Now that a new set is out, it’s time to examine the 10 most powerful cards that will shake things up for City Championships. Much to my surprise, it was pretty difficult to narrow the list down to just 10, but here they are!
While Super Rod isn’t overwhelmingly good, it is a card that will see a lot of play. For some reason, the card formerly known as Night Maintenance (which was formerly known as Nightly Garbage Run) was reprinted with a new name. For a while now, people have been aching for a decent recovery card in the format, and Super Rod is the answer. Even though Flower Shop Lady puts more cards from your discard pile into your deck, it is a Supporter, automatically making it much worse. In a way, Super Rod is a safety precaution against common situations like having a lot of your Basics KO’d early on, having multiple Pokemon prized, and having to discard crucial Pokemon with cards like Junk Arm, Professor Juniper, or Sage’s Training. Speaking of Junk Arm, Super Rod is a card you can reuse with it, making this a versatile recovery card. Overall, you will see plenty of decks running this.
Without a doubt, Chandelure has an intimidating Ability that can change any game. Once a turn an Active Chandelure can place three damage counters on your opponent’s field. When you combine this with Dodrio, every turn you can use Cursed Shadow, retreat for free to a new Chandelure, and then use the new one’s Ability. At this point, you will be able to put six damage counters on your opponent’s field every turn, which will add up quickly. In addition, Chandelure does have a decent attack, but the focus is its Ability. Is it worth getting a Stage 2 into play just to put three damage counters on your opponent’s field? Time will tell.
With its Double Freeze attack, Vanilluxe is sure to deliver two scoops of pain to any opponent. If you flip at least one out of two heads when you use the attack, you Paralyze the Defending Pokemon, effectively freezing it in place. Once you use Double Freeze successfully enough times, it’s only a matter of time before your opponent gets brain freeze and breaks down. Ice cream jokes aside, normally you want to pair this with Vileplume in order to prevent your opponent from playing any cards like Switch that would cure Paralysis. As we saw with Chandelure, the downside of this card is the fact that it’s a Stage 2. For that reason, many people like to use Mew Prime‘s Lost Link Poke-Body in order to use Vanilluxe more quickly; that way, you can use its attack with a Basic instead of the clunky Stage 2. Of course, the next card on the list is a necessity with Vanilluxe as well.
Have you ever had a game come down to a flip to see who wins? How would you like a second chance in case it doesn’t go your way? Well, say hello to Victini! Thanks to Victory Star, you can choose to reflip the coins for any attack that uses coin flips. For example, if you used Vanilluxe’s Double Freeze attack and flipped two tails, you could use Victory Star to get another shot at it. Without a doubt, Victini is a savior for any cards that rely on flips to be successful. Besides Vanilluxe, Pokemon like Sharpedo and Audino are helped out a lot by the Victory Pokemon. In the past, Pokemon that relied on coin flips were too unpredictable to use seriously, but not anymore! Just keep in mind that the Ability applies only to attacks.
With 120 HP and a Metal typing, Cobalion is a solid Basic Pokemon. On top of that, its two attacks are pretty good. While Energy Press is good for punishing any Pokemon that have a bunch of Energy attached, Iron Breaker deals with the things that have heavy Retreat Costs. For that reason, Cobalion might be best paired with Vileplume to prevent Switch from being played to bypass Iron Breaker’s effect. When you use the attack against something like Donphan Prime, it can’t do anything but sit there until it is KO’d. Unfortunately, Cobalion has a nasty Weakness to the popular Fire type (read: Reshiram), meaning it can’t stand on its own. If you’re going to use the Iron Will Pokemon, it’s going to need some backup.
Recently there has been a trend of huge Basic Pokemon with 130 HP being introduced to the game, and Terrakion is just another part of it. While it might not seem too impressive, Retaliate does a massive 90 damage for one Fighting and one Colorless Energy after one of your Pokemon is KO’d. Right now popular cards like Zekrom and Magnezone are weak to Fighting, making the Cavern Pokemon a force to be reckoned with. Unlike Bouffalant, which has a similar first attack, Terrakion has a strong second attack to follow up with after it uses Retaliate. Since it has an obscure Weakness (Grass), it is difficult for most decks to KO Terrakion in one hit, meaning it might need to attack with Land Crush quite a bit. Of course, the downside to this big guy is his heavy retreat cost. If you start with Terrakion, he probably isn’t going anywhere for a while.
