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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


 

Dark Hypno - TRR


Date Reviewed: 01.31.05

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Unlimited: 3.5
Modified: 3.5
Limited: 4

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.


yume usagi
Dark Hypno

Hit Points: 70
Almost the lowest hp for a stage 1 yet half of stage 1 pokemon are sporting this amount, so its not that bad.

Dark Link: C
The cost of this attack is dirty cheap. But, I’m not a big fan of the “metronome” style attacks in the first place and this one has a coin flip to boot. This is pretty much horrible in my estimation and should only be used as a last resort.

Black Magic: CD 20x
This attack is where it gets interesting. Today everybody has a couple dunsparces in their deck and benches get full fast. Dark Hypno could be dishing out 100+ by turn 2.

Retreat: 1

Ratings
Unlimited: 3
There are a few oddball cards out there that let you load up your opponent’s bench for them that might be worth looking into.
Modified: 3
Not enough to build a deck around but most definitely something that you might consider bolstering your pokemon ranks with.
Limited: 3
 
ZachEX Name: Dark Hypno
Set: Team Rocket Returns's
Number: 6/109

Combos: I've tried this buddy with Gorebyss. Not much luck there. Hypno dosen't seem like a big tourney winner here. Try it though.

Unlimited: 1/5

Don't use it here. 70 hp, not great attacks. It just won't cut it.

Draft: 3/5

Get a Drowzee or two and go for it. Dark Link could help here in an all TRR draft.

Modified: 2/5

Again I say this won't be huge but try it out, Dark Link would be nice against spinning tail dark t-tar, getting his bite off attack for one colorless.
 
Jaeger

Today’s Card of the day is Dark Hypno from the Team Rocket Returns Set, 6/109.  It type is Darkness/Psychic.

Retreat Cost     :  A retreat cost of 1 is pretty cheap and easily payable.

Weakness        :  It seems like all Psychic Pokémon are weak to Psychic.

HP                    :  Hit points seem to be a little low for a Stage 1; this is probably the biggest downside to this card.

Attack 1            :  This attack is great for two reasons: its cost is only (C) so it can be used very early game.  The only real downside is that you must flip a coin, and you have to have a Pokémon with Dark in its name in play.

Attack 2            :  With Dunsparce being played quite frequently and most decks revolving around quick set-ups and filling their bench quite quickly, this attack is really good; early game you will probably hit them anywhere from 40-100 damage and late game you will probably hit anywhere from 80-100 damage.

Unlimited         : 3/5
Modified          : 3.5/5
Limited            : 4/5-Easy to get out and depending on your opponent’s bench it can probably
hit for some decent damage.

 

Summary         :  Dark Hypno is great in almost every aspect except its hit points; 70 hit
points is low for a card that is supposed to be one of your main attackers and that can
easily be a one-hit KO.

 


Otaku

New Feature: If you think this review is too long to read, just skip straight to the scores and then read the summary for a concise overview! 

 

Name: Dark Hypno

Set: EX: Team Rocket

Card#: 6/109

Type: Darkness, Psychic

Stage: Stage 1 (Drowzee)

HP: 70

Weakness: Psychic

Resistance: None

Retreat: (C)

Attack#1: (C) Dark Link

Flip a coin.  If heads, choose an attack on 1 of your Pokémon in play that has Dark in its name (excluding).  Dark Link copies that except for its Energy cost.  (You must still do anything else required for that attack.) (No matter what type that Pokémon is, Dark Hypno’s type is matter what that Pokémon is, Dark Hypno’s type is still (P)(D).)  Dark Hypno performs that attack.

Attack#2: (PC) Black Magic [20x]

Does 20 damage times the number of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon.

Name: Drowzee

Set: EX: Team Rocket Returns

Card#: 54/109

Type: Psychic

Stage: Basic

HP: 50

Weakness: Psychic

Resistance: None

Retreat: (C)

Poké-Body: Insomnia

Drowzee can’t be Asleep.

Attack: (C) Soothing Wave [10]

Flip a coin.  If heads, each Defending Pokémon is now Asleep.

