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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Jirachi

Rising Rivals

Date Reviewed: March 31, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.50
Limited: 5.00

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

Jirachi (Rising Rivals) 

As a starter, Jirachi has a LOT going for it, and (for the moment) a couple of big downsides, but we will get to that later. Like Sableye and Smeargle, it breaks the one Supporter rule through its cost-free Detour attack: if you have used a Supporter that turn, Jirachi let’s you do it again. 

Of course that isn’t as flexible as Sableye’s Impersonate, and unlike Smeargle it uses your attack. You are also dependent on having a Supporter you want to use twice in your hand for that turn: while double Bebe’s Search would be great, double Pokémon Collector is probably unnecessary most of the time. Jirachi does have a nice bonus to make up for that though: its Final Wish Power means that when it is KO’d you get to search your deck for any card you like. 

Twins and multiple Jirachi make a great combination. When the first Jirachi is KO’d, search your deck for a Twins, then play it twice with Detour and get yet more cards. Add in the Final Wish when the second Jirachi goes down and you have had your pick of six cards from the deck. If that doesn’t get you fully set up, then to be honest you are playing a horrible, horrible deck and deserve to lose anyway. 

But what about those drawbacks? The first is that Jirachi is very vulnerable to hand disruption (Judge, Looker’s Investigation, Giratina ‘Let Loose’). All that great card searching goes for nothing if your opponent plays one of those cards. The second snag is that, going first under current rules Jirachi does precisely nothing as a starter as you are unable to play a Supporter. If it is still in rotation when we get the new Black and White rules (Trainers and Supporters can be used on turn 1), then this problem will be solved and Jirachi will be an even better card. For now though, if you kick off the game, you better hope you are holding a copy of tomorrow’s review card. 

All things considered, I’m surprised that Jirachi hasn’t seen more play than it has. Perhaps, like Sableye, it’s waiting for someone to come up with the deck that will break the card. I think that both Spiritomb and Sableye are better cards, but this shouldn’t always be overlooked. Try it with something like Steelix Prime and you may be pleasantly surprised. 

Rating 

Modified: 3.25 (more passive than most starters, it can work brilliantly in very slow decks, but can very slow decks work?)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Jirachi (Rising Rivals)
 
Rising Rivals was (and still is) an awesome set, bringing us such brilliant cards as Nidoqueen, Flygon and Luxray GL as well as many niche cards that were either popular for a short time or are only popular in a limited number of decks. Cards like Infernape E4, Volkner's Philosophy, Sunnyshore City Gym and Jirachi, while useful, seem to be almost forgotten by the majority of players. The last card on that list is one I confess I hadn't even thought about until writing this review.
 
Jirachi RR is the 4th starter Poke'mon we will be reviewing this week (I wonder if you can guess the fifth review subject? Mail me at mattezhion@y7mail with a correct guess to receive an Intangible Cookie!) and like all of the other starters we have reviewed it is a non-evolving Basic with a free setup attack. It would seem that all worthy starters in any format are non-evolving Basics, because an attacking line with a starter as a Basic and a strong end evolution would just be broken.
 
But enough waffling, on to the stats: Jirachi RR is a Metal type non-evolving Basic with 60 HP, +20 Fire weakness, Psychic resistance, free retreat, a Poke-power and 2 attacks. Jirachi is not going to survive even a medium hit unless you add Special Metal energy (which seems to me to be a waste, unless you are deliberately discarding it in a deck using Magnezone SF #6 for energy acceleration) and the Fire weakness seems unfairly harsh, though it is probably a moot point as the only Fire Poke'mon you are likely to come across will OHKO Jirachi anyaway (unless they are the Basic forms, since those are weak, energy hungry attackers that hon't hit hard enough to tickle a Teletubbie untilt they evolve). But considering how the Poke'power works, Jirachi is meant to go down in flames and the 60 HP is enough to keep it alive for a turn if you get a lone start, so the stats are balanced, even above par when you consider the resistance which keeps the Pixies off your back for a while and the free retreat is useful.
 
The Poke-power is the amusingly and aptly named Final Wish (wish upon a star!) and it is basically Twins-lite. Once during your opponent's turn, if Jirachi would Knocked Out by damage from an attack, you may search your deck for any one card and put it into your hand.
 
