Monday, January 30, 2012

Impact Crater: Next Destinies

Just can't get enough of Blue Flare
Hey all The Deck Out followers!


Today is the time for 3rd part of the Impact Crater – series (10 points to anyone who guesses where the name is from). As everyone knows, the release of the new set – Next Destinies – is just right around the corner. In the Impact Crater series, I analyze all the new cards that will have an impact on the format when released. If you want to check out my last Impact Crater –series articles and see how well I’ve predicted the impact of the cards, you can check them out here: Emerging Powers / Noble Victories.

Thanks to Pokebeach now having all the scans, I could finally make this entry because there is no more need to guess, which cards are printed in the Next Destinies and which are not. Next Destinies is a set that most of us have been waiting for a long time and I’m very excited about the comeback of the EX cards – it brings a bit more versatility in the format, I hope.

We all know that the hyped Mewtwo EX will be in the set but there are so many other good things in the set that have been completely forgotten because of the over-the-top hype of Mewtwo EX (Which I take the blame for). Let’s see what cards really have an impact on our upcoming format.


Mewtwo EX


Just like always, I want to start with the most obvious. My Eye on Japan: Part 1 is guilty for the hype of Mewtwo EX. Mewtwo EX is probably the most hyped card ever. I don’t really want to go too in-depth with it in this article because I’ve decided to make an own entry for Mewtwo EX and I’ll discussing Mewtwo EX probably the rest of this season.

The most important thing about Mewtwo EX is that it’s an EX-Pokémon. Being EX means that it’s stronger than the usual cards and when it’s KOed, your opponent takes 2 prizes instead of 1. Are EXs really that good that you can give away 2 prizes with them? When it comes to Mewtwo EX, the answer is yes. However, with all EXs the answer isn’t always yes.

Mewtwo EX has huge HP of 170 so nothing really OHKOs it. The OHKO moment of Mewtwo EX is what makes it so good. Mewtwo EX is weak to Psychic and the format doesn’t already have any played Psychic Pokémon. Mewtwo EX has no real counter in the format and ironically Mewtwo EX’s best counter (as too many times already said) is Mewtwo EX. I think Mewtwo EX is the first card ever, which will be widely played and is countered by itself.

When we look at its attacks, it theorymonically seems only mediocre. However, when Mewtwo EX gets into action, it’s unstoppable. The best attack of Mewtwo EX is its first attack called X-Ball. With only DCE it hits for 40. X-Ball hits 20x each energy attached to Mewtwo EX AND your opponent’s active Pokémon. If we look at some of the most played cards in the format, it OHKOs things like Babies, Tynamo and Litwick with only 1 DCE. To OHKO a fully loaded Zekrom that has hit Strike Bolt once, it needs DCE – DCE+ 2 energy depending if they have an Eviolite or not. X-Ball requires any type of energy so Mewtwo EX can be played in any deck. And most decks in the format base on energy acceleration so it’s only logical for Mewtwo EX to be a great card. It will also inspire new energy acceleration engines like Celebi Prime.

Its second attack Psydrive is almost never used. X-Ball does the entire job when it comes to OHKOing Pokémon and it works in every deck. However, Psydrive requires 2 Psychic Energy to be used and hits for “only” 120 damage. 120 isn’t enough and there isn’t really nothing that can prudently energy accelerate Psychic Energy other than the Gardevoir, which I’ll introduce in this entry as well.

Reshiram EX

Yeah, you guessed it, I’ll review every single EX Pokémon in this entry. All of them aren’t as good as Mewtwo EX but they have at least a small impact on the format. Reshiram EX has whopping 180 HP and it hits for 50-80 and for 150. The first attack is nothing too exciting. With flip, it can OHKO most stage1 Pokémons and with 50 damage it can OHKO most basic Pokémons but because nowadays most Basics have 60 HP, it usually goes to a flip.

The more interesting attack is its second attack that hits 150 damage for 2 Fire and 2 Colorless. Any attack that hits for heavy damage and can abuse DCE is very interesting. Reshiram  EX may damage itself with the attack that hits for 50 but a flip decided that. However, as long as you have Eviolite attached to Reshiram EX, you only can hit 30 to yourself. The amount of 150 is very interesting because it OHKOs every non-EX Pokémon in format but it doesn’t OHKO any EX-Pokémons in the format (Excluding Shaymin EX, which already has the weakness to Fire).

