EX Unseen Forces Strategy - Part 1
29 Sep, 2009
Check out the first of our two-part series on EX Unseen Forces!
EX Unseen Forces, the newest expansion for the Pokémon TCG, is the largest set of the EX series ever! Over 140 cards of Pokémon from the Pokémon Gold Version and Pokémon Silver Version video games will give you deck-building flexibility like never before. Whether it's because of the new babies, the latest Legendary Pokémon, or because of the mysterious Unown, the versatile Eevee, or even the unmatched power of the Pokémon-ex, EX Unseen Forces will push your playing skills to the next level!
Legendary Means Sight Long Unseen
Lugia, Ho-Oh, Raikou, Suicune, and Entei, the five legendary Pokémon in the Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver video games, have new versions of Pokémon cards in the EX Unseen Forces expansion. Lugia and Ho-Oh come in both standard and Pokémon-ex versions, and the three dogs are Pokémon.
Lugia ex (105/115) is the most powerful Basic Pokémon ever released! Its 200-damage Elemental Blast attack only requires one Fire Energy, one Water Energy, and one Lightning Energy! You have to discard one of each of those types after using the attack, though. Lugia ex is best used with other Pokémon that let you move Energy around. One such Pokémon is the new Ampharos (1/115). Ampharos' Energy Connect lets you move basic Energy cards from your Benched Pokémon to your Active Pokémon, so Lugia ex can attack more often if Ampharos keeps sending basic Energy cards to it.
Even if Lugia ex doesn't have enough Energy, it still remains a threat. Its Silver Sparkle Poké-Body lets you flip a coin whenever your opponent's Attacking Pokémon does damage to your Lugia ex. If you get heads, you may discard one of the Attacking Pokémon?s attached Energy cards!
Ho-Oh ex (104/115) is arguably as powerful as Lugia ex. Ho-Oh ex's Rainbow Burn attack has a base damage of 10, but it gains 20 damage for each different basic Energy type attached to Ho-Oh ex. That means its maximum damage (not counting any other effects) is 130, and, unlike Lugia ex, you don't even have to discard anything! Ho-Oh ex will also find Ampharos to be an excellent teammate because of Ampharos' ability to attach basic Energy cards to Ho-Oh ex.
Both Lugia ex and Ho-Oh ex will also benefit from Smeargle (48/115). Smeargle's Makeover Poké-Power lets you switch a basic Energy card attached to one of your Pokémon with a basic Energy card in your discard pile. As long as you have basic Energy cards in your discard pile, Smeargle provides you with a way to ensure that you can get the best basic Energy cards for a particular situation.
Raikou, Entei, and Suicune are each, like most Pokémon, very powerful Pokémon that has a strong attack with a single disadvantage. Each of them has a 70-damage attack that requires only three Energy, but if you have less Prizes left than your opponent, watch out: Raikou's Meta Voltage may do 40 damage to each of your Pokémon, Entei's Detonation forces you to discard the top ten cards on your deck, and Suicune's Cross Wind forces you to discard all Energy cards attached to all of your Pokémon! Fortunately, these Pokémon have secondary attacks that you can use when you have less Prizes left than your opponent. Their secondary attacks let you switch them with one of your Benched Pokémon. A good way to play these Pokémon is to combine them with cards that gain powers when you have more Prizes than your opponent. For example, with the Solid Rage (92/115) Pokémon Tool, a Pokémon's attack damage is increased by 20, and with Pow! Hand Extension (EX Team Rocket Returns, 85/109), you can make one of your opponent's Benched Pokémon with the Active Pokémon. Combining these Trainer cards and Pokémon lets you pick and choose your targets, doing extra damage.
Unseen Forces, Hidden Powers
The EX Unseen Forces expansion contains 28 different Unown. Each is represented by a different letter of the alphabet, plus "!" and "?". Unown can switch itself with any of its other forms once per turn with the Shuffle Poké-Power. Also, each Unown has one unique Hidden Power attack. Taken together, these features mean that you can have up to four customized abilities for Unown in a single deck!
