Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes? Pt 2. 25-1

by Pikkdogs ~ May 6th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs with the second part of my article on the top 50 cards that are leaving the formaFlygon - RRt.  The list is based on how good I feel the card is, and how well the card has preformed in tournaments.  So without further delay, lets finish off the list.

#25. Unown R

Throughout its time in the format, Unown R has always been “the other Unown”.  At first R took the backseat to Unown G.  Once G was rotated out, Unown Q gained a lot of popularity.  Unown R was always seen as a card that was played in inferior speed decks.  But, it was a great card that greatly sped up some good decks.  It was mostly used in speed decks like Shuppet and Uxie, but has seen play in other builds like Gyarados and Machamp.  It was a great versatile card that had an impact on the format.

#24. Toxicroak G Promo

Once Luxray Gl came out Toxicroak G was released to try to keep him in check. It is weird to think of one card being used only to counter one other card, but that is the relationship between Toxicroak and Luxral Gl.   Toxicroak saw play in most SP decks to try to get a revenge knock out on Luxray Gl.  It also saw play in other decks (like Gyarados) when Luxray Gl was a concern.  As Luxray Gl lessened in importance with the rise of Garchomp C, so did Toxicroak G.  But, it was a great card that made a big difference in the war of SP decks.

#23.  Azelf La

Azelf is a card that was used in almost every deck.  If you only ran 1 copy of a card, you needed to run Azelf.  It saw play in Yuta Komatsuda’s 2010 National’s Winning deck, and in almost every other deck.  There is not really a card in the format that can do what Azelf can, although the combination of Rotom Ud and Alph Lithograph is similar.  Azelf is a card that everyone will miss.

#22.  Expert Belt

Expert Belt is a very versatile card that everyone seems to like.  Almost every deck plays at least 1 of this card, thats how good it is.  Even though it is easy to misplay with this card, it is also easy to dominate with it.  The ability to add 20 HP and 20 damage is amazing, it is something that no other card in the format can do.  Expert Belt was a staple card in many decks, but it was utilized best by the donk decks.  

#21.  Cynthia’s Feelings

Right now, Cynthia’s Feelings is just another hand refreshing card.  With Professor Oaks New Theory, Copycat, Professor Juniper, Lookers Investigation, and Judge; there are a myriad of ways to refresh your hand.  But when this card originally came out, it was the best hand refreshing card.  It also helped you recover from a knock out.  Almost every deck played 1 or 2 of this card.  It was a great card that saw a lot of use, sot thats why its on this list.

#20.  Flygon RR and Flygon Lv. X

There was once a time where Luxray Gl Lv. X was “the other Lv. X” in a Rising Rivals pack.  Thats right, for a while Flygon Lv. X was the most coveted card in the format.  Everyone wanted it because it was so good.  It was used in a good deck with Machamp SF (that was very popular during worlds and nationals 2009) and spawned other decks.  Another popular deck at one time was Dark Flygon.  It relied on Weavile SW to load dark energies on Flygon.   I even had a lock/milling deck that used Rhyperior DP, that I took to top 8 of Michigan States 2010.  It was a really good deck, and Flygon was  a card that was really fun to play with.  But, with the release of HGSS came the release of Double Colorless Energy.  DCE made Garchomp C a lot faster than Flygon, and forced Flygon out of competitive play.  It may have had a short playing window, but it did help to create a tier 1 deck before Garchomp C. 

#19.  Palkia G and Palkia G Lv. X

There is only one SP deck that basically runs the same way today as it did during its Platinum release, and that is Palkia Lock.  This deck relies on powerlocking with Mesprit, and using Palkia to free up bench space.  When it first came out Palkia G saw a lot of play in Palkia lock, and with other cards like Dialga G and Luxray Gl.  It has since seen a drop in play, but it did see play in a rogue Lucario Cl deck this regionals season.  For being a winning card since it first came out, Palkia G gets into the top 20.

#18.  Chatot Md.

Chatot Md gives you hand refresh as an attack, packaged along with the perk of having free retreat.  It was used for 2 years as a good recovery Pokemon.  It was never a staple in a deck, but it was used by the very best players in the very best decks.  There are some other starters/recovery Pokemon in the format, but most of them are rotating out.  The only Pokemon that can really do what Chatot can might be Smeargle Ud.  It was a great card that saw a lot of play.

#17.  Call Energy

Call Energy is a versatile card that was used in a lot of decks like SP and Charizard.  If you start first, sometimes your only solace was the fact that you could use Call Energy to help you setup.  It is a card that doesn’t really have any replacement in the next format.  The new first turn rules kind of makes Call Energy less playable anyway, because you will more likely be able to do damage on turn 1 now, but I think the format will always be missing something.  Call Energy was a card that saw a lot of play in great decks, for that reason a lot of good players will have fond memories of it.