Reshiram EX will be a nice addition for decks like Reshiboar and ReshiPlosion and I believe that Reshiram EX – together with Mewtwo EX - will help these decks to make a comeback to their former glory. I have also played around with a deck that focuses only on Reshiram EX but the deck is still in progress. I think this beast sure has potential and will see a bit of play in the format.

Zekrom EX


I’m pretty sure that PCL will never make a bad Zekrom or Reshiram card. Just like Reshiram EX, Zekrom EX has 180 HP and the same first attack as Reshiram EX. Sounds familiar? Well, it sure is, and guess what? Zekrom EX surprisingly hits for 150 damage as well. However, here is the twist. We have accustomed to the old Reshiram and Zekrom that hit for 120 damage and Zekrom hits for itself and Reshiram discards energy. With EXs, it’s the other way around. Zekrom EX hits with 2 Lighting and 2 Colorless Energy for 150 and discards to energy attached to it. Once again, it’s not lighting energy or 2 energy CARDS but just simply 2 energy meaning that Zekrom EX can abuse DCE very well.

In Japan, Zekrom/Eelektrik has been the best deck for 2 sets now and that’s thanks to EXs. Zekrom/Eelektrik was a bit popular in west as well in our current format but it never reached the popularity it got in Japan. With EXs, I believe that Zekrom/Eelektrik will finally claim its tier 1 place in the western metagame as well. Eelektrik is just too good when you can combine it with things like Mewtwo EX and Zekrom EX.


Shaymin EX


Shaymin EX is at the first sight the worst EX in this set. It has horrible 110 HP and it attacks for 30+ something. Well, this something is pretty important when it comes to Shaymin EX. Shaymin EX hits 30 + 30 for each prize card your opponent has taken. Meaning that when your opponent has taken 4 prizes, you hit for 150 damage – with only 2 energy. However, the best part comes when your opponent has taken 5 prizes, you hit 180 – OHKOIng any Pokémon in the format. I wouldn’t focus on Shaymin’s first attack if I would play it in my deck. I would just focus on using Shaymin as a very late game attacker and taking the last prizes. With the energy mover Shaymin you can really surprise OHKO any of your opponent’s Pokémon in the late game.


Level Ball


Level Ball is one of the best balls ever printed. It searches your deck for any Pokémon that has less than 100 HP. There are so many cards that can be sought with it and there is even the possibility that you can search every Pokémon of your deck with Level Ball. This is the situation e.g. in the Leafeon/Amoonguss deck that I mentioned earlier. Level Ball can search almost every stage1 version of the evolution line and it can also search great cards like Mew Prime, Shaymin, Eelektrik and Cinccino(BW). PCL must be very careful with their HPs from now on because Level Ball can quickly become a broken card if they forget it while creating cards. I think that Level Ball can pretty much fit any deck possible because it’s an extra Communication and doesn’t require a Pokémon in your hand to be used. We’ll see a lot of Level Balls in the future decks.

Prism Energy

It’s rare to see a new energy printed that has a big impact on the format. Prism energy doesn’t fit every deck but each deck it fits – it makes the deck 10 times better. A great example would be Six Corners that can take the full advantage of Prism Energy because all of its Pokémons are Basics. Prism Energy’s effect only works on Basic Pokémon so that’s why it doesn’t fit every deck. It’s like a Rainbow energy on Basic Pokémon but doesn’t inflict self-damage. The release of Prism Energy will probably boost the play of Lost Removers in the decks at the same time but don’t expect to see too many Prism Energy around. It’s still a card that functions only in certain decks and doesn’t work at all in the others.


Skyarrow Bridge


Just like Prism Energy, SKyarrow Bridge benefits only Basic Pokémons. It reduces the retreat cost of Basic Pokémon by one and in theory it can be put in every deck. There are Basic Pokémons in every deck, right? In fact, there are decks that are creates just because of SKyarrow Bridge. The best example is any deck with Celebi Prime in it. Celebi Prime was a completely forgotten card but thanks to SKyarrow Bridge it became a versatile energy accelerator for almost all kind of decks. Combining cards like Celebi Prime, Skyarrow Bridge and Prism Energy decks like Six Corners can be modified into very interesting variants. Even things like Thundurus, Virizion and Tornadus have a free retreat after Skyarrow Bridge is played. However, you must be very careful how to play Skyarrow Bridge, in the end it might benefit your opponent more than you.

