Rocking the Virbank City Gym

season15_ep35_ss2 virbank city gym roxieHello everyone! I hope the new year has been treating you well and that you have been getting some great pulls at the Plasma Storm Prereleases. I cannot believe we already have a new set. There is no rest for the wicked… or Pokémon players, apparently.

I am here to talk to you about the Virbank City Gym – an extremely powerful Stadium card released in the Plasma Storm expansion. Zach and Mark have done a superb job giving you guys an overview of Plasma Storm, but I would like to start looking even deeper into our new set.

I am very interested in all the new decks that will be centered around the Virbank City Gym, so I thought this would be a great place to start our deeper Plasma Storm analysis.

Here is an outline of what I will be talking about!

I. Introduction

wm_normal_126-virbank-city-gymMy first experience with the Virbank City Gym was through the anime (I have been watching the Best Wishes/Black & White episodes since the beginning and I can assure you that they are quite good).

In the anime (and video games), the Virbank City Gym is the eighth and final gym that our Ash must defeat before he can go onto the Unova League. They generally save the strongest Gym Leaders for last in each region, and this was no exception.

Roxie, the Virbank City Gym Leader, specializes in Poison Pokémon. She has a Koffing, Scolipede and Garbodor. Something that I found particularly interesting is that she allowed Ash (and all of her challengers) to use six Pokémon while she only uses these three. Doesn’t that seem unfair to you – six against three? It did to me too, at the time.

Naturally, for the sake of continuing the show, Ash beats Roxie after a heated, two part episode battle. It came down to Ash’s Pikachu against Roxie’s Garbodor – their last Pokémon. It is revealed that Ash’s Pikachu has the ‘Static Electricity’ Ability which causes Garbodor to experience Paralysis. This slows down Garbodor significantly and allows Pikachu to take a victory.

While watching the episodes taking place in the Virbank City Gym, I kept thinking: “Why is she letting Ash use six Pokémon when she only gets to use three?” How is that proper Trainer evaluation!? It took me a long time to come up with an answer to that question. However, once I saw the Japanese translation for Virbank City Gym, I came up with an answer.

For whatever reason, the Poison status condition becomes far more potent when the Virbank City Gym is in play. I do not try to rationalize these things (for example, what really happens on Skyarrow Bridge that makes only Basic Pokémon become a bit faster in their race back to the Bench/Poké Ball?), I just take them as they come.

So anyway, Poison Pokémon obviously have a natural advantage when competing in the Virbank City Gym. That is why Roxie only uses three Pokémon – to level the playing field. Her Poison Pokémon have a very significant home field advantage that her opponents lack (unless they are using their own Poison Pokémon, I guess). This is why she sets these seemingly unfair rules for challengers.

In the card game, these “unfair rules” are not enforced when the Virbank City Gym is in play. Poison Pokémon have a very strong advantage (as do players using Hypnotoxic Laser) when this Stadium card is in play. This card is going to shake up the metagame and change the way we build our decks. It definitely deserves our attention.

So how will players use the Virbank City Gym to their advantage? They are either going to play the Stadium with Pokémon that can inflict the Poison condition or with Hypnotoxic Laser (or both). Let us take a look at what these combinations will look like!

II. Pokémon That Poison

Naturally, Pokémon that Poison are right at home in the Virbank City Gym. They are the obvious place to start when considering what you should combine with the Stadium. I had to look through a lot of scans in order to remember all the Pokémon that have attacks (or Abilities) that Poison the opponent.

A lot of them are bad and not worth considering, but there are quite a few that have potential!


scolipede-boundaries-crossed-74trollandtoad.comIt seems like they have printed quite a few Scolipede. Two of them seem to be relatively strong. The Scolipede line from Boundaries Crossed all have the “Poison Point” Ability. The Ability reads “If this Pokémon is your Active Pokémon and is damaged by an opponent’s attack (even if this Pokémon is Knocked Out), the Attacking Pokémon is now Poisoned.”

