Monday, November 20, 2017

Card Leak: Ultra Beast Necrozma Forms! Metal Magnezone BKT!

What is even going on anymore
 
 
Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX – Metal  – HP190
 Basic Pokemon (Ultra Beast)
 
[C][C][C] Claw Slash: 60 damage.
 
[M][M][M][C] Meteor Tempest: 220 damage. Discard 3 Energy from this Pokemon.
 
[M][M][M] Eclipse Sun GX: 250 damage. This attack can only be used if you have more Prize cards remaining than your opponent. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
 
When your Pokemon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
 
Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat: 3
 
---
 
TYRANTRUM IS BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER BAYBEEEEEEEEE
 
No seriously, this thing is brutal. Meteor Tempest can kill everything in the game with a Choice Band. Like, that alone is enough to make this a great card. It also helps that Metal is starting to get a HUGE amount of Energy Acceleration to work with: Metagross-GX, Solgaleo-GX, Solgaleo Prism Star, and the new Magnezone from this set, too. Literally anything running Metal Energy needs to play this: The damage output is too good to pass up.
 
 
Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX – Psychic – HP180
Basic Pokemon (Ultra Beast)
 
Ability: Invasion
 Once during your turn (before your attack), if this Pokemon is on your Bench, you may switch this Pokemon with your Active Pokemon.
 
[P][P][P] Flash of Darkness: 120 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Resistance.
 
[P][P][P] Eclipse Moon GX: 180 damage. This attack can only be used if you have more Prize cards remaining than your opponent. Prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to this Pokemon during your opponent’s next turn. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
 
When your Pokemon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
 
Weakness: Darkness (x2)
Resistance: Fighting (-20)
Retreat: 2
 
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K E L D E O  I S  B A C K  B A Y B E E E E E E E E E
 
Eh, I don't like it as much as Dusk Mane Necrozma, but it's still pretty good. Rush In on a Basic is always a nice Ability to have around. Rush In + Float Stone was a huge asset in a lot of decks for giving Free Retreat across the board and nullifying negative effects of attacks, like Special Conditions and such. I don't think Dawn Wing's attacks are all that great because they don't deal much damage, but they're still nice options if you're running Psychic Energy in the deck.
 
 

Magnezone – Metal – HP150
Stage 2 – Evolves from Magneton

Ability: Magnetic Circuit
As often as you like during your turn (before your attack), you may attach a [M] Energy from your hand to 1 of your Pokemon.
 
[M][M][M][C] Zap Cannon: 130 damage. During your next turn, this Pokemon can’t use Zap Cannon.
 
Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat: 2
 
---
 
Oh look, more Metal Type acceleration. The original Magnezone BKT wasn't a very big threat because of how unplayable Stage 2's were at the time, but this Magnezone exists in an Evolution-controlled format, so it's almost certain to play a role in the competitive metagame someday. I think the biggest benefit this card has over something like Metagross-GX is the fact that it attaches as often as you want and doesn't need several Stage 2's in play to work. There's definitely obvious synergy with this card and Dusk Mane Necrozma, but if I have to be honest, that deck seems kinda trippy if you can't consistently recycle discarded Energy. I'd almost rather stick to Registeel and Metagross in that deck since they recycle properly for the attack cost.
 
 
 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Card Leak: Luxray Evolution Line

Luxray was revealed a few days ago and I didn't really care for it, but now that we've seen the Pre-Evolutions for it, my faith in it has increased immensely.
 
 
Shinx – Lightning – HP50
Basic Pokemon
 
Ability: Runaway Evolution
This Pokemon can evolve the turn it was played if it’s the first turn of the player going second.
 
[L] Sparking: 10 damage.
 
Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat: 1

Luxio – Lightning – HP80
 Stage 1 – Evolves from Shinx
 
[C] Electromagnetic Barrier: 30 damage. Your opponent can’t play any Item cards from their hand during their next turn.
 
Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat: 1

Luxray – Lightning – HP150
Stage 2 – Evolves from Luxio
 
Ability: Intimidating Fang
As long as this Pokemon is your Active Pokemon, any damage done to this Pokemon by an opponent’s attack is reduced by 30 (before applying Weakness and Resistance).
 
[L][L][C] Voltage Arrow: Discard all [L] Energy attached to this Pokemon. This attack does 150 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.)
 
Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat: 0
 
---
 
Luxray is one of the few Stage 2 Pokemon with an entirely playable Evolution line: A Basic with quick Evolution support, a Stage 1 with a disruptive attack, and a final Stage with solid HP, defensive properties, Free Retreat, and a great 150 snipe anywhere. As a whole, Luxray's design kinda reminds me of Greninja BREAK, which was also very playable.
 
Now, I don't think Luxray is anywhere near Greninja-levels of playability, but since the card has the same general foundation and principles as the ninja frog, I feel like it has similar odds. My idea would be to run it with Shining Celebi and some kind of power buffs to deal constant disruption with  Luxio's attack while defending with Luxray's immense HP and Ability - and it only gives up 1 Prize, too! It's a goofy idea that I'll definitely keep on tabs as we get closer to the release of Ultra Prism next year.
 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Card Leak: SM5 Promos and such!