Amoonguss


This takes me back in the time to EX Legend Maker set where Flareon EX was released. Flareon EX put your opponent’s active Pokémon into burn and confusion. Combined with Ariados (EX Unseen Forces) it created a deck that was annoying and flippy but was fairly played. If we look at our present format, we already have that “Ariados” in the format – Leafeon(UL/CL). Amoonguss puts your opponent into poison and Confusion so it isn’t as flippy as burn but at the same time it reduces the possible 10 more damage to be dealt by Burn. I’ve been playing around with a Leafeon/Amoonguss variant past few days and am still struggling to get it function as well as Flariadios did but I hope that I can make at least a great fun deck from them.

Amoonguss can also be played in a deck we all love and hate- Durant. It works great in Durant because it forces your opponent to use resources in retreating/Switches etc. and after that Durant can give problems even to a ReshiPlosion and ZPST decks. I’m looking forward how Durant will evolve thanks to newly added disruption in the format.






The Small Impact Crater



In the small Impact Crater lies the cards that have only small impact to the format. This is my first Impact Crater where The Small Impact Crater is bigger than the “real” Impact Crater part of the set. I think it tells something about the amount of impact this set has in the format.

Kyurem EX


In my opinion Kyurem EX works the best as a Reshiram EX counter. It attacks aren’t that good, it has a horrible weakness to Cobalion and it “only” has the 180, which doesn’t help it because of its weakness. I’m sure people will try to fir Kyurem in Cobalion/Kyurem/Electrode decks but I don’t really know if it’s worth it. Kyurem EX may also work as an attacker for Six Corners. I’m not loving the card and in my opinion the non-EX version of Kyurem should be worth 2 prizes -  not its EX version.

Regigigas EX

Here is another EX that I don’t like. Its attack are just bad and fighting weakness is always horrible. Even this format has Terrakion that easily OHKOs it. Regigigas EX is by far the worst EX in the whole set and I wouldn’t suggest playing it in any deck (even in a Ross variant).

Shiftry

This is one of the cards that immediately caught my attention in this set. Shiftry’s only good thing is its ability even though it’s flippy. It would be a great tech if the Rare Candy wasn’t nerfed or BTS would be in the format but now it’ll probably not be able to realize its full potential and will be soon forgotten. I won’t give up with this card yet but I’m pretty sure that I soon will. 

Heavy Ball

Heavy Ball isn’t a great card but it isn’t a bad card either.It lets you search for a Pokémon that has a retreat cost of 3 or more.  It’s somewhere between good and bad. It’s true that you can search most EXs, Magnezone Prime, Emboar etc. with it but there is no deck where each of your Pokémon have a retreat of 3 or more. Heavy Ball is a card that has to be tested in each deck individually – it might work well in others but in other decks it might be just a dead draw.

Pokémon Center

Pokémon Center is a Stadium that lets each player heal 20 from one of their Benched Pokémon. In a slower metagame, Pokémon Center would be very interesting but I don’t see any benefit from it in this format in other decks than ReshiPlosion. If ReshiPlosion is able to send out fully loaded, non-damaged, 130 HP Reshirams to the active position every turn, it’s a huge difference. Pokémon Center might also work in a decks that want to play Rainbow Energy but don’t want to take the extra damage of Rainbow Energy. Pokémon Center might work as a tech in any deck but I doubt it will see that much play.

Darmanitan

I just had to mention this card. I was a huge lover of Scrambled Eggs back in the day but unfortunately that kind of decks don’t really do well in this metagame (1 attacker with 100 HP). The interesting part of Darmanitan is its 2nd attack, DarMAXitan that makes you flip a coin for each energy attached to Darmanitan. For each heads you hit for additional 50 damage.

I’ll certainly build something like Darmanitan/Electrode Prime/Victini, Celebi Prime/Darmanitan/Victini etc. to honor the memory of Scrambled Eggs. Who knows, maybe I can get it working.

