Pojo's Pokemon news, tips, strategies and more!


Pokemon Home


Price Guide Set List

Message Board

Pokemon GO Tips

Pokemon News

Featured Articles

Trading Card Game
- Price Guide
- Price Guide
- Card of the Day
- Professional Grading
- Killer Deck Reports
- Deck Garage
- William Hung
- Jason Klaczynski
- Jeremy's Deck Garage
- Johnny Blaze's Banter
- TCG Strategies
- Rulings Help
- Apprentice & Patch
- Apprentice League
- Spoilers & Translations
- Official Rules
- Featured Event Reports
- Top of the World
- An X-Act Science
- Error Cards
- Printable Checklist
- Places to Play

Nintendo Tips
- Red/Blue
- Yellow
- Gold & Silver
- Crystal
- Ruby & Sapphire
- Fire Red & Leaf Green
- Emerald
- Pinball
- TCG cart
- Stadium
- PuPuzzle League
- Pinball: Ruby/Sapphire
- Pokemon Coliseum
- Pokemon Box
- Pokemon Channel

GameBoy Help
- ClownMasters Fixes
- Groudon's Den
- Pokemon of the Week

E-Card Reader FAQ's
- Expedition
- Aquapolis
- Skyridge
- Construction Action Function
- EON Ticket Manual

Deck Garage
- Pokemaster's Pit Stop
- Kyle's Garage
- Ghostly Gengar

- Episode Listing
- Character Bios
- Movies & Videos
- What's a Pokemon?
- Video List
- DVD List

Featured Articles

Pojo's Toy Box

Books & Videos


Advertise With Us
- Sponsors


About Us
Contact Us

Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Otaku on the Pokémon Trading Card Game
Early Frost: First Reveals Of Plasma Freeze
March 19, 2013

Early Frost: First Reveals Of Plasma Freeze


BW: Plasma Freeze doesn’t officially release until May 8th, and some may be too busy prepping for upcoming tournaments to really consider what the next set contains, but the rest of us can enjoy examining 14 total cards… though four are simply the Full Art counterparts to others from this reveal.  I’ll get it out of the way immediately; I prefer the art of the normal counterparts to the Full Art cards, but the Full Art cards do not look bad.  Ghetsis (101/116, 115/116) actually quite good in each, as does Deoxys EX (53/116, 111/116), so it may simply be that I am not overly impressed by the actual design of the Pokémon in the remaining, revealed Full Arts.


It is important to note that the set officially has 116 cards (which of course won’t include the now traditional “Secret Rares” that are numbered as 117/116 and higher.  Some players had speculated that this set might be inflated because the video game releases for the next generation of mainline Pokémon games (Pokémon X and Pokémon Y) are intended to be simultaneous worldwide releases, and hoped the TCG would follow suit.  If it does, it the-powers-that-be chose not to begin by inflating this set.  The reason some speculate that the TCG releases will need to be, if not also brought up to similar speed then at least have the gap between them reduced because there is a big push to have the latest generation of Pokémon debut in the TCG around the time they debut in the vide games.


Given how much I love dissecting cards and speculating about how the format may change, you can read my basic overview of each reveal and what I currently expect from them.  I’ll try to hit the cards stats and effects, as well as any knowledge of actual or potential usage, based on what I’ve heard about the Japanese metagame (as a reminder, I have no firsthand knowledge of it).


The Reveals


Exeggute (4/116): This looks like an easy card to dismiss, and it really is if you are unaware of its partners from Japan.  It is a Basic, Grass-Type Pokémon with just 30 HP!  It has Fire Weakness and Water Resistance, both of which are pretty irrelevant as a whole due to that low HP score, and a poor attack that only does 20 points of damage for (GC), but its Ability is interesting; once during your turn (before you attack, as usual), when this Exeggute is in your discard pile you can add it back to your hand.


Is having easy discard fodder for cards like Computer Search, Dowsing Machine, and Ultra Ball worth this risk?  I don’t know, but I doubt it.  The card is most likely going to be very important, however; in Japan there is already another card with a discard fueled attack that abuses it that has reportedly been successful.  Apparently it is worth the risk of being so easily donked.  The designers must like it as it was recently revealed to be a Secret Rare in the next Japanese set!


