Complete Set Review! Call of Legends! Epic!

Every time a new set gets released I really want to see a comprehensive review, on a card by card basis, done by someone in the know. I would also love to go back and see this for every past set.

I’m not saying I’m an authority, but I know my way around the Pokémon TCG and I haven’t seen a full set review for Call of Legends so I give you my take here.

These are my opinions, feel free to disagree, just tell me why! I am rating all cards based on what they are. For example, Garchomp C Level X would get 5/5 for an awesome main attacker to base a deck around, while Gastly SF would also get 5/5 for being an excellent starter and the best basic form of (to use in a very successful deck). Garchomp C gets rated as an attacker, Gastly on his ability to help us set up.

I will be marking each card on their use at the Prerelease (PR) (don’t forget how these can be!), their use in our current meta-game (MG) and their art. I will not go into hideous depth for each card (we all want to go home tonight) but rather consider the standout features.

I know the Prereleases have mostly been and gone, but this being a reprint set it wasn’t possible to predict the set til this past weekend. Anyway, there’s launch parties next weekend in Derby and Nottingham in the UK, so there may be some where you’re from.

Note from the editors: Have this page handy when you read this article, we didn’t have the patience to insert all 87 card scans… sorry! Also apologies for any spelling/grammar issues we missed… this is a LONG article.

Enjoy!

Key:

PR = Prerelease
MG = Current Metagame (Modified Format)
Art = Artwork

Contents

  • Overview
  • 001 – Clefable (Colourless)

    pokebeach.comCan anyone say donk a Garchomp C? “Fairy Power” could be useful for reusing Uxies or picking up benched Pokémon for other reasons (say you put them down to avoid a donk but don’t want them on the bench) and “Moon Impact” can be ok, especially early game.

    It’s also nice that each attack can be done for a Double Colourless Energy (DCE). Get one of these up nice and early and it could be good for you but ultimately there are better starters and after a couple turns Clefable will be killed by any attacker in any half-decent deck.

    – PR: 3/5 (Ok as an attacker if you have nothing else but few cards worth picking off the bench)

    – MG: 2/5 (Some uses but so many better cards)

    – Art: 4.5/5 (He looks like he WANTS to donk a Garchomp C)

    002 – Deoxys (Psychic)

    Play this at a Prerelease, with a high energy count, and you could be onto a winner. It’s a basic Pokémon and at a Prerelease 60 damage can be good. It will also (mostly) completely self-heal, turning it into a bit of a tank, especially as it will take most people a few turns to be doing 80 damage.

    Outside of this 60 for PPP is bad and the healing is almost irrelevant as there are so many Pokémon (including pretty much all the main attackers) who will 1HKO this.

    – PR: 4/5 (If you can get it going you should take a couple prizes at least)

    – MG: 1/5 (Just not good enough)

    – Art: 3/5 (Looks a tad weird and essentially has no left arm, but the picture screams cool)

    003 – Dialga (Metal)

    Now this is an odd one. On the face of it, it looks horrendous but it might have some nice situational uses. It could form a lovely combo with C (although the retreat cost of 3 hurts this a lot) and with the resistance to psychic, emptying of your hand (no trainers!) a lack of a Poké-Power (not to mention the ability to use special metal energies, Snowpoint Temple and Expert Belt to tank more), it would take SF Gengar a while to kill (unless it fell prey to “Fainting Spell”).

    Otherwise 4 for 70 is bad, the retreat cost hurts and having an empty hand could be terrible if you weren’t completely set up. As a side note, it can also help you not deck out…..

    – PR: 4/5 (Hard to get going, but hitting for 70 is good and this set does have special metals)

    – MG: 2.5/5 (Probably never going to be played, but I can see some quirky combos coming)

    – Art: 3/5 (I have never seen Dialga look so cute)

    004 – Espeon (Psychic)

    This is a reprint from Undaunted. I’ve seen it played a few times but rarely. “Solar Suggestion” can be useful but against most decks the 90 HP and x2 weakness to psychic will mean it gets killed far too quickly to actually use. “Psybeam” is very much a last resort attack and 3 for PC (even with confusion) is not good enough.

    Saying that, in Prereleases it IS good. It can heal itself (and is much less likely to be 1HKOed) as well as hitting Pokémon on the bench (where there are likely to be some low HP Pokémon). I owned an Undaunted Prerelease with this bad boy and you could too!

    – PR: 4/5 (1 energy, healing and picking easy prizes from the bench)

    – MG: 1/5 (It’s just too fragile and ineffective against any decent deck)

    – Art: 3.5/5 (Look how warm he is!)

    005 – Foretress (Metal)

    This, again, is a reprint from Undaunted. It’s a stage 1 which basically relies on swarming and could make a fun league deck. With Bebes, Pokémon Communication, Uxie LA, Luxury Ball, Pokémon Collector, BTS and Rare Candy it shouldn’t be too hard to get 3 (if not 4) of these rolling in 2-3 turns, where you can be doing up to 120 for a DCE and a M.

    Seems awesome, but as you hurt your Pokémon too you can only really attack for 3 turns and recovery of all 3-4 Foretress will be incredibly difficult. You could run Manectric PL or Bench Shield to protect your bench but you then risk speed and consistency.

    90 HP is also very fragile in today’s format (even counting special metal and its use here). Seems awesome but this is not the next Speedrill. It will however make a fun (and cheap) league deck and will get a few wins if made correctly. Give it a go!

    – PR: 3/5 (Doubt you’ll be swarming these but mirror shot could be useful here)

    – MG: 3/5 (Good fun deck, someone may make it amazing)

    – Art: 1.5/5 (Doesn’t do anything for me, sorry!)

    006 – Groudon (Fighting)

    pokebeach.comIt really sucks how cool these legends look, because they play horribly. 100 HP is solid for a basic, but 80 for 4 is bad. The effect of “Volcano Stomp” could be awesome, but it could also completely ruin the game for you and with a massive CCCC retreat cost he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

    When you consider Donphan is a Stage 1 with 120HP, an awesome Poké-body and 90 damage for FFF with no downside, it’s not likely you’ll need to tech in a grass Pokémon to take down anytime soon. The LA Groudon is not good but it’s far better than this one.

    – PR: 2/5 (If you can get enough energy on him, and get lucky with flips he can win it for ya. IF!)

    – MG: 1/5 (No. Just no)

    – Art: 5/5 (He’s gonna stomp you! He also seems to have fire wings!)

    007 – Gyarados (Water)

    Here we have a HGSS reprint. Now like Groudon and other Pokémon in this set, he takes a while to get going, but it’s worth it. My advice, keep him on the bench, get 4 energy on him and then let him loose with Hyper Beam.

    Not only will you be doing 80 damage per turn but you automatically discard one of their energy with no downside for you. This will severely hamper their attempts to set up and recover.

    For the metagame though it’s useless. Even when SF Gyarados gets rotated out there will be better water Pokémon (especially as in a slower format Feraligatr prime can help slower, stronger water Pokémon become relevant again).

    – PR: 4/5 (If you have time to get 4 energy on him, it is all good!)

    – MG: 2/5 (Too slow and nothing special)

    – Art: 2/5 (Compare it to cards like SF and MT Gyarados!)

    008 – Hitmontop (Fighting)

    Here we have a reprint from HGSS. There is one use for Hitmontop: getting him out T1 and using “Triple Kick”. Otherwise, he’s useless. I mean 60 for 3 energy AND with the downside that the next turn your opponent does 20 more damage, and you only had 60HP to begin with! (Clefable will be loving this though ;)

    At a Prerelease he’s worth putting in for possible early kills. Otherwise, pop him in the binder and admire how shiny he is.

    – PR: 3/5 (Excellent if you get him T1 with an energy and good flips)

    – MG: 1/5 (Really, really bad!)

    – Art: 1/5 (Cartoon drawing is horrible and he looks like he’s flying….)

    009 – Ho-oh (Fire)

    Here we have a bird. A bird with a retreat cost of CCC! Combine that with massively overpriced attacks and it’s not good. Could be good at the Prerelease if you get him powered up, but hit a tails on “Scorching Wing” and you can’t retreat (due to the big retreat cost) or do big damage. If you have another energy in hand you can do 50 but it won’t feel good.

    – PR: 3/5 (Can be good but takes too long to power him up and it could wrong quickly)

    – MG: 1/5 (If you must have a fire bird that kills your energy, go for Moltres MD)

    – Art: 3.5/5 (Picture is cool but doesn’t fit the background)

    010 – Houndoom (Dark)

    – Another reprint from Undaunted. Now THIS is a good card. Not states winning good but very playable and a beast at the Prerelease. 20 for D is ok, but if the opponent had a fighting Pokémon on the bench (and there are several decent, common fighting Pokémon in this set that your opponent may be using) then you’re doing 80 for one dark energy. This is good. If not, “Dark Roar” does 50 for DD and forces your opponent to discard a card from their hand. In the metagame as a whole this can be useful (seen it used well in a couple decks) but needs the right deck (disruption deck tech etc).

    – PR: 4/5 (Very useful and low energy cost)

    – MG: 3/5 (Not amazing but finds its way into some good decks)

    – Art: 2/5 (The art on the UD one is better)

    011 – Jirachi (Psychic)

    pokebeach.comHere we have a reprint from Unleashed. This has potential but before we get to that there is a huge stumbling block: 60HP and a x2 weakness to Psychic. Every deck runs Uxie. Uxie will do 40 to him without expert belt, plus power, the Level X etc. So he will not last long, he better be able to do something good while he’s around.

    Now “Time Hollow” has potential, especially in terms of Knocking Out Pokémon by devolving them but unless you can score the knockout it really is a bit pointless. BTS is so prevalent in today’s format that putting the Pokémon in their hand will just lead to them using BTS to get back to their final evolution directly after when they take their turn, thus wasting your attack.

    Of course this has the potential for several KOs, but how often does your opponent have several Pokémon, all with enough damage counters to KO their pre-evolved state, sitting on the bench? Not often, and the format today is too fast to set anything like this up. Yeah it can be powered up by a Poké-power, but that’s flippy and unreliable.

    If you really want something to devolve Pokémon use Omastar MD. As it’s Poké-power you can then judge your opponent, so even if you don’t score the KOs, you still destroy their set-up.

    – PR: 2/5 (Chance of a couple cheap KOs without a revenge kill)

    – MG: 1/5 (Really fragile and not as good as Omastar MD)

    – Art: 2/5 (Cute enough but no good background and kinda plain)

    012 – Kyogre (Water)

    Without exaggeration, this is (hands down) one of the worst cards I have ever seen. No joke. You take 4 turns to get 4 energy on him and then with a tails you do 40 damage to each of your own Pokémon. Even with Feraligatr to power him up, it’s just not worth it.

    As an absolute last resort, Hail Mary play at a Prerelease this could score some KOs on basics on the bench and turn the game, but when are you gonna get 4 turns (with no energy acceleration) to power him up when you don’t need to put that energy on anyone else?

    Oh, and he’s weak to one of the most popular cards in the format. X2. Oh, did I mention the horrible retreat? Don’t play this card.

    – PR: 1/5 (Possible Hail Mary play, but chances of it working are slim)

    – MG: 0/5 (NO!)

