Pikkdogs Top 10 Cards of 2011

by Pikkdogs ~ December 28th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with a year end count down for you.  Christmas Day has come and gone, Boxing Day is all boxed up, and  New Years Day is well within sight.  It is again time to look at my year end top 10 list.  In this list I will rank the top 10 cards that were released in 2011 based on their playability this year, their predicted playability in different formats to come, and the wildcard factor.  The wildcard factor is something that can’t be measured playability wise, it could encompass things like popularity, card art, and how much hype it received.  You will see three scores in the ratings, and the rankings and final rating will be based on an average of the three. Since we have a reprint set in this years rankings, I need a policy for reprints.  The policy for reprints will be that I will ignore them unless I judge that the reprint added significant value to the card. I will slightly discriminate against Noble Victories since it just came out and couldn’t effect the format like Black and White.

We have had four sets come out this year.  The first set was Call of Legends, the reprint set that came out as the last Heart Gold Soul Silver set.  The next set was Black and White, the first BW set and the first set to feature generation V Pokemon.  Then we had the first expansion pack to BW, Emerging Powers.  Finally, we ended the year in November with Noble Victories.  Now that we know what the card pool is, let’s get on to the top 10 rankings.

Card #10: Gothitelle

Description– Gothitelle is the cool Item Lock card that came out in Emerging Powers.  It saw significant play in Battle Roads and Fall Regionals.  It was a fairly slow deck, but once it setup many decks could not get a knock out on it.  Using Reuniclus and Blissey Prime, most decks were not able to knock out a Gothitelle once all the stage 2’s were setup.  Although there is no good reason why we can’t still use Gothitelle, it has fell out of favor.

Playability Now– It had a great year and won some Battle Roads causing a lot of trouble along the way.  It was never the BDIF, but it was still a very scary deck to go up against.  8.5

Future Playability– Right now the future looks bleak for Gothitelle.  It is weak to Psychic, and that is lethal when Mewtwo EX is released.  It also had a very disappointing Cities season.  It looks like Gothitelle will be just a rogue choice from here on out.  7

Wild Card Factor– Gothitelle is the only card that item locks the opponent without also locking yourself, so of course it will be cool and popular.  Plus it is based on the story of Lolita, and what’s cooler than Pedophilia?  Okay, while it may not be cool, but having a Lolita like Pokemon is pretty interesting.  Just the Lolita part itself makes the card pretty cool.  8.5

Overall– It was a successful card and brought a new twist to trainer lock while reminding us of Lolita.  Overall, one of the better cards of the year.  8.0

Card #9: Tornadus

Description– Everybody’s favorite Donphan Prime counter is #9 on our list.  Tornadus is a cool and versatile attacker that can use DCE very easily.  It single handidly took a good deck in Zekrom, and made it the best deck around.  With Eviolite out now, Tornadus will probably be around for a while to come.

Playability Now– Donphan Prime is still one of the best cards in the format, and Tornadus is still the best counter.  It did very well in Fall Regionals and Battle Roads.  Although it fell off in playability during Cities, it still had a decent City season.  8.5

Future Playability– Tornadus does not seem to have a place in a format dominated by Mewtwo EX, but we do not know for sure if Mewtwo will be as good as we think it will.  80 for CCC will always be great for a basic with DCE around, so it still will be a good card.  8

Wild Card Factor– Tornadus got a push for being one of the most recognizable legendary Pokemon from the Black and White games.  A lot of people know the Pokemon, and a lot of them like it.  It also had a cool Full Art version that had a lot of different shiny colors.  Having some really cool card art never helps.  8.5

Overall– For being one of the most versatile cards in the format, and solidifying Zekrom, Tornadus deserves to grab the #9 spot.  8.3

Card #8: Super Rod

Description– Probably the 2nd best card to come out this year.  The problem is that nobody seems to care about it since it is a recovery card.  A lot of people play it, but almost nobody likes it.

Playability Now– Just about every good deck that does not play Vileplume does play Super Rod.  It is just hands down the best and most versatile recovery card.  You can play a deck without it, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  9

Future Playability– This card is the kind of card that will always be good.  It is an essential card in this game, and it will always be a good card.  You will always need recovery, and Super Rod is perhaps the best recovery card that we will have in the foreseeable future.  9

Wild Card Factor– This is where the great news for Super Rod goes cold.  It is a great card, but it is not very exciting.  The card is very boring and the art is pretty boring.  Although the card is very playable, the card had no hype, and nobody ever talks about it.  7

Overall– There is nothing not to love about this card.  It has always been a staple, and it will always be a staple.  Lots of good things in the future for this card in 2012.  8.3

Card #7: Professor Juniper

Description– This is probably my favorite card of 2011, Professor Juniper.  I love the ability to draw 7 cards from the top of your deck, it seems like the top 7 cards of your deck will have most of the cards you need.  It is perfect for a format like this that has little draw power from Pokemon.  Sure there are drawbacks to using this card, but for giving you access to so many cards, Professor Juniper is definitely on of the best cards of the year.

