Introducing Pokemon Catcher

by Pikkdogs ~ July 17th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with a discussion about the card Pokemon Catcher.  This card will come out in the Black and White: Emerging Powers set.  Its effect is simple, switch one of your opponent’s benched Pokemon with the active.  This makes it like Gust of Wind from the base set.  This article will tell you what this card means for the format.  This article will also speculate what the format will be like for this card, and what type of counter the new high HP Pokemon will be to Pokemon Catcher.

Before we start the article, just a little reminder about the contest.  The contest that celebrates my 100 articles is still going on.  All you have to do to enter is send an email to “pikkdogs@teamomar.com.”  In the email just tell us something you like or don’t like about the site.  When you enter you will be in the running to win one of two official www.onehitko.com t-shirts.  To see the complete rules, just read my 100th article celebration post here.  Okay, back to the article about Pokemon Catcher

What it does

Pokemon Catcher allows you to do 2 strategic things.  The most obvious thing it does is to bring an un-evolved Pokemon active.  Once that Pokemon is active you will be able to knock it out before it evolves to a scary stage 2 like Emboar, Tyranitar, or Magnezone.  The other thing you can do is to pull up a bench sitting Pokemon and then either knock it out, snipe around it, mill your opponent’s deck, or put Pokemon in the Lost Zone.  This card is very powerful, so lets talk about what happened last time it came out.

What Happened Last Time: Gust of Wind.

Gust of Wind was a card in the base set that did the same thing as Pokemon Catcher.  When it came to competitive play, Gust of Wind forced a deck called Haymaker to become the best in the format.  Haymaker was a deck with base set cards like Hitmonchan, Scyther, and Elektabuzz.  It was a fast deck that used Gust of Wind to bring up basic Pokemon and do damage for not a lot of energy.  Haymaker was not the only deck that saw play, but it was the winning-est deck of its time by far.

It worked by pulling up anything that was a threat and knocking it out before it could get going.  Haymaker was a powerful deck that had only one enemy, the first rotation.  Now, Gust of Wind is coming back and most Pokemon players are afraid of what it could do in today’s format.  The format is different from base set.  Back then, doing 40 damage for 2 energies was really good, now a 100 HP basic Pokemon is not hard to find.  Who knows what will happen when the wind changes and we get that some old gust coming back into the format.  Some people say the format will be very similar just a little more disruptive.  While most people are predicting the end of stage 2’s in the format, but could that be?

What do you mean I can’t evolve on the same turn?

About a year ago, the return of Gust of Wind would not be a huge problem.  You could just play a Rare Candy, or evolve through Broken Time Space.  Now you have to leave a Basic on the bench for one turn.  Unless you are able to play 2 copies of the same basic on one turn, it will be unlikely that you will be able to evolve on the upcoming turn.  To evolve to a stage 1 or 2 Pokemon you will need to be very speedy or very disruptive.

How to Combat Catcher

As mentioned,you can either try to keep Pokemon Catcher away from the opponent, find a way to evolve before they can disrupt the evolution, or don’t play any basics down that you don’t want in the active spot.

To keep catcher away from the opponent you can try to get an early Judge.  Pokemon like Weavile and Ambipom can disrupt your opponent’s hand so that they cannot setup.  If you get an early disruption on your opponent, he/she will not be to get the Pokemon Catcher that they need to disrupt you.  You can also make Pokemon Catcher useless by setting up a trainer lock with either Gothitelle or Vileplume.  However, these Pokemon are stage 2’s and can be disrupted by Pokemon Catcher.  So, in order to evolve them you will have to be quick about it.

One way of negating the effect of catcher is putting down 2 of the same basics at once, so they can knock out 1, and you can evolve the other.  This is where cards like Pokemon Collector, Revive, and Stantler come in really big.  After the big Cleffa donfest that was U.S. Nationals 2011, Stantler is a good Pokemon to use as a starter.  He will not be donked, and he can search out 2 basics and put them on the bench.  All you need on the next turn is  a Rare Candy and a Stage 2.  Look for 4 Rare Candies to be a staple in the next format.  Another way to go around Pokemon Catcher is to start fast.  If you start with a basic, there is a good chance there will probably be time to evolve the Pokemon before Catcher gets played.

If you don’t want your opponent to Catcher in a Pokemon, then don’t play it down.  With the number of big basic HP POkemon that can do damage, you don’t really need evolved Pokemon.  In the next couple sets there will be about 10 100+ HP Pokemon coming into the format.  The question is whether these Pokemon will be able to knock out Pokemon that are used with Pokemon Catcher, like Donphan Prime and Yanmega Prime.  Only time will tell whether these Pokemon will be good enough to stop the good stage 1’s.

