Opinion: Why Stage 2 Pokemon Will Not Work

by Pikkdogs ~ May 9th, 2011.

A big hello to all your OHKOers, this is Pikkdogs here with an article that looks at Stage 2 Pokemon in the HGSS-on format.  While we do not yet know when the HGSS-on rotation will take place, it is likely that it will occur after U.S. Spring Battle Roads.

With the rotation, a lot of people are salivating on all the good stage 2 Pokemon that will be in the format.  But, with recent rule changes and the loss of certain cards I think it will be very hard to consistently get more than 1 stage 2 Pokemon out in time.  This article will look at why I do not think that Stage 2 Pokemon will be effective. I will concentrate on five points.

1.  The Loss of Broken Time Space

BTS was released in the Platinum set, and has been a best friend to all stage 2 Pokemon ever since.  It allows you to skip the 1 turn waiting period, and let you evolve to a stage 1 or 2 Pokemon when ever you want.  In short, BTS let Stage 2 Pokemon compete with all other Pokemon.  Now without BTS to make Stage 2 decks faster, they will be much slower.  Imagine what would happen in the MD-CL format if you could not attack until turn 3, you would probably be down 2-3 prizes before you could ever attack.  Although the next format will be slower, I do not think that it will be slow enough for you to take 3 turns to setup.

2.  The Loss of Uxie

To get a Basic Pokemon you only need that 1 Pokemon, to get a Legend or a Stage 1 you only need 2 cards, but to get a Stage 2 Pokemon you need 3 cards.  With the loss of Uxie, and a lot of draw-power, you will not get to see as many cards as you see in the current format.  It will be a lot harder to draw into the cards you want in the next format.  Just getting the cards to get a Stage 2 Pokemon will be very hard.  Searching for cards will also be a lot harder with the loss of Bebe’s Search and the popularity of supporter driven draw power.  It seems like the deck that either has Basic or Stage 1 Pokemon will be more consistent than stage 2 Pokemon.

3.  The Errata to Rare Candy

In the MD-CL format you could start with a Piplup, and on the second turn of the game you could evolve to Empoleon with Rare Candy.  This is no longer possible with the errata to Rare Candy.  Now, if you play down a Piplup you must wait a  turn to play down Rare Candy and Empoleon.  Rare Candy was a staple of every quick Stage 2 deck, such as Machamp.  Now that the Rare Candy rule is changed, you will have to wait an extra turn to evolve to the Stage 2 Pokemon.  I think in the next format fast Stage 2 decks will all but disappear.  If any stage 2 decks will be playable, the new Rare Candy rules will make it sure that quick stage 2 decks will not be.

4.  Bye Bye Bebe  

As mentioned earlier, Bebe’s Search is leaving the format.  Bebe’s is such a consistent card that  it is hard for me to picture a format without it.  It let you grab any Pokemon you want, and without any card that can do that it will be tough to pull out a Stage 2 Pokemon.  Yes there is Professor Elm’s Training Method, but that will not get you any basic Pokemon.  In my experience, I do not often use a Bebe’s to pull out a Basic (other than Uxie), but there are times when it does happen.  The loss isn’t tremendous but it does make Stage 2 decks less consistent.

5.  The Good Basic and Stage 1 Pokemon

Why do you want to play Emboar and Reshiram when you can play Zekrom, Pachirisu, and Shaymin?  The latter deck can get going on the first turn, while the former will take 2-3 turns to setup at its quickest.  With good Pokemon like Zekrom, Cincinno, Donphan  Prime, and Yanmega Prime why would you want to wait an extra turn or two to setup a Stage 2.  Basic and Stage 1 decks will be able to win the prize race early in the game, and will be able to recover better later in the game, so why would you choose anything different.  The Black and White set reminds me a lot of the old Base Set, and what decks won during the Base Set?  The deck that won used a lot of Basic Pokemon, and was able to laugh at all Stage 2 decks.  I think something similar could happen to our next format.

Well there is a couple reasons why I think you should focus your testing on fast Basic and Stage 1 decks.  I don’t think Feraligatr Prime and Emboar will be as playable as a lot of people say they are.  You should focus your testing on the most fast and consistent decks.  It is hard to predict the next format but I think that it will still be a fast format that relies on Pokemon that can attack quickly.

What do you guys think?  Will Stage 2 decks be playable?

So long and thanks for all the fish?

Category: Opinion | Tags: ,
  • Anonymous

    Good article :) It is a bit crazy that the ol’ Stage 2s won’t be as playable anymore. It doesn’t help that a lot of the basics now and in future sets are all big attackers. I thought they were trying to slow the game down? :P
    Good read PikkDogs

  • Anonymous

    true dat

  • It wont be that bad, it’s just going to be a lot like DPP Days, but with Rare Candy being a bit different, I think we have enough resources to make a playable deck.

  • Anonymous

    Stage 1 decks are no faster really then stage two decks. You can have an emboar on turn two pretty easily. You only really need one the whole game. Then you can rebuild your Reshiram easily everytime it gets knocked out, scooped or seekered. Its a lot better then Zekrom which gets set up easily but is very hard to rebuild.

  • Ed

    I think that the format will change quite a bit. It will take some people a while to adapt. If you hang on to the notions of the recent past, it will take longer. If you look further into the past, I think you’ll find similar formats. Yeah, the Stage 2s will be harder to set up, BUT once they’re set, things will be better. The thing I find more troubling for the S2 decks is the re-release of Gust of Wind. In theory, the S2’s should take longer to set up, but then put up a good fight after that. GoW will mean that the basics will have a bit more staying power, since they can pull up cheap KOs and expensive retreaters. Though, the argument can go the other way, too.

    I’ve definitely always favored basics over evolutions, but then again I’ve played Gyarados for over a year (almost exclusively). I favor anything that can set up quick, hit hard, and recover swiftly. Stage 2 decks generally don’t fit that, but it doesn’t mean they’ll fail. They’ll just need a way to stall while they set up, and then a contingency plan for their weakness.

  • Bob

    Yeah, I miss stage 2 decks (come back Plox!!). Nowadays, its going to be all stage 1/basic decks. :(