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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Mewtwo  

- Legendary Treasures

Date Reviewed:
Nov 19, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.67
Limited: 3.37

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

Mewtwo (Legendary Treasures) 

Normally it would be lazy, unfair, and wrong to compare a normal Basic with its EX counterpart. In this case, however, the card designers are practically begging us to make that comparison. 

This is because they have managed to pull off the difficult task of giving this Mewtwo attacks which are similar, yet somehow massively inferior, to his bigger brother. To start with we have Power Edge, which costs two Colourless Energy (just like X Ball) and does 30 damage (just short of X Ball’s minimum 40). Unlike X Ball, however, this attack can’t be ramped up, so you are just left with an average value, low damage vanilla effort rather than the fearsome, practically limitless, power of the EX. Psyslash is even more similar to Mewtwo EX’s Psydrive attack (which has almost never been used anyway). They both do 120 points of effect-free damage, but the difference is that Mewtwo’s version costs one more Energy and requires two Energy to be discarded instead of one. 

I don’t think anyone expects a non-EX to be as good as an EX version, but it shouldn’t be too much to ask for one that has its own merits. This might as well be a fake Mewtwo EX: kinda looks similar but cannot be used for actual play. Accept no imitations, go for the real thing. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.5 (I think the cloning process went a bit wrong)

Limited: 3.75 (eh, it’s a high HP Basic with a Colourless attack)


Otaku

Today we look at another honorable mention from our Top 5 list of new cards from the latest set: Mewtwo (BW: Legendary Treasures 53/113).

 

Mewtwo is a Basic Pokémon (yay!) that is not a Pokémon-EX (while obvious, this will be one of its major selling points).  Being a Psychic-Type will be important and not just for hitting Weakness, but more on that later.  Mewtwo enjoys 120 HP; this is enough to survive a hit much of the time and is only 10 points less than the maximum printed HP for Basic Pokémon that are not Pokémon-EX.

 

Psychic Weakness is shared by most other Psychic-Type Pokémon making it a two-way street.  The Psychic-Type Pokémon that have other forms of Weakness (fortunately for Mewtwo) will have only 10 HP left after taking a shot from this card’s “big” attack (more on it later) save for Chandelure EX (the only outlier I found); important as Weakness becomes less of a factor when something as simple as a Hypnotoxic Laser means you both OHKO each other.  Even the aforementioned Chandelure EX isn’t totally safe; the plausible combo of Hypnotoxic Laser, Virbank City Gym, and Silver Bangle score enough damage to OHKO even it!

 

The lack of Resistance “is what it is”; a common occurrence even if I don’t like it, but a minor thing even if present outside of very specific circumstances: Resistance is no where as potent as Weakness.  The two Energy Retreat Cost is not technically bad, but is not good; this is a format where getting an Active “out of the way” is often important because it has been afflicted or is just not the optimum play and you need to generate maximum advantage.  As such, paying out two Energy is a bit much; it isn’t a major issue because most decks will zero it out or bypass manually retreating entirely.

 

Overall the stats are good but not great: what about the attacks?  Power Edge is not as impressive as its name: 30 points of damage for (CC) is merely “functional” as decks with most forms of Energy acceleration can probably power it up in one turn but it isn’t hitting hard enough to take out even an Evolving Basic Pokémon without some help, save the odd 30 HP card that still sees play.  It does have a strength and that is reliability and how the Energy cost compliments its big brother, Psyslash.  Psyslash costs a hefty (PPCC) and that you discard two Energy from Mewtwo but scores 120 points of damage.  On their own these two attacks definitely don’t cut it, but this is probably the kind of pricing schema that the game needs to get back to using.  If the deck can accelerate Energy, then as a one-two combo you hit 150 points of damage… which means most forms of damage boosting would put everything in 2HKO range.  Again, not brilliant but functional.

 

Basic Pokémon that aren’t a Pokémon-EX, can hit 120 damage reliably (no targeting restrictions, flips, etc.) and can sometimes survive a “real” attack are worth a second look, and that is what got me thinking about this card.  Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99; BW: Dark Explorers 109/108) is a somewhat fragile (120 HP) Bench-sitter that has been looking for a good partner.  If you don’t remember what Gardevoir does, its Ability causes basic Psychic Energy cards attached to your Psychic-Type Pokémon to provide (PP) instead of just (P).

