My secretary is still at Mardi Gras, but she sent me a postcard.

         "Dear Doc,

      Mardi Gras is a blast. Lots of people having fun and being themselves
all over the place. You'd probably hate it.
      The parades are cool and I've got plenty of beads to come back and
show you, one by one, because I know much you're interested in my pursuits.
      I've also met some very nice voodoo priests who have offered to put
some very nasty curses on you, so I'd suggest treating me much nicer once I
return. By the way, I want a raise.

                        your Secretary"

       Ha ha ha ...ooh boy. Hmm. Well this isn't the only piece of mail I
got this week. Sometimes, as a special service, I answer deck problems via
snail mail to those underpriveleged few who cannot make it to my office
here. It is usually evident when they write just WHY they're
underpriveleged. Take this one for instance:

>Dear Crash,
>My problem is as follows: I have a Pokemon card club at school and there's
>this one kid who plays Grass and Water.  Anyway, this kid keeps beating me,
>(three times in one break!)  and all because of his vast amount of
>Wartortle and Ivysaur (oh yeah, and this Articuno...)  Could you please
>give me advice on this deck as to how to make resistant to not just grass
>and water, but to everything!
>Deck type: Psychic
>Pokemon (19)
>4 Abra
>4 Kadabra
>3 Alakazam
>2 Mr. Mime
>3 Gastly (destiny bond ROX!)
>1 Mewtwo
>1 Clefairy
>1 Mew (promo card)
>Trainers (18)
>1 Pokemon Trader
>1 Pokemon Breeder
>3 Gust of Wind
>3 Potion
>3 Bill
>2 Computer search
>2 Energy Removal
>1 Prof. Oak
>1 Imposter Prof. Oak
>1 Pokedex
>Energy (23)
>22 Psychic
>1 Double Colorless
>Thanks very much, I hope you can help.  (please suggest anything, no matter
>how unlikely)

   Did he say "Destiny Bond ROX"???? I'm going to put my head between my
knees and cry for a while...

   Ok. I'm better, but not great.

    "Dear kid,

         I'm so glad you left me the option to suggest anything, no matter
how unlikely. In your case, I recommend checkers. Or maybe cleaning the lint
from your bellybutton. Both should prove challenging to you.
         You also did not name your deck, so I named it for you. I have
guidelines for a reason, foremost to allow me to give decks horrible names
like this one when you don't follow the rules.

         We here at the Deck Garage have said over and over that the Base
Set Gastly sucks so hard, it could pull a golf ball through a garden hose.
But some of you players insist upon using it anyhow. Ruling out illegal drug
use as the main explanation, I can only guess it's because nobody has
actually explained WHY it sucks so much. Allow me to perform this service
for the world at large.

        Base set Gastly sucks for numerous reasons. Number one, it has a
measly 30 HP. This is pathetic even for a Basic. Most Basics come out with
at least 50 HP.
        Number two, Gastly's Sleeping Gas only works out to your benefit 25%
of the time. After all the random coin flipping after EACH turn, not just
your opponent's, your too, the opposing Pokemon will be asleep one out of
four times, and that won't last long either.
        Number three, Destiny Bond is a waste of time and Energy. It assumes
your opponent is dumb enough to attack after you use it, and most often it
only winds up costing you a valuable Psychic Energy. At a rate of one
Psychic Energy per turn to keep the Bond alive, you'll Bond yourself dry in
no time flat. It is meant as a stall tactic, but comes off as so much less.
       Number four, neither attack does any damage! That's right, for all
the time you waste Gassing and Bonding your opponent into wetting his pants
with laughter, you'll never put a dent into his front line, even if he has
just a Magikarp. (If he DOES have just a Magikarp out to fight, then you've
found your checker partner.)
       Number five, the new Fossil Gastly is so much better. Lick does some
damage, albeit not much, but can cause paralysis, a much better status
ailment. Fossil Gastly can also recall valuable Psychic Energy into your
hand from the discard pile. Plus with 50 HP, he can actually stick around
more than one turn.

       So there it is. The actual reason why Gastly sucks.

