Copyediting Checkmate: A Review and Analysis of Pokemon Duel [GP 1/2]

The concept of timing and positioning may be a big mechanic to VGC tournaments Pokémon Triple Battles, and a new Pokémon spinoff that originally was released in Japan last year, combined those two gameplay elements with a fictional tale of becoming the Pokémon Figure Games Champion. Instead of starting as young kid or teenager in the province like in the Pokémon Main Series, you are a young adult who belongs to the 1% of very rich class of families collecting all the Pokemon figures to become the best, either as a battler or as a collector.

Board Map 101

Upon entering a match, there will be a square table that spins to determine who goes first and second. Once that is settled, you will see a table with a 7x5 measurement indicated by the circle dots you see on the outer square and an even 3x3 inner square, with the corners of both the outer and inner squares connecting. One thing one has to always keep in mind is that the four edges of the outer square act as entry points for you and the enemy team. The bottom two edges are your Pokemon figure spawn points, called a bench, with the upper two edges being your enemy's bench.

Below the square is a yellow bar that measures the amount of time you have left when playing ranked battles. Under the square is your deck of six Pokemon figures, with the two extra circles acting as your Pokémon Centers, where knocked-out Pokemon get to heal and get back into the battlefield. Under those are your "Plates" (the black colored cards that contain six at maximum or three at minimum; more on those later). If your Pokemon gets knocked out, they get placed into one of the Pokemon Center Corner circles. It can hold up to two knocked-out Pokemon. Once you have a third Pokemon that gets knocked out, the Pokemon figure on the Pokémon Center closest to the summoning bench returns to the board ready to be used after a one-turn waiting delay (more on statuses below).

Finally, under the deck of your Pokemon figures are the AI Button, the Forfeit Button on the left (self explanatory), and the Activate Ability Button. The AI button lets the AI do the moves for you in three turns but can only be obtained after making some progress in the Quests Mode's Story. As for the Activate Ability Button, if you tap a pokemon with an ability meant to be used manually, you will be able to use it for that turn. Remember that it only applies to certain Pokemon figures with certain abilities that are meant to be used manually.

Board Tactics

Reach the Goal Above Everything Else!

All Pokémon figures have a number of Movement Points (MP), which tells how many circle dots they can move around the board, ranging from one to three. Most Pokémon figures that are characterized to be heavyweight, slow, or large in size have 1 MP. Pokémon with 3 MP have characteristics that make them lightweight or fast or have a small to medium size. Finally, the rest may have a base movement of 2 MP, which is the average for most Pokémon. As mentioned at the topic above, before every match, a square wheel spins to dictate who goes first and who goes second. Be warned that being the first is not always good, for all of your Pokémon figures have their MP reduced by 1 point just for the first turn only. In the case of Pokémon with 1 MP, they can't leave the bench. In really rare cases, few Pokemon cannot enter the board until certain conditions are met or they are positioned through the use of any Plate.
The goal of every duel in Pokémon Duel is to breach the center point with one of your Pokémon figures while preventing the enemy from reaching yours. The interesting aspect of this game is the approaches one can take to reach the goal. There are ways secure the goal besides beating the opposing team's Pokémon figures like in regular Pokémon battles. You either play the swift game or the long game depending on the scenario.

Spawn Point Blocking

Since the only way for your Pokémon or your opponent's Pokémon to move through the board is by passing through the entry points of the square, having one of your Pokémon step on the enemy portal means that they cannot call their figures on that one side of the battle, save for a few exceptions. With only one exit to go through, you force your enemy to regroup on that one exit for a defensive formation on their goal and force them to attack towards your goal or remove the Pokémon blocking their other exit point.

However, be careful if your defenses are either empty or minimal. When you constrict the movement of your opponent to only one side, be sure to have either one strong defensive Pokemon figure to stand on top of your goal point. Otherwise, make it two defensive Pokemon where the enemy will have a hard time to call their reinforcements. If you get the opportunity to put in serious pressure, block both of the enemy's spawn points. In that kind of scenario, the enemy will have to fight out the rest of the fight with their Pokemon figures on the board until your Pokemon blocking their spawn point moves away from it. Another advantage of this is that you can not just guarantee your opponent being pressured to be precise with their attacks but also keep them outnumbered if you get to beat their Pokemon figures. However, Pokemon figures such as Prinplup and Empoleon bend through these rules with their abilities to enter the field without relying on entry points, which will be talked about later.

Concept of Surrounding Tactics

Just like in the Pokémon main series games, you have the ability to instantly KO Pokemon except if said Pokemon has the Sturdy Ability. In Pokémon Duel, even if there is a Plate that makes your Pokemon have Sturdy for one turn, you can do the same thing without ever engaging it in battle by surrounding the enemy Pokemon figure using multiple of your Pokemon figures. In most instances, you need at least two to surround a Pokemon. But other instances require three depending on the enemy Pokemon's position on the board. Simply, surrounding a Pokemon means that it cannot move around even in a single step offensively or that it gets instantly knocked out. Even in defensive plays, should you have two Pokemon on the left and right spot of your goal, with your goal unoccupied, you create a psychological trap for the enemy team to just slip through it if they have a Pokemon that ignores the board terrain when moving (like most ghost type pokemon) or Pokemon that can slip away from attackers when being engaged in battle (such as Sandshrew). Simply, if you want to defend your goal from Pokemon that can go in between gaps to your goal, just put two Pokemon next to the sides of your goal but not on top of the goal.

Fodder Tactics and Timeout Tactics

Though this may be a completely different way of winning battles, there are some Pokemon that are in-built "Cannon Fodder" to distract your enemies. Using Pokemon with weak attacks but with an asterisk on them means that if you attack it and you beat it, it ends up crippling your attacking Pokemon until something else either knocks it out or removed from the board (more about it below). In all tiers, especially the Common and Ultra Common Tier of figures (more on those in part 2), there are Pokemon figures that have attacks with secondary effects. So if you use a Pokemon with an asterisked attack, it loses to the enemy's figure, and gets knocked out, then the enemy Pokemon figure is crippled with debuffs. With a crippled enemy Pokemon figure, you can now use one of your better Pokemon figures to finish off the crippled enemy figure. At times, it is considered a neat and effective way of removing a threatening Pokemon figure from the enemy team.

