Pokemon Square Off…..Fennekin vs. Froakie

I’ll admit now that my knowledge of Pokemon is sort of limited.  I have been playing the TCG with my boys for about two years…I have a humble collection.  It all fits in one little tin.  

Prior to that there was a cartoon on, of course, and then there was the video games.  I didn’t care for the original game, which I had on my Gameboy Color way back in the day…I think the cartoon is a bit cutesy…And we saw a movie about MewTwo, which made the then five year old SpartanSmurf #1 cry it was so emotional.

So if if I seem a little off on these reviews, excuse me!  Also, readers should note that there are no sanctioned Pokemon TCG tournaments within a hundred miles of where we live…So we usually just play casual, where anything goes…irregardless of what would be legal in a tournament.  )I do not think either of these decks would hold up in a serious tournament anyway)

My two children recently got these two decks.  You can read my unboxing reviews here and here!  They matched a two out of three, and here was the results!

SpartanSmurf #1 wins coin toss
The new rules say if you go first, you can’t attack first on that turn
The basic Pokemon out, Fennekin on SpartanSmurf #2, Froakie on SpartanSmurf #1 Honage and Farfetch’d on the bench.
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Tierno, kind of like Cheren…(You get to draw three cards)
Fenekin gets the first attack in, with Scratch.  This requires only one Fire energy.
SpartanSmurf #1 gets the first evolution….His Froakie becomes Frogadier.  He uses “Water Dripping” Which requires only a water energy.  Fennekin is weak to water.
Live Coal from Fennekin to Frogadier….a two energy attack.
SpartanSmurf #1 Aqua Waves…..Knocking out Fennekin.  (Not surprising)  That required two water and one other.
SpartanSmurf #2 does nothing.
SpartanSmurf #1 Aqua Waves again, knocking out Pansear
SpartanSmurf #2 plays Furfrou, and attacks with Tight Jaw, which paralyzes Fogadier.  This buys some time for SpartanSmurf #2.
SpartanSmurf #2 Sharp Fangs Frogadier for 50, a three energy attack, which knocks out Frogadier.
SpartanSmurf #1 puts out Pawniard.  He cuts Fufurfrou for 20.
SpartanSmurf #2 uses tight jaw, paralyzing Pawniard (and hitting for 20)
SpartanSmurf #2 knocks out Pawniard with sharp fang.  Looks like Furfrou is a BEAST.
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Honage, a steel Pokemon.  His attack takes two energy, including a steel.  This is a dangerous attack, which lets you flip tip you get a tails to hit for 30X.  But he fails.  (Continuous Slash)
Furfrou knocks out Honage
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Panpour.  He tries fury swipes, which is similar to continuous slash, but does 10 X each head from three flips.
SpartanSmurf #2 plays tight jaw to Furfrou  again paralyzing him.
SpartanSmurf #1 wins plays a poke ball, and wins a flip.  He gets out another Honage
SpartanSmurf #1s next Pansear attack was collect, which apparently isn’t as good as it used to be.  (SpartanSmurf #1 says it used to let you draw three cards.)
SpartanSmurf #2 knocks it out with sharp fang.
SpartanSmurf #2 does tight jaw, but loses the flip.  So no paralysis.
SpartanSmurf #1 evolves Froakie on the bench.
SpartanSmurf #2 used sharp fang, knocking out Honage.
SpartanSmurf #1 advances his Froadier from the bench.  He plays down a Pawniard
SpartanSmurf #2 tight jaws SpartanSmurf #1’s Frogadier.
SpartanSmurf #2 sharp fangs the Frogadier, drawing his last prize card!
SpartanSmurf #1 wins the coin toss.
SpartanSmurf #2 plays Inkay as his first Pokemon
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Pawnard and Bidoof on the bench, with another Pawniard as his attacker.
SpartanSmurf #1 puts a steel energy on Pawniard
