Trump Card Ban! What’s in store for the Pokemon TCG?
Where do we go from here?
06/02/2015 by Kevin Kobayashi
Hello 60 cards readers and welcome to another one of my articles. I want to yet again thank Martin for allowing me to write for this site, which is definitely on the up and up, and I hope to be able to write premium content soon. This time we’re going to discuss the ban on Lysandre’s Trump Card, considered by many as one of the most broken cards in the game . Banned without notice, the entire metagame is about to shift in a completely new direction. Players will now have to manage their resources as well as build their decks in a new way, allowing them to sustain their draw through the entire game.
My initial thought on why anyone would play the card was off by a large margin. Let’s say we’re in the middle of a game and both of us have quite large discard piles. If the game was even, why would I ever want to use my supporter to allow you to go through your deck before I got a chance? I was baffled, until I came to the realization that Seismitoad would prefer that you clog your opponent’s deck, giving the toad player a chance to reuse all of its disruption trainer cards and also increasing the odds of you drawing into unplayable items while under a Quaking Punch lock. Once I was able to recognize this, I brought the deck to an event and without testing placed 3rd at a city championship in Florida. Of course, i’m not trying to boast but more so trying to explain to you how broken Lysandre’s Trump Card made Seismitoad.
What was referred to as the “cancer” engine allowed Unlimited resources giving you the chance to spam trainer cards such as Hypnotoxic Laser and Crushing Hammer over and over again, abusing Shaymin EX’s “set up” and speed cards such as Battle compressor. If you built the engine correctly, you were able to go through your entire deck turn 1 with no problem. A sample of the trainer engine is below.
This engine would guarantee that you would always have outs to multiple draw trainers per turn, as well as a Professor Juniper card in hand or in the discard with a VS Seeker to access it. If you ever needed more cards, you simply VS Seeker for a Lysandre’s Trump Card or have it in hand and use it. The rest of the slots go toward disruption trainer cards such as Crushing Hammer and Hypnotoxic Laser, both maxed at a 4 count. From there you repeat the cycle until your opponent concedes or flips the table. My opponents would curse me out as I flipped coin after coin, disregarding their board, knowing that I would be victorious in the end.
It became apparent that the format was not in a healthy state and needed to be changed when I had a conversation with 3x world champion Jason Klaczynski regarding the future of the game. He suggested that something would need to be removed from the game or we’d end up with a terrible format. It’s funny that only three days later, Lysandre’s Trump was banned. Unfortunately I had to play a regional in this format in Wisconsin just a couple of days ago. It was the worst format I had played in since the rotation from MD-on to HGSS. The game was won by whoever was able to chain their Shaymin EX cards first, resulting in games consisting of practically no way to outplay your opponent. I watched opponents who I had destroyed at other events easily glide into top 32 simply by evolving into Trevenant turn 1 and really doing nothing else. Trevenant was one of the strongest decks in that format.
Here is the list I played for Madison, WI Reg
- 3x Shaymin EX
- 4x Seismitoad EX
- 2x Garbodor
- 2x Trubbish
- 1x Jirachi EX
- 4x Professor Juniper
- 1x Team Flare Grunt
- 1x Wally
- 1x Lysandre
- 1x Lysandre's Trump Card
- 4x VS Seeker
- 4x Acro Bike
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 4x Super Scoop Up
- 4x Crushing Hammer
- 4x Hypnotoxic Laser
- 3x Muscle Band
- 3x Float Stone
- 2x Virbank City Gym
- 1x Red Card
- 1x Town Map
- 1x Computer Search
- 1x Xerosic
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
I had planned to play Seismitoad/Garbodor weeks before and worked on countless lists. Unfortunately I was still doubting a lot of things and probably would have played a better list if I was able to convince myself fully that this was the play. I would have cut Wally and Town Map, and added 2 copies of Head Ringer. Otherwise, I was satisfied with my list aside from a few statistical improbabilities that I couldn’t plan ahead for.
Luckily, we no longer have to play in a format with Lysandre’s Trump Card ever again. But what does that mean for you, the competitive player?
The meta game is about to get shaken up.
I am not a prophet but I am going to make a few bold predictions following the metagame. First and foremost, Seismitoad EX is about to see a huge decrease in play. Without Lysandre’s Trump Card, the deck is unable to keep a lock without decking out, and can no longer invest in heavy counts of cards that it was able to abuse. This is going to push faster decks such as Night March and Flareon back into contention, most likely creating a new place for Latios decks, which in contention brings Fairy back into the equation. Fairy will lose to the speed decks but beat the other decks that are able to beat these speed decks. Throw in old contenders such as Primal Groudon and all of a sudden the meta game is brand new once more.
Thanks for reading, I hope you’re just as excited as myself for a new and robust format.
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