The role of the unevolving Basic in the TCG is to be a
starter Pokémon. See Holon’s Castform, Pachirisu GE,
Spiritomb AR and many, many more for details. The role
of a starter is to help your deck get set up (usually by
drawing cards or searching out Pokémon) before
retreating or being KO’d.
Smeargle is another unevolving Basic which fits into
this category. As a starter, its stats are fairly
irrelevant, though 70 HP means it isn’t weak enough to
be a liability. The Retreat cost of one isn’t ideal
though, as you will have to waste a card of some kind
(Energy, Unown Q, Warp Point) in order to retreat it
once you are ready to start doing some damage.
Smeargle’s attack is of even greater irrelevance: [C][C]
for minor coin flip damage? Ugh. No thanks.
The real attraction of Smeargle is its PokePower,
Portrait. With this, if Smeargle is active, you get to
look at your opponent’s hand, choose a Supporter you
find there, and copy its effect. Now there are some
really nice aspects to this. Firstly, seeing your
opponent’s hand is a good thing by itself. You can
gather information on what they are playing and what
their hand is like and plan your strategy accordingly.
Secondly, it is a Power, not an attack. In theory, you
could use it to set up and then retreat Smeargle to do
some damage. In practice, though this may be a little
hard to pull off very early in the game, thanks to
Smeargle’s Retreat cost. Thirdly, this power lets you,
in effect, play an extra Supporter on your turn: this
breaks one of the fundamental rules of the game (one
Supporter per turn) and in general, any effect that lets
you do that should be considered a very good thing.
There is one major drawback, however. The effectiveness
of Smeargle is entirely determined by what cards your
opponent happens to be holding in their hand. If they
have a Pokémon Collector on turn 1, fantastic. If they
are holding a Bebe’s search when you just need a Stage 2
for the donk win, that’s great. But what if they have
something useless like an early game Palmer’s
Contribution or Lucian’s Assignment? What if all they
are holding is an Aaron’s Collection when you aren’t
running SP, or a Department Store Girl when your deck
doesn’t use Tools?
Because of this, I suspect most players will stick with
Sableye SF. Like Smeagle, it effectively allows you to
play a Supporter on the first turn and play two on
subsequent turns. Unlike Smeargle, it allows you to
choose the extra Supporter you play from your deck,
which guarantees you exactly the card you need for a
Nevertheless, Smeargle is an interesting Pokemon whose
rule-breaking Power shouldn’t be dismissed. I wouldn’t
be at all surprised if someone came up with a
competitive deck that made good use of it (a bit like
how Gyarados got the most out of Sableye SF), but right
now that person isn’t me (sadly).
Modified: 3 (faces stiff competition from Sableye, but
keep this card in mind anyway).
Limited: 2.5 (Not that many great Supporters in
Limited so less likely to work, though if you can catch
Team Rocket’s Trickery you are in business!)
Hello again, Pojo readers! Today's review is of a
card that got a fair bit of hype at my local prerelease,
so there is a pretty good chance that it might see some
play. Today's Card of the Day is Smeargle from HS
Smeargle is a Basic Colorless Pokemon. Colorless Pokemon
are generally nice to have in a deck due to their
splashability, and Smeargle is no exception here. 70 HP
is slightly low for a non-evolving basic, but given
Smeargle's stats in the video game, the value is quite
welcome. Double Fighting Weakness and no Resistance are
standard on card game Colorless types, and a single
retreat is decent.
Smeargle has a Poke-Power and a single attack. First of
all, let's forget about Tail Rap, for which you flip a
coin twice and deal 20 damage times the number of heads
for [CC]. Too expensive and unreliable to be worth
anything in today's Modified environment. The power is
really what is of interest here. Portrait allows you to
look at your opponent's hand once per turn and use the
effect of a Supporter they have there as the effect of
the power, but only if Smeargle is your active Pokemon.
This definitely has the potential to be good, especially
because Supporters are so common in the metagame. Plus,
in addition to seeing your opponent's hand, you still
get to use your Supporter for the turn, and could
possibly use theirs again if they don't play it
afterwards! However, if your opponent doesn't have any
Supporters in hand, this will obviously be a huge waste
of time. It is also important to note that if your
opponent has a Supporter in hand and you use the Power,
you must use one of the Supporters as the effect of this
power, even if it wouldn't have an effect or would
possibly be detrimental to you (such as with Copycat, or
other things that cause you to discard/shuffle your hand
into your deck).
