Welcome to the first edition of Tech of the Week! In this segment we’ll be taking a look at interesting cards that may be effective in the current metagame. Often small additions to decks can be the difference between winning and losing. To give an example, Enhanced Hammer is a common tech to combat Plasma decks that rely mainly on Special Energy. If everybody ran Darkrai and Blastoise decks, Enhanced Hammer would be worthless! But since decks with Special Energy are popular, it becomes a viable card to run. Those are the kinds of cards we’ll be looking at in this segment.
To start off, we’re going to take a look at a card that’s getting a lot of buzz lately, Drifblim from Plasma Blast.
At first glance, Drifblim seems pretty average. It’s a Stage One, it has 100 HP, and it’s weak to Darkness (which is a fairly common type). Plus, its attack does a measly 70 damage for three Energy. In a vacuum, this card is mediocre at best. But what makes it playable is its Ability, Drifting Balloon. For each Team Plasma Pokémon your opponent has in play, Drifblim requires one less Energy to attack. Now that’s interesting.
As you may know, Plasma decks have been extremely popular since Thundurus EX, Deoxys EX, and Kyurem were introduced in Plasma Freeze. If your opponent has three Plasma Pokémon in play, all of a sudden Drifblim is doing 70 damage for 0 Energy! On top of that, it’s discarding a Special Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon. Like mentioned earlier, Plasma decks rely almost exclusively on them. So for no Energy, you’re doing 70 damage and discarding one. Talk about efficiency!
Okay, 70 damage really isn’t that much these days. So why is it good? Well, Drifblim is meant to be a supplementary attacker. Since it attacks for no Energy against Plasma, you can use your Energy attachments on other attackers. It may not be super strong, but it is something that has to be dealt with. If you’re attacking against a Kyurem, Drifblim will KO it in two hits (and discard an Energy in the process).
Another option is to pair it with Silver Bangle, which would make it do 100 damage to Pokémon-EX. Perhaps one of the best ways to take advantage of this is to hunt down Deoxys EX. With a Drifblim and Silver Bangle, you do 200 damage to Deoxys for no Energy! Pretty strong, no? Whether or not you want to commit so many cards to Drifblim and Silver Bangle is another story, but the potential is there.
Since they’re often played together, let’s look at the other Drifblim from Dragons Exalted as well.
While the Plasma Blast Drifblim is more of a supplemental attacker, this one is meant to be a sweeper. Honestly the person who put this card on the map was Dylan Bryan, who used it in his Flareon deck at the World Championships. Again, this is most useful against Plasma decks that rely on Special Energy. Once two or three of them hit the opponent’s discard pile, Shadow Steal starts doing massive damage. Think about it. With two Special Energy in the discard, Shadow Steal takes down a Deoxys EX in one hit. With three, you KO a Kyurem. When there’s four, you KO absolutely everything in the Plasma deck for just one Energy!
Unlike the Derail Drifblim, the Shadow Steal one almost requires other cards to be useful. If you’re going to play it, Enhanced Hammer has to go with it to get those Special Energy in the discard as soon as possible. It’s also important to note that this card is basically worthless if your opponent doesn’t play Special Energy. Right now the only popular decks that play them are Plasma and Genesect. Against anything else, this is nothing but discard fodder. But that’s what makes it a tech. In some matchups, it’s a potential game winner. In other matchups, it’s dead weight. At least the other Drifblim can use Derail no matter what, though!
So that’s going to wrap up this first edition of Tech of the Week. Next week we’ll take a look at a different card to try to shed some light on the unsung heroes of the format. What do you guys think about Drifblim? Is it worth adding into your deck, or is it just a gimmick? Which one is better? Let me know down in the comments! Thanks for reading.