By Keny Wisdom
With the release of Pokemon Black & White, many new decks and deck ideas have popped into competitive player’s minds. Not the least of which are those involving Emboar. Emboar/Reshiram, Emboar/Reshiram/Ninetales, and Emboar/Magnezone to name a few. With this article I’m going to help you to pick the correct Tepig and Pignite lines to go with your Emboar deck. Although this may seem like an inconsequential decision, it actually bares a good deal of importance, as there’s absolutely no reason to be running a subpar version of a card, particularly when they are all just about the same rarity. Without futher ado, let’s jump into it!
There are actually 4 different varities of Tepig. There were two printed in the Black and White set, and 2 additional promos. One of the promos is available in a tin with 4 HS-block packs and a Black and White preview pack, and the other is packaged into a blister pack w/ a booster of Black and White (or three boosters or Black & White, depending on which version you buy). We’ll be going through them one by one here.
Tepig BW 15/114
This little guy has 60 HP, a one retreat, and swings for 10 for the cost of a R, and can also do 20 for RC. The only advantage this one holds is a one-retreat, as two out of the three other Tepigs on this list have 2 retreat, which is pretty ridiculous. This is the second best Tepig available.
Tepig BW 16/114
This Tepig has 70 HP, and it’s lone attack is RC for 30 and 10 to itself. The 70 HP is pretty nice, but a lot less relevant than it would’ve been a year ago, as in HS-on donks/first turn wins are few and far between. The attack is pretty meh, and the retreat cost is horrid. Third best Tepig is as far as this one gets.
This one has 70 HP, two retreat, and a single attack, doing RC for 30 damage and requiring you to discard an energy from it. This is by far the worst Tepig. 70 HP is nice, but as we spoke about before it’s pretty irrelevant in this format. Also, having to discard energy when you’re already in a sort spot seeing as how you’re attacking with a Tepig is pretty bad. The foiling is nice and it has decent looking art and all, but this guy is garbage.
Ahh, finally we get to the good stuff. Firstly, let me take this chance to say that the art on this guy is absolutely fabulous. In fact, the whole line of blister promos (Tepig, Snivy, and Oshawott), all have incredible art, to the point that I’d even put the Snivy art as some of the best in Pokemon. Definitely top 10 at the very least. Swaggest art out there. However, we all know that you shouldn’t be playing a card just for it’s art, so what makes this guy the best?
Well, firstly, it has 60 HP which is pretty standard. Also comes rocking a one retreat cost, which, as we’ve spoken about before, is the only acceptable answer. The best thing about this Tepig though, is that it’s first attack only costs C, and actually gains you value. I mean, attacking with a Tepig is never a good situation, either you’re just starting the game and are unsure of what’s going to happen (also a Tepig start isn’t usually your best in any decks that I’ve seen), or the best thing you’ve got online to attack with is a Tepig, and in that case you’re in some trouble. However, this one at least gives you a little something by being able to burn, which theoretically could last a while. It’s true that your opponent could get lucky on flips or just evolve quickly, but even so, burning is a lot better than 10 damage, or, like on some of the Tepigs, no attack for less than 2 energy.
In short, this is the best Tepig availble, and undoubtedly the one you should be using for your decks.
Now that we’ve covered our ground on Tepig, le’ts move onto Pignite. I’ll admit that the Pignite you choose is much less important than your Tepig. I mean, you’re forced to have a Tepig online and even start with it sometimes, so it’s not unheard of that you need to do something with it. However, most of the time you’re in a really bad position if you have a Pignite active, much less if you need to attack with it. Plus, you’re going to want to Rare Candy straight into Emboar most of the time, so either way you slice it, it’s almost always a bad thing to be using a Pignite in anyway. Still, there’s no reason not to study your choices and use the best card, just for those clutch moments when you might need it.
I’m not even going to give the other Pignite the dignity of being included in this article. This Pignite is clearly the best. They match in HP and retreat, with 100 and 3 respectively, and they obviously both have the same weakness. The thing that separates them is their attacks. Pignite #17 for a single energy can tutor you up an R energy and attach it to himself. This is valuable in a lot of ways, not the least of which is getting an alternative Emboar (the one that does 150) set-up, or getting energy online for Magnezone Prime’s Lost Burn attack. It can also do RRC for 50 which, while not impressive, is pretty much all you need out of your Stage 1 at any given time.
So their you have it. Hopefully this article will help you on your way to running an Emboar deck successfully. For those of you not interested in this deck or this Pokemon, understand that Emboar is one of the best cards to come out in recent years, and will be a format staple for as long as it’s legal, I guarantee you that much. You don’t have to like it and you can argue that it’s bad for the game or “too good”, but the fact is that it’s around, and as long as it’s around it’ll be played.
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Thanks for reading!
– Kenny Wisdom