News… Finally!

I should have posted this yesterday, but i’ve been a little addicted to the adoption agency myself… whopps.

Ok, so first up, Pokemon Rumble Blast has a European Release date… sort of. Only listed as December in the 4th Quater Release Schedule, the Re-named (again) Super Pokemon Rumble is a 3DS title that features toy Pokemon which you collect and then battle. They’ve changed the name of it again so its more like the Japanese title and nothing like the US title, probably just to confuse all of us down the line (another Trozi/link fiasco)

Next item, Remember that Online Program on found on the official Pokemon site which allowed you to learn the Trading Card Game, along with playing against AI controled opponents? Well that’s due to go full version which allows you to collect cards, build your own deck and play against other, real people online. Well the program has entered the open beta stage. What this means is that anybody can now play against other people online, as well as get cards and build decks… BUT since its still in beta stages, it may not work 100% and there may be still bugs to work out. Still, if you dont think the AI opponents were challenging enough, or you want a bit more customised deck than the pre-constructed decks, then you may want to start using it now.

Speaking of Pre-constructed decks, the latest TCG, Emerging Powers, set has had their theme decks this week, with the booster packs being sold in a couple of weeks time. Both Toxic Tricks (a psychic/fire deck) and Power Play (a Fighting/Water deck) have online codes which will allow you to play those decks in the Trading Card Online… see, its all connected!

Incidently, the next English TCG set has been announced as Noble Victories and will be based around Victini (well not the whole set, but Victini will feature in it, and probably be in both Theme Decks as there are different types of Victini cards, it could work (theme deck wise anyway) like Arceus did in the Arceus set, where there was a different Arceus in each Theme deck. Noble Victories will be out sometime in november.

And that’s all the news we have for you at the moment – more when we learn it

Featured Card(s): Reshiram/Zekrom (B&W)

Yeah, I realize my last Featured Card was done back in August, so this time I’m actually going to have two Featured Cards! What better cards to review than Reshiram and Zekrom from the recently released Black & White set? Both cards are very similar, yet they’re different enough to where I can make an interesting article. Both cards are projected to be in major decks in the HG/SS-on format, but how do they stack up?

Sorry, I currently don’t have access to a scanner, so no scans this time. When I do, I will edit this post to include them.

Reshiram
Type: Fire
HP: 130
Basic Pokemon

[C][C] Outrage 20+
Does 10 more damage for each damage counter on this Pokemon.
[R][R][C] Blue Flame 120
Discard 2 Fire Energy attached to this Pokemon.

Weakness: Water (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

Zekrom
Type: Lightning
HP: 130
Basic Pokemon

[C][C] Outrage 20+
Does 10 more damage for each damage counter on this Pokemon.
[L][L][C] Bolt Strike 120
This Pokemon does 40 damage to itself.

Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

Analysis

HP
Both Reshiram and Zekrom have 130 HP, which is huge for Basic Pokemon! They can definitely withstand several attacks before they get KO’d. They can also withstand each other’s big attack (without PlusPower).

Weakness
Reshiram: Water Weakness isn’t terrible, so you should not have to worry about it too much.
Zekrom: Fighting Weakness isn’t bad, but watch out for Donphan Prime!

Resistance
Both dragons have no Resistance, so let’s move on.

Retreat
Both Reshiram and Zekrom have to discard two Energy to retreat. I’d advise using Switch, or Dodrio from Undaunted.

Attacks

Outrage: Both dragons have this attack, which can do some serious damage if their HP’s are low enough. Since they each have 130 HP, this attack can do up to 140 damage for a Double Colorless Energy.

Blue Flare (Reshiram), Bolt Strike (Zekrom): Both attacks can do 120 damage for three Energy, which is great for Basics, but unfortunately have drawbacks. Reshiram has you discarding two Fire Energy, while Zekrom does 40 damage to itself. Depending on the deck you’re facing and how you’ve built your deck, these drawbacks may be a non-factor. Ways to overcome these drawbacks will be listed in the Combos section.

Combos

Reshiram

Emboar (Ability): With Emboar’s Inferno Fandango Ability, you can use Blue Flare just about every turn. Just attach two more Fire Energy with Emboar, and you’re good to go. Also, it can help if you happen to lose a Reshiram by being able to set up a new one almost instantly.

Energy Retrieval: Going along with Emboar, Energy Retrieval gives you two basic Energy from your discard pile and puts them back into your hand, which you can immediately attach with Emboar.

