Pikkdogs Pikks Three: Zekrom EX, Black Belt, and Empoleon DE

by Pikkdogs ~ April 12th, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with a Pikk Three article.  Right now in the Pokemon world people are looking towards Spring Regionals.  After that there is the release of the Dark Explorers set, so that is all very exciting.  But, we are still kind of in a slow period for a couple more days waiting till Regionals comes our way, so why don’t we do a Pikk Three article?  Now it is time for my extra-dimensionary sidekick Pedro to start us off with a news article.  Why don’t you talk about sports today Pedro?

Okay sounds good, I can do a sports thing.  This is a busy time for sports we just got over a busy weekend with the opening day of baseball, and the Masters.  But, what has been capturing a lot of the attention has been the scandal in Arkansas over head football coach Bobby Petrino.  Petrino was fired this week for inappropriate behavior with a staff memeber.  He was in a motorcycle accident two weekends ago, fortunately he was able to recover with only minor injuries.  The intrigue started when the police report stated that he was riding on his motorcycle with a 25 year-old ex-volleyball player.  Petrino did admit that there was a young woman at the scene of the crash, he just forgot to mention that that woman was the same woman who he was having coitis with outside of his marriage.  So now Petrino is involved in a cheating scandal.  What are your thoughts about this Pikkdogs?

Well, he shouldn’t be having an affair, but if he must, a volleyball player is the way to go.

Agreed, basketball players are too masculine. 

No doubt that volleyball players are the sexiest athletes.  Tennis players aren’t that far behind, but you can’t argue with those tight shorts.

Except the beach volleyball players, they get too sweaty. 

Any more news about Petrino?

It seems that he isn’t the only who is channeling their inner Bill Clinton.  The person who he was having coitis with, Jessica Dorrel, is engaged to be married.  You can still go to their wedding website and buy them some gifts from their gift registry. 

Is there a hoe on the list?

No.  But you can buy them a set of wine glasses.

Well, I could, but that wouldn’t suggest that she is promiscuous.

I think she did that herself.

Agreed, start the article!

Card #1-The Staple-Zekrom EX

Description– Zekrom EX is a 180 HP basic EX Lightning Pokemon with a 3 retreat cost and a fighting weakness.  It has two attacks.  “Glinting Claw” costs LCC and does 50 damage plus a chance at 30 more with a coin flip.  “Disaster Volt” does 150 damage for LLCC and requires a 2 energy discard.

Analysis

Zekrom EX was of course released in the Next Destinies set, and has been one of the most played EX cards.  Maybe it didn’t have the hype that Mewtwo EX did, but it did have about as much success as Mewtwo did at States Tournaments.  It saw the most played in the Zekrom and Eels deck.  This was a lightning hodgepodge deck that used Eelektrik for energy acceleration.  Some of the more popular attackers in this deck are Zekrom BW, Zekrom EX, Thundurus, and Zapdos ND.  It was a very popular deck in States 2012, grabbing the most number of outright victories.

Before we get too far into analysis, let us look at the stats of this card.  180 HP is the best in the format for EXs, so that is really good.  The retreat cost could be better, but the rest of the card makes up for the sub-par retreat cost.   The fighting weakness is not great, but it is manageable.  Donphan Prime has fell out of favor among players, and the only real fighting Pokemon left is Terrakion NV.  Terrakion is usually a Pokemon that you can deal with by an early attack and the use of Pokemon Catcher.  So the stats as a whole are really good.

As mentioned, Zekrom EX had a lot of success in its short lifespan.  It may or may not have been the most important card in the current Zekrom deck, but it certainly has a major impact on the deck.  It is the card that can put the hammer down on the defending Pokemon.  150 damage is a whole heck of a lot of damage, it may not be the most damage ever recorded, but it is more than enough to knock most Pokemon out right now.  Whenever this card hits the field we know that what happens to it will probably decide the game.  It is a hugely impactful card that is one of the most feared right now.

