Fiery Licks for 400: A Prerelease Report + Mini Plasma Storm Analysis

heatmor-plasma-storm-23pokegym.netHello guys, this is more of a fun article to start out, but it will have some merit after the Prerelease report with a mini (sort of) Plasma Storm analysis.

So, on February the 3rd, I went to my first Plasma Storm Prerelease. I only pulled a Victory Piece in my packs and nothing else really good. I did notice the Heatmor though, and my friend and I were joking about it on the way there, but it seemed decent for a Prerelease.

In case you don’t know (and I really don’t blame you if you don’t, it won’t be good for competitive play), its first attack costs R and acts as a Catcher and Burn. This alone is very good, especially for Prereleases, but the second attack really grabbed my attention.

For RRR, Fiery Licks discards the top four cards of your deck, and deals 50 damage for each R Energy discarded. This can be really devastating especially in a Prerelease when you can viably play a deck almost completely composed of Energies.

I built the mono Heatmor deck, then had some doubts about how it does against Special Conditions, so I built a real deck. However, my real deck was really, really bad, so I switched back to mono-Heatmor. Here is the list I played (despite some of my friends discouraging me from it):

Pokémon – 1

1 Heatmor PLS

Trainers – 1

1 Colress

Energy – 38

38 R

I did pull an Ether, but decided not to use it as I decided that it was more likely to Fiery Lick it away than have it in the first two turns. Also, I didn’t want the chance to only Fiery Licks for 100.

Colress was definitely not mandatory in this deck, but I had it for three reasons, none of which were for draw: To replenish the deck with R Energies, helping avoid decking out, and make my opponent laugh if I could Colress for zero (which wouldn’t hurt me as I would always topdeck the Fire needed to attach).

Anyway, here is the report… there were 5 Swiss rounds and no top cut.

Round 1 vs. Ben w/ Fighting and Electric

magnemite-plasma-storm-42pokegym.netI don’t mulligan once! He starts Magnemite and I go first. It is funny because he shows me his hand of six Energy and I’m like: “Me too!” “Well duh, it’s normal for your deck” “Well, yeah…” Anyway, after I KO a Magnemite and something else, he gets out a Clefable and uses its Ability, hitting a heads to evolve another Magnemite to Magneton.

Well, it turns out that Magneton’s attack costs C and inflicts Confusion. He confuses me and I hit tails when I attack. This puts me at 50 damage because he attacked me twice with Magnemite’s 10 damage attack while I was setting up.

Then, he uses Magneton’s other attack to do 30 damage, leaving me with just 10 HP and 2 Prizes left. I get a heads to attack and take another prize.

Now it is very tense (for a Prerelease, that is), and he needs to do just 10 damage to win. He brings in Magnemite and attaches to it, but it is the OTHER kind of Magnemite that cannot do damage for one Energy! Then, he hits another heads on Clefable’s Ability, but neither of the two kinds of Magnetons can do damage for one Energy! So, he just has to pass.

It comes down to my flip for Confusion. If I get heads, I win, and if tails, then I KO myself and lose. It’s heads! GG Ben.


Round 2 vs. Jonah w/ idk (doesn’t get set up)

He goes first and I get up and go looking for my dice that I lost. I let him play out his first turn while I go looking for my dice. I can’t find them and they’re not in lost-and-found. Then, I find they’re in my backpack! Just in a pocket that they’re not usually in, partially hidden by my binders. Fail.

Anyway, he doesn’t get anything really and flips only tails on Rufflet’s Incessant Peck. I sweep with no opposition. Sorry dude.


Round 3 vs. Kayla w/ Grass and Metal

I have played her in the past two Prereleases and beat her, but she is the TO’s daughter so she is not bad. I go first with only one mulligan and Luring Flame up a Togepi. She flips tails on burn and uses Yawn. I get heads on sleep and she gets tails on burn which KOs the Togepi. I pass and I don’t think she gets much and I sweep from there.


Round 4 vs. Keith w/ Water and Lightning and Hypno(broken)toxic Laser

beartic-plasma-storm-41pokegym.netAh, the anti mono-Heatmor deck, great. Well, I don’t remember who goes first but he starts Squirtle active and Swinub and Cubchoo benched. I do the normal Heatmor ballista thing but he drops a Hypnotoxic Laser at one point. Of course, with my amazing flip luck today I get out of sleep and sweep.

He does get a Beartic out but its first attack cannot affect me under the circumstances. GG Keith (I know you’re reading this btw).


Wow, this is exciting. My friends are amazed except for Oliver who was so sure before the tournament that this deck was the play.

Round 5 vs. Brandon w/ Grass and (I think) Metal

This is the guy who beat me in the Finals of a Cities with Fluffychomp and so I am always out for revenge from that. Again, I don’t remember who goes first here but I start launching off a bunch of 400 damage attacks on T3 (Weakness) which is hilarious. He whiffs the crucial Grotle when he needs it and never draws a Hypnotoxic Laser so I win!


That was really fun, but one thing that slightly annoyed me is that Brandon opened his extra two packs right after our game and pulls a Shiny Blastoise AND a Victory Piece. Also, Kayla, who was sitting next to me, pulls a Zapdos-EX! So, I kind of knew that I am not getting an Ultra Rare.

Another thing that was really funny were the pack battles that my friend Hunter and I did. We did four throughout the tournament and we each won two. In one of the ones with Boundaries Crossed, I was talking about how White Kyurem EX was the BCIF of the pack battle format, and I pulled one immediately after and killed him. Also, he pulled a Landorus-EX AND reverse Blastoise out of one pack and I still beat him. I also did one with my friend Ben and it was really close, where I barely won.

