Voltorb43's Trainers 101: Healing and Defense
(As seen on Pokeschool!!!)
Chapter 4 - Healing and Defense
This is not a major priority with most good Pokemon players and many good decks don't include any of the Trainers we'll look at in this article. It's not that keeping your Pokemon healthy isn't important--it's just that most players like to build lots of speed and power into their decks and often there just isn't room in a 60 card deck to add enough healing and defense along with all the other Trainers to do any good.
Still, we'll take a look at several defensive and healing Trainers and see which ones might be worth including, and which ones aren't worth the deck space they take up.
This card is so common and so unused I have nearly 100 of them. Playing Potion lets you remove 2 damage counters (20 damage) from any one of your Pokemon. Novice players often think this is good and want to use it.
In reality, Potion is too weak to be of much benefit. There are times when removing 20 damage can extend your Pokemon's life an extra turn, but against a powerful attacker like Wigglytuff, you can remove 20 damage from your active Pokemon and Wiggly can still knock it out next turn most of the time. Don't waste space putting this in your deck.
SUPER POTION (Base):
This is a bit better. Super Potion lets you remove 40 damage from one of your Pokemon, but you have to discard an energy card from that Pokemon to do it. The energy discard means that removing the damage often costs that Pokemon its ability to use its best attack.
About the only place where Super Potion is really useful is in a stall deck. That's a special kind of deck where you don't attack much. You try to win by using high Hit Point Pokemon and concentrate on preventing and removing damage. The idea is to make your Pokemon so hard to knock out that your opponent runs out of cards in his draw pile before he can score six knockouts.
In any other kind of deck, the cost of using Super Potion usually isn't worth the benefit.
This card doesn't remove damage, it prevents it from happening in the first place. This card works differently from most Trainers. You attach it to one of your Pokemon and discard it just before you start your next turn.
When Defender is attached to a Pokemon, it lowers any attack damage it takes by 20. You may attach more than one Defender to the same Pokemon. If you do that, each one prevents 20 damage.
If you attach Defender then use an attack where your Pokemon damages itself (like Chansey's Double Edge), Defender lowers that damage by 20 too.
Like Potion, Defender really isn't very useful against powerful attackers, but if you have a deck with a weak basic like Abra or Magikarp, Defender can sometimes save it from being knocked out before you can evolve it.
BERRY/GOLD BERRY (Neo Genesis):
These are special Trainers called Pokemon Tools. You attach them to one of your Pokemon, but unlike Defender that must be discarded before you start your next turn, a Pokemon Tool stays attached until it is needed. It will even remain attached if the Pokemon it's attached to evolves.
Berry and Gold Berry both do the same thing. They remove damage from the Pokemon they are attached to. Berry removes 20 and Gold Berry removes 40 damage.
The key to these Trainers is WHEN they work. Both Berry and Gold Berry work between turns. If your active Pokemon has Gold Berry attached to it and your opponent's attack does damage, your Pokemon still takes that damage. If the damage is enough to knock your Pokemon out, then Gold Berry doesn't help any.
However, if you take the damage and are not knocked out, Gold Berry kicks in before your turn starts and removes 40 damage. If your Pokemon has less than 40 damage on it between turns, then nothing happens, but the Gold Berry stays attached until it gets 40 or more damage on it. After removing the damage, Gold Berry is discarded.
Some Pokemon like promo Arcanine have attacks that get stronger as they get more damage on them. Attaching a Gold Berry to one of these Pokemon would let it do a big attack, then Gold Berry would remove 40 damage. If your opponent's next attack didn't knock Arcanine out, he would get a second big attack.
I don't anticipate using Berry much, but Gold Berry would be worth putting into a deck where you need to prolong the life of a big attacker.
MOO MOO MILK (Neo Genesis):
I don't care much for this card. Since the amount of damage it removes is based on a coin flip, it's possible it will do you no good at all. If I'm going to put any healing Trainers in my deck, I want them to at least be reliable.
Some Pokemon have attacks that can make their opponents Confused, Asleep, Paralyzed or Poisoned. If your active Pokemon is Asleep or Paralyzed, it can't attack or retreat. If it's Confused, it can try to attack or retreat but might not be able to. If it's Confused and tries to attack, it might attack itself instead of your opponent. If it's Poisoned, it takes extra damage after every turn.
Some players build decks whose battle plan is to inflict these status effects on their opponents, but since most Pokemon can't do those attacks, it is generally not necessary to have the Trainers to remove those effects in your deck.
However, if you play against a lot of status decks, or if your deck relies heavily on a Pokemon Power that stops working if your Pokemon is Confused, Asleep or Paralyzed, you might want to include a couple copies of one of these Trainers.
FULL HEAL (Base):
When you play this card, any status effect on your active Pokemon is removed. You can then attack or retreat normally. Playing this card also restores any Pokemon Power that was turned off as a result of the effect.
A good alternative to having Full Heal in your deck is to use Full Heal Energy. This is a special Energy card that supplies one colorless energy, but it also works like a Full Heal when you attach it to one of your Pokemon. If your deck has Pokemon in it that can use colorless energy, putting Full Heal Energy in your deck is a way to carry protection against status effects and still have room for other Trainers.
MIRACLE BERRY (Neo Genesis):
This is another Pokemon Tool that you attach to one of your Pokemon. If the Pokemon it's attached to ever gets a status effect on it, Miracle Berry removes it between turns.
Again, the only time you might need this in your deck is if you play against a lot of status decks or if you rely heavily on a Pokemon Power and you want to be sure your opponent doesn't turn it off.
If you're like most players, you won't use these cards much, but I did want you to at least know a little bit about them.