No.004 My Pokemoncard Life 2002
Hello Readers! This is Yamato from Team Achamo (Torchic) !
This will be my 4th article on my Pokémon TCG life, and I will be writing about the era in the latter 2002.
On my 3rd article, I wrote about winning the 3rd place in the tournament held in Summer 2001, while I lost the first game in the finals in the tournament held in Spring 2002. I was hoping to win first place in Sendai for 2years in a row, but I couldn’t. However, loosing that game was a great experience for me, because I had a great lesson- Time keeping.
As I thought over my lessons, I was preparing to take revenge in Summer Seasons 2002.
There wasn’t much change in the number of legal cards- only 1 set was released after the Spring Seasons, which was the 3rd set in the e-card series. The first e-card series were released on December 2001, followed by March 2002, and the 3rd one was released on May 2002. * There were only 90 cards added but it was enough to change the current Meta.
(*Translator’s Note: As I was checking through the sets, it reminded me that e-cards in most countries had only 3 sets while japan had 5. Basically, Expedition included cards in the first e-cards sets in Japan, Aquapolis had the second and the third, and Skyridge had fourth and the fifth. So basically, the legal cards in that time was up to Aquapolis.)
One of the strongest cards in the current meta was Scizor (Aquapolis). It’s HP was not so high but when Special Metal Energy (Damage done to the Pokémon Metal Energy is attached to is reduced by 10 (after applying Weakness and Resistance). If the Pokémon Metal Energy is attached to isn't [Metal], whenever it damages a Pokémon, reduce that damage by 10 (before applying Weakness and Resistance). Metal Energy provides [Metal] Energy. (Doesn't count as a basic Energy card.)) was attached, it won’t be KO’d so easily. Also, Rainbow Energy (Attach Rainbow Energy to 1 of your Pokémon. While in play, Rainbow Energy provides every type of Energy but provides only 1 Energy at a time. (Doesn't count as a basic Energy card when not in play.) When you attach this card from your hand to 1 of your Pokémon, put 1 damage counter on that Pokémon.) made a great roll to add more damage of Heavy Metal ([Colorless][Colorless][Colorless] Heavy Metal: 30+ damage. Flip a number of coins equal to the amount of [Metal] Energy attached to Scizor. This attack does 30 damage plus 20 more damage for each heads.), although flipping coins were required.
Also, Furret’s (Aquapolis) Scavenger Hunt (Poké-Power: Scavenger Hunt. Once during your turn (before your attack), you may put 2 cards from your hand into your deck. Then, search your deck for an Energy card, show it to your opponent, and put it into your hand. Shuffle your deck afterward. This power can't be used if Furret is affected by a Special Condition.) made it easier to hunt for energy cards such as Metal and Rainbow, even though you won’t be able to draw many cards from your deck in one turn.
Scizor had another strong attack to KO a benched baby Pokémon, using Snatch ( [Metal][Colorless] Snatch: 20 damage. Before doing damage, you may choose 1 of your opponent's Benched Pokémon with no damage counters on it and switch the Defending Pokémon with it.) and a Plus Power. ( Attach PlusPower to your Active Pokémon. At the end of your turn, discard PlusPower. If this Pokémon's attack does damage to the Defending Pokémon (after applying Weakness and Resistance), the attack does 10 more damage to the Defending Pokémon.) No need of flipping coins when attacking a benched baby Pokémon!
Scizor was stronger than any 2nd stage Pokémon, and had 2 great attacks. It was strong enough to become a top meta. Scizor or Anti-Scizor decks were most of the decks seen in that era.
By the way, have you ever heard of Electrode’s (Aquapolis) Poke-Power in Japanese? It’s Poke-Power and Eelektrik’s ability’s name is completely the same although it’s effect is completely different!
Although Electrode’s Super Dynamo (Poké-Power: Super Dynamo. Once during your turn (before your attack), if Electrode is your Active Pokémon, you may flip a coin. If heads, choose a [Lightning] Energy card from your discard pile and attach it to 1 of your Pokémon. This power can't be used if Electrode is affected by a Special Condition.) had pretty close effect to Eelektrik (Ability: Dynamotor Once during your turn (before you attack), you may attach a Lightning Energy card from your discard pile to 1 of your Benched Pokémon.), Dynamotor became more effective in play so I couldn’t believe that they had the same name, but I realized that older cards became a reference for the new cards, which was pretty interesting for me.
