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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Black Belt

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Nov. 5, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.33
Limited: 3.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Black Belt (Triumphant)

 

Our final card this week is Black Belt. Like Monday’s card, Twins, it is a Supporter that can only be played when you are behind on Prizes and is intended as a ‘comeback’ card. Does it offer the same amazing possibilities that Twins does? Let’s take a look.

 

Well, instead of giving you the search options of Twins, Black Belt chooses to take a more direct route. During the turn that you play it, your active Pokémon does 40 more damage to your opponent’s active. (Note that the usual rule about having to do some damage in the first place in order to add any still applies).

 

At first glance, this card didn’t look all that great to me . . . I mean, who wants to use up their Supporter for the turn in that way when they could be searching or drawing? Don’t we already have PlusPower and Expert Belt for adding damage? Both of those thoughts are valid, and in most situations you probably would prefer to use a card that helps you to recover through setting up. However it is also possible that the best course of action would be to go for a revenge KO, especially if your opponent has overextended (basically, used too many resources) in order to take a Prize. If that were the case, then Black Belt’s ability to help you get a knock out could well swing the whole game in your favour.

 

If your opponent knows you run Black Belt, then it can also be an effective psychological weapon. When calculating the damage you can do, they are going to have to account for the fact that you may be able to hit for an extra 40 out of nowhere.

 

For these reasons it may be worth finding room for a copy or two in the kind of deck that expects to go behind on Prizes (this usually means a slower deck that needs time to set up): Tyranitar Prime is a good example of the kind of deck I’m thinking of, and so is Regigigas, which tends to go behind after using its Sacrifice Power for Energy acceleration and healing.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 2.5 (very situational, and won’t always be the best option, even then)

Limited: 3.5 (low damage format? One big attack with this can mean good game)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Black Belt (HS Triumphant)
 
Hey everybody, I'm back! The move was terrible, but the internet is connected now so I'm back to doing reviews. As a bonus, I've sent some more backdated reviews to cover some of the cards I missed a few weeks back, and will continue until I have finally caught up.
 
Now for today's review. Black Belt seems doomed as the lesser of 2 good cards from Triumphant (do we have an abbreviation yet? I'm thinking HST), which has been full of usuable and fun cards (some have even been both!). First, the effect.
 
Most of you will be pretty familiar with this from the prerelease, but for the newbies this card is a Supporter (once-per-turn only, but otherwise unblockable) that can only be played from your hand if you have more prizes left in play than your opponent. The effect is to boost your Active Pokemon's attack damage by 40, but only for the damage dealt to the opposing Active Pokemon (sorry, no super cheat for those lovely but mostly second tier spread decks).
 
Obviously, this card is meant to give a revenge KO after your opponent takes the lead (at least in the Prize department) but astute players will recognise there are ways to abuse this card. If you play a straight-damage deck that often has to sacrifice Pokemon (Gyarados, Regigigas Lv X, Jumpluff) or you don't mind losing your starter (Spiritomb PA comes to mind), then your main attacker can use this card to get brutal levels of damage for destroying that pesky tank your opponent is building on the bench (Luxray GL anyone?). Also, Black Belt is great for recovering when someone takes out your Pokemon carrying an Expert Belt, since the extra damage fits the strategy brilliantly while taking advantage of the 2 prize penalty.
 
The main problem with this card is the competition which comes from another card with the must-be-behind-in-prizes condition, Twins. This card, reviewed earlier in the week, can be used in just about any deck due to the magnificent search power, while Black Belt only works in decks that like to deal straight damage. The sheer versatility of Twins also works in the decks that might like Black Belt, which means players are forced to choose between the 2 since using too many "from behind" cards will cause a lot of dead draws, killing the consistency and playability of the deck.
 
Black Belt won't be a staple card in this format, but it can work and be downright broken against low HP cards, which your opponent believes to be safe after they remove your main attacker. Pack some shuffle-draw (you should anyway) to deal with the dead-draw situation and this card will be a viable choice. You have been warned!
 