So, how do you get the most out of Smeargle in this
role? Using it early game (like how Sableye SF is used)
could be helpful, as well as being able to switch out
Smeargle after using the power. Unown Q and Dodrio UD
are both good choices to deal with retreat costs, as
they lower Smeargle's retreat cost to the point where it
is free. That way, you can use the power once per turn,
retreat, and then get on with your normal attacking and
Modified: 2.75/5 Yes, it is largely dependent on your
opponent. Yes, it may not always be reliable. However,
in this new format, anything that can draw a significant
number of cards is good, and Smeargle here is no
exception, especially if your opponent plays a lot of
common Supporters like Pokemon Collector, Bebe's Search,
Cyrus's Conspiracy, and numerous others. As long as your
opponent plays Supporters and you can get it active,
Smeargle probably won't disappoint.
Limited: 2.5/5 There aren't many Supporters here, but
Smeargle is definitely passable, especially if your
opponent has drawn a few of them. Just keep it away from
Combos With: Unown Q LA, Dodrio UD
Wes1234 Crazed Eeveelutionist
Hello, fellow Pojo readers. We're back with
another pokemon from HS Undaunted, and this pokemon has
been widely known as the pokemon that paints art with
its tail. Unfortunately, the TCG hasn't really
treated Smeargle that well. Will this one allow it
to paint a new picture for the MD-on format, though?
Firstly, the basics. Colorless typing is... really
next to irrelevant on this guy due to such an unreliable
and worthless attack (we'll get to that later). 70
HP for an unevolving basic is crappish, but expected
from a non-legendary pokemon. Weakness to fighting
turns this artist into a nothing more than a harmless
speed bump for Machamp (who would kill this guy
regardless of HP due to Take Out) and Donphan Prime.
No resistance is lame, but again expected, and a retreat
cost of one is more than payable, but hurts seeing as
you won't want to waste any energies on this guy for
anything more than paying the retreat cost itself.
Ready that Unown Q.
Smeargle continues its artistic theme by sporting a
power called Portrait.
When Smeargle is active, Portrait allows you to look at
your opponent's hand (anything that allows a free peek
at the opponent's hand is nice just to see what might
come soon) and copy the effect of a supporter card among
the cards there as the effect of the power.
Anything that allows you to get around the
one-Supporter-card-per-turn rule is awesome, but there
is one major fault this time around: the possibility of
not finding the supporter card that you want. I
suppose that it might be nice for trying to determine
whether or not you should Judge your opponent since you
DO get to look at their hand and see what else they
have. Other than that, the power is too unreliable
in that you're not guaranteed the supporter effect that
There's also a possibility of the power back firing if a
card like Judge is the only supporter that they have
since choosing a Supporter, if one exists, is mandatory.
You could very well destroy your own good start in the
It's still not a bad power, but it's risky early-mid
game and becomes useless late game since the active slot
is taken up by your main attacker and other pokemon.
Okay, so we have a risky power, but what about the
attack? Well, it would seem that this artist
pokemon has two themes going on here. It's an
artist, and its risky. Costing a way overpriced
[CC], Tail Rap makes you flip two coins (a dead giveaway
to a risky card) and do 20 damage for each heads.
20 damage average for [CC]? My lordy, I've seen
many attacks very unworthy a DCE, but this one takes the
top slot out of all of them.
It's clearly meant to be a starter pokemon early in the
game, but overall, this one has to be one of the most
risky and unworthy starter pokemon other there. SF
Sableye is VASTLY superior to Smeargle, both in
supporter abuse and its own bit of small offense, one
that can sport possible donks at that.
On top of that, Portrait can be Powerspray'd. Say
hello to the binder.
Modified: 1.5 It got this rating simply because of
Portrait's ability to look at your opponent's hand.
Beyond that, it's outclassed by so many other starters.
Limited: 1 Whatever few Supporters are in this
format are immediately disappearing from your opponent's
hand the moment they draw them. Portrait becomes
useless. Attack is already useless. Smeargle
should go straight to your binder.
Combos with: Judge, but its best bet is the binder.
Mad Mattezhion Professor Bathurst League Australia
Smeargle (HS Undaunted)
This has to be one of my favourite cards from the
set, and I got 2 at the prerelease. Yay!
Smeargle has 70 HP, fighting weakness (which is great
because Machamp and Donphan will mulch this guy
regardless of weakness) and 1 retreat (payable). I think
the 70 HP is great on this card because it is high
enough to avoid most OHKOs on the first turn or 2, and
for avoiding all but the heaviest snipers getting a
OHKO, much like Uxie. Great stats for a starter/tech.
The attack is crap, though the colourless cost means
in a last resort, go-down-fighting situation you can
take one last roll of the dice before you get anhilated.
Tail Rap gives you 2 flips at 20 damage per Heads for
CC, so don't use it.
