Should There Be a Rotation?

by Pikkdogs ~ May 30th, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here, today we will be talking about the possible rotation that may happen in late August.  A rotation can be a scary thing, especially for newer players, but in this article we will analyze why it can be a good thing.  The rotation is something that is fairly complicated, so let’s talk about that later after we talk to my extra-dimensional sidekick Pedro. How’s Pedro doing today?

Oh doing well.  Enjoying the lovely spring/summer weather.  You probably want me to do a news story to kick things off.  Okay, today’s news comes from the world of literature.  Today is the anniversary of the release of Bram Stocker’s most famous work, “Dracula.”  Do you like the Dracula Pikkdogs?

Oh, love the Dracula quite a good book.

Dracula is very badass, lot’s better than the twinky vegetarian vampires that are in popular culture today. 

Yeah, Dracula much better than the Twilight vampires.

But, it is pretty stupid that he is weak to garlic.

I don’t know, when I’m around girls and garlic, it doesn’t work out for me.

I guess.

I think its very weird how vampires have been turned into sex symbols.  Dracula was originally modeled after the Romanian Emperor Vlad the Impaler who was known to deter invaders by impaling captives on wooden stakes.  This process involves putting a live human on the ground, and then shoving a large piece of wood up the rectum of the victim until the wood reaches his neck.  Doesn’t sound very sexy to me.

Depends what turns you on I guess. 

I guess.

Background on Rotations

Pokemon is a game that relies on rotations.  While other games ban random cards at random times, Pokemon cycles out sets based on the amount of time they are in the format.  Rotations are a good thing because they keep the game fresh by getting rid of older cards that we have played with for years while freeing up space for newer cards.  Yes, that does mean your older cards will lose value, but that is what has to happen.  Just like living things, Pokemon cards have a life cycle and will eventually die.  Rotations are not bad for the format, they help make it exciting.  But, if you rotate too much or not enough, it could have an adverse effect on the format.

The 2010 rotation was perhaps the most important rotation, because it gave us some info into how Pokemon figures out the rotation.  After months of speculation, Pokemon revealed in June 2010 that they would rotate 4 sets out of the format, so that the format would contain 9 sets and then would increase to 13 sets once all the new sets had been released.  One weird thing in this announcement was that they said that they had told us the 9 to 13 rule last year, and implied that they were curious as to why there was any talk about what the rotation would be.  This was weird because no one ever remembered or found any information about them telling us this the year before, but I guess that’s just how a big company works.

In 2011, they seemed to put their 9-13 rule that they assure that they told us about aside as they announced a smaller rotation.  This left us with a Platinum on format.  This of course happened in August after Worlds, and we had this format until June of 2011.

In June they announced a rules change and a mid season rotation.  The rules changed and an abundance of wins from SP decks made the mid season rotation necessary.  It was a good change for the format, it was just done in a sloppy way.  The rotation took down the whole Platinum block, leaving us with a HGSS-on format. This is the same format that we have now, because there was no regular rotation at the end of last season.

So here we are through present day.  Why did we take that walk down memory lane?  We did it to see if there was any kind of method to Pokemon’s madness.  The truth is, there really is none.  Pokemon may claim that they always followed a certain rotation and that we are the crazy ones, like they tried in 2010, but this is not true.  Pokemon rotates the sets out based on many factors, and we can’t just say that, “9 sets is a good number, let’s chop off sets until we get to 9.” We have to look at each set that is in jeopardy of being cut and see how that would effect things.  We also need to check out what is coming in on the horizon to see if anything there would either conflict with something in the current format, or possibly replace something that could rotate out.

The HGSS, What Needs to Be Rotated.

Since most people agree that Black and White should stay in the format, we will only be looking at the HGSS sets.  It is possible that one set could go, or all of them could.  The only way we can find out which sets should stay or go is to go set by set.

Heart Gold Soul Silver

Noteable Cards-Jumpluff, Typhlosion Prime, Feraligatr Prime, Pokemon Collector, Fisherman, Pokegear 3.0, Rainbow Energy, Blissey Prime, Donphan Prime.

