The Pokemon Sun and Moon trading card game recently released three themed decks: Forest Shadow, Roaring Heat and Bright Tide. The primary focus of this article is the Bright Tide themed deck. Bright Tide features the water Pokemon, Primarina. The overall theme of this deck is patience, and it features some fairly advanced strategies. Bright Tide will teach players about recycling cards (through Herdier) and will get you into the habit of discarding energy for extra damage. Once you master your resources and effectively build up your bench, you will be able to crush your opponents!
Bright Tide Card List
First of all, let’s take a look at the cards in the deck:
- Lillipup x 2
- Herdier x 2
- Chinchou x 2
- Psyduck x 2
- Corsola x 2
- Spearow x 2
- Shellder x 2
- Wingull x 2
- Popplio x 3
- Brionne x 2
- Primarina x 2
- Togedemaru x 2
- Potion x 2
- Nest Ball x 2
- Ultra Ball
- Timer Ball x 2
- Energy Retrieval
- Professor Kukui
- Hau x 2
- Electric x 8
- Water x 12
Bright Tide features a number of filler Pokemon. Spearow in particular is not going to contribute much unless you are facing a Grass deck.Then Spearow will provide 40 damage off of one energy, which is pretty nice. Otherwise, Spearow is just Ultra Ball fodder. In addition to Spearow, Psyduck and Golduck can also be hit or miss depending on your hand. If you have an abundance of water energy then Golduck can do massive damage with Double Jet. Double Jet costs one water energy, and let’s you discard up to 2 more water energy from your hand to do 60 damage per discard. However this deck relies on energy management, and so you may not want to discard the water energy without an Energy Retrieval on deck. But enough about the filler Pokemon, you came here to learn more about the featured Pokemon, Primarina.
Now right off the bat you can tell that Popplio does not offer much. This all changes once you evolve to Brionne. Wave Splash is alright, but the power begins to come when you have the energy for Disarming Voice. Primarina though, is the jewel of Bright Tide. Primarina has access to Disarming Voice and Sparkling Aria, all behind an impressive 150 HP bulk. Sparkling Aria not only hits hard but has a heal component as well, ensuring that you stay in the fight. Primarina can nab three or four prize cards, easily.
One of the main foci of the Bright Tide deck is patience and effective resource management. I feel that is heavily implied with the Pokemon that surround Primarina. A few Pokemon that will help you learn these strategies are Wingull, Herdier and Togedemaru.
When I first used the Bright Tide deck, I wrote Wingull off as useless. However I quickly found that I was using him incorrectly. Wingull is actually an effective lead Pokemon as he is able to stall in the early game for a long time against other Basics. At one energy, Wingull can heal the damage done by a lot of Basic Pokemon, and can survive just long enough to give you extra turns. Extra turns translates to extra time to set up your bench. Once I started using Wingull in this manner, I found that I was better able to set up my second round of attacks.
Herdier stands as the only Pokemon with an ability in this entire deck. Luckily for us, it is a great ability! Whenever we play Herdier from our hand, Treasure Hunt allows us to search our discard pile for an Item card and add it to our hand. This can allow for some epic combos. You can add four energy to your hand from the discard pile by playing Energy Retrieval, Herdier to Treasure Hunt the Energy Retrieval right back, and playing it once more. With enough cards in your hand, you can pull off a double Ultra Ball combo, which pretty much gets you a Stage 2 Pokemon in the wings. For me the biggest downside of this deck, is that there are not enough Item cards to take advantage of with Treasure Hunt.
Lastly we have Togedemaru. I was not sure if I should include him on the list, but he does provide a significant lesson to learn. Togedemaru can provide massive damage if you load him with electric energy. Remember that four energy combo we talked about?
Unlike Forest Shadow and Roaring Heat, I really struggled to find some amazing or all-star Pokemon in Bright Tide. Sure the Pokemon in this deck work well together, but individually I had a hard time finding one that I felt could thrive outside of this deck (except Primarina of course). But after I played a few more matches I settled on two Pokemon that I felt I used nearly consistently, Cloyster and Lanturn.
