dkates' Unlimited deckbuilding tips

Discussion in 'Deck Help and Strategy' started by dkates, Sep 1, 2003.

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  1. dkates

    dkates New Member

    I comment on a lot of decks here, mostly ones built for Unlimited. Here, I will list the strategies I use both when I build my own decks and when I comment on other people's decks. These are all my opinion, and everyone is certainly entitled to agree or disagree as they choose. I did not invent any of these strategies. I am certainly not the most skilled or experienced deckbuilder out there. These strategies are based specifically on the Unlimited format, so some will not apply to Modified. I have assumed only that the reader knows the rules of the game. The list is more or less in order of what I think of when I build a deck. WARNING: This is a long post.
    • Focus. A good deck always has a focus, or specific goal. "To win" is not an acceptable focus -- all decks, except for joke decks, aim for that. An acceptable focus might be a specific Pokemon, a specific category of attacks, a specific type, or even a specific Special Condition. There are plenty of other types of focuses that work just fine, thank you. The focus of a deck may change as you build it. This is okay, but a deck should focus on something. Sometimes, a deck has two focuses. This is okay, as long as the two focuses work together.
    • Going rogue. Most people reading this probably know what I mean. For those who don't, going rogue means to break some of the conventions for deckbuilding in order to do something unusual. Going rogue is not a bad thing. On the contrary, a well-constructed rogue deck is a sign of a very skilled deckbuilder. I have never played competitively with a rogue deck, but I've seen them used, and some of them work quite well.
    • Pokemon, part 1. One of my rules of thumb when building a deck is to include 12-18 Pokemon, usually more like 13-16. The exact number varies with the focus and structure of the deck. The rest of this section is divided into notes about different types of Evolution lines.
      Basic (non-Baby) Pokemon. Here, I'm referring to Pokemon that, at least for the purposes of the deck in question, do not evolve. In Unlimited, there are many powerful Pokemon that either can't or don't need to evolve. In fact, I have constructed decks where one focus was only using Pokemon that didn't evolve. Base Chansey and Jungle Scyther are good examples. Some of these will be the deck focus, others may be support.
      Stage 1 Pokemon. Here, I'm referring to Pokemon that evolve once and only once, either because the Stage 2 is left out or because there is none. There is a wide selection of useful Stage 1 Pokemon available in Unlimited. I tend to recommend that a deck have no more than 2 Stage 1 lines. When I include a Stage 1 line in a deck, I tend to go 3-2 (3 of the Basic, 2 of the Stage 2), although different structures may lend themselves to 2-2, 3-3, 4-3, or even 4-4. I almost never go 4-3 or 4-4, but some Evolution lines (Slowking, for example) lend themselves to a 4-4 construction. (Can you tell I've never used Slowking?) One more note about Stage 1 lines. There is usually, although not always, more than one choice for the Basic of a Stage 1 line. Not all of the Basics you use for a Stage 1 line have to be the same card, and many people use two different cards of the same Basic Pokemon. Choosing the version(s) of the Basic you use can be very important.
      Stage 2 Pokemon. Many people recommend that you stay away from these at all costs in Unlimited. While I find that for most Stage 2's, there is a Stage 1 line that fills the same purpose, someone who wants to go rogue can and may use a Stage 2. For these aspiring rogues, here are my tips on constructing a Stage 2 line. First, use Pokemon Breeder. There are good Stage 2's for Unlimited. The best ones are capable of operating at full or nearly full strength on the second turn of the game, and Pokemon Breeder lets them. I recommend at least 2 Pokemon Breeders for any Stage 2 deck. Second, unless the Stage 1 of the line is pretty useful on its own, include no more than 2 of it. Because of Pokemon Breeder, you won't necessarily even need any. I would usually include 1 of the Stage 1, but it's your call, deckbuilder. In general, I would try to have the numbers of your Stage 1's plus your Pokemon Breeders equal the number of your Stage 2's, possibly plus 1. Third, include at least 3 of the Basic Pokemon. Since the Basic of a Stage 2 line is usually weaker than most other Basics, they're Knocked Out a little more easily than other Basic Pokemon. Plan accordingly. Not having the Stage 1 is acceptable; not having the Basic is not. Finally, include at least 2, preferably 3, of the Stage 2 Pokemon itself. A fourth will usually clutter up your deck, wasting deck space, but only having 1 gives you very low chances of getting it out at all. Remember that your Stage 2 is probably the focus of your deck -- if it's not, it probably shouldn't be there. If there are two different versions of the same Stage 2 Pokemon, and you're using both, do not only include one of each -- a single of one version may be okay, though.
