How Good is Ampharos-EX? A Rebuttal By Ulrich Dansworth

My testing Partner decided to spend the day writing a rebuttal to to my Ampharos article. I decided to post it up with his permission. This by no means negates my own feelings on the card, I still feel it is not worth the effort over something like Manectric, but all the same his Points got me thinking and that, more than anything, is what I want this Blog to really do most of all.

-/- 

Ampharos-EX

Ampharos, the Light Pokemon. It is a fairly well known electric type that made its debut in Generation 2. It was given new light… I mean life in Ancient Origins with Ampharos-EX and its Mega Evolution – M-Ampharos EX.

First let’s discuss – Ampharos EX (as a stand-alone card). It has a fairly standard 170 HP (for an EX) and features a desireable Lightning type (which won’t really matter as you will see). It also features a Fighting Weakness, Steel Resistance and a retreat cost of 2.

Ampharos EX’s first attack is “Thunder Rod” which looks through the top 4 cards of your deck and attach as many [L] energy to this Pokemon. As a fond user of Trainer Mail, I can say that hitting an energy is fairly difficult in decks that run high Trainer count. As such, to make maximum use of the attack – the goal should be to run a lower Trainer Count and a slightly Higher Energy count. This can be a fairly challenging task, but I do believe is something Ampharos EX can take advantage of.

Ampharos EX’s second attack is Sparkling Tail which deals 100 damage and isn’t affected by Weakness, Resistance or any other effects on your opponent’s Pokemon. Unfortunately, the energy cost of this attack is fairly significant and really questions if this attack is good at all. There aren’t really enough effects on your opponent’s Pokemon to warrant Sparkling Tail as a good attack. And the ignore on Weakness is also a regrettable thing as it makes Ampharos’ favorable Lightning typing useless.

With that, we have an EX with a “possible” energy acceleration, a fairly… weak attack and a “not-so-good” Fighting Weakness. There is however… hope for this Pokemon… And that comes in the form of M-Ampharos EX.

M-Ampharos EX

M Ampharos-EXI am… a big fan of Pokemon cards that can guarantee a paralysis on the opponent’s
Active. So when I saw M-Ampharos, I thought people would’ve been finding (or have found) ways to abuse this – similar to the Vanniluxe/Victini Combination.

In either case – M-Ampharos wields a tanky 220 HP and continues the tradition of a Fighting Weakness and a Steel Resistance. It, however, comes at a heavier 3 Retreat Cost.

Where M-Ampharos shines is Exavolt which for [L][L][C][C] deals 120 damage base with a possible 170 damage and guaranteed paralysis if you choose so. If you do – Ampharos will be dealt 30 damage.

Paralysis is one of the most devastating status conditions in the game. It is (in itself) a form of “Lock” where the opponent can’t attack or retreat. They can, however, use cards like Switch or Escape Rope to circumvent this.

So… IF there was a way to stop them from using those items, Ampharos would be in a fairly decent spot… You either knock-out your opponent or you paralyze them. And not only can they not play Switch or Escape Rope… they can’t play any items like Ultra Ball or Trainer Mail.

Enter Vileplume.

“The Truth” was a Worlds Deck played by Ross Cawthon in 2011. It featured a similar Vileplume alongside Reuniclus and attackers like Donphan.

We’re following a similar principle by locking the opponent’s items. This prevents them from things such as Switch or Escape Rope (like previously mentioned). This allows you to easily maintain the lock.

There are… of course… risks involving running Vileplume. These involves things such as having a Heavy Retreat cost and Lysandre being a thing. However, there are negations to this – especially with the coming of the next set bringing Float Stone to the Table.

But… How about that Fighting Weakness on Ampharos, I hear you say… Furious Fists was a thing… And to you I say… Yes… it WAS a thing. But you see… Ancient Origins brought Lightning Pokemon a little bit of help…

Assuming that “Weakness Policy” isn’t a thing due to the item lock AND the fact you’ll want to use Ampharos Spirit-Link – We have… FLASH Energy.

With Flash Energy, you can circumvent the usual weakness of Lightning Types. And it only becomes harder to remove with the item lock applied. This makes it a great counter against those nasty Groudons.

When taking into account these factors, an Ampharos decks seems pretty possible… and could be even fun to make. As to how it’ll do competitively, it will be up to the player to choose the best way forward for their own personal play style.

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