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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Jirachi EX

- Plasma Blast

Date Reviewed:
Aug.6, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.87
Limited:
See Below

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Jirachi EX (PLB) 

Today’s card offers a solution to the biggest problem facing deckbuilders today: how to make decks more consistent. However, as you would expect, there is a certain amount of downside involved. 

Jirachi EX may have a virtually useless attack and pitiful HP, but it does have an excellent Ability in the form of Stellar Guidance, allowing you to search your deck for a Supporter and put it in your hand. In a format where we are almost always dependant on Supporters for draw, this is fantastic: search him out with Level or Ultra Ball and grab that Juniper or N you are so desperate for. He can also serve as a way to search out more ‘techy’ Supporters played in lower quantities (such as Lysandre). 

Of course that low HP (and the scary possibility of starting with him) means that Jirachi is a bit of a risky card to put in a deck, but with any consistency boost being so highly desirable, it’s not surprising that a lot of player have decided that Jirachi EX is worth that risk. 

Rating

Modified: 3.75 (more consistency . . . at a price)

Limited: N/A


aroramage

Hey guys, welcome to a stellar card of the day! You know you've been secretly wishing for this guy to show up again, and he has! Making wishes come true across the world for players everywhere, here is Jirachi-EX!
 
Now the most interesting thing about Jirachi-EX is his appearance in the Nationals; about half of the top decks overall (in Junior, Senior, AND Masters) featured Jirachi-EX in a small support role. Support how? Hypnostrike is an okay attack that deals 60 damage and puts both Active Pokemon asleep, but that's naturally not what I'm referencing.
 
The TCG has been very Trainer-oriented in recent years, and it's common to find a deck running multiples of Juniper/Sycamore, Skyla, Ultra Ball, Rare Candy, and especially Hypnotoxic Laser. The first couple I listed are Supporters, which as you know is limited to one per turn, but they're have been extremely beneficial Supporters that everyone wants to run. That's where Jirachi-EX comes in with her Stellar Guidance: when you play him from your hand, he lets you snatch up one of those Supporters from your deck and add it to your hand.
 
This is a great utility Ability, with a variety of targets and uses. Say your opponent just took advantage of you dominating to play N, limiting you to one card in your hand before annihilating your attacker. Well now what? You draw into Jirachi-EX. Suddenly, that disadvantage doesn't matter, as you can play Jirachi-EX down, add a Juniper/Sycamore to your hand, and instantly refresh yourself, ready for another attack or even to potentially punish your opponent later with an N you draw. Or maybe you don't need draw power but an Item. Play Jirachi-EX, search Skyla, and then search for the Item of your choice. The combos are endless!
 
Jirachi-EX provides for a lot of versatility in decks and can make for a great support card. However, it is important to note that you have to play Jirachi-EX from your hand to get the effect off, which opens up a couple of weaknesses. Obviously you need room on your Bench, but once Jirachi-EX hits play, he's vulnerable to being Catcher'd and beaten with only 90 HP, and that's a big trade-off. Of course, that's a chancy course of action for the opponent to take, and chances are you've got the upper hand with that handy Supporter you drew!
 
Rating
 
Modified: 4/5 (versatility is a big deal, as you can see; in fact it's worth it to run 1 Jirachi-EX just for the Supporter even if he's worth 2 Prizes!)
 
Expanded: 4.5/5 (hey look, MORE Supporters to grab!)
 
Limited: 2/5 (in his own set, he's got a grand total of 3 Supporters...if one of them wasn't Juniper, I'd have straight up gone 1)
 
Arora Notealus: Hmmm, does Full Art look better or Regular Art? Both are all like, "I'm dazzling!" Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...
 
Next Time: He's gonna rock you like a hurricane!...almost!

Otaku

This week are looking at some of the cards that played role at the U.S. Nationals, as a precursor to the pending World Championships.  Today’s review stars Jirachi-EX (BW: plasma Blast 60/101, 98/101).  Jirachi-EX showed up in six of the twelve top finishers for the U.S. Nationals: three in the Junior Division, two in the Senior and one in the Masters.  That’s a pretty solid showing, so let us discuss why. 

Like yesterday’s subject, Jirachi-EX is played purely for its Ability, though its other characteristics are in some ways better and some ways worse.  It is a Basic making it easy to fit into decks and play to the field.  It is a Pokémon-EX which makes it unable to tap certain support, a target of certain counters and of course, worth an additional Prize when KOed.  Of course, being a Pokémon-EX is normally good for fantastic HP, and good-to-great attack/Ability pairing or multiple attacks.  Here… not quite. 

Being a Metal-Type doesn’t contribute much, though at least that does mean if you run a Klinklang [Plasma] deck it would be protected from Pokémon-EX and if you were so desperate you needed Jirachi-EX to attack a Kyurem [Plasma] with Jirachi-EX, you’ll score double damage.  Metal Resistance is seeing a comeback on recent Lightning-Types but you really shouldn’t be attacking with this card.  The 90 HP is… terrible.  Yes, it makes this card Level Ball compliant, and that is an important feature, but it does mark Jirachi-EX as an easy two Prizes.  Now thanks to the crazy damage outputs we see, Jirachi-EX wasn’t likely to get a score much higher than this, so technically 90 HP is as good as it gets… until we lose Level Ball, at which point even 100 will be a tad better. 

