You won’t find too many Basic Pokémon as scorching as Heatran (3/99). Not only does it have a hefty 100 HP to match its 948-pound weight, but this Fire-type Pokémon has two awesome ways to cook the Defending Pokémon. Heatran can first bring the heat with Fire Fang, an attack that causes the Special Condition Burn in addition to the 20 damage it does. Then Heatran can follow up with Magma Mantle, a blistering attack that requires you to discard three cards from the top of your deck. It does 60 damage, then an additional 20 damage for each discarded card that is either a Fire Energy or Metal Energy card. Especially in decks containing a lot of Energy, do not pass on including the fiery Heatran!
With its sharp claws and piercing yellow eyes, Toxicroak (11/99) will put the fear into your opponent even before an attack is made! This Stage 1 Pokémon looms under an ominous eclipse, ready to deliver two stellar attacks packing plenty of strategic potential. First up is its Corner attack, which not only prevents the Defending Pokémon from retreating but also does 20 damage. Next is Convert Blow, an attack that delivers a basic 30 damage (plus another 30 if Toxicroak has Fighting Energy attached to it), and causes Poison if Toxicroak has Psychic Energy attached. Try to employ these attacks back-to-back, using Convert Blow to Poison the Defending Pokémon, and then Corner to force it to stay in battle—racking up even more Poison damage!
The high-flying Zapdos
(12/99) crackles with lightning as it swoops into the game! Zapdos
can use its two moves to quickly build Energy levels then deliver a thunderous blow to the Defending Pokémon! The Charge Beam attack rapidly loads up on Energy whilst the Lightning Strike attack delivers 40 damage... or 80 damage if you choose to discard all the Lightning Energy attached to Zapdos
! Since Charge Beam makes it so easy to replenish Zapdos
, it makes sense to do the maximum damage as often as possible.
Go green with the impressive Sceptile (31/99)! This Grass-type Pokémon brings to battle a pair of powerful attacks, each capable of doing wonders for your game. Sceptile’s Leaf Supply attack is an amazing way to get Energy into play—not only does it do 30 damage, you may attach an Energy card (and that’s not just a Grass Energy card but any basic Energy card) from your hand to one of your Pokémon. Then, slice up the competition with the Dual Cut attack, which has the potential to do 140 damage! While it could do only 70 damage or even no damage, depending on your coin flips, Sceptile’s fierce damage potential and helpful Energy allocation still make this a Pokémon worth going green to get!
The Fire Horse Pokémon Rapidash (47/99) canters its way into
Platinum—Arceus and, with its fiery mane glowing menacingly, is sure to heat up your game! Each of its two attacks has a low Energy cost and this means that this Stage 1 Pokémon can have an instant impact on your game. Its Searing Flame attack requires only 1 Fire Energy to do 10 damage and leave the Defending Pokémon Burned. For only 1 Energy more Rapidash can deliver a quick 40 damage. And with no Retreat Cost, it can flee to the Bench with the swiftness you'd expect from a Pokémon so graceful!
There’s nothing wrong with keeping Pikachu (71/99) in your deck just because the Mouse Pokémon is so darn cute. But your opponent better take Pikachu seriously, because the Lightning-type Pokémon can deliver a shockingly powerful attack, too! Pikachu’s Mega Shot attack lets you take aim at any of the opponent’s Pokémon to do 40 damage. In the process, you have to discard all Lightning Energy you have attached to Pikachu; the attack requires 1 Lightning Energy and 2 Colorless Energy, so if you play it right, you’ll need to discard only one Energy per attack! Pikachu might be adorable, but with attacks like Mega Shot, all your opponent will experience is a less-than-cute Knock Out!
As you’ll see over the next couple of weeks, the Platinum—Arceus expansion is absolutely packed with multiple versions of the Pokémon Arceus! We’ve already seen one card that capitalizes on all those Arceus—the intriguing Arceus LV.X (94/99). Now take a look at Beginning Door (82/99), a Trainer card with the sole purpose of moving an Arceus card from your deck to your hand. And, since it’s a Trainer card, you can play more than one per turn. This, in turn, allows you to load your Bench with Arceus before your opponent can blink! Beginning Door is a portal to all kinds of opportunities in the Platinum—Arceus expansion!
The mighty Alpha Pokémon Arceus stands to make an otherworldly impression on TCG strategy as we know it. With multiple Arceus cards, as well as multiple Pokémon LV.X that can Level-Up those Arceus, the possibilities are breathtaking. One of the most potent Pokémon LV.X is Arceus LV.X (94/99) which, surprisingly enough, doesn’t even have a direct attack! Instead, it has two Poké-Bodies that it uses to define its abilities. The first is the Multitype Poké-Body, which all of the Arceus LV.X cards have: it turns Arceus LV.X into the same type as the Arceus it’s Leveling Up from. The other Poké-Body is where things get interesting. The Omniscient Poké-Body lets Arceus LV.X use the attacks of any of the Arceus that are in play on your side. Use the Ultimate Zone (91/99) Stadium card to shift Energy from your Benched Pokémon to your Active Arceus to ensure you always have the necessary Energy to attack, too. Given the number of Arceus cards in the Platinum—Arceus expansion, this Arceus LV.X may be the most versatile Pokémon LV.X you’ll ever play!
The evolution chain of Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar is featured prominently in Platinum—Arceus, with Gengar LV.X (97/99) at the top! Gengar LV.X is a little tricky to use on its own, but both its Level-Down Poké-Power and Compound Pain attack have game-changing potential. First, Level-Down lets you remove a LV.X from an opponent's Pokémon and have that card shuffled back into his or her deck so, if you've been suffering at the hands of your opponent’s Pokémon LV.X, Gengar LV.X is a sure-fire way to slow them down! After you’v e leveled the playing field in this manner, use Gengar LV.X's Compound Pain attack to do 30 damage to any of your opponent's Pokémon that already have damage counters on them. Both of the regular Gengars that Gengar LV.X can Level-Up have attacks that can target your foe's Bench, giving Compound Pain the potential for extraordinary power!
Get better by getting bigger with Tangrowth LV.X (99/99)! Tangrowth LV.X helps you on your way with two growth-spurts in the shape of its Healing Growth Poké-Power and its Big Growth attack—two devastating additions to your deck. Its Healing-Growth Poké-Power gives you a 50/50 chance of removing 4 damage counters from any of your Pokémon (based on a coin flip)—demonstrating that even when it's on the Bench, Tangrowth LV.X is helpful! If that isn’t enough, its Big Growth attack lets you sift through your discard pile for as much Grass Energy as you want and then allows you to attach it to your Pokémon! Pile Energy onto cards such as Vespiquen Elite Four (Rising Rivals, 35/111) whose Leaf Needle attack increases by the amount of Energy attached, or seek out your own mighty combos! With Tangrowth LV.X's capabilities, you’ll soon be watching your win totals grow, too!