Wigglytuff

There are 3 Pokémon in this format that have the attack Round. I think that even though Round-deck is very interesting, it needs so much resources to work well that it doesn’t work well enough in this format. I think that’s the theme of this set – there are lot of combos and cards that “might” work but they usually die because of the “Luxchomp-syndrome”. Remember last season, whenever you invented a great deck and then somebody said “Yeah but Luxchomp..”? It’s the same with this idea – it’s a great idea but doesn’t function well enough to be a true tier1 deck.

Musharna


Not much to say about this. It’s just like Uxie LV.X. Its ability is still good in this format but the problem comes to its attack. It could be this format’s Uxie LV.X if its attack had even a mediocre base damage but since it only hits for 40 it’s no match to Mewtwo EX and thus it’s no use in this format.

Chandelure

Some people think that this Chandelure is just what Chandelure needed to become stronger in this format but I – as a very experienced Chandelure player – must disagree. It lacks everything that the old Chandelure has and most importantly it only has 120 HP. Even if this fire Chandelure had 130 HP, I would be a bit skeptic about it just because it needs Fire energy for its attacks. You can’t go putting Rainbow Energy to Chandelure because they will destroy the deck’s main idea – magical HP of 130. 120 HP isn’t enough in this format as long as you are a stage2 Pokémon.

Gardevoir


Gardevoir is my 3rd favorite Pokémon and thankfully every Gardevoir ever printed has been at least ok. This set’s Gardevoir is a bit too weak for this format. Even though it’s ability seems at first just what Mewtwo EX needs (doubles each of your Basic Psychic energy in the play), in the end it doesn’t match in versatility to cards like Typhlosion Prime, Celebi Prime or Eelektrik. I have an article coming up about Mewtwo EX/Gardevoir deck that was played in Japan and I think it has potential but I also think that it still struggles with the best Mewtwo EX variants. As long as you can’t attach 2 Psychic Energy per turn, even Gardevoir’s ability doesn’t keep you up with fast pace of the current metagame.

EXP Share

EXP Share is a reprint and it was never that used. There were some decks that tried using it but they failed miserably. I see a future for EXP Share in this format although there is one card in the way preventing the full power of EXP Share – Pokémon Catcher. If Catcher weren’t around the energy moving effect would be great in a metagame this fast as the current but thanks to Catcher, you can always eliminate the Pokémon that has the EXP Share on it. EXP Share will probably see some play but I don’t think it will be the new number 1 trainer card that will see play in every deck.


Conclusion

The theme of this set is the “Luchomp-syndrome”. It has so many potential combos and cards but they just aren’t competitive enough. They either have too low HP, too big energy requirement or are just too slow to set-up. This set has a huge impact on the metagame, deckbuilt-wise but in the end it’s mainly because of some certain cards like Mewtwo EX, Skyarrow Bridge and Level Ball. The set has over 100 cards and the amount of Impact that this set has to the metagame isn’t as much as I would hope for. If every card of this entry would be able to make it to at least tier2 decks, I would be happy but in the end that might not even happen.

Thanks for reading, I hope you learnt a thing or two and feel free to leave a comment!




41 comments:

  1. The name Impact Crater is from Metroid Prime 1 correct?

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  2. The Durants are still alive and with coming Mewtwo EX stronger (due to psychic resistance), that´s bad news...

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  3. Flareon EX was released in EX Delta Species. Just a correction.

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  4. Esa: You will have now the Psychic Chandelures you wanted before, in http://www.thedeckout.com/2011/12/double-tournament-report-w-chandelure.html XD

    Aside from that, yes, Mewtwo EX is the most hyped (and expensive, as for now) card in ND.

    Personally, i would give more credit to pokemon stadium, but its potential could be seen in the near future (if so), as states are coming.

    Generally speaking, EXs are pretty good, but in some cases (Kyurem, for example), their NV counterparts are a lot better.

    Its pretty funny that Reshiram & Zekrom's roles (auto-damage & auto-discard energies) were interchanged, because it alters the way they'll be played.

    Darmanitan looked as an interesting card when i first saw it, and maybe a hidden gem, due to its ability to OHKO every pokemon, if played properly, and in the right deck, since it may hit 100 with 1 DCE and 200 with 2 DCE, ad infinitum. With Fliptini + trainer lock, it could make a surprise rogue deck. True, it has 110HP and Psychic weakness (Mewtwo EX, anyone?), but i think it has a chance of seeing play.