Battling AI may be one thing, but human players are much more unpredictable and very vulnerable to a psychological attack many gamers call "tilting." Tilting is another way of making your enemy human player lose time and proper positioning and forcing them to go for reckless moves. Breaking your enemy's psyche means increasing their time on making a decision after you make them lose a crucial advantage on the board or making them unable to utilize the Plate properly. In a game where each player has five minutes to win the game, draining your opponent's 5 minutes to zero as they fail to capture your goal before you time out secures your "Waitwin victory" without ever capturing their goal. Due to how fast paced this game is, most games have a total game time average of 3-6 minutes for the common player, with 7-10 minutes or more for the highly skilled duelists or players that play more defensively. In part 2 of this game review, you will get to know an infamous deck strategy that creates timeout victories without a sweat while being able to just simply be aggressive.

What the Color on Each Part of the Wheel Means?

Attack Bars (White)
Attack Bars on every Pokemon's wheel of attacks act as your cookie cutter for removing other Pokemon figures from the enemy team. If your wheel has a higher number vs the other wheel, you win. If both wheels land on either an "Attack Bar" or a "Piercing Bar" (which will be talked about below) with the same damage number, it ends with a draw, and both Pokemon figures get to stay in the board in their current position. For a few white bars, if the wheel lands a white bar with an asterisk and said Pokemon loses, the side effects of said asterisked attack bar triggers and inflicts the attacker with a status affliction. If some moves tie in damage yet one of them has an effect and the other does not, the effect triggers. But if the enemy's move is weaker, lands on a Defensive Bar (Blue, will be talked about below), or lands on a Status Bar (Purple, this will be talked about below along with the various kinds of status moves), the attack and status do not land.

Piercing Bars (Gold)
For some Pokemon, these gold-colored attacking bars act as a Pokemon figure's quickest move. However, for other figures, these kinds of gold bars function as defensive moves against Status Bars. In most instances, Piercing Bars act just like Attack Bars. But if you want a Pokemon figure from the enemy team out of the way because it spreads so much status, you must use a Pokemon with Piercing Bars, for it is the only offensive way to break though status-inflicting Pokemon.

Status Bars (Purple)
Struggling to beat a Pokemon that deals high damage? Do you not want Pokemon to keep on dodging your attacks? Or Pokemon that has this ridiculously powerful but small size Attack Bar? Then you are going to need Pokemon with Status Bars. Unlike the other colored bars, Status Bars can be sometimes categorized as something one always must be prepared for and has to master. Status Bars have a hierarchy as to which Status Bar Beats other Status Bars. These purple bars always have a number of stars etched on them ranging from one to six stars. So, if both wheels land on a Status Bar, the higher number of stars always wins. But if both status bars are of equal value, it ends in a draw with both Pokemon unaffected.

  • Confusion: Your Pokémon's wheel gets rotated away one move from where it lands in combat. If that one extra wheel bar is a Miss Bar, you will get wrecked. In this game, it is one of the most dangerous for the aforementioned reason, especially for figures with more than one Miss Bar.

  • Poison and Noxious: Two of the most basic status afflictions, they reduce the damage of moves by 20 and 40, respectively.

  • Paralysis: At the start of each combat round, the smallest of the Pokémon's White, Blue, Purple, or Gold move turns into a Miss.

  • Sleep: The Pokémon cannot move or attack. Sometimes, it can give you the ability to lock the opponent from backup support when you position it correctly. However, a sleeping Pokemon can be awakened by either the enemy attacking the sleeping Pokemon, setting an ally Pokemon figure next to it and tapping the sleeping Pokemon, or using an Awakening Plate.

  • Frozen: The Pokémon cannot do anything, all of their attacks miss, and they can't move. Freeze is cleared when an ally taps on the Pokemon, it is healed by a Plate, or the enemy somehow fails to attack it.

  • Burn: The Pokémon's smallest White, Blue, Purple, or Gold move turns into a miss. Damage inflicted is reduced by 10. This status is possibly the weakest kind of status, in exchange for being one of the more versatile ones, being a fusion of poison and paralysis.

  • Wait: The Pokémon is unable to make any actions or moves. This is more or less a delaying status where the Pokemon cannot do anything for the given turn, and it is inflicted by landing at Defensive Bars that protect the user, afflicted by Status Bars that inflict Wait, or other causes that vary by the move that Pokemon use.

  • Curse: When the Pokémon is defeated, it is removed from the duel. If you think being frozen is bad enough, a Curse status is not just one of the most powerful debuffs. Some could argue that this may well be the most dangerous of all status. Being removed from the board is worse than being sent to the Pokémon Center Corner. This kind of status is one where you can turn an even 4 vs 4 match in to a permanent 4 vs 3 situation in the middle of a mid- or late-game situation. In the bigger picture, a 6 vs 6 battle will become a 6 vs 5 match.

Defensive Bars (Blue)

In a nutshell, these kinds of bars can protect you from all kinds of Attack, Status, and Piercing Bars. Most of them would "Block" the attack or let you simply "Dodge" the attack, and still enable you to attack the next turn. But there are a few Defensive Bars that can let you do other things besides protecting yourself, such as returning to the bench when attacked, moving forward, or moving a few steps back. Note that some Defensive Bars (like Withdraw from Squirtle) will give your Pokemon figure a "Wait" Status should the move be successful. A few Defensive Bars give a Pokemon figure various kinds of buffs or mobility options. But for the most part, they protect your Pokemon figure from every kind of attack.

Miss Bars (Red)

Pokémon Duel made sure that most of the Pokemon have to have a "Miss Bar" of at least 1%. If your wheel lands the "Miss Bar" on the middle pointer, then you know it is about to give you a disadvantage. This means that every attack or status bar will hit you unless the enemy's wheel lands on either a Miss Bar or a Defensive Bar.

The Best Plates

Pokémon Duel lets you use Plates to move and buff up your team around the board for a turn or the whole match. To use a Plate, you have to select your deck of Plates first and then select the Pokemon you wish to use the Plate on. Keep in mind that you cannot use Plates after you moved a Pokemon figure. Be wary that some Plates have abilities that can end your turn after using them.

The only catch is that you can set three up to six Plates with a total of eight energy bars. Most Plates have one energy bar, which allows you to have a deck of six, but some Plates have two energy bars, which limits the number of Plates you can use in the given deck. Another limit that Plates offer is that you can only use them once per battle. So be sure not to waste them at the wrong time. Just to give you a general idea, here are some of the Plates one gets to use in the game one has to watch out for.

  • Double Chance and Bright Powder - These two Plates give you the ability to, respectively, spin your wheel or your opponent's wheel once again when attacking the enemy Pokemon figure. These two are some of the recommended Plates to have duplicates of, or even just one for top-tier players, as it could change the current wheel bar that is locked on the middle pointer. It is important when you have an attack that is stronger than your opponent's current attack. Sometimes, you use these Plates to hopefully get the type of move you want to deal damage to your opponent through debuffs or beating debuffs with Piercing Bars. With either of these two Plates, you can turn around the outcome of one battle. In the case of certain figures, Double Chance Plates become a must-have to bring every time to make those certain figures work.

