Playing in a limited format, like the prerelease, is an entirely different game. Cards that you never thought would be playable can win you games and some of the cards you’re most excited for in the set won’t pull the weight they would in constructed. I’m going to lay out the rules for a prerelease tournament so if you are already knowledgeable you can skip the next paragraph and check out my deck list.
In a prerelease, also called a sealed event, you receive six boosters of the current set. You tear off the wrappers like you’re opening a mystery gift and what ever you open you get to build with. In this format you also are allowed to break the limit four rule for a card in your deck. If you open up five Great Balls or five Basculin feel free to run them all. The deck you build from these six packs is forty cards including energy. Also when playing your opponent you will only draw four prizes instead of the normal six.
The deck that went 4 –1 (if you’re looking for images of the cards check out pokebeach.com).
Sigilyph #41 x3
Gothita #43 x2
Gothorita #46 x1
Gothitelle #48 x1
Sewaddle #3 x3
Swadloon #6 x1
Swadloon #5 x1
Leavanny #7 x1
Leavanny #8 x1
Deerling #15 x1
Sawsbuck #16 x1
Thundurus #97 x1
Pokemon Catcher x1
Great Ball x3
Things to look for in a sealed format are Pokemon that are heavy hitters on their own. There isn’t time to set up combos or count on a single card to win you the game. Sigilyph #41 was one of my top picks before I even opened packs. Its second attack allows you to drop damage onto their bench or ignore weakness. This won me two games, once by sniping a Terrakion that would have destroyed my Thundurus and another game where I took prize four by KOing a Vullaby that was on their bench. The damage you need to deal for KO’s is much less in this format. Swinging hard for eighty will usually allow you to be a big threat. Leavanny #8 flips three coins at sixty damage each, it is a threat to any evolution. Between Thundurus and Tornadus I believe that Thundurus was the stronger pull. Its first attack, charge, allows you to thin the deck, search for energy and play it. I only needed to run four electric energy because of this attack. Unless three energy were prized I was bringing in the thunderclouds. Also his second attack requires you to discard an energy, not specifically electric, so it worked well in almost every deck. Gothitelle also played well because in such a limited format, with such short time in a game, confusion or energy disruption is a bigger kink than usual.
Two other cards that I think deserve some attention were Beartic #30 and Basculin #24. Basculin was a tough starter to get around and Beartic, a crowd favorite at my prerelease, had the ability to stop damage and stop opponents’ pokemon in their tracks.
And you’re wondering but Vinnie how in the world with all your poke-knowledge and this excellent deck built how did you ever lose? I will provide a brief summary of that game…
It was against our other Pokemon TCG editor, Kidd. He played a Beartic turn two and I was always an energy short and an evolution behind. It was an excellent game. I should also congratulate him on going 5-0 and winning the prerelease we both attended.
I want to know what you’re excited about in the next set. In the comments let me know what cards you’re going to be hoping for from your booster packs and what cards you think will see the most play time after release.