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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Manaphy

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
April 9, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.13
Expanded: 2.00
Limited: 4.45

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Gen IV was a time of great innovation. Two screens to look at, new updated graphics, the Physical/Special split, and fluid motions on what was then the greatest handheld gaming device ever. Pokemon was changed forever, and to celebrate they gave us a multitude of new Pokemon, new evos for older Pokemon, and a LOT of Legendaries. 

Manaphy is one such legendary...and it can breed. 

Well, to make Phione at least, but that's about all she can do. And here in the TCG, Phione is so underwhelming the only available version of it is also only the third version of the card ever made. Manaphy on the other hand has gotten SO much more love, but can you really blame the designers? Manaphy comes right to your mind, but I'm pretty sure a few of you had to go look up what Phione is - and yes, she's a real Pokemon in fact - cause Phione is THAT forgettable. Just one of the many injustices done in Gen IV's time. 

Oh yeah, right, card reviews. Manaphy here only needs 1 Water Energy to use each of her attacks, so that should help, but does it warrant using Manaphy in your Water deck? Of the two, I think Deep Sea Swirl is the more useful, given that it's the best of Birch and Sycaper - aka what Professor Elm did, only in the form of an attack rather than a Trainer and drawing only 6 cards as opposed to 7. You remember Elm, right? No? Man I'm old... 

Life Saver on the other hand is just, "Hey, you got some Water Pokemon in the discard. Maybe you'd like them in your hand?" So it's not much. You may actually notice something about these attacks - neither of them does any sort of damage. In fact, neither of them does ANYTHING to the opponent's Pokemon or the opponent! So the real question is, in such a damage-intense format, why play Manaphy? 

Well think of Manaphy's Deep Sea Swirl the same way Birch's Observations from earlier in the week could work, only instead of a debatable +6 or +3, the attack can be a GUARANTEED +6. Dump your Energies out on, say, Primal Kyogre-EX, play out any of those Item cards you can while Seismitoad-EX isn't hanging around, and then at the end of your turn, use Manaphy to shuffle your deck and draw 6 cards! Not too shabby, honestly. 

Sure, it's not gonna happen that way most of the time, and you wouldn't want to use Manaphy right when you're going to lose, but if you need a way to set-up your attacker on the Bench without him getting knocked around by your opponent, Manaphy's a good way to get a fresh hand after playing yours out - just in time to catch your opponent by surprise! 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (support all the way, but a pretty good attack to do it with)

Expanded: 2.5/5 (possibly about the same here, maybe even higher given the access to searchers for Manaphy) 

Limited: 4/5 (substantial draw power, though you may end up shuffling cards into the deck here in this format) 

Arora Notealus: Manaphy can bond with any Pokemon. She's the social butterfly of the Pokemon world, which is really saying something coming from the "Seafaring Pokemon." How does Manaphy even talk to flyers? Do Wingull just soar over and ca-caw over what the Pidgey in Kanto are saying to the Pidoves in Unova? I don't THINK that's how that works, especially when you get into bigger Legendaries like, say, Palkia or Dialga or Arceus NOPE 

Next Time: Hey remember when this set had Ancient Traits? Wanna see the best one (in my opinion)?


Otaku

Welcome to our Wednesday CotD, Manaphy (XY: Primal Clash 56/160).  Let’s get straight to business: this is a Basic Water-Type with 70 HP, Grass Weakness, no Resistance, single Energy Retreat Cost and two attacks.  The attacks are each priced as [W].  The first is Deep Sea Swirl, which has you shuffle your hand into your deck and draw six cards while the second is Life Saver, which allows you to add two [W] Pokémon to your hand from your discard pile. So… 

...the Type does some good but mostly for access to support like Dive Ball, and it is a form of Water support itself given the second attack; you won’t be attacking for damage so the rest of the Type pros and cons mentioned when we looked at Huntail yesterday don’t apply.  Being a Basic is the best but 70 HP is just “okay” for a non-Evolving Basic that (thankfully) is not a Pokémon-EX.  It probably won’t survive a hit, but if your opponent has an incomplete set-up or slower deck you may get lucky.  The Weakness is less of an issue here simply because by being even smaller fewer cards get a boost that matters; Virizion-EX doesn’t need a Muscle Band like it otherwise would have but Genesect-EX would still OHKO it without any buffs and before Weakness.  I guess it is bad that an Exeggcutor (BW: Plasma Freeze 5/116) can Blockade for a OHKO if it has a Muscle Band attached and also uses a Hypnotoxic Laser but most Grass-Types were either going to score the OHKO or still need buffs for their tiny attacks.  No Resistance is the norm while a single Energy Retreat Cost is very good.  Deep Sea Swirl is an okay option that will be a bit better once N rotates, unless we get another card that makes it easy and profitable to mess with the opponent’s hand while gaining some other benefit but for now might ultimately do nothing because of said N by an opponent.  So Life Saver must be why we looked at this card, right?

Nope.  It was for Deep Sea Swirl.  That and I wanted something short and sweet - well, short anyway - to review for Thursday because I knew I had a busy Wednesday and Friday’s review will likely take more time.  This was also an excuse to remind folks of Manaphy (BW: Plasma Storm 34/135).  Same everything but Weakness and attacks; this older Manaphy is Lightning Weak (again not much of an issue due to the HP) but the Ability and attack it has seem a lot more useful than today’s two attacks.  Though it must be a KO via damage from an opponent’s attack to trigger it, when that happens its Final Wish Ability allows you to search your deck for a card and add it to hand… conveniently right before your turn begins, so you should be able to make use of it with almost completely current knowledge (only different from when you searched is what you drew for the turn) and before your opponent can mess with your hand.  Then there is its Seafaring attack; its flippy but for just [W] you get three coin flips, each good for a from-the-discard [W] Energy attachment to your Benched Pokémon as you wish.  While I think this released back when you could attach first turn, relatively recent support like Battle Compressor makes me think this isn’t much worse (and is possibly better) than when it originally released.  You can find a review from that time here.  The one place today’s version is almost a must run is in Limited. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.5/5 

Limited: 4.9/5 

Summary: Sorry for a bit of a “bait and switch” but as I’ve said before, but besides sneaking in a look back at an older Manaphy, sometimes it is almost as important to cover the cards people shouldn’t be playing than what they should.  I’ve seen this Manaphy being used before on the PTCGO and when you’re low on cards, it kind of makes sense but… it was showing up outside of budget decks.


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