Welcome back to another article about the History of Pokémon TCG ! This time, we're taking a look at Jungle and Fossil expansions, which were released in 1999 in the US, a few months after Base Set. Once again, when Jungle was released, its success was immediate and the 1st Edition print was sold out after two weeks. As it has been produced in a hurry, the 1st Edition print run of Jungle also accidentally contained the very rare 1st Edition Promo Pikachu.
While Base set had a lot of powerful Trainers, Jungle and Fossil had very little of them, and instead focused on Pokémon cards. Mainly, they brought a way to handle Hitmonchan, some good Evolution cards, and a few new mechanics.
Among these, the Fossil Pokémon. They must be played by evolving a Trainer card, Mysterious Fossil, which is played like a Clefairy Doll: it has only 10 HP, cannot attack, but doesn't give up a Prize card when it is Knocked Out.
Some Pokémon works better in synergy with others : Nidoqueen deals more damage for each of your Nidoking in play, and Wigglytuff deals more damage for each of your Pokémon in play. Dodrio reduces the Retreat Cost of your Pokémon.
Cards blocking Evolutions, Powers and Trainers -all common sight nowadays- also made their debuts in these sets.
Mewtwo Strikes Back
A few weeks after Fossil came out, the Pokémon craze was at its peak. Thus, in November 1999, a Pokémon movie was released in theaters to cash-in on the licence. Despite craptacular reviews, it was a box office success, grossing over $160 million worldwide. Most children loved it.
As a kid, the movie seemed acceptable, but 15 years later my eyes bleed by watching this again. Quick plot:
The movie is about the genesis of Mewtwo, an artificial Pokémon created in a laboratory from the DNA of Mew, recovered from fossilized remains. Mewtwo then destroys the laboratory and meets Giovanni, the head of Team Rocket.
Giovanni uses Mewtwo as his pawn, wiping the floor with challengers in Giovanni's Gym and restraining Pokémon for Team Rocket to capture. Mewtwo, in a sudden Stroke of Genius, realizes he's being manipulated and promptly defeats Giovanni. [Purple Beams ! Everything Explodes !]
Mewtwo then snapped, and plans to erase humanity from the world, because people that gets deceived by a bad guy always want to get revenge on the whole world, that's common knowledge.
He proceeds to kidnap Nurse Joy #379, and issues a challenge to a handful of trainers. He then triggers a storm as a trial for these trainers, and when they land he delivers a speech about human and Pokémon relationships. Mewtwo steals their Pokéball with its psychic powers, and clone the Pokémon to make them battle with their original. How logical. Then Mew suddenly appears, tells Mewtwo that it's not good to be evil, and OMG IT'S MEW VS MEWTWO I CAN'T BELIEVE IT IT'S EXACTLY WHAT'S WRITTEN ON THE TIN !
The other Pokémon and their clones battle near death, which saddens every trainer because that's not how battles should be conducted: Pokémon battles are (usually) a display of love from the trainers to their pets, especially when this love takes the form of a Thunderbolt against an innocent Squirtle.
Ash can't take it anymore. Too much violence for his unblemished soul.
Animal fights should be conducted in a civil way. He jumps straight between Mew and Mewtwo, and gets hit by a Death Ray that transform him to stone. Ash is dead.
... Well, that is Pokémon, people don't die when they are killed. After that tragic incident, every Pokémon stops fighting instantly, cries a little, and their magical tears heal Ash. Better use a Max Revive next time.
Mew and Mewtwo make peace, and they lived happily ever after. The End.
Well, at least it's well animated. It's hard to really dislike this movie, but it's still pretty bad.
... Anyway, four promotional cards were given out to the spectators: a useless Electabuzz, a bad Dragonite, a good Pikachu (Energy acceleration is awesome), and an outstanding Mewtwo. Let's have a look !
Movie Promo Mewtwo
A Basic Pokémon with 70 HP and two good attacks that destroys Hitmonchan is obviously going to be awesome.
Psyburn deals 40 damage for , which passes the Vanilla test. Its true power resides in its first attack though.