    We'll see!!!!

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  5. Nice article, I just wanted to add some thoughts about Round decks, since I think they shouldn't be discarded yet. Considering Level Ball abuse and Seismitoad being chargeable with a single DCE, I guess it's good damage splashable to some extent, aside from being a relatively cheap deck. It needs a good starter though. Pichu, or maybe a bulky basic?

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  6. Thoughts on what this set will do to normal Kyurem? Obviously the EX pose a problem - with the right deck, can counter all the big names well enough, but Glaciate's 30... wish I had more time to test!

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  7. Unknown: Whoa, I'm very impressed that you knew that! Correct!

    Anonymous1: Indeed, Durant is very good against Mewtwo EX and that's a real problem but I think that in the near future players will come up with the solution against Durant.

    Anonymous2: Ah, yeah, you're correct. For some reason I always mix it with LM since some of the Eeveelution EXs were released in the LM.

    Elias: Haha, indeed, and they will be very expensive. Thanks for your thoughts, they are highly appreciated!

    Matheus: Pichu is probably the best starter in the deck and I also like the idea of Round-deck but as an experienced player I can easily say that Round-decks won't be able to compete in the tier1 just because they need too much resources for the set-up. If we had a supporter, which shuffles your hand into your deck and lets you draw 10 cards after that, it might work with Level Ball+ Communication but since that isn't the reality, I don't think it will be anything else than a fun deck.

    Lee: I think amount of Kyurem played will decrease. The reason is pretty simple - EXs. All the EX Pokémons are Basic and when htye have Eviolite attached to them, they only take 10 damage from Glacaite. The big HP of all EXs cause too much problems for Glaciate IMO. Not to mention that Kyurem is easily OHKOed with Mewtwo EX/Zekrom EX/Reshiram EX.


    Thanks for all the thoughts and comments everyone! Keep em' coming!

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  8. What happened to the prophesized Heatmor? More power to the Durant I say!

    I was thinking that perhaps a Pinsir might be a good early play? Drop a DCE and you are a really good chance to discard the energy your opponent plays. Combine with Fliptini and the lost remover/crushing hammer and you could create some significant energy troubles for any deck that doesn't/cant retrieve energy from discard, attaches only 1/turn or runs light on energy.

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  9. Espeon ex and Umbreon ex were from UF;)

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  10. This set has Mewtwo EX, Skyarrow Bridge and Prism Energy and few other good cards but I wish it had more of them. For example this set has only one new Supporter, which wasn´t even mentioned in your blog (the next set will probably have only one new supporter too). Make less bad Pokémon or replace them with more stadiums and trainer cards.

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  11. I'm surprised you don't mention Pokemon Center in Chandelure as a way to protect your Dodrio from snipe (it denies Yanmega the 2hko, stops Glaciate, etc), and heal Chandelures as you cycle them back and forth. Healing 20 a turn may not look like much, but it looks like it has its uses.

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  12. Im not sold on the idea of regular Kyurem being less played... obviously time will tell, but in theory one Glaciate can set up alot of OHKO for other pokemon to KO the opponents EXs (ie Glaciate sets up KyuremsEX/RegigigasEx/MewtwoEx kills)

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  13. I disagree that this set has nothing to counter Durant. It has a counter to Durant that's far more deadly than Heatmor.

    Skyarrow Bridge.

    The inability to catcher a 2 retreat pokemon to buy Durant time is going to be incredibly harsh for Durant. But the set also introduced Durant's saving grace to this problem. Pokemon Centre. Durant does no damage, so pokemon centre doesn't benefit the opponent. It discards their skyarrow bridge so they can't continually use it, and it allows Durant to heal any Chandelure snipe or kyurem glaciate. That's huge considering Durant already resists Kyurem a little through special metal and eviolite. The opponent could hold onto their skyarrow bridge until it's needed, but with Judge and N in Durant disrupting your opponent, the odds of it being milled are better than other cards since a cautious player won't immediately play it.

