Alright, so I was just about to write a Card of the Day article, when PokéBeach released news that the Black and White rule changes will be in effect as soon as the set is released on April 25th. And you know what that means, right? No more SpeedChamp, SP will dominate, and SableDonk and Gyarados will see rise in play. All of this happens after Regionals, mind you, so you still have that chance to play your speed deck one last time before it’s goodbye to the old rules and hello to the new ones.
So, what changes?
Honestly, not too much changes, but some of what changes is pretty big. For all information, check out Pokébeach’s post here.
- All Trainer, Supporter, and Stadium cards will be referred to as Trainer- Item, Trainer-Supporter, and Trainer-Stadium, respectively.
- Card text now states “This Pokémon” instead of the name of the Pokémon when an attack affects itself.
- Abilities are introduced and independent of Poké-Powers and Poké-Bodies.
- Removing damage counters is now called healing.
- On your first turn, you may play Trainer cards.
- Rare Candy now works like Pokémon Breeder, Potion heals 30 instead of 20, Great Ball acts like Master Ball, and Pluspower no longer attaches to your Pokémon.
As you can see, some of these are very drastic changes. While others are little, they will clear up some of the confusion in the game and make it simpler for newer players to get into the game without having to question what everything means.
How does this affect me, the player?
As I said in the beginning, nothing will happen to you just yet. For the moment, you can keep testing for Regionals with that Shuppet Donk, Uxie Donk, SpeedChamp, SpeedDra, or SpeedInsertPokemonNameHere that you have perfected to take out the metagame and claim the Regional title, because you’re just that good. After that, I am afraid that these decks are pretty much gone until the next format hits.
I don’t believe Shuppet and Uxie Donk will survive because of the increase in Sableye and Spiritomb being played, making it really difficult to pull off the proper donk strategy, but people have made things work when they face major adversities (I’m looking at you post-Felicity’s, pre-Junk Arm Gyarados).
What this will affect is the gameplay, specifically what you’re doing. You will need to start preparing for a new style of play, one that involves your opponent’s ability to set up faster than you if they happen to go first as they can play all of the Items cards they want and still have that Supporter card to play down.
This can, of course, be avoided with a Spiritomb start, but his errata will be changed to reflect that ‘Trainers’ have changed to ‘Items’, alllowing them to still play that Supporter first turn.
How am I supposed to prepare for that?
It’s not mine to say what you have to do, because everybody plays differently and have different decks that have to be worked in different ways, but it looks like you’re going to have to avoid donks, so here’s what you have to do: Put down more than one basic for your start, even if it’s an Uxie and you have a dead hand.
I know it sounds bad, but when you think about it, Sableye can come in with an Expert Belt and donk you before you have the chance to do anything for your turn, so it would be better if you at least had a chance to set up, right?
Well, I guess you’re right on that part. Anything else?
You may just have to straight out find a new deck to use, or if you’re a rogue player, do the unthinkable: Play with the current metagame decks!
But, I’m a rogue player. Do I really have to?
No, I’m just messing with you, even though it is suggested. There are plenty of decks out there that don’t require Rare Candy and are not in the metagame. Magnezone has not officially hit metagame status, and he’s starting to take some medals, so start jumping on that so you can be hipster and during next format say, “I played this deck before it was popular.”
But seriously, it’s a good deck. Also, you might want to look into other decks that contain current metagame Pokémon, like that one deck that’s been kicking butt and taking medals in Europe, Gengar/Garchomp C. Combining cards that work in the current metagame with other cards that nobody knows about tends to be a great way to make a rogue that can compete with the metagame. (Am I wrong, Sableye?)
Well, what if I want to start playing with metagame decks? It seems kind of hard to make a rogue deck that works like that.
Traitor! Just kidding. It would seem that you can pretty much keep on using what is currently being played in the current metagame, and possibly Machamp, but it’s going to need to be changed a bit to benefit, as well as protect, from the rule changes. Gyarados is looking pretty solid, because it benefits from
Professor Oak Professor Juniper along with the whole playing trainers first turn thingy.
And, since most Gyarados use Sableye as a starter, it could turn out beneficial by being able to use Pokémon Collector and then use Impersonate for Professor Juniper to dump your three Magikarps in the discard pile to power up your Gyarados in one turn without Regice. In fact, my friend magneto1992 has played Gyarados for a while and he would suggest this list:
|Pokémon – 22||Trainers – 31||Energy – 7|
While I don’t agree with his counts, I’m not qualified to criticize, so I’ll let it stand. You should already know the basic strategy for Gyarados, and if you don’t, there are many articles here on SixPrizes to help you out.
I don’t really like Gyarados and I want to try SP. What should I do?
Here. Here. And here. The last link is not very recent, and I’m sure Google will provide more current answers to questions about the deck. The others are recent lists from SixPrizes writers, so you don’t need to go far to get good information. Also, I’m not qualified to explain these. I play Stage 1 or 2 decks, no matter what the metagame says I should do.
Gee, don’t like SP?
No, I don’t, and I cannot wait until rotation so I can play in a format without them.
Well, would you consider playing some SP-type rogue this format?
Maybe. I mean, I’d play something to capitalize on how broken Sableye becomes in this format and it’d look a little something like this:
|Pokémon – 22||Trainers – 26||Energy – 12|
Why do you run it this way instead of turbo donk?
I never like using up all of my resources and power too early, and don’t trust all of these counts. This is this first time I’ve written this list down and I don’t even own most of these cards because I’ve been preparing for next format way too much.
Plus, this one has a way to deal with the Garchomp wars just in case you can’t pull off the Turn 1 donk. Now, a more experienced SP or pseudo-SP player will probably make a better deck than this, but this list came from less than five minutes of thinking. Use this at your own discretion.
Is there anything else you would suggest to play?
Meh, not really. I mean, you can attempt to make a really awesome Steelix/Scizor deck, a perfectly teched Machamp/Donphan deck, or any other awesome rogue or pseudo-rogue in an attempt to rock the metagame, but I really don’t see it happening.
However, you never know what will happen. People didn’t use Gyarados until the French came up with the Felicity’s Drawing combo, and the rest is history, with Gyarados still raging around the format.
Who knows, someone may find a purpose for other cards and make the next best deck, and maybe it will be you.
You know what? This just doesn’t seem right. Looking at what you’ve proposed, it seems like you’re suggesting you make decks that have a high possibility of a donk.
That is correct.
Why? I hate donks!
So do I. I think we’ve all encountered the patented Pokémon-Collector-in-hand donk, and they’re terrible. When you’ve come prepared to play a full 30-minute match of Pokémon and the match ends in one turn, it leaves a really bad feeling. But not taking advantage of this rule change is being a bad or ignorant strategist.
Well, if Pokémon is going on this path, then I’m leaving the game.
You’ll probably be back. Chances are you’ve invested in post-HGSS cards and next format will fix the problem if they put it to either RR-on or HGSS-on. I mean, the player going first still has some advantage, but we lose a lot of the speed that we have in this format, making the game focus more on the strategy and skill of the player than the speed of the deck. I mean, I can’t stop you from leaving, but look toward the future. It probably won’t be that bad.
Do you really think Pokémon TCG will survive the chaos?
I have all of the cards that I need for a format that is either RR-on or HGSS-on. Do you?
Yeah. Well, most of them.
You’re gonna be just fine. You just gotta ride this wave and let the game change, no matter how bad the storm is going to be. Arceus would not let the Pokémon TCG community down. I think.