The Let's Play Archive

Pokemon TCG 1 & 2

by Crosspeice

Part 6: To Beat A Master


Well, it's been a long road, but unfortunately this action packed game must end eventually. Since Imakuni? is in the Fighting Club, might as well beat him up again.

We've got quite a good deck this time around, but surely Machoke getting beat up makes it not that effective?

Unfortunately for my opponents, using an Alakazam/Machamp deck is quite illegal. Brains and Brawn by SleuthDiplomacy, since Alakazam's Power is stupid and lets your Machoke fire off full power Karate Chops or ignore Submission's recoil, and lets Machamp become practically invincible. This is the same as the Blastoise deck, it feels too good for me to actually use, but that's the fun of it!

We get another 4 booster packs, so we'll have to find him again, soon enough.

This guy is a bit of a butt, he requires 5 cards for 1 Promo and something you can chip away as you play the game. There's no time progression in the game, things move forward when you reset, so let's do that a bunch and give him a Golem, Omastar, Parasect, Rapidash and Weezing. This better be worth it!!!

MAN: Please accept this card as a gift from me to you. It's a Lv16 Pikachu. Please take good care of it!

Another Promo Pikachu? Yup, don't need to translate this, it's the same as the Ivy Pikachu with Growl and Thundershock. This was the reprint available through a Toyota campaign alongside Arcanine and this game is the only time it was available in English. At least we're nearly done with all these dang Promos.

How about a rematch? No? OK. But do duel me again sometime.

All the Fighting members have returned to the club, but have the same deck, so we won't fight them again. Onto the main event!

Let's see if you have what it takes to inherit the Legendary Pokemon Cards! OK! Are you ready? Come on! Show me what you've got! We'll play with 6 prizes!

Club Master Duel

Marco, it's me, Doctor Mason. I have some information for you about Mitch's deck - he's the Master of the Fighting Club. His First-Strike Deck is built for a quick attack, but it's weak against Psychic Pokemon! I suggest you duel him using the deck from the Psychic Medal Deck Machine. Here's a booster pack for you... Marco, I know you can do it! Go win the Fighting Medal! Mason Laboratory Doctor Mason

Leading with Abra isn't the best idea, but with Hitmonlee as the opponent, it doesn't really matter where we put it.

Still, sucks to lose a Machop to Hi Jump Kick, least I've been building stuff in the back. Getting Alakazam up asap is very useful.

God this is so easy lmao

Because of how good Machoke is, you might forget about evolving to the final stage. Machamp is very bulky, very, VERY consistent and its only weakness is being slow to set up. 10 retaliation isn't much, but if your enemy isn't hitting very hard, then it'll add up quickly, even if Machamp gets KOed! Of course with the combination of Alakazam, it becomes practically invincible and I could easily sweep the rest of the game with this combo.

Mitch is out of energy and out of time. I like how the entire continent just crashes down, sorry to all you Aussies, such is the fate of racist prison desert. Mitch also uses Machamp, but with plenty of other Fighting mons and only 4 Bills as draws, it'll be tough for him to get things in the right order, so make sure to snipe the Machop when they come up. The main concern is Hitmonchan and the various Potions, Defenders and Switches he can use to protect it.

Here, take this. It's the Fighting Medal! You'll find the secret to the decks of this club encrypted in it.

Here, take this, too. It's a Laboratory Booster Pack. I hope to duel someone like you again someday!

Pokemon Dome

With all the medals... uh, there's nothing else to do in the entire island, so off we go to face the Grand Masters! Make sure you'll full of healing items- er, I mean, make sure your levels are high- er wait, what game are we playing? Still, Dr. Mason has been our mentor, so let's see what other emails he's sent us throughout the game.

Marco, it's me, Doctor Mason. It looks like you've won quite a few medals. Want to try building your own deck? Start by changing some of the cards in your present deck. Keep changing a few cards at a time, and eventually you'll have your own unique deck! It's not that difficult. Give it a try! Mason Laboratory Doctor Mason P.S. Here's a deal - this time, you get 2 booster packs!

