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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Cards of 2014

#10 - Startling Megaphone

- Flashfire

Date Reviewed:
Dec. 15, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.75
Expanded: 3.50
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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#10 Startling Megaphone 

As is traditional, we end our year of reviews with a look back at the top 10 cards, compiled from lists submitted by the review team. Remember that we are considering new cards only, not reprints, so things like VS Seeker, Double Colourless Energy, and Enhanced Hammer are not eligible. 

Startling Megaphone may not be the most glamorous or exciting card on this list, but it is a worthy way to kick things off. After years of not mattering very much, Tools are now a very important part of the game, and giving us a way of dealing with them is only sensible. Of course, before Megaphone, we had Tool Scrapper, but when that rotated out, we got a pretty seamless transition to today’s card. In fact, in some ways it went unnoticed: Megaphone may target more Tools than Scrapper, but most decks didn’t over-commit to the Field anyway. Meanwhile in the pre-Flare Tools era, taking advantage of Scrapper’s ability to remove your own Tools was a rare occurrence (though it did happen). 

Undeniably useful as the most efficient counter to Garbodor LTR’s Ability Lock, and nicely disruptive because of its capability to strip your opponent of Muscle Band and Float Stone, Startling Megaphone also killed off Tool Drop Trubbish decks for a while. It is a card that often gets squeezed to one or two copies for reasons of space, though decks that rely heavily on Abilities always want to run more than they actually do. Startling Megaphone is an important card in the format, even though that isn’t always recognised, and will continue to see play until it is either rotated or something better comes along. 

Rating

Modified: 3.75 (we need a weapon against Tools)

Expanded: 3.25 (Scrapper is the more flexible option) 


aroramage

Hello all and welcome back to Card of the Day! It feels like it's not been that long since the last Top 10 list, but here we are counting down the Top 10 of Pokemon 2014! You've probably got a good idea of some of the best cards around as of now, so let's take a look at our #10 spot, Startling Megaphone!

 

Coming out of the Flashfire set, Startling Megaphone has had a simple effect that's made it fairly useful in the time it's spent these last few months. All it does is eliminate all of your opponent's Tools attached to their Pokemon, discarding them immediately! Annihilating Muscle Bands, Float Stones, and G Boosters, no Tool stands in Startling Megaphone's way! The only real answer to it so far has been Seismitoad-EX or else just not playing with Tools, but who'd run with that wolf pack? It's made a nice impact on the format and established itself as a useful tech in most decks.

 

Of course, you wouldn't want to run 4 of these. After all, it can only get rid of your opponent's Tools, and while most of the time that's useful, there will be times when you want to get rid of a Jamming Net or a Head Ringer instead. I'd say 2 at most will do, just enough that you'll draw them frequently, they won't be Prized too often, and you'll be able to disrupt your opponent with ease!

 

Startling Megaphone has been a niche card for doing one thing really well, and if anything the format has helped it with this regard. Take out your opponent's Tools, and you'll be fine for a good while! Or at least until they draw into their other copies.

 

Rating

 

Standard: 3.5/5 (useful at getting rid of one type of card, which has several prominent members)

 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (all the useful stuff here is pretty much all the useful stuff in Standard)

 

Limited: 1.5/5 (in its own set, it's good against Protection Cube...next!)

 

Arora Notealus: Seriously, how amusing is it that you just bring out a Megaphone to yell really loudly and make your opponent's Pokemon drop their items?

 

Next Time: I could've sworn we just talked about this guy.


Otaku

Welcome to our Top 10 Cards Of 2014 Countdown!  The lists have been collected from the CotD crew and compiled to give us our list to review.  Just like with our Top 10 lists for individual sets, reprints are excluded: this can seem a bit unfair as sometimes they are very important cards, but without this rule cards like Double Colorless Energy, Professor Juniper (later Professor Sycamore) and a few others would get reviewed two or three times a year, always as a part of these lists.  For my own list, my main guideline was card “impact”, how it affected the game.  I evaluated the card according to breadth of impact (how widespread its usage/response to its usage was), depth of impact (how deeply it affected the decks that used it/needed to counter it) and time of impact (how long did it affect how we played).  Yes, that last category favors older cards versus newer cards, but the newer ones have the advantage of being fresh in my mind, plus again we are considering all of 2014, not just how the year ended.

