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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Cards of 2011 Countdown - #5

N

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Jan. 2, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.17
Limited: 4.25

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#5 N (Noble Victories)

Hello, and a Happy New Year to everyone who is reading this. I hope 2012 is full of great pulls and lucky topdecks for all Pokémon players!

One of the rules of the Pojo Top Ten CotY is that no reprints are allowed . . . except when the name of the card changes. That’s good news for N, the . . . ummm . . . ambiguous antagonist of the Black and White video games who features on our #5 card. Whisper it quietly . . . this is a functional reprint of the old Rocket’s Admin.

So . . . what does it do? Quite simply, it is a Supporter that requires both players to shuffle their hands into their decks and draw as many new cards as they have Prizes left. What makes N so good is the versatility and power that comes from such a simple action.

Early game, N works just like Professor Oak’s New Theory for you, and may disrupt your opponent. Not too shabby, but we can do better things with it. Opponent raced into a massive Prize lead? N will put them virtually on top decks, making it very difficult to draw the last Prize if the resources for doing so aren’t already on the Field. Worried that you will deck out before you can close out the game (perhaps while playing against Durant)? Use N to put your hand back in the deck and draw just one or two cards. Want to disrupt your opponent while maintaining your own hand size? Just pair this card with Magnezone Prime.

Magnezone is one of the decks that can obviously take full advantage of N, but set up decks that concede early Prizes like Chandelure and The Truth love it too. In fact any deck that can go behind to an opponent who is burning their resources to take early Prizes can benefit from running N, and the last I checked that was every single deck.

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to draw Supporters, but putting copies of this card in your deck will almost never be a bad choice. That’s what happened with Rocket’s Admin, which found its way into just about everything while it was legal. I don’t expect N to be any different.

Rating

Modified: 4 (use it wisely, and always assume your opponent is waiting to use one on you)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Top Card #5: N (Noble Victories)
 
Welcome to the New Year and keep your browsers refreshed as we continue our Top 10 Countdown of the Best Cards in 2011! We start the week with the only other top 10 card that wasn't on my personal list, N (the other was Gothitelle, I didn't even think of that card because I've never used it or played against it).
 
Despite the truncated name, goofy hair and completely unintelligible way of speaking, the main protagonist of the Black & White video games has made quite a splash in the TCG. With the effect of shuffling each player's hand into their deck and replacing it with a hand equal to their remaining Prize cards, N can be beautifully abused for the purposes of hand disruption, as well as providing comedy fodder if you feel the urge for an impromptu impersonation of the spiky-haired twit.
 
Since N is a Supporter, it does have to compete against the other hand refresh Supporters currently in the format, and it also has to compete aginst the likes of Poke'mon Collector and Interviewer's Questions.on the flip side, Supporters don't get blocked by either Vileplume's Allergy Flower Poke-body or Gothitelle's Magic Room Ability so the only thing you have to fear is hand disruption, which boils down to only 6 cards in the current format (Weavile UD, Houndoom UD, Team Rocket's Trickery, Sharpedo TM, Judge and the card you happen to be reading about right this second).
 
As far as hand disruption goes, N is currently the most balanced between versatility and power. If you play it when you are winning then you can shrink your hand to restock your deck at the cost of refreshing your opponent's hand, or if you are losing you can cripple your opponent and refill your hand at the same time. If you are about even then it works the same as a Judge, so if you like that card then N can work as a substitute to fit more copies into your deck (or if you simply don't own a full set of Judge).
 
My last review covered a lot of what I though you could do with this card, and I haven't had much experinec play with either N or its ancestor Team Rocket's Admin so I'm mostly basing my review on theory. However, I underestimated Judge and that bit me on the behind, so I'm not going to make the same mistake with N. Besides, the full art looks awesome when you play it just to show off, so that is worth some points isn't it?
 
Modified: 4 (I haven't played against anybody who knows how to use this card to the limits of its great potential, but the Beta of the Poke'mon TCG Online is broadening my horizons so there must be someone out there who can demonstrate the power of this card!)
 