For those who don’t know (and this is just how we played them), pack battles are when each player opens a pack and plays a game with the cards from the pack. Trainers are usually worthless and you don’t need to pay any Energy to retreat or attack. You also don’t need to evolve, and when you pull the Firefighting Psyduck you cry (Hunter pulled two out of one pack!).

Alright, enough of the fun stuff, here’s what most of you clicked on this article for:

Plasma Storm Somewhat-Mini Review

Here is just going to be my thoughts on some of the new cards and the influence on current decks, not a completely thorough review on all of Plasma Storm.


Combee PLS

combee-plasma-storm-4pokegym.netCombee is honestly a pretty interesting looking card in my opinion. Not sure if it could be viable, but some kind of aggro Combee deck seems to have potential. You could play Aerodactyl DEX/Twist Mountain/Old Amber or Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym and lots of PlusPowers.

First Ticket could be included to avoid getting donked, and Bouffalant DRX or Sigilyph DRX could be used to help against EXs, which Combees are 2HKOing on a good day.

There are not many other good Grass types, but Leavanny PLS caught my eye. As with Combee, I’m not sure it will be a viable deck, but with Fliptini and Hammers it could be interesting.


This set gives us a few interesting FIre types. While Heatmor could be made into a fun quad deck, it is nowhere near as viable as it would be in a Prerelease, unfortunately. Also, Moltres-EX is near worthless. BUT, there are still some nice new additions that may be able to survive in this Keldeo-infested format.

Infernape PLS

Infernape is a Stage 2 and is weak to Water. This alone should make it unplayable, but it is actually pretty good. It’s got 130 HP, no resistance, and a free retreat. Not bad.

Its first attack is Torment and costs C to deal 30 damage and lock your opponent’s active out of one move. This would be good but really isn’t because Switch, Escape Rope, and Keldeo-EX are everywhere, so the effect will not do much.

Malevolent Fire is the other attack and costs RC to deal 120 damage and it discards all the Energy attached to it. While this card does seem difficult to work with, it could be a force in the format with a really consistent engine. Here is the list I’m currently working with:

Pokémon – 10

4 Chimchar PLS

2 Monferno PLS

4 Infernape PLS

Trainers – 41

4 N

4 Professor Juniper

3 Random Receiver

2 Skyla


4 Rare Candy

4 Pokémon Catcher

3 Giant Cape

3 Level Ball

3 Ultra Ball

3 Colress Machine

2 Super Rod

2 Energy Retrieval

1 Computer Search


3 Plasma Frigate

Energy – 9

5 R

4 Plasma

Yes, Quad Infernape. Not quite sure how viable this deck will be, but the testing so far isn’t terrible. The biggest thing this deck has going for it is how badly it beats the new Klinklang deck. Plasma Frigate and Giant Cape are helpful against the Keldeo matchup. I haven’t tested this list as much as I do for deck analyses, so any ideas you have feel free to share them!


victini-ex-plasma-storm-18pokegym.netVictini-EX is a fairly weak EX with only 110 HP. Its second attack has a terrible attack cost of RCC and deals 50 damage, 100 to an EX. This can be helped by the new ACE SPEC, Victory Piece, which allows the player to attach it to Victini-EX, and “erase” the attack costs.

This allows Victini-EX to theoretically hit for 100 on T1 if everything goes well (starting with it, hitting Skyla/Piece, and opponent starting an EX).

While that is decent, it is not the reason Victini will be playable. Victini-EX’s first attack costs only R and allows you to search your deck for two basic Energy and attach them to your benched Pokémon in any way you like. This new form of universal acceleration will most certainly be played in most decks that already (or can be made to) utilize Prism, Fire, or Blend Energy GRPD.

Despite that, I still built a Turbo/Quad Victini deck just for the heck of it, and it’s fun to play online. Here is the list for anyone interested, and it’s not terrible.

Pokémon – 6

4 Victini-EX

2 Meloetta BCR

Trainers – 47

4 Skyla

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Random Receiver


4 Recycle

4 Bicylcle

4 Ultra Ball

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 PlusPower

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

2 Revive

2 Town Map

1 Victory Piece


2 Virbank City Gym

1 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy – 7

4 Blend GRPD

3 Double Colorless

And Pooka if you’re reading this I would love to see it on Bad Deck Monday. ;P Recycle is to reuse Victory Piece and Meloetta is a Sigilyph DRX counter.


Sadly, there are no really strong water-types in this set, but definitely some interesting ones.


Articuno-EX is receiving some hype that it probably doens’t deserve. Its Frost Prison attack costs too much Energy and auto-Paralysis is much weaker than it used to be, what with Hypnotoxic Laser encouraging the use of more Keldeo-EX and Switch. I could see this card as a decent tech in Keldeo/Blastoise, but nothing more.

Manaphy PLS

Manaphy is actually a pretty neat card. I haven’t tested it yet but it could be used in a Blastoise-like deck with attackers like Keldeo-EX and Black Kyurem-EX PLS, but using this and Fliptini instead of Blastoise.

Beartic PLS

Beartic another interesting card, but I don’t think it goes beyond interesting. While Powerful Rage could be abused with Giant Cape, Plasma Frigate + Plasma Energy, and maybe even Reuniclus BLW, it is just plain too easy to beat. You can use Catchers or snipers to hit around it while waiting for the opportunity to 1HKO, use Hypnotoxic/Virbank shenanigans, or anything really.


