A Second Look at Each Set: Undaunted

by Pikkdogs ~ June 26th, 2011.

Hey all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here continuing my series of reviewing the best cards and hidden gems on each set in the format.  I am already about halfway through the HGSS block, we are now on Undaunted. 

It seems like some people are confused of the aim of this article.  Just because I talk about a card here, does not mean that I think it will win Nationals.  I am just going over the cards in the set that might be playable in the right deck if everything goes right for the deck.  It’s about finding rogues and different ideas.  Yes Reshiram and Magnezone will clean up at this years Nats, but if I talked about them all day, it would be pretty boring.  So this is out to find some fresh new ideas.

Unduanted

Undaunted was released in the U.S. in August of 2010.  It was made up of cards from the previous Japanese set and many different kinds of Japanese decks that were released.  It also featured legend cards from the newest Japanese set.  Like Unleashed, Undaunted was not known as a  very powerful set at the time.  Just a few cards were hyped from the set, and nobody seemed to be in love with the set.

The Most Played Cards

1. Smeargle.

What it is– A starter.  Used a lot in the last format as a starter/recover Pokemon.  His Poke-Power lets you look at your opponent’s hand and use any supporter there as an effect of this power.  The attack does 20 damage for each heads off of two rolls, for 2 energies.

Why to play it- The ability to use 2 supporters each turn is amazing.  If you are able to use the right supporters at the right time, you should be on track to win the game.  You should be able to fit Smeargle into most decks.  It can also make an impact with only one copy in the deck.

Why not to play it– The retreat cost is big.  Also, if you use “Portrait” at the wrong time, bad things could happen.  Just not as consistent as other starters.

2.  Umbreon   

What it is– A wall.  Its attack does 30 damage for one darkness energy, and does not let any Pokemon damage or effect Umbreon in any way from attacks from Pokemon with Poke-Powers or Poke-Bodies.  It also has an attack that does 30 damage for DC with a coin flip, if heads the attack does 30 more damage.

Why to play it–   If your deck struggles with Pokemon like Magnezone Prime, this card is good to switch the matchup in favor of you.

Why not to play it–  Just not enough decks play Powers or Bodies, because of the change to Abilities.  It also does not bring much muscle to any deck. 30 damage is weak.

3. Dodrio

What it is it– A tech to help retreat. Its Poke-Body decreases the retreat cost of your active Pokemon by CC.  Its attack costs CC and lets you flip a coin until you get tails.  You can do 20 damage for each heads.

Why to play it- Its a unique card, nothing else does what Dodrio does.  If you need to decrease retreat costs, Dodrio is your man.  Its also fairly easy to setup.

Why not to play it– Its attack is horrible and Dodrio is not really needed for most Pokemon right now.  If a Pokemon have high retreat cost, you basically either don’t play them or keep them active.  If switching the active becomes important in the game, than you should play Dodrio, but until than I don’t see a reason to play this card.

4. Unown Dark

What it is – An energy retriever.  His Poke-Power lets you search your deck for a dark energy when you play Unown from your hand to your bench.

Why to play it- In the right situation, Unown can be a great asset in a deck.  I have seen some ZPS builds use it to get the energy that was not attached to Pachirisu.  It can be used in almost any deck, in conjunction with at least 1 darkness energy.

Why not to play it– Using Unown Dark is good provided neither it or the darkness energy is prized, and you don’t start with the Unown active.

5. Mismagius

What it is– Mismagius is basically Gengar SF in a stage 1 without the extra 20 HP, “Fainting Spell”, or “Shadow Room.”  Its attack is “Poltergeist” and it goes 30 damage times the number of trainers, stadiums, and supporters in your opponent’s hand.

Why to play it- It works well with Vileplume.  The Miss Plume deck is not quite a tier 1 deck, but it is a really good tier 2 deck that can stop a lot of good decks.

Why not to play it– The only knock on it is that the deck falls short against Reshiboar.

6. Skarmory

What it is– A starter for medal decks. Its first attack lets you search your deck for a metal energy card and attach it to one of your Pokemon, the attack costs 1 metal energy.

Why to play it- It is the most common starter for Steel decks like Steelix Prime.  It helps you find a lot of Special Metal Energies fast.

Why not to play it– I never understood why this card was played at all.  Yes finding the Special Metals is nice, but is it better than what Smeargle, Cleffa, or Stantler can do?  It is essentially just trading 1 metal energy for another.  I don’t think this card should see any play, but it probably will in decks that run any Steel type Pokemon.

