Natalie Miller Prepping for Pokemon Regional Championships ​2024


In an effort to provide a glimpse into the elusive realm of Pokemon World Championships, Pokemon Dashboard has created a series to meet successful Pokemon TCG players and talk to them about their real experiences!

Prepping for Pokemon Regional Championships

A glimpse into the Pokemon TCG Journey with insight provided by Natalie Miller.

Former 2023 Pokémon Vancouver Regional Championships Player*

This personal conversation is part of the ” World Pokemon TCG Players” series – exclusive interviews with successful Pokemon TCG players all around the world and their experiences with Championships.

Interview with Natalie Miller


What tournament deck is your favorite currently?

I always have fun with Palkia and Chien Pao, though I think it might be sort of power capped at the moment. I have been experimenting a lot of various Arc piles in preparation for regionals. 

What gives this deck it’s advantages? What about it’s weaknesses?

Arc piles have access to a variance of cards as the meta gets tighter and tighter and you have to counter fewer cards. Path to the Peak is such a strong card and it is one of the few decks that can afford to run multiple copies of it. Plus the different counter Pokemon you can power up makes the deck super versatile, especially with Arceus VSTAR’s ability. 

It’s a good idea to start playing the game because Pokémon is so accessible now. Even the top tier meta decks do not cost muvh and there’s perfect meta decks that are great for beginners to learn and get better with. 

Furthermore, there are an incredible amount of resources available online on YouTube, Twitch, and Metafy which are perfect for beginnings to understand the game and get better. 

What doubts do you have about this deck?

You can always just brick on turn one and it puts you so far behind. I suppose this applies to any deck, but you really feel missing the turn one attachment on Arceus.

It also just has one or two outright unwinnable matchups which never feels great. 

How do you plan for playing against certain decks/matchups (examples please!)?

I personally play those decks and watch top players play them on streams. Understanding a decks win condition allows you to understand how to prevent that win condition and navigate your own. When you can anticipate your opponent’s gameplan by familiarity with the deck, you can put yourself in a favorable position to ultimately find the checkmate. 

Biggest lesson from your last tournament?

Well, it was a painful lesson on a ‘win and in’ on counting on yourself “finding something”. While you should play high probability, I ended up throwing a game by spreading energy as opposed to fully prepping an attacker and counting on seeing an energy off of a research. Play the probabilities but, don’t put yourself in a losing position to do it. 

Pokemon TCG Lessons and Tips

Whats your most accomplished moment in the Pokemon TCG?

Multiple ‘day two’s’. I am really proud of having made ‘day two’ four times in my life. I have yet to break through the threshold of placing super high, but I pride myself on usually taking my own original builds to events and doing well with them. It may be detrimental ultimately, but it is rewarding to say “This is MY deck” when you do well.  

What was your biggest “oh shoot” moment?

There are so many haha. This game is about learning. At Salt Lake City, last year, I had played against a Goodra on my “win-and-in” and it was my first time playing against Goodra when I was on Blissey/Miltank.

I allowed myself to play too many cards in a game that ended up being a stall out. At the end of the game I could have been extra aggressive and steal the win. It’s just something you look back on and think about as a “what if.”

Easiest way to accumulate points for a worlds? What makes gathering points difficult?

I don’t think there is necessarily an “easy” way to gather points given the amount of variance in Pokemon. I would consider myself a fairly accomplished player, and I am surrounded by some of the top players in the game, but none of us go into local cups and challenges and just sweep.

As you improve as a player, so do the others around you and you realize the difficulty will always ramp with your own talent. If I had plenty of money and vacation time, I would certainly targets all the international championships as they are the most point productive of the events.

When you first search your deck, do you have any strategies for quickly figuring out what’s in your prizes or do you only look for key cards?

I’m not quite as efficient as others when it comes to this, my ADHD is pretty bad and it makes it a bit difficult to track these things. I take note of the matchup and the cards that are imperative to need in it,  then I check if key pieces are prized or not, then I try to go about targeting at least four prizes that I can recognize.

Remembering all six is optimal of course, but I do think some people struggle with this for various reasons. I have told players I coach that if you can remember half your prizes you are better off than stressing about remembering all of them. 

Approximately, how much money do you think it would cost for someone to make it to a World Championship? (Flight, stay, how many tournaments it takes to qualify) Or in your personal experience, your regional tournaments!

I suppose it depends if you are winning or not haha! I typically spend $400 per event when it comes to travel and hotels. I always split hotels with my partner and other Girl Power teammates so it really reduces the costs of the hotel. If you really wanted to attend every IC and regional it could cost you a pretty penny. 

What are your social media goals in the short term and long term when it comes to your presence in the Pokemon Universe? Where can we follow you?

Truthfully I have never set goals for myself for social media. I appreciate having a platform in the community that I have been able to point out certain injustices and bring attention to certain topics, but I don’t have a follower goal or any sort of hopes and dreams for it. Truthfully social media is kind of of exhausting, and I just appreciate that people like my posts!

Follow me @NataliePokeTCG

Check her out below!