If you’re reading this, then I forgot to
write an actual intro.
is a Stage 2 Pokémon; right now they
need to do some pretty spectacular
things to see play right now.
The format is quite fast, and
Stage 2 Pokémon can’t match Basic
Pokémon for speed and space efficiency,
though at the “cost” of using
Rare Candy instead of the
appropriate Stage 1 form, they can match
the speed of Stage 1 Pokémon.
To top it all off, Basic Pokémon
have added support right now; widening
is one of the spiffy, still fairly new,
All currently revealed
Dragon-Type Pokémon have Dragon-Type
Salamence can hit all of them for
Nothing we have seen so far is
naturally Dragon Resistant, and there is
a little bit of support specific to the
All in all, it is a good Type to
140 HP is about average for a Stage 2
Pokémon; just large enough that only the
biggest attackers can score a OHKO. The
exception of course would be other
Dragon-Type Pokémon, since
Salamence has their universal
Weakness to their own Type.
The biggest hitters amongst the
Dragon-Type already would have OHKOed
Salamence, but now anything that can
hit for at least 70 (before Weakness)
can manage it, and some of those bigger
one’s will manage it for less of an
investment than would otherwise have
In short, it isn’t the worst
Weakness, but it isn’t the greatest.
No Resistance, on the other hand, is the
obvious worst Resistance.
I can understand the fear of
making Dragon-Type Pokémon too potent
since exactly how they would play out
was unknown, but looking at its options
for Resistance, I don’t think this was a
major issue; to avoid “conflict” due to
multiple video game Types being merged
into a single TCG Type, Fire and Grass
Resistance were still real options.
Neither would be an especially useful
Resistance, but unless they felt the
need to ding
Salamence elsewhere, better than
If the designers wouldn’t mind
being “off” by a Type, the Dragon/Flying
hybrid that is
Salamence is immune to Ground-,
Resistant to Fighting-, and Weak to
Rock-Types in the video games, which are
all combined into the TCG Rock-Type.
Lastly, it could have been Water
Resistant, though the TCG type includes
Water- and Ice-Types from the video
games, the latter being a Weakness of
Dragon-Type Pokémon… Flying-Types; so
Ice-Type moves do quadruple damage to
Salamence in the video games!
Lastly we come to the Retreat Cost of
two; this is low enough that it can be
paid, but usually costly enough you
won’t want to.
Additionally, this is just one
shy of being a legal
Heavy Ball target, but for a Stage 2
still reasonably good.
has an Ability and an attack: Scornful
Storm and Shred.
Scornful Storm allows you to,
once per turn, force your opponent to
discard cards from his or her hand.
That is amazing, which is why
there is a small restriction; you just
force them to discard down to four cards
This means a skilled player can
avoid discarding at all, and without
much effort or skill most players are
only going to lose cards every few
turns; it is probably generous to assume
a “one-per-turn” average.
Scornful Storm isn’t overly good; mostly
a nice threat against opponent’s who are
bad at hand management.
Sadly, Shred does not combo well
with it; nothing that makes your
opponent draw cards or gets stronger
based on what is in your opponent’s
discard pile, but I would hope you knew
We have seen this attack multiple
times recently, and all that tends to
change is the cost and damage done.
Four (RWCC) this version scores 90
damage, disappointing considering
Rayquaza (BW: Dragons Exalted
128/124, Dragon Vault 11/20) hits
just as hard for (RLC), though both
suffer for having costs that aren’t
found on the same
Considering this is a Stage 2 and
not a Basic Pokémon, that really hurts;
one hopes this means the powers-that-be
feel Scornful Storm will prove better
than I expect.
For four Energy, even with the added
benefit of ignoring all damage altering
effects on the target Pokémon, it really
should have hit for 100; after all much
of the time, there won’t be anything
altering the damage!
Also remember that Weakness and
Resistance are not considered “effects”
but game mechanics.
It is a good effect, but its
biggest contribution is ignoring
Eviolite, should it be present.
It isn’t all bad, however; 90 points of
damage will be enough to 2HKO anything
in the game with 180 HP or less.
That means the exceptions to the
2HKO or less parameters are
Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted
26/124), roughly have the Pokémon-EX in
the game if they were to use
Giant Cape instead of
Eviolite (unlikely), and the few odd
Pokémon that protect themselves not by
reducing damage, but by preventing the
attack from happening or by altering it
on the attacker (that is, the Pokémon
that would be using Shred).
