Pokémon TCG: Black & White—Dark Explorers
Pokémon TCG: Black & White—Dark Explorers
Venusaur (3/108) has the potential to make a difference at any point in the game. Its Floral Scent Ability lets you search your deck for a Pokémon, reveal it, and put it into your hand once per turn. Whether it’s early on and you’re trying to set up your Bench, or late in the game when you’re looking for the perfect finishing move, Floral Scent will get you exactly what you need.
Venusaur can also hold its own in battle with its Poison Powder attack, which does 70 damage and Poisons the Defending Pokémon. It’s a pricey attack at 2 Grass Energy and 2 more Colorless Energy—but it can be a force to reckon with if you have excess Energy available. Even if you use Venusaur for its Floral Scent Ability alone, its inclusion in your next deck will bring huge rewards.
With two scorching attacks, Blaziken (17/108) is one of the hottest cards in the Black & White—Dark Explorers expansion. Spark the action with Blaze Kick, an attack that does an initial 40 damage. Then, based on a coin flip, either you’ll do 30 more damage or the Defending Pokémon will be Burned. You may prefer one result over the other depending on the game situation, making Blaziken a good combo with Victini (Black & White—Noble Victories, 14/101).
Blaziken’s second attack—Flamethrower—will heat up the action with a scorching 130 damage, but it will require you to discard 1 attached Energy. That means Flamethrower does 10 more damage than Reshiram’s vaunted Blue Flare attack (and requires one less Energy discarded). Now that’s hot! Clearly, if you’re looking to turn up the temperature on your opponent, it’s time to build a deck around Blaziken!
Turn the tides on your opponent with Kyogre-EX (104/108)! First, show your opponent the nimble side of this gigantic Pokémon with its Smash Turn attack, which hits for 30 damage and lets you switch Kyogre-EX with one of the Pokémon on your Bench if you want to. After maneuvering Kyogre-EX back to being your Active Pokémon, you can soak two Pokémon at once with Dual Splash, with deals 50 damage to any two of your opponent’s Pokémon.
Whether it’s making itself difficult to hit with Smash Turn, or setting its sights on multiple targets, Kyogre-EX has what it takes to lead your next Water-type deck!
Do not overlook the incredible value that the Water-type Pokémon Empoleon (29/108) can provide. With its Diving Draw Ability, you can discard a card from your hand to draw 2 more cards. It’s a simple action that can have a huge impact in your game. Diving Draw works particularly well because there are so many useful ways to retrieve cards from your discard pile, such as getting Energy cards with Eelektrik’s (Black & White—Noble Victories, 40/101) Dynamotor Ability or Typhlosion Prime’s (HeartGold & SoulSilver, 110/116) Afterburner Poké-Power.
Empoleon can also go on the offensive with Attack Command, an attack that does 10 damage for every Pokémon in play. It costs only 1 Water Energy to use, which is remarkable for an attack that can do up to 120 damage! This is a perfect candidate to be used with Rainbow Energy (HeartGold & SoulSilver, 104/116)—it gives you the opportunity to include Empoleon in your deck without having to add Water Energy. Versatile, powerful, and fun to play, Empoleon has everything you’re looking for!
Continuing the parade of Legendary Pokémon appearing in the Black & White series, Groudon-EX (106/108) is ready to play its part! This Fighting-type Pokémon won’t be intimidated by the competition, no matter how many foes it faces. Groudon-EX starts its charge with Tromp, an attack that not only does 20 damage to the Defending Pokémon but also does 10 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. Then, it’s time for Groudon-EX’s Giant Claw attack to go to work! This attack deals 80 damage, plus 40 more if the Defending Pokémon has 2 or more damage counters on it!
That brawny one-two punch—along with its outstanding 180 HP—will make it unsafe for any Pokémon to face off against Groudon-EX!
To really take advantage of the great Darkness-type Pokémon in the Black & White—Dark Explorers expansion, you simply can’t fail to include Darkrai-EX (63/108)! Darkrai-EX is essential to your next deck because of its Dark Cloak Ability, which eliminates the Retreat Coast from your Pokémon that have any Darkness Energy attached to them. This is obviously a great addition to Darkness-type decks, which typically rely on Darkness Energy to power their Pokémon. But Dark Cloak also works on Pokémon with Rainbow or Prism Special Energy attached, extending Darkrai-EX’s influence even more!
Darkrai-EX is not just helpful supporting your other Pokémon while it sits on your Bench; it also has all the awesome attack power and HP you’d expect from a Pokémon-EX. Unleash its Night Spear attack to do 90 damage to the Defending Pokémon plus 30 damage to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon! With team support and wide-ranging attacks, Darkrai-EX’s value extends well beyond Darkness-type decks.
The Illusion Fox Pokémon made a strong debut in the Black & White expansion, and now this Darkness-type Pokémon is ready to shine again! The Stage 1 Zoroark (71/108) takes advantage of other Darkness-type Pokémon you have in play with its Brutal Bash attack: for 2 Colorless Energy, Brutal Bash does 20 damage times the number of Darkness-type Pokémon you have in play. With a full Bench of Darkness-type Pokémon, you’ll be hitting for 120 damage with just 1 Double Colorless Energy attached to Zoroark! And Zoroark’s offensive capabilities don’t stop there. With its Dark Rush attack, you’ll do 20 damage times the number of damage counters on Zoroark. And because Zoroark has a solid 100 HP, you have plenty HP to lose...and attack power to gain when you do!
Even with all of the high HP Pokémon-EX in play right now, keeping your Pokémon healthy remains a huge concern. With Blissey (82/102), you have one more method for restoring HP when your Active Pokémon takes a few hits. Blissey's Softboiled Ability heals 30 damage with a coin toss from the Active Pokémon. That's huge—you have a 50/50 chance of getting the equivalent of a free Potion every single turn!
You’ll probably need to use Softboiled every turn, because Blissey's Double-Edge attack may not let win you too many games. It does 90 damage but at the cost of 60 damage to Blissey. You can heal some of that with Softboiled, and Blissey has an impressive 130 HP to help survive the damage, but you'll be far better off keeping Blissey on your Bench to help other Pokémon.
You can find plenty of strong Darkness-type cards in the Black & White—Dark Explorers expansion, but if you're still not convinced you should build a deck with them, this card should push you over the edge. The Pokémon Tool card Dark Claw (92/102) makes your Darkness-type Pokémon even more powerful by making their attacks do 20 more damage to your opponent's Active Pokémon.
For example, if you attach Dark Claw to Darkrai-EX, its Night Spear attack now does a solid 110 damage to the Defending Pokémon (but still does only the original 30 damage to 1 Benched Pokémon). That can give you a huge swing in momentum, especially when you are targeting Stage 1 Pokémon with around 100 HP. And because Dark Claw is a Pokémon Tool card, you'll reap its benefits every turn. It's just one more reason to check out the incredible Darkness-type Pokémon in the new expansion!