Part 9: Half LiberationRock Club
One club got liberated without our help, so let's start there with decks chosen by youuuuuuu! Er, for the last game, but enough were suggested that I feel I could carry it over to this game. So let's properly show this Team Rocket's Rockin team first suggested by BisbyWorl, but we have a muuuuuch shorter character limit this game, whoops.
Sure, it might be cheap to use a Grass deck for this, but it's the early game, it really doesn't matter what we use.
Gas Explosion: This Pokémon does 30 damage to itself. If this attack Knocks Out the Defending Pokémon and your opponent chooses a new Active Pokémon, your opponent's new Active Pokémon becomes Poisoned.
Any Vending or Intro cards we focus won't have any English translations since this JP only game was the only one to feature them! This card has some nice synergy, but only if you get lucky with coin flips and also KO. If the opponent doesn't clear out the Poison, then they'll take 70 damage by the time it gets back to them, 10 from initial Poison, 20 from the boosted Poison, and 40 from Gas Explosion. Of course you can combo with Defender so Weezing takes pathetic damage from it, pretty damn fun.
Bah, fine, we'll just poison whatever comes in.
Ugh, of course it's the Snorlax that can't get statused. Fine, we'll nearly wipe out this Onix in return. If you used all your Defenders and didn't take damage, then you could fire off this attack 5 times before fainting, which is pretty nuts.
Wrap: Flip a coin. If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Paralyzed.
Deadly Poison: The Defending Pokémon is now Poisoned. If the Defending Pokémon was already Poisoned, this attack does 10 more damage.
Ugh, Leer. This Vending Arbok comboes very well with Weezing since its attack has a guaranteed Poison, but I am using various versions of each mon if I can, so we're still using the Fossil Arbok that briefly showed up last game. The fact that you get 30 extra damage from using both Pokemon when the opponent is poisoned is beautiful and really makes it easy to use these Pokemon. Love it! First attack is first attack, you'll notice I rarely talk about those.
Fossil decks take a while to set up, but they're usually given good Powers to compensate. Andrew actually has a Kabutops to use, woah! As well as the Vending Omanyte that doesn't need Water energy, as well as evolution lockdown Aerodactyl and Rhydon. Not a bad deck, but he doesn't use many Trainers, so he doesn't have much spice to him. Oh well.
It has a good ability, but 4 energy for 30 damage with a paralysis chance is a big oof.
It's part of my style to have regrets whatsoever! I love a good duel! It helps develop my own style!
Team Great Rocket... the moniker GR No.1... there's no one, no matter how weird, that our Club Master can't overcome! We'll fight against all of Team GR! We have the might! Are 4 prize cards acceptable? If you beat me, I'll give you a booster pack!
I'm really starting to dislike Pokeballs. Maybe there's other options...
Ryan has the... Great Earthquake deck. Uh, I feel like the translators messed up all the deck names, but whatever. So everything that has Earthquake, meaning he uses actual evolutions! Too bad he'll never find them. Since this Rocket Ekans does dependable damage, it'll rip right through this team if he can't KO me back.
Spoilers, he doesn't and I cut most of the battle due to so much SNIVEL
Gaaahh, I lost! As promised, here's your booster pack. Your body and mind are both impressively strong after all! I'll take you on when you like. Any time! Kyah!
Despite what it looked like, Team GR never got close to conquering us! Though I had been defeated by that GR No.1 fellow... but Team GR won't ever win again. I'll fight anyone who wants to duel! Alright, let's play! We'll use 4 prize cards! If you can beat me, I'll give you a booster pack!
At least we're not weak to Fire, phew.
Aright, what's ne- ah ffs, even with FOURTEEN BASICS you didn't draw into any, mama mia. He had some spicy Fire types along with Dugtrio and Golem to get the rock rolling. Might've been a bit tough, but you had your chance to show off, buh-bye!
Easy enough, now for the main event, since it's good to get early booster packs.
