It is at last time to start looking at
BW: Emerging Powers cards!
We begin with the card that will
make or break the game,
This is a Trainer-Item card and
is effectively a renamed
Gust of Wind.
Hard to believe but the game has
been around long enough that some new
players don’t actually know what
Gust of Wind does: it wins games.
In all seriousness,
Gust of Wind (whether inspired by a
typo or not) was nicknamed “Gust of
WIN!” by players of the pre-Modified
days for a reason.
The effect of
Pokémon Catcher, like
Gust of Wind, is simple: it forces
your opponent not only to Bench their
Active Pokémon, but then allows you to
choose the replacement.
You know, like
Pokémon Reversal, except
without the coin flip!
This is brutal as it allows fast
decks to force Active whatever a player
tries to build on the Bench.
The most likely target is a Basic
Pokémon being prepped to Evolve the next
turn, since that is usually the Pokémon
with the lowest HP and but also with a
significant investment going.
Bench-sitters with excellent
powers are next on the list because they
too are usually on the puny side.
Pokémon Catcher an incredibly
powerful card and staple in almost every
The only decks I can think of
that legitimately have a reason to play
few or no copies of it would have to be
the best, fastest
Lost World or
Vileplume (HS: Undaunted
If they aren’t, then it still
might be good to include at least a copy
or two, especially if you get creative
with the combos (like using
Seeker on your only copy of
Vileplume so that
you can push for the win).
What does this mean for the game?
The only thing I am confident in
is that cards protected by Sweet
Sleeping Face are going to see a
significant drop in play.
Pokémon Catcher basically just says
“forget about it” and let’s you take the
fight to something else, or even worse
(or better if you’re the aggressor)
bring up a different “Baby” Pokémon for
an easy OHKO.
Given the grumbling I’ve heard
about coin flips post-Nationals, I get
the impression this is more the last
draw than the start of anything
Expect a lot of decks to struggle
now that the Bench is guaranteed not
safe… well, unless you do already have
The question is how will decks
In the “bad old days” you just
learned to drop two of whatever Basic
you wanted to Evolve, and accept that
one was a goner.
Can a classical Haymaker strategy
dominate once again, or will the lack of
old, non-Supporter draw/search/recycle
cards as well as the lack of
Energy Removal result in a simple
deck building shift favoring more
Pokémon and/or ways to recycle them?
I am cautiously optimistic that like
Gust of Wind (in the form of
Pokémon Catcher) really is safe to
bring back to the game.
Pokémon Catcher is the new deck
staple and you’ll definitely want a full
Sniping attacks will become less
important now that you can just force
something hiding up front, at least in
In Unlimited this card can just
be used instead of
Gust of Wind, although should TPC
come up with some
good Item supporting cards,
Gust of Wind might finally become
obsolete even there.
Lastly, it should go without
saying that this is a must-run for
Limited play, where the card has all its
normal uses except the less common uses
5/5 – Well, at least right now it is
just as good as
Gust of Wind, so they score the
Meet the new staple and pray that it
just forces players to run more robust
lines and unintentionally reduce donks
while increasing the probability of
That sounds like crazy talk but
in all seriousness one does get used to
facing this kind of threat even if one
doesn’t especially enjoy it.
This might actually counter some
of the combos fueling current popular
decks, since it won’t be safe to leave
any Basic Pokémon with less than 70 HP
in play anymore.
Check out my
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