Analysis– So let’s go through these cards and see if any of these cards are either ready to go, or too important to lose.  First we have Jumpluff, he was great in the past, but not any more. He has outlived his usefulness, he should go.  Typhlosion Prime is a great card that made up the Reshiphlosion deck that was popular up until a couple months ago.  Typhlosion Prime is great, but it too has outlived its usefulness, it can go.  Feraligatr, Blissey Prime, and Donphan Prime each had a use in the past.  Donphan is arguably the most successful non-trainer in the entire set.  But, all of these cards are no longer used, so they can go.  Now we just have the trainers.  Pokemon Collector is the big problem here.  This card gets you 3 basics, there is no real replacement for this card.  If needed, the format can survive with just Dual Ball and Level Ball, but it would hurt to lose Pokemon Collector.  Fisherman was a  decent supporter, but it is  not used that much.  If it left the format nobody would miss it.  Pokegear 3.0 is used a lot.  I would say that the format would suffer without it, but we now have Random Reciever, which does basically the same thing, but you don’t have any control of what supporter you get with it.  This would be a big deal if Collector were in the format, but since they are in the same set they will go together.  So, Random Receiver will pick up where Pokegear 3.0 left off no problem.  Rainbow Energy is a card that has been in the format forever, way before HGSS was released.  It is kind of like Switch, Pokeball, and Potion, they are cards that we always think will be around.    But, if Rainbow Energy is not reprinted soon, it could be lost.  We do have Prism Energy which is like Rainbow Energy for basics, so if we lost Rainbow it wouldn’t be the end of the world.  It just would feel a little weird.

So, with HGSS we do not see a lot of over powering cards, so there is no problem there.  The only problem is that we have nothing to replace Pokemon Collector, and we might want to do that.  The format can survive without Collector, it just would be less consistent and more BBP (Big Basic Pokemon) focused.


Noteable Cards– Jirachi, Shaymin, ERL, Kingdra Prime, Steelix Prime, Ursaring Prime, Lanturn Prime, Tyranitar Prime, Crobat Prime, ERL, Engineer’s Adjustments, Interviewer’s Question, Judge, and Life Herb.

Analysis– The first card we will talk about is Shaymin.  Shaymin has since seen its playability drop a little in the past months, but it is still a very playable card.  If it leaves the format there will be people who miss it.  But, it is not one of the best cards in the format, and I don’t think it needs to be rotated to save the format.

The next group of Pokemon cards are all good cards, but they are all cards that have lost their use.   The Primes all once had a decent place in the format, but have fallen out of favor.  Whether Kingdra Prime is in the format or not will not really effect any forseeable format, so we can take the Primes out of the discussion.

Like the Primes, the UL trainers are good but have fallen out of favor.  When Yanmega Prime was popular, Judge was one of the best cards in the format.  Now, Judge is just something you keep in the binder, or use it in your practice decks as an N.  The same with Engineer’s and Interviewer’s.  Life Herb is in the same boat with Rainbow Energy.  It may not be a great card, but it has been in the format nearly since the game started, so it will be hard to imagine a format without it.

If we look at this set as a whole, I see no problem with rotating it.  We do lose some rogue cards and some cards that were once good and could be good again, but it does seem to be time for these cards to go.  Shaymin is the only card that would really have an impact on the format if it left.

What a coincidence. "Fuzzy was a Noozle" is the title of my autobiography.


Noteable Cards– Dodrio, Mismagius, Vileplume, Rotom, Weavile, Raichu Prime, Scizor Prime, RDL.

Analyis– Undaunted is where we start getting into cards that really effect the current format, but most of them have been reprinted in Call of Legends.  So, let’s see what is left in this se that was not reprinted.

Dodrio, Weavile, Mismagius, and Vileplume are currently all tech cards that I have seen people use in this format.  They are not popular choices, but if they leave, we will see a direct effect on the rogue decks of today.

Raichu and Scizor Prime are on the fringes of being playable.  If they go away we will lose some rogue choices, but nothing great.

Undaunted didn’t have a lot of cards that effect the format, but it does have a couple rogue cards.


Noteworthy Cards– Spiritomb, Ditto, Sharpedo, Electrode Prime, Celebi Prime, Absol Prime, Gengar Prime, Machamp Prime, Magnezone Prime, Mew Prime, Yanmega Prime, Blackbelt, Junk Arm, Seeker, Twins, Rescue Energy.

Analysis– If you thought we hit some big cards in Undaunted, you haven’t seen anything yet.  Triumphant is a very impactful set and we would miss it if it goes.

This set does have some cards that were once good like Gengar Prime, Yanmega Prime, Rescue Energy, and Electrode Prime.  It doesn’t matter if they are rotated, Gengar and Yanmega are done in this format.  We might miss Rescue Energy a little, but with Evolutions not being that big anymore and with out loss of Broken Time Space, Rescue Energy has outlived its usefulness.

There are also some cards that are just rogue choices like Spiritomb, Ditto, and Sharpedo.  If these guys go, I don’t think anybody will be crying about it.  I’m still waiting for Sharpedo to be good, but I think that ship has sailed.

