Author Archives: hydr8x

Still here for you – A look at the XY Furious Fists Supporter Cards

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Hey everyone, I realise that at this moment in time there is quite a lot to talk about in the Pokemon TCG and it just seems like an insurmountable task to talk about them all (Worlds, rotation and what’s happening next season, new decks, current decks and how they will change etc.)  So today I just want to sort of follow up on a previous article where I talked about the supporter cards in the XY sets by just doing a little piece about the 3 new Supporter cards in XY Furious Fists.

This is not to say I haven’t been busy though as I have been building a couple of decks and doing some online testing recently. I haven’t been to any real events though, I have missed two league challenges (one because I didn’t have the right cards available to me and one because of travel issues) but I hope to be going to events as soon as physically possible and getting stuck into this season properly. I do have a  BCR-on Virgen deck profile lined up soon so look out for that, (Virgen is still going to be good next season.)

XY Furious Fists

So there are 3 new Supporters in the Furious Fists set. One is brilliant, one may be good and could see play in one deck and one is pretty awful, let’s have a look.

Korrina: Search your deck for a fighting Pokemon and an item card, reveal them and put them into your hand. Shuffle.

95-korrina

Obviously this set is based mainly around the Fighting type and this Supporter card is one of the key cards that give fighting a great chance to be competitive. Searching your deck directly for two different cards? Obviously that’s an amazing effect. Most of the time you will use it to search out your Lucario EX or Landorus EX meaning you can save your ultra balls for searching out stuff like Garbodor or Mewtwo EX or anything that isn’t Fighting type. Item wise you have so many choices and you take whatever helps you the most at any given time. Usually searching for your Computer Search Ace Spec is not a bad idea, especially if you don’t have another supporter. But it can also get you that one card that is able to add a little bit more damage for a 1HKO or set you up for a 2HKO e.g a fighting stadium, or muscle band or maybe you just need a switch to start attacking! Such a versatile card is a deckbuilders dream. It means running 1 or 2 copies of an item is a smart play as you can get them in a pinch instead of having to worry about drawing into them at the right time. The only downside is that you can’t search directly for a supporter like Skyla can but this is stll a better card in Fighting decks than Skyla, you can still search for item draw cards like Bicycle or Roller Skates 😉 . Fighting decks need to play at least 3 copies if not 4 in my opinion, obviously further testing will help decide how many to actually run.

 

Battle Reporter: Draw cards until you have the same amount of cards in your hand as your opponent.

88-battle-reporter

This is the customary bad Supporter of the set. Upon reading it first I was like oh it’s a reprint of Copycat that’s good, but then you realise it’s not. You don’t get to shuffle in your hand and then match your opponents hand size, you keep your current hand and draw up to what your opponent has in hand. So if you have 4 in hand once you have played this and your opponent has 6 you’ll be drawing 2 cards.. 2 whole cards, you might as well play Cheren. Obviously this will not be netting you a good amount of cards on a consistent basis which is exactly what a supporter shouldn’t do. If you want a consistent deck you need Supporters than you can rely upon when you draw into them. If you’re running a deck where you frequently dump your whole hand then this could get you a good amount of cards but only if your opponent has a large hand size. For those types of decks you’re better off using item draw such as Bicycle and the supporter Bianca which always gets you back up to 6. Battle Reporter does have some synergy with a couple of Pokemon cards though, Landorus Promo and Tornadus from Furious Fists. Both of these cards have an attack that let’s you deal more damage if your hand is the same size as your opponents. Neither of these attacks are especially amazing though and certainly don’t warrant the use of this terrible. card.

 

Fossil Researcher: Search your deck for up to 2 in any combination of Amaura or Tyrunt and put them onto the bench, shuffle.

92-fossil-researcher

Again this is a deck specific Supporter, in this case it’s Fossil Decks. This is actually very useful in getting those pesky Fossil Pokemon onto your bench. Before now we’ve only had Twist Mountain (which has now rotated) and fossil cards which are very hit miss and have kept Fossil Pokemon largely unplayable. This basically does the same thing as a Pokemon Fan Club so if you want to try out a fossil deck definitely use this. The Tyrantrum from Furious Fists has some potential so this may see play. Defintely keep an eye out for Fossil Pokemon this season!

That’s all from me today, make sure to check back next week to see my thoughts on Virgen following the rotation and how I think it should be played.

-Ryan-

I’ll Support ya – A look at the new Supporters from XY and Flashfire.

Pokemon TCG XY Theme Deck Box

Hello all. Once again it has been a while since i have posted. My last post was a video of me going through my Big Basics/Raichu/Garbodor list that I played at UK Nats, not exactly keeping up with things am I?

Well I have been busy with a few things and I have some great ideas in the pipeline which I hope will come to fruition in this sort of transition between seasons, I really hope I can grow this blog into something bigger.

