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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Gardevoir #57

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed: Feb. 22, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.87
Limited: 2.88

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

#3 Gardevoir

Ok, this one, I admit was a bit of a shock to me. I wasn’t surprised to see Gardevoir make the top 10 (I did have it on my list), but I am surprised it placed as highly as it did. The people who make Pokémon cards do seem to love Gardy almost as much as people who make fan art though, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this one is good. There has hardly ever been an unplayable Gardevoir in the history of the TCG, and it has given us cards like the wonderful Gardevoir-ex δ and the format-dominating Secret Wonders version. This one has a heck of a lot to live up to.

So, how does she stack up? Stats-wise, she’s not impressive: a Stage 2 with 110 HP is way below par these days and easy prey for Dragons and –EX Pokémon. The Retreat cost of 2 is a pain, making her fear Pokémon Catcher, and the Psychic Typing should be ringing alarm bells for anyone who has seen Mewtwo-EX (which is everybody, right?).

Her attack isn’t great either: Mind Shock costs [P][P][C][C] and does just 60 damage. The massive cost isn’t really the issue here though (as we shall see). The real problem is low damage output coupled with the effect text that states that Mind Shock’s damage isn’t affected by Weakness or Resistance. The second part is pretty meaningless at the moment as there isn’t really anything playable that Resists Psychic anyway (Tyranitar Prime?), it’s the first part that hurts: Poor Gardy can’t even take advantage of Mewtwo-EX’s Weakness to do some substantial damage.

This leaves us with the Ability, Psychic Mirage to consider. With this in play, each Basic Psychic Energy attached to a Psychic Type Pokémon counts double. What Psychic Mirage does is effectively bring Energy acceleration to Psychic decks, and well, they have a number of Pokémon that can make extremely good use of it.

The obvious choice is Mewtwo-EX (again). With X-Ball’s damage increasing for each Energy, Gardy can be used to make this already powerful attack even better. She can also reduce the cost of using Psydrive. Other possible partners for Psychic Mirage include Darmanitan ND’s brilliantly-named DarMAXitan attack (flip coins for each Energy attached), Gothitelle EP (increased damage for each [P] Energy), and even Jirachi UL/CL (devolve more of your opponent’s Pokémon).

While this Gardy has an extremely good Ability, and the right Pokémon to take advantage of it, I still have doubts as to how viable she is right now. The low HP/two Retreat cost make her an obvious target for Pokémon Catcher KOs that would cripple any deck that was too reliant on Psychic Mirage. It may be that she really needs to be run with Vileplume UD or Gothitelle EP to stop that happening, and that will only slow a Gardy deck down. Nevertheless, there is potential in this card, as there is in all Energy accelerators. If someone can find a way of giving Gardy the protection she needs without sacrificing too much speed or consistency, then they will have a very good deck on their hands.

Rating

Modified: 3.25 (lovely Ability, but very vulnerable in the current format)

Limited: 2 (setting up a Stage 2 just for support purposes isn’t often practical)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

#3: Gardevoir (Next Destinies)
 
First of all I'd like to say I'm terribly sorry for how late all of my recent reviews have been but now I'm all caught up on the Next Destinies Top 10. Secondly, I've finally finished writing the first installment of my new series of artciles, so please check them out (just click my name!). The third and final Piece of news is that today we review the return of the most feared Psychic Poke'mon ever to appear in the Poke'mon TCG and she's returning to form by reviving an archetype!
 
Yes, today's card is the much anticipated Gardevoir, which has a long history of dashing hopes and shattering dreams. This version is, asl always, a Stage 2 which is currently being printed as a memeber of the no longer under-represented Psychic type. Gardevoir has 110 HP (disappointing but not unexpected), Psychic Weakness (a glaring flaw that will need to be rectified), a retreat cost of 2, an Ability and an attack.
 
Keeping Gardevoir alive is going to be an issue, but fortunately being a Psychic Poke'mon with a supporting role, it will be good friends with both Gothitelle EP (who will stop Poke'mon Catcher and Pluspower) and Mewtwo EX (who will violently stop everything else). Still, I would reccomend using Leavanny NV to remove the Psychic Weakness of all 3 Poke'mon in the last sentence, as it will probably be the difference between winning and losing a mirror match.
 