Magnezone PLS 46

MagnezonePlasmaStorm46BulbapediaMagnezone has a pretty cool Ability called Dual Brains, which lets you play two Supporters total during your turn (so it’s not stackable). It has 140 HP, a Fighting Weakness, absent Resistance, 3 Retreat, and is a Plasma Pokémon. It also has a near-worthless attack. Pretty much everyone who sees this card is interested by the Ability, which in itself is pretty good.

However, there are two main problems with this card that will likely make it never see play. First, its Basics form, Magnemite, has only sixty HP and is weak to Fighting, making it uber donk bait. Second, even if Magnemite was the bulkiest Basic around, there’s nothing that could really incorporate Magnezone into a deck and use it well!

Rotom PLS

Electribonus makes Rotom a fantastic starter in Eels, but sadly is hardly less donkable than Tynamo. While it may see some play over Emolga, it really won’t make much of an impact in this format.


Crobat PLS

Some people are hyping Crobat because of its power when combined with Virbank City Gym and because of its nice Ability to get you an extra card each turn. Well, Crobat being a Stage 2, requiring quite a bit of Energy, all the easy ways to get out of Poison, and the near-requirement of Virbank City Gym being in play makes Crobat quite unplayable.

While its stats are near perfect, it doesn’t make up for all the points I just mentioned. However, this is just my opinion, so watch me be proven wrong like I was with Empoleon DEX (though I doubt it will happen here).

Gallade PLS

gallade-plasma-storm-61pokegym.netGallade decks seem to have potential, but I haven’t tested it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it have some sucess with Gardevoir NXD, EtherDex, or maybe Eels. There is the problem of being a Stage 2 and having a very donkable Basic though.

It really sucks to be a “bad card” just because of a donkable Basic form and being a Stage 2, even though everything else about the card is pretty good. That’s just something that stood out to me as I’m doing this review, and something about the game that I think needs to be fixed.

Giratina PLS

Giratina is a very good card. Being one of the common (well, it’s a rare, but I mean commonly played) “Big Basics,” it’s got great HP for a non-EX Basic and its attacks aren’t too bad. The three Retreat and Weakness to Dark are terrible though.

So anyway, for PCC, Hex does 50 damage, and 50 more of the defending Pokémon is affected by a Special Condition. Add Virbank City Gym and Hypnotoxic Laser and Voila! A hard hitting non-EX Basic doing 130 Damage for a really easy cost, a chance of sleep, and a chance for 160 damage.

Not to mention that it can donk if you attach a DCE and hit a Psychic off Ether, or attach a Psychic and nab two Colress Machines or get somewhat lucky with two Ethers.



Lunatone gives a nice boost to EtherDex decks but is nothing really spectactular.


I skipped Dark because there are no good Dark-types.

Klinklang PLS/Cobalion-EX

cobalion-ex-plasma-storm-93pokegym.netI am mentioning these two together because they will be most commonly seen as an archetype together. Cobalion-EX’s mix of speed, disruption, bulk, and power makes it a very good card by itself. Then, when combined with a bench sitting Stage 2 (the Klinklang) that makes it invulnerable to EXs it just gets so much better.

Not only does Cobalion’s Steel Bullet attack deal 100 damage and goes through Sigilyph DRX, but it also is able to hit opposing Metal Pokémon when your opponent has Klinklang PLS out, something not all players are aware of.

I think there are going to be two main ways to run this archetype: Mixed with Klinklang BLW, Max Potion, Keldeo-EX, and Darkrai EX; or just running Kliklang PLS/Cobalion-EX with EtherDex. I personally think that the first variant is better because it already has a counter to Fire and just seems outright better to me, but I could be wrong and there’s some other variant of Klinklang that I’m completely unaware of.

Expect these kinds of decks to be very popular at the upcoming State Championships.

Durant PLS 92

You’ll be pleased to know that there is no Durant from this set that will have an extremely annoying deck built around it. Anyway, this Durant’s stats aren’t terrible. It’s got 70 HP, Weakness to Fire, Resistance to Psychic, one Retreat, and is a Plasma Pokémon. Its first attack is the only good one and for C (easily powered by Colress Machine) lets you search your deck for ANY Pokémon and put it into your hand.

This is pretty good and could be used in decks like Garbodor, Blastoise, and Klinklang (though sometimes you’ll want a T1 Righteous Edge).


Black Kyurem-EX PLS

Here is a behemoth EX with the now normal 180 HP and an attack that does a straight 200 damage! It’s called Black Ballista and costs WWLC and requires a discard of 3 Energy. This card is pretty good and I’m certain that many players will try it in Blastoise.

I personally think that it won’t be too bad to use in Blastoise but will definitely hurt the consistency a bit. I think that this Black Kyurem EX could also be decent in a Manaphy/Keldeo-EX/Fliptini deck. It’s got the synergy.



Snorlax is a pretty big Basic weighing in at 130 HP, four Retreat, a Fighting Weakness, and is a Plasma Pokémon. It also has a handy Ability called Block which prevents the defending Pokémon from retreating while it’s active. Its only attack costs a whopping FIVE C Energy and does 30 damage times the amount of Plasma Pokémon you have in play.

Overall, this card’s high Retreat, attack cost, and Weakness to Fighting make it not too good in my opinion. Its attack can potentially do massive damage (especially combined with Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank), and the Ability can be a bit trollish at times, but I think it will have to wait until the next set to make much of an impact, as it is in Japan.

Don’t count it out just yet, as it can also abuse nearly all kinds of Energy acceleration and DCE though.


togekiss-plasma-storm-104pokegym.netTogekiss is a Stage 2 with a nice 140 HP, 1 Retreat, Resistance to Fighting, and a Weakness to Lighting. So far this is not bad. Unfortunately, Togepi has only 40 HP and is weak to Fighting, making it extremely vulnerable to donks, but I think the rest of Togekiss can make up for that.