Energy Absorption is the selling point of this guy. For , you attach up to 2 Energy cards from your discard pile to Mewtwo. Even if it doesn't deal any damage, it is so strong I don't even know where to start:
• It works in combination with Computer Search, Item Finder and Professor Oak, allowing you to use Psyburn on turn 2. This is ridiculous with Computer Search as you may discard 2 Energy cards to get a Mewtwo from your deck.
• It works with Super Energy Removal and Super Potion. You will slow down your opponent for free !
• It is immune to Energy Removal to an extent. It will still slow you down, but at least you retrieve your Energy cards.
• It can retrieve ANY Energy card from your discard pile. If you attach Rainbow Energy, you can move it with Venusaur's Energy Trans.
Mewtwo is strong during the entire game, as long as there aren't too many Normal stallers like Lickitung and Chansey against it. It gets the OHKO on Hitmonchan and itself, and a 2HKO on most Big Basics. Wigglytuff resists to Psyburn, only taking 10 damage from it. Hopefully, the two Energies needed to retreat can be retrieved with Energy Absorb as well.
Being only weak to itself was crucial, as it ensured no Big Basic except another Promotwo could OHKO it.
Movie Promo Pikachu
This was the best Pikachu to use in the early years, as its Charge lets you attach an energy from your deck for .
Its Thunderbolt could be unleashed on turn 2 if needed, to deal 50 damage, which isn't that bad but it discard all Energies attached to Pikachu. As a last resort move or a way to donk your opponent early game, it's ok.
Its main use is to get Dark Raichu ready to spam Surprise Thunder by turn 2, especially in the second Game Boy game where GR's Mewtwo increases the damage done by Dark Pokémon, even to the Benched Pokémon.
League Promo Mew
Mew was released as a Promo outside Japan, instead of being released in Fossil. You had to attend a Pokémon League and earn enough stamps to obtain it (at least, that's how it was in France).
It was used primarily for its first attack, Psywave, allowing you to revenge KO a charged Promotwo with a single PlusPower. It can also do the same thing to a 3-energy Hitmonchan, which is very helpful if you play several Normal Pokémon in your deck. And overall, it turned any Psychic weakness into a liability, perhaps even more than Promotwo since your opponent could drop it at any time, drop an Energy on it to deal massive damage, while Mewtwo had to wait at least one turn to deal damage.
Its single Energy cost Psywave also makes it very easy to splash Mew into basically any deck that needs it.
Its second attack is rarely used, but you can devolve a Breeder'd Blastoise with it, after playing Lass.
Jungle was the first expansion for the Pokémon Trading Card Game, released in March 1997 in Japan, and June 1999 in the US. It originally contained 48 cards, but Wizards of the Coast decided to make both holographic and non-holographic versions of the rare cards, in order to artificially increase the number of cards to collect. Out of those 48 new cards, there was 47 Pokémon and only 1 Trainer card, as PCL figured out children were more pleased with Pokémon cards. One Pokémon from this set had a huge impact on the metagame: Scyther.
Scyther is the best card of Jungle, and the Pokémon everyone waited for to keep Hitmochan in check.
It has 70 HP, a free retreat, a Fighting Resistance, and a Fire Weakness hard to exploit at the time of release. The only Pokémon that threatened Scyther early game was Base Set Ponyta, as it would 2HKO it with Smash Kick for a DCE.
Fossil Magmar can't frighten it early: Smokescreen only deal 20 damage, and Scyther can retreat to cancel the effect.
Its two moves work in synergy: Swords Dance costs and doubles the damage of Slash during your next turn.
Slash deals 30 damage for , which is enough to 2HKO Big Basics with the help of PlusPower.
Its colorless Energy cost allows you to include Scyther in any type of deck, and with a single Grass Energy in your deck you could deal 60 damage on turn 2. As it is nearly strictly better than Doduo and Farfetch'd, it took their place instantly.
Scyther was so good that it was played in nearly every deck for quite a while after its release. On the other hand, Hitmonchan usage declined.
