With the rule changes on November 8th, a lot of people are wondering how certain cards and decks are affected. What gets worse after the changes? What gets better? Let’s take a look at the winners and losers after the rule changes.
With the errata of Pokémon Catcher, people will be looking for ways to get the effect without the coin flip. The simplest would be Genesect EX’s Red Signal, which is already a popular card. Presumably Virizion/Genesect decks become much stronger with the added benefit of having a reliable “Catcher” effect, something other decks won’t have anymore. Likewise, Ninetales’ Bright Look offers the same powerful effect. However, both have costs to pull off the Ability (Red Signal requires an attached Plasma Energy, and Bright Look activates only when you evolve into Ninetales.)
Well, this should be an obvious one. When you add a coin flip to a card, you essentially cut its power in half. Now the card is watered down to work only 50% of the time. Does that mean it’s a bad card? Surprisingly, no! Even with the flip, it’s extremely strong. Now the difference is that it’s unreliable, which probably will make players use it less. Even if it isn’t played less, there’s no denying that the card lost out in the rule changes.
Now that you can’t attack going first, there isn’t much you can do to advance your position. If you can’t attack, why not fill your hand up to seven cards? Really it’s the only beneficial thing you can do to end your first turn. Expect to see Tropical Beach played much, much more.
If you thought Tropical Beach was expensive before, you haven’t seen anything yet. Since the only forms of the card are World Championship Promos, it is limited and difficult to obtain. Right now we’re seeing the card cost about $200, and it’s not unrealistic to think it will rise even more. If you don’t own Beach already, you have three options – shell out the money for it, play without it, or find a friend to mooch off of.
Already an extremely strong card, Garbodor benefits a lot from the Pokémon Catcher errata. Without a reliable Catcher, the big blob of trash can sit safely on your bench and shut off your opponent’s Abilities with ease. Also, the threat of it being stalled in the Active position is just about gone. Most decks rely a lot on using some kind of Ability, so Garbodor should rise in play.
Normally these cards are played together, so we’ll look at both. Not being able to use Junk Hunt going first really hurts Sableye. Half of the time, you won’t be able to attack on the first turn, making the card a lot weaker. Darkrai relies on a few early Junk Hunts to get back resources, and that may not be an option anymore. In addition, Darkrai arguably relied on Pokémon Catcher more than any other attacker in the game because it needed to manipulate bench damage for Night Spear in order to get multiple KOs. Without being able to target down threats at will, 90 damage isn’t too powerful.
Much like Garbodor, Blastoise benefits a lot from the Pokémon Catcher errata. One of the best ways to beat Blastoise was to Catcher out Squirtle before it could evolve, or take out the Blastoise to cut off Deluge. Now the Shellfish can sit safely on the bench, raining down Energy whenever it wants. Not only does it win on the Catcher errata, but it wins on the first turn rule change, too. The deck won’t attack until the second turn anyway. If anything, Blastoise may be the biggest winner of all from the changes.
Both of these big hitters rely on quick pressure to be effective. In fact, a big appeal of them was the ability to win on the first turn under the right circumstances. Without being able to attack on the first turn, these cards get drastically weaker. Hammerhead isn’t nearly as good past the first turn, and X-Ball is good, but often times it needs two attacks to get a KO. On top of that, both benefited greatly from Catcher to prevent decks from setting up. We may see the “Big Basics” deck go to rest with the rule changes.
In the past, Warp Point was a staple that was seen in just about every deck. Being able to reliably switch out your opponent’s Pokémon to hit a weaker one was a big deal. Plus, it also acts as a Switch for you. Unfortunately, Catcher outclassed Escape Rope completely, so it saw hardly any play. With the errata, perhaps it will see the light of day. Sure, it isn’t the strongest card in the world when 180 HP Basic Pokémon-EX can be sent up as a wall, but it has a place in the format.
Like Landorus and Mewtwo, Plasma decks are all about pressure and ruthless aggression. Without the option to attack on the first turn, Kyurem and Thundurus EX lose a lot of luster. There weren’t too many things more formidable than a first turn Frost Spear, and now you can’t do that going first. Plus, Plasma was another deck that really used Pokémon Catcher heavily, so that’s another negative. It’s going to be interesting to see if this deck will survive the rule changes.
In general, bench sitters get a big boost from the Catcher errata. Before, cards like Musharna and Electrode weren’t worth the space because they could be dragged out and KOd so easily. Now they may have a chance to shine. Musharna’s Forewarn is a great way to dig for extra resources every turn, and Electrode’s Magnetic Draw is one of the best ways to defend against a late game N. Don’t be surprised if players start using these cards more.
Okay, so we don’t really know if this card will receive an errata or not, but it’s funny to look at. Now that the new rules say to decide who goes first before hands are drawn, First Ticket becomes functionally worthless. According to the card, you must play it before the flip to decide who goes first. Since you don’t draw cards before deciding who goes first, you never have an opportunity to play it. Sure, First Ticket never saw much play, but now it really won’t.
Hurrah for consistency cards! Perhaps the biggest benefactor of all from the Catcher errata is Jirachi EX. Now any hand with an Ultra Ball or Level Ball can turn into a Supporter with the use of Stellar Guidance. With Catcher around, it was too dangerous to put this 90 HP, two prize liability on your bench. While it isn’t completely safe now, it’s much easier to justify the Wish Pokémon in your deck after the change.
Honorable Mention (Winners): Suicune/Sigilyph, Emboar, Mr. Mime
Honorable Mention (Losers): Victini EX
That wraps up the winners and losers from the November 8th rule changes for X & Y. Do you agree or disagree with any of these? Did I miss any major cards that get affected? Let me know down in the comments! Thanks for reading.