“Kenny, bless us with your Wisdom?”
“Write a SixPrizes article about the new Black and White rules changes, set list and such?”
The above is a conversation between myself and my good friend, Isaiah “TCGeesus” Middleton, which sparked the creation of this article. To be honest, with the format being kind of boring and my Regionals article not coming out until next week, I haven’t had too much to write about, so I’ll take whatever I can get. I want to use this article as more of a community discussion piece, as I know that people are interested in talking about this kind of stuff, and I’d like to supply a forum for the regular 6P visitors to chat about this kind of stuff. Hopefully we’ll all have interesting thoughts to share.
The way I understand it, anything that’s not a Pokémon or an Energy card is called a Trainer card, and are broken down into the following sub-sections:
Trainer – Supporter
Trainer – Item
Trainer – Stadium
There’s not really a whole lot to this rule except that it’ll cause a bit of confusion with things like Allergy Pollen, Deafen, and the following, but the clear wording of these rules changes should head most of that off. I guess it helps the flavor of the game and makes more sense, as Supporters are now characters (Professor Oak, Cyrus, etc.) in the story, or at the very least generic passerbys featured in the games (Fisherman, etc.). Not really relevant to most competitive players though.
This is probably the biggest mechanical change, and definitely the worst decision that’s come of these edits to the rule book. Instead of placing a supporter by your basic and discarding it at the end of the turn as you do now, once B/W hits you’ll immediately discard the Supporter, just as you would trainers. This does nothing for the game except cause confusion. The whole idea behind leaving supporters on the board is that you’re limited to playing one supporter per turn, and during long, complex turns it’s easy to forget that you’ve played a supporter, especially if you’re a younger player who doesn’t have the attention span that some older, more experienced players may have.
I’m really hoping that this will either get changed, or that players will have a sort of gentleman’s agreement about leaving supporters on board, as this can only cause confusion.
Using trainers on the first turn:
By far the biggest rules change, you can now play trainers and supporters on the first turn of the game. There’s been a lot of talk about this, and through anticipating these rules changes and reading discussions now that it’s been officially announced, I’ve come to the conclusion that this isn’t a black and white (punnnnnn) issue, and it can’t really be summed up as much. What I can present to you is my opinion…
Is this bad for the game? As of now, I’m going to say yes. It only makes Sableye and other donk based decks stronger, and although you can make the argument that it just evens the playing field for the person who “wins” the coin flip, I don’t see that as a legitimate argument in this game, where turn one wins are already fairly prevalent. I think we’ll see more donk/turn one/rush decks being played at Battle Roads and Nationals, and I’m sure that there will be griping about them, and rightfully so. However…
With all that being said, I don’t think that it’ll be as big of a problem as everyone is anticipating. Reshiram and Zekrom (two basics that WILL be relevant now and next format) each have 130 HP, meaning that the Sableye donk deck would have to get 6 Flash Bites off, as well as a Special Dark and an Expert Belt online to KO one of them, and that’s only ONE Pokémon, meaning that that will only happen under ridiculous circumstances where the Sableye deck has the nut and would’ve won anyway, AND you happen to only start with one dude on board. Not very likely, in my opinion.
There’s also the fact that when rotation occurs, Uxie, Crobat G, Poké Turn, Expert Belt, and most of the other cards that fuel this sort of turn one engine will be rotated anyway. That’s not to say that it’s not an issue, as the two biggest events of the season will still have to suffer through these rules, but I think the rotation is something lot of people aren’t considering. I’m usually not one to care too much about what gets rotated and I think those types of discussions are almost always irrelevant, but OP knows well enough to at the very least rotate Platinum out of the game this year. I would bet all of my cards on it.
Powers and Bodies changed to “Abilities”
This isn’t really that big of a deal, besides causing confusion. I like the combination of both activated and static effects into one, clean “Ability”, but I don’t really have a whole lot more to say than that. I guess there’s the idea that Dialga G LV.X will be less relevant for the next few months, but I don’t see that as being a huge deal either, especially when you consider all the good that’s coming from this change.
Self-referencing, Healing, & Revealing
Also not a huge deal, but instead of cards saying “Luxray does 10 damage to itself.” they’ll now say “This Pokémon does 10 damage to itself.”. Again, not really a huge deal, but I’m a game design nerd and this does nothing but improve the game, even if it’s very slightly.
Instead of saying “remove X damage counters” cards will now say “heal X damage”, again, super slight change, but from a design standpoint it does nothing but improve the game.
Lastly, whenever you have to show your opponent something, the keyword is now “reveal”, which again just cleans up the game a bit.
The following cards have undergone errata…
– Rare Candy can no longer evolve a Pokémon the turn that it comes into play, and instead you have to wait one full turn before using it. This has huge implications right now, as it only makes Stage 2 decks worse and therefore improves already overpowered SP decks. Like the trainer rule, this is something that will probably be irrelevant come next format, but right now it matters a ton, and is definitely bad for the game. Sell those foil Candies now, folks, and be prepared to run more BTS in your decks for Nats and Worlds.
– Potion now heals 30 damage. Still not relevant, in my opinion.
– Great Ball lets you look at the top 7 cards of your deck and put a Pokémon in your hand. I don’t really see this as all that relevant either.
– PlusPower no longer attaches to a specific Pokémon, which means that Shuppet and Uxie can’t abuse it like they have. Not really a big deal besides that.
Black and White Set List:
For the full set list of Black and White, visit Pokébeach.com.
BulbapediaI’ll admit that I’m not completely aware of which cards do what (I know most of the relevant effects of B/W cards, but I can’t remember them by name) or which cards were in the Black and White set, but from memory and research, here are the interesting notes from this set:
– The biggest change is that there’s no Pokémon Catcher (aka Gust of Wind), Crush Hammer (aka Energy Removal 2),or Max Potion in this set. This is a little disappointing as it brings down the stock of the set, but I think it’s probably a wise choice for the game overall. The only card I would’ve approved of being in this set would’ve been Crush Hammer, but it being absent can’t hurt.
– The genie legendaries and the Pikachu super rare are both missing, although it’s likely that they’re all secret rares. The Pikachu certainly will be, but I could see them holding back the Genies until the next set, just to have more cool exciting shiny legendaries spread out.
– The trainer lock Gothitelle line isn’t in the set. Kind of disappointing, but I’ll get over it.
– The Reshiram and Zekrom appear to be ONLY the super rare full arts, whereas in Japan they were printed at Rare Holo, and at super rare full art. I’m not really sure how I feel about this. On one hand it makes the cards harder to get for the people that need them, but on the other hand they’ll probably just print them at rare holo in the next set, and it’s completely irrelevant to me as I only play with the most pimp version of a card anyway. I’m surprised not to see many people talking about this.
Here comes the point in the article where I give miscellaneous thoughts. This article has kind of all been miscellaneous thoughts, sooo I guess this is kind of a cop out? Don’t kill me.
– The Pokémon Trading Card Game Online (PCGO) just came out, and I’ve got to say I’m pretty impressed. It doesn’t become super useful to me until the player vs. player comes out this Autumn, but it’s something to watch out for, at least.
– Buy Magnezone Primes, and value them highly. Trust me. Get them while you still can.
– I’ve got Japanese sleeves, deckboxes, and binders for sale. If you’re interested, shoot me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So that’s all I’ve got for this week. Sorry that this article doesn’t include a decklist and isn’t very strategy focused, but I thought that this announcement was a big enough deal to talk about a bit. Next week I’ll have a Regionals preparation article that’ll feature my thoughts on the metagame and a few decklists, so watch out for that.