Thus, if Virbank City Gym is in play when any of these three Pokémon are damaged (while Active), the Attacking Pokémon will experience 60 damage (since they will definitely be experiencing two between turn phases of Poison)! That is a ton of “free” damage!

The problem with the Scolipede from Boundaries Crossed is that he has a very expensive attack. Venoshock requires four Energy and it may only 80 damage! That is a very low amount. However, there may be something to alleviate this problem.

After Gardevoir NXD’s success at Missouri Regionals (props to James Proctor), many players are beginning to reconsider our female friend that was released last year. Reducing the cost of Venoshock down to two Energy may be the key to succeeding with this Scolipede.

Unfortunately, making two Stage 2s work will be tough… especially considering the Stadium of choice will be Virbank City Gym – not Tropical Beach which, as we know, works wonders for Stage 2s right now. Also, Mewtwo EX is still lurking in almost every deck, which will cause many issues for our Psychic Weak, Energy hogging Poison Pokémon.

I would love to see this Scolipede have some success – his Ability is so good. However, there are quite a few things wrong with him at the moment, so he may not make it just yet.

The other strong Scolipede alluded to earlier is the one from Emerging Powers. For two Energy, Scolipede EPO does 30 damage and Poisons the opponent with the Toxic bonus (i.e. they take 20 for Poison instead of 10 between turns). With Virbank in play, a Poisoned Pokémon will be taking 40 damage between turns! That’s huge!!

At the very minimum, this Scolipede will be dishing out 70 damage for two Energy – a decent amount for a non-EX. Of course, if the opponent cannot get out of the Poison condition, they will definitely be Knocked Out on the next turn. This is probably something you should not (vir)bank on, however. Poison rarely sticks on a Pokémon.

I will come back to Scolipede in a bit.


dustox-dragons-exalted-drx-47pokemon-paradijs.comI had completely forgotten this Duxtox was in the format until I scanned through the sets last night. For one P Energy, Dustox DRX inflicts three status conditions: Sleep, Burn, and Poison. So if Virbank is in play, a Pokémon attacked by Hazardous Scales will be taking (on average) 40 damage between turns and may not be able to attack next turn. All for one P Energy!

Another great thing about Dustox is that, although he is Weak to Psychic, he evolves from Wurmple DRX and Cascoon DRX which are not weak to Psychic (they’re weak to Fire) and thus cannot be donked by Mewtwo EX.

Furthermore, Beautifly DRX can also be Rare Candied from a Wurmple, which brings a new type and set of Attacks to the table. I remember really liking Triple Energy when I saw the translations for Dragons Exalted many months ago.

With Triple Energy at your disposal, you could tech in all sorts of interesting attackers such as Giratina EX, Lugia EX, Regigigas-EX, etc. Dustox and Beautifly could pair up quite nicely in the new format!

I will come back to Dustox in a bit.


Crobat PLS rounds out our Stage 2 Poisoning Pokémon. Like Scolipede and Dustox, I cannot imagine Crobat having any shot at success without Virbank City Gym. But we are fortunate enough to have finally been given this Stadium card in Plasma Storm.

(You should note that there are other Stage 2 Pokémon that can inflict Poison right now… I just do not think they are very playable. I do think Vileplume BCR is semi-competitive and she Poisons, but nobody attacks with Vileplume unless they are doing 200 damage and why do you need to Poison a Pokémon when you are doing 200 damage?)

crobat plasma stormCrobat has an amazing Ability that lets you draw on card whenever you’d like on you turn. For three Energy, Crobat does 40 damage and quadruple poisons an opponent (i.e. they take four damage counters for Poison between turns instead of just one). That is 60 damage with Virbank City Gym in play. That is just insane damage over time!

They have also done something a little peculiar with this Crobat – they have given him a Lightning Weakness instead of Psychic. I am not sure if that is altogether good or bad. A weakness to Mewtwo EX or Eelektric variants, which is worse?