Togekiss’ Ability is much like Gothitelle’s, but slightly different. Bright Veil says that whenever your opponent plays an Item card, you are unnaffected by that Item when Togekiss is active. That makes your opponent’s Hammers, Tool Scrappers, Catchers, and Hypnotoxic Lasers useless!

And the other really great thing is that they are still allowed to play them! With Gothitelle, when your opponent accidently played an Item, you had to [kindly] remind them that they aren’t allowed to do that.

Here, when your opponent triumphantly says “Catcher [X] and attack for the Knock Out,” not knowing what this card does (as it probably won’t be played often), you just say: “That doesn’t do anything,” and they just wasted a Catcher (or Hammer, Hypnotoxic Laser, etc.)!

As the Ability only works when you’re active, you have to either attack with it or use a hit-and-run attacker like Accelgor DEX. Well, its only attack costs C and does 30 damage, and lets you draw cards until you have six in your hand! I believe that this can be a great card to compliment some “Big Basic” decks! I’ve tested a rogue with it a little and it’s actually not bad!

Lugia EX

Lugia EX, yet another beastly EX. It’s got excellent stats but the real kicker is the Ability. Functioning exactly like Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND’s Space Virus, Overflow allows you to take an extra prize when you KO something with it! While its attack isn’t too broken to be comboed with Overflow, I certainly think that this card will see play with fast hitting Basics that can soften targets up, or with spread attackers and Dusknoir BCR.


Whew, Plasma Storm really gives us a plethora of new Trainers here, and they’re really going to take the format by “storm”.


Bicycle is a fairly underwhelming card that I honestly do not think will see much play despite the hype for Item draw that we have not seen in a long time.


colress-plasma-storm-118pokegym.netColress is a new Supporter that is very controversial. While it can provide very powerful shuffle-draw, it can also be a dud. I think that being weak in the first two-three turns is well worth being the best Supporter in the format a bit later in the game.

I remember how I loved having PONT as a 3-4-of in nearly every deck I played when it was legal and am very exited to see a new form of shuffle draw other than N. Colress is a very strong card.

Colress Machine

New Energy acceleration is bound to make an impact, and this card’s ovious partner is Lugia EX. I think Colress Machine is good, but is best used with Lugia EX, Giratina, and Snorlax if you really want to play it.

Escape Rope

I personally don’t get the hype. Letting your opponent switch out to a Pokémon of their choice during your turn is very bad, and often ends up undoing your own Hypnotoxic Laser or Catcher when you just want to use a Switch. People will play this card, and it’s not terrible, but I don’t like it and think it’s not that good.

Ether (and Pokédex)

EtherDex is a hyped combination and is very good in theory, giving Energy acceleration to anything you want! However, after testing it, it’s really not all that good. Very inconsistent and I would advise staying away from it for most decks, but some decks can make good use of it.

Hypnotoxic Laser + Virbank City Gym

This is probably the most hyped thing about this set and I’m reviewing these cards together because they can almost never be used seperately. The Ability to deal 30-damage poison and potential sleep for an Item card is extremely powerful.

This combo will definitely live up to the hype and any deck that has problems with it will become nearly unplayable. Just another something to make Keldeo-EX more popular than it already is.

Dowsing Machine

dowsing-machine-plasma-storm-128pokegym.netAnother great ACE SPEC that has been talked to death here on SixPrizes and everywhere else, and I can only echo how good it will be. However, Computer Search will not by any means become worse, these two ACE SPECs are basically evenly tied for BCIF.

Scramble Switch

I’m not really sure how many people realize how broken the potential of this card is, but it is a little situational. It can and will definitely be a game changer, but there are somtimes where you just wish: “Ugh, I would sooo much rather have a Computer Search right now.”

Some decks will make use of Scramble Switch, so be aware that anything can happen when you haven’t seen your opponent’s ACE SPEC yet.

Victory Piece

I believe that that Victory Piece deserve a shout-out solely because it’s an ACE SPEC, but it will really not be very good. Victini-EX will usually only be used as a support Pokémon and other ACE SPECs are vastly superior. The only deck that I think Victory Piece should ever be used in is that (somewhat gimmicky) Quad-Victini deck that I posted above.

So what about the cards currently in the format?

Here are my thoughts on how Plasma Storm will affect cards currently in the format.

Blastoise BCR

Blastoise/Keldeo was what many considered BDIF of last format and while it won’t stay that way, it will certainly still be a strong deck. Blastoise deck’s biggest problem is the rise of Klinklang PLS. This is like the mildly troublesome Quad-Sigilyph deck on steroids. While you can attack with Blastoise it will at best 2HKO stuff while you’re just getting 2HKO’ed back and losing lots of Energy and your Energy accelerator.

I would reccommend including 2 Keldeo BCR 47 into Blastoise decks mainly for the Klinklang matchup.


Keldeo-EX was already a great and popular card, and now it even gets more popular with Manaphy and as an easy out to Hypnotoxic Laser’s annoyingness. Not much more to say here.


landorus ex boundaries crossed 89Lando is sill a great card for all the reasons it was before, and now it can donk even more stuff with the HypnoVirbank combo! Expect Landorus-EX not to go anywhere, despite Keldeo’s still rising popularity. That brings me to another point.

Keldeo-EX, Lando’s biggest Weakness (literally), is going to be more popular, but not in decks that utuilze heavy counts of Water/Prism/Blend WLFM (though Blastoise is sticking around).

So, even if your opponent is running Keldeo, there is often no immediate threat of it 1HKOing the Landorus.

