Part 3: Competitive SplashWater Club
What better place to use a Blastoise deck than by the pool? But let's trade one good card for a kind of alright one.
Looks badass, but is it bad? Well, under the right conditions you discard 2 Fire energy for 100 damage, which sounds familiar, but if you can't keep the upkeep then it's a discount Charizard you can only have 1 of per deck until postgame. It was available through official TCG leagues in March 2000, while the JP release was through a Toyota auto campaign in Oct 1997, with a rerelease in 1999 through the Pokemon Song Best Collection.
Isn't it wonderful to duel in a place like this? OK, we'll play with 3 prizes. It'll be a 1-match duel!
Let's start with a splash, Water Gun is a very common TCG attack that deals more damage the more Water energy you attach, so it can get pretty strong pretty fast.
Squirtle has some slight stall with Bubble paralyzing, but I wasn't getting very lucky.
Oh hey, good way to knock these both out at once. They're bench fillers, which is useful for certain strats, but the Mysterious Fossil is needed to then "evolve" into the 3 fossils, making those stage 1 cards in a way. It's a shame they're not that good considering the extra work you put into them, but whatever, wonder why she has both?
Oh. Ohhhhhhhhhh. Shit. Amanda has a nasty little combination, keeping you from evolving with Aerodactyl, so she one shots you with Wigglytuff with a full bench. Thankfully I don't take much stock in my lead mon, so I've got a Wartortle in the back.
This can get very quickly out of hand. Thankfully Wartortle is like the other 1st stage starters in having consistent damage and Aero doesn't really do much when it's out.
Despite her Potions and waves, since we kept her bench low, it wasn't a big deal.
Do you want to take a swim? Or would you rather duel? There will be 2 prizes. The duel will be 1 match. OK, let's start!
Mirror match! Due to lower prizes compared to other clubs, it seems like this was intended to be your first club. But having a Wigglytuff and Aerodactyl deck as your first seems a little mean, so I dunno. Oh yeah, she also had Scyther, because of course she did.
But of course, paralysis aside, this isn't just the Squirtle show, we have a second friend that works very well with what we've got. But first:
Like come the fuck on, how could this card not be completely ridiculous? Slowly charging up Pokemon with one energy a turn is a big part of this game and stops you rolling over your opponents. Well this lets you attach as many energy as you want each turn, which also lets you then charge it up and attack at full power the turn it comes out, as well as making any Water deck shoot up in viability. Of course, as a stage 2 it's slow, but you'll zoom past when you get it set up, especially with a Breeder.
It's so stupid how quickly we can charge everything up. This is on turn THREE with me burning through the entire deck for the heck of it. And while I could put in basically any Water mon, like Sara does for her deck, it's nearly all Pokemon, legendaries are just random cards you can pull, so let's use some!
Put any Water type here and it'll be the same result, but I chose Articuno since paralysis is really good, and its heavy energy costs are but a drop in the ocean. Heh, get it? Well, the million water puns aside, it's a pretty dependable card, and while the Blizzard damage can go either way, if you've got Blastoise set up, there's really not much your opponent can do, even if it is slightly damaged.
swimming so much. I guess I have to practice more to improve my Pokemon Card Game.
As promised, I'll test your skills. If you win, I will introduce you to Amy... OK, this will be a 1-match duel with 4 prizes!
Alright, how quickly can we obliterate this guy? Call for Family pops up every now and then, and it's pretty useful early game for specific builds. Not that we're gonna see it work out.
It really is that fucking easy.
I didn't need to build up another Blastoise, but I could, and that's what matters. Joshua has a lot of Water mons and a lot of energy, using the ones Sara didn't get round to, since there's a lot. The fact each deck we're facing have like 10+ different lines to them shows how bloody awful they are.
Well, since I promised... I'll introduce you to Amy. Don't think you're that good just because you defeated me. We still have Amy here at the Water Club. Amy! Please wake up!!
Huh? What's going on? I was enjoying my little nap...
Well, um... (psst, psst, psst)
What? You lost? How could you!?!
I, Amy, the master of the Water Club! OK! A 1-match duel with 6 prizes! Let's do it!
Club Master Duel
Marco, it's me, Doctor Mason. I have some information for you about Amy's deck - she's the Master of the Water Club. Her deck uses Rain Dance - Blastoise's Pokemon Power. This deck allows her to keep attaching Water Energy to her Water Pokemon to power them up. Her deck's weakness is Lightning Pokemon! I suggest you duel her using the deck from the Psychic Medal Deck Machine. Here's a booster pack for you. Marco! Keep at it, and don't give up! Mason Laboratory Doctor Mason
Yep, of course Amy uses Blastoise as well. But since I have 2 Breeders and 4 Blastoise, it's much easier to get it out compared to 1 and 2, respectively. And of course knocking out Squirtle helps a lot, the AI won't retreat their main Pokemon unless it's the specific card they've been told to protect. So they'll do a lot more to protect their Scyther compared to a Wartortle.
