Part 2: Big ExplosionsFire Club
Why me? I'm Jessica of the Fighting Club. Oh! You must be Marco. I heard about you from Mitch. Defeating you must be more fun than training! OK! A single match with 4 prizes. Let's go for it!
We're using a revamped Charmander deck, so might as well fight Fire with Fire. And since one of the Fighting members is here, let's try things out! Charmeleon, and Charizard I guess, is the main attacker, but having a backup, like Magmar is useful for building up a Charmander, or when you don't draw one.
Some Basic mons have Powers, but they're, uh, not very good.
Anyway, ow, every character has a specific deck that revolves around some... interesting strategies. So we'll go over them and see how effective they are. This one kinda works? It's a bunch of Colourless and Fighting mons that can evolve and deal big damage with Fighting Energy, with some Pluspowers and Potions for good measure. So long as she doesn't get up Machamp you should be fine.
Pokemon Breeder lets you skimp on a few mid evolution cards, so we only have 2 Charmeleon, since as long as you have Charizard in your hand, very easy to get with Computer Search or Pokeball, and have a Charmander on the bench for 1 turn, you can use this card and skip right to the good stuff. We'll be using it a lot, but onto the star of the show, nay, the series.
Here's the biggest and best card in the TCG, the one everyone clamours over, the one that sells to the highest bidder and the one that's... pretty damn rubbish. This card has the biggest numbers with no modifiers and due to being a goddamn Charizard, is incredibly sought after. Your old card collection is most definitely worthless unless they're still sealed in booster packs, but good condition Charizard sells for thousands of dollars, to those willing to buy them.
As for the card itself, too slow and way too big of a drawback. You'd think its Power would help it be fueled by DCEs and fire off attacks all day, but you discard two energy cards, not two basic, so it'll only take you so far. Other cards will deal more damage over a shorter period of time, it even gets outpaced by its previous form! Charmeleon can attack for 50 damage every turn if you get constant energy, which very quickly adds up. Due to no real Fire energy acceleration, Charizard is just a pretty display item that sees no real use.
Cool. This Machoke is becoming quite a problem, especially if it evolves. But there's one card that can take it down! Uh, not yet, still charging...
There we go, as easy as that! Now to wait a couple turns until I can do it again.
But here's Charizard's main issue, are we really going to spend 2 turns and then discard 2 energy just to deal 70 overkill damage to a Rattata? I think my time's better spent building up a Charmeleon.
There are some cards you just don't think about because they're so unbelievably ubiquitous, but they should still be highlighted. This is why no one gives a shit about big heavy retreat costs until right at the end of the game. If you have some big boys, you should have 4 Switches, their utility is practically unmatched aside from the odd Poke Power.
But hey, she only got Primeape up, which can also use Tantrum for an extra energy, dealing 50 damage and confusing it if tails. Not a bad card, honestly, since it's pretty cheap to retreat.
Most wins will net 2 booster packs, which, since we've gotten every card in the game, is practically useless, but that's okay.
LAD: Come back and see me when you collect a lot of energy cards! Then... I'll let you in on a secret!
Really should be able to trigger this guy by now, but I guess not. Later then!
Trading Cards get together for heated duels! Join the fiery fun! 4 Prizes! Let's heat it up!
Fellas, is it gay to enjoy heated card games with your bros? Anyway, Cubone is a bitch because it just keeps crying and giving itself, in essence, a +20 HP boost. Then when you chip it down, it then uses Rage and can do 40 damage if it's nearly dead. Not fun.
Damn, the Pokeball is a great card, letting you choose any Pokemon in your deck, but only if you get heads. You can imagine how many times this might screw you over. Gust of Wind is also a great card, just choose a specific mon to be dragged in so you can kill it before it's ready, or if you need a cheap kill for the last prize.
Well fuck. This is the one downside of running few Pokemon, you don't draw into them and don't get anything for the bench. Despite Pokeballs and Computer Search and Oaks and Bills, I never drew another Basic. Sucks, right?
However, death is just a very slight inconvenience, since you can fight any trainer an infinite amount of times, there's very little in differing dialogue or any real story progression outside of picking up medals. It's fine to die, you just need to draw a better hand next time.
Since Dodrio only has Rage for 3 energy, if we build up Charizard and one shot, there's no risk. It can be useful, though, its Poke Power, Retreat Aid, reduces all retreat by 1 while it's on your bench.
