Pokémon TCG: EX Deoxys
Have you taken a look at the EX Deoxys card expansion yet? EX Deoxys adds multiple versions of the newly revealed Pokémon Deoxys and of the mighty Rayquaza. It also features stronger, hardier versions of previously released Pokémon, like Salamence ex and Crobat ex. There are new Poké-Powers and attacks that provide and manipulate Energy, and the new Trainer cards can radically alter players' tactics!
Deoxysis a newly discovered Pokémon that mutated from a space virus. There are standard and Pokémon-ex versions of Deoxys. Deoxys and Deoxys ex have the ability to shapeshift into three forms: Normal, Attack, and Defense. When Deoxys or Deoxys ex uses its Form Change Poké-Power, you can swap your current Deoxys or Deoxys ex card with another that is in your deck. Deoxys cannot shapeshift into Deoxys ex, or vice versa.
Deoxys' Normal form (Deoxys #16) has a Link Blast attack, so it can do more damage if the amount of Energy on Deoxys and the Defending Pokémon is equal. The Attack form (Deoxys #17) has an Energy Crush attack, which does 10 damage plus 10 more damage for each Energy attached to all of your opponent's Pokémon. Finally, the Defense form (Deoxys #18) is a great card to start a battle with, since its Barrier Attack can reduce damage done to Deoxys by 30.
A good strategy for Deoxys is to start with either the Normal form or the Defense form. On your second turn, you could Form Change to the Defense Form and use Barrier Attack. That would give you more time to set up your other Pokémon, since Deoxys would be able to survive for a longer time.
Deoxys ex's Normal form (Deoxys ex #97) has an Energy Burst attack, which can quickly become powerful as players attach Energy to their Pokémon. It does 10 damage, plus 10 more damage for each Energy attached to Deoxys ex and the Defending Pokémon. Deoxys ex's Attack form (Deoxys ex #98) has Psyburst, which does 50 damage. You may choose to discard two Energy attached to Deoxys ex. If you do, you can add 20 more damage for each Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon! Deoxys ex's Defense form (Deoxys ex #99) has a Psychic Shield attack, which can prevent all forms of attack, including damage, from Pokémon-ex.
Since Deoxys ex's Defense form is more specialized, you should use Form Change switch it to the Attack form or Normal form if your opponent has no Pokémon-ex. Use the Normal form if your opponent is attaching Energy to his or her Active Pokémon, but switch to the Attack form if you can afford to discard Energy from Deoxys ex. If your opponent attaches lots of Energy to a Benched Pokémon, you may want to use a Pow! Hand Extension (EX Team Rocket Returns #85) or Energy Reversal (EX FireRed & LeafGreen #97, EX Ruby & Sapphire #88) to make it an Active Pokémon so you can blast it!
There are three versions of Rayquaza in EX Deoxys: Rayquaza (#22), Rayquaza ex (#102), and Rayquaza (#107). Each of these Rayquaza has a unique specialty.
Rayquaza specializes in defense. Rayquaza's Dragon Aura Poké-Body prevents all effects, except damage, done to Rayquaza if it has basic Fire Energy and Lightning Energy cards attached to it. This ability makes Rayquaza a good Pokémon to start a match with. It also has an inexpensive attack, Tumbling Attack, that can do up to 40 damage for only two Energy.
Rayquaza ex specializes in offense and surprise. Its Spiral Blast attack does 20 damage for each basic Energy card attached to Rayquaza ex, and its Dragon Boost Poké-Power allows Rayquaza ex to move basic Energy cards to itself from your other Pokémon when you place it from your hand onto your Bench! Combined, these abilities give Rayquaza ex a 1-2 punch against your opponent: you can place Rayquaza ex on your Bench, move basic Energy cards to it, then Retreat your Active Pokémon for Rayquaza ex and start crushing the Defending Pokémon for massive amounts of damage!
Rayquaza is an effective counter against teams of Pokémon-ex. Its Holy Star attack does 100 damage to each of your opponent's Pokémon-ex! Unfortunately, you have to discard all the Energy attached to Rayquaza , so you have to be very careful about when you use Holy Star. It's a good thing that Rayquaza has a backup attack, Spiral Rush, that can do a lot of damage if you're lucky: flip a coin until you get tails, and the total damage is 30 times the number of heads you got.
Besides Rayquaza , there are two other Pokémon in EX Deoxys: Latios (#105) and Latias (#106). They are excellent choices for defeating your opponent's Pokémon-ex or Stage 2 Evolved Pokémon.
