Part 15: You're Hot Then You're Cold
Okay, so if I mix in a pinch of ginger now... no, I should stop and think this over first! I'm Jess, a member of Team GR! Bernard has given me orders to improve my cooking skills. 4 prize battles go quickly, so let's use that amount!
Team GR Duel
For a good chunk of this update we'll be using this Dark Dugtrio and Dark Marowak deck called Emo Kid, by Slaan. The Diglett line were monsters in the Base set, so let's see how the other sets fare.
Dark Dugtrio works pretty well, chance of doing 40 damage and makes the AI stop switching so damn much.
Go Underground: As long as this Pokémon is on your Bench, prevent all damage done to this Pokémon by attacks (both yours and your opponent's).
Earth Wave: This attack does 10 damage to up to 2 of your opponent's Benched Pokémon. (Don't apply Weakness or Resistance for Benched Pokémon.)
This'll be Dugtrio's first fight, we'll see Marowak later. This Promo is nice and tanky, taking no damage on the bench and does a fair bit of spread damage for your other Dugtrio EQ shenanigans. Pretty alright card but the Base Dugtrio is just too good.
Oh hey you could fail the retreat and give me the last prize, fine by me! This is a mistranslation, when the opponent is flipping a coin, tails is usually the activating effect, so just do the opposite of what it says. Anyway, Jess has a lot of Fire energy and a lot of discard to use them with, like Dark Rapidash and Base Arcanine. Extras include Vending Magmar, which can discard all Fire energy for big damage, and the ubiquitous Kangaskhan.
GR Fire Fort
Next, I'll open the doors leading to Kara's room. When I press this switch, it should open. You're free to advance onward. I hope you go quickly!
Umm... and... what was it? (Uhh... I announce myself first, and then battle after that...) I am the mighty Kara of Team GR! So, I'm cooking for Minto... no, wait, we're supposed to duel! I challenge you to a card duel, Minto! If you defeat me, I'll give you a booster pack!
Umm. A battle against me... is that it? (What cards should be allowed...? Only Fire energy...) A card battle against me comes with a special condition! The only type of energy cards allowed in your deck are Fire-type! Are you ready to fight using such a deck? We'll play to 4 prize cards!
We'll bring the Ninetales and Arcanine deck back out for this fight, this Rocket Charmander can move energy onto itself and only needs 1 to do 20 damage, it's a good start!
Kara tries to catch you out by using Squirtle and Dodrio, which don't need specific energy as she only has Fire. However, I do have a set up Arcanine, so, uh...
Yeah, that happened. She has Dark Charizard and even 4 Bills, but the AI will always struggle with evolutions without Breeder. Also to pair with her various Basics, she scoops them up and also loves removing your energy to draw everything out so Charizard can get set up.
Uhh... when I'm defeated in a duel... (If you lose, remember to open the locked doors.) I will now open the doors that lead the way to Ellen! Open Sesame Seeds! Now it's all up to Ellen!
You and I... a card battle... you must fight... if you win... that woman... Grand Master... Courtney... will get... her freedom... battle... special condition... Eevee... 4 contained... in deck... comply... then battle... prizes... 4...
Now we could use an Eeveelution deck, but no one's suggested it yet, so we'll shove 4 Eevee into this deck to use as Computer Search sacrifices. Vending Cubone either does 30 damage to the Active or 10 damage to the bench.
[F][F] Bone Headbutt: Does a randomly selected amount of damage (0, 10, or 20) to 1 of your opponent's Benched Pokémon chosen at random. Then, switch that Pokémon with the Defending Pokémon.
Dark Marowak is very interesting in that it's a GB exclusive card that also wasn't made into a real card and it does some alright damage, the swap is the main disruption and is pretty handy, even if you can't pick which mon it is.
Get back here!
Little less scary since it's not being boosted, but can still be dangerous if you get unlucky.
Easy enough, Ellen doesn't really counter you using an Eevee deck, but she uses both Dark Jolteon and Dark Flareon, as well as Charmeleon and Electabuzz. She's quite split between energy so she usually doesn't get what she wants and her entire deck is pretty fragile, we just got a little lucky with weakness, since I don't remember what decks are used beforehand.
You're... strong... ...Courtney... free...
But... oh ho ho... I'm so happy that you came to rescue me, Minto. Because I'm so relieved, I'll give you this card!
