pokemon-paradijs.comHello 6P, I’m here today to present my first COTD. The card I’ve chosen to look at is Smeargle from Undaunted, and later reprinted in Call of Legends.
Smeargle is a Basic Colorless Pokémon featuring 70 HP, a weakness to Fighting, no resistance, and a Retreat Cost of one. 70 HP make Smeargle searchable by Level Ball and is enough to avoid the most common donks from Tyrogue HS/CL and Mewtwo EX, but still leaves it vulnerable to a Tornadus EPO or Victini (yes, V-Create Victini can donk T1).
The weakness to Fighting isn’t a huge deal as most Fighting attacks will either miss the 1HKO or get the 1HKO regardless. The only common instance where this will come into play is a Terrakion NVI’s Retaliate with a PlusPower if you didn’t Knock Out anything on the previous turn.
The only attack Smeargle has is Tail Rap. Tail Rap costs two C energy and does twenty damage for each heads of two coin flips. This attack is capable of donking 30-50 HP Pokémon, but I wouldn’t count on it unless in dire straits.
So far Smeargle seems vastly underwhelming, however its Poké-Power is where things get interesting. Smeargle’s Portrait can be used while it is the active Pokémon to choose a Supporter in the opponent’s hand and use it. This can allow for the use of multiple Supporters in a single turn, allowing the user to go through several cards in search of what they need.
This can be dangerous, however, as you must choose a Supporter if you find one even if it’s an unwanted Professor Juniper. This risk is often worth it if you need that Catcher or Junk Arm or whatever in order to stay in the game. Having a benched Smeargle during a Mewtwo EX war means you have a safeguard against N.
The best time to use Smeargle is at the start of your turn after one of your Pokémon has been Knocked Out. The EXtra Supporter (sorry) will help you grab the resources need to counter attack. This is where Smeargle’s Retreat Cost rears its ugly head.
To use Smeargle effectively, one must be able to retreat it after using Portrait, and then be able to energize an attacker. This Retreat Cost can be nullified with Skyarrow Bridge, Switch, or Dodrio UD.
Most decks in the format can use Smeargle effectively. The first deck that comes to mind is CMT, which already plays Skyarrow Bridge to give their Celebi free retreat. During a Heated Mewtwo EX war, Smeargle can come out after your Mewtwo goes down and use the extra Supporter to set up another. In CMT I would advise running 1-2 Smeargle.
Smeargle shouldn’t be the opponent’s main target during a Mewtwo EXchange (I’m horrible), but I would consider it a prime target early game. One Smeargle would likely be fine if you’re applying early pressure and CMT often runs Revive to get it back. On the other hand, with only the one it may get prized when you need it.
The nEXt (last one I swear) deck that uses Smeargle is Zek-Eels. This deck doesn’t always run Skyarrow Bridge, but if you decide to build your deck around Smeargle then you will want to use the Stadium. With Skyarrow in your deck, Smeargle doesn’t only net you the extra Supporter per turn, but it also provides you with a free retreater that Eel decks hold so dear.
If you decide to run SAB I’d advise running 2-3 Smeargle to take advantage of it. This will also boost your good/bad starter ratio and depending on which cards you took out to fit Smeargle in your chance of getting a lone Tynamo donk may decrease.
If one opts not to use SAB, I’d suggest just a single Smeargle as a tech against CMT that can also be used in conjunction with Switch (or if you have enough energy on board you could use one of your Dynamotors each turn on Smeargle).
If you plan to use Smeargle in another deck the criteria you must meet is that you need a way to get it out of the active slot after use. In a deck like Troll you can Hurricane your energy onto Smeargle, use a Shaymin UL, or use one of the many Switch you should already be running for Terrakion.
Any other deck with energy acceleration or SAB can make use of Smeargle, and any deck could decide to include one as a tech against decks using SAB, however when using Smeargle you should have a reliable way to get it back to the bench each turn.
One last reminder when using Smeargle is that just because you can use Portrait doesn’t mean you should. Professor Juniper, N, and PONT are the most common Supporters in the format so if you Portrait you should be prepared to lose anything in your hand. Once your opponent knows you’re using Smeargle they will try to reduce its utility for you by either discarding their Supporters or making sure they only hold onto ones you won’t want.
Overall Smeargle is a fantastic card that can reclaim its former glory now that Skyarrow Bridge is released, and will likely see play until it is rotated.