#16.  Unown Q.

Unown Q was a card that everyone used, but nobody respected.  Unown Q was always there to help retreat a Pokemon when needed, but no one ever talked about it being a great card.  It was a great card that should probably be ranked much higher.  The ability to give some Pokemon free retreat is amazing.  The card was used in almost every deck.  It was most commonly used with Uxie Lv.X and Smeargle Ud.  Smeargle Ud continues in the format, but will not be as effective anymore without Unown Q.  It is a card that a lot of people will miss, and was one of the most useful cards in the format.

#15.  Sableye Sf

Sableye is a great card that was used a lot in the previous formats.  Its most famous role was that of a starter in a Gyarados deck.  It was also used as a starter in various other decks.  Its most dominant performance will probably be in the 2011 Spring Battle Roads, when a lot of people will run donk decks with Sableye.  It does a lot of things that other cards can’t, it can force you to start first and allow you to use 2 supporters per turn.  It is a card that will not have an equal in the coming formats.  It might never have won worlds, but it won many State and Regional tournaments, becoming a very successful deck.  It was a deceivingly good card.

#14. Bronzong G and Crobat G   Blaziken FB

I’ll admit that I am combined two very different cards together at one spot, because I made a mistake.  I forgot to put 1 card in my list, so to make room I am squeezing two cards together.  But they are both used in the same deck, so its not too much of a stretch.

When you think of an impactful SP card, it will take you about 10 cards to get to Bronzong G, but I think no other card was as important.  One of the most important thing about playing SP was that you had to play an energy each turn.  Because of Bronzong G it did not really matter where you attached it.  Lots of players, including me, thought that they were going to beat an SP deck, just to have a player use “Galactic Switch” to get an energy that he/she needed to pull the win from out of no where.  Bronzong G was a card that really allowed SP decks to be dominant.  It was used in almost every SP deck and had great success, winning a ton of tournaments.  For all the success, it earns the #14 spot.

Crobat G is a card that probably is good enough to make #1 on my list.  Because of the fact that it is a great card that does something that no other basic Pokemon can do.  Just playing it down lets you place 1 damage counter anywhere you want.  That ability is amazing!  It allows you to get more O.H.K.O.’s and even lets you knock a Pokemon out without attacking.  Besides being used in SP decks it was also used in regular decks like Gyarados.  It also has seen play in Donk decks.  These extremely fast decks use this card to knockout 1-2 Pokemon on the first turn.  Without Crobat G, O.H.K.O.’s will be harder to get and Donk decks will be a thing of the past.  Crobat G was  great card that turned up the intensity of the game like no other.

#13.  Regigas Lv.X and “Drag Off” Promo

I have no idea why this deck is still considered Rogue.  Regigigas decks may be slow to setup, but they are quick enough and hit hard enough to hang with any deck.  It is a deck that can stand with any other deck out there.  The “Sacrifice” Poke-Power was something that the game has never really seen before, and caused the blood pressure of a lot of players to rise.  The deck was a powerful tanking and powerlocking deck that could shock you at how versatile it is.  It never really had a great player base and so it never won a lot of major tournaments.  Shout out to my buddy Ryan Graham from Team Warp Point for playing the deck at the highest level possible.  He proved that this deck was just as good as any other.

#12.  Warp Energy/ Warp point

Warp Energy is a card that a lot of people will be surprised to see this far down in the rankings.  It is ranked this high because it lets you get a Pokemon with a high retreat cost out of the active spot.  One of the reasons that Luxray Gl has seen a drop in play, is that with the rise of Warp Energy it is a lot easier to get Pokemon out of the active spot.  Warp Energy even works during trainerlock, something that Warp Point and Switch do not do.  Warp Energy can really get you out of a bad spot, and completely change the game.  It also saw great success, Yuta Komatsuda ran it in his 2010 Worlds winning deck.  It is a great card that was widely used in almost every deck, and deserves to be ranked this high.

Warp Point makes this list as well.  Not only does it let you switch your Pokemon, but it forces your opponent to switch as well.  It is like a Switch and a Pokemon Circulator in one card!   So you can replace this card, but you need 2 cards to do it.  Right now, the only decks that run this card are tanking decks like Steelix and Gyarados.  It has seen a drop in play because of trainer lock, but it has seen a lot of good play in the past.  For being so valuable, it earns a share of the 12 spot in the countdown.