Mew Prime, Absol Prime, Black Belt, Twins, and Seeker would also leave the format with this rotation.  These are not cards that are staples in the current format, but they are cards that will have a small effect on the format.  Mew Prime has had a couple recent decks feature him.  Absol Prime is in a lot of Dark Deck versions.  The trainers, Black Belt, Twins, and Seeker, are useful in the format, but mostly as rogue choices.  They would be nice to have in the format, but would not ruin it if they go.

What would impact the format would be the loss of Celebi Prime and Junk Arm.  Celebi Prime is a very important piece of one of the best decks in the format.  If Celebi leaves the format, CMT is gone, and if CMT is gone then the whole format gets re-aligned.  I know that Mewtwo would still function without Celebi, but it would be very different and that would change the format.

Junk Arm is perhaps the best card in the format.  Every deck runs 4 copies, and it almost always ends up deciding a close game.  It is a great card that has altered how he imagine the game.  With Junk Arm we have decks with just a few Pokemon and a lot of trainers.  If we lose Junk Arm we no longer can count on all of these great trainers, so we might have to build our decks a lot differently.  The whole landscape would change if we lose Junk Arm.

So, Pokemon should rotate Triumphant at their own risk.  It is a set that is full of impactful cards, the format would be very different without it.

Call of Legends

Noteworthy Cards– Jirachi, Pachirisu, Mr. Mime, the babies, Dual Ball, Professor Elms Training Method, Research Record, Profoessor Oak’s New Theory, Special Darkness Energy, Copycat, and Sage’s Training .

Analysis– Call of Legends was a joke set when it was released.  It had Lost World, which turned out to be a miserable failure, and then a bunch of reprints.  We did get a cool Pachirisu card, but for the most part the set was a major flop.  I’m sure in a couple years there will be landfills full of CL packs.  But, when taken in context of pure value of what the set contains, this set is great.  It’s just that all the good cards are reprints of other cards currently in the set.  This was bad for competitive play, but it could be good for rotation if we wanted to keep some good cards like PONT still in the format.  Here is a more indepth look at the set.

We start the set off with a bunch of cards that have fallen out of favor.  Jirachi, Pachirisu, and the Baby Pokemon all had great careers in the past year.  Jirachi was a great counter to the stage 1 deck, Pachirisu was the MVP of the Zekrom deck, and the Baby Pokemon (mainly Cleffa) made everything work during Nationals last year.  But, they all have seen there play drop off and are no longer out there right now.  Pachirisu will always have a rogue place in any format, and some people may still like Cleffa, but for the most part these cards are dead and we can move on.

Then we come into some rogue cards that had some success, but not a lot.  These cards are Mr. Mime, Professor Elm’s Training Method, and Research Record.  Mr. Mime was only good in Lostgar, Elm’s was good in decks with high evolution counts, and Reserach Records used to be good in a deck with Electrode Prime.  But, these days Lostgar is dead, evolutions are too slow, and Electrode Prime has found its way into the binder.  There is no reason to save these cards, they can go.

Sage’s Training may not be as popular today as it was about a year ago, but it is still a very popular supporter.  There are actually not a lot of great supporters around, and if we lose Sage’s it will slow the game down.  Not by a lot, but some decks won’t be able to do what they would previously be able to.

We also have the reprint of Copycat in this set.  Copycat was a card that in the days of HGSS everybody good seeemed to play.  We didn’t know why the good players played it, and it didn’t seem like a good card, but they did play it.  Eventually Juniper and PONT replaced it, but it is still a rogue card that has seen some play this year.  It was most often used when Yanmega Prime was good, but now it would not be missed if it left. 

And of course, what will these Zorark and Darkrai decks be today without Special Darkness Energy.  This card has been around forever, how could we lose it now when Dark Decks are finally doing well?  It would be a huge blow against dark decks if this card goes out and is not replaced.

What can we say about PONT and Dual Ball?  PONT is one of the best cards in the format, and is needed for any kind of consistent decks.  4 of them are needed in every deck right now.  If we lose PONT, decks will get a lot less  consistent and games will get slower and more luck  based.  Dual Ball is very popular right now, but it could be very popular if we lose Pokemon Collector.  Dual Ball is used in a lot of decks that rely on BBP, it is almost as important as Pokemon Collector.  And, if we lose both Collector and Dual Ball, than we really are scrwed.  All consistency goes out the window and it is very hard to get the Pokemon you want and hard to evolve.

Although it is one of the most hated sets ever, Call of Legends could be a very important set if other sets get rotated.  We need cards like Dual Ball, PONT, and Special Darkness Energy to have the decks we currently have.  If we lose these cards the current format will change a lot.