    That said... Amoonguss might make my Leafeon deck more playable, which is amazing, but I don't think it'll factor much into Durant. 2 retreat cost just leaves catcher bait, and confuse and poison isn't enough to make it worth running in Durant. Hypno never saw much play for the same reason, even though I'd argue sleep was better than the confusion (poison is a non-factor since you don't attack). And playing a 2 retreat stage 1 with only the ability to confuse the opponent in a metagame where essentially free retreats will be running rampant, is terrible. If only confusions still worked like before it would be the best status around and Chandelure would be the undisputed BDIF until it rotated out :P But for now... Amoonguss will probably only see play in Leafeon and maybe random 1-1 techs.

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  14. I'd add there's one card that flew under the radar in this impact crater. Even if it only belongs in the small impact crater.

    Zebstrika.

    Think of it as a Raikou EX before Raikou EX is released. Snipe for 80 to anything when the time calls for it, but it's first attack is also very interesting. 40 damage and trainer lock for a turn on your opponent. Zebstrika certainly can't be written off as not doing anything, though it's definitely only a supporting-type card, and not a main deck idea.

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  15. Baelnor: Energy discarding is very interesting but too bad this format has too many energ acceleretaros liek Celebi Prime/Eelektrik/Typhlosion Prime/Electrode Prime. Not to mention that Chandelure has a trainer lock and doesn't need any energy to win games. It sounds like a good rogue idea but won't be able to be very competitive.

    Matijs: Shhh...

    Luffymcduck: Yeah, this set just isn't good enough and Cilan is just bad at the moment.

    Anonymous1: I was playing around with the idea you mentioned but the fact is that Chandelure is already full and Tropical Beach is a far more important card for you than Pokémon Center. Yanmega has problems with so many other cards that it really isn't such a contender in the upcoming format and Kyurem will probably face many problems (mainly Mewtwo EX) in the upcoming format as well. IF you want to tech Chandelure, I would suggest teching cards that don't make the deck less consistent(you want to have the Tropical Beach in play during the whole game) and against the worst match-ups that you're going to face in the UPCOMING format - not in the past format.

    Anonymous2: Well, as long as Eviolite is on the Basics, they will just laugh at the Glaciate. Also, Kyurem lived at least 2 turns in the previous format. Now, if you have Kyurem attacking, it'll be dead very soon since Mewtwo EX kills a Pokémon that has 3 energy attached to it very easily. Same thing goes with Reshiram EX and Zekrom EX. But as you said, only time will tell but those are my predicitions.

    Crawdaunt: Hmm, yeah but in my experience there is no reason to play Pokémons that have a retreat cost of 2 or more if you aren't going to attack with them against Durant. But it's true that it might help decks like Six Corners to abuse Victini better but still there is the Lost Remover and Crushing Hammer issue.

    I've tested Leafeon/Amoonguss a lot and will make an article about it in the upcoming weeks but I can say that it doesn't really match Durant. Durant discards too many cards and it doesn't have a real answer against Durant because it needs so much resources to get the 6 prizes that it will deck out sooner than take the prizes.

    Zebstrika is also one card that I thought about (e.g with Mew Prime) but I soon understood that 40 damage isn't going to make it in this format. It's a great attack and I love the card in the whole (I played Manectric EX in the Worlds, which Zebstrika is copy of) but in the current power creep, Zebstrika isn't good enough. However, in the future it may have an impact on the format. But not for now.

    Great thoughts and discussion everyone, thanks a lot! Keep it going.

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  16. No offense, but I see quite a few misspelled words, typos, missing letters/words, etc.

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    1. In case you didn't know, English isn't Esa's first language. His English isn't perfect, but it's readable and getting better. ;)

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  17. Anonymous: Sorry about that, I typed it in a train and didn't have time to double-check spelling errors!

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  18. I agree with that smart and probably handsome Crawdaunt, Zebstrika could have a place as a tech in Eel decks. Imagine your opponent has two oddish out and probably has twins in hand, you could catcher the first oddish, kill it and trainer lock them so they cannot candy into Vileplume. then next turn you can kill the second oddish and they are unable to play trainer lock. Also 80 snipe isn't too shabby and he does get free retreat so he synergies with Eels.

    BTW I take it you are a Metroid fan Esa?