  • Max Revive - For a two point plate, this instantly revives any of the two fainted Pokemon that you may have on the PMC corner. Once you revive a Pokemon, you have to place it on the board immediately. Oftentimes this can be used as last-ditch effort to defend your goal point or push an offensive advantage forward to outnumber your opponent's Pokemon figures protecting the goal point and spawn points.

  • Pokémon Switch - This Plate simply switches the positions of two Pokemon from the board or replace a Pokemon that is on the board with one of your Pokemon figures on the bench (except for those on the PMC corner). This is oftentimes a Plate used for tactics that use their high-mobility Pokemon figures forward to bring slow and very hard-hitting Pokemon immediately to the front-lines. Some say that this is one of the most versatile Plates in this game for its many uses in a lot of situations.

  • Goal Block - Sometimes, when your defensive lines get broken and most of your Pokemon are not close enough to the goal, if you have an enemy that is about to step on top of your goal, Goal Block becomes your emergency button. This can be a powerful Plate to have in your deck that you always have to bring. However, this Plate will not save you from being surrounded around your goal. In one phrase, the "Fail-safe Plate."

  • Hurdle Jump - Oftentimes a card used by the higher tier players, this card lets one of your Pokemon on the field move over another Pokémon. While this may be like the Invisibility Cape Plate, the way this one functions is making your Pokemon move and position next to either your Pokemon or your enemy's Pokemon. In fact, this Plate has been a handy tool for runners to instantly capture the goal point if it either does not have a figure on top of it or is surrounded by two Pokemon figures. Another handy factor is that Hurdle Jump can be your Plate of choice to save your Pokemon from being surrounded as well. Oftentimes, many will bring at least one of this plate no matter the deck structure save for certain circumstances when said deck has plenty of mobile figures.

Materials and Currencies of the Game

Coins - Coins are the most common and easy kind of currency to understand, as they give you the ability to perform fusions (the level-up mechanic of Pokémon Duel) or analyze the winrate of your Pokemon deck to the enemy AI's deck in the Story Quest Mode. Even though its functions are small, doing fusions is expensive as heck, for a big upgrade is like buying a 50000 Pokedollar TM in the main series games. To get more Coins, you cannot use real money, but you can sell Pokemon figures that you don't intend to use at the Exchange Coins button or sell Ingots (golden block figures) in the Shop button. A quick warning, though: the more committed you get to becoming competitive in this game or the more you just want to have your favorite figures' levels be maxed out, the poorer you'll eventually become in coins, especially when you level up many of your EX figures to their maximum level.

Gems - Being common yet tedious to get, gems will be the most common type and most important kind of currency, letting you buy Booster Packs, upgrade and expand your deck list, buy more Plates, and save your streak record during Cup Battles. If there is one thing that this free-to-play game encourages you to do, it would be saving up gems to open up the biggest booster packs (Quadruple and, in the case of anniversary events, Sextuple or Tentuple packs). One word of caution to those that are not yet aware of "Gacha-Based" games: always be mindful on how much real money you want to spend if you want instant rewards.

Material - Of all the kinds of currencies in the game, this is one of the most difficult to get, for you can only obtain these by opening Booster Packs. The use of this kind of currency gives you the ability to buy Pokemon figures at the Material Exchange Shop. While it is fun to buy something immediately with this currency, it is oftentimes better to save up either 1800 or 4000 Material in order to get the really good figures from the Rare or EX ranking figures, respectively.

Rare Materials and Ingots - Rare Materials function as your free experience square-shaped Pokebeans for Pokemon figures to level up your Pokemon figures. Ingots are only meant to be sold at the Exchange Coins Corner in the shop for coins in order for you to do fusion level-ups.

Booster Tickets - If you get a Booster Ticket, use it immediately from the Booster Shop, for it guarantees a free Pokemon figure and 50 pieces of Material. In most cases, you get these things at the end of each month, depending on the ranking you get from playing League Matches. The higher the ranking, the more Booster tickets you receive. The best time to use these is when new figures get announced to have a higher chance of getting a newly introduced figure.

AI Tickets - After finishing some early stages in the Story Mode, you will have the ability to use your Super AI Button and let it do the dueling for you in multiplayer for three turns using just one card. Sometimes, having a game only run purely by AI can net you some surprise wins. However, don't always count on these to bring you up to the highest ranking.

Carmonite - Installed on Version 4.0.0, these mysterious pink diamond shaped stones are currently known to give your Pokemon figures an extra level past level 5 until your figures reach level 10. However, it will only be usable once your figures reach level 5. This kind of currency has the biggest impact for those looking to play this games seriously just by reaching the ranking of 2400. Depending on the rarity of the figure, collect as many of those as possible to increase its levels for it also expands the wheel size of your figure's moves.
  • 10*5= 50 Carmonite for Common (C) Ranking Figures
  • 20*5= 200 Carmonite for Uncommon(UC) Ranking Figures
  • 50*5= 250 Carmonite for Rare (R) Ranking Figures
  • 100*5= 500 Carmonite for Extreme (EX) Ranking Figures

To level up your figures, you can train your Pokemon by doing the Story Quest Mode or fusing selected Pokemon figures of your choice with either Rare Materials or other Pokemon figures. Just remember, do not use Ingots in fusions, because they only give 1 exp. Ingots are meant to be sold for coins, nothing else. Once you reach the Ultra League in League Matches, collect as many Carmonites as you can. Then, choose the Pokemon figures you want to level up to level 10 once your chosen figures reach level 5.

Specialized Evolution Mechanics

The Pokemon you collect cannot evolve by level up. So don't expect your Metapod figure to evolve to a Butterfree figure by maxing out Metapod's level. Pokémon Duel borrowed a particular game mechanic from Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, where you can evolve any of your Pokemon figures in the middle of battle by beating another Pokemon figure. Once you beat that Pokemon, you get the option to either evolve it now or not. However, if you choose no, you have to make your Pokemon figure beat another doe to evolve.

So, how do you evolve a pre-evolved Pokemon in the middle of battle? Starting from the Home User Interface, select the Decks button, and then select Edit Figures. Choose any pre-evolution Pokemon and place it on the bench list above your collection of figures. If you see a small bar below the Pokemon figure with either one or two dulled dots, tap that button. You will then enter a new menu list that usually contains the evolution of said Pokemon figure below and an empty box or two empty boxes on the right. All you need is to tap that evolved Pokemon and you will see the upper box above get filled up with the corresponding evolution. If you are done with that, just click the back button again to continue assembling your roster of six Pokemon figures.

