Today’s tip deals with preparing the main attacker of your deck. Unless you are running an SP deck or some sort of speed deck that uses strong Basic and Stage 1 pokemon, you most likely have a few powerful Stage 2 pokemon that may take a few turns to set up. The cost of running these powerful attackers may be falling behind by a prize card or 2, but the reward is a tough pokemon that will hopefully endure several turns of your opponents attacks and deal out some huge damage in the process. Some of these big guys include Torterra, Tyranitar, Emboar, Samurott, Magnezone, Wailord and Typhlosion, to name a few.
The main thing you need to do to set these guys up is buy time. You need time to search out the evolutions and attach enough energy to attack. The last thing you want to do is send up your main attacker before it is ready only to have it take damage and potentially be knocked out. There are 2 ways to accomplish this, one being more defensive, the other more offensive.
The first way (the more defensive way) which we touched on in post #1, is to use a starter pokemon. These pokemon may let you evolve, search out important cards, draw extra cards or even shuffle in a bad hand.
The second way (the more offensive way) is to play several copies of a strong Basic, or even a Stage 1, that attacks for one energy and has either a low retreat cost or free retreat. You can start with these pokemon and immediately put pressure on your opponent to take action (rather than sit back and set up their own field). Even if the damage you do with these guys is not huge, is still weakens your opponents field which may pay off later.
While buying yourself time with your active pokemon, begin to set up your attacker on your bench. Make sure you remember to attach an energy EVERY turn and play the cards necessary to get its evolutions out. As soon as this pokemon is prepared, then bring it to the active spot and try to take control of the game.
And most importantly, don’t stop preparing your bench once you have your big attacker out. New players are often so excited to get a knock out that they forget other actions that they could take. Even if you have, for example, your Tyranitar Prime out with 4 energies on it, keep searching out your next attacker and play the energies necessary for it to attack when your Tyranitar is knocked out.
As we’ve said before, 1 strong pokemon may earn you a few prizes, but 3 or 4 set up attackers will most likely get you the win. Always take your time, think about what’s in your hand and play every card you can each turn that helps you set up. You may not win every game, but taking this approach will at least leave your opponent knowing that he/she was in a great battle and you will have more fun (even if you lose) knowing you gave it your all.
Check back on Thursday for tip #4. See you there!