I'll give you the deck I used to flatten GR No.1! Well then, are you ready to take on the Rock Club Master or not? Bring it on! We'll use 6 prize cards.
Club Master Duel
Aw yeah, fighting the Club Masters again. Well, the ones that haven't been kidnapped at least. Ahem.
Bind: Flip a coin. If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Paralyzed.
Rock Seal: Flip a coin. If heads, the Defending Pokémon cant retreat during your opponent's next turn.
Trying to paralyze me? I'll just evolve and poison you. Hah! There's some cards I wanna highlight just cause of the art. Nothing more.
Isn't this just grand. How's it going? Things are fine for me, just playing a fun game, getting a little stuck cause it keeps flipping Leer.
Exploding is a little excessive...
But watch this drive. Since this card keeps not popping up, I'll have to cover it during this easy enough battle. Rhydon takes no damage from Ram with Defender, but constantly swapping out the opponent is a bit annoying. Otherwise it's relatively cheap and can sometimes force your foe to swap in a weak mon they were powering up.
Best part, it lasts through the enemy's turn, so we're able to hang on and do it again! We're not getting a lot of evolutions even though Gene doesn't have a lot to clog up his deck. There's Rhydon and Vending Graveler, as well as lots of energy and even 2 Bill! However, too many Basics like 4 Onix probably slowed him down, but one day Onix will be good. It's called Steelix.
Take this, my GR No.1 K.O. deck. It should prove useful for duelling GR No.1! Also... take this gift from me!
By all means! Please use it in your duel against GR No.1! At the moment, GR No.1 seems to have retreated to the Fighting Club. Please, Minto! You're their only hope!
I'll probably swap coins when we swap decks and show as many off as I can. But there are some you just should not try to collect, you get plenty of cool ones during the story. Anyway, doing some parts of the story reward you in theme decks! Available in all good toy stores now. They focus on a specific strategy and are a good way to get some specific cards. But, well, of course they're bad in this game. Still, free draw supporters, or, well, 1 Oak.
Still, Sweat! Anti-GR1 Deck focuses on Fighting and Grass mons, with Graveler and Nidorino being the only real highlights. The other evolved mon is Metapod, which doesn't count. Honestly just take the Diglett and use it in a better deck, and 2 bonus Energy Search is nice. You're only using this deck if you want a challenge or if you have literally no other cards to use. Such a shame.
Gotta get all the Promos again. Most of them are still bad, but there's even worse ones in this game! Hahaha...
Hmm, what is it? Oh. It's you again! You already had a Card Pop! with me. We can't have another, you know! Maybe we'll get more cards later! See ya!
That's his Stone Coin! It's proof of your victory. In that case, I challenge you to a duel. My question is, do you have the courage to fight the great GR No.1? We'll battle with 6 prize cards! If you manage to beat me, I'll retreat from the Fightin' Club! Just a fair warning, though: it's impossible for you to win.
Team GR Battle
Yo, Minto! I'm just writing you to say that I'll relay any information I find out about Team GR via mail. Remember to check your mail frequently for updates, okay? I have some intel about GR No.1! His deck is made of Water and Electric Pokemon, so fight him with a deck capable of repelling his Magnemite! Later! Ronald (O__O)
So our first GR battle, and you'd think that with the Grass emblem on them, they would have that deck, right? Nope, Water/Electric! Seems legit.
At the same time, this Pikachu is being annoying, but it's pretty fragile, so it's only one boomer away, ok.
Tail Drop: Flip 2 coins. If either of them is tails, this attack does nothing.
The first Kanga was useful as early game draw support, while hitting hard if you found 2 DCEs, but this Vending one is, uh, interesting looking? And quite strong if you don't get tails. You'll get tails though, so maybe don't bother. Am I posting these final stage Vending mons due to the art? Maybe. Are some of them usable? Also maybe.
Oh no, not the bubbles.