Fuse similar Pokémon for Chain Levels

If you see a green bar on the right of the Pokemon's level bar whenever you analyze it in the Fusion Menu, that is the Chain Level (CLvl) of your Pokemon, which tells how much more powerful your Pokemon is than another Pokemon figure of the same type when facing it. Say I have a Mew figure with the move Hyper Sonic facing another Mew Figure with the same move. If both have the same CLvl and both wheels land on the same move, it ends in a draw. However, if my enemy Mew's CP has even 1 point of CLvl versus my 0 CLvl Mew, my Mew loses. This concept can apply to similar situations with two different Pokemon with moves with similar power. Say Salamence (70 power Dragonbreath) vs Lugia (70 power Aeroblast). Should either have 1 more CL on those moves respectively, when both sides of the wheel land on those moves, the one with one more CL automatically wins. To increase it, simply fuse another Pokemon of the same kind to the one you want to level up in the Fusion Menu or collect green colored squared figures called "Cubes" and use them to your desired Pokemon of choice. The maximum CLvl all Pokemon have is level 10. Now, are you a Wailord spender? If yes, then be ready to spend real money and grind wins in every released Gym event, which will be covered on part 2 of this review.

Booster Packs and What to Get

If you explore the Booster Shop, in most cases you get four choices to spend your gems on the following Boosters: Single Booster Pack (50 Gems or Booster Tickets), Double Booster Pack (100 Gems), Quadruple Booster Pack (200 Gems with 1 Guaranteed Rare or EX ranking figure), or in certain weeks and events, a Sextuple Booster Pack (like the quad, you have a high guarantee of either 1 or 2 EX ranking figures costing 300 Gems) and the recently released "Tentuple Box Event" (500 Gems with 1 guaranteed EX alongside the 10 Pokemon figures, material, and Plates).

As a friendly advice to casual players: please save up every gem that you have and only spend gems on opening either the Quadruple Booster Packs or Sextuple Booster Packs, as the former two are not a wise spend. If the only figures you really seek are EX figures, then wait it out until a Sextuple Pack event or Tentuple Pack arrives. In the case of Single Booster Packs, get them only if you obtained Booster Tickets, which you can get from doing various quests, login bonuses, or doing a few tricks in the Quests Story Mode.
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Pokemon You Should Consider Using

Shuppet (Ultra Common)

Meet the infamous troll Infiltrator inflicting burns: Shuppet. Do not be surprised if you see this thing for it is one of the best former runner figures in the game for around 5-7 months before other runners took over. In this spin-off, Shuppet is the king or queen of regular league match for so long until it got regulated to being a runner best fitted for the UC or Lower Hall Room Matches. Though you have the option to evolve this thing to a Banette, in most cases, this is not recommended, since Banette only has 2 MP, and Infiltrator becomes less effective. But as of late, the buffs it got meant that evolving your Shuppet required a figure that can be quite aggressive in inflicting its 2 star Curse Status Bar. If you get your hands on this thing, you may as well have a low-risk and high-reward figure that can help you win so many games only to be outclassed by Mew, Tapu Koko, and other Piercing Bar (Gold) wielders. However, be wary when facing Pokémon with Piercing Bars or when going through a Ralts, Kirlia, or Gardevoir.

Vibrava (Ultra Common)

There is a case and deck build regarding Vibrava all by itself without ever evolving it to the "Desert Dragon" of Hoenn. Many consider this little dragonfly as a very strong utility defensive trap pokémon. Its ability, Vibrating Sound, acts similarly to Aggron's (EX) Territoriality ability in terms of halting the mobility of pokémon figures. The only difference is if you step your figure next to the little dragonfly with its Vibrating Sound ability, they cannot attack Vibrava whereas Territoriality "forces" your figure to attack Aggron. What you specifically do is set it in the middle of the battlefield connected to the spawn points. If you get 2 of them, you have a strong lock down on your base where your opponents cannot move in the middle portion of the board. Having control over the entire midfield is a huge advantage, and as if that wasn't enough, having a shuppet or Tapu Koko in the middle both vibravas in the middle part of the map meant that surround kills are extremely easy to do. Pair with a strong fighter half-deck covering the outer path and you'll have one frustrated opponent. Essentially, this is a figure that belongs to the top 30 most used pokémon by those in the 3K rankings.

Eevee and the Eeveelutions (Rare)

This big iconic family of Pokémon are one of the most mobile debuffers and runners of the game for various reasons. Eevee is one of the trickiest Pokemon to evolve mid-battle, through X Attacks or by landing at a Focus Energy, to get your Eeveelution of choice. Sylveon is an anti-Dark-type, dealing -20 damage versus Dark-type Pokémon, but it is very dependent on having multiple Round users to get KOs. Umbreon is a Noxious user of Toxic and reflector of enemy debuffs, and it is one of the best versus most fighter figures. Leafeon and Jolteon slip through all Grass-types and all paralyzed Pokemon on the field, respectively. Vaporeon pushes Pokemon away with its Status Bar Water Slide. Glaceon just freezes things with its attack and status bars. Flareon fights like Eevee with Focus Energy and Flamethrower, and it can inflict burns when beaten with Flamethrower. As the last member to join, Espeon inflicts confusion status on her enemies and returns attack debuffs to her opponents. The one thing this family can boast is that they can be quite difficult to hit in several instances while being notable for inflicting status with their attacks with a power around 20 (Eevee's weakest attack) to 40 (the standard for non evolved Eeveelutions).

Wobbuffet (Rare)

Just like in the Super Smash Bros Series, Wobbuffet is still a punching bag in Pokémon Duel. Bide cannot make it attack by itself, but it is one of the most dangerous goal defenders, because any attack above 19 inflicted by an opposing Pokémon is an instant KO in return, and Wobbuffet still stays alive. However, this thing can oftentimes be easily surrounded. At times, Shuppet can easily do what almost all Pokémon figures cannot do: take out a Wobbuffet with an attack without killing itself. The only other few figures that can do the same would be Combusken and Blaziken's Cyclone Kick. In the story quest mode, one could find an enemy wielding this thing. So, if you have a Dedenne figure or a Shuppet, bring that rodent or ghost to take the punching bag out with Nuzzle or Night Shade, respectively. Most would consider Wobbuffet a poor man's Deoxys Defense form.