Chandelure (16/116): Chandelure is a smaller Stage 2 (130 HP) whose Fire-Type side is being represented again, including a currently undesirable Water-Type Weakness.  No Resistance and a Retreat score of two does it no favors, and its attack is poor; (RRC) for 70 plus you heal 30 points of damage from Chandelure itself.  The damage isn’t enough to be competitive (especially for a Stage 2) and with the HP healing 30 points of damage won’t make a difference: Chandelure should remain either a OHKO or a 2HKO for most main attackers.


Once again, it is the Ability that will entice folks; a familiar but tweaked and rechristened classic has been reborn as “Flare Navigate”, which allows you to search your deck for a (R) and attach it to one of your Pokémon in play.  It places a damage counter on the Pokémon when you do it, and it is restricted to being used once per turn per copy of Chandelure, but acceleration from the deck is quite good (I believe the second best, just behind from the discard) and as long as you aren’t attaching (and damaging) something to the point that it takes one less turn to KO, the damage isn’t really going to matter.


Fire could use the boost (at least based on the current metagame) and it is also a Team Plasma affiliated Pokémon, but being a Stage 2 has not been helpful in the metagame for quite some time: we will have to see if Chandelure will actually work well enough to support a deck. 


Thundurus EX (38/116, 110/116): Thundurus EX has been anticipated for a few months.  This is a Team Plasma affiliated Basic, Lightning-Type Pokémon with 170 HP.  Being a Lightning-Type isn’t really good or bad right now and 170 HP is just 10 away from the Pokémon-EX max of 180… however several decks have already gotten used to running the Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym combo, and it turns out 170 HP is just within reach of a OHKO or pseudo-OHKO by some key decks, making that 10 point difference significant.


Fighting Weakness is not fun and a lack of Resistance is not helpful, though the single Energy needed to retreat should be easy enough for most decks to pay.  Both attacks have use, but Raiden Knuckle (love that name) is what got this card played in a (supposedly) successful Japanese deck.  For (L) Raiden Knuckle hits for 30 damage (not great, but useful) while allowing you to attach an Energy from your discard pile to one of your Benched Team Plasma Pokémon.  Special Energy is a valid target, so your opponent has to choose between dealing with Thundurus EX or dealing with something that just got a Blend Energy GRPD, Blend Energy WLFM, Double Colorless Energy, Plasma Energy, or Prism Energy attached and next turn is probably a manual Energy attachment from doing some damage.  With its HP, perhaps also access to Max Potion, it makes it hard to predict what a player should take out first.


Thunderous Noise, the card’s second attack can be useful… but I think just barely.  Without a Plasma Energy to trigger its effect (which lets you discard an Energy from the Defending Pokémon), the attack would be bad; 90 is too low for (LLCC).  Using Plasma Energy (and potential acceleration from Colress Machine and/or another Thundurus EX), the effect means you get a just barely “worth it” return.  Only the first Energy discard really matters as if you KO something, that Energy is already heading to the discard pile, and thankfully two 90 point hits should 2HKO most things in the format that see play.  Even in decks with multiple Energy attachments, even a single Energy extra the opponent is forced to attach because of the discard can limit the opponent’s options.


Metagross (52/116): The first Metagross to be released in the Black& White-era, it is a Psychic-Type Stage 2 with 140 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat of two.  With current damage output, that 140 is not abysmal but it isn’t good, the Typing doesn’t seem useful for Type-matching or tapping support and the Retreat cost is too high to pay but also not high enough to tap Heavy Ball.  The attack is also very overpriced, hitting for just 60 points of damage and guaranteed Confusion to the Defending Pokémon, but at a cost of (PCCC); for that much at least 100 points of damage is really required.


The iffy-to-poor rest of the card is probably meant to balance out the Ability: Plasma Search allows you to search your deck for a Team Plasma card and add it to your hand, but you can only use one Plasma Search per turn.  Remembering that several Trainers (including Supporters) also are Team Plasma cards, this is still a potent effect.  The real question will be if fitting Metagross into a deck is worth both the space and effort required to keep Metagross alive, while needing something else in the role of attacker and knowing that duplicate copies of Metagross on your Bench are just “spares”, useless until they are the only copy in play.


