When last we saw Campfire, he was locked in a battle for the ages with his nemesis Bloodthirster. A truly epic match-up on the ultimate playing field – Castle Pokemon. Who will prevail? Read on…
I draw another Crystal Stadium and still trying to keep my hand down replace the Stadium that’s already in the game with it. Celio’s Network lets me find Toxicroak in my deck and I use it to evolve my pre-charged Croagunk. I place another Croagunk on the bench and evolve both my Scythers into powerful Scizors, leaving me with three cards in my hand. Next turn – after I take a prize for knocking out Masquerain and drawing a card in the normal manner – I’ll be up to five cards, meaning I’ll be able to use Stephen’s Advice and draw a card for every Pokémon Bloodthirster has in play.
My Toxicroak knocks out Masquerain with a final Slash Attack and I take a Scizor as my prize.
“THE FOUL SQUISHPILE HAS TAKEN THREE OF ITS SIX PRIZE CARDS AND IS HALF-WAY TO VICTORY! I COULD SEND CAMERUPT INTO BATTLE BUT IT IS TOO SOON; THE CREATURE MUST BE FULLY SATED ON THE ENERGIES OF THIS PLANE BEFORE CHARGING HAVOC AND DESTRUCTION ACROSS THE LAND. I REPLACE THE CORPSE OF MY FALLEN MASQUERAIN WITH A CHIMCHAR CARD AND DRAW A FIRE ENERGY – KHORNE HEARS HIS VASSAL AND SENDS FLAMES TO AID ME! ON MY NEXT TURN I WILL HAVE ENOUGH FIRE TO SEND CAMERUPT UPON THE FLESHPILE AND REDUCE ITS IDIOTIC BODY TO TATTERS. I ATTACH THE FIRE ENERGY TO CAMERUPT. SOON, NOW. SOON.”
I draw Copycat Shuffle which would allow me to shuffle my hand into my deck and draw as many cards as Bloodthirster has in his hand – if I chose to play it, that is. Instead I play Steven’s Advice and draw the same number of cards as he has Pokémon in play: five. Of these I play Crystal Beach, Cessation Crystal and a Special Metal Energy, and keep two Toxicroaks back in my hand for the moment. The Special Metal Energy attaches to metal-type Pokémon and reduces any damage they take – regardless of weaknesses – to 10 points. That means my Scizor, which would otherwise have taken 30 extra points damage from Bloodthirster’s fire-type Pokémon, is now almost impervious to them. I attach the energy to it and evolve another Croagunk from my bench with one of the Toxicroaks I’ve just drawn. With a slash I knock out Chimchar and draw a Scyther as my prize.
“NOW, NOW IS THE TIME TO UNLEASH CAMERUPT FROM ITS BONDS! WITH A FINAL BURST OF ENERGY I SEND IT TO FEAST UPON THE TOXICROAK’S SOUL AND THE EARTH TREMBLES BENEATH ITS MIGHT. THE SQUISHPILE’S BENCHED POKÉMON REMAIN UNTOUCHED AS THE PLANET ROARS BENEATH THEM BUT THE TOXICROAK IS TORN ASUNDER. I DRAW MY PRIZE: A SURSKIT, AND ALL AROUND KHORNE’S DARK LAUGHTER SCORCHES THE SKY.”
So Bloodthirster knocked out my Toxicroak, big deal! I have another one charged and ready to go. I draw and play a Scizor, evolving another Scyther from my bench and attach a Metal Energy to it. Then, my new Toxicroak attacks for 60 damage.
“I DRAW CYRUS’S INITIATIVE. I AM TO FLIP TWO COINS, AND IF EITHER SHOULD FALL ‘HEADS’ UP I MAY LOOK AT THE SQUISHPILE’S HAND OF CARDS AND PLACE ONE OR TWO CARDS FROM IT ON THE BOTTOM OF ITS DECK. I TOSS THE COINS AS I’D THROW ELVEN CHILDREN INTO THE ABYSS, YET NEITHER COMES UP HEADS. WHAT USE ARE THESE HEADS IF I CANNOT SCOUR THEM OF FLESH AND PLACE THEM ON KHORNE’S THRONE? TRAMPLE, CAMERUPT! INFLICT 10 DAMAGE TO EACH OF THE FLESHPILE’S COWARDLY BEASTS!”
I draw a metal energy and attach it to a Scizor, charging it fully. Not that I’ll need it; with a final Slash Attack Toxicroak knocks out Camerupt and without any powerful Pokémon to replace it Bloodthirster’s just about done for. I draw Celio’s Network as my fifth prize.
“MY HELLISH STEED DEFEATED AND MY ENERGIES EXHAUSTED I CAN ONLY SEND A BENCHED BULBASAUR INTO BATTLE. I HOPE TO STUMBLE UPON IVYSAUR IN MY NEXT DRAW, SO BULBASAUR MIGHT EVOLVE AND RISE IN VICTORY.
LAMENTATION – I DRAW GRASS ENERGY! I ATTACH IT TO BULBASAUR. OUR DEFEAT WILL BE GLORIOUS! ATTACK IT, ATTACK THE FLESHPILE! PRISE OPEN ITS RIBS AND FEAST ON ITS HEART!”
ROUND ELEVEN, THE FINAL ROUND
Bloodthirster’s Bulbasaur does ten damage, putting my Toxicroak at twenty health. If he had held out a little longer Bloodthirster might have been able to knock Toxicroak out and claim another prize card. As it is, Toxicroak’s Slash Attack knocks Bulbasaur out, I draw my final prize card and win the match.
“KHORNE! I HAVE FAILED YOU! WRENCH THE HORNS FROM MY HEAD AND USE THEM AS TOOTHPICKS FOR THE HOLDING TOGETHER OF LARGE SANDWICHES – ‘TIS NO BETTER A FATE THAN I, YOUR DEFEATED SERVANT BLOODTHIRSTER DESERVES!”
So, what did you think?
“IT WAS A GAME TO MY TASTES. I ESPECIALLY LIKED THE WAY THE LITTLE ANIMALS GNAWED UPON EACH OTHER’S ENTRAILS WHEN THEY DOWNED THEIR RIVALS IN COMBAT. MASQUERAIN WAS ACCEPTABLE ALSO. HE HAD PRETTY WINGS”
As you can see, for a kids’ game Pokémon can get pretty complicated. As with any Trading Card Game it’s invaluable knowing exactly what’s in your deck, the way the cards fit together and the best ways to get them onto the table. It also helps to have an idea what your opponent’s doing, so you can head off his attacks long before they actually appear.
Anyway, I hope that’s given you an insight into the thought processes and complexities of playing Pokémon: The Card Game. I’ve been your host Campfire Burning –
“AND I’VE BEEN GORDON BLOODTHIRSTER. BLOOOOOD!”
– and we both wish you a very pleasant night.
Campfire Burning can often be found destroying foul demons via the medium of Trading Card Games – a man must play to his skills, after all. If you seek his advice on that subject (or anything else) do email him – firstname.lastname@example.org