Flygon (Rare)

Between the introduction of the Legendary Birds and Flygon's arrival, it was chaos how to defend or push against them thanks to these Pokemon's great mobility and pushing power. Why should you get Flygon? Sand Blizzard. If you use Flygon on its own, upon entering the field, it immediately disables Pokémon figures with a Status Bar called Fly Away. However, should you get Flygon by evolving Vibrava, you disable two things: the Fly Away Status Bar and the Ability Soar. Simply, Flygon puts a strong stop to two of its Hoennian cousins and a particular set of Legendaries. Keep in mind that the former way to use Flygon does not disable Soar. Besides having its own Fly Away, it also has another status move called Draco Meteor. Should Flygon land on this move successfully, it chooses one random opposing Pokémon on the field and automatically spins its wheel. If the random Pokemon's wheel ends with a spin on the Miss Bar or on an Attack Bar dealing 70 damage and higher, the opponent's figure gets knocked out. Just remember that the effect doesn't work against Piercing Bars. If you hate Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, get a Vibrava and evolve it to a Flygon.

Mew (EX)

Some call Mew one of the best runners along with Shuppet in the higher tiers. As an EX figure, Mew is not known for knocking out enemies, as the attack power of its Attack and Status Bars is around 30-50. Rather, it is mobile yet immune to super hard-hitting moves that have 100+ power with Hyper Sonic (Piercing) and can be ready for defensive positions (Shuffle Flip is a Defensive Bar that makes it take one or two steps back). Another factor to consider is that Hyper Sonic is a powerful move that simply slays many status dealers. Once again, many of the prominent Status Bar abusers come from runners and some defenders.

Latios and Latias (EX)

In the simplest sense, these two dragons are the most literal kamikaze attackers in the entire game for their ability Hallucination, which is the equivalent of the ability Defeatist. Should either die to an Attack or Piercing bar or end up getting surrounded, they are out of the board and cannot be revived by Max Revive Plates or even the PMC. Besides having two Attack Bars ranging from 50-70 power, they also have Luster Purge and Mist Ball, with a Base Power of 120 and 110, respectively. While Latios is hard to hit because of 2 Dodge Bars (Defensive), Latias has the Fly Away Bar (Status Bar) to slip past defenses and capture the goal. Latios is one of the nastiest runners in the game should you put it on max level and constantly land on Luster Purge.

Ho-Oh (EX)

Ho-Oh can also do what Mew does through its Status Bar Rainbow Wing. The real highlight is that Serene Light, its ability, makes it the equivalent of Max Revive Plates. If you knock out Ho-Oh but your enemy has two Pokemon on the PMC, the two fainted Pokémon get revived and Ho-Oh gets sent to the PMC. It is one of the best utility Pokémon one can have.

Rayquaza (EX)

The only thing this thing has kept from the canon games is the guaranteed strongest Piercing Bar in the entire game: Extreme Speed. As of the day when this article gets published, besides the big Plate size coverage of Extreme Speed, this 1 MP figure also has a niche Attack bar called Break Energy, where you remove your enemy Pokemon's Plate effects. This Pokémon jumps over the opponent and lands one or two steps away. With its ability called Primal Rage, if the opponent has Groudon, Kyogre, or Rayquaza on the field, this Pokémon gets MP +1 and does +20 damage. While its attacks may be powerful, this leaves Rayquaza very vulnerable to Confusion status, even though it can deal with Pokemon wielding 3-star-status-bar Confuse Rays easily. Upon receiving it, it has four size-four Miss Bars and 1 MP. Even if at maximum level, it is still very vulnerable to confusion and still needs either you or your enemy to have either Groudon, Kyogre, or an opposing Rayquaza to get an MP boost.

Reshiram and Zekrom (EX)

Though both have very few differences, such as Zekrom having a Dodge and Reshiram's Blue Flare (100 power that inflicts a burn if Reshiram is defeated) hitting harder than Zekrom's Bolt Strike (90 power that inflicts paralysis if Zekrom is defeated), one thing that both have in common is the need for both figures to be together on the field. They start with 9 turns of Wait thanks to their ability to be mobile with their Fly Away (3 star status bar) moves, and having both of them on the field together lets their Fusion Flare and Fusion Bolt (Power 70 Attack bar, size 24) remove opposing figures instantly. While they can be strong, should the deck carry these two, having 4 active figures to defend for 9 turns means that these two tao dragons leave you very exposed to rush-based deck strats. Not only that, but properly positioning both figures to make them lethal takes an average of 3 to 6 turns. Just keep your spawn points and goal protected until you can set these two in the field. As a bonus, always bring the Overdrive Plate, which acts as a Full Heal with an X Attack Plate combined specifically for these two dragons.

Venusaur (EX)

Of the three Kanto starter figures, one can say that Venusaur performs the most different of the three. Whereas the other two are great independent attackers, Venusaur on its own is what helps create a deck strategy called the "Poison Deck" just as how Manaphy is a key component to "Water Decks." Amidst only having 1 MP, have a 1 star Sleep Powder, and a 130 powered Solar Beam alongside a 50 power Vine Whip, its Ability Chemical Pollen reduces the MP of all opposing pokémon that had been poisoned by 1 point. Relying on other pokémon figures to poison them, this pokémon works greatly as a goal keeper and a crippler as well. For 1 MP pokémon that are poisoned on the field, they will not be able to move at all. Mobile 3 MP runners or 2 MP pokémon will suddenly find themselves struggling to capture the entry points or complete surround kills and having weaker attack damage.

How to face annoying but common lower tier strategies!

Triple the Double Hive Invasion (Repel common Heracross, Beedrill, and Pinsir Couple Decks)

To newcomers in this game, if you somehow thought that you will never encounter deck builds coming from the Story Quest Mode, you are dead wrong. See, in this game, you may encounter a couple bots running around in League Matches. One of these random bots have a deck coming from a bodyguard that you fight right before the boss of the Volcano Hotel with the battle called "Throw Everything", carrying 2 Beedrills, 2 Heracross, 2 Pinsirs, 3 Double Chance Plates, and 2 X Defend Plates.

So, what is the concept of this random bot deck? Simply, this is a tricky yet simple, albeit inefficient, way of getting surround kills while advancing on the field with their Heracross and Pinsirs, with Beedrills acting as suicide runners vainly attempting to kill their targets with multiple chained Twineedles. Simply, if you have a Pokemon that has the ability to deal 70 damage minimum, use that Pokemon and slay everything. Defensive Bars can be also handy with Piercing Bars coming close. However, should you really want a secure win against bots that wield this deck, have a Pokemon that does 90 damage and more in case you fight a Beedrill that suddenly lands on Twineedle, unlikely as it may be thanks to its gigantic Miss Bar being more than half of Twineedle.