Typhlosion Prime: Typhlosion can attach a Fire Energy from your discard pile to one of your Pokemon, at the cost of one damage counter on the Pokemon you attach the Energy to. You can actually fuel both of Reshiram’s attacks using Typhlosion’s Poke-Power, damage for Outrage, or Energy for Blue Flare.

Zekrom

Pachirisu (Call of Legends)/Shaymin (Undaunted): This combo can give you access to Bolt Strike as early as Turn 1! First, put Pachirisu on your Bench, then use it’s Poke-Power to attach two Lightning Energy to Pachirisu, then put down Shaymin and use it’s Celebration Wind to move the Lightning Energy to Zekrom, attach another Energy, and then Bolt Strike! Quite a combo!

Reuniclus/Seeker/Super Scoop Up: If Zekrom survives your opponent’s attack after you use Bolt Strike, you can use Reuniclus’s Damage Swap Ability to move damage counters off of Zekrom and onto something like Pachirisu, Shaymin, or even another Zekrom, and then use Seeker or Super Scoop Up to return that Pokemon to your hand and remove that damage. Reuniclus may not be the best thing to add to a Zekrom deck, but it’s at least worth looking at.

Ratings

Modified (HG/SS-on): Reshiram has things slightly better than Zekrom in regards to not dealing damage to itself, but it sets up slower than Zekrom. I can see both of them doing very well in tournaments, however, which one will be more popular has yet to be seen. 8/10 for both.
Modified (MD-on): With the current Modified format, Zekrom is much better than Reshiram since it doesn’t need Evolved Pokemon for support. I can see Zekrom taking a few Battle Roads this spring, however, Reshiram just can’t compete in this speed based format. 8/10 Zekrom, 5/10 Reshiram.

Conclusion

All three versions of these two cards are exactly the same except for artwork. Both Reshiram and Zekrom are easily accessible since they both come in tins, as well as being relatively easy to pull from the Black and White set.

Feel free to leave comments on this article. You can also request a card to be reviewed in this thread.

Lots of TCG News!

Firstly, sorry for the lack of TCG updates recently. I just haven’t had the time to update you all on what’s happening in the TCG. As for Featured Card, I have no idea when I will start updating that again. Anyways, here’s the updates:

*The newest expansion for the Pokemon TCG, Black & White, is officially out now, at least in the U.S. The set features 114 cards (115 if you count the Secret Rare Pikachu), and contains only Unova Pokemon (except the aforementioned Pikachu). Following the release of the set, new rules will be implemented, which are covered here.

*Also, inside select packs, there will be a card that has a code which will unlock a beta version of the upcoming Pokemon TCG Online. With this program, you can play the TCG online with anyone in the world, as well as customize your own decks. Further details about this program are unknown as of this writing. The bad news is that you can only get these codes in packs from booster boxes, and not all boxes will have these codes. Blister packs and other promotional packaging will not have these codes either.

*There is a possibility that this year’s Modified rotation may happen on July 1st rather than the usual September 1st, which is right before Nationals and Worlds. What is known is that the new modified format will be HeartGold/SoulSilver-on, regardless of when the rotation actually happens. Remember, the Modified format is used for many Leagues as well as all Championship series events, including City Championships and Battle Roads.

Global Link Promotion and TCG Training Aid

Ok, So here’s something you need to know. Remeber The Global Link Site, which links up your Black and White game with some stuff on your computer (including battle stats and the Dream World), it was due to be released internationally tomorow but has been delayed due to the ongoing problems in Japan. Anyway, before it was released in Japan last year, they ran a promotion where you played a game, and at the end got to pick an Eeveelution. When the Site when live, you would get this pokemon when you synced up your game to the site…

Well its now available to all use International users too…

The Eeveelution that you get comes with a different ability than they can usually get. Most Pokémon now can have a 3rd ability which can only be got through other means beyond getting them randomly in game. Mostly this will be from the dream world, although there are 2 pokemon you can encounter and get their Hidden/Dream World ability in game, Daramanitan and Mushrana… these are special encounters though and wont be found randomly

The Eeveelutions you can get, and the abilities they have are:
Vaporeon – Hydration
Jolteon – Quick Feet
Flareon – Guts
Espeon – Magic Bounce
Umbreon – Inner Focus
Leafeon – Chlorophyll
Glaceon – Ice Body

Vist Pokemon.com for more info on this offer and how to access the game you need to play

While your there, you might like to try the TCG training aid. This program lets you play the TCG game against a computer opponet. At the moment you can only chose from 3 theme decks, based on Meganium, Typhlosion and Feraligatr… When the Black and White TCG theme decks are made available next month, they’ll have a code inside them allowing you to use those decks in the program as well. By this september/october, the program will have all cards within the modified format available for you to build your decks with, and allow player vs player matches as well – allowing all those of us who dont have many physical players to play against to try out TCG decks against proper thinking opponents.

