10 Underrated Cards for the World Championships
Karl takes a look at ten underrated cards that may help you for your Worlds preparation.
08/11/2016 by Karl Peters
Hey guys, it's Karl again. This time I want to show you my top ten most underrated cards for the upcoming World Championships. As you can expect, most of them are going to be from the new set, but there will also be some cards from older sets that most people tend to overlook. But don't expect some format-breaking decks. Most of these cards are just techy cards that help to make some matchups work better, or just gimmicky cards that can help you out of sticky situations. Anyway, let’s start the countdown.
10. Spiritomb STS
Yveltal decks often have a hard time closing out games against decks that are able to heavily abuse Rough Seas, such as Waterbox and Greninja. Spiritomb might actually be a very interesting tech to find a way to finish these matches since you can easily move the damage from two or three heavily damaged Benched Greninja or Seismitoad that are trying to heal, to one of them to get the knockout. This works especially well against Waterbox since they heavily rely on Grenade Hammer and you can easily abuse that 60 damage they place to move them onto Shaymin or Manaphy, who become even easier Prizes than they already are. I'm not saying that this card is a guaranteed match winner, but you should still give it a shot if you're testing Yveltal.
9. Weavile STS
Don't you sometimes wish you could've attached a Tool card to a different Pokémon? Or don't you feel like it would be so nice to safe your Tool card before your Pokémon gets Knocked Out? If you actually find yourself in these positions pretty frequently, Weavile may just be the perfect card for you. Weavile allows its owner to take back Tool cards as often as they like during their turn, which can be very good with cards like Muscle Band or Float Stone in the format. This is especially nice for decks that use Mega Pokémon as you can simply switch out your Spirit Link for a Muscle Band to gain that extra power that you may need sometimes.
8. Yanmega STS
Even though I told you that you shouldn't be expecting format-breaking new decks, I still think that Yanmega could be one of those new decks that pops out when a new set gets released. Being able to attack for free is always a very nice thing, especially if you can easily achieve the four-card hand with discarding cards with Ultra Ball, or simply by using Judge, which clearly should be a four-of in this deck, because you benefit from the disruption factor on your opponent and also get to your four-card hand without having to discard important stuff. I haven't thought about this deck too much, but I'm pretty sure that there are some players out there that have been playing around with this card, as it clearly shows some potential thanks to Forest of Giant Plants.
7. Lugia FCL and Lugia BREAK
Pretty similar to Yanmega, this is also a card that I feel like is very underrated and could potentially lead to being a strong new deck. The Lugia line has multiple strengths that help it to overall make it a decent pick. The first one is that it has a high amount of HP, combined with an Ability that makes it even bulkier. Lugia BREAK effectively has 170 HP, which is a whole lot for a “Stage 1” that only gives up one Prize card upon being Knocked Out. The next very nice thing is it's attack that deals 150 damage, which combined with Muscle Band, quickly adds up to 170, which is enough to knock out most regular Pokémon-EX. The first problematic thing is that Lugia needs four Energy, which is very hard to get without Energy acceleration, even when using cards like Double Colorless Energy. The most reliable Energy-acceleration would be Bronzong from Phantom Forces, but there is no real point in running Lugia BREAK instead of Genesect-EX and Aegislash-EX. Lugia also has the big advantage that you can pair it with anything you want since it's Colorless, but for now I can't really figure out which cards could give it that extra boost to be competitively usable. For now it's probably just a worse version of Night March, but maybe we can see it after the rotation, or even at Worlds if someone can figure out a great partner for it.
6. Minun FFI
Minun is actually a very strong card in Greninja decks, especially now that Jirachi loses a lot of its strength due to Pokémon Ranger. This is where Minun comes in as a very nice replacement. Being able to get back two Water Energy can be crucial, especially in the Trevenant and Vespiquen/Vileplume matchup where you won't be able to use cards like VS Seeker to get back Fisherman for extra Energy. I don't really know if it's actually a good idea to switch out Jirachi for Minun, but it may still be worth a try, especially now that Item-lock becomes even stronger and Jirachi isn't as good against Night March as it used to be.