#11. Blaziken Fb and Blaziken FB Lv. X

If you go back to my first article, you will read that Luxape was the grandfather of the current Luxchomp deck.  If Luxape was the grandfather, who was the father?  That is Blazeray.  Blazeray was a highly disruptive SP deck that advanced the SP strategy enough until Garchomp C came in.  In fact, it is still used in most SP decks.  It can also be used in almost any decks to try to slow down the opponent.  It is a very powerful and very versatile card that helped to change the format and bring the rise of Luxchomp.  It will be a card that a lot of people won’t easily forget.

#10.  Dialga G and Dialga G Lv. X

The first spot in the top 10 goes to the original SP pokemon.  Before there was Luxchomp, or Blazeray, or Luxape; there was Deafen Lock.  It relied on Dialga G to tank, and the Toxitank combo to assist in the Machamp matchup.  It was very disruptive, and nothing you wanted to see across from you in a Battle Road tournament.  With the release of Garchomp C everything old was new again, as Dialga G had a rebirth in the Dialgachomp deck.  It also saw play in Yuta Komatsuda’s 2010 Nationals winning deck, as a tech.  It was a card that could shut down a lot of good decks, and is even feared today.  For being so popular, it snags the #10 spot.

#9. Machamp Sf

Machamp doesn’t do damage, he just knocks you out!  Every basic Pokemons worst fear is the sight of a Machamp Sf.  The only thing that held Machamp back was the bad matchup it had against stage 2 decks.  If it didn’t dominate early, Machamp had a hard time against a lot of decks.    But, I don’t think any other deck had as much success as Machamp did.  Machamp was paired with other Pokemon like Flygon RR and Gengar Sf. Since its release people have been playing this deck, it has been a consistent deck for over 2 years.  For remarkable longevity, it deserves to be in the top 10.

#8. Broken Time Space

I returned to the game shortly after the Platinum set, and was immediately taken by BTS.  So much so that I don’t think I can imagine a format without it.  I have always relied on BTS as a card that can speed up stage 2 decks, now that it is gone it will be a shock to my system.  This card is a staple in almost all non-SP decks.  It is most famous for being in fast decks like Gyarados and Machamp.  A lot of players are talking about cards like Emboar and Samurott being great cards in the next format, but this will be hard without cards like BTS.  I think this card is one of the most overlooked cards in the format, and I think a lot of people will miss this card in the future.

#7.  Gyarados SF

What can I say about Gyarados?  It is just a great card that has dominated during the past 1 1/2 years.  The deck was first discovered at 2009 World’s by a group of French players.  They did not win that day, but they did change the format forever.  It was a fast deck that had a lot of HP and could hit really hard, it was one of the most perfect decks.  It never won worlds, but it did have a lot of success in large tournaments.  It even won Minnesota states a couple months ago, I can’t remember who ran this deck, the only thing i can remember is that he wasn’t very handsome.  It might not have won worlds, but I can say that it was one of the most perfectly balanced decks in the format.

#6.  SP Engine- Cyrus’s Conspiracy, SP Radar, Poketurn, Powerspray, Energy Gain

SP decks have dominated the format ever since the Blazeray deck was popularized, the reason for this was the rise of the SP engine.  Garchomp C can only hit for 80, Luxray Gl for 70.  That is not very impressive.  So why are those 2 cards so amazing, because the SP engine lets them hit faster than any other card.  Cyrus’s Conspiracy lets you grab an ungodly amount of cards.  SP Radar lets you search out the LV. X cards you are looking for.  Poketurn is there for preventing a knock out, and re-using coming into play Poke-Powers.  Powerspray is the most disruptive card in the format.  And finally, Energy gain lets you attack faster than any other deck. SP decks are the most successful decks since Haymaker.  They have won every big tournaments that there are.   Without the SP engine, the SP cards are nothing but average.  That is why this card deserves to be ranked so high.

#5. Luxray Gl and Luxray Gl Lv.X

When you talk about decks in the past couple years, you can talk about decks before Luxray and decks after Luxray.  Because of Luxray Gl almost every card with a lightning weakness was deemed unplayable.  What other card can shut down dozens of good decks?  The rise of Luxray Gl coincides with the rise of the modern SP deck.  Luxray Gl was a very big part of the SP decks that have won so many tournaments.  It also saw ultimate success in the Raybees deck that won the 2009 Worlds tournament.  It has proved to be a very versatile card that has been put into a lot of decks.  Even though it has lessened in its importance during the last year or so, it is still a great card.  Luxray Gl could have easily been the #1 card in this countdown.

#4. Gengar SF.  

