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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Aspertia City Gym

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed: Nov. 26, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.38
Limited: 3.75

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

Aspertia City Gym (Boundaries Crossed)

Hello, and welcome to a new week of reviews here on Pojo’s CotD. I hope American readers enjoyed their festival of turkey and shopping. There’s only a month to go before Christmas, so that’s plenty of time to recover.

We kick off the week by looking at the only Stadium card to be released in Boundaries Crossed, Aspertia City Gym. Appropriately enough, it’s the first Gym that you encounter when playing Black and White 2. From my experience, Cheren can be a bit tricky to defeat unless you catch a Riolu early and spend some time levelling it up.

As with most Stadiums, the effect is pretty simple: Colourless Pokémon all get an extra 20 HP. Is that good? Well, if you are playing Colourless Pokémon, then yes. It works especially well with Tornadus-EX (which needs to be played with a Stadium anyway), increasing its HP to 190 and thus putting it out of the range of an unboosted two hit KO from Darkrai-EX. Bouffalant DRX is another great card to play with this Gym: with its Bouffer Ability reducing the attack damage it takes by 20, this useful anti-EX Pokémon becomes pretty durable with Aspertia on the Field. You can also attach Eviolite to turn both of these Basic Pokémon into a very problematic KO for any opponent who can’t hit them for Weakness. Beyond these two Pokémon though, there isn’t much to use the Stadium with: Tornadus EPO? Stoutland BCR? You don’t really see them in competitive play.

But Tornadus-EX and Bouffalant are good enough on their own to make this card worthwhile, and Aspertia City Gym is already finding its way into lists which focus on these Pokémon (usually paired with Landorus-EX and/or Mewtwo-EX). Once Poison Hypnotic Beam and Virbank City Gym are released (probably in our February set), then I wouldn’t expect Aspertia to see much, if any, play (that combination is seriously format-changing), but for now there seems to be a window for this card to be used in tournament-calibre decks.

Rating

Modified: 3.5 (Turns a couple of quite good cards into seriously good cards)

Limited: 4 (Using Colourless Pokémon? Then this will be extremely useful)


Otaku

We open the week looking at Aspertia City Gym (BW: Boundaries Crossed 127/149).

No witty (or even lame) jokes to open with this time; “Sorry” or “You’re welcome!” (whichever is appropriate).

Stats

Aspertia City Gym is a Stadium, one of the major divisions of Trainers that was “spun off” as an entirely separate form of cards, before being returned to the umbrella of Trainers yet again. I prefer they avoid having more than the three core categories of cards (Pokémon, Trainer, and Energy) so I was happy to see that revert.

Stadiums are special in Pokémon; like your Supporter usage, you are only allowed to play a Stadium once during your turn, but you also cannot play a Stadium with the same name as a Stadium already in play. This likely occurred because at one time neither of the preceding applied, and besides “flavor” issues, some Stadiums proved quite potent if they had a non-continuous effect you could reset (by playing the same card over again) and thus stack, or access and then prevent your opponent from using it by playing a second, different Stadium.

Stadiums have the mixed blessing of staying in play; this can be good if it allows you to tap a beneficial effect more than once, but can be a hindrance if that effect is no longer beneficial to you and/or your opponent can access it. Stadiums also are hard to discard from play; only cards that specifically target Trainers in play or Stadiums themselves can discard them. As such, the best method of dealing with a Stadium is to run your own and play it to discard the offender.

Effects

Aspertia City Gym has a continuous effect; as long as it is in play, Colorless-Type Pokémon receive +20 to their HP scores; this is a solid effect but can be hard to predict its exact usefulness. The reason for this is that it actually is dependent upon your opponent; attacks that already hit for 20 or more points of overkill aren’t going to care. With single attacks that may be unlikely, but once you have something hitting twice, well a lot of attacks do risk overkill.

There is also the question of whether or not your opponent runs a counter-Stadium or one of the few cards that can discard a Stadium from play via an effect. If they can, it will be rare that you really enjoy that bonus; most attacks are going to KO you after your opponent attacks, which means said opponent will be able to drop his/her own Stadium and you’ll never truly enjoy that +20 HP.

