TCG CotD. Day 5, Gym Heroes Erika's Dratini

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Thread: TCG CotD. Day 5, Gym Heroes Erika's Dratini

  1. #1
    Registered User Palbert6393's Avatar
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    Default TCG CotD. Day 5, Gym Heroes Erika's Dratini

    Day #5 Erika's Dratini (Gym Heroes #42) See main bulbapedia article here



    Erika's Dratini is part of the deck archetype Barrier Swap, along with Alakazam (Base Set #1) and Chansey (Base Set #3). When the cards in this deck were legal to play, it did not see nearly as much use as the Haymaker, but still considerable. Erika's Dratini, just like Cleffa (see TCG CotD #4), is a pokemon that appears weak, only useful to evolve. This is quite the misconception, however, as the Barrier Swap deck can be quite useful in taking down the Haymaker, with Erika's Dratini as it's main attacker.

    What makes Erika's Dratini so powerful is its Pokemon Power: Strange Barrier. Whenever Erika's Dratini is attacked by a basic pokemon, any attack that would do 20 or more damage is reduced to 10. Sounds like a mediocre effect, just used to stall Dratini's eventual demise. This is not the case, however, as one thing you may not know is that evolutions were not as prevelant in the metagame as they are now, due to the Haymaker's ability to takes down the basic pokemon needed to evolve before they can be evolved. But wait, there's more. The main reason behind Dratini's sucsess is Alakazam's Pokemon Power: Damage Swap. Once per turn, it allows you to move 1 damage counter from one of your Pokemon to another. This effect is used to move the damage counter that Dratini accumulates each turn, and put the counter onto Chansey, who has a whopping (at the time) 120HP. If Chansey's health gets to low, the player can use Scoop Up (Base Set #78) to return Chansey to his or her hand, then play Chansey right back onto his or her bench. This makes Dratini quite the nasty thing to get rid of for only having 40HP

    Dratini's only attack, Tail Strike, has a cost of two colorless energy (which can be taken care of with a double colorless energy). It does 10 damage, 30 if the coin flip is heads. While this isn't much, it will whittle down your opponent evetually (or one player decks themselves), because any damage done to Dratini from a basic Pokemon is moved to Chansey.

    Personally, I would combine Erika's Dratini, Alakazam, and Chansey with Aerodactyl (Fossil #1), which prevents pokemon from evolving. If Aerodactyl is played, Dratini cannot take more than 10 damage a turn, almost assuring its invinsibility.

    Erika Dratini was released once in America (Gym Heroes #42)(uncommon), and has been rotated out of play for nearly 10 years. In Japan, it saw a second release with alternate artwork as a promotional card (as shown below), although this version was never brought stateside.



    Information and pictures from site linked to above, and Barrier Swap article on Bulbapedia

    P.S. If anyone reads these articles, and has negative feedback, go ahead and post. As this is new, and a work in progress, I want to know what can be improved upon. Also, I will not be writing any article tomorrow, and possibly not Sunday due to being quite busy.
    Last edited by Palbert6393; 8th January 2011 at 11:46 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: TCG CotD. Day 5, Gym Heroes Erika's Dratini

    Nice read.

    No negative comments from me.

  3. #3
    Registered User Deltah's Avatar
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    Default Re: TCG CotD. Day 5, Gym Heroes Erika's Dratini

    I'm shocked at how good that card is, based on that! Really amazing. If I had looked at the card myself, I wouldn't have thought to apply it to a deck in that way.

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