I took a stroll down memory lane and purchased a Pokemon Black and White Red Frenzy Theme Deck. The last time I bought a starter deck was the very first one that featured a holographic Machamp, so I really felt excited about opening this one. It comes with 60 cards, a deck box, a metallic coin, a checklist, damage counters, a play mat, and an online code card.
Trainers and Supporters: 12
2 Energy Search
2 Energy Retrieval
2 Pokemon Communication
2 Professor Juniper
First of all, I can’t believe there are 30 Pokemon cards. You get 5 different evolution lines, 5 rares, 3 different types of Pokemon, and an awesome holographic Emboar card. Let me just get this out of the way and say that I’m relieved that Nintendo has stopped making so many rare trainers (Clefairy Doll and Devolution Spray come to mind). Energy Search looks like it could just be replaced with an energy card.
I’ve always found Switch useful, especially with the heavy Pokemon included in this deck. You’ll need them for the likes of Emboar, Stoutland, and Darmanitan.
Energy Retrieval will help in getting those fire energy cards back from discarding energy costs and Revive is a decent card. It seems like Professor Juniper is this card generation’s Professor Oak. Almost every deck will have 4 of these—it’s that good.
Pokemon Communication is an amazing card as well. You can trade any Pokemon card in your hand for any Pokemon card in your deck (Tepig for Emboar? Yes, thank you).
Now let’s move on to the Pokemon. I’ve played several matches on the Pokemon Online TCG website, and let me say that the unmodified Red Frenzy deck is powerful. Emboar is simply a beast! His Flare Blitz does a brutal 150 damage. Flare Blitz requires 2 colorless and 2 fire energies while requiring that you discard all attached fire energy cards to Emboar, so make sure you save some fighting energy cards for him. Out of the new monkey evolutions, I’ve got to say that Simisear is the best. For one fire energy, you can do 20 damage, and 20 damage to 2 bench Pokemon. It’s immensely satisfying when you KO 3 Pokemon in the same turn.
Darmanitan is one of my favorites out of the B&W series and he doesn’t disappoint as a card. I’ll definitely try to fill my deck with 1 or 2 more. Lillipup and its evolutions are a nice addition in case your opponent has water type Pokemon. I thought it was strange to only have 2 fighting type Pokemon… seems a bit misplaced. I only used Timburr in desperate situations. It’s just too hard to attach 2 fighting energies for Pound. And last but not least, Cincinno. Mincinno and Cincinno are cute Pokemon for sure, but the Cincinno card packs a punch! With a full bench, Cincinno’s Do the Wave attack does 100 damage for any 2 measly energy cards. With 30 Pokemon in this deck, you’ll sweep the opposition in no time.
Red Frenzy impressed me, but two things would have made it perfect. First, instead of the gem/stone damage counters, we get cardboard damage counters. I think Nintendo has been doing this for a while, but it was the first time I saw these kinds. However, it does come with a counter for poison and burn, which come in handy. Second, this deck did not come with an extra booster pack. I believe some of the HeartGold-SoulSilver theme decks came with a bonus booster pack. It’s unfortunate that they have discontinued this trend, and hopefully we’ll see it renewed with the upcoming Power Play and Toxic Tricks decks.
Overall, Red Frenzy is a great choice for fans, old and new. It comes with everything you need and an online access code so that you can play your deck online. It comes with a wide variety of great Pokemon. Those that are new to collecting or just getting back into collecting will probably enjoy the B&W theme decks more than veterans, but there is still a lot of value in them.