Since I've only played this game once, I don't really remember what GR uses, so stumbling into another weakness advantage is a shame, but whatever, if you don't find your evolved mons, that's not my problem.
Taking 40 damage between my turns is enough to make any Pokemon feel a biy sickly. This deck could eventually reach Vending Poliwrath and Jungle Electrode, but I doubt it with equal energy and more focus on Water cards. Also 4 Magnemite that can't evolve lol
Hmm, Dark Pokemon? Wonder if we'll see more of those later, fufufu...
You've got a lot of guts, kid. To take on the illustrious Team GR. Try to collect all four pieces of our coin. If you can manage that, you'll be able to travel to GR Island! However... can you truly collect them all? By the way! Team GR still has the Club Master, Mitch, held captive. If you'd like him back, find your way over to GR Island!
I promise to protect the Fighting Club until Mitch returns. I won't stop my training. You do your best, too!
All the trades can be done as soon as you encounter them, but since you won't have the cards, they can wait until we liberate that club.
We've got another good deck from Blaze Dragon, fittingly, as we light the electricity... on fire? Sure.
We'll say this is stylized, otherwise this artist doesn't know what circles are. It does have an interesting attack that does 20 plus 10 more for each Voltorb in play, so up to 60! For 2 energy! Too bad it dies easily.
Alright, well we haven't gotten any Bench Pokemon, so hopefully Sonicboom doesn't kill us. It might.
Aw man, well in very dire situations, I use an Oak to burn my entire hand in the hopes of getting some kind of Basic! So we're fine.
Noooooooo!!! Intro Growlithe!!!
This is a very powerful mon that can easily outdamage Charizard if you keep it supplied with energy and it takes a long while to charge up in the back, making it real easy to snipe. Its first attack lets you drag in something heavy so you can set up in its face, but you really don't wanna waste a DCE for it. Can even OKHO itself!
Didn't get a Fire energy on that turn, but I did now! Nicholas has a mix of Colourless and Lightning, lots of speedy Pokemon like Fearow, Electrode and Dodrio
I'm steadily putting in new cards so there's not too much to go over at once, Nightly Garbage Run is a nice way to stop you getting decked out, which happens too many times than I'd like, rolling a Revive and Energy Retrieval into one.
Hurting me only makes me stronger! This is a Promo card from last game, which we won't get for a fair while, but any Promos we saw last game are fair to use now, I say, deciding that right now.
We'll play with the full 6 prize cards. It's a duel to end all duels! Try to enjoy yourself!
Club Master Duel
The classic fight, dog vs rat.
This Pikachu is kicking my ass, however, Spark is a nice 20 damage.
Might as well attract this genderless ball towards us to take it out, still a couple turns from hitting it though.
Hm? Oh right, our first Dark Pokemon we're fighting, should probably talk about these, since as you can see they're not a huge improvement, but they're at least interesting. Introduced in the Team Rocket expansion, they have a fair new fun mechanics to them, but aren't related to the upcoming Dark, or Evil, type, they're just Bad Pokemon. As you can see, Energy Bomb isn't a very good attack, but there 31 Dark Pokemon in total, all evolved Pokemon, so I'm sure some of them will be good.
Alright, Ninetales needs to calm down.
Rude. Here's the other star of the show, Arcanine does a lot of damage once it gets properly set up and has a weaker, but still very sufficient Flamethrower. It's also pretty damn bulky for a Stage 1, so it can take a few hits while you're powering it up. Defender will also makes sure it spends a long time tackling things to the ground.
Enough to torch what's left. Isaac also mixes in some Colourless like Pidgeotto, but also has Dark Raichu and Fossil Zapdos. He does a lot of bench damage and has plenty of Potions and Gusts to keep things on his side. Of course, as you saw, the AI did basically none of that, I keep listing the potential of these decks, but it's a miracle if they even evolve anything, let alone follow a strat. I wonder if I should even bother lmao
Whaaat?! Isaac, you clumsy fool! Alright, Minto, you may have won this time... but you're still no match for me. Take some time to toughen up. I'll be waiting in in the Psychic Club for you. See you. Oh, oh, and since I don't need the Lightning Club anymore, it's yours. I don't need to collect any of the weak cards here anyway. Later, Minto. Remember, I'll be waiting at the Psychic Club.
