This is a Black and White Emerging Powers set analysis. Now, I’m not the type of person to do a full set analysis, so I will be giving you a Top 10 list and some honorable mentions.
Let’s jump right into it.
– Great Ball: In a format with weak search capabilities, Great Ball will be tested thoroughly in many decks. It could be used in combination with Research Record to help get the desired results. However, I think that too many people will pass on Great Ball for it to see play.
– Ferrothorn: This Pokémon is a Stage 1 evolution with 90 HP. This is pretty low for our standards. However, it does have an interesting attack. For two one M Energy and two C Energy you can do 60 damage and then both players switch out their actives. This will not likely see any competitive play, but it could make for a fun league deck.
– Scolipede: This Pokémon is a Stage 2 evolution with 140 HP. The fun thing about this Pokémon is that for one P Energy and one Colorless you can do 20 damage and poison your opponent. The poison does 20 damage between turns instead of 10. This is a fun idea, but will likely not see play outside of league.
– Max Potion: This card might deserve a straight spot in the Top 10, but I feel that it can be iffy. We all saw how awesome Ross’ deck was with the ability to heal with Blissey Prime. It would seem that this card would go very well with Reuniclus.
The problem is that for Reuniclus to work, it seems that you need to pair it with Vileplume for Pokémon Catcher protection. Thus, you would be locked out of your Max Potions. I could see this possibly making its way into a couple decks, but what are you going to drop for it?
Also, the decks with a solid amount of energy acceleration to replace the discarded energy with do not really need it. So, for me it stays right outside the Top 10.
10) Recycle: I know that we all hate flippy cards, but this is the only card in the coming format that can get you back a Supporters or a Special Energy from the discard. If you flip heads, you get to take any card from the discard and put it on the top of your deck. It’s text is too good to not at least test in a deck, right?
9) Crush Hammer: Here is another flippy card. If heads, you get to discard an energy from any of your opponents Pokémon. The format is at an interesting place. A couple of decks run heavy energy acceleration, but this could be deadly to decks that do not, like Megazord. Again, it has a great effect that will be tested out.
8) Tornadus: You could flip-flop Thundrus and Tornadus. I do not care too much about the specific order. This Pokémon is a basic with 110 HP. For one Colorless you can move one energy from a benched Pokémon to Tornadus. Then for CCC you do 80 damage and move one energy from Tornadus to a benched Pokémon. It is a solid basic that is going to see some play. I do not think that it is anything special though.
7) Thundurus: This is a basic Pokémon with a respectable 110 HP (wow, what have we come to when 110 is just respectable…). It for one Colorless you can search your deck for a L Energy and then attach it to Thundurus.
Its second attack does 80 damage plus a one energy discard from Thundurus for LLC. This is not a great attack, but combined with a card later on down the list you can do 80 on turn two to almost any Pokémon on the board. That is respectable.
6) Krookodile: This guy could be a lot of fun in a semi-competitive deck. It is a Stage 2 with 140 HP. His ability allows you to flip a coin, if heads, you discard an energy from your opponent’s Pokémon.
This plus Crush Hammer, plus Lost Remover could be an awesome energy denial deck. Then it attacks for 70 + 20 if heads or 70 + 20 recoil if tails. It can 2HKO anything in the format (save Samurott).
5) Gothitelle: This card has received much hype already. It is a stage 2 Pokémon with 130 HP. It’s ability creates a one way Item-Lock when Gothitelle is active. So, you would be able to use your Items, while your opponent cannot.
Its attack does 30 +20 for each P Energy attached for the cost of CCC. This could grind out some good damage while keeping your opponent under lock. With the Item-Lock Reshiram and Zekrom cannot 1HKO you with PlusPower.
4) Beartic: This is the other hype Pokémon from the set. It is a Stage 1 with a respectable 130 HP. It’s first attack does 30 damage and the defending Pokémon cannot attack in the following turn for the cost of WCC. Now 50 damage is not very much at all in this format.
However, people are talking about pairing it with Vileplume to for the opponent to manually pay for Retreat Costs to be able to attack. The other nice thing about this water Pokémon is that it is weak to Metal types. Given how Scizor Prime and Steelix Prime have seen a drop in play, the weakness will likely not be exploited.
pokebeach.comI really think that this card is a bunch of hype and not much substance. If for some ridiculous reason Beartic/Vileplume starts to see play, people can simply counter with a 1-1 line of Dodrio to reduce the Retreat Costs by CC. This gives almost every popular card in the format a retreat of one or zero. I do not expect this card to be a feature in the season to come.
If you love water decks, I would look toward Samurott/Electrode Prime or Kygrum/Feraligatr/Alomomola.
3) Cheren: In a format lacking in pure draw, Cheren is a welcome sight. Some people have even shifted toward using Cheerleader’s Cheer in their decks, but now they can draw three cards without their opponents getting a card. That is great news. Three cards is not a whole lot, but it is going to often be better than relying on Copycat or Judge.
2) Bianca: Bianca is a supporter that allows you to draw until you have six cards in your hand. Sound familiar? It is Magnezone Primes’ Power in a Supporter. This card could really pay off dividends. You can run a solid Junk Arm engine and then use Bianca to raise your hand size. I know that this is the first Supporter that I am trying out in tyRam.
