Ultra Prism Draft – Round 4

In preparation of the release of Ultra Prism, we decided to hold a “draft” as an exercise to determine which cards might be the most relevant. We looked for the 4 greatest Pokemon Card players in the land, and when they didn’t respond to our messages, we found Harvey, Mike, Juan, and FayID to take up the task.

Round 1 here
Round 2 here
Round 3 here

Round DRAFT SPOT DRAFT PERSON Number Name Type Rarity
4 13 Juan 34 Empoleon Water Rare
4 14 Mike 19 Magmortar Fire Rare Holo
4 15 FayID 27 Turtonator Fire Uncommon
4 16 Harvey 74 https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Weavile_(Ultra_Prism_74) Darkness Rare Holo

Juan: Empoleon, my goodness are you a welcoming sight in the budget side of things. Whirlpool is a decent attack, but Total Command is the main attack that everyone fell in love with. With a full bench on both player’s side, your damage output becomes EX/GX leveled. Now granted: whos to say your opponent won’t lower their bench size to lessen Empoleon’s effectiveness? Might happen, yes, but still. Empoleon needs a good partner, and the obvious one (for me at least) has to be Zoroark GX. Trade, Aqua Patch, Rare Candy Plays….Empoleon just has an easier time setting up alongside Zoroark, and Riotous Beating works without minding the minimal amount of Pokemon on your Opponent’s end, so long as you aren’t under the effects of Sudowoodo or Parallel City of course.

Now I would’ve appreciated having Wake out in this particular set since Ultra Prism pays homage to the Sinnoh region, but I can wait. For now, Empoleon is going to be similar to Garchomp in that he’s a good entry level deck (not counting the expensive techs of course), and having access to Cyrus means you got a good amount of flexibility to work with against a vast amount of decks and threats that you might encounter, so have a go at this Mon if you like a reliable 1 prize attacker that will, on average, 2 shot, but if your opponent isn’t careful…well, this Emperor will have some blood stains on his flipper lol (This got somewhat morbid indeed).

Harvey: Empoleon is similar to Garchomp. It isn’t as bad even though it also is a two attachment attacker, though, because of Aqua Patch and Counter Energy. You could literally use three different types of SPE with this deck: Splash, Counter, and Super Boost. It’s an E Hammer’s dream!

Similar to Leafeon, I think all Theorymon with Empoleon ends with Cyrus. However, if you set Cyrus aside, it will be an OK deck and will win some matches. But a single prize, Stage 2 feature Pokemon hasn’t won a major tournament since.. Umm … well… Huh. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

FayId: Empoleon might be a thing in Standard. Will never be a thing in expanded.

Mike K: Agreed with everything said, but why couldn’t Whirlpool be (b) (c) (c) instead of (b)
(b) (c)?

Juan: Magmortar….just run him in expanded. One Prize attacker, easy 190 attack with Choice Band, and you have access to Blacksmith. And the automatic Burn upon contact ensures that a good amount of the opposition gets into OHKO range. Lots of potential in that format.

In Standard however, he just can’t keep up without the Blacksmith, and a frail Hp means he won’t last long enough to make a real difference in most games. However, keep a playset of him in the binder should the Fire typing gets their fair share of support later down the line. If a substitute for Blacksmith comes around, or a pokemon that can mimic Venusaur’s Jungle Totem gets released, Magmortar will shine (Turtonator Gx as well, but this review is not about him).

Harvey: So Magmortar is exactly what I’m talking about when I say Pokemon whiffed on the design. I attack you and I get burned. Ooh big deal. (Ok I’ll give you that one, that could be annnoying… if we didn’t have so many switching cards in the meta right now.) But a three attachment attack that only does 160 if you discard two of those three energies? Sorry. There are about five other Fire Pokemon that I’m going to choose over you Magmortar (one of them being the Turtonator from this set).