Now we know that protecting Gardevoir will be difficult but possible, we need a strong motivation for doing so. Mind Shock is not that reason, being a very unimpressive 60 damage for [p][p][c][c]. The fact that the damage is not affected by Weakness or Resistance is not a cause for rejoicing either, seeing how it is still affected by Eviolite and Special Metal Energy.
 
Psychic Mirage is the reason I love this card. This Ability says that for every basic [p] energy attached to your Psychic type Poke'mon, you get [p][p] instead. Unfortunately you can't apply this bonus to Special energy (so Prism Energy and Rainbow Energy will saty as 1 energy at a time) and you can't stack Psychic Mirage to make a single [p] energy counts as 4 or 8 energy. Even with those completely reasonable restrictions dampening down the power somewhat, the synergy between Gardevoir, Mewtwo EX and Gothitelle is immediately apparent.
 
Now Madkinesis will be able to deal ridculous amounts of damage and building a second Gothitelle if the first one gets destroyed won't be such a gruelling task. Mewtwo EX will deal even more damage than before, although it will lead to very intense matchups if you find an opposing Mewtwo splashed in your opponent's deck. Psychic Mirage even makes the terrible Mind Shock attack better, since it now effectively costs [p][p], which is still hardly worth the effort but not nearly so terrible as before.
 
I think it's about time for a new Psychic deck to emerge, and Gardevoir is going to be the backbone for any and all future Psychic attackers, especially ones that deal more damage for every energy they have attached!
 
Modified: 4.5 (Gardevoir will revive Gothitelle decks and as often as not raise Mewtwo EX to ludicrous levels of power, but unless you can nullify the Psychic Weakness you will find that your victories are short-lived)
 
Limited: 3 (Stage 2 Poke'mon are hard to play in Limited but 2 energy for 60 damage is decent here so it's worth running even without other Psychic Poke'mon. The fireworks really start if you happen to get Gardevoir onto the same field as a Mewtwo though!)
 
Combos with: Gothitelle EP (Magic Room), Mewtwo EX


Otaku

At last we break into the top three promising cards of BW: Next Destinies, and number three Gardevoir. After all those Pokémon EX and a few Trainers, at last we finally hit a Pokémon that isn’t a Basic Pokémon or a Pokémon EX! I will also enjoy one of the fringe benefits of writing for Pojo by wishing my sister, Jennie, a happy birthday! We are even fortunate enough to be reviewing a Psychic card. Purple is her favorite color. ;)

Now let me share my mind with you.

Stats

Gardevoir is a Stage 2 Pokémon, which means it will struggle in the current format. You’ll never get it into play before your second turn, and even that requires using Rare Candy on a Ralts. If you have to manually Evolve you’ll have to not only go through Ralts, but also a Kirlia. If you don’t have some form of Item denial ready, odds are you’ll go through at least one extra Ralts during this process (unless you already have something in play requiring your opponent’s attention). This is a pretty brutal format for Stage 2 Pokémon to compete in.

Being a Psychic Type would be useful, except if you’ve read the full card you know its one attack doesn’t apply Weakness or Resistance… and there isn’t really any direct Psychic-Type support (other than itself). Support for Psychic-Type Energy, but not the actual Pokémon Type. So ultimately being a Psychic Type is meaningless to the card.

110 HP is poor indeed for a modern Stage 2 Pokémon. The premiere non-Pokémon EX beatsticks, Zekrom and Reshiram, are capable of OHKOing Gardevoir, and the next level down (Landorus, Tornadus, Thundurus, Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion) just need to spam PlusPower or drop the unexpected Black Belt to score a OHKO. Hopefully this indicates how powerful the Ability is anticipated to be by R&D. Thanks to Mewtwo EX Psychic Weakness is the worst right now, and Gardevoir will go down to 60 points of damage since Weakness turns that into 120. The lack of Resistance is disappointing, but not as much as the Retreat Cost. One Energy requirement higher and (besides perhaps justifying a little more HP or some other small benefit) Gardevoir could have been a Heavy Ball target. At least as it is, when coupled with the card’s Ability (as we will see) the two Energy Retreat Cost on Gardevoir acts more like a single Energy Retreat cost, which is pretty easy to pay in most decks.