The program currently uses Rule updates that will be introduced once the Black and White TCG set is released next month

You’ll need a Trainer Club ID to access both the TCG training aid and the Global Link Site when it launches… Head to Pokemon.com to get yours now

news roundup…

oh man – i have a few lousy days and the news just keeps flying off… ok i’m going to try and recap all of it in this news post – oh boy!

Anime News:
Febuary 5th sees the Cartoon Network in the USA premier the 13th Pokemon Movie, Zoroark: Masters of Illusions (check your local listings). One week later on Febuary 12th sees the same channel debut the latest pokemon series, Pokémon: Black & White. When announcing the new show, it announced the English names for Ash’s new companions. Iris keeps her Japanese name while Dento becomes Cilan – these names are important to the new Black/White games as both characters appear. Cilan is one of 3 possible Gym leaders at the first Gym, you’ll fight him if you start with Oshawott as your starter. Iris appears in both games, but in White version she’s the 8th Gym leader.

TCG News:
Not something i seem to post often around here, which is both a shame and something I plan to rectify in future. Following on from the next TCG set, Call of Legends, out on Febuary 9th – The first set to be based on Black and White will be released in April. This is a month earlier than the usual schedule the TCG sets get released, so whether the second B/W set will be released a month earlier or whether there will be a month longer gap is currently unknown – we’ll let you know all we can when we can.

Game News:
Ok, here’s the bulk of the news and we’ve got a lot to get through. First up, Victini, while keeping its Japanese name, has been announced for distrabution outside of Japan. While announced for the UK specifically, the info will most likely apply to the US as well. The Liberty Pass is an item allowed to catch a boat from Castelia City to Liberty Island where you’ll fight a couple of Team Plazma members before having a chance to fight and capture Victini. This item is set to be downloaded via Wi-Fi between March 4th and April 22nd

The Pokemon Company International has announced details on how the Global Link will work outside of Japan. Featuring the same features the Japanese version uses, Global Battle Union (keeps track of your online Battle stats), Global Trade Station (similar to the old GTS site) and the Dream World (allowing you to play with your pokemon away from the game, obtain berries and pokemon with abilities unobtainable via any other method). The Gloabll Link will be accessed using Pokemon Trainer Club Accounts, the account system used at Pokémon.com (which recenly launched reigon variation sites, so now pokemon.com is the official site of not only america, but the UK, Australia and other european countries). If you dont have a Trainer Club account yet – you might want to pop along to pokemon.com to get one now in preperation. We’ll let you know when the Global Link site launches for USA/Europe

Right – last thing, i hope, is that IGN has once again annouced some more pokemon names. All of these names apeared on the leaked list that appeared a few weeks ago – i will be updating the unova dex we have on this site will be updated with these names over the weekend. For now, here’s the new pokemon (with sprites, not sugimori artwork, i dont have time to upload the cooler artwork)

the first 2 pokemon they announced were Pansage, the grass elemental monkey who’s name was revealed on the back of the B/W box art already, and Victini, who’s name was confirmed in the Wi-Fi event above. They did annouce the english name for Pansage’s attack that can hit anybody on the opposing team in a 3v3 match regardless of where Pansage is placed. The attack is called Acrobatics. Meanwhile, Victini’s ability ‘Victory Star’ keeps its Japanese name.

Shikijinka:

Deerling is a pokemon who changes his image depending on the season. it’s herbivore ability is now called Sap Sipper

Basuro:

Basculin has 2 different looks, depending on the version your playing, one type is very common while the other is very rare

Swanna:

Swanna keeps its Japanese name. it’s Gale attack is now called Hurricane

Miruhoggu:

Watchog is the evolved form of Patrat.

IGN also featured Alomomola and Sewaddle as well.

That’s it for the news for now – hopefully we’ll bring you more news as soon as we learn of it.

Featured Card: Umbreon (Undaunted)

I went to a Prerelease for Undaunted this past Saturday and played in the Theme Deck Challenge that was offered. (I posted a thread on the forums with the lists for both decks here) I decided to go with the Nightfall deck, since it apparently had better cards. The Featured Card this time is the cover card of the Nightfall deck, Umbreon. And yes, the foil in this scan is similar to the one used on the Rotom in Rising Rivals, and this is unique to the theme decks. The Umbreon (and Espeon) you pull from Undaunted packs will have the regular foil background.

Analysis

HP: 90 is pretty good for a Stage 1 Pokemon. Expert Belt will increase it to 110, which can help.

