So you’re at a tournament and your first game is about to begin. You flip your cards at the start of the game, and you notice your opponent starts with, let’s say, a Luxray GL, Infernape 4, and a Baltoy. Crap. You’re now facing one the best decks that’s going to circle Worlds this year. Your opponent has a smile on his/her face as they have a very good start so it seems. (Stealing Adam’s Honchkrow G combo) You go first, set up a darkness energy on your Honchkrow and use Honcho’s Command for, a Random Stadium and an Energy Gain. Your opponent places an energy and Bebe’s Search for a Claydol. Now your turn…you Roseanne’s Research for an Energy and a Crobat G…Flash Bite for 10 on Baltoy then Energy Gain on Honchkrow and BAM! There goes your opponents’ Baltoy. You look at your opponent’s face…now they have “Crap” written all over their face.
Another scenario…One of your RR Beedrills was just KO’d. Okay…that stinks, so you Night Maintenance it back into your deck, but you have no means of searching for it. You filter down your hand to 1 card and you say “Cosmic Power” and your opponent plays Power Spray… once again…“Crap.” You’ve got absolutely nothing and you can’t draw.
Claydol, this amazing card has become an ESSENTIAL part of any deck in this format. With the ability to have a constant flow of draw power, Claydol just makes the game faster. But what if your sad Baltoy (or Claydol already) has been KO’d early game? Is that an automatic loss? No…but it will sure be a TOUGH battle to recover from. After playing a few games with Adam, he picked off my Baltoy fairly early in the game. At that point, it was a struggle to keep up, for I had no means of draw power and my Beedrills could not swarm fast enough, as Adam easily set up Gengars and proceeded to an easy win. Most decks cannot function properly without a Claydol in play. Without it, decks are just ridiculously slow, for that 1 draw per turn just isn’t enough when your opponent has a Claydol of their own in play.
So what have people done? People have centered their decks with KOing Claydols. For example, Gengar does a whopping 60 damage to Pokémon with Powers. With the help of Crobat G and a PokéTurn or Miasma Valley, Claydol is a goner. Although people have put in Unown G to stop Gengar’s Claydol onslaught, but still, I believe getting rid of an opponent’s Claydol early game SEVERELY turns the tides of battle in your favor, for once a Claydol is gone, your opponent can only draw 1 card per turn, and most likely your opponent will set up sacrifices to frantically try to get another Claydol in play. Sure there are a couple of cards that help with draw power, for example, LA Uxie with Set Up, or the old Speed Stadium, but Uxie can only do it once, and Speed Stadium isn’t as good with the chance of a first flip tails (and your opponent can use it too).
So early Claydol KO? A great strategy. Hindering your opponent’s draw power and severely slowing them down? With that on your plate, you’ve got yourself either an easy win or at least a chance to get ahead and picking off a few prizes before your opponent gets rolling.
Questions, Comments, Concerns? Let’s hear it! I’m hoping for a bunch of discussion. Thanks for reading!