Black Honchkrow Down (Overcome the Fly Away Bar, Soar Ability, and Infiltrators)

Starting with Infiltrators, we look first at the Infiltrators of this game: Shuppet, Banette, Gastly, Haunter, and Phantump. What these Pokémon bring to the table is their ability to either swiftly catch spawn points (Shuppet and Gastly), act as nasty "Surrounders", or apply debuffs (Banette, Phantump, and Haunter). Most people can easily give you the advice of just killing them early and guarding your spawn point and goals. Better yet, if you have a Pokémon with Gold Piercing Bars such as Mew, Raikou, or Greninja, then that is all the better to kill these kinds of runners. Just be wary of the niche Gastly and Banette possibly knocking out your attacker or threatening to remove the figure from the game with a Curse status.

Now, to deal with Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, and Pokémon that have the Fly Away Purple Status Bar. What the Legendary Birds (with their Ability Soar) and some of the great Pokémon with Fly Away have in common is that killing them through raw power is not always the easy solution unless you wield one of these figures yourself. The second best thing one can do is to simply play the surround game. Should you be able to build a "Trap Deck" consisting of 2 Vibravas, a Shuppet, and your strongest fighters as the remaining three, these Pokémon are discouraged from just rushing your spawn points and goal by simply attacking your trappers. Another option to consider is to have a Vibrava evolve into a Flygon to have its ability completely disable the Soar ability on both friend and foe once it enters the field. Another option is Galvantula to discourage these three Pokemon from just soaring over it lest they get paralyzed. As a niche option when your spawn point somehow gets captured, Empoleon (or one that has been evolved from a Prinplup with the same ability) can easily get into the field or complete a 3-Pokemon surround kill around your spawn point thanks to its Diving Entry ability.

The Great Viking Raid (Catch the Band of Weaviles and the Dark Plate Strat)

While Weavile has a good Attack Bar than can freeze the foe when it is beaten (50 Ice Punch), a Gold Attack, and a Status Bar (2-star Taunt) that forces respins if either side lands on a purple attack, the real threat of this thing comes from its ability Team Play, where Weavile gets +20 damage for each extra Weavile that enters the field. If you have three Weavile on the field, that adds +40 damage to all of its attacks, and you have a menacing army ready for the hunt. Add an Yveltal that happens to land on Dark Mist and survives, and each of these Weavile now have Ice Punch at 100 power (90 without Yveltal) and Ice Shard at 70 (60 without Yveltal).

It may sound scary in theory, but the real flaw of this deck simply comes from its heavy reliance on having the army set up. There's not that much that can hurt this deck because of the central piece that makes this powerful: Dark Energy. This Plate disables your opponent's Energy Plates that buff Psychic type Pokémon, the Deoxys (Cosmo Plate), and Ghost-type (Phantom Energy) Pokémon if you get to have two Dark-type Pokémon on the field. As an extra bonus when facing Deoxys decks or Psychic-types in general, should your Dark-type Pokémon lose its battle against an opponent's Psychic-type Pokémon, your Dark-type gets moved to the bench and gains a Wait status (like a defensive Hurricane from Lugia). While this Plate may be more positive, its negatives have a potential heavy consequence. Sometimes, being forced to return to the deck and gain a Wait status can give you more losses compared to simply losing from getting the wrong rolls. The Wait status on the bench means that your Pokémon will not be able to participate in the field. A worst-case scenario can also show up in either not reaching the goal while it is almost ready to be taken or being unable to protect your own goal or spawn point. Yveltal used to be a requirement for this deck. Right now, Yveltal is more or less a liability in this kind of deck despite being one of the best fighters one can have on a Dark deck. Case in point, confusion wrecks this figure by the mere presence of its 3 small Missing Bars.

2 of the Many Deck Builds you Have to be Ready to Have a Bad Time

Captain Manaphy Strat (How to Spoil Ocean's Gift)

The center of this deck, Manaphy is simply a glorified plate in the form of an EX figure that can easily be removed by many pokémon. However, it makes its allies very lethal depending on the ally figures it will have on its side. Some Water Decks will have three to five Tentacools running around swiftly on the board with the chance of evolving into a tough to beat Tentacruel. Prinplups that may evolve into Empoleon also go along well with this deck thanks to Diving Entry (can easily skip crossing ally spawn points). At times, there will be Keldeos paired with Manaphy to deal against dark-type teams with the Dark-Type Plate. One can never forget every single evolution of the Squirtle family playing every role possible starting with Squirtle as a mobile figure and one of the best defenders in the game and Wartortle being a versatile yet easy pokémon to use with Manaphy to evolve it into an even more dangerous Blastoise. However, the deadliest water type of all so far would be facing a Magikarp that evolves to a Gyarados in the middle of a battle for knocking out a Magikarp immediately evolves it into that nasty monstrosity that has a great chance of beating a Deoxys Attack once Manaphy is on the board. So if you can avoid fighting Magikarp at all, the better to avoid facing its evolved figure.

To survive against this strategy, be very aggressive and be very mobile on the first 4 turns because a Water-Themed-Deck is a deck of timing their onslaught. While it may be good to defend your goal early on if your deck lacks reliable runners, this is only asking the water deck wielder to hold the line until Manaphy is on the field. Once the little legendary lands on the board, the rest of the game becomes extremely difficult only because every water type pokémon in all roles have their attacks become stronger. If you get the chance to have a mobile attacker or a runner (with a Gold / Piercing Bar) strong enough to beat Manaphy itself, use it and knock it out just to be able to get through its Status Bar. Without Manaphy, this deck loses its power spike. While it may make this deck look easy to beat, it is easier to build the Water Deck rather than fighting against it because there are so many water type pokémon or partners for this deck that can pair well with Manaphy's Water Deck. So try to find other ways to deal with this water deck.

The Deoxys Invasion and Cosmo Plates (Yes Deoxys can now be called an Ultra Beast)

Before this article has been finished, the Cosmo Plate Deck was formerly considered to be the most broken of all decks during its introduction. Then it reached to the point that game developer HEROZ had had to fix the issue while not making this deck too irrelevant. Simply, what Cosmo Plate does is to give all of your deoxi that are on the field (only) the ability to switch positions with another deoxys that is also on the field. The Deoxi themselves are not that too broken now but they were bordering meta-broken many months ago. What made all of these forms of deoxys broken simply comes from the old Cosmo Plate the Deoxi specific equivalent of an over buffed Pokémon Switch plate where one can switch a Deoxys that is on the field being able to switch with a pokémon that is on the whole board except for the PC whenever the enemy attacks it. I think you can see it just how nasty they were.