    – Art: 2/5 (He’s shown at an odd angle and the background sucks)

    013 – Leafeon (Grass)

    Now this card I like. It was printed in Undaunted and is back now looking, well, the same (it is a reprint). It’s an eeveelution so it’s short on HP but for G you can do 30 with automatic sleep (which is good) and for C you can do 50× the number of special conditions, which can be very handy.

    Little trick if you don’t know: use Roserade UL and attach rainbow energy. The defending Pokémon is then affected by two special conditions and Leafeon can attack for 100. You only need two stage 1s for this combo and it can be very effective.

    As a side note, Leafeon Level X is very good for energy acceleration and has a nice attack if played well. Leafeon won’t win states, but it make a good fun deck and could possibly be teched into something very impressive.

    – PR: 4/5 (sleep and 30 damage for one energy, oh yes!)

    – MG: 3/5 (Real potential here if played right but probably better for league)

    – Art: 2/5 (The UL one looked so much cooler and came with a Prerelease stamp)

    014 – Lucario (Fighting)

    Now THIS is a card that has potential. “Sky Uppercut” is a big pile of no; Donphan is the standard for stage 1 fighting Pokémon and he does 90 for FFF (which drops to 70 if they have resistance) while also being a much better tank. “Dimension Sphere” on the other hand I like the look of and can think of 2 uses for.

    On the one hand, if Gengar/Lost Zone becomes popular, you have a very powerful attacker for a DCE. If your opponent gets 5 Pokémon in the Lost Zone they’ve almost won but you’re hitting for 130 damage for a DCE (150 with belt, enough to 1HKO a Gengar Prime).

    The second use is to use a Pokémon like Mew or Relicanth CL to Lost Zone a bunch of Pokémon early and then hit for big damage. As each Lucario would only need a DCE to attack and is a stage 1, recovery would be quick and easy, and you’re hitting for big damage turn after turn.

    Using Relicanth would also mean you had a draw engine and next format that will be a big thing. I genuinely think this could be a viable deck….. Except for lost world. If you have to Lost Zone Pokémon to attack, you are not ever going to beat a deck that aims for wins with Lost World.

    – PR: 4/5 (If you can Lost Zone a couple Pokémon, you’re laughing)

    – MG: 2-4/5 (If they don’t play lost world, you could be onto something, if they do…..)

    – Art: 5/5 (He looks very, very cool. I don’t even care that the picture makes no sense!)

    015 – Lugia (Water)

    What we have here is a very meh Pokémon. 30 to any Pokémon for WCC is pretty bad but could be useful in some circumstances. 80 for WWWCC is pretty bad, especially without anything extra (like discarding cards or special conditions). Big retreat cost and weakness to don’t make him any more stellar. Saying that, if you can get him powered up it could be good in a Prerelease. Chances are though it’s just too slow.

    – PR: 3/5 (Good if you get it going, but probably too slow)

    – MG: 1/5 (It’s just not gonna cut it)

    – Art: 4/5 (He looks all mean and nasty and the background is pretty cool)

    016 – Magmortar (Fire)

    pokebeach.comThe problem with Magmortar is that, in the very same set, we have Typhlosion, who does more damage, for less energy and with a lower retreat cost. He’s a stage 2 rather than a stage 1 but the differences are still too much to ignore.

    As for Magmortar himself, “Hard Crush” is a bit risky having to discard 3 cards but could work, especially in an energy-heavy deck. “Mantle Bazooka” does good damage but you need some energy acceleration or you’re only attacking once every two turns.

    – PR: 3/5 (If you get him rolling you can do 100 every other turn. This is good)

    – MG: 2/5 (Compared to Charizard and Typhlosion it’s just nothing good)

    – Art: 4/5 (He’s gonna shoot you!)

    017 – Ninetales (Fire)

    Be happy that this has been reprinted and grab yourself a couple, because this might become a very expensive card. Next format we’re losing Uxie and the draw engine situation is not looking too good.

    We have some decent supporter draw (Engineer’s Adjustments, PONT etc), we have Magnezone Prime (stage 2 with bad retreat but who is also a good attacker) and we have Staraptor FB (who can search for supporters). Fire decks however have Ninetales and this is a good thing for them.

    Discarding a fire energy for 3 cards is awesome, especially with things like Typhlosion Prime and Fisherman in the format to get the energy back. The attack is a bit rubbish (though could work in the Prerelease) but just leave this baby on the bench and have a good time.

    Next format, without Uxie and SP, Charizard AR could be king and Ninetails will play a very important role in that.

    – PR: 4/5 (Excellent draw engine, just stick in some extra fire energies)

    – MG: 5/5 (Will be a staple card in all fire decks until rotated out)

    – Art: 4/5 (Stunning picture but still outdone by the original HGSS picture)

    018 – Pachirisu (Electric)

    This little guy is one the best Pokémon out there. He’s an electric squirrel. It’s hard to beat that. This card is also a very interesting one. Now next format Donphan is looking to become very popular so 60HP and x2 fighting weakness is not good but in the hands of the right person, and at the Prerelease, he could be very exciting.

    As long as you have 2 electric energy in your hand you can be doing 50 the turn you put him down. I think this would be fun to abuse at the Prerelease and possibly make a nice tech in a Magnezone deck though ultimately he’s too fragile to really be a contender.

    – PR: 4/5 (Use him right and he could be a game winner)

    – MG: 2/5 (Some nice combos could be done, but he’s only little)

    – Art: 5/5/ (If he wasn’t electric I would wanna give him a big hug)

    019 – Palkia (Water)

    An interesting little fellow here. 60 for WWWW is not good, but he has a built-in Warp Point and this could make some nice combos. You could use him for a hit and run (like Cursegar), or even to hit an annoying Pokémon for 60 and then get him out of the active. Not stunning but there are surely some creative uses for him.

    – PR: 3/5 (Even here 60 for 4 is not good, but it’s still ok and could get rid of a pesky attacker)

    – MG: 2/5 (Possibly some nice combos but outclassed by too many others)

    – Art: 3/5 (Dodge Palkia, dodge)

    020 – Rayquaza (Colourless)

    Ok, so here we have a 100HP basic who can hit for a hundred. The downside is that he needs 4 energies (of 2 different types) and must discard two of them to attack. This is woefully inefficient for today’s metagame (and even after rotation).

    Might be good in a Prerelease but he can only attack every other turn IF you manage (in those two turns) to attack a F and L energy, which will often not be possible. Like most legends, he will never see play.

    – PR: 3/5 (If you can get him going, awesome! But you probably won’t)

    – MG: 1/5 (There’s just too many better Pokémon)

    – Art: 3/5 (Insert drug reference here)

    021 – Smeargle (Colourless)

    pokebeach.comAnother Pokémon that you should be glad got a reprint. Like Ninetales, stock up on these because when rotation hits, and this set is harder to get hold of, this will rocket in value. Right now we have Sableye as the king of starters but when he goes Smeargle will take the crown.

    He can copy a supporter in your opponent’s hand which is great for set-up, especially under trainer-lock, which is becoming more and more popular. Currently seeing play in Luxchomp and almost essential in Vilegar this is one card you will be seeing a lot of in future. The attack is rubbish but using two supporters a turn could well win you the match.

    – PR: 2/5 (Less likely that your opponent will have a supporter in their hand)

    – MG: 5/5 (Absolutely essential in certain decks)

    – Art: 4/5 (I think they want to be friends)

    022 – Umbreon (Dark)

    I love Umbreon. If it wasn’t for the poison secreted by his skin I would give him a massive hug. I went to 5 Battle Roads in autumn and played an Umbreon deck for all of them (this, Umbreon Prime, Sableye and Tyranitar). 3 of these tournaments I genuinely could have taken with a little more luck. Umbreon is easily played around: You can snipe, use an unevolved Pokémon, tech against it, Warp Point etc but a lot of the time he will still work because your opponent won’t be able to pull the resources.

    Add to that the fact that he’s a stage 1 who can attack for a single Dark Energy and you have a real contender here. Gengar looks set to explode and this guy will be the number one tech. Oh, and he can (ab)use special dark energies. “Quick Blow” can be good situationally but he’s all about “Moonlight Fang”.

    – PR: 4/5 (30 for one, without special dark and he’s a stage 1. 60 for DC isn’t bad either)

    – MG: 4/5 (Easily misused but if you get it right, he’ll win you games)

    – Art: 5/5 (I love Umbreon. You needed to know)

    023 – Ampharos (Electric)

    Here we see a reprint from HGSS. The interesting thing about Ampharos is that he can really accelerate energy AND do 30 damage at the same time, all for the cost of 1 Electric Energy.

    Unfortunately he is a stage 2 and that just makes him too slow to be of any use for energy acceleration. “Thunder” is ok doing 80 for LCC but doing 20 to yourself on a tails flip is a bit of a kick in the face when you consider how much more damage other Pokémon can do for 3 energy.

    – PR: 4/5 (More time to get a stage 2, then you can set up nicely!)

    – MG: 2/5 (Some uses but just too slow)

    – Art: 3/5 (I’m gonna get my tail!)

    024 – Cleffa (Colourless)

    This dude can make a nice starter. A professor Oak for no energy can be a godsend if you have a bad opening hand. As a last resort he could also be easily searched and used to refresh your hand if you’re struggling mid-game however this will usually cost you a prize.

    “Eeeeeeek” may send you to sleep, where you are invulnerable, but unless you wake up before your turn you will be killed and give up a prize. If you wake up at the right time however, free retreat means you can get rolling again with a minimum of fuss.

    There are unfortunately much better starters (Sableye for one, who can also be an Oak for no energy) and much better ways to refresh your hand (Chatot MD comes to mind).

    – PR: 3.5/5 (Good starter and good in a pinch to refresh your hand. Less likely to be killed quickly)

    – MG: 2/5 (It has uses but is too fragile and there are better cards)

    – Art: 4/5 (Eeeeeeek)

    025 – Feraligatr (Water)

    I love Feraligatr Prime. I love his energy acceleration and although 60 for WWWW looks bad it will 2HKO pretty much anything (even Tyranitar Prime and Wailord). This Feraligatr, by comparison, is rubbish. In a Prerelease though you can do 80 for WWCC, which is ok I suppose (and about par for the bigger hitters in the set) but more interesting is “Spinning Tail”.

    His 130HP means he should stay around for a couple of turns and in a PR your opponent is likely to have some weak Pokémon on their bench, not to mention the lack of healing cards in the set. This could get a few KOs, or at least set some up for your others to finish off. For this, I would recommend it.

    – PR: 4/5(Start using Spinning Tail and it could be over quickly)

    – MG: 1/5 (Use Feraligatr Prime)

    – Art: 4/5 (Groudon’s stomp looks soooo much cooler)

    026 – Granbull (Colourless)

    pokebeach.comThis is the definition of “meh”. His HP is ok, both attacks are ok but absolutely nothing special. There are so many better Pokémon in the metagame I’m not even gonna name them.

    As for the Prerelease, he could be useful but even “Timid Tackle” is ruined by the fact that he hurts himself AND you have to switch him out. Unless you really don’t pull anything better, don’t use him.

    – PR: 2/5 (Could be useful but there’s so many better ones)

    – MG: 1/5 (Just not good enough. Sorry Granbull. Still better than Kyogre)

    – Art: 1/5 (Lose some weight!)

    027 – Meganium (Grass)

    This is another Pokémon that will do nothing for the Metagame (heck, he was released 4 sets ago and I’ve not seen him used yet) but could be a beast in the Prerelease. 30 for G with automatic sleep is pretty good and should allow you time to power up “Giant Bloom”.