Let's pretend you have a deck that has three different types of Pokémon, and they all lead to Stage 1 or Stage 2 Evolutions. You might want to put an Unown (M) and an Unown (Q) in your deck. Unown (M)'s Hidden Power lets you search your deck for a card that evolves from one of your Pokémon and put it on that Pokémon. Unown (Q)'s Hidden Power lets you search your deck for up to three different types of basic Energy cards and put them in your hand. On one turn, Unown (Q) could get each of the basic Energy cards you would need for your Pokémon, and then on the next turn you could use Shuffle to switch Unown (Q) with Unown (M) and start evolving your Pokémon.
Since each card is named Unown, you are allowed a maximum of four per deck, but you can put multiple copies of the same Unown in your deck. With the example above, a deck could have two Unown (Q) and two Unown (M). However, it can be more fun and rewarding to have a mix of different Unown. Unown (?) is particularly fun, since its Hidden Power is a mini-game in which your opponent has to guess what kind of card (Energy, Pokémon, or Trainer) you put face-down on the table. If your opponent guesses wrong, you get to draw two cards.
There are quite a few new "Baby" Basic Pokémon in EX Unseen Forces. As with other Basic Pokémon with the Baby Evolution Poké-Power, you can place certain Basic Pokémon on top of them to completely heal them and gain new attacks. This time, though, the evolved forms (with one exception) gain new Poké-Bodies when they are played as an Evolution instead of as a Basic Pokémon!
Tyrogue (33/115) evolves to any card named Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, or Hitmontop. If it evolves to the EX Unseen Forces version of Hitmonchan (24/115), then Hitmonchan gains +30 HP (for a new maximum of 100 HP). If it evolves to Hitmonlee (25/115), Hitmonlee does 20 more damage with its attacks, including a Bench-hitting attack that will do 30 damage for only one Fighting Energy. If it evolves to Hitmontop (26/115), then any of your opponent's Attacking Pokémon that does damage to Hitmontop puts two damage counters on itself. With three different ways to evolve a Tyrogue, its evolution line is the most flexible.
Smoochum (31/115) evolves to Jynx. If Jynx (28/115) is an Evolved Pokémon, then it cannot be affected by any effects of attacks, except damage, done to it, and Jynx doesn't have any Weakness. An Evolved Jynx is useful for defensive purposes or stalling. Not only is it unaffected by effects or Weakness, but its Freeze Light attack will either Paralyze or Burn the Defending Pokémon, depending on a coin flip. You're guaranteed to have a good result!
Elekid (23/115) evolves to Electabuzz. If Electabuzz (22/115) is an Evolved Pokémon, damage from Pokémon with Special Energy attached is reduced by an amazing 40 damage. That means that Metal-type and Dark-type Pokémon are going to have an especially hard time beating Electabuzz. Users of Multi Energy (EX Emerald, 89/106), Boost Energy (98/115), and other popular Special Energy cards are going to have to be very careful when they see an Elekid in play!
Furthermore, Electabuzz is even better than Jynx at stalling. The Double Shock attack gives you two coin flips. It causes 10 damage for each heads, and if either coin is heads, the Defending Pokémon is Paralyzed. And just because Electabuzz is well-protected against Pokémon with Special Energy doesn't mean it can't use some itself: the Luster Blast attack does 70 damage for four Energy, but if you evolved Elekid to Electabuzz, you're allowed to use Boost Energy to provide three of the required Energy.
The ever-popular Cleffa (21/115) card brings the cry of "Eeeeeeek!" back to the Pokémon TCG tables. The Eeeeeeek! attack lets you shuffle your hand into your deck and draw six cards. It's a great card for any deck, since it is basically gives you a redo of your hand if it isn't very good. Cleffa evolves to Clefairy, but unfortunately, the new Clefairy (53/115) is the only one of the cards that doesn't have special powers when it is an Evolved Pokémon. However, the new Clefable (36/115), which evolves from Clefairy, makes up for that deficiency with its Extra Comet Punch attack. It only requires two Energy, and it does 30 damage when first used. Each consecutive use of Extra Comet Punch does 60 damage after the first, making it a low-cost yet powerful attack!
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