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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Unown CURE

Triumphant

Date Reviewed: July 15, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.40
Limited: 4.50

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
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Unown CURE (Triumphant)

All this week I’ve been going on about how players should make sure they know the errata. Well, in this case I’m afraid I’m guilty of not knowing it myself. In fact until I did this review I was only vaguely aware that Unown CURE even existed.

Errata

Unknown's "CURE" Poke-POWER should read, "Once during your turn, when you put Unown from your hand onto your Bench, you may remove all Special Conditions from your Active Pokémon." Use of this Poke-POWER is optional.

Why was it changed?

I can only assume it was to bring it in line with the exact text/intention of original Japanese card. I mean, now if you play this card, you are not FORCED to remove Special Conditions . . . wow, thanks a lot . . . I’m sure that will come in handy.

What effect will it have?

None whatsoever. I tried and tried to think of situations where you wouldn’t want to remove Poison from your active (something to do with Seviper CL maybe?), but in every case the simple answer is that, if you didn’t, why would you even Bench this Pokémon in the first place?

Ok, maybe if it was the ONLY Pokémon in your hand, your opponent had just Poisoned your active Seviper for you, and you needed to play down something to avoid being Benched next turn . . . in that case you would exercise your option not to use the Power. (Obviously, that’s ridiculously obscure).

Aside from the errata, Unown CURE isn’t terribly useful at the moment. Maybe if Special Condition + Trainer Lock decks become playable somewhere down the line this could be worth teching in. (The recently revealed Vanilluxe run with Vileplume?). I suppose you could also use it to wake a Sleeping Baby for Retreat/attack purposes, but really Switch is the higher utility option that doesn’t take up Bench space. Either way, the errata remains irrelevant.

Rating

Modified: 1.75 (not really worth the deckspace at the moment, but who know? One day it could be an important tech)


Otaku

We end Errata Week with Unown (HS: Triumphant 51/102). Its correction is slight, but we’ve never reviewed it before so if not now, when? So the correction to this Unown is as follows: Once during your turn, when you put Unown from your hand onto your Bench, you may remove all Special Conditions from your Active Pokémon. This makes use of this Poké-Power optional. Thinking about it there is only one circumstance where I figure this would matter. Some Pokémon do want to be afflicted with a Special Condition, and being able to get rid of it without resorting to a Trainer can be useful. Since this Poké-Power only triggers when you play Unown from your hand to your Bench, the only reason you’d do that when you wanted your Active Pokémon to remain afflicted would be because you had no other Pokémon in play and feared your lone Active would be KO’d and you’d lose!

The rest of the card is pretty forgettable, a Basic Psychic Pokémon with just 50 HP and an overpriced attack that does 10 damage for (P). Being a Basic Pokémon is a good thing given that you’ll be running it just for the Poké-Power (if you run it at all), as this makes it easier to search from the deck, Bench, and bounce back to hand to re-use later than any other Stage. Being a Psychic Type is really no help at all right now. 50 HP is low for a Basic that can’t further Evolve, though the Unown weren’t very big in terms of HP in the video games, either. The attack is just pathetic.

You know, I think I would rather this had been a Stage 1 but with a re-useable effect, namely something like Wigglytuff (FireRed/LeafGreen 52/112). That changes the instant we get Pokémon Catcher, but for now it would be better to just have a re-useable Bench-sitter. Unown will require something to get it back into your hand, because even without Pokémon Catcher it is just to vulnerable on the Bench. When we do get Pokémon Catcher then I’d just want a better version of that Wigglytuff, something that removed all Special Conditions and had better stats and a better attack, or was a Basic Pokémon no worse than that Wigglytuff… because while Unown is safe hiding in your hand, how is it going to get back there after being played? You’ll be burning your Supporter for Seeker or hoping for “heads” on Super Scoop Up. In fact, as Unown has nothing making it worth staying in play as a Pokémon, the only reason to run it is because you yourself are running Trainer-lock and can’t just use Full Heal. So for Modified or Unlimited, there is a small, tiny niche for running this Unown, but most of the time there are better options: Pokémon with re-usable effects or just a Trainer that does the same thing. If you have a Pokémon with a free Retreat Score on your Bench, Switch becomes the better option. In Unlimited, you can even use Full Heal Energy or Heal Energy.

