Futurology: Speculations on Black and White

Castelia Pokémon CenterBulbapedia
This is a view of the Pokémon Center in Castelia City, featured in the new Pokémon Center card.

The release of the Pokémon Black and White versions of the video games brought several refreshing additions to the games. The story is now set in a new region, named Unova, where Team Plasma is aiming to separate Pokémon from people. Professor Juniper gives you and your two friends, Cheren and Bianca, one starter Pokémon to begin your journey together from Nuvema Town. What’s important here is that Unova has 156 Pokémon exclusive for that region (or not so exclusive, maybe?), and that also means 156 new Pokémon for the Trading Card Game.

As many of you already know, Pokémon Card Game BW was already released in Japan, and the Black & White set is soon to be released here, so it doesn’t hurt to start thinking on new deck ideas! This upcoming set comes with cards of never before seen Pokémon in the TCG, and among them several new, and most likely useful, cards and combos. I will be listing some ideas you can later tweak or that might serve as an inspiration to build new decks. Maybe you have heard of these ideas before, so I’m just putting these here in a nifty format. And keep in mind these are not entire decklists, just skeletons and ideas. Some decks might be overdue of cards or lack cards, but just use these as future ideas.

ReshiBoar: Emboar + Reshiram

Pokémon4 Reshiram
2-1-2 Emboar
4 Spiritomb (AR)
2-2 Ninetales (HS)
T/S/S4 Energy Retrieval
2 Palmer’s Contribution
2 Rare Candy
2 Broken Time-Space
4 Interviewer’s Questions
3 Pokémon Collector
4 Pokémon Catcher
2-4 Bebe’s Search and/or Pokémon Communication
4 Fisherman
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory/Professor Juniper
Energy3 Double Colorless
12 R

Strategy: This is maybe one of the most hyped decks. The idea is to get Reshiram attacking soon. How? Let’s break down both Reshiram and Emboar, the backbones of the deck.

Reshiram has 130 HP. Good for a stage 2 Pokémon, excellent for a basic one. This card offers us two attacks. First, for two Colorless, Reshiram can do Outrage, which deals 20 damage plus 10 for each damage counter on Reshiram, potentially dealing 140 damage total. 140 damage for a basic Pokémon? That’s just awesome.

Reshiram, the Vast White Pokémon and the mascot of Pokémon White

“But I don’t want to get damaged before dealing a lot of damage!” Well, Reshiram has another attack. For two Fire and one Colorless, Reshiram’s Blue Flare deals 120 damage. Excellent damage output! The draw back? Discard two Fire energies attached to Reshiram. Many old school players will think of Base Charizard right now, except Reshiram is faster to set up, requires less energies and deals more damage. And many will remember how slow was Charizard overall and how this is repeating.

Not anymore.

The second Pokémon needed for this deck is Emboar. Fire type, 150 HP, 4 Retreat Cost, and an attack, Heat Crash, that deals 80 damage with 2 Fire and 2 Colorless. What’s the deal with it, then? Its Ability, Flame Fury. Remember Rain Dance, Base Blastoise’s Pokémon Power and Feraligatr Prime’s Poké-Power? Emboar’s Ability does exactly the same, except that instead of attaching W Energy, it allows you to attach R Energy to any of your Pokémon.

Now, Reshiram being slow and discarding a lot of energies is not a problem at all. Interviewer’s Questions allows us to get lots of Fire energies soon, and Energy Retrieval now doesn’t require to discard another card from our hand to get two R Energy from the discard pile. Palmer’s Contribution are there in case we deplete our R Energy and Retrieval supply, and Fisherman is the Supporter version, allowing us to retrieve 4 energies at once.

The rest of the cards are there mostly for consistency. Spiritomb searches for Emboar, Broken Time-Space allows for a fast evolution, so does Rare Candy. Professor Oak’s New Theory and Professor Juniper are for hand refreshing. The former is safer, the latter has a higher reward: Professor Juniper is a Support card that lets us discard our hand to draw seven cards, much like Base Professor Oak. Pokémon Catcher is there so we can get rid of any threat earlier or get some free prizes, and Pokémon Communication, Pokémon Collector and Bebe’s Search allow us to get our Pokémon faster. Lastly, Ninetales does not need Typhlosion since we can retrieve the discarded energies later.

While using this deck during this rotation, watch out for Machamp SF, which will Knock Out your Reshirams in no time. Gyarados will make this deck cry, so make sure to kill it earlier or to tech your deck against it.