Playability Now– Not every deck will run 4 copies of this card, and not every deck will run a couple copies, but I would say that the  majority of decks play at least 2 copies, with most of those decks running 3 or 4 copies.  Some people don’t like it because of the drawbacks, but it is the 2nd most played draw supporter in the format.  So it does get a lot of play.  8.5

Future Playability– I don’t see any change in the playability of this card, it is a cool card that is very useful.  Drawing 7 card will always be good, so I can see lots of playability in the future for Professor Juniper. 9

Wild Card Factor– Professor Juniper is a popular person right now, because she is the featured professor in the Black and White games.  She is also popular because she is the first female professor.  The fact that the card is a reprint of a popular card from the past also helps the popularity of the card.  8

Overall– A very good playable card with a popular character from the video game, makes for a pretty cool card.  8.5

Card #6: Pachirisu

Description– Pachirisu, like Tornadus, was an integral part in one of the best decks this year, Zekrom.  The price of this card skyrocketed since it was released in the Call of Legends set.  It was first thought of as a partner to Raichu Prime in a rogue deck, but it gained speed during Nationals when it was joined with Zekrom and Shaymin.  It was very popular and saw a lot of play during Nationals and after.  The ability to put 2 extra energies on the field is pretty good, and can’t be duplicated by many other Pokemon in this format.

Playability Now– Pachirisu is of course playable in Zekrom and Magnezone decks, and saw a heck of a lot of play.  It was a very playable card throughout the year, the high price of the card is evidence of that.  9

Future Playability– We don’t really know what the future is like for Pachi.  Zekrom will probably still be playable earlier this year, and the same goes for Magnezone.  We don’t really know what will happen with these guys, but we do know that attaching two energies will always be good.  So in the worst case scenario, we will at least see rogue play for Pachirisu.  9

Wild Card Factor– Pachirisu is not a very popular Pokemon, but since the card did  see widespread play this year, Pachi is slowly working its way into more popularity.  The card art is pretty cool for this card though, so that is a plus.  7.5

Overall– Pachi deserves to be on the list for being the best card of Call of Legends, and for being the best energy accelerator in the format.  It was a very popular and well played card in the format, and will always be at least a rogue choice.  8.5

Card #5: Zekrom

Description– Zekrom dominated in 2011, being one of the most played decks at U.S. Nationals, and the best deck of Battle Roads.  It has been really popular since it came out, and probably will still be a good deck in the near future.

Playability Now– If I had to pick one deck that was the best deck of the year after rotation, I would choose Zekrom.  It was very popular at U.S. Nats, but it struggled without a Donphan counter.  After it got Tornadus, it dominated Battle Roads and was a strong force in City Championships.  Nobody that ever chose to play Zekrom made a bad choice, a very good card and deck.  9

Future Playability– Regardless if Zekrom can survive in a format with Mewtwo EX, “Outrage” will always be a really cool attack that will get play.  I think it should still be a good deck with the EX Pokemon, but we are not sure.  8.5

Wild Card Factor– Zekrom was one of the poster boy for the new Pokemon games, so of course he was a popular Pokemon.  He also had a cool Full Art card that had a misprint.  All these facts lead to a Pokemon that had a lot of steam behind it in 2011.  8

Overall– A very playable card combined with a popular Pokemon and a Full Art card is the recipe for a good spot in my top 10 list.  Nobody can argue that Zekrom was one of the best cards of the year.  8.5

Card #4: Eviolite

Description– In my opinion, Eviolite did not get enough hype.  It is probably the 2nd or 3rd best card to come out this year.  Eviolite is a card, like Pokemon Catcher, one that shapes the format.  Eviloite causes decks with basic Pokemon to become a lot more powerful.  With Eviolite, the only way to OHKO a Pokemon is to use weakness.  You just gotta love Eviolite.

