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PokePopís Place December 31, 2003

Blizzard to Drizzle

Greetings everyone! I want to thank everyone that has submitted a deck to be fixed. Itís been hard choosing and they have ranged from beginners to tourney-ready! For my first column, I wanted to help a deck from a player that is starting to understand the importance of deck construction, but that needs some help to move on.

Adam M sent in the following deck:

Energy:

20 Water
4 Double Colorless

Pokemon:

1 Articuno Lv.35
1 Articuno Lv.37
4 Swinub
2 Piloswine
3 Seel
2 Dewgong

Trainers:

2 Bill
2 Professor Oak
2 Imposter Professor Oak
3 Professor Elm
4 Potion
4 Full Heals
3 Bills Teleporter

I asked Adam to be more specific and tell me what sets some of his cards were from and which Articuno he meant by Lv. 37 since. Also, his deck was a few cards short of the needed 60. He sent back a corrected deck that had a few changes in addition to my questions:

Energy:

20 Water
4  Double Colorless

Pokemon:

3 Suicune - Aquapolis
4 Articuno - Promo #48
4 Lv.13 Swinub - Neo Destiny
2 Light Piloswine - Neo Destiny
3 Seel Ė Legendary Collection
2 Dewgong Ė Legendary Collection

Trainers (16):

1 Bill
1 Professor Oak
2 Imposter Professor Oak
3 Professor Elm
4 Potion
4 Full Heals
3 Bills Teleporter

Adam, Iím guessing, is looking for a deck for League play. Itís not a killer Unlimited Tourney deck and to turn it into one would really require the entire deck to be rebuilt from scratch. However, it could be made into a serviceable League deck that can be played for fun while keeping the heart of the deck.

Now, the first thing that I noticed about Adamís Pokemon is that all of them take a lot of energy to power up their attacks. That makes it slow and while Adam is powering up a Pokemon, his opponent can be getting ahead of him in Prizes. Also, none of their attacks do much more that 30 damage and give a chance at Sleep or Paralysis. There is nothing that a good deck couldnít easily defend against even if Adam does get his Pokemon powered up. Finally, all of them have Pokemon Powers! A Neo Genesis Pichu would wipe him out. Weíll want to look at some alternate choices for Pokemon that still keep the flavor of the deck.

Iím going to suggest Sandstorm Azumarill. Itís an Uncommon card, so itís not that hard to get. Itís Drizzle attack lets you Power up itís Max Bubbles Attack really quickly and gives you the chance to do a lot of damage quickly. Weíll also want to change the Aquapolis Suicune to Revelation Suicune. The Aqua one will be impossible for you to power up and itís attack is just not worth it. The Revelation one, on the other hand, has a great protective power and has a 75% chance of placing a Special Condition with itís Attack.

Adam has made some good Trainer choices but, like a lot of players, needs to learn about probability. What I mean by that, is that having only one of a certain card in your deck means that you have a less than 2% chance of drawing that card any given turn. Putting 4 copies of a card in your deck immediately increases your chance of drawing it to almost 7% and if you build card-cycling into deck, you can substantially improve that chance.

A Trainer that was not chosen for this deck is Gust of Wind. Itís a common card, but itís also one of the top 10 cards in this game! Itís one of the few cards that allows you to move your opponentís Pokemon around and is hands down the best. We replace the Imposter Professor Oakís with Gusts. IPO is a card that doesnít belong in many decks. It is very hard to use to your advantage. Most of the time, all you accomplish with it is to give your opponent a fresh hand of new cards to choose from! Why would we want to do that? Weíll also drop the Billís Teleporters. Thereís nothing worse than flipping tails with that card. Better to increase our count of Oak and Elm. Weíll Finally, we want stronger healing than Potion can give us. Iíd suggest Gold Berry. You get more healing at no extra cost. 

Finally, Iíll drop the DCE in favor of straight Water. It wonít help your speed as much as Drizzle will.

And hereís the fix:

Pokemon - 14

2 Suicune Ė Neo Revelation
3 Cleffa Ė Neo Genesis (extra draw and stall)
2 Tyrogue Ė Neo Discovery (cover your weakness to Lighting)
4 Marill Ė SandStorm (or Promo 29)
3 Azumarill Ė SandStorm

Trainers - 26

2 Professor Oak
3 Professor Elm
2 Switch
3 Gust of Wind
3 Gold Berry (or Focus Band)
4 Wallyís Training (or Pokemon Trader or Elmís Training Method)
3 Pokemon Fan Club (or Dual Ball or Pokemon March)
4 Seer (get Water Energy into your hand)
2 Ecogym (keep those Water Energy out of your discard pile) 

Energy - 20

20 Water Energy

I kept to commons and uncommons as much as possible, so you should be able to get the cards you need for this. Have fun!

ĎPop


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