The Big HP Pokemon

As mentioned, there are a lot of big HP Pokemon coming out, so lets look at them, since they are not very afraid of being made active by Pokemon Catcher.

1. Virizion

Japanese Set-  Battle Strength Deck                 English Set- Emerging Powers

Basics- 100 HP, 1 Retreat, Weak to Fire, Resistance to Water.

Attack 1- Giga Drain.  For GC you do 30 and heal from Virizion the amount of damage that you do to the defending Pokemon.

Attack 2-Sacred Sword.  For GGC you can do 100 damage, it can’t be used twice in a row.

2. Virizion

Japanese Set- Red Collection                    English Set- Probably the 3rd BW set

Basics- 100 HP, 1 retreat, weak to fire, resistant to water.

Attack 1- Dual Draw. For one energy you can draw 2 cards.

Attack 2-Leaf Slugger.  For GC you can do 40 damage. If you used this attack last turn, the attack does 80.

3. Terrakion 

Japanese Set- Battle Strength Deck                    English Set- Emerging Powers

Basics- 120 HP, 4 retreat, weakness to grass.

Attack 1- Boulder Crash.  For FC it does 40 damage.

Attack 2-Sacred Sword.  For FFC it does 100 damage and cannot be used next turn.

4. Terrakion

Japanese Set- Red Collection                    English Set- Probably 3rd BW set

Basics- 130 HP, 4 retreat, weakness to Grass.

Attack 1- Vengance.  Does 30 damage for FC.  Will do 90 damage if you lost a Pokemon last turn.

Attack 2- Land Crush.  For FFC it does 90 damage.

5. Coballion

Japanese Set-Battle Strength Deck                    English Set- Emerging Powers

Basics- 110 HP, 2 retreat, weak to fire, resistant to Psychic.

Attack 1- Metal Sword.  For MC you can do 30 damage and have your opponent switch the defending Pokemon.

Attack 2- Sacred Sword.  For MMC you can do 100 damage, and you can’t use this attack twice in a row.

6. Coballion

Japanese Set- Red Collection                    English Set- Probably the 3rd BW set.

Basics- 120 HP, 2 retreat, weak to Fire, resistant to Psychic.

Attack 1- Energy Breath.  For MC it does 20 damage times the number of energy attached to the defending.

Attack 2- For MMC you can do 80 damage and prevent the defending Pokemon from attacking next turn.

7. Landorus

Japanese Set-Red Collection                    English Set-?????? I would guess Emerging Powers, but it could be the 3rd Black and White Set.

Basics- 110 HP, 1 retreat, and weak to water.

Attack 1- Harvest.  For 1 energy you can attach an energy card from the discard pile to this Pokemon.

Attack 2- Gaia Hammer.  For FFC you can do 80 damage and spread 10 to everyone’s bench.

8. Volteros

Japanese Set- Black and White                    English Set-Emerging Powers

Basics- 110 HP, 1 retreat, weak to fighting

Attack 1- Recharge.  For 1 energy you can search your deck for a lightning energy and attack it to this Pokemon.

Attack 2- Discharge. For LLC you can do 80 damage and discard an energy card.

9. Torneros

Japanese Set- Black and White                   English Set- Emerging Powers

Basics- 110 HP, 1 retreat, weak to lightning, resistant to fighting.

Attack 1- Energy Well.  For 1 energy you move one energy from your bench to the active.

Attack 2-Gale Force. For CCC you can do 80 damage and move 1 energy card to the bench.

10. Kyurem

Japanese Set- Red Collection                   English Set- Probably the 3rd Black and White Set

Basics- 130 HP, 2 retreat, and weak to Metal.

Attack 1- Outrage.  For CC it does 20 damage plus 10 for every damage counter on this Pokemon.

Attack 2- Glaciate.  For WWC it spreads 30 damage to all of your Opponent’s Pokemon.

So those are the 10 big Pokemon that are coming out.  Most of these Pokemon will not be easy to knock out by Yanmega or Donphan, so they will be great counters to Pokemon Catcher.  The problem will be just coming up with other cards that can help make these cards attack faster.  None of these Pokemon seem like great Pokemon right now, but I think given the right situation, these cards could help to make a good deck.