I can't belive it! You somehow rescued the Lightning Club! Please take this Lightning Coin as a reward!
I've heard that their Club Master, Murray, has also been captured. Surely you can find a way to help him like you've helped me! Good luck, Minto!!
The Psychic Club has been under GR No.4's control, too. Surely she's employed some sort of dastardly trap over there...
That GR No.4 ran off... now how will I get my Pikachu back?
I just saw GR No.4 running out, yelling about you, Minto. I just knew you were strong enough to defeat Team GR. You're so tough, Minto!!
Well we can't let them just escape like that!
Dizzy Punch: Flip 2 coins. This attack does 10 damage times the number of heads.
Our first new Promo is a pretty standard Kangaskhan, nothing particularly special about it, though it is quite a coveted and rare card. Released through the Parent/Child Mega Battle tournament in May 1998 to those with a certain number of wins, it has the TCG logo as the set symbol, reserved for the rarest of cards, making it a very pretty collectors item. That's about it.
That's great... but you won't fight me just yet. Isn't that right, Murray?
Precisely... Lady GR No.4...
These are my terms for our duel: you must defeat Murray first.
We can head straight to Murray, but he's not the only fight in this club, so hey, let's fight Stephanie.
What?! That's like my entire strategy!!! FUCK!!!
Oh hey remember when Kadabra cards used to be a thing? There's actually 2 Vending Kadabra since there's no Vending Alakazam, though only one is in the game. Its first attack, Psycho Panic, is pretty crazy, 30 damage for 2 energy and does DOUBLE DAMAGE against other Psychic cards. Remember some of them are weak to Psychic! All for 2 energy, goddamn.
Anyway it dies in one hit, same for Abra. Thank you for not using Base Alakazam, although the Promo Alakazam is also pretty scary, we'll see it later I'm sure. Otherwise she has Gengar and Mewtwo, being able to trade for which cards she wants, as well as Breeder to fully evolve them. Since we need to beat the Lightning Club to come here, the difficulty is bumped up ever so slightly.
Man, do I have to fight Murray?
If you wish to challenge me, you must defeat Murray first. I've already told you this! Remember this time!
He doesn't seem any different. He was one of the hardest fights last game, let's see how he is now.
Club Master Duel
I'll drink to that bro, he's starting off with Friendship Song.
Alright hopefully I can draw into something and actually hit this damn puff.
Oh hey, an evolution card. Finally.
We saw this GB Ninetales last game, Mixing Embers has the potential to be crazy, buuuuuut to beat one 50HP mon that keeps spamming SHINING FINGER for 20 damage is going to be...
Fun. Very, very fun.
Easy clean up from there. Murray doesn't have Alakazam, thank god, but does have Vending Slowbro and Wigglytuff, which are annoying and terrifying, respectively. Standard healing items, then Moon Stone, from the Vending expansion, lets you search for an evolved Colourless, interesting, couple of those to save Computer Search.
It seems to have been triggered from my defeat! Thank you, Minto! Will you still fight with GR No.4? In that case, accept this gift. You should find it quite helpful to take her down!
It's a nice change of pace. While I seem to be freed from the mind control, the others are not. I'm afraid the spell can't be broken until GR No.4 is defeated. Please do your best, Minto!
Ew, another shitty deck. Unforgiving Anti-GR4 Deck focuses on Psychic and Lightning, with Haunter, Kadabra, Raichu and Electabuzz. It has 2 free Bill and a DCE, so hey that's nice, but with no fun evolutions, it'll probably come up short. Still Kadabra's Super Psy and Intro Raichu do some pretty good damage, but best to wrap them into something else and have fun with some alright toys.