    Now 60 for GCC isn’t amazing but in a Prerelease (lower average damage and HP) it’s pretty good, and the healing 20 a turn, combined with 130HP can make him stick around a while.

    – PR: 4/5 (Low cost first attack that is useful and then some nice tanking)

    – MG: 1/5 (Meganium Prime is much better, as is Yanmega Prime, Jumpluff etc etc)

    – Art: 3/5 (He wants a hug)

    028 – Mismagius (Psychic)

    Now this is a very interesting card. 30 and a chance of sleep is good, but we’ve already seen Meganium and Leafeon in this set who do the same but with automatic sleep. “Poltergeist” is the same attack that SF Gengar has which has proven popular.

    The problem is that in the Prerelease people will have less Trainers etc in their hand and in the metagame we have Gengar SF, who has more HP, an awesome second attack (in “Shadow Room”) and “Fainting Spell” (which is the most broken thing in Pokémon right now in my opinion).

    This could well make a decent deck with Vileplume when Gengar SF gets rotated out, but with the lower HP, less useful second attack and lack of Fainting Spell it’s not nearly as good. Would be a nice tech in a Vilegar deck for another chance to Poltergeist but it would be rarely needed.

    It’s also a little weak for my liking. One final thought though, it will get through Umbreon (and very little in Vilegar will….).

    – PR: 3/5 (Depends if they have trainers in their hand)

    – MG: 2/5 (Useful against Umbreon but inferior in every other way to Gengar SF)

    – Art: 2/5 (The person behind is getting a good view)

    029 – Mr. Mime (Psychic)

    First of all let me say that you should basically never be attacking with Mr. Mime. PC for 40 damage would not be good ( does 30 and maybe sleep for P and he’s not great) but needing 4 heads AND two energy is just bad. His usefulness however comes from his Poké-power.

    A lot of the time you don’t really need to see your opponent’s hand, but it would be nice. For instance: before an Uxie drop (to make sure you won’t be “Power Sprayed”, or seeing if the Gyarados player is going to be able to get another Gyarados out next turn if you KO this one, or if you’re trying to decide between playing PONT and Judge.

    Where it shines however is in Vilegar. Here you will want it every turn. If they have lots of trainers you Poltergeist, if not you Shadow Room an Uxie (or something similar).

    – PR: 2/5 (Seeing their hand could be useful but not essential and you can’t attack)

    – MG: 5/5 (Should become a staple in Vilegar)

    – Art: 4/5 (I really wanna know what he’s looking at)

    030 – Pidgeot (Colourless)

    This is a very intriguing card that has potential. First things first, “Quick Attack” is….. Ok. 40 for CCC is bad, 70 for CCC is just about ok. This attack could be good in a Prerelease but not really viable in the metagame. What may be viable is “Headwind”, which means your opponent’s Pokémon has to pay CC more to attack. This sounds awesome.

    Considering how tight most deck lists are nowadays and the lack of energy acceleration in most metagame decks (as they focus on cheap attacks) this, combined with Expert Belt, should be a monster. But the wording lets it down. It only applies to the defending Pokémon, which means Switch, Warp Point, Warp Energy, Pokéturn retreating etc etc all get around it. Shame.

    – PR: 4/5 (Here Headwind could be amazing!)

    – MG: 2/5 (I want so hard to believe this could work)

    – Art: 5/5 (His lake. His)

    031 – Skarmory (Metal)

    pokebeach.comAn interesting little beast this one, we first has it in Undaunted and it made a bit of a splash as a starter in Steelix decks helping them power up. It also works well in Scizor and could potentially work in Dialgachomp, though it could hurt the speed of those decks a little.

    The real beauty with this is that you can search for a Special Metal Energy and attach that as well as your usual attachment for the turn. This is good. His attack is rubbish and if you don’t start with him the 80HP won’t see him last long but for what he does, he’s awesome.

    In a Prerelease note that he can put energy on all Pokémon, not just Metal, so bear that in mind for colourless Pokémon and any Pokémon who use colourless energy in their attacks it could just give you the speed advantage to win.

    – PR: 3/5 (Attack is really bad, but get him out and you could win the speed round)

    – MG: 4/5 (Invaluable in Metal decks, though not always used! Useless in anything else)

    – Art: 2/5 (I would not wanna be sitting under him right now)

    032 – Slowking (Psychic)

    Slowking is inherently cool. Even disregarding that, this really is a playable card. There are many instances where controlling the top card of your deck can be really useful (for instance Delcatty PL and Mewperior) and even if your deck doesn’t rely on this, it can be very useful to get that energy you need or increase your chances of drawing something good next turn.

    It could also be used the opposite way for your opponent, stopping them getting that last energy or evolution card they need. One major problem with this, as with Chatot G, we have a LOT of searching cards in this format, and as soon as they search they shuffle their deck and your power was wasted (except for the first card they drew).

    The attack, giving 30 and a chance of paralysis for PC is alright but just doesn’t cut it in the modified format.

    – PR: 4/5 (smaller decks, less searching cards, the power could give a real advantage)

    – MG: 3/5 (Some uses but easy to get around)

    – Art: 4/5 (He looks in control!)

    033 – Snorlax (Colourless)

    I love Snorlax. He is in my top 5 Pokémon of all time. I even think there’s a chance that Snorlax Level X could be useful next season. After all; he has a lot of HP, can hit for 80 damage for CCCC (remembering DCE) so could be teched into any deck AND could act as a draw engine (I know he has to be active to use this, and has a horrible retreat cost but still could work).

    But, if you’re gonna use Snorlax, use the common RR one. That one has better attacks and can attack while asleep (which he will often be if you use him for draw). This Snorlax takes CCCC to do 80 damage and one cards needs to go in the Lost Zone. This could mean lost-zoning a DCE.

    Layabout looks good but it’s your attack for the turn so you end up fully healed, but then your opponent gets a free shot. Not useful.

    – PR: 4/5 (80 for CCCC is still bad but 100HP and the ability to heal could make a mean tank)

    – MG: 1/5 (No excuse to use this, just use the common RR instead)

    – Art: 5/5 (Up with Relicanth and Pachirisu as best art in the set)

    034 – Tangrowth (Grass)

    This is another card that has a handy Level X which could be used as a nice tank (or to help a tank) next season. I think, if the format does slow down as expected that tanks could become viable and Tangrowth Level X could help.

    As for this Tangrowth, “Grind” is ok, doing 20 for each energy attached (could be good with Meganium Prime, Shaymin UL, Celebi Prime, Leafeon LV.X etc) and “Plow” over is over-priced, but good. 30 for GCC is expensive (though more bearable with DCE) but a guarantee of either paralysis or lost-zoning an energy card (of your choice), this is good. Probably no good this format but could maybe surprise a few people in the future.

    – PR: 4/5 (If you can get 3 energy on him, your opponent is gonna hate you)

    – MG: 2/5 (Too slow for now buy maybe next format someone could use him)

    – Art: 4/5 (All the lost world art is well good)

    035 – Typhlosion (Fire)

    I tried making a deck with this when it was first released in HGSS. I put him into a Charizard deck, instead of Charizard. I figured that as we were using the Typhlosion line anyway for energy recovery (using Typhlosion Prime) that putting a 4-3-4 line with 2 Prime and 2 of this would make the deck more consistent.

    It worked, to a degree. It has a lower retreat cost than Charizard and, without a bench full of fire Pokémon, it does more damage. The problem here really is having to discard two cards for “Fire Spin”. 120 for FFC is good and can be recovered every turn, but you either need a Fire Energy in your hand every turn or take 20 damage a turn (by recovering with Typhlosion Prime), which sucks.

    This is still a good card however. 50 for FC is awesome, 130HP is nice, 1 retreat is a nice bonus and Fire Spin can be a beastly attack. If Charizard gets too expensive, pick a couple of these up and see how it goes.

    – PR: 4/5 (Awesome HP, great first attack, awesome second attack, but you can’t do it every turn)

    – MG: 3/5 (Viable but unfortunately outclassed by Charizard)

    – Art: 3/5 (He throws like a girl!)

    036 – Tyrogue (Fighting)

    I would love someone to make a rogue deck around this Pokémon. Alas, it won’t be this one. 30 for no energy is well good but 30HP means he’s likely to only use it once. If you go second there are a lot of Pokémon (Sableye, Tyrogue himself) that can 1HKO him.

    If you go first hope you stay asleep because when you wake up you’re gone. I know you can get lucky and end up invulnerable from attacks and then retreating for free and Seekering him up so there’s no downside, but use a different starter. Mime Jr. isn’t very good, but he’s a LOT better than this.

    – PR: 1/5 (I won’t be using him, could score cheap knockouts but then he’s asleep)

    – MG: 1/5 (No chance when he’s this fragile)

    – Art: 3/5 (Stay very very quiet, I’m hunting wabbits)

    037 – Ursaring (Colourless)

    Once again we have a reprint (Unleashed) of a Pokémon who has a MUCH better prime. Ursaring Prime is good and makes a nice partner for Typhlosion Prime. This Ursaring is ok is you have nothing better. 20 for C is ok but there’s so many better options.

    50 for CCC is ok I suppose and if you hit heads then 80 for CCC is pretty good, especially in Prerelease, but you’re relying on flipping heads. In a Prerelease then stick him in as he can splash into any deck, has nice HP and can hit for decent damage. For the metagame as a whole there really are so many better options.

    – PR: 4/5 (Alright heavy hitter that can go in any deck)

    – MG: 2/5 (Sorry dude, it’s just not happening)

    – Art: 3/5 (Ursaring charge!)

    038 – Weezing (Psychic)

    At first glance he look ok but don’t be fooled. He’s terrible. He’s a stage 1 so there’s some work right there but 90HP is alright (ok, alright for the Prerelease) and automatic Poison for P is pretty good, especially considering the big retreat costs seen in many of the cards in this set.

    Problem is, his only attack kills him. Yep, he kills himself. Now 90 damage for CC is awesome and it could be really useful when you need to take one prize for the win (and your opponent needs 2 or more) or where one particularly troublesome Pokémon is having trouble dying, but without Expert Belt or Defender etc you will die.

    Automatic poison would have been awesome if he had free retreat but with a retreat cost of CC and no viable attack other than poison, it’s not working.

    – PR: 2/5 (As a last resort or for your last prize it could work. Probably not though)

    – MG: 1/5 (No use. If you love Weezing, try making a deck with the RR one. It’s a common!)

    – Art: 3/5 (He always looks so confused)

    039 – Zangoose (Colourless)

    We might be onto something with this one. Now, for the metagame he’s not really going to cut it. If you start with him and can get a DCE turn 1 or 2 then you’re gonna do 60 damage and get rid of a card from your opponent.

    This is good, but will only work once and only at the start of the game (unless your opponent really sets up slow). At the Prerelease however, he could own the place. Even doing 30 a turn is great when you’re lost-zoning your opponent’s cards.

    Now when you consider that the damage will (on average) be lower (so he’ll survive longer) and your play with smaller decks and many people are forced to run 1-1 or 2-1 or 1-1-1 (etc) lines due to what they pull, this could wreck your opponent’s game.

    – PR: 4/5 (Get him going and in 3 turns you could have ruined your opponent’s game)

    – MG: 2/5 (Ok starter but there’s too much better and he’s too fragile)

    – Art: 5/5 (More Lost Link cards, more awesome art!)

