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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Alakazam

Crystal Guardians

 

Date Reviewed: 08.21.06

Ratings & Reviews Summary
Unlimited: 2.16
Modified: 2.66
Limited: 3

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


William
Hung
My reviews are ratings are for Modified only.

Alakazam* from Crystal Guardians

Modified (DX-on) 2/5: I think the cost of the 2nd Attack Skilled Copy is a bit too expensive. Three correct Energies and discard the proper Pokemon discard. That's rough. The good thing is you don't need that Pokemon to be in play at all though. I see some potential, so I'll give at least 2/5.
 


Thundachu
Alakazam (with a star!)

Overview: Yeah...I'm not dead ;/. Regardless, lets get down to the review. For 1 psychic energy, Psychic Select lets you put any card from your discard back into your hand. This can come in handy in Draft, simply for getting the discarded cards you have few of, as well as with non-basic energy. For 3 colorless energy, Skill Copy lets you discard any basic or evolution Pokemon from your hand, and use 1 of that Pokemon's attacks. I love this attack, simply because you don't have to have the energy requirments to use the attack. The drawback would be that you have to do anything required for the attack. Meaning if you need to discard a fire...you need to discard a fire ;x. I also love the fact that Alakazam is a basic. Though that kinda freaks me out ;/.

Unlimited: 80HP is nice, but you are limited 1 per deck, being a Star pokemon, which sucks. 2.5/5

Modified: Uhh...I haven't played in like...ever ;x. So I am hoping this card is even still LEGAL in Modified. I am going to assume it is, and give it a 4/5. Skill Copy doesn't exclude Pokemon-ex, which means you can probably do some pretty good damage, and still get the ex back through Psychic Select, or other means.

Draft: 5/5 definitley ;/. Aside from being limited to 1 per deck, you can get back cards from your discard, and Skill Copy can be pretty nice in certain situations as well.
 
Computer Guy Shining Alakazam from Crystal Guardians.

Alakazam is actually one of the better shinings and it has potential. Its got 80 HP, a weakness to psychic, no resistance, and 1 retreat cost. The first attack is nice because you can get any one card from your discard pile and put it in your hand. The second attack is useful because you get to discard a pokemon and Alakazam copies the attack as long as it has the necessary energies to use the attack. Only time will tell if it can be used in a competitive deck.

Ratings

Unlimited: 2/5
Modified: 2/5
Limited: 1/5
 
Survivor Today we review one of the missing cards from the Pokemon TCG, Alakazam.

Alakazam* has an interesting effect. Skill Copy attack has some good
potentials. You could use it with Lugia ex to do a surprise Elemental Blast
attack. The other attack Psychic Select sounds good, but th eproblem is
Alakazam has only 80 hp which it isn't enough to make survive a second turn.

Maybe with Mew ex lm, this card could see some play.

Modified: This card could see some play becuase of Mw ex lm. I can't think
of other combos, but maybe one day someone will come up with a killer combo
with this card. 3/5

Limited: Psychic Select is good in this format. Also Skill Copy let you use

attacks from stage 1/2 Pokemons that you don't have their earlier stage.
3/5
 

Otaku

Name: Alakazam*

Set: EX Crystal Guardians

Card#: 99/100

Rarity: Pokémon*

Type: Psychic

Stage: Basic

HP: 80

Weakness: Psychic

Resistance: None

Retreat: C

Pokémon* Rule: You can’t have more than 1 Pokémon* in your deck.

Attack#1: (P) Psychic Select

Put any 1 card from your discard pile into your hand.

Attack#2: (CCC) Skill Copy

Discard a Basic or Evolution card from your hand.   Choose 1 of that card’s attacks.  Skill Copy copies that attack.  This attack does nothing if Alakazam* doesn’t have the Energy necessary to use that attack.  (You must still do anything else required for that attack.)  Alakazam* performs that attack.