I really let the ball drop with Cloyster. I should have been using him from the beginning. With two energy you get access to Headlock, which does a base 30 damage and you flip a coin. If you get heads, you get an extra 30 damage. Tails, your opponent’s active Pokemon is now Paralyzed. So your choices are either 60 damage, or 30 damage and pretty much a free turn. This is, in most theme deck formats, a win-win at the cost of two energy. If you add the third energy you can use Guard Press. This attack does an impressive 80 damage, and makes Cloyster take 20 less damage from your opponent’s attacks next turn. The biggest downside to Cloyster is that he takes three energy to retreat. If you’re lucky though, you can paralyze your enemy indefinitely before needing to worry about retreating.
Lanturn was the one Pokemon I knew for sure I was going to include on this list. For just one energy, you can keep your opponent confused. I am a huge fan of the confusion status, as it gives you a 50% chance to avoid damage for a turn and hurt your opponent. At three energy though, you get Aqua Spark. At first glance, three energy for 60 damage is not much. But if you have a mix of electric and water energy on Lanturn, then Aqua Spark does an extra 60 damage for a total of 120 damage. This gives Lanturn the opportunity to sweep an opponent’s unprepared bench easily.
Bright Tide is different from Roaring Heat and Forest Shadow in that it trades out the Big Malasada Item card for an extra Potion. Otherwise there are no major differences between them. The addition of Herdier in Bright Tide however, allows you access to some phenomenal item combos. Double up on Ultra Ball to pick out the full Primarina evolutionary line. The Timer Ball Item card has you flip 2 coins, and for each heads you get you can search your deck for an Evolution Pokemon. Don’t like the coin flip result, or just want to use it again? Use Herdier’s Treasure Hunt ability to fill your deck with evolved Pokemon. Remember, Treasure Hunt only works on Item cards and not Supporter cards, so you can’t use Hau and expect to get him back.
Speaking of the new Supporter cards, it really does not feel like Professor Kukui adds much to this deck. Don’t get me wrong, drawing two cards and getting an extra 20 damage for a turn is fantastic. It just does not feel like it fits this deck well. Use it when you can knock out an opposing Pokemon to grab a Prize Card, and make it a three card draw.
The other two new supporters are Hau and Lillie. Hau is the Sun and Moon “Draw 3 Cards” Supporter, like Tierno before him. Lillie lets you draw back up to six cards in your hand, but if you play her on your first turn you can draw up to eight. I constantly find my hand to be really low during the mid-game using Bright Tide, so hope for a Lillie draw then. This will allow you to maximize your gains and get back card advantage.
The Bright Tide deck rewards patience and teaches new players how to effectively manage energy resources. In the Sun and Moon games, Primarina was a Special Attack Pokemon as well as a performer through practice. If you practice this deck well and learn the combos, you can put on a show that will dazzle your opponent and leave them speechless. This deck does suffer from consistency issues, but that is mostly due to having dual energy types.
If possible, lead with Wingull to stall in the beginning. Wingull’s effectiveness drops as the game goes on and the enemy gets a developed bench. If you are alright with using Wingull as a sacrifice, you can end up being better prepared for your second Pokemon. Make sure to take advantage of Herdier’s Treasure Hunt ability! There are two in the deck, so you can even combo Herdier with another Herdier by using Timer Balls. This type of card management will help you develop into an effective player. If you have an abundance of electric energy, consider using Togedemaru to obliterate one of your opponent’s bulkier Pokemon. Bright Tide does not have that much electric energy, so make it count.
When you’re ready to mount your attack, consider starting with Cloyster to weaken your opponent’s Pokemon. He can do decent damage with Headlock and even stall somewhat with Guard Press. His retreat cost is very high, so unless you can retrieve that energy it may be best to let him get knocked out. When you are ready to start sweeping, use Lanturn with the dual energy and watch the prize cards flow in. And of course, do everything possible to get Primarina on the field. Primarina can turn the tide of battle and needs to be used at every opportunity.
Bright Tide is tricky to use at first, but becomes fun to play once you learn the strategies behind it. Unfortunately, I doubt any of the cards make it out of theme format. What do you think about Bright Tide? Are you a fan of Primarina? Are you enjoying Treasure Hunt? Let me know about it in the comments below.
Sun and Moon officially launch on February 3, 2017. Until then, good luck and I’ll see you on the battlefield!