Sot there is a look at Pokemon Catcher.  The card will sure change the format, maybe it will only change a little, or it may change it a lot.  I hope I gave you some ideas of how you can plan to play against this card in the fall.  Be sure to check on this website for more strategy articles about this impactful card.  So, what do you guys think of this card.  How will you play it and play against it?  Please leave your thoughts in the comment box.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Category: Card Discussion | Tags: , , , , ,
  • So i think that catcher overall just changes which decks are viable in setting up. It makes the format open to decks like zekrom or four corners which abuse early attackers and can ruin set ups. I think that babies may become less popular as now a ton of cards can knock them out, similar to what yanmega was for before with the help of catcher.

    • Ed

      Yeah, babies won’t be able to wall very effectively if everyone is running Catcher.  It will make people build decks differently.  You can’t afford to have big bench sitters or lots of high retreat Pokemon.  Decks will get leaner and quicker.  Stage 1s will still be fairly viable, since it may be hard to KO their basics on the first turn.  Stage 2s will be tougher, especially ones that are used more for their power than for their attack.  Anything with a 3 retreat or higher will be difficult to include without ample Switch.

      • I need to test a ton for this one card, I’m starting to think it wont have as large of an effect as it is being hyped to.

        • Ed

          At least it’s easy to test.  Just use Reversal or Gust of Wind and call it good.

          I think people are over-thinking how it will change things.  It’s not
          like Lux GL X that can only be fully utilized in certain decks.  All
          decks have easy access to Catcher.  It’s just that it will change how
          people think when they build decks.  You won’t much see tech Stage 2’s. 
          Really, anything with more than one Stage 2 will have issues, I think.

          But, it will just change the face of the format a bit.  Quick agile decks
          will rule until something comes out to help the Stage 2s.  Everyone will
          adjust and it won’t seem like a huge deal.  The real problem is for
          people that have been playing/working with decks that can’t adjust. 
          Then they’ll have to switch decks to compete, but that’s not a big
          issue.

          • Anonymous

            I think you hit the nail on the head Ed. It is not like Luxray GL LV.X.

            Luxray was searchable. That is huge. Not only could you “gust” out the opponent’s Pokemon, you could virtually do it on call from turn two on. That is ridiculous.

            Also, as Ed mentioned, Luxray had to be in a deck with the SP Trainer Toolbox. It has Poke-Turn, E-Gain, Cycrus, etc.

            Pokemon Catcher is not searchable (save for a couple attacks like Zoroark’s Nasty Plot). Players are going to have to rely on drawing into the Catcher. Here’s the problem, if you run four Catcher, you will be lowering your consistency in so other fairly important area. Or if you only run 2ish Catcher, you might not get to one the whole game.

            While it is true that Catcher will be able to be added to all decks, some decks are certainly more suited to utilize it. Most people are calling for Stage 1 decks to come out ahead for using Catcher. I would agree, but not to the same extent as most people. The pure Stage 1 deck has only a limited Supporter draw engine. Thus, it will be very susceptible to relying on top deck pulls. However, decks that can utilize the best draw engine in the game (Ninetales w/ RR) truely have the advantage. Their ability to mill through their deck so quickly will virtually guarantee getting Catcher and Junk Arm exactly when the player needs it.

            If I were a betting man, I would put my money on ReshiBoar and tyRam.

            I also would not count out ZPS.

  • Ed

    At least it’s easy to test.  Just use Reversal or Gust of Wind and call it good.

    I think people are over-thinking how it will change things.  It’s not like Lux GL X that can only be fully utilized in certain decks.  All decks have easy access to Catcher.  It’s just that it will change how people think when they build decks.  You won’t much see tech Stage 2’s.  Really, anything with more than one Stage 2 will have issues, I think.

    But, it will just change the face of the format a bit.  Quick agile decks will rule until something comes out to help the Stage 2s.  Everyone will adjust and it won’t seem like a huge deal.  The real problem is for people that have been playing/working with decks that can’t adjust.  Then they’ll have to switch decks to compete, but that’s not a big issue.

  • Quarter-Turn

    Anyone think Cinccino will be big? I do. It can utilize Ninetails and can hit hard and fast. Catcher will make it viable, as long as the right techs/counters are included.

    • Ed

      I think he can be good, but his 90HP is his downfall.  If you can get over that, he can go to work.  He will get KO’d, so you need to come up with a way to have another Cinccino (or some other attacker) ready to go whenever that happens.  Defender (or something of that sort) might be something to look into.

    • Anonymous

      I am also really liking Cinccino right now. I have a list with Cinccino/Zoroark. It is very fast and provides consistent damage output. You have to take the first prize though, or else you likely lose.

      • Ed

        Are you guys testing with proxied Catcher, now?