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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 5 New Legendary Treasure Cards

#4 - Phione  

- Legendary Treasures

Date Reviewed:
Nov 5, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.25
Limited: 3.88

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

#4 Phione 

Legendary Treasures may not have a bunch of game-breaking new cards to offer, but it does have some very sweet art (especially the whole Emboar line). Phione falls right into this category too: multi-Pokémon cards are always fun and kawayoo has given us a charming scene with Wingulls and a Trubbish as supporting cast. 

The card itself? Eh. It does do something unique in the current format in that Pull Out will return any card in your discard pile to the top of your deck. Unless your opponent plays N you could use it to guarantee yourself an excellent top deck next turn, but whether it is worth the Energy attachment and attack is questionable. Yes, we can all think of situations where it would be great, but building a consistent list, rather than relying on Phione, is preferable. At least Aqua Boomerang means that you aren’t forced to give up Bench space to Phione after using Pull Out, and it recovers the Energy you attached to it . . . as long as you are using Water Energy and are in a position to attack twice for little or no damage. Oh, and please note that the return-to-hand effect is compulsory, so if you announce Aqua Boomerang with no other Pokémon on the Field . . . you just lost the game. 

Phione is one of those cards that you look at and see possibilities (especially when there isn’t much else in the set). You imagine re-using Computer Search or chaining Junipers for a fast set up . . . but then you realize that the new first turn rules hurt it quite a bit, and that there are other things you would rather be doing with your attack, and that really this is just a very inferior Sableye DEX for decks that don’t run Dark Energy . . . 

Rating 

Modified: 2.75 (interesting, but not really worthwhile unless some amazing combo surfaces)

Limited: 4.5 (you won’t have very many good cards – getting them back is brilliant)


Otaku

The new set, BW: Legendary Treasures, is upon us so it is time for a new Top 10 list!  Last time we expanded to a Top 12 because of scheduling: this time the nature of the set itself demands we “adjust” our usual practice.  When we select cards for a Top 10, we don’t normally consider “reprints”… but that would exclude most of Legendary Treasures.

 

With the set being mostly reprints, the new rules about to go into on November 8th, and the still relatively recent rotation we’ll be doing two Top 5 lists: the Top 5 Promising Picks of Legendary Treasures followed by the Top 5 Reprints of Legendary Treasures!  The review will be based on the format post rules change.  Today we’ll tackle Phione (BW: Legendary Treasures 36/113).

 

Phione is a Basic Pokémon, which is still the best a Pokémon can be.  It is a Water-Type which honestly doesn’t mean much right now.  Its 70 HP makes it an easy OHKO but also a legal Level Ball target.  Its Lightning-Type Weakness is not crippling – only a few Pokémon will enjoy turning a 2HKO into a OHKO as the HP is so low most already scored a OHKO.  Lack of Resistance is a bit boring but is the norm, and Resistance isn’t that strong of a mechanic anyway (just a nice potential bonus).  A single Energy Retreat cost is normally good, but on a small Basic Pokémon almost feels like too much; still it is easy to pay if you aren’t just bypassing it anyway.

 

Phione has two attacks.  The first is Pull Out; for (C) you can top deck a card from your discard pile.  The second is Aqua Boomerang, which requires (W) and scores 20 points of damage while returning Phione and all cards attached to it to your hand.  Reclaiming any card from your discard pile (Pokémon, Trainer or Energy) is useful, as is the ability to hit for 20 for one on such a small card (do a little damage, get out of there).  Aqua Boomerang could allow you to use high quality combo pieces with Phione without actually losing them, like Prism Energy and Silver Bangle.

 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem like enough to justify playing it.  Top-decking something from your discard pile is useful, but it isn’t Junk Hunt.  Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108) can’t be use in just about any deck (like Phione), but where it can be used, it is used much, much better.  Two cards in hand are worth more than one on top of the deck, even if it is two Items versus one of any card.  The quantity matters because it allowed Sableye to bombard opponents with multiple Items turn after turn or enhance its own set-up… and the decks that don’t use it often don’t need such a strategy; Blastoise wants to set-up and steam roll the opponent, not fall back on “Hammer Spam”.

 

Phione can be disrupted in more ways as it top-decks and unless your opponent uses an effect that allows you to draw without shuffling on said opponent’s turn, you’re giving up a lot for that recycled card: an Energy card, space on your side of the field, an attack, and your next turn’s draw.  If you don’t have an unrestricted amount, giving up an Energy attachment also factors in, and there is a very good chance that Phione itself is being KOed for a Prize.  I’ve heard some defend that with “So it will be a seven Prize game then!” and the answer is… only if you didn’t have another non-Pokémon-EX you wanted to play.  Despite the complaint that Pokémon-EX dominate the format, most decks already have regular Pokémon they play.

 

The new rules also factor in; Sableye may not be as good as it once was now that you can’t get off that turn one Junk Hunt.  Why does that matter?  In a sense it was your “profit margin”.  If you play a card, you want to at least get equivalent value to the cost of playing it, but what separates “winning” decks from “functional” decks is finding a way to come out at least a little ahead.  If you don’t, then when you eventually face a situation (due to a cunning opponent or just bad luck) where you fail to break even, you lose.  Yes, Phione and Sableye no longer have to worry about being “donked” first turn… but at best that just means breaking even as they are now deadweight first turn.

 

For Limited, the only reason not to run this card is that you’re going for a Basic+39 strategy where you can only have one Basic Pokémon.  You lose if you Aqua Boomerang with nothing else in play so that definitely doesn’t suit Phione (and makes attacking with Aqua Boomerang “iffy” in general).  If you have anything worth reclaiming, then Phione varies from an adequate to a great option due to Pull Out, but it isn’t a hard and fast rule like “always run draw Trainers”.  Aqua Boomerang is nice in that it can shed damage from Phione, but for 20 points of damage, the need to run Water Energy, and the fact you likely won’t have something huge with a free Retreat Cost you can bring up to soak hits in between doesn’t help much.  As for Unlimited, there are better options to do what it does.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1/5

 

Modified: 1.75/5

 

Limited: 3.25/5

 

Summary

Phione is a card that I believe shows false promise; what it does better than a card like Sableye is offset by what it does worse.  You’re giving up a lot to top-deck a single card, and while these two no longer have to worry about being donked first turn, they can’t generate any advantage first turn either, and the slightly slower decks get that same turn of respite.

 

Phione didn’t make my Top 5 list, or even my list of prospective picks.


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