Today we look at another card that just failed to make
it on to the top 10 list. I didn’t vote for it myself,
but I wouldn’t have objected if it had somehow sneaked
in. Dusknoir is a Pokémon
that usually gets some nasty (and very good) Power (or
Ability), Dusknoir DP being
the best example, so let’s see if this one can follow
Quite honestly, it better have a good Ability because
everything else about the card is pretty horrible. For a
start, it’s a Stage 2, so it will be somewhat slow to
set up and
take up a lot of deckspace
(you’re going to need Rare Candy as well). The HP of 130
is ok (though not spectacular), and the retreat cost of
three forces you to play Switch (though at least it is
searchable with Heavy Ball), but what really hurts is
the catastrophic Weakness to Dark.
everywhere in this format and absolutely destroys
Dusknoir . . . but it
doesn’t end there: even the Basic
Duskull is a OHKO for
a Sableye with Dark Claw
attached. The attack is awful too: four Energy
for 60 damage (even if it
isn’t affected by Resistance) is just . . . something
you need to avoid.
So . . . is there a reason to play this besides giving
half of your opponents an easy Prize?
That all depends on the Ability.
Sinister Hand is a kind of reverse world version of
Reuniclus BLW’s Damage Swap
where, during your turn, you can move around the damage
counters on your opponent’s Pokémon as much as you like.
How is this useful? Well, you can combine it with
Pokémon that spread damage (like
Kyurem NVI and Flygon
BCR) and then manipulate the accumulated damage for
multiple KOs. Or you could simply use it as a way of
countering an opponent who rotates their damaged Pokémon
as a Prize denial strategy. The potential to play some
powerful and game-winning tricks is definitely there
with this card.
But right now, ‘potential’ is exactly what
Dusknoir has, as opposed to
‘immediate impact’. A Stage 2 that is weak to
Darkrai-EX, in a format
where Pokémon Catcher makes any Bench-sitter vulnerable
just doesn’t strike me as a viable proposition right
now. Sure, you can make fancy combo decks with
Flygon, but they are
incredibly frail and slow when facing the inevitable
onslaught of Big Basic EX Pokémon. Maybe the card will
get a chance to shine before it is rotated out; maybe
some combo exists that I am missing. To the best of my
knowledge though, Dusknoir
is the right card in the wrong place as far as the
current format is concerned.
Modified: 3 (great Ability . . . will anyone be able to
make it viable?)
Limited: 2 (Stage 2s in limited are
one doesn’t even do any decent damage)
Jebulous Maryland Player
Dusknoir is a Stage 2 Psychic Pokemon with 130 HP. It
is weak to Dark and has a retreat cost of 3. It is
searchable by Heavy Ball.
'Sinister Hand' is an ability that allows you to move
around the damage counters on your opponent's side of
the field. This is definitely an ability that people
want to use. The only problem is that you have to set
up a Stage 2 that's weak to a type that is seeing a lot
'Shadow Punch' costs 1 Psychic and 3 colorless energy.
It does 60 and isn't affected by resistance. This
attack isn't that great for the cost. The effect is
good (great if it could bypass Eviolites and abilities),
but the damage output is too low. Dusknoir will not be
attacking most of the time anyway.
So the question is how do we make a deck with this guy
and have it be top tier? Well, first of all it needs to
be paired with energy acceleration to feed the
attackers. So that means Lightning, Dark, or Water at
the moment. Now, you don't have to pair it with energy
acceleration, but if you go that route, you need cheap
attackers. The point of the deck should be to get as
much total damage on the field as possible. This means
attackers that can put up big numbers (like Darkrai, who
puts 120 on the board total). You could also go the
spread route, but it boils down to the same thing, put a
lot of damage on the board.
The reasoning is that the more damage on their side, the
more you can manipulate. You want to be able to knock
out Pokemon on your turn with Dusknoir's ability, then
hopefully attack for a knock out as well. Unfortunately
there are a lot of high HP basics being played, so it's
not that easy (especially if they have fast decks). So
maybe the deck would do well with fast cheap attackers
and Dusknoir. Landorus EX puts 60 on the field for 1
Fighting, so if you can stream him then you might be
able to get the strategy going. I don't know, it's
something I spent a whole 5 minutes thinking about, and
probably not a deck I will ever make (at least not in
the foreseeable future).
Good morning, Pojo readers! Today we're continuing
our Boundaries Crossed reviews by reviewing a Stage 2
that's turning a few heads due to its potential ability
to be a combo piece. Today's Card of the Day is Dusknoir.
Dusknoir is a Stage 2 Psychic Pokemon. Mewtwo-EX is the
most commonly played Psychic-type these days, showing up
in many aggressive decks that can accelerate Energy.
Dusknoir, however, fulfills a slower, more
control-oriented role. 130 HP is average for a Stage 2,
meaning that the Gripper Pokemon can take at least one
medium-sized hit and live to tell the tale; it will,
however, still be taken down by really big hits and hits
for Weakness. Darkness Weakness means that Darkrai-EX
OHKOs with Night Spear, which is problematic if you want
to use Dusknoir in Modified. Sadly, Dusknoir has no
Resistance, but it does have a rather large Retreat Cost
of 3, so you'll probably want to use Switch.
Dusknoir, like many modern Pokemon, has an Ability and a
single attack. Sinister Hand allows you to move your
opponent's damage counters around as often as you'd like
during your turn, allowing you to manipulate spread
damage into KOs effectively. This is a fairly common
effect that we've seen over the history of the Pokemon
TCG, and usually finds some use in any format.
Shadow Punch is an expensive 60 damage for a Psychic and
three Colorless, while ignoring the effects of
Resistance. Shadow Punch's damage is much lower than its
cost should indicate, and ignoring Resistance is only
really handy against Darkrai, which will OHKO Dusknoir
anyway. Therefore, you should stick to attacking with
another Pokemon and leave Dusknoir on the Bench.
Modified: 2.75/5 Dusknoir is interesting, but doesn't
really have a place in the current Modified format. It's
hard for a control-oriented strategy to gain much
footing in a very fast, aggressive format, and there
aren't many other Pokemon that combo exceedingly well
with Dusknoir right now. That may change in the future,
but right now, Dusknoir probably won't make the cut.
Limited: 4/5 On the other hand, Dusknoir is quite nice
in Limited. Sinister Hand's damage manipulation will
often result in a KO or two, and Shadow Punch is very
usable here despite its huge (though Colorless-friendly)
cost. Dusknoir isn't a game-changing bomb like many
other Pokemon in Limited, but it's still a very powerful
force when you get it out and powered up.