Big deal! I'm super-strong myself, so you'd best be ready to loooose! 6 prize cards, kid. Oh ho ho, can you really beat me?
Team GR Leader
Yo, Minto! Are you checking your mail? I've got some intel about GR No.4. Her deck uses Water and Psychic Pokemon. She's got pure power with her Kingler's Double-Edged Claw! I've gotta go talk to Murray from the Psychic Club somehow so he can give me some tips on how to ward off her evil spirits... Ronald (O__O)
Alright, since we just got the deck to beat her, then you know what types she uses. Well, her mask is actually truthful this time, since she has a Psychic and Water deck.
Ice Punch hurts, so we'll have to use this Vending Vulpix, which can drag in opponents before doing damage.
Oh no you don't!
Let's use the other GB attack. It bites me immediately.
Salt Water: Flip a coin. If heads, search your deck for up to 3 Water Energy cards and attach them to this Pokémon.
Double-Edged Claw: During your opponents next turn, all damage done to this Pokémon is doubled.
Until it helps me instead! Like I need double damage to kill this Vending Kingler, but it could be real scary if you can't retaliate!
Remember that this isn't the Card Pop! Mew, it's the standard devolution one that also really hurts cards with a lot of energy on them.
But since she keeps getting lucky with Hypnosis, let's switch and flip a million coins instead. Sound better? Sure, we'll go with that.
She keeps retreating, so this isn't too great. You ever try to punch a psy? A bench punisher is pretty funny, especially since it can't be resisted by common Colourless mons, but in some situations, especially early game, Psypunch will do you better.
She won't show it off, but its art is badass, so here it is. I guess this gives a Psychic deck options against Fire ones? Still, 3 cards in a pinch is pretty good, and Super Psy has always been a good card, so definitely an interesting niche it's carved out.
Just like that. We saw damn near every card in her deck, aside from Seadra, so you can see what she wants to do. Couple of Energy Removals, couple of Bills, nothing all that crazy, just hits you hard with Psychic damage, or in the case of Golduck and Jynx, Water with Psychic or Psychic with Water.
It was just a fluke you won... but because you bested my toughness, take this coin piece.
You can travel to GR Island if you collect all 4 GR Coin pieces! With the full coin, you may ride our airship at the island's airport. That all depends on whether you're strong enough to beat us all! Well, see ya!
Thank you, Minto. It seems the club's safe now. I'll make sure Team GR doesn't capture us all again.
Oh? Is that so? Thank you, Minto! My name's Robert. I'm a member of the Psychic Club. Really, thank you so much for saving our club!
I'm Daniel! I'm in the Psychic Club. Thanks for bringing us out of that trance Team GR put us under. But please don't lose respect for our Club Master, Murray... it's been so long since he's had such tough opposition...
I am... Stephanie of the Psychic Club... GR No.4... this resentment... I will remember...
Phew, that was quite the update, we've done quite a lot, so next time we'll head to other Clubs and hopefully we'll get this wrapped up in-
Wow! So you beat two members of Team GR already? I wouldn't expect otherwise from my destined rival! Fortunately, I've been amassing lots of card myself. I've got a full deck now! Let's have a duel! We'll use 6 prize cards! If you win, I'll give you a rare card!
Ronald was one of the few characters to get new artwork. Dr. Mason got some too, but the scans are incredibly bad, and only 1 new character in this game got artwork, you can probably guess who. Anyway, he's still got them poses down after all this time, I'm so proud.
We're at a bit of a disadvantage since he's using Water, but maybe if I confuse him enough...
But hey, we've got some embers going, so maybe- I wonder how many times I can make this joke.
As expected, the cards I had gathered weren't quite enough... well, I guess it was inevitable. Here, this card is now yours!
I need to collect more cards... anyway, if I dig up any new intel about Team GR, I'll let you know!
Cool, with that diversion out of the way, it's on to the next club!