We’ll make a splash and begin the week
with our 10th place Promising
Pick of Plasma Blast,
Suicune (BW: Plasma Blast
It is almost surprising to see a
Legendary Pokémon that isn’t a
Pokémon-EX make the list.
Suicune is a Water-Type Pokémon; I
can find one piece of Water-Type support
Cryogonal (BW: Plasma Freeze
30/116) – and to my understanding it
didn’t catch on for serious play.
As far as Weakness and Resistance
go, Water Weakness is seen on some
notable cards (like
Landorus EX) while Water Resistance
while many Grass-Type Pokémon have
Water-Type Resistance (with some of
those amongst the hyped new cards).
Suicune is a Basic Pokémon; this is
as good as it gets right now.
They enjoy the least amount of
deck space per copy, the least amount of
time to get into play, are required by
the rules to be present in your deck,
enjoy specific cards of support, and
even benefit naturally more from many
cards because (as an example) when you
use a search card for a Basic Pokémon…
you’ve got the whole thing.
100 HP is solid; it is far from safe in
the current format and can be OHKOed by
most decks, but it isn’t an “easy” KO at
Most decks will need to pump up
their main attack a little, or if you
are fortunate dedicate a lot of
resources in another way, such as
meeting specific criteria or investing
more mundane resources like Energy.
Grass-Type Weakness is hard to evaluate
right now as this is a new set and some
of the much hyped cards are Grass-Types…
and before now Grass-Types were seen as
The good news is that with
attacks hitting so hard, big attacks
would score a OHKO anyway, medium sized
attacks just need a little less set-up,
and small attacks don’t get that much
bigger, even with doubling.
It is the attacks that fall in
between that are the problem; 50 points
of damage would become a OHKO!
The Ability (which will be
discussed in the usual place) can make
this completely meaningless; the shape
of the metagame will be a huge factor.
This card has no Resistance, which is
functionally the worst Resistance, but
is so common it is also the default and
so it is more a missed opportunity than
a serious flaw with the card.
A Retreat Cost of (CC) is functionally
average; you can often meet the cost but
you won’t always be able to afford it as
losing that much Energy would set you
back too far to be worth it.
As long as tricks to lower
Retreat Costs or bypass manually
Retreating entirely are common (and I
don’t see them going away), this is
almost worst than having a Retreat Cost
of (CCC), which would enable one to
Suicune out with
Safeguard prevents all effects of
attacks, including damage, done to
If you’re wondering, something
such as “Discard a Special Energy
attached to the Defending Pokémon” would
be blocked because Pokémon TCG game
mechanics don’t distinguish between a
Pokémon and what is attached to it for
these purposes, but it would
not prevent the effect of an attack
that states “This attack’s damage isn’t
affected by any effects on the Defending
Pokémon” even though it is an effect on
said target Pokémon.
Despite that one blatant chink in
the armor, this is a valuable Ability in
a format dominated by Pokémon-EX.
Aurora Beam is a solid attack; for (WCC)
it deals 70 points of damage.
This is towards the low end of
what can be competitive, but it is aided
by needing only one specific Energy Type
with the remaining two requirements able
to be met by multiple forms of Energy
Double Colorless Energy.
You’ll need help, but you should
be able to manage 2HKOs against most of
the format (and without help, 3HKOs).
Aurora Beam isn’t strong but it is
adequate when paired with the defensive
value of Safeguard.
This is not a Pokémon for all
seasons, but for specific match-ups in
specific decks, this is a strong
There are no other
Suicune in the format.
Interestingly enough, the other
two members of its “Legendary Beast”
Trio (as well as the other Legendary
depicted as being in authority over
them) are only available in this card
pool as Pokémon-EX.
There is one other “Safeguard” Pokémon,
Sigilyph (BW: Dragons Exalted
52/124; BW: Plasma Freeze
118/116) is the only Modified legal
There are also some similar
Klinklang (BW: Plasma Storm
Klinklang [Plasma], which has an
Ability that blocks damage done to
Metal-Type Pokémon and
Scizor (BW: Boundaries Crossed
94/149) has its “Steel Slash” attack
that protects it from damage done by
Pokémon-EX (which seems like a waste as
it was a Metal-Type and would be able to
Klinklang [Plasma] as of the next
Besides these, there are actually a few
other “anti-Pokémon-EX” cards:
Jolteon (BW: Plasma Freeze
Jolteon [Plasma] can use its
Electri-Defuse attack to block a
Pokémon-EX it hits with said attack from
being able to attack.
