If you want to buy a Mewtwo EX right now, it’d run you about $8.
That is, if you’ve been living under a rock and didn’t know that a new Mewtwo EX guaranteed for release from Next Destinies is going for preorder sale at SIXTY FIVE dollars each, or over $250 for a playset of four. Regardless of whether or not Mewtwo EX is actually worth that much, you cannot deny that it is likely the most hyped un-released card in the history of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
Mikey concluded his article yesterday with a very fitting question for today’s that happened to fit perfectly with what I’d been writing, so I found it only fitting to start today:
“As I said in my last article, I will leave you with a question; this time more directed at Pokémon:
Mewtwo EX has gained a lot of hype in the past few weeks. Looking ahead, do you think it will live up to the hype? Or will it be this year’s Gengar Prime? You guys tell me!”
Does Mewtwo EX live up to the hype? I’ve been extensively testing it in several different proxied deck concepts, and I’m beginning to develop my own opinion on the debate. Once I realized that I had another article during City Championships scheduled in January (even though it’s very close to the end of things), I decided I’d be best off working together a concepts and ideas to begin prepping you guys for States.
However, without knowing the complete set of Next Destinies, I couldn’t go into full detail on how our entire format is going to change. However, I do know that at least one guaranteed card is going to make an impact.
Today’s article is dedicated to the most expensive card in our format (aside from Tropical Beach), and how it’s looking to change (or not change) things up as we move ahead from City Championships into States.
The first step is to simply look at Mewtwo EX conceptually. Why would he excel in our current format? What could give him trouble right off the bat based on what’s being played right now in Cities? Let’s take a look:
pokemon-paradijs.comIf there’s any main reason that Mewtwo EX would go high in price, it’s that he can fit into so many decks very easily. X-Ball functions on two C Energy, allowing Mewtwo to function with every legal form of Energy acceleration and have potential through that alone. Celebi Prime, Pachirisu CL/Jirachi UL + Shaymin UL, Eelektrik NVI, Typhlosion Prime, and Emboar BLW 20 are all candidates right off the bat.
There is also a Gardevoir (not yet confirmed for Next Destinies) that doubles Psychic Energy value on Psychic Pokémon, and that’ll apply too.
Heck, even the fact that X-Ball functions in DCE makes him a viable attacker in any deck that runs DCE in it. All those options combined, and Mewtwo might find itself comfortably fitting in a large handful of popular decks.
Then, of course, there’s the never-ending cycle that stems from the fact that Mewtwo EX is one of the best counters to Mewtwo EX. If Mewtwo EX is popular, than it’ll become more popular. That’s just silly.
It sounds really dumb, but being able to do 40 damage for one energy is actually a big deal for a Basic Pokémon. Forgetting all other possibilities to add damage for Mewtwo EX early in the game, the list of prevalent Basic Pokémon that fall to Mewtwo EX+DCE->X-Ball is actually pretty significant, including the 30/40 HP Tynamo, 40 HP Oddish, 40 HP Voltorb, 30 HP Solosis, and of course the 30 HP Cleffa. A lot of these Pokémon play heavy roles in most of the major decks played right now, and being forced to go down a prize immediately is going to hurt.
If I had to compare it to anything, it seems to me like this could be very similar to the random immediate wins that Sableye SF could take with a Special D Energy using Overconfident (before the rule change). Granted, Mewtwo doesn’t guarantee that you go first like Sableye did, but the same conditions (low HP opposing starter, need specific Basic and Special Energy to attack) definitely remind me of it.
In addition, you’re not too far off from taking cheap shots at most of the other powerful setup Basics in the format. One PlusPower adds Magnemite, Litwick, and plenty of others to your list of turn 1 KOs. If you’re going second, your opponent also needs to be careful who they attach to — giving you the X-Ball for 60 to whoever received an Energy on turn 1.
As a Magnezone player who knows how useful it is to get an Energy on Magnemite the turn before you evolve to Magnezone, I could see this becoming really frustrating.
Beyond that, X-Ball is an attack that can easily grow into huge amounts of damage based on specific situations, because it includes energy on your opponent’s Active Pokémon, too. If your opponent has just 2 Energy on their Active Pokémon, that’s +40 damage to X-Ball right away. 3 Energy and you’re up to +60.