    040 – Bayleef (Grass)

    Stage 1s that have a stage 2 are a funny thing to review. No matter how good they are, you really want the stage 2 and it seems unfair to rate them on their own. Still, let’s try. 20 for C is ok, as is 50 for CCG (Especially as DCE can be used).

    If you’re running a grass deck in Prerelease he could be ok as a back-up attacker (90HP and ability to do 50 is ok) but really you want him because of Meganium.

    Meganium Prime has seen some play (for instance, when paired with Blissey Prime) and this is the only legal Bayleef (well, except the identical one with different artwork from HGSS) so if you want Meganium, you need this card.

    – PR: 3/5 (Good for Meganium, ok on his own)

    – MG: 3/5 (If you want Meganium, use him, if you don’t, don’t)

    – Art: 3/5 (Someone’s got some thinking to do)

    041 – Croconaw (Water)

    pokebeach.comMy review for this baby could go the same as my review for Bayleef. In fact, except for the 10 less HP and his second attack stopping retreat for a turn, he basically is. The same rule applies, he’s ok as a back-up attacker but really he’s there to help you get Feraligatr when you don’t have Rare Candy.

    As a side note, with a slower format next year I can really see Feraligatr prime seeing a lot of play (paired with cards like Blastoise UL and Magnezone Prime).

    – PR: 3/5 (Good for Feraligatr, ok on his own)

    – MG: 3/5 (If you want Feraligatr, use him, if you don’t, don’t)

    – Art: 3.5/5 (Funky crocodile dancing)

    042 – Donphan (Fighting)

    Donphan Prime is one the best cards in our format. I truly believe this. Next format he will be even better. He’s the reason my Machamp deck basically never loses to Vilegar.

    This is the non-prime Donphan and he’s not very good. 50 for CCF is not very good and the fact that it goes through resistance is meaningless because Donphan Prime does 90 for 3 energy which is only reduced to 70 if they do have resistance.

    “Double Spin” is awesome if you flip 2 heads. Do you feel lucky punk? In a Prerelease he can be very good if you hit 2 heads, otherwise you’re better off with Hitmonlee and he’s a common.

    – PR: 3/5 (If you’re lucky, you’ll do very well)

    – MG: 0/5 (Donphan Prime is not expensive enough to warrant running this card)

    – Art: 2/5 (He is supposed to be proper hard. He does not look at all hard here)

    043 – Flaaffy (Electric)

    Flaaffy could be a good Pokémon but I just don’t see many uses for him. Sniping 20 for 1 energy is ok but not so much on a stage 1. 40 and a chance of a paralysis is again ok but not for CCL. If you look above, you’ll see that Ampharos isn’t even all that great.

    Ampharos Prime could see some play next season (though he’s not seen much yet) so I suppose if you need him, this will then be the only legal Flaaffy.

    Right now we also have the PL Flaaffy but to be honest, he’s not that great either. The idea of an electric sheep is awesome (especially for Phillip K Dick fans) but I just don’t see this guy being too useful.

    – PR: 2/5 (Ok for sniping weak Pokémon but Thundershock is dear, even for Prerelease)

    – MG: 2/5 (Needed for Ampharos, but Ampharos isn’t that great)

    – Art: 4/5 (Dance Flaaffy, dance!)

    044 – Flareon (Fire)

    I went to two Undaunted Prereleases. In both of them, right before deck check, I teched in a Flareon. Both times it was an awesome move. Being an eeveelution it’s easily teched into a variety of decks and this boy can really pack a punch.

    Hitting 90 for FFC is pretty good and discarding an energy is a pain but easily manageable, especially in the Prerelease when you have lots of energy to replenish it with.

    Of course it has the usual downside of low HP but he is very good for Prereleases and if you expect to see a lot of grass or Metal decks you could do a lot worse than teching this guy in, after all, he 1HKOs a Steelix with 4 Metal energy!

    – PR: 5/5 (Get him going and he is genuinely awesome)

    – MG: 3/5/ (Might make a nice tech but ultimately too fragile)

    – Art: 4/5 (Look how cute yet mean he is!)

    045 – Jolteon (Electric)

    I like the eeveelutions from Undaunted and this is another nifty little Pokémon. He suffers from the same low HP problems so we won’t dwell on that but otherwise he’s pretty playable. 20 for C is so-so but then having a chance to be invulnerable next turn is very, very nice.

    “Agility” stipulates that it is any attack, not just from the defending Pokémon, so all your opponent can do is snipe around you. This can be used to whittle down water Pokémon or just buy some time to set up. “Mach Bolt” is not that great, doing 70 for LLC but this is enough to 1HKO pretty much any lightning-weak water Pokémon or birds. The free retreat is also a pretty handy bonus.

    – PR: 5/5 (Not the massive hitter Flareon is but invulnerability and free retreat rock)

    – MG: 2/5 (Can be nice to tech is to stop electric-weak Pokémon)

    – Art: 3/5 (He’s coming to get ya)

    046 – Magby (Fire)

    pokebeach.comThis guy is one of the baby Pokémon. If you like them, you should like Magby. Personally, I don’t. Ok so you get automatic burn (which, if your opponent gets lucky with flips, could become automatic nothing) and free retreat but he has 30HP.

    If you’re lucky you get some free turns where he can’t be harmed but if not you give up a prize. It’s not a risk I like to take.

    – PR: 2/5 (You can up this to 5/5 if you get really lucky. But you probably won’t)

    – MG: 1/5 (If you really must use a baby Pokémon, make it Mime Jr.)

    – Art: 2/5 (Someone needs to supervise him)

    047 – Mime Jr. (Psychic)

    Ok, so you can just read what I said for baby Pokémon above with Magby. Mime Jr. however DOES have an awesome attack. Deck lists nowadays are very tight and we currently have no cards that can recover anything from the Lost Zone (hence the name) so this attack could have game-changing consequences (say, if you lost-zone their only Luxray LV.X).

    Again though, there’s a lot of luck and you’ll probably be giving up a prize so take your chances. As a side note, if your opponent is playing Vaporeon, do NOT leave this on your bench during a Prerelease.

    – PR: 3/5 (Could be amazing or a free prize for your opponent)

    – MG: 2/5 (Best baby Pokémon but I still don’t like baby Pokémon)

    – Art: 4/5 (By now you know my feelings on Lost Link art)

    048 – Pidgeotto (Colourless)

    Again here we have the problem with Stage 1 Pokémon. Earlier you saw me say that Pidgeot could be playable in the right hands so if you want him, you need to use . On his own, he has uses but is again far too luck-based. 80HP is ok for a Prerelease but 20 for CC is bad and 30 for CCC is terrible.

    “Twister”, damage aside could be amazing or atrocious; if you hit 2 heads then your opponent loses two energy (in a Prerelease this is as good as the Pokémon being Knocked Out as it’ll be dead by the time they recover) but 2 tails and you’ve wasted your attack. This is really a little flippy to really be any good.

    – PR: 3/5 (Could be nice but could be horrendous. Colourless means splashable)

    – MG: 2/5 (Only good for evolving into Pidgeot)

    – Art: 3/5 (Dunno why but I love that Pidgeot line and their art)

    049 – Quilava (Fire)

    There is one reason why this guy is not very good: In the same set we have Flareon. Also a stage one he has 10 more HP and hits for 20 more damage for the same cost and discard. He’s also a lot cooler. Sorry Quilava, turns out you’re only good for evolving into Typhlosion (though Typhlosion is a beast).

    – PR: 2/5 (Use Flareon instead)

    – MG: 3/5 (If you run Typhlosion, you have no choice)

    – Art: 4/5 (He looks well dodgy)

    050 – Riolu (Fighting)

    I think this one might be quick: 50HP is good, 20 for F is good (especially with all the Pokémon in this set weak to fighting) but you can only attack every other turn. Unless you evolve into Lucario, you’re not gonna last long.

    – PR: 2/5 (Only run this is you have a Lucario)

    – MG: 3/5 (If you run Lucario, you need him)

    – Art: 5/5 (I don’t even like Riolu but this is awesome)

    051 – Seviper (Psychic)

    pokebeach.comFor the Metagame as a whole this is not a viable card. I wanna make that clear. The second attack is ok but it takes 20 HP off of you and you only have 90 to begin with. Sorry Seviper. For the Prerelease however I can see a lot of good things from this.

    Turn 1 you use “Poison Buildup” and turn 2 you hit for 80 damage. In this set there’s nothing that can hit for 80 damage turn 2. You’re then down to 70HP though (two turns of poison) so it’ll only work a couple times.

    – PR: 4/5 (Get him out early and it’s a very good thing)

    – MG: 1/5 (I just can’t see him working)

    – Art: 5/5/ (Lost Link, ‘nuff said)

    052 – Vaporeon (Water)

    Another eeveelution and another one that could see play. As strange as it may sound, as long as you have something like Feraligatr (and I really do see him being popular next format) to speed up energy attachment, this could be a nice sniper in a water deck. Could be a nice secret tech for a water deck next season.

    At a Prerelease he is another very good card: You use “Spiral Drain” for a couple of turns to keep him alive and then, when you have 3 energy on him, you hit with “Dual Splash” and hope your opponent has some baby Pokémon on the bench.

    – PR: 4/5 (Can usually survive long enough to take a cheap prize or two)

    – MG: 3.5/5 (Could make a nice tech with some energy acceleration)

    – Art: 5/5 (Don’t look him straight in the eyes)

    053 – Chikorita (Grass)

    Basic Pokémon from stage 2 lines are a bit hard to review. Generally they’re only good for getting your big hitter out. As mentioned before, Meganium from this set is pretty good for the Prerelease and Meganium Prime could make a very nice deck so there’s definitely a good call for needing Chikorita.

    Unfortunately, I don’t rate this one as highly as the HGSS one (this is not an exact reprint) as it has 10 less HP and although it can do 30 damage, it needs to take 10 damage to do.

    If you’re running a stage 2 deck you should very rarely be attacking with the basic Pokémon so it all comes down to the HP and 50 is not enough (especially with Sableye still running rampant).

    – PR: 3/5 (If you pull Meganium, you need this)

    – MG: 1/5 (If you use Meganium, use the HGSS Chikorita)

    – Art: 3/5 (Awesome picture but doesn’t fit the background)

    054 – Clefairy (Colourless)

    I feel sorry for Clefairy. 50HP, only doing 10 damage and alas Clefable isn’t all that playable. Even in the Prerelease there’s so many better Pokémon.

    This is the only legal Clefairy right now (although the same card was in HGSS) so if you want one, he’s your man.

    – PR: 2/5 (Not good and Clefable isn’t great)

    – MG: 1/5 (Neither he nor Clefable have any place here)

    – Art: 4/5 (He clearly wants a dance with you)

    055 – Cyndaquil (Fire)

    I have made no secret of my admiration for Typhlosion; the basic one can be awesome in the Prerelease and could even make a cheap alternative to Charizard while the Prime is almost essential for fire decks like Charizard. This Cyndaquil however should not be used.

    As I mentioned with Chikorita, basic Pokémon from stage 2 lines are basically only good for getting out the stage 2 and will rarely attack. This Cyndaquil had 40HP. This is pathetic and 20HP less than the HGSS one and is far, far too donkable. Not gonna happen I’m afraid.

