Mewtwo, I Don’t Choose You. GO HOME! (Stupid Clone)

pokegym.netIt seems common nowadays to align yourself with particular card stores. One well-known video series has stop2shop.com. Another, until recently, had Collectorscache.com. Now we all know people in the US generally use Professor-oak.com (PO) and Trollandtoad.com (TT) almost exclusively, but far be it from me to suggest that people merely promoted these sites for financial gain. For the record, I SO would!

Personally I like Chaoscards.co.uk (CC). It’s a UK site which, unfortunately, is not paying me. Having said that, I just bought a box of Next Destinies for £77, delivered, with 100 penny sleeves and a sexy Diamond and Pearl-era deckbox thrown in for free. Can’t say fairer than that.

So, what’s the point of this intro? Well, Chaoscards broke my heart last night. After seeing TT put Mewtwo EX for pre-order at $40 and climb steadily rather than decline ($80 as I write) and PO pop it on at $65 before quickly selling out, CC was the last bastion of hope for me to get myself some lovely Mewtwo EXs at a decent price. £40. Actually, that’s a lie. £41!! (Which equals about $65 US.)

So, it’s official, if I want a playset of Mewtwo EX (and I do!) I will have to part with, at the bare minimum, £160! Brilliant.

Ok, I’m sorry, I keep lying. I could just open packs. Now, based on the information on forums and from pre-releases it seems somewhere in the region of one Mewtwo per 2 boxes. Well I can get 2 boxes for £154. Ah, might as well buy singles.

Now here ladies and gentleman, comes the ultimate irony. I actually DO have £160 in my bank account that I could, in theory, spend on Mewtwo EXs. So why all the ranting? That’s my Hawaii fund. Yep, I can’t buy Mewtwo EXs without impacting my chances to save to go to worlds this year.

Am I the only one annoyed by this?

The Business Side

Money... VERY NICE!!!

Now some of you know, though few I would imagine, that I am actually a professional business teacher. If I take away my personal feeling of rage at the whole fiasco, it is actually very interesting from a business perspective.

Pokémon Japan makes the cards and we get them from Japan. So let’s take away any blame from Play! Pokémon (P!P) for this. Actually, the card isn’t that good. As has been discussed at length previously, it is kept in check by…. itself. The problem is the combined factors of how good it is and how rare it is. And it should be rare. There are 6 EXs, each with a regular and a FA and we get 3-4 (combined FA and normal) per box.

This gives us the situation where the pull rate is just too low. This is not a problem for any other EX. No other EX is as good. Shaymin makes a good late game sweeper, but is hard to splash. Regigigas is splashable, but not game-breakingly-amazing. Zekrom, Reshiram and Kyurem are all good and all have their applications, but they all work into different decks. They have the same rarity but with a lot fewer people after them, so it doesn’t create massive problems.

Mewtwo is a card that is very good AND very splashable. It has the potential to win games single-handedly. One of the best decisions in the design of the card is that it’s weak to itself. One Mewtwo EX gets a KO then the opponent plays one and gets the revenge KO. It makes for interesting strategy and keeps everything in check. But what if only one person has the financial means to get a Mewtwo? Or one person has one but the other person has a playset?

See the problem? The rarity of EXs is set specifically by P!P. It keeps the good cards hard enough to get to ensure that both players and collectors buy a bunch of product and make P!P a healthy profit. This is good because no profit for P!P means no organised play. We need them turning a healthy profit because the time they stop making profit is the time we stop getting tournaments. The rarity of Mewtwo and its playability however combine to ensure that everyone needs one and not everyone can get one.

Now my personal beef comes from the time and money I put into the game. I buy a box of every set. I also buy pretty much every tin, blister pack and anything else with a promo card released. This season I have gone to 6 Battle Roads, 1 States / Regionals and 3 Cities with 2 Cities, 3 States / Regionals and Nationals to go, as well as goodness knows how many Spring BRs and a flight leaving for Holland in one week for the European Challenge Cup. I have no Mewtwo EXs. I don’t fancy paying £160 for a playset.

