Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes? Pt 1 50-26

by Pikkdogs ~ May 3rd, 2011.

A big hello to all of you OHKOers out there, this is Pikkdogs with a list of the top cards that will soon be leaving the format.  A week or so ago we heard that it is likely that we will get a late-season rotation of HGSS-on.  While I think the rotation is great for the game, losing seven sets makes a huge effect on the game.  This rotation will see about half of the format disappear.  Some of the best cards in the format are officially leaving.  So, just for fun I decided that I will be ranking the top 50 cards that will be leaving the format.

Cards will be ranked based on their overall playability within their life in the many formats.  For example, Regirock was used a lot in the past couple months, but not used at all in the prior 2 years.  While Abomosnow SF has never been super popular, but has always been a card that has received moderate play.  So, Regirock and Abomosnow would have similar rankings. Also, basic cards and their Lv.X’s will be combined together in one ranking.  Its hard to seperate Luxray Gl from Luxray Gl Lv. X.  You don’t really see them being different, so I will classify them together.  I will also group similar cards together to save room on the list for other cards.

Making this article was very tough. I could have easily ranked the top 100, but the top 50 is the most relevant.  It was very tough to chose just 50 cards, but I think I came down with the 50 of the best cards that are being rotated.

This article will be broken down in 2 parts, expect the second part to be released in the next couple days.  So without further adieu, lets get onto the list

#50 Empoleon Md.

Some of you newer players may be surprised to see Empoleon on this list.  But, when I got into the game (around the platinum set) Emploeon Md was a 2nd tier deck.  Empoleon combined spreading and blunt force together to make a fearsome deck.  The deck benefited from the Claydol Ge draw engine.  Empoleon fell off the map once Luxray Gl gained popularity and the spread strategy died, but what this card accomplished should not be forgotten.

#49.  Porygon Z Lv.X  and Porygon Z promo

The deck did not stay around for too long, but for a while Porygon Z was a great deck.  It relied on using TM’s to enhance the damage of Porygon Z promo’s attack.  The Lv. X’s “Decode” Poke-Power was also great for putting any two cards you wanted on top of your deck, it was then easy to draw them with Claydol Ge.  The deck had unmatched draw power and hard hitting ability.  It did not win any big tournaments, its only claim to fame is that it was the only deck that beat Pooka’s Luxape deck at 2009 U.S. nationals. But, it was a great deck that deserves to be remembered.

#48. Blatoise Pt.

When I went to my first tournament I sat next to a guy playing a Blastcatty deck.  It was a good deck that had energy acceleration and could spread 60 damage to 2 of the opponent’s Pokemon. I remember my nephew looking at that deck and was amazed at what it could do.  It never was a big tournament winning deck, but it still was a very good deck.  I like it because it was one of the better decks when I was first getting into the game.  The popularity of Luxray Gl has made the Blastcatty deck a lot less popular.

#47. Roserade GL

The first modern card to be on my list is Roserade GL.  We all know it as a tech in a Luxchomp deck.  If you use it in conjunction with Luxray Gl Lv.X’s “Bright Look” Poke-Power, you may be able to stall the game for several turns.  It may have only had use in the last couple months, but the best SP players will tell you that Roserade GL is one of the best cards in a Luxchomp deck.

#46. Pokemon Rescue

Pokemon Rescue has no flashy attributes to it and is often an overlooked card, but it has always been a good versatile card.  It lets you put 1 Pokemon from your discard pile to your hand.  It is used in almost every deck and shines because of how versatile it is.  The popularity of Pokemon Rescue was never higher than when it went into the Gyarados deck.  It allowed Gyarados to quickly recover from a knock out.  It was also used to be a type of draw engine with Unown R.  We do have a similar card (Revive) in the Black and White set, but it does not work on all Pokemon (just Basics).  I think the format will miss Pokemon Rescue.

#45. Infernape 4 Lv.X and Infernape 4

New players will again be surprised by this pick, this card is now considered either “rogue” or “junk”.  But, before there was Luxchomp there was Luxape.  The first modern SP deck featured Infernape 4 Lv.X and a lot of disruption cards.  I believe it was Pooka who took Luxape to 2009 U.S. nationals and won the whole thing, forever changing the game.  However, by Worlds this deck proved to be unsuccessful and Blaziken FB proved to be a better combo for Luxray Gl.  But, Infernape 4 Lv.X deserves to be on this list because of being the grandfather to the current Luxchomp deck.

#44.  Magnezone Lv.X and Regirock                 

These cards are very different cards that didn’t see much play until this years European Championship Cup.  Once Magnezone Prime was released, people began adding these cards to a deck.  Together, the Magenzone deck became one of the fewer new decks to gain success in the MD-CL format.  Magnezone Prime will probably continue to be a good card without these cards, but it will never be the same.