 

First up is Startling Megaphone, originally reviewed seven months ago: you can see for yourself what we said about it here.  I hadn’t returned to actively reviewing yet so what were/are my thoughts on this card?  I’ve got to echo and expand upon what both baby_mario and Hez said; this is an incredibly potent card and with the strength of many Pokémon Tools we have seen, something to combat them directly might have been required but at the same time this is overkill.  The short version is that if you can give up one of something to take out at least one of and possibly more than one of something your opponent has in play, its to your benefit.  While the exact situation is far more nuanced, you should rarely fail to get your deck space’s worth of value out of Startling Megaphone, and likely can generate significant advantage beyond the single slot a copy will cost you and the risk that your opponent would actually fail to run any Items worth discarding.  This card killed off an established (though not overly common) Tool Drop decks built around Trubbish (BW: Plasma Storm 65/135), though with the release of Dimension Valley and Lysandre’s Trump Card players are trying to bring the deck back.

 

So… why is such a potent, influential card only number 10?

 

Breadth: Most decks wanted to run at least one Startling Megaphone but few could afford to run more than two; extra copies were useful, but not more useful than the many other Items competing for similar slot in your deck.  There aren’t a lot of cards to rival it here, but there are still two more categories and of course, reviewers.

 

Depth: We already had Tool Scrapper before this was released, so besides killing Tool Drop decks the format had already adjusted to overpowered, Item-based Tool removal.  Tool Scrapper had a few pluses to it in certain decks, since there were times when being able to discard your own Pokémon Tool was important, and if players were already scared to commit too many Pokémon Tools to the field because of Tool Scrapper, that one difference became significant.  In Expanded it is still significant because Pokémon Tool F cards can be countered by Tool Scrapper but not Startling Megaphone, those running Pokémon Tool F cards also have reason to prefer Tool Scrapper because Startling Megaphone forces them to discard any Pokémon Tool F cards they have in play, instead of just the opposing player’s own Tools.  There is also the nature of the format; as 2HKOs are the norm and OHKOs are not uncommon, a slot spent discarding a Pokémon Tool.  Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) backed decks and their prominence have also been a major factor in the importance of Startling Megaphone; the decks that run multiple Startling Megaphone are almost always doing so to disable Garbotoxin.

 

Time: Startling Megaphone debuted in XY: Flashfire, the second set released this year.  Cards from XY and the promo series are the only ones with more seniority but still released this year, however again Tool Scrapper remains a factor.  It didn’t rotate out and leave Startling Megaphone as the only generic, universal option for this role in Standard until September 3rd (the same day that XY: Furious Fists became tournament legal), cutting into its time to shine.

 

Ratings

 

Standard: 4/5 - Rarely will a deck skip this card completely, though by the same note rarely will a deck be able to justify running more than one or two copies (usually just one).

 

Expanded: 3.75/5 - As in Standard except you may be running Tool Scrapper instead, cutting down on the dominance of Startling Megaphone.  It will likely be a metagame specific distinction based on both what you and everyone else is running; the score could float up or down a quarter point quite reasonably.

 

Limited: 2/5 - XY: Flashfire only contains Protect Cube, though as is often the case you probably have the room and should run it just in case.

 

Summary: Startling Megaphone is nearly an automatic one of in every Standard deck deck, and the few cases where it can be skipped are balanced out by those that run two (and might run more if they only had the room).  It is only a little less used in Expanded as certain strategies and Pokémon Tool F cards make the selectivity of Tool Scrapper the better choice.  Both of these Pokémon Tools might be even more valuable except that the format is so fast that it is often as (if not more) effective to put the deck space towards KOing whatever has a problematic Pokémon Tool and that players long ago learned to both hold onto a Pokémon Tool until it could be played for immediate benefit or else would have been discarded anyway (such as for a Professor Juniper).

 

For my own list, Startling Megaphone secured the fourth place spot owing to a single copy of it showing up in most decklists I would take seriously since Tool Scrapper rotated out, and even then almost as many as soon as it was released and legal for competitive play.  We would play the game much differently without it or anything similar to it, at least in Standard.


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