Now let’s take a look at the tournament rules.
Juniors and Seniors were able to use Neo Genesis up to e series, and Masters were able to use from the very first series up to the e series, just like last time. Nothing was so special in this tournament, but this tournament was the last tournament that previous rears were allowed to use in play.
The Decks used in the Preliminary round was made out of 30, and Decks made out of 60 were used in the final rounds. This rule was applied for a pretty long time. Also, if you win the first place in each division, you will be qualified to take part in “Electing the Strongest Player in Japan” Tournament.
So, Let me introduce the decks used in this era.
Scizor(Aquapolis) / Furret(Aquapolis)
As I explained previously, this deck was the top meta in this era. Since Furret’s Poke Power can draw Special Energy, it was not so hard to attach 4 Metal Energy and 4 Rainbow Energy at the same time. Also, once a few Metal Energy were attached to Scizor, it won’t be KO’d so easily, since this deck included Potion as well. Since Heavy Metal doesn’t require specific Energy Color, there were few choices for a second attacker. However, since Scizor’s weakness was Fire type, most players chose Water type for a second attacker.
Ampharos (Expeditions) + Ninetales (Expeditions)
To KO Scizor easily, there were few decks that can hit big damage. This was one of the representative decks.
Ninetales’ Ethernal Flame ([Colorless][Colorless][Colorless] Ethereal Flame. Discard all [Fire] Energy cards attached to Ninetales. This attack does 30 damage plus 20 more damage for each card discarded this way.
) would be the main attacker in this deck, but since all of the Energy cards attached to it will be discarded, Ampharos was in that deck to support.
Ampharos’ Poke-Power Energy Connect (Poké-Power: Energy Connect. As often as you like during your turn (before your attack), you may take a basic Energy card attached to 1 of your Benched Pokémon and attach it to your Active Pokémon. This power can't be used if Ampharos is affected by a Special Condition.) supported Ninetales so that it can keep up its’ pace.
Rocket’s Tyranitar (VS)* / Energy Removal 2 etc.
(*Translator’s note: Rocket’s Tyranitar is a card from the VS series, which was only released in Japan. However, there was a special theme deck made from VS series and was used in a tournament called Tropical Mega Battle. This deck was originally printed as a special theme deck for the movie “Pokémon 4 Ever” in Japan, and Rocket’s Tyranitar was included. This deck was printed in each qualifier’s national origin in Tropical Mega Battle, but those cards were treated as unofficial cards. Also, Rocket’s Tyranitar was not included in that theme deck: Tropical Wind was included instead.
Although Rocket’s Tyranitar itself is treated as a secret card, it is not available through booster packs)
So Let’s take a look at Rocket’s Tyranitar’s attacks.
[Darkness] Destroy Beam Flip a coin. If heads, discard 1 Energy card attached to the Defending Pokémon, if any.
[Colorless][Colorless][Colorless] Slam 30x Flip 2 coins. This attack does 30 damage times the number of heads.
Instead of Attacking with a big damage, this deck chose to stop Scizor by Removing its’ Energy. Using Rocket’s Tyranitar’s Destroy Beam and Energy Removal, it can remove Energy Cards attached to Scizor. As I have wrote previously, Energy cards attached to Scizor are Rainbow Energy and Special Metal Energy card in most cases. Therefore, once those Special Energies are discarded, Scizor can be KO’d easily and it won’t be hitting big damage either since most decks did not have any way to get those Special Energy Cards back in play.
Once you get heads for Energy Removal 2 and Destroy Beam, it won’t be so hard to stop Scizor from attacking and guarding. However, since there weren’t any Pokémon that can hit big damage in Darkness Type, it turned out completely as an anti-Scizor Deck.
So what about me? Same as last time, I was able to take part in both Senior Division and Master Division. To take revenge, I took part in Sendai as always, and in Senior Division.
We have 3 games in a group of 6 to 10 people in the preliminary round, and the person who won the 1st place in that group gets to play in the final round.
The deck I used in this preliminary round was same as last time, Karen’s Tyranitar* / Gengar (Expeditions).
