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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Otaku on the Pokémon Trading Card Game
Top 20 Cards of 2013 Revisited Part I
January 27, 2014

 As January comes to a close and “XY-era” begins, there are many things I wish to address as I fade from the game: numerous articles I started and never finished.  Most were simple CotDs that will remain forever unfinished as their time has passed, but of the remainder there are those I detest leaving in such a state.  I wish to share my ideologies concerning the Pokémon TCG and larger franchise, and to tackle some of the veiled aspects of Pokémon mechanics (again both TCG and video game).  I decided to start with something simple; taking this very last moment to go over my “Top 20” list for 2013.


Yes, Top 20: usually the official list compiled is a Top 10 but we’ve had a Top 12 before, and often “Honorable Mentions”, and in all cases I like to hedge my bets in case there is a need for a tie breaker.  After all, my primary contribution is that of someone outside the competitive metagame.  Being nearly a full month into 2014 means I am either very late for a timely summary and far too early for historical cataloging, but I began this article in the last days of 2013 and mean to finish it.  I am always dissatisfied with my submitted Top “X” list, because even when I don’t agree with the specifics of the final site list, after writing my own and reading the others’ CotDs I gain new data and perspective.


My primary guideline was and remains “impact”, defined for this article as how a card affected the game.  How long did it shape the format?  Did it change things a little, or a lot?  Did it affect decks that it weren’t even running or facing it because of how the rest of the format reacted?  What would the game be like without it?  I also try to factor in and adjust for how long the card has been legal; being available longer can both legitimately and artificially make a card’s contributions seem larger or it can allow it to fade into obscurity by the time of the list, while being new can make a card seem more important than it is because it won’t stand the test of time.


Without further ado, here is the original list submitted to Pojo:


01) Hypnotoxic Laser (BW: Plasma Storm 123/135)

02) Float Stone (BW: Plasma Freeze 99/116)

03) Dowsing Machine (BW: Plasma Storm 128/135)

04) Silver Bangle (BW: Plasma Blast 88/101)

05) Virizion EX (BW: Plasma Blast 9/101, 99/101)

06) Genesect EX (BW: Plasma Blast 11/101, 97/101)

07) Black Kyurem EX (BW: Plasma Storm 95/135)

08) Colress (BW: Plasma Storm 118/135, 135/35)

09) Kyurem (BW: Plasma Freeze 31/116)

10) Silver Mirror (BW: Plasma Blast 89/101)

11) Scramble Switch (BW: Plasma Storm 129/135)

12) Deoxys EX (BW: Plasma Freeze 53/116, 111/116)

13) Thundurus EX (BW: Plasma Freeze 38/116, 110/116)

14) Lugia EX (BW: Plasma Storm 108/135, 134/135; BW: Legendary Treasures 102/113)

15) Colress Machine (BW: Plasma Storm 119/135)

16) Aspertia City Gym (BW: Boundaries Crossed 127/149)

17) Virbank City Gym (BW: Plasma Storm 126/135)

18) Team Plasma Ball (BW: Plasma Freeze 105/116)

19) Superior Energy Retrieval (BW: Plasma Freeze 103/116)

20) Exeggcute (BW: Plasma Freeze 4/116; BW: Plasma Blast 102/101)


As you can see, it wasn’t abysmal but definitely calls for changes.  I neglected to take notes over the course of the year to remind me of finer details, such as [insert card] being a part of [inset deck], which was a huge thing for [insert short period of time], but possibly only in [insert region] and/or for [insert event].  Few countries have a homogenous metagame, let alone the entire world, and the metagame was hardly stagnant throughout the year (even if it felt like it at times).  So consider this a disclaimer; I reserve the right to be completely and utterly wrong, it is also possible I missed something important because it didn’t show up in the available data instead of or in addition to simply failing to comprehend the true situation.


The biggest struggle I had this year with devising the list was codependence: the cards that gave rise to new dominant decks couldn’t take all of the credit, sharing it amongst several co-conspirators! Team Plasma is the perfect example; even with multiple Team Plasma variants, it’s really hard to narrow any one Team Plasma Pokémon or support card as the core of the deck; they shared the burden amongst each other and thus removing one might kill a variant, but not Team Plasma decks in general.  Most of the older decks gained new allies and tricks, but the core of said decks deserves the bulk of the credit: Black Kyurem EX (BW: Plasma Storm 95/135) remains the best attacker for the Deluge decks, those decks built around Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101), but if that Black Kyurem EX had never shown up then Keldeo EX and Mewtwo EX would kept Deluge decks competitive, just at a marginally lower level.


So please return tomorrow as I take a few articles to address what should have made my list, what shouldn’t have made my list, and what should have made my list but in a different spot.






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