Hello SixPrizes! This is my first article ever and I don’t have much to my name aside from a top 8 deck at two Cities. But hey, healing your Pokémon isn’t rocket science. Today we’re going to be looking at a card that a lot have written off (and to some extent, rightly so), and how you can make the best of it! Without further ado…
What does it do?
“Once during each player’s turn, that player may heal 20 damage from 1-of his or her benched Pokémon.” Admittedly, it’s not great, and a lot of decks would rather run Skyarrow Bridge or Tropical Beach, but Pokémon Center does have a niche in this metagame, and also manages to counter a few things.
On to the first deck looking for a teched Pokémon Center. When you’re set up and looking to win the prize race, it can really help to Afterburner an Energy onto your Benched Reshiram in preparation. The only problem is Reshiram will be bumped down to 120 HP, just asking for an opposing Reshiram or Zekrom to KO it back.
Fear not! Pokémon Center to the rescue! This can be decently helpful against Celebi Prime/Mewtwo EX as well, by discarding their Skyarrow Bridge and forcing Mewtwo to require seven energies attached between both Active Pokémon to kill your Reshiram after a Blue Flare.
It also helps against Kyurem spread, which can be devastating if it’s set up quickly. As ReshiPhlosion isn’t really looking at any other Stadiums for much help, Pokémon Center is a very valid option to help win the Stadium battle.
Some people might say Chandelure is dead in the water, but from my experience testing the deck against the format, it’s alive and still decently valid as an option. However, I’m not going to get into that since this is an article about Pokémon Center, and Chandelure can certainly enjoy Pokémon Center as a tech.
Though Reshiram and Zekrom-EX may be able to 1HKO a Chandelure, not all decks run these behemoths. And for those that don’t, they’ll have to settle for 2HKOing the candelabra. This is easily achieved through an Outrage and your respective dragon attack, though other attacks are certainly common. Mewtwo may also put 40-60 damage on at some point.
With Chandelure’s free retreat (via Dodrio UD), it’s easy to take advantage of Pokémon Center’s bench-healing. This can play into effect when your Litwick start took a quick 40 off the bat, but you retreated to the Bench under Item lock. You can also abuse Lampent NVI’s Luring Light, Jirachi CL’s Time Hollow, or Cleffa HS’s Eeeek to help buy a turn of healing. Luring Light in particular can be abused even better due to the discard of Skyarrow Bridge.
That said, Tropical Beach is almost a necessity for a successful Chandelure deck. The ability to snipe and draw is integral to a quick setup. However, late game, Chandelure can find itself having over seven cards in hand very often. If you run sufficient Energy in your deck (and I would recommend any Chandelure should), then you’ll also be attacking in the later game, making Pokémon Center a decent option.
The flaw of using a Pokémon Center in Chandelure is that you reduce your potential sniping ability to your opponent’s bench. For this reason, I would only recommend one in the deck.
pokemon-paradijs.comAdditionally, I would only play it when either the benefit their Skyarrow Bridge would provide is greater to them than the ability for them to heal 20 per turn from a benched Pokémon. The same is true if the benefit the healing would give you is greater. In the late game, Chandelure often devotes the full 60 snipe to either the active, or a single benched target that can be finished off.
In summary, though Tropical Beach is a much better Stadium, having one Pokémon Center in the deck might be worthwhile. As Tropical Beach is also a difficult card to get your hands on, many Chandelure lists may have room for the extra Pokémon Center. As a Chandelure player, I also know the value of a well-timed Luring Light from Lampent, making discarding their Skyarrow Bridge all the more important.
If it weren’t for one Truth Deck making Top 32 at ECC, I wouldn’t be talking about it here now. But since it did, I guess someone out there still wants to try using The Truth. I plan on writing an article about The Truth in the current format, but for now, Pokémon Center. Pokémon Center is a great way to heal damage slowly off the bench for a deck running Reuniclus BLW. Your opponent also can’t take advantage of it as their Active will be the one damaged, and with Trainer Lock up, they’re unlikely to switch.
The one deck to watch out for here (as a product of playing Pokémon Center) is ReshiPhlosion, which can now freely Afterburner and heal the damage off. For this I’d say the best advice would be running a Truth variant that uses Kyurem EX or something for a stronger matchup. After the first time you Tropical Beach in The Truth, you won’t be using it much again. This is why Pokémon Center can be a very strong choice. Once again, it’s also easier to get your hands on.
Less Viable Options
Gothitelle will appreciate Pokémon Center just as much as The Truth, but it’s obviously not as strong a play in the current format. CaKE/CoKE suffers the same problems with the new format, but a Pokémon Center can be useful in healing Rainbow Energy damage.
Here though, it competes with Skyarrow Bridge as the Stadium of choice. The same can be said of CRaVE and 6 Corners. All three of these decks would probably rather use Skyarrow Bridge than Pokémon Center, despite the ability to heal off Rainbow Energy damage.
Pokémon Center is lookin’ fine. The only thing awkward about the image is that a large Amoonguss died in front of it. The police were a tad slow in cleaning up the crime scene and the chalk outline can be a bit off-putting to some players.
This one’s pretty simple. Play your own Stadium after they play theirs. A smart player may hold on to their Pokémon Center until after you’ve played your Skyarrow Bridge, as the benefits it provides aren’t as strong as yours (and it therefore is not as essential to play). For this reason, it’s difficult to win the Stadium war against a deck running Pokémon Center as their dedicated Stadium.
Playing a Stadium-heavy list (three total) can help ensure you the Stadium war, but this choice shouldn’t be influenced solely due to the presence of Pokémon Center. Overall, it can be disruptive to your strategy, but individual decks will work around it in their own way.
Not many decks are looking for support from the Pokémon Center. Chalk it up to cruel Trainers not wanting to heal their Pokémon, but a lot of people are just more interested in bridges. Furthermore, if you’re a Steel/Bug type, you’re probably looking at Battle City as your Stadium of choice. At the same time, it’s interesting to see so many viable Stadiums now in play when before NDE there was only Tropical Beach.
Sure, you could use Burned Tower in ReshiBoar, or Indigo Plateau in the rare RDL deck, but now there are four stadiums all vying for a spot in between you and your opponent. In conclusion, Pokémon Center is probably the best option for a deck looking to win the Stadium war, but not in desperate need of a Stadium. You’ll probably only tech one or two in your deck, but in the right situation it may be worth it.