Latias can heal all of your Pokémon with Healing Light. Its Shooting Star attack normally does 50 damage. If the Defending is a Pokémon-ex, you must discard all of the Energy attached to Latias , but Shooting Star will do 150 damage! That will Knock Out almost any Pokémon-ex with one blow. You need three different types of Energy to use Shooting Star, though, so Lady Outing(#87) will be helpful. Lady Outing lets you search your deck for up to three different types of basic Energy cards.
Latios can only heal itself with Miraculous Light, but its Shining Star attack is its main strength. Shining Star normally does 50 damage. If the Defending Pokémon is a Stage 2 Evolved Pokémon, you must discard all of the Energy attached to Latios , but Shining Star will do 150 damage! Again, Lady Outing will be helpful, since Shining Star requires three different Energy types to use.
Overflowing with Energy
Energy Charge (#86) returns to the Pokémon TCG and provides you with a way to recover your Special Energy cards whenever you're forced to discard them. When you play this Trainer card, you may flip two coins. You can put one Energy card into your deck for each heads.
Boost Energy (#93) also returns as one of the best things your Evolved Pokémon can use against its opponents. It will provide any Evolved Pokémon, including Pokémon-ex, three extra Colorless Energy for one turn. That means that Pokémon such as Charizard ex (EX FireRed & LeafGreen #105), Gardevoir ex (EX Sandstorm #96) and Exeggutor (EX FireRed & LeafGreen #5) can do extra damage faster. You have to discard Boost Energy at the end of your turn, but with cards like Energy Charge, you may have a chance to re-use Boost Energy again and again!
Scramble Energy (#95) is somewhat similar to Boost Energy, but the differences are tremendous. Scramble Energy can only be attached to an Evolved Pokémon (except Pokémon-ex). Normally, it provides one Colorless Energy. However, if you have more Prizes than your opponent, it provides three Energy of any type! Scramble Energy can be a nasty surprise to your opponent when used in many different situations. For example, if your Active Pokémon is Knocked Out, you have Breloom (#3) on your Bench, and if you now have more Prizes than your opponent, you could make Breloom Active and then attach Scramble Energy to Breloom. With just one Energy card, Breloom will be able to do 70 damage with its Hustle Punch!
The best thing about Scramble Energy is that you do NOT have to discard it at the end of your turn. As long as you have more Prizes, Scramble Energy will provide three Energy of any type, and you still get one Colorless Energy when you even up the score. Try combining Scramble Energy with Electrode ex (EX FireRed & LeafGreen #107) or Pow! Hand Extension for some interesting tactics.
Heal Energy(#94) is a versatile Energy card that combines three different and beneficial effects. It provides one Colorless Energy when attached to a Pokémon, heals one damage counter from the Pokémon, and removes all of the Special Conditions on it! Heal Energy is great for your Active Pokémon, since the Energy will help the Pokémon perform its attacks, and a Special Condition like Asleep or Paralyzed will no longer exist.
Metagross (#11) possesses a very good alternative to Energy Charge for your Psychic-type and Metal-type Pokémon. Metagross' Super Connectivity Poké-Power can be used every turn, and it lets you attach one Psychic Energy card or Metal Energy card to your Active Pokémon from your discard pile. You have to put one damage counter on that Pokémon, too, but the ability to attach two Energy cards to a Pokémon in one turn is a nice advantage!
Draw and Search
As is expected with each expansion, EX Deoxys features new ways to draw cards and search for specific cards.
Professor Cozmo's Discovery (#90) is a great new way to draw cards from your deck. Unlike most "draw cards," Professor Cozmo's Discovery doesn't require you to discard anything or have any limits on the size of your hand. All you have to do is flip a coin. If heads, you get three cards from the top of your deck, and if tails, you get two cards from the bottom. Ludicolo (#10) provides another way to draw cards quickly. With Ludicolo's Swing Dance Poké-Power, you can draw one card per turn.
Magcargo (#20) works very well with Professor Cozmo's Discovery and Ludicolo (#10), as well as any other card that helps you draw cards. Magcargo's Smooth Over Poké-Power lets you search for any card in your deck and put it on top of your deck. Combined with Ludicolo, you can draw that card after searching for it!
Are your opponents drawing a lot of cards? Not only can Mightyena (#12) help you search for the cards you need, but it can also help you get rid of your opponent's cards! Its Seek Out attack lets you search your card for a single card and put it into your hand, and its Pull Away attack forces your opponent to discard cards until he or she has four cards left. Pull Away is especially effective against opponents who like to use Copycat (EX Team Rocket Returns #83). If you keep many cards in your hand and your opponent uses Copycat, then you can force your opponent to discard several of their own cards.
