Foreword: Hello everyone! My name is Michael Zirnsak and I’m an Australian TCG player. So my first article is going to be very simple, a Plasma Storm Set Review with my Top 10 Cards in the set after the analysis. As far as February sets go Plasma Storm is one of the best we’ve had in a while, with amazing Trainers and Supporters to boot we have mostly playable EXs and above average rares and uncommons.
Notable Cards in Plasma Storm.
(in set order)
Infernape (#17 Holo Rare):
Our first card is Infernape, for a Stage 2 this card is pretty good, the only thing it lacks is HP. Infernape is OHKO’d by a lot of the current meta, Keldeo EX, Hydreigon and potentially Darkrai EX with a certain combination of cards. But Infernape does wield a retreat cost of 0, so you can cycle them around very easily. Its first attack is Torment; this attack is overlooked due to its other attack. Torment does 30 damage for [C] which is subpar as far as damage goes but it has an awesome effect. You get to choose 1 of the defending Pokémon’s attacks and they can’t use it next turn. This is really good if your opponent can’t switch or have another Pokémon ready. Its second attack Malevolent Fire does 120 for [R][C] which is really cheap, but you have to discard all of the energy attached to it. But with proper support you can keep using this attack over and over and destroy your opponent’s field.
Victini EX (#18 Ultra Rare):
Victini EX has now been created as a Pokémon EX and has a great attack at its disposal. Turbo Energise allows you to search your deck for 2 basic energy cards and you get to attach them to your Pokémon in any way you like, this is great in Rayquaza EX decks as it makes it so much easier to get an attack that does 180 damage turn 2. Its second attack isn’t as good as its first as it has a high cost for its damage output, but can be useful if you run the ACE SPEC Victory Piece which makes all of Victini EX’s attack costs 0. This attack however really punishes Pokémon EX, especially Shaymin EX as it OHKO’s it after weakness.
Articuno EX (#25 Ultra Rare):
Articuno joins Moltres and Zapdos as EXs and is probably the best of the 3. Its first attack, Blizzard, does 60 damage from [W][C][C] and does 10 damage to each of your opponents benched Pokémon, this helps a card like Keldeo EX get OHKOs against 180HP EXs. Its second attack is rather good, provided it has a Plasma Energy attached it can get guaranteed Paralysis which is amazing, especially if they don’t have a way to get out of it, but the attack does have a low damage output, it only does 80 and it needs 2 [W] and 2 [C]. But you can speed it up with either Blastoise or Colress Machine.
Magnezone (#46 Holo Rare):
Now we have Magnezone, this card has an amazing ability, you can play 2 Supporters in your turn! This is great as you can use it with Skyla to get to use any Supporter you choose. But Magnezone isn’t as good as its ability, it has an okay HP amount for a stage 2, poor retreat in 3 [C] and an abysmal weakness with all the Landorus running about and its pre-evolutions are poor. This card is good, but has too many problems to have a major effect on our meta.
Zapdos EX (#48 Ultra Rare):
Zapdos is an above average EX, it has plenty going for it, good resistance, weakness that isn’t played much anymore and good acceleration in Eelektrik. It is rather bad early game though as its first attack requires 2 energy. But with Victory Star Victini it can survive for a long tie with it. Its second attack isn’t so good as it needs 4 energy and it only does 80, but with the help of Plasma Energy it does 120 with no draw backs, and with Colress Machine and Eelektrik you can get this attack rolling really quickly. It also has a great retreat cost of 1, and because it is a basic it can become 0 with Skyarrow Bridge. In the end it just an above average EX with the tools it needs to become great.
Rotom (#49 Uncommon):
Rotom is a great, cheap starter in Eelektrik decks, with its first attack it gets energy in the discard pile and gets you 3 more cards, which really improves Eelektrik’s consistency. Its second attack is also really good, it does 20x the amount of Trainer cards your opponent has in their hand, and with the format being so Trainer focused this can really put on some early game pressure. It does have a [F] weakness though and only 60HP which means its OHKO’d by Landorus EX. It does have a retreat cost of 1 and is a basic so it gets the amazing 0 retreat with Skyarrow bridge.
Crobat (#55 Holo Rare):
With built in draw support Crobat is already good, it has a 0 retreat cost so it moves around freely and has an okay weakness and a great resistance. Its attack does 4 for [P][C][C], which is lacklustre, but does put poison on the defending Pokémon and increases poison damage from 1 to 4, and with the help of Virbank City Gym it can do 60 damage just from poison itself. However the amount of actual damage is lacklustre and it’s a stage 2 with okay HP. But I think that the 40-60 damage just from poison and the draw support makes it a great card.