I couldn't come up with a better title than that. My terrible writing skills have gotten even worse since my prime. Ugh.
 
 
Mow Rotom – Grass – HP90
Basic Pokemon
 
Ability: Rotomotor
If there are 9 or more Pokemon Tool cards in your discard pile, ignore the attack costs of this Pokemon.
 
[G][C][C] Special Cut: 60 damage. Discard a Special Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
 
Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 1 
 
---
 
It's nice to see Mow Rotom back after having nothing but bland Lightning-Type Rotoms for the last century. It's a pretty cool card, but it's hard to find synergy for it in anything else. I don't think I can name a single competitive deck right now that even runs 9 Pokemon Tool cards. The only deck that could play this card is a Gourgeist CRI deck, but Gourgeist isn't even playable. Huh.
 
 
Alolan Raticate-GX – Darkness – HP200
Stage 1 – Evolves from Rattata
 
[.] Throw Away: 40x damage. Discard up to 2 cards from your hand. This attack does 40 damage for each card you discarded in this way.
 
[D][C][C] Hyper Fang: 150 damage. Flip a coin. If tails, this attack does nothing.
 
[.] Item Miner GX: Search your deck for up to 6 Item cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
 
When 1 of your Pokemon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.
 
Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat: 3
 
---
 
I suspected an Alolan Raticate-GX would appear someday, and now here it finally is. It's decent. Throw Away is a cool 80-for-nothing attack that has nice synergy in discard-based decks, and if you have a Choice Band, you'll deal 220 to Pokemon weak to Dark attacks. It's a nice Type Advantage attack for the future. But it's not much of a good attack on its own. There are way better way to deal small damage for small Energy.
 
Item Miner GX is a fantastic support attack, but with N still legal in format, it's too risky. See, part of why Drampa-GX is good is because it provides a great support attack and two incredibly bulky main attacks: If your GX is blocked by N, you still have a way to use Drampa. Thing is, if Item Miner GX fails, then you're left with a 2-Prize liability; The only thing Raticate can really do after that is deal 80 at a time, which isn't as great as it sounds.
 
 
Weavile – Darkness – HP90
Stage 1 – Evolves from Sneasel
 
[C] Icy Wind: 10 damage. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Asleep.
 
[D] Dark Command: 50x damage. This attack does 50 damage times the number of your opponent’s Pokemon with Abilities.
 
Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat: 1
 
---
 
Weavile is the Stage 1 Pokemon that was anonymously advertised last week, and GOOD GRIEF THIS THING IS B U S T E D. Dark Command is gonna deal serious punishment to just about anything in this format, because nearly every deck runs heavy numbers of Abilities: VikaBulu, Gardevoir-GX, Metagross-GX, Volcanion-EX, - heck, even the decks that don't run copius amounts of Ability-infused Pokemon often play Tapu Lele-GX and Marshadow SHL.
 
I feel like Weavile is gonna be a lot like a new Garbodor GRI: It'll be played alongside Big Basic or Stage 1 GX attackers for good play coverage. I am 100% certain this card is gonna be good. Don't @ me.
 

Cresselia – Psychic – HP120
Basic Pokemon

[P] Crescent Moon Turn: Discard an Energy from this Pokemon. Switch all damage counters on this Pokemon with those on your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
 
[P][C][C] Psychic: 60+ damage. This attack does 20 more damage times the amount of Energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
 
Weakness: Psychic (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 1
 
---
 
Meh. Cresselia's just filler. Psychic's not that great when Oranguru SM does the same thing, and Crescent Moon Turn doesn't have enough payoff for the work it requires. Usually I'm optimistic about these Basic Legendary/Mythical Pokemon, but this one just seems mediocre.
 
 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Card Leak: Prism Star Solgaleo and Lunala!

Looks like the new Prism Star mechanic isn't so foreign after all!
 
 
Solgaleo ◇ – Metal – HP160
Basic Pokemon
 
◇ (Prism Star) Rule: You can’t have more than 1 Prism Star card with the same name in your deck. If a Prism Star card is discarded, put it in the Lost Zone.
 
[M] Rising Star: For each of your opponent’s Pokemon in play, attach a [M] Energy from your discard pile to your Pokemon in any way you like.
 
[M][M][M][M] Corona Impact: 160 damage. This Pokemon can’t attack during your next turn.
 
Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat: 3
 
Lunala ◇ – Psychic – HP160
Basic Pokemon
 
◇ (Prism Star) Rule: You can’t have more than 1 Prism Star card with the same name in your deck. If a Prism Star card is discarded, put it in the Lost Zone.
 
[P] Full Moon Star: For each of your opponent’s Pokemon in play, attach a [P] Energy from your discard pile to your Pokemon in any way you like.
 
[P][P][P][P] Psystorm: 20x damage. This attack does 20 damage times the amount of Energy attached to all Pokemon in play.
 
