The End of an Era
With the next rotation a few months out, the state of Pokemon TCG will be greatly affected with the loss of some great staples. Based on theory and no proof, I'm going to analyze a scenario in which Standard rotates and becomes Breakthrough to Guardians Rising.
I'm going to focus on 3 major cards that almost staples in every deck.
no other Pokemon in XY has the draw power, ease of use, and impact on the game like Shaymin EX does. But Pokemon TCG survived before and it will survive afterwards
If you are going 100% for draw support Octillery is the way to go even with the Remoraid build up its draw to 5 with no restrictions. However if you want to have a draw support card that can also bring some attack to the table, set yourself up with a couple of Oranguru, although the draw support is limited to 3, Psychic is a fantastic attack that forces your opponent to be more strategic in their energy distribution and speed of play.
There are other cards that switch out your opponents active pokemon but none of them let you pick the Pokemon like Lysandre does.
Although these put the switch out control in your opponents hands, it still give the opportunity for an out when stuck in a difficult situation. The biggest downside being that item lock is becoming very popular in both standard and expansion formats right now and running the active switch through items instead of a supporter leaves you a bit vulnerable to being locked up.
If you are concerned about item lock, the alternative is to work a Pokemon into your deck that allows the switch out instead of relying 100% on items cards for active control.
Mach Cyclone is a strong alternative to Lysandre allowing active switch after an attack killing it with 130 damage. there's something so satisfying about hitting someone hard and then forcing the receiver onto the bench, almost like saying to your opponent "what else ya got".
Whirlwind gives you the same active switch as Mach Cyclone with less satisfaction from the attack damage and having to do a stage 2 build make this a bit clunkier but it also gives you the occasional upper hand with grass weak decks, so I wouldn't rule it out.
Having your active switch tech as an ability can have its advantages and if you only want to do a single shot change Sudden Cyclone will work fine for you, but it also runs the risk of a vulnerable Pokemon on your bench and you just need to watch for the active switch being turned on you or the potential for bench damage.
VS Seeker has been around for a very long time, EX Firered and Leafgreen set in 2004. It is a staple in almost every deck, with the ability to grab a supporter from your discard pile, the combinations of using it were limitless. Ultra ball and discard your supporter, then use VS Seeker to pull it back. It let you run a single copy of a Supporter, such as Hex Maniac, with the ability to use it multiple times.
Skyla is a pretty strong substitute letting you have free choice of any trainer left, upside being that you aren't restricted to a supporter like you are with VS Seeker.
This one is a bit of fun giving multiple levels of options. if you work this in with a card like Skyla you can usually work out getting 2 to play every time which essentially turns puzzle of time into a clunkier version of VS Seeker. if you have to burn it one at a time having top deck control may be a bit underrated but not in a way that will make or break your game.
Misty is like the girl you settle for because Skyla isn't available for the prom. she gets the job done but theres a bit more drama and the payoff not exactly what you wanted.(try not to read into the analogy too much) Although you get the trainer pick and choose you want it costs you a discard and limits you to the top 8 cards when you would really rather have free run of the deck.
This baby is the supporter gamble that can be your best friend and worst enemy. You get what you get, taking the first supporter in your deck. downside is that you may end up revealing half your deck to your opponent before getting a supporter that you may not need right now. it can be good but if item lock is a concern you may want to give this one a pass.
Hopefully the tips above are helpful and maybe there are better options, feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below as well as any ideas you might have for future blogs here on The Frugal Dutchman.
Until Next Week
Professor Tom Alguire
The Frugal Dutchman