On your own end, Energy acceleration and DCE makes being able to have 3-4 energy on Mewtwo EX fairly common, giving you 60-80 damage to start with before you begin to add the extra damage your opponent will give you. It might not always add up perfectly to a 1HKO, but being able to churn out high damage quickly makes X-Ball a great attack.
Bulbapedia170 HP on a basic is just stupid, and is now officially the second-highest HP for any Basic Pokémon (behind just Groudon and Regigigas-EX, neither of which confirmed for Next Destinies yet). Being a Basic Pokémon makes him Eviolite eligible, extending that padding to as high as 190 HP, putting him far outside 1HKO range from everything short of a few specific Pokémon.
All of the new EXs are going to have absurdly high HP, but combining this high HP with a combination of versatility, a fast attack, and minimal weaknesses will more often than not lead Mewtwo EX to taking his worth of 2 Prizes before giving them up. He’ll also make a great potential option in Ross/Truth variants because of this.
2 Retreat Cost isn’t the worst it could be, but it still isn’t exactly convenient. The prevalence of Catcher makes retreating to the bench a much weaker option than it used to be for preventing prizes on damaged Pokémon, though, so I don’t know how much it really matters.
Rarely will I find myself upset that Zekrom has 2 retreat instead of 1 because I’m usually just going to be attacking with him. Same story for Mewtwo EX.
pokemon-paradijs.comOn first glance, Psydrive seems much better than it actually is. Dealing 120 damage for 3 energy and discarding only one makes it seem like an instantly more efficient version of the already proven strong Blue Flare. However, not having access to a very consistent form of Psychic Energy acceleration makes using Psychic Energy at all in a deck pretty sub-optimal.
Jirachi CL can retrieve a few energy from the discard, but you’ll still need Shaymin on top of that to move the energies to Mewtwo, and that whole process is sloppy.
The only situation where I could buy using Psydrive would be if Gardevoir is released. In this new scenario, Mewtwo could use Psydrive on two Psychic Energy instead of three. Even considering this, having Gardevoir in play along with two Psychic Energies would still mean that you’d be hitting with X-Ball for a base damage of 80 (your 2 energy now count as 4).
If your opponent has 2 energy of their own, you’re already going to be hitting for the same amount of damage as Psydrive, and you won’t have to discard an energy.
Psydrive isn’t the worst attack ever, but most decks including Mewtwo EX will rarely be using it.
Being Psychic has always been weird. You’re weak to yourself, making for some awkward mirror matches, but you’re never really abusing that type against anything else. No resistance either, so I can’t exactly give Mewtwo EX a reward for that.
No perfect high damage output, giving up 2 Prizes, not unstoppable
pokemon-paradijs.comI planned on talking about both of these issues separately, but they both blended together as I wrote, so here are all of Mewtwo EXs biggest problems wrapped into one section:
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, being able to make your Mewtwo EX (or any EX for that matter) worth at LEAST 2 or more prizes every time it graces the field is necessary. While Mewtwo EX can do some really nasty things in the early game with X-Ball giving trouble to just about everything that wants to evolve one day, things can get potentially sluggish after that. There are also two big problems I can foresee with loading up a Mewtwo for giant X-Balls.
The first is that once again, Mewtwo EX is his own worst enemy. If you’re planning on loading your own Mewtwo with Energy, you leave yourself wide open to another Mewtwo’s X-Ball, usually for just one DCE. You need just 5 total Energy between Mewtwo EXs to hit for 200 damage from one Mewtwo to another (Eviolite or not).
Because of how easily Mewtwos can take each other out, you really need to ensure that you have a 2 Prize lead before your first Mewtwo falls. Here’s an example that I’m sure will play out throughout the season:
- Player A Mewtwo EX takes 1 Prize.