 

When it was new (or at least still new-ish) the play seemed to be trying to beef up Mewtwo EX or being really daring and trying to beef up Gothitelle (BW: Emerging Powers 47/98; BW: Legendary Treasures 72/113).  Both cards had better partners in other decks, and Mewtwo EX probably still does.  So why use it with the new, plain Mewtwo?  For waging a resource war: with proper management it may be possible to “throw” Mewtwo at more costly opposing Pokémon and break even or pull ahead in terms of Prizes and/or Energy.

 

The main concern is that you need to get ahead in Energy enough that when a Mewtwo goes down, you have a second with two actual, basic Psychic Energy cards that Psychic Mirage (the Ability of said Gardevoir) is causing to provide (PPPP)… enough you can Psyslash turn after turn.  Note that if a Mewtwo survives through your opponent’s turn after having attacked with Psyslash, the attack references Energy discarded, not Energy cards: with Psychic Mirage in effect you can discard a single Psychic Energy to meet the cost and thus another manual attachment would re-ready Psyslash for the next turn.

 

So what are the flaws with this strategy?  Gardevoir can’t be in play your first and will require both space and skill to set-up, though at least multiples are redundancies.  The deck also needs another way to accelerate basic Psychic Energy attachments because you still need two per Mewtwo: odds are a Mewtwo will go down before taking its requisite KO and/or having the next one prepped.  Throw in Crushing Hammer or Abilities being shut off and you’ve got another point of vulnerability.

 

There are some answers.  Silver Bangle and Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym put most Pokémon that see competitive play into OHKO range… all if we ignore the tricks such decks will usually try to make their own Pokémon last longer.  Silver Mirror means Team Plasma decks have to dig for counters (Tool Scrapper, non-Team-Plasma-attacker, etc.) and while that deck uses some non-Pokémon-EX, Hypnotoxic Laser puts all of those into OHKO range if they aren’t sporting Eviolite or similar tricks.

 

Exp. Share might be worth it as well; if your opponent fails to discard it, you’ll at most need a single Energy attachment to prep Psyslash, though it would block other Pokémon Tool usage.  Musharna (BW: Next Destinies 59/99) with Ether was that combo that was “the next big thing” that actually never was.  Trying it here would mean running two Evolution lines but (but not two Stage 2) and once Musharna is online, you’ll get an extra card in hand while knowing the top card of your deck once per turn per Musharna in addition to trying for Ether.

 

There are several other attackers to consider as well; Basic Pokémon that could be run as singles or doubles for key situations; Sigilyph (BW: Dragons Exalted 52/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 118/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 66/113) and its Safeguard can wall against Pokémon-EX while Mewtwo EX is still a great back-up or co-attacker when the extra Prize upon being KOed won’t hurt.  You might even risk a Tool Drop variant, in which case Mewtwo is probably just a back-up attacker itself.

 

Like Gallade from yesterday, it isn’t clear exactly what to do or if it will work, but unlike Gallade I believe there is a real chance here.  Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116) might eat up yet another Bench slot, but with Pokémon Catcher now functioning like Pokémon Reversal and no attacking on the first turn, it should be possible to set-up at least one Gardevoir, and if going first probably a Mewtwo before your opponent can start taking Prizes.

 

For Unlimited, you could make a functional deck out of this, but there are so many other cards to use before you get to what I still assume are the more impressive decks.  Still lack a good means of testing ideas here or other source of data, so this is more “Theorymon” than usual.  For Limited, if you can get enough Pokémon that work with Psychic Energy to run with it (and it doesn’t have to be a mono-Energy-Type deck), this seems like a very good pick.  Psyslash will OHKO most things that aren’t Pokémon-EX.  Just remember unless you get a double lucky pull (from your initial boosters) and draw (from your deck) of Double Colorless Energy, you’ll have to alternate between Power Edge and Psyslash.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1.75/5

 

Modified: 3/5

 

Limited: 3.8/5

 

Summary

While Mewtwo is a long shot, I don’t think building a successful deck that utilizes it is impossible or even improbable… just very tricky and unlikely to be worth the hassle.  Still, if you’re looking to shake things up without going truly bizarre, it is something to experiment with and there is even that outside chance it won’t just be functional but will be good.

 

As indicated yesterday, this was my number four pick for my new card Top 5 list of BW: Legendary Treasures, and probably should have been my number five pick.  My actual number five pick, yesterday’s Gallade, shouldn’t have made the cut and Excadrill EX should have been the fourth place pick (maybe even the third).


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