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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)
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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