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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Pokémon Center

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.45
Limited: 4.00

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Pokémon Center

Today’s card gives my spellchecker problems. That’s because I use UK settings and it really wants me to change ‘Center’ to ‘Centre’. In the unlikely event that anyone was wondering, that’s why I always write ‘Double Colourless Energy’ too.

Pokémon Center is a Stadium and that in itself makes it a welcome addition to the card pool. There is a distinct lack of playable Stadium cards around at the moment: Tropical Beach is too expensive for many players, and Ruins of Alph, Lost World, and Indigo Plateau are incredibly niche. Even Skyarrow Bridge is only really for decks focusing on Basics. Will Pokémon Center step up and do something that is more generally useful?

Like most Stadiums, Pokémon Center has a simple effect, and one which applies to both players. At any time during your turn, you can heal 20 damage from one of your Benched Pokémon. How good is this? Well, obviously it’s not bad exactly. You could use it to retreat a damaged attacker and then gradually bring them back to full health. Whether or not you would be allowed to do this in a format that is dominated by OHKOs and where anything Benched is never safe thanks to Pokémon Catcher is another matter.

Because of those factors, the obvious place for Pokémon Center is in a deck where the opponent can’t OHKO your Pokémon or Catcher them active. Luckily such a deck exists in the form of The Truth. Vileplume UD shuts off Catcher, while Reuniclus BW can move damage counters from your tank-ish active to the bench, where they can be healed off using Pokémon Center. Unfortunately, The Truth already has a Stadium of choice – Tropical Beach – but for those players who want to play the deck without spending $60+ on a single card . . . well, Pokémon Center represents a pretty decent alternative. The other deck where it may see some play is in Typhlosion Prime decks, as it does enable a player to remove the damage counter from Afterburner when using it to attach to a Benched Pokémon.

Unless your deck benefits specifically from one of the more specialized Stadiums, Pokémon Center is probably the best general use Stadium available right now. However, that doesn’t make it good enough to earn a place in most decks. The format is just too fast and the Pokémon too powerful for gradual healing to be a viable strategy at the moment.

Rating

Modified: 3 (a decent general Stadium that can be used in a couple of decks)

Limited: 4.5 (Retreating and healing for Prize denial purposes is a top strategy in Limited)

virusyosh

Hello once again, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing a new Stadium from Next Destinies that has seen a bit of play in tournament decks, but not as much as its in-set counterpart. Today's Card of the Day is Pokemon Center.

Pokemon Center is a Stadium, so you can play it once per turn (and only if you haven't played a Stadium yet this turn, and if there isn't another Pokemon Center already in play). The card's effect is quite simple: Once per turn, you can heal 20 damage from one of your Benched Pokemon. A constant source of healing is generally good for most decks; however, most of the time decks won't have space for the small benefit that Pokemon Center provides. There are a few decks and Pokemon that Pokemon Center works well with, such as Reshiram-EX or Zekrom BW, as their self-damaging attacks can be helped by this Stadium. It is also important to note that Pokemon Center DOES NOT work on your Active Pokemon, so make sure that you aren't removing the damage from the Active Position.

Modified: 2.75/5 Pokemon Center isn't a bad card, as consistent healing is something that most decks could use. However, most decks also have other options to better suit their game plans, leaving Pokemon Center to work in decks based around tanking or self-damage. There aren't too many of those around Modified right now, but as the format changes, Pokemon Center could very well see more play in slower, defense-oriented decks.

Limited: 4/5 Pokemon Center works well in Limited, where deck options are more flexible. Healing is once again quite helpful here, as using Pokemon Center on a Pokemon you just retreated can be a great strategic move if you manage to pull a nice combo or one of its Evolutions. Additionally, there are quite a few cards in Next Destinies (like the Monkey trio) that rely on Stadiums to bolster their attacks. Overall, most decks can probably run Pokemon Center in this format without a drawback.

Combos With: Reshiram-EX, Zekrom BW, Next Destinies Monkey Trio (in Limited)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Poke'mon Centre (Next Destinies)

Hello folks, today we have One of the new Stadium cards released in Next Destinies. This card is an interesting case, because there is a really old card called Poke'mon Centre, which was a Trainer that removed all damage counters from your Poke'mon followed by removing all of the energy from any Poke'mon healed this way. I don't know if this counts as a reprint given how radically different the effect is, but I think it may be possible to dig out your old Base Set copies and a Card Dex if you couldn't get these cards in a pack.

Historical value aside, Poke'mon Centre is a Trainer - Stadium that allows each player to heal 20 damage from one of their Benched Poke'mon each turn. Obviously, this is most useful in a deck that expects to either take a lot of small damage spread across the Bench, or to retreat a heavily damaged Poke'mon to deny a Prize and then get it back in the fight.

Unfortunately for Poke'mon Centre, the current format is full of Poke'mon built for inflicting 1HKOs and the widespread use of Poke'mon Catcher makes hiding a hurt Poke'mon on the Bench close to pointless. Spread deck aren't a threat right now (between the massive HP scores and Eviolite, they just can't function) so there is very little room for healing cards in any mainstay of the tournament arena.