Of course none of this holds true in Limited play, where even if you pull another Special Condition removing option, you’ll want another: in a format where Special Conditions are hard to shake because manually retreating is the only reliable cure, you’ll need something. After all, Limited uses only four Prizes instead of six, meaning less overall damage needs to be done to win the game. Then you factor in the lower average HP scores and damage yields (due to many cards lacking enough support to be worth playing) and that extra damage counter from Poison or shot at two extra from Burn is equivalent to two or four in Limited, perhaps even more. Paralysis and Sleep become mighty defensive shields that can also be devastating offensive weapons if you’re doing damage alongside them, as you’ll have a helpless opponent to steadily chip away at. Even Confusion, considered by many to be the weakest Special Condition, becomes useful: if your opponent is lucky it might do nothing more than shut down Abilities/Poké-Powers, but when it works it both blocks damage and places damage counters on them…

Yeah, Special Conditions are extremely nasty in Limited play. For me this CotD was almost worth it just for that little spiel: what can I say I enjoy Special Conditions actually being useful. Since they are so strong in Limited play and there is no other option I can see in this set, Unown becomes great TecH, and almost a must run. The fact that it might show up in your opening hand as your only Basic hurts it, as well as the fact you might be forced to Bench it prematurely to prevent loss via running out of Pokémon in play. Being a card from a set that came out in the previous (but still legal) block of sets odds of you getting to use those boosters for Limited play is low, but if you do it becomes more likely that it’d be an event where you were pulling boosters from multiple sets, so my earlier comment still holds true: its usefulness doesn’t appreciably go down even if you’re culling from packs that would have a Full Heal or similar option available.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1.05/5

Modified: 1.5/5

Limited: 4.5/5

Summary

A somewhat depressing note to end the week on, but at least it wasn’t a re-review. Unown is a card that just doesn’t seem that useful, but I will take advantage of this closing to point out you should still hold onto at least a copy or two. If we get an excellent Special Condition inflicting Pokémon that truly works well with current or future Trainer denial, or we get a more effective means of recycling Benched Pokémon (even something that sent them to the deck instead of the hand), this card suddenly finds its place.

Of course I am still selling my former possessions on eBay here. Pojo.com is not responsible for any transactions.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Unown CURE (HS Triumphant)

Hello, here we have the last card of the week and an extremely short review, due to the nature of the erratum.

Unown CURE, like all of the HS block Unown cards, has a picture of the Unown that spell out its Poke-power. Also, it does not include CURE as part of the name so it is just a plain Unown like all of the Unown cards printed prior to Diamond & Pearl. Chaning the name (and thus the limit on the number of Unown you can play in your deck) is a move that disappoints me, mainly because Unown are always support cards with an ability that, while not usually playable, is at least interesting. By cutting both the number you can use in a deck and the variety of abilities (due to only printing one per set), coupled with reversing the changes to Hidden Power (the only attack any Unown ever has, which became both entertaining and useful in the D&P era), Poke'mon have made these alphabet Poke'mon go back to being boring and almost completely unplayable.

Now that I'm finished my rant, Unown CURE has almost nothing to reccomend it aside form the coming-into-play Poke-power. The 50 HP is barely adequate for a bench-sitting Basic, the type isn't a help or a hindrance and the Psychic weakness is nearly irrelevant due to the HP. At least the retreat cost is cheap at a single energy, and the Hidden Power attack is the same as it costs [p] for 10 damage. Sadly, if you are using either of thos actions you are probably in deep trouble.

The Poke-power, named CURE, is essentially a Full Heal because it removes all Special Conditions from your Active Poke'mon when you play Unown from your hand onto your bench. The errata changes that text to make using the CURE Poke-power optional instead of mandatory, so you can play Unown down without removing any Special Conditions.
The only situation I can think of where that change would actually make a difference is if you had a Poke'mon like Mightyena PT that actually benefitted from being affected by a Special Condition and you needed to put a Basic on your empty/nearly empty bench to avoid being wiped out by a surprise move. However, aside from Seviper CL and Baby Poke'mon, no cards in the current card pool benefit in any way by being affected by Special Conditions. Besides, Seviper removes the Poison from itself and Sleep can be removed by a coin flip so you probably wouldn't combine Unown CURE with any of the above anyway.

Although the errata makes no difference at all, the effect is pretty decent. While Full Heal and Life Herb can do the same job without chewing up bench space, they don't work when Vileplume UD and other Item-lock cards are in play. To add to the utility, Unown can be searched out by Poke'mon Collector and other much-loved search cards while Item cards are much harder to pull out of your deck.

At this point in time, however, I expect that most players will stick with Full Heal/Life Herb, because Vileplume is somewhat uncommon due to the loss of Spiritomb PA in the rotation. Also, the Ultimate Item aka Junk Arm allows you to turn one card into multiple uses with relative ease while returning Unown CURE to your hand for a second shot is a little more involved.

It comes down to personal preference but if Item-lock becomes more prevalent like it was in the last format, Unown CURE could well find a home in a few decks.

Modified: 3.25 (in this format Special Conditions are a little more useful with the loss of cards like Warp Point and Poke Turn but if you really are worried about getting hit you could just run Full Heal)

Limited: 5 (This set had next to no support so the ability to remove Special Conditions without wasting your energy on a manual retreat is very powerful)

Combos with: Poke'mon Collector


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