Klinklang (#90 Holo Rare):
Klinklang comes back into the format with a great ability, blocking all damage done by Pokémon EX is great. Its attack is poor, but its weakness is great, as fire types are very rare in the format. It also boasts resistance against Mewtwo EX. It does however have a 3 retreat cost which is hard to move around but it can be searched for with Heavy Ball along with most Steel Types.
Cobalion EX (#93 Ultra Rare):
Cobalion EX is probably one of the best EXs just on its own, with 180HP, Psychic resistance and great attacks it could easily take down anything. Its first attack does 30 for [M] and it discards a special energy attached to the defending Pokémon. So it has good output for 1 energy and a good effect on top of that. Its second attack is just as good, straight 100 damage for [M][M][C]. It even OHKO’s Sigilyph, despite it being an EX. It also 2HKO’s anything in the format (bar Giant Cape and Aspertia City Gym shenanigans). It does have a 2 retreat though, so it can only be searched for by Emolga or Ultra Ball.
Black Kyurem EX (#95 Ultra Rare):
Black Kyurem EX is one of 2 EXs with a vanilla attack, and a pretty poor one at that. But its beauty lies in in its second attack; Black Ballista, for [W][W][L][C] it does 200 damage but requires you to discard 3 energy attached to it. So from that we can safely say, late game attacker. But on its own it’s a bad card, getting 4 energy is hard to do and with the attack requiring 2 types it gets even harder, but with the help of Blastoise we can get this bad boy charged up in one turn and OHKO an EX.
Lugia EX (#108 Ultra Rare):
Here’s the most hyped card from this set; Lugia EX. With 180HP a good resistance and an okay weakness Lugia EX is already a good card, it has a monstrous ability which allows you to take more prizes when Lugia EX knocks out a Pokémon. But it sort of crumbles with its attack Plasma Gale, for 4 [C] energy it does 120 damage, but it needs to discard a Plasma Energy which are Special Energy, so it currently can only use Plasma Gale 4 times a match and against Pokémon with more than 130HP it’s in trouble. You can use DCE to speed it up but then it becomes Enhanced Hammer Bait. In the end it is a good EX with one major flaw that could break this card completely.
Colress (#118 Uncommon):
Colress is the new big supporter, it is very similar to N, except it goes for how many benched Pokémon there are, which makes it a horrible card early game where there are hardly any benched Pokémon, so this really limits its potential.
Colress Machine (#119 Uncommon):
Colress Machine is a new Item that allows you to get a Plasma Energy on one of your Plasma Pokémon, this speeds up all Plasma Pokémon heaps. This makes charging up a Lugia EX so much easier.
Ether (#121 Uncommon):
Ether is another new form of Energy acceleration, with PokeDex you can charge up your Pokémon really easily, but without PokeDex playing it is a gamble.
Hypnotoxic Laser (#123 Uncommon):
Hypnotoxic Laser is the best Trainer in Plasma Storm, getting Poison and possibly sleep is huge and can really speed up getting KOs against your opponent. However, it does require Virbank City Gym for it to be amazing and that takes a lot of space so unfortunately this really is just for Basic decks.
Virbank City Gym (#126 Uncommon):
Virbank City Gym is a great card with either Crobat or Hypnotoxic Laser, it increases the amount of any poison damage by 20, so it is extremely useful.
Dowsing Machine (#128 Holo Rare):
Dowsing Machine is a great ACE SPEC card, in decks that don’t use Junk Hunt Sableye this can really improve consistency because it can let you play 5 Junipers per game or 5 Catchers. It does require you to discard 2 cards from your hand, but in the end it pays off, especially in Eelektrik.
Scramble Switch (#129 Holo Rare):
Scramble Switch is arguably the best ACE SPEC in this set, it could replace Computer Search in Keldeo as you can send out a fresh undamaged Keldeo with the same amount of energy attached. You can really use it in any deck that can’t accelerate from the discard pile.
And with that we come close to the end of my set review, some cards are good but weren’t good enough in my opinion to get an impression, they are:
- Amoongus #13
- Moltres EX #14
- Manaphy #34
- Lucario #78
- White Kyurem EX #96
- Clefable #98
- Snorlax #101
- Togekiss #104
- Bicycle #117
- Escape Rope #120
- Team Plasma Grunt #125
- Victory Piece #130
These by no means are bad cards, but just are gimmicky or lack enough punch to get a review.
My Top 10 Cards from Plasma Storm
You may disagree with my Top 10, but I’ve done it by what I think will have the most impact on the format.
My Tier predictions for BW-PS
Darkrai EX/Mewtwo EX
Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX/Bouffalant
Garbodor/Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX
Anyway, let’s start discussing and theorymoning for the new format and the distant Regional Championships that are approaching!
Image Source: PokeBeach.com