Please use it to empower your future card battles! Oh ho ho... I think I'll return to the Pokemon Dome. Remember, the Pokemon Dome... I'll be waiting! Oh ho ho!
I'm also the head chef. But you don't look like a cook... before we get down to business, listen up. When our team puts special cards in our decks, we mean to use them. Putting pointless cards in a deck is a folly we don't aim to perform. Every card should be useful in a duel to claim a true victory! That's the ambition of the great Team GR. It's also the vision of our prestigious leader, King Villicci. Keep that in mind when you meet any of our talented members.
Now that we're acquainted, we may start our card battle. As the other Fortress Leaders, I have special duelling rules. Around this flowing lava, Fire Pokemon are especially robust. In fact, their common weakness to Water is effectively ignored! Keep that on your mind, if you're ready, let's cook! We'll use 6 prize cards. I'm interested to see just how well you can cook!
GR Fort Leader Duel
Minto! It's me, Ronald! I just got some intel regarding Team GR's Fire Leader, Bernard! He surrounds himself with hot lava! Because of that, Fire Pokemon in his room don't have a weakness to Water. In other words, his Fire Pokemon have no weaknesses whatsoever! What's more, his deck is themed around Fire-type Pokemon cards!! That means he doesn't have to worry about weakness at all! Fighting him certainly won't be a walk in the park! Think hard about strategy when you build your deck, Minto! Ronald (O__O)
Good thing we don't have to worry about weakness, but 20 damage for 1 energy is annoyingly common in the first few turns, so hopefully we beat it down quick.
Softening up is pretty handy, giving us an early lead.
[F] Perplex: Your opponent flips a coin. If tails, your opponent doesn't draw a card at the beginning of his or her next turn.
[F][F][C] Nine Tails: Flip 9 coins. This attack does 10 damage times the number of heads.
And there goes our lead... Dark Ninetales is GB only, never made into a proper card, and for good reason, Nine Tails is a nuts attack! If you get lucky, that's pretty crazy damage for only 3 energy and it even has a cool animation as well! No matter, if we get one boosted Knockdown, then it won't be a problem.
That was close, can we clutch it out?
No, but thankfully I always build one in the back.
Unfortunately so did he. Again, since the opponent makes us flip the coin, it's a mistranslation, so do the opposite.
Man, Dark Dugtrio is having a rough time.
Our last line in the GB Marowak which can only do 10 damage, so this is gonna be close!
Base Diglett secures the kill! Bernard has all Fire mons, so he truly has no weaknesses, using Trader to get the right Pokemon and Pluspower to overwhelm you while you're unable to overwhelm him. He also had Dark Charmeleon and Fossil Magmar, but Ninetales is honestly enough, snipe those Vulpix asap.
The way you handle your cards has shown me a thing or two. I'd love to see how Villicci handles your imaginative playstyle. Here, take this: the GR Fire coin.
I suppose you'll be visiting the GR Water Fortress next, eh? I wonder just how far you'll make it on this island... I hope you'll return sometime for a casual duel or two.
Be thankful I'm not really part of Team GR! It's me, Ronald!!
Is that coin you have the GR Fire coin? Cool, but you'll need another coin to enter the GR Fighting Fortress. If I'm not mistaken, that coin is the GR Water coin! The GR Fighting Fortress seems to be a much larger fort than this. It's been a while since we met, though, Minto! I'm here to see if you've been getting stronger like I've been! Let's have a 6-prize card duel! Win, and I'll give you a cool card!
Been a little bit since we last fought Ronald, he'll always fight you after the Fire or Water fortress, whichever you do first. A few things also change, beating the first of these two leaders unlocks the 2nd TCG Island Challenge Hall, so can't forget about that. Beating the second leader ends the 1st GR Challenge Hall.
Imposter Oak's Revenge makes us shuffle our hand and draw 4 cards. Can be useful, but you usually don't want your opponent to redraw their hand, not that the AI needs much help in bricking. In the meantime, Diglett can Peck this blob.
Damn Focus Energy!
But we're out of the woods for the moment, so many Kangaskhan, but it means we can gear up.
Alright, I'm ready. As you can surmise, Ronald uses all 3 Eeveelutions as well as a host of Colourless, finally ending with Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan. Since all the GB Eeveelutions don't need specific energy, he's loaded up with Fighting a lots of special Colourless. It's not a bad deck, though 20 Pokemon is a bit of a hard sell.
