Dr. Mason's Lab: Magic Flash Bang! 博士オーヤマ研究所：フラッシュバンマジック！ Hello PokeBeach and welcome to Mason's Lab. Since the article submission process of the PokeGym, I know through experience, is quite tedious and cumbersome, I shall be directing my efforts to the PokeBeach forum, where people who need the help are more likely to see it anyway. My methods for these decks are probably a bit unorthodox for pure metagame help, anyway. In these threads, I'll be showing off some different ways to play popular cards. Today's experiment! The 'Magic', Gothitelle! So, let's discuss the features of Gothitelle, huh? She's a psychic type--not a bad type to be, at the moment! It has fairly few weaknesses within the metagame. A retreat cost of 2 is never favorable, but it's certainly not unsurvivable. 130 HP is fairly standard for a Stage 2, but in this Pokemon's case, it's also a magic number! Why is that? We'll get to it in a moment...for now, let's move on to the meat of the card. Magic Room is a fantastic ability. It has all the upside of Vileplume's Allergy Flower, from the Undaunted set, with none of the downsides. As long as Gothitelle is active, you opponent will be unable to play Trainer--Item cards. Why is this significant? About half of most decks in this format are comprised of Trainers and Supporters! A 'Trainer lock' can not only ruin many crucial strategies and slow down your opponent, but also fill his hand with unusable cards. And unlike Vileplume, you're left free to employ the advantages of having Trainer cards for yourself. Another reason this is significant relates to Gothitelle's HP count--130 is ten damage above what most of the metagame is able to hit without outside aid. And even fewer cards are able to hit that amount with being in risk of being Knocked Out first. With their Pluspower cut off, many decks will be totally unable to Knock Out this Pokemon with a single attack! Lastly, let's look at Gothitelle's attack--Madkinesis. Many view this attack as Gothitelle's biggest downfall. It starts at a measly 30 damage, with 20 more damage added for each Psychic Energy attached. A Psychic Energy, along with a Double Colorless Energy, (which is the fastest setup), only deals a pithy 50 damage. Not much better than we started. Initially, this may look like a waste of Energy cards. There is, however, another way to look at this attack, one that can significantly improve your opinion of the card--its damage can scale infinitely! If you were so bold as to place many Psychic Energy on Gothitelle, it would be able to Knock Out anything you needed! In this doctor's opinion, this attack is no stain on the Pokemon's playability. It's only one of its many features! ---------------------------------------------- With Gothitelle's abilities covered, let's move on the 'Flash'...Reuniclus, from the set Black and White! Reuniclus has 90 HP. Very uncharacteristic of a Stage 2 Pokemon, but not without good reason. Two Retreat Cost is, again, lamentable, but as Reuniclus will not often, if ever, be in the Active Position, it is not as bad. Psychic Weakness is again, not particularly traumatic. These stats, on their own, would make a very poor Pokemon, but Reuniclus has a real trick up his sleeve. Reuniclus's Damage Swap allows him to move damage counters from any Pokemon on your side of the field to any other. This, in tandem with Gothitelle's Magic Room, allows you to move damage away from your active Gothitelle without jeopardizing your Benched Pokemon's vulnerability to Pokemon Catcher, a card that will be a staple in nearly all decks as of Emerging Powers' release. Unless Knocked Out in one hit, Gothitelle can virtually live the entire game! Unfortunately, this is where the good news stops--Reuniclus's attack, Psywave, is almost never worth using, not realistically dealing more than 60-70 damage on a good day. Still, the Ability alone makes this Psychic Pokemon a force to be reckoned with! ---------------------------------------------- Lastly, let us discuss the big 'Bang' of the deck... Electrode Prime, from Triumphant! When this card was first released, it received a lot of hate. People just weren't happy with the aspects of the card. It had low HP, at 90, for a Stage 1 Prime, with no free retreat to compensate, along with a stunningly bad Weakness to the Fighting type. The only interesting aspect of the card was the Poke-Power: Energymite. With this Power, you could look at the top 7 cards of your deck and attach all the Energy cards within to your Pokemon in anyway you liked. Of course, there was a catch to this advantage--a harsh cost indeed. When you used Energymite, Electrode Prime was Knocked Out, and all the cards you had looked at that were not Energy cards were immediately discarded. This harsh drawback, with only