Wigglytuff is the second best card from Jungle. It deals 60 damage for with a full bench, which is easy to reach. It can be used as early as turn 2, and OHKO the Big Basics with a single PlusPower. It thwarts Promotwo's attempts at sweeping with its Psychic Resistance, only taking 10 damage from Psyburn, forcing your foe to retreat.
It has three major drawbacks, though. It is a Stage 1, so it requires a bit of setup; but hopefully its Basic form has 60 HP and is fairly good. It's weak to Fighting, so Hitmonchan 2HKO it with Jab; Scyther helps fixing that Weakness.
The main issue with Wigglytuff is that it's awfully weak to Energy Removal. It doesn't have a cheap damaging attack; Lullaby may stall your opponent a bit, but that's about it. Wigglytuff caused a rise in usage of the already popular Super Energy Removal, most decks played additional copies to stop the pink blob in its tracks.
The Basic form of Wigglytuff is clearly not a dead weight in your deck.
A 60 HP Basic Pokémon that deals 20 for a DCE and can stall with Lullaby is pretty good in my book. Especially since it shares the same Psychic Resistance as Wigglytuff, so it can stop Promotwo early game.
Jigglypuff is also a way to pass through Mr. Mime, as its Pound attack 2HKO it, and Meditate deals no damage at all.
Its 60 HP means Hitmonchan will need two PlusPowers to OHKO it, thus it has a good chance to survive until the next turn so it can evolve. Lass works well in Do the Wave decks, as it will remove Gust of Wind and Super Energy Removal from your opponent's hand, and almost guarantees that Jigglypuff will survive until the next turn.
Its Metronome attack is quite unique, as it copies your opponent's attacks for . It's impervious to Energy Removal.
Depending on your opponent's deck, it can be awesome or rather weak. When it was printed, its main use was to copy Do The Wave and Psyburn, however it truly shone when Gym Challenge was released, as it could beat the almighty Rocket's Zapdos for a single Colorless Energy. It's another great check to Promotwo, with its Psychic Resistance.
Clefable is weak to Fighting. While Wigglytuff can survive against it, Clefable cannot. Essentially, its Basic form Clefairy has only 40 HP, while Jigglypuff has 60 HP; and Metronome can only deal 40 damage by copying Special Punch.
All in all, Clefable is metagame-dependant. It became very relevant in Prop 15/3 where it had a lot of favorable match-ups.
More about this format in another article !
Invisible Wall rang the death knell for Rain Dance decks.
With its Pokémon Power, Mr. Mime is immune to damage from attacks dealing 30 damage or more.
This includes Blastoise's Hydro Pump, Promotwo's Psyburn, Scyther's Slash and Wigglytuff's Do the Wave. Unfortunately for Mr. Mime, it's mostly a way to stall your opponent. It can score KOs on damaged Pokémon with Meditate though, so leaving a single Energy on Mr. Mime can lead to situations where your opponent might be scared of letting a damaged Pokémon in the Active position, thus wasting resources to switch out. You can also play Potion to extend its lifespan.
Jigglypuff and Lickitung stop it with their Psychic Resistance and low-cost attacks. It's also unable to stop Magmar and Electabuzz. Hitmonchan 2HKO it, but should be wary of Meditate as it gets K.O.'d with 2 damage counters.
Mr. Mime saw a bit of play in decks with Promotwo, Scyther, Lickitung, Scoop Up and a lot of Energy Removals.
Arguably the best pure staller in Base-Fossil, Lickitung could be a pain to deal with early game if you didn't play Hitmonchan. A 90 HP Basic with a Psychic Resistance, and a 50% chance to paralyze means it'll survive a few attacks and force your opponent to waste a few Switch or Scoop Up if he wants to circumvent the Paralysis. Its tanking ability supported by Super Energy Removal and Scoop Up slows down your opponent a lot and lets you build up your Bench.
After a few turns it becomes pretty irrelevant though, and its high Retreat Cost make it particularly weak to Gust of Wind, so you have to use Scoop Up on it quickly after you no longer need it. Its low damage output hurts it a lot.