The bad part of the card is of course the drawbacks that are inherent to most EX Pokemon, the high retreat cost and the 2 prize penalty at knockout.  Although Zekrom EX is great, it is hard every time you have to give up an extra prize.  Every time that Zekrom EX hits the field, there is a chance that it could cost you the game rather than helping you win it.  You must think really hard whenever you drop this card, because an extra prize could go a long way in a close game.

Final Rating–  8/10–  It is not the best card in the format, and there are some serious things wrong with this card.  But, its success speaks for itself.  It can be a very powerful card for you if you can use it right.

Card #2- The Underdog-Black Beltblack belt

Description-Black Belt is a supporter card that lets you do 40 extra damage when you are losing the prize battle.

Analysis-Black Belt came out in the Triumphant set.  When the card came out, SP decks were ruling the format with Gyrados trailing not too far behind.  Black Belt was thought of as a one of card that could be used in every deck to take an important prize card when you really need it.  It was especially useful with VS Seeker, because you could use it or discard it, and then use it whenever you really need it.  After the hype of the Triumphant set wore away, Black Belt fell out of favor.  Once in a while it would pop up in a rogue deck, but for the most part it wasn’t played until the Durant deck came out.

Durant does sometimes play Black Belt.  The Durant player could tech in an attacker like Cobalion, and do up to 120 damage in a single turn, something that Durant could never do without Black Belt.  It is a nice card to tech in when Durant is playing a deck that can knock out Durants easily.  There is a good chance that taking out just 1 attacker could play big part in the game, because most Durant counters are ran only as a one of card.

Black Belt is a good card because nobody expects it.  It is so important to estimate how much damage your opponent can do next turn, but nobody factors in Black Belt.  If you would tech this card into your deck, you will take your opponent by surprise.  It is especially important now because of the two prize card giving EX cards.  An EX knock-out out of nowhere will really change the shape of a game.  So if you are looking for a card that will give you a surprise advantage for only a 1 card slot investment, Black Belt can be a good card to insert into almost any deck.

The bad part of Black Belt is that it is a card that is only useable in certain situations.  If you get the card early game, it is basically a dead card.  And, if you have to discard it with Juniper, Sage’s Training, or Junk Arm; it is now gone forever.  Black Belt will only help you if you get it late in the game when you are trailing in prizes.  You just can’t expect the card to stay in the deck that long and to come in to play exactly when needed, it really does not help your consistency.  Consistency is very important in this game, and this card seems to go against this principle.

Final Rating6.75/10– This is a good card for this format because it works and your opponent is not expecting it.  It is a card that will take your opponent by surprise and perhaps when you a game or two in the course of along tournament like Regionals.  But, it is not without its drawbacks.

Card #3- The Young Gun-Empoleon DE

Description

One of the cards that is expected to be in the Dark Explorers set that caught my eye the most is Empoleon.  There hasn’t been an Empoleon in the game since the Platinum set (unless you count Empoleon FB, which if you do, you are probably crazy), so the format is due for a cool Empoleon card.

It is a 140 HP Stage 2 Water Pokemon with a lightning weakness and a two retreat cost.  It has a cool Ability and a cool attack.  The Ability is called “Diving Draw”, and it lets you discard one card to draw 2 cards from the top of your deck.  The attack is expected to be called “Attack Command”.  It cost 1 water energy, and does 10 damage for the amount of Pokemon in play.  This makes it like a Jumpluff, but with more HP and a built in draw engine.

Analysis

Let us start with the basics.  140 HP is decent for a stage 2, even though some EXs can one shot it.  The lightning weakness is fairly terrible, because the Zekrom deck is one of the most played decks in the current format.  Any deck that solely relies on Empoleon will not do that well because it will be auto-loss to Zekrom.  The 2 retreat cost is not great, but it is what is expected from a stage 2 Pokemon.

The Poke-Power is very interesting.  There is currently no Pokemon that is played a lot that has a built in draw engine.  The fact that you need to discard one card from your hand probably is not a huge deal, in fact, it could be a good thing.  Perhaps Zekrom decks will play it so it will be easy to attach energies with Eelektrik.  It could also be played with rogue cards like Steelix Prime.  The ability to draw 2 cards is not amazing, but it is very good if you plan to attack with Empoleon.

