the little garbage man a break.  As far as Plasma Freeze Sableye’s concerned, there’s nothing I can do for him.  Unfortunately, he pales in comparison to his older brother.

How are you preparing to “come back competitively” to the Pokémon TCG? – Daniel Sheikh

I’m playing so many games on PTCGO lately, just to get my feet wet and gain an understanding of the format.  I play against random players and against friends when I get the chance to, so I make sure and get some good testing in against people who I know will provide a good, high level match for me.  I expect to just test a large variety of decks for a few weeks, just to get to know how they perform and what to expect when I play against them.  Nuances in decklists don’t really matter at this point, since I’m just trying to get a general idea early on.  Eventually, testing will get much more serious and I’ll start to narrow down my choices and try and get a sixty card list that I’m happy with.

I have been playing Pokémon since fall 2011. I have gained a ton of tips, tricks, and pointers from y’all guys, friends, and many different YouTubers.   I have done pretty decently in the competitive scene with the few tournaments I have gone to although the only real accomplishment I have is having made the finals at decently sized cities with Quad Rayquaza last season, lol.  I really enjoy playing rogue and fun decks (pretty much all I play).  But lately I find myself making many rookie mistakes and misplays. This season I plan to play better decks to raise my game. I was just wondering how do I step my game up and become a better player and not make as many mistakes/misplays all the time? – Dax Edmiston

Hi Dax, I think it’s important to note that we all make mistakes/misplays fairly often.  Yes, even greats like Pooka and Jason Klaczynski.  I say it’s important to note this, because in my experience, newer players tend to strive for a level of greatness that just doesn’t exist.

As far as minimizing your current mistakes goes, it seems like you’re new to playing with truly competitive decks.  These decks tend to be more difficult to play because they’re a part of an established metagame and people prepare for them more than they’d prepare for a deck like Quad Rayquaza.  Since your opponents will likely play better against a deck they know, it inherently makes you raise your game up a notch since your opponents will too.  Just study your matches after you finish them and figure out what you did wrong.  It might be difficult at first, but eventually you’ll notice things like misplaced energy attachments, bad Skyla choices, etc.  Make sure and actively try and fix these mistakes in future games, as knowing you screwed up is only the beginning.

Good luck this season!

Do you think that Flareon will be a strong deck this coming season? – Liam Muller

I actually mention Flareon during this week’s edition of Don’t Call It a Comeback (coming soon!)  The deck caught my eye well before I started this series as it seems to have an incredibly strong late game.  Unfortunately, it’s rather slow and can really be punished by a deck that races it, as well as any deck that it doesn’t hit for weakness against.  The decklists I’ve seen all have a lot of room to grow, though, so I haven’t lost hope yet.

What is your fondest memory of playing Pokémon? And what are your favorite sleeves? –Imakunipwns

My fondest memory dates all the way back to 1999, back during the first tournament I ever played in.  I was paired against my younger brother in the first round of the single elimination event and lost in 2 swift games to his Beedrill deck while using my VenuCenter (Base Set Venusaur and Base Set Pokemon Center) build.  It was a little demoralizing, but it was fine, we were both still very new to the game and weren’t particularly good.  However, in an incredibly selfless show of brotherly love, my brother Alex conceded to me telling me I got unlucky and that he’d rather have me play the rest of the tournament.  We were both children and didn’t really know enough about the game to a good shot of winning, but that still stands as the fondest memory I have of my childhood with my brother, and I’m glad Pokémon was a part of it.

Watching Kyle win Nationals was a surreal moment.  Losing my voice from all the cheering and chanting kind of sucked, but it’s a part of the package, I guess.  Of course, I will always cherish having commentated US Nationals and the World Championships.

My favorite sleeves are a tie between KMC Pro Matte sleeves and Ultra Pro Pro Matte sleeves.  These two are my favorites by a mile.  I prefer Black colored sleeves over all others as well.

Woo!  That was fun.  Thanks for sending in your questions, everyone.  Michael Pramawat will be answering questions next week, so send them in to by Saturday.  Enjoy your week everyone!

2 responses to “The Top Cut Mailbag Week 2 – Josue “Crimz” Rojano”

  1. Joni Heredia

    Second Pokemon article that has made me cry; good job. (The first one was Jay Hornung’s “How to Be Really Good at State Championships.”) It’s always stories about brothers that get me, as I have two young boys playing (and a little girl learning to play). Very nice article, we enjoy reading and watching and playing as a family.

  2. Ibun West

    I think the point about making mistakes is a big one, and one I wish more people would understand. During the KO I noticed a lot of people really getting on the competitors for making mistakes. Now, pointing out the mistakes is one thing; but to imply that it makes them a bad player I think is pretty unfair. Making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad player, not learning from them does.