By: Brian Hsieh
With the release of Noble Victories arriving soon, many have their eyes on one Pokemon; Kyurem. Kyurem is an ice and dragon type. In Pokemon card form that translates to water type. Ice Pokemon featured in the Pokemon Black and White sets have displayed a weakness to steel type, an attempt to give steel decks a pickup later on in the TCG season. Kyurem has 130 HP, a two energy retreat cost, and two attacks. His first attack is Outrage, a two colorless energy attack that has the same effect as Reshiram and Zekrom’s Outrage. His second attack differs from the previously mentioned dragons. Instead of having an attack that does 120, his second attack called Glaciate, which costs two water energy and one colorless energy, attacks every one of your opponent’s Pokemon for 30 each. This move is devastating, as the only downside it has is that it can’t damage the active defending Pokemon for 120. It makes up by doing a possible 180 to your opponent in spread out damage, or 210 if the active Pokemon is weak against water. This gives users a good idea of how to keep it on the field, but not only is it a good Pokemon to use as a main attacker; it also fits as a tech in other decks.
Reshiphlosion is a top tier deck that many decks have to tech for. When the Emerging Powers released, Basculin 24/98 was a clear candidate to be teched into decks to counter Reshiphlosion. It was also a common card, so getting one in a booster pack wasn’t so difficult. You had a choice between Flail, which cost one colorless energy but could do up to 70 damage; or you could use Final Gambit, which cost one water energy and a double colorless and allowed you to do 80 damage. Double both of these attacks and you have a knocked out Reshiram or Typhlosion Prime. However, there were many flaws with Basculin. For one, Basculin only has 80 HP, which gives opponents an easy revenge KO when Basculin actually defeats something. Using Flail to its full effect would have to have Basculin at 70 HP. Final Gambit has a downside of knocking out Basculin if you flip double tails. The other downside to Final Gambit is that it takes two turns to set up (three if you don’t have double colorless), and once Basculin is knocked out, you lose vital energy. Kyurem is a better Basic Pokemon that has a higher HP and better attacks. Outrage already starts off doing 20 damage, so just five damage counters will KO a Reshiram or Typhlosion. Glaciate would do 60 damage to the defending Pokemon while 30 to each bench Pokemon, resulting in massive damage pickups if your main attacker is Kyurem. If you tech it in other decks then Magnezone, Gothitelle, Zekrom, or even your own Reshiram can clean up.
Kyurem can also become a wall in Vileplume decks. Zekrom is unable to hold up the wall without damaging himself for 40 with his big attack and Reshiram is unable to hold up the wall without constantly discarding energy. Kyurem can constantly use his second attack without any negative effect towards the user. This allows for another Kyurem to set up in case a Cobalion is teched in against it. Three Glaciate attacks already does 90 to the whole bench and the defending Pokemon, so many avid players are dying to see how that transfers into real life battle situations. Since Kyurem is a basic Pokemon, it’s able to be sent out first and have you set up Vileplume later. This allows users to add more cards in that can help Kyurem out, like other big bodied Pokemon that can take over if Kyurem is to be knocked out.
Overall I see Kyurem getting a lot of play in some decks. It fits well as a very consistent Reshiphlosion counter in wall decks but fails to one shot anything unless they are babies. It won’t see any play in Yanmegazone, but for Gothitelle and Vileplume decks, it will be a healthy addition.