1) Pokémon Catcher: Finally, the big whopper. Pokémon Catcher is Reversal without the flip. You automatically get to switch your opponent’s active Pokémon with something on the bench. This card will singularly bend the format. It is that strong.
However, I do not think that it is as broken as some people are claiming. Let me explain. First, it is a card that every deck can use. It is not like Luxray that could only truly be played in a SP deck. Second, it is an Item not a Pokémon. This means that it is not searchable (save for a couple attacks like Zoroark’s Nasty Plot).
Yes, you can play four and you can have good odds of getting one early, but you are still completely reliant on the draw. Luxray was so broken because it could be summoned at any moment in a SP deck. Third, Stage 2s will not become unplayable.
Yes, decks that require multiple lines of Stage 2 Pokémon will likely die off, but other decks will just have to adapt. Many decks will start running 4-2-4 with four Rare Candy to speed things up and allow for one or two basics to get picked off. Decks will also start to use Switch more often.
Personally, I do not think that one card should bend the entire format like this. I actually like Reversal, because the flip balanced the card out. You could not focus your entire strategy around hitting heads on Reversal. It was too risky. Now, decks can rely on killing whatever they want to at will. It is not a good card for the game, but we will adapt to it.
To be honest, the set as a whole seems to be lacking (save Catcher). There is nothing mind-blowing in this set. Yes, the two draw supporters are nice. They will see play. Everything else is just kind of “meh” in my opinion.
Well I know that people are going to disagree with me on this one. People will never agree on a list like this in a gazillion years. The point is to open a dialogue about how the new set is going to be. Let’s just keep the debate respectful.
What will this do to the popular decks?
I want to start by saying that I will do more analysis in the near future about each of the most popular decks. In those articles I will go into more depth. For now I am just offering a tiny overview.
tyRam: This deck took more spots in the Top 16 than any other deck. It also won the Junior division. I honestly feel that Emerging Powers does little to change the position of this deck. Quite a few people were already experimenting with removing the Ninetales line to eliminate any easy prizes.
The main change that some people make to the deck is moving Rare Candy up to a count of four and running a 4-2-4 Typhlosion line. You can no longer rely on your opponent hitting tails on Reversal so you need to eliminate the easy prizes and ensure that you can get the Typhlosions up. I would honestly be surprised to see this deck become significantly less popular.
Yanmega/Magnezone: This deck was the BDIF before Worlds and is set to say in contention post Worlds. Yanmega is a very fast attacker that can utilize Pokémon Catcher. However, Magnezone might become more of a liability with a heavy CCC Retreat Cost.
You better hope that you can either attack with Magnezone or get it out of the Active Spot. I feel that similar to tyRam, the Magnezone line will need to be a 4-2-4 with four Candy. This will possibly push out the Kingdra Prime tech, as that will be too much to get set up reliably.
Yanmega/Donphan/Zoroak: This was the deck that possibly had the most disappointing run at Worlds. It took second at US Nats but only had one representative in the Top 16 at Worlds. This deck is very fast and requires very little to get attacking. Most basics are 1HKOd by Donphan. This deck will likely see an increase of playability.
ReshiBoar: Partially out of stubbornness, I will keep stressing that a ReshiBoar with Magnezone and RDL techs won Worlds. Not MagneBoar. However, this deck is the other half of the argument with tyRam for next season. It is nice because you only need to hit one Emboar to get rolling.
Then with Catcher you will likely need to only built two max during one game to roll along (tyRam might have to build all four over the course of a game). This gives Emboar the advantage in the set up phase.However, it has a huge CCCC Retreat Cost and a sub-par attack. It will likely continue to play second fiddle to tyRam, in my opinion. I am always open to be proven wrong though.
Donphan/Reshiram/Zekrom: This deck is still largely unproven in competitive play, but it has gained a following online. It seems to set up very fast and can fully utilize Catcher. Look for many good players to experiment with this deck.
MagneBoar: I honestly think that Worlds was the last place for MagneBoar to shine through. Focusing on a Stage 2 to attack and another Stage 2 to sit the bench is a tall order. Over the course of one game you need to build at least five Stage 2 Pokémon. With Catcher, I just do not see this happening enough to be consistently competitive.
Vileplume Variants: Ross’ Epic Rogue deck is the most successful Vileplume to date in this format. I expect Vileplume to see more play with Catcher coming into the format. His deck was pure genius and I think that Vileplume might be here to stay for a bit.
You can simply play down 2-3 Oddish to ensure you have at least one left for evolution into Vileplume. The possible popularity of this deck will have resounding effect on how other decks are built if it becomes more popular.
ZPS: I really think that this deck is still being overlooked in the player base (save Tamoo and co.). This deck can be very consistent. Then with Catcher replacing Reversal it gets even more consistent. I honestly think that this deck will be a lot more successful next season.
Cinccino/Zoroark: Finally, I have one freebie deck to toss out for you. I think that this deck will win at least one Battle Roads with Catcher. It has a virtually guaranteed 100 damage on turn two to any Pokémon on the board. You cannot completely dismiss this. You might also see Tornadus in this deck to help out with the Donphan weakness.