Deoxys EX (53/116, 111/116): Another hotly anticipated card based on reports out of Japan.  A 170 HP Basic, Psychic-Type Pokémon with Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, and requiring two Energy to Retreat, Deoxys EX actually is the same as Mewtwo EX before factoring in what Deoxys EX actually does, how it does it, and being a Team Plasma Pokémon.  Deoxys EX has an Ability called Power Connect that adds 10 points to the damage from attacks by Team Plasma Pokémon, and it is worded so that it stacks for each copy of Power Connect in play.  The caveat is that the wording also specifies that the boost doesn’t work for Deoxys EX itself.  Its own attack (Helix Force) does a paltry 30 for (PC) unless it has a Plasma Energy attached, in which case it adds 30 points of damage per Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon, which isn’t great but is good.


Mewtwo EX was a near universal attacker due to its variable damage, any Energy utilizing X-Ball, though now that enough strong Pokémon-EX have been released it isn’t the standout leader it once was.  If the deck runs a source of (P) Energy (Blend Energy GRPD, Prism Energy, and/or Basic Psychic Energy) as well as Colress Machine/Plasma Energy, you also get a decent cleaner as a Defending Pokémon with just two Energy attached takes a solid 90 from Helix Force… or 180 if it is Psychic Weak like Mewtwo EX.  Interesting to note that a Deoxys EX with (PC) attached can OHKO a Mewtwo EX that has at least two of any Energy attached, but a Mewtwo EX with two of any Energy attached falls 10 points short of OHKOing Deoxys EX.


Again though, the Ability is what has made this card already famous, as it is part of the same Japanese deck already receiving a lot of hype due to its performance in the Japanese metagame.  Turning any search card and an open slot on your Bench into a PlusPower that can stick around means Deoxys EX will likely see heavy play as a Bench-sitter, and also as a decent attacker in some decks; it is also nice that your opponent can’t be sure in many cases about whether your deck can actually power it up to attack easily or not.  Swarming Deoxys EX may not be overly easy, but it doesn’t look to be overly difficult as well.  Hint: there is a search card for Team Plasma Pokémon already available in Japan we are hoping to receive this set.  This is definitely a card to anticipate, whether you want to bring out its best or prepare to crush it.


Raticate (88/116): As a mere 70 HP Stage 1 Colorless-Type Pokémon, Raticate [Plasma] is easy to search out but hard to get into play; our only Rattata has just 30 HP and I haven’t seen any versions in Japan translations with more than 40.  This is a Team Plasma Pokémon, and its first attack is all about Team Plasma support: for (C) you get to add a Team Plasma Pokémon, a Team Plasma Trainer, and a Team Plasma Energy card to hand.  For (CC)… you just get to hit for a pathetic 30 damage.  The first attack might make this tempting to play since it is a better, Team Plasma version of Junk Hunt… but on a Stage 1 no bigger than Sableye, I don’t believe that will be enough.


Tornadus EX (98/116, 114/116): Tornadus EX [Plasma] has some people thrilled, and others rolling their eyes.  Being a Colorless, Basic Pokémon with 180 HP is pretty impressive; you don’t get to enjoy Weakness or fear Resistance, but you could tap Aspertia City Gym for an extra 20 HP, and you can enjoy Team Plasma support.  Lightning Weakness isn’t great but it isn’t bad now, but Thundurus EX could make it hurt when these cards become legal.  Fighting Resistance comes in handy on occasion, and the two Energy Retreat cost is irritating since it is too low for Heavy Ball but still high enough that you’ll want to run something to lower it or avoid manually retreating to begin with.


The first attack, Windfall, requires (C) and lets you shuffle your hand into your deck and draw six cards.  This can really help your set-up, and Tornadus EX [Plasma] isn’t likely to be donked or even be an easy OHKO.  Jet Blast, like many attacks seen on Team Plasma Pokémon is bad until you get Plasma Energy involved.  For (CCCC) it only hits for 60 points of damage, but each Plasma Energy attached yields an extra 30 points of damage; powering the attack purely with Plasma Energy would do an amazing 180 points of damage, enough to OHKO any regularly played Pokémon in the format that isn’t protected or boosted, and can still score a slightly overpriced 2HKO if you have at least one Plasma Energy attached.