It can still be a good staller at that point in the game if your objective is to deplete your opponent's resources, though.
A good common Basic, mainly used for stalling. It has 70 HP and a Lightning Resistance that forces your opponents to switch out their Electabuzz, likely wasting a Trainer card in the process. Leer costs and has a 50% chance to prevent the Defending Pokémon from attacking during next turn, which is quite effective early game. Horn Attack deals 30 damage for , which is good as it OHKO Jigglypuff, and Electabuzz with one PlusPower.
It has several flaws though: with its high Retreat Cost, you'll need to use a Switch or Scoop Up to get him out of the Active Position; and its Grass Weakness means you don't want to let your opponent attack with Scyther.
Your Energy Removals should be directed to your opponent's Scyther so it can't attack with Slash.
Don't bother with Rhyhorn's evolution, Rhydon: it trades its useful Leer for a bad 4 Energy attack.
Its Retreat Aid gives free retreat to Chansey, Mr. Mime, Jigglypuff, Magmar and Psyduck among others in Base-Fossil. It also facilitates the retreat of Hitmonchan, Electabuzz, Wigglytuff and Clefable, as a 1 Energy Retreat Cost is far more manageable. Unfortunately for Dodrio, it's a Stage 1 that brings nothing to the board, as its attack is rather bad.
At least, its 70 HP are decent, and its Basic form Doduo is a decent starter with its free retreat.
Dodrio has seen a bit of play in a few Trainer Lock decks, with Dark Vileplume and Fossil Psyduck.
Other cards worth mentioning
Pinsir is a decent Basic to use with Neo Genesis Meganium, dealing 20 damage + Paralysis for and 50 damage for .
Exeggutor was sometimes used with Venusaur, but it's crushed by Energy Removal, and luck reliant. Kangaskhan saw a bit of play as a staller shortly after Jungle was released, but fell out of use in favor of Lickitung. It can help you recover from a Lass early game, though.
Fossil was the second expansion for the Pokémon TCG, released in June 1997 in Japan, and October 1999 in the US. Once again, Wizards of the Coast printed two versions of the rare cards. They also removed Mew, to distribute it as a promotional card during Pokémon Leagues.
Fossil didn't have quite as much effect on the metagame as Jungle, but it still featured several useful cards that found their way into competitive decks, such as Ditto or Magmar. It also features the first locking cards created in Pokémon TCG: Aerodactyl, Muk and Psyduck.
When Ditto is your Active Pokémon, it transforms to whatever Pokémon your opponent has in the Active Position. Sounds awesome ? There's more ! You can use any type of Energy to use your opponent's attacks. Yes, you can attach Double Colorless Energy to Ditto and get two Energies of any type. Thanks to that, Ditto can completely change the tide of the battle, getting a turn ahead of its opponent when needed. It is a great counter to Electabuzz, copying Thunderpunch for a single DCE for the 2HKO. It also copies the opponent's type, so it OHKO Promotwo with Psyburn.
Its Pokémon Power is also its weakness. First of all, Transform only works when Ditto is in the Active Position, so if it has 5 damage counters and your opponent plays Gust of Wind, Ditto gets KO'd instantly. Ditto if Ditto is affected by a Special Condition. In fact, Ditto is in danger of getting KO'd as soon as it has 3 damage counters on it: your opponent just have to send a Rattata or a Promo Eevee in the Active position, so that Ditto copies their 30 HP and gets KO'd. That is a major drawback, as your opponent still gets to attack your new Active after that. So be careful when using this blob.
Ditto is a Pokémon that rewards good tactical execution. It has been played in several decks, mainly Sponge, Do the Wave and Haymaker.
Magmar is yet another Big Basic Pokémon. Just look at it, you'll know it's an awesome card.
It has 70 HP, a cheap Retreat Cost, and it is one a the very few Pokémon able to reliably hit the Weakness of Scyther. Smokescreen followed by Smog can 2HKO Scyther, so at the very least Smokescreen will force it to switch out.