Anyway onto the article. By now you should all know that next season the standard format will be Boundaries Crossed and on so we only actually lose 2 Supporters (Cilan and Hooligans Jim and Cas) not exactly anything to worry about. So we’ll have all of our favourite supporters and more to be able to draw upon (get it)..

Seeing as most decks will still utilise these tried and tested supporters I thought it would be worth taking the time to have a better look at the new supporters that we have received from XY and Flashfire and whether you should consider them when building decks.

So let’s get going.

XY Theme Decks.

Tierno –  Effect: Draw Three Cards. 

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Only found in the XY theme decks Tierno has gone a bit unnoticed. Probably because it’s a reskinned Cheren which is pretty bad. Outclassed by most draw supporters in the format and has very limited use. Next.

 

XY.

Professor Sycamore – Effect: Discard you hand and draw 7 cards.

professorSycamore

Again another supporter with an identical effect to a card we already have in the format: Professor Juniper. Having been reprinted a couple of times already I didn’t think we needed another one but this will ensure we have this card available for probably the next two seasons. Obviously we all know this is a very strong card and basically every deck runs 4 of this (remember you can only have either Sycamore or Juniper in your deck as having more than 4 cards with this effect would be broken). The only question you should be asking yourself here is which artwork do I prefer? No reason why you wouldn’t play this in everything.

Team Flare Grunt – Effect: Discard an energy attached to your opponents active Pokemon.

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Much like Team Plasma Grunt this is a very underwhelming card (grunts suck), the only thing I like about this card is the artwork. Being able to discard an energy and disrupt your opponent is always good obviously but this effect is not strong enough for a Supporter. Even being able to choose what Pokemon to discard the energy from would be nice, though it still wouldn’t make this playable. As a sort of positive note quite a lot of decks in the upcoming format will be utilising special energy (DCE, Strong Energy etc) and now Enhanced Hammer has rotated energy discard from trainers depends on either this or Crushing hammer (now without the aid of Sableye) but I believe using a draw or search supporter to be the wiser choice. Maybe it’ll find it’s place in a deck in the future if a super powerful energy card is printed but until then you’re better off playing something useful.

Cassius – Effect: Shuffle 1 of your Pokemon and all cards attached to it back into your deck.

115-cassius

Now this card has an interesting effect. I was unsure as to whether this would be good or not when i first saw it but now that it has been confirmed that we will be getting a reprint of Super Scoop Up in Furious Fists it loses it’s uniqueness a bit. I would much rather play 1 or 2 SSU and hope to hit at least 1 heads and still be able to play a Supporter for the turn. Yet another Supporter that doesn’t quite cut it.

Shauna – Effect: Shuffle your hand into your deck, then draw 5 cards.

127-shauna

A new draw supporter is always welcome and who doesn’t like to draw cards? I briefly went over this in my deck profile for Nats. It’s a solid, consistent card. But unless you are going super aggro with something like Speed Lugia I would recommend N over this, it can be nice as an extra draw support to supplement N though.

 

XY Flashfire.

Blacksmith –  Effect: Attach 2 Fire Energy cards from your discard pile to 1 of your Fire Pokemon.

88-blacksmith

Being a set aiming to provide Fire types some support Blacksmith is the main supporter with this in mind. We saw Michael Pramawat using this in his Pyroar/Charizard deck that made top 2 at US Nats. The idea is to get fire energy into the discard with Ultra Ball/Fiery Torch/Juniper and then use item cards Bicycle and Roller Skates for draw. With Seismitoad coming into the format next season this maybe be a slightly riskier strategy but it certainly does what it was intended for. Pyroar will still be around next season so this will see play!

 Lysandre –  Effect: Switch 1 of your opponent’s benched Pokemon with his or her active Pokemon.

90-lysandre

Yes it’s what Pokemon Catcher used to do before the errata. Another very strong card,  most decks will include at least 1 or 2 copies of it. This can supplement catcher, miss all of your catcher flips? Well use a Lysandre instead. Very useful for getting out of a lock as the only Supporter lock at the moment is Stoutland from Boundaries Crossed which you will probably never see. Utilise it well and always be wary of your opponent’s ability to use this card against you as you’ll see it a lot.

Pokemon Center Lady –  Effect: Heal 60 damage and remove all special conditions from 1 of your Pokemon.

93-pokemon-center-lady

Is this card good? Well it’s certainly not game breaking. You’re probably better off using Max Potion or Super Potion to heal damage and use either Audino from BCR or Virizion EX to prevent special conditions. We also now have Full Heal being reprinted which again being a trainer is preferable to using a supporter. It’s nice that it does two things in one but is a little underwhelming for a supporter card.

 

Pokemon Fan Club – Effect: Search your deck for up to 2 basic Pokemon, reveal them, and put them into your hand.

