Hey 6P, it’s me again with my third written article for you, but my first in the Heart Gold Soul Silver-on format. Since about a month or so ago now, my mind has been totally fixed on the new format as our Nationals has already been and gone, which was in the rather pleasant MD-CoL format compared to the atrocity that could have been MD-BW.
Thus, we move on to a very interesting format on the 1st of July, making Canada and US Nationals a brand new Heart Gold Soul Silver onwards format. This has been the height of talk over the internet for a fair while now and articles are coming thick and fast about the new strategies we all need to get to grips with fairly quickly.
PokeBeachWhat I find to be the most important part of the new format is energy. Gone are the days where running just 2 Lightning energy will be enough since we just don’t have the support to search out those things consistently anymore.
Now, the format is more focused on running larger counts of energy and attaching it as fast as possible. Decks such as Reshiboar, Magneboar, Zekrom, BlastGatr and even Samurott are focused heavily on getting powerful and pretty costly attacks powered up and ready to launch as soon as possible.
So what options do we have to do this? This article is going to go over the most popular options for implementing energy acceleration as a strategy and how to use it effectively. I’ll get started by answering a fairly obvious question…
This fairly long pair of words has a very simple meaning; get energy on the field as quickly as possible. Doing this can be very tough considering you only have one opportunity per turn to attach an energy to any of your Pokémon and gone are the days when you can cater for this via Energy Gain to cut down attack costs.
So in order to attach more energy, we are going to need to rely on our trusty Pokémon themselves to help us out. This could be in the form of a Poké-Power, newly named Pokémon Ability or quite simply an attack itself and this article is going to cover the main ways we have of cycling through energy for many types of different decks.
I will do my best to cover the options we have for each type of deck so that hopefully by the end of this article you will all have something to go away and test. If you’re already fairly familiar with these techniques anyway, think of it as a nice refresher going into one of the biggest tournaments of the year.
Let’s start the analysis!
So I’m starting off with the big guns, ‘Ability Emboar’ as I’ve seen it typed many a time. This card from the latest Black and White expansion has incredibly beefy stats, boasting a huge 150HP, but maybe lacking in other parts. The attack is okay, mediocre at best and the retreat cost is the worst it can get, but that’s not what we’re looking at here.
Emboar is sporting one of the new Pokémon Abilities and it’s probably one of the best out there at the moment. ‘Inferno Fandango’ allows you to attach as many fire energy you like a turn to any of your Pokémon on the field. This is very similar to a card we’ve had for a while now, Feraligatr Prime, but the Poké Power from Feraligatr is sub-par compared to this seeing as Emboar allows you to attach energy to ANY of your Pokémon, not just ones sharing the same type.
This makes Emboar one of the most powerful and easy-to-understand forms of energy acceleration we have available to us in the new format. So how can we use this big pig?
Well, there are many options open to us since the attachment of as many energy as you like per turn can give the most expensive attackers the speed they need. There are two main ideas for the use of Emboar in decks, the first being paired with Magnezone Prime and the other being paired with Reshiram.
The first, more commonly known as ‘Magneboar’ focuses on setting up early on through the use of Rare Candy allowing you to make full use of Magnezone’s ‘Magnetic Draw’ Poké-Power as well as its ‘Lost Burn’ attack and this is where Emboar comes in.
Magnezone’s Lost Burn attack description clearly reads ‘Put as many Energy cards attached to your Pokémon as you like in the Lost Zone. This attack does 50 damage times the number of Energy cards put in the Lost Zone in this way’.
This means that you can abuse Emboar’s Ability to keep attaching energy, fuelling Magnezone’s Lost Burn attack without having to send any energy attached to it to the Lost Zone therefore, you always have the attack fully powered up.
Having this advantage means that you can consistently hit for (in theory) as much damage as you like, considering you have a good engine to keep energy flowing and attaching it consistently. This is also the similar strategy to the second deck I mentioned featuring Reshiram and is commonly known as ‘Reshiboar’.
