The worst part about any competitive game is having to take the loss. Even in a game between the top two decks from nationals, played by the best strategic minds, it will result in a winner and a loser. Pokemon TCG gives players two cards that help the underdog to the top of the Houndour-pile. These two cards are Twins (http://tinyurl.com/6d3dkdd) and Black Belt (http://tinyurl.com/5tfmr96).
Finding the right time to play Black Belt comes down to a math game. First it is important to note that attacks like Crobat Prime’s Skill Dive (http://tinyurl.com/654b6ju) do not benefit from playing a Black Belt. The attack needs to have a value on the card. This is also true for coin flipping attacks such as Slowpoke’s Whimsy Tackle (http://tinyurl.com/64p2blc) if they flip tails and result in no damage Black Belt does not give a boost. One of the first consistent misplays I made is drawing into a Black Belt, getting excited and playing it the first chance I got. If you’re not KOing an opponent’s Pokemon and you’ll end up KOing it next turn anyways DON’T PLAY THE BLACK BELT. This may seem simple, or perhaps I just get way too excited when I play, but it was a mistake that has cost me a few games. What Black Belt is really excellent at is giving your basic or stage 1 Pokemon a little extra kick you opponent isn’t expecting. The feeling that feels best when you’re losing is knocking down your opponent a few notches on the confidence latter. The important thing is to the make the most out of this card. You’re already losing and a misplay with this card could cost you the rest of the game.
Twins is good for an obvious reason. You get two cards of your choosing from your deck. This is pretty simple but there are some really solid plays that I’ve discovered. Suggestions I’d make as to what to grab: a Rare Candy (http://tinyurl.com/5wgacoe) and a stage 2 that you already have a basic for, if you’re supporter-less in your hand grab something that you can use for next turn, or grab two trainers that could help you get more out of the rest of your turn like Dual Ball (http://tinyurl.com/6fdlpo9) or Energy Exchanger (http://tinyurl.com/6yno2ru). You may be asking yourself “But why not just grab the basic pokemon or energy I need instead of the trainer?” You’re losing, thinning out your deck will increase your odds of the best draws possible, most decks run lots of basics and lots of energy and the last thing you need is a dead draw. Depending on what your opening hand looks like, if it has a Twins in it, it may even be worth it to feed your first basic to your opponent.
Losing isn’t a loss until the last prize is drawn. You can’t undoubtedly count on these two but when they’re usable they can swing the game around quickly. A perfect filler card or a great one of, these cards should at least be considered in any deck build.