      Baby Pokemon. First introduced in Neo: Genesis, these guys irrevocably changed the game of Pokemon: TCG. Deceptively powerful as a stall tactic and in their own ways, Baby Pokemon should not be overlooked. I use Baby Pokemon to fill spaces in my Pokemon engine, rather than specifically trying to make room for them. Unlike other Pokemon, I feel it can be acceptable to include a single of a Baby Pokemon. The following Babies are especially popular, and all for good reason:
      -Cleffa (Genesis). Because this Pokemon cannot damage the opponent's Pokemon in any way, many beginning players stay away from it. Don't. For a single Energy of any type, Cleffa allows you to exchange the hand you have for 7 cards from your deck. This ability is extremely useful for any deck.
      -Tyrogue (Discovery). Tyrogue is on the other extreme from Cleffa -- while Cleffa cannot do damage to your opponent, Tyrogue can do a very significant amount of damage to your opponent's Pokemon. For a single Energy of any type and a coin flip, Tyrogue allows you to do 30 damage to your opponent's Active Pokemon, before applying Weakness and Resistance.
      -Pichu (Genesis). This Baby has single-handedly struck fear into the hearts of users of Pokemon Powers. Why? Because with this guy around, they're not even safe on the bench. And its attack can be paid for with a single Energy of any type.
      -Elekid (Genesis). OK, this guy's not really all that popular because of Pichu, but he is one of my personal favorites. Why? Because he doesn't need Energy to attack. He doesn't even have to be your Active Pokemon! His Pokemon Power allows you to replace your attack for the turn with a coin flip. If heads, your opponent's Active Pokemon takes 20 damage. This guy is useful for decks where you plan on having a Pokemon Active, but not attacking. If your opponent has a Baby Active, Elekid lets you bypass the infamous Baby Rule, as well as anything else that is triggered by an attack.
    • Pokemon, part 2. Obviouisly, there is much more to choosing Pokemon than just evolution lines. Look at every aspect of a Pokemon when considering it for your deck. Here is what I look at when I look at a Pokemon, not necessarily in any specific order:
      HP. Other than Babies, I tend to avoid Pokemon with less than 50 HP whenever possible, unless they are essential to my deck's strategy. I especially tend to like Pokemon with at least 70 HP. Why 70? A few reasons. First, it takes a considerable effort to Knock Out a Pokemon with 70 HP on the first turn of the game. It can be done, but it is far from easy. Also, a Pokemon with 70 or more HP has an interesting relationship with the Trainer Gold Berry, which I'll mention in the Trainers section.
      Retreat Cost. I tend to avoid Pokemon with a retreat cost higher than 2 (except maybe Mewtwo ex), and I especially tend to gravitate toward Pokemon with a Retreat Cost of 1 or 0. Why 2? Because that is the highest Retreat Cost that can be paid for with a single Energy card. Being able to change Pokemon easily can make the difference between winning and losing. Since (with a few notable exceptions that I won't mention in this post) you can only attach one Energy card to a Pokemon in a turn, having to give up more than one Energy card to retreat is a big hit.
      Type. I tend not to dwell on this much, but it can be important. For every type other than Fire, Dark and Colorless, a number of Pokemon exist that are resistant to that type. If your deck has only one type of Pokemon, and your opponent plays a Pokemon with a Resistance to that type, you're in trouble. More details later.
      Weakness/Resistance. I won't go into too much detail here, but pay attention to this. If all, or even a large portion of your Pokemon have a Weakness to the same type, an opponent with Pokemon of that type in his deck has a distinct advantage. More details later.
      Pokemon Powers. Most Pokemon do not have a Pokemon Power. For those that do, read it carefully. How can it help you? Or can it? Some Pokemon Powers' effects are negative. Watch for these, because of one important Pokemon with an important Pokemon Power... Muk (Fossil/LC). Muk causes all Pokemon Powers, other than copies of its own, to be ignored. If you have a Pokemon with a Pokemon Power that hurts you, you will probably want to use this guy. If a Pokemon Power can help you, figure out how best to take advantage of it.
