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Miner751

15 Notable Cards from Fates Collide

The title says it all - this article is about 15 cards, all from Fates Collide, that are, well, notable. :)

05/13/2016 by Miner751

 

Introduction

Fates Collide has brought back the Restored Pokémon, as well as introducing many unique Abilities and attacks. Unfortunately, most of these will probably see limited play (if any), however, it is nice to see things other than “hit your opponent for 180 turn 1” or “I Item lock for the rest of the game”.

This article is split into two. The first section covers 15 Notable Cards from Fates Collide – so 15 cards to look out for due to having a good Ability and/or a nice attack. Basically, something that makes them stand out and likely to see play because of it.

The second section is my opinion for the best 5 cards from this set. They are taken from the 15 Notable Cards (since it would be kind of odd for the best cards not to be deemed “notable”).

 

Note that the analysis of these cards is for the Standard format. Your mileage will likely differ in the Expanded format.

 

 

The 15 Notable Cards

Glaceon-EX

Glaceon EX

Like Jolteon EX GEN, Glaceon EX has an attack that can block attack damage from a group of Pokémon – this time around it is Evolution Pokémon (everything but Basics and Restored Pokémon). Note that Glaceon EX only blocks damage, so effects like damage counters (q.v. Trevenant Break) still hit Glaceon EX. Personally, I think Jolteon EX has the better end of the stick. Having said that, I would be surprised if Glaceon EX did not see play since preventing damage from a set of Pokémon is a valuable tool to have.

A Glaceon EX/Jolteon EX would be fun, but I don’t know how well it would actually do. Most decks either have a combination of Basic and Evolution Pokémon (e.g. YZG and M Manectric EX) or have ways to bypass these eeveelutions effects (e.g Trevenant Break, Greninja Break). You could try and cheese off the opponent by attacking with Jolteon EX when they have a Basic Active, or with Glaceon EX when they have an Evolution Active, but the opposite is true too – they could try and cheese you off by attacking with an Evolution Pokémon when you have Jolteon EX Active, or with a Basic when you have Glaceon EX Active.

Glaceon will probably end up finding itself as a valued tech in some deck.

 

Barbaracle

Unless you’re a fan of Water Pokémon or Barbaracle, the only reason why you would want to use this Pokémon is for its Ability. Special Energies are a prominent part of the game at the moment, so to be able to (almost) completely block your opponent from playing them will give you a huge advantage. I say “almost” because it only stops your opponent from playing them from their hand, so Pokémon like Garchomp BKP and Carbink Break, who can attach Special Energies from the Discard Pile, can get around this barrier.

Aside from being in play, the only other condition for this Ability to be active is for you to have a Stadium in play. With the abundance of Stadiums we have in the current Standard format, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to find a Stadium(s) you like. The problem is that Stadiums are easily removed – all your opponent needs to do is play their own Stadium, or a card like Delinquent which can discard a Stadium in play. A player is not allowed to play a Stadium with the same name as one in play, so if you play a Dimension Valley down first in a Night March mirror and then get a Barbaracle out, you could potentially lock your opponent out of the game.

Barbaracle is a Stage 1, so getting it into play via evolution shouldn’t be too hard. It is also a Water type, so it can be played through Archie’s Ace in the Hole too. Whilst Archie’s is a little harder to do, it does come with the advantages of not having to risk opening with a lone Binacle, and being able to get Barbaracle into play in one turn, quite possibly out of the blue.

 

Alakazam-EX

Alakazam EX

Alakazam EX will either see play as a Crobat PHF replacement/substitute or as the star of a deck. Alakazam EX Mega Evolving is almost equivalent to playing both Golbat PHF and Crobat at the same time. I say ‘almost’ since you are locked into putting 2 damage counters on the Active Pokémon, and 3 on a Benched Pokémon. Nevertheless, it is still a ‘free’ 50 damage on the board, and is more than a single Golbat or Crobat can do in a turn. (M) Alakazam EX works well with Super Scoop Up and Devolution Spray, however, AZ is another story. Playing AZ would make you have to discard the Alakazam Spirit Link attached to M Alakazam EX, meaning that unless you had access to another Alakazam Spirit Link, you would have to end your turn the next time you Mega Evolved the Alakazam EX. A 3-3 line with 3 Spirit Links would probably be a rough equivalent of a 4-3-2 Crobat line.

