Defender (Undaunted UD 72): Card of the Day

pokebeach.comHello 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 a 1HKO 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?

You could:

  1. Play Pokémon with higher HP. (That is not very practical.)
  2. Play a Trainer-Item locking deck. (This is a possibility, but a great list has yet to be discovered.)
  3. 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.

pokebeach.comWhere PlusPower is the offensive strategy used in Reshiram decks, Defender is the defensive option.

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 1HKO 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 metagame decks. However, in a certain deck (cough, Typhlosion Prime, cough) it can be essential. It is truly a matter of playstyle.

Reader Interactions

44 replies

  1. Anonymous

    Good article
    I run four in my jumpluff yanmega deck since i can get one-shoted easily
    It has really helpd against many decks,except reshiboar but it can still help out against many other decks.

  2. Emil lumen


    Defender’s also work on decks that hit fast and run low energy like cincinno/zoroark/yanmega/jumpluff because they have low hp to prevent OHKO from 100 attacks, or 120 attacks if they attach more than 1.

    Also its kinda too soon to rate defenders that low, we haven’t really seen a big event where those meta decks  actually top, since this format is more about skills than OP cards (EX: Sabledonk, Luxray, etc.)

  3. Tamao Cameron

    What a lot of people don’t know about the card is it’s recent errata.  Basically, I’ve been trying to work it into my zekrom build as it will also negate 20 damage you do to yourself with your own attack which is amazing in theory.  It allows you to take Donphan head on with Zekrom and will help avoid the ohko from so many other threats in the format, especially if you manage to get 2 on it.

    • Anonymous  → Tamao

      Thats what ive done..with my jumpluff if i fighting a pokemon with high HP
      like steelix i do leaf guard with 2defenders so that any damage done to me next turn would be -70
      and against donchamp it works even better.

      • Tamao Cameron  → Anonymous

        I don’t think you understand my point.  What I was saying is that with zekrom, you usually do 40 to yourself.  With defender now, you can attach two, not take any damage from your own attack and also resist a lot of hits next turn from whatever your opponent can throw at you.

        Adding defender to things like leaf guard to further help surviving hits is pretty standard.

        • Anonymous  → Tamao

          With defenders you hurt yourself for 40 like usually and then reduce any damage by 40..
          But you still take the 40 from zekrom which is alright

          Defenders says any damage done to your pokemon by your opponents attack
          meaning you still take 40 from youself

        • Tamao Cameron  → Anonymous

          Yes which is why if you read my initial comment, it said there was a recent errata to state that it will affect the attacks in which you hurt yourself.  Read Pokegym’s most recent errata update to see.

        • Ash  → Anonymous

          dude……….come on now.

          Tamoo is correct so dont be like that. But i don’t believe it prevents Afterburner damage seeing as the errata says “Any damage done to the Pokémon Defender is attached to BY ATTACKS is reduced by 20”

        • Anonymous  → Ash

          yeah it has to be damage done by attacks. but i can see it useful in zekrom if you can get enough on.

        • Willy Goebel  → Anonymous

          No, because you thought that “With defenders you hurt yourself for 40 like usual” for Zekrom’s self-damage. In reality, Defenders reduce Zekrom’s self-damage.

        • Willy Goebel  → Anonymous

          I_Forgot_The_Ice 23 hours ago in reply to TamooWith defenders you hurt yourself for 40 like usually and then reduce any damage by 40..But you still take the 40 from zekrom which is alrightDefenders says any damage done to your pokemon by your opponents attackmeaning you still take 40 from youselfLike Reply

        • Willy Goebel  → Willy

          I copy pasted your comment that I previously quoted. Now there is no denying that the comment which I quoted is in fact yours.

        • Willy Goebel  → Anonymous

          If you are talking about a last-word contest, then yes, I’ve
          lost. However, if you aren’t stupid and you realize that this is an ARGUMENT
          and not a last word contest, then you’ll also realize that you have yet to
          provide any factual evidence, while I have. If you respected yourself at all,
          you wouldn’t reply to this, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you don’t
          respect yourself any more than I respect you, which obviously is very little, so I’ll be anticipating your uneducated short phrase that doesn’t prove anything in a few hours. PLEASE, PROVE me wrong. I’m rooting for you.

        • Adam Bigott  → Anonymous

          I just wanted to repley to this because of how narrow the text box is getting. Also defender errata = cool

  4. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    This card is absolutely key in a format where you have 130 HP Pokemon doing 130 damage (w/PP) to each other.

    Standard of comments in CotD is going rapidly downhill.

  5. Anonymous

    Defender is surprisingly underrated, and I think it’s a great card that might prove as useful if not more useful than Pluspower.

  6. Willy Goebel

    I agree with the low rating, especially for when we get Pokemon Catcher in the format.

  7. Dave Wilson

    This card would be so much better if you could play it on your opponent’s turn like Power Spray.

  8. tim h

    I use this as a one-off in Reshiboar (with 3 pluspowers and 4 junkarms).

    A defender midgame is absolutely amazing vs basically any deck. The only things that you should watch out for are samurott decks, which continue to hit for 140 with only 1 water attached (and a dce).

    With reshiboar, it not only lets reshiram survive, but also helps the turn per turn KO’s. I also run 1 revive, which is okay as well.

    It (defender) can be paired with Rayquaza Deoxys legend with Indigo Plateau to avoid the KO from Bouffalant… and if you draw a dud defender early on, it can easily be attached to a cleffa and then junk armed when you need it.

    I think decks without junk arm don’t need it though. I would give it a 2/5; because of situational use; but 3/5 in reshiboar as a one-off.

    • Anonymous  → tim

      technically they would hit 160 with 1 water. its base is 70 for CCC but then gets +10 for each water. ya i trying to find room in my reshiboar to fit it in. though i dont really like the one of idea i think 2 of would be better. its amazing in mirrow.

  9. Sam Stevens

    something like samurott/donphan prime deck with 4 defenders and 4 junk arms in it would be tough to get through, and donphan counters samurotts weakness too which is nice… i tested this and found its easy to get samurott with rescue energy and DCE with average of 3 defenders to absorb up to 220 damage and just rescue the line all back if they even could do that much… unless against lightning then set up donphan instead (the same amount of defense with its resistance) 

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