      Attack costs. As what Magic players might call a Johnny/Spike, I shy away from Pokemon with high attack costs. I find that it works. I avoid Pokemon with 4-Energy attacks, except for Base Chansey. Keep an eye out for Energy costs including (C)(C). Those should set off bells and whistles in your head. Why? One Double Colorless Energy can pay for that part of the cost, saving you an Energy card and a turn! That, by the way, is why Chansey is my exception to the rule against 4-Energy attacks. All 4 are (C), allowing the whole cost to be paid for with 2 Energy cards. I also avoid attack costs with more than one specific color of Energy -- these tend to be extremely difficult to pay. I will not include a Pokemon with a 5-Energy attack in my deck, unless there is a reliable way to power it up quickly. One more note. Try to keep the number of different types of Energy your Pokemon's attacks call for down to 1 or 2.
      Attack damage and effects.The most powerful attacks aren't necessarily the ones with a base damage of 100 or 120. Sometimes, the most "powerful" attacks have no base damage at all! If an attack has text, read it carefully. Figure out what it does and how it does it. Exploit positive effects as well as you can. Just because an attack has a negative effect doesn't mean you should leave it out of your deck. Look instead for ways to either make use of that effect, or to minimize its impact on you. If neither is possible, or if minimizing the negative effect takes too much effort to justify using the card, leave it out. Not every card will be deckworthy. A special note about multiplier attacks. These are attacks with a base damage like 20X. Look at what the base damage is being multiplied by. Often, this is the number of heads in a series of coin flips. When considering an attack like that, it takes a bit of math. First, and perhaps most importantly, figure out the average amount of damage you can do. Usually, this is done by taking half the total number of coins flipped and multiplying it by the base damage. Then, consider the potential damage. If both the average damage and the potential damage seem to be enough, go for it! If it has a lot of potential, but the average damage is too low, consider using a different card.
      Combinations. These are not written on the card. Rather, these are found by asking the question, "How does this card work with other cards?" Better to have a smaller number of Pokemon that work together than a larger number of more powerful Pokemon that don't connect to each other at all.
      Splashability. Some Pokemon go into a deck not because they directly interact with the main strategy, but because they form a small sub-strategy that supports the main strategy. A prime example of a splashable Pokemon is Jungle Scyther.
    • Energy. Once I've decided more or less which Pokemon I want to use, I decide on Energy cards. Your Pokemon need Energy to use attacks. I have only ever seen one extremely rogue deck that had no Energy cards at all. My decks tend to have 12-18 Energy (That range seem familiar?), usually more like 13-16. Some decks may do fine with less, and some deck types work best with more, although I rarely see a deck that requires more than 21 Energy, even in Modified. I will usually not have more Energy cards than Pokemon, but that's a matter of personal preference. Notes below on the different kinds of Energy cards.
      Basic Energy. When the game started, you had Basic Energy and you had Double Colorless Energy. That was it. This is no longer the case, but Basic Energy can still be important. If your deck centers around one or more types of Basic Energy, you'll obviously tend to want some of that Energy. Remember that Basic Energy is the only card you can have more than 4 of in a deck. Remember also that Basic Energy can pay for its own color and for Colorless costs, but only counts as one Energy at a time. The structure and focus of your deck will dictate which Basic Energies, if any, you need, and how many of each. Sometimes, you don't need any.
      Special Energy. These have become more and more important in the last 3 years. Special Energy cards provide either more than one Energy per card or a special effect. Especially significant Special Energies include Double Colorless Energy, Darkness Energy, Metal Energy, Rainbow Energy, Boost Energy and Warp Energy. Depending on the specifics of your deck, you may or may not need some of these. Some decks have no Basic Energy cards, and some decks have no Special Energy cards.
    • Trainers, part 1. Trainers are a very important part of a deck. Decks I build have 24-34 Trainers, usually more like 28-32. They're that important. Trainers fill a huge number of support roles in decks. Listed below are some of the most important ones.
      Healing. The most popular Healing Trainer is Gold Berry. This is because it is the only Trainer that can remove 4 damage counters from a Pokemon with absolutely no drawback, other than the fact that it can't remove less and you can't attach another Pokemon Tool (I assume the reader knows what Pokemon Tools are). Some decks actually center around Healing Trainers. The usual targets for a deck like that are Pokemon Center and Pokemon Nurse. Each completely heals one or more damaged Pokemon, but each also discards all Energy cards from the Pokemon it heals.
