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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Primal Clash Cards

#5 - Silent Lab

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 16, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard:
Expanded:
Limited:

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#5 Silent Lab

One of the positive features about the current game is the way that Stadiums have become a big thing again: Fighting Stadium, Virbank City Gym, Fairy Garden, Shadow Circle . . . all seen in top tier decks. Primal Clash brings us another three playable Stadiums, two of which make our top 10 list.

Silent Lab has a simple, but wide-ranging effect: it shuts off the Abilities of all Basic Pokémon. Not as comprehensive as Garbodor LTR, but much easier and quicker to get into play. With Silent Lab on the Field, Safeguard Pokémon no longer block attacks from EX’s; Mr Mime no longer protects the Bench; Lugia EX can’t take an extra Prize; Darkrai EX doesn’t give free retreat; Jirachi EX can’t fetch a Supporter; and Victory Star Victini can’t help with Coin Flip attacks. There are of course many more examples (Spiritomb LTR, Keldeo EX, Jynx FFI), but hopefully I’ve made the point that Silent Lab can be extremely useful in blocking a lot of commonly-used Abilities, and therefore disrupting many opponents’ strategies.

The deck that hates Silent Lab the most is undoubtedly Virizion/Genesect. Every Pokémon in a standard list is screwed over by this Stadium and the deck loses its Status Condition immunity (Virizion EX), Catcher effect (Genesect EX), consistency booster (Jirachi EX) and damage enhancer (Deoxys EX). If that deck is a problem for you, the Silent Lab is something you may well be running, especially as a single copy will almost certainly be locked in for the entire game as Virizion/Genesect doesn’t typically use Stadiums.

If you have a deck that relies on using the Abilities of Basic Pokémon, I suggest you make sure you run enough counter-Stadiums. If you have a deck without such reliance, then seriously consider the disruption that Silent Lab has to offer.

Rating

Modified: 3.5 (a real problem-solver card)

Expanded: 3.5 (stops a few more things here, like Ho-oh EX)

Limited: 3 (only relevant for counter-Stadium purposes)


aroramage

Deep beneath the earth in a secret base, a horrifying arena where experiments are performed to suppress the innate Abilities of Pokemon is born. Poking, prodding, the beeping of machines - it's all here, and yet nothing is heard. Nothing can be heard...in the SILENT LAAAAAAB!!

 

...alright, this card didn't make it onto my list either, but I absolutely KNOW why it's on our Top 10 List. It's obvious, isn't it? That effect right there! Silent Lab suppresses the Abilities of Basic Pokemon amidst all players' hands, fields, and discard piles, NEGATING THEM OUTRIGHT!! It's Garbodor on steroids, and without the need for a Tool! It's crazy! It's ridiculous! It's way too powerful!

 

Okay, maybe not that last one. This is a Stadium card, so any other Stadium coming into play will wreck it. There are also a few Pokemon with the Ability to destroy Stadiums, so that's a thing. Aside from that though, there's not much that can stop Silent Lab. Garbodor could have his Ability shut down by removing the Tool card, but there's no easy way of shutting down Silent Lab aside from playing another Stadium.

 

Now the clause of targeting Basic Pokemon only may seem a bit useless. After all, it means Silent Lab won't hit stuff like Garbodor, Pyroar, or the new Swampert, just as examples. So what cards can it hit? Well, Aegislash-EX seems to have a nice Ability for a Basic EX - GONE. Exeggcute (PLF) can't be abused anymore from the discard pile while Silent Lab is in play, Keldeo-EX can't Rush In, Virizion-EX no longer protects Pokemon with Grass Energy, Squirtle (BCR) isn't protected, Mr. Mime (PLF) isn't protect-ING...say, there's a LOT of Pokemon this can affect!

 

I don't recall of too many Abilities in the hand, but for those on the field and the discard pile, this will be more than enough for most of them! Hopefully it won't get terribly ousted by all the other Stadiums.

 

Rating

 

Standard: 4/5 (sure, it can get removed by any other Stadium, but so can...well, every other Stadium! And this one can negate a lot of useful Abilities - not every Ability, but a lot of good ones!)

 

Expanded: 4/5 (more Abilities to negate, but about the same here)

 

Limited: 3/5 (aside from taking out other Stadiums, this will be useful against only two Pokemon. Granted, one of those is Wailord-EX, so this might not be a bad thing to throw in)

 

Arora Notealus: Silent Lab is one of those Stadiums that isn't based off an in-game location, though I wouldn't be surprised if this had been used by Team Aqua. It strikes me more of a Team Aqua thing for some reason...can't imagine why.

 

Next Time: Who needs Team Aqua? We, Team Magma, will spread the lands out and swallow up the oceans!