    – PR: 2/5 (Use only if you have Typhlosion)

    – MG: 1/5 (Please, please use the HGSS one)

    – Art: 3/5 (Again, lovely character picture but background doesn’t fit)

    056 – Eevee (Colourless)

    pokebeach.comI have mentioned many eeveelutions that are playable, mostly from Undaunted, but the Glaceon and Leafeon LV.Xs are very good as well. If you want to run eeveelutions (and I have seen some very nice eeveelution decks) then you need Eevee.

    I’m going to make it very simple: There are 2 very good Eevees. This is not one of them.

    One of the Majestic Dawn ones allows you to fill your bench with as many Eevees as you like, this is awesome. One of the Rising Rivals ones allows you to search for two eeveelutions, guaranteeing a turn 2 Umbreon, Espeon etc. Compared to both of them, this one of rubbish. Sorry, I love Eevee but this one is not good.

    – PR: 4/5 (Chances are you’ll be using eeveelutions)

    – MG: 1/5 (No excuse as there are 2 superb Eevees in the current format)

    – Art: 3/5 (Lovely background but Eevee is the wrong colour!)

    057 – Hitmonchan (Fighting)

    This is a very nice basic who is especially good for Prereleases; 70HP, 30 damage for FC and a 50/50 chance of invulnerability for 1 energy (again, this is not the defending Pokémon but any damage from any Pokémon that gets stopped).

    Nothing special and it doesn’t get any better which unfortunately means it will never see play in the metagame. Still a good starter though and a nice basic for a cheap deck.

    – PR: 3.5/5 (Nice basic with decent HP and pretty good, cheap attacks)

    – MG: 2/5 (Nice for a cheap, starter league deck but nothing more)

    – Art: 4/5 (He looks pretty darn cool)

    058 – Hitmonlee (Fighting)

    What we have here is basically Hitmonchan, but better. He has more HP, a very nice attack doing 20 for a single energy and a nice 60 damage for FFC. Again, he doesn’t evolve and won’t cut it in the Metagame at large but this is still a nice Pokémon for a cheap league deck or for a Prerelease.

    – PR: 4/5 (Get him out early and hopefully get some quick KOs)

    – MG: 2/5 (Nice for a cheap, starter league deck but nothing more)

    – Art: 4/5 (Really looks the part)

    059 – Houndour (Dark)

    Well here we have an incredibly run of the mill basic. 50HP is ok for a Prerelease but in the metagame as a whole he is asking to be donked by Sableye, or many other things for that matter, 10 for D is very meh but hit a heads and it becomes 20, which is ok for a turn 1 attack.

    There really is nothing exciting about this card, except for the fact that it evolves into Houndoom and I have already seen some very good decks involving Houndoom (both the one from this set / Undaunted and the Prime).

    There are now 3 different, legal, Houndours and to be honest, there’s not much between them but I’d got for the LA one just because it can switch the active, getting rid of annoyances like and occasionally forcing them to bring in a high retreat Pokémon (if that’s all they have on the bench).

    – PR: 2/5 (Not good, but worth it to get Houndoom going)

    – MG: 2.5/5 (Houndoom is good, you need Houndour, the LA is better. Just)

    – Art: 4/5 (He’s definitely seen something….)

    060 – Koffing (Psychic)

    At first glance this guy looks ok. Smokescreen is ok doing 10 for a single energy as it also (if you hit heads) protects you from the defending Pokémon for the next. Unfortunately it is only the defending Pokémon if they switch Pokémon or evolve then you’re done for.

    This, combined with a flip, is not great. 20 for CC is ok but there’s a lot better in this set. It may make a splashable psychic tech in any deck as it does not need psychic energy but if you go to my review of the Weezing from this set you’ll see that I don’t think he’s very good at all.

    There IS a good Weezing however. The Rising Rivals Weezing does not give away a Prize card when he’s Knocked Out while confused AND he is easily confused and I would love to see a rogue deck made around him.

    This Koffing could also be substituted for the RR one, which has 10 more HP but, in my opinion, slightly worse attacks, so there’s your choice. I prefer the HP because you shouldn’t be attacking with Koffing.

    – PR: 2/5 (Works as a splashable psychic tech but not great by any stretch)

    – MG: 3/5 (No better or worse than the RR one and Weezing could make a nice rogue deck)

    – Art: 3/5 (Looks suitably sinister)

    061 – Magikarp (Water)

    pokebeach.comMagikarps always have been and always will be rubbish; this was the joke in the original Pokémon games: Everyone mocked them and then they evolved into Gyarados. Gyarados is currently one of the top 3 decks in the format (for good reason) and that deck cannot be run without Magikarp.

    It can, however, be run without this Magikarp. Magikarps always have 30HP which is depressingly donkable and they never have good attacks so usually it’s just pick the one with the nice art and hope, however, we have the SF Magikarp in the format at the moment which can draw cards (assuming you get lucky with coin flips).

    Really this should be a moot point as you should NEVER have a Magikarp active but there’s always a chance you’ll start with one and need to attack for a turn. If this happens, use the SF one, there’s a reason this is the one that ever Gyarados player uses.

    – PR: 2/5 (Gyarados is good and you need Magikarp for him)

    – MG: 1/5 (Use the SF one. This will work as a substitute but the SF ones are in a theme deck)

    – Art: 4/5 (I really like this. Go Magikarp, GO!)

    062 – Magmar (Fire)

    This is a very vanilla Pokémon. By that I mean he does 10 damage for 1 energy and 20 damage for 2. He does however have pretty good HP and can take a hit or 2 in a Prerelease. Really though, 20 damage is not enough to make him viable so I would only run him if you get a Magmortar to back him up.

    In a pretty rare occurrence for this set, this is actually the best Magmar to use. But it’s a reprint form UL so it doesn’t count.

    – PR: 2/5 (Can take a hit but not really an attacker. Use only for Magmortar)

    – MG: 2/5 (Weak and Magmortar is not played. Ever)

    – Art: 3/5 (He wants to be careful with that thing)

    063 – Mareep (Electric)

    Not only does Mareep have only 40HP but it’s weak to fighting. In this set alone, say hello to Tyrogue and Hitmonlee, both of which can donk with ease. Oh, and Hitmonlee is a common that will see a LOT of play. You don’t see many donks in Prereleases but you could if you use this guy.

    Oh, and his only attack does 10 damage. Ampharos is ok (though not the best rare by a long shot) but other than that please do not use this card. As for other legal Mareeps, the PL one has 60HP and can fetch an energy from your deck (for free) while the HGSS one can attack up to 4 energy to Mareep if you have 3 Mareeps on the bench (though it only has 40HP again).

    So, as it turns out, it’s the worst Mareep available.

    – PR: 1/5 (Only run him for Ampharos but please run lots of basics too as he’s terrible)

    – MG: 0/5 (Not as bad as Kyogre. That is the nicest thing I can say about it)

    – Art: 5/5 (Show me something cuter, I dare ya!)

    064 – Mawile (Metal)

    Mawile is an excellent starter in the Prerelease. She was in Undaunted and she is again here. “Selfish Draw” can give you an invaluable head start and, if you can get 3 energy on her and hit a heads then “Destructive Jaw” is a beast.

    The problem is, there’s almost always going to be somewhere better to put your 3 energy (at least I found in the Undaunted Prerelease) and if you hit tails then 30 for MCC is bad. Good for splashing in as a starter but in the Metagame as a whole it’s too rubbish, especially as it doesn’t evolve.

    – PR: 3.5/5 (Excellent starter or if you get 3 energy and a heads)

    – MG: 1/5 (Too fragile and better starters: Smeargle, Sableye, Spiritomb etc etc)

    – ART: 2/5 (Meh)

    065 – Misdreavous (Psychic)

    I really like this Misdreavous. For one league meeting I tried a Vilegar deck with a Mismagius in to see how well it worked. I won one game by decking them out with “Dual Draw”. Now Dual Draw is a good attack as it gets you 3 cards for 1 energy (and a colourless so it’s splashable) but it also helps your opponent draw 3 cards so you better make sure that when you set up you can beat their deck or else it’s worthless.

    “Mumble” for 10 is very meh, the 60HP is ok and the colourless resistance is a nice touch. For the metagame though, if you want to use Mismagius, I would use the LA Misdreavous as it can get a basic energy from your deck for no cost.

    – PR: 4/5 (Mismagius is a good play but this is good even on its own for draw power)

    – MG: 2/5 (If you want Mismagius, go for the LA one)

    – Art: 2/5 (Not as good as we’ve seen for Misdreavous)

    066 – Phanpy (Fighting)

    pokebeach.comI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Donphan Prime is awesome. Of course, if you want Donphan, you’re going to need a Phanpy. Don’t let it be this one. Ok, so damage is reduced by 10 if you have energy on him but he has 10HP less than the HGSS Phanpy (the only other legal one).

    Also, his attack takes two energy. Now in a format with Rare Candy and BTS, bearing in mind that Donphan is only a Stage 1 anyway, there is no excuse for ever having 2 energy on a Phanpy. If that does happen, use it to retreat the poor boy because he’s not gonna live very long!

    – PR: 1/5 (No real use)

    – MG: 1/5 (Use the HGSS one)

    – Art: 4/5 (Look how adorable he is!!)

    067 – Pidgey (Colourless)

    YES! Now here is a Pokémon that everyone should be using if they pull it in a Prerelease. You see, for one energy (of any kind) you get to search for any Pokémon.

    Oh yes, not a basic, not an evolution, but any! So start with him, search out your main attacker and you’re off and rolling. He’s even nice enough to make way for him. How nice is that? As for the metagame as a whole, he is the Pidgey to go for if you want to run Pidgeot as “Messenger” really is a good card; it can turn a bad start into a good one.

    – PR: 5/5 (Search for any Pokémon? YES!)

    – MG: 3/5 (Usefulness depends on whether someone can make Pidgeot work)

    – Art: 4/5 (Again, I love the Pidgey line of art)

    068 – Pineco (Grass)

    NO! Here we have a Pokémon almost as monumentally useless as Kyogre. 60HP is a nice start but you take two turns to do an attack with fails on a coin flip. No. Just no! (And I know I raved about Seviper hitting for 80 on turn 2, but this doesn’t count because a tails means two wasted turns of attacking. TWO!)

    – PR: 2/5 (Only if you hit a heads. It’s not worth it)

    – MG: 0/5 (NO!)

    – Art: 1/5 (Nothing special. Not even deserving of a silly comment)

    069 – Relicanth (Water)

    Did you pull Relicanth at a Prerelease? Did you run him? If you didn’t run him did you then feel silly when you saw everyone else running him and realised how good he is? Seriously, this is, for my money, the best card at the Prerelease. Bar none.

    80HP is very nice and for one colourless energy he can draw 3 cards. Ok so you have to Lost Zone something but it’s a Prerelease so you run too much energy and Pokémon lines you don’t need for every game. Just make sure you don’t deck out. So you do this for 2 turns and then on turn 3 you get to hit for 30 damage, which isn’t great.

    Oh, but all damage next turn is reduced by 30 (from anyone, not just the defending Pokémon). I had many games at the Prerelease where 1 Relicanth was all it took. If you start with him you’ll probably win.

    As for the metagame as a whole, let me say something controversial: For any Mew-based deck (using Mew as the main attacker), Relicanth is a better starter than Mew. He has more HP, isn’t weak to Psychic (and hence the most popular Pokémon in the format that is in EVERY good deck) and when you Lost Zone your Pokémon he also gives you 3 cards.