7. Vileplume  

What it is– The Trainer locker.  Its “Allergy Flower” Poke-Body does not allow any player to play any trainer cards from his/her hand.  It has an attack that does 50 damage for GGC, and lets you flip a coin.  If heads you do 20 more damage, if tails you confuse the defending Pokemon.

Why to play it- It is currently the only Pokemon that locks trainers.  Locking trainers can be a very useful strategy.  Also, Vileplume was a fan favorite in the last format, and is sure to be played in this format.

Why not to play it– See Mismagius.

8. Weavile

What it is– One of the most hyped cards from the set, it never saw any play, but it still receives a lot of hype today.  Its Poke-Power lets you look at your opponent’s hand and discard any one card that you like.  Its attack can snipe for 30 for just DC.

Why to play it- It is a great disruption card that can possibly turn the tide of a game.  I would like to see someone sneak a 1-1 line of it into a meta deck and see if it is of any help.

Why not to play it– Disruption is just too slow for this format.  I tried a disruption deck with Weavile, but even though the power is nice, disruption just doesn’t disrupt fast enough.

9. Combee

What it is– Oddly enough, this 30 HP Combee is a main attacker.  If you have a damaged  Vespiquen on your bench, Combee’s “Enraged Assault” attack does 80 damage and poisons the defending Pokemon for just 1 energy.

Why to play it- If you can setup a Vespiquen fast and find a way to put a damage counter on her, Combee could be hitting for 80 damage pretty easily

Why not to play it–  This format is about OHKOing Pokemon and 80 damage, although amazing for a 30 HP basic, is not enough for an OHKO on Reshiram.

10. Drifblim

What it is– An anti-tank deck for cards that run DCE.  His “Take-Away” attack lets you shuffle each active Pokemon into their respective decks, for just CCC.

Why to play it- If you have trouble with a deck that has a longer setup, Drifblim can come in and take away the main attacker.  It is good against a tank Pokemon like Steelix (who needs a lot of Special Energies).  It is great against decks that cannot swarm with a couple main attackers.

Why not to play it– The only tank being played is Donphan Prime, and it is easy to swarm with Donphans.  There does not seem to be a reason to play it right now.

Why not to play it– It needs the right deck, you can’t just throw it into a Donphan build.  But, with the right build, there is no reason not to play it.

11. Scizor Prime 

What it is– A wall and a tanking main attacker.  If your opponent’s Pokemon has any Special Energy cards attached to it, they cannot damage Scizor.  His attack does 30 damages plus 20 for every metal energy attached to Scizor.

Why to play it– If your meta is filled with decks that use Special Metal energies, than this card could be of use.  It is a good fun deck that could be fairly good.

Why not to play it– Scizor is weak to fire, Reshiram is very popular now, so it would not be smart play Scizor at this moment.

12. Kyogre/Groudon Legend

What it is– A spreading attacker and a miller (no, not the kind that makes beer, the kind that discards cards from your opponent’s deck).  His best attack costs WWCC and lets you mill 5 cards and does 30 damage times the number of energy cards you discarded to your opponent’s benched Pokemon.

Why to play it–  Its just a really cool card.  It can get a lot of prizes at once and do some milling.  It could be a really good deck if the format turns out well.

Why not to play it–  Right now I’m just not sure it can work, especially with Magnezone Prime out there.

13. Rayquaza Deoxys Legend

What it is– Right now RDL is the hottest most talked about card.  It is has a Poke-Body that lets you take an extra prize card when you get a KO.  And an attack that does 150 damage for LFFC.

Why to play it– RDL is the Mariano Rivera of Pokemon.  All you need to do is to get a little lead (to two prizes remaining) then get on the phone and call up Rivera (RDL) and the game is over.  Sure the attack cost is steep,  but most Magneboar decks can handle it.  Plus, 150 HP can knock out just about anything in the format.

The Hidden Gems

Here are some of the cards that people do not talk about too much, but could be good given the right circumstance.

1. Espeon 

What it is– A tech in an Eeveelution deck.  Its first attack lets you heal 4 damage counters on any of your Pokemon, and place them on any of your opponent’s Pokemon in any way you like.

Why to play it- If you play an Eeveelution deck and play Umbreon and Espeon Prime, this could be a decent tech.  This card could snipe babies and do some spreading, while doing some healing.

Why not to play it– Eeveelution decks aren’t good at all, and this card doesn’t really help the deck.

2. Fortress

What it is– Not only does it have the awesomely named attack ” Everyone Explode Now”, its a decent attacker.  The aforementioned attack does 30 damage for every Pineco and Fortress you have in play for MCC.  It also does 30 damage to each of those Pineco’s and Fortress’s.

Why to play it- Its a very fun card that can use Special Metals and DCE.  With a Plus Power you can hit the magic number of 130 with just 1 stage 1 and a Pokemon Collector.