Just like Machamp, Gengar SF is a card that has been a great card for a long time.  To my knowledge, the first great Gengar deck was Gengchamp.  Combining both Machamp SF and Gengar SF.  Then, Gengar was paired with Nidoquen, to make it harder to get around “Fainting Spell.”  Next, Gengar Sf played a supporting role in Cursegar.  Next, Gengar SF shined in the trainerlock deck that we use today.  It is a card that has been used for a long time, and has had great success in larger tournaments.  Gengar is a great card that can snipe, attack the active, and use its Poke-Power to take the defending Pokemon with it when it dies.

#3.    Bebe’s Search

This is a card that I can’t imagine our format without.  It seems like Bebe’s Search is the most basic card in the format.  Every deck runs a couple copies, and the card seems to always be there when you need it.  I wonder how good stage 2 decks will be without Bebe’s, its rotation will greatly impact the format.  Bebe’s was a staple in almost every deck, I can’t begin to tell you abut how much success it had.  It simply is perhaps the best and most used card in the format.  I really wanted to put this card at #1, but I think the villagers would create an uprising if I did.

#2. Garchomp C and Garchomp C Lv. X

Garchomp C currently controls the format, its that simple.  I have given up on 95% of stage 2 decks, because they are a lot slower than Garchomp C.  Garchomp can just snipe its basic or stage 1 before the stage 2 even hits the field. Garchomp is extremely disruptive because it can knock out any Pokemon on the field for only 1 DCE and a 1 energy gain.  Just like Luxray Gl, Garchomp C has changed the format.  There were certain decks that were good before it, and certain decks that you could play after.  In a Blazeray deck, players counted each Poketurn as a knockout with Luxray Gl, after the release of DCE players started counting each DCE as a knockout with Garchomp C.  Garchomp took the best deck in the format, Blazeray, and made it unstoppable,  The Luxchomp deck was basically broken and almost impossible to defeat. Even though Play Pokemon probably should have banned cards,  they did not and let Luxchomp run roughshod over the format.  It won almost every big tournament, and every small tournament where decent players play. If Garchomp C basically ran the format, what card could take the #1 spot…………..

#1 Uxie and Uxie Lv. X  

Uxie is simply the staple beyond all staples.  After Claydol left the format earlier this year, the only draw engine we had was Uxie.  When Claydol was in the format, Uxie was still used, just not in great quantities.  Now, every deck relies on getting an early Uxie to setup.  If your opponent Powesprays your Uxie, you could basically scoop right there, that’s who important it was.   Today, Uxie is in every deck as a draw engine.  It is impossible to list all accomplishments, but basically every deck that ever won a tournament in the past 2 years (expect Scizor/Cherrim) used Uxie.  In this format, Uxie was able to have its own deck in Uxie Donk.  Uxie donk was popular last year, but then lost popularity with the rise of Spiritomb Ar.  But with the release of Seeker, Uxie donk is back on.  Up until the Black and White rule changes Uxie donk was a very good deck that was one  of the few decks that could regularly beat SP.

I could have easily separated Uxie and Uxie Lv. X and they both would probably crack the top 10.  The Lv. X is a great card because it makes Uxie a good attacker, and speeds up the deck thanks to its Poke-Power.  If you need some draw power in your deck just add in the Lv. X and all of a sudden your deck is better faster and stronger.  The X also helps SP decks keep a consistent build that can beat Machamp.

These two cards were used in almost every deck in a lot of different ways.  If it were not for Uxie things would be much slower than they are.  I know that Uxie will be a card that everyone will miss, and a card that nobody can complain about at the #1 spot.

Well there it is, I finished my long countdown from 50 to 1.  If you learned anything from these series of articles it was that we are losing a lot of great cards in the next rotation.  But, it is not too late.  You still have 1 more opportunity to use these cards at the Spring Battle Roads.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

Category: Opinion | Tags:
  • Ed

    I like these two articles by @Pikkdogs. Ordering is up to debate of course. Azelf is right up there with Uxie as far as people panicing, I think. Maybe it would be #1 in my list. I’m happy to see it go.

  • Anonymous

    I think Luxray should be higher than Garchomp C. It was the start of trully good SP, and has been up there for most seasons. I do agree Chomp made SP the monster it is, but I still think Luxray should be higher.

  • Anonymous

    Uxie and Garchomp are the definitive 1-2 and right on target. Bebe Search is a little too high as there are other cards to get Pokemon out. Crobat G should be higher.

    Excellent article.

    No love for Lucario, a staple against Machamp and Gyarados. Also I may have slipped Exploud in there. I think Exploud would have shined immensely in the current format as everything will hit for serious weakness and he would have had time to set up.