Juan: I kinda find it funny how we went from a GX heavy review to a more casual review on cards that have a bit of potential in them to merit some attention, and when I learned of this Turtonator in Ultra Sun, my mind instantly thought of Infernape and his Burn Amplifying ability. Against opposing GX Pokemon, a Choice Banded Turtonator with a benched Infernape yields you 40 damage to your opponent, but with the burn that 40 becomes 100 for a single attachment (or 80 for 1 against fire weak Mons, which goes to 140, then 200 if the burn remains). A fun budget option indeed.

Mike: Juan hit upon my thinking with this.

Harvey: “I’ll be back.” … oh wait that’s Terminator, not Turtonator. Hey I saw both the first and second movies of that series in the theatre (that gives you an idea of how old I am). I actually sat next to a girl named Sarah Connors when I went to see the second one. Ah those were the days, Wednesday night Movies at Miller Theatre on the campus of Western Michigan University…

All right sorry back to reality. You have to forgive me, that’s what happens when you get old you start to ramble on and on and get off track from … huh I forgot what I was writing about… Ah yes Turtonator! How could I forget, this Pokemon will probably replace baby Volcanion as the go to single prize, single attachment attacker of choice in Volcanion decks. Why? Because if you can park three big daddies on the bench and steam them all up, you’ll do like four hundred and ninety damage for one attachment.

Ok not quite that much, and it’s hard to get that many Volcanion EXs out. Fan Club < Brigette. But with a couple of steam ups and a couple of lucky coin flips, this Pokemon will definitely win the prize trade off with any of the big bad GXs out there. And since Metal is going to be the BOMB from this expansion, Turtonator could see a lot of play in Collinsville… if it weren’t for Cyrus and Glaceon. Sorry, like Leafeon and Empoleon, I think all theorymon for Volcanion ends with Cyrus and Glaceon GX. Volcanion is an autoloss to Glaceon, and I think there’s going to be a ton of Glaceon at Collinsville.

FayId: Turtonator — Card is awesome. 3 steam ups = 100/110(fury)/130(choice) + 30 burn is a potential turn 1 monster in volcanion decks. In expanded, if you combine this with 1 hypnotoxic laser, you have literally killed a Lele turn 1 for 1 fire energy on a 1 prize attacker.

Juan: Onto Weavile: The Sun and Moon sets have really taken a shine to this Pokemon, and the Burning Shadows one with Rule of Evil was for a time a pretty nice Mon to work with alongside Necrozma and Honchkrow (Raven’s Claw was awesome alongside Weavile), but this one…this particular Weavile is either going to be a destructive force of nature, or an easy prize to take (depending on the opponent you’ll be facing). If you see a Glaceon build and they have plenty of Pokemon with abilities out, well then this Weavile will deliver punishment. Volcanion? Just need three of them out for him to dispose of them with a Choice Band. Will this always work? No. But that doesn’t make him a bad card at all. I would tech him in Dark decks that can give Weavile a place to call home (like how Harvey brought up Zoroark/Weavile in a recent article). Again, keep a playset of this Weavile, have your Captivating PokePuffs in your Collection, and if you ever get a flash of inspiration for this guy, well, you’ll be good to go.

Harvey: Weavile is yet again another card that I think will be AWESOME that no one else even gives a thought to. This reminds me so much of Sableye from GRI with its Limitation attack that prevented your opponent from playing Supporter cards. I was so right about that Sableye dominating the meta and being one of the best cards coming out of the set.

Seriously, you’re going to hit for 100 or 150 every time with Weavile, and it’s a single attachment, single prize Pokemon. Pair it with Zoroark GX and you can steal your opponent’s best GX attack (I’m looking at you Dialga). Mix in quad Hoopa – which you’ll be able to do because you don’t need 15 energy cards – and you have an unbelievably versatile deck.

But then again, I’m the guy who doesn’t carry N in most of his decklists.

Mike: Agreed. One thing that will see a rise in this next meta will be pokemon with the ability to copycat attacks: Zoroark GX, Zoroark BREAK, Sudowoodo, etc.