Alakazam seems like it would pair well with Wobbuffet PHF, much like Crobat does, with the difference being that M Alakazam can hit big when required. The Psychic Weakness is a bit of a concern with a number of viable Psychic Pokémon around; most notably, the Night Marching Pumpkaboo and the new Mew. Both of these Pokémon have low HP, so using Wobbuffet as the main attacker and Alakazam as a damage spreader should ensure that the prize trade remains relatively even. When it is Active, Wobbuffet stops the opposing Shaymin EXes from using their Set Up Ability, and this is something that a Night March player is unlikely to be happy about.

Both Alakazam and its Mega have decent attacks, but they become even better when a Dimension Valley is in play as, then, they will only cost a single Psychic Energy. Alakazam EX’s HP is a bit of a shame, but I guess it is pretty frail in the video game, so the lower than normal HP is understandable.

 

Mew

By itself, Mew’s Ability isn’t that great – why would I want Mew to copy Seismitoad EX’s Quaking Punch when Seismitoad has 130 more HP? However, if you take into account the fact that Mew is Psychic type and can utilise Dimension Valley, then there is a clear benefit to playing Mew. With Dimension Valley in play, Mew can use Manectric EX’s Assualt Laser or Sceptile EX’s (AOR) Unseen Claw for a single Basic Energy.

Mew does have a measly 50HP though, so it won’t last long. On the positive side, it isn’t an EX, it is easy to get out and it can survive a Fighting Fury Belted Quaking Punch from the Toad. The Psychic typing is also advantageous in that it allows you deck to hit Psychic weak Pokémon for Weakness.

Free Retreat is a rare sight, and so is a more than welcome addition on Mew. Mew’s attack is also amazing too. It cost a Colourless Energy to use, which makes it splashable, but also able to be used for free if Dimension Valley is in play. Searching a deck for a Pokémon isn’t really how you want to spend your attack in the current meta, but it is nice to have if you can’t do anything better.

Mew will likely find a Night March decks. I’m not sure what NM will take out to fit in 1-2 Mews and 2-3 Basic Energies. Tech cards like Target Whistle and Xerosic, or maybe Puzzle of Time, will be the ones likely to be cut. Similar to Mew EX, Mew will probably see limited play outside of Night March decks, although, the fact that it is a non-EX may make it a worthwhile candidate as a “seventh” Prize for EX Heavy decks.

 

Marowak

Like Barbaracle above, Marowak is here for its Ability. If you hate the Item lock that Seimitoad EX causes, then Marowak is for you. Marowak’s Ability also blocks the effects of Giratina EX’s Chaos Wheel, so if you have a problem with that, then you might want to try Marowak. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop Abilities from affecting your hand, so Trevenant XY and Vileplume AOR can still block you from playing Items.

It’s a Stage 1, so it is fairly easy to get out through evolving. Otherwise you can put it into play with Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick.

 

Regirock-EX

Regirock ex

Fighting types already have access to a wide variety of damage modifiers, and now they can add Regirock EX to the mix. Reminiscent of Plasma Deoxys EX, Regirock EX makes all of your Fighting type Attacks do 10 more damage. With a Muscle Band, Fighting Stadium, Strong Energy, Giovanni’s Scheme and four Regirock EXes, Hawlucha FUF can deal 180 damage, enough to OHKO most EXes. Now this is not an easy series of events to pull off, but it still goes to show just how much extra damage Fighting Pokémon can do.

There are many viable Fighting attackers; for example, Garchomp BKP, Lucario EX FUF and Hippowdon PCR. The attackers that I am looking forward to using with Regirock EX are the Omega Barrage Medicham PCR and Regirock AOR. Medicham can use the extra damage to make Shrine of Memories + Meditite’s Smack attack a viable means of scoring EX KOs (two Fighting Energies is not that steep of a cost [for Yoga Kick], but it does pose a problem when Medicham gets KOed every turn). Regirock can use the damage boost to hit non-EXes for decent damage, whilst delivering KO blows to EXes.