I have been furiously testing a super-fast Mewtwo / Regigigas (no, not with Celebi Prime) deck which I had high hopes for. I was hoping to run this for the ECC next week. To do so would actually cost more than my flights (£85), accommodation (£60) and entry fee (£5). Combined.

So we can’t blame P!P. Surely we can blame the re-sellers? They take a card and, because they know we want it, inflate the price ridiculously knowing that we’ll pay it. Tell me you wouldn’t do the same in their shoes!

Ok, so we blame the hype. Well, a little blame can be put here. Why do we do it? We all saw what happened with Gengar Prime. We all saw what happened with Yanmega Prime. Some sites raise the prices of cards that sell well and this seems fair; supply and demand.

The problem is that hype creates an illusion of demand and whether that ends up real or not is irrelevant. The price goes up. How many people have even tested extensively with Mewtwo? How many people really need them? How many do they really need? I would wager that these questions were not answered before the hype train left the station.

Here’s my conclusion on the business side of this: It’s easy to see why it happens. P!P sets the rarities for a reason, sellers set prices that people will pay based on information available and people buy cards that they think they need to win tournaments. So it’s all ok then?

What should Pokémon do about it?

This bit might sound controversial. Not intentionally mind.

@kazambolt
Make it rain Mewtwos! (Credit: Alex Hill)

TT knew how valuable Mewtwo was. PO knew how many players wanted Mewtwo. CC knew how sought after Mewtwo was. So are we really to believe that P!P didn’t?

I see this as a rare example of a card that changes everything. Maybe only for a short time but it certainly seems to for now. Something could have been done to make this easier. I am not saying league promos, that would be silly. How about a box with a promo one? What’s that? They are doing one? Well that’s awesome! Oh, it’s oversized and not tournament legal? Well, that sounds a bit preposterous.

Kyurem, Zekrom and Reshiram are getting tins. There IS a Mewtwo box, it just doesn’t contain a legal Mewtwo. So, we pay £40+ or just keep buying packs and crossing our fingers. We could of course just not play Mewtwo. Great idea except for the people who will pay out and play it regardless.

Pokémon Catcher changed everything 2 sets ago. In one of the most cynical moves I have seen by them yet Pokémon actually changed the pull rate so that whereas you will usually always pull a playset of every Trainer from a set in every box you generally got 2 Catchers. I didn’t complain. They were like $10. It’s not the end of the world. Not every deck needed them.

Everyone knew how much hype Mewtwo had and how useful he would be for tournament decks for the near future. Surely this is an absurd situation?

I am going to leave you with one idea: Pre-order bonus. A free Mewtwo EX with every box purchased. If anything this would fuel product purchases, raising the profits of P!P. It would make it easier to get hold of for competitive players and it would also stop the re-sellers taking the profit away from P!P.

Or, just put one in the Mewtwo box.

How can we Screw over Moo2?

So, what can we do about it? Well, I’m not going to go into detail about the merits or otherwise of Mewtwo EX as a competitive card. Enough people have done that over the past couple weeks so please check out one of their fine articles. I am here to talk about what we can do.

Mew Prime

pokemon-paradijs.comThis boy IS viable. If you win the flip and get a T1 See Off then you’re in good shape. Jumpluff HS is worth a go, but do remember that you need 9 Pokémon total to get the OHKO and if your opponent sticks to 2 Pokémon you could struggle.

You could run him without Vileplume UD and with PlusPower, Jumpluff and Seeker (for if they’re stupid enough to only have 2 Pokémon out). Prism Energy and Rainbow make it easier than ever to balance the need for both Grass and Psychic energy and Lost Remover does nothing when you drop the energy, get a KO, then get killed. It might be worth running Energy Exchanger to ensure the T1 See-Off.

Crobat Prime makes a nice tech for big Pokémon like Magnezone, Muk UD can be nice against Trainer lock decks and Cinccino BLW can be a good call for the guaranteed OHKO on Mewtwo, but do remember that you’ll need to be cycling DCE in order to do so.

