July 31, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Yanmega Prime (Triumphant 98)

Hello everyone! It's GrassExplorer here with another awesome Grass-Type Pokémon! This time we have Yanmega Prime, a sight to behold! To start off, it's artwork is fascinating, a testament to its sheer power and strength.

Looking at its HP, being 110 HP, I am quite amazed by its incredibly high HP, especially for a stage 1 Pokémon, but of course, it IS a Prime card. With that said, its high HP makes it a worthy opponent if you ever go against one!

Next, looking at its Poké-Body, Insight, is highly useful! So, if you have the same number of cards in your hand as your opponent, all of Yanmega Prime's attack costs are zero. This speaks for itself, the power of this Poké-Body allows for a quicker knocking out of your opponent. Moreover, in difficult situations when Yanmega has just been played and you don't have enough time to place energy cards, this can be a life-saver!

Now looking at Linear Attack, which does 40 damage to any one of your opponent's Pokémon, this attack is certainly better than average! The reason that it's better than many other average attacks is that it applies 40 damage regardless of weakness/resistance; this is what makes the attack quite deadly.

Moving onto its other attack, Sonic Boom, which inflicts 70 damage. This is another awesome attack because, once again, it inflicts a whopping 70 damage regardless of weakness or resistence! Although it requires three energy cards, I think it's a more than reasonable amount, especially since the attack is very powerful.

Unlike many other Grass-Type Pokémon, Yanmega Prime is not weak to Fire-Type Pokémon but rather to Electric-Type Pokémon, which would be good to use against Fire-Type decks which usually are most prone to over-power Grass decks. Moreover, it has resistance to Fighting Type Pokémon which is quite the advantage to have in a battle!

Overall, I give Yanmega Prime a 5/5!

July 30, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Zekrom (Black & White 114)

I'm back! Its Volcachu here once again and I will be talking about Reshiram's counterpart, Zekrom. It also has a normal art and a full art form. Full art looks great on Zekrom and it is cool to have.

Zekrom is an Electric-Type Pokémon which is Basic. It has 130 HP like Reshiram, which is a hefty amount for a Basic Pokémon. It is easy to get Zekrom out as all you need are cards like Dual Ball or Pokémon Collector. It has a double weakness to Fighting/Ground Types, so you should be cautious around Donphans and Machamps. It has no resistance and it has a retreat cost of two energies.

Zekrom's attacks are very similar to Reshiram. Like Reshiram, Zekrom has the attack called Outrage. It only requires a Double Colourless Energy so just slap them onto Zekrom. The move has 20 base damage and it gains 10 damage for each damage counter on Zekrom. The more they hurt you, the more you will hurt them back. Pretty simple and effective eh? Zekrom's second attack is Bolt Strike. This attack does 120 damage like Reshiram's Blue Flare, but it has a different effect. Bolt Strike damages Zekrom for 40 damage. This may sound terrible, but you can use this to your advantage. If you build up a lot of damage counters on Zekrom, you can unleash the all powerful outrage which can almost kill any Pokémon when Zekrom is almost dead.

The rating I give to Zekrom is a decent 3.5/5. I do not give Zekrom as high as Reshiram because of Zekrom's average survivability. Every Bolt Strike is a step closer for your opponent to take out your Zekrom which is bad.You can play save by only using Outrage if you want to. Zekrom is a great card and it will help you win matches against other people if you know how to manage your health right. It is deadly when used properly.

July 29, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Vespiquen (Undaunted 23)

Hi everyone! It's GrassExplorer bringing you today another Grass-Type Pokémon, Vespiquen, from HS-Undaunted. One of my favourite Pokémon, Vespiquen is truly stunning! To start off, its artwork is quite beautiful, seems as though it's flying above its opponents!

Looking at its Poké-Body, Defense Sign, which prevents all damage done to Grass-Type Benched Pokémon, this is an extremely useful advantage especially for Grass-Type decks. Clearly, this helps warding off those pesky damage counters that slowly but surely accumulate on your benched Pokémon, and sometimes, even knocking them out.

