One of the best Pokémon players in the world once gave
me this piece of advice: ‘never use an ugly Pokémon as
your main attacker’. Ok, so he was talking me out of
using Donphan at the time,
and he wasn’t being completely serious, but that is what
I always think of when I look at
Yanmega . . . that Pokémon has had a severe
beating with the ugly stick.
is a Stage 1 Pokémon with just enough HP (110) to make
it a contender. Fighting Resistance does sweeten the
deal, as does free Retreat. A big minus point though is
the Lighting Weakness. One Flash Bite from
Luxray GL LV X, and it’s
gone. Of course, being a Grass Pokémon,
Yanmega can do something
about this and many other potential drawbacks:
Metapod HGSS will remove the
Weakness, Shaymin LV X can
boost its HP even further, and
Cherrim SF will give it enhanced attack power.
But what are those attacks? Well, at first glance they
seem disappointingly weak and expensive. Linear Attack
is a reasonable snipe option that costs [G][C] and will
hit anything for 40, while
Sonicboom does a straight 70 damage (which cannot
be altered by Weakness or Resistance) for [G][G][C].
While not terrible, there certainly isn’t anything here
that seems to jump out and demand that you give this
card some attention . . .
. . . Until you notice the PokeBody. Insight’s effect is
that, if you have the same number of cards in hand as
your opponent, each of Yanmega’s
attacks cost zero Energy to use. Suddenly, they don’t
seem so bad: 40 snipe for 0? 70 for 0? Yes please.
Keeping your hand size the same as the opponent’s isn’t
necessarily difficult to do. Typically, most players
will have a hand size of around 5-7 cards, so you can
play out your own hand, or not, accordingly. In addition
there are the Supporters Judge and Copycat which will
guarantee that your hands will be equal and that Insight
So, will this make Yanmega a
top tier deck? I have my doubts. For a start, the
ever-popular Dialga G LV X
shuts the Body off, turning your lightning-fast attacker
into a slow Pokémon with mediocre damage output. In
fact, those Yanmega builds
that run low Energy/high Trainer counts to maximise
consistency likely won’t be able to attack at all. For
another thing, although you CAN use cards like Copycat
to equalise hand sizes, what if you don’t have one
available on any given turn? Or what if it is not the
optimum play? (Maybe you would be better off using a
Bebe’s Search that turn?).
In the end, the reward you get for fussing about with
hand sizes is just not that great. 70 points of
can’t-hit-for-weakness damage? You can do as well
elsewhere without all the hassle.
Donphan is a much sturdier Pokémon and will do 60
for a single Energy, while the even stronger
Gyarados can hit for 90
without attaching an Energy. Both of these Pokémon are
also far safer options to use with Expert Belt.
The PokeBody does make Yanmega
superficially appealing, but when you look at it
closely, you realise that it doesn’t have what it takes
to keep up with the top Pokémon in the format.
Modified: 2.75 (not as good as you think, Grass support
helps a bit though)
Limited: 3.5 (not so easy to get the Body to work, but
attacks are good here anyway)
Combos With . . .
11/12/10: Yanmega Prime(Triumphant)
We finish the week with the most intriguing of the
Primes, in my opinion.
Yanmega's gimmick is its Poke-Body, Insight, which
eliminates the energy cost of both its attacks if you
have the same number of cards in your hand as your
opponent. With an ability like that, one would expect
its attacks to be relatively weak, so as to balance out
the card, and they would be right: Linear Attack and
Sonicboom are both relatively modest attacks, apart from
the 'Whoooooaaaa 70 damage for no energy!' factor.
Attack power aside, there are a few cards that help
achieve its end of equaling your opponent's hand size;
Judge and Copycat should both be staples in any Yanmega
deck. However, with all cards, there are some problems,
the biggest of which is Dialga G, which, in its
perpetual cycle of
is somewhere between the first two options, which
means that Yanmega's Body will get shut off often, and
then you're left with a weird-looking bug with two
overpriced attacks, albeit a bug with a respectable 110
HP, fighting resistance, and free retreat. There might
be ways for Yanmega to overcome this problem, and
personally, I do wonder if Yanmega might somehow revive
the short-lived Shaymin/Yanmega decks from last format,
but I couldn't tell you how.
Would I like to see Yanmega become an archetype?
Sure, it seems like it would make an interesting deck to
face off against. Will it happen? Only time will tell,
as the saying goes, and like all archetypes, it should
be interesting to see what ultimately becomes of it.
Happy Friday, Pojo readers! We'll be finishing
off this hyped Primes week with another card that
received a fair amount of hype. By now, everyone's
used to my whole "hyped" speech, so I'll just skip
straight to the goodies...
Grass types are next to irrelevant these days. I
can't name any grass-weak pokemon that are played right
off the bat, and even if there were, Yanmega's attacks
don't abuse weakness that well. 110 HP is actually
on the semi-high side for a stage 1 these days.
The only Stage 1 pokemon that surpasses its HP is
Donphan Prime. Electric weakness hurts BADLY,
though. Luxray GL food, anyone? Fighting
resistance is nice with all the fighting types running
rampant (hint, hint, Machamp/Donphan Primes?), and a
free retreat is even better.
The Poke-Body is what has given it some spotlight time.
Having an identical hand size as your opponent turns
Yanmega into a wanna-be version of Gyarados. This
looks amazing at first, as it can be combo'd with
Judge/Copycat to ensure that same handsize every turn,
but lets look at reality here... You're dedicating
a SUPPORTER every turn to this thing... a pokemon that
can be one-shotted by the second-most commonly used SP
pokemon in existence (Garchomp C is the most common
since it's in EVERY SP deck I know of)... This
means that once Yanmega is gone, you're sunk, as you
dedicated everything towards a mediocre offense (which
we'll get to soon) as oppose to a back-up attacker.