If you’re running him without Vileplume then you need the Durant mentality whereby you’ll be losing one every turn. In this case make sure you pack Revive, Super Rod, Dual Ball and Collector in high numbers to ensure you always have a Mew ready. When you’re trading OHKOs for 2HKOS, it’s all good.

You could run into trouble if they use alternate attackers, but Mew will destroy Celebi and you can use your own Lost Remover to neuter Tornadus EPO or whoever else comes out. You may need an alternate attacker for this and someone like Cinccino, Tornadus or anyone that can toe-to-toe with Tornadus will be good here. I even like Terrakion NVI. Yes he 2-hits Tornadus but he DOES 2-hit Tornadus. He also helps against the multitude of Eel decks you’re likely to see.

Alternatively you could run the traditional Vileplume variant. I always hated this, but then the format caught up and killed him, which made me happy. I’m not sure how good this will be against Mewtwo. You need a couple turns to set up and they can be taking prizes from T1. There’s been a bit written about this in the past, but I think the format might have moved on too much. Having said that, Trainer lock plus Muk and Crobat can be nice against Magnezone and the big EXs.

Cobalion NVI

pokemon-paradijs.comHere is the other big counter we can look. He has 120 HP, but Resistance to Psychic and can abuse Special Metals and Eviolite. If Mewtwo uses his big attack then we’re looking at 2HKOs. If he uses X-Ball it will take 7 total energy if you have nothing, 8 if you have an Eviolite, 9 if you have an Eviolite and 2 Special Metals. Cobalion’s Energy Press will OHKO a Mewtwo with 8 energy. Not that likely.

But combined with Iron Breaker for 80……. Bear in mind also that Iron Breaker with a PlusPower will get a 2HKO. Cobalion also only gives up one prize to Mewtwo’s 2.

My good friend Tommy Roberts doesn’t think he works very well as a Moo2 counter. Let’s prove him wrong!

In a Trainer lock deck Cobalion can take down Mewtwo nicely. Outside of this Iron Breaker can be “Switched” out of, but it could work. Mewtwo will also likely have a speed advantage over you. Pairing him with Electrode Prime and getting a T2 Energymite could even the odds however.

Conclusion

So, debate over a card which everyone needs but few can get or a rant by someone throwing the toys out of the pram because he wants a card he can’t get? I hope the former, but I could have misjudged things.

I suppose I’m saying 2 things:

1. To make a card as universally good and hard to acquire as Mewtwo is silly (but then, so is hyping it so much before it even comes out); and

2. It’s not the end of the world. We all made anti-Sabledonk decks, let’s go make anti-Mewtwo decks!!

P.S. For those not doing so, come follow me on Twitter: @thewossy

I’m going to the European Challenge Cup in a week and will be posting updates as often as I can, hopefully including pictures of standings at regular intervals. If you ask nicely I can possibly also give updates in particular players.

Reader Interactions

56 replies

  1. beyblade1410

    Pretty awesome article, who dosent’t want a Mewtwo EX? Probably David Cohen. But anyway hopefully we’ll see an effective counter in the future other than Weezing HS Hint Hint.

  2. Matthew Riddle

    BW sets 1-3 were fine rarity-wise because the Full-Arts were also available as regular foils in the set. A $15 full-art would equate to a $5 regular foil. ND has 6 full-art EXs, and there ARE non-full art versions, but they are almost as rare as the full-arts, which is where the system breaks down. If the non-full art EXs were just a slightly more rare than regular foils, a lot less people would have problems with the distribution.

  3. Anonymous

    Well, Mewtwo Ex has been out for less than a week, and the price is already coming down. Several on Ebay sold for $52 yesterday, and one in England sold for £18 (around $28).

  4. Anonymous

    “Collectorscahe.com”

    Come on.

    “My good friend Tommy Roberts doesn’t think he works very well as a Moo2 counter. Let’s prove him wrong!”

    I agree with Tommy Roberts. Mewtwo has back up attackers. Everyone just assumes that you need a counter to Mewtwo. That is wrong. You need a counter to the deck. Mew is so easily ko’d by Tornadus, and Mew can’t ko Tornadus, making Mew not enough to beat Celebi/Mewtwo/etc

    • Ross Gilbert  → Anonymous

      Oooh, you wanna be careful agreeing with my good friend Tommy Roberts. He was number 1 in the world for one week and all of a sudden he thinks he’s some kind of genius!

