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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Team Plasma Grunt  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
March 5, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.50
Limited: 4.40

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

Team Plasma Grunt 

Team Plasma Grunts: essentially no different from any other evil Team’s Grunts, providing no challenge and very few EXP points since 1996. At least Plasma aren’t as outright insultingly stupid as the Generation III antagonists (let’s make more land by blowing up a volcano!). 

Here they appear on a Supporter with a simple draw effect: discard a Plasma card from your hand (you must be able to do this), and then draw four cards. 

Now drawing four cards is actually pretty brilliant. Much, much better than drawing three (sorry Cheren). Even with a prior discard it’s fine – remember Felicity’s Drawing? That card got played and it needed a double discard to draw four. The problem with Team Plasma Grunt isn’t that it needs a discard, it’s all about what you have to discard. The Team Plasma card could be a Pokémon, Trainer, or an Energy, but right now we really aren’t playing enough of any of those cards to be able to make good use of Team Plasma Grunt. What’s more, those that are seeing play (Hypnotoxic Laser, Colress, Plasma Energy, Lugia-EX) are not cards that you throw away lightly . . . or at all, unless you are desperate. 

Maybe when we start seeing full-on Plasma decks with some redundancy in the Pokémon lines, this card will have a part to play as a better alternative to Bianca and Cheren. For now though, we are better off sticking with the other draw Supporters. 

Rating 

Modified: 2.75 (Plasma isn’t enough of a thing yet)

Limited: 4.25 (include some random useless Plasma Pokémon for a very nice draw engine)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Team Plasma Grunt
 
Team Plasma Grunt is a Supporter that makes you discard a Team Plasma card from your hand in order to draw 4 cards.  This isn't really the best of Supporters, but I guess if you have a Team Plasma build, then it could be of more use than not.  It's nice that it can be any Team Plasma card, so if you are in a pinch you could discard a Team plasma trainer card instead of a Pokemon (I would assume you'd normally discard a Pokemon since you can actually get it back easier).
 
The drawing 4 cards really only nets your hand 3, so it's somewhat equivalent to Cheren.  If that 4th card is really critical, then I guess run this.  I'm just not a fan of having to discard (especially with a specific cost), since there are times that can happen where you can't pay the cost and it becomes a dead card in your hand.
 
I think there are plenty of other Supporters to play over this card though.  But I think it's one of those Bianca/Cheren deals, where you can use a Supporter that definitely gives you cards or one that gives you more/less depending on the situation.
 
Modified: 3/5
Limited: 4/5
Combos With:  ...
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


Otaku

Today we look at Team Plasma Grunt (BW: Plasma Storm 125/135), the only Supporter from the BW: Plasma Storm expansion.  For the price of burning your Supporter usage for the turn you get to… discard a Team Plasma card, and then draw four cards.  It also is a Team Plasma card itself. 

Obviously right now we have Cheren, which draws three cards with no discard required.  While a little extra draw power is often worth a small cost, Cheren doesn’t see heavy play and thus makes a good measure.  Drawing three cards hasn’t been enough, and while a fourth card (even for a discard) might have proven to be just enough, not when it is restricted in such a manner.  Remember, plenty of staple and near staple cards are not Team Plasma affiliated, and no Evolving Pokémon or Basic Energy card will be either; in short a good chunk of even a dedicated Team Plasma deck isn’t Team Plasma. 

What makes it so puzzling is that this is a step back for this kind of Supporter; this kind of theme support is hardly "new".  Team Aqua Schemer and Team Magma Schemer were the first Supporters to represent the generic members of a villainous Pokémon gang as a “draw four cards” Supporter, and they actually could discard any card to draw three cards; you got a “bonus” fourth card if your discard pick was of the appropriate alignment (at that time, indicated by card name and restricted to Pokémon). 

Now that non-Pokémon can be team affiliated that would make the effect a little more potent, but making it all or nothing is a huge restriction.  Even when we get the rest of the Team Plasma Support seen in Japan, unless there is something special that would galvanize this card, it just isn’t worth it.  If you are that concerned with dead Team Plasma cards in hand (and that will happen from time to time), you probably just need to make room for Ultra Ball, but is that really a concern? 

Team Plasma Grunt should only see play in Limited, where it even fails to attain the customary perfect score for Trainer based draw/search power; while unlikely, you might not have a deck with enough discard fodder to make it worth running.  In constructed formats, it doesn’t draw enough for a required, restricted class of discard, especially when you could just run Cheren. 

Ratings 

Unlimited: 1/5 

Modified: 1.75/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 

Summary

I don’t know why the designers thought Team Plasma Grunt would be too powerful if it functioned as a direct update of the older themed draw cards of this style.  That still would not have made it a great card, but it would have been better.  Had I been considering this, I would have expected some of the power creep shown elsewhere in the game, not a weaker version of a well balanced Supporter from nearly nine years ago!

virusyosh

Greetings, Pojo viewers! Today we're reviewing a new Supporter from the Plasma Storm expansion. Today's Card of the Day is Team Plasma Grunt.
 
Team Plasma Grunt is a Supporter, meaning that you can play one per turn, and once you do, you can't play any more Supporters for that turn. Therefore, you'll want to make the most out of Team Plasma Grunt's effect in order to include it into your deck. Team Plasma Grunt allows you to discard a Team Plasma card from your hand in order to draw four cards. Obviously, since Team Plasma Grunt won't work unless you discard a Team Plasma card, the chances of this card seeing play outside of dedicated Team Plasma decks is somewhat low. Additionally, card draw (like we have here) is often less advantageous than "shuffle draw" like N or Colress, since it tends to give less card advantage on average, so many decks will still prefer to use Supporter staples like N, Colress, Bianca, and Professor Juniper (another card draw Supporter that gives more advantage than this one).
 
Modified: 2.5/5 Team Plasma Grunt isn't bad per se, it's just outclassed by other options we have right now in Modified. Many players will prefer using N/Colress/Juniper/Bianca, and the Team Plasma discard restriction doesn't help much either. Additionally, Team Plasma Grunt does little to differentiate itself from Cheren, aside from seeing one additional card (at the cost of a discard). Team Plasma Grunt may find its way into a deck sometime down the line, but most decks will prefer other options.
 
Limited: 5/5 Team Plasma Pokemon are plentiful here, and card draw is limited. Therefore, Team Plasma Grunt is an excellent inclusion into any deck running some Team Plasma Pokemon (which should be almost all of them in Plasma Storm Limited).


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