    Yeah you need the Pokémon in your hand but with cards like Bebes, Pokémon Communication and Luxury Ball you should be able to search for any Pokémon you need turn 1. If not, you’re either very unlucky or your deck lacks consistency.

    I kid you not, a better starter than Mew. This is getting kinda long so I won’t go into much detail but I said earlier about a possible Lucario / Relicanth deck and I’m sure there are other combos as well.

    – PR: 5/5 (Best card at the Prerelease. Whoever gets him out first usually wins)

    – MG: 4/5 (Someone will make him a beast, wait and see)(Oh, up it to 5 if they don’t play Lost World)

    – Art: 5/5 (Best looking card since Scizor UD)

    070 – Slowpoke (Water)

    Poor Slowpoke. He’s a bit dipsy in the anime, he’s not great in the game and alas, he’s not great in the card game. 60HP is ok for an evolving basic but lots of basics are now starting to go above this (E.g. HGSS Phanpy and CL Tangela) still, it keeps him out of Sableye range (without a Crobat drop).

    His one attack is very meh: 20 for a single energy is ok but having a 50/50 chance of it failing means you’d be better off just doing 10 for 1 energy. Slowking can be very good in the Prerelease though and I can see Slowking Prime getting some use next format, especially in rogue decks where the opponent may be less able to predict what cards you need (making “Opponent’s Choice” less of a gamble).

    As for which Slowpoke to use: Do you remember the one from UD which can grab basics for your bench and hit for 20 without having to flip a coin? Yeah, me too.

    – PR: 2/5 (Ok for Slowking but really bad on his own)

    – MG: 1/5 (Rubbish compared to the UD one)

    – Art: 3/5 (He looks stupid but then, he’s supposed to)

    071 – Snubbull (Colourless)

    pokebeach.comI said before that Granbull is not great. Snubbull then has a harder time than most basics because he doesn’t even have the luxury of evolving into a decent Pokémon (Like the rubbish Cyndaquil and Eevee from this set do). So, 50HP is in the bad range where he can be gotten by Sableye and, especially bad in this set, he’s weak to fighting.

    “Sharp Fang” is not really good enough at 20 for CC and “Roar” may have some situational uses but is only really good if you can make sure they have to switch to a Pokémon who can’t be easily retreated (or else it’s a wasted attack).

    Just not good unfortunately. It turns out it’s the only choice if you want to run Snubbull but nobody wants to run Snubbull.

    – PR: 1.5/5 (I suppose Granbull isn’t that bad and you need Snubbull for that)

    – MG: 1/5 (No use here at all, especially with Granbull being rubbish)

    – Art: 3/5 (I’m forever blowing bubbles)

    072 – Tangela (Grass)

    I said before that Tangrowth could be a force next season and I believe that Tangrowth could surprise a few people in the future. If he does then this is a very nice Tangela. 70HP is pretty handy, “Poisonpowder” is a tad overpriced at CCG but 30 plus automatic poison is fantastic. Hit a high-retreat Pokémon with this and you have a KO my friend.

    “Nutritional Support” is also good, allowing you to search and attach a grass energy, provided you have a grass energy on Tangela. A nice addition to this is being able to attach it to any Pokémon, not just Tangela.

    Usually you’ll want more on Tangela to charge up Tangrowth’s “Grind” but if Tangela is going to die next turn he can leave a nice present before he goes. I intend to make a Tangrowth deck in the near future. This is, without any doubt, the Tangela I will use.

    – PR: 4/5 (Actually viable by itself, can hit Poisonpowder turn 2 and of course you have Tangrowth)

    – MG: 3.5/5 (I think Tangrowth could be going places, and this is the Tangela to use)

    – Art: 5/5 (Stunning. Wish I’d bought some Japanese Lost Link boosters now!)

    073 – Teddiursa (Colourless)

    So, Ursaring Prime is viable and the Ursaring in this set is ok. So, we’re going to need a Teddiursa to evolve him from. This one could genuinely be good as for one colourless energy he can stop trainers for a turn and reduce any damage by 30 (any damage, not just from the defending Pokémon).

    Ok, this sounds awesome, but it relies on a coin flip. Heads is awesome, tails is a waste of an attack. The main problem with this card however is the UL Teddiursa. It has 10 more HP (crucially taking it out of Sableye range) and it can do 20 for a single energy (which is ok).

    The “downside” of this attack is that it does 10 to Teddiursa but this then activates Ursaring’s Poké-body for the following turn. So actually, this really isn’t worth running.

    – PR: 1/5 (Rubbish unless you run Ursaring. It can’t do any damage!)

    – MG: 1/5 (Just use the UL one instead)

    – Art: 3/5 (Another good picture ruined as it doesn’t fir the background. At all)

    074 – Totodile (Water)

    Now this, this is an odd card. A very odd card. 60HP is ok and the ability to do 90 damage for 3 energy is awesome. Theoretically, assuming you can pile energy on him, you can do a lot of damage (maxing out at 1,190 – making him one of the hardest hitters ever).

    The problem is, when are you ever going to have 3 energy on a basic? He’s there for evolving into Feraligatr, maybe attacking for a turn but not putting 3 energy on him. Ok, so pile energy onto him and he can be a big hitter without evolving but then he still only has 60HP so when he goes down (and it won’t take long) you’ve wasted a lot of energy attachment.

    Sorry, it’s a novel idea but it’s not working. P.s. use the HGSS one; he can’t hit as hard but he can attack for 1 energy which, on a basic used only for evolving, is far more useful.

    – PR: 2/5 (If you start with him you’d better hope you evolve quickly)

    – MG: 1/5 (Use the HGSS one)

    – Art: 3/5 (Great character, doesn’t fit the background)

    075 – Vulpix (Fire)

    Ok, so Ninetails is already essential in Charizard and other (rogue) fire decks and next format, without Uxie, he’s about to get a lot more essential. Unfortunately, for the time being, we have the shiny Vulpix from Platinum. He allows you to get 2 fire energy cards from your deck and put them in your hand. For no energy. Which is awesome.

    To be fair to him, burning for F is good (though flip tails and you’ve wasted an attack) and 30 for FC is excellent (even though if you flip tails you lose an energy).

    Personally, after rotation I will be using the UL one as he can do 20 for F, which I prefer as it’s a turn 1 attack and you really shouldn’t be putting 2 energies on a Vulpix to attack. At the most, he should be attacking T1 and evolving T2 and that’s only if you can’t get a BTS or Rare Candy out.

    – PR: 3/5 (Decent attacker and Ninetails is good)

    – MG: 1/5 (Is a better one after rotation and a MUCH better one right one)

    – Art: 2/5 (It looks like, when he lands, he is going to die)

    076 – Cheerleader’s Cheer

    pokebeach.comJust like Dual Ball, we have a card that seems good but is just outclassed by so many better cards. It allows you to draw one but means you have to allow your opponent to draw one. Which, unless they are completely set up, they will. This is not a good thing.

    Your other options include Team Rocket’s Trickery (draw 2, opponent discards 1), Buck’s Training (draw 2, attacks do +10 damage for a turn), Engineer’s Adjustments (discard an energy, draw 4) and Volkner’s Philosophy (discard one card, draw until you have 6). This all comes down to preference. I would go Volkner’s but you know what suits your game.

    However, you shouldn’t be using any of them. For draw your first point of call should always be Uxie. Other than that I would recommend hand-refreshing supporters over draw supporters. PONT is awesome, Judge is awesome and Cynthia’s Feelings can be awesome.

    Looker’s Investigation can also be good in decks like Vilegar. As a side-note, put some Engineer’s Adjustments into fire decks. If you’re struggling to get Ninetails up and running, this will fill the void for a turn or two.

    – PR: 5/5 (You should run this, drawing 3 cards is huge)

    – MG: 2/5 (Drawing 3 is good but there are better options)

    – Art: 4/5 (Come on, cheerleaders!)

    077 – Copycat

    Copycat comes down to preference. If you’re thinking about using it then you also have the choice of PONT (6 cards automatically), Judge (can really mess up your opponent’s game) and Looker’s (see your opponent’s hand and make a good decision). It just depends on your deck really and what you’re facing.

    Against SP and Gyarados you will likely get a lot of cards but against other decks you could be unlucky. The most common use for this card is Trainer Lock decks but be wary. I play Machamp/Donphan which is supposed to be destroyed by trainer lock but in a match against Vilegar in cities my opponent used Copycat twice; once for 3 cards and then again for 2 cards.

    Both times they had to reduce their hand size. I am not, by a loooong way, the only player who makes sure they can cut their hand size if need be, especially with Vilegar so popular. In Vilegar I would play Looker’s (see their hand, if it’s not “Poltergeist” fodder then change their hand, if it is, change yours) but otherwise I would say it’s a choice between PONT and Judge.

    PONT is awesome for consistency but the biggest decks right now are SP (use BIG hands), Gyarados (Use BIG hands) and Vilegar (want you to have a big hand) so for this reason I favour Judge.

    – PR: 5/5 (Any draw or hand refresh is awesome)

    – MG: 2/5 (I really do think it’s inferior to PONT, Judge and Looker’s)

    – Art: 2/5 (Not a fan, find some old Copycats, they look cooler)

    078 – Dual Ball

    This has the potential to be absolutely awesome. If you hit 2 heads then you get to search for 2 basic Pokémon. This is as good as Roseanne’s and almost as good as Pokémon collector. We should at this point bear in mind that this is a trainer too, so it doesn’t take your supporter for the turn. On the flip side (see what I did there?) if you hit 2 tails then you’ve just wasted a card.

    If you play Cyrus’ Initiative you should have some understanding of this, after all, how many times have you flipped double tails and been crushed? If there was a similar card that allowed you to get rid of one of their cards, would you do it?

    You wouldn’t be able to kill 2 cards but it would mean you’d definitely get rid of one. Well, for dual ball this exists. It’s called Great Ball. It’s a trainer that allows you to grab one basic Pokémon from your deck. It’s not flashy but it’s consistent and means you WILL get a basic Pokémon.

    For this reason I would always run this over Dual Ball. In crunch times you need certainty and as little luck as possible. Dual Ball does not give you this.

    – PR: 4/5 (Unless you get 2 tails this will be awesome, especially as you’re running many basics)

    – MG: 1/5 (Use great ball or, better yet, Pokémon Collector or Luxury Ball etc etc)

    – Art: 2/5 (Meh)

    079 – Interviewer’s Questions

    Last format we had Roseanne’s Research and it was glorious. This season we only really have one sure-fire way to search for energy and that’s Cyrus’ Conspiracy which is great for SP decks and ok for other decks but only getting 1 energy really isn’t enough for most decks. Interviewer’s questions tried to plug that gap and it’s…… ok.

    Now it searches for “energy” which means special energies are fair game but there is a lot of luck to it. I’ve seen people pull 5 or 6 energies with this and I’ve seen people pull 0. Obviously the higher energy count you run, the more use it is.

    The average amount of energy in a deck seems to be somewhere around 12-15 so, in theory, you should get 1 or 2 each time. We all know it doesn’t work like that in reality. So here’s the deal: if you run an energy-heavy deck then this is worth running (especially when you can attach multiple energies per turn such as Feraligatr Prime and Shaymin LV.X) but otherwise just make sure your deck is consistent and you won’t need it.

