Top 4 UK Nats
Salamence Lv 68
Salamence is a Pokémon that most players of the TCG and
the video game seem to love. Probably because it’s a
dragon, and it does look pretty cool.
Unfortunately, all that huge scary dragon-ness, while it
seems to be massively powerful on the DS, doesn’t
translate well to the card game. Although this Pokémon
is normally given high damage attacks, it also tends to
be burdened with high Energy costs and usually needs
both Fire and Water Energy to use its attacks. That
makes it slow and clunky and in desperate need of Energy
acceleration. Finally, we get a Salamence with that very
ability, but is it the answer to a Salamence fan’s
prayer? Let’s take a look.
As you would expect, Salamence is very bulky, even for a
Stage 2, with a big 140 HP and comes with a +30 Weakness
to its own Colourless type. Salamence does get a nice
Fighting Resistance, though I would rather have had a
cheaper Retreat cost instead.
When it comes to attacks, this Salamence certainly
doesn’t shine. Shoot Through does a mere 50 damage, plus
20 to a benched Pokémon for the ridiculous cost of
[F][W][C]. Its second attack, Dragon Claw is, if
anything, even more embarrassingly expensive. I mean . .
. four Colourless Energy to do a vanilla 70 damage? What
is this, Base Set?
But wait . . . remember that Energy accelerating Power I
mentioned? Maybe Salamence could use that to power up a
Salamence SW or SF, both of which hit much harder for
similarly insane Energy requirements?
Well . . . yes it could. In theory. In practice, that
Power needs so much support that it barely increases the
deck’s speed at all. Top Accelerator lets you reveal the
top card of your deck. If it is a Basic Energy, attach
it to a Pokémon; if it isn’t, discard it. Now the only
way of getting that Power to work consistently and
repeatedly is to have a method of discarding the
required Energy (easy enough with Felicity’s Drawing,
Lunatone, Regice etc), and then using Delcatty PL ‘s
Power Circulation to put it on the top of your deck. So
now, as well as setting up multiple Salamence (an
attacker and an accelerator), you also need a Stage 1 on
the Bench . . . a Stage 1 that is vulnerable to Gengar
SF’s Shadow Room and Luxray GL LV X’s Bright Look.
When they made Salamence AR, it seems like they were
aware that the other Salamence, including the LV X would
be near-broken with Energy acceleration. As a result,
they sought to balance the card by requiring an awful
lot of set up to make it function. Unfortunately, it
seems they went too far. In this extremely fast format,
the set up is simply much too slow and clunky. If you
want to run Salamence, then I suggest you look for
different answers to the speed issue, rather than one
which actually slows the deck down even more.
Modified: 1.5 (clunky Power, terrible attacks)
Limited: 1.75 (Stage 2’s are tough to get out here . . .
you want them to be more rewarding than
This Salamence is quite an interesting card. The
poke-power: Top Accelerator is really what makes it
good. The power states that once per turn you may look
at the top card of your deck. If it is an energy you can
attatch it to any pokemon you want, and if it is not an
energy you have to discard the card. Obviously you do
not want to randomly Accelerate without knowing that you
are going to draw an energy card, but I will leave it up
to you to figure out which pokemon allows you to combo
with this power to guarantee an energy attachment. This
card obviously should be combo'd with either the Battle
Rush Salamence or the Dragon Finish Salamence (or the
Lv. X). Shoot through is this Salamence's best attack,
but honestly this Salamence should just sit on the bench
unless you have the lv. X played on top. This deck is
another one of those that have a LOT of potential, but
it is going to simply take time to see how it plays out.
A fast Salamence deck is definately buildable, but how
will it deal with SP, Speedrill, and Flygon? We will
just have to see.
Modified: 3/5 (if combo'd right in the Sal deck)