2-On-2 Fighting Fever!
EX Deoxys introduces some hot new 2-on-2 team abilities that will make 2-on-2 Battles even more exciting!
Masquerain (#39) possesses one of the best defensive abilities seen in the Pokémon TCG: as long as Masquerain is an Active Pokémon, all damage from your opponents' attacks is reduced by 20! Masquerain teams up well with any Pokémon, but it works especially well with Metal-type Pokémon and Pokémon that heal themselves like Butterfree (EX FireRed & LeafGreen #2) or Rocket's Snorlax ex (EX Team Rocket Returns #104).
Masquerain is good defensively, but Claydol (#5) and Shiftry (EX Hidden Legends #14) make a great offensive team. If Claydol is an Active Pokémon, its Psychic Trace Poké-Power lets you match up the number of cards in your hand with the number of cards in your opponent's hand. Shiftry's Supernatural Power attack does 80 damage when the number of cards in each player's hand is the same, so Shiftry's damage potential is much better when Claydol can help it out!
Solrock (#47) and Lunatone (#36) increase each other's damage when they're both in play. Additionally, Lunatone reduces Solrock's Retreat Cost to zero, and Solrock increases Lunatone's HP to 80. Furthermore, you can use the older Solrock (EX Sandstorm #13) and Lunatone (EX Sandstorm #8) to take advantage of the newer ones' Poké-Bodies if all of them are in play, and the newer ones can use the older ones to power up their attacks! If that wasn't enough, the older Solrock can change its type to Fire, and the older Lunatone can change its type to Darkness, so it may be easier to exploit your opponents' Weaknesses.
Weezing (#51) and Dark Crobat (EX Team Rocket Returns #3) are a very dangerous combo, because with Dark Crobat's help, Weezing will be able to Knock Out almost any Pokémon with just one Energy! Dark Crobat's Black Beam Poké-Power automatically Poisons a Defending Pokémon. Weezing's Liability attack lets you to place damage counters on the Defending Pokémon until it is 10 HP from being Knocked Out, and the Poison from Dark Crobat will Knock Out the Defending Pokémon between turns! Weezing does 70 damage to itself, but a Low Pressure System (EX Dragon #86) gives Weezing +10 HP, so it can survive its own attack. Attach an Oran Berry (EX Ruby & Sapphire #85) to Weezing before attacking, and you can remove two damage counters from Weezing at the end of your turn!
Crobat ex (#96) and Dark Crobat are also a great team. Crobat ex's Pester attack does 100 damage if the Defending Pokémon is affected by a Special Condition, so Dark Crobat's Black Beam can Poison a Defending Pokémon before Crobat ex uses Pester.
Balloon Berry (#84) isn't exactly a new card, but a re-release. This version's text has been revised. Balloon Berry explicitly reduces the Retreat Cost to zero of the Pokémon that it is attached to. One big benefit of this is that cards like Dark Ariados (EX Team Rocket Returns #30), Girafarig (EX Dragon #16), Dark Muk (EX Team Rocket Returns #16), and Muk ex (EX Dragon #96), whose attacks are based on Retreat Cost, are weakened. It also cancels out any Trainer effects, attacks, Poké-Bodies, or Poké-Powers that increase Retreat Cost, such as Team Aqua's Hideout (EX Team Magma & Aqua #78) or Dark Muk's Sticky Goo.
Crystal Shard (#85) is another re-release that will be very useful for countering strong Pokémon that are weak to Colorless-type Pokémon, such as Rayquaza ex or Salamence ex (#103). Crystal Shard changes a Pokémon's type to Colorless when Crystal Shard is attached to it. Crystal Shard is also useful if the opposing Pokémon has a Resistance to your Pokémon's usual type. For example, Breloom (#3) could attack Crobat ex for full damage if Crystal Shard was attached, because Crobat ex's Resistance to Fighting-type Pokémon would not be triggered: Breloom would be a Colorless-type Pokémon when it attacks.
Meteor Falls (#89) is a new Stadium card that allows both players' Evolved Pokémon (except Pokémon-ex) to use attacks from their previous forms of evolution. This ability opens up many new tactics for the game. For example, Butterfree can continue to use Caterpie's (EX FireRed & LeafGreen #56) Signs of Evolution to take Metapod (EX FireRed & LeafGreen #39) and Butterfree cards from your deck so you can evolve a Benched Caterpie. Slaking (#15, EX Ruby & Sapphire #12) can use Slakoth's (#73) Flail or Vigoroth's (EX Ruby & Sapphire #47) Rage to cause a lot of damage if Slaking has damage counters on it. With Meteor Falls, there are countless strategies you can use to surprise your opponent.