Limited: 3.5 (the lower number of Prizes hurts the hand refresh half of this card, but shrinking your opponent's hand down to nothing is a hilarious play well worth making)
 
Combos with: a perfect sense of timing and a deck that tends to fall behind in the early game. I'd say that N would work like a charm in the Weavile/Houndoom/Sharpedo/Persian hand disruption decks out there.


Otaku

A belated Happy New Year, readers! We begin by breaking down the top five cards of last year, having finished listing off numbers six through ten to end that previous year. Today we look at number five, N! N was also number five on my list, and I’ll be happy to explain why. For the sake of being thorough, and as I missed out reviewing the card initially alongside the rest of the crew here, I’ll give a full review.

Stats

N is a Trainer, specifically a Supporter. The good news is that means it dodges the blocking effects of cards like Vileplume (HS-Undaunted 24/90) Gothitelle (BW-Emerging Powers 47/95). The downside of course is that you are only allowed to use a Supporter once-per-turn, on your own turns without some special effect from another card, and thus the competition for Supporters is quite, quite high.

Effect

N has a complex, variable effect, though the simple wording may lead you to expect otherwise. N requires both players shuffle their hands into their respective decks and then draws cards equal to his or her remaining Prizes. This means either player may draw from one to six cards off of N; it may be identical or a large a difference as a 1-6/6-1 split. I quite enjoy effects like this, because as we will discuss under Usage, an almost identical card effect proved fantastically useful in the past and there are many ways to use this card well: draw power, disruption, and even deck replenishment.

Usage

For those who haven’t been with the game long, or experienced an unfortunately absence during a period of the game I think I enjoyed the most, this effect is almost identical to that of Rocket’s Admin. The only difference I am aware of is that N requires you draw a card for each of your Prizes, while Rocket’s Admin. made it optional.

In either case, this means not only clever but appropriately experienced players saw N and knew exactly how to use him to his fullest. First turn you’re probably helping your opponent out in terms of quantity, but the same holds true of yourself. The difference is you’ll be able to intentionally maximize this by playing out your hand, while your opponent likely has to rethink their entire opening strategy: the Basic(s) they opened with were based on their actual opening hand, which you now forced them to shuffle away and replace.

This low risk/reward style of N usage can continue throughout the game if both players continuously trade Prizes. If that is the case, it is what you have in play that allows you to maximize your return; a deck with built in draw power and in particular draw power that is “shuffle and draw” or “draw until you have X cards in hand” will allow you to almost certainly inconvenience your opponent while maintaining or even enhancing your own deck’s momentum. A prime pick here would be Magnezone (HS-Triumphant 96/102) and its “Magnetic Draw” Poké-Power, since said Poké-Power will let you ensure you come off of N with a six card hand, while your opponent preferably is drawing three or less. Even without extra draw or search power, just having a solid set-up when your opponent is struggling to maintain pace means dropping both of your hands to three or less cards is a bold but often effective gambit.

If you are facing an aggressive deck, or your own is simply having a bad match, N becomes a comeback card to rival Twins: devastating their hand while refreshing your own. This is the primary and most obvious use of the card, though it is unlikely to be available to most decks until at least a few turns have passed. It is quite, quite devastating to force your opponent into nearly top-decking when they ended their turn with a large hand, and if you improve your own all the better. It is rare (and risky!) to pull off N when you haven’t drawn a Prize and your opponent has taken five.

As this is so risky, it also tends to (in my experience) be more fair than most other intentional “come from behind” cards; a skilled player who is up by five Prizes will be inconvenienced but not shut out by having his or her hand replaced with one randomly drawn card from his/her own deck. Decks can be designed to intentionally exploit this, but again it comes across as balanced and requires skill to be a reliable strategy: it does not seem unfair when slow starting decks, those that give up Prizes abnormally quickly (like Pokémon LEGENDs or the upcoming Pokémon-EX), or whose Pokémon have effects that KO themselves frequently are more likely than the average deck to benefit from N pull of big “swings” with N, especially since skillful play by opponent’s can minimize such shifts.

