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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Cards Lost To Rotation

#2 - N - Noble Victories

Date Reviewed:
August 6, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.62
Expanded: 4.62
Limited: 5.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Terrible jokes aside, N here is a...weirdly named Trainer. I still don't get why he's called "N," I'm sure we can call him "Natural" at least - his full name is Natural Harmonia Gropius...though saying that out loud, I guess it would be silly to call him that. 

In any case, N has shaped the game in his own way, though he was less "format-defining" and more "necessary to use in your deck" for the most part. N is designed to be what I've called in the past as a "catch-up" card, only instead of just re-assimilating your resources, you also get the opportunity to mess your opponent up as well. 

N's meant to used when you're behind, as it forces both players to shuffle their hands back into their decks and draw cards equal to their Prizes, but even early on when you both have 6 Prizes, it can be useful. Say you get a bad hand, but you don't have to just get rid of your cards - shuffle them back in with N and draw 6 new ones! Your opponent will also have to shuffle their cards as well, which could effectively ruin their strategy! 

But that's not all - the more your opponent takes the lead, the more devastating N can be! Since N lets you draw the same number of cards as you have Prizes, your opponent will usually lose out on benefiting from it as they run into having four cards or two cards or sometimes even one card in their hand! And that can be crippling if you were to suddenly take the lead! 

Of course, since this isn't just some kind of card game anime, you're not the only one who's going to be running N - which meant for a time, you had to be just as wary of your opponent crippling you with N as they needed to be of you playing your copy. That's also the reason Sycaper becomes an invaluable Supporter - it's one of the few things that can allow you to escape the cold grasp of a one-card post-N hand! 

There may be a card in the future that will work hard to be N, but no card will be able to emulate the risks and rewards that N could produce. A truly solid Supporter in a world of fast-paced action and the Ability to hit 90 with ease. 

Rating 

Standard: 4.5/5 (as always, a fairly versatile Supporter!) 

Expanded: 4.5/5 (a double-edged Supporter that can help you as much as it can harm you) 

Limited: 5/5 (technically the legal Standard version is a promo, but even if you're playing with N in Noble Victories or Dark Explorers, this is a no-brainer 5!)

Arora Notealus: But let's get serious, who names their kid Natural? That's like naming your kid something like "Silver" or "Cosmopolitan" - they're not really names, more like adjectives! I mean, who would want to be named something like "Troubled" from birth? Seems a bit strange, don't you think? No one wants to be the kid named "Sonic!" 

...like sonic speed, I mean, not any blue hedge-you know what I mean! 

Next Time: Our number 1 card can only be used once!...well, without some kind of recycling effect.


Otaku

The number two card lost to rotation is… N (BW: Noble Victories 92/101, 101/101; BW: Dark Explorers 96/108; BW: Black Star Promos BW100)!  The effect seems simple, but is variable: each player shuffles his or her hand into his or her own deck, then draws a number of cards equal to his or her remaining Prizes.  Though they are quite dated, you can see our original review of N here and then a few months later we covered it here as as the fifth best card released in 2011!  I only chimed in on the last one and I made some serious mistakes.  I don’t think I got any objective facts wrong, but turns out I was thrilled when this card released. 

 

Yeah I was real wrong.  I didn’t get that I was celebrating a card that was going to become one of the main forms of draw power, which meant that there was little point cultivating a “good” hand for future turns because your opponent might hit you with an N.  That pulling ahead too quickly meant that you would be more than “inconvenienced” when suddenly your hand was dropped to one or two cards.  In my defense, I hadn’t realized how skewed my meager, contemporary play experience of the time had become and I was still thinking of a time when it was common to have a Bench-sitter that searched or drew cards for you turn after turn via a Poké-Power. 

In short I was thinking a lot of the near identical Rocket’s Admin (EX: Team Rocket Returns 86/109) and what I believed the metagame was like at the time of that card.  Feel free to take a look at our reviews of that card here and here.  Based on these and my older review of N, I must have forgotten how annoying and potent the effect could be.  I clearly didn’t grasp that the Prize count is a poor measure of who is winning or losing until someone hits “zero”.  Even if it was a good measure… why should a “come from behind” card like this even exist?  If you need to balance out luck, fix whatever is making the game “too luck based”.  Otherwise if one player has gained advantage over another through skillful play or the other player’s mistakes… that is the player who is supposed to be winning. 

Now I do; N is either our best or second best draw Supporter right now.  It isn’t reliable like Professor Juniper/Professor Sycamore, but it also doesn’t force you to discard your hand and includes that disruption element.  Too many times I’ve been hurt or helped by additional “luck of the draw” inflicted by N and it is one of the many reasons I have a hard time taking credit or accepting blame for my wins and losses, respectively.  I expect its loss to be felt hard as players will find they need more reliable decks: not only because they’ll be missing one of their main draw cards, but because too often you get “bonus draw” from an opponent’s N, at least early game. 

Expect it to remain an oft played card in Expanded since; I don’t expect anything in the next set to change things.  In Limited play it is a must run but because of how precious any draw cards are; remember that it will only get you four cards at most. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4.75/5 

Expanded: 4.75/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: N isn’t something you run in every deck, but it comes pretty close.  Unless I messed up when I crunched the numbers from U.S. Nationals, all but one deck ran at least one N.  How many copies each deck ran varied, with some maxing it out but most going for less.  If we want disruption in our decks from now on, we’ll have to go out of our way to include it. 

N was actually my number one pick due to how many decks it appeared in and for being run in multiples in most of said decks.  The kicker is that it might be showing up as a re-release, though I’ve heard nothing more on that rumor since it broke earlier. 


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