Raticate BCR

Rattata BCR is very donkable, and can even be KO’d two at a time by Landorus-EX, Registeel-EX, and Darkrai EX, but with Hypnotoxic Laser and EtherDex (yeah I think EtherDex could work in here), Raticate became a very potent threat.

You are now 1HKOing eveything with only the use of an Item and an attack, and EtherDex helps ensure that you’re not getting killed off faster than you can attach Energy. Aspertia City Gym is a pretty mandatory card to act as a counter Stadium and prevent Landorus from being able to 1HKO Raticates with Hammerhead and 1HKO Rattatas with snipe from Hammerhead. Also, Emolga DRX and/or First Ticket could help with the donk problem.

Audino BCR

Audino BCR is a rather obscure card that was pretty bad in the BLW–BCR format. However, with status becoming much more popular thanks to Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym, Audino might see some play.

For those who don’t know (understandible since it was a junk rare), Audino’s Ability only works if it’s in your hand, and it says to discard Audino and heal one Special Condition and 10 damage from your active. While Keldeo-EX outclasses it in come instances, this card doesn’t require you to have a way to retreat Keldeo-EX and it also heals damage.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this card sees play, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t either.

Ho-Oh EX

ho-oh ex dragons exalted drx 22pokemon-paradijs.comI personally think that Ho-Oh EX is dead with Plasma Storm. With so many more forms Energy acceleration that are all better and reliable, I just don’t think that Ho-Oh will cut it. Even EtherDex is more reliable that having to hit a heads and the necessary Energy Switches.

Sigilyph DRX

This card will still see some play, but I don’t think it is good at all anymore. For one, Klinklang outclasses it because it can use attackers that can do real damage; and everyone will be using non-EX attackers to counter Klinklang which will even better counter Sigilyph.

Garbodor DRX

Garbodor DRX has always been an okay card/deck, and then it spiked in sucess at Winter Regionals because people were playing more Ability based decks like Keldeo and RayEels, and less things like Landorus/Mewtwo. While the HypnoVirbank combo encourages more fast and hard hitting Basic decks, there are still lots of good Ability decks. I don’t think Garbodor is going anywhere.

Also, since this goes with Garbodor, I think that Probopass DRX is a viable play. Its Basic isn’t too donkable and it can really screw up a bunch of decks.

Hydreigon DRX 97

Hydreigon has been slowly declining in popularity dsepite being a good deck because Rayquaza EX, Keldeo-EX, and Landorus-EX can all 1HKO most of the Pokémon in the deck, and those were the 3 most popular decks! This is terrible because Hydreigon’s strategy was to tank and doesn’t have much Energy acceleration.

I don’t think Hydreigon decks will become particularly good like it was earlier in the season, I don’t think it’s bad either. It can easily tech Victini NVI 15 to help against Klinklang, and tech Shaymin EX in case they’re running Keldeo-EX.

Bouffalant DRX

Bouffalant is still a decent card and is one of the many Big Basics that likes HypnoVirbank. While it is good with Aspertia City Gym, it is great to use a non-EX to hit an EX for 150, ready to be sniped by Darkrai or Landorus.

First Ticket

first ticket dragon vaulttrollandtoad.comWith a probable increase of speedy and hard hitting Basic decks, First Ticket could see play in those decks to help with early pressure and donks, or in other decks to help prevent donks. I am currently playing 4 in my Tornadus/HypnoVirbank deck, but that may change.

Darkrai EX

With EtherDex out, turbo Darkrai decks can once again make an appearance with a T1 Night Spear somewhat likely thanks to Dark Patch/Energy Switch also helping out. There will definitely be some of these at SPTs. Keldeo-EX is mandatory for the synergy with Darkrai and Dark Patch, and to help against Special Conditions.

Sableye + Hammers

Hammerspamming has been a viable strategy ever since it first came out, but with all these kinds of Energy acceleration everywhere, it is not as good anymore. Also, Sableye is now somewhat donkable.

I wouldn’t argue against a Garbodor/Hammertime deck, because Garbodor is quite good in my opinion, but I don’t think that plain Hammertime can make any impact. Enhanced Hammer can be included in some decks as a 1 or 2-of just as an inherently powerful card though.

Tornadus EX

Of all the cards to benefit from HypnoVirbank, I think Tornadus EX benefits the most. While it does like to have Aspertia City Gym like Bouffalant DRX, Tornadus can now potentially hit for 90 on T1, and will often get at least 40 or 60. The nightmare for Stage 2 decks, Tornadus EX is going to be popular at SPTs (States/Provincials/Territorials).

Mewtwo EX

Mewtwo EX is still great and can take advantage of HypnoVirbank. Make sure you have a way to counter it if Mewtwo isn’t already in your own deck!

Victini NVI 15

victini-noble-victories-nvi-15-no-watermarkpokemon-paradijs.comThis card will be extremely popular as an easy counter to Klinklang PLS. While it does make short work of nearly every card in Klinklang decks, Cobalion-EX can remove Prism or Blend GRPD Energies with Righteous Edge, and a Keldeo-EX can 1HKO an Eviolited Victini without even needing any Prism/Water/Blend WLFM Energies.

Supporter Lines

With the addition of Colress, there’s really not much of a need for weaker draw Supporters like Cheren, Bianca, and Random Receiver (If you could call that a draw Supporter). I think that most Supporter lines are going to look a bit like this: 3-4 N, 3-4 Juniper, 3-4 Skyla, and 2-3 Colress.

Of course, some decks don’t typically fill their bench up, or like to preserve resources, or don’t like Skyla for some reason, so certain decks will still like to use Bianca or Random Receiver (Cheren’s just bad).

