Pokémon: Trading Card Game — Plasma Freeze Is Great For Starters
In May, Pokémon Black & White saw the ninth main expansion pack launch for the English markets, called Plasma Freeze. While Plasma Freeze has 16 less cards than the previous release–Plasma Storm–it offers a lot of variation and much needed cards to help one get started playing a more serious game.
For players new to Pokémon, Plasma Storm was and would be a great start to learn the game. The deck is relatively new and offers great differentiation with strong EX-cards. However, if coupled with the new Plasma Freeze deck, the strength changes tremendously. Plasma Freeze offers valuable cards, especially trainers, that one can add to their existing deck.
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Although Plasma Freeze has less cards, the quality of what one can get is right up there. The Plasma Freeze deck is the ‘Eevee’ deck, and it includes six Pokémon-EX cards: Heatran-EX, Thundrus-EX, Deoxys-EX, Latias-EX, Latios-EX, and Tornadus-EX. Alongside that, there is also new Team Plasma cards which offer special abilities.
As I mentioned, it is the ‘Eevee’ deck as it includes variations of Eevee, as well as all of its evolves. The Eevee evolves can be particularly strong against certain decks that use Pokémon-EX cards, as Jolteon has the ability to stop any Pokémon-EX attack from actually happening. Furthermore, with Vaporean’s healing ability and Leafeon’s attack that is powered by the amount of energy cards the opponent has in play, the little fuzzball is surprisingly effective. This is why the deck, coupled with another, is great for starters. It offers strong cards that are able to hold their own against the more sophisticated player with ‘special’ cards.
While I feel that the deck is great buy, it unfortunately will not be enough on its own–no deck will ever be. One will need to supplement it with one or more other decks. Strong Pokémon decks should be mixed and matched whenever, and wherever, possible. The more cards owned, the better. However, as previously mentioned, competitive decks need to have cards that are not older than two years.
With the above being said, that does not mean that complete diversification is the best idea. Players should stick to decks with two or so energy types, to avoid running into issues where one has a full bench of Pokémon available to play, but none have energy cards attached. A Pokémon without energy attached is pretty useless, unless it has special abilities.
Fortunately, Plasma Freeze has great trainer cards that are particularly useful when it comes to reusing cards, especially from the discard pile. Plasma Freeze’s trainer selection will help ‘revive’ specific Pokémon and energy cards from the discard pile. This means that one is able to improve their deck with a wider range of Pokémon of a specific type, more energies and better trainers.
My Experience With Plasma Freeze
Subjectively, my experience with Plasma Freeze has been very positive. While Plasma Storm offered me a new world of Pokémon, Plasma Freeze refined it completely. Of the games I have played with a friend, who also only uses the two current Plasma decks, it has always been very close, tough and enjoyable.
The battles we have had have gone down to the wire, where the Eevees and their evolves have made a major impact on how we play and what we do. That, and the inclusion of the new trainer cards have added a completely new aspect to the game.
Players new to the game, and those looking for a little bit of extra deck refinement, should consider investing in Plasma Freeze merely for the new featured cards that are offered.
As new decks are released and my collection grows, I know that the game will become more diverse and better. Battles will be more fierce and intense–and that is what it is all about.
Getting started in Pokémon is a costly affair–just like any form of gaming or hobby. However if you take it slow by getting the new decks when they are released, and practice and refine your deck regularly, you will be able to join and participate in leagues. And from what I have seen, leagues are where the game is really played.
More Than Just Cards
Similar to the other decks, Plasma Freeze includes coupons to activate cards in the online game. The Pokémon Trading Card Game for online purposes is a great way to play in the comfort of one’s own home, as well as get access to other cards available in the deck. Each coupon activated online, through Booster Packs, is different. Therefore it allows for the opportunity to experience a more diversified form of Pokémon, itself.
The online game also allows players to play against friends locally and globally.
When this isn’t enough, Pokémon leagues are run within South Africa. There are various competitions and leagues available. The best way to stay involved is through Twitter and Facebook. Or one can find events on the Pokémon page itself.
The previous Pokémon article focused more on how to play, and a bit about the basics.