Welcome to the number four pick for our
Top 10 Cards of Plasma Storm countdown,
Colress (BW: Plasma Storm
This card has already divided the
player base, and across varying skill
Read on to find out why.
is a Trainer, specifically a Supporter.
As a Team Plasma card it can tap
their support, but in no way requires
Team Plasma cards.
I have to stress that as
Supporters can only be used once per
turn (unlike Items) and are usually the
driving force behind set-up and
maintenance of your resources, a
Supporter can seldom be sparred to do
something non-essential to winning, and
has to do it quite, quite well.
An otherwise amazing effect can
be horrible because it was slapped on a
Supporter and not a Pokémon, Item,
Stadium, or even Energy card.
allows you to shuffle your hand into
your deck and draw one card for the
combined total of Pokémon on the Bench;
for both players, not just you or your
This gives it a range from zero
Few decks are designed to play a
single Pokémon at a time; most
competitive decks require (or at least
prefer) two or three Pokémon on the
Bench, and a few even require full or
nearly full Benches.
An opponent not intentionally
altering how they play to counter
Colress and a deck not completely
ill-suited or tailored to it will
somewhat reliably give you a four to six
is similar to an older card,
Steven’s Advice, which allowed you
to draw up to one card for each of your
opponent’s Pokémon in play, but it also
had a clause preventing you from playing
it if you had more than six other cards
Its wording allowed you to choose
to draw less than the full amount you
had coming, but since you didn’t see the
cards as you drew them, you had to make
the decision before seeing what you were
I remember some players being wary of
Steven’s Advice at first.
It existed alongside
Copycat (shuffle your hand into your
deck and draw cards equal to your
opponent’s current hand size) so you
risked helping your opponent, but the
real concerns were it being a bad
opening draw, your opponent avoiding
Benching Pokémon just to shortchange you
in draw power, and it being a dead card
completely due to swelling hand sizes.
It still proved to be one of the
most popular and powerful draw cards of
its formats, though it was seldom maxed
So why is the history lesson relevant to
It is hard to concisely sum up
five formats worth of experience.
A good shuffle-and-draw Supporter
is important; “filter feeding” through
your deck has long been a potent
effects allow for more cards drawn than
straightforward draw cards unless the
latter have a very nasty cost (like
discarding your hand) and promotes
better deck management.
Depending upon your opponent, the
Colress make for a win-win scenario
if the rest of your deck is well made;
in this case either you get currently
unrivaled draw power or you get
average-to-good draw power and your
opponent is taking a risk of a quick KO
winning the match, or at least leaving
them with next to nothing.
While unlikely, you might also
Colress to replenish your deck.
is not a card to throw into any deck;
some decks are built to run with small,
almost non-existent Benches; running
Colress in such decks is foolhardy
unless you really do want to throw a big
hand back in the deck.
Remember you control how many
Pokémon are on your Bench with how you
build the rest of your deck.
If you already want to load your
Bench, it shouldn’t be hard to make sure
that an opening
Colress isn’t terrible.
As it is a common concern, it is always
important to consider the minimum a card
can get you, and the minimum it is
likely to get you, and what all that
Colress might get you no cards; this
is almost always terrible.
Early game or late game depending
on circumstances, you probably are only
drawing two or three cards off of it…
and for some decks, that isn’t terrible.
It certainly isn’t good, but
three cards are three cards.
Tropical Beach makes an excellent
safety net here: a “bad”
Colress sets up for a good
Comparing them to the other Supporters
is also revealing:
Bianca can be completely dead, while
Colress never will be (a bad return,
but never literally unplayable).
Cheren unfortunately should be a
deck staple but this format is so crazy
fast that drawing three cards without an
Both of these also clash with
Professor Juniper (the premier draw
card and backbone of most deck’s
set-up): the bigger your hand, the
greater your risk of building up cards
you’ll have to discard.
This is why
Colress is a natural compliment to
Professor Juniper as it can
periodically trim your hand down.
is the only other shuffle-and-draw
Supporter in the format, and it is also
a great card.
Colress in that the nature of the
game is likely to make
Colress good at times when
N is not; mid-to-late game odds are
better there are enough Pokémon on the
Colress to outdraw
N, which is based on your remaining
When you can’t afford to help
your opponent, again
Colress comes through when
N always carries that risk.
The final major supporter,
Skyla is about getting the exact
Trainer you need at the moment, not draw
Professor Juniper really should be
your primary Supporters, but that
doesn’t mean all three need to be maxed
Anymore, I like to begin
designing my decks with a 3-3-3-3 split
Professor Juniper; I’ve always had
issues with the other Supporters.
I also like to have two slots for
either two copies of
Random Receiver or
Bicycle or one of each.
I don’t expect my finished decks to
adhere to that pattern, but it is where
I’ll begin; 14 slots allocated for
Colress I suspect will usually drop
down to just two in a deck, but it is
worth beginning with the assumption of
I regularly expect to bump up
Professor Juniper, and even
Skyla more than
The two pseudo-Supporters top
things off nicely, though if they are
less useful than actual Supporters,
obviously I’ve got room to just replace
I don’t think
Colress fits in well with Unlimited;
I would rather use
Steven’s Advice if playing in a less
cutthroat environment where I expect my
opponent to have a Bench, and if I need
a shuffle-and-draw Supporter I would
Professor Oak’s New Theory.
I don’t think first turn win
decks really use shuffle-and-draw power,
In Limited, though, this is a
must run card, which is not unusual for
Supporters or sources of draw power in
should become a common sight in most
decks; running two still allows you
access to its power without regularly
finding it your only opening Supporter
and a deck can be built with it in mind
without running an inferior list.
Some decks should avoid it, but
it fills a sorely needed gap in our
Supporter options and is only surpassed
by the three best Supporters in the
The other “extra” Supporters that
have seen play like
Bianca just found themselves even
was actually my number two pick for this
set, above everything we’ve looked at so
I was only mildly surprised to
see it in the number four spot; I seem
to be on the “pro”
Colress side of the debate so I
thought it might only take third place,
but fourth still seemed a bit low.