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Ness' Card of the Day

Rocket's Zapdos

"It's so broken, it's not even funny."-Alex Brosseau, #14 Global

10.15.00  What's up, everyone? With the release of Gym: Challenge we stumbled upon a pretty new Zapdos.. it's attacks can catch your eye quite quickly. One Lightning for 20 and get a lightning from discard?!  Three lightning and one colorless does 70!?  

In tournament environments nothing seems to matter, but speed, and does Zapdos slow gameplay down a bit?

NO! Rocket's Zapdos is perfect with what is already far too strong in Pok�mon: Speed, and Energy Denial.

The Deadly Combos of Zapdos

Plasma and Super Energy Removal are a deadly combo with Rocket's Zapdos. Zapdos can Plasma the energy it Supered away right back onto it. It's Electroburn looks kind of suicidal, but you can work around that with Defender, another nice Zapdos combo. This Zapdos has no weakness, and resistance to fighting, this will allow nice lightning decks to be created since Zapdos can back up the weakness to fighting on Electabuzz and Lt. Surge's Electabuzz. Lt. Surge's Electabuzz(70HP) works descent with Zapdos, as they both discard and recover large amounts of lightning energy with their attacks. Just like the Promo Mewtwo Absorption/Comp Search combo, Zapdos can get a nice start by discarding. Some ways to get lightning in the discard immediately and also get some useful cards are with Item Finder, Computer Search, and Misty's Wrath. Although I thought I'd never say Super Potion was a useable card in tournament environment, it can be now. Plasma with Super Potion can be a nice, repeated cycle. And yes, Zapdos can be a trapper Pok�mon, although it takes until turn 3 to Electroburn, making it a reasonable, but not particulary advantegous Trapper Pok�mon. The two Supers, Super Potion, and even better, Super Energy Removal, are just great with Zapdos, and remember, besides the obvious reason that Zapdos can get extra energy every turn, you can repeat the super cycles every few turns.

The Many Things Shut Down by this Evil Lightning Bird, and the Few Things That Stop It

Zapdos should shut down Rain Dance(as if it wasn't already completely shut down already) with it's wonderful lightning type. First turn Plasmas with PlusPower can take out the Rocket Squirtles. Zapdos has no particular advantage over Magmar or Mewtwo besides the fact that it can build fast when played right. It completely wipes out the decreasingly popular Hitmonchan, and it loses to lightning decks with Ditto since Ditto can plasma and Electroburn way faster because of it's Double Colorless giving two lightning ability, but lovely Goop Gas can shut down the that pretty purple pile. Ditto in non-lightning decks is still a large threat to Zapdos. I repeat: GOOP GAS.

How to Play Rocket's Zapdos to Your Advantage

Zapdos' Electroburn is played best when you play it like you would a Chansey that you're Double-Edging with. What I mean is, if you wait until the right moment, you should be able to Electroburn, and keep Zapdos alive for one more Kamikaze Electroburn. Use a few Energy Removals and Super Energy Removals if you have to to stop them from knocking it out, and then next turn, if Zapdos can make it, do the sacrificial Electroburn. Electroburning in the right two turns this gets you two prizes, and your opponent one. It's like trading a knight for two bishops, for those of you who are familiar with chess. Remember- it's almost always okay to trade when you're ahead. So if your Zapdos is weak, Electroburn it away and exchange prize drawings, most of the time, this works well. With Defenders and Super Potion it is possible to get numerous Electroburns off. (The Neo card Golden Nut will break Zapdos even more.) The magical number of 70 is just amazing in tournament play as it one-turn K.O.'s other Rocket's Zapdos, Hitmonchan, Magmar, Electabuzz, Mewtwo, Scyther, and with a PlusPower, the dreaded Wigglytuff.

My Rating (1- Almost completely useless, 5- Average, 10-Totally broken)
I think Zapdos deserves a
perfect 10. It's just simple amazing, it works great with Speed, Energy Denial, combos, three of the most important things in tournament play. It is totally broken, and will be with us in tournament play for a while.
~Jason Klaczynski

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