Why not to play it– Its not splashable into other decks, it doesn’t hit very hard, and its very frail.

3.  Houndoom

What it is– A tech for dark decks. For 1 dark energy you can do 20 damage or 80 damage to an opponent that has any fighting Pokemon in play.

Why to play it- 80 for 1 is a good deal, assuming your opponent is playing fighting Pokemon.  It may not be great right now, but I think you should think about it for future formats.

Why not to play it– There’s no reason to play it right now.  The only good Fighting Pokemon is Donphan Prime, and it would take 2 turns to knock out Donphan.  Unfortunately, Houndoom will not be around 2 turns against Donphan.

4. Magcargo

What it is– An attacker.  For FFC, his second attack “Lava Flow” does 60 damage and lets you discard as many fire energies as you want that are attached to Magcargo.

Why to play it- It is a decent tech in an Emboar deck.  Emboar is a great partner for Magcargo, letting you attach a lot of energies to Magcargo.  You can then discard those energies to power up Magcargo’s attack.

Why not to play it– Reshiram can do 120 with a 2 discard, Magcargo is a stage 1 and he must discard 3 energies to do 120.  With Reshiram around, Magcargo is not really needed right now.

5.  Hariyama

What it is– An anti Zekrom counter.  For a fighting energy and a DCE, his first attack does 60 damage.  His second attack does 80 for 2 fighting and a DCE.

Why to play it- You only need 1 Plus Power to knock out Zekrom and Magnezone Prime out with Hariyama’s first attack.  If you already play fighting energies or DCE, this Pokemon is fairly easy to fit in to a deck.  Hariyama also has a decent 100 HP.  

Why not to play it–  Its a stage 1, Hitmontop can do almost the same thing, and he is a basic.  Hitmontop seems like the better play right now.

6.  Leafeon

What it is– A weird tech in a special conditions deck.  For one energy, Leafeon can do 50 damage times the number of special conditions on the defending Pokemon.  I think that the most special conditions you can be effected with is 3, so that means a possible 150 damage.

Why to play it- If you can find a good partner for Leafeon, this could be a decent deck.  I am blanking on the good Pokemon who could inflict special conditions, but I’m sure we will find some decent Pokemon some where in this series to pair with Leafeon.  150 for 1 energy if you can pull it off is pretty good.

Why not to play it– I’m not sure that you can easily get 3 special conditions on the defending Pokemon.  It seems that if you could, it would be too slow, and Leafeon’s 90 HP would show.

7. Rotom

What it is– Along with Alph Lithograph 4, Rotom is the new Azelf.  His Poke-Power lets you switch the top card of your deck with any 1 of your face down prize cards.

Why to play it- If your deck does not take a lot of prizes (a Gengar Prime deck), or you run a lot of single copies of cards, Rotom can be a life saver.  No other card lets you get cards out of your prizes.  Just use Alph Lithograph to find out what your prizes are, and use Rotom to get what you want.

Why not to play it–  In most cases you don’t know what you are putting into your prizes, so you could be exchanging an important card for another important card.  Plus, you need to play Alph Lithograph for this card to work.  Its  a lot of work for a shot in the dark.

8.  Muk

What it is– I think this card is the diamond in the rough, not a lot of Pokemon can do it what Muk can.  For 1 energy you can pick one of your opponent’s Pokemon and switch it with the active.  The new active is now Confused and Poisoned.  The second attack does 50 damage for PCC, 80 if the defending is effected by a Special Condition.

Why to play it- I think Muk can be a great card in a pretty good deck.  On our buddy PokemanDan’s website, which you can find here, one of his readers sent in a deck that had Muk, Vileplume, and Metagross UL.  PokemanDan decided that Muk and Vileplume were a decent match, but I think Muk and Metagross work very well together.  Metagross has a Pokebody that lets any of your active Pokemon have free retreat if you have a psychic energy attached to them.  The deck idea would be to have Muk drag up something that cannot attack, and have Metagross come active and snipe 2 Pokemon for 40 damage each.  Jirachi UL can also be added to help get a few extra cheap prizes.

Why not to play it– Its an untested idea that could be easy to play around depending on the build of the deck.  There also is no way to prevent a retreat, or a real reason to bring up a high energy retreater (like milling). 

9. Sableye

What it is– A starter or a recovery Pokemon.  For 1 Darkness energy you can search your discard for any 1 card and put it on the top of your deck.

Why to play it- It is hard to get a lot of cards out of the discard pile, and Sableye is a card that can do it.  It is especially helpful for getting legend cards back in play.  It could well with certain decks.