Did you try building your own deck? This time, I'll give you tips on the types and number of cards you should include in your deck. If you have 3 of a Basic Pokemon card, you'll want 2 of its Stage 1 and 1 of its Stage 2 Pokemon. If you follow this rule, your deck will be well balanced. You should have about 14 Basic Pokemon and anywhere between 20 and 26 Energy cards in your deck. The type of Energy cards will depend on the type of Pokemon you have in your deck. You might want to look at the decks in the Deck Machine for hints. Mason Laboratory Dr. Mason P.S. This time, I'm sending 2 booster packs again!

Thanks doc. The info the games tell you for deck building is supremely terrible, following my strategies will give you much better results. Nowadays having a lot of Basic Pokemon is recommended due to their powerful draw or support effects, but that was incredibly rare back in the day, meaning you should have few Pokemon, few Energy and the rest should be Trainers to draw into everything you need. Seriously, Computer Search is probably one of the best cards in the game. Also having 4 of a Stage 2 mon means you're likely to have some not prized up and has a higher chance of having them in your hand for Pokemon Breeder. The game really expects you to use their shitty prebuilt decks until you get enough cards to branch out on your own, but seriously, don't listen to their advice, you'll be just fine.

It's time to end the game.

Grand Master Courtney, the Fire Queen. Grand Master of Lightning, Thunder Steve! Grand Master of Ice, Gentlemanly Jack. We are the 4 Grand Masters who guard the Legendary Pokemon Cards. If you can defeat all of us, then you will have earned the right to inherit the Legendary Pokemon Cards! Marco, take your place at the table.

opponent! We shall see if you can tak the heat. A 6-prizes match! Hm-hmm-hmm... let's go for it!

Grand Master Duel

Marco, it's me, Dr. Mason. You're finally going to be dueling a Grand Master... Grand Master Courtney used the Legendary Moltres, so her deck should be made up of Fire Pokemon. Be sure to use Water Pokemon, since Water Pokemon are the weakness of Fire Pokemon. Other than that, just watch how your opponent plays, and choose your strategy accordingly. Mason Laboratory Doctor Mason P.S. You're almost there. Keep up the good work!

Dive Bomb: Flip a coin. If tails, this attack does nothing.

Alright, we're starting off with a Legendary card right out of the gate. Each of them have pretty powerful bench entry effects, but thankfully this only puts lots of energy into the hand, imagine if you could put multiple onto one Pokemon in a turn, that would be busted as hell! However, as we're about to see, they're no slouches when it comes to fighting either, so let's see how this works out.

Ah. Shit. Sometimes the TCG is quite cheeky in what a Pokemon resists, but it makes sense. It's just very annoying.

Thankfully we get lucky enough to survive one.

Oh wait I have Alakazam, I didn't mean one, I meant ALL!!! I also evolved so we could bang our head against resisted damage without lots of recoil.

Of course you can never have enough Moltres, so here's another one. It's not too great, but Wildfire has its uses and Dive Bomb is still a nuke, if you're lucky. This isn't a Legendary Card (tm), those are the GB exclusive ones.

Ow, Take Down hurts like a bitch. Since I don't want to deal with resistance, we'll just ignore any more Moltres with Gust of Wind, I have only so much time in this life, so I'm making the most of it by, uh, well you get the joke.

Sweeping with Machamp feels like cheating, so let's sweep with Machoke instead.

Now we're out of wind... sigh...

Back to consistency and another Arcanine is here, using Flamethrower to burn me away.

Even with all her drawing, she eventually ran out of energy, since she didn't use any Energy Retrieval. The only mon of hers we didn't see was Magmar, but she mostly builds up Moltres with all her new energy and tries to burn you up. Not too bad, but we had a real powerful deck.

as how you've come this far. Your next opponent is waiting for you!