The real selling point is the power, which gives you
a look at your opponent's hand, followed by the use of a
Supporter you find in your opponent's hand.
Unfortunately this only works if Smeargle is active, or
otherwise this would be the best power ever, but it is
great against decks that favour Trainer locking. Also,
you can give Gengar the edge before using Poltergeist,
and you can continue to scare your opponent into playing
their Supporters early if you can keep switching your
active Pokemon around. Admittedly you can wind up in
trouble if you have to copy a shuffle-draw Supporter
from thier hand when you want to keep your own cards,
but the amount of bluffing you can do with this card,
especially when putting up a sacrificial lamb while you
build an attacker, is just plain awesome. Gengar decks
will love this card, though other decks will keep
Sableye for the Supporter cheat. It will be interesting
to see how the matchup between these 2 starters pans
Modified: 3.5 (good for countering trainer lock and
rewarding for risk takers!)
Limited: 1.5 (not much to copy here)
Combos with: Gengar SF
Pokémon important for advanced breeding techniques.
is a Colorless Basic Pokémon with 70 HP.Now, this is a good start for an opener and
possible a closer (a.k.a. cleaner) Pokémon.Something that helps you set up, hurts your
opponent’s set up, and/or is good for taking a prize or
two but incapable of being a sustained attacker.Smeargle
has the traditional double Weakness to Fighting Pokémon,
but since it is a Basic with 70 HP, it lucks out.Why?
The smallest hits will KO it faster than normal, but it
will still take multiple turns.Larger Fighting Pokémon usually hit for at least
Basically, it only hurts if you both have lousy opens so
something that only hits for 20 base damage 2-hit KOing
instead of requiring four attacks, a Fighting Pokémon
with a big attack that doesn’t do base 70 damage, or an
intermediary form that hits for 40 to 60 scoring a OHKO.This is a pretty small margin.The lack of Resistance hurts less as well: it
really would only help a small Basic like
you had a lucky match-up and their tiny opening Pokémon
Smeargle for a turn or two before they got their
real attack up and running.Otherwise, how many serious attackers would
Resistance have blocked: even the effective 90 HP (with
its current -20 default) wouldn’t matter much against
the heavy hitters a deck normally focuses on.
single Energy Retreat Cost matters greatly for this card
because of its Poké-Power.The Poké-Power is a once a turn affair that let’s
you see your opponent’s hand, then the Power copies the
effect of a Supporter of your choice you find there.If this was a card with a free retreat, it’d be a
must run: anytime you opened with it you could score a
free peak at your opponent’s hand with the change of
either a second (or third) Supporter for your turn or
any Supporter use on your very first turn.
didn’t happen.Instead it has a single Energy Retreat Cost.Not enough to be crippling, but enough you either
have to burn your Energy attachment for the turn, have a
way to break the one Energy attachment per turn rule, an
effect to lower the Retreat Cost, or simply drop a card
that let’s you Bench
Smeargle.That is, if you wish to milk the effect.You can still, easily enjoy it for a look at your
opponent’s hand, letting you know ahead of time if you
should play a disruption card, or if you have to play
defensively to keep from losing right away, or to play
aggressively because you can safely push for the win.There is a risk they will have no Supporter,
though what is more likely will be your opponent running
a more deck specific Supporter you either can’t make
work, or don’t want to make work because it clashes with
your own theme or set-up.It could be as simple as you have a hand you
can’t play out this turn but that has some very
important cards, and your only Supporter choice ends up
being a “shuffle and draw” Supporter.
attack is one level removed from being straight forward.(CC) to flip two coins and score 20 per heads.It’s slightly sub par.It is better than many other attacks and if you
had to, you can burn a
Energy to try and swing for 40, possibly do nothing,
and probably hit for 20.They must assume the Poké-Power is really good:
doesn’t Evolve so it should have a slight “bonus” to its
attack to compensate.This attack was fair by “old school” standards
before power creep raised both average and maximum HP
scores and we had zero-Energy attacks.
as simple as 20 with an extra 20 on a successful coin
toss would have been valuable to an opener like
Modified play, this is a card that can be used in any
deck but is outclassed by other options.For Limited play it is a good pull… because it is
incredibly valuable to see what your opponent has.I am still ignorant of how many Supporters are in
If they are plentiful, it will be a must pull.If there are at least a few, it is a great pull.Even if there are somehow none or you face people
who didn’t pull, seeing that hand is very valuable in a
format where getting out a Stage 2 tends to spell game.This way you can see how best to counter your
opponent’s set up.I’ll score it with the assumption they are at
least a few general use Supporters in the set – adjust
based on what you know.
still selling quite a bit of my stuff on eBay.
I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various