Gourgeist is a jerk move. The entire card makes me laugh, but in a good way. Lemme break it down...
It's funny to play this card and have your opponent immediately know what comes next, and knowing there's not a lot they can do about it. In case you're not absolutely up to date with your obscure Pokemon cards, let me refresh you. For just one energy, this Pokemon can deal out 20 damage on every Pokemon on your opponents side. Getting this Pokemon out before your opponent has time to set up a slow deck can mean an immediate win for you, and with that one attack alone. If you don't have this Pokemon out until your opponent has their super beefed up Stage 2 ( Or even an EX ) fully charged and in an active position, attach ONE MORE Psychic energy to Gourgeist. With it, Gourgeist can drain both your opponent's active Pokemon and it's own HP till they're both down to 10 HP. At that point, POKING either Pokemon could fell them.
Strategies and game play:
Using this card's very first attack straight away is a good way to take an early ( if not slightly frustrating ) victory. It will slowly whittle away your opponent's entire party. If they play a lot of Basics to begin with, your win is merely three turns away. Even if they evolve and get set up quickly, all that spread out damage does you good in the long run. They'll have to heal each Pokemon individually, if at all. Gourgeist is a GREAT starting Pokemon, and will work well with Flashfire's Meowstic, which allows you to move damage counters around as you wish.
Using this card's second attack is risky, but if you're planning on playing sacrifice anyway, it's the best form of beneficial self-destruction in the current format. It demands you put damage counters on both Gourgeist and your opponent's active Pokemon until they are both at only 10 HP. If you can manage a Hypnotoxic Laser before using this attack, it will immediately knock out your opponent's active Pokemon. Just be wary of what they put out next!
Combos with other cards:
Coming May 7th, 2014, is a new Pokemon TCG expansion called Flashfire. According to Bulbapedia, one of the new cards in the set is a peculiar Meowstic. It has an attack that allows you to manipulate already placed Damage Counters on your Opponent's side however you'd like. Using Gourgeist to spread damage across all of your opponents Pokemon, then focusing all the damage on one or two particular trouble makers with Meowstic will help clear a path to victory. I recommend running these two cards in a deck together with Switches, Pokemon Catchers, and Escape Ropes, to help keep control over your opponent and their party - as well your own.
Ways to counteract it:
This card is a speedy harbinger of humiliating defeat. The only way to keep it from messing you up is to take it out early. It's a Stage 1 card, meaning it has to evolve, which means you have a few turns (or less) to Pokemon Catcher/Escape Rope it into an active position and destroy it before its capable of anything worse than a short bout of confusion. If you can't destroy it, but it's still in an active position, pull a preemptive "Jerk Move" of your own and use a few Team Flare Grunts to make sure it can't charge energy. Discarding just one energy off Gourgeist can make all the difference.
- Great starting Pokemon
- Low energy costs
- Deals lots of damage
- Sturdy, high HP
- Stage 1, needs to evolve
- A danger to itself, might not last long
- Stiff attacks, may have to bend over backwards to use them right
- A TOTAL JERK MOVE
I have to give Gourgeist a solid 6/10
Gourgeist has given me a lot of early victories, and has generally helped in my battles with friends countless times, but it hasn't ever lasted long after the fact. Since it practically kills itself, it makes me wonder why I use it sometimes, and makes me super nervous when its in play. It becomes thin ice below my trembling feet when my opponent is only one prize card away from beating me, and not only because its only super powerful attack deals damage to itself, but because the only alternative to dealing damage to yourself is to do very minimal damage to your opponent's active. Gourgeist has potential. It FEELS like a versatile card, even if I haven't had the chance to explore that side of it. But it's always going to be codependent, and cripplingly so, needing four or so cards stapled to it to make it even slightly passable as a card you'd play mid-battle, and considering it needs to evolve, mid-battle is where you're going to find it most often. I still can't help but recommend this card, mostly to less serious players, and it's still one of my favourite cards to come out of the new expansions. It's just a huge jerk move.