The Right Timing

Hello everyone, this is my 3rd article I’ve written for 6P (I wrote the other two under the “Rhin” nickname) and the first one not to be about deck analysis. This time, I’m going to focus the analysis on tips to get the perfect timing to play galactic trainer cards for SP decks.

I believe the main advantage SP decks have other the rest (and what makes them rule the metagame right now) is the speed they have, and that speed mainly obtained thanks to a game-breaking line of trainers.

Yeah, I’m talking about SP Radar, Poké-turn, Energy Gain, and Power-Spray.

So what makes SP decks the most difficult to play? Can any rookie just pick up a great Luxchomp list and become the National champ? Definitely not.

The reason SP decks are considered the hardest to play, is at the same time the reason they are the best decks right now, their line of trainers.

A decent SP deck gives you at least 5 possible different plays per turn, and only 1-of them is the correct, 1 or 2 are average, while the other two will only make you lose the game eventually.

Many people know how to play an SP deck, yet they don’t know how to play their trainers, making them mediocre players, at best.
The most important thing to take into account when playing SP is that, in general, you will be faster than those stage 1 or 2 decks (sometimes even faster than turbo decks), but you will NEVER have the same attack/defense power they have, that’s why you will need to out speed them in order to win.

With that in mind, let’s analyze the trainer cards:

POKE TURN

Let’s start with one of the most popular SP trainers, the TGI Poké Turn.

For those of you that don’t know this card (are there still players like that?) this little life-savior lets you recover an SP Pokémon, with everything it has attached, back to your hand.

Anybody can see how game-breaking this card is, perfect for re-using drop poke powers (Crobat G, Luxray GL LV.X), healing a Pokémon, “retreating”, re attaching tools or energies, and many other things.

So, when should you play this? Unfortunately, we only get 4-of them per deck, so when you play each one of this “continues” can decide the match.

The thing is you should analyze the value of the card, considering the moment of the match you are. During early game, having a Poké-turn is practically useless, you have no powers to re use, and no Pokémon to heal, so its just dead-draw. However, its importance increases as prizes are taken. Everyone can agree that if you are, for example, on a 2-2 match in prizes, and haven’t used even one Poké turn yet, you practically have won already because your opponent will have already used up most of his resources to pick those prizes, while you did the same without using yours.

So the main rule is, don’t waste Poké-turns to draw more with Uxie, or to reattach things. Try to save them up for mid-late game, healing in one turn the damage your opponent is struggling so much to do can be really annoying, and Bright Looking that attacker your opponent is still setting up can turn the tide of the match in a second.

POWER SPRAY

Another one of the big SP trainers, and the only card in the game that can be used outside your turn. This one is one of the most disrupting cards in the entire metagame, and can easily turn your opponent’s smile into tears spraying that Uxie he so much needs.

As with Poké Turn, I like to play 4, to maximize the disruption power, and mainly to have one in my opening hand. I believe its the opposite of Poké Turns; its value is in the early game, when your opponent is trying to set up his attackers with Poké-Powers such as Claydol’s “Cosmic Power” and Uxie’s “Set Up”. A few well played Sprays on your part can get you an easy victory out of a hard match up.

The problem here is that your opponent usually plays too many powers during the game, but you only can stop 4. So, which ones do you stop?

This question is MUCH more significant than it seems, as many SP players waste their Sprays at the simple hearing of a power activating.

It’s mainly situational, but the order in which powers should be stopped is generally like this Uxie-> Luxray GL LV.X (only if you have something setting up you don’t want KOed)-> Claydol-> -> Bronzong G (only if Garchomp LV.X is around)-> Azelf-> whatever else.

As I said, this is mainly situational, depends strongly on the cards your opponent has in hand, what deck he is playing, how many prizes you have already taken, etc. Many times it’s better to save the spray if your opponent’s Uxie/Claydol will only give him 1 or 2 cards.

