Opening Pokemon (Article) Featuring MD Updates

Discussion in 'Cards: Strategy and Rulings Discussion' started by Muscovy Level X, Mar 26, 2008.

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  1. Muscovy Level X

    Muscovy Level X New Member

    Most decks run an opening Pokemon, something that you send up in the game's beginning to try and get an edge on setting up your Pokemon. There are a number of good ones that are useful for many decks and strategies. Let's take a look at all of the ones worth running.

    Call Energy (Majestic Dawn)
    Hold on! This isn't a Pokemon! But yet it is a key tool in setting up your Pokemon. So for those die-hard Pachi fans, this is why it's better: It isn't usless in late game. Call energy can still be used as a :colorless energy, but with Pachi, you need 4 slots just to do something T1. The other great thing about call Energy is how any Pokemon can use it. You can send up your active of choice, and still get your baiscs. Now what card would be great if you had loads of basics? Hmm...

    Phione (Majestic Dawn)
    Phione is going to be like Pachirisu all over again. It has a HUGE advantage when you use it to set up, you can search for evolutions of your benched Pokemon and play them!
    Wish for Evolution, the amazing attack, is pretty much the equivlent of Celio and Rare Candy. These gives a huge adge for speed based decks. And Call energy becomes the icing on the cake. The ability to grab basics T1, and then start evolving them T2 onward is so good. We'll see a lot of them in play.

    Chatot (Majestic Dawn)
    This another good Pokemon to run. Let's look at why:
    The big lure is it acts as a Copycat. Shufle away your hand, and get as many cards as your opponent has. Oh yes, for a free energy cost. That's what makes it great. You can use no energy to get the cards you need, then retreat Chatot. The best attack and the retreat are free!
    Chatter, with a [C][C] energy cost won't see much use. But it can still be usefull, because it prevents retreating. This is a great tactic if your opponent is also using an opener.

    Claydol (Great Encounters)
    It may not be your first choice of an opener, but it's still a great card. The GE baltoy can act as a Copycat, allowing you to get Claydol and needed cards quickly. But the ideal place to have Claydol is safe on the bench, where you can use its power.
    Cosmic power lets you get 6 cards, for discarding 1 or 2 cards. This is great for getting energy and speeding things up.

    Rotom (Majestic Dawn)
    Her's another early game energy loader. For no energy cost, you can put 2 energy from your discard pile on your Pokemon. It's good, but here are the things preventing it from seeing major use: A: it takes enegy from the discard pile, so it can't start working right away and B: 20+ dark weakness is worse than most openers.
    In the meantime, I'll stick with useing Celebi.

    Furret (Secret Wonders)
    This is a very good card for complex decks.
    Keen eye is another energyless attack, one that lets you search your deck for any two cards! This gives players a huge advantage, and makes Furret good in almost any deck. 90 HP is pretty good, but then again, you have to evolve Sentret to get Furret, which some :fighting: decks can take advantage of. It's a risky thing, needing to eolve just to use the opener. Thi makes it only worthwhile running if nothing eltse realy fits.
    Furret's second attack, baton pass is only a small bonus. Unlike cards such as the previously discussed Smeargle, Furret's keen eye is not the sort of attack that you only want to use once or twice. Baton pass' only real use is to move any energy you placed on Furret (for lack of a better candidate) to your other Pokemon, and to switch while doing damage. You should only place energy on Furret is no other Pokemon that need energy are in play.

    Stanler (Secret Wonders)
    Stanler is the best of the three trainer searchers. Lead, yet another free attack, is the same as Chingling's inviting bell (get a supporter).
    Frighten horn does 20 damage and confuses unevolved Pokemon, for two energies. Always useful. Sometimes you may want to use it turn two, just for the confuse.
    I say Stanler is the best of the supporter searchers because of the HP and weakness. Stanler has 70 HP and a +20 :fighting: weakness, the best of the three. But, all three can be disrupted by things like team Galactic's wager, and Absol. A well constructed deck that uses Chingling, Mawile or Stanler does not have as many supporters, to prevent a jam-up of "once a turn" cards. They rely more on non-supporter trainer cards.