    – PR: 5/5 (You will probably run lots of energy and this will be invaluable)

    – MG: 1/5-5/5 (If you run something like Jumpluff this is useless but for Blastgatr it is gold)

    – Art: 3/5 (Very standard, ok but nothing amazing)

    080 – Lost Remover

    I have seen a lot of debate about this card for the past couple of weeks. I think that every deck that can find room should run two of these. Unfortunately, many decks just don’t have the room. If you’re playing Dark or Metal decks, they will rely on special energy.

    Many decks now run DCE as well and all of these can be removed with this card. Played at the right time it can really give an advantage. It can remove a special metal, allowing you to get a KO where you otherwise would not do enough damage, it can remove a special dark energy and leave you to attack for one more turn or it can strip a DCE, slowing your opponent’s deck down and possibly leaving them unable to attack.

    Now removing things like Warp Energy and Call Energy will largely be useless (they are rarely used to pay attack cost) but getting rid of Special Metal, Special Dark and DCE will be enough to make it worthwhile against almost all decks.

    As a side note, this will not work against Luxchomp to get rid of Garchomp’s DCE. Very occasionally they will pop it on early to use Earthquake but mostly they will put it on then immediately discard it for “Dragon Rush”. Don’t let this disturb you though, I think before this gets rotated you will see more than a couple matches turn when one of these bad boys is dropped.

    Oh, I almost forgot how popular Rescue Energy is getting. Decks like Gyarados and Vilegar really like their Rescue Energy, so use this to ruin their day.

    – PR: 2/5 (There is Special Metal and Special Dark but you probably won’t see it used much)

    – MG: 4/5 (Could turn games if played right)

    – Art: 4/5 (Looks cool and is the same chain that seeker wears)

    081 – Lost world

    pokebeach.comI am going to be a little controversial here and not give a proper opinion. The reason is, we haven’t had states yet. If Gengar/Lost world sweeps states then this is obviously a beastly, game changing card. If not, then it’s massively overhyped and not worth our collective musings.

    Next format this could be one of THE key cards but it is, as yet, untested and nobody knows how well it will do in proper competition, especially as the lack of prize-taking will completely ruin your chances in a best of 3 (long drawn out win in game 1 + one Prize card loss due to time in game 2 + 1 Prize card loss in sudden death = lose overall).

    As it stands, I’m largely ignoring this card. IF it becomes big then I will tech against it but I’m waiting. One piece of advice I will give you, if you get these (especially reverse holo ones!) hold onto them.

    At the moment COL is the current set so they’ll be easy to get hold of but in a little while, when we’ve had some more sets and the boosters are hard to get hold of, and especially if Gengar/Lost world is winning everything, these will go up in value. A lot! Just a thought.

    – PR: 0/5 (Good luck lost-zoning 6 Pokémon here, possible with cards like Zangoose but…. no)

    – MG: 1/5 or 5/5 (I’m biding my time on this one)

    – Art: 5/5 (Lost world must have the best art of any set ever and it was only 40 cards!)

    082 – Professor Elm’s Training Method

    Is this just a poor man’s Bebe’s? Well, mostly, yes. It can only get evolution Pokémon, so no basics, legends or Levels Xs (which Bebe’s can) and it can’t help you to put a useless card in your deck (which, against decks like Vilegar, can be vital) BUT you can use it if you have nothing in your hand that you’re willing to shuffle back into your deck.

    Overall it’s just not as good, and 4 Bebe’s will usually be enough (or too much). However, there is one use for this I’ve found: If you run Sableye, run one of these as it will allow you to search for an evolution Pokémon without getting rid of any cards.

    This is good because early game you’re likely to need all of your cards AND you’ll need evolution Pokémon. I used this trick and it worked wonders.

    – PR: 5/5 (You’ll likely to be running lines with 1 evolution Pokémon. This can help ya find it)

    – MG: 2/5 (It’s good but if you want a supporter to search for evolutions, use Bebe’s)

    – Art: 3/5 (I much prefer Oak to Elm but this is a nice cute little picture I suppose)

    083 – Professor Oak’s New Theory (PONT)

    For the record, this card is amazing; easily one of my favourite cards in the format. I literally never make a deck without 2. If you need one particular card, or if you have a really bad hand this will help you a lot more than Uxie, who everyone regards as the best draw we have.

    In a recent game I was playing sudden death against a Vilegar and got a T2 Machamp SF (after going first) but didn’t pull any fighting energy. One PONT later and the game was mine. The only reason not to play this card is Judge (Copycat is unreliable, even if you play trainer lock).

    Yes, Judge gets 4 cards instead of 6 but it can really screw up your opponent, especially if they play Gyarados or SP. Otherwise, you need this in your deck.

    – PR: 5/5 (There is nothing better in this set for drawing or hand refresh)

    – MG: 5/5 (If you don’t play judge, you need this in your deck)

    – Art: 4/5 (Simple but he looks like a lovely granddad)

    084 – Research Record

    I like this card. If anyone used it in the Prerelease they should have also realised it was pretty darn good. It not only allows you to fix what you get next turn (and for a couple turns after) but it also allows you to put cards you don’t need on the bottom (useful for people who play 4 Pokémon Collectors for example). Now everyone loves Delcatty and this provides a similar purpose; fixing what’s on top of your deck.

    Now I know it’s not as good as Delcatty but it also doesn’t sit on your bench, taking up space and waiting to give away a prize. If you need to control what’s on top of your deck, or you’re stuck top-decking, this is a very, very good card.

    It’s a trainer too remember so you can use your supporter for the turn as well as this. It also combos very, very well with cards like Uxie that allow draw.

    The only real problem I see with this card is that it will be the 61st card in many decks and just get left out. If you have any space in your deck though you should be putting it in, some people will and I can guarantee that sooner or later it will win them a game.

    – PR: 5/5 (YES! You will usually be top-decking and looking for one or two specific cards)

    – MG: 4/5 (It really will save games, can you make space in your deck?)

    – Art: 4.5/5 (It really does look very cool)

    085 – Sage’s Training

    This card can be very useful for getting important cards but there are two big problems. Firstly, you have to discard 3 cards, and this can really ruin your game (I know sometimes, like in Gyarados, you need to discard but cards like Junk Arm and Volkner’s are far better for this).

    Secondly, there are much better options; PONT, Judge, copycat (sometimes), Uxie, Ninetails, Magnezone Prime, Engineer’s adjustments, and the list goes on. However, in a Prerelease any draw is appreciated and you often have several cards in your deck which can be left out of a given match so here, it shines.

    – PR: 4/5 (can get the cards to win and often the other 3 can be sacrificed

    – MG: 1.5/5 (Can work but there are so many better options)

    – Art: 3/5 (Simple but a very nice picture)

    086 – Special Darkness Energy

    pokebeach.comIt’s like a dark energy but increases all damage by 10! This is awesome! Decks like Tyranitar have made a nice living off this bad boy and it’s easy to see why.

    There are downsides, most notable Scizor Prime (being invulnerable if you have special energy attached) and the new Lost Remover which can strip these off of your Pokémon, but these are not a big enough reason not to run it.

    As a bonus we now even have Energy Exchange Unit to help search this out. Don’t run just Special Darks (or Scizor will own you) but in any dark deck you should probably have 4 of these.

    With Gengar Prime looking to become increasingly popular, so will Dark Pokémon (as a counter) and Special dark could kill that Gengar one turn earlier, which could be the difference.

    – PR: 5/5 (With the already low average HP in a PR, this can really make a difference)

    – MG: 5/5 (Dark decks need this, ‘nuff said)

    – Art: 2/5 (meh, better than the RR ones I suppose)

    087 – Special Metal Energy

    It’s like a metal energy but decreases all damage by 10! This is awesome. Decks like Dialgachomp, Steelix Prime and Scizor prime have made a nice living off this bad boy and it’s easy to see why. There are downsides, most notable Scizor Prime (being invulnerable if you have special energy attached) and the new Lost Remover which can strip these off of your Pokémon, but these are not a big enough reason not to run it.

    As a bonus we now even have Energy Exchange Unit to help search this out. Don’t run just special metals (or Scizor will own you) but in any metal deck you should probably have 4 of these.

    – PR: 5/5 (With the already low average damage output in a PR, this can really make a difference)

    – MG: 5/5 (Metal decks need this, ‘nuff said)

    – Art: 2/5 (meh, better than the RR ones I suppose

    Overview

    Ok, so this set got some bad press before it was released. It was comprised largely of reprints (none of which were from further ago than 4 sets) and didn’t seem to make any new decks other than Lostgar.

    I heard many people saying they were boycotting this set and just focussing on single cards that they wanted and then both Prereleases saw a significant drop in numbers (I went to the same two Prereleases for this, Triumphant, Unleashed and Undaunted) at least in Masters.

    So, was it worth the bad press? We’ve seen every card so now I’m going to look at this set as a whole, give out some awards and then look at the commons, uncommon etc as a whole.

    The Set For Players

    pokebeach.comFor players this is a bit of a mixed bag. For new players, this set is awesome, mostly because of all the fantastic reprint supporters (PONT, Interviewer’s etc) as well as being able to get some alright cards like the HGSS starters, Pidgeot, Foretress and so on.

    It also included a few excellent reprints that people really needed, specifically: Smeargle UD, Ninetales HGSS and Umbreon UD. The problem is that these cards are reprints and any experienced players will not need any more of these (I know I don’t).

    For experienced players, there isn’t really much in this set to wow about. So let’s focus on the positives for the time-being.

    Lost Remover and Research Documents are both very good cards that could really make a difference in games but, as I said above in my main review, they’re often going to be the 61st cards in decks, especially when facing competition from cards like Pokémon Communication, Luxury Ball and Expert Belt.

    There were a few new noteworthy Pokémon as well, specifically: Tangrowth, Mr. Mine (more later), Mine Jr. and Relicanth, all of which were from the Lost Link -set in Japan. It also provided us with a new Tangela that gets my vote. The problem is I shouldn’t have room to mention a common that evolves into a stage 1 in my overview of the good new cards and therein lies the problem.

    It’s nice to have reprints of Ninetails, Umbreon and Smeargle, the reprinted supporters are very good (but reprints) and there are a couple decent new trainers but that’s it. In a set of 95 cards this just isn’t good enough. I’m not even going to mention the Shiny Pokémon because they’re all rubbish.

    There is however one thing that Call of Legends is very, very good for and that’s Gengar. Mr. Mime has just become essential for every Vilegar and Lostgar list (you can see for certain whether they have trainers or Pokémon in their hand), Mime Jr. is a very nice card for Lostgar decks and then Lost World makes Lostgar a reality. This is however the only deck that I can see that really benefits from this set.

    Let’s compare this set to Triumphant. In that set we had the rebirth of Gyarados and Machamp. We also had new rogue decks like Nidoking and Cubone (someone make it happen) as well as Uxie donk. Regardless of all this we had cards like Rescue Energy, Twins, Seeker and Black Belt which, between them, have permeated almost every single competitive deck. Looking at COL side by side with Triumphant just shows the gulf we see for players.

    For all these reasons I’m afraid I just can’t call COL a good set for players. New players will get some handy cards but to be honest with you, for experienced players, it just doesn’t cut it.