Magmar is a master at making your opponent switch out their Active Pokémon. Smokescreen deals 10 damage for , and makes the Defending Pokémon flip a coin in order to attack. If tails, their attack fails. This is strong because in addition to damaging their Active, your opponents don't know if they're going to deal damage this turn. It might force your opponent to waste resources to switch out if they want to ensure damage on this turn, possibly giving you a board advantage. This is especially strong early game, as it can buy you several turns coupled with Energy Removal.
Smog deals 20 damage for and has a 50% chance to Poison the Defending Pokémon. Once again, Magmar will encourage your opponent to switch out, but this time by taking a more offensive approach. This is particularly strong against Scyther, as it can deal up to 50 damage factoring the Poison Damage, but dealing 30 and possibly 50 to other Pokémon if they choose to stay in is nothing to scoff at. Most Pokémon in the format can't afford to take 20 additional Poison damage while having already 3 damage counters. If your opponent choose to let their Poisoned Pokémon in the Active position, they're basically sacrificing it.
With its cheap attacks, Magmar is not weak to Energy Removal, another important advantage in Base-Fossil. With its high HP and its inclination to force switches, Magmar can prove to be hard to KO for some archetypes. It's a great target for Scoop Up, as you won't discard a lot of Energies and will deny a prize to your opponent, making several of his/her attacks go to waste.
Try to couple it with Electabuzz, as it covers its Water Weakness; it also has a good Synergy with Magmar as Thundershock will force your opponent to use their Switch and Scoop Up so that they can't use them against Magmar, causing them to lose Energies by retreating.
Preventing your opponent from playing Trainers on the very first turn is a big deal. It stops him/her from setting up, protects your own Trainers from your opponent's Lass, and can outright win you the game against Rain Dance.
It also guarantees a continuous Trainer Lock when coupled to Dark Vileplume that would be released in the next expansion. That deck was more effective in Japan though, as they had access to the Vending Machine cards, with a Gastly using the same Headache attack with a free Retreat Cost, and its Evolution Haunter using a Poltergeist attack that deals more damage for each Trainer in your opponent's hand. It was a top-tier deck in Japan.
The Vending Machine scans will be up in a few weeks after the Deck Database, just before I post the next article that will talk about it !
Back on topic, Psyduck has been played a bit in Base-Fossil to slow down the opponent while expanding the player's own Bench early game. For example, a few Wigglytuff builds would use this to protect themselves from Energy Removal, before playing a Lass on turn 3 when they were ready to unleash a fully powered Do the Wave.
At first glance, Lapras seems like a bad staller. While 80 HP is great, its two attacks have low-damage output (10 for 2 is especially bad), and its Lightning Weakness is the worst: Electabuzz was basically present in 50% of the top-tier decks back then.
So, why was Lapras played ? Well, it provided Rain Dance decks a way to deal with Mr. Mime, 2HKOing with Water Gun; in addition to a Basic Pokémon that wasn't OHKO'd by Hitmonchan or Electabuzz with two PlusPowers.
Most Rain Dance decks started playing Lapras in 1 or 2 copies, at least until Goop Gas Attack was available.
Lapras only saw play in Base-Fossil. As soon as Team Rocket was released, its usage plummeted.
On the other hand, Articuno has two high-damage output attacks, no Weakness, and a useful Fighting Resistance. 70 HP is also great. While its attacks are not as powerful as Blastoise's Hydro Pump, Articuno provides you with an attacker that is not weak to Electabuzz, which is the bane of Water decks. It is also better to let your opponent KO an Articuno rather than a Blastoise, as it takes significantly less resources to set up. You shouldn't play too many Articuno, though. It takes spaces in a deck that is already struggling for free spots, and you don't want to lose in stability.
Your main objective should still be to set up a Blastoise by turn 2. Lapras is a tech, and Articuno a secondary attacker.
Freeze Dry deals 30 damage for and has a 50% chance to Paralyze the Defending Pokémon. It puts the target in Blizzard KO range, including Wigglytuff, possibly preventing it from attacking and retreating in the process.
