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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Sigilyph  

- Plasma Blast

Date Reviewed:
September 3, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.25
Limited: 2.50

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

Sigilyph (Plasma Blast) 

Hello and welcome to a short week of reviews here on Pojo’s CotD. As usual, we will be looking at some of the cards that just fell short of making out top 10 12 list for the new set. We kick off with Sigilyph, a Pokémon with a boring vanilla attack (70 for three Energy? Meh), but an interesting and unique Ability: Toolbox allows Sigilyph to have up to four tools attached to it at once. 

The reason this has potential is because of the sheer number of playable Tools we have in the format. There are defensive options (Silver Mirror, Eviolite), offensive options (Silver Bangle), and even passive-aggressive options (Rocky Helmet, Rock Guard). Also Exp Share, Plasma Badge, Life Dew . . . the possibilities seem endless (well, not endless, but there are quite a few). 

The question is, how best to make use of the Ability. The obvious way is to stack Tools on Sigilyph and either try to wall with it using defensive Tools, or punish the opponent for attacking it by attaching multiple Rocky Helmet. However, even with all this, Sigilyph isn’t too hard to KO and doesn’t function especially well as an attacker. A more intriguing possibility is to have Sigilyph act as a ‘bank’ for Tools in order to pump up the damage from Trubbish PLS’s Tool Drop attack. With a couple of fully loaded Sigilyph in play and a Silver Bangle on Trubbish you have the hilarious prospect of being able to one-shot any EX Pokémon with a 60 HP Basic, using an attack that once appeared to be beyond awful. 

The Tool Drop deck has consistency issues (because it runs so many Tools and has a two Energy attack on a Weak Basic), but can be a lot of fun to play and is at least semi-viable. Sigilyph is the card that makes it possible, and I doubt it will be the last combo that players dream up for the card. 

Rating 

Modified: 3 (interesting Ability with combo potential)

Limited: 2.25 (you won’t often get the most out of the Ability)


Otaku

I’ve been falling behind in my CotDs again, so let us see if skipping my normal template is helps me be more concise?  Today we look at Sigilyph (BW: Plasma Blast 41/101), which actually snuck into my own Top 12 Promising Picks of Plasma Blast list in the number 11 slot.  Sigilyph is a lot like its older sibling (BW: Dragons Exalted 52/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 118/116) both are 90 HP, Psychic-Type Basic Pokémon with Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, and single Energy Retreat costs.

 

Being a Basic Pokémon is still the best right now as the imbalance between the Stages remains (ideally I believe they should ultimately even out).  Basic Pokémon are still the fastest and the most space efficient, allowing them to work better with the common resources shared by the other Stages, and the speed of the game means that being slower than a Basic Pokémon is a serious detriment… and the rotation unfortunately didn’t cut all of their specific Stage support that they didn’t need.

 

The Psychic-Type has some support but like most Types, said support hasn’t proven worth using.  Psychic Weakness is seen; most Psychic-Type Pokémon and a good deal of Fighting-Types are Psychic Weak, and a few of those do see serious play (and note that Sigilyph is not Psychic Weak itself).  Psychic Resistance may be more common than Psychic Weakness, as most Darkness-Type and Metal-Type Pokémon possess it, but Resistance as a whole isn’t a strong mechanic so in the end, it is probably a wash.

 

The HP is unlikely to survive a shot from a fully set-up deck; even without other effects to boost damage, 90 is a number regularly hit.  At least it is enough that it shouldn’t be an overly easy kill for weaker set-up attacks or incidental damage unless those are boosted.  Being at 90 does allow Level Ball to fetch it from your deck, and is a score that tends to be something of a “bittersweet spot” for Weakness; not a lot of Lightning-Type attackers will hit high enough to OHKO it without having been at least close to doing so before Weakness anyway.  We also get Fighting Resistance; just enough to annoy a Fighting-Type attacker with the HP.  Finish it off with that good Retreat Cost (only “free” is better), and the bottom stats don’t disappoint.

