Don’t Get Caught Unaware!
16 Dec, 2011 in Play! Pokémon
Learn from a Champion’s deck how to defend yourself against the popular Pokémon Catcher card.
The Trainer-Item card Pokémon Catcher has made some big waves across Pokémon TCG tournaments. The ability to swap your opponent’s Active Pokémon for one on his or her Bench means you can get precisely the matchup you want for your next attack.
In response to the popularity of Pokémon Catcher, we’re seeing some interesting trends in overall deck building. Basic Pokémon are obvious targets to switch into the Active Pokémon position with Pokémon Catcher—they typically have lower HP, and if you Knock Out a Basic Pokémon, it’s harder for your opponent to get its corresponding Stage 2 Pokémon into play. Players have begun adding far more Basic Pokémon to their decks because an opponent can’t use Pokémon Catcher on all of them, so the idea is to get as many Pokémon into play as you can and start evolving them right away.
We saw this shift in deck design starting at the Pokémon World Championships, and it became even more noticeable recently at the Pokémon Regional Championships. We’ll use Missouri Regional Junior Division Champ Brandon Sharp’s Gothitelle/Reuniclus deck as a good example. His deck has 4 Gothita, 2 Gothorita, and 3 Gothitelle, as well as 3 Solosis, 2 Duosion, and 2 Reuniclus. Prior to Pokémon Catcher, it would have been pretty uncommon to see this kind of distribution that leans heavily toward the Basic Pokémon end of the Evolutionary chain. Now it’s a necessity—if his opponent drags one of his 30 HP Solosis to the front for a Knock Out, he (hopefully) has an extra one on his Bench that he can continue to evolve. The same goes for Gothitelle—Gothita and Gothorita don’t have nearly the effectiveness of Gothitelle, so it’s in his opponent’s best interest to Knock Out either one before it evolves.
The need to reinforce the Bench early doesn’t stop there. Brandon’s deck also includes 2 Pichu, whose Playground attack lets both players search their decks for as many Basic Pokémon as they want and put them onto their Benches immediately. And if that’s not enough, this deck also contains 3 Pokémon Collector cards to search your deck for up to 3 Basic Pokémon.
Getting plenty of Basic Pokémon onto his Bench is an important aspect of Brandon’s game, but it’s still crucial that these Pokémon evolve into their powerhouse Stage 2 forms. Brandon rounds out his deck with 3 Rare Candy and 3 Pokémon Communication cards, both helpful for evolving Pokémon. Plus, his deck includes 1 Flower Shop Lady card in case he needs to replenish his deck with Basic Pokémon and Energy if his opponent does manage to use Pokémon Catcher to help Knock Out a few Pokémon.
Pokémon Catcher is likely to be a staple in most decks for some time to come. The next time you build a deck, plan ahead for this powerful card with a full Bench of Basic Pokémon!
Get a closer look at Brandon's Deck:
|Gothita||4||Black & White—Emerging Powers, 43/98|
|Gothorita||2||Black & White—Emerging Powers, 45/98|
|Gothitelle||3||Black & White—Emerging Powers, 47/98|
|Solosis||3||Black & White, 55/114|
|Duosion||2||Black & White, 56/114|
|Reuniclus||2||Black & White, 57/114|
|Pichu||2||HeartGold & SoulSilver, 28/116|
|Zekrom||3||Black & White, 47/114|
|Professor Juniper||3||Black & White, 101/114|
|Pokégear3.0||2||HeartGold & SoulSilver, 96/116|
|Rare Candy||3||HS—Unleashed, 82/96|
|Pokémon Communication||3||Black & White, 99/114|
|Pokémon Catcher||2||Black & White—Emerging Powers, 95/98|
|Pokémon Collector||3||HeartGold & SoulSilver, 97/116|
|Professor Oak's New Theory||4||Call of Legends, 83/95|
|Black Belt||1||HS—Triumphant, 85/103|
|Flower Shop Lady||1||HS—Undaunted, 74/91|
|Switch||1||Black & White, 104/114|
|Double Colorless Energy||3||HeartGold & SoulSilver, 103/116|