What do you think as I do not have a good answer for that right now. I can say with some confidence that it is probably better that Zubat is weak to Lightning so he cannot be donked by Mewtwo EX.

The problem with Crobat? He takes three Energy for his attack. Even though Ultra-Toxic Fang is compatible with Double Colorless Energy, that is still a hefty attack cost for such a fragile Pokémon.

So which of these three Stage 2s would make the strongest Poison deck? I do not know, but here is a skeleton list for starters that can be used for all three deck concepts.

Pokémon – 14

4 Basic
2 Stage 1
4 Stage 2
3 Mewtwo-EX NXD
1 Sigilyph DRX

Trainers – 29

12 Supporters


4 Pokémon Search
4 Rare Candy
3 Pokémon Catcher
2 Switch

1 Computer Search/Dowsing Machine


3 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 12

8 P
4 Double Colorless

So that leaves you with five spots to play with. Of course you don’t need this many Mewtwo EX or Sigilyph. They just seem like natural choices if you’re already playing Psychic Energy and Double Colorless Energy.

Also, there seems to be some debate about which ACE SPEC is superior, Computer Search or Dowsing Machine. Both seem very strong to me, but I am not sure which one is stronger.

In the case of Scolipede, you might want to try adding more Switch (I would probably not recommend Escape Rope in a Poison based deck), some Exp. Share or Energy Switch. I would probably use the Venipede from Boundaries Crossed (with Poison Point) and either the Boundaries Crossed Whirlipede (with Poison Point) or the Emerging Powers Whirlipede (with Venoshock).

For one P Energy, Whirlipede EPO does 70 damage if the opposing Pokémon is already Poisoned. This could be quite strong, especially if you tech in some Hypnotoxic Lasers.

In the case of Dustox, you might want to try adding some Beautifly and additional Attackers/Energy. You could probably go down to three Dustox and have two Beautifly. Then drop some of the P Energy for Blend Energy GRPD and other basic Energy (including Grass and any other type that might help power up these additional attackers).

You could add Figthing Energy/Terrakion NVI, W Energy/Keldeo-EX, D Energy/Darkrai EX etc. There are so many ideas. This could be really fun!

In the final case of Crobat, the five spots should probably go to things that help get Energy into play or keep Energy in play. You could add Colress Machine/Plasma Energy, Ether/Pokédex, Exp. Share, Energy Switch, etc.


Team Plasma seems to really like Garbodor. We got three new Trubbish and two new Garbodor in Plasma Storm. Although the Trubbish with the Tool Drop Attack could have its uses, it probably is not as good as the Noble Victories Trubbish with Garbage Collection. One of the Garbodors is actually very strong, however.

wm_normal_066-garbodorpokegym.netFor one C Energy, Garbodor performs Biosmog which does 20 damage, causes Poison and flips to remove an Energy off of the Defending Pokémon. That is a lot of effects for one C Energy! With Virbank City Gym, you are essentially doing 50 damage for one Energy and the chance of removing an Energy. That is very strong!

The real reason why this Garbodor shines is that you can run him in combination with the Garbotoxin Garbodor for a potent lock deck. Shutting down Abilities is obviously very strong and combines very well with Biosmog.

If an opponent cannot use Abilities, they cannot use Keldeo-EX or Audino BCR to remove the Poison status condition and they cannot use Dynamotor or Deluge to retrieve/reattach the discarded Energy from Biosmog.

How can we successfully combine this Garbodor/Virbank City Gym/Hypnotoxic Laser with our old familiar Ability-locking friend? We will have to make a lot of room in our previous Garbodor variants in order to fit this guy in.

In my opinion, the strongest Garbodor variants are Landorus-EX/Mewtwo, Darkrai EX and Accelgor. This new Garobodor would fit quite nicely into all three of these variants.


Since the rotation, Accelgor DEX has had a fair amount of success. We saw him combined with Empoleon quite a lot during Battle Roads and City Championships. Then some players combined with him Garbodor for Regionals.