SpartanSmurf #2 puts a darkness on Inkay, and pecks for 10
SpartanSmurf #1 cuts Inkay for 20
SpartanSmurf #2 pecks for 10.
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Tierno
SpartanSmurf #1 evolves Pawniard into Bisharp…Then uses Wicked Jab.  This costs only 1 energy, and allows a coin flip to paralyze the enemy, but he loses the coin toss.
SpartanSmurf #2 now has Furfrou and Inkay on the bench.
SpartanSmurf #1 plays crushing hammer, and takgets the Furfrou on the bench.
SpartanSmurf #1 knocks out SpartanSmurf #2’s Inkay
SpartanSmurf #2 advances his other
SpartanSmurf #1 does Tierno, and loads his bench with Froakie, Skitty, and Farfetch’d  He Metal Claws Inkay, knocking it out. 
SpartanSmurf #2 plays Furfrou, and sharp fangs Bisharp to knock him out.  SpartanSmurf #1 advances Froakie
SpartanSmurf #1 wins a flip with a Poke ball and evolves Froakie into Frogadier. 
SpartanSmurf #1 Water drips Furfrou.
SpartanSmurf #2 uses the new Pokmaon catcher, to switch out Frogadier with Pawniard.  (nowadays this card requires a coin flip)  SpartanSmurf #2 tight jaws and wins the flip paralyzing Pawniard
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Poke ball again, but loses the flip.
SpartanSmurf #2 sharp fangs the stunted Pawniard for 50, knocking it out.
At this point, the two trainer are at a tie with prize cards
SpartanSmurf #1 plays a Froakie to the bench.  Then uses his active Frogadier to aqua wave Furfrou for 40 plus 20 more by winning the coin flip once.
SpartanSmurf #2 tight jaws and wins the flip, paralyzing the Frogadier
SpartanSmurf #2 tight jaws again, but loses to flip.
SpartanSmurf #1 uses Frogadier to water drip Furfrou and knock him out.  SpartanSmurf #2 advances a slugma from the bench.
SpartanSmurf #2 plays Tierno.  Then Poke Ball, but loses the flip.  He combustions Frogadier.
SpartanSmurf #1 then aqua waves, and knocks out the slugma, finishing off all of SpartanSmurf #2’s pokemopn.
SpartanSmurf #1 wins the toss
After Lunch!
SpartanSmurf #1 gets two Froakies.  SpartanSmurf #2 gets Fletchling and Furfrou.  Fletchling is the active Pokemon
SpartanSmurf #1 plays Tierno, and gets Farfetch’d and the stage 1 andStage 2 of Froakie, Frogadier, Greninja
SpartanSmurf #2 gets another Fletchling.
SpartanSmurf #1 aqua-edges Fletchling for 80.  SpartanSmurf #2 advances another fletchling from the bench.
He razor winds.  It deals 20 damage to the Grenninja
SpartanSmurf #1 aqua edges the fletchling, knocking it out.  SpartanSmurf #2 advances Furfrou.  He Tight Jaws Greninja, paralyzing it.
SpartanSmurf #1 Poke ball, loses.
SpartanSmurf #2 puts energy on Slugma.  Then tight Jaws.  But loses the flip and fails to paralyze.  the Greninja.  IT now has 60 damage.
SpartanSmurf #1 has been evolving the other Froakie on the bench.  Now he has two Greninjas!  (It should be noted that SpartanSmurf #2 has accused him of cheating.  I am not so sure.)
SpartanSmurf #1 Aqua-Edges Furfrou.  Now it has 10 life left.
SpartanSmurf #2 tight jaws but fails to paralyze again.  Looks like curtains for Furfrou
Naturally, the Furfrou gets knocked out.  SpartanSmurf #2 advances a Slugma.  Weak sauce.
SpartanSmurf #1 swings for 160 (Slugma is weak to water.)
These two decks are balanced against each other pretty good.  The Fennekin deck really took advantage of the Furfrou, colorless “blah blah blah” Pokemon.  I never got to see Fennekin actually get going.  But it stood no chance agains the water attacks of Froakie and his evolutions, and I predict that most of the time it never will.  So the champions of the Fennekin deck are the colorless Pokemon, and Froakie and his ilk are the champions of the Froakie deck.  If these decks were taken to a tournament, they would lose.  They don’t have enough synergy.  And at least to me, that is what wins the Pokemon TCG…cards that work together.

