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DjJoe's Rants

I'd rather be Donked!

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Let me explain something about how I play the game- I play to have fun. I don't look at this and hope I have a new source of aggravation. I don't play to win, it's just a bonus.

Now that that is out of the way, I have two, and a third coming later, cards to complain about.

Zekrom & Reshiram
*And Kyurem when it comes out.



Why do I hate these things?

Well it's simple- I'd rather be donked. At least Donking saves me the pain and aggravation of starting a game and from the get-go trying to tackle a 130 HP basic with a ton of support behind it. Not to mention up to 7 others just like it.

Zekrom has that donkability, and when he hits I have to hope and pray that either I get donked OR I have to hope I have 100% luck. Reshiram doesn't have that Donkability, but with Emboar support behind it and a slew of decent fire types to back it up, Reshiram is a miniature army.

Kyurem will be the same way, at least in the way I look at it.


When I see Zekrom and Reshiram, I see an annoyance and the next step Pokemon has taken to ruin the game. They've tried so hard, but in the end I feel we're still stuck in this Type-based level of play to combat weaknesses. Additionally, with a costing attack of Outrage, these things can be thrown in ANY deck and be a possible tech. With a Double Colorless Energy, any deck that isn't playing their weakness really stands no chance. They get hit once, and they tank for a while. These I feel NEED to be on a OHKO basis, because anyting less is looking at retaliation in the worst form.

Recently, I built a Blastoise based deck. It runs the basic Blastoise/Floatzel combo, with a Slowking Tech. Regardless, my league leader was playing Speed Zekrom, and that was his bench with a Cleffa active. I felt there was nothing I could do after knocking out that Cleffa, because without hitting Blastoise, any attack under 50 is setting up a 6-prize-taking-streak. My ENTIRE deck is weak to lightning, and there was NO chance I could recover from a 60 base damage Outrage.

Reshiram is the same way, except he eventually gets knocked out....after taking out 2-3 with him.

The biggest problem with these guys is that they start right from the Get-Go. They can be your active, and with a DCE they can start hitting for 20 right away. Three turns in (or less, depending on your combo consistency) you can knock out pretty much every Basic (except Zekrom/Reshiram), Nearly all stage 1's, and most of the stage 2's wihtout worry. Additionally, it's a 130 HP wall of a basic. That means that if you have one of these active, you can sit behind it for a few turns to set-up. A simple play of Revive can put a 130 HP wall to your bench.


I feel that the game has taken a turn for the worst with these two cards (three cards). Overpowered Stage 1s and Stage 2s are just that- Stage 1 and Stage 2s. At the earliest, they will need to be out as their prior form for a turn, and need 1-2 cards to get them to the higher evolution.

How can we solve this? Personally, I feel an ability would have been sufficient, but a hindering one. Something that reads "This pokemon cannot be put into play during the first or second turn of the game".

That at least lets deck set-up or try to at least show some strategy and game play. Not struggle.

After all, when I picked up my copy of Pokemon Black, I was pretty sure my game had me go through a few towns with my Snivy. It surely did NOT say "Alright, here's a small Level 5 Snivy. See that large Reshiram there? Go for it."

Updated 06/29/2011 at 09:59 PM by djjoe227

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  1. Prime's Avatar
    You'd rather play no game whatsoever than face a large hp basic? At least with the Zekrom/Reshiram, you can build on your bench, at least until Pokemon Catcher comes out.

    Are you playing Cleffa or Tyrogue? What kind of defenses do you have in the early game?

    There's a Zekrom player at the league I go to and he sits behind Zekrom, with an expert belt attached too, and starts to take prizes. They key is to let him take insignificant prizes while you build something that can eventually take down the beast. For Zekrom to one-shot a full-health pokemon, it needs to take 40 damage from it's own attack, that limits it a lot.

    The problem may be that your pokemon need too much energy to attack and is taking too long to setup. With a fully-weak deck, any lack of speed versus Zekrom is going to end badly.

    I wouldn't give up. I'd explore your options for techs in your deck. A single shot of 70 from a fighting pokemon would KO zekrom, or 60 + a plus power.

    Good luck.
  2. djjoe227's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Prime
    You'd rather play no game whatsoever than face a large hp basic? At least with the Zekrom/Reshiram, you can build on your bench, at least until Pokemon Catcher comes out.

    Are you playing Cleffa or Tyrogue? What kind of defenses do you have in the early game?