Will people now combine him with Virbank City Gym? I think so. Deck and Cover becomes a far stronger attack when Virbank City Gym is in play. If the opponent fails to get out of the Status Condition, they will have taken 140 damage from the initial Deck and Cover by the time their next turn rolls around. That is quite high!

At the beginning of the rotation, many players tried to make Gothitelle EPO 47/Accelgor DEX work. None of us were very successful, however. Now that we have Virbank City Gym, the lock might become a bit stronger. I suspect a fair amount of people will try this combination in the near future. I intend on trying it out myself.

As mentioned in the last section, Accelgor has also been successfully combined with Garbodor recently. Now that we have a new, powerful Garobdor and Virbank City Gym, I can only imagine the strength of this deck will increase.


amoonguss-next-destinies-nxd-9pokemon-paradijs.comThere are several Amoonguss right now and they all Poison. The one that I think is quite powerful with Virbank City Gym is the one from Next Destinies with the Sporprise Ability that causes Confusion and Poison when it evolves.

Since his release, he has been primarily combined with either Ninetales DRX or Raticate BCR. After a Sporprise, Ninetales deals 120 damage with Hex Flame, plus the 10 from Poison for a total of 130 damage. That total goes up to 150 when Virbank City Gym is in play. If the Poison sticks, that total goes up to 180 and Knocks Out almost every Pokémon in the format.

Clearly Virbank City Gym vastly improves this variant. If you are able to inflict three status conditions (by using Munna BCR or Hypnotoxic Laser), Hexed Flame will Knock Out every Pokémon in the format after the Poison damage!

It is possible that people might just want to play Ninetales with Hypnotoxic Laser and flip for the Sleep in order to get to that 150 damage and thus avoid playing Amoonguss at all. I cannot say with any certainty what will happen to Amoonguss here.

I suspect any Raticate variant would prefer to use Hypnotoxic Laser over Amoonguss simply because they do the same thing except you need fewer resources to Poison with Hypnotoxic Laser. Thus the 1HKO is more likely with Hypnotoxic Laser than Amoonguss.

I know this variant was never popular during the Boundaries Crossed format, but it will probably cease to exist completely in the Plasma Storm format simply because Hypnotoxic Laser is superior to Amoonguss in this variant.

Final Thoughts on Pokémon that Poison

I am not entirely sure how playable many of these combinations will be in the new format. Although Evolutions seem to have gotten a bit stronger with Boundaries Crossed, there are still those pesky Evolution associated problems plaguing those non-Basics.

Of all the Pokémon listed above, I think the new Garbodor has the most promise. Biosmog combined with Garbotoxin could probably make for a lethal combination. It is a shame you cannot have Victini helping you re-flip for Biosmog when the other Garbodor is in play, but perhaps that would be too strong!

The three Stage 2 decks discussed earlier really intrigue me. With Mewtwo EX and Sigilyph to fall back on, these Poisonous Evolutions may be able to cause quite a stir in the metagame. I am most eager to start trying these variants out!

III. Hypnotoxic Laser Uses

HypnotoxicLaserPlasmaStorm123BulbapediaWith Virbank City Gym came another Poisonous addition to our Pokémon tool kit: Hypnotoxic Laser. I think they could have easily called this set Poison Explorers (similar to Dark Explorers) because of all the help this type is getting.

Both Zach and Mark accurately described Hypnotoxic Laser as a “PlusPower on steroids” because it adds an additional 30 damage to your Attacks (and perhaps even 60 or 90 damage!). Of course you also get the added bonus of the occasional Sleep condition.

I do not look forward to the inevitable complaints sounding something like “Ugh, I lost because my opponent got a heads on Hypnotoxic Laser and I couldn’t get out of Sleep.” They will be coming, be prepared.