Gimme that Kanga!
Another weird card, we'll see the intricacies in just a moment.
Still, we lucked out with the weakness, but this battle is pretty fun! Lot better than last time when Ronald decided not to put any more Basics down.
Close, but the Kanga you kept switching out is nice and low, so it won't appreciate this next bone hit.
It seems like you've gained a lot of experience fighting Team GR. Alright, a promise is a promise. Take this special card!
An interesting card, only really useful if you're completely stuck and weren't going to attack anyway, but giving your enemy more cards, cause why wouldn't they pick 5, isn't that great either, especially when they immediately get to use them. This promo was first released in the Jan 1998 issue of CoroCoro and then through the Kamex Mega Battle tournament in Jul-Aug 1998 and then again in the Pokemon Song Best Collection in Jan 1999. English versions were through local Pokemon Leagues in May 2000.
How you use that card is entirely up to you. Anyway, I'm gonna go get stronger. Fight on, Minto!
GR Water Fort
Nothing much to do but deal with this fort next. We're slowly but surely getting through them.
Much prettier, still broken as hell. This was obtained in Japan through the Trade Please campaign mentioned before using, you guessed it, the B course. It was also available through the Intro Pack as well as, you guessed it, the Pokemon Song Best Collection CD. Man that gets around. Alright, onto the main fort!
Me? I'm Jacob, one of Team GR's Water Fortress members. I used the power of Water to become one smooth dude. Just kidding! I think I've got the picture. You're Minto, right? Team GR's Water Leader, Brooke, totally admires you, kid! Have a card battle with me! If you win, I'll open the doors. But I have a special rule! I won't battle without using it! The only type of energy card you may use in your deck is Water energy! I'm sure you understand! If you've got it, let's battle! Because I like the number 4, we'll use 4 prize cards!
We've got a lost Team Aqua member here, so let's fight Water with... uh, Water. One of the non-serious suggestions from FoolyCharged was a Blastoise and Dark Blastoise deck and you know, it's not too great, but that won't stop me!
You can have up to 4 Pokemon of a specific name in your deck, so we can have 4 Blastoise and 4 Dark Blastoise in one deck, the issue is only 4 Squirtle, doesn't matter what set they're from, you can only have that many. That's why there aren't any Basic Dark Pokemon. But hey, we can make this work, Vending Squirtle ain't too bad, pretty bulky and can triple Pound's power, making it an effective combo over 2 turns. Since there's no penalty for a mulligan, it's only a matter of time until we get one to lay down at the start.
Since we can use Breeder for regular Blastoise, we can spend some time charging up Dark Wartortle for its evolution, since it's not too amazing. Doubleslap does 10 damage on average, pretty pitiful, so if you know the enemy is gonna do more than that, Mirror Shell is the option. Of course, it can only reflect back a certain amount of times and you really don't want it getting knocked out, but it can give your enemy pause for their big attacks. Gust of Wind weakens this strategy by a lot.
Okay cool, onto the main event. With Blastoise support, Dark Blastoise is able to easily deal out massive damage very quickly. While it doesn't have the god tier ability, it only requires 4 energy to hit max damage, even 30 for 2 energy is nothing to sneeze at, and can even protect itself if you get lucky, though it's somewhat fragile so maybe don't. It even does 10 more damage than Blastoise! Of course, overall the utility of Rain Dance makes Dark Blastoise a hard sell, but when Base Blastoise is only one Breeder away, pairing them up is a pretty damn good idea.
Pokemon Power: Rebirth: As often as you like during your turn (before your attack), you may use this Power. If you don't have any Staryu in your deck, this Power does nothing. Discard Dark Starmie and all cards attached to it. Then 1 random Staryu in your deck is chosen and put onto the same place. Shuffle your deck afterward. This Power can't be used if Dark Starmie is Asleep, Confused, or Paralyzed.
[W][W] Spinning Shower: Flip a coin. If heads, a number (1 or 2) of your opponent's Pokémon is chosen randomly, this attack does 20 damage to each of them. (Don't apply Weakness and Resistance.) 1 random Energy card attached to each of them is discarded.
