28 Sep, 2009
Toxic tactics fill the air in Diamond & Pearl—Great Encounters.
For Pokémon TCG players, the Poisoned Special Condition has always been one of the most strategic ways to inflict damage. When an opponent is Poisoned, you can drain HP primarily by waiting and watching. That's fine and good, but the problem is that only 1 damage counter is inflicted between each turn. At that rate, you might drain your own patience more than your opponent's HP. Great Encounters introduces some new ways to multiply the toxic effect of Poison
The revolution begins with Weezing (31/106) and its Toxic Virus Poké-Body. For every Weezing in play, Toxic Virus forces each player to put 1 more damage counter on his or her Poisoned Pokémon. When you consider that it's legal to have four Weezings in play at the same time, it's possible to inflict 50 damage between turns on each Poisoned Pokémon!
Weezing can Poison an opponent with its Offensive Gas attack, but it requires a coin flip and costs 2 Energy. That's where Arbok's (33/106) poisoning power comes in handy. For a single Energy, Arbok's Deadly Poison attack inflicts 10 damage and Poisons the opponent. The great thing about this attack is that it does 10 damage plus 40 more damage if the Defending Pokémon is already Poisoned.
While working with Arbok and Weezing, it's wise to consider playing some older complementary cards, such as Crobat (DP—Mysterious Treasures, 23/123). Crobat's Evolutionary Toxic Poké-Power allows you to Poison 1 of the Defending Pokémon, and then that Pokémon receives 2 damage counters instead of 1 between turns. If you have one or more Weezing in play, the amount of damage counters increases even more!
Next, let's consider a familiar face from Diamond & Pearl—Secret Wonders, Nidoking (DP—Secret Wonders, 34/132). Nidoking's Poison Rub attack does damage and places a Poisoned marker on the Defending Pokémon, with an option to swap it with a Benched Pokémon... and put the Poisoned marker and damage the new Defending Pokémon instead. The attack only does 20 damage, but the persistent HP drain will pay off, especially if you have some Weezing in play.
Once your strategies are in full swing, what happens if your opponent simply removes the Poisoned Special Condition by evolving or retreating? Add Toxicroak (DP—Mysterious Treasures, 36/123) to your team and you'll be ready. Toxicroak's Poison Sacs Poké-Body prevents your opponent from removing the Poisoned Special Condition through evolving, devolving, or playing a Level-Up card.
If you're worried about finding yourself on the receiving end of some of these strategies, be sure to stock up on Switch (DP—Secret Wonders, 128/132) and Double Full Heal (Diamond & Pearl, 105/130). No strategy is invincible, and even the Poisoned Special Condition can be countered if you plan ahead. Switch up your deck frequently, and keep the competition guessing!
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