Weakness: Fighting is not a very good Weakness to have, as Machamp (SF) and Donphan Prime can both OHKO it.

Resistance: Psychic is a good Resistance to have, as there are still a fair amount of Psychic Pokemon played.

Retreat: One is good, and since Umbreon doesn’t need much Energy to attack, I’d just pay the cost, although you can use Moonlight Stadium to reduce it to zero.

Moonlight Fang: One Energy for 30 damage is really good for a Stage 1, and you can use Special Darkness Energy to increase the damage done by 10 for each one (up to 70!). Even better, it grants Umbreon the ability to prevent everything done to it by attacks from Pokemon with Poke-Powers and Poke-Bodies. With a majority of popular tournament level Pokemon having either, there’s a good chance you can keep Umbreon in play for a long time. Unfortunately, Machamp still gets right through Umbreon’s defense (unless the opponent leveled it up).

Quick Blow: Just a basic Quick Attack-type attack. 60 is really good for two Energy (more with Special Darkness Energy attached), but suffers from requiring a coin flip. In my opinion, just use Moonlight Fang over and over again. At least it gives Umbreon a chance to stay around longer.

Combos

Pokemon Reversal/PokeBlower: Just use either one of these to drag out a Pokemon with both a hefty Retreat Cost and either a Poke-Power or Poke-Body and just keep using Moonlight Fang. Your opponent’s Pokemon can’t retaliate unless they can switch it out.

Espeon/Umbreon from Majestic Dawn: Espeon gives all Eeveelutions 20 more HP, while Umbreon gives all Eeveelutions no Weakness and no Retreat cost. Since you would already be playing Eevees, why not add these guys to help support this Umbreon?

Ratings

Modified: This card just doesn’t have the muscle to take on Machamp, Gyarados, and Jumpluff, not to mention these Pokemon have no Poke-Powers or Poke-Bodies, so Moonlight Fang just doesn’t work against them. Umbreon, however, can stand up to Gengar, as all Gengars that are used in tournament play have Poke-Powers and are weak to Darkness types, but they can usually go around Umbreon and attack your Bench.  5/10

Conclusion

Umbreon is probably best used as a stalling Pokemon while you build up your main attacker.

Also, don’t forget that you can suggest a card for me to review here.

HS-Undaunted Prerelease Promos Revealed!

Pokemon.com has revealed the promo materials you will receive when you attend an HS-Undaunted prerelease. The promo card you will receive will be Leafeon, which originated in Japan’s Expert Deck: Leafeon vs. Metagross.

This promo card will be holo in real life, the rarity of the one in the actual set is unknown at this time (most likely will be a non-holo rare, since the two prerelease promos before were rares in their respective sets)

The sleeve design for the set was also revealed. The sleeves this time will be purple and will have yellow/gold silhouettes of Espeon and Umbreon. You will get a pack of 60 when you sign up for the prerelease.

You can check out the prerelease page here, however, no dates or locations have been posted yet. They should be up before the end of the month.

July 17th edit: Locations and dates for North America are up! As expected, there will be prereleases on the weekends of August 7th, 14th, and 21st. The reason there are prerelease tournaments after the release date of August 18th is because Worlds is taking place the weekend of the 14th.

Players outside of North America will have to wait a little while longer to get the dates and locations of their prereleases.

Featured Card: Uxie (Legends Awakened)

Regular visitors to the forums may or may not have noticed the Card of the Week feature in the TCG section. It has been renamed Featured Card, even though the change hasn’t been reflected in the forums yet. A complaint that I have gotten in the past was because I wasn’t reviewing a card every week, and I sometimes went months between articles. Another change is that it will be published on the front page here from now on instead of on the forums. My past articles will still be there, so check those out if you want to.

Anyway, the featured card this time is Uxie from Legends Awakened. As mentioned in my Claydol article, draw power will be scarce in the next format, and many say that Uxie will be more necessary than before. In this article, I’ll go over what makes Uxie one of the best cards in the game, and why it may see more play next format.

One of the complaints I got was the lack of scans in my articles. Starting today, that will change! This is the League promo version of the card, in case you didn’t know.

Analysis

HP: 70 is pretty good for a non-evolving Basic. It’s 10 out of range of Gengar’s (SF) Shadow Room, but unfortunately can be taken out by Machamp (SF), Garchomp C lv. X, as well as Raikou & Entei Legend in one shot.

Weakness: Psychic is a common Weakness, so be very careful.

Resistance: Nothing to talk about here…

Retreat: One is pretty good for a Basic, so pay it if you have to.