This is a simply brilliant power because searching for any card you want is a rare opportunity and the only way your opponent can cancel Final Wish is to play Glaceon Lv X as their Active Poke'mon or to have Ampharos PT in play since both Power Spray and Mesprit LA don't affect Poke'powers used during an opponent's turn. Even better, since Final Wish activates after damage is calculated but before other effects are applied, the only way your opponent can get rid of the card you searched out before you can use it is if the attack they KOed Jirachi with also caused you to shuffle your hand away or if your opponent is able to discard cards from your hand (shuffle your hand around before they choose if that is the case, it's a legal move to rearrange your hand as long as you aren't using it as a delaying tactic).
 
Unfortunately your opponent can simply play around the Poke'power by causing a KO with damage counters and Special Conditions (all of the mechanics that apply to Gengar SF's Fainting Spell apply to Final Wish, except you are grabbing a card instead of applying a KO to the Attacking Poke'mon). Still, the fact that your opponent has to work so hard to get around Final Wish is a compliment more than a downside, though the low HP makes Final Wish a little easier to beat than Fainting Spell. And Final Wish shares the same benefit as Fainting Spell in that it can be used when Jirachi is KOed by damage regardless of whether or not it is Benched or Active at the time (take that Garchomp C!). As long as your opponent isn't using Victreebel TM/Crobat G/Gengar SF then Final Wish is an awesome power, especially if you throw Twins into the bargain!
 
The following paragraph is a long and technical 'what if...' concerning how much of a nsty piece od work Jirachi would be if Focus Band was reprinted. Skip the following paragrap if you don't like technicalities or just want me to shut up and get on with the review!
 
If somehow a card like Focus Band was reintroduced that stopped a would-be KO happening to Jirachi you would still be able to use Final Wish, because Jirachi 'would have been Knocked Out' by the attack (and you could use Final Wish again if the Jirachi was later Knocked Out and/or used another Focus Band). This based on a ruling made about Machamp Lv X's Strong Willed attack, which allows you to flip a coin if Machamp would be Knocked Out by damage during the next turn, keeping Machamp alive with 10 HP if you flip heads but any attack effects/Poke-bodies/Poke-powers that are activated by Knocking Out the Defending Poke'mon (and it doesn't matter if those effects originate on the Defending Poke'mon or the Attacking Poke'mon). For example Scizor SF's Accelerate attack would still give Scizor immunity if it would have Knocked Out Machamp even if the flip for Strong Willed comes up heads and Machamp survives, and the resverse would also be true if there was a Mcahmp printed with Fainting Spell. If a Fainting Spell Machamp survived a guaranteed KO due to flipping Heads for Strong Willed (or if it was a Gengar SF in Unlimited with a Focus Band attached if you want an example that actually exists), it would still get to flip for Fainting Spell to take out the Attacking Poke'mon. Actually, a Machamp with Fainting Spell would be damned near broken in the current card pool. With a Broken Time Space in play and Rescue Energy attached you could put Machamp right back down after it was taken out and Nidoqueen would stop your opponent getting around Fainting Spell/Strong Willed with Poison. Add Flygon for free retreat (or a single Machamp Prime) to get around other attack effects/Special Conditions [and/or rotate your Machamps] to get an even chance of getting 2 KOs from one turn (your attack followed by Fainting Spell) with a 25% shot of going for a triple due to surviving with Strong Willed at the same time! The only problem would be the damge cap since Strong Willed only deals 80 damage (after applying No Guard) which means taking out an opposing Stage 2 with a single attack is unlikely at best. Still, it's fun to have such broken dreams, and maybe the attack to go with the Fainting Spell Machamp would be some sort of heavy snipe (somewhat like the attack on the SP Technical Machine?).
 
Now that my rambling is finished (I hope those of you read it felt entertained, and I happily forgive anyone who skipped it) I will move on to Jirachi's attacks. the second attack is the lesser of the 2 so I'll start there.
 
