Kenny’s Wisdom: Emerging Powers Set Review



pokebeach.comAt Worlds Leavanny was described to me as “this format’s Spiritomb/Phione.” At first I was really excited and wondered how I had missed such a thing in looking over the early scans…then I realized that Tyler Ninomura is a troll and Leavanny is a Stage 2, making it pretty much worthless in that spot.

The one use this card does have is the combo with Mew Prime, but even that only turns it into a Stage 1 (and by that I mean you use a turn to get Leavanny in the LZ, and then the next turn you can use Nurturing), which doesn’t appear to be good enough either.

It’s something to keep an eye on, but I doubt it’ll affect modified at all.


Basculin aka the masculine bass aka the Chris Fulop Pokémon makes not one but two(!) appearances in this set. Fortunately, one of them is actually decent. Mind you, this card isn’t going to break modified or anything and is strictly outclassed by the Cryogonal in our next set, but Basculin still has its place in a faster and/or techier deck as a counter to Donphan.


pokebeach.comI’ll be honest: I’m not at all impressed with this card. I’ve only tested it a handful of times, but nothing about any of my test games have stuck out to me.

The upside of this card is that it combo’s so well with Vileplume. Saying “You can’t attack and you can’t use Trainers to give you the ability to Switch out and/or 1HKO me” is a very powerful thing to do. I’ve even seen some people putting it into a Ross shell (Reuniclus, Blissey, Vileplume, etc.) with the idea being that you are an unbeatable wall who makes the opponent struggle to attack every single turn.

However, I feel Beartic just isn’t right for this metagame. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an inherently powerful card, locking attacks, as I described earlier, is very strong. With Yanmega so huge in the format though, I don’t see Beartic ever being able to make a splash. If you swing into a Yanmega w/ Beartic, the villain will just laugh at you and steamroll you for the rest of the game. At least, that’s how it’s been in my experience.

Not to mention that a lot of the decks that play Yanmega are also playing Zoroark, which laughs at Beartic in a similar fashion. It’s a good card that may see it’s time, but for now I don’t see it working.


When Emerging Powers was first announced/discussed, I remember people saying that the only two “good Pokémon” were Beartic and Gothitelle. I disagreed with this on multiple levels — I didn’t think Beartic was a good card, I thought that there were other good Pokémon in the set, and I thought that Gothitelle was GREAT, not good.

Inherently, this card is a one-sided Vileplume that can attack. Vileplume is already a very powerful card, so when you add all those pluses to it, it gets kind of ridiculous.

We’re still in our early stages of testing HS-EP, but Gothitelle is looking to be an early favorite, and I’ve found that it works best in a Ross.dec kind of engine, Reuniclus particularly being a star player in the deck.

One thing I’ve been trying to so-so success is a lock version of Gothitelle, basically making the Ross shell a little bit lighter, and throwing in a bunch of disruption stuff to just completely shut your opponent out. I’m not really comfortable giving out a full list for this (mostly because I’m unsure about it and don’t wanna lead people astray), but here’s an example of the Pokémon lines…

Regardless, I hope you all understand that Gothitelle is going to be a huge presence during BRs/November Regionals/Cities. I’ve classified it as tier one and I don’t think I’m wrong in that estimation. If you don’t have a Gothitelle list to test with and against in the next few weeks you’re putting yourself far behind the eight ball.

Like I said it’s not perfect and the Ross shell might be better, but there’s been a lot of writing about that version, so I thought I’d throw out an alternative idea.


youtube.comKrookodile is one of those cards that really needs the right meta to be successful in (as is the story with a lot of the cards in this set, it seems). Right now, a Stage 2 with a mediocre attack and a pretty decent ability just doesn’t cut it. However, in a slower format, or one where energy removal might matter more, this could be quite a good tech in the right deck. For now though, I just don’t think it has a place in modified.


This guy is the ultimate “needs to be tested”, card. It obviously fits into Zekrom decks, but I’m not sure of Tornadus doesn’t serve that role better. Either way, this is a very interesting card that I see making a decent splash in modified in the future, but because of my inexperience with it, I can’t really say much more than that.


My boyyyyy.

