#9 Mr Mime (Plasma Freeze)
After the surprises of yesterday, here is a card that I
think has definitely earned a place on the top 10 of
Mr Mime may be a low HP, non-Evolving Basic with a
pretty sucky attack, but he
has something that makes up for all that: his Bench
Barrier Ability. With Mr Mime out, your Benched Pokémon
are completely immune to any
damage done by attacks, and this includes your own just
in case you are using something like
Excadrill EX or
How good is this? Right now, it’s very good as many
extremely common Pokémon can and will put some damage on
an unprotected Bench, looking to finish off damaged
Pokémon, set up KOs for later, or just deal with
something that has low HP. Darkrai
EX, Kyurem PLF,
Genesect EX, and
Landorus EX are all great
examples of the kind of card that Mr Mime is highly
effective against. The errata to
Pokémon Catcher only makes Mr Mime better as he
is now much more difficult to get rid of, as are the
Benched Pokémon that he protects.
Obviously, Mr Mime isn’t useful in
ups (Blastoise decks just
don’t care about him, for example), and
Garbodor DRX can render him
useless. It’s also worth noting that Mime doesn’t
protect against damage counter placement from attacks
like Chandelure EX’s Cursed
Drop (which is considered an effect). Nevertheless, Mime
is good enough against enough things to be worth playing
in pretty much any deck as a one-of card.
Quite possibly the best (and most common) piece of tech
in the format.
Modified: 3.75 (building a deck? Then you should
seriously consider saving a space for Mime)
Today as we count down the Top 10 Cards Of 2013, we look
at the number nine pick:
Mr. Mime (BW:
Plasma Freeze 47/116).
We first looked at this card here, Baby Mario and
scored it pretty well.
I missed out on that review, so here’s a quick
breakdown of the card.
It is a Basic Pokémon, which is still the best.
It is a Psychic-Type which is
best; Psychic-Type support hasn’t had a lot of success
and this card isn’t for attacking, but if you try you’ll
realize its damage is too low to make good use of
Weakness while getting walled by Resistance.
The 70 HP is just high enough that some of the more
common early, opening attacks (which were a bigger issue
for the card before the rules about attacking first turn
changed) needed too much of a boost to push for a OHKO;
obviously much higher scores are still at risk so it was
by no means safe, but at least a quick 30 points of
damage (practically the minimum done by early opening
attacks) boosted by
and Virbank City
Gym wasn’t going to cut it.
If the Ability (more on that in a bit) is not
working, this is also enough that the most common
spread/snipe attacks, such as Night Spear on
have to hit it thrice while on the Bench.
70 HP is also small enough for
and this too has proven useful.
The card’s Psychic Weakness all but guarantees
Psychic-Type attackers will score a OHKO; something like
just needs enough Energy to use X-Ball and it will be
enough regardless of how much Energy is attached to
No Resistance is the worst, but it isn’t that
strong of a mechanic and likely wouldn’t save
from a OHKO; 90 points of damage per turn is the minimum
going rate for most competitive decks, and 90-20 is
The single Energy Retreat Cost is good, though perhaps
ironically undermined by how most decks need to already
pack an option to reduce the cost of retreating or
bypass manually retreating entirely.
If you’ve got a deck that can still make use of
you’ll enjoy a free retreat.
Psy Bolt is a bad attack.
It isn’t the worst attack, but looking at it in a
contemporary card pool (outside of the last five years
of the game, it would have been either “average” or
“good”) two for 20 is far below the expected return.
The 50% chance of Paralysis helps, but I just
said this was a format where most decks have a means of
changing out their Active without retreating, which
makes it an annoyance at best.
One only attacks with this card out of
The Ability is where it is at; Bench Barrier
prevents all damage done to your Benched Pokémon by
If decks weren’t so crowded, that would have made this
card a lose staple only skipped by decks that shut down
Abilities or wanted their own attacks to hit their own
Decks are crowded, so even though one of the regular
faces of the format,
hates having its 30 points of bonus Bench damage blocked
(as well as a few other high profile attackers), not
everyone could make room for it… at least that was how
it was when this card was new.
It still isn’t in every deck, but the erratum for
was huge for Mr.
Mime; its fatal flaw was that it was easy to force
up and OHKO, thus you mostly played it as a sacrifice or
in decks that blocked Items as without that added level
of protection, it was just an easy OHKO that bought a
single turn (if it benefited you at all).
After the erratum, hitting the Bench became more
valuable because we it was easier to “hide” Pokémon on
It also meant a lot of players stopped running the three
or four Pokémon
Catcher that were the norm, and one of the cards to
fill those empty slots?
isn’t a perfect defense; besides the fact that some
decks can still force a Benched Pokémon of their choice
up (just not reliably and for the price of a single
Item), it does nothing against damage counters being
placed or moved about.
Attacks that place damage counters still get
through, and either damage or damage counters inflicted
by Abilities work as normal.
Effects that shut off Abilities obviously cancel
out Bench Barrier as well.
When I first saw this card, I assumed some attacker
(which hit its own Bench) that we either already had or
would soon be getting would combo with it… but that
never happened because so far, such attackers just
haven’t been good enough.
In Unlimited, I have to rely on Theorymon due to
lack of recent experience or reliable second hand data,
frustrating certain lock decks and protecting from
self-hits could be valid reasons to play
It won’t protect against most remaining First
Turn Win decks (they too have to win without attacker,
Bench Barrier only protects against attacks), but some
established lock decks should consider it.
Sadly with its 70 HP it will be an easy KO for
things like Sabledonk, but I was suggesting it for those
decks that already take a risk by running multiple Basic
Pokémon with HP scores of less than 130.
For Limited play, I consider this card a near staple.
It is from a set that has cards that can hit the
Bench, and at least one is great at it:
Plasma Freeze 31/116) a.k.a.
Even if your opponent has to pull it to use it, this is
Limited; you should have room for this in your deck.
If you have room for some
as well, it even becomes decent “filler”; its Limited
and sometimes you’re stuck using Evolving Basic Pokémon
because they are all that fit into your deck and you’re
desperately low on Basic Pokémon.
In Limited, the 20 points of damage is still bad,
but at least the Paralysis is handy.
So unless you pulled a big Basic Pokémon worth
running solo, make room for
unless you have some ludicrous luck with your pulls.
demonstrates how useful these Top 10s for the year can
be; this was a “good” card when it debuted but the
Pokémon Catcher has turned this into a reasonable
common inclusion for decks.
Not everything can or should run it, but that is
only because of occasional conflicts e.g. you’re
shutting of Abilities anyway and lack of space.
missed my list to do an editing error; as I was
composing the list I accidentally overwrote its entry
without realizing it.
So much for professionalism.
The sort of good news is that I was merely
debating on placing it in the 9th or 10th
place slot anyway.