    There's a Zekrom player at the league I go to and he sits behind Zekrom, with an expert belt attached too, and starts to take prizes. They key is to let him take insignificant prizes while you build something that can eventually take down the beast. For Zekrom to one-shot a full-health pokemon, it needs to take 40 damage from it's own attack, that limits it a lot.

    The problem may be that your pokemon need too much energy to attack and is taking too long to setup. With a fully-weak deck, any lack of speed versus Zekrom is going to end badly.

    I wouldn't give up. I'd explore your options for techs in your deck. A single shot of 70 from a fighting pokemon would KO zekrom, or 60 + a plus power.

    Good luck.

    That's the main problem though.

    Zekrom and Reshiram have shaped this game to a point where you either play those cards, or you play against those cards.

    Let me tackle each point to make it a little more clearer.

    1) Yes, I would. Because it's not fun for me to spend 3-5 turns of struggle set-up just take down ONE pokemon. Especially when after 3-5 turns, I finally take it down, only to have to face another one which has already set-up and is ready to wipe out my 3-5 turns in one swoop. It's an uphill battle.

    2) I hate Flippys. In my Water deck I run niether, but in other decks my babies almost ALWAYS seem to wake up. I'm running my water deck right now because it's the most consistent.

    3) Its not just Zekrom. There's Reshiram too. And unfortunatley, it's not "I took one down, game over". Most decks pack 4 of em. 40 damage to a Zekrom is reasonable, kind of, but considering there's another one following it up?

    4) The problem here is that we've been forced into a corner of low-cost attacks that don't produce significant output. It feels as though cards that cost alot are cut for playability reasons instead of being allowed to be played for flavor reasons. I don't think that every card should do the same thing, no, but there should be some balance. Each of the dragons (Reshiram, Kyurem, Zekrom) have low-costed attacks, are basic, and have tremendous support behind each of them (Emboar, Feraligatr Prime, and Pachirisu/Shaymin respectively). There isn't a lot of room for counter strategy when there are such easy-to-produce combos that have a high rate of success. Especially not when set-up is minimal at 1 card armatures.

    5) The problem with Tech, now, is that there isn't many options. There is only a handful of rares from the current sets that can be played to make a game changing difference. Beyond that, everyone is flocking to Primes because of the severe gap in power, and the Dragons are made so easy to get (Pack rare, Pack RH, Full Art, and Tin).

    Thank you for the response and attention!
  3. Prime's Avatar
    My only advice would be to look forward to the next set coming out in August. I agree that there aren't a lot of options right now, and that is because we have so few sets in the current (brand new) format.

    Cinccino w/ a full bench and 2 of any energy can one-shot a Zekrom that has just used his second attack. Zoroark with two of any energy can deal 120 to Zekrom , one-hit KO him if he has a special dark or plus power. There are options, just not many and not as available for every deck.
  4. grassmaster239's Avatar
    They really aren't that big of a deal. They are extremely easy to take down and match in speed
  5. djjoe227's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by grassmaster239
    They really aren't that big of a deal. They are extremely easy to take down and match in speed
    With what?

    Competitively? Where everyone is running the same 2-3 decks built to quickly set-up and take down each other?

    We got word of a slower format, one that would be more "fun". I define fun as actually playing the game. Trading prizes blow for blow. But when I have to severely limit my already small cardpool further by being forced into playing the same handful of cards as everyone else, it is no longer fun.

    Can I play Tangrowth? No. Can I play Lucario? No. Snorlax? Ho-oh or Lugia Legend? None.


    Everything at the moment is set at a pace of Combo-Consistency, in a race to cripple the opponent first. That to me is not fun, and these Dragons cripple the format.
  6. ShadowGuard's Avatar
    Well, HGSS-on is a luck-based format, but the best and most successful deck right now is MagneBoar - not Reshiram and Zekrom. Followed by stage 1 stuff like Donphan with Yanmega, and by Lostgar.

    Reshiram is a very strong deck, and yes, the card itself is overpowered. But you can outplay this deck. Zekrom isn't even good without Catcher, and unless you have lightning weakness, all you have to do is to survive the first turns.

    In my opionion, there's no problem with these cards right now, but there will be one. Seeing cards like Pokémon Catcher, Evolith and Archeops coming, I guess exspecially Zekrom will be a very scary deck. Right now, it's annoying, but not strong, just like Uxie donk in MD-on before BW. But with the new cards it could be worse than Luxchomp unless there are some really good counters.