  5. Nathan McLewee

    I wasn’t sure what the article would be about when I clicked on it, but it was a really good read. You chose a great viewpoint to talk about, and it’s nice to have something which takes a different view on Mewtwo EX then all the articles on the internet being written at the moment.

    For me, putting it into the Mewtwo EX was so ridiculously obvious, you’d have to be cyncial and wonder whether TCPi did it to fuel demand for Next Destinies Booster Packs.

  6. Dave Wilson

    Nice article; just a thought: Catcher IS needed in about 9/10 decks in amounts > or = 3, so two per box is absolutely horrible and I’m still getting over being pissed at the company for that. Most decks only need 1 – 2 Mewtwo, though his pull rate is something like every other box from what I’ve witnessed.

    • Ross Gilbert  → Dave

      It was a VERY cynical move on their part. I also cannot see it as anything other than deliberate. I’ve bought enough boxes to know that you invariably get a playset of every trainer. 2 Catchers was odd. Very odd. All things considered though it could be worse :p

      Thanks for the kind words :)

  7. Roarkiller Master

    If votings were still around, I’d vote for this.

    I pulled only one catcher in my box, btw. My friend, however, pulled four. Life’s fair, huh? -_-“

  8. Dave Enzo

    Nice article so far im not even done reading it but when i saw fat joe and lil wayne makin it rain mewtwo ex..i just had to comment on that hahahahaha awesome!

    and i pulled a mewtwo in a pack yesterday yay! it only took 41 packs lol : /

    • Dave Enzo  → Dave

      yea im replying to myself i just thought it was funny i pulled a full body Mewtwo ex today

  9. Nicholas Inzeo

    Thinking of having a tournament in NY and first place gets a mewtwo ex and a few packs. tournament should be around feb 25th

  10. x

    While the author of the article is complaining about the hype of Mewtwo EX. He also seems to be fueling it to a certain extent. If you hate the card so much and can’t afford to run it, then play Durant at states. That alone should be enough to question the viabilty of any deck that relies on Mewtwo EX as its main attacker. I personally can’t wait for other players to carelessly load energies onto Mewtwo EX, only for me to slap down a Mewtwo on the bench, attach a couple of energies (whether it be DCE or acceleration) and X-ball them for 2 easy prizes.

    • Ross Gilbert  → x

      I had no intention to fuel the hype of Mewtwo. If anything, i wanted to calm the hype. I didn’t apportion blame to the re-sellers or P!P but i DO think the hype was silly and we’re all (myself included) a little to blame for that. I merely wanted to raise discussion, i have no answers. Yet ;)

      Also, have you plated the Mewtwo mirror much? It’s not quite as easy as you imagine.

      Thanks for reading :)

      • Edgar F  → Ross

        Honestly, it’s mostly hype. The card is good, but I don’t consider it a staple, and Mewtwo/Celebi is about as good as ZPST was when BW first came out: Tier 2 at best. It’s more consistent, but all you really have to do is run it out of energy by making them load a Mewtwo, then KO it.

  11. Julia Follan

    £40+ for a Pokemon card!? that is seriously INSANE. From what I have heard, Mewtwo EX is pretty impressive, but that is a large amount of cash. I had no idea that the number of a card you get in a box was decided like that. As for Pokemon Catcher, I didn’t get a box but I managed to get two, I guess I was pretty lucky.

  12. Adam Bigott

    I feel like these sorts of article make people put too much faith in cards like Mewtwo EX and end up raising the price. I also don’t think ANY deck needs a full playset of Mewtwo. The sooner people realize those two things the sooner they will become more affordable.

    • Anonymous  → Adam

      I agree. I know some people predicted it to go down to like $30, but I personally think $40-50 is a more reasonable estimate.

      • Edgar F  → Anonymous

        35 for regular is what they’re going to stabilize at, maybe 30. I’m already able to buy them at 35 from my regular sources, I don’t even have to ebay.