    Pachirisu (Great Encounters)
    Pachirisu has always been an overhyped card. It gets basics, and can act as a windstorm. That's it.
    Call for family is the attack that actualy makes Pachi worth running. Call for family lets you get 3 Pokemon and put them on the bench. It can easily prevent a turn 2 loss.
    Smash shot is Pachi's other attack. It does 10 damage, but the effect is what makes Pachi worth having over a trainer (just barely). The attack does 30 more damage if the defending Pokemon has a Pokemon tool, discard the Pokemon tool, and your opponent must discard any copies of that tool that were in their hand! That absolutly ruins any Cessation Crystal based strategy. That makes Pachi a good addition to any deck that totaly relies on lots of Poke-Powers.
    The HUGE thing with Pachi you want to watch out for is that you don't leave it up once it's done it's job. You don't want to have Pachi up, doing 10 damage while your opponent either snipes or builds up the bench. Pachi is good to get another build going, like Claydol, which is a very popular Pokemon to run, because of how many cards it can get. I recomend that any deck running Pachi has one other opener, for a backup plan. And Pachi is now outdated. With call energy, you can get basics, but call energy isn't usless on T2.
    Tauros (Crystal Guardians) is an alternative, with simmular uses. It can fill the bench, has a lousy attack, but can get rid of stadiums.

    Mawile (Crystal Guardians)
    Mawile is like Chingling, only better. Minning, a one :colorless attack let's you search your deck for a trainer card . What gives it the edge over Chingling (although to be fair, different decks may work better with Chingling, though I don't think so), is the 60 HP, more than the short lived Chingling. The 2x :fire: weakness on this does mean that fire decks do have an edge.
    Bite off isn't really that good. You need a metal energy and a colourless to do only 20 damage (30 more to exs, but let's face it, no one really uses them anymore).

    Chingling (Mysterious Treasures)
    The only merit of Chingling is the free attack, inviting bell (search your deck for a supporter card). But Chingling's lousy 40 HP and +10 :psychic: weakness means it won't be around long. The only reason you'd choose Chingling for it's roll is if the deck also runs Chimecho.

    Absol (Great Encounters)
    Absol is another Pokemon like Sableye, but more popular. It is used more as a destructive Pokemon than most openers.
    The first attack, baleful wind is what makes it so good. Baleful wind lets you discard a card from your opponent's hand (without looking). If you choose any type of trainer card, you may discard another one.
    Raid, the second attack, is just as good. For a cost of 1 :dark:, the attack does only 10 damage, but changes to 40 if you played Absol that turn! If the dark energy is a special energy, you can do 10 more damage.
    Absol has been popular in Gardilade decks lately, and some Blissey decks (though it porobably won't ever replace Weavile in Blissey decks).

    Sableye (Crystal Guardians)
    Sableye is more so a tech opener than the others we've discussed so far.
    Excavate, Sableye's :ppowr:, lets you look at the top card of your deck, and either put it back or discard it. Always useful, but be sure to add an extra night maintenance (or if you're lucky, Time-Space distortion), because you may find yourself discarding what you'll need later to find what you need now.
    Disable is what makes Sableye an opening tech card, instead of a sit-on-the-bench-tech. Disable does what it says. For 1 energy you may pick one of the opponent's attacks, which they may not use during their next turn, and it does 10 damage. That can stop Pokemon with only one attack (or only one attack charged) from attacking at all!

    Lapras (Great Encounters)
    This card only really works in water decks. Carry in does the same as a Castaway, a supporter, a Pokemon tool and a basic energy, for an attack cost of 1 :water:.
    The second attack won't see much use, a water and colourless for only 20 damage.

    Smeargle (Secret Wonders)
    Smeargle is a good Pokemon, sometimes found in decks that gathers lots of energy. However, it is only consistant in some decks. Most decks that once ran it now use Claydol (GE).
    What makes Smeargle good? The first attack, color pick. For no energy cost, you can search your deck for up to 3 basic energy cards. This is useful for getting the energies.
    Trace, Smeargle's second attack, is good as well. For only 1 :colorless energy, you may flip a coin, if heads, choose one of your opponents benched Pokemon's attacks. This attack copies everything except the energy cost! So it's also good for after it's served it's original purpose (no names mentioned, Pachirisu). With 70 HP and only +10 :fighting: weakness, Smeargle will defiantly have time to use trace. The joy of trace is that the biggest advantage your opponent can get if you leave the opener up too long is they can win by sniping. But with trace, that means Smeargle has a 50% chance of sniping back, if there isn't a better move available.