Pokemon XY Kalos starter deck unboxing and review! Froakie!

SpartanSmurf #1’s deck came in the mail, (finally….)  Was it worth the extra four bucks?  (To be fair, he didn’t know that I would find it in Target…He thought he would have to pre-order!)
Here is the front of the box.  Froakie is the main Pokemon being promoted here.

Here is the back.

Here is what you see when you open the box.

This divides into two dividers.  You can see the promo cards here…Froakie, Frogadier, and Greninja.  All a set.

Here are all the pieces.  Notice that the booster pack is from Pokemon Black and White.  (XY Boosters will not be available ’til next year.)  The coin is bigger than the old coins.  The counters are of a cheaper quality.  And because of Power Creep, I suppose they started printing 100 point damage counters.

Here are the cards spread out!  This deck is only 57 cards…You are supposed to add the promo cards.  It is of all Pokemon that have been released before, so you are not really getting anything new exept new artwork.

So now we are going to square the two decks off against one another….See the next post!

POKEMON XY Kalos Starter Set unboxing and review! Fennekin!

Pokemon cards.  This is what is great about Pokemon to me.  Not the video game or cartoon.  But the cards.

SpartanSmurf #1 wanted the “Froakie” box, and ordered it off of Amazon.  Big mistake.  I saw it and this at Target, on the SHELF!  So I snatched up Fennekin and gave it to SpartanSmurf #2 early….

Front of the box!

Back of the box

When you open the box, this is what you see.

The special foil Fennekin and his evolutions are in a separate piece.

beneath the promos, you see this.

Smaller flatter counters this time around, but a bigger coin!

Here are all of the cards that came with the deck.  The booster pack was from “Black and White: Legendary Treasures”  None of the cards here are of Pokemon that have never been revealed….

So, tomorrow the “Froakie” box should come, and we are going to match the two decks against each other.  I will post the results!

More about Shadow Era….Dark Prophecies

Dark Prophecies expansion

I dropped some Shadow Crystals on some booster packs of Dark Prophecies today….Here are my thoughts about the expansion….

One thing that is new is the idea of weakness…..For instance, some allies might be resistant to Ice damage, but hurt more by fire damage. Certainly not a new idea in fantasy stuff, but new to Shadow Era.

I put some new cards in my Majaya deck.  “Meteor Shower” is one of my favorites, hitting someone for 3 damage and setting all of the allies on fire.  SCORE!  My best trick has always been to use the “Voice of Winter” as my weapon.  This thing freezes any new allies.  So they might be frozen and burned if the cards fall right!  But now there is another new card, “Kelvin’s Charm,” which allows you the chance to make any weapon have the ability to freeze things when they are hit.  Wicked touch for a weapon like the “Wrath of Summer,” which also sets things ablaze.

I won four matches in a row today, with a 40 card deck, In every case, my life total was whittled down to almost nothing, and then Majaya’s spells really started their work.  I made a poor calculation once, and was still able to recover.

One of the coolest tricks was the “Scrying Eye.”  You play this as a support item, and then you can see the next card your opponent has on top….and you can use a shadow energy to shuffle his deck.  Needless to say, at the end game when card advantage is key, this tips the scale for Majaya.  “Boris Skullcrusher” has “Kings Pride” up next, pay out and shuffle.  Then he gets “Rain Delay,” a useless card against an all support user!

