Planning for the Big Event!
10 June, 2013
The Pokémon TCG: Black & White—Plasma Freeze expansion is giving competitive deck builders a lot to think about leading up to Nationals.
The Spring Regional Championships were just a couple of months ago, but for many Pokémon TCG players, that’s ancient history. Why? Because between then and now, the Black & White—Plasma Freeze expansion launched, chock full of powerful cards that Pokémon TCG players are frantically testing for play at the National Championships. Let’s take a look at some of the cards we expect to make a big impact in Indianapolis next month.
Deoxys-EX (53/116 & 111/116)
Keldeo-EX (Black & White—Boundaries Crossed, 142/149) has been dominating tournaments recently, due both to its versatility with the Rush In Ability and its nearly unlimited damage potential with its Secret Sword attack. Deoxys-EX looks to rein in Keldeo-EX by using all the Energy attached to the Colt Pokémon against it. Deoxys-EX’s Helix Force attack does 30 damage plus 20 more damage for each Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon, which could mean bad news for a fully charged Keldeo-EX.
You can expect Deoxys-EX to be lurking on the Bench of just about any Team Plasma deck thanks to its Power Connect Ability, which provides an extra 10 damage to your Team Plasma Pokémon’s attacks. And the effect of Power Connect stacks with multiple Deoxys-EX on your Bench, adding up to a lot of damage every turn!
Thundurus-EX (38/116 & 110/116)
Another Pokémon-EX that is quickly becoming a centerpiece for top decks is Thundurus-EX, and for good reason. First, its Raiden Knuckle attack lets you get Energy from your discard pile onto your Benched Team Plasma Pokémon and does 30 damage. And, perhaps most importantly, it costs only 1 Lightning Energy, meaning you can do decent damage and start loading Energy onto your Pokémon as early as turn 1.
Almost a mirror image of Raiden Knuckle, Thundurus-EX’s Thunderous Noise attack does quite a bit of damage and takes Energy off the Defending Pokémon. At a cost of four Energy, it’s also quite expensive—be sure to include a Colress Machine (Black & White—Plasma Storm, 119/135) or two in your deck to quickly get Team Plasma Energy onto Thundurus-EX. If you can get both Thunderous Noise and Raiden Knuckle powered up, you’ll have plenty of ways to stay in control with Thundurus-EX.
If you thought Team Plasma decks weren’t quite strong enough for tournament play, Umbreon is here to change that. Its Dark Shade Ability gives each of your Team Plasma Pokémon +20 HP. And like Deoxys-EX’s damage-enhancing Power Connect Ability, Dark Shade stacks—two Umbreon on your Bench mean that all of your Team Plasma Pokémon now have +40 HP. Play a couple of Umbreon alongside Deoxys-EX, and you’re covered both defensively and offensively!
Another of Eevee’s evolutions to look out for at the National Championships is Flareon. The Weavile (66/116) and Exeggcute (4/116) combination is getting attention as a crafty deck-pairing with some winning capabilities. Tap into that flow of Pokémon to and from your discard pile with Flareon’s Vengeance attack. It does 20 damage plus 10 more for each Pokémon in the discard pile. The more ways you can exploit a particular technique (in this case, freely moving Pokémon to and from the discard pile), the more prepared you’ll be for a wide array of challenges. Flareon and Weavile both making use of Exeggcute’s Propagation Ability is just that.
If there’s a true disruptive card in the latest expansion, it’s Ghetsis. This Supporter card is so fiendish that it’s hard to resist for any deck builder! Item cards are both good and abundant in the current format, so you often expect your opponent to have plenty for Ghetsis to feed on. Especially on turn 1, the ability to draw a few extra cards and force your opponent to get rid of some of his or her most easily playable cards could make a huge difference right out of the gate.
In the long run, Ghetsis may not be the most effective card, because there are plenty of alternatives to using Item cards. For example, you can use Supporters to refill your hand, Pokémon such as Emolga (Black & White—Dragons Exalted, 45/124) to fill your Bench, and a variety of ways to get Energy from your deck, such as Chandelure (16/116) and its Flare Navigate Ability. That’s why Ghetsis is truly disruptive—it will force deck builders to rethink their approach simply out of fear that their opponents will have one in their deck.
That’s just a sample of the hot cards in the Black & White—Plasma Freeze expansion that we’re expecting to see make waves at Nationals, but there are plenty more cards that have the potential to lead players to victory. Be sure to follow all our coverage from Indianapolis, beginning on July 5th!
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