- Player B Mewtwo EX KOs opponent’s Mewtwo EX, takes 2 Prizes
- Player A Mewtwo EX KOs opponent’s Mewtwo EX, takes 2 Prizes
- Player B Mewtwo EX KOs opponent’s Mewtwo EX, takes 2 Prizes
- Player A Mewtwo EX KOs opponent’s Mewtwo EX, takes 5th prize
- Player B Mewtwo EX KOs opponent’s Mewtwo EX, takes 6th prize
This is going to be a dumb exchange that will take place all the time with some of the less-skilled players playing in the mirror. If you end up playing vs. an opponent’s deck that runs a Mewtwo EX of its own, you might find yourself best served to start multiple non-EX Basics, goading them into attaching and taking that first prize, giving you the easy reactive prize for 2.
pokemon-paradijs.comThis is an extension of what Mikey said yesterday — if you play with Pokémon-EX, finding ways to force your opponent to take “7 Prizes” by forcing them to reach their 5th prize before meeting your final EX is going to be a crucial exchange. I know I’m getting a little off-topic from the broader examination of “Mewtwo EX struggles with high damage output”, but the examination of the mirror seemed appropriate. To finally sum up that first point — you can’t ever really charge Mewtwo that heavily, because he could just become an easy counter-Mewtwo KO.
My second problem is that some Pokémon have high HP but don’t need high Energy counts to get their attacks done, severely limiting your X-Ball potential. Coming straight out of our City Championships metagame, both Magnezone Prime and Chandelure NVI fit this description. Magnezone, if he can get set up before falling to an early X-Ball, could possibly be Mewtwo’s number one enemy.
Because you’re constantly throwing Energy into the Lost Zone, Magnezone will usually never have more than 1 energy attached to it at a time. For Mewtwo to 1HKO a 1 Energy Magnezone, it would need 6 energy attached of its own (7 to 1HKO a Chandelure with 0 energy).
On the flip side, Magnezone can throw 4 Energy into the Lost Zone for 2 Prizes, a very favorable exchange for the Zone player considering how often you can settle for a 3 energy KO for just 1 Prize. If players can find ways for non-Pokémon-EX to constantly one or 2-shot EXs, this might be a more ideal strategy for dealing with the EX-heavy format.
Mewtwo’s other two big non-EX enemies include Mew Prime and Cobalion NVI. Mew seems like it’d be a naturally easy way to KO Mewtwo EX because of its Psychic typing, but it’s actually not as straightforward as many people are thinking. Most people I see online talk about using Mew to See Off Jumpluff with a Prism Energy, allowing Mew to run more Rainbow Energy in the deck and use the Grass-type Mass Attack more easily.
pokemon-paradijs.comMy biggest problem with Mass attack is that your opponent can control how much output you truly have by limiting their field, and you need to have 10 total Pokémon in play to 1HKO a Mewtwo EX with an Eviolite. I feel like you might be best off taking a chance at delivering a 1HKO with Cinccino BLW. Yes, you have to get a full bench and a DCE on Mew to deliver the 1HKO, but it seems better to me than constantly taking 2HKOs after already being behind the turn you need to See Off. Mew also fails in that it isn’t really very strong against anything else.
Cobalion, on the other hand, seems like it could very easily become Mewtwo EX’s public enemy number one. 130 HP, Psychic Resistance, and Eviolite alone give you a ridiculous potential to tank. Combined with Special Metals, one Cobalion could have the potential to hold off 3, maybe 4 Mewtwo EX attacks, which is pretty amazing.
On top of that, Mewtwo doesn’t really hold off Iron Breaker particularly well with his 2 Retreat Cost, and I could easily see either a Truth or Electrode Prime variant of Cobalion sweeping up Mewtwos pretty easily.
Because of all of these problems, I am personally not a fan of any deck that tries to make Mewtwo its only attacker. You’ll definitely be able to take some wins by simply taking enough early prizes to disrupt, but you’ll eventually hit smarter players running Mewtwo as a part of a more complicated structure to counter you. Or you’ll just hit Coballion.
So, after my complete analysis on the card itself, putting it within our format and assuming nothing else from Next Destinies, my personal conclusion is:
Mewtwo EX is good, but OVERRATED. I’ve thought about it long and hard, tested as much as I could, and ran over my concepts with others, but I think I can safely say that I don’t see the potential in Mewtwo EX that everyone else is seeing right now. I don’t think that it’s a mandatory 4-of card to be successful.
I also don’t think that it NEEDS to be in every playable deck, but I could see it working its way as a 1 or 2-of copy in plenty of decks just because of how good it is against itself, and how easy it is to work with DCE. However, nothing about the card itself suggests to me that it is worth $65.
