Pokemon TCG Player Brings Jumbo-Sized Cards To North American International Championship

The North American International Championship ended yesterday with winners crowned in all things Pokemon. That included tournaments for Pokemon Go, Pokemon Sword and Shield, Pokken Tournament DX, and of course, the Pokemon Trading Card Game. Most of the decks featured at the TCG tournament were finely-tuned machines ready to tear away at their opponents to secure victory, but there was one deck that stood head and shoulders above the rest.

That deck belonged to Matthew Verive, but it wasn’t due to his skill as a player. As noted by IGN producer Joshua Yehl, it was because Verive brought a deck composed entirely of oversized cards.

"This madman entered the Pokémon TCG North American International Championship with a 60 card deck made purely of novelty jumbo cards," wrote Yehl. "The judges debated and ruled it was legal because card size is not specified in the rules."

Verive posted his decklist, and while you’ll note some power hitters like Lance’s Charizard, Inteleon V, Eteranatus VMax, and Glaceon VStar, eagle-eyed Pokemon players will note a distinct lack of energy and trainer cards. That’s because they’ve never printed jumbo-sized versions of either card types. This meant Verive could play his Pokemon and then do nothing else as he didn’t have the energy to use any of their abilities.

The gig was up after Verive's first game. According to IGN, Verive's opponent "scooped game 2" just to force a third game, and then he finally "got deck checked." This led to his official loss on game three. However, Verive wasn't too upset about his performance as he had always intended to withdraw from the tournament "no matter what."

Those looking to follow in Verive's footsteps with their own oversized deck are recommended against it. Verive said he expects the "rules will be modified soon to clarify the size of usable cards," meaning this joke probably won't play next year.

Pokemon will also be a major game at this year’s Summer Games Done Quick, which will be played alongside the likes of GTA and Elden Ring. Summer Games Done Quick starts today with streamers encouraging donations to Doctors Without Borders, an international organization bringing medical aid to the world.

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