94-pokemon-fan-club

With Level Ball rotating soon this is a nice way to get your basics out early especially if you play stage 1 or 2’s in your deck. It’s not as good the previous card that had a similar effect, Pokemon Collector which let you search for 3 basic Pokemon. But as it is it’s not a bad card. Decks that rely on evolutions and that need setup can consider running maybe 1 or 2 of this and then using items for draw support.  I defintely think this card will have some uses this season.

And there we have it. I’ve briefly given my thoughts on the supporters from the last two sets, hopefully it’s given you some sort of insight into the usefulness of them all.

Pre releases for Furious Fists start this coming weekend (2/3 August) and once all the scans are up I’ll be doing some analysis on any interesting cards. I have a new deck profile coming soon as well which I’ll be presenting in video form so keep an eye out for that.

Thanks again,

-Ryan-

 

 

Coming back and pre Nationals musings

Hello all, it certainly has been a while since i last wrote here. Not long after the XY pre release I went to in January the details for UK Nationals were annouced. Safe to say I wasn’t happy about what followed. Following on from a season where there have been lots of questionable decisions over which venues were given Regionals etc the new organisation who are head of UK organised play announced that Nationals would be held in Manchester. For those not from the UK Manchester is in the North West of England. I don’t want to dwell on this part too much but basically it’s quite far away for a lot of people in the UK myself included. That news coupled with the fact that I was struggling to fund the travel expenses I didn’t see any way that I could reasonable make it to Nationals so I decided to quit.

I actually sold about £300 worth of cards (including my Tropical Beach) and was happy in the knowlege that I would now have some money to spare. That was until I saw the XY Flashfire scans and the Pokemon nerd in me came flooding back. I always get drawn in when new things come out and in the spur of the moment I looked up when the nearest pre release would be, it turned out that it was taking place the very next day so I thought screw it I’m going to go!

Not only did I miss the awesome cards I also had other reason for coming back. I missed deckbuilding, it’s one of the best things about this game and trying to perfect a list before a big tournament is a challenge I always relish but I mainly came back because I didn’t like the thought that I would never seem my Pokemon friends ever again and Nationals is always such a fun day to go to.

So here I am, a mere 5 days ago I was sitting here thinking I wish I could go to Nats why did I have to quit? Since then I’ve booked the time off from work, sorted out a lift with my awesome Pokefriend Bella and hopefully secured the last of my play points in time. Now all that’s left is to build a deck.

After selling quite a few playable cards I am left without a playable meta deck. The one I am closest to having a full list of is Yveltal/Darkrai/Garbodor. I know it’s one of the best decks atm (maybe bdif) but to be honest I played Darkrai last year at Nats and played it in the the last 2 major tournaments that I entered as well, I’m sort of sick of it. I know it revolves more around Yveltal now but I really don’t want half of my rounds to be dull mirror matches. My lack of hotel booking on the Saturday of Nats this year shows that I’m not going believing that I’m going to place well (no matter what deck I play) so I might as well play something I will have fun with.

I also can’t play a deck that needs Tropical Beach as I sold mine (I might have a way to borrow some but that means depending on other people who might not decide what they want to play until very close to the event) So I can’t play Blastoise or Rayboar and I don’t particuarly want to splash the cash for Virgen.

What does this all mean though? It means I’m actually going to bite the bullet and play rogue at Nationals. I regretted not playing my Articuno/Garbodor list last year as I believed it could have performed reasonably well and I would have had a hell of a lot more fun with it but I convinced myself that I needed to play meta. I’m playing for fun this year, winning and getting to Top cut would just be a bonus not my aim.

But I’m certainly not playing rogue just for the sake of it or to be ‘different’. The deck will be based around a card that was released in XY Flashfire. It has been briefly mentioned and discussed quieltly by a few online but nobody knows if this card will prove to be good until sufficient testing has been done. There are a few ways to build a deck around this card and I plan on trying the two best variants of it. I have an initial list for one version that I personally see being the better choice. I will not be revealing what it is yet, certainly not today and probably not before Nationals. I know it may not matter as most people in the UK won’t see this but I like to go into an event with an air of secrecy and only a few close friends will know what I’m playing. I know all you TCG players out there will respect that as you wouldn’t want somebody else stealing your hard earned lists.

As I mentioned before I love deckbuilding. I’ve been working on things again today, not actually writing lists but just gaining some knowldege, watching gameplay videos, listening to podcasts etc and just running through my head right how is my deck going to beat this, will this work etc, it always goes much better in your head (theorymon). As much as I enjoy doing this I’ll be getting down to testing on playtcg as soon as the new scans are up. If all goes well my original ideas won’t be too far off the mark (you always expect at least 3-5 cards to be wrong) and I can find out what the optimum list will be.

I’ve said it before but I’m going to break the format eventually 🙂

Ryan.

