The Good Kind of Poison!
08 Mar, 2013
The Pokémon TCG: Black & White—Plasma Storm expansion includes a couple of poison-themed cards that are making their opponents sick with frustration.
Seldom has a particular expansion had such a collection of cards focused on a particular Special Condition, but it doesn’t take a lot of looking at the Black & White—Plasma Storm expansion to see a trend: poison. There are several great cards that either cause or take advantage of the Poisoned condition to give you a leg up in battle. Here, we’ll look at two Trainer cards, which have the potential to be included in any deck you design.
The first is Hypnotoxic Laser (123/135), a Trainer-Item card that poisons your opponent’s Active Pokémon all by itself. The second is Virbank City Gym (126/135), a Trainer-Stadium card that adds 2 extra damage counters to any Poisoned Pokémon between turns. Obviously these two cards work well together without any help: with Virbank City Gym in play, Hypnotoxic Laser sets a Pokémon up to get 3 damage counters between turns. But each of these cards has some creative uses that deserve a deeper look—especially since they’re being used to develop winning decks!
Virbank City Gym + Crobat
There are plenty of awesome Legendary Team Plasma Pokémon in this latest expansion, but thanks to Virbank City Gym, Team Plasma Crobat (55/135) gives them all a run for their money. When its Ultra-Toxic Fang attack combines with Virbank City Gym, Crobat can do 40 damage outright, plus a whopping 60 poison damage between turns. If your opponent doesn’t heal, retreat, or otherwise cure the Active Pokémon of its Poisoned condition, none but the most burly of Pokémon will last past the next turn.
Almost as a bonus, Crobat’s Night Sight Ability lets you draw an extra card each turn. This Ability doesn’t require Crobat to be the Active Pokémon, so if you can manage to get a second Crobat onto your Bench, you’ll draw two extra cards every turn. Night Sight gets even better if you have Lunatone (73/135) in play. Lunatone’s Premonition Ability lets you look at the top 2 cards of your deck and put them back in any order. Use this Ability before Night Sight to increase the odds that you’ll get a card you need.
Virbank City Gym + Scolipede
Crobat is unquestionably a fantastic card, but its previous Evolutions are pretty vulnerable. If you’re looking for a quicker way to get rolling, check out the Scolipede line from Black & White—Boundaries Crossed. All three of the cards in the chain—Venipede (72/149), Whirlipede (73/149), and Scolipede (74/149)—have the Poison Point Ability, which means that if one of these Pokémon is damaged by your opponent’s attack, the Attacking Pokémon is now Poisoned. From the outset, even the lowly Venipede can cause 30 damage between turns in combination with Virbank City Gym, and that’s without even attacking. Also, since the opposing Pokémon is Poisoned on your opponent’s turn, it’ll take poison damage twice before your opponent can do anything about it. With Virbank City Gym in play, that’s a total of 60 damage done—in addition to your attack!
Hypnotoxic Laser + Raticate
Raticate (Black & White—Boundaries Crossed, 105/149) has been intriguing from the moment it was released. Its Super Fang attack leaves the Defending Pokémon with only 10 HP remaining. But at only 60 HP, Raticate has been too vulnerable to counterattacks, even against these weakened Pokémon. Now, Hypnotoxic Laser solves that problem! Use the Item card on your target, then attack it with Super Fang. The attack will do most of the work, and in between turns, that one little damage counter will Knock Out the Poisoned target. You should be able to take out even the toughest Pokémon with this one-two punch!
Hypnotoxic Laser + Giratina
Unlike Raticate, Team Plasma’s Giratina (62/135) is a Basic Pokémon with a healthy 130 HP. But like Raticate, it makes Hypnotoxic Laser even more potent. Once your target is Poisoned, use Giratina’s Hex attack, which does 50 damage, plus 50 more if the Defending Pokémon is affected by a Special Condition. Add the extra 10 damage between turns, and Giratina is delivering a hefty 110 damage—that’s huge for a Basic Pokémon, especially one that’s not a Pokémon-EX. (If you also happen to have Virbank City Gym in play, that’s a total of 130 damage before your opponent’s next turn!)
Like Crobat, Giratina is a Psychic-type Pokémon, and both of their attacks require Psychic Energy, so Giratina would be a great Pokémon to slip into a Crobat deck if you have the room. Its extra HP serves as a nice wall as you build up Crobat on your Bench.
These are just a few ways you can use Virbank City Gym and Hypnotoxic Laser effectively to disrupt your opponent’s game with the Poisoned condition. But there are plenty of poison-oriented strategies for you to discover within the Black & White—Plasma Storm expansion!
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