Broken Cards in Pokemon

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Broken Cards in Pokemon

Post by thetrue7man on Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:40 pm

I've been running this through my head lately; what are some of the most broken cards that there have ever been in this game? I mean, there is the hyper-obvious stuff like bill and energy removal, but what else is there that was truly insane Question

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Re: Broken Cards in Pokemon

Post by Omni~Mage on Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:49 pm

In the first few sets Blastoise was nuts. You could build a deck of just Squirtle-Wartortle-Blastoise, 12-18 energy and 30ish Trainers and go to town on people VERY fast in comparison to the rest of the sets. One of the better examples of rigging the mulligan mechanic in your favor in that game.

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Re: Broken Cards in Pokemon

Post by The Supreme King on Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:19 pm

Omni~Mage wrote:In the first few sets Blastoise was nuts. You could build a deck of just Squirtle-Wartortle-Blastoise, 12-18 energy and 30ish Trainers and go to town on people VERY fast in comparison to the rest of the sets. One of the better examples of rigging the mulligan mechanic in your favor in that game.
Except that strategy wasn't top tier at that time. Base Set Electabuzz ate that deck alive. While you can mulligan till you get a certain Pokemon if you don't have any on your bench due to knock out you lose automatically. Rain Dance style Powers wouldn't become truly good until BLS (Blastoise Ex, Lugia Ex, Steelix Ex) in the Ex era, Inferno Fandango in the BW era.

To answer the OP, there have been plenty of broken cards in their own formats.

The Base Set formats were filled with broken Trainers, not unlike Yugioh's early days being filled with broken Spells. This was a time before Supporters were made into cards so cards like Professor Oak, Bill, Energy Removal, (even better or terrible) Super Energy Removal, Computer Search, Item Finder, Gust of Wind were broken. P Oak, Bill, Computer Search, and Item Finder all ensured the game was filled with hyper consistency. Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal all ensured that higher Energy needing attackers were nonviable. Gust of Wind made sure decks needing evolution were at a heavy handicap. Big basics like Hitmonchan, Electabuzz, Ditto completely dominated the game and when Jungle was released Scyther joined to form a trio.

After Base Set's rotation came the domination of Neo Genesis Sneasel. Sneasel could do ridiculous amounts of damage fast and when aided by Neo Genesis Slowking, tore the game apart. Slowking could keep the opponent from playing Trainers, and if the flip went wrong bounced the Trainer on top of their deck. This is significant for multiple reasons. First, it was mistranslated. In Japan it had to be your active, whereas in English it could sit safely on the bench. This also allowed you to stack multiple on the bench to essentially lock Trainers off. Second, there were no Supporters in the game yet. There were only Pokemon, Energy, and Trainers. While Slowking slowed the opponent to a crawl, Sneasel tore them to shreds. Eventually both would be banned by Wizards of the Coast, the only cards to ever be banned in PTCG.

Once Sneasel was knocked out of the game came Feraligatr's time to shine in a deck called Riptide after Feraligatr's attack. Feraligatr dominated the game so much that decks were made viable simply by having a 50-50 match up with it. Essentially the idea was to get a shit load of Water energy into the discard pile and then return them with Riptide. This was aided by Misty's Wrath for speed and consistency and Trash Exchange for recycling your Trainers and milling. The deck could KO increadibly easily, and was dominant until the Gym series rotated and it lost Trash Exchange and Misty's Wrath.

I'm not very knowledgeable about many things between then and the SP series of cards.

While legal every single deck in the game played Great Encounters Claydol. Though, this is often seen as a high point in the competitive game's history, a format of immense skill and diversity. There were cards viable simply because they could take out the opponent's Claydol such as Garchomp SP, and Luxray SP. Claydol would rotate, and LuxChomp would become the dominant deck of its format. Although, not in the same tier 0 manner that Feralgatr dominated. LuxChomp was part of a "square" format between LuxChomp, Gyarados, Gengar, and DialgaChomp. I'd suggest looking up these decks specifically if you want more info. As for specifically broken cards during this era, I'd list Crowbat SP, Stormfrong Sableye (more on him in a sec) , Powerspray, Stormfront Gyarados.

Crowbat SP had the Poke-Power that allowed you to put a damage counter on an opponent's Pokemon. Seems harmless, but when combined with the support the SPs got it could be dropped multiple times a turn for upwards of 40 damage in a turn making or breaking 1-h-kos.

