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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

N

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Nov. 14, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.25
Limited: 4.33

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

N (Noble Victories)

Woo hoo! Finally it’s time to start reviewing the new cards from Noble Victories here on Pojo’s CotD. In my opinion, this is a great set with a ton of cards that have potential to make it into competitive decks. In fact, I don’t think we have seen so many playable cards in one set since the notorious Stormfront a couple of years ago.

We kick off with one of the most keenly anticipated cards we have seen in a while: the Supporter named for one of the main antagonists from the Black and White video games. Why is it so anticipated? Well, one reason is that it is the first non-Pokémon ever to get the Full Art treatment (which I think is going to make it fairly collectible in future). A second reason is that it is a reprint of one of the most powerful and game-changing cards of the post-Wizards era of the TCG: Rocket’s Admin. It also has the shortest name of any Pokémon card ever, though I doubt that counts as a third reason.

As with most Supporters, the effect is simple: both players shuffle their hand into their decks and draw cards equal to the number of Prizes they have left. In this case, though, that effect is deceptively simple. This is a card that can be played situationally with devastating results.

Early game, this can act like a Professor Oak’s New Theory, allowing you to refresh a poor hand with six new cards. Of course an opponent can also get the same benefit, so this isn’t really where the card shines (though it can do a job if you really need it). The time to play N for the greatest effect is when your opponent has raced to a Prize advantage. Imagine, for example, that you are facing a rush deck like Zekrom or Yanmega/Stage 1s and they take five quick Prizes while you struggle to set up. Now you play N and effectively put them on top decks for the rest of the game. If the opponent over-extended and has nothing on the Field with which to take that last KO, you are now in a very strong position, regardless of the Prize count. That seems like an extreme example, but it definitely isn’t uncommon, particularly when playing a slow set up deck (such as Gothitelle or a Vileplume/Reuniclus based deck). Even with a less extreme Prize disparity (say 5-2) N provides a way for a deck to make a real come back.

Just the threat of an opponent holding N will change the way the TCG will be played. Slower decks now have N and Twins to strengthen their mid-to-late game, but really any deck that is susceptible to falling behind (which theoretically is all of them) can use a copy or two of this card (just like most decks played Rocket’s Admin). People playing fast decks will also have to learn to manage their resources more carefully. Over-committing in order to race to a Prize lead will come back to bite a player when N hits the table and they lack the Pokémon or Energy to finish the job. (Unless they are running a Pokémon based draw engine like Magnezone Prime or Ninetales).

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this card’s return to the game. I like the fact that it forces players to take a more strategic approach to resource management, but I’m not so keen on the way it can act as a crutch for someone who has basically been outplayed for the whole match. Skilled players will just have to learn to adjust for that aspect of the card though: it’s here, and it’s going to make a huge impact on the TCG.

Rating

Modified: 4.5 (from now on, you’re going to have to play as if your opponent is about to drop this card, and that’s scary)

Limited: 4 (any kind of hand refresh is obviously a good thing, but with only four Prizes, the potential benefits are somewhat reduced in this format)

virusyosh

Welcome back, Pojo readers! This week we are finally beginning our reviews for the new Noble Victories expansion. Today we'll kick things off with a very hyped Supporter card from the new set that comes in full art and normal uncommon varieties. Today's Card of the Day is N.

N is a Supporter, meaning that you can only play one per turn. The effect of the card is identical to the older Rocket's Admin., having each player shuffle their hands into their decks and draws a card for each remaining Prize cards they have. N's power is in its versatility: In the early game, it can act as a Professor Oak's New Theory as well as disrupting the opponent like Judge. In the late game, if you are losing, N can serve as a great equalizer in order to leave your opponent with a one- or two-card hand, potentially slowing down your opponent's attack, allowing you to catch up. N isn't quite as good if you are up on Prizes in the late game, if you absolutely need to refresh your hand, the card can be used, although in this case you would probably be better off with Judge, Professor Juniper, or Professor Oak's New Theory.

Modified: 5/5 Rocket's Admin. was a huge threat when it was first printed, and saw a lot of play in many competitive decks. N should be no different. N's combination of versatility and disruption will allow it to see play in many decks, so be ready to see it in your local tournament circuit.