The main lesson here is to figure out what your opponent is trying to do by activating that power. Is it REALLY necessary to his strategy? Would he get stuck if he couldn’t do it? Or it’s just a trap to make you waste a spray?

If the answer is yes to the first or second questions, spray at will!

ENERGY GAIN

There’s not much to say about this one, actually. It’s a card that lets you speed up your attacker, and also lets your set up a surprise tech to revenge-KO something your opponent has, bypassing the 1 energy per turn attachment rule, kind of like Bronzong G.

Considering that, this card keeps an overall value through the game, with a bit more importance in the beginning, for cheap early prizes and disruption. You should attach E-Gain to your main attackers, and only attach them to techs when you are sure to revenge KO your opponent’s active, and if possible, with a Poké turn in hand, to recover the tech and the gain next turn.

SP RADAR

Not much to say here either… indeed a very important card, but probably is the least important of the 4 SP trainers.

Its function is to search for a SP Pokémon, at the cost of putting one card from your hand into your deck, but as it’s a trainer, you can combo it with things like Collector, Roseanne, Bebe Search, or Cyrus.

This is the reason its worth is in early game set up mainly, although it still has value to recover from KOs, and to deal unexpected KOs with Crobat G´s “Flash Bite”, and still be able to attack that turn.

Its really easy to use and pretty effective, a card probably as good as Bebe, not only to get level ups, but to get a Crobat for extra damage, or the tech you need, together with the energy and E-Gain if you play it with a Cyrus, getting a surprise KO from your opponent.

Well, these are only my opinions on the matter. I decided to write an article about it since I have seen A LOT of players try to use SP decks and fail horribly at it, thinking that just because its a powerful deck, anyone can use it to win. I have been playing SP decks for more than 8 months, and I still feel I don’t play them at their full capacity, so I would like to hear your opinions on this.

When/how would you play your SP trainers?

Reader Interactions

21 replies

  1. PKMNPrime

    I think it really depends on the strategy as well. For instance, Sableye/Garchomp is going to have a different order of usable Galactic Trainers than LuxChomp. In which SP Radar and Poke Turn play a much more prominent role and Power Spray a little less.

    Nevertheless, I think SP Radar is pretty vital to set-up as well. I almost always use my 2 early to get out the Lv. X’s I need or a Bronzong to put on the bench.

    Good article though, and should come in handy for novices looking to build into SP.

  2. PKMNPrime

    Yup, I agree. In addition to that, everyone has their own style of playing, so just because you have the exact list that a World’s or Nat’s winner used doesn’t mean you will know ‘the right timing’ (;]) of when to search for those cards or use them.

    Also, there really is no perfect list. However consistent or tech’ed out your list may be, there will always be erratic circumstances where your deck will fall short.

  3. Anonymous

    He means burning a poketurn so that you can draw 1 more card with an uxie drop.

  4. Eelis Peltola

    I think the hardest thing in using TGIs is knowing when to use Poke Turn, and which one to get with Cyrus. I’m not really that good at playing SP decks, and tend to overuse Poke Turn, burning out too soon…

  5. David Reis

    I’ve only been playing SP for a month, maybe a little less, and I have learned one thing. Trainer timing is the most important part of the deck. But just like PKMNPrime said, each SP deck plays differently. Sablelock uses poketurns for donks and extra damage for the KO. LuxChomp seems to use it to heal and Bright Look. Here is how you know if the player is good at SP. Did he actually make the deck or netdeck it? Someone who has actually made their deck from scratch and have their own touch of innovation. For instance, I use an extra crobat, a lux ball, and other random like differences that come from my own playing style and understanding of running SP. A person that sits down and chooses each card that goes into a deck sees all the possibilities and knows situational advantages given by each card, but one that sees a list and copies it will never be able to run the deck to its full potention.