To Conclude

Well, I think that’s all I’ve got for now! Thanks for reading. You may have noticed that I didn’t cover anything aboutEel variants. That’s because I have no idea what will become of them! One could argue that they are too donkable, but they were last format as well. Rotom will probably not change them much, and I really don’t know if anything will. Eels seem to have solid matchups really, but only time will tell.

Also, don’t forget to give a rate and/or leave a comment to share your opinions! I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks about various aspects of how the format will be affected. Hope you enjoyed the article!

Reader Interactions

51 replies

  1. killerpotatoe

    I refuse to rate this article before you edit in shiny blastoise XD

  2. Joseph Lee

    I actually am toying with Heatmor as a real deck, though probably not a very good one. Energy acceleration and other infrastructure without leaving you whiffing on Energy is the big issue. Overall an entertaining read, and it will be interesting to see if you or I (or neither of us) are correct on those areas where we disagree.

    *If you attach a Basic Energy to Victini EX in order to attach two Energy to your deck, you are only one Energy ahead… plus are still running a very tiny Pokémon-EX weak to one of the most popular (as of right now) decks in the format.

    *People are excited about Escape Rope because Warp Point was a great card, and Escape Rope is to Warp Point as Pokémon Catcher is to Gust of Wind. It remains to be seen if it will backfire too much in a Poison obsessed format, but if you constantly Hypnotoxic Laser and then go to use Escape Rope, that kind of means you need to work on prioritizing; likewise most of the time your opponent should be ditching Poison on their own turn, or being KOed by it before yours.

    *Computer Search is worse for having competition. No other first wave Ace Spec card was as useful as it was… but even Gold Potion gave a decent general showing and with its terrible “Active only” clause could rival Computer Search. Try to remember that not every deck was able to handle the discard cost as part of a combo like Eelektrik or spam it with Sableye. I never wish I had a Computer Search in hand… I always wish I had the target I would otherwise use Computer Search to get.

    Long story short, Dowsing Machine is better; spare copy of any Trainer in my discard (and thus usually any Trainer in my deck) for the same cost Computer Search merely fetches a card for me to use. Scramble Search is remarkable, even without any real combos; as long as your deck isn’t full of single Energy attackers, you can make great gains with it.

    • Grant Manley  → Joseph

      Heatmor seems cool, and it can beat Klinklang, but it loses to everything else.

      Being one energy ahead is still not bad, and you’ll likely be able to use it again. There’s also the Ace Spec but like I said it’s not the best idea.

      Warp Point was a great card. WAS. There was no Catcher in that format. There is Catcher in this format. Escape Rope can be used as an extra Switch in decks that need them, but I just don’t like it.

      Computer Search is better in most speed decks/decks that use Special Energy/decks that have Sableye imo. Dowsing Machine can be used in anything else.

      • Joseph Lee  → Grant

        Just a reminder, Warp Point has been popular in formats with Double
        Gust, Pow! Hand Extension, etc. It by no means would replace Pokémon
        Catcher, but Escape Rope still has good odds of proving useful.

        For extreme budget players, of course, Warp Point might be the only thing attainable.

        • Grant Manley  → Joseph

          There was a Warp Point in the Gust of Win format? Anyway, if Escape Rope has proven useful in your extensive testing, then good for you. However, “extreme budget” is really not a legit argument here.

        • Joseph Lee  → Grant

          First, I will give you something that will strengthen your argument, because I want to make sure I am being both honest and understood; my testing for the current format has been halted. I hope to resume it soon. So I most definitely cannot say authoritatively “…this card with this exact card pool is going to be awesome!”

          Warp Point was a card I’ve been able to use for the better part of a decade in playing. When it was first released, it still saw play (usually replacing Switch)… and that would have been in a format composed of Base Set through Gym Challenge, and later through Neo Genesis.

          Then we switched over to the original Modified. Lost Gust of Wind, kept Double Gust. Kept Warp Point as well. It was favored over Switch in all of those formats. Warp Point remained a fixture in Modified formats for quite some time. In the formats with weaker or less reliable forms of Bench manipulation, it would often be used to supplement said cards. Otherwise… usually considered a better Switch.

          Still needs testing for this format. Exact circumstances are clearly not the same. As for my comment about being the only real alternative to Pokémon Catcher, if we are addressing the card’s impact it is indeed quite relevant. Plus, what helped it historically was that it was… even more disruption while doubling as a Switch replacement.

  3. Jake Dudzik

    nice article grant. however i really think landorus is not tier 1. because, like you said, the fact that most decks are going to run 1 keldeo ex. And because of that landorus is goung to need luck in order to donk any deck.

    • Grant Manley  → Jake

      You have a point, but with HypnoVirbank it becomes a scary force to start whacking away on T1. And like we both said, Keldeo is going to be played in most decks as a tech. A lot of the decks playing it won’t have a way to easily charge it with Water Energies for an OHKO, so it’s not too bad for Landy.

  4. eahgeasheash

    seriously.. enough with the prerelease reports. NO ONE CARES.

  5. Ziggmiceter

    I want some more quality control here. I’m going to start by saying I see no point in prerelease reports, as it doesn’t tell me anything about a real tournament and no one really cares about how you did at one. Yes, they are fun, but there is no need for articles about them.

    The analysis was just plain bad.
    Articuno EX, brimming with potential, and is much better than you think it is. Paired with Garbodor, Blastoise/Keldeo and most Darkrai decks scoop to the deck. I’m legitimately considering the deck for the Worlds main event if I make it this year.

    You act like Manaphy is going to be good, which it simply isn’t. It shouldn’t and won’t see play outside of league due to its flippy nature and the fact you have to attach from the discard.