5 comments

  1. So, I have now seen random Emploleon lists 4 times online. I have smashed every single one of them. Now granted, my standard lists tend to rock Parallel City right now because that card is straight up busted in that format. They also have tended to be lists that don’t require me to extend beyond 3 pokes unless I just decide it is worth it or the game state requires it. So maybe that colors my perception of the deck as a whole. But honestly, it just seems like the type of deck where if you catch someone off guard and they don’t know what is coming, you are going to have a field day. If you play someone with any idea what they are doing, you are left hoping they don’t counter your deck hard. Most people will be able to counter it.

    This leads me to my second issue though. You are playing a Stage 2 water deck with a card that isn’t all that difficult to kill. In what world aren’t you using splash energy? Oh I know, I know, you can’t patch that back or hit it with an Elixir. Who. Cares. Rule number 1 of a stage 2 deck, you need to be able to recover the parts when they go do. Water happens to have the most useful “recovery” type of card in the game. I haven’t seen splash once. These people are crazy.

    To anyone reading this comment and thinking about playing empoleon. If you aren’t running splash energy, unless you are playing this with Glaceon GX (don’t) you are doing it wrong. Period. No discussion.

    1. You make a very valid point and I most certainly will be taking your advice once I get to working on an Empoleon build (that or trying to tech Splash Energy into Primarina GX since I want to see it shine…a bit. I’m probably just gunna wait for Forbidden Light’s release though).

      And yes, using frailer stage 2 mons is risky, especially when you need to recover from knockouts. The more successful decks that I had that ran the non-GX stage 2’s was the Zoroark/Gallade deck from last format, and Zoroark/Delphox Break, with the latter being a bit of a fun deck since it can either flop, snowball out of control, or just grind to a screeching hault.

      Which leads me to a bit of an Irksome case with Rampardos: really strong Pokemon, but this Fossil Mechanic is not fun at all. Should’ve brought back Fossil Researcher, but for all Fossil Pokemon. As it stands, I like that you could Rare Candy into him and proceed to smack into Evolution based decks, and possibly OHKO’ing basics and whatnot, but once that Rampardos goes, you lose the evolution line for good (unless you’re using Oranguru, but that means you’re delayed a few turns to get them back up).

      Back to Empoleon, it has the potential: I know it’ll get better in time.

      Side note: I found out something when testing the new theme decks out on PTCGO: Imperial Command has a good amount of recovery and energy acceleration, while I found the Gumshoes from the Garchomp build to be quite fun when it goes off. The problem with the decks however is that they do not have access to Wishful Baton like the ones prior to them. No theme deck runs field blower, so to prevent an opponent from getting all that energy onto another attacker means you have to do the following: either inflict burn or poison when they are at low health, to get them knocked out from status rather than from an attack, or snipe them from the benchline (which Kingdra and Garchomp can accomplish). They’re nice theme decks, but certainly not fool-proof or broken. Balanced as ever.

  2. Yo, to everyone that contributed to the Ultra Prism discussion this week: I’m already looking forward to the Forbidden Light Roundtable discussion: these leaks were just amazing to see (and Zygarde GX alongside Bonnie became the first real Mon to be capable of using his GX attack more than once in the game). It’s easy to counter (Just Guzma around the Zygarde having that immunity to Ex and Gx pokemon and swing). But I like this, I like Diancie Prism, and we got a Psychic version of Metal Links….sweet!

  3. I lost to Empoleon playing Regigigas Hoopa. My opponent only had 4 cards left, so I almost decked him out… And I had THREE Regigigas prized.

    Sorry Empoleon. Stage 2’s just aren’t going to be #1 top tier decks. But you’ll be great for PTCGO challenges!

    1. That’s a big yikes…shoot: now I’m wondering if even a Rotom/Gourgeist deck would eat the penguins alive. That’s wild.

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