Now that we’ve gone over some of the basic terminology of the TCG we can finally get into some of the more complex and advance strategies and news bits. One of the biggest changes to come out of the TCG this season is the adjustments to some game mechanics prior to the release of the XY expansion of the set.
Turn One Changes
Turn one, or T1 as it’s commonly called, is very big for certain decks as it allowed for huge changes for big turn one leads. One classic example is a Landorus EX Deck which hinges on using the Hammerhead to deal 30 damage to the Active Pokemon and then 30 to a Benched Pokemon. This strategy would lead to having a huge lead on decks that revolved around using Stage 1 or 2 Pokemon to set up because now in when the other player takes their T1 they’re stuck with a total of 60 damage on the board and in a potential T2 loss.
The new T1 rules change the order of events to: Flip for deciding who goes first, draw cards and set up prizes, play down basic Pokemon Face Down. Then the player who goes first takes their turn as normal but the main difference is that now they can’t attack. This change nerfs primarily Landorus EX as well as Kyurem PF because of their huge T1 potentials. Of course this isn’t a huge deal for Blastoise decks which really need T2 to set up because of the Evolution rule (can’t evolve Basic Pokemon the same turn they are placed on the field) but it is making a lot of players rethink their Plasma decks as well as other T1 based decks.
The introduction of any new Pokemon game will inevitably introduce a new Professor and Scymore is that new Professor. Typically in Pokemon TCG you are allotted four of any card with the same name excluding Basic Energy cards. However it just so happens that Professor Juniper and Scymore’s card share’s the same effect of discarding your whole hand and drawing seven new cards. Because these cards’ effects are the exact same it has been ruled that you can not have both in the same deck meaning you can’t have any combination of each to make up the four card limit rule.
This change actually makes the most amount of sense to me. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to draw all their cards in few of decking themselves out. If you have no cards left in your deck when you draw then your opponent automatically wins. Essentially if you were allowed eight copies of the same card in the deck you would be drawing at least a massive 28 cards assuming you played each and every card in your hand before playing the either of the Professor cards. In short this change makes complete sense from a player’s perspective.
This Item Card was once coveted as one of the most important and powerful cards in the format. It’s ability allows you to pull in a Pokemon from your Opponent’s Bench to the Active Position. This had become a staple in all the high tier decks as it allowed for easy Knock Outs or stalling of the opponent’s big Pokemon. Recently in the Plasma Blast set Nintendo decided that it was time to reprint the card because of the cycling in of new sets. Since it’s reprint we’ve seen the Catcher, as it is commonly called, become a rare commodity to common household card. It’s ability no longer restricted to the top tier players it’s understandable that many professional players were upset at this change.
Well they’ve got one more reason to be upset as the third rule being implemented alters the Pokemon Catcher for professional play. Now whenever a Catcher is played that player must flip a coin. On Heads play the Catcher as usual, on Tails nothing happens. Now clearly this adds a huge level of risk now with the Catcher because if your win revolves on pulling up a weak Pokemon for a Knock Out then obviously there’s a lot of chance involved. What this change is promoting is the diversity of a deck rather than having it rely on the four Catcher cards in a deck for a win. Personally I think this will add a huge level of strategy as well as nerfing one of the cards that has dominated the format ever since its inception.
So there you have it, the three new rules changes that will take into effect on November 8th, the same day that both the new Legendary Treasures and more importantly the XY Starters set comes out. Whether or not you’re a novice or professional trainer, it’s best to make sure you get adjusted to the new rules coming up in the new season. Happy Training!