 

Attributes: Okay, if this Pokémon* isn’t to be mere binder fodder, it needs to be quite good: after all, at just a single copy it really can’t star in the deck unless you include a large amount of Pokémon recycling cards.  Alakazam* has 80 HP, which is good for a Basic.  Psychic is an okay type: Weakness and Resistant both exist at reasonable levels, so Type matching may factor in with it.  Alakazam* itself is Psychic Weak as most Psychic Pokémon are, so much of the time it will be “who hits first?” deciding Psychic versus Psychic match-ups.  No Resistance is depressing as always, but a single Energy retreat cost is quite nice.  All in all, solid stats for a Pokémon*.

 

Abilities: Psychic Select is an ‘okay’ attack on its own, but nothing too Special: if you can supply the Energy requirement it might be okay in certain decks to get back useful Trainers and Special Energy.  However, it’s clearly intended to reload for your second attack, Skill Copy.  Skill Copy is interesting.  In many ways, it turns any Pokémon into Alakazam’s own personal Technical Machine.  This is a great attack and had this been on a “normal” Alakazam it could have anchored a deck.  Yes, you need the Energy to use the attack, but you can’t deny that it is incredible for an opponent to have to worry about anything hitting them.

 

Uses and

Combinations: Holon’s Pokémon are you friend.  With any two of Holon’s Castform, Holon’s Electrode, or Holon’s Magneton, only 14 attacks on 14 Pokémon can’t be copied… but with one more Energy of any type, they all can be copied.  Of course, there are some 900 that can be copied with said four or less.  Many Pokémon have all or mostly Colorless attacks at one, two, three, and four Energy so there are indeed many options.

 

However, this almost needs to be the focus of a deck.  If only there was a way to abuse the attack, like by giving it to another Pokémon.  And there is: let Mew ex use Versatile to copy this, and instead of needing a Bench full of Pokémon to copy, you can keep most in hand and remain flexible.  Decent draw/search power combined with recursion like Holon Farmer and Pokémon Retriever should give you a handy little combo and free up more Bench space, plus let you copy Pokémon you normally couldn’t fit into the deck: you could run a floater like a Stage 2 Pokémon entirely on its own.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 2/5 – Not too bad of stats for this format, and there are quite a few Pokémon that a Double Colorless Energy would let you abuse.  If you want to go crazy, have a bench full of Slowking, Sabrina’s Alakazam active, and this on the Bench, and a large amount of crazy Pokémon in the deck to use for their attacks.  I don’t expect it to revolutionize the format, but hey it should be fun!

 

Modified: 3.5/5 – Given the relative potency and ease of use, it is one of the best and may be the best Pokémon* we have right now, and may become a strong ally of Mew ex.  Even without adding any other extra Pokémon to the deck, it’s nice to surprise the opponent by dropping this and then, for example, use Versatile to use Copy Skill to use an attack from a Manectric ex from hand.

 

Limited: 5/5 – Alakazam* is brilliant here, but you may not want to run it due to its value.  Still, it can be used with any kind of Energy and even to access attacks for Pokémon you might not be able to run due to lacking their lower Stages.  You still can’t use attacks without having the right Energy, so don’t go too crazy – Charizard δ, for example, would be a bad choice to use as attack fuel.

 

Summary

While I am not entirely thrilled with the rarity of Pokémon*, I would rather they were hard to come by and at least moderately useful than nothing but collector candy that… well… made the game look like a joke.  Harsh, I know, but if they want something super rare for collectors to chase down and don’t want to mess up the metagame by making a great card really rare, they have other options: they already were intelligent enough to change first edition cards to parallel holos (a wonderful decision I love), so alternate artwork would be a good way to please collectors without needlessly cluttering a set. ;)

 

As for the card itself, Alakazam* looks to be almost exactly what a Pokémon* should be, at least so long as there are Pokémon that can copy its attack.  If it didn’t have that, it’d sadly still be a bit underpowered (but still superior to most of its contemporaries).  Good job, TPC. :-D

 


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