The Rotation: How it Will Effect Deckbuilding.

by Pikkdogs ~ July 6th, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs with a deck building article for you.  Now that we are all back from Indianapolis and we have lots of aloe on our sunburns, we can start looking towards the next format.  The next format of course will not include any HGSS sets, so we must start thinking of how to build decks with only BW cards.  Before we get going we should say hi to my extra-dimensional sidekick Pedro. How was the Nationals tournament in your dimension Pedro?

Oh pretty good, I looked at your article and mine seemed pretty similar to yours. 

So it was pretty much the same in your dimension?

Well, I guess things were a lot different,  the Pikkdogs in my dimension got a winning record.

Nice, another joke about my record.  Just get going on your news article.

Okay,  well all of us at Onehitko would like to wish everybody a happy belated 4th of July, and a happy Canada Day for those north of the border.  If we don’t get articles out right away these days it is because I am on vacation and I may be not writing as much.  From that news we go over to a news story about sperm.  A woman in California recently sued the FDA because she wants to use a sperm donor that she knows to conceive a child without following the FDA’s policies and going through a sperm donor. 

If only there were a way to get pregnant by a person you know without going through the FDA?

I agree Pikkdogs.  Just having sex with someone seems to be a lot less complicated than suing the government. 

A lot more fun too.  Someone should tell her she can get pregnant by just having sex.

Okay, well we got that case solved.  Let’s move onto the article now. 

How Decks Will Be Different.

The debate about what sort of rotation we should have is over.  Now we should go and see how decks will change with the loss of the HGSS cards.  We will get into how we can replace some of the cards later, but now let’s just talk about how decks are changing on a broader sense.

Decks will change a lot because of the cards that we lost.  The biggest change is that decks will be less trainer focused.  Because we have lost Junk Arm, we can no longer count on having almost any trainer that we need at any time.  That doesn’t mean that Pokemon Catcher will no longer be played, but it does mean that your decks will not be able to rely on trainers anymore.

It is for this reason that I am predicting the end of quad decks.  No more will you be able to have a deck with 40 trainer cards in it, you will need to have a balanced Pokemon line because you can no longer use item cards as efficiently.  We will see the rise of Pokemon techs.  We will again see Pokemon lines going into the 20s instead of about 4.  We will also see more playable Stage 2 lines.  Even though some stage 2 decks were playable this season, the game should slow down enough that most decent stage 2 Pokemon will be playable.

We will not only have to adjust our decks because of the loss of Junk Arm, we will have to adjust them to replace the draw cards that we lost in the rotation. This season we used supporters for our draw power.  PONT and Juniper were the main draw engines for our decks, but with the loss of PONT we can not always rely on supporter draw.  We still will have cards like Juniper, Cheren, and Bianca to draw cards, but those cards may or may not be enough.  Cheren is a nice card and all, but he is no Professor Oak.  You might need to turn to Pokemon based draw like Empoleon DEX to keep your deck fairly fast.  I predict that overall decks will be a little slower, but Pokemon based draw will be more important than it is now.  Perhaps cards like “Double Draw” Virizion will make a comeback.

The vast majority of Pokemon that were popular during U.S. Nationals will still be in the format.  No use replacing Mewtwo EX, Darkrai EX, or Zekrom because they will all be still legal.  But, that doesn’t mean that all types of decks will be the same.  Terrakion decks will have to change and become more versatile.  Vileplume decks will be gone all together, so item locks will not be that important in the new format.  With new ways to get setup and draw, we are bound to see some new Pokemon pop up into competitive play.  Cards like Empoleon, Emboar, and Chandelure are being talked about being possible top tier decks. But, just because Stage 2 decks will see more play does not mean that the era of BBP (Big Basic Pokemon) is over.  Basic Pokemon and Pokemon EX will still be out there and will still do well.

How To Replace Cards

We will be losing some staple cards when the rotation takes place.  This part of the article will focus on how to replace cards that we will lose in August.

Pokemon Collector/Dual Ball

One of the things about the rotation that will hurt us the most is the loss of Basic search.  We can no longer use Dual Ball or Pokemon Collector, so how can we get basics?  The only ways to get basics right now is to use Level Ball, Heavy Ball, or Pokemon Communication/Ultra Ball.  All four of these cards can only grab you one card, and two of them can only grab certain types of Pokemon.  This means it will be harder to get basic Pokemon out, that means getting  a Catcher Kill on a basic will be very important.  Make sure to use Level Ball and Heavy Ball to your advantage.  For example, if you use Klingklang, you might want to run the copies of Kling and Klang that have a three retreat cost so you can search both cards with both Level Ball and Heavy Ball.  This loss of basic search could force you to run either more decks that have basic attackers, or decks that have space to run large Pokemon lines.


As mentioned earlier, right now people use hand refresh/drawing supporters as their main draw engine.  PONT and Sage’s are two of the most used supporters right now, and they will soon be leaving the format.  So how do we replace them?  You could replace them by using Pokemon based draw with Empoleon.  You could try to splash Empoleon into other decks, or try to revive this years Empoleon/Terrakion deck.  I think Empoleon will be a tier 2 or 3 deck in the coming year.  Just having draw ability in a deck is very great and will set it apart from other decks.  Empoleon based decks may not be tier 1 next year, but they will be more popular than they were at the end of this year.  If you don’t want to go to Pokemon based draw, you can try to just use N and Juniper.  N is not a great draw card late-game, but maybe you could also play Cheren or Bianca to try to make up for the loss of PONT.  Supporter cards will not be as good in the draw department this coming year, so decks will slow down a  little bit.  We just need to test things to see what combination of supporters will get your deck pretty fast, or if Empoleon or another drawing Pokemon will be the answer.

Rainbow Energy

Rainbow Energy is now dead.  It has been in the format for a long time.  Rainbow seems like a staple in the game.  It seems to have been in the format forever.  It is kind of like radio, we know that it has not always been here, but nobody can seem to remember a time without it.  Rainbow is gone and it is not coming back.  Instead of having a Rainbow Energy, we are having two different energy cards called Blend Energy.  One card will provide Lightning, Metal, Water, and fighting; while the other will provide grass, dark, psychic and fire.  It is in an easy transition, this could hurt some decks that have some specific combos, but for the most part it shouldn’t be a huge difference.  It may be harder to run Darkrai EX with Zekrom, but those are just wrinkles that we should be able to iron out.  This is an easy transition, losing PONT is harder for us, but we should be able to replace Rainbow with Blend easier.

Those are a couple cards that we might be able to replace.  We will lose some cards like Shaymin and Special Dark that we cannot replace, but that will happen with any rotation.  However, we will always need to have a draw engine and how to search Pokemon, those are the two things that we will need to figure out how to do in this new format.


Well, that is about all I have to say about this topic.  I hope you guys have good luck in finding a way to make your post rotation deck.  Now before we go we should let Pedro lead us out with a news story.

Alright, today’s news story is about the city of Paris.  Today it celebrates its 2,050th birthday.  So happy birthday Paris.  Have you been to Paris Pikkdogs? 

Can’t say I have.  Though I think it would be a lot like New York but with more baguettes instead of pizzas.

Did you know Pikkdogs that Paris was named after the Gaulish tribe Parisii?

Nope, I did not.

Well, it was.  It was a proud tribe in the late Roman Empire period who was known for their large numbers of mimes that like to smoke and surrender large tracts of land. 

I think you are just making things up now.

Yeah probably, but that’s all I got.  Happy birthday Paris!


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