Welcome back to Tech of the Week! Each week we’ll be looking at at interesting cards that may be effective in the current metagame. If you missed last week’s TotW, I looked at the tricky Tool, Team Plasma Badge.
For the sixth edition of Tech of the Week, we’ll look at a sneaky Supporter card, Ghetsis.
When it first came out, Ghetsis was hyped up to be the second coming of the old school Trainer Lass, which was one of the most devastating cards in the history of the Pokémon TCG. However, it didn’t take long for players to realize that the leader of Team Plasma wasn’t quite as good as we thought. Unlike Lass, Ghetsis doesn’t target all Trainer cards in the opponent’s hand, just Items. Automatically that makes it much weaker than the original Trainer.
To make matters worse, Ghetsis takes your Supporter for the turn. Most of the time you need your Supporter for the turn to draw more cards or to search for something specific. Nothing is more upsetting than using Ghetsis only to find that your opponent doesn’t have any Item cards! Not only was it worthless in terms of disruption, you also don’t get to draw any cards. What a waste! For these reasons, Ghetsis was cast aside by most players for not being effective enough. Could you really risk playing a Supporter for no effect? Even if you’re drawing only one or two cards, that’s weaker than a Cheren, which isn’t played either.
So why would I write about it? What about makes Ghetsis a viable option now when it wasn’t before? Well, that’s precisely what makes it a tech card; its usefulness depends on the metagame. After the Klaczynski Open, Darkrai/Garbodor became a clear top tier deck in this format. Whether you think it’s good or not, the fact of the matter is that it’s popular, and you’re going to see it at tournaments. But so what? Why does that make Ghetsis better? Well, it’s because most Darkrai/Garbodor decks focus heavily on Sableye.
Often times these decks take advantage of Junk Hunt to set up or recover valuable resources. Because of this, most Darkrai decks rely on getting back Random Receiver, Computer Search, or Dowsing Machine in order to get a Supporter for the following turn since they’re Item cards; that’s where Ghetsis comes in. After a Junk Hunt, you’re guaranteed to both disrupt your opponent and draw cards! If you know you’re going to run into decks with Sableye, Ghetsis becomes a powerful, reliable card. Dustin Zimmerman played a Ghetsis in his Darkrai/Garbodor deck that took him to a Top 4 finish at the World Championships for just this reason. Clearly it worked for him! If Darkrai decks continue to be popular, then Ghetsis becomes a nice way to slow them down.
Outside of disrupting Junk Hunt, where else can Ghetsis be good? Normally in the middle of a game players will be using all their Item cards, so it becomes weaker as the game progresses. At the end of the game, you would rather play N to disrupt someone by giving a smaller hand size. Strangely enough, Ghetsis is most useful on the first turn of the game – but only when going first. If you can play it before your opponent gets a chance to use any Item cards in the opening hand, you can disrupt your opponent’s turn before it happens. Unfortunately, this is a situational usage. Still, you’ll get to look at your opponent’s hand at the very least, which is useful information to have.
But wait, Ghetsis can be useful even if you go second! Consider a situation where your opponent just used Tropical Beach to end the turn.
After a Tropical Beach, your opponent will have a full hand of seven cards. Since it ends the turn, that means your opponent can’t play any Items before you get a chance to use Ghetsis! Do any popular decks actually use this Stadium, though? As a matter of fact, yes! Blastoise, one of the most popular decks in the format, relies on Tropical Beach to set up in the early turns. In order to get into gear, the deck needs Rare Candy to evolve into Blastoise as quickly as possible. Well, that happens to be an Item card that Ghetsis can shuffle back into the deck! Any time you can play Ghetsis after your opponent uses a Tropical Beach, odds are you’re going to stop them dead in their tracks. We saw this strategy used in Chase Moloney’s Darkrai deck at the World Championships, which he used to make the Top 16. After the rules change on November 8th, this strategy may become even more viable.
With Ghetsis being powerful against two of the top tier decks, it may start seeing more play. While it is unreliable at times, its potential devastating effects can’t be overlooked. What do you think about it? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments! As always, thanks for reading.