Pikkdogs Pikks Three: Expert Belt AR, Snorlax Lv.X RR, and Kingdra Prime UL.

by Pikkdogs ~ May 21st, 2010.

Greetings to the members of Omar Nation.  Pikkdogs is back to “Pikk” three cards to review.  As always; one will be a staple card, one will be a card that I think is underrated, and one from a new or unreleased set.

I had a talk with the producers of  “Pikkdogs Pikks Three” and concluded that this will probably be the last article that has UL cards in the “Young Gun” segment.  I think its time to move on and look at some of the cards that have been released in Japan and are on their way across the Pacific (or Atlantic, depending which side of the country your on and which way the plane is flying).  But thats to look forward in the future, and this is now.

The Staple- Expert Belt

Description– Expert Belt is a trainer from the Arceus expansion.  If you are a newcomer it is a card you will see a lot, and you must learn how to use wisely to win.  It is very easy to just play this card Willy Nilly whenever you draw into it and attach it to your main attacker.  But, to win consistently you must know when to attach it and when to hold it in your hand.

It is a simple Pokemon Tool Card that can be attached to a Pokemon.  When it is, it gives the Pokemon it is attached to an extra 20 HP and its attack to an extra 20 damage to the defending Pokemon.  The catch is that when the Pokemon Expert Belt is attached to is knocked out, your opponent may take an extra prize card.

Analysis–  As mentioned earlier, this card in not one to be played just for fun, it takes strategy.  For example, in a Jumpluff deck if you attach it when you don’t need it for a knock out, and your opponent KO’s you the next turn, you may have just lost the game.  It should only be used when it lets you knock out a Pokemon this turn, allows you to not be Knocked Out next turn, and lets you knock out another Pokemon the turn after that.  Of course to know this you must know what your opponent is doing and plan 3-5 turns ahead.

There are some cards that can help Expert Belt work better.  The most common are Poketurn and Super Scoop Up.  These cards allow you to pick up your Pokemon.  If you would use it on an Expert Belted Pokemon a turn before it would be Knocked Out, you would save yourself from losing two prizes.  Another Combo is with Mismagius GL X.  Mismagius has the Poke-Power “Magical Return,” which allows the user to return a Pokemon Tool Card to their hand.  This could save the user from losing an extra prize when that Pokemon is knocked out.  Eventhough this Poke-Power is really useful, Mismagius is not worth playing in this format because it is almost impossible to establish a benched Lv.X.

Rating-8.5/10  It makes a lot of Pokemon playable (like Kingdra) and makes others more playable (Jumpluff, Gyarados, etc…).  It does require an expierenced player to use well, but if you are able to use it wisely you have a big advantage against your opponent.

The Underdog- Snorlax Lv.X RR                              

Description- Snorlax Lv.X has a respectable 130 HP, a fighting weakness, and a horrid 4 retreat cost.  It has a Poke-Power called” Big Appetite”. which allows you to draw six cards and put Snorlax asleep if Snorlax is active.  It has one attack named “Exercise.”  It costs CCCC does 80 damage and allows you to discard energy cards from your hand, then you may remove damage counters up to how many energy cards you have discarded.

Analysis– I know when people next see me they will say, “Pikkdogs why did you pick such a bad card for your ‘Pikk Three’ article, and why aren’t you wearing any pants?”  Well the answer to the first question is that I am looking ahead to a time when Claydol and Uxie have rotated from the format and people are looking for alternate draw power.  Snorlax does have the ability to draw cards by itself, and then be a decent attacker.  It will be able to use Double Colorless Energy to make attacking easier.  It will also be able to use the Ninetails HGSS draw engine because it doesn’t require any specific type of energy.  So between Ninetails and “Big Appetite” a Snorlax deck will have lots of draw power and lots of room for another attacker.

Though saying that, still Snorlax will not be a great card after the format.  Its attacking is slow and a little underpowered, even though it will have superior draw power.  It does have some advanatages though, the regular Snorlax (#81 RR)  has an attack that does 50 damage for CC that can be used when it is asleep.  It also has a Poke-Body that does not allow the user to retreat when Snorlax is asleep, take that SP decks.

Rating- 6.5/10-As of right now its not a great card.  It can be paired with Wigglytuff GE to put your opponent asleep and keep Snorlax awake, but it still comes short.  But I think it is underrated because of its potential to be a decent card in the format.  In a couple months it could be a decent deck with lots of draw power, but then again who knows if Father time will be good to Snorlax or not.