Close, but no cigar. What a weird phrase in the modern day. Jacob tries to zap your Water deck with Electrode, or at least only uses Tackle due to not having Lightning energy, but also has Dark Vaporeon and Dark Starmie as well as plenty of energy removal and Bills to keep you stuck. Dark Starmie is, well, pretty bad. Its Power would be better if you didn't discard everything attached to it to put a defenseless Staryu in its place and its main attack does nothing if you land tails, yikes. As you can see, this was a TCG exclusive card, probably for good reason.
Keeee!! Unbelieveable! I was defeated! Aw, man! I gotta give you a booster pack! If I had it my way? I would give you diddley-squat. I'm only giving this to you because Brooke gave me special orders!! Ergh... even though I don't like it, I have to be courteous. That's another of Brooke's orders. I'll open the doors leading to Cody! Look, we're done here! Go on ahead quickly. I'm tired of seeing your face!!
We're the ones who caught and are holding Grand Master Jack! I'll release Jack and let you into the next room if you can beat me! Of course, you'll also win a free booster pack for a victory. To fight, I require opponents to use 4 Magikarp cards in their decks. I can't wait to duel. Do you want to duel me now? Magikarp... all accounted for! Set aside 4 prize cards. Alright! Let's duel!
It's the battle of the karps! Since we're forced to use Magikarp, hey, might as well use a dragon deck. Or more specifically, Dark Gyarados, Dark Charizard and Dark Dragonite by Leraika, for a literal Bad Dragon deck. It's a bit clunky, but there's one card that makes it work way better.
Unfortunately we didn't go first, so we lose the mirror, but hey we've got a nice Rocket Charmander to fight back, what's the worst that could happen?
Oh, that. Alright fine, back to karps.
Alright, this should make things much easier. Dark Dragonair is the reason this deck full of evolutions works as well since I only put 1 Dratini in to conserve as much space as possible. Getting this set up asap is the main strat to the deck as it shouldn't be doing much, even evolving itself. We will show it off later, don't you worry, but it's not much to write home about if you're using it to attack on the way to Dark Dragonite.
Depending on what energy and Basics we get first depends on who we fight with and this time it's Dark Gyarados. The Rocket Magikarp also comboes well since one of its attacks lets it evolve into Gyarados or Dark Gyarados for 3 Water energy, letting you spam Ice Beam thereafter. Final Beam is a little lame if you don't get it, but paralysis is always nice and it's consistent damage, even it's as fragile as the other Dark Pokemon.
As a hilarious aside, the Japanese text for Magikarp's evolution attack only specified Pokemon that evolved from Magikarp which meant you could use Gyarados ex from FRLG or even Gyarados-GX from a 2017 expansion, which is why it gets limited in the translation. Also, it could be used with the Recall card that let an evolution use its previous attacks, letting you stack Gyarados onto a single card. That was quickly banned for obvious reasons.
So I could whittle this Poliwhirl down and try and roll sleep a million times, but what about using something cooking in the back?
Mmm, yep, that's a Charizard alright. We'll switch back to the Marowak and Dugtrio deck to round out this fortress, but we will see Dark Charizard soon enough.
Cody is a pain in the arse to fight since he uses Dark Gyarados, Intro Wartortle and Vending Poliwhirl, all of which can paralyze, the latter can also Confuse and Sleep too! He has plenty of Pluspowers and Bills to ensure he does as much damage while doing it too, along with removing your energy. We got pretty lucky we managed to avoid most of it, since he does need to evolve to make it work.
Surprised it took us this long to see the last booster pack. It contains a good chunk of Vending cards, as well as a smattering of Base, Jungle and Fossil.
You had quite a lot of strength, even under my duelling terms. Umm, I guess I have to release Jack now.
I haven't seen you for quite some time, Minto. It's me, Jack, the Pokemon Card Grand Master. For your selfless help, you have my utmost gratitude. I'll give you a special card to express my thanks. Please use it to make an absolutely gorgeous deck.
Trickle: Flip 2 coins. This attack does 10 damage times the number of heads.
Dragon Rage: Flip 2 coins. If either of them is tails, this attack does nothing.
Oh boy, this promo. How did you get this exclusive card back in the day? Well it was simple all you had to do was go through the "Tamamushi University Hyper Test" campaign held in June 1998. The campaign was publicized in Shogakukan's magazines for primary-school children in the form of a series of tests in which participants could complete and send back to Shogakukan within a limited period. Those that passed were sent an invitation to a two-day conference in Osaka. On the first day, the participants were separated into three age categories and were then assigned groups based on the various Gyms in the Pokémon games. Each player within one of these groups battled other members of that group, with the top players within each group qualifying for the second day. The second day consisted of a series of battles between the top players within each age category. Those that won a battle during the course of the day were awarded this card at the end of the conference. Simple really. It was later reprinted in the Web expansion.