 

Attributes: Dark Hypno is a Stage 1 Darkness/Psychic dual-type Pokémon.  For those who have been paying attention to my reviews within the last month, this is a promising start.  Being a Dark Pokémon gives some very solid support while only adding one or two counters (Togetic’s Holy Shield Poké-Body, for example).  Being a Stage 1 is a nice balance between the strengths of Basics and Stage 2 Pokémon: it is allowed more potent Attributes and Abilities than even stand alone Basic but is easier to run than a Stage 2 line.  As for being a dual-type, I’ve repeatedly established that Darkness is one of the best types to be.  Weakness to it isn’t common, but Resistance to Darkness-type Pokémon only exists via the use of Unown D through its Pokémon Power in Unlimited.  Sadly, being a Psychic Pokémon is rather mixed.  It’s no longer as common to see Psychic Weak Pokémon; they exist, but aren’t played that much… except for Blaziken ex, which tends to make up for the rest, at least in Modified.  In Unlimited, it’s just probably the worst type to be since Resistance abounds and Weakness is rare.  So it is a good type mix for Modified and a so-so one for Unlimited.

 

Dark Hypno has a mere 70 HP.  Normally, this is just barely acceptable for a transitory Stage 1.  As Dark Hypno has not Stage 2 to go with it, it really should have gotten a little more HP.  Yes, Rocket’s Hideout could (and usually will) be used with it, boosting it to a good 90 HP, but remember you just spent a resource to get something that should be Dark Hypno’s intrinsically.  Just 10 more HP would have made it much more durable (okay, so not against a Rayquaza ex) and kept its HP reasonable when combined with said Stadium (100 is very good for a Stage 1).  This HP problem becomes more troublesome when you see that we have a Psychic Weakness and no Resistance.  When you do encounter a Psychic Pokémon, it will likely shred you.  The lack of Resistance seems to indicate that TPC wanted this thing to be easy to KO.  At least it does have a good, inexpensive Retreat Cost: a single Energy on a Pokémon that (as we will see) has two low Energy attacks is very potent.

 

As I mentioned at the beginning, Dark Hypno is a Stage 1.  So what is this set’s Drowzee like?  To put it succinctly: French Vanilla.  It has what appears to be the standard Attributes for a Basic that Evolves: one type (Psychic), 50 HP, one Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of one.  All of those are basically average for said kind of Pokémon.  However, instead of some really simplistic attacks, we get a Poké-Body (Insomnia) and an attack that is 2-on-2 friendly.  Together, those Abilities seem average (preventing Sleep will only occasionally matter, as would the 2-on-2 aspect) and the effects seem fairly priced with that in mind.  So it’s just a slight deviation from the norm that doesn’t perform any better or worse.  I myself would go with the Fire Red/Leaf Green and original Team Rocket set Drowzee for Modified and Unlimited, respectfully, unless Sleep is incredibly common to your local game.

 

Abilities: Dark Link seems full of promise.  Reminiscent of Sabrina’s Alakazam, which had a solid deck for at least the early days of Rocket On! Modified, this is no where near as potent, even on a Stage 1.  First, Sabrina’s Alakazam gained the ability to copy attacks via a Pokémon Power (Psylink).  It “wrote” a copy of every attack listed on your Psychic Pokémon you had in play.  It copied them completely, including Energy costs.  Dark Link has some advantages: Special Conditions don’t automatically prevent it as it isn’t a Pokémon Power, it can copy attacks from a diverse selection of Pokémon types, and it does not copy the attacks Energy costs.  What hurts it though is that it only affects Dark Pokémon and the attack fails half the time.  One or the other would have been fine, but both tend to be rather restrictive.  It sounds good being able to use an attack that requires, say, five Energy to use with just a (C) Energy requirement, but consider all that is going into the attack.  In order to use an attack through Dark Link, you must be running at least two Stage 1 lines, possibly a Stage 1 and a Stage 2, and then get “heads”.  Suddenly, it becomes harder to tell which is pricier.  Psylink allowed you to take advantage of Basics with good attacks.  Only Dark Celebi would work for Dark Link, and it is just an “okay” Pokémon itself.  In the end though, Dark Link is not bad.  As long as you are able to pair this up with a Stage 1 or 2 Dark Pokémon with an attack that ends up being good costing (C) and failing half the time, it’s a solid attack, though not enough to truly justify a deck.

