Top 6 Normal Pokemon Cards: Jungle Expansion
The Jungle Set
Like many kids, I didn't even know how to play the TCG, I just enjoyed collecting and trading the cards. As an adult, I can better appreciate the strategic aspects of the game, and still love to scour through cards and find the best of the best.
Recently, I stumbled upon the Jungle expansion, the first expansion ever released. It debuted new cards of all types, and some of the best were the Normal Pokemon; they could fuel their attacks with any element of energy, allowing them to fit snugly into any deck.
Let's take a trip through time and review the six best Normal types of this classic set!
Jungle Set Quiz
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Basic Pokemon can be played from your hand as you like.
Stage 1 Pokemon are evolutions that must be played on a corresponding Basic Pokemon.
Stage 2 Pokemon are further evolutions to be played on corresponding Stage 1 Pokemon.
Like many Normal types, Persian resists Psychic but takes extra damage from Fighting. A Stage 1, it enters with a decent 70 HP, and can retreat for free! He's also got two simple attacks:
- Scratch (2 energy) Slices for 20 damage. Not the best, but good to have while accumulating energy for..
- Pounce (3 energy) Lands a nice 30, and reduces any hit Persian takes the next turn by 10, blending offense and defense.
A solid jack-of-all-trades who can easily withdraw, Persian aided many beginning decks.
Fearow's power rivals that of fellow card Pidgeot, but you only have to evolve a Spearow once to access it. Like Persian, it has 70 HP and no Retreat Cost! Fearow differs by being weak to Electric and resisting Fighting.
- Agility (3 energy) Only cranks out 20 damage, but has a nice bonus effect: landing a Heads on a coin flip prevents all effects of attacks (damage and otherwise) done to Fearow the next turn.
- Drill Peck (4 energy) When raw power is needed, an extra energy unlocks Drill Peck, which simply nails foes for 40 damage.
Another great card with superb offense, defense, and a free retreat, Fearow bolstered many teams.
Yet another Stage 1 with 70 HP and a free retreat, Dodrio shares the same weakness and resistance as Fearow.
- Retreat Aid (Poke-Power) Works great since it activates from the Bench, allowing Dodrio to help even when it's not your Active Pokemon. It reduces your squad's Retreat Cost by one energy.
- Rage (3 energy) Hammers only 10.. but it increases by 10 for each damage counter on Dodrio, potentially dishing out a whopping 70 damage!
Formidable on the Bench or in play, Dodrio supported decks.
Another Stage 1, Clefable has (you guessed it) 70 HP! No free retreat this time, but take a look at its energy-efficient attacks.
- Metronome (1 energy) Loads of fun. For a single energy, you copy one of the Defending Pokemon's attacks, but lets you ignore the activation conditions. This allowed you to quickly use powerful moves, including ones that normally require you to discard an energy!
- Minimize (2 energy) reduces damage to Clefable on the next turn by 20. Nice to have, but usually you'll only need Metronome; I'd save the energy for another Pokemon. Still, it can stall opponents, useful if they're Poisoned.
An unpredictable but powerful card, Clefable's always thrilling to play.
Gasp! Not all Normal-types have 70 HP! Snorlax, a Basic Pokemon (Munchlax wasn't around yet) requires no evolution to access his hefty 90 HP. Just keep his huge Retreat Cost of 4 in mind.
- Thick-Skinned (Poke-Power)Saves Snorlax from most status conditions, an incredibly useful boon.
- Body Slam (4 energy) Mashes for 30 damage, and has a 50% chance to Paralyze foes, making it a sweet addition to Snorlax's repertoire.
A status-resisting tank with a good attack, Snorlax proved himself worthy of many Trainers.
A Basic Pokemon, Kangaskhan also arrives with a great 90 HP, as well as the typical resistance to Psychic and weakness to Fighting.
- Fetch (1 energy) Simply lets you draw a card, a great deal for its single energy cost. This helps ensure you never run out of energy or Trainer cards to play.
- Comet Punch (4 energy) Flips 4 coins, slamming foes with 20 damage per Heads. This attack fluctuates between 0 and 80 damage, typically landing about 40.
Kangaskhan has the power and HP of an evolved Pokemon, but enters as a Basic, allowing you to wield its card-drawing and damage-dealing powers whenever you have the energy for them. Give this awesome card a try when building retro decks!
Which classic Normal-type do you prefer?
Hopefully today's list highlighted some awesome Pokemon and let old fans revisit classic cards.
Normal Pokemon added some much-needed variability in the early stages of the TCG due to their multi-deck synergy, and I'm sure we'll encounter many more of them in future sets.
For now, feel free to vote for your favorite, and I'll see you at our countdown of the next expansion: the Fossil set!