28 Sep, 2009
What are Fossils and what makes them so good?
Fossils are known for their fast drops and quirky ways—no other type of card in the game can match what Fossils do. Because they’re different from traditional Basic Pokémon, there’s generally some mystery about how to play them. This article will cover those topics, as well as discuss some of the benefits of these cool little things called Fossils.
When you begin the game, the Fossils in your hand are considered Basic Pokémon. This means you can start with them in play during game set-up. If they’re the only Basic Pokémon in your hand, you can’t take a mulligan. (A mulligan is where you check your hand for Basic Pokémon and if you don’t have any, you shuffle your hand back into your deck and draw a new hand.)
During the rest of the game, they’re always considered Trainer cards when they are not in play. If an effect prevents you from playing a Trainer card, it prevents you from playing a Fossil. And even though they have Hit Points, just like regular Pokémon, you can’t search for them in your deck or discard pile when you have the chance to get a Pokémon.
Now the important question: how do you use them most effectively?
First, you can discard them during your turn and they won’t count as a Knocked Out Pokémon. This allows you to use them as minor speed bumps, as long as you discard them before your opponent gets around to Knocking Out the Pokémon. Some Fossils, like Root Fossil (EX Power Keepers, 86/108) and Armor Fossil (Mysterious Treasures, 116/123), can have defensive abilities that keep them around longer.
Second, they’re resilient. They have no Weakness to any Pokémon type, and they aren't affected by Special Conditions. Are you nervous about all of the Asleep Special Conditions that the new Pokémon Darkrai can throw around? Fossil Pokémon are immune to such fears.
Other cards let you take advantage of Fossils and what they can evolve into. Holon Fossil (EX Holon Phantoms, 86/110) can put some of those evolutions directly into play. Fossil Excavator (Mysterious Treasures, 111/123) can search your deck or discard pile for Fossils or any of their evolutions and put them into your hand.
You still have to use Fossils wisely. If they’re Knocked Out by damage, your opponent gets a Prize card. And while they don’t have a Weakness, they also don’t have a Resistance to fall back on. As for falling back, this is both a blessing and a curse for Fossils. While they have no Retreat Cost, it doesn't matter…they can’t retreat. Finally, they don't have attacks—after all, they're Fossils.
Some of the new cards in Majestic Dawn really shake things up, such as Helix Fossil (91/100), Dome Fossil (89/100), and Old Amber (84/100). In previous sets we saw that Omanyte, Kabuto, and Aerodactyl all evolved from Mysterious Fossil (EX Power Keepers, 85/108). Now they each have their own Fossil with some unique differences. Old Amber isn’t technically a “Fossil” when it comes to the useful Fossil Excavator, but it will count as a Basic Pokémon during game set-up. Things get tricky when you use these Pokémon’s earlier versions, but there’s a simple rule to remember—if it says “Evolves from Mysterious Fossil,” it only evolves from that card.
There are many tricks to using Fossil cards successfully and even more strategies not mentioned—have fun discovering them for yourself!
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