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  19. Im starting to wonder if us western players will view mewtwo EX as more of a tech card as its biggest downfall is its self like you mentioned. I can definitely see Emboar/Reshiram EX/Mewtwo EX+varients on the horizon as I instantly though "Hey sweet this would work as a second and third attackers when my energy count gets too low with Reshiram BW"
    The other thing that has a tiny impact is that Minccino for Stage 1 rush Cinccino decks as Collector+1 will definitely help set up quite abit.
    Now the problem I can see at the moment will be "Play big basics or risk being overrun" as all you need right now is Bulky basics+Energy acceleration+first turn to win a match. As unless they are under trainer lock its almost frustratingly fast how these decks can churn out dmg. So once vileplume is rotated Zebstrika NDe will see alot more play.

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  20. "I think Mewtwo EX is the first card ever, which will be widely played and is countered by itself."

    What about Gardevoir SW?

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  21. "So once vileplume is rotated Zebstrika NDe will see alot more play."
    Just for the ability to trainer lock?

    Zebstrika snipes like a Yanmega, which admittedly isn't as incredible this format, but there are still Voltorbs, Oddishes (2 won't cut it to get trainer lock up because they can't candy), and Tynamos that it can snipe on the bench 2nd turn. It also snipes for 80 to kill the dodrio in a chandelure matchup, or a benched Celebi, leaving Zeb with no energy for Mewtwo EX to revenge with. Couple that with lost remover and you can have some timely, strategic, and pretty viable play strategies.

    Let's just say... if Musharna and Wigglytuff are in the small impact crater, Zebstrika certainly deserves a spot.

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  22. I'd add, Zebstrika can hit the active Mewtwo for 80 and retreat for a regular Zekrom to finish it off. :P

    And I meant more that Amoonguss won't be played in Durant, cause confusion isn't worth it in Durant. Especially not once Skyarrow Bridge exists.

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  23. Unknown: Yeah, sounds very good in theory but that requires you going first, having those Catchers and the cards necessary to set-up Zebstrika T2 in your hand. Also, it takes a horrible amount of space from the Eelekrik deck and my Zekrom/Eelektrik is already full. And you're correct - I especially love Metroid Prime 1.

    Watusa: I think most decks will stay the same but they have the addition of Mewtwo EX (just like Eelektrik/Zekrom, ReshiPlosion, Reshiboar etc.). However, there will be completely new decks to be born thanks to Mewtwo EX as well just like Celebi Prime variants.

    Kuiper: Well, Gardevoir wasn't played as a tech in decks against GG but Mewtwo EX can be teched in any deck against Mewtwo. There is a huge difference because Mewtwo EX is so easily techable to almost every deck unlike Gardevoir.

    Crawdaunt: I must admit that now when I think about it and adding Musharna to the Small Impact corner, Zebstrika should be there as well. It won't be good in the current format but at least it will be playable someday.

    I also think that Amoonguss will have it's place in Durant against decks against the "single attacker strategy". Confusion is mad good against the strategy, where your opponent doesn't play any Basics on their bench, it screws up their whole plan. And of course Amoonguss will be great after Junk Arm is rotated out because Switch can't Junk Armed after that.

    A lot of great discussion, thanks a lot!

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    1. After rotation I could say it'd definitely do better. And single attacker strategies will falter a good deal I bet, but 2 retreat in the current format for a bench sitter that only really adds confusion... I just don't think it's got the goods. At least not yet.

      And actually, Umbreon's got a point. Imagine the incredible potential mid-game to trainer lock an opponent for a key turn, such that you are guaranteed your setup/charge next turn, and that they can't switch or catcher or candy or whatever they may be able to do.

      That improved my opinion of Zeb a lot more just now. Haha. It may clunk up a deck a little, but I bet in the right metagame, it'd be well worth it.

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  25. I'll admit that Zebstrika can't consistently beat trainer lock by himself the option exists and he isn't useless if the strategy fails. He reminds me of using Simisear in Reshiphlosion, if you get him early you could potentially kill both their Oddish preventing trainer lock but he functions in the lock providing a way to hit the bench (In simisear's case soften up all the Chandelure/Vanilux/Magnezone so all of them would be OHKO'd by a Reshiram)

    Plus 80 snipe is not bad and is something Eel decks do not have. If Vanilluxe becomes popular Zebstrika can hit the Victini and then the double tails will happen enough to pull out the win, and he gives eel decks a way to break the trainer lock of Vileplume deck by double sniping. Against non trainer lock he can stop the catchers for a turn so you can get your Magnezone/Eels up and can net a OHKO for Zekrom or let Magnezone save an energy.