Space Center (#91) is another new Stadium card that turns off the Poké-Bodies for all Basic Pokémon (except Pokémon-ex and Pokémon with an owner in its name). When Space Center is in play, you can bypass the defenses of many Pokémon. For example, you can ignore Rayquaza's Dragon Aura and give it a Special Condition, while Wobbuffet (EX Sandstorm #26) will lose its Safeguard Poké-Body and become vulnerable to attacks from Pokémon-ex (unless it evolved from Wynaut (EX Sandstorm #54), in which case, Wobbuffet would be an Evolved Pokémon).
Other Notable Pokémon
Altaria (#1) is the latest Pokémon to be immune to attacks from Pokémon-ex. Altaria has two advantages compared to the other Pokémon with the immunity: First, its Colorless type means that almost nothing has Resistance to its attacks, and it can exploit the Weaknesses of Pokémon like Rayquaza, Rayquaza ex, Rayquaza , Latios , Latias , and Salamence ex. Second, its Double Wing Attack does 20 damage for only one Lightning Energy, and in a 2-on-2 Battle, it does 20 damage to both Defending Pokémon!
Gyarados (#8) has three attacks, making it versatile and extremely dangerous. Its Dragon Spark attack does 10 damage to each of your opponent's Pokémon, and the Pulverize attack does 100 damage if the Defending Pokémon has two or more damage counters on it! Isn't that a great combo? Dragon Spark only requires one Water Energy, so a good strategy is to use one Gyarados' Dragon Spark while you attach Energy cards to another Gyarados. When each of the opponent's Pokémon has at least two damage counters on them, your powered-up Gyarados can start doing 100 damage repeatedly! Gyarados' third attack, Full Retaliation, does 20 damage times the number of damage counters on each Magikarp (any version) you have in play, so you could team Gyarados with a Pokémon that injures your Pokémon in some way, such as Whiscash (EX Dragon #48) or Blastoise ex (EX FireRed & LeafGreen #104), and do a lot of damage for only two Energy! And, with Meteor Falls in play, Gyarados can even use Magikarp (#64)'s Rage attack to cause a lot of damage when Gyarados is badly hurt.
Shedinja (#14) is a unique Pokémon in that your opponent can't claim a Prize card when Shedinja is Knocked Out. This means that, with some clever use of Pokémon Retriever (EX Team Rocket Returns #84) and/or Ninjask (EX Dragon #18), you can send swarms of Shedinja at your opponent and they won't gain any Prizes!
Speaking of Shedinja, the new Ninjask (#13) can use the older Shedinja (EX Dragon #11) to become nearly invulnerable to attacks! Ninjask's Fast Protection Poké-Body prevents all effects of attacks, including damage, by your opponent's Basic Pokémon. Shedinja's Wonder Guard Poké-Body prevents all effects of attacks, including damage, by your opponent's Evolved Pokémon and Pokémon-ex. If your opponent evolves his or her Basic Pokémon and you have a Ninjask in play, you can use Surprise! Time Machine (EX Team Rocket Returns #91) to change your Ninjask into the EX Dragon Shedinja. Your Shedinja will be immune to attack from those new Evolved Pokémon! Ninjask also has the ability to cause 80 damage for just one Energy when using its Swords Dance and Slash attacks in consecutive turns, so it has a lot of offensive power, too.
Salamence ex (#102) is the most powerful dragon ever released, and it's sure to be a fearsome sight in any card battle! For two Energy, Flame Jet can do 40 damage to your choice of the opponent's Pokémon. For four Energy, Bright Flame can do 120 damage to a Defending Pokémon! When you use Bright Flame, you have to discard two Energy, so Boost Energy cards will be indispensable for any deck with Salamence ex. If those two attacks didn't make Salamence worrisome enough, it has 160 HP and Resistance to both Fire-type and Fighting-type attacks, and its Dragon Lift Poké-Body reduces the Retreat Cost to all of your Pokémon (except Pokémon-ex and Baby Pokémon) to zero! With all of these powers, one might think that Salamence ex was too unbalanced. However, Salamence ex has a Weakness to Colorless-type Pokémon. The Crystal Shard Pokémon Tool allows many Pokémon to Knock Out Salamence ex with one hit. Also, Salamence ex's own Retreat Cost is not changed to zero by its Poké-Body, so once it's Active, it's vulnerable to Special Conditions.