mild returns, caused Electrode Prime to fall through the cracks, destined to be binder fodder for the months to come. So why now? What has happened between then, and now, to suddenly validate the card's playability? You might say it has to do with the mass rotation of sets, causing attacks and effects to lock up Poke-Powers to become near non-existent. You might cite the loss of consistency for many decks. However, Electrode Prime's star partner, the Supporter card Twins, has been with us since its release. Twins allows you to search your deck for any 2 cards and put them into your hand, provided you have more Prize cards remaining than your opponent. This manuever can often allow you to attach all the Energy you need to attack with Gothitelle and evolve both Gothitelle and Reuniclus all in one go. ---------------------------------------------- Magic Flash-Bang! If your opponent's deck is unable to Knock Out your Gothitelle in one fell swoop, you have likely won the entire match. Other Key Cards Twins:As discussed previously, Twins is the crux of your ability to set up the Magic Flash Bang combination. Being able to search for any two cards is an incredibly powerful tool in any deck, but in this one, it is essential. Max Potion: This card can be played on one of you Benched Pokemon, with much of the damage moved to it, with little to no cost to yourself. Remember that you can only move the damage you receive--not rid yourself of it, without playing this card or Knocking Out one of your own Pokemon. Pokemon Catcher:A prominent staple card, its use here is no different. The ability to pick off weak Basic Pokemon is always a great idea. The main advantage you have is knowing that you will never fall victim to this card yourself! Pokegear 3.0:This card's main use is to allow you to grab Twins when you need it more often--though it still is useful for other Supporters, such as Pokemon Collector. Cleffa: This card saw heavy play in sets of four early in the season, but quickly lapsed due to its easy to KO HP count, making the perils of starting with only Cleffa in play outweigh its benefits. Still, just one goes a long way in any deck to saving yourself from having a bad hand. Blissey Prime:This card can be used to remove all the damage counters you have moved from Gothitelle to your bench! At 130 HP, the same as Gothitelle itself, combined with Max Potion, you can remove 120 HP all at once. Sample Decklist: POKEMON: 19 3-2-3 Gothitelle EP 2-1-2 Reuniclus BLW 2-2 Electrode Prime TM 1-1 Blissey Prime HGSS TRAINERS: 29 Trainers: 17 3 Pokemon Communication 2 Switch 2 Pokemon Catcher 3 Rare Candy 3 Junk Arm 2 Max Potion 2 Pokegear 3.0 Supporters: 12 3 Professor Juniper 3 Twins 2 Cheren 4 Pokemon Collector ENERGY: 12 Special Energy: 2 2 Rescue Energy Basic Energy: 10 10 Psychic Energy Matchups Typhlosion/Reshiram: Very Favorable Very good matchup in your favor. They'll have trouble getting the Typhlosion and Energy out quick enough, and they're unable to PlusPower up to a KO. Your main issue will be making sure they stay out of lethal Outrage damage range. (From 110-120 damage on the Reshiram. Don't forget that Afterburner adds damage counters! Zekrom: Favorable Unless you get a nonsense, single Pokemon start with no draw or Twins in sight, this is a probable win. Like Reshiram they can't hit up to your HP count, and their inability to play trainers hurts them quite a bit. No Catcher, no Defender, no Pluspower...they're out of luck when it comes to Gothitelle. Stage 1 Rush: Even Their quick, consistent damage output will give you a tough time, but with careful planning this is far from a losing battle. You'll quickly begin to run out of room for damage counters--get creative. Knocking Out some of your own Pokemon isn't always so bad, not if you know they're unable to return the KO. Yanmega/Magnezone: Slightly Unfavorable This is one of the harder matchups. They are less plagued with inconsistency and able to snipe with easy cost. Occasionally a Yanmega will fail to get its hand size down to your relatively smaller build due to the trainers they are unable to play, but be wary in thsi matchup. The other issue is that they can, in fact, knock you out in one shot. It's best to Knock Out their Magnezones quickly! Kingdra/Yanmega/Jirachi: Unfavorable One of your most dangerous match-ups. Drop the Blissey when you are able. to prevent the sniping Knock Outs. Try to keep a Rare Candy or Junk Arm on hand if you need to to get Gothitelle back out. Jirachi drops can be lethal. ---------------------------------------------- Hmm, well, that's all I have for now. I encourage all of you to give this deck a try. If it doesn't work for you, feel free to come to me and tell me why. Deck science is a pursuit best accentuated by failure!