Now we talk about each of the four forms of Deoxys. Unfortunately, the Normal Forme (Event exclusive) sucks just as bad as in the main games only having average attack stats and being extremely prone to confusion status with its Teleport as its only strong niche. In the case of Defensive Form of Deoxys, it has a very strong Defensive Status Bar (Psycho Shift which gives the user a Wait Status) and the amazing defensive attack bar in the form of Counter (if the attack has 20 points and above) to stop its supposed Piercing (Gold) Bar attackers such as Mew, Raikou, Zapdos, Rayquaza, Empoleon, etc. Then there is its ability Shelter which acts like the Focus Band plate for itself and any ally pokémon standing next to it.

Next is the most situational of the four forms being Speed Forme Deoxys for it only works within a Deoxys Cosmo Plate Deck. Anywhere else, even as one of the best runners in the game, makes it very subpar. It has very weak damage output on it Piercing Bar (20 Power Extreme Speed) and a wide Attack Bar (40 Power Psychic). In return, it gets one of, if not, the best runner related ability in the game called Cross Wind which essentially gives it 4 MP upon leaving the spawn point for a naturally great 3 MP runner. 2 options immediately gives you to choose: instantly protect your goal point or force an early spawn block in 3-5 turns and win the game.

Finally, there is the most cancerous of all the forms back in the day: Deoxys Attack. Why? A 130 power white attack bar (Psycho Boost) that is nearly half of the entire wheel with a defensive status bar that returns it to the bench and gains a three turn Wait (back then, it has no Wait penalty) with a tiny small dodge bar and Miss Bar. Also, it also has an ability called Reflective Laser which acts like a Bright Powder plate. So far, it is one of the top 3 attackers in the entire game.

So, how does one counter this kind of deck? Mew was and has been a requirement against this entire deck. However, today, building certain type-plate decks also help on dealing with the Cosmo Plate Deck such as a Phantom Energy (Ghost type pokémon have the ability to turn surrounding tactics into offensive versions of the Hallucination ability to the opponents when) focused deck, a Poison Deck (Have Venusar, Crobats, Seismitoads, and various hard hitters to stall and greatly weaken their damage output through Poison and Noxious), a Tropical Energy (to counter Reflective Laser if you fight it with a Grass, Flying, or Bug Type) focused deck, or build other decks centered around type synergies.

When it comes to pokémon figures of choice, there are a couple that can work to deal with this deck: mainly the Deoxys Attack form and Deoxys Defense Form.

  • Virizion – it has the Attack Bar (White) Grass Knot (40 Power) which acts as an Instant KO to Deoxys Attack, another Attack Bar called Sword of Justice (101 Power) where it can easily KO a Deoxys Attack only when paired with an X Attack Plate, and a 2 star Status Bar called Typhoon Slash where it gets the option to move next to the figure or not.

  • Sceptile – Its Attack Bar called Leaf Blade (90 Power) is not only big in size for the wheel but it can re-spin again to land on the same possibly twice and gets +50 damage which can overpower a Deoxys Attack Form's 130 power Psycho Boost by 10 points.

  • Zapdos - as one of the top 5 most meta defining pokemon in this game because of its huge Piercing Bar, it can counter all formes of the deoxi wheel save for Deoxys Attack Form's Psycho Boost. Even though it is super strong, just like its weaker cousins Moltres and Articuno, it tends to perform inconsistently because of its wheel's attack distribution.

When this article is published, do not worry about the Deoxys deck being cancerous anymore for it is much more balanced to deal with by the time this article got published.


Feeling rich in money both in the game and in real life? Welcome to what most mobile gamers would call the most mixed bag "Gacha Free to Play Game" that they had or had been playing since February this year 2017: Pokémon Duel. Being the contrast to Pokémon Shuffle in terms of a more relaxed playerbase, this mobile phone spin-off game is a competitive game with a mix of random number generators and "loot box mechanics" to create a possible balanced metagame in an era where e-sports are on the rise. Though you can spend real life money to get the figures you want, the generosity with which the game already give you figures allows you to spend less real-life money or gives you the feeling of spending money being optional before. The "Spend Little or Not Spend at All" philosophy of this game gets further reinforced by the Monthly 50,000 Point Limit, which can somewhat control one's spending impulsiveness should the need arise. However, since it is HEROZ developing the game, adding the "Gacha Mechanic" is something many will point out be be in immediate disagreement. This is Game Freak's attempt in collaboration with HEROZ to create an expansion to the number of Pokémon games with competitive e-sport merits, like Pokkén Tournament in the case of Pokémon Spin-offs. In some ways, this is Game Freak's Pokémon version of an already classic board game, chess, brought to the mobile gaming industry.

As an adieu to this review, I only give this game a "Give it a shot" (7-8 out of 10) if you are the type of player that plays games casually to relieve yourself from stress while wanting a small step into personal development, because Pokémon Go and Pokémon Shuffle fill that gap better. But if you are a competitive player looking for a different or new competitive Pokémon game outside of Pokémon Sun and Moon's metagames or Pokkén Tournament, or a Pokémon gamer that is loosely between a casual and competitive gamer and is OK dealing with RNG and spending some real cash, this mobile game gets a a "Highly Recommend" (8-9 out of 10). If chess, Gacha Mechanics, and RNG in competitive games is somehow not for you (or you just have a HAX dillemma), then you are "Checkmate."
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By the way, this article is now open for my art request. I'm looking for an art where two pokemon are playing pokemon duel on a PFG Table (Cinccino on the left and Garbordor on the right). On the table contains two figures being a Jirachi (Blue) and a Deoxys Attack (Red. Trust me. In this spin-off this guy is a cancer). Above the heads of these two would be the wheel that spins with a red diamond in the middle. In the left, 1/4th of the circle is color blue with the phrase millennial slumber, the other one fourth contain the word Psybeam* with 60 power. The rest of it is a Gold colored atack with the word HAX at 90 power. on the other wheel, color all of the wheel red and write the word Miss. Don't forget to add ice sticking to the rims of the right wheel since this Deo-A is frozen.

Cinccino is laughing while Garbordor is enraged. Be comical and whimsical about it.


