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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

 

Judge

HS Unleashed

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.00
Limited: 3.67

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
Top 4 UK Nats

Judge

 

This was great at pre-release. Players were using this card and saying ‘JUDGE!’ in an unnecessarily loud voice. It was pretty funny . . . unless you were the poor judge who had to keep looking around the room every time someone did that.

 

Unfortunately for judges, pre-release won’t be the only time they have to deal with players being annoying with this card. It is very probably the best card in the whole Unleashed set and it is definitely going to see some serious table time at Nationals, Worlds, and beyond.

 

That’s because Judge is the best hand refresh/disruption card we have seen since Rocket’s Admin. Yes, that’s right, it’s even better than the dreaded Team Galactic’s Wager (unless you never lose at Rock, Paper, Scissors). Yet again, the effect is a simple one. When you play this card both players shuffle their hand into their deck and draw four cards. Yep, it’s Giratina PL’s Let Loose Power, except it can’t be Power Sprayed, doesn’t take up Bench space, and won’t give you one of the worst possible starts in the game (probably only Regice LA is worse out of cards that see play).

 

There are basically two parts to Judge, so let’s look at them separately. First of all, what does the card do for you? Well, it gives you a new hand of four cards. That’s not terrible, and if you have Claydol in play, it’s not hard to turn that into a very nice new hand of six. However, if it is hand refresh you want, then cards like Cynthia’s Feelings, Copycat (usually) and Professor Oak’s New Theory will do a better job. So, the real appeal of Judge must be what it does to your opponent, right?

 

Right.

 

Making your opponent shuffle their hand into their deck and draw four can be a hugely disruptive counter to a lot of popular decks. SP decks will have their Cyrus chain broken, Gyarados players will lose those Pokémon Rescues they have been hoarding, and Shuppet donk  will be devastated by having their unsearchable Expert Belts and PlusPowers put back in the deck. In fact, any deck that likes to maintain a big hand, or keep key cards in reserve, can be hurt by Judge.

 

Judge is a bit of a skill card and does need to be timed just right though. If your opponent has a Claydol or two on the Field, then Judge will not be so effective. The best way to use it is on a turn where you can take out their draw support (by sniping or dragging out a Claydol for the KO), or if you can Power Lock them in some way so that they can’t recover (Mesprit LA, Gardevoir SW, and good old Power Spray will do the job nicely).

 

Obviously, Hand disruption and Power Lock decks like Sablelock and Gallade/Gardeveoir have just found a new best friend in this card, but a well-timed Judge can be such a good counter to such a big part of the metagame that it is really worth considering as a tech supporter. Gyarados decks will still prefer Cynthia or Copycat, Gengar may well want to stick with Lookers Investigation, but most other decks can benefit from including one or two copies of this card.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 4.25 (the best disruption Supporter we have)

Limited: 3.75 (the hand refresh is nice, even if disruption isn’t so important here)


Otaku

We finish our week of HS – Unleashed Supporters with Judge.  It is another draw Supporter, which is very similar to an older Supporter known as Desert Shaman.  The main difference is that this has each player draw a flat four cards, while Shaman had each player draw up to four.

 

I’d like to give you some brilliant combo for this card, but it strikes me as being very dependant upon the metagame.  If you are in an area where players are loading their hands up, either through raw draw power or multiple search cards, and not burning through it all in one turn, this can be an excellent counter.  You still get a decent draw out of it (especially if your own deck is efficient and you have no hand left) and ideally, you’ll shave a few cards off their hand while disrupting their plans.  Hand disruption is extremely potent in the TCG’s I’ve played.  Pokémon is no exception, though the scale differs thanks to the (comparably) abundant draw power this game enjoys.  Basically Pokémon can have disruption where as in a game like Yu-Gi-Oh, so much of the hand disruption ends up restricted, banned, or so crippled with costs and drawbacks that it’s useless.

 

While I hate sounding like a broken record, this is another solid Supporter any deck can play, but that probably isn’t the best card for the slot.

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 3.25/5

 

Limited: 5/5

 

Combos with: Absol (Secret Wonders), Feraligatr (Mysterious Treasures)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Judge (HS Unleashed)
 
This doesn't look like a real Judge, they should have called it Referee. Or given the guy a big Ban Hammer like real judges have (I know it's called a gavel, but Ban Hammer looks better in print). Now the effects.
 
The Supporters in this set are mediocre to good, and with the exception of Interviewer's Questions they all have very simple effects. This one makes both players shuffle their hands into their decks and draw 4 cards.
 
I'm going to give this card the gong, simply because we already have a much better card that will survive the rotation: Looker's Investigation. Not only do you get to draw up to 5 cards if you wish (or less if you need to prevent decking yourself), you get to choose either your opponet or yourself to shuffle. The topper is looking at your opponent's hand before you make the decision, so you can refresh yourself, or force your opponent to lose cards they need to play (and hope they don't draw something even worse, because they will almost definitely take the 5 cards).
 
Judge isn't good enough for shuffle-draw (a maximum of 4 cards really sucks when compared to other shuffle-draw options) and you can't tell if you are helping or hurting your opponent. Even worse, you can't use a better Supporter if you draw one in your new hand, while your opponent can. Finally, this exact effect is available as a poke-power on one of the Giratina cards form Platinum, and noone has used that card much either.
 
Conclusion? Use it in Limited, then bury it in the ol' Binder.
 
Modified: 1.5 (just not up to standard, and more likely to disrupt you than the opponent)
Limited: 2.5 (it can stop you decking yourself, but that's the only redeeming feature)
 
Combos with: a pin for Tournament Judges to use at events?


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