Perhaps the card with the most hype on the set’s release, Kyurem is another 130 HP Pokemon ready to take the format by storm. Like its counterparts – Reshiram and Zekrom – it has a solid first attack in Outrage. However, the focus of the card is the second attack, Glaciate. In the past, spreading damage slowly to your opponent’s entire field has been a viable strategy, but it’s been a while since we’ve had a card capable of it. By doing 30 damage to all of your opponent’s Pokemon for three Energy, Kyurem seems to be the answer. After a few uses of Glaciate, your opponent should be overwhelmed with the damage. Since it does require so much Energy to attack, though, the biggest concern with Kyurem is getting it powered up quickly. If people can figure out an efficient way to do that, look out for this card.
Since Black and White was released, Basic Pokemon like Reshiram and Zekrom have reigned supreme for the most part. So, what does the new set bring? Does it give us a way to combat these extremely bulky and strong Pokemon? Actually, no… It made them stronger. To add on to the ridiculous 130 HP that these Pokemon have, now they get the benefit of Eviolite, which reduces all damage done to them by 20. But wait, isn’t that the same thing as Defender? Yes, but there is one big difference; Eviolite stays attached to the Pokemon permanently. Now all of your Zekrom, Reshiram, and other Basic Pokemon can have the luxury of a permanent Defender, making their effective HP 150 instead of 130. Of course, the Pokemon that benefits the most from this is Zekrom. Whenever you use Bolt Strike with an Eviolite attached, you take just 20 damage for it – and then your opponent does 20 less to you. For the time being, the format might become the land of the giant Basic Pokemon thanks to Eviolite.
No matter what format you’re in, using Pokemon with Energy acceleration is a key to a lot of winning decks. Normally these Pokemon happen to be Stage 2’s, making it difficult to get multiple in play. Well, Eelektrik is here to change all of that. Using its Dynamotor Ability, every turn you can take a Lightning Energy from your discard pile and attach it to a Benched Pokemon with no drawbacks. What Pokemon can benefit from this, though? How about Zekrom, Magnezone, or anything with a Lightning or Colorless attack cost? Overall, Eelektrik is the most versatile form of Energy acceleration the game ever has seen. Since it’s a Stage 1, it is simple to get into play, and it won’t take up as much space in your deck as a Stage 2. Expect to see Eelektrik pop up in all sorts of decks in the upcoming weeks; it’s too good not to.
If you don’t think N is going to change the format, you probably weren’t around when the card was first printed as Rocket’s Admin. No other card in the history of the game has been more responsible for allowing comebacks and wins in ridiculous situations. At the beginning of the game, N functions as a solid draw card, allowing you to refresh your hand to six. Unfortunately, it gives your opponent a fresh hand as well, but that’s not too big of a deal most of the time. In addition to that, N shines at the end of the game. In a format greatly defined by Pokemon Catcher, there really was no way to prevent your opponent from just using Catcher for cheap prizes over and over until the game was finished. Simple decks like TZPS could overwhelm anything with their speed and ability to take six prizes quickly via Catcher. Unless you had Vileplume or Gothitelle, there really was no way to stop this. Even if you used a Judge, normally four cards was enough to find a Supporter or another Catcher to finish the game.
With N, though, the game is completely flipped around when one player gets down to one or two prizes. When you put your opponent down to one or two cards, it becomes very unlikely that he/she has the resources available to close the game out. How often has a game come down to your opponent having that one last Pokemon Catcher? More than any other card, N allows for players to recover from a bad start. Just how good is N? They printed a full art version of it! As the season goes on, you will see plenty of this card.
So, there you have it – the top 10 cards from Noble Victories. Do you agree or disagree with any of these? Do you think some cards got snubbed? Share your opinions down in the comments!