The Troll and Toad Problem
memegenerator.netThis is just something that I want to comment on while it is happening. Up until Emerging Powers-ish, I felt like pre-ordering strong cards as quickly as possible was one of the best hidden techniques we could share with you guys for saving money playing the game. Unfortunately, it looks like the scheme has finally been busted.
Troll and Toad has obviously become more aware of which cards are hyped one way or another. With sites like Esa’s Deck Out starting the fire (it’s not his fault, he’s just reporting what is being played in Japan), it was only a matter of time before the hype grew to ridiculous proportions.
One thing people need to realize, though, is that Troll and Toad doesn’t just raise their prices to mess with people and set the curve absurdly high. They’re only raising the bar when they’ve proven to themselves that Mewtwo EX will sell at a specific price. If people keep buying, they’ll keep raising. Because players are under a frenzy to compete against one another, they feel pressured by the rising prices and bite the bullet because there’s no sign of stopping. This becomes an endless cycle, leaving the prices in an endless upward swirl until the public can simply stop buying.
Because Troll and Toad is currently the sole provider of pre-release sales, there is no competition to keep them in check (although if I owned a card company, I’d sure be looking into it!) Imagine how many sales would go through if, say, Collectors Cache were selling $40 Mewtwo EXs. People would go mad at those after seeing the absurd $65 ones and jump at the opportunity! Even if just one other company was there to compete on prices, it’d keep Troll and Toad’s antics in check completely.
While I can’t stop the entire world from buying a card that they think is good, I can at least warn Underground — do not buy a card for more than $15-20 unless you have tested it first. I’ve sleeved up three or four different decks at a time with proxied Mewtwos, and after working things out I only value the card at $20-30 tops. I’m not saying that I personally am the higher voice of the entire Pokémon community, but I do feel like I’m part of a very small minority of people that have actually tried the card in action.
I thought we learned hard enough from the Lostgar situation to try and test decks for ourselves before grabbing out wallets, but it looks like it was just the beginning.
I’ve tested and want a Mewtwo EX now, how can I afford it?
So you’ve played a few lists on your own and made the conscious decision that you’d like to include Mewtwo EX into your deck. Good for you for actually trying the card first! Even IF you personally value the card at $65, I can almost guarantee you that it will not remain that high as the set is released. You have a few options.
The first is trading through prereleases/league. Despite the fact that lots of kids love Mewtwo, I can still guarantee plenty of kids would be willing to trade one EX for 2, or some other deal that involves multiple rare shiny cards for one. I know this can completely vary by area (I feel bad already for kids in competitive areas getting SWARMED by people hungry for Mewtwo EX), but if you play in a more relaxed league, I’m sure you can get a decent deal that leads to you NOT spending 65 dollars.
Your other option is to stalk the internet in days surrounding the prereleases. Soon most retailers will begin listing their cards and prices. I can guarantee you that someone is going to want to undercut Troll and Toad’s $65. Some online stores don’t research their prices well enough and leave a few hours of insane deals before finally realizing they need to change what they’ve listed. Either way, I am almost certain that prices will not continue to hike as more competition is introduced.
The last thin to realize is that no one knows the scarcity of Mewtwo yet, even. All we know is that there will be both a regular and full art version of Mewtwo EX to collect, and nothing about how scarce either of those versions will be. My personal guess would be that we’ll get 2 EXs and 2 Full Arts. This might seem disappointed, but I like to keep my hopes low rather than having my expectations shattered when the set is released.
BulbapediaWe’ve only gotten 2 Full Arts per set, and I don’t see Pokémon changing their scarcity pattern to all of a sudden give out 5+ EXs like I see some people suggesting. Then again, we’ll never know! I feel like it’s at least worth waiting for the card’s per-box rarity before being able to determine its worth.
Altogether, just remember that as a Pokémon player, it’s up to you to be a smart consumer. It’s an expensive hobby as it is, and there’s no reason for you to buy into hype without actively testing it first. We try out best to let you know what our opinions are of different cards during testing, but nobody’s opinion is as good as your own.
What about decklists?
One of the biggest problems about me releasing decklists is that we have no idea what decks are going to play out until Next Destinies. However, if you simply want to test Mewtwo EX to determine its worth like I did, here’s the concepts I worked with. Keep in mind, I assumed only Mewtwo EX and a very small pool of unknown Next Destinies cards to start with.