(*Translator’s note: Check Yamato-san’s 3rd article if you don’t remember what the deck was like- http://60cards.net/blog/posts/detail/121 )
Why did I choose the same deck as last time? The answer is… I DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO PRACTICE FOR THE HALF-DECK-TOURNAMENT!!
Lucky me, I was able to win the 1st place in that preliminary round. What about Scizor? Yes, there were many even in the Half-Deck-Tournaments, but some of the cards in my deck were good enough to win against them.
Here comes the final round! Decks are back to 60, and I chose to use Gengar (Expeditions) / Feraligatr (Expeditions)*.
(*Translator’s note: Check Yamato-san’s previous article for this deck too! http://60cards.net/blog/posts/detail/121 )
As I wrote before in the previous article, the combination of these 2 Pokémon are excellent, and their attacks are really powerful. However, since both of them are 2nd- Stage Pokémon, it will take time to set up, so I had to be really careful not to loose because of the time-up.
Also, the reason why I chose this deck was because I did not know that Scizor was in the meta- I knew that when one of the players I knew showed me the deck and showed me how to play it in that morning! I knew that my deck won’t have any chance against it, but I didn’t have any other decks that I can play well with. (I did have Ninetales(Expeditions) / Ampharos (Expeditions) Deck, but I haven’t got it tuned yet, so I knew it would be hard for me to win although it had a great chance against Scizor.) Moreover, Gengar (Expeditions) / Feraligatr (Expeditions) is the deck I wanted to use. To get a hint to win against Scizor, I glanced at my file. Hey, I found it- Mew (Expeditions)!
Scizor is really strong when many Energy Cards are attached to it, but once many of them are attached, Mew’s Super Psywave ([Psychic][Colorless] Super Psywave. Choose 1 of your opponent's Pokémon. Count the number of Energy cards attached to that Pokémon. Put that many damage counters on the Pokémon.) can take over it. Scizor without so many Energy Cards attached won’t be strong at all, so adding 1 Mew to my deck made it easier for me to win against Scizor. By the way, I usually change some cards from my list right before the tournament. I know many people are against it, but I still think it’s the right Idea to do it. The deck list hasn’t changed so much from last time, but I actually changed my style of playing. I used to set my field before I started attacking, but now I took the lead to attack.
Enough explanations about the meta- so how were the games getting along? Both Scizor and Anti-Scizor Decks were winning through- I had games with both of those decks, and a deck that does not belong to both of them.
I set my Feraligatr and started attacking immediately, against any decks. Even if my Feraligatr was KO’d and can’t attack during a turn, I didn’t have any problem since Gengar can use Chaos Move when my opponent takes more than 3 prizes.
When I had a game against Scizor, my opponent attached many Energy cards to Scizor. Once many Energy cards were attached to Scizor, I played Mew. Scizor could have chose to retreat by discarding Energy cards attached to it, but the other Scizor on the bench doesn’t have any Energy cards attached. If Scizor chose to attack, it will be soon KO’d by my Mew.
Although I only had 1 Mew in my list, that card gave me a great advantage to win the game. Also, I had games against Anti-Scizor deck but the main attackers were Fire type, so I didn’t have any problem since Feraligatr was a Water Type. I didn’t have any difficulties winning any of the games- I really can’t believe I lost last time! I took revenge, and I won the 1st place!
In the last tournament, I didn’t know the true strength of my deck. I also had a misunderstanding that I have to make a perfect field in order to win, and I didn’t have enough strength to predict how my opponent will move during the turn. I think that I was able to win this game because I lost last time- this time, I gave enough pressure to my opponent, and took care about time consuming.
Aside from my playing skills, changing my list right before the dead line made me win. Changing my deck at that moment was really challenging, but I’m very sure that I couldn’t have won if I didn’t have the courage to do it. (Though I was very lucky that I had to change only 1 card to win against the main meta.)
Winning the Sendai Tournament meant that I was now qualified to take part in “Electing the Strongest Player in Japan” Tournament. I still had 1 more month to prepare for it, so I studied really hard for it.
My next article will be “Electing the Strongest Player in Japan” Tournament. I had great games and great greetings in this tournament, and it’s one of the profoundly memorable tournaments in my Pokemon TCG life.
See you again!
Translated by 魔女 (Majyo / Madoka. U)