Reshiram was also given to us in the newest set and is a basic that features a huge 130HP along with two decent attacks to boot. ‘Blue Flare’ is the one we want to focus on when we’re talking about Emboar since this attack does high damage for an okay cost, but when paired with Emboar this energy cost becomes easily achievable in just a single turn.
PokeBeachThe base damage for this attack is 120 with the only side effect being that you must discard two fire energy attached to Reshiram, which can be easily recycled with a combination of Energy Returner and re-attaching with Emboar. This particular engine makes Emboar the key ingredient in a particularly fast energy recycling combo.
This is what makes Emboar so good, but there are some bad points. The first thing is the four retreat cost. Pokémon Reversal is one of those cards that is seeing increasing play as each day passes simply because it can lock high retreaters in the active spot for a fair few turns until a Switch is played. Not only does Reversal pull up fully evolved Emboars, but it can bring up your 60HP Tepigs, ready for a KO before you can Rare Candy it the next turn.
The thing I’ve been finding with Emboar during testing is that it can suffer from ‘slowness’. Not the best word for it, but Emboar can take a while to set up if your Cleffa’s ‘Eeeeeeek’s don’t go well or you just can’t hit those Rare Candy or Pignites quick enough.
You are bound to have these issues when playing around with Stage 2 decks and in this case you have two of them to set-up and get attacking as quickly as possible. With Emboar being your main source of energy acceleration, if you don’t have it on the bench quick enough your deck will become slow.
The speed of Emboar’s energy attachment means that a usually clunky and slow, double Stage 2 deck can gain speed with multiple energy attachments paired with Magnezone’s built in draw, but when these just don’t appear on the field quick enough, you may struggle.
Emboar is easily one of the most versatile and quick forms of energy acceleration in HGSS-On, but keep in mind its weaknesses when you are planning to use it or play against it as it does have an ‘Achilles’ Heel’ which you are bound to experience during testing.
There is so much to talk about when it comes to Emboar, but I’ll move on swiftly as I feel I’ve covered the main aspects of the card and I want to show you a few more options later on in the article which maybe aren’t what springs to mind when thinking of energy acceleration.
PokeBeachAs mentioned in the Emboar section, Feraligatr Prime was the original form of energy acceleration upon its release in the Heart Gold Soul Silver base set. Resembling the Poké Power of a former Blastoise from Base Set (and consequently sharing the same name) ‘Rain Dance’ allows you to attach as many Water energy you like per turn to any of your Water Pokémon in play.
This is where Emboar reigns supreme above Feraligatr. Feraligatr Prime can only attach Water energy to the Pokémon of the same type, so there is only synergy with any kind of Water type attacker you choose for your deck. It resembles Emboar in many ways with a high HP of 140 and it’s a Stage 2, but has one less retreat cost at 3 and a slightly nicer weakness to Grass over Lightning.
So enough of comparing it to Emboar and let’s look at how we can use Feraligatr Prime to take full advantage of its type specific energy acceleration.
With it being type specific, you’re going to need a main attacker that either uses Water energy, Colourless energy or a combination of both to make the most out of the power at your disposal. Pokémon such as ‘Ability Samurott’ BW, Wailord TM, Blastoise UL or even Lanturn Prime can serve up a pretty nice, speedy attacking combo.
In case you’re wondering, Lanturn Prime can take advantage of Feraligatr’s Rain Dance since it can change its type to Water with its own Poké Power ‘Underwater Dive’.
The most popular combination with Feraligatr at the moment is Blastoise from Unleashed. Blastoise has an attack called ‘Hydro Launcher’ which does 100 damage to any of your opponent’s Pokémon for two Water energy and a Double Colourless. The only catch is that you have to return two of the Water energy you used to power the attack to your hand and this is where Feraligatr’s Poké Power comes in.