  6. Chris Barrieau

    I liked this article. =] It’s great for players who have never experienced with SP, who didn’t quite like SP ’cause they never really understood them that well, and who hate going up against them. :P

    This motivated me to try and run a SP deck, especially since I got my paws on a LuxrayX last weekend…! (My first one. 3) ..And I have 2 Garchomp X, too. :P So… I might try a Luxchomp variant, or something made from scratch. But I really like the idea of Luxchomp, maybe with some Sableye? I dunno. I’m spitting noobie unexperienced ideas here, basically from cards that I just like. :P

  7. Filipe Oliveira

    You cant use Poke turn to pick a uxie as stated in this article.
    Overall i liked it and it gives a better view about SP decks , since even though they’re strong , they arent so easy to play :D

  8. Chris Barrieau

    Oooh ok. thanks, I was a little confused about that passage too, to be honest. :P I think you’d have to be pretty desperate to do that… o-o

  9. Poke QMon

    Article is great but is missing the main glue between those trainers : Cyrus consipracy !
    How do you manage to not loose the game if your deck is in “bad ass mood”
    and refuses to give out the precious cyrus ? (2 cyrus in prizes)
    I personnaly like to add sableye, just in case ! (this one is searchable)

    Anyway, great article. thanks.

  10. Chris Barrieau

    Martin omitted Cyrus’ conspiracy because the article is not about what makes a solid SP deck. It’s about the four main trainer cards in a SP deck, and when and how you should be using them.

  11. Tony

    Fantastic article! I’ve noted too that what makes SP builds so dang awesome are the trainers, and I really wish they had developed more Legend-specific trainers to make them more playable.

    With that said, the only thing I see giving SPs a run for their money are variations of the VileTomb lock. We’ve been testing several SP decks vs. VileTomb variants, and SP still does remarkably well with either Dialga G Lv x, Blaziken FB, or both, and even Luxray GL Lv X can take out the lock. Do you have a preference for an SP counter to VileTomb?

  12. Adam Capriola

    One thing most people seem to agree upon is that you should take a prize nearly every time you use Poke Turn… so if you’re using them but not drawing prizes, you’re probably doing something wrong.

  13. Martin Garcia

    Sometime you are. If you are behind in prizes and getting beaten up badly, the deck just doesnt want to give you a cyrus, and you just an uxie in your hand, sometimes you hope that extra card will save your ass, and let you recover before its too late.
    However, as i said, 99% of the time, wasting the turn is a pretty bad idea.

  14. Martin Garcia

    I totally agree with you, i personally run 2 crobats instead of 1, and 2 Aarons becouse i like to recover my sp directly to my hand and play them instantly after they were KOed.

  15. Martin Garcia

    Ups, completely forgot to metion that this article play style is based on the more offensive-oriented SP decks, such as Luxchomp, blazechomp, blazeray, luxape, lady Gaga, etc. Other variants, like dialgachomp or sablelock play a different timing with their trainers.
    My bad there.

  16. Karol Nowak

    All right, now I have to admit that this article is actually one of the best articles to appear on Six Prizes to date. Incredible job writing this article, and I did enjoy reading it. Your article shows that you are indeed a TCG player that knows how to play SP decks properly. In fact, an article like this us going to help many players when they ever want to play SPs.

  17. Theo Seeds

    There’s one thing you forgot. Even though it’s underplayed, your heavily damaged guys would benifet from one or two tgi tms in your deck. If you can find a card or two to take out, this could be a good tech because nobudy uses it.

  18. Alex Pike

    Brilliant Article! Something totally different from the rest :D

  19. Martin Garcia

    Im playing blazechomp right now, and most likely its the deck i will play this season, so im not worried about vileplume at all, specially since unown G is now out of the picture.
    Dialga g is a nice option too, but blaziken is easier to play since you only need the basic to lure vileplume to the active.

  20. John Mostowy

    This is one of the better articles I’ve read. You went deeply with each TGI, and I understand them even better than I did before. If anyone hasn’t read this, they need to. This is vital for everyone trying to build or edit his or her SP deck.

    BTW, you can’t Poke Turn an Uxie. :P

  21. Martin Garcia

    Its not about poketurning the uxie, but poketurning somethign else, to get one more card with uxie.

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