    Of course he won't probably won't drastically change the metagame I think he'll be a decent tech for Eel decks. I know you do have a lot more experience than me or Crawdaunt I refuse to believe he is unplayable.

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  26. Great Impact Crater as always! Really looking forward to this set right now (except I'm for some reason terrified of Mewtwo EX and all those Basic-supporting cards...).
    For some odd reason, although I see that this set's Chandelure lacks potential, I also see how this could/should be played in current builds of Chandelure. I'm about to run some tests with 1 Fire Chandelure in offensive version of Chandelure.

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  27. I see your point. But I have a silly question. Would a Round deck run better with Tropical Beach?

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  28. Umbreon: Yeah, it's good in certain situations but I'm doubtful if you are able to get it attacking in any of those situations. All Eelektrik decks are already full and it's difficult to get Zebstrika + Catchers in the early game whenever you need then if you aren't running something like 2-2 or 3-3 line, which will take a lot of space. Snipe for 80 is cool but we still have Catcher and anything that snipes and doesn't OHKO Vileplume isn't that good in this format.

    Jayem: I don't believe in fire Chandelure at all because Chandelure can't run fire energy in any prudent way.

    Matheus: I guess it would be but it still need way too much resources for set-upping in my opinion. Also, any trainer lock deck will be deadly against Round decks.

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  29. I'm quite new to Pokemon TCG. I'm just began to understand how powerful certain deck combinations are when I was destroyed by a ReshiPlosion at my first league. I think however that Mewtwo EX will become a major attacker in more casual decks like Leafeon/Espeon Prime and may benefit more from a vileplume dotrio Celebi combo as oppose to the current regular accelerators simply due to the fact that Mewtwo itself has a retreat cost of two as well. This prevents you from placing a skyarrow and helping your opponent who most likely is benefiting from that. That's just my idea for a casual deck idea

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  30. Anonymous: True, Mewtwo EX will be played in almost every deck but it isn't 100% known yet what deck will benefit from it the most. We'll shall just wait and see.

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  31. The raichu prime / eelektrik / thundurus / zekrom deck, which I run, might do well against mewtwo ex as during your opponents turn, raichu has 0 energy attached limiting mewtwo power a little. It would need 5 energies to k.o. raichu...

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    1. Anonymous: That's very interesting. However, you must remember that there are other decks that you need to win as well. And hitting for 100 won't win you any games against any other Pokémon than Mewtwo EX. For example the deck is pretty doomed against Durant. I would not suggest building a deck just to defeat Mewtwo EX because only a very few decks use it as the deck's only attacker.

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    2. Good point, btw I meant raichu prime (100hp and hitting for 120 damage...) And iv played against durant with it and it goes quite well as it bases around discarding energy and retrieving with the eels and then moving the energy with raichu.

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  32. Yes that is very true I'm not a fan of using decks that are popular a prefer to use more rogue decks. Do you have any suggestions for when ND comes out for a deck similar to Leafeon roserade?

    (the other anonymous person)

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    1. Well, I'll be making an entry in two weeks about Leafeon/Amoonguss so be sure to check that out as well. I'll try to get into other rogues as well in the future.

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    2. Thanks I look forward to it!

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    3. To Crawdaunt and those considering Zebstrika.

      I've been waiting for this card a long time, and fortunately I'm currently having a lot of success testing Zebstrika against current NDE decks. Don't loose faith. It isn't perfect, but it is highly effective in this format.

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    4. ps. Shhhhh. ;)

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  33. I've been using my HGSS-NV version of Zekrom/Eelektrik against my HGSS-NDE Version of Durant with the Amoonguss... I'm pretty disappointed in that mushroom. Ofcourse confusion/poison almost forces to retreat which is the good point of it.. But major drawback of it having 2 energy retreat cost makes it an easy catcher-target to buy time to setup for sweep. Unless ofc durant deck has a switch or succeeds with SSU. But otherwise that's the major drawback of it and have caused losses to durant.

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