In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
The Aquapolis Set
Like many kids, I didn't even know how to play the TCG; I just enjoyed collecting and trading the cards. As an adult, I can better appreciate the strategic aspects of the game and still love to scour through cards and find the best of the best.
Being the largest Pokémon TCG set ever released (as of this writing), Aquapolis challenged me to narrow down over 150 cards to just 6. Aquapolis introduced different versions of Pokémon that have multiple types to grant them access to more decks.
For example, in the games, Houndour is a Dark/Fire Pokémon, so Aquapolis created one Dark and one Fire iteration of the card, each with different attacks and abilities. Which creatures reigned supreme? Read on to discover the six best cards from the Aquapolis set!
- Basic Pokémon can be played from your hand as you like.
- Stage 1 Pokémon are evolutions that must be played on a corresponding Basic Pokémon.
- Stage 2 Pokémon are further evolutions to be played on corresponding Stage 1 Pokémon.
Espeon strides in with a respectable 80 HP plus a free Retreat Cost! Check out its sweet traits:
- Energy Return (Poké-Power) You may return an Energy card from any of your Pokémon to you hand as often as you like. This helps reuse Energy from Pokémon who are about to faint.
- Damage Blast (3 Energy) Inflicts 30 damage, and flips a number of coins equal to the number of damage counters on the Defending Pokémon. Each Heads adds another 10 damage!
Energy Return helps strategically place your Energy and Damage Blast quickly piles on the hurt, making Espeon an invaluable unit.
Tip: A Double Colorless Energy lets you use Damage Blast after attaching just two Energy cards.
Vileplume arrives with 100 HP and a Weakness to Fire. Nevertheless, its two great moves more than pick up the slack:
- Poison Scent (1 Energy) Flips a coin. Heads poisons and confuses the foe, while Tails poisons and puts them to sleep. That's two status conditions for one energy!
- Addictive Pollen (3 Energy) Blasts for 40, and flips a coin. Heads prevents the opponent from using Supporter cards on their next turn.
Vileplume lacks raw offense, but deteriorates opponents quickly with Energy-efficient and status-inflicting techniques. Here's another card greatly aided by a Double Colorless Energy.
Horsea's final form emerges with an impressive 120 HP and two great traits:
- Water Cyclone (Poké-Power) As often as you'd like, you may move a Water Energy from your Active Pokémon to a Benched Pokémon. Remember that this functions on the Bench, so you can move Energy from a different monster to Kingdra while Kingdra is Benched.
- Rapids (4 Energy) Batters for 50, and flips a coin. A Heads discards an Energy of your choice from the Defending Pokémon.
Kingdra boasts of mighty HP and a stellar attack. Make good use of Water Cyclone and a Double Colorless Energy to use Rapids before your opponent can construct a proper defense.
Blissey's a versatile contender with a monstrous 120 HP. It's weak to Fighting, but wields two great abilities:
- Happy Healing (Poké-Power): Once before you attack each turn, choose one of your Benched Pokémon and flip a coin. If Heads, remove a number of damage counters from it equal to the number of Energy on Blissey.
- Smash Bomber (3 Energy): Slams for 50, but flips a coin. A Tails prevents the attack from working.
Blissey operates stupendously from the Bench, potentially healing one Benched Pokémon each turn. Plus, its high HP and decent attack let it battle competently, and as a Normal Pokémon, it synergizes with any deck.
Nidoking lumbers in with a hefty 110 HP, a Weakness to Grass, and a Resistance to Electric. He's got a heavy focus on raw power:
- Earth Rage (Poké-Power) Flips a coin before you attack each turn if Nidoking is your Active Pokémon. A Heads deals 10 damage to each opposing Benched Pokémon.
- Giant Horn (4 Energy) Rams for 50, and flips a coin. A Heads adds an additional 30 damage. This is yet another great candidate for a Double Colorless Energy.
Rather than hamper foes with status effects, Nidoking simply defeats them with the impressive damage of Earth Rage and Giant Horn. Try to keep Nidoking free from status effects or Earth Rage will cease to function until the status disappears.
Vulpix only must evolve once to flourish as Ninetales. A one-Energy Retreat Cost and 80 HP sweeten the pot even further.
- Miracle Tail (1 Energy): Nicks foes for 10, and flips a coin. A Heads lets you select a status condition and inflict it to the Defending Pokémon! You'll probably want to choose a Burn first, because . . .
- Roasting Heat (3 Energy): Blasts for 40, and does an additional 20 damage if your adversary is Burned.
Use one Fire and one Double Colorless Energy to harness all of Ninetales' attacks with just two Energy cards! This lets you utilize sweet attacks while saving resources for other Fire-types, especially great because of Fire's tendency to burn through Energy.
If you land a Burn, the Burn damage coupled with 60 from Roasting Heat incinerates most foes before they're even close to prepared. Don't overlook this fearsome Pokémon when assembling a Fire deck.
Aquapolis debuted several new editions of existing Kanto and Johto Pokémon, and also introduced a few interesting Crystal Pokémon, who could change their type depending on the Energy attached to them. Why aren't any of them here? Well . . . they're pretty bad. Still a unique idea though.
Feel free to vote for your favorite of today's Pokémon, and join me at our next card countdown!
© 2017 Jeremy Gill