I suspect this card would still be played if Virbank City Gym was not printed as it is still very strong. We do have Virbank City Gym however, so this card will be everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. I believe it will be the most game changing card coming out of Plasma Storm. So how will people use it?

Item lock

It is an age old truth known to Pokémon Players: Status Conditions are the strongest when Trainers and Item cards cannot be played. It has always and will always be true. Naturally, Hypnotoxic Laser should work quite well with Item lock.

Currently we have two Item locking Pokémon: Gothitelle EPO 47 and Zebstrika NXD. I touched on Gothitelle a bit earlier when I discussed Accelgor, but there are a few other ways this combination could work.

I wrote about Gothitelle last month on my blog and how I thought she worked relatively well with Celebi-EX and Victini. The basic strategy is to remove the opponent’s Energy with Gothorita’s Deleting Glare while keeping the Item lock online. Denying Energy and Items is fine and dandy, but you have to do damage to win.

I talked about how Celebi-EX could be quite helpful here. You could use Wind Whisk to stack up the damage. Unfortunately, you cannot deny Energy and use Wind Whish at the same time. So I was presented with may awkward choices while playing the deck.

I believe Hypnotoxic Laser will work wonders in this deck as you can simultaneously deny Energy and cause damage. Although some players may find it distasteful, you could easily take 1 Prize with this deck (while preventing the opponent from taking any) and stall until time is called.

It is my hope that Gothitelle becomes a bit stronger with Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym as Item lock can really add some skill to the game. If Gothitelle becomes better with Hypnotoxic Laser, Zebstrika will surely share in some of those improvements.

Zebstrika may end up being a better partner for Hypnotoxic Laser as you can maintain Item and Ability Lock if you can use Disconnect while keeping a Garbodor on the bench. It will be very hard to get out of the Poison condition if the opponent cannot play Items or use Abilities.

I have heard many a time that Zebstrika has struggled because Disconnect does not yield enough damage. With Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym, Zebstrika can actually cause quite a bit of damage. I am certain that Zebstrika/Garbodor will be tested in the coming weeks – quite certain.


ninetales-dragons-exalted-drx-19pokemon-paradijs.comAs mentioned previously, Ninetales works quite well with Hypnotoxic Laser. Of course Bright Look is a superb Ability and will only get better if Pokémon Catcher is ever banned (I pray every night for this).

I am rather fond of the new Klinklang and several people have already started poking holes into my Klinklang Love Bubble with Ninetales/Hypnotoxic Laser. They say mean things like Klinklang is weak to Ninetales and for one R Energy will get Knocked Out by Hexed Flame.

But what else will be played with Ninetales? You need more than just Ninetales/Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym. You can of course combine with Amoonguss as was already discussed. Other than that, I do not have that many good ideas.

Tornadus EX may be a good addition as you are already using Virbank City Gym. It should be easy to Knock Out Squirtles and other support Pokémon with Tornadus EX when you have Pokémon Catcher and Bright Look at your disposal. Beyond Tornadus EX, I do not have many ideas for what do with Ninetales. Do you?


Raticate was also mentioned in the Amoonguss section earlier, so there is not very much to add. As implied, Hypnotoxic Laser is likely a big improvement to Amoonguss when it comes to Raticate variants. You do not have to worry about having Foongus on your bench, Amoonguss in your hand, etc.

All you need is a Skyla, Computer Search, Dowsing Machine or Hypnotoxic Laser and you can Knock Out any Pokémon with Super Fang.

The problem with this deck is that Rattata and Raticate are incredibly fragile. I mean, 1-shot by Hammerhead fragile. Knocked Out by the 30 damage from Night Spear fragile. Losing on the first turn to almost any Pokémon fragile. I imagine Raticate variants would be very stressful.

There is some good news regarding this deck, however. You probably do not need Virbank City Gym to make this work as the opposing Pokémon will only be 10 HP away from getting Knocked Out after a Super Fang, so that extra damage from Virbank is largely unnecessary.

