By: Brian Hsieh
Prereleases are a fun way to get booster packs and utilize the cards right away via a tournament. Standard stores that hold prereleases allow a person to open six booster packs to create a forty card deck. Players also receive a free gift for entering the prerelease. For the Call of Legends Prerelease, a Snorlax holo was given out along with a deck box. I went to a prerelease in Brooklyn, NY with my friend. I went 3-2 while he went 2-3.
When we arrived, we were given POP IDs during registration. Afterwards, we went upstairs to sit and wait for our booster packs. We were given six Call of Legends booster packs to open. The ratio for this set isn’t as great as previous sets, as my friend and I failed to pull a shiny card, which are the ultra-rares for this set. The main cards I pulled were Feraligatr, Skarmory, and Tyrogue rares. My friend pulled a Gyarados holo and Ampharos rare that he used in his deck. Although these cards aren’t top tier deck cards, they had to suffice when there aren’t that many top tier cards within the set.
My first battle began against a father who brought his son to the prerelease and decided to join in on the fun. He began with a Snubbull while I began with a Skarmory. Skarmory’s first attack requires one energy and allows you to search for another. Using that attack, I was able to give Skarmory two energies, which allowed me to use his second attack the next turn as long as I provided another energy that turn.
After Skarmory did some damage and allowed me to get a couple prize cards (total was four for the prerelease), he finally knocked out Skarmory and I had to switch to Tyrogue. Tyrogue’s Mischievous Punch allows him to do 30 damage for no energy and puts him to sleep. As long as he’s asleep, no Pokemon can do any damage to him. This worked in my favor, considering I got extremely lucky with my heads and tails. He would sleep during my opponents turn and wake up when it was mine. I did get lucky with the win but I wasn’t complaining. 1-0 My friend lost to a Typhlosion deck. 0-1
My second battle was against a girl around my age. I drew Tyrogue, which had basically won my first battle, while she started off with Teddiursa. Tyrogue not only does damage and protects itself, it also stalls for time. While he was asleep, I was able to power up my Totodile, evolving it along the way to Feraligatr with four energies attached to it. Once she finally knocked out Tyrogue, Feraligatr was open for business. I was able to use Surf and withstand any attack thrown at me for the win. 2-0 My friend’s opponent didn’t show up. 1-1
Feeling confident, I took a seat against my next opponent. He ran a fire deck, but didn’t even need to finish set up, as his Tyrogue was able to donk my only basic Pokemon that I could draw. 2-1 My friend was defeated by a deck consisting of four Hitmonlee and 36 fighting energies. 1-2
After suffering a loss, I went up against another fire deck. This time, Typhlosion was brought out and consistently took out my steel types. I was unable to get out Feraligatr in time and lost. 2-2 My friend had been doing well with his Ampharos but ended up losing as he couldn’t draw another basic Pokemon for his bench.
For the final match, I knew I had to win this one to stay above .500. My opponent ended up being the Hitmonlee player. Luckily for me, he was only able to bring out two and I quickly took out his cards with a combination of Tyrogue stalling and Feraligatr finishing. 3-2 My friend used Gyarados holo to win the game that was brought into overtime.
Prereleases are more about the luck of the draw. Useful cards are not always better in prereleases, as it only deals with one set. Cards like Mime Jr. and Lost World weren’t as powerful or used in the tournament. As long as you have a Pokemon family, you have a strong deck.