Regirock EX’s attack is decent, but it is unlikely that you’ll ever attack with it. Also make sure to have Float Stones or Switches since your opponent will likely Lysandre it to stall, should they need time.

What will be interesting to see is if we get Registeel EX and Regice EX with their own Regipower Abilities. Probably not, but we can always hope. :)

 

Carbink

Carbink

I don’t know about the rest of you, but Carbink was everywhere at my prerelease – printing Safeguard onto a common was a crazy idea. Nonetheless, we finally have a Basic Pokémon with the Safeguard Ability in Standard again. There’s actually a nice mix of EX and non-EX decks at the moment, so Carbink will not shine too brightly or, at least, quad Carbink won’t (or, rather, shouldn’t) be a thing.

Like previous Safeguarders, Carbink’s attack isn’t crash hot, but with all the damage modifiers, it can deal respectable damage. It’s worth noting that Carbink received a Break Evolution in this pack. Carbink Break boast 20HP more than Carbink and also has access to a nice support attack. For a single Fighting Energy, it does 20 damage and lets you attach up to 2 Energies from your Discard Pile to one of your Benched Fighting Pokémon. Whilst the Energy attachment is the main part of this attack, the fact it does damage means that all the damage modifiers apply to the attack.

 

Zygarde-EX

Zygarde EX

This section is more of a “why Zygarde EX, Carbink Break and Power Memory are not Genesect EX PLB, Virizion EX PLB and G-Booster” than talking about Zygarde EX, but oh well.

Firstly, the Zygarde deck is focused solely on dealing frontal damage whereas VirGen had interactions with the opponent and some bench damage to consider too. Genesect EX could control who was your opponent’s Active Pokémon with its Ability Red Signal, whilst Virizion could stop Special Conditions, which was a big deal given Hypnotoxic Laser’s popularity. Whilst both of the new Carbinks have Abilities, neither are as useful as Red Signal or Verdant Wind (for the moment anyway). It is worth noting that Zygarde can attack sooner since it has multiple attacks at various costs.

Secondly, Power Memory and G-Booster are similar, but are most definitely not the same. G-Booster was a one-off since it is an Ace-Spec (but could be retrieved with Shadow Triad) whereas you can play 4 of Power Memory. Aside from this, G-Booster is superior to Power Memory. Not only does G-Booster bypass effects on the Defending Pokémon (e.g. Safeguard or Weakness Policy), but it only has to discard 2 Energies, not 3 like Power Memory. This is a big deal because if you have 4 Energies on a Genesect EX, you could G-Booster, and then on your next turn, attach another Energy to G-Booster again. Doing back-to-back All Cells Burn with Zygarde would require an initial investment of 5 Energies, which while doable, is harder to achieve. Some Genesect EX decks also played Colress Machine for Energy acceleration and, hence, made it easier to perform back-to-back G-Boosters. Having said that, with all the Fighting damage support, you could possibly get the OHKO on EX with Land’s Wrath, thus having no need for Power Memory.

Finally, getting a turn 1 G-Booster going is much easier than a T1 all Cells Burn, but that’s a story for another day. :P

Now this isn’t to say the Zygarde/Carbink (CarGarde?) won’t be a thing, but I don’t believe it will have the same dominance that VirGen did.

 

Bronzong

Bronzong

At first glance, Bronzong seems like a Stage 1 Mr Mime BKT, but their Abilities are actually different. Mr Mime only blocks damage done by attacks, whereas Bronzong blocks effects too. Also, Bronzong‘s Ability only applies for your opponent’s attacks while Mr Mime applies for both players.

The key thing here is that Bronzong nullifies the damage counters that Trevenant Break would place onto your Benched Pokémon.

This set also comes with a Break card for Bronzong, however, beyond the HP boost to 130HP, it doesn’t do much for this Bronzong (it has much better synergy with the Phantom Forces Bronzong).