      Draw Power. I usually lump card-drawing and hand-changing Trainers together into one category, which I collectively call Draw Power. These Trainers are very important, and often make up the bulk of a deck's Trainer engine. Popular Trainers for this purpose include Professor Oak, Professor Elm, and Copycat. There are plenty of others -- one of my personal favorites is Sabrina's Gaze.
      Disruption. This can mainly be separated into hand disruption, Energy disruption, and Pokemon disruption. Disruption Trainers interfere with your opponent's plans, usually by removing cards from his/her hand, removing Energy from his/her Pokemon, or moving an Active Pokemon to the Bench and a Benched Pokemon to the Active position. Popular Disruption Trainers include Lass, Energy Removal, Super Energy Removal, and Gust of Wind.
      Deck Search. These are also important Trainers. Deck Search Trainers, oddly enough, let you search your deck for a specific card. The most popular Deck Search Trainer is Computer Search. Recently, Oracle has also been gaining popularity.
      Discard Rescue. Another very important category of Trainers, Discard Rescue Trainers move cards from your discard pile to your hand or deck. Popular Discard Rescue Trainers include Nightly Garbage Run, Item Finder, Town Volunteers, and Energy Charge.
      Stadiums. Not every deck has Stadium Cards, and some just don't need them. I personally recommend a maximum of 3 Stadium cards in a deck. Stadium Cards have some lasting effect that affects both players and can basically only be ended by replacing them with other Stadium Cards. Some Stadiums have negative effects, in which case you should build accordingly to take advantage of the effect and minimize the negative impact to you, while others have positive effects, which you should take as much advantage of as possible. Popular Stadiums include Chaos Gym and No Removal Gym. Stadiums may fit in any of the above categories.
      Miscellaneous. Some Trainers don't fit into any of the above categories. A popular example is Switch. Many Miscellaneous Trainers fit best with a specific strategy, like Scoop Up.
      Supporters. Supporters may be in any category. This fairly new category of Trainers has a special rule: "You may only play one Supporter per turn." Town Volunteers, Pokemon Nurse and Oracle are all Supporters.
    • Trainers, part 2. When considering Trainers for a deck, ask yourself the following questions.
      How does this Trainer help me? This includes knowing what category(s) the Trainer fits in and what specific effects it has.
      Is there another Trainer that is better/more reliable for this task? If so, try to use the better one.
      Can using this Trainer hurt me/help my opponent? If so, don't immediately toss it out. Many good Trainers have drawbacks. The trick is to know how to best use them for maximum benefit and minimum damage to your own strategy, with maximum damage and minimum benefit to your opponent's strategy. Remember that a drawback sometimes becomes an advantage if you play your cards right.
    • Other considerations. There are a few more things to think about when building a deck.
      Number of a card. I've given some tips on this issue, but here's the rest of it. First, avoid singles. The exceptions to this rule are as follows: Baby Pokemon, Stadiums, Town Volunteers. For other cards, if it's worth having in your deck, it's probably worth having 2 or 3 of. Second, think carefully before putting in a fourth. Some cards are central enough to your strategy to put in four. Often, though, 2 or 3 is sufficient.
      Reliability. This regards the deck as a whole, and takes playtesting to determine. Does the deck reliably do what you want it to do? If not, figure out why not. If so, look for ways to make it even more reliable.
      Speed. There are lots of fast decks in Unlimited. If your deck is reliable, but slow, and you go against a deck that is reliable and fast, you lose. This is not always the case, but it tends to be.
      Metagame. This is specific to where you play. Build your deck with the tendencies of your opponents in mind. If your deck is built to work best against the type of deck you expect to come up against, you're in good shape.
      Cover your weaknesses. This might be considered part of Metagaming. Every main strategy has some weakness. Be it a lot of Pokemon with the same Type or Weakness, low HP, high Retreat Costs, whatever, no strategy is flawless. A good deckbuilder balances his or her weaknesses with strategies to account for them. For example, if all your Pokemon are weak to a certain type, splash in a Pokemon of a type that your weak type tends to be weak to. If your Pokemon have low HP, splash in a Pokemon with high HP.
    There you have it. My strategies for building a deck for Unlimited. If you have any general comments or questions, I'm all ears.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2003
  2. cattdreams