Why not to play it–  There just seems to be better starters and recovery Pokemon out there, Sableye does have a use, but I don’t know if the use is worth it right now.

10.  Slowpoke

What it is– A starter.  His “Rambunctious Party” attack lets you look at the top 5 cards of your deck and put as many basic Pokemon there as you like onto your bench.

Why to play it- If you already play Slowking, than this is the Slowpoke to play.  It can really help setup if you get lucky.

Why not to play it– He has a 2 retreat cost, and you are not likely to have a lot of basics on the top of your deck.  It is the Slowpoke to use, but don’t use him unless you run Slowking.

11. Espeon Prime

What it is– A tech in a Eeveelution deck.  It’s Pokebody lets it use any attack that is on a Pokemon that evolves from Eevee.

Why to play it- If you play an Eeveelution deck, Espeon would be a good choice to use so you can exploit a Psychic weakness.  The 100 HP is among the best for all Pokemon that evolve from Eevee.

Why not to play it– Eeveelution decks stink right now, and the Psychic weakness is not big, the only Pokemon that has it is Machamp Prime.  So hold off on your Eeveelution for now.

12. Houndoom Prime

What it is– I don’t know a tech or weird attacker.  His Poke-Power lets you flip to burn the defending Pokemon.  His attack does 70 damage for DDC, and does not allow the defending Pokemon to retreat.

Why to play it- Houndoom Prime is not a Pokemon that obviously needs to be played, he needs a good deck and a good attacker.  Perhaps you could pair Houdoom Prime with Muk to bring up a bench sitter to the active spot, and not let them retreat.

Why not to play it– Houndoom is a decent card, but does not yet have that right pairing.  Hold off until you find a good pair for Houndoom.

13.  Raichu Prime 

What it is– A main or a secondary attacker in a ZPS deck.

Why to play it Raichu Prime is kind of like a weird Zekrom.  He is a Stage 1, has 30 less HP, you must discard all energy to Raichu, but he has a built in Shaymin like effect.  I think he could in great in a Zekrom deck, or in a deck by himself.  With Pachirisu it is not hard to get him attacking each turn.

Why not to play it– You might want the speed and HP of Zekrom.  The HP and speed are the only drawbacks to Raichu Prime.

14. Slowking Prime

What it is– Kind of a draw engine.  The Poke-Power lets you and your opponent look at the top 2 cards of your deck, your opponent picks 1 to go to your hand, and 1 to go to the bottom of your deck.

Why to play it-  The format is so freaking slow right now that anything cards will help your deck setup and be consistent.

Why not to play it–  I would rather have Noctowl drawing 1 card, instead of my opponent giving me the worst of my top 2.  Slowking Prime used to be a decent engine when we had Underground Expedition in the format, but it is gone and there is no way to get the good stuff from the bottom of your deck.  There are other engines to use right now now, keep Slowking Prime in the binder for now.

15. Umbreon Prime.

What it is– A main attacker in an Eeveelution deck.  His main attack “Evoblast” does 50 damage plus 10 damage for each Pokemon in play on your bench that evolves from Eevee.  That attack costs DCC.  His Poke-Power is a built in Super Scoop Up.

Why to play it- This is the muscle of the Eeveelution deck.  With a Special Dark and a DCE and 3 Eeveelutions on your bench, you can do 90 damage.  The built in Scoop Up is also a good thing to have.

Why not to play it– A lot to say here.  I don’t like the Poke-Power.  I want to play a card for the Poke-Power, and this Poke-Power just gets rid of Umbreon.  Why not save time and just rid your deck of Umbreons all together.  Plus 100 HP is not enough to take a hit, so you won’t be able to really use that Poke-Power.  90 damage is nice but not the muscle that a good deck really needs.

The Hidden Gems of the Trainer World

1. Burned Tower

What it is– An energy recovery card.  One each turn, each player may flip a coin and if heads put a basic energy card from your discard pile to your hand.

Why to play it–  Burned Tower can really help decks that play Reshiram and a lot of other cards.  Its good for just about every deck.

Why not to play it– Its good for just about every deck.  Your opponent will play it to his/her advantage, and that’s not the person you wanna help.  I would rather play Fisherman or Energy Retrieval, I may not get as many energies, but at least I won’t be giving my opponent any help.

2.  Defender

What it is– It just got errata from the big guys that made this card a lot  better, so listen up.  Defender gets attached to your active Pokemon and any damage done to it is reduced by 20.  Defender is attached after the end of your opponent’s next turn.