Its Fire Weakness is quite dangerous; sometimes one is fortunate and low HP makes Weakness meaningless, but all the major Fire-Type attackers with some success have a smaller fallback attack or variable damage output, and Weakness puts Jirachi-EX into OHKO range of such things.  Even if it didn’t, as a Pokémon-EX, any Fire-Type that hits for 20 points of damage just needs a Silver Bangle to still score the OHKO!  Jirachi-EX actually has Psychic Resistance, and while it doesn’t often matter, every now and then it comes in handy, usually because it moves Jirachi-EX just out of easy OHKO range.  The Retreat Cost is good; just one, and of course you can often zero it out. 

Like I said, the Ability is why the card gets played, but first let’s get the attack out of the way: for [MCC] Hypnostrike hits for 60 points of damage and both Active Pokémon (that includes Jirachi-EX itself) are afflicted with Sleep.  This is 30 points below being mediocre, and as such should only be used in extreme desperation.  It isn’t as bad as it could be; at least many forms of Energy acceleration (including something simple like Double Colorless Energy) can help fuel it, but its certainly not worth using except under the most desperate of circumstances. 

Which at last brings us to Stellar Guidance, the Ability that makes the above worth dealing with: when you Bench Jirachi-EX from your hand (except during set-up), Stellar Guidance triggers and you may search your deck for a Supporter and add it to your hand.  As such, any Pokémon search (at least that could target Jirachi-EX) doubled as Supporter search.  For the average deck this can be an amazing boost to consistency.  Besides allowing Level Ball, Ultra Ball or Jirachi-EX directly to save you from Supporter lacking hand, they also can be used to snag useful non-draw Supporters.  Lysandre is the best example, as it quickly ascended to staple status (usually as a single or a pair), and its set-mate Blacksmith is also important to Fire decks.  There are also many “borderline” Supporters that before were lucky to make it into decks with Ability based draw power; while still rare and perhaps not worth the effort, Jirachi-EX still makes them better. 

All that comes at that high cost, however; one slot from your deck is fine, but one spot on your Bench can be a huge issue.  Set-up decks that otherwise would love to run Jirachi-EX have to skip it because (for example) that’s one less “Round” Pokémon.  It is tricky but possible to run Jirachi-EX alongside yesterday’s Garbodor, but Garbodor usage in general is also a mark against this card; without its Ability its nothing but a liability.  There is always the risk of opening with it (and thus not even getting a Supporter out of the deal) or being forced to burn it because you just need a Benched Pokémon to not lose.  The same Lysandre it looks brilliant for fetching also makes easy sport of it and both sniping attacks and damage counter moving effects (as seen in Monday’s CotD) also turn it into an easy two Prizes.  You can’t relax ever while Jirachi-EX is on the Bench; I know I try to save it for the final two Prizes if possible (when the fact I didn’t finish off my opponent’s attacker doesn’t matter).

 

So for NXD*-On, Jirachi-EX isn’t a staple but its a fine card that works in a variety of decks, though playtesting is required to make sure that its part of an optimal build.  For the forthcoming BCR-On and BW-On formats, I see nothing indicating it won’t remain in a similar position.  For Limited, you just need to answer two questions

  1. Did I pull a Supporter worth the slight risk of opening with Jirachi-EX?
  2. Did I pull a Pokémon-EX I should run as a +39 build instead?

 

Ratings 

Modified (NXD*-On)/Modified (BCR-On)/Expanded (BW-On): 3.5/5 - There are legitimate risks to running Jirachi-EX, but its Ability truly is great so its just a matter of finding out if it is part of a particular deck’s optimal build.  Yes, the exact same score and message for all three, so I combined them. 

Limited: 4.75/5 - Caitlin, Iris, and Professor Juniper are all present this set (Iris even comes in regular and Full Art), so its likely but not guaranteed you’ll get at least one Supporter in all your packs… plus you might draw into your Supporter before Jirachi-EX, suddenly making it a splashable but risky attacker.  More than likely, you’ll be using it if you pull it. 

Summary: I wasn’t sure at first, but now I am convinced that Jirachi-EX really is something you need to consider for all decks, though a significant amount will be justified in skipping it.  It definitely has influenced the game as it makes that “lucky Lysandre” a lot more likely. 

*After further checking, I still haven’t been using the preferred notation for BW: Next Destinies.  Personally I always favored NEX, DEX, DRX, and BOX for BW: Next Destinies, BW: Dark Explorers, BW: Dragons Exalted and BW: Boundaries Crossed because it gave the sets a pattern… but if you don’t see (or care) about such things, such a thing becomes confusing.  As such, my apologies and hopefully this is the last time I’ve got to mention something like this. 


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