Pahk the cah in the Hahvahd yahd. Pahk the cah in the
Hahvahd yahd. Pahk the cah in the Hahvahd yahd.

              Oh, sorry. I was just brushing up on my New England
accent. I'm still on vacation up here in Maine and it's not always
easy to tell what they're saying. And if you ever find yourself lost in
Maine, do NOT ask for directions. You'll invariably wind up getting
something like this:

               "Well, if I was you, which I ain't, I'd drive up that road and
count until you get to 14, unless you're from New York and
probably count real fast, in which case you should count to 17.
Once you hit 14, or 17, you'll see a grazing pasture on your right
for Farmer Sutherland's milking cows. Now it's after 2 in the
afternoon, so they may not be out. Just drive real slow until you
can smell the manure. Once you get to the farm there, hang a left.
The road doesn't have a sign, but it used to be called Juniper road
back before the War. I think some punks took the sign as a joke in
the 70's. Drugs I tells you.
                 Anyhow, proceed down Juniper road until you get to
another unmarked road called Shallie. You'll know it's Shallie road
because there's nothing special about it."

              (Me, nodding my head vacantly, eyes glazed over, hoping
for this torture to end or a volcano to erupt nearby, distracting the
man so I can run away.)

                   "Head down Shallie for some time until you can see a
green silo, or maybe it's blue. I'm color blind. But it's a silo
nonetheless. Not a grain bin. Don't look for the grain bin or you'll
take a wrong turn onto McKeefer Drive which only heads to some
tidal flats and a bait shop run by my brother.
                   When you do see the green silo, or blue depending
upon the lighting and your genetics, turn around and head back at
about 20 miles per hour for 4 seconds or 7, New York time. By that
point, there should be an old vacated restaurant on your left called
Tweetie's. They had excellent strawberry rhubarb pie once, but ol'
Ms. Tweetie passed away from the cancer you know. It's a shame,
because you just can't find good strawberry rhubarb pie anymore.
You wanna know what her secre ingredient was? Good old
fashioned love and know-how, that's what.
                   But you'll wanna drive into the back of Tweetie's old
place and there you'll see another pasture. Theres no road there
per se, but a lotta tractors take that short cut. Bill Salisbury owns
the land, but he doesn't mind people cutting through so long as
they don't disturb the hogs. But if you hear a shotgun going off, put
the hammer down kid, cause it means ol' Bill's been at the bottle
again and he's likely to shoot your tires off without thinking first.
                    You're gonna wanna follow the tractor trail until you
get to the buckwheat field. You do know what buckwheat looks like
when it's growing don't cha? It looks a lot like oats. That should
help you. So when you get to the buckwheat fields, hang a left onto
the old dirt road by the Saco river. Now you'll be heading South

                Ummm, where were you headed again?"

        So you see, it's probably your best option to not speak to
anyone whe you're lost in New england.  Just drive around until you
get where you want to be or crash into the ocean. Either way it
beats being held captive by some senile old gas station attendant
with a whittling knife and a hat with a lobster on it.

            This all explains why I arrived at the hotel a day late. But
now I'm here all relaxing, as per the doctor's orders to take a
vacation and reduce the stress in my life. Of course my steering
wheel still has the claw marks leftover from yesterday when I was
trying to find Tweetie's Restaurant. Stupid grain bin.....

               I'm now relaxing here at my hotel, looking over some
decks people e-mailed me before I left. I've got an interesting one
here, worth a second look. The real reason of my typing this is to
fix decks, not provide cautionary tales of crazy New englanders.
Here it goes:


Hey crash! I sent in my deck quite a while (over 3 weekyou didn't reply, so i'm sending again. 
Say "Hi" to your secretary's vileplume for me (But watch out for that skull bash!) 
In any case, my Blastoise and I have a few words to say to Hypno about his credit card habits...