Blizzard deals 50 damage for , and can either damage your foe's Bench or your own Bench. 50 damage finishes off Wigglytuff and the Big Basics after a Freeze Dry, and the Bench damage can put the opponent's Big Basics in Hydro Pump's KO range.
Toxic Gas shuts down all Pokémon Powers. In Base-Fossil, this shuts down Rain Dance, Transform and Invisible Wall. Not that great, but not too bad either. In Team Rocket however, it shuts down Hay Fever, so you can play Trainer cards.
Sludge deals 30 for and has a 50% chance to Poison the Defending Pokémon. This is a bad attack, and because of its 2 Energy Retreat Cost, Gust of Wind is a major issue. Envisage several Switches in your deck when playing Muk.
It was sometimes played with Clefable when Fossil came out, but that's all as far as I can remember. This is a card that becomes more powerful as new expansions with new Pokémon Powers are released. It was mostly used when Neo Genesis was available, as a way to shut down Slowking's Mind Games.
Aerodactyl is the perfect example of a good card printed at the wrong time.
Prehistoric Power prevents Evolution cards from being played by both players. While this was potentially lethal for Rain Dance (at least until Goop Gas Attack was available), this couldn't really stop Wigglytuff decks from being a threat, as they played other attackers, one of these being Scyther. Why am I talking about Scyther ? Well, that's because Aerodactyl has 60 HP and a Grass Weakness, which means it's OHKO'd by Slash.
Because of that, Aerodactyl was basically not used at all. Its 2 Energy Retreat Cost didn't help either.
Trivia: Aerodactyl took 0 damage from Confusion back then, as Confusion was affected by Weakness and Resistance !
Dragonite is mainly used for its Power. Step In switches out your Active with Dragonite, saving a high Retreat Cost Pokémon from the Active position, or getting rid of Special Conditions. It has a cheap Retreat Cost, which can even be reduced to 0 with Dodrio's Retreat Aid. It has 100 HP, no Weakness and a Fighting Resistance which is great.
Its attack is usable but not great, dealing 40 damage in average for . Dragonite's purpose is to give Switches upon request, not to attack. Still, it is conceivable to attack with Slam if it's ever needed.
However, Dragonite is a Stage 2 Pokémon, and providing a Switch is a rather weak effect for a Stage 2.
Very few decks used it in a 1-0-1 line along with Pokémon Breeder if they already played some, but that's it.
Gastly is often run in 1 copy alongside Scythers in decks running Psychic Energies.
It is a nice utility player:
• It has free Retreat, 50 HP, no Weakness and a useful Fighting Resistance
• It can paralyze the opponent, either buying you a turn or forcing the opponent to waste resources
• It gets the 2HKO on Mr. Mime for a single energy, which might not be able to Retreat
• It can occasionally grab back DCEs if you manage to attach a 2nd Energy to Gastly
Do not bother evolving Gastly. Its evolutions are pretty bad, just stick to the Basic.
Cowardice returns Tentacool to your hand, but not the turn it was put into play. It looks pretty useless, even more on a 30 HP Pokémon which evolves into one of the worst Stage 1s ever printed. There is a combo with Alakazam and Mr. Mime, supported by the upcoming Dark Vileplume, which lets you swap any damage received to Tentacool and send it back into your hand, basically making Mr. Mime invincible.
Dark Vileplume protected the deck from Gust of Winds, Goop Gas Attacks and Sleep Trainer cards. Muk however was a big weakness.
However, the deck was slow to set up, and terribly inconsistent. If your opponent ever set it up though, it was likely a Game Over at this time, as aside from Confusion and Muk nothing could break it.
Energy Search gets any Basic Energy from your deck. It's more useful than it looks like.
It is nice in multicolor decks as Rainbow Energy was not yet available, but it is also usable in monocolor decks.
It has a deck-thinning purpose, slightly increasing the quality of your next draws at basically no cost.
It also gives you a way to reliably get a Basic Energy from your deck with Item Finder, once it is in your discard pile.
