10 questions with Kennard Tham

Posted: January 7, 2013 in Interview
Tags: , ,

Having shot to prominence with his 1st place Regionals report, Kennard Tham should be a familiar name since the previous month.

Join me as we take a look at how Kennard ticks!

One of the few photos I managed to find of Kennard which isn't of him displaying his bulging muscles.

One of the few photos I managed to find of Kennard which isn’t of him displaying his bulging muscles.

How did you feel when you won Regionals, especially beating Top 16 finisher Clifton Goh?

The first thing I want to say is a Thank You to Jake for interviewing me. I feel great because I won the tournament with a rogue deck, which I didn’t expect.
As for beating 2nd place Clifton, it was heartbreaking for me because I needed to face my friends through the tournament and I knew they had play tested very hard. Sometimes I just think they should have won instead.

Clifton, I want to thank you for giving me some good advice. I want to tell you that this was one of my dream matches and it was a honor having the chance to face you in the final.

Tell us more about yourself and how you started out playing the TCG
I believe I’m the same as any other player who loves the game. I started the Pokémon TCG at the age of 11. One day my brother and I walked into a bookstore and I saw this Pokémon base set booster pack selling at $5 each.
At that time we were kids and I didn’t have enough money to buy one. So I asked my brother to share his money with me just to buy one booster pack. After we bought the pack and opened it up we went “OMG” as we pulled a Charizard. So from there we started to save more money to buy the starter decks but we never played competitively and after one year, we stop playing because we got into other stuff.
In 2011 March I came back and this time I played competitively because now I’m an working adult. [Ed note: Do working adults have a lot of spare time for Pokemon?]

What’s your normal play test regime like? What do you look out for as you play?
For play testing, I don’t play test that much. I just imagine the scenarios I will run into during a game. Sometime I will ask my friends to help me with my deck list and if my brother and I have free time at home I will ask him to play test with me.
As I play, I always look out for board control because even you have no cards in hand or you are behind in prizes, if you have a very strong board you can still win the game.

What are the key points you keep in mind while building a deck?
Many people will say “consistency” but also remember that techs are also very important. For example your opponent can set up everything on his first turn but when he finds out all his Pokémon are EX’s and his opponent is playing Sigilyph he will definitely lose. So sometimes I will see what the metagame is like and I will tech in some cards but still try to maintain the consistency of the deck.

The bane of Landorus/Mewtwo players everywhere

The bane of Landorus/Mewtwo players everywhere

Which is your most memorable moment of the Regionals tournament?
The most memorable moment was my first game and how shocked my opponent was.

Also, after the game some players started talking about my deck, which is very cool.

Do your family and friends know about your achievements in Pokemon? What do they think about them?
Yes, my family and friends know about my achievement. They feel happy for me because they know this is something I like.

What do you feel about the withholding of cards such as Ether and Bicycle from sets?
Ether would have been played in decks that play many energy and for bicycle, I don’t see how this card can be added into decks because now we have enough draw power and bicycle only let u draw until 4 cards in your hand. I may be wrong but this is how I feel for the time being.

What could've been: An extra energy attachment with every use of Ether

What could’ve been: An extra energy attachment with every use of Ether

How do you feel about the current metagame? What’s your BDIF?
The current meta game is quite homogeneous, I think now a lot of players prefer to set-up a stage 2 Pokémon and support high HP EX Pokémon and maybe more people will try to tech in Terrakion, Meloetta, Sigilyph because now more Sigilyph are seeing play.

As for the BDIF I personally feel it’s Blastoise/Keldeo EX because you have energy acceleration and you can OHKO Pokémon. You can also add in healing options like Super Scoop Up and Max Potion. This is why I chose this deck with these 3 very good factors.

What do you think are going to be important cards in the upcoming set, Plasma Storm?
Poison Hypnotic Beam or Hypnotoxic Laser, because this card can add damage every turn and you get a coin flip to send the defending Pokémon to sleep which increases the chances they will remain active. Sometimes it also help to you set-up if they miss the coin flip and the conditions are right, such as there being no Keldeo EX on the bench or they having no Switch in hand.

Skyla, Elesa, Bianca or Juniper?
I like Skyla because it brings back stage 2 decks. With Skyla we can access the trainers that we need and not depend on drawing to it, as a lot of players tend to complain that they whiff on trainers like Rare Candy or Catcher.
As for the artwork, I’m not a big fan of full art cards, but I prefer Skyla.


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