This brings us to the attack.  I think that the attack is actually fairly good.  For just one energy you can do up to 120 damage!  The effectiveness of the attack will vary based on the deck you are playing against.  A Zekrom deck will probably get you 120 damage, whereas a Terrakion deck may only get you 80 damage.  Being able to attack for only 1 energy is always great, and if you splash Empoleon into another deck, you can still use it to attack with only one Rainbow Energy.  But, the attack probably is not good enough to base an entire deck around.

So if you probably should not build an entire deck around Empoleon, what will Empoleon be played in?  I don’t know for sure, but it seems like it has some promise.  For just a 2-1-2 line, Empoleon can be a draw engine and a secondary attacker.  I think it can make a real difference in a deck.  But, I don’t know which deck it will be in.  It might just be in a rogue deck, but I think it should see some kind of play.

The bad parts of Empoleon have to do with speed.  Most decks right now rely on basics or Stage 1 Pokemon, really fast decks and Pokemon lines.  Empoleon is a lot slower, so it will probably get ripped apart before it can be evolved.  So, it should not be a primary attacker.  However, I do think that it could be a secondary attacker.  This is because it is a decent draw engine without being that much of a Pokemon Catcher target.  If someone does use Pokemon Catcher on it, they will need to be a lightning Pokemon to get an easy KO on it.  If they want to stall with Empoleon active, you can just attach a Rainbow Energy and hit for up to 120 damage.

Final Rating7/10–  I am not sure if this card will be all that great, but I do see a lot of promise here.  I think it can be a good tech in some decks as a draw engine.  It is always great to draw more cards and increase consistency.  It is weak to Zekrom, but Empoleon could be in the format long after the Zekrom deck falls out of favor. I could see this deck doing well.

Okay, that is all for me, do you have a news story to end the article Pedro?

Sure, according to The New York Press, a boy in China has sold his kidney for an IPad and an Iphone. 

What does he use to pay for the monthly charges?  Teeth?

I don’t know, back to the story.  This story highlights two major problems in China, the poor wages that laborers are paid, and the amount of people that need organ transplants. It is assumed that over 1.5 million people need transplants, while only 10,000 operations are preformed each year.   The boy, who is identified as Wang,  had the transplant preformed in the black market without the consent of his parents.

Well, I can relate to that.

You have sold your organs on the black market?

No, I let my Wang do the thinking for me.

Sounds about right.  Good night everybody.

Category: Pikks Three | Tags: , ,
  • Anonymous

    Yay for Empoleon!

    Empoleon is a cool card, but unfortunately there are too many big basics in this format for it to work.

    The one way it could work is with about 3 Terrakion to cover the weakness, or possibly Mew Prime (Although if you’re gonna play it with Mew, why would you play Empoleon over Jumpluff when Jumpluff has 2 attacks?).

    • definitively right on the fact that empoleon won’t be competitive. jumpluff would be a better option in meesiemew.

  • I can’t see Empoleon becoming popular until two things happen —

    1) Electric decks die out.  This isn’t happening anytime soon, and you mentioned it in the article.
    2) Someone has at least 8-9 free spaces (2-1-2 line plus candies) in an otherwise competitive deck.  Which probably just isn’t going to happen, period.

    But it is certainly an interesting idea.

    • yeah. the eels are not going away any time soon, and if they do, ZZPST EX (zekrom/pachi/shaymin/terrakion/zekrom ex) will rise. cool option for zpst ex: replace shaymin with octillery/oddish/anything starting with an o, and you get ZZ Top EX!

  • Anonymous

    Why has this site turned from a pokemon website to a pokemon/celebrity gossip website?

    • Ed

      Because celebrities are hotter than Pokemon?

    • Anonymous

       hey I resent that, its not that at all.  Its a Pokemon/Celebrity Gossip/Chinese Boys Selling Their Kidneys for Iphones Site.