    cattdreams New Member

    good read, now how about a guide on building for the eon format :)
  3. dkates

    dkates New Member

    Would, but I don't even have experience in Neon, let alone Eon.
  4. Fantasy Fox

    Fantasy Fox New Member

    You must have took quite a long time to do that whole thing. When I play in Unlimited Format, I play very very fast decks such as

    - Erika's Jigglypuff(+ Pluspowers)
    - Magmar(fossil)(a good start)
    - Chansey(+ Metal & Unown N)
    - Scyther(jungle)(a quick 30 damage)
    - Electabuzz(base)(could get Ko'ed fast sometimes)
    - Rocket's Zapdos(+ Metal)
    - Sneasel(you know how powerful this thing is, right?)

    - Computer Search
    - Item Finder
    - Some Oaks and Elms
    - Copycats/Oak's Research(never tried it before)

    The best Pokemon that I use was Erika's Jigglypuff for the start, because with a DCE and lots of Pluspowers, it could knock out most basic Pokemon.
  5. bullados

    bullados <a href="

    Steel Chansey is dead, due to the Nintendo rules, as is Steel Zappy.

    What I find works very well is using 3 Oak, 2 Elm, 3 Copycat as a draw engine. Copycat is your all-purpose card drawer, as it doesn't discard anything. Oak is always the second choice, unless you have an Elm in your hand, just because Oak allows you to play trainers after you play it.

    Everyone (ESPEDIALLY Carrington) should use this thing to its fullest potential. You might actually learn something off of this!!!
  6. dkates

    dkates New Member

    Also, Unown N is falling out of favor, thanks to Pichu. Other than that and bullados' comments, Fantasy Fox's list does give some great examples of cards to use in a deck. BTW, bullados, you misspelled "especially."
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2003
  7. dkates

    dkates New Member

    One addendum. Another entry on the list of acceptable singles is Unowns, if you choose to use them. This applies most to Unowns D, M, and N. Each one's Power shuts off if you have two out, so only having one eliminates that risk. Just watch out for Pichu!
  8. Captain Obviousx1

    Captain Obviousx1 New Member

    Good stuff, but mostly common sense. The only think I didn't like about it is your willingness to play only a dozen energy...that seems to be popular around here. I like to have energy in abundance as ER/SER you get to load up multiple Pokes. I usually don't go under 17-20 energy, and I usually don't go over either.
  9. bullados

    bullados <a href="