#43. Beedrill RR

Most new players will scratch their heads at this pick.  Most people view this card as one of the many crap rares, but this card was once a part of Steven Silvestro’s 2009 World Championship deck.  It is easy to forget, but Silvestro won worlds with his Raybees deck.  Although Beedrill RR is never used to attack, his Poke-Power “Flutter Wings” make this deck a lot faster.  Beedrill Ge would not have been as great of a card if it were not for Beedrill RR.

#42. Cyrus’s Initiative

Although it will always be “the other Cyrus” it is still a good card.  It lets you flip 2 cards and for every heads you can look at your opponent’s hand and discard a card.  It is best known for being a staple of the Sablelock deck.  The deck has had great success in large tournaments, winning the 2010 U.S. Nationals under the tutlelage of Con Le.  Sablelock can never seem to win small tournaments, but it comes to play in larger tournaments.  It will be a good deck that will be missed.

#41. Nidoquen RR

I feel that Nidoquen is leaving the format without ever being as good as it could be.  It was a very popular card, without ever winning a major tournament.  It was played in a deck with Flygon RR, but had its greatest popularity with Gengar SF.  The great combination of Gengar SF and Vileplume UD kind of ended the Queengar deck,  but it was a very popular deck for a long time.  This card did a lot that no other card could really do, it could also attack if it needed to.  For those reasons,  Nidoquen makes it on the list.

#40. Arceus/Beginning Door/Ultimate Zone

The #40 spot is a combination of 14 cards that I call the Arceus engine.  Like Nidoquen, I also feel that these cards are leaving too soon.  They are good cards that made a moderate impact on the format, but I can’t help but feel that they could have done more.  If these cards would have been around during the HGSS-on format, I think the Arceus deck would be near tier 1.  Arceus is a deck that does not attack for much, but can always attack for weakness.  Beginning Door and Ultimate Zone help make the Arceus deck more consistent.  Arceus has seen some success, being in the top 4 of some State and Regional Tournaments.

#39.  Mesprit La 

For a while, Mesprit was played a lot, then it was almost never played, then it all of a sudden regained popularity.  It lets you powerlock your opponent, just by playing him to the bench.  He first say play with Gardevoir SW, then he saw play with Palkia G, and finally was paired up with Regigigas.  All three of these decks were very disruptive decks that did well.  After those decks saw less play, about a year passed before he saw more play.  Current versions of Gyarados and Machamp use Mesprit to powerlock the opponent.  Mesprit has been a great card that is versatile, I’m sure a lot of people will miss Mespirt, or not miss him (depends if you play him or not).

#38.  Machamp Lv. X

In my opinion Machamp is probably the worst Level X that has seen a lot of play.  It does not have a great attack, and a Poke-Body that can hurt you if you are not careful.  But, I cannot deny that it was an impactful card.  It allowed Machamp SF to be able to damage Stage 2 Pokemon, which it always had a hard time doing.  Machamp never won worlds, but it did win some regionals and state tournaments.  Machamp Lv. X has recently seen a drop in play thanks to Machamp Prime, but the Level X has years of history.  It is a great card, and the answer to the trivia question; “What is the only Level X to not have a X2 weakness?”

#37.  Scizor SF

This card has a special place in my heart since it was the first decent deck that I played.  The Scizor/Cherrim deck has been  known to be the best cheap deck around.  It was a fun deck that was great for beginners.  It never won any large tournaments, but it did its job by introducing hundreds of players to the game.   Scizor/Cherrim was always looked down on, but to this day it is still a competitive deck.

#36.  Poke Drawer +, Quick Ball, and Handy 910’s Pokedex

If you play 1 Poke Drawer you can draw 1 card, if you play 2 at the same time you can grab any 2 cards from your deck.  Pokedex lets you look at the top 2 cards of your deck and put 1 card in your hand and the other on the bottom of the deck.  Quick Ball lets you reveal cards until you reveal a Pokemon, then put that Pokemon in your hand.  These cards are mostly used in speed decks like Shuppet and Uxie.  They also has seen play in quick Machamp and Gyarados builds.  They are great cards that allowed really fast decks to work.  Pokedex was also is a versatile card that can be splashed into almost any deck.  The deck will slow down a lot without these cards, and the donks deck will cease to exist.

#35. Kingdra La

Kingdra has been a popular deck for a long time.  Ever since the Legends Awakened set was released, Kingdra has been a fearsome deck.  I know that I always was afraid of playing a good Kingdra player.  It had great popularity until Luxray Gl hit the format.  But, it had a renaissance once Kingdra Prime was released.  It has seen a little less play in the last few months, but every once in a while you will still see people play this deck.  Even though it never won worlds, it was still a very successful deck.