Modified: 3.5 (despite the drawbacks, you can really surprise your opponent with this one, and the ability to stack the damage with Plus Power and Expert Belt will mean no Pokemon is safe!)
Limited: 3 (damage is king here, but use Twins first and watch the prize count since you only get 4)
Combos with: Expert Belt, Gyarados

conical

11/5/10: Black Belt(Triumphant) 

The final supporter of Triumphant is the least heralded of the three, Black Belt. Then again, when its competition consists of Twins and Seeker, both highly playable/interesting cards, other cards tend to be left out of the spotlight.  

Thankfully, Black Belt does have its merits. The card works as a quadruple Pluspower with one card, letting you deal 40 extra damage when you attack. The downside is that, like Twins, it can only be used when you're behind on prizes. This is a good move, if only because it prevents surprise donks on the second turn.* This isn't bad in and of itself, but the format has plenty of aggro as it is, and the slower decks should probably get some support too. 

*As an aside, though, anytime you start with a lone basic, a donk shouldn't be that much of a surprise in most cases. That is why you should avoid lone basic starts going first at all times. Be prepared! This message has been brought to you by Call Energy, who provides all your 'attach an energy, fill your bench' needs. 

The point being, this should see some degree of play. As much as Twins or Seeker? Probably not even close. However, there will probably be a few decks who would like to do some extra damage every so often, and those decks(rather, the people playing them) will know where to look. 

Modified:3.25/5
Limited: 3.75/5

Combos With: Pokemon that do damage. Which is most of them.


Otaku

We end the week with the last new Supporter from HS – Triumphant, Black Belt.  Besides the normal Supporter text, we have another Supporter you can only use when you have more Prize cards remaining than your opponent.  You then get a massive 40 extra points of damage for your attack this turn (as long as it is an attack that already deals damage).  Twins is designed to give you a strategic boost, Black Belt is about raw power.  This literally like dropping all four copies of Plus Power at once, but actually using it reminds me more of Scramble Energy.  While clearly not in the same league, in the end both will allow you to hit harder than you “should” be able to with the resources you have invested in a particular Pokémon.  Fast, hard-hitting attacks designed to take out one level of Pokémon will advanced to OHKOing the next level: Basic-thumping attacks will threaten Stage 1 Pokémon, Stage 1 slamming attacks will threaten Stage 2 Pokémon, and the uppermost echelon of attacks will handle “enhanced” Pokémon: Stage 2 Level X Pokémon, “protected” Pokémon by Special Energy or built in effects, etc.

 

You won’t want to use the exact same combos as you would with Twins, but you will use many similar ones.  Things like running a sacrificial opening Pokémon, running a Pokémon that KO’s itself or another of your Pokémon for at least minor gain, or the easiest, just packing it as insurance.  Only the last is a potential universal use, but when you really look at what decks fall where, you start to see almost universal coverage.  The real reason not to use this card is simple: Twins benefits you more and you can’t make room for both.  The biggest usage difference I can see is that the aggressive decks that don’t use Twins may still consider this: a single quick KO is often all they need to turn the tempo of the game back in their favor, while they should already excel at setting up (making Twins unneeded).

 

In Limited play, this is another “must run”.  If you are never able to use Black Belt and yet manage to lose, either you made a massive mistake or your opponent is both brilliant and lucky.  It’s annoying that it might be a dead draw, but I’d rather have it sitting in my hand in case my opponent drops something massive and pulls ahead.  Rare will someone have more than one “big thing” in their Limited decks.

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 3.75/5

 

Limited: 4/5

 

Summary

Black Belt may play second string to Twins, but it is an excellent card.  Any competent player should be able to turn it into a revenge KO to even the Prize count back up, and with some planning and basic combos you can easily pull ahead in Prizes or in “true” advantage (taking out a resource intensive Pokémon).

 

I am still selling my former collectables on eBay, but I’ve had a busy week so you’ve probably noticed a big gap in my auctions.  Please keep checking back as I post at least a few last minute deals this weekend.  I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various times I’ll have comic books, manga, action figures, and video games on the auction block.  You can take a look at what’s up for bids here.  Just a reminder, Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions and was merely kind enough to let me mention the auctions here. ;) 


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