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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Shadow Circle  

- XY

Date Reviewed:
March 11, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.75
Limited: 3.00

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

Shadow Circle (XY) 

Weakness has always played a big part in the TCG, especially now when we have double Weakness and an abundance of attacks that can exploit it to take OHKOs. You would think that cards which eliminate Weakness generally would have played a huge role over the years, but they really haven’t: Blastoise δ CG and Bubble Coat were rarely used in the past, and more recent solutions like Leavanny NVI/LTR and the Lake Trio from Plasma Blast haven’t been played at all. They were all kind of awkward and tended to hurt the performance of a deck more than they would have helped. 

Shadow Circle is a Stadium which could be just about the most efficient anti-Weakness card we have seen yet: all that is required to negate Weakness is to have a Dark Energy attached to a Pokémon while the Stadium is on the Field. Obviously this can be used easily in the powerful Darkrai EX-based Dark decks that we have now, but it can also work in anything running Rainbow Energy, Prism Energy, or even Blend GPRD, so that would include Fairy Toolbox and most Plasma decks for a start. Imagine the benefits: Darkrai no longer vulnerable to Terrakion LTR or Landorus EX; Thundurus EX unafraid of Sawk PLB techs; Yveltal EX not worrying about Raichu XY etc. 

But I suspect that, as with the other anti-Weakness cards, most players will decide Shadow Circle is not worth it. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, an opponent can react to it and make it a non-issue – all they have to do is counter with their own Stadium before they attack, and let’s face it, most decks these days are running 2-3. Secondly, players may well decide that their deck will get more benefit from running different Stadiums, such as Virbank City Gym to increase damage from Laser; Tropical Beach, to aid set up; or even Frozen City to mess with Rain Dance style decks (Blastoise and Emboar). The fact is that our current format puts attack way, way ahead of defence in terms of priority. With Muscle Band and Hypnotoxic Laser around, a lot of decks don’t even need to exploit Weakness in order to take KOs. The usefulness of Shadow Circle would then be restricted to dealing with tech cards (like Terrakion) or pure 4-Corners/Counter decks such as Dugtrio/Raichu, and it’s doubtful if they are enough of a threat to justify giving up your Stadium slots.

I do think Shadow Circle is a little underrated by a lot of players, and it may become a key card in future. Right now though, you will most likely prefer to use something else. 

Rating 

Modified: 3 (good card, but there are better Stadiums)

Limited: 2.5 (you would play it if using Dark Energy, but it is unlikely to affect the game that much)


HEZ
Intro to
Unlimited 150

Shadow Circle.
Standard.
In the struggle between Dark and Fairy, Yveltal won the EX battle, but Xerneas has the best Stadium. Whereas the Fairy Stadium is relevant in any matchup, Shadow Circle is almost a dead card against a deck not using a Dark deck’s Weaknesses. That said, if Dark decks continue to be so popular, people will play more and more anti-Dark techs or decks. In that case the Dark player will probably want to include 1 or 2 of these that can easily be searched for with Skyla to counter the counters.

Unlimited 150.
In this format Dark decks already have 2 useful Stadiums, Sidney’s Stadium (Dark Pokémon can't be Asleep. Confused, or Paralyzed) and Moonlight Stadium (Free Retreat). Like in Standard there’s the problem that it’s quite a narrow effect that depends on what your opponent’s deck is but on the upside, the format is more unpredictable and decks often splash unexpected Types to deal with certain threats. Having plenty of counter Stadiums is important too, especially for Dark decks which really don’t appreciate a Battle Frontier on the field. Overall, Shadow Circle is a solid but narrow card, if you can’t get hold of one of the other 2 Dark supporting Stadiums then it’s well worth the slot in the deck.

Ratings.
Standard: 2.5
Unlimited 150: 3


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