Effects

Gardevoir possess the Ability Psychic Mirage, which unless something is negating it is always on. Simply put, basic Psychic Energy cards are treated as providing (PP) while attached to Psychic-Type Pokémon, and if there was any question the attack clearly states you can only apply one Psychic Mirage at a time, so it doesn’t stack. Energy multiplication is a kind of Energy acceleration and can be both easier and harder to utilize than extra Energy attachments. On the bright side, it affects the Energy being provided from the cards themselves, so you don’t have to worry about supplying extra Energy for more traditional forms of Energy acceleration, like those that grant extra Energy attachments. The downside is that means unless you combine it with another form of Energy acceleration, you simply double the amount of Psychic Energy a particular Pokémon has access to in a turn: you can’t spread it around (something gets an effective (PP) or it gets none), and if your opponent has some Crushing Hammer it sets you back fast. Still it is a great effect overall; just try to find some extra Energy acceleration to combine with it and watch the exponential growth!

Mind Shock, in and of itself, is a bad attack. For four Energy, you generally need to be hitting for at least 80 and a good effect, and you’re probably better off with raw damage. Instead for (PPCC) Mind Shock hits for just 60 points of damage, and has the mixed blessing of ignoring both Weakness and Resistance. Ignoring Weakness is a drawback that often outweighs ignoring the (rarely present) Resistance on a card, so really the Energy is paying purely for damage. On a Basic Pokémon that can Evolve twice more, I’d expect 50 points of damage for that much Energy, so a measly extra 10 points of damage is a miserly bonus. Things are a bit better when you factor in the Ability: you can pull off Mindshock for just two actual Psychic Energy, but this also means the Colorless Energy requirements might as well have been two more Psychic Energy requirements (and had the attack do more). No sense burning a Double Colorless Energy on this unless we get something that shuts off Abilities and you were desperate to attack with it. When everything is going well and you’re paying for it with just two Psychic Energy cards you’re maybe getting what you pay for. On a Basic Pokémon that could Evolve twice more, I’d expect 30 points of damage for that much Energy, and like I said the effect pays for itself so another 30 points of damage isn’t horrible, but especially for the card’s only attack it still isn’t good.

Usage

Since this is a Stage 2, let’s break down its previous Evolutionary Stages. There is only one currently Modified Legal Ralts and Kirlia, though of course you could skip some or all Kirlia if you aren’t concern about your Items being locked down. Still let’s examine them quickly so we know what Gardevoir has to work with. Both are Psychic Types so at least you’ll get a boost if a Gardevoir is already in play. Given that Gardevoir is intentionally on the small side, I find the 60 HP on Ralts impressive, though the 80 on Kirlia is depressing since as usual, the Stage 1 is being shortchanged on the HP “bump” it needs more than the Stage 2.

Psychic Weakness is a concern for both: the few Psychic Pokémon that are about straight up damage jump to OHKO status against them, including the oh-so-popular Mewtwo EX. In fact Mewtwo EX just needs a Double Colorless Energy and either is gone in one shot due to that Weakness. The lack of Resistance is irritating but nothing more since neither really had the HP to survive anything important (unless TPC suddenly decided to make the Psychic-Type resistant to its self like in the video games). The single Energy Retreat Cost is expected of Ralts, but useful should either player be running Skyarrow Bridge, and a little less likely but useful without any combos for Kirlia.

The attacks are nothing special, but adequate. Sadly they don’t capitalize on the Ability of Gardevoir. If pair of Ralts and Kirlia should have had Energy hungry attacks, it was this set. Instead each is Double Colorless Energy compliant; go figure. For one Psychic Energy Ralts can do a paltry 10 points of damage, which is a little overpriced; it should have gotten a tacked on extra effect and since it needs to survive getting gypped out of even a token flip for a Special Condition stings. Both Pokémon can do 20 for (CC), which is solid but since they might have this Gardevoir backing them, this was probably the time to have attacks requiring (PP). The big attack on Kirlia is still Double Colorless Energy friendly, requiring just (PCC) and has a slightly underwhelming base damage of 40. The effect isn’t bad though: 10 extra damage per Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon. Again it is a bit disappointing since Kirlia since Gardevoir is likely in the background and Kirlia is a sacrificial attacker, but being independent isn’t totally bad either. Plus while it can’t OHKO Mewtwo EX, after all is said and done Kirlia can probably finish off an injured one.