I have no problem at all releasing my lists (even outside of an article if I don’t have one anytime soon) as soon as we know for sure what’s in Next Destinies, so I’ll keep you guys updated in any way that I can. In the meantime, here are a few stock lists to test out Mewtwo:
Pokémon – 11
Trainers – 34
4 Junk Arm
3 Skyarrow Bridge (assumed) — Stadium that gives Basics 1 less Retreat Cost
Energy – 15
Strategy: Use Celebi combined with free retreat from Skyarrow Bridge and Switch for fast Energy acceleration. Tornadus is included to give you the option to take prizes early without forcing yourself to give up EX prizes.
Working with Celebi has actually been giving me a couple of new ideas. Is Mewtwo the only Pokémon that could use the extra Energy drop? What about something like Regigigas-EX (still pending release)? What about pairing Celebi Prime with Cobalion NVI to get him going turn 2 instead of turn 3?
Skyarrow Bridge makes the extra movement much more possible by eliminating Celebi’s Retreat Cost. Once again I’m not going nuts over Mewtwo EX as the main focus, but you could easily take the Celebi engine and do plenty of weird stuff with it, and that interests me.
Pokémon – 17
Trainers – 32
Energy – 12
Strategy: Use Mewtwo EX with Gardevoir to double your Energy output and give Mewtwo the shot at hitting for power.
My biggest problem with this build is that Mewtwo EX is your sole attacker, and that there isn’t really another strong Psychic-type attacker to abuse Gardevoir yet. Still thought it was worth trying though, seeing how much hype it got.
Pokémon – 19
Trainers – 27
Energy – 14
It’s probably just my crazy Magnezone bias, but this was easily my favorite build to test with. Mewtwo EX isn’t a focus here, but rather a way for you to easily deal with your opponent’s Mewtwo EX if you don’t get a quick Zone up. Aside from that, Magnezone is the same great attacker as its been this format, and it gives you a decent shot at just about everything.
Ultra Ball was one card I tested that technically isn’t out yet, but I think it’s amazing in this deck (and potentially every other deck!). Being able to discard 2 cards and guarantee seeing the Pokémon you need (instead of conditionally needing another Pokémon in your hand for Communication) is amazing, especially given that it discards Lightning for you as well.
It’s still the same complete deck as classic Eelzone, just with an additional counter to Mewtwo EX, and a potential way to deal decent damage with Mewtwo EX as an attacker with the DCEs. Is it perfected yet? No, but it seems like a great start for guys like me who love playing heavy-option decks.
Pokémon – 16
Trainers – 31
Energy – 13
Another deck where the strategy is very similar, just now with a full focus on Mewtwo to evaluate his value as a card. I decided to opt for Thundurus here instead of Tornadus because he more reliably gives you any cheap prize you can grab in the early game without using your precious DCES. I’ve considered adding Zekrom BLW/Zekrom-EX in the deck in a future build to better balance out your range of attackers, but for now this is just a good way to evaluate the strength of Mewtwo EX on his own.
These four lists should give you a nice kick-start into the different ways Mewtwo EX can be played — either as a supporting counter, or as a full-fledged main attacker. By the time I had tested him out of several games, I prefer him as a supporting role rather than running his own show. However, maybe your opinion will be different! These lists should at least give you a small head start into whether or not you think he really is as good as his $65 price tag.
As usual, I’m very excited for our next set. The EX mechanic is going to drastically change the way we approach decks, and it should lead to some interesting new concepts once we know the full contents of Next Destinies. In the meantime, I felt like the amount of hype around Mewtwo EX was TOO big not to take a crack at the myth myself, and I hope you enjoyed my analysis.
I still have a few more plans for Mewtwo as we learn about the next set, but I hope my insight gives you a good running start for States this year. As always, thanks for reading, and feel free to comment with any complaint, suggestion, or question that you have. I’m free a few more days before I’m finally back in school, so I’ll have plenty of time to answer your questions while I’m around.
Until then, have fun testing for States and finishing up Cities! You guys rock.
PS — as many of you know, I’ve started a new website to help build my reputation for my future career: game journalism. It’s at WittzGaming.com, and any comments, suggestions, or support would be absolutely fantastic. If UG wasn’t a clue, I love to write, and would love to hear from any of you who are interested in hardcore gaming and news analysis. Thanks!
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