Pokemon TCG player competes with jumbo cards at NAIC 2022

Source: Joshua Yehl


The 2022 Pokemon North America International Championship is currently underway in Ohio and some players are already standing out — but not for the reason one may first think. 


Matthew Verive has been going viral within the Pokemon TCG community after competing at NAIC with a 60-card deck entirely consisting of jumbo cards. Jumbo cards are usually thought of as novelty cards and collectibles, with nobody actually playing them. Well, until now. 


Despite being much larger than the usual size of Pokemon trading cards, Verive was allowed to play with the jumbo cards after a short debate between judges. Apparently, The Pokemon Company doesn't have any rules regarding the size of the cards being played in official tournaments. 



The Pokemon community was shocked to find out that jumbo cards are tournament legal, especially when proxies and cards in other languages are not allowed. Verive did go on to tweet that he was possibly going to get disqualified over the cards later on due to accidental "marked cards." Oversized cards aren't as quality as normal-sized cards so some may have easily identified flaws, especially since they aren't sleeved. 


But most Pokemon players were not upset to see such a harmless stunt being pulled and instead found it entertaining. Verive wasn't even playing with any energies since there are no basic energy cards being printed in jumbo form. This meant that Verive could play his Pokemon but they couldn't attack. Verive ended up dropping before he was disqualified. 


Pokemon TCG jumbo card stunt isn't first meme deck 

It isn't only the Pokemon community that enjoys finding loopholes in the tournament rules and bending them for the meme. Many were reminded of the Yu-Gi-Oh player who competed with a deck that contained thousands of cards. 


Unlike Pokemon TCG, Yu-Gi-Oh used to not have a 60-card cap. Similar to Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh players could play as many cards as they felt were effective. In most cases, playing more than 100 cards is risky since your deck could "brick" or be too clunky to be efficient, meaning you'll pull cards that aren't useful more often. 


In fact, the player decided to pull this stunt at the German International Championship to raise awareness of the lack of deck limit rules for official Yu-Gi-Oh decks. It was the largest deck ever played with 2,222 cards. The exact deck list is currently a mystery but focused on cards that allowed him to constantly search through his deck for a particular card, taking an immense amount of time each match. The shuffling was another issue. 



Since the player used the deck, Konami has changed the rules. Previously, the rules only stated that decks must have a minimum of 40 cards but no max was mentioned. The cutoff for cards in a Yu-Gi-Oh deck is now 60. 


Unlike the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG stunt, it seems that Verive hadn't been trying to take a stand against The Pokemon Company's rules and was instead just having a bit of fun. Throughout NAIC thus far, Verive has only wanted to bring joy to the community. 

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