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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 New Pokemon Cards of 2015

#1 - Shaymin EX

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
December 30, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.9
Expanded: 4.9
Limited: 4.9

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

You're not surprised. I'm not surprised. 

We all value draw power, and Shaymin-EX gives that in spades - and without the cost of a Supporter! He makes decks more consistent overall, and combined with stuff like Sky Field and even Parallel City (you can get creative with that), he doesn't have to take up a slot on the Bench sitting around waiting to get KO'd for an easy 2 Prizes. 

Need I say more? Okay, let's talk about Sky Return, the attack that literally PUTS HIM BACK INTO YOUR HAND!! That way you can, ya know, use his Ability again? And draw more cards? 

Done. Best card. 

Rating 

Standard: 5/5 (best card) 

Expanded: 5/5 (BEST card) 

Limited: 5/5 (...best CARD!!) 

Arora Notealus: No but seriously, there's a reason we run him in every deck nowadays. 

New Year's Thought: There's no doubt that 2015 has given us a whole new year of Pokemon that's shown where the game has gone and where the game is thinking of going. From Ancient Traits to BREAK Evos to even more Megas than before, 2015 was a big year - and 2016 is probably going to be even better! Will Fairy decks rise up and take the stage? Will Dark decks return to their former glory when they had access to Dark Patch? Will a new and more powerful EX come out that swamps the competition? Or will there be a new attack hidden amidst the Commons and Uncommons that takes over the format? Who knows what 2016 will bring! 

I hope to see you all next year! Have a Happy New Year, and remember: Pokemon rules :P


Otaku

Likely coming as no surprise, our first place card of for 2015 is Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108; 106/108)!  How does a 110 HP Pokémon-EX become the top card of this year, especially as we know the runner-up was so great?  It does everything so right that it is actually pretty wrong… yes that sounds more than a little stupid but I promise, I’m going to explain so that it makes at least a little sense. 

Being a Basic is the best, being a Colorless-Type is solid (we did get Winona in the same set as Shaymin-EX), Fighting Resistance is handy (though not a huge deal) and a Retreat Cost of [C] is good (not as good a “free”, but still good).  Being a Pokémon-EX is not good because of giving up an extra Prize when KOed and to a lesser extent having to deal with certain anti-Pokémon-EX effects and to a much lesser extent being unable to access certain beneficial effects.  110 HP is not good when you’re worth two Prizes, though 90 actually might have been better as it would have left Shaymin-EX a legal search target for Level Ball; otherwise more would of course be preferred!  The Lightning Weakness can be dangerous; it isn’t the worst to have but there are are some good Lightning-Type attackers plus several high profile cards like Yveltal-EX which also have Lightning Weakness. 

The Ability (Setup) is why Shaymin-EX sees play; drop Shaymin-EX from hand to Bench and you can draw until you have six cards in hand.  It would be hard for that effect to prove bad on a Basic and it was released into a format full of cards to help improve your hand or field without bulking up your hand unless you wanted to bulk up your hand.  As if that wasn’t good enough, then we got more cards to work with it like Hoopa-EX and work indirectly with it like Trainers’ Mail.  Now the attack, “Sky Return” looks like filler at a glance but instead it is a half decent attack that ends up comboing well with the rest of the card as you bounce a Shaymin-EX (and often a Double Colorless Energy and Muscle Band) to hand to re-use.  The package deal is astoundingly good for this card pool and… that’s bad. 

Obviously not in the “score for a CotD” department, but in terms of game balance.  As bad as Lysandre’s Trump Card was for all but eliminating the risk of deck out (and thus the what few mill decks were available) it didn’t rise to dominance until it had Shaymin-EX as a combo partner… with Shaymin-EX replacing the then established Slurpuff (XY: Phantom Forces 69/119) in decks like Seismitoad-EX.  Quite a few decks are now capable of incredible plays, often first or second turn of the game, through use of Shaymin-EX to augment or replace a draw Supporter.  That sounds really cool… until you realize that most of this is going for same old same old: decks designed either to rapidly lock down your opponent’s options (sometimes before he or she even gets a turn) or to create an offense so overwhelming that your own set-up is made more difficult (few things remain on the board to your next turn) and ultimately futile (the OHKOs keep coming).  Both turn the game from two players competing with each other to a parody of solitaire… though I have players that assure me this is because I am simply not skilled enough. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4.75/5 

Expanded: 4.75/5 

Limited: 4.9/5 

Summary: I’ll chance being the guy to overrate the card this time, but Shaymin-EX nearly justifies a perfect score.  If nearly every deck ran a full four it would have it… but almost every competent deck I am familiar with at present runs at least one with several running two or more, with deck size being the reason they aren’t running a full four. 

Shaymin-EX was also our top pick for the Top 10 Cards of XY: Roaring Skies.  For my personal list back then I lowballed it a bit as my third place pick because I overestimated two other cards, but this time I also had it as my top pick as did everyone else, as it scored 30 voting points, as good as was possible. 

Have a happy New Year!


Jason Klaczynski
(Three time
World Champ)

#1 Shaymin EX (Roaring Skies)

Shaymin EX’s Set Up Ability allows decks to be faster. It allows them to be more consistent. It allows every Ultra Ball in your deck to turn into a draw card, making it more difficult for your opponent to play a card like N or Judge and leave you optionless. Not only that, but it’s drawback of being a two-prize liability on your bench can be negated by using its Sky Return attack. Shaymin, simply put, is the best card of 2015, and arguably the best Pokémon in current competitive play, period.


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