Very good, Marco! Your second opponent is Steve!

This could've become a pretty nasty challenge with 4 fights in a row, but you can freely change your deck and save between each one. Which is good, cause we've still got some stuff to show off!

Our first pure Psychic deck is a Gengar and Hypno deck by Level Seven, as you saw from the previous fight, the Grand Masters can be tricky, but they're not very difficult either, even if a couple of them took me some tries. We'll be using some different decks to round out the LP!

Dos time.

Marco, it's me, Dr. Mason! Grand Master Steve uses the Legendary Zapdos. The Legendary Zapdos's Peal of Thunder and Big Thunder randomly choose a target, so you never know which Pokemon will receive damage. Be sure to look after, not only your active Pokemon, but also the Pokemon on your bench. His deck should be made up mostly of Lightning Pokemon, so duel him using your Fighting Pokemon. Defeat the Grand Masters, Marco!!! Mason Laboratory Doctor Mason P.S. 3 more to go!

Nice. Zapdos is scary and random, we should be able to dodge most of its attacks due to not putting down as much on the Bench compared to the AI, but that's not a given.

Phew, lucky, since while Gengar is a good Pokemon, it starts off super fragile.

Let's drag in the big hitter and also put it to sleep. I mean, what are the chances Steve has an energy while also being able to wake up on the same turn?

Well crap. If you don't have anything on the bench, then using this Zapdos is absolutely amazing! We got a bit unlucky, but we have more Gastly, I'm sure we can flip this to our favour.

See, like that. This is one of the best ways to fight Steve, just let him kill his bench with Zapdos. It comboes especially well into what this deck can do.

Mmm, that's the good shit. Gengar is similar to Alakazam, except it's one damage counter per Gengar and you can, of course, use it to KO enemies. Since this doesn't count as an attack, you can use it to get multiple prizes in a turn, or knock out the Active to then attack whatever gets switched in. The more damage counters you place down, the more fun you can have. And we've got an enemy that just loves putting down damage counters.

You know, if the opponent can even survive a Big Thunder. Dark Mind doesn't do crazy damage, but it's consistent and lets you spread the love around. If you moved the counter onto the active, then it technically does 40 damage, which still ain't bad.

And bonus, with an evolved bench, nothing of ours gets one shot. It really is that easy.

Even retreating won't save you. Again, they're out of energy and out of time.

lmao nice going idiot. I guess we'll talk about the other Zapdos, as well as the one Zapdos we didn't see, but it's no surprise Steve didn't get around to using this one, cause boy its attacks are bad! Very slow to build up for such a big hit that you need to build up to again. Thunder also doesn't do enough damage for the amount of energy it needs, as well as the recoil. But such is the life of a Basic. The second one seems interesting enough, but potential bench damage isn't very strong, especially with the nasty recoil if you get unlucky. It's a good way to spread lots of damage to snipe stuff later, but man are coin flips never fun, so it's more of a cautious recommendation.

Nice and smooth, but our deck was really able to take advantage of his, we'll see how that works for the next fight. Steve will use Zapdos a fair bit, but also has Jolteon and Electrode as stuff to power up in the back. Along with some Pluspowers, Steve can start randomly nuking stuff, but of course because of Big Thunder, it's too easy to turn his attacks against him.

feel we can give you the Legendary Pokemon Cards!

Very good, Marco. Your next opponent is Jack!

Nothing to change, so let's jump right into it! After saving of course.

It's me, Dr. Mason! 2 more Grand Masters to go! Grand Master Jack uses the Legendary Articuno. He will use the Legendary Articuno's Quickfreeze to paralyze your Pokemon. Also, be wary of his other Articuno's Freeze Dry. His deck should be mostly Water Pokemon, so it will be weak against Lightning Pokemon! Go get 'em, Marco! You're almost there! Mason Laboratory Doctor Mason

Hmm, this is looking pretty bad, but what if I told you that we could win this, easy.