I think this deck would be the ideal place for lots of Ditto. Anything you can do to keep Rattata and Raticate in play is probably a good idea. If you can keep a field with some Ditto/Rattata and one Energy, you can Knock Out any Pokémon at any time with the right combination of cards in your hand. This is very threatening.

As stressed as I would be to pilot this deck, I would be just as stressed playing against it if they are able to keep an Energy or two in play.

Just Because It is Good

There will be plenty of decks adding in Hypnotoxic Laser just because it is good. A PlusPower on steriods is naturally a good addition to any deck that does damage (in other words, almost every deck in the history of Pokémon). In addition to providing that extra damage, Hypnotoxic Laser can serve another function entirely – Sigilyph (and now Klinklang) counter.

Previously, decks had to worry about having those one or two Pokémon that could attack Sigilyph. Now they can just throw in some Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym and probably be ok (particularly the variants with Sableye).

darkrai ex dark explorers dex 107pokemon-paradijs.comI am confident that all Darkrai EX variants (with the exception of Hydreigon) will find room for multiple Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym. Prior to the release of Plasma Storm, Darkrai EX variants never really had a Stadium to call their own. Virbank City Gym can now be their Stadium.

As stated earlier, I really like the new Klinklang. I think he would probably be a bit overpowered if not for Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym. The immunity to Pokémon-EX would probably be a bit too powerful if Pokémon-EX did not have these two Poisonous cards to get through that barrier.

Naturally that deck will have some issues with Status Conditions as all Metal Pokémon tend to have very high Retreat Costs. It is probably good that Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym were printed alongside the Plasma Klinklang.

Zach rightfully pointed out that it will be a lot easier for Big Basic decks to include these two cards since they have a lot more wiggle room when compared to Evolution based decks. I agree that “nearly every Big Basic deck [will] include several copies of this card.”

Before I move on to the final section, I want to briefly mention that Hypnotoxic Laser might also work quite well with several other Pokémon (I just do not think they will work as well as the combinations I just discussed).

These other Pokémon include Flygon BCR/Dusknoir BCR (you can get more damage onto the field without having to attack) and Excadrill DEX 56 (reusing Hypnotoxic Laser can obviously be quite strong).

IV. Changes in the Format

I stated earlier than Hypnotoxic Laser will be the most game changing card in Plasma Storm and I meant it. It will change the format drastically. You are either going to be playing Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym, preparing your deck to face these cards or both.

Remember that your own Virbank City Gym can come back to bite you if your opponent is running their own Hypnotoxic Laser or Poison Pokémon.

Of course, in order for these cards to pose any kind of threat, they have to be included in our decks. How are we going to fit four to eight additional cards into our already tight lists?

Fitting These Cards Into Our Lists

tool scrapper dragons exalted drx 116pokemon-paradijs.comIn order to get Virbank City Gym/Hypnotoxic Laser into our lists, we will have to cut techs. We will have to get rid of Tool Scrappers, Enhanced Hammers, Crushing Hammers, Super Rod, Eviolite, Sigilyph counters, etc. I do not recommend cutting your Supporters for these cards. Consistency is still king!

Of course, cutting cards like these can pose lots of problems. Without Tool Scrapper, Garbodor DRX could wreck your deck as could opposing Eviolites. Without Super Rod, you could deck out or fail to keep important Pokémon in play. Are you willing to take these sacrifices? I suspect you will have to whether you want to or not, these two cards are too powerful.

So what will the counts look like? How many Virbank City Gym and how many Hypnotoxic Laser? I am certain that will depend on the deck, although I suspect everyone will begin to play at least three Stadium cards in each deck when the new format officially begins. Either three counter gyms or three Virbank City Gym.

I think three of both Virbank City Gym and Hypnotoxic Laser might be standard with some variants opting to play four of the Laser. Of course we need to do lots of testing before we can be certain about this!


If you thought Keldeo-EX was everywhere during Regionals, think again. I am confident that the prancing pony (or Audino) will be in almost every deck in the coming format. You will need to be able to deal with Poison in order to succeed in March and April (and beyond).