She has some disruption in a variety of other Pokemon and Energy Removal, diluting her pool even more. She even uses Seaking as her backup attacker, as well as a couple Lapras, but you find out in the tutorial how weak Seaking is.
But I guess if she keeps removing Blastoise's energy, we'll use something else instead. Using this deck is just cheating, let's never touch it again.
Well, since I lost, you can have this Water Medal. This should get you a step closer to inheriting the Legendary Cards!
Here, you can also have these! They should come in handy! Come see me again! I'd love to duel you again sometime!
We've gotten into the swing of things, so since we're done with the starters, let's see what tools the game has for doing different decks. In the side room where we fought Tech Aaron, each of the machines is activated when you get a specific medal, the one in the top corner is something for later.
Each give you a selection of decks you can build, with the different symbols indicating how much of your current deck you can put towards it? I guess? Well we won't be bothering with any of these archetypes, there's some interesting ideas, sure. But this game thinks a good deck consists of 25 different Pokemon, 2 Bill and split energy. Fucking trash!
In the bottom corner is a machine that lets you save all the different decks you've made. I'll only use each deck once, but I'll store them here for posterity. After all, I'll be using decks chosen by YOU! Or at least, you guys chose the two Pokemon you wanted to see, I picked any I liked the sound of and filled in the rest. Toyatasomi no Miko first suggested a Nido deck and a fair few people agreed, so let's give it a run!
LASS: Pikachu's cute, but I prefer Clefairy! I'll give you this Pikachu if you give me a Clefairy! OK then let's trade! Pikachu for Clefairy.
God this card is so fucking freaky... I've been forgetting to clear out all the lounges of interesting stuff for clubs we've already been to. But I have no idea which ones these are looking at the screenshots lol
Anyway, Pikachu has a few different Promos, because of course it has, and this is the least interesting one. It's just bad. No Promo Raichu, the savages, so it's just stuck like this. Yikes. This was the other Promo card with Jigglypuff in the Oct 1996 CoroCoro and was also rereleased with much better artwork by Sugimori for the Toyota campaign along with Arcanine. It was released in the west through official TCG leagues in July 1999, woo.
LAD: cards. Please give me all your energy cards! Give me all the energy cards that aren't in your deck!!! Gimme, gimme! Gimme all of 'em!!!
LAD: Since you were so nice, I'll tell you a secret! Check the wall 2 tiles left of the bookcase... you'll probably find something really nice! Thanks again. Bye!
...yeah. I did this to really illustrate that any energy not in your decks is completely gone. It's not a big deal for me, I can get a lot more very quickly, but if you say no without knowing what's going on, he gets upset and leaves, never to return. Pretty shitty, gotta say.
Amnesia: Choose 1 of the Defending Pokémon's attacks. That Pokémon can't use that attack during your opponent's next turn.
Well that was incredibly not worth it, but the story behind the card is always better. This card was first released in May 1997 along with official playmats in Japan, and was never physically released in English, its only appearance being this game. Due to its rarity, no one's really felt like scanning it, but it was reprinted in a future Japan only expansion.
WOMAN: It's the talk of the town that Ishihara wishes to trade a very rare card. Maybe I'll visit him myself!
I'm thinking about trading my Surfing Pikachu for it. Do you have Clefable? Oh wonderful! Then without delay...
Of course we've got lots of Pikachu to collect! The only interesting thing is it uses Water energy, but whatever. This is the first appearance of Surfing Pikachu, available in Japan from Aug 1997 CoroCoro, with the English version from the TCG Leagues in Aug 2001. And so began the many, many different forms of Pikachu. May it never end. Oh right, uh, an NPC will tell you if Ishihara wants to trade something, but it's a different NPC each time, so good luck. With all that done, it's on to something a little different.
CLERK: opponents here, and you shall be presented with a wonderful gift! Please join in the competition!
I'm the one who's going to defeat 3 opponents! The prize, Lv60 Mewtwo, belongs to me! You just sit tight and watch me win! See ya! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
CLERK: Defeat 3 opponents to win the wonderful prize of Lv60 Mewtwo! The game will be a 1-match duel with 4 prizes! We are now accepting entrants here. Wouldn't you like to enter? Then please proceed to the stage!
