Take Advantage of the Pokémon on Your Bench!
28 Sep, 2009
Use Benched Pokémon to their full advantage to gain an edge on your opponent!
Most of the time, your Active Pokémon spends every turn providing both offense and defense. However, the Active Pokémon is not the only Pokémon you should keep in mind during your turn! Benched Pokémon can also play an important role in your tactics and may be the tipping point in the outcome of your games. Learn about these strategies and discover some of the Platinum—Supreme Victors cards that can help you take advantage of them.
No Attacks, No Problem
As we all know, Benched Pokémon are unable to attack; that job is exclusively the task of the Active Pokémon. So in what ways can Benched Pokémon affect battle? The answer: through their Poké-Bodies and Poké-Powers. These two abilities behave quite differently—Poké-Bodies tend to work passively, meaning that they work without needing to be activated by an event or action (like an attack, for instance). For example, you don’t "use" Metagross’s (7/147) Gravitation Poké-Body to lower the HP of all other Pokémon by 20; it’s always in effect from the moment Metagross joins the fray. On the other hand, Poké-Powers typically do need to be activated during battle, which is advantageous because you have the option to use the ability, unlike Poké-Bodies that you usually don’t have any control over. Naturally there is a flipside—most Poké-Powers can be used only once per turn at most. Not only that, but there are plenty of Poké-Powers that work only when the Pokémon comes into play.
For many Poké-Bodies and Poké-Powers, the Pokémon with the ability has to be the Active Pokémon. For example, Garchomp's (5/147) Dragon Intimidation Poké-body only works if Garchomp is your Active Pokémon. But that’s not always the case; Venusaur's (13/147) Green Aroma Poké-Body removes any Special Conditions from Grass-type Pokémon for as long as it’s in play, even if it’s on the Bench. In another case, regardless of its position as Benched or Active, Exploud's (28/147) Poké-Body nullifies any Weaknesses your Pokémon have. Given the right deck, those two Poké-Bodies alone could have a huge impact on your game!
Poké-Powers have similar advantages. For example, check out Dodrio's(25/147) Echo Draw Poké-Power, which lets you draw an extra card every turn that Dodrio is in play. Perhaps you’d prefer to mess with your opponent’s plans using Chatot 's (54/147) Disrupting Spy Poké-Power, which allows you to look at, and then reorganize, the top four cards on your opponent’s deck. Neither of these helpful Poké-Powers requires the Pokémon to be your Active one—they just need to be on the battlefield (although in Chatot ’s case, its Poké-Power is only available when you put the card from your hand to the Bench).
Breaching the Bench
Clearly the Poké-Bodies and Poké-Powers of Benched Pokémon are advantageous. But what if you’re the opponent who has to face such nuisances? Fortunately for you, there are many ways to attack Benched Pokémon and put an end to their meddling ways. Check out Absol 's (1/147) Feint Attack, which does 20 damage to an opponent’s Pokémon of your choice and isn’t affected by the Poké-Powers and Poké-Bodies that could lessen or prevent the attack. You could also deliver a double blow with Arcanine's (50/147) Overrun attack, which delivers 20 damage to the Defending Pokémon plus 10 more damage to one of the opponent’s Benched Pokémon. And, if you don’t have the means to attack the Bench directly, you can bring the Pokémon you want to attack toward you with moves such as Blaziken 's (2/147) Luring Flame attack, which not only swaps out the Defending Pokémon for a Benched Pokémon but Burns the new arrival!
Poké-Powers and Poké-Bodies have enormous potential, even when the Pokémon reside on the Bench. However, they can be countered, so look out for moves that can attack or affect the Bench directly to defend yourself against opponents who use these abilities frequently!
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