Zekrom Deck

Pokémon4 Zekrom
4 Pachirisu
4 Shaymin (UL)
2-1-2 Serperior
2 Uxie
4 Sableye
T/S/S2 Rare Candy
4 Interviewer’s Questions
4 Professor Oak’s New Theory / Professor Juniper
1 Twins
2~3 Bebe’s Search and/or Pokémon Communication (combine them as you wish)
4 Pokémon Collector
4 Super Scoop Up
4 Seeker
4 Pokémon Catcher
Energy – 4 Rescue
9 L

Strategy: Pretty much similar to Reshiram in concept, but it executes differently. The idea is to get Zekrom attacking as fast as possible. Pachirisu takes energies from your hand, so Interviewer’s Questions is a must. Once you get Pachirisu loaded with energies, just drop Shaymin and move the energies over to Zekrom. However, you might not always get Interviewer’s Questions, so Sableye helps us doing this task faster.

Zekrom, the Deep Black Pokémon and the mascot of Pokémon White.

Now, what’s the deal with Zekrom? Lightning type, 130 HP, basic Pokémon. It’s similar to Reshiram in concept. It requires 2 Colorless to do Outrage, like Reshiram, and two Lightning and one Colorless to do Bolt Strike, which deals 120 damage also. Awesome, right? But there’s one draw back, like with Reshiram: Zekrom takes 40 damage. Assuming Zekrom won’t get damaged in any way, that means Zekrom will only survive a handful of turns, and we don’t want to give our opponent free prizes. What should we do? Use Serperior.

Serperior is a stage 2 Grass Pokémon, with 130 HP and whose Leaf Tornado attack deals 60 damage for 1 Grass and 1 Colorless, that let us move our Grass energies like however we want. But that’s not useful at all! The point of Serperior is its Ability: Royal Heal. It heals our Pokémon by 10 damage between turns. Why don’t we use Nidoqueen instead? Because we can stack it, unlike Nidoqueen, and because it doesn’t get body locked. If we successfully drop both Serperior, we will be healing all the damage done by the next turn! And if you decide to add more Serperiors, we will be healing, at most, by 40 between turns, and 80 once you take your turn again! Isn’t that awesome?

Super Scoop Up and Seeker are there to get Shaymin back to the hand, and Rescue Energy are an emergency resource in case Zekrom doesn’t make it. Twins is there for the same reasons and to give us a boost. The rest of the cards are self-explanatory.

As in the previous deck, Zekrom cries with Machamp SF, even more than Reshiram, but it doesn’t get hurt from Gyarados that badly anymore.

SamuGatr: Samurott + Feraligatr Prime

Pokémon4-3-4 Samurott
3-2-3 Feraligatr Prime
4 Spiritomb
2 Uxie
T/S/S4 Rare Candy
2 Broken Time-Space
4 Bebe’s Search
4 Pokémon Communication
4 Interviewer’s Questions
3 Professor Oak’s New Theory / Professor Juniper
4 Super Scoop Up / Seeker
4 Pokémon Catcher
Energy7 W
4 Double Colorless
Samurott, the Formidable Pokémon and the last stage of the Water-type starter Pokémon, Oshawott.

Strategy: Fill Samurott with Water energies to deal a massive amount of damage. Nothing really difficult.

Samurott is a Water stage 2 Pokémon card with 140 HP. Its Ability, Shell Armor, reduces every damage done to it by 20, and its attack, Hydro Pump, deals 70 damage, plus 10 for each W Energy attached to it. That means, 100 damage if you pay the entire cost only with W Energies. That’s great, and Feraligatr Prime helps speeding up everything.

The whole problem with this deck? It’s horribly slow! It relies on two stage 2 cards, which doesn’t help at all! One possible solution is to replace the entire Feraligatr line with Floatzel, which doesn’t suffer from speed as badly as Feraligatr does.

“Whoa, 4-of every T/S/S? Why?” Because this deck requires a lot of support. Just choose whichever you like, in the amounts you feel right, but try to keep them at a maximum.

This deck might remind you Scizor, and to some extent it is similar, except it deals more base damage than it and gets a lesser damage increase per Energy card. But there is one Pokémon that might remind you Scizor way better…

Gothitelle Deck

Pokémon4-3-4 Gothitelle
4 Sableye
T/S/S4 Rare Candy
2 Broken Time-Space
4 Bebe’s Search / Pokémon Communication
4 Interviewer’s Questions
3 Professor Oak’s New Theory / Professor Juniper
4 Pokémon Catcher
2 Expert Belt
Energy12 P
Gothitelle, the Astral Body Pokémon and Gothita’s last evolution.