This card is clearly the second best Pokémon in the set, in my opinion. Zekrom’s main problem is that if you don’t hit the turn one 120, you’ll likely crumble and not be able to recover. Tornadus allows you to play a slower game, but still be able to attack on turn two with the help of a DCE.

It’s also Fighting resistant, and can build up your benched Zekroms for the mid-turn swings. It’s like the card designers thought Zekrom needed to be apart of the ultimate bromance. I could honestly even see Tornadus taking over the Zekrom role, where you’re playing 4 Tornadus and 2-3 Zekrom, but I haven’t tested enough to see if that would actually pan out.

I’m not sure what his role in other decks will be, but he’s certainly interesting enough to warrant testing in a few different things.


pokebeach.comNot impressed by this card at all. As many others have said, this is a functional reprint of Professor Birch, and that didn’t make a splash in modified. Also, Professor Oak’s New Theory is nearly always a better choice, as you’ll be netting more cards with that most of the time.

In San Diego Matt Chin mentioned that he thought the card would be decent in MegaZorD, as that deck tends to empty its hands through dropping Stage 1s early and such. I honestly haven’t paid enough attention to see if I would net more cards off of this or Cheren, but Matt is a smart guy and that idea is at the very least worth testing.


I’ll admit that I thought this card was pretty awful when it first leaked. My rationale was “Bill is never a consideration, so why would drawing an extra card suddenly make it playable?” Now my thoughts on it are more positive, but I’m still not sure it has what it takes.

I mean, in most of the decks right now I’d much rather play Sage’s Training, even though I’m not a big fan of that card. I’ve also found that I prefer shuffle-draw in the form of Professor Oak’s New Theory over Cheren the majority of the time.

I can see certain decks using it and it’s certainly something that needs to be considered, I’m just not so sure about it.

Crushing Hammer

pokebeach.comI completely overlooked this card when it first came out, but Amelia Bottemiller turned me onto it pretty fast. Overall, though, I’m pretty uneasy about its effectiveness.

On one hand, decks are relying on less energy in general. Yanmega needs 0, Donphan needs 1. Not to mention that energy acceleration is so huge right now in that Typhlosion can bring back Hammer’d energies and Emboar can attach infinite amounts every turn for nothing.

On the other hand, because decks are relying on less energy in general, they are running less energy. Most MegaZorD lists are running less than 10 energy, and I know from experience that blowing up even one can be a pretty big hit to their strategy.

At the end of the day I don’t think Crushing Hammer has a home, but I think it’s powerful and will only be a matter of time before it finds one.

Max Potion

Love love love love this card. Goes along w/ Crushing Hammer in a lot of ways, in that decks are relying on so few energy now, and because of that this card is fantastic in a lot of things. Not to mention that it’s a solid replacement for Blissey in any Ross.dec (aka Reuniclus/Twins/etc) builds.

Even decks that DO rely on a huge amount of energy, but are able to manipulate that energy (such as Reshiphlosion) are going to love this card. I’m not 100% sure where this fits in yet, but trust me when I say that it’s going to make a major splash.

Pokémon Catcher

Nothing more needs to be said. It’s great. Gust of Wind was amazing, POW! was amazing, Bright Look was amazing, and the list goes on. Bad for the game? Probably. Bad for the format? I don’t think so.

Apologies for the lateness of this article. I started it almost a week before it was published, but work and my personal life got in the way of finishing it completely. Look for a Face of Modified article coming early next week, and until then, happy testing!


Reader Interactions

7 replies

  1. Anonymous

    In testing, Zoroark is ridiculous against Beartic/ Vileplume if your opponent doesn’t have the “right” tech for it **cough cough**

  2. Anonymous

    “Max Potion as a replacement for Blissey in any Ross.dec”

    You meant “goth.dek” right?  I’d love to use max potion under vileplume lock, but the judges wouldn’t let me.  Other than that, a solid article as usual.

  3. Lee

    The only thing I have to say on Gothitelle is that it is completely wasted on any deck running Vileplume, which may see a huge jump in play. In that case, thats a lot of slots of your deck wasted and it may be hard to cope. 

  4. theo Seeds

    Basculin the second is a baby killer, you think that still makes a difference?

  5. Andrew Carbon

    Very well thought out article.  I agree with you 100% on Gothitelle.  Great card, I look forward to testing with it!

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