Salamence is the only legal version
of itself in Modified.
Unlike the other Stage 2
Dragon-Type Pokémon in Dragon Vault
and BW: Dragons Exalted,
Salamence only has one version of
each of its lower Stages available.
Bagon (Dragon Vault 6/20) is
a Basic Pokémon with 50 HP, Dragon
Weakness, no Resistance, and a single
Energy Retreat Cost.
For (C) it can attack for 10
points of damage, and for (RW) it can
hit for 20.
Simply put, filler with the only
sign of effort being that it matches the
same odd Energy pairing as
(Dragon Vault 7/20) does only
A Stage 1 Dragon-Type Pokémon
that of course has Dragon Weakness, no
Resistance, and 80 HP; this is a bit low
for an Evolving Stage 1 Pokémon
functionally, though in terms of actual
releases far too common an amount.
It has a Retreat Cost of three
making it a legal target for
Heavy Ball, but since the rest of
the line can’t use it, it doesn’t do
Shelgon much good.
Its first attack is “okay”: for (C) it
does 10 points of damage and you flip a
coin, with the attack doing 20 more
points of damage on a result of “heads”,
and still doing 10 points of damage for
a result of “tails”.
The second attack requires (RWC)
and hits for 50 points of damage; about
70 short of the minimum proven effective
in the current format.
At least again, the challenging
Energy pairing isn’t something extra;
though skipping it with such a low
return would have been fine by me.
Focus on using mostly
So for Modified, there isn’t much to do
with this card; as a Stage 2 Pokémon
Energy acceleration besides
Double Colorless Energy and perhaps
Exp. Share would require too much
Entei EX (BW: Dark Explorers
13/108, 103/108) could help as well, but
you won’t be able to optimize it by
running on purely basic
There aren’t a lot of ways to make your
opponent draw cards, though with some
luck you can hit a cluttered hand.
Remember that discarding may help
an opponent; you might set-up for a
Dark Patch or improve the draw from
Bianca… or both at the same time!
With Scornful Storm you can make sure
your opponent keeps no more than four
cards in hand from
since the maximum they would get is six,
as soon as said opponent takes two
Prizes, this combo won’t matter.
is just a generally useful Supporter a
deck is likely to run, so this is less
“run this” than “don’t forget to do it”.
For Unlimited, you can have some more
First, recognize that you’re
shooting for a fun win over the most
effective win; there are still decks
that win (or can get you in an effective
lock) first turn.
Still, if you want to somewhat
creatively mill your opponent, it can do
Broken Time Space
allows you to get it into play first
and without telegraphing it if your
Most cards you would consider
allow (and not force) your opponent to
draw, so not dropping
Bagon until right before you Evolve
If your opponent doesn’t see
Bagon (or of course
Salamence itself), most will take
the change and draw thinking you are
only going to slam them with
Imposter Oak’s Revenge.
This card isn’t really an option for
Limited, since it comes from a mini-set.
If it is reprinted (along with a
Shelgon) it would be a solid pull;
you might have to skip it is you only
got a risky 1-1-1 line or if you
couldn’t work both basic
Fire Energy and
Water Energy into your deck, but
half of the price of Shred is Colorless,
and Limited will often feature dual
color and tricolor decks.
So while we won’t get “great” Support
Salamence, in a few sets we will get
Colress allows you to shuffle your
hand into your deck, and then draw an
amount of cards up to the total number
of Pokémon on both players’ Benches.
While this is a variable amount
drawn, and while your opponent has the
chance to play down their hand before
your turn even begins, most players are
going to want to draw as much as they
can, and not every card can be played
down in the same turn.
So if your opponent has a choice; don’t
draw as much as they could (helping
you), or draw as much as they are
allowed but risk not being able to play
out their hands to the point that
Scornful Storm misses them. It is a
small but important boost (let alone
Colress is just great draw power to
The other hope hasn’t been seen
yet; if we get another
Salamence, this one will likely be
an easy combo piece, since most of the
time multiple Scornful Storms will be a
We also will be getting
Ether soon, an Item that reveals the
top card of your deck, and if that card
is a Basic Energy card, you can attach
it to one of your Pokémon.
That small burst of speed may
Salamence anchor its own deck; as a
Stage 2 most other forms of Energy
acceleration don’t seem like efficient
is another borderline card; a little
more and it might be worth running
competitively, or at least be a strong
Type-matching might help it out
more than I expect, but otherwise it is
waiting for future support that may