Pikkdogs Pikks Three: Machamp SF, Super Scoop Up, and Vileplume Undaunted

by Pikkdogs ~ July 11th, 2010.

Hello to all members of Omar Nation.  This is your buddy Pikkdogs here to tell you about three cards; one which is a card commonly played, one which I feel is under-rated, and one from a new or un-released set.

It is that time of the year, when the players who’ve had a great season pack up to go to worlds, and when the rest of us test our new post-rotation decks.  I hope all of you out there who are not going to worlds are having a better time at building post-rotation decks then I am.  I’m getting tired of all my decks starting really fast and then stalling out on turn 4 or 5.  But, I guess if success was easy it wouldn’t be as sweet.  So I hope that those of us who are having problems will soldier on and eventually find something that works.  Maybe you will find something while I “Pikk” three.                                          

The Staple- Machamp SF

Description: Machamp is a stage 2 Pokemon with 130 HP, a +30 psychic weakness, a 2 retreat cost and 3 attacks.  His most popular attack is “Takeout,” which does 40 damage for 1 fighting energy and knocks out the defending Pokemon if it is an unevolved Pokemon.  His second attack is called “Hurricane Punch”, costs CC, and does 30 damage times the number of heads once you flip 4 coins.  His final attack  called “Rage”, costs FFCC, and does 60 damage plus 10 more each damage counter on Machamp.

Analysis– Well if you want some versatility and brute force Machamp can give it to you.  Machamp has been a very important card ever since the Platinum series came out and introduced SP Pokemon.  This is because Machamp can knock out every SP Pokemon (except Toxicroak G Pt) for just 1 fighting energy.  Talk about a good SP counter!

Machamp decks, with Flygon RR, did very well at Worlds last year and in this years Fall Battle Roads.  But Machamp had fallen out of favor around Cities last year because of the popularity of Unown g, which can cancel out the effect of “Takeout”.  But now Unown g is getting rotated out of the format, so Machamp is once again a Pokemon to be feared.

But enough with the background and hype, lets look at the basics of the card. 130 HP is about the norm for a stage 2 Pokemon.  And a psychic weakness isn’t a terrible thing to have, but it can hurt against Uxie Lv.X and Toxicroak G Pt.  Its first attack is by far its best.  You can knock out any un-evolved Pokemon for just 1 energy!  So Machamp decks may have a shot at beating Luxchomp decks seeing that they can knock-out almost any Pokemon in the deck for just 1 energy.

Its second are third attacks are for desperate situations, and the Lv.X is nice but requires an experienced player to play correctly.

Final Rating– 8/10- Now that unown G is gone Machamp will have a chance to run around unhindered.  But the loss of Claydol GE could limit his play to only extremely fast decks.  Donphan Prime could be a decent pairing for Machamp in the next format, although games against stage 1 and stage 2 decks could be difficult.

The Underdog: Super Scoop Up

Description– Super Scoop Up (SSU) is a simple trainer card that lets you flip a coin, and if heads return one Pokemon in play to your hand.                      

Analysis– It may be a simple card but it has many uses.  You  could use it with Uxie La to give you deck a more consistent draw.  Secondly, you could use it with Mesprit La to keep up a devastating Power Lock on your opponent (with its “Psychic Bind” Poke Body). A third use is to heal your low or no energy attacker like Donphan, Jumpluff, or Gyarados.  The final major use that I know of is to re-use a Crobat G in a speed deck (such as Shuppet), the ability to use “Flash Bite” again could be just what you need to knock out the defending Pokemon.

The uses are endless, but there is one crucial drawback to the card.  It requires a flip, so if you aren’t lucky you may be wasting valuable spots in your deck.

Final Rating– 7.75/10.  Its a card that can be included in every deck to re-use the Uxie, or to prevent a knockout on that Expert Belted Pokemon that is about to kick the bucket. But it is inconsistent in the fact that sometimes it works and sometimes you roll tails and it doesn’t work.

The Young Gun- Vileplume Undaunted

Note this card has not yet been released so there may be some small translation errors.

Description– Vileplume is a stage 2 Pokemon with 120 HP, a weakness to Psychic, and a 2 retreat cost ( man Vileplume and Machamp have eerily similar stats).  It has an awesome Poke Body named “Allergy Flower”.  This Body prevents you and your opponent from playing any trainers.  It also has one attack named “Dazzle Pollen.”  This attack does 50 damage for GGC and you can flip a coin, if heads it does 20 more damage and if tails the opponents Pokemon is Confused.

Analysis– Vileplume’s Poke Body has been much hyped ever since it was first announced in Japan.  There was some talk of it coming to the U.S. in the Unleashed set, that didn’t happen but it will come in our Undaunted set.  The ability to lock all trainers from the bench is a very impressive ability.  Lets see if we can come up with any combo’s for this card.

The first combo that comes to mind is Bellosom La.  Its “Blend Pollen” attack does 40 damage for GC and an extra 20 damage for each Bellosom and Vileplume you have in play, the attack also lets you flip and if heads you can burn the defending Pokemon.  So if you were to have an active Bellosom and a Vileplume on the bench you can do 80 damage for 2 energies and possibly burn the opponent, while locking trainers.  And, of course if you could get another Vileplume or Bellosom out you could do 100 damage.  But, the drawback is that Bellosom only has 100 HP, so may want to think about Expert Belt or Shaymin Lv.X Ground Forme.  Also, don’t count on using trainers, so max out on Bebe’s Search instead of Pokemon Communication.  Uxie Lv.X also may be a good idea since you can’t use trainers like Pokedex.

This card has huge potential to stop SP decks and speed decks like Donphan.  If used correctly, Vileplume could easily dominate almost any match up you have.  But there are a couple draw backs.

Its Poke Body can be turned off by Dialga G Lv.X’s Pokebody.  Another weakness is that Bellosom isn’t the hardest hitter in town and has fairly low HP.

Final Rating– 8.75/10.  All in all I think this card is worth the hype.  Even if your opponent uses Dialga G Lv.X it could still slow that Luxchomp deck enough to beat it.  And since most decks after rotation will either be SP or be trainer heavy, it is a great metagame counter.

Well thanks again for reading another installment of Pikkdogs “Pikks” Three.  As always you are encouraged to leave you reviews of the card in the comments box.  And if you haven’t already, check out our buddy Jwittz’s new Prof-it website, www.jwittz.com.

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