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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Skyla

- BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
December 11, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.90
Expanded: 3.75
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

SKYLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA :D

...what? She's my favorite!

And no, that's NOT because she ended up at #2 on the Top 10 List for Boundaries Crossed, #4 for Top 10 Cards of 2012, and #9 for Top 10 Cards Lost to Rotation.

...but she did get all of those.

Skyla is a versatile Supporter that saw a lot of play back in her day all the way up to her getting rotated out...for a few weeks until she got reprinted in this set. It should come as no surprise that a Trainer card that can fetch other Trainer cards got to be played in just about every deck - she's just as much a staple as Lysandre or Sycamore!

So strap yourselves in for a high-flying ride, cause Skyla here is back, baby! :D

...note to self: get the Full Art version...

Rating

Standard: 4/5 (always a useful Supporter, and a great addition to any deck!)

Expanded: 4/5 (the more the merrier!)

Limited: 5/5 (YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES!!) 

Arora Notealus: *hugs Skyla* ^.^ 

Weekend Thought: How was this week's cards for ya? Yeah? Great? No? I dunno, I haven't been paying much attention save for a couple of cards. Good ol' work weeks, am I right? :D OH WELL, NEXT WEEK OUGHTA BE EXCITING :DDD


Otaku

We end the week with the return of Skyla (BW: Boundaries Crossed 134/149, 149/149; XY: BREAKthrough 148/162)!  Skyla was first reviewed as our second place pick from BW: Boundaries Crossed, then again as our fourth best card of 2012 and the last time we saw her it was to bid her farewell as the ninth best card lost to Standard play as it shifted to XY-On.  So what made Skyla so good and does it still apply? 

Skyla is our third and final Supporter for these last two weeks; Supporters (excluding the duds) have potent effects more or less balanced out by a player only being allowed to play a single Supporter on his or her turn (and sometimes by an additional drawback).  Thanks to Battle Compressor and VS Seeker (especially the latter), Supporters easier to utilize than perhaps ever before and at varying counts: singles, doubles, triples and full four counts all have seen successful play.  Supporters don’t have to deal with as potent of locks as Items or even Stadiums at the moment, so their main competition and reason for exclusion is to avoid a glut of them in hand.  Regardless they are the main driving force in a deck for setting up and maintaining your field, give or take a few useful Abilities like Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108; 106/108).  Skyla is no exception as she allows you to search your deck for a Trainer (be it Item, Supporter or Stadium) and add it to your hand. 

At the time Skyla released this was pretty unusual; while past Supporters would grab Trainers they were usually restricted to a certain kind.  Now we have similar-yet-different cards like Trainer’s Mail (Item that grabs a single Trainer but only from the top four cards of your deck) and Korrina (Supporter that grabs a Fighting-Type Pokémon and one Item).  Most decks already run Ultra Ball, so as long as you’ve got discard fodder and Items aren’t being locked down, Skyla can grab any Pokémon or Trainer.  Ultra Ball plus the usual Shaymin-EX means you can also convert Skyla to draw power in a lot of situations without any extra inclusions in your deck.  Some decks either already run or could justify running Professor’s Letter alongside her and that allows you to snag any Basic Energy as well.  In Expanded you can still use her to grab an Ace Spec when it is needed, with Computer Search allowing Skyla to grab any card you want from your deck!  Well, provided you have the discard fodder and Items aren’t blocked.  When Skyla was released, she joined Professor Juniper and N as the third of the three main Supporters in decks, and we ran a lot of Items in varying counts because Skyla allowed a “toolkit” approach to work. 

Skyla never left Expanded, but she’s not the powerhouse she once was: why?  Of course one rarely uses her to snag another Supporter as it badly telegraphs what you are about to do and most decks need something they can play immediately anyway; if something stays in your hand most opponent’s can send it away with N.  You can only use a single Stadium per turn plus you can’t drop another copy of something already in play, making for another potential card you can search but not use that turn.  Now Items were always the main use for Skyla anyway, but then comes the Item lock decks effects that were available before and around the time Skyla originally released but kept becoming more and more potent.  You draw into Skyla after GIratina-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 57/98, 93/98) used its “Chaos Wheel” attack while Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) has Items blocked with its “Irritating Pollen” Ability and Skyla is functionally dead.  A simple Seismitoad-EX leaves Skyla only able to snag another Supporter or a Stadium, and if you run the Stadium already in play, she’s more useful than an Item but you really wish she was a Professor Sycamore or the like.  In Expanded we did finally get one more really good (just not quite great) draw card in the form of Colress and Skyla was already slipping from “great” down to “really good” by that point as well.  It didn’t mean we all dropped Skyla, but suddenly it made sense not to run three or four copies of her but more like two, with say two copies of Colress as he was usually awful the first turn or two of the game. 

It isn’t all bad; a copy or two of Skyla can do wonders while also being surprisingly reliable.  Battle Compressor allows you to chuck Skyla into the discard while VS Seeker allows you to then use access her when needed: kind of funny because I originally thought a clutch Battle Compressor would be fetched by Skyla so that VS Seeker could spam other low count Supporters.  The thing is though, that is Expanded… what about Standard?  Skyla returns to a format that may still face a lot of Item lock but desperately wants another great Supporter, having lost both Colress and N.  Does Skyla deliver?  She isn’t really comparable to N or Professor Juniper or Professor Sycamore but she seems a step above everything else until we get to specific decks.  I already mentioned that you can go Skyla => Ultra Ball => Shaymin-EX which allows her to fake being a draw Supporter reasonably well, so I’m thinking she’ll have a place here unless we get something better in the next set or two.  In Limited play with either of her appearances, it depends on whether you pull any other Trainers; even if they are more Skyla she is probably worth the space as deck thinning, so go ahead and use her! 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.8/5 

Expanded: 3.5/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Skyla is still a very good card but thanks to Item lock and crowded deck lists I don’t know if she remains a great card, but in Standard she’ll come at least close.  I hope I am underselling her as she still has the combos to access almost your entire deck, I just don’t know how many current competitive lists have the space for those add-ons in addition to Skyla herself or can take the risk of Items (what she’ll be snagging most of the time) being locked down.  A most welcome return nonetheless: if reprints weren’t excluded Skyla would have finished high on our recent top 10 list for XY: BREAKthrough, if not topped it!


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