What Is Coming Up

There is only one set that is released in Japan that is not released here, that is Dragon Blade/Dragon Blast.  I half expected to see a lot of cards that replace some of the cards that we could see gone in the rotation, and we do get a couple, but for the most part those replacement cards are not there.

Rainbow Energy does not get a reprint, but it gets cut into pieces.  Blend Energy is going to be the replacement for Rainbow.  There are two cards called Blend Energy.  The first one provides one unit of Fighting, Water, Lightning, and Metal.  The second Blend Energy provies one unit of psychic, fire, grass and dark.  This does add a different component to the game.  No longer can one energy stand for all kinds of energy, but we do (probably) have the ability to run 4 copies of each type of Blend Energies.  So there are some give and takes, but it is  a decent replacement.

The only other card that gets a replacement is Rescue Energy.  Rescue Energy gets a replacement in Rescue Scarf.  Scarf does the same thing, but it just does it in tool form instead of energy form.

We do not have a great drawing/hand refresh supporter in the future, and we do not have a Pokemon Collector replacement.  The future does look bleak for conistency if we get a large rotation.

Do We Need a Rotation At All?

I just gave you about a 3,000 word article about rotation, and I haven’t really gotten to the point yet,  but all this talk has been for nothing.  I don’t know if we really need a rotation.  There is not one card in the current format that is dominating things, besides maybe Pokemon Catcher (and a rotation would not fix that) so I do not see a big reason to rotate.

The only card that is up for rotation that is overpowering is Junk Arm.  We do have a trainer centered format, and that is due to the greatness of Junk Arm.  Is Junk Arm bad for the format?  I don’t think so.  It does create a strange format, but I don’t think it is a bad format.  I think we could live with Junk Arm.

We currently have 10 sets in the format, that is just one more than Pokemon once said that it wanted to have in a format come September.  So we do not have a large format right now, it is still fairly small for being so late in the season.  So there is really no reason to rotate based on the number of cards in the format.  Going from 10 sets to 14 wouldn’t be that bad, especially considering that one set is full of reprints of the previous 4.

The biggest reason that we might need a rotation is to catch up with Japan.  For some reason Japan has gone to a BW-on format, and Worlds would be quite weird if we didn’t sync up format-wise.  But, given that only a very very very small percentage of players will be going to Worlds this year, I don’t see why we need to change the format for the benefit of just a few players.  The majority of Pokemon players will not go to worlds and will be happy with a smaller rotation or no rotation at all.  I don’t think we need to change everything just for Japan, even though it would be nice to be on the same page.

My Recommendation

Now it is time to go out on a limb and recommend a strategy for rotation.  This is hard for me to say because I don’t really have a very strong opinion.  But, my policy with rotation is that you shouldn’t rotate it if there is no good reason to.  And I don’t there is any reason for a rotation.  We can’t really get rid of any of the overpowered cards like Pokemon Catcher, Eelektrik, or Mewtwo EX; so it is hard to reccomend a rotation based on that.  We also have an optimum number of sets in the format, so you can’t say the format is too large, it is actually just right.  There are also not many good cards coming are way that will replace some of the great cards that we will lose.

So I think after analyzing everything, I conclude that we should not have a rotation this year.  Last year’s rotation was extra large and extra painful, we don’t need another rotation to mess things up.  If this were a real Pokemon site and not a crappy place where a drunk guy misspells things, I would tell Pokemon to not rotate this year.  Ther is simply no reason.

Please feel free to leave your comments on this subject.  I know this is a hot topic right now, so I want to hear what you guys think of it.   Okay Pedro, come in here and finish this thing up.

Alright, we will end this article with some news from the world of travel.  The travel department at (who knew they had one?) is reccomending that vacationers go and see forts and battle sites that were involved in the War of 1812 since it is now the Bicentennial of the war.  You are a big history buff Pikkdogs, what battle sites are you going to see?

Well, I would like to go and visit some landmarks, but I am poor so I can’t.  I do appreciate the War of 1812.  It gave the U.S. many things like our National Anthem, the heroics of the U.S.S. Constitution, it made the career of future presidents Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison, it also gave us the Johnny Horton song “The Battle of New Orleans.”

Hey Pikkdogs, did you know that Johnny Horton married the widow of Hank Williams Sr.?

I did not.  Interesting bit of trivia.  I do love the Hank Williams.  He was the original outlaw of country music.

You are kinda like the Hank Williams of Pokemon. 

No, I’m just drunk, I would have to be both drunk and good to be the Hank Williams of Pokemon.  I’m more like the Lindsy Lohan of Pokemon.

Except you don’t have nice boobs. 

Ooooo, thanks for that segway.  Now we can show a picture of Lindsay Lohan’s boobs.

Good Night everybody.


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