Usually, Blastoise’s attack would take a minimum of 3 turns to attach the appropriate energy and then you would have to wait 2 more turns to attach the energy to use Hydro Blaster again after sending the Water energy to your hand. Feraligatr makes up for this by allowing you to re-attach the energy you were made to return to your hand the following turn. This should allow you to keep hitting for 100 every single turn, making the ‘catch’ of the attack, fairly non-existent.
However, Feraligatr also suffers from the same weakness as Emboar. Your opponent will make Feraligatr the target of a Pokémon Reversal to try and lock it active or drag up and KO the earlier evolutions before you have the chance to evolve. Feraligatr’s attack is okay, not as good as Emboar’s (if you need to attack with either), but it can stack up some decent damage while they attempt to KO it, since you can use Rain Dance to load up its ‘Hydro Crunch’ attack.
The slowness of having two Stage 2s still has its downsides (as mentioned above) so be wary of this when testing Feraligatr as your source of energy attachment. Either way, Feraligatr is a solid choice for any Water based deck you have, adding the speed you need to keep up with others in the format.
On the subject of Water Pokémon comes the next form of attaching energy, Floatzel. Floatzel was released in the Unleashed expansion and also features a very handy Poké-Power appropriately named ‘Water Acceleration’. The far from deceiving name does exactly what it says on the tin and allows you to attach an extra Water energy per turn to Floatzel. This will give you an attachment to Floatzel and your normal attachment for the turn to place on any other Pokémon as usual. Where it gets interesting is when you have multiple Floatzels in play, attaching more energy to them all.
Now you may be thinking ‘Why would I want a load of odd energy on a bunch of benched Floatzels?’ and this is where the partner to Floatzel comes in.
PokeBeachBlastoise (sound familiar?) was mentioned in the previous section as a choice to pair with Feraligatr Prime so that you can pile Water energy onto Blastoise, fuelling its attack which can hit anything on your opponent’s side of the field for 100 damage. What I didn’t mention about Blastoiste in the last part was its Poké Power, ‘Wash Out’.
This Poké Power reads ‘As often as you like during your turn (before your attack), you may move a Water energy attached to one of your benched Pokémon to your Active Pokémon. This power can’t be used if Blastoise is affected by a special condition’. Hopefully now you can see the synergy with Floatzel’s Poké Power, if not then I’ll elaborate.
Floatzel allows you to attach a Water energy to it without using up your attachment for the turn. After doing this, you can then use Blastoise’s Wash Out to move that energy around, therefore powering up an attacker. Using Blastoise himself as an attacker means that you can set up his Hydro Launcher attack in minimal turns, in combination with Double Colourless Energy, Floatzel and Blastoise’s Poké Powers with the ability to re-attach the energy that goes back to your hand as Floatzel sits on the bench.
This sounds like it could be over complicating a strategy which is very similar to Feraligatr, but it is actually very effective and can be more consistent than Feraligatr. For one, Floatzel is only a Stage 1 meaning that you won’t need to draw into Rare Candy, or use turns evolving so that you can start attaching multiple energy as soon as possible. Another plus of using Floatzel is that it has no retreat cost, making it a very unlikely target for Pokémon Reversal, unlike Feraligatr and Emboar.
I’ve tested against this deck quite a bit so far and it is definitely a quick deck when it gets going. Since it only has one Stage 2 to set up, it can be considerably quicker than the Feraligatr counterpart. Fair enough you are attaching fewer energy per turn, but you have a much more versatile ‘tech’ that has free retreat, a vital Poké Power and an okay attack compared to the bulkier choice of Feraligatr.
Overall, Floatzel is definitely one to test with if you are going for a Water based attacker, but it does work surprisingly well with Blastoise in particular. Not an incredibly large amount of energy being attached and switched around here, but it’s just enough to get the job done.