 

How to draft – X/Y Prerelease – Cardiff UK

Hey everyone, sorry it has been a while since I have written an article. I have recently bought my first house with my girlfriend and to say I’ve been busy is an understatement. I haven’t been to any Cities over here in the UK due to work, time and money issues. But I hope to be able to get to some League Challenges and a Regional (States for those of you in the US) in the next few months so things are looking up!

Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder and I couldn’t wait to get the event this past weekend. We have a whole region of new Pokemon that we’ll be getting in card form over the next few sets and I’m so glad the Black and White sets are finally done with. So onto a little bit of information about the set itself and the prerelease that I went to.

No more B/W Sets

No more B/W Sets

This set is pretty big, coming in at 146 cards I can’t remember the last time we had a set this big. It’s a lot bigger than B/W base was. I won’t go through the cards as it would take forever but I may mention a few of them along the way. I think there quite a lot of interesting and quirky cards in the set. There a few key cards that will most definitely see play, some fringe cards that will work in certain decks and those random cards that you’re not sure if they are good or not but you know someone will probably make them work.

Anyway this was my first event since St Austell Regionals and I had barely played any Pokemon over Christmas and the New Year. I love going to prereleases escpecially after having a while off from the game as they are so fun to play in and they ease you back into playing again.

Awesome Ability

Awesome Ability

I didn’t pull anything particuarly amazing from my 6 packs, highlights were an Aromatisse which I was pleased about as it’s a great card, a holo Rhyperior, a holo Vivillion (as far as I know there are different colour ones that you can get much like in the videogame, I got the pink one), a reverse Delphox which is very playable and I got a good number of trainers seeing as it was a prerelease where you normally end up with like 1 or 2.

So then I had to make my 40 card deck and it was as follows:

Pokemon
2 Chespin
1 Jigglypuff
1 Wigglytuff
2 Spritzee
1 Aromatisse
2 Swellow
1 Corsola
2 Voltorb

Trainers/Supporters
1 Evosoda
1 Max Revive
2 Great Ball
1 Super Potion
1 Muscle Band
2 Professor's Letter
1 Shauna
1 Team Flare Grunt

Energy
13 Fairy Energy
4 Grass Energy
1 Rainbow Energy

I was actually really pleased with the deck i put together in under 10 minutes. The energy count may seem high but in drafting you have no energy accelration so you need to hit them every turn and it seemed like the right amount. The Pokemon lines are a bit thin obviously as you don’t have many copies of  each card and I had 10 trainers and suppporters, a quarter of my deck which is crazy for a prerelease!

Most of the Pokemon served a purpsose, I did consider serveral others but these were defintiely the best choice.

Chespin has a 1 energy attack Pin Missile – flip 4 coins and it does 10 damage times the number of heads which is awesome for this sort of event.

Aromatisse as i said earlier is going to be used in Fairy decks when it comes to modified. It’s ability Fairy Transfer let’s you move Fairy energy from one of your Pokemon to another one of your Pokemon as often as you like during your turn so it’s basically a stage 1 version of Hydreigon with Dark Trance. It wasn’t quite as useful here but still solid.

Fairys mean business

Fairys mean business

Swellow had an OK attack that I got to use a couple of times, for CC it does 10 plus 30 more if you get heads on a coin flip.

Voltorb was there for it’s interesting ability and I’m pretty sure everyone who pulled it played it because I saw it a lot. It’s ability Destiny Burst says If it is your active Pokemon and it’s knocked out by an opponents attack flip a coin, if heads put 5 damage conters on the attacking Pokemon, pretty nifty. It also has Rollout which does 10 for 1 energy but all you had to do was stall with it up and your opponent has to knock it out!

But the MVP of my deck was most definitely Wigglytuff! It was only a thin 1-1 line but I got it out nearly every single game. In this format cards with no damage ceiling can be massive. It’s first attack Baloon Barrage does 20x the amount of energy attached to Wigglytuff. So my main strategy was to stall with a Voltorb or Chespin and build up a Wigglytuff on the bench to OHKO everything. It was a pretty clutch card quite a few times. I think i was able to get it out so easy as I had 2 Great Balls to thin my deck, an Evosoda which could directly seach for it and I had Shauna which was a good hand referesh.

Will see some competitive play.

Will see some competitive play.

We had 10 Masters which meant 4 rounds. I won’t go through all of the games, I’ll just tell you that I went 3-1 and came third apparently, not sure how that happened as I swear I was one of the only two players going 3-0 going into the last round, anyway it doesn’t matter. It was a really fun day and I’m now working on my Fairy.dec list as it’s going to be at least semi playable.

Thank you for reading. I hope everyone enjoys their prereleases this weekend. I’m aiming to bring you some fresh new deck ideas and card discussion soon.

-Ryan-