Playability Now– Eviolite almost single hand-idly created the 6 Corners deck and the Durant deck.  Without Eviolite, none of those decks would be half as popular.  Eviolite also cemented the playability of cards like Zekrom and Tornadus, and Reshirams failure to use it (using the rogue choice Rocky Helmet instead) set the deck back.   I would not play a deck right now that isn’t full of basic Pokemon unless I was 100% confident with it.  Eviolite is so good that it quietly turned the format on its side.  Just a great card in this format.  The only reason it doesn’t get a 10 rating is because it came out late, and people did not recognize how good it was right away.   8.5

Future Playability– Eviolite is amazing, the weirdest part is that it will only get better in the future.  With a lot of good basic EX cards coming out, like Mewtwo, Eviolite will be an amazing card for many formats to come.  10

Wild Card Factor– It did not receive a lot of hype, the card art looks like a piece of Captain Crunch, and nobody seemed to remember that it was actually an item in the video games.  So the Wild Cart factor was just not there early on, but it did come once people realized how great it is.  7.5

Overall– Just an amazing card, it was not a very popular card, but a great card can overcome those shortcomings.  8.6

Card #3: Cobalion

Description– Touted as a basic Beartic, Cobalion was a very popular card from its release.  It is really good in two decks, 6 Corners and CaKE, and will be one of the two best Mewtwo EX counters.

Playability Now– Even though CaKE and 6 Corners are not the BDIFs right now, they are still really good decks.  Cobalion also sees action in some Durant decks.  All this adds up to a very playable card in some good decks.  8

Future Playability– Should be a really good Mewtwo EX counter, and that will be enough to initially give it a huge playability boost in the next format.  It is slated to be a good card in the new year, and should be a part of some cool decks.  9.5

Wild Card Factor– Cobalion did have a fair amount of hype just before the release of NV.  It also is a member of the legendary Musketeer trio.  And finally, it had a cool Full Art card.  It might not be the most hyped card, the most beloved Legendary, or the best Full Art; but because it does a good job in all three fronts, it gets a good Wild Card rating.  8.5

Overall– Cobalion is a very good card that will be good for a while; that alone gives it the #3 spot on the rankings.  8.6

Card #2: Reshiram

Description– Reshiram grabs the #2 spot on the top 10 list.  It was probably the most popular card at U.S. Nationals, and continued to be a very popular card in Battle Roads and Cities.

Playability Now– It saw a ton of play at U.S. Nationals in Emboar and Typhloison deck.  Reshiphlosion continued to be a great deck during Battle Roads and Cities, while Reshiboar saw some rogue play.  Reshiram also saw play in Donphan and Dragons and 6 Corners.  It was, overall, the most played card since the rotation.  Even though Reshiram decks did not win a lot compared to the amount of play it received, the deck still saw one BOAT LOAD of play. 9

Future Playability– Japan still uses Reshiram in their post Mewtwo EX format, so Reshiram should still be very playable in the future.  It is still a cheap deck that everybody likes, so I think that it will still see play in the future. 8.5

Wild Card Factor-  Reshiram scores high in the Wild Card department for many reasons.  First, it was one of the posterboys for the new Pokemon video games, and that made it a very popular Pokemon.  Next, it had a ton of reprints and a cool Full Art card.  And finally, the card was a part of a really cool and really cheap deck that did really well.  9

Overall– For being a cool card and a popular Pokemon, Reshiram gets the #2 spot on the top ten list.  8.83

Card #1: Pokemon Catcher

Description– There was never any doubt that Pokemon Catcher would be the best card of 2011.  Gust of Wind was the most powerful card of the Base Set, and Pokemon Catcher was just as good in 2011. It totally changed the format when it came in after Emerging Powers, and almost every deck has run 4 copies of it since.

Playability Now– There is no question, it is one of the best cards in the entire format.  It totally changed what decks people play, and effected the game in a profound way.  Of course this card is very playable now.  Every deck except Vileplume decks and maybe Durant, run 4 copies of this card.  And it has become perhaps the #1 way to get a knock out.  It also is the #1 way of providing disruption.  10

Future Playability– This card is great now, and will always be great.  Even though it does not gel well with Mewtwo EX, this card is so good that it will always make a way for itself to be playable.  4 copies of this card will always be the norm.  10

Wild Card Factor– This is one of the most hyped cards of all time, and it no doubt lived up to all of that hype.  Everyone loves Pokemon Catcher for being a great card, and it is a fairly valuable card for being an uncommon.  The hype of this card was amazing, and that is why it gets this high of a score.  9

Overall– The best card of 2011 is Pokemon Catcher.  I don’t think anyone could say any different.  This card is just that good.  There is nothing more that i can say.  9.6


Well that is all for the top 10 list.  I hope you guys liked it.  If you have any additions to the list please leave your thoughts in the comment box.

Since Pedro is not joining me today, I will give you a little update.  Sorry for this article being so late.  Since it is Christmas time I am at home now, and that means I don’t have as much time to devote to writing.  Hopefully things will be back to normal in the new year.  I also want to update my last article, the City wrap up.  It seems like Durant is now one of the best decks in the format!   I don’t have a decklist right now, but hopefully I will get one soon and we can talk about it more in depth soon.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

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