Next, looking at its attack, Mach Wind, this is a great attack! With 60 damage inflicted in the opponent, this surely makes Vespiquen a real contender! Now, looking at the effect of its attack, being that its retreat cost becomes 0, Vespiquen truly shows its value as a definite Pokemon to have in a deck, especially for Grass-Type decks. Although it requires 3 energy cards, it only needs one grass energy. 

Like many other Grass-Type Pokémon, Vespiquen is weak to Fire-Type Pokémon, but I think that being a stage 1 Pokémon, Vespiquen truly is above average in many regards. Lastly, looking at its retreat cost, now although it takes 3 energy cards to retreat, it doesn't really matter all that much taking into account the awesome Mach Wind!

Overall, I give Vespiquen 4.5/5!

July 28, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Typhlosion Prime (HeartGold & SoulSilver 110)

Hello everyone! LuxrayMogul here for another Card of the Day Review! Today we're going to discuss Typhlosion Prime, card number 110 from HGSS and one of my favourite cards. (Maybe it's because Cyndaquil is my favourite starter Pokémon ;D)

Typhlosion is a Stage 2 Fire-type Pokémon that evolves from Quilava. It has a very decent HP of 140 (especially if you keep using After-Burner, discussed later). It has a double weakness to water, which isn't pleasant, but should be expected of Fire-types. (Wouldn't worry about Kingdra Prime though; it has a disadvantage when faced against Fire-Types.) It has a retreat cost of two colourless energy, which is more than I'd like to pay, but it's at least better than some of the Stage 2s you see out there. But you're pretty much going to expect NOT to retreat Typhlosion; once it's out, I think you'll probably prefer attacking with it.

Its Poké-Power, After Burner, allows you to attach a fire energy from your discard pile to one of your Pokémon once a turn. (If you have more than one Typhlosion Prime in play, the power stacks, of course.) But, you must put one damage counter on that Pokémon if you do so. Now this is useful for using its attack, Flare Destroy, but overuse can cause Typhlosion to quickly become knocked-out by even the smallest attacks.

Its sole attack, Flare Destroy, can be used for two Fire and one Colourless. It does a pesky 70 damage which may knock out most basic Pokémon (watch out for Reshiram, B&W 113) but won't do very well against evolved Pokémon, especially other Primes. It also requires both Pokémon to discard one energy (NOTE: YOU get to choose the energy the opponent discards, not them!!) The idea is probably to wear down your opponent's energy stack and replenish your own with Afterburner so you don't waste your deck energy. (This seems like a battle of attrition... sorry. Too much World War I.) Like I said before, letting this damage build up on Typhlosion can be dangerous, so you have to "watch your spending".

A card that works really well with Typhlosion Prime is Ursaring Prime (Unleashed 89). By building energy on Ursaring, Ursaring can quickly charge up for its attacks while at the same time gaining damage, which activates its "Berserk" Poké-Body, allowing to do 60 more damage for each of its attack. That's good as well. Another card that may work well with Typhlosion (but not that useful if you want to be critical) is Ampharos Prime (HGSS 105). While causing your opponent to discard energy, you charge them 10 damage for each extra energy they attach once Ampharos comes into play! This power also stacks when you have more Ampharos in play.

Artwork? Oh, I love Typhlosion. The artwork, like most Prime cards, are amazing. Heck, pretty much all of the artwork for all the HGSS series are amazing, so must I say more? ;D

So - I rate Typhlosion 4/5, but it loses some marks for doing so less damage and having a significant weakness to a popular type. But other than that, it's a pretty cool card to have in your deck, and of course, duplicates should always be considered for powerful energy power-ups.

July 27, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Reshiram (Black & White 113)

Hey there! Its Volcachu once again and today I will be talking about a hot card in the market and it is Reshiram. This Pokémon card has two forms. It can be obtained as a regular holo or as a full art card. In my opinion, the full art looks amazing and I have it.

