---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Kyle Shantel <phoenix@cav.pworld.net.ph>
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 20:48:36 +0800

>From: SKD
>Dear Aaron can you tell me what the archetypes are?
>and what are their strategies and pokemons?


What a great topic for the articles section!  "Archetypes" is a word that is often thrown around, what it refers to is the most common deck types you WILL run into.  Knowing the in's and out's to all the major archetypes is mandatory if you want to have repeated success in tournaments.  Knowing what a deck is going to do is half the battle in trying to beat it!  Here is just a short list of the current archtypes and what they try to do!

This is the first archetype I can remember seeing in the Pokemon CCG.  This deck type has lasted a looong time, and isn't thru yet!  a RainDance deck uses Blastoise Pokemon Power to break one of the most basic rules of the card game:  1 energy per turn.  Being able to "RainDance" as many water energy onto water Pokemon you want in one turn can create Heavy Hitters in a hurry!  Since the deck requires almost ALL the Pokemon be water type, this deck is weak to Electric attacks!  Also Evolution stoppers like Mew or Aerodactyl can stop a RainDance deck in it's tracks!

A "Haymaker" has meant a lot of things.  Originally a Hay used 4 Hitmonchan along with other basic Pokemon to attack early with the most powerful attacks possible.  Over time this deck has changed greatly...but all true Haymakers do one thing:  Deal Damage Quickly!  This sound strategy uses trainers like Plus Power to deal even more damage, and employs multiple's of Bill and Oak to keep on the offensive!  Many people say the best way to beat a Hay is to build a beter one, but there are other ways!  Lots of energy removal and disruption can buy you the time you need to get your deck to function versus a Haymaker.  Employing Pokemon with resistance to popular Haymaker pokemon works well also (ex. Scyther is resistant to Hitmonchan).  Finally, if all else fails... use all that card drawing against them!  A Haymaker tends to draw thru its deck quickly due to all the Bill and Oaks used.  If you can last through the initial onslaught, a Haymaker may very well deck itself!

Damage Swap
Most decks win by drawing their 6 prizes by defeating the opposing trainers Pokemon, Damage Swap ain't most decks.  Alakazams Pokemon Power allows you to switch around damage counters on your Pokemon to other Pokemon you control!  In combination with high HP Pokemon (Chansey) and a few trainers (Scoop Up, Pokemon Center) this can be a very impressive Strategy.  By setting this up your opponent never gets a chance to draw all 6 of his/her prizes and will eventually deck himself!  Evil versions of this deck use No energy!(since there's no real reason to attack anyway)  Fear not, this deck has it's weaknesses just like the others!  To build Alakazam your opponent must play with Abra... its 30HP can cause a lot of trouble in the early game if it isn't on the bench, and even then a Gust of Wind can bring up the weak link in a hurry for an easy prize!  By taking out Abra, your opponent has no way to build Alakazam, taking the wind out of any "Damage Swaps" sails!

The above three are tried and true Archetypes... these guys will show up anytime, anywhere!  Listed below are a few new Archetypes that demand attention!

We here at the Pojo love to brag that it was our very own Scott that built the original "Sponge".  The deck quickly popped up once Promo Mewtwo hit the scene.  Energy Absorption is just too well rounded!  Mewtwo can use it in conjuction with discard effects (Oak, Computer Search) to dump energy into the discard pile to be absorbed on turn 1, setting up a turn 2 attack for 40! Even in the late game, Energy Absorption counters the effect of Energy Removal... making Mewtwo an instant success!  Sponge also employs the not-so-fancy Electabuzz.  This Electric type Pokemon just attack fast and hard, making it a great compliment to the already offensive Mewtwo!  With more "Sponge" deck reports than you can shake a stick at, it's obvious you'll need a good strategy to beat this popular deck type!  Exploit the Pokemon weaknesses!!  While Mewtwo is tough, a few quick shots from a Psychic Pokemon of your own is all you'll need to come out on top!  Mewtwo also runs into problems with colorless Pokemon since most of them are resistant to Psychic types! 

There's just something to be said for being able to attack for 60 on turn 2!  More often than not, that's what a good Wigglytuff deck can do!  By easily Powering up Wigglytuff's "Do the Wave" with a DCE, and filling up your bench with card drawing, it's no wonder why this deck quickly became a contender!  If you stave off the early couple attacks, you can take advantage of Wigglytuffs weakness...Energy Removal!  A few Energy Removal trainers and a well placed Super Energy Removal will keep Wiggly's "Do the Wave" off line for you to do your thing... just be sure to flip lots of heads so you're not bothered by Lullaby!

Wew!  That sure is alot of information to "absorb", but it's well worth the effort!  Like I said before, the best way to beat a deck is to know what it tries to do.  By exploiting an archetypes weakness, I'm sure you will have a much easier time working your way to the top at the local tournaments!!!

Hope this helps...have fun!