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Thoughts on a Level Ball replacement?


DJTimid85

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I've been thinking quite a bit about the upcoming rotation, not only about the new cards coming in but also about the old cards I will miss. Among the cards I will miss the most, I think Level Ball tops them. I use it in so many decks (along with Super Rod) that I'm trying to figure out a good replacement.

 

I have been/will be testing more Ultra Ball and Pokemon Fan Club, but even the Fan Club can be a let down it seems. I'm wondering how others are dealing with this problem, especially in a deck that used to run 4 Level Ball...what replacement has been working for others?

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Level ball is going to be a big loss for decks like Garchomp, Round, and anything that uses no EX with 90 health or less. As for a replacement its going to be hard. There is Pokeball that has a coin flip attached to it... not a viable option in my opinion. There is Ultra Ball which has the downside of discarding 2... this is most likely the best and only option for the time being. As for Super Rod you will likely have to run 1 Sacred Ash and 1 Super Energy Retentive and just split it up that way, who knows how that will work what with running 2 cards to do what 1 used to and the chance of them getting prizes can hurt to.

 

We will have to hope something in a future set puts out a reprint or a similar card to replace it.

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Actually, I don't think Ultra Ball can be considered an option because Level Ball is typically run alongside Ultra Ball. Level Ball will undoubtedly be the biggest loss in the upcoming rotation. At least Super Rod can be sort of replaced by Sacred Ash; Level Ball doesn't seem to have that luxury.

 

By the way, I think Fluffychomp will fall out of competitive play in Standard anyway, due to the loss of Dragon Call Gabite. This compounds the loss of Level Ball, making the rotation a blow that Fluffychomp most likely won't recover from.

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Evosoda doesn't help with the basics, but I have been running some of those in decks to see how they work. So far I feel like Pokemon Fan Club is only good on the first turn, which means I would need to run high counts to increase the odds I get it on the first turn. Otherwise, the game usually has progressed too fast for me to waste a supporter mid game on getting basics out.

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Lol the fossil pokemons are probably just as playable with fossil researcher than any evo decks and can use evo sodas since they dont need rare candy.

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Raichu is going to be a lot harder to get out, benches won't fill as quickly, and low HP basic pokemon will be too resource intensive to get out if your not lucky enough to draw into them at the right time. All this while Landorus EX and Kyurem are popping 30 bench damage T2.

 

There is no replacement for level ball.

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Back when i started playing PTCGO Emolga was played quite often in order to setup. Additionally it had free retreat.

 

In the new set we get a quite similar Pokemon: Dedenne. For one colorless energy it allows you to search your deck for 2 Pokemon and put them on the bench. It does not have the free retreat that Emolga has, but instead it has a useful attack which deals 20 DMG times the amount of Energies attached to your opponents active. Since Dedenne is a Lighting Pokemon it could actually OHKO Yveltal EX/Lugia EX with 3 energies on it with the help of Silver Bangle.

 

Maybe that one might replace Level Ball to a certain degree...

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Yes, Emolga and Dedenne could help, but at the cost of using an attack and (most likely) going down a prize since both have such low HP. Emolga may still be a good option with the new set since it resists fighting combined with the free retreat.

 

The only bad thing about Emolga/Dedenne is that it puts it on your bench, where sometimes I don't want to do that (Exeggcute/Jirachi EX spring to mind). But I'll definitely test that out.

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Unfortunately, the only option that comes to mind is fan club.. if there was a bit better Item card with drawing ability this wouldn't matter as much but the issue is using only 1 Supporter card per round. There is the option to throw away fan club with ultra ball mid/late game. If I am running fan club, the obvious supporter alternative for Drawing cards is Colress, or adding RSkates/Bicycle in replacement of Shauna or N.. If you use 3 supporter cards maxed out in your deck, along with random receiver you increase the odds of getting those crucial supporters when you need them.. instead of 2 of each supporter, and you random receiver your shadow triad first round or whatever.

 

Hope this helps with the thought process.

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To Address your question directly, No there will be no possible way to replace level ball especially for decks really dependent on them currently, it would really hurt those decks and We're certainly looking at a meta-change. Evosoda is good and I do like Pokémon Fan club, but they are no replace to level ball, however I do believe you can mend the situation in decks that aren't reliant on it.

 

3-4 Ultra Ball + 3-4 Bikes + Pokémon Fan Club will be the best core set-up system in the new meta. Without level balls to pull basics, Pokémon Fan Club is the next best option, but the downside is that it takes your supporter for the turn. This is where Ultra Ball + Bikes come in. By combining pokesearch and the ability to discard cards from your hand, bike can be used alongside Pokémon Fanclub to make up for lack of a draw supporter that turn. Also Carrying A Jirachi in your deck and 2 Pokémon Fan Clubs with 4 Ultra Balls and 4 Bikes would be an excellent and reliable system. You can Ultra Ball for Jirachi at the beginning of the game to pull a fan club (and at the beginning it is usually needed the most) which would greatly increase the chances of pulling a first turn fan club, then you can continue with bikes to make up for the lack of draw supporters, however you should also run draw supporters ontop of the bikes like junipers/N/Colress accordingly, so that your deck doesn't suffer from lack of draw power late-game, or if you have a bad starting set of cards that you need to shuffle out of to get back into the game.

 

 

Certainly there is a way to mend decks with cards legal in the current meta, but some decks might suffer beyond repair for the format change for standard legal variations of those decks. I think bike ultra ball Jirachi fanclub will be the best core system for most decks to consistently get the pokes you need into play quickly.

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