Reshiram is a Basic Fire-Type Pokémon with 130 HP which is a lot for a Basic Pokémon. I has a double weakness to Water-Types so be careful of those Blastoise I mentioned in my Donphan Prime review. It has no resistance which is saddening and it costs two energy to retreat. Two energy is normal for a Pokémon with a very high health, so it is fine.

Reshiram has 2 attacks and they are both great. The first one is Outrage and it only needs two energies of any kind. Just slap on a Double Colourless Energy and you can attack right away with Outrage. It does 20 damage and it adds 10 damage for every damage counter on Reshiram. So the more hits you take, the more damage you deal out making it a good tank. The second attack is Blue Flare which deals a mind crushing 120 damage. This is an attack which hits very hard but it comes at a price. You have to discard 2 Fire Energies attached to Reshiram. Make sure that you have an extra energy in your hand before you use this attack so you can attach it and use Outrage on your next turn.

I would give Reshiram a 4/5 for being a great tank Pokémon and being able to dish out great damage. The drawback to Reshiram is the discarding of the energies to use its second attack. This card can be used in any deck as you can just use Outrage. It is a very versatile card and it can be used to your advantage very easily. This card is a must have and you should at least add it to your collection.

July 26, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Jirachi (Unleashed 1)

Greetings everyone! LuxrayMogul here, today I'm going to talk about the first card from HS Unleashed, Jirachi. Now Jirachi has been getting a relative amount of hype lately from decks that featured it in Nationals and other related tournaments. Let's analyze this card and see what the hype's all about!

Jirachi is a Psychic Type Basic Pokémon with an average Basic Pokémon-HP of 60. It has a double weakness to Psychic Type (Psychic types aren't seeing too much play so it should be alright), no resistance, and a common one Colourless energy retreat cost. So, it seems like a normal card so far. Let's look at the card text.

Jirachi is one of those Pokémon whose Poké-Power sets up its attack. Its Poké-Power, Stardust Song, lets you flip 3 coins when you play Jirachi from your hand onto your bench. For every heads you get, you can search your discard pile for a Psychic energy and attach it to Jirachi. Not bad. But there are some problems - Jirachi might take some time to set up: and assuming you have to have discarded Psychic energy before in the game so you actually have something to get from the discard pile (or else this won't do anything).

What's the use of this power you might ask? Well, it all has to do with the attack. For one Psychic energy (see where the power comes in handy? If not, it gets better.) you can use Time Hollow. Now Time Hollow doesn't do any damage, but you can choose a number of your opponent's Stage 1 or 2 Pokémon up to the number of energy cards attached to Jirachi. You technically "devolve" all of the Pokémon you chose, but unlike Dialga (Diamond and Pearl 1, out of rotation), the highest stage evolution cards you remove only go back to your opponent's hand, not being shuffled into the deck like Dialga's Flash Cannon. (Darn!)

So, you might be asking. "What's the use of that?" Nothing. Absolutely nothing. On it's own. Your opponent can once again evolve all the Pokémon you devolved on their next turn. But when you combine Jirachi with a certain-card-that-everyone's-talking-about-that-did-really-well-at-Nationals, you can collect a bunch of prize cards at once. How?

In case you haven't figured it out, the certain-card-that-everyone's-talking-about-that-did-really-well-at-Nationals is Kingdra Prime (Unleashed 85). When used with Jirachi, Jirachi's seemingly harmless Time Hollow suddenly changes your game. Kingdra Prime's Poké-Body Spray Splash allows you to place one damage counter on one of your opponent's Pokémon before you attack. If you have four Kingdra Prime, that'll be doing 40 damage a turn! The strategies come here. If your opponent used Rare Candy to evolve their Basic straight to a Stage 2, even better. If not, it'll just take longer for your attack to work.