    Togekiss is just a bad Gothitelle. They can use Switch with Togekiss active, so Accelgor is pointless. also, Rush in.

    Durant is also a bad card. Searching your deck for any pokemon is not good, hence why the millions of pokemon printed with a similar attack were not played.

    Lugia EX isn’t as good as it seems. It will be a decent finisher in the Plasma decks that will come with the next set, but it doesn’t really have any kind of OHKO potential and the only deck I can see being moderately successful with it is Lugia/Landorus.

    Wait, did you say that Garbodor really won’t be good in this format but Probopass/Garbodor will? You didn’t even enlighten us to why Garbodor gets worse, and I think it gets better since decklists won’t be able to find room for Tool Scrapper.

    Victini NVI 15 will only be really popular if Klinklang gets really popular.

    • Grant Manley  → Ziggmiceter

      Tool Scrapper man. Articuno EX/Garbodor gets killed by it, especially if the opposing deck runs Sableye to reuse Tool Scrapper. I still think Garbodor decks are viable, but Articuno EX is bad. I stand by that. It needs to constantly have a certain Special Energy (Hi Hammers and Cobalion EX everywhere), it takes SO many Energy, with only Colress Machine as its only accel if running with Garbodor, and really doesn’t do any damage and can be switched out of against non-Keldeo decks. I said Garbodor decks won’t be going anywhere, meaning it won’t become bad.

      I haven’t tested Manaphy, but it seems like an idea with potential to me. Difference of opinions I knew was coming, same with Togekiss. I like Togekiss, seems to me a card with potential, but you disagree. Whatever.

      On Durant, I admidettely have not researched every card with similar attacks in format, but what exactly are there? Also, what has a similar attack that has a resistance to Mewtwo. And can be Colress Machine’d to?

      Lugia can win half a game in one attack, and isn’t weak to the two most popular types like RDL was. It has to be decent at least.

      Klinklang is going to be this format’s Keldeo/Blastoise. I believe that is a fact. Every deck needs a counter to it, and Victini is a cheap, easy hard counter.

      And did I mention that Articuno EX is bad?

      • Ziggmiceter  → Grant

        I’ve played the Hammertime matchup, with T1 Blizzard and T2 Frost Prison so common, it isn’t as bad as you would think. You aren’t the one who has tested 30+ games with Articuno/Garbodor so I think I know what I’m talking about.

        • Grant Manley  → Ziggmiceter

          I can see T2 Frost Prison being reasonably common, but T1 Blizzard in a deck not completely dedicated to it? I have a hard time believing that happens a lot. You’d need a lot of luck or somehow cram in EtherDex to do that. Also, while I admit I haven’t tested that deck, I know what I’m talking about because I’m a competitive player and have played with and against Garbodor variants of all sorts many times. They (other than perhaps Accelgor) have a very hard time against Hammers, and Articuno is even worse. I don’t think that the Hammertime deck will be particularly popular, but Cobalion EX certainly will. You claim that a T1 Blizzard is common, but a T1 Righteous Edge is so much more common. When you get slapped for 60 and a Plasma Energy discarded on every turn starting T1, there’s really not much you can do. So what, you lock Klinklang, well Cobalion EX/Klinklang doesn’t need Klinklang to demolish Articuno. Also, I see you only responded to one of the points you originally brought up :P

        • Ziggmiceter  → Grant

          Water+Double Colress is pretty easy with 8 water 4 Colress Machine. I never really tested the PlasmaKlang matchup since my area prefers the Keldeo variant, but I forgot about Cobalion’s first attack. I’ll get on to testing that. My metagame has almost no hammers (in 6 cities I faced a grand total of 1 Hammertime) so I only tested a couple matches with the deck. Just remember with 5 Switch options in the deck the HTL spam strategy isn’t as good as it is, and I also run Skyarrow Bridge if people decide they want to go that route. HTL+Blizzard T1 can happen (although admittedly it shouldn’t happen much) Responding to the rest of your post: Lugia isn’t bad, but I feel like it’s overhyped. It has a ton of potential, but it isn’t the best right now. Next set it should be great, but right now not so much. I don’t like Durant because it’s simply underwhelming, and a 70 HP basic, even if it is protected by PlasmaKlang, has to be Sableye or Emolga to be good this format. Like you, I sincerely believe that PlasmaKlang is going to great, but it’s like teching for Garchomp/Altaria before Batte Roads. I would only add techs to decks after week 1, and I have the luxury of having a week 1 and 2 States. If I get the cards, I’ll be playing Articuno/Garbodor or an Eels variant simply because I find them to be the safest play. Week 2, though, if PlasmaKlang is played a lot in Arizona, I will play Benchtini in Rayeels to counter that for California States.

          And yes, you did mention that Articuno EX is bad,and I disagree.

      • killerpotatoe  → Grant

        umm… you just compared blastoise and KK. THEN you said vitini is a good counter. victini DEMOLISHES KK more than garby does tool scrapperless blastiose on a 2 energy basic. how could that be a good deck?

        • Hunter Hawkins  → Grant

          Really? KK can tech in a Keldeo to deal with Victini? If you are actually willing to put 3 energy on Keldeo JUST to kill a Victini, then you’re doing something wrong. Two of the best archetypes ( Keldeo and Rayeels) can easily tech in and charge up a Victini out of nowhere. When you finally get the energy to kill Victini, they can bring up Rayquaza EX or Black Kyurem EX and say GG.

  6. Twan van Vugt

    RayEels will most likely survive, since hitting for 180 and taking 4 prizes in 3 turns is just too good. They can also tech in Victini NVI 15 to help vs plasmaklang.