Ahahahahahaha!!! This is why I use certain cards of a Pokemon over others.

While we have our tricks, Psychic decks really struggle against the multitude of chonky Basics, especially since their attacks usually do 30 damage due to having secondary effects. There is one way around this.

It's not pretty though, secondary effects occur even if you don't do any damage, so we can slowly but surely move it onto the Ditto to knock it out. You might wonder why not just use Gust of Wind, but you can see the reason I'm saving it down there. Yikes!

Get that shit outta here! They're not too bad if there's already a lot of damage counters around and we have multiple Gengar to shift them, but one issue with KOing mons is it heavily reduces the amount of counters. It's a tricky balance.

Also cool cat strats, moving a counter onto Articuno to KO it with Dark Mind. And since Jack is poring energy onto his other mons, his walls of HP just remain that, so we can easily go around them.

Hey, get back here!

We can only keep this up for so long. But we only have so many prizes left.

Slippery little fella. You might think this is trivializing a Grand Master, but since we're sniping his Basics that he's building up, he's running out of Pokemon and energy. Seems to be a consistent problem with the AI, huh.

At least you guys are seeing this abridged version, cause this battle was absolute hell, especially since decking out was a serious problem.

Alright, 3 counters a turn, very nice. Better keep them all in good shape, cause only doing 1 per turn is so, so miserable.

Ice Breath: Does 40 damage to 1 of your opponent's Pokémon chosen at random. Don't apply Weakness and Resistance for this attack. (Any other effects that would happen after applying Weakness and Resistance still happen.)

Huh, guess Jack got bored of not doing any damage and decided to have some fun. Articuno is a real pain with paralysis, but is otherwise kinda whatever, not really much else to say. And while it's tempting to beat it up, there's a much better option.

...oh yeah this deck has another Pokemon. It's quicker to set up and helps with the spreading of counters, with the same kind of problems Gengar has. I'm sure Prophecy has its uses, but meh, let's not look at this thing any longer than we need to.

Anyway, lots of Colourless mons made this absolutely miserable to fight, he nearly used all the ones he had. Thankfully he didn't use a single Scoop Up or Energy Retrieval, we're getting real lucky in dumbass AI not using Trainers. He can set up very quickly due to only having Dewgong to evolve, with Lapras getting pretty strong pretty quickly and both Articuno getting built up behind the big walls.

It is a mortifying thought, but it appears you are better than I. Very well! Now on to your final test...

Spectacular dueling! I, Rod, will be your final opponent! This is your final duel! Show me what you're made of! Is your deck ready, Marco?

Indeed we'll get our deck ready! What better way to face against the legendary leader than with... some bugs. But here's the twist, the bugs are gonna kick this guy's ass. I'll show you the power of Butterfree and Parasect from this deck by werbear!

It's me, Dr. Mason! The final duel is here! I have some information on Rod, the leader of the Grand Masters. Rod uses the Legendary Dragonite. The longer the duel takes, the greater the advantages for his deck. His workhorse will be his Evolution Pokemon, so defeat them while they are still in their Basic stage! Follow the simple strategy of striking early. This is the final test in inheriting the Legendary Pokemon cards! Go, Marco! Be a part of the legend! Mason Laboratory Doctor Mason

Looks fitting for the final fight, yup.

Even Metapod is able to deal damage with Stun Spore, but before the Lapras can start dealing lots of damage, there's some small fries to deal with.

But of course I activated its trap card, letting it do max damage with Flail!!!

While we wait for Butterfree to show up, here's the other half. It's alright, nice damage, Sleep while we wait for more energy. Nothing crazy, but it's doing its best.

Oh hey, the AI can do that too. Uh oh.

Slam: Flip 2 coins. This attack does 30 damage times the number of heads.

A support Legendary Card is interesting, definitely used late game to clear up all the healing, but since this is the final update, I'm not gonna act like I'm gonna use these damn things. Like Rod will ever fumble into getting the other one out, so the healing is whatever and its attack is coin flip meh. But hey, this card was physically included in the JP copies of this game.

