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Conical's Top 10 Cards of 2010
Hello there, readers, I'm conical, and if you don't read COTD reviews, but are reading this article, that's generally what I do. In recent years, it has become a tradition to rank the top 10 cards from the sets released this year.
This year, it seems particularly tough to rate the top 10 cards, due to the reversal of power creep in the HGSS block. Not that there aren't that many cards that are useful; but rather that many cards are for support or tech purposes. Nevertheless, there were more than enough quality cards for a Top 10 list, and then some. As such, many good cards were left off my list. I'll try to cover as many of these as possible after the list.
With that out of the way, let's rock!
#10: Junk Arm (Triumphant)
A staple in Gyarados, and a nifty little tool in any deck. The discard requirement can be anywhere from a necessary cost to part of the strategy you may be using. There's not much else to say about this card; you discard anything you want discarded, and then you can re-use trainers, what else do you want, a Gust of Wind reprint? Don't we all.
#9: Donphan (Prime) (Heartgold Soulsilver)
A personal favorite of mine, even though its success never quite matched the hype prior to its release. Nevertheless, it remains a consistent force, and has had a decent amount of success in various major tournaments. Its power has been greatly weakened with Gyarados' revival, but it still wins in places where Luxchomp is prevalent and no one plays Gyarados. Like Kansas.
#8: Jumpluff (Heartgold Soulsilver)
After Claydol rotated, Jumpluff quickly fell off, but it's important to remember how dominant it was at the end of last season, when it had massive success at States and Regionals, even when few people were playing. It nevertheless remains a solid card without Claydol in the format; just not nearly as good as it was with Claydol.
#7: Judge (HS Unleashed)
Can you say disruption? This card nearly drove Gyarados out of the spotlight, making it harder for the deck to recover after Gyarados was KO'd. Not that Gyarados is the only deck that doesn't like Judge; no deck really likes having their hand size drastically lowered. It's pretty clearly the definitive hand disruption card in the format.
#6: Pokemon Communication(Heartgold Soulsilver)
It's never a card you want to run 4 of in most cases; unless Bebe's Search is mysteriously banned in some parts of the world, or if you're running SP. However, if you're running a non-SP deck and not running 2-3 of these, you definitely should be running 2-3 of these, because all the good decks generally are.
#5: Smeargle (HS Undaunted)
The ever underrated supporter finder. Smeargle's power gives you the dual benefits of looking at your opponent's hand and using multiple supporters in one turn. And if Sableye SF and Gardevoir SW have taught us anything, it's that using multiple supporters in a turn makes nearly any card good. It still doesn't see much play, but most of the decks that do you use this guy are better for it. The only negatives I can see for this card are that his attack is bad and it's a hipster, but neither problem seems too threatening at the moment.
#4: Seeker (HS Triumphant)
So many uses. You want to reuse Uxie and Mesprit's powers repeatedly without a flip? Seeker can do that. You want to end the game early by sending the opponent's lone benched Pokemon to their hand, then knock out their active? Seeker does that. It's not for every deck, but for some lists, it can be a game-winner on the level of ye olde Gust of Win(d), and its uses should only grow from here on out.
Like Seeker, it's a card whose full potential has yet to be unleashed, given that it's been released for what, two months? Regardless, it's an incredible card that can change the flow of the game in one move. This card gives slower decks, most notably Regigigas, an opportunity to fight evenly with the quicker SP and Gyarados decks. Overall, a great boost for any slow deck.
#2: Vileplume (HS Undaunted)
The final Pokemon on the list. It's telling where a set's strengths lie when less than half of the cards on the list are Pokemon.
I almost feel that VileGar is a waste of this card's potential. So many cards could take advantage of Trainer lock that it feels odd that only Gengar has had success using this. Regardless of Gengar's success, Vileplume should be a major force for however long it stays in the format.
#1: Pokemon Collector (Heartgold Soulsilver)
With most of the cards on this list, you could still play them, and while your deck might not be all that strong, there aren't any cards that are outright staples for every deck, save Communication. For example, Twins is a great card, but not necessarily so in a deck like Luxchomp or Machamp. Pokemon Collector is an outright staple. If you're not running 3 of these, if not 4, you're taking a massive risk with your deck. There is no deck that can't take advantage of searching your deck for 3 Basics, unless they're bad decks. And ideally, you don't want to be playing a bad deck, so there you go.
Now that the Top 10 is done, I'd like to briefly discuss my “Honorable Mention” list, for the cards that did not make the cut for whatever reason. Introducing the Honorable Mentions of 2010:
Double Colorless Energy- Would've been #2 on the list if it wasn't a reprint. Oh well.
Rare Candy- Another reprint who would've nevertheless placed high. Probably at its weakest now due to Trainer lock, but still really good.
Ninetales(HGSS)-The best Pokemon for draw in the format. Limited mostly to Fire decks, however.
Machamp(Prime) (Triumphant)- An excellent late game attacker for Machamp SF.
Rescue Energy(Triumphant)- The 2nd best special energy in the HGSS block. A handy recovery tool, especially for Gyarados.
Steelix(Prime)(Unleashed)-The best pure tanking Pokemon. Has had its moments, but limited success.
Professor Oak's New Theory- An above-average Supporter for hand refresh. It's always a decent choice in any deck, but above-average refresh Supporters don't make Top 10 lists.
That's all for now, and I hope to see you next year, when we get some Black/White cards, and oho, the BW cards...
And maybe a few other articles? Hopefully, I kind of enjoy writing these.
Happy 2011 everyone!
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