Robot from the Future
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Orange Islands
I haven't played this game at all. This is a very long post. I'll try and get through it and put some thoughts down this evening.


a sky full of lighters ☆
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It's ok, I've accepted that there's nobody else that can reliably give QC.. unless they've played. I'm going to get through it all soon I just haven't had a chance to study it. There's no point giving QC if you've never played it or know nothing about it, so dw DHR C:


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Skimmed through it all and it's very comprehensive but accurate and good from what I can tell. Probably want to split it into two articles but nothing else to really add from me. I've played it a bit and didn't get too into it but my boyfriend has, I might ask him to read over the strategy section and give input. Otherwise the basics section seems to cover everything


Cod Mod
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Like DHR, I haven't played the game either, so I can't contribute much. The article seems comprehensive, though.
Just a note. I did a good amount of grammar fixing while adding and fixing some details needed to be done on the article. Also, I honestly felt like I had to call out Joey (Pokeaim. Is he still here on Smogon? Last time I recall, Mega Mogwai has disappeared and focused on Duelists all possibly because of UCL season 2's battle versus Joey in the semis) because he used a Reuniclus on his Pokemon UCL tournaments. From the MANY things I read on reddit in the past 2-4 months, 85% of the users there SERIOUSLY hate Reuniclus, Deoxys, and the Cosmo Plate like a plague for how BROKEN they were.

Reuniclus Decks before Patch 3.0.5 or 3.0.6 are like Ubers with the Cosmo Plate deck being the Equivalent of Anything Goes.

But ... wow. I'm honestly surprised that ... not a lot of you gave this ches-like game a shot. Wish you all luck there.
To all of the QC members, how is it going with the checking of this article? Are you all doing ok? I just need to know as to how this article should be split up according to Oglemi. Hope her companion can help us here.
Uhhh, due to the on-going silence, after just finishing the QC's request, I assumed that it is ready for the grammar phase since the release day of this article is approaching.
Note in advance. I'll be absent from this site in 2 weeks for my vacation around Singapore and Thailand.

Once again, this article is now open for my art request. I'm looking for an art where two pokemon are playing pokemon duel on a PFG Table (Cinccino on the left and Garbordor on the right). On the table contains two figures being a Jirachi (Blue) and a Deoxys Attack (Red. Trust me. In this spin-off this guy is a cancer). Above the heads of these two would be the wheel that spins with a red diamond in the middle. In the left, 1/4th of the circle is color blue with the phrase millennial slumber, the other one fourth contain the word Psybeam* with 60 power. The rest of it is a Gold colored attack with the word HAX at 90 power. on the other wheel, color all of the wheel red and write the word Miss. Don't forget to add ice sticking to the rims of the right wheel since this Deo-A is frozen.

Player Cinccino is laughing while Player Garbordor is enraged. Be comical and whimsical about it.

If you have your own art suggestion for this article for 2 parts, notify me about it.
Note to the admins on Grammar and the Flying Press. No response from the first Grammarian as of now. Also, Massive update changes arrived this month. I added a few words here and there, included the Long Throw Plate Discussion, implemented the still nearly upcoming Mysterious Crystal plate on the economy section, added a conclusion for Part 1, and arranged the chapters . Not much to add but they are just as valuable.

However, for Part 2, Expect me to add a LOT of things there with the upcoming new game formats besides the existing three game modes. So, long story short, I'm afraid part 1 of this article have to be moved, again because of this update.
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empty spaces
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i'm editing a first check into the OP to save time, working on this incrementally bc it's a lot

edit: i actually don't think i'm able to check this in its current state, stay tuned for an update i guess
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i'm editing a first check into the OP to save time, working on this incrementally bc it's a lot
Sure. Take your time on the first Part. But I hope you and the other grammar editors will be ready for round 2 (Part 2 of the review) because it will be A LOT as well. With a legit job already, I have essentially 3 days to complete Part 2 of this review.


empty spaces
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jireh the provider

Apologies for the massive delay, we needed to sort a couple things out on this one, and then I got sidetracked and the GP on this one was a pretty tough nut to crack..

Anyways, you'll notice that we cut out some stuff from the article--reason is that it was too long in its previous state. I think we're on the same page when I say you want this article to help people learn this game, right--but the issue is that an article covering "everything" actually does not help with this. People need to be able to easily find the basics when looking at the article, and when I was GP checking the old version I realised after checking the entire first section that I still didn't really understand what the game even was about. So, skylight cut out a few things to make this less of a "step by step you just downloaded the game and are reading this article with your phone in your other hand" guide and more of a "okay you've played around with this game a bit and now you really want to know how it works". Apologies for taking this into our own hands, but we just wanted to keep this moving so that it wouldn't get delayed even more.

In any case, I edited a first GP check into the OP--heads-up this was very hard for me to GP check since I haven't played (or watched) the game myself and therefore was unable to understand everything fully, so this will still need a fair bit of work in the next check.
jireh the provider

Apologies for the massive delay, we needed to sort a couple things out on this one, and then I got sidetracked and the GP on this one was a pretty tough nut to crack..

Anyways, you'll notice that we cut out some stuff from the article--reason is that it was too long in its previous state. I think we're on the same page when I say you want this article to help people learn this game, right--but the issue is that an article covering "everything" actually does not help with this. People need to be able to easily find the basics when looking at the article, and when I was GP checking the old version I realised after checking the entire first section that I still didn't really understand what the game even was about. So, skylight cut out a few things to make this less of a "step by step you just downloaded the game and are reading this article with your phone in your other hand" guide and more of a "okay you've played around with this game a bit and now you really want to know how it works". Apologies for taking this into our own hands, but we just wanted to keep this moving so that it wouldn't get delayed even more.

In any case, I edited a first GP check into the OP--heads-up this was very hard for me to GP check since I haven't played (or watched) the game myself and therefore was unable to understand everything fully, so this will still need a fair bit of work in the next check.
By the way, are you considering for me to replace one of the deck strategies? Just one (the Dark Energy Strat. It's essentially a useless one). Let's just say that removing that Deoxys and Cosmo Plate deck can be problematic because many new players are likely unprepared to face it. But the again, back then, 3K was the highest competitive level. Now it's 4K. Its just that "our" Duel community is having a Smogon-like situation of constantly evolving the strategies to play the game.

So, I want to know if you either want to keep the underperforming Dark Energy Strat (most likely to the weakest synergy decks that won't bring many players far) or replace it with one of the following more efficient Decks that it is beginner friendly:

- Water Deck (Get 5 Water types and a Manaphy): easiest High level deck any new player can get

- Electric Deck (Get 5 Electric Types and a Tapu Koko): if they somehow got the current best runner in the game. Also, Shuppet is now useless in high ranking. Rip.

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