Another fire type is up next and I present to you, Typhlosion Prime. This card has been used a bit in the previous format for the same purpose as now, but with the only decent fire attacker being Charizard AR, it didn’t see much play at all.
Typhlosion’s energy acceleration comes in the form of a Poké Power called ‘Afterburner’. The Power reads as follows: ‘Once during your turn (before your attack), you may search your discard pile for a Fire energy and attach it to 1 of your Pokémon. If you do, put 1 damage counter on that Pokémon’.
Fire is actually a very strong type to handle in the next format since it has a very nice form of draw support in the form of Ninetales HS/CoL, energy attachment from Emboar and this very Pokémon along with some hard hitting attackers from the new set.
Typhlosion’s Poké Power does work from the discard pile and works as a kind of recovery system for Fire energy meaning that energy you are forced to discard can still be utilised. The perfect partner to this is Reshiram.
Seeing as Reshiram’s attack Blue Flare, as mentioned in the Emboar section of this artcle, will force you to discard 2 Fire energy, Typhlosion seems to be the perfect candidate to pluck them back out. Not only will Typhlosion allow you to retrieve the energy, but you have to add 1 damage counter to Reshiram, also powering up its ‘Outrage’ attack if needed.
I must be honest and tell you that this isn’t the best form of energy acceleration out there, but it is an option. Being a Stage 2 and having to have the energy in the discard pile means that you may have to wait a while in the game to get this going, but when it does it can become fairly handy.
After attaching the initial 3 energy to Reshiram to get Blue Flare going, you can use Typhlosion’s Power to get one of them back and attach it, still leaving you with your energy attachment for the turn. This means that you can attach the last Fire energy from your hand to keep the 120 damage attack going every turn. During this process, you are also getting Reshiram ready for an Outrage just before it gets KO’d, for some pretty high damage.
Afterburner actually has some pretty nice synergy with Ninetales’ Poké Power ‘Roast Reveal’. This Power allows you to discard a Fire energy from your hand and draw 3 cards which makes for a very reliable and pretty fast draw engine.
So Ninetales, Reshiram and Typhlosion may actually make a very nice deck together seeing as you can discard energy to draw cards with Ninetales, reattach it with Typhlosion and then attack with Reshiram after another attachment from the hand.
This deck would require a Stage 1 and Stage 2, which isn’t too bad to be honest. However, there may be better ways of pulling off the same kind of thing with Emboar. Seeing as there are cards such as Energy Retrieval giving us great access to our discarded energy, Typhlosion may not need to be there. Grabbing the same 2 energy you were made to discard via Blue Flare with Energy Retrieval can then be reattached with Emboar, also a Stage 2.
This is probably the reason we won’t see much of Tyhplosion Prime. It does have a very nice Poké Power that can work nicely with the rest of the Fire Pokémon in the format, but its rival in the form of Emboar just seems to do everything so much better.
Sadly, Emboar bumps Typhlosion right down the table on the best ways to get energy on the board, but it is still an engine to consider if you want an alternative to Emboar or just want to try out something new.
I’ve decided to put this card next since it is key to the strategy of the cards following this section. Even though it doesn’t feature energy acceleration itself, it plays a vital part in moving energy around the board when used in conjunction with the cards to follow.
Shaymin features a Poké-Power called ‘Celebration Wind’ which comes into effect when placed from the hand and onto the bench. Celebration Wind allows you to move all of the energy currently attached to your Pokémon to any other Pokémon on the field, giving you a great form of manipulating your current board position.
This gives you a lot more versatility with your energy drops seeing as you can move them around later, something that would otherwise be missing in the format if it wasn’t for this card. I seem to remember that this was one of the reasons that SP was so quick and versatile.
Bronzong G’s Poké Power ‘Galactic Switch’ allowed the player to move a single energy per turn from one SP to another. Now, I don’t want to carry on about the old format, but Shaymin is the most recent form of this and just does it all in one go rather than turn by turn.