And even if you setup another Yanmega Prime (which isn't
terribly hard to do), you STILL can't take out Luxray GL
Lv X in one shot even with a belt.
I suppose that since I'm mentioning attack damage, I
might as well present the attacks themselves. The
first attack costs [GC] (or no energy via
Poke-Body) for a 40 snipe. For no energy, it's
actually not bad, but it needs something better...
Sonicboom is an improvement costing [GGC] (or again no
energy via Poke-Body) for 70 damage that bypasses
non-existent grass resistances and doesn't apply the
weakness multiplier (not that either matters).
Expert belt maxes its damage at 90 (not counting Cherrim
Yanmega Prime is good for donks, but that's it.
It's completely reliant on its Poke-Body and dedicated
Supporter... support... so Dialga G Lv X will put on its
villainous smile and ultimately shut it down, and Dialga
G Lv X is everywhere, whether it be Dialgachomp or just
a tech in Luxchomp/Blazechomp. I believe this card
to be one of those grossly overhyped cards (even I was
initially guilty of that). Gyarados is superior in
virtually every aspect, and even IT has lightning
weakness, and it's just as capable of donking as Yanmega
Prime, and it has hardly any conditions attached, and
doesn't hog resources to pull off.
Modified: 2.25/5 A fun deck at best, as Gyarados
is superior in every way.
Limited: 4/5 At least it shines here. Just
watch out for Magnezone Primes attempting to ruin your
Yanmega Prime ends our week. It is a Grass
Stage 1 Pokémon. Stage 1 Pokémon have had to work
very hard as of late: Pokémon SP are Basics and thus
faster, Stage 2 Pokémon can do more (and are arguably
faster thanks to Rare Candy). It has 110 HP which
is good for a Stage 1 Pokémon, Lightning Weakness which
makes it very vulnerable to Luxray, Fighting Resistance
which will irritate Donphan Prime, and a Free Retreat
Cost that is simply beautiful. Since it is a Stage
1, let me point out none of the Yanma really thrill me,
so that does detract a bit from the card.
The Poké-Body, insight, makes this card. If you
have the same The Poké-Body, insight, makes this card.
If you have the same number of cards in your hand as
your opponent, the attack cost of each this card’s
attack is… zero! That is right: nothing. Not
just shedding a Colorless Energy requirement like we’ve
seen in the past, but absolutely no Energy is required
to attack! Now, on its own, the first attack would
be alright. Linear Attack gives you the choice to
hit any of your opponent’s Pokémon for 40 points of
damage. That is pretty good for (LC), and if the
Poké-Body wasn’t so great (and directly fixing this
problem), I’d bemoan it being unable to use Double
Colorless Energy. Its big attack, Sonicboom, would
suffer similarly: you get a good 70 points of damage for
just (LLC) and get to ignore Weakness and Resistance
(which is a mixed blessing), but without being able to
use Double Colorless Energy, the attack would be to
slow. Thanks to its Poké-Body, this card is now
the fastest Stage 1 or 2 attacker in the game!
Now, some are probably wondering how they can easily
synch up their hand size with their opponent’s.
After all, one’s opponent is in total control of his or
her own hand size, right? Not this format. ;)
In terms of Pokémon we have Giratina from Platinum has
its Let Loose Poké-Power: when you Bench it, each player
shuffles his/her hand into the deck and draws four
cards. Then of course this is Judge, a Supporter
with the same effect. Then there is good old
Copycat, allowing you to feed off an opponent’s large
hand. With all of these, you just have to make
sure that Pokémon or Supporter is the last card you play
for the turn. In exchange for a free 40 points of
damage to whatever you want or 70 to the Active is worth
Originally I was going to list a few more cards, but
Bondiborg pointed out it was getting to overkill
territory. Plus I’d forgotten that Vs Seeker was
still legal, so you can recycle those three best
Supporters for this deck four times easily. This gives
you a hard hitting, interesting deck where you mess with
your opponent’s hand and Bench (via Seeker/Giratina)
while hitting something on the Bench for 40 or the
Active for 70, for no Energy and many turns all at the
Except even if you max everything out, you’ve only got
12 Pokémon, 12 Supporters and four Trainers.
Miasma Valley won’t hurt either of what we’ve used and
naturally sets up more OHKOs for the decks.
Granted, Broken Time Space is also very tempting, since
if you go second it should allow you to start swinging
right away, but it also helps your opponent play out
their hand. If your opponent is playing out their
hand before you use one of the shuffle and draw effects,
this deck is going to suffer. Shaymin Lv.X (126/127,
Platinum) buffs Yanmega Prime up to 150 HP. You
might run Cherrim from Stormfront for extra damage.
Or you could focus on the “no Energy” angle by running
other Pokémon that can waylay your opponent “for free”,
and giving you all that extra deck space for the
Trainers needed to push such effects to the max.
You could also just tighten up the card count, such as a
2-2 of the Yanmega and whatever supporting cards easily
fit or already being used by your deck (who doesn’t have
a love/hate relationship with Judge?), and use it as a
This is a good pick for Limited, even if you have to
actually power it up: sniping is always handy. As
there is less draw power, your opponent should have a
harder time dodging the effect. Just make sure you
don’t play down your hand until they do, and they
shouldn’t have much luck building their hand up to
something larger than you can match. If they can
play their hand out and you can’t, you might be trouble.
That’d be it though.
I am still selling my former collectables on eBay.
I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various
times I’ll have comic books, manga, action figures, and
video games on the auction block. You can take a
look at what’s up for bids
here. Just a reminder, Pojo is in no way
responsible for any transactions and was merely kind
enough to let me mention the auctions here. ;)