Otaku

Welcome to the second week of our Top 10 list for XY: Primal Clash.  If you’re jumping around in the list, note that besides the usual rule against picking reprints I once again basically looked for 10 cards that caught my eye and seemed either good enough we should see them a lot or popular enough that we’ll see them a lot until the metagame sorts itself out.  Speaking of the metagame, this is being written when I’ve seen next to nothing from the St. Louis regionals (yeah, forgot they were streaming those).  Thankfully my list is averaged out with those of the other reviewers and this set, for better or worse our choices were a bit more varied.

 

So the Top 5 begins (or ends) with our fifth place pick, Silent Lab (XY: Primal Clash 140/160).  This is a Stadium card with an effect that states “Each Basic Pokémon in play, in each player’s hand, and in each player’s discard pile has no Abilities.”  I hadn’t realized that this wording could do some strange things if we ever got an effect that caused a card interaction based on whether or not something has an Ability or not that wasn’t rendered moot by Abilities being negated.  For example Bright Down blocks all effects of attacks, including damage, done by Pokémon with Abilities to Latias-EX; since Latias-EX is a Basic Pokémon Silent Lab would shut down Bright Down at the same time its making all other Basic Pokémon “...have no Abilities.”  I wonder what would happen if we got an Evolution with a Bright Down Ability, or if like the many attacks that reference Pokémon-EX for extra damage or effects, we got some that did the same to Pokémon with Abilities, would Silent Lab cause such effects not to trigger?

 

Getting away from the hypothetical, what do I think of this card?  First I hate running a deck without a Stadium; some decks can get away with it but those are exceptions, not the rule.  Stadiums are the most efficient way to get rid of other Stadiums and some decks rely heavily on their own Stadiums.  Most at least receive a small boost when their Stadium is the one in play, so its a position in the deck that demands to be filled.  That being said I don’t know if we are going to see the return of “Stadium Wars”; I can’t think of any deck that completely fails without its Stadium in play, though there are a few that are in real bad shape, such as many Night March decks if Dimension Valley isn’t present.

 

Ways to leverage this basic tactic (not just Silent March) are when you can benefit from your Stadium before your opponent has a chance to counter it.  This is accomplished with effects that matter on your own turn or between turns. Frozen City won’t bother your opponent anyway if she can play their own Stadium down before attaching an Energy from hand to one of her non-Team Plasma Pokémon, but if you’ve got Virbank City Gym in play and can Poison the opponent’s Active Pokémon, that will trigger between turns before your opponent has a chance to discard it.  Silent Lab is an “always on” condition, so while sometimes its going to only help you on your opponent’s turn, there are times when it can help you on your own (usually by bypassing protective Abilities).  Discarding a Frozen City before you’ve ever taken damage from it and then immediately (for example) using your Pokémon-EX to score a hit against a normally protected Safeguard Pokémon means that even if your opponent drops a second Frozen City immediately on her next turn, you’ve scored damage that normally would have been blocked and you traded one Stadium for another.

 

At certain points in the game’s history, “Stadium Wars” have been a thing; potent Stadiums or those key to a deck’s victory (even if simple) weren’t just run maxed out, but players found they needed to blend Stadiums together.  The total count didn’t get too high; very few decks I recall went above five, but decks with 3/2 Stadium line splits or even several singles became not the norm, but something that was reasonable… and I am wondering if this set could herald the return of such a thing.  it is getting hard to select a Stadium; not only because so many are good but also because in many match-ups, it is easy to help your opponent; splitting Stadiums reduces reliability but allows you to adapt to more situations.  There were four Stadiums in this set and I’ve got to tell you, three look very promising with only one looking fun but probably not competitive.  Silent Lab might seem merely “okay” at first, but let’s name a few Pokémon that lose access to useful Abilities (if not their main reason for seeing play): all Safeguard Pokémon, Darkrai-EX, Genesect-EX, Jirachi-EX, Keldeo-EX and Virizion-EX.  Since the Stadium leaves Evolutions untouched, I know some have suggested that this counts as Evolution support, but it benefits a lot of big, Basic Pokémon as well.  Besides allowing Pokémon-EX to simply ignore Safeguard, there are times when an unwanted Ability can be shut down, such as allowing Hawlucha to apply Weakness and Resistance (applying Weakness being the benefit); drop a Silent Lab a Silver Bangle and a Fighting Energy onto Hawlucha and it can OHKO a Manectric-EX or Darkrai-EX.  If you use a Strong Energy instead of a Fighting Energy, it can OHKO M Manectric-EX!

 

Ratings

 

Standard: 3.5/5

 

Expanded: 3.5/5

 

Limited: 5/5

 

Summary: I was reasonably impressed with this card when I started thinking out it could be used.  If the score seems boring remember that this is in general; in decks tailored to it it is a bit more valuable and in decks where it clashes it will still often be handy; only a few decks come out behind for including it.  Just remember that most of the time there will be a better, less generic option to run.  I actually had this as my third place pick because even with other options, shutting down Abilities (especially in a manner that allows you to retain some) can be pretty handy.


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