    If this were a Modified Deckbuilding Strategy, I would agree with you. However, having 10-18, and, preferrably, 13-16 energies allows for more Trainers, which are the core of your deck. Also, considering that in Unlimited there are tons of retreival trainers and Pokemon with 1-2 NRG attacks, you generally won't need more energy than Pokemon. Generally, I think that "X+2" is good when calculating how many energy you need for a deck. Figure out how many Pokemon you are going to use, and then use that many energy cards plus 2. (S)ER is powerful, but, with the addition of NGR, Time Capsule, Town Volunteers, Energy Stadium, and Fisherman, there are plenty of way to counter it.
  10. Lion_of_Darkness

    Lion_of_Darkness New Member

    Well, Tyrouge is good, but I wouldn't go as far as some people to say that it belongs in every deck. From personal experience, if you play Sneasel, DON'T PLAY TYROUGE. Sneasel does the job without the risk of a FTKO, and it has more of a chance of giving your opponent one. And yes, Steel Chansey is dead, but Rocket's Zapdos isn't, thanks to Gold Berry, Rainbow Energy, and the magic 70 HP.

    And I would dare to say that Item Finder should be steered from, too! Only decks that play a lot of Evolutions like Slowking should use it, as I have found. If you don't absolutely need Item Finder, don't use it. It would be better to devise some way to not discard you important trainers, like Oak + Mary, or Copycat by itself or played with things like my favorite combo: Erika, CC, RSA, IOR.

    And while it's good to red face paint, sometimes you've got to use a few old ideas in your deck. The worst example of red face paint is the Slowking/Sneasel deck. It doesn't work as well anymore, and it's used by everyone who can't think for themselves! I played with it when I was a beginner. The best example of red face paint was Brian Six's Slowking/Donphan deck at Modified (The reason I don't call it Mindy's deck is because she ripped it off him). Talk about an original idea! As far as I know, there weren't many people using a Slowking/Donphan deck...

    But sometimes the older strategies work best. Until certain cards were made, the Haymaker was the best. It's still a contendor, but it's nowhere near as good in comparison as it used to be! What some people like to do is put their own twist on the old ideas.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2003
  11. dkates

    dkates New Member

    Interesting points, Lion.
    As far as the Tyrogue comment, I agree that it doesn't belong in every deck. A careful read of the top post will reveal that I never said anything of the sort. It shows up in many decks, and I usually use it, but it's not for everyone.
    Item Finder is definitely a style decision. It fits my style well, and shows up in many Unlimited decks, but if you don't like it, don't use it. BTW, the other Trainers you mentioned in that section are all very good cards, and I urge novice deckbuilders to give some of them a try.
    As far as your comments on going rogue, by my definition, Sneasel/Slowking isn't rogue, not anymore anyway. You're right that, especially when one first goes rogue, it pays to start by putting a rogue idea with something you already know works.
    Your comment on older strategies is also a very good point. Although some of the old archetypes are now rogue decks, they were archetypes for very good reasons. Sometimes, an old archetype with new twists becomes even better than the original.
    One point that I only touched on in my top post that I would like to stress now is the following: Make sure your deck fits your style. Copying someone else's deck may get you a lot of wins, but if you don't give a deck your own style, it's just not as much fun, I've found. Even if you're using a current archetype, give it your own spin. Add cards you like in place of similar ones you might not use as much. Play around with how many of each card you use. Whenever you build a deck, remember that, ultimately, it's you who decides how the deck ends up. Get other people's advice, and consider it, but make sure the deck is yours.
  12. dkates