With all that focus on the lower Stages, you might be worried that means I don’t have a lot to say about actual Gardevoir usage, but don’t worry it’s just me being thorough. Almost every Psychic-Type Pokémon every printed has synergy with this card, but I’ll try and focus on the highlights. Something common to most of these is you’ll need to look into an additional form of Energy acceleration and/or retention, and in many cases unless you also run those cards you won’t generate advantage fast enough to matter.

  • Darmanitan (BW: Next Destinies 60/99) – It may be coin flip dependant, but you’ll hopefully average what you need at a coin toss per Energy, and 50 points of damage per “heads”. Still with its HP and potential to be thwarted by an abundance of “tails”, I’d consider this a long shot.
  • Drifblim (HS: Undaunted 12/90) – Even a deck with just Double Colorless Energy is just as fast, but backed by Gardevoir the first attack becomes a realistic option, and that small edge matters. Plus since it gets out of the way after attacking, it can work with Gothitelle (see below).
  • Gengar (HS: Triumphant 94/102) – Lost World decks could make a comeback. If your opponent can’t shut you down before you even begin, it’s pretty hard to outpace the sheer amount of Pokémon a good deck will remove before Lost World hits play for the win.
  • Gothitelle (BW: Emerging Powers 47/89) – While Gothitelle will probably fall quickly to Mewtwo EX, if you maintain the lock and can keep replacements coming, Mewtwo EX falls just as face to Gothitelle. Against everything else, it’s all a question of how badly the deck needs its Item cards.
  • Jirachi (HS: Unleashed 1/95, Call of Legends 11/95) – Besides even a single “heads” on Stardust Song making for a solid combo with Shaymin(HS: Unleashed 8/95), should you encounter an Evolution heavy deck you could score a mass Evolution like we having seen since Ancient Technical Machine [Rock] was legal.
  • Mew (HS: Triumphant 97/102) – Mew Toolbox decks are unlikely to See Off something with a massive Energy requirement, but every little bit helps, plus Mew is likely to be the actual attacker when using the Gengar strategy above; just See Off one first turn.
  • Mewtwo EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99) – Honestly I don’t think this matters enough to make the two a strong deck, but they leave plenty off room for another Evolution line and/or few other Basic Pokémon. Try to build a massive X-Ball or just settle for a steady stream of Psydrive shots; either will give the opposing deck a run for its money.
  • Muk (BW: Next Destinies 53/99) – Toxic Secretion might actually be good enough for two Energy, and even if Gardevoir can be forced forward to OHKO in retaliation, can your opponent afford Gentle Wrap the next turn (which you should be able to afford even without Psychic Mirage)? Before someone thinks I’ve lost it, this one is quite the long shot; I just feel like I’m missing that last piece of its combo.
  • Weezing (HeartGold/SoulSilver 34/123, Call of Legends 38/95) – The Mewtwo EX counter we all know isn’t quite good enough, but backed by Gardevoir and being succeeded by a Gothitelle it does a respectable job.

As I said, a secondary source of Energy acceleration (including Energy retention) is a big part of making Gardevoir work. Electrode (HS: Triumphant 93/102) may be pricey (costing itself, a Prize, and the top seven cards of your deck), but the potential payout is immense: each basic Psychic Energy you hit provides (PP) to the recipient after all, and if something doesn’t need a lot of Energy that turn there is no harm in spreading it out and possibly having your next three attackers all at their minimal Energy requirements to attack.

Another card to remember is Exp. Share: if you’re not dealing with Basic Pokémon (that should be using Eviolite), then your Evolutions should have Exp. Share. A single one in play for a single KO is good for (PP) with Psychic Mirage doubling that basic Psychic Energy card, but remember this nifty little Pokémon Tool can stack, and in more ways than one. If you’ve got two Pokémon in play, each with an Exp. Share in play, they each can go off when your opponent KOs one of your Pokémon, and if there were at least two basic Psychic Energy attached to said KOed Pokémon, each of the Pokémon with Exp. Share get one of those basic Psychic Energy cards. On top of that, Exp. Share sticks around and triggers over and over again, provided all other conditions for it are met. If you’ve got a string of Gothitelle falling in battle after getting off an attack of their own, you can have your final Gothitelle soaking up the Energy of her sisters, so that she’s stepping up with three our four Psychic Energy cards that Gardevoir has doubled to count as (PPPPPP) or (PPPPPPPP). With that kind of investment, Madkinesis hits for 150 or 190, respectively.