  7. Mekkah

    You are not funny or original for running a Heatmor deck in a PR, and you’re giving people terrible games when they paid like 20-30 dollars to have fun ones. It’s pretty much like running Rayquaza EX + 39 Energy.

    • Joseph Lee  → Mekkah

      To be fair, I would blame this on Creatures, Inc./TPCi: players do run 39 Energy + 1 Pokémon-EX decks. It isn’t fun, it is part of why some are avoiding Pre-Releases or at least no longer as enthusiastic about them. If the game is designed so that is a viable strategy, it is bad on the designers, not the players.

    • eahgeasheash  → Mekkah

      Ok, this article isn’t good, but really? Cry cry cry I got “terrible games” at a Prerelease instead of playing my 1-1-1 line of magnezone and drawing all energy!!!

      • Grant Manley  → eahgeasheash

        OK, I can take “I didn’t like the article” and things like that, but not “This article isn’t good” with no explanation whatsoever. I mean really, at least make it constructive.

    • Dane_Carlson  → Mekkah

      Dude, it’s a Prerelease. It doesn’t matter how you do, you’re just there to get the new cards. Frankly, they don’t even need to have the tournament aspect of it. They could just give you your cards and let you go home.

      Personally, I could care less if I went 5-0 at a Prerelease or 0-5. The point of these things is to get the cards, not to win the event. It’s not like you get prizes or anything.

      So don’t bag on him for using Heatmor. It’s just like that one guy on the forums who says he hates everyone who plays donk decks…

  8. Ray Bryan

    Cant belive you didnt add White kyurem ex 2.0 , when u pair that with Ace spec crystal edge 150 can jp anything when u dont play HTL/Virbank. And if they dont ko It, u don’t need edge, it can work with Emboar or the new chandelier from Mays English set .Plasma freeze which is like typhosion from HGSS set. Which Emboar or chandy can go with. Infernape too.

        • Ray Bryan  → Grant

          Have crystal edge with white kyurem ex 2.0 and use it in a tourny, i know its not ! Prereleases, and in the Plasma storm

        • Grant Manley  → Ray

          It’s just not that good especially being pretty bad with Emboar (Emboar’s just bad in general). Maybe when we get Chandy, who knows. But having a Tool Ace Spec is kind of a waste but a surprise drop for a 5x PlusPower would be nice.

        • Ray Bryan  → Grant

          I agree plus power is better or Virbank HTL..sure Its not. Surprise, but not as much work..2-3 Virbanks/4 HTL, I think Emboar can be good with keldeo ex, and since W.kyurem EX needs water.. the extra water can go to keldeo if it needs it..ill have to check Emboar & chandy too see if those abilites can attach that energy to anyone.

  9. alex nk

    I like the prerelease report, I’m from another country and in my league we’ve yet to have one and it really answers some of my questions, thanks dude

  10. sam woofter

    First of all, regarding your comments directed towards hydreigon: hydreigon is still able to tank and outspeed landorus, keldeo, and kk. Darkrai; your main attacker is hitting for 120 net damage by turn 2 easily, keldeo is rarely at full power that fast and can’t usually OHKO until t3 or 4, landorus can’t KO darkrai until turn 2 or 3 assuming darkrai doesn’t have eviolite or max potions and assuming landorus hits all their drops, kk will not usually be discarding energy from darkrai and coballion can be donked by victini EX or wrecked by giratina EX.

    Victory piece will most definitely be used in every deck utilizing victini EX, landorus EX was considered broken because it could do 60 net damage on turn 1 for a basic energy, with victini EX you get Victini plus 5 outs(victory piece and 4 skyla) to a turn 1 intensifying burn which is 50-100 damage or even 200 against coballion EX (enough for a donk). Along with the other benefits this doesn’t even take your energy attachment for the turn so you can still begin charging up a fallback attacker.

  11. Matthew King

    “And the other really great thing is that they are still allowed to play them! With Gothitelle, when your opponent accidently played an Item, you had to [kindly] remind them that they aren’t allowed to do that.

    Here, when your opponent triumphantly says “Catcher [X] and attack for the Knock Out,” not knowing what this card does (as it probably won’t be played often), you just say: “That doesn’t do anything,” and they just wasted a Catcher (or Hammer, Hypnotoxic Laser, etc.)!”

    I can’t imagine even Juniors doing something that stupid. If you were sarcastic with this then I suppose that’s ok, but I don’t want to read an article full of sarcasm. If u were serious then…….

    • Grant Manley  → Matthew

      People forget things like that ALL THE TIME. Also, since Togekiss will not be a widely played card, many players will not bother to learn and remember what it does.

      • Rafael Katsuya  → Grant

        I believe that a lot of people playing Pokémon cards can read… People is not so stupid as you think bro ^^

        • Matthew King  → Rafael

          I don’t know what kind of areas you live in. But I am in Seniors, and I have NEVER seen a Senior or Masters opponent not either know what a card does, or look at the card to see what it does, in particular when it has an Ability.

        • Matthew King  → Matthew

          Don’t take this to mean that the article wasn’t good. It was well written and a good read with some decent points in it. I just didn’t like the Togekiss bit at all :D.

        • Grant Manley  → Matthew

          @ katsuya and The Matteo: People forget stuff like that often, but it may just be a seniors thing. At Regionals, I played Pokemon Center and while the opponents did pick it up to read it, I think all of them forgot to use it at least once every game I got it out.

      • Joseph Lee  → Grant

        People forget… but what about serious, competitive players?

        I can definitely see someone doing that (and have seen equivalent mistakes). It is a good point to make, but if it happens past the first two or three rounds, count yourself lucky. ;)

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in.