PokeBeachHello SixPrizes Nation, I am making my debut in the Card of the Day section and will be talking about Defender. The most current print of Defender is from the Undaunted set. However, you can also get copies of the card from the Base Set.
This card is flying under the radar for the HGSS-on format. Many players are singing the praises of Defender’s red pill counterpart, PlusPower. PlusPower allows many decks to hit the magic number required for an OHKO in this format: 130 hp (or 140 for Magnezone Prime and Donphan Prime). People are even pairing 4 PlusPower with 4 Junk Arm to hit triple PlusPower drops to hit 150 damage.
So, what are players supposed to do? How do you counter the PlusPower madness?
- Play Pokémon with higher HP. (That is not very practical.)
- Play a Trainer-Item Locking deck. (This is a possibility, but a great list has yet to be discovered.)
- Play Defender.
Playing Defender is the easiest option to implement.
Defender states “Attach Defender to 1 of your Pokémon. Discard this card at the end of your opponent’s next turn. Any damage done to the Pokémon Defender is attached to by an opponent’s attack is reduced by 20 (after applying Weakness and Resistance).”
It is Donphan Prime’s Poké-Body, Exoskeleton, in Trainer-Item form by reducing damage taken by 20 until the end of your opponents turn. It is also the closest thing that we have for an Expert Belt replacement on the defensive side.
Consider the Reshiram vs Reshiram (or Zekrom) match up. If you can drop a Defender on your Reshiram then your opponent must hit a triple PlusPower drop just to OHKO your Reshiram (assuming you have zero damage on Reshiram). That is both very difficult to pull off and it is a lot of resources to KO a measly Reshiram.
Most notably, this card could find a home in a Typhlosion Prime and Reshiram deck as an alternative way to mitigate the 10 damage put on Reshiram from Afterburner.
Defender is also useful for decks that run Pokémon on the wrong side of a multiple of 50 (meaning 80-100 HP or 130-150 hp) in games against Magnezone Prime. Dropping that Defender will not allow you to survive Lost Burn, but it will force your opponent to send one more energy to the Lost Zone, which can be crippling to Magnezone decks in the late game.
It could possibly be used in a Donphan Prime deck to turn Donphan into a 160 HP beast. It could also be used in Cinccino to get over the 100 HP mark.
Ultimately, I must give this card a 1.5 out of 5. It is extremely limited in its uses. It also does not fit into many projected meta-game decks. However, in a certain deck (cough, Typhlosion Prime, cough) it can be essential. It is truly a matter of playstyle.