Best way to deal with these mons is, obviously dragging in the weak Basic, like Dr. Mason said. Hey, it's almost like evolutions are a slight liability. You can also make their big attacks worthless by removing energy. Never leave home without it.

Now the fun begins. It takes a bit to set up, and is pretty fragile before then, but once you start rolling the Mega Drain, then it becomes a bit tough to kill. If you've got a defenseless enemy, then you can fully heal yourself in only a few turns, it's pretty nice. Guess what we've got in front of us. And anything you don't like the look of you can just blow away, which also softens them up for when they come back.

And that, friends, is how a butterfly soloed a dragon.

Pah, coward. Anyway, now that we've dealt with the bigger threats, he's out of energy and out of options. It's really easy to brick the AI, almost like they keep drawing random Pokemon and no energy or Trainers. I wonder why!!!

You can also get outta here.

And then drag you back for the final prize. It really is that easy. Rod is honestly the weakest Grand Master since he relies on evolution with not much to support it. Like yeah, 2 Breeders are fine, but only 2 Oaks? TWENTY FIVE POKEMON??? Might as well play 52 card pickup with how much random garbage he was probably getting, goddamn.

Wonderful! This is wonderful!! Congratulations, Marco. You have proven yourself worthy enough to inherit the Legendary Pokemon Cards!!! Except... we have a problem... there is another who has defeated us... you must duel him...

Guess Who

I have already inherited the Legendary Pokemon Cards!

No, Ronald! That cannot be allowed! He, too, has earned the right to inherit the Legendary Pokemon Cards! Ronald! Marco! You two must duel to determine who will inherit the Legendary Pokemon Cards. So say the rules!

Alright, Rod! Is your deck ready, Marco? OK, then let's begin this ultimate duel! I was here first! The Legendary Pokemon Cards belong to me! I'll make it all too clear to you, Marco!

It's a 1-match duel with 6-prizes! Let it begin!

Well that was an easy first prize lmao. It's weird, Rod says we're battling for the Legendary Cards, but Ronald seems to have ignored that and is using all 4 of them! And the Eeveelutions! You might wonder what his Energy is looking like, but we'll see shortly.

In this fight, it's a great idea to snipe the Basics before they become a bigger problem, and also because I don't have enough energy yet.

Ah crap the AI figured out how to use Scoop Up. I'm sure I can get lucky.

Quit it!!!

He's using the GB Eeveelutions, which don't require specific energy, which is annoying, but also makes sense, which is annoying.

However, here's the real kicker, he only has Fire energy, or DCEs, meaning Articuno and Zapdos are complete deadweight, he'll never be able to attack with them. Use this to your advantage to get a bunch of free turns.

Moltres and Dragonite, as well as Kangaskhan aren't hindered by this, so they're ones to look out for.

But, uh, his deck is pretty unfocused and has lots to snipe or drag in, so if you avoid getting tagged by too many bench entry effects, you'll be just fine. The AI struggles with their one strategy, asking them to juggle all these evolutions and legendaries is too much for the poor guys.

Pokemon Dome

No...! NOOOOOO!!!

Congratulations, Marco! You are a card master worthy of inheriting the Legendary Pokemon Cards! The Legendary Pokemon Cards recognize you as a true master! Now go through to the Hall of Honor to receive the Legendary Cards!

to be passed on to you Marco. Hurry and go through to the Hall of Honor!

Please build a powerful around my card!

Congratulations! You're the Champ! My Zapdos card belongs to you!

Congratulations! My Legendary Card belongs to you! Please take good care of this card!

Hall of Honor

Our long journey is finally at an end...

We finally got them! Just the one though, don't be too crazy now. If you want another copy, then do this all again! There's also a machine at the back of this hall that gives you some deck builds for the Legendary Cards. I'm good thanks.