Using Kingdra Prime's Spray Splash (the more Kingdra Prime you have the better), you place damage counters on their Stage 2 Pokémon every turn until the damage counters of most of their benched Stage 1 or 2s can be knocked out if they get "devolved". All the while, you're attaching energy to Jirachi. Then in one sweep, you use Jirachi's Time Hollow and devolve all of your opponent's benched Pokémon (you'll need a lot of energy attached to Jirachi, maybe at least 3?). If you used Kingdra Prime's Poké-Body correctly, the damage will now equal or exceed the hit points, knocking out all of your opponent's benched (or even Active) Pokémon, allowing you to draw a ton of prize cards! Now this strategy has been used very effectively at Nationals and have been featured on a lot of sites, but I thought that it would be useful to have it on the PikaCirculator database as well.

The art is amazing, like most of the HeartGold SoulSilver era cards.

Overall, I'd give this card a 2.5/5 for having an effective strategy (it requires a lot of patience though!) of devolving and knocking out Pokémon. But however, my ratings significantly dropped for this card because it simply is useless when used alone. So please don't use four Jirachi (Unleashed 1) in your deck and expect to win, because it probably won't happen. But its potential when used with other cards like Kingdra Prime is simply deadly.

July 25, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Vileplume (Undaunted 24)

Hello everyone! My name is GrassExplorer and I will be focusing primarily on Grass-Type Pokémon, but I will also cover some Water Pokémon as well. I love Grass Pokémon for the main reason that they inflict many conditions, i.e. poison, burn, confused etc. Today we're going to look at my personal favourite Pokémon, Vileplume, which is card 24 from HS - Undaunted expansion.

Beginning with its HP, Vileplume has a healthy amount at 120 HP, making it difficult to knock out. Moreover, in terms of its weakness, it is unique among Grass-Type Pokémon being in that it is not weak to Fire, but to Psychic. This can be a definite advantage to a Grass-Type deck because Vileplume can withstand Fire-Type decks, which usually are what Grass-Type decks are weak to.

Moving onto its Poke-Body, Allergy Flower, it is an extremely useful Poke-Body. Although both players are barred from using trainer cards, this can definitely be used to the player's advantage in terms of strategy. This Poke-Body would be detrimental to opponents who rely heavily on trainer cards.

Next, looking at its attack, Dazzling Pollen, it is a great attack in that it is a win-win situation. It speaks for itself, whether heads or tails, more damage is inflicted either in the form of counters or condition. And with respect to the amount of energy cards needed, I would say that it is reasonable being that although three energy cards are needed, only two of them have to be Grass-Type.

Lastly, Vileplume's retreat cost is quite reasonable, again. It's not incredibly high and for a Pokémon of this caliber, I would say that it's pretty decent.

Overall, Vileplume is an awesome Pokémon, especially for running a Grass-Type deck. I hope you will, or do, enjoy Vileplume just as much as I do! Vileplume may look cute, but it's also deadly and can put up a fight!

In summary, I give Vileplume a definite 5/5!

July 24, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Pikachu (Black & White 115)

Hey guys, this is Volcachu and I am back again. Today I will be talking about a very rare Pikachu. This Pikachu is an Ultra Rare and it is very hard to find in the new set (Black & White).

Pikachu is a Basic Electric-Type Pokémon. It has 60 HP which is average for a Basic Pokémon. It has a double weakness to Fighting-Types which has been seeing a lot of play lately. Cards like Machamp Prime (Triumphant 95) and Donphan Prime (HG & SS 107) will make Pikachu useless. Pikachu has no resistance which is normal for most Pikachus.

Pikachu has two attacks which are not the greatest. The first attack is called Energize which needs 1 electric energy. This attack does no damage at all, but it allows the player to attach an Electric energy to this Pikachu. It will give the player the power to recycle the Electric energies which are used in the second attack. Pikachu's second attack is Thunderbolt which can only be used if it has 1 Electric energy and 2 Colourless energies. This attack does a whopping 80 damage, but it comes at a big cost. All energy cards must be discarded from Pikachu. It will take you a long time to recharge for another attack. This is where Energize kicks in and lets you recharge a bit more efficiently. Pikachu's low HP will make it hard to get off another Thunderbolt after the first one.