However, this card can become a bench sitter, but that’s what cards such as Super Scoop Up and Seeker were designed for. Having a card that can be only used once can be a liability seeing as you’ll probably have to use this card early on in the game with some decks, but using Super Scoop Up and Seeker to bring it back to the hand and reuse Celebration Wind means that it becomes more than a ‘one-hit-wonder’.
Now that I’ve explained how Shaymin works, let’s get onto what to use it with to get the most out of your energy.
Now we are onto one of my favourite and more interesting forms of accelerating energy and it comes in the form of Jirachi, originally from Unleashed, but reprinted (with awesome artwork) in Call of Legends.
I have been a fan of this card since its release and used it in my first tournament, which happened to be UK Nationals 2010 in my very bad Gengar/Nidoqueen build. Apart from the fact that my list for that day was poorly constructed, Jirachi actually became my MVP of most of my games.
Since the format was DP-On, there were a lot of Stage 1 and Stage 2 decks around, abusing the card Rare Candy to skip a stage of evolution and this was where Jirachi become ever so useful, but I’ll go into more detail on that near the end of this section.
The energy acceleration this card gives us is through the use of its PokéPower ‘Stardust Song’. This Poké Power activates when you place Jirachi from your hand onto your bench and allows you to flip 3 coins. For each heads you get, you can choose a Psychic Energy from your discard pile and attach it to Jirachi. This is pretty nice since out of 3 dice rolls (or coin flips) you are bound to get at least one heads each time you use the Power, with a nice maximum of 3 energy attachments if you get lucky.
This can provide some very handy recovery of energy during the late game, but Jirachi also provides you with a very interesting attack called ‘Time Hollow’. This attack allows you to choose as many evolved Pokémon on your opponent’s side of the field, equal to the amount of Psychic energy attached to Jirachi and force your opponent to pick up the highest evolution. For example, if there is an Emboar on your opponent’s bench and you select it as a target for Time Hollow, your opponent must pick up Emboar, effectively ‘devolving’ it into Pignite.
What makes this attack really interesting is that the use of Rare Candy is going to be inevitable in decks relying on Stage 2s such as Magnezone/Emboar and using Time Hollow after they’ve skipped the Stage 1 means that they need to use another one to get that Stage 2 back, or get stuck finding one.
Forcing your opponent to take a step backwards from their last turn can really put them in a bad position since they’re going to need to find another Rare Candy, or recover the one they’ve used to get back to the point they were at. This could slow your opponent down for the few crucial turns you need to take control of the game.
So Jirachi shows us some great potential as an attacker too, but if we need the energy for another Pokémon, then how do we get it from Jirachi and onto another? This is where Shaymin UL comes in, as mentioned earlier in the section above. Shaymin’s Poké Power will allow you to move the energy you’ve just attached to Jirachi onto another Pokémon. This is where Jirachi’s form of acceleration lies, but I personally feel it can be a bit limiting.
The major limiting factor is the type of energy. If you have a purely Colourless attacker, such as Samurott for example, then it can work really well by giving you the extra attachment you need to pull off an attack sooner rather than later.
Now, there aren’t many Psychic decks out there at the moment, but one of the top is MewGar. I’m sure you know what this deck does, but the main strategy is to use Gengar Prime’s ‘Hurl Into Darkness’ attack via Mew’s ‘Lost Link’ Poké Body to Lost Zone 6 of your opponent’s Pokémon as quickly as possible. Sounds easy, right? Well you may be able to pull if off in every other game if you’re lucky, but people are pessimistic about the deck saying that it’s too slow, so we need to fix that.
Jirachi’s form of energy acceleration is perfect for this job, powering up a Psychic attacker as quickly as possible to get rolling, fast. Using a combination of Junk Arm, Juniper or Sage’s Training, you should be able to get some Psychic energy into the discard pile, ready for Jirachi to hit the field. When you bench it, you will have access to that energy (depending on the flips) to place onto the field and manipulate it with Shaymin.
