We end this week with the Stage 2
Does it have a fighting chance of
seeing competitive play?
Being a Stage 2 Pokémon has sadly become
a huge hurdle in the TCG… again. Rare
Candy takes some of the sting out of
Evolving, but we have far too many big,
Basic Pokémon with more on the way. With
Basic Pokémon possessing strong and fast
attacks on top off
Pokémon Catcher making the Bench
so vulnerable, you basically have
to drop two candidates for Evolution
down in a single turn if you wish to
successfully Evolve one of them the next
Barring, of course, blocking
Trainers or a Pokémon with a built in
effect to allow it to Evolve more
When you really think about this,
you realize that this essentially causes
Stage 2 Pokémon to count against you as
if they were some sort of cross between
LEGEND and Pokémon EX.
Being a Fighting-Type doesn't provide a
whole lot of Type support and I am not
aware of any Stage 2 Fighting deck
currently being played competitively.
There is some support based on
Fighting Energy, but that would come
from Stage 2 Fighting-Type Pokémon,
making for a clunky deck.
The small upside is that at least
there isn’t a dominant big Fighting deck
to muscle out for a niche spot.
The 150 HP is good… sort of.
Side effect of the power creep
plaguing the game: since the biggest
plain Basic Pokémon are just 20 points
and are heavily played, it skews
things quite a bit, plus we have the
Pokémon EX debuting in Next Destinies,
officially street legal February 8th.
Like I said earlier, you’re
probably giving up a Prize to get that
first Stage 2 into play so 150 HP seems
puny compared to a Basic with 170 HP,
even if said Basic is worth two Prizes:
it is the same end result with fewer
At least few Pokémon will hit so
hard in a single shot to OHKO
Gigalith without being the focus of
a set-up deck or exploiting Weakness
No Resistance is the worst and a Retreat
Cost of four is the worst we've seen
recently (although five is the record
for maximum printed Retreat Cost).
Gigalith really could have used a
favorable match-up that Resistance could
supply and with a Retreat Cost like
that, make sure your deck can power-up
fast or run something to get Gigalith
out of the Active slot. Even when it is
Active, something to heal it would be
The card has two attacks, and they’d be
spectacular for this its sake. Core
Cannon actually promising: a snipe
attack that does 20 points of damage for
each (F) Energy attached to Gigalith.
With a single (F) Energy, the attack is
far better than nothing, but definitely
not worth playing a Stage 2 line for.
Getting 40 for (FF) is okay but still a
little weak. Once you get three or four
(F) Energy you start manhandling your
opponent's set-up... assuming they
aren't fully set-up and manhandling
Power Gem is the filler. It does 90 for
(FCCC), which is just 10 more than Core
Cannon would do, and of course without
the option of sniping. At first it seems
great that it only needs one of those
Energy actually be (F)... but what other
Energy Type would be the focus of
Gigalith deck? It is a Stage 2, so
more than likely Gigalith must be
the deck's focus! Yes you can even use
Double Colorless Energy but
again, Core Cannon is the attack worth
using a Stage 2 for, not this. You might
as well use Terrakion from the
same set if you just need a reasonably
large Fighting-Type with a big,
Since this is a Stage 2 Pokémon, I
should say which of its lower Stages I
prefer, but honestly the available
Roggenrola and Boldore seem
about even in usefulness. Include
Rare Candy as well use whatever
versions you prefer, though consider
splitting between the two for those odd
times one or the other is more useful.
There has got to be a good Fighting deck
for this card, but I sadly can only
guess at it.
Fighting-Type Pokémon/Energy lack
a good form of Energy acceleration
unique to them.
You could rely on some generic
Electrode Prime (at the cost of
giving up a Prize and milling your own
Shaymin to shunt accumulated
Fighting Energy around.
The soundest idea was what
someone pointed out to me on a message
I didn’t have time to test it, so
as far as I know it’s just conjecture,
not a proven deck.
One could open with
Landorus and simply put, either
stick with it and Gaia Hammer for 80
points of damage (spreading damage
around the field as a bonus) or drop
Shaymin at that point to shut its
Of course, you then need to get
Landorus out of the way, but with
the addition of your Energy attachment
for the turn, you’d be up to four
Fighting Energy and enjoy sniping
for 80 points of damage.
If you rely heavily on
Shaymin, you could even bounce the
Energy around quite a bit and use
Max Potion to heal the now naked
The problem with that plan is that it is
a pretty complicated deck and wouldn’t
We have better snipers coming.
In fact, one is practically here:
Zapdos from BW Next Destinies
is a Basic Pokémon that for (LCC) snipes
While that is 10 points less than
Gigalith with three
Fighting Energy, that
Zapdos can tap specific Energy
Double Colorless Energy, and is a
Basic Pokémon with 120 HP.
Beyond that there is
We won’t get it for a little
while but with a dedicated deck it will
be big Pokémon EX that can snipe for 100
(though using the attack repeatedly, in
a row requires support).
I think these will easily crowd
For Unlimited, you first have to
acknowledge that format is a mess and
you face First Turn Win decks, and with
such brutal hand control tactics and
Trainer locks they may as well be First
Turn Win decks.
After that, you do enjoy the
smaller average HP scores to snipe and
better Energy acceleration available,
Zapdos I just mentioned?
Much better fit here as well.
For Limited play, he only works if
you're drafting Emerging Powers
with Noble Victories, as Noble
Victories lacks it lower Stages. If
you do, the fact this is a double line
is beneficial, and within the lines
there is some synergy. Also, Power Gem
becomes useful since it is very hard to
run a pure Fighting deck and thus you
probably will have to use some
non-Fighting-Type Energy cards.
2/5 (drops to 1/5 February 8th)
N/A unless paired with Emerging
Powers, at which point it becomes
Another Pokémon that had a brief window
to shine before better stuff came along,
but lacked the support it needed for 15
minutes of fame.
Gigalith is nice and big for a Stage
2, but right now Stage 2 Pokémon aren’t
really that big, all things considered.
It has a good attack for sniping
but the next set releases something
almost as powerful but easier to play
(the almost street legal
I am still whittling away at my various
collections from over the years
here on eBay.
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