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 sneaky Supporter, Ghetsis.
For the seventh edition of Tech of the Week, we’ll look at a cool Stadium, Frozen City.
When this card came out, it screamed potential. Just another opportunity to take advantage of Team Plasma Pokémon, right? Well, it didn’t have much of an effect at first. Why would you play this when you have Virbank City Gym and Hypnotoxic Laser at your disposal? Plasma decks much preferred that, and nothing else could really justify running it. Plus, if other Plasma decks were so popular, then it didn’t make sense to run Frozen City. Basically you’d be running a worthless card in your deck most of the time!
Like most other tech cards, something changed to make this situational Stadium viable. If there’s one thing Frozen City is good against, it’s Blastoise decks. Since they have to use Deluge to power up attackers, each Energy attachment comes along with two damage counters. When you have to do that three or four times to attack, the damage piles up pretty quickly. With the rise in popularity of Blastoise, Frozen City becomes an extremely powerful card. Plus, it can be good in just about every other matchup to get some cheap damage on Pokémon. Probably the first time we saw this implemented in high level play was in the deck of a Top 8 finisher at this past season’s World Championships, Johnny Rabus.
Instead of using the typical Virbank/Laser combo, Rabus opted for Frozen City in combination with a heavy Lugia EX line. At the time, most decks would play four Hypnotoxic Laser and two Virbank City Gym, a total of six spots. Here we see the three Frozen City effectively saving three spots in the deck, opening up room for other cards like Max Potion. Cool! But that was last season. How does that carry over to this season?
Arguably Blastoise is more popular than ever, and that means Frozen City is stronger than ever. However, it’s not just limited to Team Plasma decks anymore! We’ve seen all sorts of creativity pop up recently. At the California Regional Championships, we saw Israel Sosa feature Frozen City in his Darkrai deck to combat Blastoise, a typically bad matchup. As most know, he also won again in Arizona, so it must be working out for him.
Beyond that, we saw Frozen City featured in Tyler Ninomura’s Stunfisk/Leafeon/Drifblim deck, which he used to make Top 8 at BC Regionals. Since the attachments don’t hurt his non-EX attackers too much, he can afford to run it in order to give Blastoise a harder time. Plus, Leafeon and Flareon are Plasma Pokémon, so they aren’t affected by the Stadium! Unfortunately, he ended up losing to a Landorus/Mewtwo/Garbodor deck, which doesn’t really care about the two damage counters from Frozen City. Again, the Stadium is situational, but it’s powerful in the right circumstances.
Will we continue to see Frozen City used in decks? Where else will it pop up? Will this cause even more Stadiums to be played? No matter what the case is, it certainly has sent a chill down the spines of Blastoise players everywhere. With all of the struggles Plasma decks have been enduring recently, maybe this is what they need to get back on track. Thanks for reading!