Shaymin(HS: Unleashed 8/95) could show up as well, since something like Mewtwo EX is likely to survive a hit or two and you can move any accumulated Energy off of it to a back-up attacker (even if it is another Mewtwo EX). If that doesn’t sound likely, even a clutch Energy Switch (HeartGold/SoulSilver 91/123, Black & White 94/114) can do wonders (especially since most decks would already have Junk Arm (HS: Triumphant 87/10) to reuse it if you did need more than one copy).

All this probably sounds too good to be true, and of course it is: everything I just listed won’t all fit into one deck, though many can fit into a single one. A Gardevoir/Gothitelle deck should be running Exp. Share, Jirachi (for the ability to Devolve – possible Energy acceleration is a bonus), Mewtwo EX (as the back-up attacker), and hopefully that leaves room for a 2-2 line of Electrode. Keep in mind we are talking a single Jirachi and probably just two Mewtwo EX: both are only for desperate situations and surprise final shots where breaking the lock doesn’t matter because you just won. Of course if you can’t get a hold of some of what I just said, you probably can squeeze in a surprise 1-1 Weezing or Drifblim line.

So what about Unlimited? There are plenty of famous Psychic-Type Pokémon from formats past that would love the boost. In fact, other Gardevoir (and alternative Kirlia Evolution, Gallade) are probably the top candidates. The first Gardevoir we received was EX: RubySapphire 1/109 (reprinted as EX: Power Keepers 9/108) possesses the Poké-Body Psy-Shadow, which snags a Psychic Energy from your deck and attaches it to your choice of your in play Pokémon, at the cost of also placing two damage counters on it. So a pair of them on your Bench would mean an instant (PPPP) to whatever other Psychic Pokémon you ran. While others aren’t bad, the real prize is Gardevoir LV.X. It’d bump up today’s card to 130 HP, and according to a reasonably reliable source (the Ask The Masters forum on Pokegym.net) a Level X version of a Pokémon can access an Ability on the Pokémon it was Leveled Up from! So for a single basic Psychic Energy (if you Level Up today’s Gardevoir), you could use the attack Bring Down. Bring Down has you choose the Pokémon with the lowest HP (that includes yours and your opponent’s) and KO it (the Gardevoir LV.X that uses the attack is excluded). This gives excellent odds of creating a “donk” deck, and with the right back-up cards one that can fight back when it fails. You’ll need Broken Time-Space, Ralts, Kirlia, Gardevoir (today’s version), Gardevoir LV.X and a basic Psychic Energy at minimum, but for Unlimited that’s pretty good.

So what about Limited? As long as you pull enough Psychic Pokémon to support it, it’s a great. Ralts might barely make it into a deck as a filler basic/weak Psychic Splash, and if you can afford a few Psychic Energy cards Kirlia is actually a good attacker here (especially if you can keep it on the Bench while your opponent tries to power through something else up front). Gardevoir is almost the icing on the cake in this case, since things get quite sweet once you have it backing the solid selection of Psychic-Type Pokémon in this set. If you just get a 1-1-1 line and no other Psychic-Type Pokémon, I’d pass, and even a 2-2-1 line if you don’t have any worthwhile Psychic-Type Pokémon to run with it isn’t being run for the Ability, but because it’s a 2-2-1 line that just needs one Psychic Energy to cover its Psychic Energy requirements for its later Stages.

Ratings

Unlimited: 3.75/5

Modified: 3.5/5

Limited: 3.5/5

Combos With: Exp. Share, Gothitelle (BW: Emerging Powers 47/89)

Summary

So there we have Gardevoir, the number three card of our countdown, and my number three pick as well. Given the scores I just gave, that probably seems odd. I don’t like to score something high just because it combos well; that matters, but the success or failure of Gardevoir rests squarely on how well the rest of the cards that can benefit from it perform. Even in the best case scenario, though, this Gardevoir is unlikely to define the metagame, much like all the other cards we’ve reviewed so far. They’ve been good, sometimes technically better than Gardevoir, but their overall impact will be less than that of Gardevoir. They are fine tuning what already existed. The last two cards are both great and should have a significant impact on the game.

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