 

Fortunately, there is another attack: Black Magic.  This attack seems like a natural improvement upon the original Dark Hypno (from the original Team Rocket set).  That Dark Hypno, for (PPC), required your opponent flip a coin for each Pokémon they had on their bench, and for every “tails”, they did 20 damage to their Active (not applying Weakness or Resistance).  This Dark Hypno needs only (PC) for the attack, requires no flips, and is affected by Weakness and Resistance.  Sounds like a good trade off to me.  Most successful Modified decks are oriented around Pokémon-based combinations, and as such tend to have a crowded bench.  You can usually count on three Pokémon being benched for a deck to have a solid set up.  That means (PC) is doing about 60 damage on average, or 50 if you opt to use a Double Rainbow Energy for a little extra speed.  That’s good, since it’s over twice what you are paying in Energy costs (exactly twice with the Double Rainbow Energy).  Now, an opponent may be able to run with a smaller bench, but at the cost of reduced deck efficiency on their part.  You also stand a good chance that they will just have to suck it up and fill their bench like they normally would, meaning you have a Pokémon hitting a solid 100 damage a pop, enough to qualify for OHKO status.

 

These attacks slightly compliment each other.  The bad news is both require relying on other Pokémon: if you have no Dark Pokémon in play and they have no Bench (normally a good thing), Dark Hypno can’t do a thing.  The good news is that if either condition is met (reasonably likely), you’ll probably be doing decent damage for a Stage 1.  Also, as only one colored Energy type is needed, it can be run off-color rather easily.

 

Uses/Combinations: Here is where this card is made.  You have two options for playing it: build a deck around it, or find a Dark-themed deck and work it in, focusing on it as an opener or cleaner. I don’t find this works well as there are better supporting Pokémon to run in its stead.  So let’s build a deck around it.

 

First, remember to run at least some Team Rocket goodies, like Rocket’s Hideout and possibly Rocket’s Mission and/or Rocket’s Poké Ball.  Next, find a good bench sitting Dark Pokémon with some attacks worth copying, at least some of the time.  That first part really slims down the candidates.  I can think of only two Dark Pokémon that fit that criterion: Dark Ampharos and Dark Dragonite.  Aside from no real synergy, Dark Dragonite already has a better deck.  Doesn’t Dark Ampharos?  From my testing, no.  So far, I have seen two Dark Ampharos decks that impressed me.  One was combining it with Dark Tyranitar, the other is this.  It’s much easier to set up, though it can’t handle as diverse a group.  Here, Darkest Impulse has a Stage 1 line able to get out and quickly use multiple Ancient Technical Machine [Rock], able to score OHKO’s, and able to open with a flippy but damaging big attack.  That last part refers to using Dark Link to copy Shock Bolt: usually it means avoiding that nasty discarding of all attached (L) Energy, since you won’t be using any with Dark Link.  The deck may not sound like much, but it has a lot more room than Dark Tyranitar/Dark Ampharos.  For one thing, I can easily fit Pidgeot in this one, making setting up much more reliable.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 3/5-This could be fun to run with Dark Vileplume.  Dark Link would allow you to copy Dark Vileplume’s Petal Dance if they keep their bench small.  Otherwise Black Magic should be strong enough to punch through even most Resistant Pokémon’s defenses.  Of course, I use Dark Vileplume to protect from opposing Trainers while proving a decent attack.

 

Modified: 3.5/5-This card really gets a boost from being able to work so well with Dark Ampharos, who provides a good attack to copy and a Poké-Power apt to soften most opposing Evolutions to the point that Black Magic can finish them off in one hit… if they fill their bench.

 

Limited: 4/5-Assuming you can draft a decent line (Dark Hypno is a holographic-rare, but Drowzee is a common) along with at least one other decent Dark Evolution line.  The need for only one Psychic Energy allows it to be run in most decks.  If you have another line to copy, it can allow for some flippy but hard hitting early attacks, and as its hard to control your bench size in Limited, you’ll likely be scoring decent damage unless your opponent is running short of Pokémon anyway.

 

Summary

Dark Hypno appears to have been made to be the universal Dark-supporting Stage 1 line.  The problem with that is most Team Rocket-themed decks don’t have room for that.  Fortunately, it can be combined with Dark Ampharos to form a deck that is fairly strong against many commonly run decks in Modified right now.

 

 


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