The deck (heavily metagamed- at least leave a couple fighting guys in there)
4 squirtle (2 base, 2 rocket)
2 Wartortle
2 Blastoise
2 Dark Wartortle
2 Dark Blastoise
2 TR Magikarp (this I should change)
1 Gyarados
1 TR Gyarados
4 TR Machop
3 Kangaskhan

1 ER
4 Computer Search
4 Bill
2 Oak (Yes, I put those at the end of the list to scare everyone)

21 energy (21?  In Raindance?  What's wrong with me?  I shouldn't be trusted to edit my own deck, which is why I'm sending it in)

So, the idea is to stall with Kangaskhan (if I get one) or some other Pokemon until I can build up Blastoise (duh).  Then, I raindance energy down and create a beatdown situation with Gyarados, Dark Gyarados (I really should get another Base Gyarados), Dark Blastoise (goodbye Hitmonchan) or
Blastoise himself.  If they pull a 'buzz or some other dastardly Electric-type, then they can welcome TR Machop into the mix.  If that fails, I take their deck, their wallet, and their car keys, so as to assume their identity (after beating them to death with my wad of Base Gastlys and
Victreebels, of course)  What do you think?  (You really must comment on the last part of my plan, I think it's a great use for those cards.)



    I particularly like your idea for all those Gastlys and Victreebels.

    (Disclaimer: Dr. Crash is eagerly awaiting the start of football
season and will accept any violence he can get right now. He is not
psycho or sociopathic, yet.)

           A meta-gamed Raindance could be just what this
archetype needs to kick it back into gear. Lately Haymaker and
Wigglytuff decks have been eating Raindance for lunch. Raindance
doesn't suck, far from it in fact. But the other archetypes seem to
be able to use cards that really screw raindance over, ones like
Lass and Rocket Sneak Attack.
            I've chosen a Raindance deck because the latest
expansion, Gym Heroes (Last week I mistakenly said it was Gym
Challenge. I'm sorry for those who were confused and for those who
were actually gullible enough to believe that Wizards of the Coast
would release something ahead of schedule.) contains a few new,
exciting cards that will open up Raindance's options, making it
leaner and meaner.

          But first things first. We shall examine the Pokemon

             No Raindance will function without Blastoise. This is the
most important element of the whole deck. That's why I truly
recommend more than just 2. You want to slam out a Blastoise as
early as possible to fuel the Raindancer engine. So that's why  at
least 3 is quite necessary. I know they can be pricey in places, but
it is essential to making the deck work properly.
              Dark Blastoise is a very good hitter too. Who could say
no to 70 damage for 4 Water Energy?

               I think early defense is critical as well for a Raindance
deck to survive. It takes a bit of time to get up and running, so
you'll need to put a good blocker out. Lapras used to soak up
damage in the opening rounds, and as much as I love that icy fella,
I think there's something better now. Gym Heroes has one heck of
a great Basic Colorless Pokemon called Erika's Dratini. This guy
reduces all damage done by Basic Pokemon to a piddling 10
damage, regardless of the source. Not even Fighters like
Hitmonchan or Machop can hurt this guy much. With 50 HP, he
can soak damage for 5 turns, which should be plenty of time to get
yourself set up. Erika's Pokemon is your Electabuzz guard.

                Also, for sheer power without a weakness, I've gotta tell
you to get yourself some Articunos. They're big. They're Basic.
They're powerful. Both of Articuno's attacks are big and can carry
additional effects. You toss in a nice Fighting Resistance, and he's
worth every penny.

                You don't want to crowd your Raindance deck with too
many Pokemon. Raindance requires a ton of Trainer support. I
think it needs more than Haymakers and Wigglytuffs. Let us begin.

               Your Trainers are just not enough to support the deck.
you've acknowledged the need for card drawing. That's good, but
it's just not about getting more Water Energy. You need to control
the board and eliminate opponents quickly with Raindance.
Blastoise can usually kill in one to two good hits. Your Trainers
need to make sure this happens.

                         Bills, Professor Oaks, Computer Searches, blah
blah's all been said before. I am going to say that having 4
Oaks is required. I know you think you'll deck yourself with all
those, but remember, you don't have to use them if you really don't
need to.

                       Second only to hand replenishment in Raindance
is getting Blastoise out quickly. This is why Pokemon Breeder is
such an important feature, one opponents will try to shut down by
use of Lass, Rocket Sneak Attack or Team Rocket's Trap. There's
not a lot that can be done about those cards, so just be prepared
and have 4 Breeders in case.

