Today’s Baby is Pichu, the Promo card from the Heart
Gold Soul Silver Prereleases. Could this be the first
playable Prerelease Promo since Porygon 2 from GE? Let’s
take a look.
Like all the other HGSS Babies, Pichu has no Resistance,
Weakness, or Retreat Cost. He has 30 HP and the Sweet
Sleeping Face Pokémon Power which may, or may not, keep
him alive after using is attack.
Pichu has one no-Energy attack called Playground. The
effect of this attack is to invite both players to
search their decks for as many Basic Pokémon as they
like and put them on the Bench (as long as there is
room!). (Older players will remember a Trainer card
called Challenge! Which basically did the same thing).
Obviously, using this attack means that you get a great
set up (and avoid losing to a T2 KO when you have no
Bench), as well as thinning your deck of Basic Pokémon,
making it more likely that you will draw into Evolutions
and Trainers afterwards.
It is important to bear in mind that, if you use
Playground on the very first turn of the game, it does
not allow your opponent to evolve their Benched Pokémon
on their first turn, unless they use a card which
enables them to break the evolution rule (Rare Candy or
Broken Time-Space). But there are still considerable
downsides to using Pichu: letting your opponent get an
ideal Bench of starting Pokémon is just asking for
trouble. If they can get their deck set up before you,
or even if they can survive long enough to bring out
more Powerful Pokémon, then you have practically handed
As a result, Pichu won’t see any play as a general
‘starter’ Pokémon. Pachirisu GE, with its higher HP,
ability to Bench three Basics, and situationally useful
attack is a much better option for this role and even
that sees little play these days. The only time where
Pichu is a better choice is for decks which really
benefit from having a full Bench, and from allowing
their opponent to Bench Pokémon as well. Right now, the
only deck in that category is Jumpluff HGSS, which means
Pichu use is pretty much restricted to that one deck. If
more Pokémon like Jumpluff are released, or if the
format slows down massively after Pachirisu is rotated
out, then Pichu might be considered again. At the
moment, though, it is a one-trick pony.
Modified: 2 (Only Jumpluff decks should risk using this
Limited: 3.5 (any kind of set up card in Limited is very
& SoulSilver, #28)
HeartGold & SoulSilver expansion brings back
notable Basic Pokémon that are prevolved forms of other
Pokémon. These Pokémon are Cleffa, Igglybuff,
Pichu, Smoochum and Tyrogue. Unlike past
appearances, these Pokémon lack the ability to
evolve using any Baby Evolution Poké-Power into Clefairy,
Jigglypuff, Pikachu, Jynx, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee or
Cleffa, Igglypuff, Pichu, Smoochum and Tyrogue share the
same Poké-Body, Sweet Sleeping Face. Its effect is
as long as the Pokémon is Asleep, all damage to it is
prevented. These Pokémon stand good chances to be
Asleep as their attacks initiate the effect.
The statistics for each of these Pokémon are consistent.
They all share 30 HP, have no Weakness, have no
Resistance, and have zero Energy Retreat Cost.
Pichu's attack is Playground. For no Energy, each
player may searc his or her deck for as many Basic
Pokémon as he or she likes, put them on his or her
Bench, then shuffle his or her deck afterward.
(You put your Pokémon on the Bench first.) Pichu
is Asleep afterward. This is a great attack that
sets up Jumpluff (HS) for its Mass Attack, dealing 10
damage times the amount of Pokémon you and your opponent
have in play.
Greetings, Pojo viewers! Baby Week continues today
with a review of Cleffa from the HeartGold and
When Cleffa was originally printed in Neo Genesis, it
was a force: its Eeeeeek attack, combined with the
broken trainers of the pre-Modified format, allowed for
ridiculous amounts of draw power. The new HGSS Cleffa is
very similar to the Neo Genesis print in my ways. How
does it hold up in the new format?
Cleffa has 30 HP, which is awful, but to be expected
from a Baby Pokemon. No Weakness is great but probably
won't matter on a Pokemon with such low HP, no
Resistance isn't great, and no Retreat Cost is
Cleffa has the standard Baby Power for the HGSS
expansion, Sweet Sleeping Face. While Cleffa is asleep,
prevent all damage done to Cleffa by attacks. This is
pretty good as a stalling tactic, but staying Asleep is
a really hard thing to do in the Pokemon TCG.
The only attack, Eeeeeeek, allows you to shuffle your
hand into your deck then draw six cards for free, with
Cleffa being Asleep after performing the attack. While
this attack is very similar to the Neo Genesis Cleffa in
many ways, there are some problems. First of all, there
are Supporters that allow for much more efficient card
draw (Felicity's Drawing, Copycat, even Professor Oak's
New Theory), and can allow for searchability (Roseanne's
Research, Bebe's Search) without having to use an
attack. Finally, there are many great Pokemon in the
format that can be used for card draw, such as Claydol
GE and Uxie LA.
Modified: 2.75/5 It's by no means bad, but there are
just generally better alternatives in the format. It may
see more play once the yearly rotation occurs, however.
Limited: 4/5 Having a hand refresh every turn is
great in Limited, as card draw is much less common here.
Sweet Sleeping Face is also a plus here. Then again,
Cleffa only has 30 HP, and it's still very vulnerable.