At the moment, there seems to be a multitude of ways that you can lose first turn, granted you have a lone basic and your opponent is able get any one of these Pokémon out:
- Garchomp C with a DCE and Crobat Gs/TGI Poké Turn
- Sableye SF with Crobat Gs and Expert Belt
- Machamp SF to do “Take Out”
- Jumpluff HS to do “Mass Attack”
- Donphan Prime to do “Earthquake”
- Kingdra LA to do “Hydro Pump”
- Shuppet PL with PlusPowers, Crobats, and Expert Belt
The issue is that many decks out there have weak starting Pokémon. The designated starting Pokémon has went the way of the dodo in exchange for speed. This leaves many vulnerable starting Pokémon that have 50 HP or less. SP is really the only deck that doesn’t have to worry so much about getting turn 1’d.
Maxing out on Call Energy can help avoid the donk, but some decks simply don’t run the card because they want to attack and start drawing prizes on turn 1. You can also lose before you even have a chance to Call if something like a Sableye or Garchomp Knocks you Out.
This makes me feel that there is a need for certain decks to play an extra basic or two, so that they aren’t as easily donked. Jumpluff and Gyarados specifically come to mind as decks that have incredibly weak starters and don’t play Call Energy all the time. I would consider playing something like an extra Crobat in these decks. It’s a good starter because it has free retreat and isn’t so easily KO’d first turn. Chatot MD is another card that is not talked about much, but may be worth playing now just to increase your basic count.
Sometimes you will simply get unlucky and open with that lone Unown Q, but adding a couple more basics to your deck will increase your odds of starting with 2 basic Pokémon in your opening hand. If you can get past that first turn, you at least have a chance to get into the game and compete with all the quick decks out there right now.
So what do you think? Is the quick strike ability of many popular decks enough to warrant playing more basics? Or should these decks that try to overwhelm early and don’t play Call Energy, play the card?