    dkates New Member

    Here's another addendum. This one goes into more detail about different types. Each type of Pokemon (Fire, Electric, etc.) has its own tendencies as to what it does and how it does it. Here is a listing of what least some of the main tendencies of each type. Remember that each tendency has exceptions.
    • Colorless. Colorless is probably the largest and most diverse Pokemon type in the game, including Normal, Flying, and Dragon Pokemon from the Game Boy Games. In terms of Weakness and Resistance, there are three main groups of Colorless Pokemon. One group, the Normal types, tend to have Fighting Weakness and either Psychic or no Resistance, depending on their age. This group is to diverse to tell any tendencies about. Some can inflict Sleep, Confusion, or Paralysis, but most Colorless Pokemon cannot inflict Burn or Poison. Some evolve, some don't. Retreat Costs, attack power, attack costs and HP are all over the map, but Retreat Costs are often low, and a fair number have high HP. The other group, the Flying types, tend to have Lightning Weakness and Fighting Resistance. This group does have certain tendencies. Low to medium HP, attack costs, and attack power, usually with low Retreat costs, characterize this group. Flying Pokemon quite often have defense abilities and can often force your opponent to switch Pokemon. The third, and smallest, group is the Dragons. These Pokemon tend to have no Weakness, Psychic or Fighting Resistance, interesting added abilities (such as energy removal), medium to high attack costs, low to medium attack power, medium to high HP (other than Dratini), and low Retreat Costs. The biggest advantage of Colorless Pokemon is that their attack costs are usually all (C) Energy, so you can splash them in to many decks.
    • Dark. These are all newer Pokemon, and the cards tend to be Rares. Dark types tend toward either no Weakness or Fighting Weakness, and almost always have Psychic Resistance. Most are quick, tricky attackers. They tend to have low HP and Retreat Costs. They do at least decent damage for low Energy costs. They tend not to evolve. The one major exception to these trends is Tyranitar. A Stage 2 Pokemon, Tyranitar tends to have high HP, high attack costs, high power, and high Retreat Costs. Remeber that (D) Energy, which is needed by most Dark types, can only be provided by certain Special Energy cards. For this reason, most decks with Dark Pokemon also have another type of Pokemon.
    • Fighting. Fighting types tend to be either weak to Psychic with no Resistance, or weak to Grass or Water, often with an Electric Resistance. Fighting types tend to go for pure offense, with the occasional defensive ability.Most Fighting types evolve. The Psychic-weak set tend to have medium HP, medium power, medium attack costs, and low to medium Retreat Costs. The Grass and Water-Weak set tend to have high HP, high attack costs, high power and high Retreat Costs. If you decide to use Fighting Pokemon in your deck, be aware that many Pokemon have Resistance to Fighting.
    • Fire. Fire types tend to have a Water Weakness and no Resistance. They are notorious for having high attack costs, often including Energy discards. Fire types tend to be mostly pure offense, and do a lot of damage. A number of newer Fire types can cause Burns, but there are few Fire types that can produce other Special Conditions. Most Fire Pokemon evolve, but some very good ones don't. Fire Pokemon's Retreat Costs tend to be low or medium. One bonus of Fire Pokemon is that no Pokemon yet printed is Resistant to Fire.
    • Grass. Grass is a very large type, also including Poison and Bug types from the Game Boy games. Depending on the source type, Grass types are usually have Weakness to Fire and either no Resistance or Water Resistance, or Weakness to Psychic and no Resistance. Grass types tend to have interesting Pokemon Powers and produce a lot of Special Conditions, but they usually don't do much direct damage. Most Grass types evolve. Energy costs are usually medium to high, but there are notable exceptions. Retreat Costs are generally low to medium.
    • Lightning. Lightning is one of my personal favorite types. They tend to have Weakness to Fighting. Although newer Lightning types often have Metal Resistance, older ones tend to have no Resistance. Lightning types have two main "sub-categories." The first, and biggest, have very low Energy costs and do decent, though not extremely high, damage, sometimes with small amounts of self-damage, and sometimes cause Paralysis. The second group contains Pokemon like Magneton and Base Zapdos. These Pokemon have high Energy costs, often including self-damage and/or Energy discards, but do impressive damage. Many Lightning Pokemon can damage the opponent's bench. Most Lightning Pokemon have low Retreat Costs and low or medium HP.
    • Metal. Another new type of Pokemon. Also often known as Steel types. Metal Pokemon specialize in defense and direct damage. Metal Pokemon, especially the best ones, tend to evolve from Pokemon of other types and be Stage 1 Pokemon. They tend to have high HP, medium attack power, high attack costs, and high Retreat Costs. Metal Pokemon tend not to inflict Special Conditions. Remember that (M) Energy, needed by most Metal types, can only be provided by certain Special Energy cards. For this reason, and due to the fact that most Metal Pokemon evolve from other types, most decks with Metal Pokemon also have another Energy and Pokemon type.
    • Psychic. Psychic Pokemon are an enigmatic bunch, and contain both Psychic and Ghost Pokemon. "True" Psychics tend to have Psychic Weakness and no Resistance. They also tend to have low to medium attack costs, low to medium attack power, and almost all of their attacks have some added effect. Retreat Costs tend to be low to medium, and a select few retreat free. Many evolve, and the final forms often have Pokemon Powers. Ghosts tend to have Darkness or no Weakness and Fighting Resistance. Retreat Costs tend to be low, as do attack costs. Attack power tends to be low, but Ghosts almost always have tricky attack effects or Pokemon Powers. Many Ghosts can inflict Sleep or Paralysis. Of this group, all but Misdreavus evolve. Psychics from both groups often have abilities relating to damage counters. When using Psychic types in a deck, remember that many Pokemon have Resistance to Psychic, and that "true" Psychics tend to be weak to Psychic.
    • Water. Water Pokemon also include Ice Pokemon. This type is not very popular, partly because the types they tend to be weak to are. Most Water Pokemon are weak to Electric or Grass, although many new Ice types are weak to Metal, and most have no Resistance. Retreat Costs tend to be low to medium. Some can inflict Paralysis, but few other Special Conditions appear on Water Pokemon cards. A noticeable number can inflict Poison. HP tends to be medium to high. Attack costs are also generally medium to high, and attack power is generally medium. Many Water Pokemon have attacks that gain power as you add Water Energy. A few have attacks that remove opponents' Energy. Retreat Costs tend to be low. Some Water Pokemon have defensive or disabling abilities. Many evolve. Many Stage 2 Water Pokemon have Pokemon Powers relating to Water Energy. One advantage of Water types is that few Pokemon played in Unlimited have Resistance to Water. When using Water Pokemon in a deck, be sure to cover your weaknesses.
  13. Lion_of_Darkness