Children's Playing Cards: Our master must not forget: inheriting us does not make you a Pokemon Card Master! A true Pokemon Card Master is one who has the skill to use the abilities of the different cards and the courage to duel powerful opponents. And most of all, the ability to love the Pokemon Trading Card Game no matter what - win or lose! A new journey has just begun...


And then credits, yadda yadda, thanks for watching, we'll move onto the next game in just a moment, we've got a few things to clean up first.

TCG Island

Legendary Pokemon Cards! The strength of a deck does not depend on any single card, but on how skillfully you are able to use that card. The power of the Legendary Pokemon Cards depends on you! You must become a skilled card master!

Use 1 deck to beat 5 opponents and continue your streak for... content? I guess? It's no Battle Tower, but it's the best you've got.

Does your deck have what it takes to beat stronger and stronger opponents? Ah, who cares.

Still, massive thanks to those submitting, these was a real blast to use and made this LP way more interesting! I had fun with every deck, especially to spotlight some interesting cards I wouldn't have looked at otherwise. Of course, we'll be using more decks and then some in the next game, can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

But really, what else is there to do in the game? Like the generation it cribs heavily from, there's really nothing to do aside from getting the last few cards. Uh, not that it matters since you don't get anything. Still, even if I hadn't hacked in every card, I would still collect all the Promos. Speaking of which...

inherited the Legendary Pokemon Cards! Don't worry, I'm not going to ask you to trade them to me. Besides, it would be a waste not to use the Legendary Cards for dueling. Make sure your duels are worthy of the Legendary Pokemon Cards.

I couldn't believe that I could lose, but now... now I understand. The fun thing about the Pokemon Trading Card Game is not who wins or loses... I couldn't inherit the Legendary Pokemon Cards because all that was important to me was winning. But now I understand! What's important... is to love each card, to use all the different cards to build different types of decks, and to play against different people! So... Marco... will you play with me again? With all sorts of different decks?

Oh hey a character arc. It's as shit as Blue's was, sure, but such is early Pokemon. So you can fight Ronald again, there's a chance he'll be in a Challenge Cup, but he can also be rematched with his revamped deck in a small chance when you load up the game. It's a very small chance since it's not listed anywhere. Does it even exist? Ah, who cares. There's 2 cards left to obtain, so let's go grab them.

LASS: Blastoise is cool, but I prefer Charizard! I'll give you this Blastoise if you give me a Charizard! OK then, let's trade! Blastoise for a Charizard!

How very prophetical. I'm pretty sure I talked to every character, is this a postgame or lategame trade? Ah, who cares.

LAD: very, very, very rare card! I wish I could trade, so I could meet Ishihara.

I'm looking for a Chansey this time! I'm thinking about trading my Surfing Pikachu for it. This one has a different illustration than the last one. Do you have a Chansey? Oh wonderful! Then without delay...

It feels like the Promo Pikachu never end. This second version of Surfing Pikachu was only in Japan, available via a stamp rally in Sep 1997, featuring Mt. Fuji and a bullet train, since you went to participating stations for the stamps. This game is the only time it was available in English and of course you should look forward to lots more Pikachu Promos in the next game!

And then Ishihara fucks off. Well, see you next game I guess.

There's one last thing to do, in our third and final battle with Imakuni?! What kind of deck am I using? Hmm, you'll find out next game

Defender and Selfdestruct is so cool, add in some Super Potions and you can chain exploding multiple times! And then there's a snake that deals 20 damage, as well as Poison, making it 40 damage by the time you get back to your turn. That's pretty nice damage.

You won 3 times against me! Does that make you happy? Does it? I don't really want to give you this, but here. Take care of it.

And there we go, the final card of the game. Like I said at the start, this game is short and hilariously easy, but I can't help but love the little sandbox you're given, using all kinds of cards has made this so much fun to play, so cheers for making it another cool LP! But this was just the tasty little starter, the real meat and potatoes and an actual proper game is right around the corner! But, hmm, what's that droning sound?