Pikkdog’s Pikks Three: Gyarados Sf, Defender, and Cinccino

by Pikkdogs ~ April 7th, 2011.

A big hello to all members of Omar-Nation.  This is Pikkdogs here with another Pikk Three article.  Two Pikk Three articles in one week?  There must not be much going on in the Pokemon world.  Actually, there are a couple things going on, lets look at a couple of news stories.  

The first news story is that the Black and White Theme decks are now out!  You can get a little taste of the new set by picking up a Black and White theme deck.  There are three decks released, each featuring the last evolution form of the three Black and White starters.  Unfortunately,  the featured cards in these decks are not the ones in the Black and White Japanese sets.  For example, if you pick up the Emboar theme deck does not come with the Emboar that lets you attack Fire energies, it comes with a different one.  But, the good part of the deck is that you can play with the deck you purchase on www.pokemontcgonline.com.  You don’t even need to type in a code.  The website has a cool feature where you just need to hold a card that comes with the theme deck up to your webcam, and the website will scan a barcode and unlock the deck online for you.

The second news story is probably one you have already heard.  Based on an insert from the Theme decks, the U.S. will receive the rule changes that Japan got.  However, no mention was made of a rotation.  This could be horrible for the game, if every game was decided by a Sableye start and a lot of trainers.  But, we do not have an actual rulebook so we do not yet know if there is no rotation.

The last bit of news has to do with regionals.  It is only about a week away!  So make sure to get your testing done fairly soon, regionals is just around the corner.

Okay, so lets move onto the Pikk Three article.  As always,, we will review three cards.  One card that is commonly played, one card that I feel is under played, and one card from a new or yet un released set.

Card #1- The Staple- Gyarados Sf

Description-  Its a wonder why I haven’t yet reviewed this card.  Gyarados is a Stage 1 water Pokemon with 130 HP, a 3 retreat cost, a resistance to fighting, and a +30 weakness to lightning.  Its stats are solid for a stage 1 Pokemon, but the weakness can be a bit pesky. It’s main attack is “Tail Revenge”, which does 30 damage times the number of Magikarp in the discard pile.  It does have two other attacks, but to my knowledge no one has ever used them in competitive play.

Analysis-  The use of Gyarados goes back to the Worlds tournament two years ago.  A couple of French players merged it with Regice for a quick consistent deck.  For the next year Gyarados was a very popular deck.  After rotation this past year, the loss of Claydol and Felicity’s Drawings curtailed its play.  That was until Junk Arm, Seeker, and Rescue Energy came out in the Triumphant set and brought more consistency to the deck.  So now we know a little bit of history, lets look at the card.

130 HP is really nice for a stage 1 Pokemon.  The fighting resistance comes in handy, but the weakness can be compounded by the Poke-Body of Lucario Gl, making Luxray Gl a real threat.  The retreat cost of this Pokemon is also annoying, but this deck usually runs Warp Energy for this reason.

The Gyarados deck is quite the nice deck.  It is fast and very consistent.  Of course, the strategy with this deck is to discard 3 Magikarps within 1-2 turns, and then hit for a lot of damage while placing damage counters with Crobat G’s “Flash Bite” Poke-Power.  Gyarados’s high HP makes it hard to OHKO, and it can deal a lot of damage without any energy.  If ran with a high trainer line, this deck can out speed SP decks, and have a real advantage against them.  Or, if you are leery of trainerlock, you can run it with Sableye Sf and Volkner’s Philosophy to get a good matchup against trainerlock decks.

Final Rating9/10-Gyarados is a great card and a great deck.  You either have to run it, or know how to play against it.

Card #2- The Underdog- Defender

Description– Defender is a trainer card released in the Undaunted set.  When attached to a Pokemon, this card reduces each attack done to that Pokemon by 20 damage.  Defender is discarded after you opponent’s next turn.

Analysis– Defender is a card that never got a second look by most players.  But, I cannot help but wonder why.  In a format that is so reliant on one hit knock outs, why would people not want to play cards that prevent a Pokemon from being knocked out?

It is also a very versatile card, being useful in a deck that has both low HP and high HP attackers.  But, it is most useful when it is used to stop a OHKO.

An interesting aspect of Defender is that it can be played on a bench Pokemon.  If you are playing Luxchomp, and have an important Pokemon that has 90 HP on the bench, without Defender most players will be able to use one “Flash Bite”, and then finish the job with Garchomp C’s “Dragon Rush.”  But, with Defender that player would now need to find 3 “Flash Bites”.  A feat that is not impossible, but highly unlikely.

Final Rating7/10– This card can make a big impact on any deck, but it can be played around.  There are many ways to change the opponent’s active Pokemon, so that Defender would not be taken into effect.  But, regardless I think Defender is not getting as much play as it should.

Card #3- The Young Gun- Cinccino Black and White

Description-  Cinccino is a stage 1 Normal Pokemon, with 90 HP, a 1 retreat cost, a fighting weakness, and a name that’s hard to pronounce.   It has one relevant attack, “Do the Wave”, which has got to be one of the worst names for an attack.  For two colorless energies you can do 20 damage for each Pokemon you have on your bench.

Analysis-  90 HP is not very impressive.  It is a lot easier to OHKO Cinccino then it is to pronounce it’s name.  But, it does have some good damage output.  If you have 5 benched Pokemon you can do 100 damage for just one Double Colorless Energy.  That makes this card fast and powerful.

Add a lot of Pokemon Collectors and Dual Balls to your deck, and you will be doing a lot of damage really fast.  Make sure to add Broken Time Space to your deck, because of the new Rare Candy rules.  I think with some help, a Cinccino deck can do really well.  Most people compare this card to Jumpluff, because of the similar HP and attack.  The only difference is that this card is a stage 1, but needs a DCE instead of a basic energy card (which could slow up the deck a little).

Final Rating-8/5/10– It is hard to guess how good the Black and White cards will be, but this card seems like its pretty good.  It can even hit Garchomp C for weakness.  All signs point to this card being pretty good, so make sure to test it out when the card comes out.

So thats all for this edition of Pikk Three.  Make sure to comment on this article and give us your ratings for these cards.  We love to hear from you.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

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