 

Lucario

Lucario

Lucario can deal massive amounts of damage fairly cheaply, however, it is partially dependent on your opponent and its attack cost is a little awkward. A Metal and a Colourless isn’t too harsh, but it does become a burden if Lucario gets KOed turn after turn. A single Benched Bronzong PHF can help (you don’t want too many since you want a small Bench), otherwise Exp Share or a sneaky Max Elixir onto a Riolu are your other options.

If your opponent sees Lucario, they will likely try to keep a small Bench (probably 2-3 Pokémon) which is a perfect opportunity for you to play Target Whistle. Bringing back a Shaymin EX if you can play a Lysandre too is neat, otherwise bringing any Pokémon back so you can (ideally) deal an extra 60 is the main point. Generally, you will have 1-2 Pokémon less than your opponent, so you will be dealing 90 or 150 damage (before Muscle Band).

I feel like Lucario will be too clunky to work, but it has massive damage potential.

 

Genesect-EX

Genesect EX

Bronzong PHF decks want a big hitter since they have the Energy acceleration to power one up. They started with Dialga EX, but it didn’t hit quite high enough. M Aggron EX was too flippy. Tyrantrum EX did see some success, but it had some issues such as needing a Double Dragon Energy and the cost/effort of getting it back to the Bench after it attacked (so it could be Metal Link’ed to again). Now Bronzong has Genesect EX as a new ally.

If you discard the 3 Metal Energies used to pay for the attack, Rapid Blaster will hit for a base of 160. Chuck in a Muscle Band or another Metal Energy, and you get the 180 needed to OHKO the standard EX. If, say, Genesect EX had the Muscle Band attached to it and attacked, on the following turn you can use its Ability to return the Band to your hand, play down a Float Stone and retreat it for free to your Bench. Here, you can power it up again whilst, ideally, another Genesect EX is attacking. Fighting Fury Belt and Max Potion should work well in this deck too.

 

Snorlax

Snorlax

Would you want to play a 180HP non-EX Basic that does 130 damage + sleep each turn? I would! :)

This is possible if you play Snorlax with Fighting Fury Belt and Hypno BKP. Hypno has an Ability that puts both Active Pokémon – exactly what you need for Snorlax to be able to deal the +90 damage. (Looking at my question above, it is actually Hypno, not Snorlax, that puts the opponent’s Active Pokémon to sleep, but the net effect from the combo is still 130 damage + sleep.)

The attack costs 3 Colourless Energies, so you can run Snorlax with any type. Max Elixir and Double Colourless Energy can help reduce the number of turns necessary to power up Snorlax. Alternatively, you could use the Mew from this set, with Dimension Valley, to have Mew use the attack for a simple DCE.

 

Lugia

Lugia

I’ve always been a fan of the anti-EX Basic Pokémon. Putting (at least) 120 damage onto your opponent’s EX on your first attaching turn is always a good feeling (but not for the opponent :P). In case you were wondering, this can be done with Max Elixir shenanigans and a DCE.

Unlike Bouffolant DRX and Regirock AOR who struggle with most non-EX Pokémon, Lugia can deal with big non-EX Pokémon due to its Break. Lugia Break hits for a massive 150 damage, which is enough to OHKOs most non-EX Pokémon. Greninja Break is one exception, but it can be dealt with if you attach a Muscle Band to Lugia Break. I would say the same goes for Trevenant Break, but unfortunately it will likely have evolved from the Item locking Trevenant, although Giovanni’s Scheme can be used in this case. Furthermore, a Muscle Band and/or Giovanni’s Scheme can allow Lugia Break to knock off a number of EXes too.

Lugia’s attack is also a nice move for Mew to copy and use for a single DCE, if Dimension Valley is in play.

  

M Audino EX

M Audino EX

M Audino EX is much like Darkrai EX. They both can 2HKO EXes and do Bench damage to set up future KOs. They can both be paired with a myriad of other Pokémon to perform different strategies – e.g. Garbotoxin Garbodor for Ability locking or Aromatisse XY/ Hydriegon DRX for the Energy manipulation and Max Potion combo. Furthermore, they both have access to Energy acceleration – Mega Turbo and Dark Patch.

