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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Gothitelle  

- Legendary Treasures

Date Reviewed:
November 22, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.50
Limited: 2.25

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

Gothitelle (Legendary Treasures) 

We know all about this card, right? This thing terrorized the format during the 2013 National Championships, picking up wins in Norway and the US. This was due to a rather neat combination of Gothitelle’s Trainer Locking Magic Room Ability, Accelgor DEX’s Paralysis-inducing return-to-deck attack, and Float Stone, which enabled Gothitelle to retreat for an attacker every turn. By the time we got to the World Championships in Vancouver, it seemed that players had worked out Gothitelle somewhat, or at least knew how to tech against it, and the deck made little or no impact.  Now Gothitelle has returned to the format after barely three months of absence, will she be able to re-establish herself as a Pokémon to be feared? 

The thing about Gothitelle is that she combines an amazing Ability (one-sided Trainer Lock when Active), with a horrible attack and a certain amount of vulnerability (130 HP Stage 2, Weak to Psychic). History has shown that in order for the card to work you have to be able to protect Gothitelle from OHKOs. When she was first released, this was done by sponging damage every turn with Reuniclus BLW because there was nothing really that hit for 130 under Trainer Lock (no PlusPowers for you, Zekrom and Reshiram!). Once Mewtwo EX was released, that approach failed and the Goth disappeared. Then Accelgor and Float Stone came along and Gothitelle could be protected by maintaining a Paralysis and Trainer Lock: the opponent couldn’t attack, retreat, or use Switch to get out of trouble, so as long as the lock held the deck could grind out wins. 

Now, however, there are two big threats to that strategy. The first and most obvious is Virizion EX. This card prevents Status Conditions for Pokémon that have Grass (or Prism, or the right Blend) Energy attached and pretty much destroys the whole basis of the deck. The other, more subtle threat, is the errata to Pokémon Catcher. In the past, Gothitelle was able to deal with Keldeo EX’s lock-breaking Rush In Ability by just Catchering up the little pony and Paralysing it. Now that depends on a coin flip and is that much more unreliable. Put simply, if you can’t protect the Gothitelle from attacks, the deck won’t work. 

A lot of players seem to be excited or worried about the re-introduction of Gothitelle, but I’m not convinced. It’s a deck that players had worked out before, and now it has to deal with a whole new set of problems. Sure, some people will revive it and it will be annoying as ever against players who aren’t prepared, but Genesect and Blastoise decks have little to fear and it isn’t hard for others to tech in Virizion EX or Keldeo EX to deal with the threat (should it exist). 

Rating 

Modified: 3 (Amazing Ability – but her glory days are in the past now)

Limited: 1.25 (Trainers aren’t a big thing here and the attack is rubbish for a Stage 2) 


Otaku

Now dear readers, we close out this week of “Honorable Mentions” from out Top 5 New and Top 5 Reprints of BW: Legendary Treasures with Gothitelle (BW: Legendary Treasures 72/113), first printed as BW: Emerging Powers 47/98.  The rotation to NEX-On removed it from the card pool, but reprinting it brought it back to us.  Now I have to resist going off on a tangent, because apparently I never bothered researching the video game counterpart to this card.  So many things that make you go “Huh?”

 

This is a Stage 2 Psychic-Type Pokémon, and one that has actually seen some successful, competitive play before rotation.  Some hoped that the return of Gothitelle would restore the Accelgor (BW: Dark Explorers 11/108) and Gothitelle decks, but while that combo keeps getting more and more useful toys, it barely has room for its essentials, and we keep getting more and more counters.  So… what can you do with Gothitelle?

 

I wish I could just give you an answer like “Shake up the metagame!” but I can’t.  Perhaps because Items are almost always so potent, I have a natural affinity for effects that block them.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe the changes brought up by rotation, errata, and altered game procedures are enough to compensate the weak points of Gothitelle: durability and offensive speed.