Tornadus EX and Tornadus EX [Plasma] have the same name, so the more you run of one, the less you may run of the other.  Refreshing your hand can be life saving but is less likely to be a good use of your attack mid-to-late game.  Getting a new hand of six cards can get you back in the game, but if your next turn never comes or you are hit by back-to-back copies of N (N being a likely reason for your hand being so small anyway), instead of saving yourself you might have just guaranteed your own loss.  Jet Blast requires heavy commitment if you want to seriously benefit from it; loading it with Plasma Energy is amazing but also makes it a prime target and getting Plasma Energy back may soon be possible, but it won’t be easy.


Ghetsis (101/116, 115/116): When this new, Team Plasma aligned Supporter was revealed, a lot of us panicked.  It both reveals your opponent’s hand and then shuffles Items found there into his or her deck while adding another bonus; for each of those Items shuffled away, you get to draw a card.  Decks are very Item heavy, but the question is “Are decks Item heavy enough to make this a reliable source of draw power?” and the answer looks like “No, they are not.”  Only a few Items get held back for later, and it varies from deck to deck; you do always get the benefit of seeing your opponent’s hand but that is poor compensation for your Supporter use if that is all Ghetsis ends up giving you.


Apparently this card doesn’t see play in Japan, and to a point I can understand; this is not reliable draw power or disruption.  Instead, like Hugh it is variable draw and variable disruption, and can backfire; nothing like helping your opponent out by shuffling some temporarily dead (but almost certain to be useful later) Items from his or her hand to his or her deck… making the Professor Juniper you see there a much better play next turn, or thinning things out for a Bianca normally only useful for recovering from a late game N.  In many ways, the game is “exaggerated” right now, so it is hard to capitalize upon a four card swing that is “-2” for your opponent and “+2” for you.


All hope is not lost; several decks we have now could make good use of Ghetsis.  Empoleon with Diving Draw keeps you from being completely dependent on the draw power from Ghetsis, so I have to wonder if it would be viable there.  It might even be a matter of learning how to make a single copy work in your deck, as it seems quite nice on those turns where you aren’t desperate for big draw.


Team Plasma Badge (104/116): A very interesting Item, Team Plasma Badge allows the equipped Pokémon to count as a Team Plasma Pokémon; all those cards that would be great with Team Plasma effects except for being “not a Team Plasma card” now have a chance to pull off the combo.  Like any Pokémon Tool it is an easy target for Tool Scrapper, and of course it is going to prevent you from using a different Pokémon Tool in its place and besides the ones we have now, many impressive looking ones have been revealed in Japan.  Lastly, it won’t help if you have a lot of Pokémon you wish to “convert” (max of four copies in play at a time, and good luck keeping them there) or for the effects that don’t target a Pokémon already in play.  Still, something as simple as allowing your opener to utilize Colress Machine/Plasma Energy can be crazy good.


Rock Guard (108/116): A new Ace Spec card, Rock Guard is the first Ace Spec Pokémon Tool that is not Pokémon specific.  The reward of using it is that if your opponent’s Pokémon attacks a Pokémon bearing Rock Guard, it gets six damage counters placed upon it.  A normally safe 170-180 HP Pokémon plummets to the 120-130 HP zone that most serious attackers can hit, even if it requires a combo.


Unfortunately, without a trick to reclaim it, Rock Guard is only good for a single Pokémon, and like any Pokémon Tool it is vulnerable to Tool Scrapper and goes away when the equipped Pokémon is KOed.  Using it forces you to give up on using any of the other valuable Ace Spec cards, and that 60 only helps if it shrinks a 2HKO into a OHKO, a 3HKO into a 2HKO, etc.


So far, this set is looking promising, and if what we are getting and how said cards have impacted Japan is any indication, we will at least get one new, major deck variant out of it in the form of a Big Basics deck built around Team Plasma cards.



This concludes our look at what has been revealed of BW: Plasma Freeze; seems like it is shaping up to be a set with a lot of important cards, especially rare cards that are likely to spike in price and run heavily in the decks that feature them.





Copyright© 1998-2008 pojo.com
This site is not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise affiliated with any of the companies or products featured on this site. This is not an Official Site.