                         Blastoise can deal 60 damage. Dark Blastoise
can deal 70. Most Pokemon in competitive play are in the 70-80
HP range. On their own, Blastoise and its Dark brother will need 2
turns to finish off many Pokemon. Not with PlusPower though. PP
turns a 60 point hit into a KO for Hitmonchan and Electabuzz. 
Dark Blastoise can easily finish off a Wigglytuff in one hit for 80 HP
with a PlusPower. This can prove vital in quickly racking up the
prizes on your side while frustrating the tar out your enemy.

                        You'll definitely need some disruption cards like
Gust of Wind and Rocket Sneak Attack. Hopefully you'll get to go
first and be able to use those Sneak Attacks to flush any Lasses
or other Sneak Attacks out of your opponent's hand. This opening
move can quickly tilt the game in your favor. As for Gust, well it's
just an all purpose card, great in many situations.

                         Raindance gained a great new card in Gym
Heroes called Energy Flow. It normally allows you to take any
amount of Energy on your Pokemon back into your hand. This is
okay by itself. You can freely redistribute your Energy or get more
mileage from Energy that's stuck on a doomed Pokemon. With
Raindance however, this card becomes much more powerful,
because you can drop all your Water Energy all over again. This is
especially cruel if you decide to drop an Articuno suddenly and
freeze the bajeezas out of an unsuspecting enemy's bench.With
Energy Flow, you can retreat a Blastoise and promote the newly
dropped Articuno and immediately slam down 4 energy and go to
town. That's combo power!
                        Speaking of combo power, since you're freely
allowed to rearrange your Energy just like a Venusaur, why not
employ a classic trick from the Venucenter decks of yesteryear?
Throw a couple Pokemon Centers into the deck. Combined with
Energy Flow, this is a clean board sweep with no penalty. No
Energy in play? No problem! You don't have to sacrifice and the
damage is still healed!

                     As for the Energy, I don't know why you're
chastising yourself. 21 isn't bad at all. There was a time when there
was about 27-30 energy in Raindance, but that was wasting slots.
Time and new cards have allowed us to streamline Raindance
decks down to the same energy requirements as the rest. Think of
it this way: You're probably not gonna have all 4 Blastoises out and
jumping, nor will your Articunos all show up at once. On an average
of 3-4 Energy per attacker, and your attackers are pretty big
league, you'll do just fine at around 20 Energy. That's enough for
about 5 powerhouses which should be plenty to take the opposition
out. You also didn't specify which Energy you used, but I'm going
to give you the benefit of the doubt in not thinking you have a family
of weasels living in your cranial space and assume you meant to
say Water Energy.

                    Let's view this revised puppy:

                4 Squirtles (use the Base version. you've got Water and
1st turn paralysis is often mean.)
                3 Blastoises
                2 Dark Blastoises
                3 Articunos (The Promo version is decent too and in
some cases preferred, but don't wrack your brain or wallet finding
them. It's not important enough.)
                3 Erika's Dratinis

                4 Bills
                4 Professor Oaks
                2 Computer Searches
                4 Pokemon Breeders
                2 Energy Flows
                2 Pokemon Centers
                3 Gusts of Wind
                2 Rocket Sneak Attacks
                3 PlusPowers

                19 Water Energy

                 Voila! (That's French for "Well, shuck my corn!") This
deck will function very rapidly and shouldn't take too much of a
beating thanks to Erika's Dratini protecting you until you power up.
Even Articuno can make a nice staller against a Haymaker opening
with a Hitmonchan.
                   I've included some pretty fun and devious combos to
keep you clear. The only other thing I could think of for this deck
would be a couple Switches due to the high retreat costs. But you
may find that's unnecessary usually. Who can say?

                  You may send my payment to my office back home,
where my secretary will promptly ignore it and continue preening
herself for some non-existent guy she thinks will walk in any

                  I must now enjoy the rest of my vacation. I've only got
a couple days left until summer ceremonailly comes to an end and
we all go back to our boring "rest-of-the-year lives". I plan on
starting tomorrow morning off just right. I've called room service and
ordered breakfast and something to watch.

                 Steak,. eggs and a Christopher Walken movie. Oh

                   I might even watch it twice. I'm sure as rain not
leaving this place again until it's time to go. Cripes, I may NEVER
find my way back. Even the road maps here have cows on them.

                               Good Luck!!
                      Doctah Crash Landon
my signature line