Rush In is obviously a good way of getting out of Status conditions. However, what does a deck do after they use Rush In? Obviously Blastoise can attack with that Keldeo-EX, but what about other decks?

Darkrai EX will have a significant advantage because he can give Keldeo-EX a free Retreat Cost with Dark Cloak. Eelektrik variants will have to be running a lot of Skyarrow Bridge to make sure Keldeo-EX only has to pay one to retreat. Other decks may face some challenges when it comes to using Keldeo-EX, however. I suspect some of these decks will turn to Audino.

To take advantage of Audino, you must discard her from your hand. This removes a damage counter and one Status Condition from your active Pokémon. You can obviously reuse Audino with Super Rod, which is a nice perk. There are some hefty downsides, however. If you run Audino, you also run the risk of opening with her.

Unfortunately, she is much better in your hand than on your field. Also, Audino only removes one Special Condition. Thus you cannot simultaneously remove Poison and the occasional Sleep that results from Hypnotoxic Laser (unless you play two Audino in the same turn, of course).

If you are able to, I would take advantage of Keldeo-EX over Audino. I am interested to see however, which decks opt for Audino over Keldeo-EX. What do you think about this?

One deck that will gain significantly in popularity is Darkrai EX/Keldeo-EX. Andrew Wamboldt wrote about this deck a while ago on his blog, The Charizard Lounge. Although you do not necessarily need to attack with Keldeo-EX, her inclusion helps significantly with opposing Hypnotoxic Lasers/Poison attacks.

Also, you can occasionally perform some interesting tricks with Dark Patch + Energy Switch and Rush In that might help you get a turn one or two Night Spear. Of course including some W Energy might not be such a bad idea. I am sure you know by now that Secret Sword can be quite powerful.

Stadium Wars

season3_ep4_ss1 mustache tank safaripokemon.comWith the increased popularity of Tropical Beach in the past two months, Stadium Wars have once more begun to have a presence in the metagame. This was just a teaser of what is to come, however.

Stadium Wars will decide many a game in the coming months. Making a Virbank City Gym stick will be an important key for victory for all the Poison decks while countering this Stadium will be an important key for victory for all the non Poison decks.

As mentioned in a previous section, most lists will begin to contain at least three Stadium cards – maybe even more. One strong argument for Dowsing Machine is that its inclusion allows you to have an “extra” Stadium card which might make all the difference in the Stadium War.

The fact that Stadiums are going to become extremely important is a bit detrimental for decks that do not want to play a Stadium card. For example, Hydreigon variants are likely not wanting to include any Stadium cards (Tropical Beach wouldn‘t be so bad). However, this means they are going to lose the Stadium War all the time.

Will these decks conform to the metagame (and cram some Stadium cards in) or not? Something to think about as you begin your testing.


Zach and Mark have both done a superb job introducing us to Plasma Storm. I hope you are pleased with the next step I have taken the Underground Community. Virbank City Gym along with Hypnotoxic Laser really is going to shake up the metagame and this article is just a preview of what is to come. I am sure there will be much discussion on the decks highlighted above and I look forward seeing the ideas inspired by this article.

800px-Roxie_GarbodorBulbapediaRoxie, the Gym Leader of the Virbank City Gym, only used three Pokémon against Ash’s six. He barely won even though he had a seemingly large advantage.

Your opponents will have just as many Pokémon as you whenever you compete in the Virbank City Gym in the upcoming State and Regional Championships. So, before I go, I must ask the question…

Would you rock Roxie or would Roxie rock you?


Please don’t forget to give some immediate feedback via the +1 or -1 and some less immediate (but more descriptive) feedback via the discussion thread on the SixPrizes forums! While you do that, I am going to spend some time thinking about why they made the Virbank City Gym more powerful than the Celadon City Gym… I doubt I will come up with any logical explanation.

…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

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