Swift costs [m] to use and deals 20 damage while ignoring weakness, resistance and any effects on the Defending Poke'mon. Aside from Sableye SF, all of the starters in use have terrible offensive attacks. Swift still isn't brilliant but it is cheap for 20 damage guaranteed and when you consider that Jirachi's first attack may be rendered useless the first turn or 2 (I'll get to that) as well as the Poke-power being activated during yout opponent's turn, you will find yourslef attacking with Swift on the odd occasion. Or you could just take advantage of the free retreat to attack with something else if you don't have a lone start.
 
Now the first attack is Detour, and it runs in the same vein as Sableye SF and Smeargle UD in that it effectively gives you 2 Supporter uses in a turn. The attack cost is free and effect is to copy the effect of the Supporter card you already have down on the table, so if you haven't/can't play a Supporter card during the turn Detour is useless. Detour seems to be halfway between Portrait and Impersonate as far as reliability goes. If you have a Supporter down you know exactly what you are getting unlike Portrait which relies on the opponent being gracious/unprepared but Impersonate is more reliable in that you can search out the Supporter you want (unless your deck is empty of Supporter cards, in which case you are either using a terrible deck or trying to recover from having your heavy hitter clobbered out of the ring). However, Portrait is more versatile in that you can get a Supporter you don't have in your hand or even in your deck if you are lucky while Impersonate also allows you to get a different Supporter than the one you have played down . This lack of versatility is compensated by being a reliable way to reuse a Supporter card without having to retrieve it from the discard pile (I don't know about you, but when I've just burned 2 Bebe's Search with Sableye to do some evolving next turnand I get 'Judged', it really ticks me off because I'm suddenly down 2 Supporter cards with only 1 evolution played, or sometimes none!).
 
Obviously, there are few Supporters you wouldn't want to double up on, such as Black Belt (why attack to copy that? You would be dealing 80 bonus damage but no actual damage would exist to add the bonus to!), Engineer's Adjustments (if you only have 1 energy) and Judge (unless you really need to shuffle your hand away for a fresh one after a bad draw, or after you used Mr Mime to peek and discovered the opponent pulled a good replacement hand). However, Bebe's search really shines when you can play 2 of them (and significantly lower your hand size to go for a big Uxie Set Up next turn) as do Cyrus' Conspiracy, Cyrus' Initiative, Poke'mon Collector and Twins (doubling this is just awesome, espcially if you get Final Wish too!). The main drawbacks are that you need to play a Supporter card in the first place, you can't use Detour to copy a different Suppporter and that Detour ends your turn, leaving you open to disruption via Judge/Cyrus' Initiative/Looker's Investigation. Going first is terrible (until Black and White come out) because Detour is worthless without a Supporter, but this makes an opposing Sableye your best friend (especially if Sableye sets off Final Wish).
 
If not for Final Wish, I would say this card is not versatile or consistent enough to contend with the other starters of the era but with the current Supporter pool and the ability to abuse Final Wish by following it with another Jirachi using Twins (and hopefully another Final Wish) this is a quirky choice that may just throw off an opponent and give you an edge, especially if Sableye becomes as popular as we expect with the release of Black and White.
 
However, I may be looking at this entirely the wrong way and Jirachi should be played more as a tech in conjunction with other starters the way most people play Smeargle. I can say with complete confidence that using Detour on Cyrus' Initiative after playing Judge last turn would be awesome in Sablelock, and VileGar players live or die with their Supporter cards. Just be extremely wary of  of Judge, because it turns a Detour into a 3 car pile-up (I don't know what came over me, that pun just had to come out!).
 
Modified: 3.75 (Detour is too situational [at least Portrait always has some use] for me to give a higher score, but if you use enough Supporter cards in your deck it can be worth the space in conjunction with another starter. Plus with Twins in the card pool, Final Wish becomes the best Poke-power since Fainting Spell hands down!)

Limited: 5 (Who doesn't wan't to get more out of their meagre Supporter cards in a Limited match? With Underground Expedition and Volkner's Philosophy in the set Detour becomes a major asset and the free retreat/free attack makes Jirachi very easy to tech in even without Metal energy. Final Wish seals the deal though you have to watch out for the lower Prize count)

 Combos with: Twins, Bebe's Search, any other Supporter worth playing twice


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