    Holon's Castform (Holon Phantoms)
    Here's a card that hasn't seen much use lately. However, it is a must in an all/mostly delta species deck.
    Holon's Castform is very useful because it can be an opening Pokemon or an energy. As an energy, it counts as two of anything, but you must return an from the Pokemon that you attached HC to, and put the energy in your hand.
    When played as a Pokemon, HC is no use in decks that don't run delta Pokemon. It's attack lets you draw the same number of cards as the nuber of delta species Pokemon you have in play, which is very bad if you are forced to play it as a Pokemon (eg; only basic in hand), in decks that don't run delta Pokemon.
    Almost every single d deck uses them to some degree.

    Spinda (Secret Wonders)
    Dish out is Spinda's first move. For one colorless, you draw a card from the top and bottom of the deck.
    The second move is good, if you can take advantage of it. Syncro punch does 10 damage, and 30 more if Spinda and the defending Pokemon have the same type of energy.
    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  2. Pinsir52

    Pinsir52 New Member

    Through my testing, I find Furret to be the best starter (for G/G). The ability to get any 2 cards in irreplaceable. Believe it or not, I still kinda like Chimecho, though. Another point: Why are you hating on Pachi so much?? Pachi is amazing!
  3. Muscovy Level X

    Muscovy Level X New Member

    Mostly my problem with pachi is how much debate there has been. But think about it. Call for family is only good 'till the benchis full, and the other attack doesn't do much. Prime did a whole article about it.

    Back to back posts merged. The following information has been added:

    By the way, thanks to everyone who took the time to read the whole article. :smile: Does anyone think this is front page quality?
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  4. ShadowGuard

    ShadowGuard <a href="

    Good collection, but in some points I don't agree:

    None of the best Garchomp lists in the HP-GE format (Garchomp/Togekiss/Claydol and Garchomp/Weavile/Darkrai) should even think of using Smeargle as starter. Both get their energy support from the deck and don't want to have that many energy cards on the hand (also think of Claydol!).
    Maybe Cattychomp will have a rebirth with Garchomp Lv.X, but at this time, Cattychomp is dead and no other list can make use of Smeargle.

    Pachirisu may be overrated, but this doesn't mean that it's bad.
    Getting three basics out of the deck really helps to get a quick build-up. Of course, it should be only used in decks that need three or more ready basic Pokémon on their bench to work.

    Actually, it is a Pokémon I don't really like to start with.
    Disable can block your opponent's starter, but it does nothing for your own start. Most times, the opponent doesn't start with his preferred starter and even if he does, he can easily switch/evolve/anything to get around disable.

    Sableye is a very good card, maybe one of the best that remain from the old generation, but it's used to buy time if the opponent luckily gets out a single hitter too fast before have built up.

    Some other Pokémon to mention:

    Holon's Castform (EX Holon Phantoms)
    The very best starter of the last season is still available now, and there are some decks that run delta basics and can use it as energy card.

    Spinda (Secret Wonders)
    Draw two cards and do a nice amount of damage if needed - there are better starters, but Spinda at least should be mentioned.

    Tauros (EX Crystal Guardians)
    At the last few tournaments, I saw it sometimes in good decks. It only calls two instead of three basics (like Pachirisu does), but it is a searchable counter against stadium cards and doesn't need to attack to get rid of a Crystal Beach or Battle Frontier.
  5. Ignatious

    Ignatious New Member

    Pachirisu is good because the need to get early basics is rather high. The sooner you get basics, the sooner you can evolve. The sooner you evolve, the sooner you can attack. Pachirisu's existence stops decks from abusing early game Ceccastions as well, thus making speed decks' effectiveness cut in half. Also the 10 damage a turn isn't useless, as it sets up KO's later on with Fireball Bazooka or Bring Down. Give credit where credit is due.
  6. Muscovy Level X

    Muscovy Level X New Member

    I'll update my article tomorrow.
  7. Dom

    Dom New Member

    The "opening pokemon" you speak of is whats commonly known as a Captain. The best is Unown T cos you can get some rowdy damage off w/o any energy. And then you send it out when you die, do it again and SWITCH for a hitman like Raichu or Jigglypuff. And zizzlepwn down on your enemies/
  8. lol
  9. ~`Flygon`~

