Strike Hard with Zekrom!
14 June, 2011
Use the power of Zekrom’s Bolt Strike attack to lead the way to victory!
The previous look at strategy in the Pokémon TCG: Black & White expansion focused on the powerful Fire-type duo of Emboar and Reshiram. Now it's time to take a look at what you can do when you use Reshiram's counterpart, Zekrom (114/114), as the centerpiece of your next deck. We'll also look at the cards you need to realize the full potential of this powerful Legendary Pokémon!
At first glance, you'll see many similarities between Zekrom and Reshiram: both are 130HP Basic Pokémon, and both share the Outrage attack. But while each Pokémon's other attack does 120 damage, the drawbacks to using them are notably different.
Unlike Reshiram's Blue Flare attack, you don't need to discard any Energy after Zekrom's Bolt Strike attack. Instead, it does 40 damage to Zekrom every time it is used. Even with 130 HP, this can quickly lead to trouble—Bolt Strike is Zekrom's bread-and-butter attack, so you need to support Zekrom by keeping it as healthy as possible.
Bolt Strike requires only 2 Lightning Energy and 1 Colorless Energy to use, so it is fairly easy to unleash. For example, you could use Pachirisu's (Call of Legends, 18/95) Self-Generation Poké-Power to attach Energy from your hand to Pachirisu, and then use Shaymin's (HS—Unleashed, 8/95) Celebration Wind Poké-Power to move that Energy onto Zekrom. Since Pachirisu, Shaymin, and Zekrom are all Basic Pokémon, playing a single Pokémon Collector (HeartGold & SoulSilver, 97/123) brings all of them into your hand at once. With a perfect opening hand that includes these Pokémon or that Pokémon Collector card, plus three Energy cards, you could unleash Bolt Strike on the first turn of the match!
Stay and Fight
Zekrom is a Lightning-type Pokémon, and a survey of those Pokémon from recent TCG expansions shows a lack of good healing options. So, you'll need to look elsewhere to heal Zekrom. The Black & White expansion offers one great healing card: the Grass-type Pokémon Serperior (6/114) is a Stage 2 Pokémon that can rejuvenate your whole team at the same time—its Royal Heal Ability lets you heal 10 damage from each of your Pokémon between turns.
If you have more than one Serperior on your Bench, their effects stack—that means, get 4 Serperior into play and you can heal 40 damage from each of your Pokémon between each turn instead of just 10! And, since that just happens to be the amount of damage Zekrom does to itself every time it uses Bolt Strike, you could use the attack every single turn without the penalty!
Spread It Around
That sounds awesome, but it's also kind of impractical. Getting four Stage 2 Pokémon onto your Bench is not the only challenge, because all of those Pokémon and their earlier Stages take up a lot of space in your deck, too. You would need only one or two Serperior to heal the damage from Bolt Strike if the damage Zekrom took could be distributed evenly across all your Pokémon.
As it happens, you can find just such a card in the Black & White expansion: Reuniclus (57/114). Its Damage Swap Ability lets you move the damage counters around on your Pokémon as much as you want. So, after Zekrom takes damage from Bolt Strike and it's your turn again, use the Damage Swap Ability to take any damage counters on Zekrom and spread them across all your other Pokémon. Then, heal all of that damage with Serperior's Royal Heal Ability. Best of all, you can execute this strategy without using any Energy!
You can also use Reuniclus to energize Zekrom's Outrage attack. If one of your Benched Pokémon has damage on it, use Damage Swap to move that damage onto Zekrom to maximize Outrage's effectiveness. Don't rush into this technique, however—you could put Zekrom at risk if you add too much damage to your Active Pokémon. Think ahead to your opponent's next move to see if Zekrom can weather the next attack. If the timing is right, load up Zekrom and fire away with Outrage!
This strategy may require some careful set up, but the payoff is huge. With the right mix of Trainer cards to get Pokémon into play, you can quickly start doing massive damage every turn with Zekrom's powerful attacks!
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