This engine kind of works the same as a Zekrom deck would, which I will get to next, in the way that energy is attached to another Pokémon and then transferred across to the main attacker. This method of attaching is going to be very popular during the HGSS-On era so you should be on the look out for any Shaymin shenanigans during games.
Overall, Jirachi can be a very effective way to get energy onto the field, ready for manipulation. There are catches to this way of accelerating energy which includes it being based on coin flips. The fact is that you could roll three, unwanted tails on Jirachi’s Stardust Song, turning Jirachi into a useless bench-sitter rather than helping you out. Sure, there is Super Scoop Up and Seeker, but you might not want to be burning through too many of these in a couple of turns.
The second weakness is more of a limitation since Jirachi only functions with Psychic energy which you need to get into the discard pile. Unlike forms of energy attachment such as Emboar, you need to get the energy into the discard pile rather than accessing it from the hand. This adds an extra step to the process which may slow your deck down just that little bit too much.
I would definitely suggest trying this out in MewGar (or even LostGar) if you seem to be struggling to get those energy out fast enough, since that deck needs to be fast to keep up. It may not work as well in other decks, but it’s worth a shot if you want to test out as many possibilities as you can. Just make sure you don’t forget about its attack too, Rare Candy’s worst enemy!
This card has been causing a stir, more so than Jirachi and probably comes in second to Emboar in terms of fast energy. Pachirisu from Call of Legends has a Poké Power called ‘Self-Generation’ which reads as follows: ‘Once during your turn, when you put Pachirisu from your hand onto your bench, you may attach up to 2 Lightning Energy cards from your hand to Pachirisu’.
So the energy acceleration from this Pokémon is fairly obvious since it can attach two energy to itself when it comes into play from the hand. Grabbing yourself an extra 2 energy on the field can give you a very nice heads up on the attachments as well as being able to attach a third energy from your normal allowance. This Poké Power will allow you to get quick energy onto the field on potentially turn one, exactly what we’re looking for.
However, we have the same issue as with Jirachi, getting the energy off of Pachirisu and onto a better attacker. As ever, we have the option of Shaymin from Unleashed, allowing you to do this in the form of a simple Poké Power. Combining these two together means that you have a very flexible three energy attachments in a single turn, which aren’t dependant on anything else other than you having the energy in hand.
As I touched on a little bit earlier, this card and Shaymin are key parts of the Zekrom deck hitting the scene recently. This deck has quickly become the ‘new age donk deck’ by being able to pull off a 120 damage attack in one turn, but it has the engine behind it to thank for this.
Pachirisu is actually a fairly vanilla and straight forward way to get energy on the field quickly and will work with other attackers such as Magnezone Prime as well. Just bear in mind that you need to have the energy available in your hand to implement this strategy, which is actually a plus compared to Jirachi.
PokeBeachThe only weakness I can see this card having is that sometimes you don’t have the energy needed to pull it off, but this can just be put down to bad luck. The majority of the time you will have at least 2 Lightning energy in your hand to at least get it onto the field, even if you can’t move it around yet.
Being only Lightning energy does give it limited options, but some of the most popular attackers of the format run off of it, so you should have less trouble finding a partner for it than Jirachi.
Overall, a really great way to accelerate energy and should definitely be tried out if your attacker needs Lightning and/or Colourless energy to operate. Watch out for this little guy ‘cause he keeps those 3 energy cost attacks within reach in a single turn.
So those are the main strategies we have to carry out speedy energy attachments no matter which deck you’re considering on running. I hope you’ve at least learned something about the Pokémon mentioned in this article along with the way to implement them properly in the playing environment. You could even combine some of these together and get some very interesting results, but that’s maybe for after Nationals when you have a little more time!
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. For those of you with Nationals coming up, I wish you the best of luck and hope I managed to help you out.