Hello. You're a bit early. I wasn't expecting anyone for about 15
minutes. Well, come into my office anyway. I need an opinion.

     Another patient of mine remarked that my walls and shelves looked too
bare and cold. She suggested that I add some personal momentos to give my
office some individual charm. I had no idea it looked that generic in here.
I always thought finished cherry tables and desks and patent leather chairs
looked good enough. Guess not.

     I've added some of the various awards and plaques to this office now.
Some stuff to add color and a sense of accomplishment. They seem to help and
I think they look good, but to be honest, most of the awards and plaques are
here so my secretary can't call me an uneducated quack anymore. That's why I
chose them, over pictures and paperweights.

     Like this here, a trophy of mine from my childhood. "Regional
Tiddlywinks Championship - Age 4 to 6 Division"

    Here's another. "Northeast Judo Competition - Fastest Sprinter"

     I'm pretty fond of this certificate as well. "Pokemon University
Symphonic Band - For Exceptional Performance - Triangle"

    I've got a bunch more left to put on the shelves and walls. But they can
wait. You see to have a deck in need of assistance. So let's see what you've

>Here is the configuration for my "Flower Cannon" deck:
>Pokemon (23)
>4 Bulbasaur
>2 Ivysaur
>1 Venusaur
>3 Nidoran (M)
>2 Nidorino
>1 Nidoking
>3 Oddish
>2 Gloom
>1 Vileplume
>4 Scyther
>Trainers (10)
>2 Professor Oak
>2 Bill
>1 Pokemon Trader
>1 Pokemon Breeder
>2 Poke Ball
>2 Gust Of Wind
>Energy (27)
>27 Grass Energy
>My deck strategy: During the begining of the battle, I use Scyther to hold
>off the opponent while using Pokemon Trader and Pokemon Breeder to help me
>get Nidoking, Venusaur and Vileplume. When I get all of them ready to
>fight, I use Nidoking's Toxic to attack the opponent, while Venusaur gets
>other Pokemon ready to attack with Energy Trans and Vileplume uses Heal to
>keep everyone's HP high.
>           From Danny

      Oooh....You DO need help. Wel you've come to the proper place, despite
what my secretary may have told you on the phone.

      I'm guessing that you're pretty much a person who plays Pokemon just
for fun and not to be competitive. There's not a single thing wrong with
that. I play more friendly games than I do tournaments too. Still, when you
play, fun or competition, it's nice to win on a regular basis. I've got my
doubts about whether this deck can win much right now. I'll explain why
before I fix it up.

      Right now, this deck is using three families, the Venusaur, Nidoking
and Vileplume families. The problem is that each evolution goes all the way
up to Stage 2. This means that it can become extremely difficult to get the
proper evolution in your hand at the right time. You always have to think
about 3 different evolutions at once. This can become really cumbersome and
it also slows down your deck and rate of play.
      With the Pokemon TCG, it's usually best to try and keep things
reasonably simple. A deck which contains three different Stage 2 evolutions
is very complex. It can be done, but you won't win often and if you do, it
will certainly be hard fought.

      Another problem is that with all the reliance upon the powerful Stage
2's, you've only included 1 of each in the deck's formula. I understand it
can be tough to get some of those Holofoil rares. Maybe that's why. You
didn't state whether money was a large issue, so I have to assume that you
can at least, over time, through trade or buying packs, get more of the
cards you need. After all you DO have 4 Scythers which shows you've got the
resources necessary, somewhere.
      Anyhow, if you rely upon any Stage 2 card, you MUST include more than
one in the deck, even more than 2 in some cases. If your only Vileplume
becomes one of your prizes, you're in a tight spot. Mathematically, the more
copies of a card you include, the better the chance you'll draw it when you
need it. Since Stage 2's aren't needed until the middle of a game usually,
barring Raindance decks, you can get away with having somewhat less of them
than your starting Pokemon.

      So we must now decide how to streamline this slow behemoth into a
leaner, meaner Grass machine. Unfortunately, this means that it will become
necessary to lose 2 out of 3 of the large families.

      Since the name of the deck is "Flower Cannon", you'll still need
something flowery. Nidoking isn't very floral and it's Basic and Stage 1's
aren't terribly helpful, he's the first to go.
      We now have 2 flowery Pokemon left: Vileplume and Venusaur.
Strategically, Venusaur's Pokemon Power is SO much better than Vileplume's.
Heal requires a coin flip and is only once during your turn. Energy Trans is
certain to go off, can be done many times and is very abusable, combo-wise.
Vilplume has a risky attack requiring more coin flips and even then it could
hurt you when it's all done. Venusaur has a clean and powerful 60 point
attack. Nice enough. So Vilplume and his younger siblings can hit the road.