Bouffalant (BW: Dragons Exalted
Vaporeon (BW: Plasma Freeze
Vaporeon [Plasma], and
Victini EX all hit harder with at
least one attack against Pokémon-EX.
We also just received
Silver Bangle, a Pokémon Tool that
(except when attached to a Pokémon-EX)
increases the damage of the equipped
Pokémon’s attacks by 30 before Weakness
Silver Mirror blocks damage and
effects from attacks by Team Plasma
Pokémon to a Pokémon that has
Silver Mirror attached (unless that
Pokémon is a Pokémon-EX).
As such, a significant amount of
Pokémon would be unable to affect
Suicune if it had one equipped; few
Pokémon used for attacking are neither
(or possess one of the effects to bypass
Eviolite is another option; while
you can’t equip both to
Eviolite gives you protection
against everything that doesn’t bypass
effects that reduce damage on the
Defending Pokémon. Of course both of
those are vulnerable to
Though I have not heard it held to
incredibly high standards, a deck built
around the likes of
Suicune, Pokémon Tools, and some of
the anti-Pokémon-EX cards listed earlier
has been thrown around.
Sigilyph has similarly open Energy
requirements, and attack useful for
punishing Energy-heavy attackers, and
allows you to Type match both
offensively (hitting Psychic Weakness,
avoiding Water Resistance) and
Defensively (confronting Grass-Types
Bouffalant can also make solid use
Double Colorless Energy, provides
yet another “alternate Defense” with its
Ability, and hits Pokémon-EX quite hard.
Due to the high usage of Pokémon Tools,
Sigilyph (BW: Plasma Blast
41/101) is also possible (likely leading
While it only does 70 for (PCC)
with its attack, it can equip up to four
Pokémon Tools thanks to its Ability and
has 90 HP.
With a split between offensive (Silver
Bangle) and defensive (Eviolite,
Silver Mirror) Pokémon Tools, it can
become very impressive.
For those wanting a more “down to earth”
use, consider adding one to Deluge
decks; being able to wall right away may
buy some time to get
Blastoise out… and if the walling is
successful, you may be fine just
Suicune up manually!
It isn’t something you’ll need
every match, but it can improve some
Though it is adding yet another
Grass Weak Pokémon to the deck, the
Grass-Type Pokémon I would most fear are
Virizion EX) and thus can’t hurt
Suicune with their own attacks while
Safeguard is in effect.
Genesect EX can get around Safeguard
G Booster, but that is its Ace Spec
and already OHKOs almost everything in
the game, so I see no reason to count
If you are not shooting for a deck that
wins/locks the opponent down first turn,
but are instead into “raw power”
territory, heavy Energy acceleration
decks like Rain Dance or Deluge are a
decent choice and this gives them an
answer to Pokémon-EX, another likely
choice for this format (as aren’t as
vulnerable to one of the more prominent
Though space is tight, it seems useful
for Deluge decks, and it might have a
place in some half-new deck ideas as
well, as described above.
At this point, I am
not assuming widespread play of
Tropius (BW: Plasma Blast
Genesect (BW: Plasma Blast
Unless you pull a single, big Basic
Pokémon worth building your entire deck
around, this is a must run.
Yes, we have covered many of
these, but generally one is desperate to
get a full 40 cards (less basic Energy)
worth running in this format (which is
why Big Basic + 39 decks exist).
As it only needs a single source
Water Energy to attack and the set
has quite a few other Pokémon that can
use that Energy as well, odds are good
you can attack with it… and even if you
can’t attack, you can always throw it up
as an “emergency wall” against a
Pokémon-EX + 39 deck.
is a solid addition to a card pool that
favors Basic Pokémon and metagame
largely built around Pokémon-EX.
I believe it will become a one-of
for Deluge decks or at least one of
several one-of-cards vying for limited
deck space, and it may even help a
sort-of-new deck emerge.
Suicune as my 9th place
pick, making me wonder if I am the only
one who voted for it.