    Let's continue with part 2 of the beating. You want a deck that is
resistant to everything. Great. So do I. If you happen to find it, let me
know. I'd love to see that deck.
     You see that's the beauty of a card game like Pokemon. There is no one
dominating deck that can take everything thrown at it. If there was, we'd
all be playing it, and not winning or losing, because any deck that could
take on any competitor would have to be able to handle a mirror copy, and
they BOTH can't be perfect. Do you see the point here? The Pokemon were
given Weaknesses and Strengths to make the game more complex and allow for
deeper strategy than "I won the coin flip, so I win."

     So if this kid is beating you with a Grass/Water deck all the time,
maybe you could try, say, a Fire/Electric deck????

    All things aside, the rest of this deck isn't that far from being
tolerable. I think you're going for a stall deck here. I think. So I'm going
to offer some advice to fix this deck, but I'd still think about that
Fire/Electric deck.

          OK, LOSE THE GASTLYS!!!! I had to say that in large capital
letters just in case sarcasm is lost on a simple mind such as yourself.
          In place of the Gastlys, add some Chanseys. They're much better
and won't get you beat up by those evil schoolyard Team Rocket wannabes.
          Reduce the Alakazam quotient to just 2. You can survive on that.
Keep the Abras at 4 and the Kadabras should be lowered to 3, making it a
classic 4-3-2 lineup.
          Add 2 more Mr. Mimes. If your opponent is playing Gras/Water I bet
he's got Scythers, Venusaurs, Gyarados or Blastoises. They won't phase the
           Add one more Mewtwo. If you've got the Energy, he's better than
           Cancel your subscription to Mew monthly there...Mew's not bad,
but certainly not spectacular. His ability is also out of place in this
deck. At 30 HP he's also begging to be smacked around.
           You can put your Clefairy back too. It doesn't fit the stalling

            Your Trainers are also a bit out of whack.

         If stalling is your game, Oak is not the name. The only way to win
with stalling usually, is to run your opponent out of cards before your deck
is done. Oak prematurely runs you down. Normally it's a good card to have in
any deck, but not here.
         The Bills are somewhat different than the Oaks in this case. I'd
still advise against putting in 4 though. Have 2 in there and use them when
your hand is low.
         2 or 3 Pokemon Center is the key to a successful stall deck. Gather
all the damage on a Chansey or 2 and clean the house of damage, while
avoiding the messy discard of tons of Energy.
          Item Finders will allow you to reuse the vital Trainers in your
discard pile. Especially Fujis and Pokemon Centers. Speaking of Fuji....
          Use Mr. Fuji when a benched Pokemon racks up too much damage from
the Alakazam's Swap. It puts the Pokemon AND the attached Energy back into
your deck, giving you extra turns to stall. Keen!!
          Switches and Gusts will allow you to control the board with
greater precision and account for you opponent's tricks as well.
         Get rid of that Pokedex. Not because it's especially horrible, but
because there are just better cards out there to use. (It's still somewhat
horrible though. Don't get the impression I'm soft on Pokedex.)

          Well, Mr. Funguy, let's see how I'd alter your deck to stand half
a chance.

                  4 Abras
                  3 Kadabras
                  2 Alakazams
                  4 Chanseys
                  4 Mr. Mimes
                  2 Mewtwos (Base Set)

                  3 Pokemon Centers
                  3 Mr. Fuji's
                  2 Bills
                  2 Item Finders
                  3 Switches
                  3 Gusts of Wind
                  2 Impostor Professor Oaks

                  19 Psychic Energy
                  4 Double Colorless Energy

          Destiny Bond ROX kid, stall your brains out. Wait
I think you may have done something else to already remove your brains. You
must live near a paint factory or something...

          This is why I prefer patients to see me in person. That way I can
just wring their throats and be done with it.

          Ooh boy, here's a second postcard from my secretary-

           "Yo Doc-Boy,

               This is a picture of Mugo, a voodoo priest. When I got here I
realized I still had those movie passes you gave me. (They were expired you
jerk.) Well, Mugo has them now and he says you ought to be giving me a huge
raise and perhaps more vacation time. Otherwise, you may start to get these
violent stabbing pains all over your body and Mugo doesn't want to have to
go to all that trouble when it could be easily fixed...hint hint... by a
nice new car or some other display of gratitude.
               I await my joyous welcome back party, which I just know
you'll be happy to arrange.

                       Your loving Secretary"

       I didn't know they were expired...I need to do some
research...Where's my copy of Weekend at Bernie's 2??

              Good Luck, you'll probably require it,
                       Dr. Crash Landon

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