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DP-On Preview #1 -- Damage Spread
Jermy won Worlds '05, and Ness won Worlds '06 and '08. Because they both write for this site, that means Bill Gill has won 3 World Championships! That's right, management gets all the credit.
My Worlds experience? Let's just say that the high point was seeing a former Nationals champ naked.
So what's this article all about, you might ask. No Empoleon decklists, as some of you might have expected, but rather, a discussion about the gains and losses of the concept of Damage Spread in the new format. Which is DP-On. Yeah.
Bill "PoJo" Gill, 3 time World Champion!
Loss of Dugtrio!
The biggest pain in the proverbial buttocks of Damage Spread decks, Dugtrio from Crystal Guardians, will be leaving us in DP-On. A fantastic counter that was highly techable thanks to requiring just two cards and having very few counters to itself (Cessation and Latilock), the loss of Dugtrio means that your bench is no longer safe.
Yes, "no longer safe." While Bastiodon has the same body as Dugtrio, it suffers from:
being a Stage 2
being a Stage 2 that evolves from a Fossil
having a Retreat Cost of 3
being a Stage 2
being a Stage 2
A card must be as broken as Pidgeot to be teched in even though it's a Stage 2. While virtually being a hard counter to Damage Spread (nothing locks Bodies in DP-On), it's just too hard to throw in 3 cards in a deck that doesn't utilize Fossils, meaning that you have to hope you draw into your sole Shield Fossil.
Alternatives? The new Torkoal has a similar body; however, it requires it to be Active. And obviously, the greatest counter to Empoleon and Glaceon is sending up an 80 HP Basic with +20 Water weakness.
Don't leave us!
How about simply taking off the damage?
While Chuck Lock Rock Lock was dominating, you were able to take off all those damage spread over the last 3-4 turns by simply dropping a Milotic. Alas, Milotic has left us a few seasons ago.
Grass types have some healing options, but they're not very good, to be honest. Sunflora can take off 10 damage every turn, but doesn't stack. Using it with Tropius' Bonus Leaf could possibly take off 40 damage from all your Pokémon in play, assuming you actually survive the required two turns minimum to actually get out a Sunflora and Tropius, in a metagame where you're limited to 3 bench, and everything hits for way above your maximum HP.
Healing off the damage is not a viable option either, so play smart to get around Damage Spread. Or throw in 4 Potions.
Sunflora, a Pokémon I genuinely like. Not the card, mind; the card's just horribad.
So the two main ways to counter Damage Spread are simply not viable at the moment. What about Damage Spread itself? Does it have any new synergies? Well, read the rest of the article, I'll try to talk about that. You might as well; you already read the paragraphs above, you can stand to waste a few more minutes of your life. I appreciate it, really.
TMs are back! All rejoice!
Now that we're done rejoicing, let's take a look at the second TM in Legends Awakened, TS-2:
Unlike ATM Rock, it can only target one Pokémon. But unlike ATM Rock, it stays in play. A fair trade-off, especially as Omastars are hard to get out due to being Stage 2s that evolve from Fossils, and take up precious bench space.
Not as good as the card above, but TS-2 is still very handy. Pachirisu doesn't discard Technical Machines!
The new Dragonite spreads 50. The catch? Costs , and it's on a flip.
Yanmega spreads 10 for free, and forces a switch. But no worries, no one will actually use this card. It's horribad.
AMU will run Snowpoint Temple. Running counter stadiums means you can draw a few prizes simply by laying down a stadium.
Ding dong? BRONZONG!
With all the Psychic in the metagame, Bronzong should still be an important part of Damage Spread decks. The loss of Scramble is a concern, however.
How will Damage Spread decks fare in DP-On?
Well enough. The loss of Dugtrio will make it immensely better for Empoleon and co. Losing Scramble, however, is a concern; as is the loss of Cessation Crystal. Glaceon Lv.X looks very nice, with a Poké-Body that can't be shut down while it's Active, and the ludicrous amounts of options it has with the other Eeveelutions; not to mention the safer Metal weakness.
One preview down, SEVEN to go!
Enjoy your post-Worlds/pre-DP-On period.