Pokemon Championship Regionals

A guide to Pokemon Regionals and large events

So IRL competitive play has finally opened up again and we are faced with our first regional since 2019 at Liverpool.

Lots of players have come and gone since then and we are now seeing a rise in brand new players.

So you’ve played a fair few games with your friends, family, partner or very smart dog. You want to meet even more new people, make even more new friends and play even more games. Well, a regional would be a great start!

But what is a regional? What are you going to expect? How much is it going to cost me? “Help! It’s so overwhelming!” Don’t fear let’s take this step by step to make sure you are as prepared as possible and more importantly, have a great weekend making the most of the whole experience.


It’s 2 months till the weekend kicks off and you’re eager to make sure everything is in place before you head off. Plan your finances first. Yes, before even choosing which deck to play make sure you know your budget! If you have a decent income and have saved for this day, will you stay in a nice hotel or are you on a budget and decided to pick the cheapest BnB. Train’s can be the most expensive way to travel, but if you’re happy driving for a few hours, share a car with a few friends. Sometimes flights are just as cheap. Ah! Yes, friends, very important. Share the load Frodo! You can dramatically reduce the overall cost of these weekends by sharing with your friends so plan accordingly and get a group together! You’re friends don’t even need to compete, they could just enjoy the weekend in a new city whilst you’re battling away with your trusty deck.

Don’t forget the tickets, and make sure the place you plan to stay is not too far from the venue. You want to make sure you queue up in time. Very important!

Ok, you sorted your budget, you got enough savings, booked a BnB, planned a carpool with a few friends and now for the most difficult decision, choosing your deck! Well… don’t, not just yet. Firstly, Brilliant stars is actually legal for play at the Liverpool Regional (All sets become legal to play at sanctioned events on the 3rd Friday of the month of it’s commercial release (not pre-releases for example). Secondly, the card game meta is very, very volatile and top-tier decks move around so much you have no idea what ‘s going to be played on that day. So I’m going to give you some simple advice, play with and against AS MANY decks as you can up until that day. Which brings me to the next part…


Practice, practice PRACTICE! Go over your friends. go down to the pub, play as many games as you can at your local league. Do what you can to practice! Not only do you need to know your favourite decks in and out you also need to know other popular choices too. Being able to guess whether, “Oh it’s Jolteon! I know they play a high number of path to the peak, so I’d better play out my Crobats whenever I get the chance”, can be small but vital knowledge.

But MORE importantly is playing THE GAME! Drawing correctly, not taking to long on your decisions (I think it’s 15 seconds per a decision, don’t quote me on that) and playing out your steps correctly. It’s very beneficial to get into a habit of making sure you begin set up correctly, keeping your bench tidy, never slow playing and super, super importantly; don’t ever shuffle anything into your deck by accident!

It’s Friday!

It’s a lovely spring afternoon, you and buddies just pulled up to the place you’re staying at and you’re super nervous for tomorrow. Don’t worry that’s cool, it’s natural to be nervous. It’s going to be a long hard stressful day with a fair bit at stake. You have a few hours from now till bed time and now’s the golden time to get some games in. Make some final decisions, have a good dinner and HAVE A GOOD SLEEP.

It’s a long weekend! People start queueing anywhere between 7am and when registration normally begins at 8am. Play can start anywhere between 8.45am-10am and depending on the player count can run until the late evening (Sometimes up until 8-9pm).

Make sure you take a trip down to the shop. Pick up a load of snacks and drinks. I know myself and Joe joke about Andrew Mahone’s (Tricky Gym’s) advice about stealing Granola bars from the hotel but they are a life saver. They keep you energised and there never really is time for lunch in-between.

Saturday, the main event.

You’re in the queue, deck in your bag, sipping a coffee waiting for the line to move. Go through your tick-box in your head. Did you fill out your deck-list ready to hand in? Did you make sure you counted your deck and have all 60 cards? Have spare sleeves in-case any get damaged? Got your ticket loaded and ready? Fill in your player I.D correctly?

Awesome! It’s done, you’re registered and now the time burner till round 1 begins.

Make sure you:

  • Take restroom breaks whenever you can, you never know when the next bit of free time will come! You could think that you’ll be able to hold a wee for half hour, then face 3 stall decks in a row that all run to time. Not fun!
  • Are energised. Now’s a great time to snack up and have a drink.
  • Check out some vendors, a stress free way to kill time.
  • Open up your gift bags. You will always receive a promotional card, mat and box. Really cool!
  • Understand where the listings are going to be put up and if they list them online, that you got it loaded ready. (They will always post them up on paper, just in case you’re worried that your phones broken of something.)

It’s play time! MAKE SURE YOU GET TO YOUR TABLE ON TIME!!! Good luck and play your best! Don’t forget, if you’re ever unsure, always call for a judge, there is absolutely no shame in it and they are there for that exact reason.

Side events

Poopers. You didn’t make day 2 you played really well but some lucky sod bubbled you out. Don’t worry the weekend isn’t over. In fact… it’s barely just beginning!

It’s Sunday morning and the side event table is PACKED. Lots of things planned for today! Mini drafts, League cups, Gym Leader Challenge etc. Lot’s of events to take part in, lots of prizes to be had. More importantly, LOTS OF FUN! I found side events to be my favourite part of the weekends. So take part!

Or maybe…

BRILLIANT! You’re one of the lucky few to make it day 2. Time to win a few more matches to make top 8! Did you know you have already won prizes at top 64? Super cool! At top 8 you win a cash prize, some booster boxes and points towards worlds. These matches are often streamed as well so make sure you mentally prepare yourself for the added stress!


So… It’s really hard to win enough championship points for worlds this year, also… this year has already started! 3 YEARS AGO! Yep! They carried on point accumulation from that year so unless you win a few regionals it may be hard to qualify. But making top placing at regionals is a great way to do so!

Good luck and I hope everyone has a good time in March!

Bristol Regionals

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