You see, the way it was before the expansion, Majaya couldn’t do what I wanted her to do….to be an all powerful loner.  She was too weak.  Now it seems that there are enough offensive spells, weapons, armor, and support to make this happen.  And this isn’t a common strategy in Shadow Era.  Everyone seems to be all about the YuGiOh style “Summon Monsters.”  No one is taking the “Blue” magic approach like me.  And that is going to be my beat for awhile.  I am leaving “Gravebone” and “Boris,” along with “Ogloth the Glutton,” because this is not my vision for the game.  Finally things seem to be right.

He looks awesome!  King He-Man, anyone?

Another thing….The Shadow Era website has some articles about two LEGENDARY CREATURES. One is “Karlstrad, Ruler of Gaderi” and the other is “Scourge Colossus.”  I have not seen these two in the merchant….(the in game store.)  The article mentions people finding them in booster packs…I bought ten boosters today, and got three EPIC cards, but neither of these LEGENDARY creatures.  Did someone say one of them was 4200 in-game gold in the comments?  Wow.

Well, I haven’t seen them in action, either.

I wish you really could trade your cards.  If there is a way, I haven’t figured it out.  This might be a way of scoring one.

“Five card stud, nothing wild. And the sky’s the limit”

Shadow Era: Call of the Crystals and Dark Prophecies review

My introduction to Trading Card Games, (TCGs for those not nerdy enough to know,) was actually not Magic: The Gathering, World of Warcraft, of Pokemon.  I knew OF these, but did not play them.  Then one day I got the itch to start playing cards.  I had been playing poker and such as that on the computer, and somehow came across a Macworld article about Shadow Era when I was doing research about cards.

I began to play Shadow Era, which was still in beta testing mode.  I jumped in apparently after the second big update was pushed out.  I had a hard time figuring the game out.  I mean, I read the rules, and sort of knew what to click…the game lights up the available cards, and in about two weeks I had it down.  Before we knew it, I climbed the ratings ladder up to near 200.

Then, I would get knocked back down every time they updated the game.  This happened sort of frequently.  What struck me the most was that they were still evolving the game as people were playing it!  My favorite card then (and now!) is Majaya, but poor Majaya started out as too good of a card, then they weakened her too much, until finally finding the right balance…..

You see, I can’t really explain this game without just talking about my experiences with it.  Basically, you have your cards, you draw a hand, make a sacrifice, which becomes your “mana pool” (to use a Magic term, Shadow Era calls it Resources)  and you can play your cards with the resources you build up.  Only certain cards go together, so Human and Wolf  cards won’t share the same weapons and armor, etc.

The creatures you play in this game line up with their hero’s card type.  So Majaya can play “Shadow” creatures.  Boris, on the other hand must play Human creatures.  DarkClaw must play wolves, etc.  These creatures are called “allies,” and can attack.  Your hero, in my case Majaya, can’t do much of anything except use Shadow Energy, which builds up every turn….

So there you have it….You are confused already….But this game isn’t confusing.  Just hard for me to explain.  It is really very deep.

I ordered some of the physical cards last year….They had sort of a “kickstarter” thing going on, where you could pre-order the cards and you would get bonuses.  This was the GREATEST VALUE EVER.  These physical cards were great, and perhaps I will review them one day, but they sent two whole sets of foil cards in addition to all that I ordered!  And slowly but surely, I received even more stuff, both by mail and on my Shadow Era digital account.  I still have a ton of “Shadow Crystals” to spend, which brings me to the next point.

This game can drain your real money, for digital goods.  It is a FREE game to play, but if you want better cards, you have to either grind against the AI, (boring,) or fork over the cash for shadow crystals, which you can use to buy digital cards.  So warning there!  But this isn’t sooo bad.  In fact, it makes it more like the card games you can buy at the store!

Shadow Era was my jumping on point.  After I started playing this, I introduced the boys to the correct way to play Pokemon, then we went on to try YuGiOh (didn’t like so much) and Magic the Gathering. (Love it, but stink at it!)

So, get on over to this site and start playing!  They just recently released their first expansion to the game, called “Dark Prophecies.”