Stormfront Sableye introduced the first and only (as far as I know) viable donk into the game. Majestic Dawn on was so consistent and Power creep had brought the game so far that you could Ko up to around 2-3 Pokemon on the very first turn. The catch is that if you start with Sableye as your active you automatically go first. Sableye had the attack Overconfident that did 10 or 40 if Sableye had less HP remaining than the opponent's active. So you devoted your entire deck to turboing and recycling Legends Awakened Uxie, Crowbat SP and various Trainers in order to clear your opponent's entire field and win before they get to play. There was truly nothing like it before or since it in PTCG.

Powerspray was Pokemons first and only hand trap. It blocked Pokepowers as long as you had an SP pokemon. It was completely searchable within the SP engine and was part of a great soft-lock in DialgaChomp decks. Although, was completely SP generic and was used heavily in any and all SP decks.

Stormfront Gyarados is my last choice for broken cards in SP on. Stormfront Gyarados looks just fine maybe even a little mediocre, until you notice it's interesting attack Tail Revenge. For no energy you can do 30 damage times the number of Magikarp in your discard pile. Remember how I mentioned Stormfront's incredible consistency? Gyarados took full advantage of that. The deck ran no energy to attack, bypassing one of Pokemon's limiting factors in the game, the only energy it played was Rescue so it could recycle your Gyarados. You then recycled a Magikarp and continued on your rampage. The deck was ridiculously fast, able to field 120 damage T1 consistently. Not needing energy allowed it to recycle Pokemon easily, have immense speed and without having to waste deck space have room for techs, speed, and extra consistency. Truly one of the best of its time.

After the format rotated up to HGSS on the game faced a massive power leak. It sucked.

Eventually Black and White would release. Black and White started the powercreep most evident today, big ass basics. Previously basics HP never really breached the 100 area (SP and choice crappy ones like Chanseys, Kangaskhans, etc.). Black and White introduced BW Zekrom and BW Reshiram. Both were 130 Hp basics (to compare most Exs hovered around 120-160, Primes maxed at 140 both on Stage 2s). These guys had fat asses. As one would expect they dominated the game. Reshiphlosion decks and Zekrom donk did increadibly well. Zekrom had remarkable speed, using the combo of Call of Legend Pachirisu to play 2 extra Lightning energy, Unleased Shaymin
to move them to Zekrom and then Zekrom goes crazy with Bolt Strike for 120 as early as turn 1. I should remind you this is still in a great powerleak. Zekrom smacked the opponent around before they could set up. Reshiram wasn't all that remarkabley besides it's high hp and good support from Typhlosion Prime.

Another notable card released during this time was Pokemon Catcher. This was a reprint of the old Gust of Wind. Remember what I said about that? Well, it did the same exact thing here too. It was a 3-of in every deck until it got an erratum to require a favorable coinflip.

Then the new batch of EXs came out and raised the bar to 180 hp basics.


Last edited by The Great Integrity on Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:25 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Broken Cards in Pokemon

Post by #assassin on Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:21 pm

Damn. That's some high-quality stuff right there.
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Re: Broken Cards in Pokemon

Post by The Supreme King on Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:28 pm

Agent Ward wrote:Damn. That's some high-quality stuff right there.

I just love the old PTCG so much. And like when someone says something completely wrong on Pojo, I had to correct that statement about Base Set Blastoise being great. There's a reason why Haymaker was Tier 0 in its day.

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Re: Broken Cards in Pokemon

Post by Omni~Mage on Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:40 pm

Blah, shows me to not post about game I've not played in years.

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Re: Broken Cards in Pokemon

Post by The Supreme King on Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:24 pm

Omni~Mage wrote:Blah, shows me to not post about game I've not played in years.

I do the same thing all the time. Idk if you've ever seen me post in any strategy thread that isn't HEROs.


One thing I've always been interested in is making a Yugioh like Pokemon format with a ban list.

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Re: Broken Cards in Pokemon

Post by #assassin on Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:41 pm

The Great Integrity wrote:
Omni~Mage wrote:Blah, shows me to not post about game I've not played in years.

I do the same thing all the time. Idk if you've ever seen me post in any strategy thread that isn't HEROs.


One thing I've always been interested in is making a Yugioh like Pokemon format with a ban list.

Same here. I don't really post very often in other strategy guides even though I'm subbed to them.. because I'll probably say something stupid and embarrass myself. Wink

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