Strategy: Start with Sableye, get Gothitelle loaded with Psychic energies and let her attack while stacking damage for each P Energy. Nothing really complex.

Why Gothitelle, then? Gothitelle endures way more than Scizor with 130 HP. That’s a start and a decent replacement to Steel Energy. However, Scizor has that nifty body that doesn’t let it get damaged by Pokémon with special energies, rendering most of the metagame useless against it! Do not worry, however, since Gothitelle is way more disruptive, rendering useless every Goods (Trainer) cards with its Ability, Magic Room, effectively being a Spiritomb while it’s active. What’s that, too scared to lock your own cards? Don’t be, since Gothitelle just locks your opponent! The only bad part of this is that Gothitelle requires three energies instead of two to use its Mad Kinesis attack. However, it’s just C energies, so you could try replacing some Psychic energies with Double Colorless ones for a faster set-up.

This deck doesn’t require much support, much like Scizor, so you can try variants like adding Umbreon Prime to it. Some people have suggested to add Reuniclus and SSU/Seeker, which has an Ability that allows you to move your damage counters between your Pokémon for a healing method.

Cinccino Deck

Pokémon4-4 Cinccino
4 Sableye
4 Uxie
1 Unown Q
T/S/S4 Pokémon Collector
4 Bebe’s Search
4 Pokémon Communication
1 Luxury Ball
4 Pokémon Catcher
2 Expert Belt
Energy4 Double Colorless
4 Rescue
4 Warp

Strategy: Remember Jumpluff? Cinccino is the upgraded version. Stage 1, 90 HP, Colorless and slightly slower, requiring 2 C energies instead of 1. However, Cinccino gives you way more control over the damage output, potentially dealing 100 damage (120 with Expert Belt) with barely 1 Double Colorless Energy: Its Do The Wave attack deals 20 damage for each Pokémon in your bench. The idea is to get lots of Basic Pokémon in play, in no time, and start sweeping as soon as possible. It’s a really simple strategy, but this deck should prove to be way more versatile than Jumpluff (and hopefully be able to deal with those nasty Garchomp C LV.X) despite the (slightly) lower damage output.

Other cards to keep an eye to

Zebstrika, the Thunderbolt Pokémon and Blitzle’s only evolution.

Beartic is a 130 HP Water type Stage 1 Pokémon. What’s so special about it? With two Water energies and a Colorless it can use Sheer Cold, dealing 50 damage and locking your opponent from attacking next turn. For one extra C energy it can deal 80 with Icicle Crash, an attack unaffected by Resistance. Not a great card, but might be useful with Feraligatr Prime for an attack locking card.

Zebstrika is a 90 HP Lightning type Stage 1 Pokémon. With one Colorless its Rear Kick deals 30 damage with no extra effect, and with 3 Lightning it deals 70 damage with ElecSpark and 10 to the opponent’s whole bench. Might be useful for damage spread decks.

Excadrill is a weaker Donphan that doesn’t suffer from Umbreon’s attack. 110 HP, Fighting type, stage 1, no Abilities and two attacks, Metal Claw that deals 30 for 1 Colorless and Drill Run, that deals 80 damage with 3 Fighting energies and forces your opponent to discard an energy card from the defending Pokémon. If you ever needed an Umbreon counter, this is the card.

Mandibuzz. 90 HP, Dark type, Stage 1. Why is it decent? It’s an excellent tech. For one Darkness, its Sneak Attack deals 50 damage to one of your opponent’s Pokémon with damage counters on it. Mix this card with Zebstrika and Crobat G and you’ve got a nice killing machine. For 1 Darkness and 2 Colorless its Punishment deals 40 damage, and 60 more if the defending Pokémon is a stage 2 evolved Pokémon. It’s kind of like a Machamp SF for stage 2 Pokémon. Did you hear Gengar crying? I’m sure you did.

Zoroark, the Illusion Fox Pokémon and Zorua’s evolution. It was the first 5th generation Pokémon to be revealed.

Klinklang is awesome for a couple of reasons and might be a good addition to your Metal deck. 140 HP, stage 2, Metal type and an attack (Gear Grind) that, with 1 Metal and 2 Colorless, lets you flip 2 coins and deal 80 damage for each heads. Kind of flippy, but here comes the fun part. Remember Base Venusaur and Meganium Prime, that allowed you to move Grass energies? Well, Shift Gear allows you to move Metal energies around your Pokémon as often as you like.