Beautiful. We've seen all the interesting parts of John's deck, he doesn't even have a Marowak! He fuels a bunch of Colourless Pokemon with DCEs and equal Fire and Fighting energy and has a lot of drawing power, along with Pluspower and Gust of Wind to knock out key threats. Uh, you know, I'm saying this like the AI is smart enough to pull this stuff off. They have the tools, but not the hands to use them.
Hell yeah, it's very easy to burn through your entire deck getting the right components, so we'll build up a Charmeleon since Charizard is nearly spent.
Still, even if you don't want to endlessly charge up Charizard, it makes a nice meaty wall since 120HP is the max in the game. I know, crazy how that's been doubled for a long time now.
Let's heat it up again!
If you have Pokemon Fever, duel with me!!! A single match with 4 prizes! Come on, duel me!
Not exactly the best start, that's why Magmar is a good backup, does a lot of damage for not too much energy. Though since I've been powering up Charizard to live my childhood from 20 years ago, I haven't been really using it. Being on similar HP to Charmander doesn't do it too many favours either, but it's a potentially good early game option.
Because of how random this game is, sometimes the only time we'll fight someone it'll be as short and pathetic as this. Womp womp. We can pull this off by turn 2 if we get lucky with DCEs, but turn 3 with a Pokemon Breeder is fine by me.
And as you'd expect from the deck name, Adam has 22 goddamn Fire energy and practically every Fire type in the game for using Flamethrower with. With 4 DCEs, Energy Retrieval and a Charizard, you'd better watch out! But with only 3 Bill, he has a habit of getting a little stuck if you knock a mon or two out.
Fire Pokemon! OK! Let's duel!!! A 4-prize match! Here we go! Fire Pokemon!
Nice Fire Pokemon, doofus.
God DCEs are so good. Charizard really shines in short battles where you're one shotting the freshly evolved enemy.
Jonathan's deck is mostly Colourless that are fueled by Fire energy, with a bunch of Basics and Ninetales to fuel Wigglytuff's bench dependant attack. Both the Ninetales and the Pidgeot he uses are exclusive to this game, we saw Ninetails, so we'll go over that. It forces the opponent to put all their Basic and Evolution cards into their deck and randomly draw the same amount of Basic and Evolution cards, which is pretty silly to try irl. And for 3 Fire energy, flip EIGHT coins and do 10 damage per heads. Not too bad, honestly.
Then let's begin our duel! We'll play with 6 prizes! If you win, I'll give you a medal! Come on! Let's start the duel!
Club Master Duel
It's me, Dr. Mason. have you collected many cards? I have some information about Ken's deck - he's the master of the Fire Club. His deck consists of Fire Pokemon and Colorless Pokemon! Pit a Water Pokemon against the Fire Pokemon and a Fighting Pokemon against the Colorless Pokemon. Study the decks from the Water and Fighting Medal Deck Machines! Here's a gift for you! It's a Mystery booster pack! Look closely at the cards you just received. You should be able to come up with a winning strategy! Mason Laboratory Doctor Mason
Alright, great start... Sleep can be bad if you're unlucky, as you flip a coin between each turn, so hopefully it happens before your turn, or the enemy will just put you to sleep again. Still, Jigglypuff is whatever, but it lets him build up his bench, which has some real nasty stuff.
Annoying, but I've been building up a Charmeleon, so we'll be just fine.
He has four Jigglypuff, with three of them being our first Promotional Card. We'll go over them when we obtain them, just know that most of them are pretty rubbish, but gotta collect 'em all.
Now comes the real problem. Of course Chansey has the highest HP of all Basics, it can stall an opponent if you get lucky, and then smacks the hell out of them unless they're similarly bulky. If without Double-Edge, it'll quite happily sit there for a long time and let you set other things up, and is definitely a card we'll see a lot.
Still, Ken's deck is full of Pokemon with hard hitting tactics that don't work out too well if you've already damaged them. The AI definitely prioritizes KOs over self-preservation. And while the nuke is a waste, don't really have a choice.
At least by nuking his bench, Wigglytuff is much less dangerous. Filling up the bench is easy, getting 3 energy is easy as Colourless, and doing 60 damage a turn is incredible. Wigglytuff is one of the best mons in the game, and it's always something to watch out for with AIs that love shoving down any Basic they come across. Guaranteed Sleep is also very powerful while you're waiting for the setup, so better not, heh, SLEEP on this mon. Alright, we're done here.