Energy Search was sometimes played in 1 or 2 copies for the aforementioned reasons, mostly in Haymaker decks.
Try to not reduce too much your Energy count while using this card, as you may become vulnerable to Energy Removal.
As you will see, Scyther basically found its place in nearly every deck. As a result Hitmonchan is less played in this format, but is still relevant due to the high number of Colorless basics available.
Promotwo, Magmar, Ditto and Wigglytuff had a pretty big impact on the metagame as well.
Base Fossil - Do the Wave
|15 Pokémon||29 Trainers||16 Energies|
|3× Wigglytuff||4× Computer Search||4× Double Colorless Energy|
|3× Jigglypuff||3× Item Finder||12× Psychic Energy|
|3× Promotwo||4× Professor Oak|
|2× Scyther||4× Bill|
|1× Ditto||3× PlusPower|
|1× Mew||3× Gust of Wind|
|1× Psyduck||2× Super Energy Removal|
|1× Gastly (Fossil)||2× Energy Removal|
=> Fill out your Bench as soon as possible, and start dishing out OHKOs with Do the Wave and PlusPower.
Wigglytuff is weak to Hitmonchan and Energy Removals, that's why Scyther and Promotwo are there, as they fix these two drawbacks nicely. Ditto's main use is to Thunderpunch Electabuzz for a single DCE, but it can copy any other Pokémon you can beat by abusing DCE.
Base Fossil - AggroTwo
|9 Pokémon||33 Trainers||18 Energies|
|3× Promotwo||4× Computer Search||2× Double Colorless Energy|
|2× Hitmonchan||3× Item Finder||10× Psychic Energy|
|2× Scyther||4× Professor Oak||6× Fighting Energy|
|1× Gastly (Fossil)||4× Bill|
|1× Mew||3× PlusPower|
|4× Gust of Wind|
|3× Super Energy Removal|
|3× Energy Removal|
|3× Scoop Up|
|1× Energy Search|
=> Discard 2 Energy cards on the first turn using Computer Search or Item Finder, then use Energy Absorb to have a set up Mewtwo early game. Thanks to Energy Absorb, discarding Energies is not an issue so you can play Super Energy Removals to your leisure. Hitmonchan is there so Wigglytuff doesn't ruin your fun. Remember to load a Scyther mid game if possible, so that you can finish the game if your opponent spams Psychic Resistance during late game.
Base Fossil - StallTwo
|13 Pokémon||30 Trainers||17 Energies|
|3× Promotwo||4× Computer Search||3× Double Colorless Energy|
|2× Mr. Mime||3× Item Finder||13× Psychic Energy|
|2× Lickitung||4× Professor Oak||1× Grass Energy|
|2× Ditto||4× Bill|
|3× Scyther||3× Gust of Wind|
|1× Mew||4× Super Energy Removal|
|4× Energy Removal|
|3× Scoop Up|
=> A more defensive version, designed to take control of the Energy presence on the table. Your Energy Removals are maximized to that goal. The key of this deck is to adapt to your opponent's strategy.
You already know how Promotwo works. It still can use Psyburn on turn 2 if your opponent plays Hitmonchan, but it can also stall a bit, letting you spam Super Energy Removals, and then get out with a well-timed Scoop Up. Lickitung is there to stall early game, paralyzing stuff and acting as a damage sponge. It also provides a way to defeat Mr. Mime, and can handle an opposing Promotwo as well. Mr. Mime stops Rain Dance and Wigglytuff in their tracks, and can on occasion finish a damaged Pokémon. Try to lay down an Energy on it when you have the occasion, it can lead your opponents to act more carefully and force him to waste resource to switch out their damaged Pokémon. Ditto can copy Electabuzz's Thunderpunch and Magmar's Smog for a DCE to give you the upperhand against them.