Alomomola is a weaker version of Samurott. 100 HP, basic, Water type. With 1 Water and 1 Colorless it deals 20 damage with Water Pulse and makes the defending Pokémon asleep. With 3 Colorless it uses Hydro Pump: 40 damage plus 10 for each W Energy attached to Alomomola. Maybe an Alomomola/Floatzel deck works better than Samurott/Feraligatr?

Krookodile is not to be looked down. 140 HP is excellent. Fighting type, stage 2. With two Colorless its Torment deals 30 damage, and makes the defending Pokémon not be able to use one of its attacks during your opponent’s next turn. With two Fighting and two Colorless, its Death Roll deals 60 damage. Low damage output, but if the defending Pokémon has already a damage counter, it deals 40 more damage. Drop in a Crobat G and, bam! 100 damage in one shot!

Lastly, Zoroark. 100 HP, Darkness type, stage 1. Its aim is to be disruptive, or to be used against mirror decks. With 1 Darkness Zoroark’s Nasty Plot allows you to search any one card from your deck, and put it into your hand!! With two Colorless Zoroark’s Foul Play allows it to copy one of your opponent’s attacks. This card might see some use, maybe against mirror decks?

Final words

The Black & White set brings us a whole world of opportunities with these new cards, allowing us to work with never before seen strategies, or do things we really needed before (like Reshiram or Cinccino.) I hope this post has given you some ideas about the upcoming set and that you find some use to the newer cards, which are sure to impact the metagame during the next few years.

Happy deck building!

Reader Interactions

32 replies

  1. Anonymous

    Get excited! The next format will be crazy early. There are so many potentially good options to be tested out. We will have LostGar, Charizard, Magnezone, BlastGatr, Jumpluff, Reshiram, Zekrom, Samurott, etc to sort out. It is going to be fun.

  2. desire_4

    Forretress LA + Emboar + Unown Return + Seeker + Super Scoop Up + SHUCKLE PROMO=
    OMFG, THIS IS BDIF!!!!11111oneoneone

    • DrMime  → desire_4

      Hmmmm…very tricky. So, other than Dialga, Mesprit, or T2 trainer lock, how do you stop that? (Assuming that the translated text of Emboar doesn’t specify R Pokemon as targets, which I assume it won’t….)

      • DrMime  → Thomas

        With Emboar, you can repeatedly put Energy on Shuckle promo, which allows you to draw one card per energy; then, when you’re out of energy in your hand, Seeker/SSU him & his energy back to your hand (including any additional energy that you drew with Shuckle). Then you can put that energy on Forretress, which flips for 20 damage to all pokes for each energy you drop, except to Forretress. So the idea would basically be to get as many energy in your hand as you can, and then drop it all on Forretress to wipe the board of all Pokemon (except your Forretress).

        Of course, this only works if the text on Emboar says that he can drop [R] energy on any Pokemon. If he can only drop on [R] Pokemon, then the whole idea’s out the window.

        • Carlos Vergara  → DrMime

          Just to confirm what you are thinking, and as far as I’ve read, you can actually attach as many Fire Energies as you wish to *any* of your Pokémon. So yes, your idea works =)

        • matthew green  → DrMime

          After reading this and looking up the cards, why do you need shuckle. Can’t you just use interviewers and Emboar to drop the energy right on Forretress?

        • DrMime  → matthew

          I suppose I could think of some reasons. Maybe you want all those cards to draw into SSU or Unown, or to set up another attacker (in case you lack the luck o the flips); Shuckle turns this into an engine not just for spreading damage, but also for drawing a giant hand.

          In principle, Emboar would abuse any Pokemon that had a Power/Ability that activated when an energy card was attached. But there aren’t so many of those. (You could heal Onix over and over again?)

  3. matthew green

    Excellent article. Good breakdown of the new cards to look forward to.

    I still thing Zoroark will be the best play out of this deck. With the ability to use to catcher to bring up any pokemon and then use its attacks for only a DCE.

  4. Anonymous

    the problem with floatzel is actually a big one. he can only attach an energy to himself. dang you for leaking out reshiram/emboar combo, me and my firned were hoping it to be secret and then suprise a ton of people. we had decks amde and everything(except for the obviouse B/W cards). but oh well it is a good combo and works great. only reall problem is that with pokemon catcher, bringing up emboar is a snap. also with gothitelle DCe is piontless has it would then do 50, sinc eit only gains 20 form psychic. and zoroark decks wont get far, best thing to tech him, as against lostgar or such there no good attack. also i still j-pluff is betetr then cinocino, as j-pluff has a bit more hp and acess to landmin and sunflora. also its harder for deck sot operate on a low bench.

