Are You Ready to Win Right Now?
28 Sep, 2009
Hot new Platinum Pokémon deliver complex strategies with cutting edge concepts!
The release of the Pokémon TCG: Platinum set offers Pokémon players the opportunity for complex new strategies with cutting-edge concepts like Team Galactic's Inventions and the Lost Zone. But you'll also discover the simple power of a strong set-up with Pokémon that can attack efficiently right from the start of the game. These Pokémon are some of Platinum's most powerful performers. You might even call them "Turn-One Trump" cards.
Take Evolution Shortcuts
To launch the Stage 2 Pokémon Rampardos (13/127) into play quickly, take full advantage of Trainer cards that bypass normal evolution rules. Try combining Skull Fossil (120/127) with Rampardos and Rare Candy (Great Encounters, 102/106); or Skull Fossil, Cranidos (46/127), Rampardos, and Broken Time-Space (104/127), which lets players evolve a Pokémon that they just played or evolved during that turn. Buttressed by its Iron Skull Poké-Body, Rampardos will soon have most Pokémon falling prey to the 80 damage from its inexpensive Head Smash attack. Keep in mind that if the Defending Pokémon gets Knocked Out by this attack, your Rampardos will take 40 damage, so be prepared!
Switch Off the Lights with Banette
Banette (19/127) can also pop into play more quickly with the help of Rare Candy or Broken Time-Space. In addition, it benefits from a large hand so you can use Temper Tantrum to discard cards and place damage counters on Banette. Uxie (Legends Awakened, 43/146) solves that problem, because when you put it from your hand onto your Bench, you may draw until you have 7 cards in your hand. Then, as long as you have a Psychic Energy card attached to Banette, you can count on its Darkness Switch attack to cast a deep shadow on the Defending Pokémon.
Watch out, though! If your opponent plays Team Galactic's Invention G-103 Power Spray (117/127) to cancel the effect of Temper Tantrum, you'll have to wait a while before you can exploit the power of Darkness Switch.
Fan the Flames with Infernape
Now that you know the drill of using Trainer cards to speed up getting a Stage 1 or Stage 2 Pokémon into play, you can bring out your Infernape (31/127) the same way. This Flame Pokémon has nearly limitless damage potential. Although its odds of a turn-one Knock Out are lower than with Rampardos or Banette because its Rushing Flames attack requires a coin flip, it's a force to be reckoned with on the turns that follow. To keep the Flame Pokémon fired up after the first turn, stock your deck with Rayquaza (Legends Awakened, 14/146), Typhlosion (Mysterious Treasures, 16/124), or other Pokémon that get lots of Fire Energy for you to discard with Rushing Flames.
Prepare for Deep Poison with Toxicroak
Toxicroak (40/127), as a Basic Pokémon, hits the table without needing any of the previously mentioned Trainer or Stadium cards. What you'll need instead are cards that increase Deep Poison's damage. The first step is to reduce the cost of Deep Poison by attaching Team Galactic's Invention G-101 Energy Gain (116/127) as soon as you can. Next, you need a card that can Poison the Defending Pokémon—an excellent job for Skuntank 's (94/127) Poison Structure Poké-Power. To make Poison Structure work, you need to put a Stadium card in play. With these three elements in place, plus the necessary Psychic Energy, you'll have a formidable Basic Pokémon dealing 60 damage and Poison on the first or second turn of the game.
Pick Your Target with Honchkrow
Honchkrow (77/127) is the least obvious Turn-One Trump on the list, but it's also the most versatile and the easiest to set up. Like Toxicroak , it's a Pokémon SP, able to pour on the speed with Team Galactic's Invention G-101 Energy Gain. Unlike Toxicroak , its damage potential is maximized simply by getting a damage counter onto the Pokémon you want to Knock Out. Call out your Crobat (47/127)! Its Flash Bite Poké-Power achieves this goal by letting you put 1 damage counter on 1 of your opponent's Pokémon when you put Crobat from your hand onto your Bench.
What qualifies Honchkrow as a Turn-One Trump is that its Target Attack deals damage to any 1 of your opponent's Pokémon. Study the Basic Pokémon on your opponent's Bench so you can figure out what major threats could be coming your way. Then use Flash Bite and Target Attack before your opponent can evolve his or her Pokémon, and you might win the game before it even gets going!
You'll be surprised at how easily your wins pile up as your efficient damage outraces opponents waiting for their giant but inefficient damage to show up. And who knows? Maybe you'll discover a Turn-One Trump of your own!
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