Rain Dance. You either love Rain Dance decks, or you hate ‘em. Rain Dance has always been one of my favorite decks to play.Rain Dance Decks are based on Blastoise’s Pokemon Power: Rain Dance which reads: "As often as you like during your turn (before you attack), you may attach 1 Water Energy to one of your Water Pokemon. (This doesn’t use up your 1 Energy card attachment for the turn). This power can’t be used if Blastoise is Asleep, Confused or Paralyzed."
Blastoise’s Rain Dance Power is recognized as one of the strongest Pokemon Powers in the game, and our goal is to take advantage of it by applying a whole lot of water energy on our big, beefy Pokemon in one fell swoop. Remember that a Pokemon does not need to be the active Pokemon for its Pokemon Power to work. They also work from the bench. Rain Dance let’s you play all the water energy from your hand onto your Pokemon on your turn as much as you want. So our goal is to get a Blastoise on our bench, and Rain Dance Water Energy onto other beefy Pokemon.
Fossil Cards had a great impact on improving Rain Dance Decks. Rain Dance decks from the Basic Set and Jungle depended on Evolving a Magikarp into a Gyarados, for its deadly attacks, but Magikarp’s 30 HP made it a quick snack to strong Fighting and Electric Pokemon with the aid of a Gust of Wind. Nothing was worse than starting a game with just a Magikarp. At times, a Hitmonchan with a PlusPower killed off the Karp we even got to play a card from our hand. Fossil gave us something that the Water Pokemon line didn’t have in the original sets – Strong Basic Water Pokemon!
Let’s look at all the cards in our deck:
4 Prof. Oak
3 Computer Search
1 Item Finder
3 Gust of Wind
4 Pokemon Breeder
3 Energy Retrieval
19 Water Energy
POKEMON (Only Water Pokemon to take advantage of Rain Dance Power):
Squirtle – Blastoise has to come from somewhere, and hopefully we get a Squirtle in our opening hand to evolve to Blastoise quickly. 40 HP isn’t too high, but Bubblebeam’s paralyzing action can work in our favor with some successful coin flips.
Blastoise – A force to be reckoned with! Rain Dancing is our goal. And Hydro Pump can do up to 60 Damage if we are forced to use Blastoise as our Active Pokemon. If Blastoise is your active Pokemon, and is nearly fainted, make sure you discard 3 Energy and retreat him for someone else. We can’t Rain Dance if he’s not around.
Articuno – Thank you Fossil! Articuno helped this deck our tremendously, as it is a strong Basic Pokemon. Articuno’s resistance to Fighting, and no weaknesses, make him a great opening staller for us in a game. (A staller is someone who takes beating for us, while we get our house in order!). Then when we can finally Dance, Articuno’s two attacks are simply deadly, and Articuno’s 70 HP is great for a Basic.
Lapras – Another Basic Pokemon from Fossil. Lapras offers us something we didn’t have in the original two sets as well: A high HP Water Pokemon, with small, low cost, fast attacks with side effect possibilities. Why do we need that? Because of Mr. Mime! Mr. Mime stopped Rain Dance Deck in their tracks the entire summer of 1999. Lapras hits Mr. Mime for 20 or less damage with a possible "Confusion" side effect, which shuts Mr. Mime down.
Seel – 60 HP is nice for a starting Pokemon, and it has one attack that is quick. Seel can evolve into Dewgong, and stall the game for a few turns until Blastoise is ready. The one retreat cost is nice too.
Dewgong – 80 HP, and two very strong attacks. Fits in nicely.
Pokemon Breeder – A key trainer to this deck, as we are not using any Wartortle’s. We need to get ourselves a Breeder to evolve out Squirtle to Blastoise.
Computer Search – Lets us go and find our key cards to "Go off!" (9 times out of 10 you should search for an Oak... Rain Dance fizzles without a hand FULL of cards.)
Bill – We need all the Trainers, Pokemon and Water Energy we can possibly get our hands on, and Bill helps tremendously in this fashion.
Professor Oak – Professor Oak lets us dump our hands for 7 more cards. Hopefully, you have Energy in your hand. You Rain Dance all your Energy onto your Pokemon as needed, and "Oak" when you need more energy, trainers, and/or more Pokemon. Blastoise + Professor Oak are just a great combo!
Gust of Wind – A fantastic card. Is the active Pokemon giving you trouble? Well blow in another tasty morsel for your Articuno snack on.
Item Finder – Why only use your trainer cards once? Item Finder lets you use them again. Need some more Water Energy … Go get an Oak. Need to evolve your Squirtle … Go get your Pokemon Breeder. Many uses.
Energy Retrieval – I have found this card to be fantastic lately. Your opponent just "Super Energy Removal-ed" your Dewgong? Use Energy Retrieval and get those two energies back. A great "late-game" card. This card helps keep the amount of Energy needed to run your deck lower, giving you more room for trainers.
Water Energy – I know 19 looks low, but it seems to work pretty well in this deck, as we are only running one color, with Energy Retrieval.
You really need to practice with this deck to get the feel of what to do. There are some fun tricks, but any mistakes will usually cost you the game. This deck really requires some thought when playing. And when there is a drought this deck can be downright horrible.
When things go bad!
If you don’t get your Blastoise going early – Stall, stall, stall! You just have to let your Pokemon be punching bags. Don’t be afraid to let Lapras, Articuno, and Seel take a beating while you try for your combo. Hold Squirtle in your hand if you can if you don’t have Blastoise or your Breeder yet. If you put him on the bench, a smart opponent will Gust him into the active role and make turtle soup ASAP so that you can’t evolve him. I sometimes hold all my water energy in my hand until I get the combo, then I go off and try to salvage the game. These games start ugly, but can turn in a heartbeat in the middle of the game. Just NEVER GIVE UP!
When things go good!
Playing Rain Dance can bring a huge smile to your face in your opening hand many times. Great opening hand: Squirtle, Articuno, Blastoise, Breeder, 2 Water Energy, and a Professor Oak. Oh man, is that nice! Play Articuno as your active, and Squirtle to your bench. Turn 2 … Breeder in your Blastoise. Drop 2 water energy on your Articuno, and Professor Oak. You are likely to get more Water Energy. Drop just enough onto your Articuno to kill your opponent in one or two moves. Always hold unneeded Energy in your hand to slap down more when Energy Removal hits.
Pros: Fast, fun, and furious!
Cons: Can fail miserably, and expensive cards in the deck.
Well that’s Freezing Rain! Give it a try. I realize there are a lot of rare cards in this deck, so you’ll have to be a good trader. I had to trade a lot valuable Fire and Grass Pokemon to make this deck, but I’ve been extremely happy with it. – Pojo