    • Carlos Vergara  → Anonymous

      Reshiram/Emboar: I’m not leaking it, there were los of people that actually knew this combo o_O Believe me you weren’t the only one who thought of it.

      Gothitelle: DCE was just an option. As I said, these are just lots of ideas you can or not take =)

      Zoroark: Who knows, someone already suggested Tyranitar/Zoroark.

      Jumpluff: It has 90 HP, as much as Cinccino. I do agree it has Landmin and Sunflora support, but Cinccino allows you to control the dealt damage better since you don’t depend on your opponent going smart and playing few pokemon on his side of the game, and you can add more support cards here since Cinccino is not type reliant.

  5. Carlos Vergara

    I know my lists aren’t the best thing around. My idea was not to get extensive, but just to throw the ideas. There will be a lot of time for deck building and testing, but presenting some few ideas and things to watch out about was my point – That’s why I didn’t bother to fix some flaws, which I know they exist.

    And I didn’t add Uxie since I just cared about the most important cards to get the deck working, not the ones that add consistency. But yeah, Uxie and Luxury Ball are a must in some (if not all) of the decks, and I do agree Gothitelle would work wonders with Spiritomb for a trainer locking deck. I didn’t think of that one, thank you for the feedback =)

  6. Derek Coontz

    This is an excellent set coming up. I myself am highly excited. Prereleases here I come!

  7. Jonah Davids

    I liked the article, but I don’t like some of the lists. You don’t include Luxury Ball in most of the Lists, and wouldn’t it be better to play that Gothelle deck with Spiritomb to lock Trainers the most important parts of the Game? and why would you play 4 Interviewers question in that deck to? (Not to mention no Uxie)

    Still, a nice read. Just work on your lists a bit more.

    • Carlos Vergara  → Jonah

      I know my lists aren’t the best thing around. My idea was not to get extensive, but just to throw the ideas. There will be a lot of time for deck building and testing, but presenting some few ideas and things to watch out about was my point – That’s why I didn’t bother to fix some flaws, which I know they exist.

      And I didn’t add Uxie since I just cared about the most important cards to get the deck working, not the ones that add consistency. But yeah, Uxie and Luxury Ball are a must in some (if not all) of the decks, and I do agree Gothitelle would work wonders with Spiritomb for a trainer locking deck. I didn’t think of that one, thank you for the feedback =)

  8. MultX

    Yeah, finally many new decks that can possibly dethrone SP before rotation

  9. Kyle

    for the enboar/reshi deck, i think i will add either a 1-1-1 or 2-2-2 line of typh prime. cuz it will help attach a fire energy and get higher damage on outrage attack via the effect of afterburner.

    • Carlos Vergara  → Kyle

      I thought of this, but someone else pointed out it wasn’t neccesary and suggested just the Ninetales. And, after doing some maths, 4 Fisherman and 4 Energy Retrieval means you can retrieve up to 24 fire energy cards from the discard pile, rendering Typhlosion Prime unneccesary. Just play the Fire energies through Emboar and retrieve the energies with Fisherman and Energy Retrieval.

      • matthew green  → Carlos

        I can see running Typhlosion if you want to cut down on Fisherman and or Retrieval. It also gives you another attacker. Plus what are we going to do with the 20 Typhlosion primes we all have in our binders if we don’t play them in some fire deck.

  10. Anonymous

    Hello! I’m a bit new to the Pokémon TCG. I was wondering if any of you could help me and my friend out? We’re kind of working on a deck based on Tangrowth LV.X from Arceus and Serperior from Black and White for the next season. The Tangrowth from Arceus would be a great tank and could knock out most Basic Pokémon, and the Tangrowth from Black and White could also tank well and to deal a slow burn. Serperior would be there for its Ability to restore HP in-between turns, and Tangrowth LV.X’s Poké-Power helps remove damage counters, too. Decks based on Charizard from Arceus, however, are becoming quite popular, and many are saying these decks might see a lot more play next season. That would be a bit of a problem for this Tangrowth/Serperior deck, but we’re thinking of adding a 1-1-1 Exploud to counter the deck’s weakness to Fire-type Pokémon. What do you think? Would this work?

  11. Steven Nilsen

    Fantastic article! Being new to this game, I’m glad to see that B&W is going to be a real game changer.

  12. Anonymous

    Garchomp C Lv.X + Pokemon Catcher + Emboar = The new LuxChomp. :) If next format is SV-On, and all those LuxChomp lovers want to revive him, this is the formula. :D

  13. michael flora

    a deck based around zekrom and reuniclus (damage swap ability) should be interesting

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