Limited: 5/5 N is a draw Supporter with the capability to disrupt the opponent, two things that are very important and somewhat rare in Limited. Therefore, if you pull an N, use it!

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

N (Noble Victories)
 
Welcome Pojo fans, and give thanks to Nintendo that we are now reviewing Noble Victories cards. I just attended a prerelease yesterday where I saw copies of all of this week's cards and we start with one of the weirdest characters I have ever seen (quite an achievement, even by Poke'mon's standards)!
 
As a character, N does absolutely nothing except annoy me. If the green-haired little punk kept their mouth shut I'd actually find the weirdo quite intriguing, but since he/she/it/whatever just refuses to stop talking long enough to actually get down to business I groan in annoyance every time it appears on screen.
 
The card goes a long way towards fixing my attitude towards N. For a start it doesn't talk, and it is alos quite valuable if you get the full art version. Best of all, the effect is both entertaining and worthy of consideration in a tournament deck.
 
The effect of N (is it just me or does that name feel like it got cut off?) is to have each player shuffle their hand into their deck and then draw a card for each Prize they have remaining in play. Depending on the number of Prizes on both sides of the table and the Poke'mon remaining in play, this card could be either a final blow or a card worse than nothing.
 
Most of the Supporters in use at the moment involve drawing cards, either with a sweetener/penalty to draw from the top of the deck (forcing an opponent to discard for 2 cards with Team Rocket's Trickery, discarding your hand for 7 cards with with Juniper, discarding an energy for 4 cards with Engineer's Adjustments) or by shuffling away your current hand for a fresh one (Judge, Copycat and Professor Oak's New Theory). N joins this crowded scene as a strange combination of the three shuffle/draw cards I mentioned above.
 
There are 4 basic outcomes for playing N. If the game has just started then both you and your opponent shuffle for larger hands, which is good for you but also good for your opponent so you would do better to play Prof Oak.
 
Door number two is later in the game when you have taken most of your Prizes while stopping your opponent from drawing more than 1 or 2. If you play N now you are freshing your opponent's hand (which will almost certainly help them) while getting rid of your own hand for a much smaller return. This looks like an incredibly bad play but if you happen to have a deck that abuses Professor Juniper and/or Ninetales HGSS then returning a bunch of cards to your dwindling deck would actually work very well to make sure you don't deck yourself before landing the killing blow. Still, Judge is probably the better play here as it is less likely to put your opponent back in the game.
 
Possibility #3: The opposite of the above situation, if you are struggling against a dominating opponent then N will put the brakes on your opponent's hand while refreshing your own quite handsomely. However, I can't help thinking that Twins is even better at helping you come from behind with the added benefit of working well even if you are only one Prize behind (although it is a dead card if you are ahead on Prizes).
 
The best outcome for N is scenario number 4, which is a Prize exchange. If you and your opponent are even and trading KO's then N is better than Judge past the halfway mark. Although you are punished as heavily as your opponent, if you happen to use Ninetales HGSS or Magnezone Prime then you can recover quickly while your opponent is suddenly out of tricks (and Reshiram/Ninetales/Typhlosion is very good at winning Prize exchanges).
 
In each case there is another card that could do the same job and probably do it better, but N allows you to cover several possible situations with a single card, provided you are willing to gamble that N will be more useful than Twins, Judge or Prof Oak normally would be. But if you are running a ReshiPhlosion or MagneBoar deck and are feeling adventurous then you should playtest the little nutjob because the savings in deck space make more room for goodies like Poke'mon Catcher and Rayquaza & Deoxys Legend.
 
Modified: 3.25 (N does several things worth doing but it doesn't do any of them  as well as other cards out there, so it is mainly a question of whether or not the savings in deck space are worth the risk of having N as a dead card that is not worth playing)
 
Limited: 4 (it's the only way to refresh your hand, but the lower Prize count is a handicap. Still, you definitely shouldn't turn this card down)
 
Combos with: Magnezone Prime, Ninetales HGSS, players who are willing to gamble


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