So, uh, we never saw a Fire type, he does have them, honest! His main attackers otherwise are Arcanine and Magmar, with enough defensive Trainer utility in Potion, Recycle and Energy Retrieval, to ensure he can keep firing off big hits and recovering from the endless Double-Edge. But as you're seeing right now, it's a lot of luck whether we actually see a strategy get pulled off, the AI is just as luck beholden as you are.
With this, you're a little closer to the Legendary Pokemon Cards! Here, take this, too! I hope it will help you out!
How thematic, the legendary Pokemon aren't special cards or anything, you can pull them out of booster packs if you're lucky. It's Promotional Cards that are hard to get ahold of.
Onto the next deck, featuring Venusaur and one very special guest! Oh I'm excited for this one.
Not all trades are for Promotional Cards, some are just bog standard. It's alright, I guess, but nothing really special, especially with the chance of healing, bleh.
Who? The Master of the Grass Club? Do you mean Nikki? Nikki's out. I need a break. Do you want to play the Pokemon Trading Card Game with me? OK! A single match with 4 prizes. Let's start!
I hate Pokeballs so much...
This is a fight you won't win. Bulbasaur takes a little to get going, needing 2 Grass energy, but can subsist with Leech Seed just fine.
Ivysaur also has pretty good damage, Vine Whip for an immediate 30, or Poisonpowder for 20, to slowly whittle away at opponents. Poison does 10 damage between each turn, so it technically outdamages Vine Whip by 10 by the time it gets back to your turn.
Now we're getting to the good stuff. Venusaur doesn't have the raw power of Charizard, or the broken acceleration of Blastoise, but it's still very helpful when you have a lot of Grass energy on the field. Move onto a specific Pokemon to launch a devastating attack, shift it off something that's about to die, or just spread it around so anything can attack at any point. It means you can evolve a Venusaur in the background, while still attacking with your Active and then being able to swap to Venusaur for nice consistent damage and to take a few hits.
Even on a dinky little screen, most mechanics are pretty simple to use, using this stuff is a lot of fun! It lets a real strong fighter loose, but we'll see exactly what that does in a moment.
Humph! It's not much of a break if I lose.
Brittany has a weird deck, it's called Etcetera for a reason, since it uses every type except Water and Colourless, with energy to match! This does mean she can catch you by surprise, but she has no evolutions, so only Magmar is a consistent threat, but with only one, what are the chances you'll see it? She can't annoy you with Tangela if she keeps drawing Psychic energy.
Got another Fighting member, and boy is he a pain is the ass. If he gets another Fire energy, we're screwed, since I have nothing on the bench, as you can see.
Boy did I get lucky, but losing is such a non-issue that it's whatever.
Oh shit, it's time for the real Haymaker to start. That's what Micheal's kinda emulates, just a bunch of hard hiting Basics, with Primeape to keep the Fighting theme afloat. One energy for 20 damage is just great, especially with that bulk, with Special Punch being worked towards for even more damage! Notable to take down Fighting weak Wigglytuff, we'll be seeing more of the Haymaker archetype later, Micheal even has another one with Electabuzz.
We're all set up, so it should be a clean sweep from there. But what if we didn't want to take any damage in the process? After all, I have some DCEs, and Micheal has plenty of bulky mons like Hitmonlee and Kangaskhan as well.
Venusaur's partner in crime, though it's so easy to use in any deck with a lot of energy, if you like coin flips of course. Still, with 4 DCEs, that's still an average of EIGHTY damage, along with anything else you can add. With Venusaur it's incredibly easy to just get it set up, attack with Solarbeam in the meantime, then transfer everything over, Switch, and go to town. It's so dumb, it's so fun, no Psychic energy required.
Coin flips are a pain, though you can influence them in a way, but it's not something I fancy doing. We'll go over it later, since this will be far from the last time we get flipping.
Oops! Before I go... since it's the rule, take this! I'm heading back to the Fighting Club. Bye! See you again.
Onto the rest of the Grass Club with an... interesting deck. Using the Eeveelutions for different elements, with Porygon to change the opponent's weaknesses. Seems an interesting idea... each Eeveelution has an exclusive card to this game, though this Jolteon is not that.
Thankfully evolving removes the changed weakness, but if Quick Attack had gotten heads and been boosted to 30 damage, we would've lost, again no bench.
Charizard? Who's that?
Porygon does absolutely no damage, just changes weaknesses and resistances, which is pointless with only 30HP. It's probably one of the worst cards in the game, they did my pointy boy dirty.
I can't believe I could lose... I need to practice more...
I don't think she's here at the club at the moment. Would you like to take care of the plants? We could duel with cards if you prefer... we'll play a single match with 4 prizes. Don't take me lightly just because I'm a girl!
