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Arbok14 on Pokemon
Predictions: Influential Great Encounters
February 11, 2008

Hello everyone! Today, with the conclusion of the Great Encounters prereleases, I just want to highlight some of the cards from the new set, Great Encounters, which will have the greatest impact in today's metagame. I will only be describing the cards, so if you have not seen some of them yet, check out the scans floating around the internet. Here goes:

#001/106 - Blaziken Lv. 56 - This Blaziken could definitely see play, especially when partnered with its Power Keepers counterpart, which has Firestarter. Fire Dance is cheap and can bring back even more energy, and Flame Kick is a heavy sniping attack. I really like Flame Kick because it can OHKO any benched Delcattys or Absols your opponent has for easy prizes. Blaziken's 130 HP is great and so is its retreat cost of 1! I really could see a bunch of decks with this guy.

#005/106 - Pachirisu Lv. 30 - This is one of the more hyped cards from this set. It can get 3 of any basic Pokemon and put them on your bench. This will definitely be in A LOT of decks as a supporter Pokemon.

#008/106 - Sceptile Lv. 52 - Sceptile should see some play with its Wild Growth Poke-BODY, which doubles a basic Grass Energy card. The trick is finding the right partner for it!

#011/106 - Togekiss Lv. 51 - Togekiss is a new energy-accelerator which could see a decent amount of play. An obvious partner is Magmortar, but I'm sure others will find some deeper combos to use for it. Have some Cessation Crystals ready when you go against this guy!

#015/106 - Claydol Lv. 45 - Claydol could be the answer to Absol. If enough people use it, this guy could definitely stop the domination that Absols have achieved in the metagame. If you get cards discarded, just replenish your hand with Claydol's Cosmic Power.

#018/106 - Houndoom Lv. 41 - OK, maybe I'm a little biased because I like Houndoom so much, but can you say T2H?? Seriously, this guy can lay a major beatdown with two energies. It's either 40 and burn or 70. Plus it can discard your opponent's hand and still do damage. Its weakness is nothing to worry about and 90 HP isn't bad. If Cresselia gets big in your area, Houndoom is a great answer.

#021/106 - Lapras Lv. 47 - This Lapras comes built in with a Castaway-effect attack for one water energy. It could see some play, unfortunately the attack is energy-specific so it probably won't see much play outside of water decks.

#024/106 - Mawile Lv. 32 - Can definitely fit into any deck, basically to ward of Gallades. Its first attack is called Pick Out, and for no energy it flips over one prize of your choice. It stays flipped over, and if it is a supporter, you can use the supporter's effect. Early game, if you see Ralts, definitely get this guy out to flip as many of your opponent's prizes to weaken Gallade.

#025/106 - Milotic Lv. 47 - If you can't stand the Lv. X's and want an answer, look no further than Milotic. It is unaffected by Pokemon Lv. X due to its Poke-BODY Marvel Scale.

#030/106 - Wailord Lv. 30 - Yes I know everyone calls it overrated. But seriously, 200 HP is crazy and its Body can even heal it. So it will last forever. As a stage 1, this is really good. The only downsides are a weak attack (which with the ability to stick around long this isn't that bad), a double weakness (but seriously, how many lightning decks have you seen recently?), and a large retreat cost. I'd say pack some Warp Points, Switches, and Potions and Wailord will last forever!!

#031/106 - Weezing Lv. 42 - Yes, Toxic Virus is stackable, so put together your favorite Poison deck with Weezing and you will be in business. Toxic Virus adds a damage counter every time a poisoned Pokemon is affected by poison between turns, so that means a regularly poisoned Pokemon could take up to 50 damage between turns thanks to a bench of 4 Weezing.

#033/106 - Arbok Lv. 31 - I would be silly not mention Arbok, since it is my name-sake. Hail the best card to ever grace the Pokemon Trading Card Game (lol, not really, but try it with Weezing)!!

#038/106 - Gorebyss Lv. 34 - Ah, the Gorebyss/Huntail combo. Both Pokemon evolve from Clamperl and can be used for different situations, similar to Gardevoir/Gallade's strategy. This can definitely be a great Turn 2 deck. It has a free attack that has a Gust of Wind effect and does 10 damage. And for one water and one psychic energy, Gorebyss does 50 damage and auto confusion! Free retreat is awesome as well.

#042/106 - Huntail Lv. 33 - The other part of the combo, Huntail has 10 more HP, a retreat cost of 1 and an attack that can do 50 and discard a special energy card on the defending pokemon.

#049/106 - Porygon2 Lv. 39 - Could definitely see play as a supporter Pokemon. Can you say 5 supporters a turn? Or more realistically, 2 or 3? Its Poke-POWER Download allows it to discard a supporter from your hand and use its effect.

#070/106 - Igglybuff Lv. 6 - Because some decks now use very few to no supporters, Igglybuff is the perfect starter: For no energy, you can draw up to 3 cards if you did not play a supporter during that turn.

#085/106 - Solrock Lv 29 - With a Lunatone in play, Solrock will shut off your opponent's resistances to fighting and psychic. So yeah, this would be great in your Gardy/Gallade. Sigh.

So there is my list of predictions for which cards from Great Encounters will make the biggest impact in the tournaments, notably State Championships. But honestly, who could have predicted the dominance that Gallade and Absol have today? It's totally possible that we will see something nobody has seen or predicted to dominate. Hopefully the State Championships show us new strategies based on Great Encounters cards and bring a new hero from the shadows. You'll know who I pick when I give my reports in about a month. ;) Until then, emails are accepted so send me your questions, suggestions, complaints, etc. Good luck in finding your Great Encounter!


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