The last use of the card, and again one that any may enjoy is one that will rarely come up, but is nice to have nonetheless, that of replenishing your deck at the expense of your hand. Given how important your hand is, this is unlikely to snatch victory from the jaw of defeat when facing a Durant focused depletion deck, but it theoretically could. More likely (though still a somewhat rare occurrence) is that your own deck is doing well but your opponent managed to mount a desperate stall, and you have a large but unneeded hand and almost exhausted deck. At this point, N allows you to not only avoid being stalled out for at least a few more turns and push for the win, but unless your opponent had a truly poor hand and/or hasn’t taken many Prizes; the disruption factor stands a reasonable chance of frustrating some last push for mounting a comeback.

Specific usage of the card would be in decks that self-KO, set-up slowly, and/or give up Prizes quickly, as well as hand control decks. For one thing, such decks tend to be one (or multiple) of the above three. Still by controlling the Prize count you can make sure your opponent is forced to make a painful choice: play out their hand and risk top-decking or hold onto some cards only for N and friends to shred the hand and “waste” them. The effectiveness of this strategy may not sustain a top tier deck, but it gives good reason to check those lower stages or less used versions of certain Basic Pokémon: a single TecH copy that can combine with N to force top-decking can be worth the space in many decks if such a card exists.

So what of Unlimited play? One must be concerned about decks that will win first turn, create some sort of “lock”, or cripple your opening hand. N is actually a better version of Rocket’s Admin. in most cases, and Supporters are not as integral to decks here, reducing the Supporter-based competition it’d face for deck space. A deck striving for a first turn control scenario, forcing the opponent into top decking, may even find N useful, but only if said deck is using a self-KOing effect repeatedly first turn. When not facing or running such decks, a single copy is a lose staple: Unlimited has great draw/search/recycling power so getting that single copy isn’t an issue. Unfortunately said power is not only what enables the “problem” decks of the format but also makes it much, much easier to recover from getting hit with N. Since it forces the opponent to draw, it has a small place in depletion decks, ironically in the ones that otherwise focus on discarding from the deck. Anything that uses the other cards to force an opponent to draw would of course be ruined by running N, since N would just undo you work.

In Limited this is a must run, a draw Supporter.

Ratings

Unlimited: 3.75/5

Modified: 4.5/5

Limited: 5/5

Summary

N clocks in as card number five because in Modified play, a single copy is pretty much a must for all decks. You might be able to go without it if you truly need the room for something more crucial, but it functions as the comeback card that a skilled player can make good use of even when winning. Plus as it is practically a reprint of Rocket’s Admin. a significant portion of the player base already knew how to thoroughly use it the instant they first saw it, so the impact was both sudden and deep.

Yes, I am still selling some of my former collectibles on eBay: click here. Pojo.com is not responsible for any transactions and is merely kind enough to let me link to my auctions in my articles.

virusyosh Welcome back, Pojo readers! I apologize that this review is late, but I'm sure all of you know the effectiveness of today's Card of the Day, especially if you've been on the tournament scene for a while. Today's Card of the Day (and our #5 Card of 2011) is N from Noble Victories.
 
N is a Supporter, meaning that you can only play it once per turn (and then can't play any more Supporters). N's effect is fairly simple: each player shuffles his or her hand into his or her deck, and then draws cards equal to the number of Prizes that player has remaining. Early in the game, chances are N will act as something similar to a Professor Oak's New Theory or a Judge, and this disruption is generally good, especially if you know that your opponent has something good and/or a combo piece in their hand. In the late game, N can absolutely break your opponent's tempo down, as replacing their hand with one or two cards can be absolutely game-breaking if they don't draw well. Likewise, N works incredibly well in the late game with Magnezone Prime, as you can N and then use Magnetic Draw to get your hand up to six cards. Overall, N is a great addition to the various hand refresh cards that are available, and is definitely worth considering when building a deck.
 
Modified: 5/5 While it doesn't totally supplant Professor Oak's New Theory and Professor Juniper in terms of the hand refresh cards of choice, N is an excellent choice to use in addition to the Professors. What N really has going for it is disruptive potential, as forcing your opponent into a new hand can be incredibly detrimental to their strategy, especially in the late game. Once again, N should be strongly considered when building a deck, even if you only decide to run one or two because it has that much disruptive potential, even if you aren't building the deck around disruption.
 
Limited: 5/5 With card draw at a premium in Limited, any card that refreshes your hand is great to use. Disrupting your opponent is also a major plus.


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