5. Mr. Mime PRC
Mr. Mime may seem very underwhelming at first, but if you take a closer look at it you may already realize what its purpose is. As many players watched the stream of this year’s US National Championships, we were able to witness two crazy games where Paul Johnston was able to beat Vespiquen/Vileplume by just using Lysandre multiple times. This strategy is very easy if your opponent misses the crucial Float Stone on their Vileplume. But what if they manage to get Vileplume with a Float Stone? Mr. Mime is the simple answer to that. If your opponent goes first, you won't be able to work with anything expect your current hand. But if you’re going first, you're able to search out your Mr. Mime, and in the best case, also get your Lysandre in hand. You may think, "Hey I could do the same thing with Xerosic". This may be true, but the big upside for Mr. Mime is that you're actually able to use Lysandre, and switch the Tool in the same turn, whereas you could only use one Supporter in the other scenario. Mr. Mime is mostly a gimmicky card, but might actually be able to give you the edge in the Vespiquen/Vileplume matchup and can even cause some surprises in other matchups, where you're able to move the much-needed Tools around. In some cases this may also come in handy to move your own Tools, but I believe you will use it on your opponents Pokémon in most cases.
4. Volcanion STS
When you talk about Volcanion from Steam Siege, most players immediately think about Volcanion-EX. But what if I told you that the set actually has a pretty decent regular version of Volcanion? Similar to Xerneas from XY (or its multiple reprints) Volcanion allows you to attach Basic Energy to two of your Benched Pokémon. The difference is that Volcanion attaches them from your discard pile. What makes Volcanion so much better than Xerneas is the fact that we have a lot of fire supporting cards such as Blacksmith, Team Magma's Camerupt, and the new Volcanion-EX. On top of that you have decent EX attackers like Flareon-EX and Camerupt-EX who can quickly deal a lot of damage when paired with the right Pokémon. Overall this should make a decent deck and should be worth giving a shot.
Espeon-EX is a card that could help a lot of decks in different ways. The most obvious choice should be Trevenant. Thanks to the constant spreading of damage you can easily get multiple Prizes in one turn to finish off a game and with Dimension Valley, you can do it for free. The matchups where this card is most beneficial in is the mirror, which often just relies on who gets the Energy-removal cards and is able to attack with Silent Fear More often. With Espeon-EX you can easily take out all of your opponent's regular Trevenant on one turn, and even get rid of Trevenant BREAK if you managed to get enough damage onto it. Next up is the Vespiquen/Vileplume matchup, which mostly comes down to who gets the Item-lock first. But with Espeon-EX, you're able to get rid of all Vespiquen in one turn and maybe even Knock Out the Vileplume. This isn't the most reliably strategy, but it might be your best way to swing the Vespiquen/Vileplume matchup in your favor.
The next deck that benefits from Espeon-EX is Greninja. Espeon-EX is not as good in this deck as it is in Trevenant, but being able to devolve Pokémon after hitting them with Giant Water Shuriken can win you games, especially against Mega decks that often leave heavily damaged Mega Evolutions on their Bench, just waiting to be Knocked Out by Espeon.
2. Rotom FCL
Rotom is definitely your go-to tech if you can't seem to win against Trevenant. The cost of two Colorless Energy makes it very simply to splash it in any deck, especially in those that already run Double Colorless Energy. Being able to switch two damage counters from each of you Pokémon onto your opponent's Active Pokémon makes Rotom a slightly better version of Rough Seas, at least in this point. But obviously Rotom also has some obvious flaws, which is why it’s not seeing a huge amount of play. The first and probably biggest reason is that it's very easy to play around it. Your opponent can easily attack it with Tree Slam and finish it off with Silent Fear, making it completely useless. I still think it has some potential to see play in decks that heavily struggle against Trevenant, and when timed right, it can have a huge impact on this matchup.
I can already hear multiple players screaming out that this card isn't underrated and has already seen some play recently, but I still feel like way too many players overlook this card and ignore its strength. To put it simply, take a look at the three most popular decks for the World Championships: Night March, Trevenant, and Vespiquen/Vileplume. All of these deck run only low-HP Basics and Shaymin-EX. So pretty much if you go first, you either have a very high chance of donking your opponent, or you're able to get some extra turns thanks to a Shaymin start. This doesn't seem like a whole lot, but if you put into perspective how important these three matchups are going to be, it's not surprising how powerful Latios-EX could get. If Latios' Fast Raid attack would cost a Colorless Energy or even two, I'm pretty sure that almost every deck would include as at least a one-of, because it's so strong against the big three if you manage to go first. So if you're running a deck that runs either Psychic, Rainbow, or Double Dragon Energy, there is pretty much no excuse for not including it into there, for the upcoming World Championships.
A lot of these cards are going to remain fun ideas or simply bad, but I'm very sure that others will see play at the World Championships, and maybe we will even see some of them making it into the Finals.
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