Talking About a Devolution!
04 Sep, 2012
A new Trainer-Item card in the Black & White—Dragons Exalted expansion has some intriguing uses that may not be evident right away.
At first glance, it may be difficult to see the value in the Devolution Spray (Black & White—Dragons Exalted, 113/124) Trainer-Item card, which devolves one of your own Pokémon. But there are several reasons it can be very handy. Take a look at some techniques that may persuade you to include this card in your next winning deck.
Let’s start with a Pokémon whose Ability triggers only when that Pokémon comes into play. Consider Amoonguss (Black & White—Next Destinies, 9/99): its Sporprise Ability makes your opponent’s Active Pokémon Confused and Poisoned, but only when you play Amoonguss to evolve Foongus. If the Defending Pokémon gets healed or swapped out for another Pokémon, it’d be nice to use Sporprise again, and Devolution Spray makes that possible.
You could combine this technique with Ninetales (Black & White—Dragons Exalted, 19/124) and its Hexed Flame attack to do 120 damage for just 1 Energy. Before you attack, use Devolution Spray to return Amoonguss to your hand—it’s ready to cause another round of status conditions on the next Pokémon Ninetales will face. Ninetales is another Pokémon whose Ability is triggered when it comes into play. Bright Look acts like Pokémon Catcher, letting you choose an opponent’s Benched Pokémon and swap it with the Active Pokémon. Devolve Ninetales, then play it again the next turn to pick which Pokémon you want to face.
Some Abilities affect both players at once, such as Archeops’s (Black & White—Noble Victories, 67/101) Ancient Power and Garbodor’s (Black & White—Dragons Exalted, 54/124) Garbotoxin Abilities. If an Ability possessed by one of your Pokémon is preventing you from doing something, you could use Devolution Spray to pull back the Pokémon in question long enough to take care of any necessary housekeeping, then replay that Pokémon at your convenience.
Remember that even though you can’t re-evolve the devolved Pokémon that turn, you could play the Evolution card you returned to your hand to evolve a different Pokémon right away. For example, you could play Aggron (Black & White—Dragons Exalted, 80/124) to use its Toppling Wind Ability, play Devolution Spray, then play Aggron on a different Lairon to use Toppling Wind again. In one turn you’ve forced your opponent to discard 6 cards from his or her deck!
There are several other general uses for Devolution Spray. Let’s say you have Escavalier (Black & White—Dark Explorers, 74/108) active, and you want to retreat it. With a 3-Energy Retreat Cost, that might be tough to do (especially if Escavalier is there exclusively for its handy Joust attack). Use Devolution Spray to devolve the Pokémon to Karrablast and retreat it for only 1 Energy. Or, perhaps you’ve evolved Gabite (Black & White—Dragons Exalted, 89/124) into Garchomp (Black & White—Dragons Exalted, 90/124), and you really need to use Gabite’s Dragon Call Ability. Devolve Garchomp for a turn and use Dragon Call to grab a Dragon-type Pokémon from your deck.
The one thing to be careful about with Devolution Spray is to make sure you don’t devolve a Pokémon that has enough damage on it to Knock Out its pre-evolved form. If the 130HP Gyarados (Black & White—Dragons Exalted, 24/124) has 40 damage on it and you want to devolve it (for whatever reason), don’t play Devolution Spray to revert it to the 30HP Magikarp (Black & White—Dragons Exalted, 23/124), or that poor Pokémon will be sunk.
Devolution Spray has a wide range of uses. Don’t overlook it when you begin developing your next advanced strategy!
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