In terms of the damage numbers, 110 is enough to OHKO Shaymin EX, Trevenant XY, Vespiquen, etc. I would have liked it to have been 120 or 130, mainly so that you could KO 2 EXes across two turns with the aid of Lysandre. Giovanni’s Scheme can help pick up the KO on the likes of Yveltal and Greninja.

I should mention that you do need to play a Supporter to do the Bench damage, but, really, that is a small ask.

The big question, I suppose, is: how will it fare against Night March? Given that M Audino EX is pretty hard for NM to OHKO, especially since NM has Fighting Fury Belts over Muscle Band, and that M Audino EX can KO an Active Shaymin and a Benched Joltik in one turn, the matchup doesn’t sound too bad. You’ll need to play Target Whistle and a solid count of Lysandre, as well as cards like Double Colourless Energy and Mega Turbo to get set up ASAP.

M Audino EX evolves from a respectable EX too. Whilst I wouldn’t advise it, the fact that you could make a deck based on Audino EX without its Mega should give you an indication that it’s not too shabby. For 3 Colourless Energies, it caps at 110 damage with a full Bench – enough to KO a Shyamin EX or Trevenant XY. Give it a Muscle Band and you hit for the magic 130 damage. Skyfield extends your Bench and can allow you to hit for up to 30 more than normal, but unfortunately, it is still 10-20 damage short of OHKOing most EXes (when you have a Muscle Band attached).

Finally, M Audino EX gets the Normal type support (i.e. Winona and Altaria [ROS 74/108]) and, due to requiring only Colourless Energies, it can be used with Fairy Energies and Fairy Garden, etc.

 

N

N

N’s return to Standard was met with mixed reactions. Personally, I think it’s great that we’re getting it back since we need a hand control card that is actually good. Okay, maybe that comment is a bit too harsh on Judge, but unless you’re attempting to disrupt the opponent on the first turn, Judge is inferior to N.

A number of games I’ve played have ended with either me or my opponent having a massive hand with everything we need to win the game and there’s nothing that the other player can do to stop it. Now with N, the winning hand player can (temporarily) be stopped from winning. Perhaps this might be unfair on the player who was about to win, but this is a battle, so you can’t expect your opponent to give up without a fight. Besides which, the player playing the N gets hit too.

The main reason why I’m excited for N coming back is that it punishes aggressive decks (e.g. Night March) and supports slower decks (e.g Greninja) that need a bit more setting up. If Night March takes 2 quick EX KOs, and then you combine an N with a removal of their on-field Double Colourless Energy (ideally through a KO), they will be forced to rely on their top deck to stay in the game. Mill decks also like the return of N since they will always draw 6 whilst the opponent will draw less as the game progresses.

N will likely replace most/all copies of Shauna, Professor Birch’s Observations and Judge in decks. It will be interesting to see if Octillery BKT picks up in popularity (and Shaymin EX’s reduces) as a means of insurance against N, especially the late game Ns.

 

 

Top 5

1) N

2) Mew

3) Regirock EX

4) Alakazam EX

5) M Audino EX

 

N being top dog hopefully shouldn’t come as a shock. It’s a card that is as powerful as Professor Sycamore and Battle Compressor, and will see high counts in most decks.

Mew should become pretty popular due to its presence in Night March decks. There’s also a good chance that it will be seen in other decks since everything is good about it (spare its HP) and there are a number of Pokémon that work well with it (i.e. that Mew can use their attacks cheaper due to Dimension Valley).

I wanted something to represent the Zygarde EX/Carbink Break archetype and went with Regirock EX as it’ll be providing support from the backlines in this deck, but probably also in every other Fighting deck as well.

The Psychic Weakness and its dependence on the Spirit Link are both concerns for Alakazam EX, but otherwise its Ability can chuck a whole ton of damage on the field quite quickly, and the Mega can do the cleaning up.

M Audino EX might seem an odd choice, but it does have promise. Target Whistle and Lysandre on Shaymin EX is a legitimate strategy. If you’re opponent doesn’t play Shaymin, you are still putting a solid 160 damage on the board, which is quite nice. The Fighting Weakness is worrying, but there are ways to remove the Weakness.

 

 

That’s all I have for this time. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. :)

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