Set Up: Being able to draw up to seven cards can help you set up faster (hence the name of the Poke-Power). The only downsides to this are the fact that it can only be used when you play Uxie from your hand onto your Bench, and if you play against SP decks, Power Spray totally screws up this Poke-Power. There are ways to reuse this Poke-Power, which I’ll explain in the Combos section.

Psychic Restore: Being able to do 20 for one Energy of any type is pretty good. Being able to put Uxie on the bottom of your deck so you can reuse Set Up is even better. This is also one of the only damaging attacks in the current Modified format that can Knock Out a Gengar (Stormfront) without triggering Gengar’s Fainting Spell Poke-Power. Basically you place Uxie on the bottom of your deck, and since Uxie is no longer in play, Fainting Spell doesn’t have a target, therefore rendering it useless.

Combos

PlusPower, Expert Belt: These two cards add damage to attacks, and both have drawbacks. One way around these drawbacks is to attach these cards to Uxie, use Psychic Restore, and send these cards to the bottom of the deck with Uxie, therefore you can reuse these cards later.

Underground Expedition: With this card, you look at the bottom four cards of your deck, choose two to add to your hand and two to return to the bottom of your deck. Assuming that your opponent doesn’t make you shuffle your deck via Judge, you can grab your Psychic Restored Uxie and use it again.

Night Teleporter: Like with Claydol last time, using this and getting heads can get you Uxie, then you play Uxie down and get a fresh hand of seven. If you try this strategy against SP decks, watch out for Power Spray, as that card totally destroys the strategy.

Ratings

Modified (current): With Claydol in the format, Uxie isn’t as necessary in a majority of decks. It can still grab you cards you probably couldn’t have with Claydol otherwise. 7/10

Modified (after September 1st): Uxie will see much more play here, since Claydol will be gone. I expect Uxie to be run in threes in most decks with it’s Level X form as the fourth Uxie allowed. 9/10

Conclusion

Uxie can definitely help out in setting up your stategy. It will become much more useful in September, so if you have a League near you, there’s still a chance that you can get your hands on a set of four before they run out (not to mention that Leagues are a great way to practice with your deck, and maybe get some pointers).

Feel free to leave comments on this article. You can also request a card to be reviewed in this thread.

Next TCG Expansion: HS-Undaunted!

The following press release reveals the there will be 90 cards in the set (not including secret cards like Alph Lithograph, etc.). It also reveals a major change to theme decks: now they come with a booster pack and a deck box.

Prereleases for this set should be held the weekends of August 7th, 14th, and 21st (due to Worlds being held on the weekend of the 14th, also the 21st is unconfirmed at this point)

No Challenge Too Great, No Battle Too Fierce: HS – Undaunted

The greatest Trainers are those who are fearless in the face of battle. And that’s you! In the Pokémon TCG: HS – Undaunted expansion, you’ll discover battle-ready Pokémon just waiting to be summoned by the fearless Trainer in you! The powerful Rayquaza and Deoxys become a Pokémon LEGEND to be reckoned with… six Pokémon – from Raichu to Umbreon to Slowking – join the ranks of Pokémon Prime… and Stadium cards like the Ruins of Alph and Trainer cards like Legend Box change every player’s strategy. Are you ready to be Undaunted? HS – Undaunted features 90 new cards and remains compatible with previous releases.

* Exciting new Pokémon LEGENDs – Kyogre and Groudon LEGEND and Rayquaza and Deoxys LEGEND!
* Six Pokémon Prime, including Raichu, Slowking, and Umbreon.
* Brand-new Trainer, Supporter, and Stadium cards with new gameplay strategies!
* Features two theme decks built around the Sun Pokémon Espeon (Daybreak) and the Moonlight Pokémon Umbreon (Nightfall).
* Each theme deck now contains a BONUS booster pack and a deck box for storing the deck!
* Holographic parallel set for players and collectors alike.
* 90 cards in all!

New Modified format for Pokemon TCG Announced!

Last week, Pokemon.com announced that the Modified format for next season will be Majestic Dawn-on. The following sets will be rotated as of September 1st, 2010 and will no longer be allowed for tournament play:

Diamond & Pearl
Mysterious Treasures
Secret Wonders
Great Encounters
DP Trainer Kit
POP 6-9
Promos DP01-DP21

Remember that the Modified format is for official premier events like Battle Roads and City Championships. Casual play and many Leagues may still allow rotated sets to be played.

Note: You can still use cards from rotated sets if that card has been reprinted in a legal set.
Example: You can use Rare Candy from Great Encounters in a Modified deck because it was reprinted in HS-Unleashed.