    Lion_of_Darkness New Member

    dkates, I've NEVER had anyone take suggestions as well as you! The people on this site are so much more mature than the users on PTCO. And I never said you said that about Tyrouge. I said that's what some people think, but I see how you could have taken it that way. And Slowking/Sneasel ISN'T rogue, since everyone seems to use it when they can't think for themselves. Thanks for your mature feedback!
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2003
  14. dkates

    dkates New Member

    I appreciate the compliment. BTW, it's "Rogue," not "red face paint." The first refers to breaking the rules -- the second is the French word for red.
  15. bkminnis

    bkminnis New Member

    Hey David,,You know I have a few insights into unlimited. Maybe I can help. One of my favorites is playing people with energy issues. Those with 15 or so energies fall serious victim to some of my best stategies. Also, depending on trainers and powers can be a serious mistake. Known as one of the deadliest players in florida, I owe that reputation to mono themes. In the deck we played for instance. Areodactyl shut you down, Magmar ex is just plain smacking, and energy removal is a pain. If you were even able to stop one of these, I would still have the other 2. My decks center around 3 strengths if possible. That focus is the success to the some 135 decks I have built. But even then, after that,, timing seems to be an issue that many do not get. One must learn to wait before playing something much of the time. But then ouch,,, that damn desert shaman. Oh well......
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