 

I had nearly finished a longwinded review in my usual pattern, breaking this card down feature by feature, but I realized it was overkill.  Unless you are new to the game, you know that Magic Room blocking Items is amazing, and that under normal circumstances an attack that can be pumped up to OHKO levels via additional Energy should be fairly good.  What goes wrong here is that Gothitelle is fragile and slow by competitive deck terms.  You can get her out and Active to block Items reasonably quick (by your second turn) but you won’t be able to attack well unless you get incredibly lucky and/or run a painfully complicated set-up… and even then an opponent running Mewtwo EX or Deoxys EX (with Plasma Energy) can take all your hard work setting up a “good” Gothitelle and drop it in one hit.

 

Madkinesis is terrible unless fueled purely by Psychic Energy.  Right now this would mean relying on Ether or Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99; BW: Dark Explorers 109/108) and by their nature those are two cards you can’t rely upon; there is no way to guarantee Ether will work (improving your odds is not the same thing) and even if you could get two Stage 2 Pokémon out simultaneously, without another form of Energy acceleration Psychic Mirage won’t speed Madkinesis up enough to matter.  Musharna (BW: Next Destinies 59/99) improves Ether slightly, but that is yet another Evolution.  Exp. Share won’t speed up your start but can retain Energy in play, but is vulnerable to Tool Scrapper and means you can’t use any of several other relevant Pokémon Tools.

 

So how did this card work before?  Prior to Pokémon-EX becoming dominant, decks struggled to break 120 points of damage in a single hit, which in turn allowed you to try and set up Reuniclus (Black& White 57/114; BW: Dragons Exalted 126/124) alongside Gothitelle.  The good news is that the rule changes would make this easier to accomplish than before; the bad news is too many decks can OHKO Gothitelle for it to really matter, plus in a strange twist the nerfing of Pokémon Catcher may lead to more decks that can force Gothitelle out of the Active slot using an alternative (like Genesect EX and its Red Signal).  Then there was Accelgor decks, mentioned above.

 

For Unlimited, my understanding is that if an older Trainer does not specify itself as a Stadium or Supporter, it is treated as an “Item”: the game doesn’t “perceive” how silly that seems for a card named “Professor Oak”.  Combined with Evolution acceleration like Broken Time-Space, the best draw/search cards of the TCG’s existence, and Energy acceleration in a variety of forms, Gothitelle in theory (…I never got a chance to test this after finally getting a ruling) just needs to open with its own copy of Sableye (DP: Stormfront 48/100) and then win the opening coin toss; Focus Band then gives you about a 50% chance of surviving if a deck can actually unleash a good beatdown.  It is also important to remember that Supporters are a luxury in this format – decks aren’t built around a need to drop one each turn.

 

For Limited play, Gothitelle is adequate; like most Stage 2 Pokémon if you pull a workable line, it works simply because it will be bigger and better equipped than whatever your opponent is trying to use, barring a +39 deck or a deck built around another solid Evolution line.  Magic Room will rarely affect opponents; even in the unlikely even you’re able to use BW: Emerging Powers packs and not BW: Legendary Treasures, there aren’t many Items in the set and players will be fortunate to have one in a deck.  The winner is Madkinesis here; while you might have to give up a few Prizes building on the Bench, and while you might not be able to run a pure Psychic Energy using deck, as long as you can build a mostly Psychic Energy using deck you should be able to power-up to OHKO level and steamroll your opponent… or rather if you can set-up up at all you should accomplish this.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 4/5

 

Modified: 2/5

 

Limited: 3/5

 

Summary

Gothitelle is back, but it will have to find a new trick to bring back the old magic.  I selected it for my own Top 5 Reprints list as the number four pick because I get the feeling I am missing something, and like many I thought an older build might be able to work using the new rules.  Now I think it at best deserved the number five slot, and the chief service of this review was as a PSA to warn players that think they can just tweak a Gothgor deck for NEX-On play and easily win.


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