       We're left with Venusaur. Good HP, nice Power, solid attack. Poor
retreat cost, but hey, whattya want for a Stage 2? They can't all be
Beedrill. So this means that you'll need 4 Bulbasaurs. Bulbasaurs pretty
much suck, but they're a necessary evil if you want Venusaur to appear. 3
Venusaurs will ensure that you get one soon enough to make  use of it's

       Now we must select some Pokemon that will be able to keep you in the
game until Venusaur makes it onto your bench.

       Scyther is definitely a great choice. The nonexistent retreat cost
will really help in this deck. Good HP and a resistance to Fighting types is
also spectacular. 4 of these suckers will be needed.

       Thus far, all the Pokemon are weak to Fire. Fire bad! Fossil Magmars,
Moltres, Ninetales and now Arcanines are popping up in plenty of decks. So
we have to get some Pokemon that won't be so hurt by flame. It's best to
keep all the Energy in the deck Grass to further utilize Venusaur's Energy
Trans, so let's look at the Colorless Pokemon for some help.

        In times like this, I prefer to call upon the utility infielder:
Ditto. Ditto can pretty much take whatever your opponent throws at you and
tosses it right back. This Pokemon is so versatile, words cannot describe
the value. I've played with Ditto in all kinds of decks and 99% of the time,
I'm glad to have had him there. Yeah, there's other cards that work just as
well, but Ditto makes a good choice for times when you're uncertain what may
come your way. I think 3 Dittos will make this deck function better.

        The other Colorless wonder I'm going to recommend is Chansey. The
white wall of Pokemon, Chansey is great. It has tremendous HP, 120, can
avoid damage sometimes and has a great last-ditch effort in its Double-Edge
attack. Don't be afraid to play a war of attrition, (eye for an eye) wit
your Chansey if it will eliminate a troublesome enemy Pokemon, like
Ninetales or Hitmonchan. This is mostly a backup Pokemon for this deck, so 2
will be enough.

         This takes care of the Pokemon. I'm sorry that it doesn't really
resemble the original version, but that selection just didn't look like it
was going anywhere fast. This new group should move a lot better. Oh, hey
look to your left. There's a really cool trophy there I got several years
back. I like that trophy because it has lots of deep blue inlining and hurts
really hard when you smack someone with it. Just ask the burglar that broke
into my house a while back...he he. Anyhow check it out.

        "Annual Karaoke Meet - Endicottville New York - Good Taste Award for
Keeping Mouth Shut"

         Cool no? I didn't even know it was a meet. I thought it was just a
poorly themed All-You-Can-Eat Buffet.

       So let's get cracking on those Trainers...

    All the ones you picked were good, well except for the Poke-Balls. Those
suck. There's only a 50% chance that you'll see anything from it. That's no
good. It's best to get the sure thing, even if you pay a bit more for it

     First, the obligatory Bills and Oaks. Here's a set..4 Bills and 2
Professor Oaks. Good. Card drawing is a must have in any deck.

     Next we'll need a set of Pokemon Breeders to speed up the appearance of
Venusaur.  From Bulbasuar to Venusaur. Heck with that Ivysaur clunker.
Breeder really speeds up your game.

    Next you will need some Gusts of Wind. Since Magmars can spell early
disaster, you need a way to control the board. Gust is near perfect. It can
score you an easy KO, remove a threat or just let you stall for a few turns.
It's possibilities are only limited by how cunning you are.

    Computer search will be a required element if you want to get a Venusaur
or Breeder into your hand sooner. You can lose whatever isn't helping you at
the moment and get what will. Computer Search is in every deck built by the
pros. EVERY deck. So why shouldn't you benefit from it? There's no good
answer to that question, so we'll move on.

     Next up is some Scoop Ups. Aside from the Venusaur family, we're
dealing with lots of Basic Pokemon. Scoop Up is great for healing and
removing a Pokemon from harm's way. Some players think of it as a
combination Pokemon Center and personal Gust of Wind. You get to heal your
Pokemon, it loses whatever Energy it had on it and then you replace the one
you just Scooped Up with a Pokemon ready to fight. With Venusaur's Energy
Trans, it becomes more powerful since you can move all the Grass Energy off
before Scooping Up. Therefore, there's no loss and another Pokemon becomes
instantly charged up. Kewl! Give yourself 3 Scoop Ups.