 

The Ability is what really catches one’s eye for this card; Toolkit allows Sigilyph to have up to four Pokémon Tools attached at once; this enables many combos and you’ll recall that we had two excellent Pokémon Tools place highly in our Top 12 list (Silver Bangle and Silver Mirror).  The attack is underpowered, but only just and likely to compensate for the Ability: Cutting Wind does 70 for (PCC), which isn’t too hard to pay with some acceleration, and is fairly splashable.

 

So how should one use this card?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I can give you some ideas, though.  Obviously you’ll want to run a decent amount of Pokémon Tools with it; as none provide draw power or especially good search power which means you’ll need to make room for them without cutting out the usual set-up Trainers.  We haven’t gotten it yet, but Elesa is a Supporter Japan already has, and she adds three Pokémon Tools from your deck to your hand, meaning you would just need a good source for recycling Pokémon Tools.

 

We have some Pokémon with Pokémon Tool focused effects but honestly?  I don’t find them to be very good save perhaps one and it almost surprises me what it is: Trubbish (BW: Plasma Storm 65/135) does 20 points of damage for each Pokémon Tool attached to a Pokémon in play (both players) at a cost of (PC) with its Tool Drop attack.  With the right set-up (namely today’s Sigilyph backing it), this could lead to a “glass cannon” effect, where you Tool Drop for a KO knowing that Trubbish is going to be OHKOed right back the next turn.

 

Other than that, might include this alongside the Safeguard version in a deck built around anti-Pokémon-EX Basic Pokémon; with the right Pokémon Tools such a deck could adapt to much of the metagame, and if you wanted you could push for the surprise win by doing something crazy like attaching four Silver Bangle to this at once (which would allow it to hit for 190 points of damage before Weakness and Resistance).  The key is to utilize this card for unusual situations; you wouldn’t want to rely on the above crazy play except to win the game.

 

Obviously, there are some hurdles for this card to overcome.  First, Tool Scrapper is likely to become a deck mainstay and Chatot (BW: Plasma Blast 77/101) exists just to make sure that you always need a Silver Mirror as one of your Pokémon Tools (barring specific combos).  Second, Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116) shuts off Toolkit, forcing you to discard down to one Pokémon Tool (if you had more than one attached).

 

The third and final concern is… there is Pokémon Tool support, but unless something changes its bad.  This is a problem because it may just signify the-powers-that-be aren’t sure what support needs to do, that they think what exists actually is good enough, or even if they recognize the need it probably has low priority (as they already tried before).  Elesa is a Supporter already out in Japan, and it allows you to add three Pokémon Tools from your deck to your hand.  This is good and would be a likely deck-mate for Sigilyph but there is a huge need for a way to get Pokémon Tools out of the discard efficiently… but that might break some Ace Spec cards like Life Dew.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: Might make for a fun deck, but it won’t protect you from First Turn Win decks or lock decks, nor do I believe it can actually create any.  Still, this format has so many amazing Pokémon Tools it might still be slightly competitive fun. 2/5

 

Modified: This seems to be a good, interesting card though not something I expect to win many (if any) events.  I’ve said it before; we’ve got another good card in a format of great cards. 3/5

 

Limited: Ignoring the Ability for a second, it’s a good, solid card; as long as you can run some Psychic Energy so it can attack, its just a nice, big (by Limited standards) Basic Pokémon.  Then if you do get multiple Pokémon Tools (there are two in this set it could use) it could be a major force.  Just don’t expect to run it like you would a good Pokémon-EX (on its own, with just Energy and what few Trainers you pulled).

 

Summary

Toolkit is a potent Ability, but whether or not we’ll have enough “ammo” for a card like Sigilyph to use reliably is another question.  Don’t count on it, but don’t count it out either.  Unless you’re running something like Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108), you at most can run four copies of Tool Scrapper… and while that would indeed counter Sigilyph well, you’ve got to realize what you’re facing and your opponent has to fail to draw out said Tool Scrapper.


Jason Klaczynski
"Ness"
Three-Time World Champion

Sigilyph

Had this #9 on my Top 10 List

With so many great Pokémon Tool Cards, it will be easy to find the right ones to attach to Sigilyph to counter your opponent’s deck. Decks may need Tool Scrapper or Chatot to counter Sigilyph!


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