There are some self damaging or simply massive Poke'mon out there that would appreciate repetitive healing (Zekrom, Reshiram, Regigigas EX and Mewtwo EX spring to mind), but having to retreat those attackers to heal them is too much of an inconvenience. Especially when you can fit in a 1-0-1 line of Serperior to heal all of your Poke'mon for the same amount.

In Limited, it is a very different story. Retreating to deny a Prize is a common strategy and being able to fully heal them over time for a second round is absolutely brilliant. However, your opponent will also get the same benefit so be careful when you drop this card, and be sure to finish off your targets before they can run away!

I don't see Poke'mon Centre being used in Modified except as a counter Stadium to ruin an opponent's strategy, but most decks run just fine without them so it isn't a major niche like it was last format. Keep an eye on Poke'mon Stadium in case a good combo comes up (Donphan Prime and Landorus would probably find it useful if they were more popular) but for now I'm going to count it out. Even at the cost of only a single slot for repeatable healing, Poke'mon centre is too weak.

Modified: 2 (preventing damage is much more importnat than healing at the moment)

Limited: 3.5 (incredibly useful, but it is a double-edged sword)

Combos with: some sort of free retreat scheme that lets you retreat and switch again to heal your main attacker with ease


Otaku

Today we look at an old favorite made new again… by completely changing its sub-type and effect. Yes, we are looking at Pokémon Center (BW: Next Destinies 90/99).

Stats and Effect

The original Pokémon Center, first released in the original Base Set as card 85/102 came out when Trainers were simply Trainers: there were no sub-types available. Now cards are designed so that characters from the games are Supporters and locations are Stadiums, so the newest version is a Stadium. This requires a radical change in the old effect, which would be completely inappropriate as a Trainer that could be re-used turn after turn. Said old effect was that you removed all damage counters from your Pokémon that had any on them, and the Pokémon you healed also had all their Energy discarded. The new effect is that once during a player’s turn, he or she heals 20 points of damage from one of his or her Benched Pokémon.

Of course, in the video games, the main point of the Pokémon Center is to heal the (up to six) Pokémon in your party, which recovers all HP and PP expended. This exact effect doesn’t translate well into the game, let alone as a Stadium. Healing 20 on a Benched Pokémon seems somewhat negligible; usually it is your Active with damage on it, and 20 isn’t even equal to the post-errata Potion. You also extend the exact same benefit to your opponent, and if the Stadium looks like it could benefit you I would expect your opponent to use it (if they could) and then quickly discard it from play (though that requires the appropriate card effect).

There aren’t much better options for the effect, or at least not one I’ve been able to come up with since really thinking about it. Best I could come up with was healing a damage counter or two between turns, so long as the Pokémon being healed didn’t use an attack or Ability that turn, but that would wreck a lot of spread decks but otherwise not be that much more useful against the hard hits of this format. As a historical note, this effect is very similar to the old Stadium Healing Field (Neo Revelations, 61/64), except that Stadium gave the turn player a chance to heal up to 20 points of damage on his or her Active Pokémon; it required a successful coin toss, but this was also when Pokémon were half to two-thirds as large as they are now. Most of you should remember (or at least realize) that back then, that was a coin toss to get a “free” Potion for the turn. It was also one of the cards that spurred TPC to restrict players to one Stadium per turn, and no playing a duplicate Stadium. I remember dropping multiple Healing Fields in a single turn.

Usage

I’ll be honest; I am hard pressed to come up with a good use for this card except as your token “filler” Stadium card. In a format of mostly OHKOs, at least the healing of your opponent’s Bench is unlikely to matter. Of course, it isn’t likely to benefit you much either, and it comes down to finding a deck that does Bench damage to itself, preferably before you attack so you can heal it that turn, and that is worth running in the current format. Decks that due self-damage, move damage counters around, or involve a “porter” strategy might like it, but your opponent has a full turn to capitalize on that self-damage before you can heal it.

In Unlimited, there are too many potent Stadium cards to bother with it, especially since some are important for first turn win, lock, and donk decks. I am quite torn on this card for Limited: generally healing is a must play, but in Limited you can only tailor your deck to the effect to a certain degree, and the ways in which you do so are likely how most decks will be built. Retreating injured Pokémon to deny an opponent Prizes is a common tactic; you have to already have some big Pokémon with surprisingly good Retreat Costs (or something that inherently combos with the card, such as doing damage to its own Bench or just requiring a Stadium in play) to make sure you benefit more than your opponent. It is probably worth running, but be very careful in actually using the card.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 2/5

Limited: 4/5

Summary

I am very sad this renders the original Pokémon Center illegal to play due to the vastly different effects, but I understand the change. I am actually hoping a Supporter with the original effect of Pokémon Center might now be balanced. The effect of Pokémon Nurse (Expedition 145/165) is now the effect of Max Potion (BW: Emerging Powers 94/98); I’d think that would make Pokémon Nurse an available name for a new or at least repurposed effect. Actually using Pokémon Center effectively strikes me as too challenging for the reward, but maybe this will be one of those embarrassing times when I have to face-up to being wrong for the next six months or more as people find a good use for it.

Please check out my eBay sales by clicking here. It’s me whittling away at about two decades worth of attempted collecting, spanning action figures, comic books, TCGs, and video games. Exactly what is up is a bit random. Pojo.com is in no way responsible for any transactions; Pojo is merely doing me a favor by letting me link at the end of my reviews.

conical Alex


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