     That brings me to the next evil little trick. Pokemon Center. Venusaur
and Pokemon Center were made for each other. Stick all your Grass Energy on
whichever Pokemon isn't damaged at all and then play Pokemon Center.
Everyone is healed completely and no Energy is lost as normal. When that's
done, use Energy Trans once again to set the Energy to where it was or
whatever you think would be better. It's a great, classic, maneuver and
almost forgotten due to the popularity of other deck types. But if you pull
it off, it's crushing to your opponent.

     A good addition to this deck would be a few Nightly Garbage Runs. It's
inevitable that you'll lose some Grass Energy sometime. Nightly Garbage Run
is a good way to get it back and extend your deck's life by three turns if
need be. You can get back Dittos or lost Venusaurs in the same way. This
card is wonderful.

     Finally, 2 Item Finders are needed here. All decks that rely upon
Pokemon Breeders are prone to the Lass card. Some players don't use it. Some
do. It's popularity has really picked up in the last year. Last summer when
it was just Jungle and Base Set, Lass was nearly unused in many areas.
People spat at the idea of getting one as a rare in a pack. Now, some
actually hope for them. I do. Anyhow, a weel-timed Lass can disrupt your
plans to evolve Bulbasaur, so Item Finders are a good way to recover
anything lost. Lass may not be played in your neck of the woods, but I can't
be certain, so I'm playing it safe.

     Your Energy situation was a bit overdone as well. It's true that Grass
Pokemon tend to need more Energy than others for their attacks. But if
you're using Venusaur, this can be easily overcome. In any deck, 27 Energy
is too much. You should draw one Energy for every three cards. At this rate,
20 is the average amount needed. Since Venusaur makes Energy manipulation
easier and we've got some Nightly Garbage Runs for support, we can get away
with slightly less than 20. 18 is still roughly one third of your deck. It's
nowhere near as annoying as drawing Energy every other card like with 27
though. Since we've got some Colorless Pokemon here, I'll advise tossing in
3 Double Colorless Energy. With 15 Grass Energy, you should be well set.

        Let's take a look at the much changed, much better Flower Cannon.

      4 Bulbasaurs
      3 Venusaurs
      4 Scythers
      3 Dittos
      2 Chanseys

      4 Bills
      2 Professor Oaks
      4 Pokemon Centers
      3 Scoop Ups
      4 Gusts of Wind
      2 Computer Searches
      2 Item Finders
      3 Nightly Garbage Runs
      2 Pokemon Centers

      15 Grass Energy
      3 Double Colorless Energy

    Now we're talking Flower Power!! This should provide a much more
enjoyable game than the previous incarnation you had. It's nice to win once
in a while, isn't it? Anyhow, with this deck, do what damage you can in the
beginning, stall if necessary with Chansey or Scyther and try to get that
Venusaur out there. Once he's out, your game gets much easier. Control where
you Energy goes, try and keep your hand full and look for that important
Pokemon Center to lock the game down toward the end. It's really tough for
anyone to come back after their opponent does a clean damage sweep and loses
no Energy in the process. Use Chansey and Scyther for the big hits. Run
Ditto as interference and if anything funky comes your way. Venusaur is a
capable fighter too, remember. If you need a couple more prizes for victory,
there's nothing wrong with having a fully loaded Venusaur come in for the

    Well we're through here. You can pay my secretary as you depart. I've
gotta finish setting up the rest of these plaques and such.

      Let's see..."Procrastinators Convention - July 16th to 20th, 1996 -
Perfect Attendance" You'll go here...

      "This Certificate is an Authentic Certificate of Authenticity" will go

      "Intl. Clutz Triathlon - 20 Yard Stumble, Discus Drop, 100 Meter
Collapsed Hurdles - Honorable Mention" This will go over on this shelf.
Whoops, never mind. This one's broken.

     "Ace Secretary Repellent Inc. Customer of the Month -  October,
November, December 1999" This one goes on the wall where my secretary can
look in and see it...

     "For Outstanding Dedication to the Well Being of the Community and
Citizens of Lincoln Nebraska" I don't even know why I got this one. I've
never BEEN to Lincoln Nebraska. This came a week after I stated in a
magazine interview that I'd never go there. Go figure. This goes there...

      "El Bonehead Shrink - Numero Uno" What in the heck? Where'd this
plaque come from?

      .....I really hate her somedays.

                        Good Luck!!
                   Dr. Bonehead Numero Uno

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