Overall, I believe that this Pikachu is not suitable for battle because of Pikachu's attacks and low HP. This card is more of a collector's card. If you have this card, you should hang on to it because it is hard to obtain. In conclusion, I give this card a 1.5/5 for the card's ineffectiveness on the battlefield. This card should be kept in the binder and not in the real game.

July 23, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Celebi Prime (Triumphant 92)

Hi everyone! It's LuxrayMogul here for another Card of the Day! Today we're going to discuss Celebi Prime, which is card number 92 from HS - Triumphant expansion. Alright, let's get started.

Celebi Prime is a Prime card, which are generally considered the HGSS version of Pokémon Lv. X and Pokémon ex, but without the consequences of the latter two. It is a Grass-Type basic Pokémon and has a measly 60 HP... eh. It has a double weakness to fire. Wait... so 30 damage from a Fire type can knock it out! Ouch. Not impressive... Its one colourless energy retreat cost is average. Let's see if the card text can improve my impression at this moment, haha.

Celebi's Poké-Power, Forest Breath, allows you to attach a grass energy from your hand to any Pokémon, as long as Celebi is your Active Pokémon. This can be useful, allowing you an extra energy attachment that turn. But like mentioned before, Celebi doesn't have very high survivability considering its x2 weakness and its mere 60 HP. Let's see its attack. 

Time Circle needs a Grass, Psychic and Colourless Energy to use; it does 30 damage. The text says that during your opponent's next turn, prevent all damage done to Celebi by their Stage 1 or 2 Pokémon. Well, that definitely redeems Celebi's weakness! Sort of. If your opponent was to attack during the turn, they would have to use basic Pokémon... but there are still many powerful Basic Pokémon, so Celebi's survivability is not ideal.

Interviewer's Questions (Unleashed 77) as well as Fisherman (HGSS 92) work well with Celebi Prime to get those extra grass energy to attach. Celebi makes charging up those large Stage 2 grass Pokémon fast - so they are ready for action quicker. 

The art is outstanding, as with all the Prime cards, haha!

Ideally, Celebi Prime can be put in your deck for fast charge-up of your grass Pokémon (getting them ready in half the turns required); and it does make a good wall if your opponents are running evolved Pokémon. But it is important to note that it only prevents damage; they can still hit Celebi with Special Conditions. I will rate this card 3/5 for its useful Poké-Power and its relatively good attack. It definitely loses marks for its low HP and its high weakness against fire Pokémon. Celebi Prime is ideal for charging, but probably not very good for attacking.

July 22, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Donphan Prime (HeartGold & SoulSilver 107)

Hey everyone! My name is Volcachu and I am part of the team. If anyone of you are wondering what my name means, it is a combination of my two favourite Pokémon. They are Volcarona and Pikachu! Today, I will be reviewing one of my favourite cards in the game, Donphan Prime. (HG & SS 107)

Donphan Prime is one of the best cards out there in the present rotation. It has been used in many decks at this year's National Championships in the United States. The card's success has made it one of the most wanted cards out there. Donphan Prime is a Fighting-Type, Stage 1 Pokémon. It has 120 HP and that's a hefty amount for a Stage 1 Pokémon. It has a double weakness against Water-Types so you must be careful of Blastoise (Unleashed 13) which has also been seeing a lot of play these days. Donphan also has 20 resistance to Electric-Types. With your Poké-Body, Electric-Type Pokémon will not do much damage to Donphan. Donphan needs four energy cards to retreat so it isn't ideal to move it around too much.

Donphan has a very amazing Poké-Body, Exo-Skeleton. It reduces any damage done to Donphan by 20 after Resistance and Weakness calculation. This ability is great because it makes it harder for your opponent to kill the Donphan. This makes Donphan a good wall while dishing out tons of damage.

