When playing TGC Online verse the computer I noticed that the computer moves to fill its bench and start building it s pokemon up as quick as possible. Last night I played several games against random humans and noticed they all seemed to keep their bench pretty empty. As needed they would put new pokemon out so I am pretty sure they had them in their hand the hole time.
Which is more successful, and why? I have been building my bench leaving 1 or 2 spots open for my better pokemon otherwise I have been pretty much building my bench up as fast as I can.
Hey Vydor !
It all depends on what style of deck you are playing !
If you are playing a deck which runs a Stage 2 Pokemon, you will need to ensure that you bench a minimum of 2 copies of the basic form to ensure that you can use "Rare Candy" next turn or following turns to ensure that your Stage 2 Pokemon is on the field.
Examples of this deck would be Blastoise/Keldeo-EX,Hydregion/Darkrai-EX and Coballion-EX/Kling-Klang.
Once you bench a Pokemon, you have essentially committed that Pokemon to the field of play. This means it can be targeted for bench damage attacks (such as Darkrai-EX Night Spear for 30 on a benched Pokemon.) Pokemon Catcher can bring that Pokemon to the active position to either try and stall you so that you are forced to commit resources retreating the Pokemon such as using Switch or forced to attach energy to that Pokemon in order to retreat it.
Overall if you bench a Pokemon it has to serve a purpose. You can't just bench 5 Pokemon in previous formats when Pokemon Catcher was not around, so your basic Pokemon were safe from being pulled to the active position.
Also benching a lot of Pokemon early will now benefit your opponent with the new supporter Colress. Since Colress states that you draw the amount of cards for each benched Pokemon on the field, this means you will be helping your opponent more if you just decide to bench Pokemon for the sake of it.
Any Pokemon on the bench needs to be placed at the right time. There is no good benching a Pokemon that you don't plan to use in the next couple of turns otherwise it is just a target waiting to be knocked out in the later stages of the game, when you want to force your opponent to be attacking your main attacker which normally is a big EX Pokemon which can tank a fair amount of hits and won't give your opponent easy prizes.
So my online deck is pretty weak. I claimed 20 booster packs to try and make something,but eh. I have 2 good pokemon though that if i can get out early, and fill with energy I can cut through quite a few prize cards.
Last night I had 2 wining strategies..
1) I played Sable eye on the first turn with a single dark energy. Sable Eye stayed out THE ENTIRE GAME. I kept the defending Pokemon confused, and had enough potions to survive the few attacks that made it through. I won the game when he ran out of cards. His hand was much better, but he could not make it through the confuse ray.
2) I got my main two attackers vai Pokemon Communication and kept them on the bench until I had enough energy to slide them in to play. I let him/her KO my active Pokemon and moved my main guy up. I used Energy Retrieve to pull back energy lost and fill out my second attack Pokemon. He/she did not survive the onslaught of my first poke-attacker and I won in the next 5 turns with one hit knock outs mostly.
I also went down hard in a couple games because I could not draw any energy to do anything with. The first game I had 3 energy cards TOTAL when the game ended. Bah.
Cards like pokemon catcher, raikou, and other snipe cards are the reason why it's better to keep a pokemon in your hand until you need to play it. If you are playing a stage 1 or 2 pokemon deck, you need to get them down in the first or second turn and evolve them fast. If you need to build up a pokemon later in the game, you should put two of the basic form down at once. That way, they can only snipe one and you can evolve the other one next turn. If you play them down just for the sake of filling the bench, they become fodder for your opponent to get an easy prize through sniping. The computer can't think this way, but players know this through experience.