Base Fossil - Magmar / Electabuzz
|10 Pokémon||33 Trainers||18 Energies|
|3× Magmar||4× Computer Search||3× Double Colorless Energy|
|3× Electabuzz||4× Item Finder||7× Lightning Energy|
|3× Scyther||4× Professor Oak||8× Fire Energy|
|1× Ditto||4× Bill|
|3× Gust of Wind|
|4× Energy Removal|
|2× Super Energy Removal|
|3× Scoop Up|
=> Magmar forces switches, Electabuzz covers Magmar's Water Weakness and forces your opponent to play his Switch and Scoop Up cards with Thundershock's Paralysis. A third Scoop Up and a second Super Energy Removal have been added to capitalize on Magmar deterrent abilities, and also because this deck will dish out less damage early game. That means you'll have to stall a bit early game, which further justifies the presence of a third Scoop Up. Ditto is there to add an extra “Oomph” to the deck, and it helps against Electabuzz, Promotwo and Wigglytuff as well.
Base Fossil - Haymaker
|10 Pokémon||32 Trainers||18 Energies|
|3× Hitmonchan||4× Computer Search||3× Double Colorless Energy|
|3× Electabuzz||4× Item Finder||7× Lightning Energy|
|3× Scyther||4× Professor Oak||8× Fighting Energy|
|1× Ponyta||4× Bill|
|3× Gust of Wind|
|1× Super Energy Removal|
|4× Energy Removal|
|2× Scoop Up|
=> I refer you to the previous article about Base Set for a general explanation of how to play Haymaker. I will go into the specifics for each version. This version plays the classic Hitmonchan + Electabuzz duo, along with Scyther for its free retreat and its Fighting Resistance. The lone Ponyta is there to scare Scyther and deal 40 damage to it for a single DCE.
Base Fossil - Rain Dance
|12 Pokémon||31 Trainers||17 Energies|
|4× Blastoise||4× Computer Search||17× Water Energies|
|4× Squirtle||3× Item Finder|
|3× Articuno||4× Professor Oak|
|1× Scyther||4× Bill|
|4× Pokémon Breeder|
|3× Gust of Wind|
|1× Super Energy Removal|
|1× Energy Retrieval|
|1× Super Potion|
=> The aim of this deck is still the same, getting a Blastoise ready on turn 2. Simply drop a Squirtle, a Pokémon Breeder, a Blastoise and 5 Water Energy, and you're ready to wreak havoc. This version is slightly less weak to Haymaker, thanks to Articuno. Blizzard can put benched 70HP Basics into Hydro Pump KO range.
This deck is still destroyed by Psyduck + Lass early game, but at least it's less dramatic if your opponent manages to set up an Electabuzz's Thunderpunch.
Scyther lets you switch back to your current attacker after a Switch, as having 2 charged Pokémon might be a little tough from time to time.
Speaking of which, 17 Water Energies is the absolute minimum although it might look like a lot. You NEED to be attacking as soon as Blastoise is on the field; this deck does not have many good match-ups, early aggression is the way you're going to win your games, and for that you need to be able to pump 5 Water Energies and a couple of PlusPower on Blastoise in one turn if it can net you an early K.O.
You can include 1 Lapras to have an answer to Mr. Mime's Invisible Wall, if you want to struggle a bit less against it.
You could also run one copy of Rattata, which provides you with another free retreat, and an additional way to deal with Ditto as an added bonus. But it's an additional low HP Basic, and it can be risky to carelessly send it against Mr Mime, as your opponent may retreat and send an attacker to K.O. it. Using Lass at such a time would be crucial, as it strips your opponent of PlusPower they might need if they do not run Hitmonchan, and don't have a charged attacker on the field.
And if you removed Mr. Mime's Energies beforehand, they can no longer switch out since you also removed their Switch and Computer Search from their hand.
In the next episode:
I'll talk about the Team Rocket expansion, where Team Rocket attempted to steal all the fun from Pokémon TCG; as well as the Vending Machine cards, which were never released outside Japan.
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I'll try to post the next article a bit sooner than this one, hopefully it won't take weeks !
Any question or correction about Jungle and Fossil ? Did you like the first Pokémon movie ? Post your comments below !