Those concerns being stated, not every deck runs its own Stadium card, and there are some basic combos that will increase your odds of that extra 20 HP coming in handy.

Usage

Ideal candidates for use with Aspertia City Gym are massive Colorless Pokémon that can be used with Eviolite (if Basic) or Giant Cape; for a single hit, either means it will take a hit equal to the cards base HP score plus 40 to score that OHKO (barring Weakness or Resistance).

The first candidate to spring to mind is Tornadus EX (BW: Dark Explorers 90/108, 108/108); while big (110+ damage) Lightning-Type attacks are still a OHKO, most other types will struggle to score 210 points of damage in one shot and Fighting-Types will need to hit even harder (230)! Few cards can do that, so most decks will need to total 230 points over two attacks with Fighting-Types needing to score 250 over two attacks; Eviolite will keep absorbing 20 each turn it is present. Aspertia City Gym also will trigger the extra damage clause for its “Blow Through” attack.

Regular Tornadus (BW: Emerging Powers 89/98, 98/98) also becomes more impressive; its 110 HP (often a tricky OHKO) was already a great HP score for a Basic Pokémon that isn’t worth two Prizes (like Pokémon-EX are) and Aspertia City Gym bumps it up to 130. 130 HP is hard to OHKO, and combined with Eviolite only the biggest attackers can deal the 150 points of damage needed for a OHKO (unless they are Lightning-Types). Fighting-Type Pokémon-EX aren’t going to like having to deal 170 points of damage in one hit or 190 over two!

Bouffalant (BW: Dragons Exalted 110/124) sports a good 100 HP (that Aspertia City Gym bumps up to 120) and also enjoys the “Bouffer” Ability that soaks 20 points of damage (after Weakness/Resistance) when it is attacked. Slap on an Eviolite and it will take 160 points of damage to OHKO it (though Fighting-Types can do it for 80 points of damage). Bouffalant still has Gold Breaker, an attack that does 60+ for (CCC); the plus only kicks in against Pokémon-EX but since it adds another 60 points of damage (totaling 120) and the format is full of Pokémon-EX, that’s great!

There are a lot of decks that can use these three, and that is important; despite what you might think, you don’t need to be running a pure Colorless deck in order to take advantage of Aspertia City Gym, at least in this format. There simply aren’t a lot of good Stadium cards for decks to run, and thanks to Skyla plucking a TecH Aspertia City Gym can work even if you’ve only got a few Colorless attackers, so long as you rely heavily on them. Even a deck just running Tornadus EX could probably justify more than TecH; two or three copies Aspertia City Gym.

Prospects are not as hot for Unlimited, as there you’ll have access to the most potent Stadiums ever printed. Given their number, even a mono-Colorless deck would be hard pressed to fit Aspertia City Gym into it, plus there are anti-Colorless-Type cards available in Unlimited. For Limited, it all depends upon what you pull; as the only Stadium in the set, only Swanna (BW: Boundaries Crossed 43/149) can discard Stadiums so once you drop Aspertia City Gym, it is almost certainly there to stay. If you are running more (or the most useful) Colorless Pokémon, that’s great… but if your opponent has more, that can backfire horribly! The set has a good selection of Colorless Pokémon for Limited, as well.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1.75/5

Modified: 3.25/5

Limited: 3.5/5

Summary

Aspertia City Gym is a welcome addition to our Stadium options for Modified. It gives just enough of a reason to at least test running a deck that is heavy with Colorless Pokémon, including a few Pokémon that until now have been near misses. It isn’t perfect but since most decks are struggling for space and lack a standout Stadium to run, it is a good card and I ranked it as the 14th best card of the set.

Having finally given it a full review, I fear I did players a disservice by not ranking it higher; if I am overestimating it, Aspertia City Gym probably deserved to at least take the 10th place slot, and I could realistically see it proving to be upwards of the 6th best card.


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