    Overall score for players: 1.5/5 (Unless you play Gengar in which case raise it to at least a 4)

    The Set For Collectors

    pokebeach.comSo here the set stands a chance. Reprints don’t matter for collectors because the art is new and that’s all you see in the binders. Players were annoyed that the Shiny Pokémon were not as playable as the Primes (by and large) have been but that doesn’t matter to collectors because the Shiny Pokémon look good!

    Oh, and you can now get all the HGSS energies in reverse holo and that is cool. Oh, and the lost link cards have some of the best art I have seen!

    Before we start I would like to say that as well as a player I am a collector. I have collected the complete sets of HGSS, UL, UD and TM and am currently only a few cards away from completing AR and RR. I will complete this set and leave it in my binder looking all lovely. The question I’m asking is: Will it be as fulfilling as the other sets? The answer is no and there are 3 good reasons for this.

    1: There are 39 rare cards in a set of 95. This means that 41% of the cards are rare. Well we also have the 8 reverse holo energies which are currently seeming hard to pull (approximately 3 per box). So let’s call that 47/95 cards that are hard to get hold of, or 49%.

    Then of course we have the shiny Pokémon. Now I went to two Prereleases, got 16 packs and pulled no shiny Pokémon (and only one reverse holo energy as it happens). I know of people that pulled more but they seem to be running at 2 per box. So let’s add them into the mix. That leaves 59 out of 107 cards that are rare or difficult to pull. That’s 55%. You see my problem?

    2: Some of the shiny Pokémon are also printed in rare. This is lazy and does not make my binder happy. I know Primes mostly also had non-prime versions in the same set but they were vastly different, so it was cool.

    3: Shiny Pokémon are not as cool as legends or Level Xs and they don’t feel as special. Call me a sentimental old fool but these are (almost) on a par with Primes. Nothing more. Ever since EXs came in, we’ve had cards more special than this.

    After going to 2 Prereleases I have still ordered a box of COL. I have my binder all set out with spaces for all the cards and I will complete this set. I’m not going to lie though; it’s not going to be as fun as when I complete Triumphant.

    On a side note, the Shiny Pokémon are in no way playable at all (except for a possible Dialga / Rayquaza C combo) so they should become fairly cheap, fairly quickly as the collectors get hold of them and players are left with these cards that nobody wants.

    I have a decent collection of playable cards ready for trade so I’ll be able to pick them up, but does there really need to be 12 in a set where there are already 39 rares?

    Overall score for collectors: 2.5 (But only really for the reverse holo energies and Lost Link cards)

    Awards

    Best Shiny

    pokebeach.com– Dialga – Beast at the Prerelease and I love the idea that someone could use him properly

    Best Rare (New)

    – Tangrowth – Again, it’s not going to be easy but I see him working

    Best Rare (Reprint)

    – Smeargle – Next season we’ll see a lot more supporter draw and Sableye is gone

    Best Uncommon

    – Flareon – An absolute beast at the Prerelease and a nice fire tech for eeveelutions

    Best Common

    – Relicanth – So good he should have been an uncommon

    Best Trainer

    Research RecordLost Remover almost pipped it but I see this card winning more games

    Best Supporter

    – PONT – It’s amazing and you should be running it

    Best Starter

    – Relicanth – Draw power and lost-zoning Pokémon (which is essential in some decks)

    Deck Type that Benefitted Most

    – Psychic (Mr. Mime, Mime Jr., Mismagius, Lost World – Psychic decks are basically Gengar and this set helped Gengar a lot)

    – Notables: Metal (Special Metal, Dialga, Skarmory) and Fire (Ninetails, Typhlosion, Flareon)

    Most Likely to Get Donked

    pokebeach.com– Mareep – 40HP and a lightning weakness when you have Hitmonlee running around

    Hands Down, Worst Card

    – Kyogre – 4 turns of energy attachment to hit all your Pokémon for 40? Tell me it’s a joke

    Most Hoardable Cards (Top 5) – Keep them then trade them!

    – Ninetales

    – Smeargle

    – Lost world

    – Mr. Mine

    – Umbreon

    Possible Metagame Changing Cards

    – Mr. Mine

    Lost World

    Prettiest Cards

    – Snorlax

    – Pachirisu

    – Relicanth

    – Tangrowth

    – Reverse holo energies (all of them)

    Overall Marks for Rarity Sets

    These marks reflect the cards usefulness in the Metagame as a whole.

    Shiny

    I’m sorry to start on a negative here but these just aren’t playable. Most of them can be good in the Prereleases just due to their heavy hitting power but most have significant downsides (See Dialga, Palkia, Groudon, Kyogre, Rayquaza etc).

    Compared to the most played attackers they just can’t hold a candle. Use them in a Prerelease (except Kyogre) but not in a deck.

    Overall score for Shiny Pokémon: 1/5

    Rare

    pokebeach.comIn my opinion, when looking at a new set, the rares are the most important cards. The special rares (Primes, Legends etc) will be difficult to pull and the commons and uncommon are incredibly easy to get.

    When looking at the rares from COL I made a list of the ones that were good and the ones that could be used in fun decks or odd little combos.

    So, first, the list of cards that could make odd little combos: Dialga, Pachirisu, Zangoose, Foretress, Mismagius and Pidgeot. These cards might see some play at league or in the hands of very skilled players but they’re unlikely to be game breaking. Oh yeah and 3 or those 6 are reprints.

    Now for the list of cards that are good (or at least I think will see play): Houndoom, Leafeon, Ninetails, Smeargle, Umbreon, Skarmory, Slowking, Lucario, Mr. Mine and Tangrowth. 10 rares that are good enough to be played seems good, but 7 of them are reprints.

    In fact, only Tangrowth, Lucario and Mr. Mine are new and of them only Mr. Mine is guaranteed to see considerable play. However, reprints of not, we have got to give props to any set that gives us Umbreon, Smeargle and Ninetails.

    Overall score for rares: 2.5/5 (Some decent reprints and cards with potential)

    Uncommon

    There are only 12 uncommon Pokémon in this set. Some of them, notably the eeveelutions, are very good. We also have cards like Croconaw and Bayleef that are perfectly adequate for what we want them for. We also have baby Pokémon which I hate but I can see their uses.

    Unfortunately though, the only really good uncommon we see in this set is Mime Jr. Now for Lostgar lists this is an excellent Pokémon but, once again, do we really want to run around cheering for a single good uncommon in a 95 card set (when boosters are now running around £3.59 a pack in the UK)?

    Overall score for uncommons: 2/5 (Only Mime Jr. and the reprinted eeveelutions are any good)

    Common

    pokebeach.comThings do not look much better in the commons. Let’s look at the good things: Tangela is the best there is and I see Tangrowth getting play next season. We also have Relicanth and I’ve made my thoughts on him very clear. Other than the only good ones are Pidgey and Magmar which are the best iterations of those particular Pokémon.

    The problem is that neither Magmortar nor Pidgeot see any play. Oh, and they’re reprints. The rest of the commons in this set are particularly horrible, for instance: a Cyndaquil and Mareep with 40HP and a Totodile that need 3 energy to attack.

    To be fair to this set, the commons have been on a slide since HGSS, largely owing to the worse stats (regardless of attacks) such as a predisposition to x2 weaknesses and retreat costs creeping up for some Pokémon. Take for instance Machop: The SF Machop has a +10 weakness and a retreat cost of 1.

    The TM Machop has a x2 weakness and a retreat cost of 2. As you shouldn’t be attacking with the basics of stage 2 Pokémon you just can’t overlook the difference in stats.

    Next season some of these commons will be better as almost everyone will have a x2 weakness and the retreat costs will be fairer but that doesn’t help us now.

    Oh, and there’s still no excuse for rubbish like Cyndaquil and Totodile, especially when we have considerably better versions of those Pokémon from HGSS.

    Overall score for commons: 1.5/5 (Most of these are easily replaced by far superior cards)

    Trainers / Supporters / Stadiums

    Your score here depends purely on how much you like reprints. If we take away the reprints then we have Research Record and Research Documents which are both excellent and Lost World which is potentially game-breaking.

    If we add in the reprints then we get PONT, Interviewer’s Questions, Copycat, Professor Elm’s Training Method, heck, even Cheerleader’s Cheer. We also get reprints of Special Metal and Special Dark, which are always welcome.

    If we go back to Triumphant they had Junk Arm, Twins, Black Belt and Seeker and this was hailed as an amazing set. Whichever way you look at it, the Trainers in this set are superb and there will be very few decks that have none of these cards in.

    The only real question here is: Did you already have them?

    Overall score for T/S/S: 4/5 (Would be higher if not for the reprints)

    So, there we have it. I have reviewed very card, given an overview of the set for collectors and for players, looked at each rarity set and given a bunch of awards. So, let me know what you think.

    Was the set any good? Was I too harsh or too nice? Do you disagree with anything I’ve said? Also, would you welcome another set review?

    As it stands I’m onto my 30th page on Word and running at almost 18,000 words, but I now know this set like the back of my hand, as well as having researched a lot of other things in the writing of it. I’ve thinking of doing one for the first B+W set in 2 months, would anyone read it?

    Reader Interactions

    11 replies

    1. the sidewalk

      C’mon, man. Why are you going to rate Seviper that poorly and say that you have to sacrifice 20 HP in order to use the full effect of its second attack when you know full and well that you can easily use Skunktank G + any gym card and avoid sacrificing anything? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you didn’t have the time or patience to remember every single combo since you were attempting to compose a report on an entire set, and that you may have not included that combo because you wanted to only talk about cards from the set… But, c’mon!

    2. Colin Peterik

      I personally don’t like it when articles are copy and pasted from other threads.. (this was on the gym). Plus, remember when Kenny tried to review an entire set? And a better set at that. This is so long not even your editor wanted to read it! But I guess it has some good info for beginners and collectors.

      • Tamao Cameron  → Colin

        This was his article on the gym :/

        The timing wasn’t great for this article (we’re in the period where a BW review would have been more useful) but it’s kinda useful for people like me who usually can’t be bothered to look at each individual card in a set

        • Adam Capriola  → Tamao

          I didn’t realize this was on the gym already… I wanted to post it cause I know it must have taken forever to write, but in the future I’ll make sure people aren’t reposting.

          • Matthew Riddle  → Adam

            I don’t know. Too much re-posting and it may be unneeded, but I don’t see the problem of re-posting GOOD articles that many people can benefit from on another site. SixPrizes may have some visitors that don’t visit the PokeGym, and it’s important to spread word of good and informative articles. The whole idea is to read, learn, grow, and I think this is an area where a little overlapping doesn’t hurt many people.

          • Willy Goebel  → Matthew

            Maybe so, but if someone wants to repost an article, they need to tell Adam it’s a repost instead of taking credit for it like the reposter of this article.

          • Matthew Riddle  → Willy

            If the article submitter wrote the article that was on another site, I think they should have freedom to “repost” their article anywhere that will accept it. Adam didn’t accept it because it was a poor article, and I don’t see any reason for it not to be accepted and added to the list of good articles on this site just because it was posted somewhere else first.

            I’m hoping nobody is saying the person who submitted the article didn’t write the original article on that other site. Now that would be wrong, taking someone else’s article from another site and making it look like you wrote it.

    3. curtis bostick

      Magby was THE MVP card of the prerelease I went to. He was the card I lost to on my first 2 games, and the one I one with on my final game.

    4. jordan baker

      I feel bad that someone actually spent this much time writing about a set that literally nobody cares about.

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