34. Giratina Pt #9 

Th #34 spot goes to the Giratina with the “Let Loose” Poke-Power.  Giratina has never been in a worlds winning deck, neither has it been a solid attacker.  But, what it has been is an awesome tech that does thing that no other Pokemon can do.  Yes, Judge can do the same thing, but it also takes up your supporter slot.  Giratina can change the game by making your opponent shuffle away his good hand.  It is traditionally used in Yanmega Prime decks, and has seen play in Sablelock decks.  A lot of people will miss this card.

33.  Shuppet Pt/ Dunsparce SV

Shuppet and Dunsparce are both basic Pokemon that attack for little damage, and then go back into your hand.  When the Plus Power rules were different, you could attach and Expert Belt and a Plus Power to Dunsparce or Shuppet, and then everything went back into your deck.  Back in the days with Mr. Mime MT, Shuppet and Dunsparce were able to hang up there with almost any deck.  In fact, Onehitko.com ‘s Jona was a good a Shuppet player as there was, winning City Championships in a really tough area.    These decks were cool because you could attack without leaving anything on the field.  Unfortunately, even if they did not rotate out, these cards would not be playable because of the new Plus Power rule.  But, these cards were once the part of a really good deck.

32. Gengar Ar #16.

This card makes me feel old.  It seems like Cursegar just came into the format a couple months ago, but is already leaving the format.  When it was first released Cursegar was one of the best decks in the format.  The deck relied on locking trainers with Spiritomb Ar, and then switching to Gengar, then attacking and switching out.  Most Cursegar decks rotated out with the loss of Claydol, although some people played Gengar Ar in their Trainerlock build.  Cursegar is now gone from the format, but it does have a good history of play.

31. Palmers Contribution

When Palmers first came out we had the ability to use Night Maintenance.  Now both NM and Palmers are no more.  There are different kinds of supporters that do similar things, but not as good as Palmers.  It isn’t a deck that we think about a lot, but it is a great card.

30. Aaron’s Collection

Another similar card to Palmers is Aaron’s Collection.  It lets you take 2 Pokemon SP or basic energy from the discard pile, and put them in your hand.  Not many cards let you put Pokemon and energy from the discard to your hand.  It was used a lot in SP builds, and has become a staple in Luxchomp decks.  When you think of great cards for SP decks, you don’t think of Aaron’s, but it really does let SP decks recover quickly.  If SP decks would survive the rotation, they would have  missed Aaron’s Collection.

29. Honchkrow SV

Honchkrow is mostly used in Sablelock builds.  Besides Garchomp C, it is the only real attacker that Sablelock decks have.   It is the reason that Sablelock decks have a chance at winning longer games against SP builds.  As previously mentioned, Con Le took the Sablelock deck to last years U.S. Nationals, and many other people had great success with the deck.  Honchkrow has been a great card that Sablelock players would miss.

28.  Regice La

Regice has been a staple in one of the best decks for about 2 years now.  It has great synergy with Gyarados, allowing you to discard Magikarps to power up Gyarados’s attack.  It is one of the reasons why Gyarados has been a great deck.  Regice has only seen play in other decks like Shuppet Donk.  It’s “Regiomove” Poke-Power lets you switch the defending Pokemon if it is a basic.  This has been really useful for the game.  Regice and Gyarados have accomplished a lot of things in their career, now cards like Junk Arm are doing the job of Regice.

27.  Charizard Ar.  

One of the most popular decks in the past year has been Charizard.  It is a good card that can do up to 80 damage for just 1 energy.  Charizard would be a good pair with the new Emboar, but it will soon be leaving the format.  Charizard has never had much success, but it has been popular enough that it should be on this list.  Like Scizor SF, I think that it has let a lot of new players learn the game. It also doesn ‘t hurt that Charizard is always one of the most popular Pokemon.

26.  Mewtwo MD. and Mewtwo Lv.X

Like Charizard, Mewtwo is a good card that has seen a lot of play but has not had great success.  Mewtwo is a good counter to SP decks because it has a Poke-Body that does not let any basic do any damage to Mewtwo.  It has had a good partner with Cursegar and Gengar SF.  It has also been splashed into many other decks, to give the deck a better SP matchup.  But unfortunately Mewtwo has not had a huge showing at big tournaments.  It seems that SP decks just have too many ways to play around Mewtwo.  No matter how effective Mewtwo was, it was a great card that did have an effect on the meta game.  Thats why its on the list.

Well we have gotten to #26, look for the next article soon. Please comment on this article so we can talk about my picks.  I know they aren’t perfect, so lets find out where I went wrong.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

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