Heh, our character doesn't know what to do since he's never been on a stage before.
HOST: Presently, Marco is still a contender! Marco is the new challenger! There will be 4 prizes! OK!! Let the duel begin!
So the Challenge Cup is interesting, but not too great, win 3 matches in a row that you can save and edit your deck inbetween to get a single Promo card! The tricky part is actually going to one of these, the first one is after we get the third medal and we only have that window to do it. If we get our fourth medal, then the Challenge Cup ends and Ronald wins the Promo card, which he never uses. You don't get another chance, so don't miss it! Or do, it doesn't really matter. In any case, this is how you get missed Promo cards in the postgame, but we'll get to that later.
Our opponents can be any of the regular Club members, even if we've never met them, not like they have any dialogue for this. It's a bit risky starting off with Nidoran M, since Horn Hazard only deals damage if you get heads, but I specifically have less Nidoran F for the strategy. And, uh, Energy Removal, uh, does the thing. You know, one from an opponent's Pokemon. It's cool, I guess.
We wanna start with Nido F since she has Call for Family, which includes both Nido, which is nice. But this Persian is a problem, so let's reach the final form.
A simple enough combo that can deal huge damage and is also something I never completely pull off. Evolving stuff in the right order is hard yo. Even with a couple of Nidoking, Boyfriends does great damage, so it's not really necessary to get 4 Nidoking, even though I do have that many. And Nidoking is no slouch when it comes to attacking, let's see, shall we?
Jesus christ, Toxic's animation is fucking brutal.
HOST: Marco has defeated 1 opponent!!! Most unfortunate, Chris. Have a safe trip home! Let's meet our next challenger!
You can access your menu, so there's no worry. Always make sure to save, RNG will fuck you if it can and if you lose, you cannot attempt this again.
Alright, Heather's deck, if you remember, was a bit weird, but- oh wait, she doesn't have any bench Pokemon.
HOST: One more opponent to go before winning the Challenge Cup! The third opponent is Ronald!
HOST: Well, Marco, let the third, and final, match begin!
Huh, never had that happen before.
Thanks coinflips. The AI likes leading with Kangaskhan to draw cards with Fetch. For all Challenge Cup matches against him, Ronald uses the same deck, standard basic stages monsters that are a pain to get around, as well as Muk and Graveler. But we should be fine, how hard can it be?
Still, despite hurting us Thrash is some real nice damage. Grimer is less fun, since paralysis is such a pain, but we won't need to deal with it for long.
It's the power of love!
Hrmmmmm, Pokeballs are so fucking bad, but you need them!!!
Oh of course he drew a DCE and a Pluspower at the same time, giving him just enough to OHKO me. Well at least he's using the bad Magmar.
Or at least it should be the bad one. It just lets him get Scyther fully set up. Sigh. It's definitely a lategame card for Haymaker, but its main draw is high HP and resistance to the main Haymaker fighter, Hitmonchan. Swords Dance is only useful if you're not able to damage the opponent, or you're able to start using Slash next turn. Very dangerous card, but is a little slow.
Oh of course I get all tails for my Thrashes so I don't knock out Scyther and it puts Nidoking in range of Rock Throw, which does 40 damage. I still have a Nidoran M, and Graveler is weak to Grass, so if I get heads, I win.
Fuck off game, jesus. If any of those coinflips had been heads, I would've won, the only reason I lost was because I got all tails all in a row. But that's why you save. And also don't use coinflips, they're garbage.
HOST: It was close, but Marco was defeated by the third opponent!
You see! I'm the better player? Two more opponents to win the Challenge Cup!!
Let's try that again, I get 3 heads in a row for max Double Kick damage, great.
But there we go, a single heads so I can 2HKO a Scyther, christ.
He had another set up, which is quick to do, but I just keep landing those heads! Hell yeah! I'm not mad at this game! Please don't post in the thread that I was mad!
HOST: Most unfortunate, Ronald. Do try again in the next Challenge Cup.
That was luck! But a loss is a loss... MARCO! I won't lose next time!
Of course Mewtwo gets some promos, and it's not bad, getting it set up in one turn if you discard some energy beforehand, preferably from a Computer Search that resulted in the Mewtwo. This card was first available as an insert with the Pocket Monster Fan Book in April 1997, while the English version was one of four promos you could get from buying a theatrical ticket to the first movie. Then they ruined the artwork by putting a dumb gold stamp in the corner.
Next time, more medals, and the rest of the game features decks chosen by you guys!