This is what happens when I never get to go first.
Still, with a couple of lucky rolls, we can eke past it. It's a bulky bitch with paralysis and confusion, man I hate this card. Thankfully only Poison can be stacked onto another special condition, since it has a specific token, while the others require card rotating.
Trader is interesting to help get the right things you need, but other cards, even draw supporters help with that, so it depends if you have the space for it, and you usually don't. Kristen has basically every Grass type, or at least the ones that aren't primarily Bug or Poison in the main game, but no draw supporters, so while she could get all of her 3 stage evolutions up, she probably won't naturally get to them. Only Venusaur does consistent damage anyway.
But hey, guess what time it is. Or, uh, let's try that again...
GUESS WHAT TIME IT IS!!!
I believe Nikki is at Ishihara's House. Maybe you should go meet her there, since she's late getting back.
for me? Oh my... I'm very sorry to keep you waiting. I was doing a little research here. I assume you would like to duel? I only duel at the club. I'm sorry, but could you meet me at the Grass Club? I will head back to the Grass Club and wait for you there.
You are indeed the number 1 Pokemon Trading Card Collector.
Oh, no! You give me too much credit... if you need to research anything, please come see me again!
Thank you very much, Ishihara. If you will excuse me...
I'm sorry I kept you waiting. Shall we duel? Shall we play with 6 prizes? Please go easy on me.
Club Master Duel
Marco, it's me, Doctor Mason. Have you won many Master Medals? I have some information for you about Nikki's deck - she's the Master of the Grass Club. You must be wary of Exeggutor's Big Eggsplosion in Nikki's deck. Use your Fire Pokémon to knock out Exeggcute and Exeggutor at an early stage! I suggest you study the deck from the Fire Medal Deck Machine. I'll give you a booster pack that should contain a lot of Fire Pokemon. Did it have a lot of Fire Pokémon (the weakness of Grass Pokemon)? Mason Laboratory Doctor Mason
Well she got right into it, yes she's using the same strategy as us. I've only played this game a couple times, and I don't want to restrict myself with what I use, so who cares, it's a mirror match! Though she's using it just a bit too early.
Because when Exeggutor gets going, there's no survivors.
God that's so good! Maybe we can do better... she also has the Oddish line, as well as some Psychic energy and Pokemon Breeder. So if you let her set up, she will absolutely go off, but if you knock out her Bulbasaur nice and early, she'll get a bit stuck on energy, especially with no DCEs.
Admittedly, even some regular GX cards don't reach that amount of damage regularly.
Maybe one day you will inherit the Legendary Pokemon Cards. Please allow me to give you this Grass Medal.
My duel with you was... quite fun! Please allow me to duel you again!
So you won the second Medal? You must have been really lucky! I'll see how good you really are! Come on, let's duel! We'll play with 6 prizes! If you win, I'll give you a really rare card!
Ah crap this is the worst thing he could start off with. Ronald actually does the Blue surprise of appearing when you least expect it... not that you need to heal your Pokemon between fights.
Alright, time to let Venusaur shine!
Ah dammit he keeps drawing Fire energy. Well, Exeggutor can save us. Anyway, Ronald will always challenge you after getting your second medal and his deck is a mix of Fire and Water, with a Cubone line and 8 Fighting energy for... some reason. He focuses a bit more on the Water side, but doesn't have the full evolution lines of the starters. That actually works in his favour for Charmander, but since he only has the one Prof. Oak, his draw power is pretty bad, so you should be fine. Should.
We should be fine now, since Lapras is a good card, but only if you stack the energy to boost Water Gun. Still, this is supposed to be a Venusaur deck, so let's show it off one more time.
Ah, that's the stuff! Marowak can call for Basic mons for 3 energy, which seems a little much, but can also throw two bones for 30 damage per head. Meh.
I... I wasn't really trying that hard! Well, a loss is a loss, so I'll have to give you this card.
Our first of many promos we'll obtain. Most of them are bad, but there are definitely some to highlight. You can usually get one through the main story, but in the postgame an event opens up that lets you get any promos as often as you like, including any you miss, such as this one, as you only get the one chance to get it from this fight!
You can see it's not that amazing, but it was one of the first cards ever available, being in the October 1996 issue of CoroCoro along with a Pikachu promo, which we'll get later. It became available in English if you mailed proof of purchase of the first Pokemon Movie soundtrack. Wow.
Next time, it's our first big splash, in more than one way!