    ~`Flygon`~ New Member

    Lolz,why would anyone do that???:lol::lol:
  10. Napoleon

    Napoleon New Member

    Uh yeah, like cool. First, I think that when you start calling your Furret "Captain Furret" or "General Furret" or even "Lieutenant General Second Assistant (whatever you call it)Furret" then you will be the laughing stock of the whole continent. And I don't think I need to start on "Captain Unown" either.
  11. Blaziken 1111

    Blaziken 1111 Active Member

    Touros is still very good because it can get rid of a lot of enoying stadiums. Also pachi is very good. And chiling should be used in any deck that plays psychic or could use draw because chimecho is one of the best cards. Being able to get a free supporter for a turn and then if your opponent needs more set up just use his second attack and do decent damage and confuse them or make them waist an energy. OR you could just draw 3 cards which is alsmost a good a holon's castform.
  12. Politoed EX

    Politoed EX New Member

    Actually, if its a good Gatr list, you wouldnt play Smeargle, you'd play Pachirisu

    and are you kidding me?
    Pachirisu is a great card, it takes the need to run Windstorms out of almost any deck that uses Powers, and helps get u set up so quickly... yeah, in certain decks it does nothing, but for some decks there'd be no other good choice but to start with Pach.
    and whats w/ you trying to get articles posted? didnt you already try getting an ape list published as well?
  13. ryanvergel

    ryanvergel New Member

    Your point on Pachirisu completely illegitimizes your entire article.
  14. Muscovy Level X

    Muscovy Level X New Member

    I'll update this soon. Thanks for the advice! :biggrin:
  15. SPARTA

    SPARTA New Member

    Pacharisu is the best starter in the game. Furret is bad, play it against plox and watch what happens. You might get off ONE keen eye if you are lucky.
    I would say more, but Ryan took the words out of my mouth, saying Furret>Pacharisu just destroyed your entire article.
  16. Dennis Hawk

    Dennis Hawk New Member

    Pachi is the perfect counter against T2 decks. T1 get 3 basics, if you get killed on T2 it really doesn't do anything but activate your Scrambles. When you can get 3 pokémon, you can have 2 actually useful pokémon and another setup pokémon - like Stantler. These starts pretty much guarantee T3 Claydol. I like running 3 Pachi and 1 Stantler (maybe Phione if it comes out in next set) for the most consistent setup without consuming 6-7 spots on Furret. Out of all the starters listed, Pachi is unaffected to Team Galactic's Wager - the most difference-making supporter in the game ATM.

    Of course if you happen to have Celios and Claydols in your hand without Stantler, go ahead. Pachi gives you lots of options and ensures that you don't lose with no bench.

    It's also built-in Wailord/Empoleon killer. Well, maybe it's just the fear of it being in every deck.

    And the reason Dusknoir is a good play today.
  17. The Phenom1993

    The Phenom1993 New Member

    :eek:You all forgot about absol:eek:
    he can work well with lots of decks and if opponent dosen't have claydol/gardeviour/something that draws cards you will cripple him if you are lucky to discard his vital cards.

    Furret is also pretty good. He has 90HP which is pretty high and his attack can be useful at anytime in the game. His downside is that he is a stage 1 pokemon.
  18. Muscovy Level X

    Muscovy Level X New Member

    I'll add absol and change Pachi in an hour or so. Thanks.
  19. Flygon999

    Flygon999 New Member

    I think that this'll be very helpful to new players who don't know how to make decks.
  20. SPARTA

    SPARTA New Member

    I laughed for about 10 minutes after reading that. You just made my day.
    Pacharisu is the best starter in the format. CFF allows you to grab 3 basics, and start setting up T2. You can CFF for 2 pokemon and a Stantler to grab a supporter if you don't have anything, and you still have an advantage because you didnt use a supporter to grab those basics.

    And Tauros has a better attack? Seriously?
    Can someone PLEASE tell me I did NOT just read that?
    An attack that does 20 damage for 2 is better than an attack that prevents you from ever having to worry about Cess lock again?

    Sorry to come off as a jerk, but I had to reread that last part 3 times to make sure I didn't misread it. Seriously, if you really intend to write this article, talk to someone like Ryan Vergel or Chris Bianchi, because if you are rating Smeargle as higher than Pacharisu, then your article is going to do more harm than good.

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