    • Ross Gilbert  → Adam

      I said Mewtwo was good. It is. It’s not the best card in format (in my opinion) and i had no interest in pushing this opinion. I also never said a deck needs a playset of Mewtwo. Personally, i would never use a playset but that’s just me. The format is too young to say whether you need a playset or not.

      Also, since i wrote the article the price on TT has fallen to $65. You’re welcome ;)

  13. Ed Mandy

    So, as a business teacher, you should see the solution/opportunity.

    1) You drop the £160 on the playset and sell it after SPT’s. If you do your research, you could come out even on the deal.

    2) Buy 2 boxes for £154. Sell everything you open besides the Mewtwos. Repeat step 2 until you have all the Mewtwo you need. If you do this while the EX hype is still high, you should end up spending a bunch of time instead of money for those Mewtwo.

  14. Balasar

    Great article! i thought the title was hilarious. i pretty much agree with you on every point said. i think that this is one of the better articles i’ve seen you write.

  15. theo Seeds

    I know this sounds like an exaggeration, but the FIRST Next Destinies pack I opened I pull the Mewtwo. Not the Full Art, but it was good enough. True story, too.

    Problem solved.

  16. Jason Shook

    Excellent, excellent article. I Thoroughly enjoyed your honesty, and liked your informative explanation of this ‘problem’. I would definitely enjoy some followup from you if you are going to be testing Mew and Cobalion as decks in this new format. Mew, Vaniluxe, Vileplume actually gets interesting in the new world of EX’s seeing as it only has to take 3 KO’es some games, also I think Zoroark could be an interesting option to see-off, one shoting mewtwo and dealing 150 to Zekrom-EX, I dont know But I want to test it myself.

    • Ross Gilbert  → Jason

      Mew has some room to breathe this format. I’m still testing but i’m kinda liking it. Going first and getting a T1 see-off is IMMENSE! Unfortunately, going second and seeing your opponent hit Mewtwo and DCE means they will be getting a OHKO every turn on your Mews. Still do-able if you can just revive the mews because the exchange goes 1-0, 2-0, 2-2, 3-2, 3-4, 4-4, 4-6 in an ideal world.

      Sure they can use other attackers but it can be hard to cycle the energy needed. Plus, as soon as they give up on Mewtwo you can go after their Celebis. Not easy, but there’s a decent deck in there somewhere. I just don’t know if i have the time to properly test enough to break it :p

      • Edgar F  → Ross

        MVV is too flippy, and ends up going down 4 prizes if it goes second, then you’re out of Mews and can’t come back. A more Rush oriented Mew build stands a better chance, maybe something with Zoroark.

  17. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    I feel I should point out that, since writing this article, Ross has managed to get some Mewtwos.

    He now says it’s a brilliant card, the price is fully justified, and anyone who doesn’t have them should feel bad.

    • George  → Jak

      MewTwo Ex is going be played. Period. Is it a be-all end-all card? No. Is it necessary as part of this new EX era? Definately! My son runs a single copy of it in his 6 Corners deck and plays it as need be. It is a devastating card against anything that needs to run high amounts of energy and plays too fast for most stage 2 dscks. Coupled with catcher, MewTwo EX could/should/will be part of most decks at States and Spring regionals.

      The real question is if you aren’t running it because you don’t have one …. like me since my son is using ours…what are you going to do to counter it? Let the mind games begin ; -)!

      And, let me point out that I have gone 4-6 against my son with a 6 Corners deck whose only EX is Shaymin!

  18. theo Seeds

    To be fair, the two Catchers a box is true, but there is ONE catcher per Reshiram/Zekrom box. The one with four packs, a Reshiram or Zekrom figure, and a Reshiram or Zekrom promo card with epic artwork. That’s right, you get one catcher in every one of those. I’ve gotten 5 of them and I’ve netted 6 Pokemon Catcher. One of them was RH.

    • Ross Gilbert  → theo

      Actually, come to think of it, i got a catcher in my Reshiram box and my gf got one in her Zekrom box…..