Weakness: Darkness (x2)
Resistance: Fighting (-20)
Retreat: 3
 
---
 
Prism Star Pokemon are kinda of like the Pokemon Star cards from the Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald era: You can play as many Prism Star cards as you like in your deck, but no more than 1 of the same Pokemon. So 1 Solgaleo and 1 Lunala is fine, but not 2 Solgaleo and 3 Lunala. They also have to be moved to the Lost Zone when Knocked Out or discarded.
 
And that ruling is rightfully deserved, because these things are C R A Z Y. Solgaleo and Lunala are both fantastic Energy acceleration engines for their respective deck Types: Solgaleo for Metal, and Lunala for Psychic. Lunala even brings a great Psystorm attack as a bonus - can't say the same for Solgaleo's Corona Blast, though.
      
I believe I heard that there are supposed to be six Prism Star cards in the main set, which means there are still four more we have yet to see. I wonder if they'll be as good as these?
 
 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Card Leak: Unit Energy

Pokebeach leaked this earlier today alongside info about SM5's emphasis on Gen. 4. Considering how utterly confusing and nonsensical this whole deal is, I'm just gonna stay away from this conspiracy: Knowing me, I'll just make it more mind-boggling.
 
 
 
Unit Energy GRW/LPM – Special Energy
 
This card provides [C] Energy. When this card is attached to a Pokemon, this card provides [G][R][W]/[L][P][M] Energy, but provides only 1 Energy at a time.
 
---
 
So, Unit Energy is here, and it's pretty much a Blend Energy reprint, but with different Type Combinations: Instead of four Types per card, there are only three, likely because nine Types can be divided evenly with three cards and not four. Knowing this, the last of the three Unit Energy cards is definitely going to be a Fighting/Dark/Fairy blend.
 
Just like Blend, these are definitely going to be great cards, though the potential combos are probably going to be a lot different. I wouldn't be surprised if players would implement LPM Energy in Garbodor GRI decks for bonus Lightning or Metal attackers, though I must admit I can't think of a good card like that right now. LPM Energy could also make way for some cool Solgaleo/Lunala toolbox strategies.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Card-Of-The-Day: Mamoswine [SM: Crimson Invasion]

 
I look at Mamoswine and immediately my attention is draw to its HP: a plump, juicy 180.
 
Maybe it's just me, but for the longest time, I've always believed that Stage 2 cards in our current meta don't have enough HP - Stage 2 GX's are great where they are right now, but their non-GX brethren are still staggering behind. Cards like Greninja BKP and Gallade BKT are still severe glass cannons because it'll usually take just 1 modest hit to subdue them.  Alas, the most any mainline Stage 2 has ever had was 160HP at a time.
 
Until now.
 
Mamoswine has 180HP, a TCG first for Stage 2's. This amount is identical to the HP cap that Pokemon-EX had, which were renowned for their bulky battle capabilities. Mamoswine isn't the only Stage 2 to receive EX levels of HP: Incineroar from Shining Legends and Aggron from Crimson Invasion also boast 170HP, pushing this trend even further.
         I would die and go to heaven if 170 and 180 eventually became the maximum HP level for Stage 2's, specifically the bulky ones like these guys. Stage 2's shouldn't need game-breaking Abilities and attacks to make up for their fragile design: That just feels wrong.
 
Well, as for Mamoswine itself, it's... bad. I won't beat around the bush: Mamoswine's only redeeming aspect is its HP. Other than that, it stinks. It has a bad Retreat Cost, Registeel can OHKO it, and neither of its attacks are worth your salt. Double Stomp is a filler 'flip for bonus' attack, and Forceful Tackle deals too much recoil back to yourself. It's nearly impossible to use this card without some kind of major defense engine.
 
Mamoswine stinks, but it at least shows that Pokemon is willing to experiment further with Stage 2 HP values. I hope the company keeps making cards like this: It'd be a great step forward to re-balancing Evolution utility in the game. Every little bit counts.
 
3/10 It's bad, but who cares? I didn't review it for its card, anyway.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Card Leak: Pachirisu from SM5

Who would've thought that the first card to be revealed to us would be a sparky boi?
 
 
Pachirisu – Lightning – HP70
Basic Pokemon
 
[L] Static Generator: For each of your Benched Pokemon with a Nuzzle attack, search your deck for a basic [L] Energy and attach it to that Pokemon. Then, shuffle your deck.
 
[L] Nuzzle: Flip a coin. If heads, your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Paralyzed.
 
Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat: 1
 
---
 
Pachirisu's Static Generator is so specific, yet simultaneously so brilliant. I can't name a single playable Pokemon in the format with the Nuzzle attack, but I can think of one very good Pokemon that evolves from an NFE with that attack: Raichu-GX. There exists a few Pikachu cards right now with the Nuzzle attack. So, you could use Static Generator to throw up to 4 Energy into play at a time. It's a stupid combo, all things considered, but it just might work.
 
Maybe. Probably not, though. I'm so freakin' pooped that I'll say just about anything. Really.