The Young Gun- Kindra Prime

Description- Kingdra Prime has some questionable stats; 130 HP, lightning weakness, and a 1 retreat cost.  Which aren’t that bad but you would expect a little better for a Prime.  It has a Poke-Power called “Spray Splash.”  It is a great Poke-Power that allows you to put 1 damage counter on 1 of your opponents Pokemon each turn.  The power is also stackable meaning that if you have 3 Kingdra Primes in play you can knock out a Hoppip just by using the Poke-Power.  It also has one attack called “Dragon Steam”, which does 60 damage (if your opponent has no Fire Pokemon in play, in which case it only does 20) for only one water energy.

Analysis– This has been by far the most hyped card in the set.  And by its attacks and stats it looks like many Kingdra cards we are used to.  A low energy attack, a 1 retreat, and a weakness to lightning.  Its “Dragon Steam” attack can be enhanced with Expert Belt to do 80 damage, which along with its Poke-Power, can make Kingdra Prime a pretty intimidating card.  It can be paired with the Kingdra from LA to spread damage to the bench which goes well with Kingdra Primes Poke-Power.

Rating– 6.75/10-Im not drinking the Kingdra Prime Kool-Aid like other people are.  Yes it can do a respectable 80 damage with one energy and  an Expert Belt, and does have one of the best Poke-Powers in the format.  But, Kingdra Prime is similar to the LA Kingdra, and that deck isn’t doing all that great right now.  One of the reasons is that Luxray GL is prowling all around the format and can OHKO Kingdra Prime.  Another reason is the fact that Kingdra Prime will live and die by how it does in the new format, and the fact is that Ninetails will be very popular.  Of course Ninetails is a fire Pokemon and will reduce the damage that Kingdra dishes out.  So in close, its a good quick card, but Kingdra will autoloss against any deck that is playing even 1 Fire Pokemon.

So thanks for reading another one of articles, and feel free to leave your comments and reviews of these cards in the comments box.

Category: Pikks Three | Tags: , ,
  • Cheffords

    Good job Pikkdogs!

    Expert belt is definitely a game changing card. I am more surprised these days when I don't see it in a deck than when I do. As you said, it makes a lot of pokemon playable.

    I love Snorlax Lv X and have built a few decks with it, but as you say, in today's format it is a rough play. DCE is a nice idea that can help him out, and of course expert belt makes his damage output a little better for the cost. Bottom line here… put on some pants!

    I think you nail the Kingdra card perfectly. Who knows how the next format will shape up? One thing for sure though is we will see all sorts of ways to compensate for not having Claydol and Uxie. Ninetails will be used for sure. Also there is that fire chicken in the SP decks to think about too.

  • Ed

    Expert Belt: 9/10, because it can be used in almost any deck (if played carefully). It's a bit like Luxury Ball in that way. Most decks can use it, but you don't want to run 4 in each deck.

    Snorlax Lv. X: Jeez. That's a tough one. I think your assessment is right. At this point, it's a bit above 5/10. In the upcoming new format, it may be one of the only draw powers available. The problem is that it has to be active to use the power, and you don't really want this guy as your attacker. He might not be a bad wall, though. If you could work him into a hit-and-run deck somehow, it could work. Use his power to get cards, warp him back to the bench (SOMEHOW, this is the crux), attack with something that will hide (Fade Out, etc.), repeat. I'll almost agree with you on this. 6/10 for now.

    Kingdra Prime: This is the one where I think you're slightly off on the analysis. I'm going 7.5/10 (which really isn't far off your mark). The thing that I think people are missing is that the opponent having fire doesn't really hurt that much. The fire is generally weak to water, and with a bit of tech, I think you can get that fire Pokemon KO'd. The format seems to be switching to the bench not being a safe place anymore with all this sniping and gusting. Kingdra isn't that hard to retreat, and his power works just fine from the bench. You just need a good partner for him. I had another Stupid Deck Idea using Kingdra that never made it to an actual list. Maybe I'll write one up and post it.

  • RA-FUCKIN-DU

    For once I completly agree especially with the statement
    “It does require an expierenced player to use well, but if you are able to use it wisely you have a big advantage against your opponent.”

    There have been way to many time when sub par player have used this and have just thrown it down for little or no reason. One example is when people play down their hand to draw more with uxie or claydol, and drop belts on basic guys in hope of getting an evolution. Then they don't and get hit by an angry garchomp the next turn.

  • Ed

    I feel like people seem to think the Expert Belt is a no-brainer. I'm really wary whenever I play it, but I don't get the feeling that that is a general sentiment. The other thing people seem to miss is that it's a Pokemon Tool, so if if you're using Unown G or Q, ExBelt will conflict.

    Oh well. I think that all of this actually works to the advantage of the informed/experienced/sharp player. The Expert Belt is a boon when you use it right, and can be like handing your opponent a loaded weapon and watching him shoot himself in the foot. When your opponent is good, though, it can give you some extra headache to ponder.