If you could, Minto, please go to his aid. I'm going to return to my place at the Pokemon Dome. Please stop by sometime for a card battle or two. I'll be waiting to fight you with my gorgeous deck!
I guess I should open the way to Alex's room, huh? I'll just place this here... geronimo! There you are. You may now go into Alex's room. Alex is a fascinating guy. I hope you both have a great duel!
Water! I'm Alex! *SHHH*... One of Team GR's Water members... *GOHHH*... Erm, if you'd like to go on, fight me... water! *SHHH*... However... *GOHHH*... I have a special rule... *SHHH*... *GOHHH*.. Your bench... may only have 3 Pokemon. Lay out 4 prize cards and we shall begin! Waterrrrrr!
This is the unsettling guy from the Challenge Cup, so let's see what he's made of! Using the Bad Dragon deck in these circumstances would've been pretty nasty, so Diglett it is!
Nice start, but, well, you can see in the corner that he has no bench Pokemon. I'm serious, I beat this guy in 2 turns. Well, that was your chance, despite having a bench reducing effect, he doesn't really use it since he has just as many mons as everyone else like both Surfing Pikachu promos, Dark Gyarados and Vending Dewgong, which can Rest to stall for a bit. His Trainers reveal more of his strategy, like using Pokemon Flute to put cards from your discard onto the bench and 4 Gust of Wind to drag those out when you're not ready. Otherwise there's not much the AI can really do to make use of this.
*SHHH*... *GOHHH*... I'm drained and defeated... water!! *SHHH*... I'll open the doors... *GOHHH*...
That was a pain to type out. Onto the leader!
And I imagine you're Minto, the one famed for defying Team GR. Are you here to claim the GR Water coin from me? The process is exactly the same as the other Team GR Fortress Leaders': if you can beat me in a card battle, you'll win the Water coin you seek. There's so much water here for my adorable Water Pokemon. Because of it, Water Pokemon pay 1 less energy card to retreat here. 3 energy cards become 2. 2 energy cards become 1. Understand? If you've got it, let's fight! Just like the other leaders, we'll use 6 prize cards.
GR Leader Duel
Yo, Minto! I've got some information about the deck of Team GR's Water Leader! Water Pokemon are quick in her room! When Water Pokemon retreat there, they pay 1 less energy card. Brooke's chosen a few Water Pokemon with low retreat costs. She tends to make them retreat if things don't look good. By doing this, she makes it hard to knock out her Pokemon. Strike hard when you can! You've gotta think yourself whether you'd rather your Pokemon risk staying in or safely flee... think hard about it! Ronald (O__O)
Oh great we've got a nice tanky Lapras upfront that also only takes 1 energy to retreat! Thankfully it's not a massive deal, the AI loves retreating anyway, so this fight shouldn't seem too different.
Oh sure, don't get the boosted Knockdown, whatever, I'm not mad about it. At least the AI doesn't know how to use Water Gun the most.
Thankfully we're able to overcome it before she can set up too much, but the fight's only just beginning!
Luckily she's not getting many Basics down, so if we can soften these up before she gets some, then we can get an early prize lead.
...she, uh, she just threw. She shuffled her half health Staryu back into her deck, leaving her half health Goldeen as the only Pokemon she has left. What? WHAT??? Pokemon AI never changes... Lapras and Promo Articuno only have 1 retreat, while Seaking and Dark Starmie get free retreat, so she can be pretty dangerous if you don't have a way to keep up the offense. And as you saw she has 4 Mr. Fuji to save her injured evolutions, but that doesn't always work out great, ahem. We got a bit lucky, but she's not massively dangerous, so there's not too much to worry about.
And I will now happily present you with the GR Water coin. Here you go! You've earned it!
Oh, you already have the GR Fire coin? Amazing! You're qualified to enter the GR Fighting Fortress now. Are you going to go? Do your best!
That's another chunk of the island down, but there's still plenty more to go. So let's...
Head back to TCG Island for the Challenge Cup, babyyyyyyyy! Next time.