      I also got 2 of the Reshiram promos :D

  19. Anonymous

    Hmm. sounds like luxray GL LV X. didnt it go for like 100 dollars at one piont.

  20. Edgar F

    Does anybody else remember Blaziken EX, and the exodus (after the Slowking fiasco that caused a previous mass exodus…) that caused, when EXes first became viable? The “guy with the $50+ secret rare wins” format was the final nail in PTCG’s coffin in most places, and I was still surprised that DP block resurrected it to the point it did.

    The other point is that Black & White was, at least locally, the best selling set since Base Set. The point of no exclusive ultra rares actually HELPED sales, and the Japanese had been agreeing with that point. That’s why there were two EXes in the first place, then TPCI decided to make the normal rare version ridiculously rare as well. They went so far as to overpack prerelease boxes (of 44 prerelease boxes opened on video, we were averaging 5-6 EX per box, highest being 8, not four) in some regions.

    If Mewtwo EX dominates, and the price stays up, two things will happen.

    1) the price of Magnezone will skyrocket
    2) A lot of players will leave the game, and not even for one season: we’ve got this mess for a MINIMUM of two seasons.

    This could be another EXodus, as we called it, and I like this game more when my league has players. Just print a bloody promo version!

  21. Sam Chen

    I don’t think your comment about how there’s a conspiracy from TPCi to lower the rate of getting Pokemon Catcher is substantiated at all. You didn’t show us a large sample size. You basically made stuff up and threw in the word “generally” in there to absolve yourself of blame. That’s really bad for an article.

    For some perspective, I saw 2 boxes of Emerging Powers get opened. In my box, I got 4 Catchers. In a judge’s box, he also got 4 Catchers.

    As to your points about the rarity of Mewtwo EX, it sounded more like a personal rant than an article. There are many ways for TPCi to make Mewtwo EX less rare. It may happen in the future, but as a professional business teacher, you should know that TPCi has made their decisions of whether to include Mewtwo EX in the Mewtwo box based on sales projections. They figured that they’d make more money by keeping Mewtwo EX out of the box, since allowing Mewtwo EX to be purchased separately would lower pack sales.

    The actual “article” part of this piece was rather well written. Mew (Prime) and Cobalion are indeed viable counters to Mewtwo EX, and you presented very good analysis on the uses of these two cards.

    • Ross Gilbert  → Sam

      Cheers for taking the time to reply and for your well-thought out comments.

      I’m not gonna lie, it was written in a half furious / half ill with rather brutal food poisoning haze. I admitted at the end it could come across as me throwing a strop because i didn’t have any Mewtwos! I hoped it came across as something more substantial and well-reasoned but i think yours is a valid point, well made.

      In terms of Catchers, you’re right in that i don’t have enough empirical evidence to present a bullet-proof case. However, my point stands that the general rule of 4 (at least) of each trainer in the set per box normally stands up and was not followed with catcher. I saw (or heard direct from good friends) of in excess of 30 boxes being opened and only one of them contained 4, and that was because they got 3 plus a reverse holo. I think it was deliberate but you exactly right in contending that it could be nothing more than coincidence.

      Thanks for taking the time to reply :)

  22. Dan W

    It really is annoying.
    This should be last thing on the list to ruin the card game in some shape or form.
    I understand the fact that if you put more money into the game you get more but when you have cards priced like this, then it becomes ridiculous and then the rarity just adds insult to injury.
    Our only hope is if Mewtwo becomes some promo EX and that ain’t happening with that Jumbo box they’re releasing :(

  23. Adrian Velasco

    “If he uses X-Ball it will take 7 total energy if you have nothing, 8 if you have an Eviolite, 9 if you have an Eviolite and 2 Special Metals. Cobalion’s Energy Press will OHKO a Mewtwo with 8 energy. ”

    ~ I would just like to point out that it would take Mewtwo only 7 energies to OHKO a Coballion with 2 special metals and an Eviolite.

    other than that, awesome article.

  24. David

    i bought 2 packs and pulled 1 Mewtwo full art 1 level ball, 1 heavy ball, 1 skyarow, 1 prism, and 1 exp share

    I’m one happy player

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