Donphan has two attacks which work very well. The first attack is Earthquake. This attack is very easy to use as it only requires 1 Fighting energy. It does a lot of damage as 60 will most likely kill many basic Pokémons in one hit. The only draw back to this attack is that each of your Bench Pokémon will take 10 damage. If you come to think of it, 10 damage is very little compared to 60 damage. Donphan's second attack is called Heavy Impact. This attack needs 3 Fighting energy and it deals 90 damage. This is a lot of damage if you ask me. There are no drawbacks and no side effects so it makes the attack reliable. Both of Donphan's attacks are easy to use and powerful.

Donphan is a great Pokémon which deals a lot of damage and it can survive many hits. This card can be run in many different types of decks and it is easy to bring out because it is only a Stage 1 Pokémon. I give this card a 4.5/5 for its high survivability and its great damage. It's Poké-Body is very useful and there is hardly anything bad about this card. There is no surprise if you run into this card a lot because it is one of the best cards printed.

July 21, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Absol Prime (Triumphant 91)

Hi everyone! LuxrayMogul here, welcome to PikaCirculator's first Card of the Day Review! Today we'll be talking about Absol Prime, card number 91 from HS - Triumphant.

So first, let's go over the basics of the card. Absol is a Dark-Type Basic Pokémon with 80 HP, which is average, or maybe a little higher, considering it is a Basic. It has a double weakness to Fighting... so that means it's automatically useless against Machamp Prime, Donphan Prime, and cards of that sort. It's 20 resistance to Psychic isn't bad. It needs one Colourless energy to retreat, which is average for a Basic. Let's look at the card text.

Its Poké-Body states that as long as Absol is your active Pokémon, every time your opponent plays a basic onto their Bench you get to put two damage counters on them. Not bad, but like stated above, this Body might not be of very much use if you're up against Machamp, Donphan, or any other Fighting type Pokémon (they only need to deal 40 damage for Absol to be knocked out). So, it might not stay as an "Active Pokémon" for very long for the effect to take effect. Well.... perhaps the attack is more promising.

For a Darkness and Colourless Energy you can use Absol's "Vicious Claw", which does a decent 70 damage. However, it states that you have to choose one Pokémon from your hand and send it into the Lost Zone (an advanced version of the discard pile; cards here cannot be 'rescued') If you can't, the attack does nothing. Wait... what?

Most people run decks where each Pokémon in the deck matter very much to the strategy and ensure the victory of the game. However, Absol Prime forces you to Lost Zone a Pokémon every turn in order for the attack to deal just 70 damage.

The only card I can maybe see that will work with this card is Mew Prime, (Triumphant 97) which is from the same expansion as Absol. Its Poké-Body allows it to use all attacks of Pokémon in the Lost Zone (sufficient energy is still required, of course). This links it well with Absol Prime, as its own attack, See Off, costs one attack to send Pokémon into the Lost Zone. Absol can deal 70 damage and send something to the Lost Zone, so it would make a great combo with Mew, only if the cards in your hand go your way.

The art? It is absolutely outstanding. 

Overall, I'll give Absol Prime a generous rating of 2/5. Its weakness impairs it when compared to a popular card right now, Donphan Prime. (Well, Fighting types are popular.) Its attack can be quite costly to a deck when discarding all those Pokémon that you may need in the future. Its Body does help damage up Benched Pokémon if you play it early in the game. This card might only work in a deck that revolves around it; it might not do very well otherwise.

July 19, 2011

Welcome to PikaCirculator!

This is no ordinary random Pokémon site. No it isn't.

Welcome to the PikaCirculator official blog! Mainly on our YouTube channel (PikaCirculator), we discuss everything Pokémon related ranging from the TCG cards to the video games! We will also discuss strategies, talk about specific cards, and welcome you all to do the same. Make yourself at home here!

So... who's going to be posting? It's going to me, LuxrayMogul, as well as my buddies Volcachu and GrassExplorer. We'll sign each of our posts so you'll know who it is! (We will also label our videos so you know who is posting what!)

Once again, welcome to PikaCirculator!