Why to play it- Zekrom anybody?  The major knock on Zekrom was that he damaged himself making him vulnerable to OHKO’s, making any ZPS game a prize race that Zekrom probably can’t win.  Now, Defender will take away the 40 damage that Zekrom does to itself with “Bolt Strike.”  First, it will turn the 40 damage it does to itself to 20, next when your opponent attacks it will turn the damage from “X” TO “X-20”.  Those 2 reductions of 20 add up to the 40 that Zekrom would have done to itself.  I think every Zekrom deck should add in 3-4 Defenders, it just such a good card.

Why not to play it–  People don’t like to play defensive cards and want to put all there eggs into the OHKO basket.  But, people play Fisherman and Energy Retrieval with Reshiram, Defender is no different with Zekrom.

3. Ruins of Alph

What it is– A stadium card that nullifies all resistance.

Why to play it- If you have a deck that keeps on getting messed up because of resistance, Ruins of Alph is a good choice to turn the tide of the battle.  Pokemon that would benefit from this are Magnezone and Zekrom, along with others.

Why not to play it– Deck space is tight in Magneboar builds, and probably cannot fit in there.  While Zekrom is probably already autoloss to Donphan already, so no use in trying to make the matchup a little better.

4. Team Rockets Trickery

What it is– Where did Team Rocket come from?  Anyway, this card lets you draw 2, then pick a card from your opponent’s hand without looking at it, and discard it.

Why to play it- Any drawings is good, and drawing plus disruption is darn good.  It is easily a keystone card in any disruption deck.  It is a really nice card.

Why not to play it–  Disruption just isn’t that good right now, and I would not play this card in a non-disruption deck.

So thats all we got for this set.  Tell me what you think of these cards, and let me know if you think any of these cards are better than they are now perceived.  Please leave your thoughts in the comment box.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

Category: Card Discussion | Tags: , , ,
  • Bob

    A HUGE improvement from you other article Pikkdogs, thank you for a great article. Nice humor too. :)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks I appreciate it. 

  • Quarter-Turn

    Great article! I had forgotten about some of these cards. This inspired me to experiment with new ideas! : )

  • So…Sage’s Training isn’t a “hidden gem”? That one card that is basically a staple card. No mention of that, but you felt Burned Tower was necessary to mention.

    No mention of Flowershop Girl either…hmmm…hell, even Energy Exchanger isn’t ALL bad(not that you should use it, but that seems like a card you’d mention in your “Hidden Gems” section…).

    Also, no Slowking Prime? Come on…you even said it yourself! Slowking Prime and Jumpluff work GREAT together, Pikkdogs.

    • Anonymous

      No sages is not a hidden gem, I feel that it is more like a staple now, and in this article I did not cover the staple trainers.  This also includes energy exchanger and flowershop girl.

      I did cover SLowking prime.  I never said jumpluff and Slowking Prime work great together.  The article I talked about them in was a “Stupid Deck Idea.”  If that doesn’t tell you that I don’t think its nationals worthy, well theres nothing else I can do.  If you wanna keep on playing the same 2-3 decks every time thats fine, but there are a lot of players who like rogue decks and fun decks.   They did work fairly well, but that was with Underground Expedition.  Now you can’t get the good cards on the bottom of your deck anymore. 

       

    • Bob

      a hidden gem is just that. hidden. Obviously, a stable like sage’s isn’t hidden…..so thus Pikkdogs wouldn’t cover it. Michael, I think you just need to take things at face value. A “Stupid Deck Idea” is (sorry Pikkdogs) often just that. Stupid. Its not called “Nationals winning deck idea” because its just a fun deck to possibly play. Same thing with Hidden Gems. 

  • Just a question and I know that most if not everyone must have missed this part of the card or maybe ignored this part.So, Defender says  “Attach Defender to 1 of your Pokémon. Discard this card at the end of your opponent’s next turn. Any damage done to the Pokémon Defender is attached to by an opponent’s attack is reduced by 20 (after applying Weakness and Resistance).”, it says “by an opponent’s attack” , so im guessing it does not include Zekrom hitting itself, I play a an Eeveelution/Zekrom and I dont use defender because of this part of the text in the card, 

    • Ed

      Always check here if you have a card-specific question.
      http://compendium.pokegym.net/compendium-lvx.html

      For your question, here’s the relevant text.
      “The wording of Defender is now as follows, “Attach Defender to 1 of your
      Pokémon. Discard this card at the end of your opponent’s next turn. Any
      damage done to the Pokémon Defender is attached to by attacks is
      reduced by 20 (after applying Weakness and Resistance).” Defender now
      protects against all attacks, even ones not made by the opponent. (Apr
      11, 2011 TPCi Announcements; May 5, 2011 PUI Rules Team)”