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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Primal Clash Cards

#6 - Teammates

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 13, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.40
Expanded: 3.40
Limited: 4.67

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#6 Teammates 

As our Pokémon get ever more powerful, our Trainers seem to get worse. I don’t know if that is an attempt to introduce some kind of ‘balance’ in the form of variance, but it is one of the aspects of the current game that doesn’t really work for me. We’ve already had the downgraded version of Professor Oak’s New Theory (Shauna), and now it’s time to welcome an inferior take on Twins, a much-played card from the old Triumphant set. 

Like Twins, Teammates is a Supporter that allows you to search your deck for any two cards and put them in your hand. Obviously, that is a brilliant effect: a double Computer Search with no discarding; help yourself to whatever you need; the possibilities are endless etc. But then we get to the drawback: you can only play Teammates if one of your Pokémon was KO’d during your opponent’s last turn. Note that use of the word ‘during’: it means that KO’s which are triggered by effects happening between turns (Poison and Burn) won’t allow you to play Teammates. 

The difference between Teammates and Twins is subtle, but important. You could use Twins whenever you were behind in Prizes, meaning that slower decks (and Durant NVI non-Prize Taking Mill decks), loved the card and could manage its use by opting not to take Prizes until fully set up. Teammates, on the other hand, relies on a specific event happening on your opponent’s turn. This makes it that much more difficult to plan the use of Teammates, and means that it runs a higher risk of being a dead card in the hand.  

What saves Teammates from being just too awkward to play is the existence of VS Seeker. While you probably don’t want multiple copies of Teammates sitting in your hand, you will most likely enjoy having a single copy in your discard pile to grab when needed. It’s a very useful combo, and I expect a lot of decks are going to go with a single copy of Teammates for that reason. 

Rating 

Modified: 3.5 (nice little tech one-of Supporter)

Expanded: 3.5 (same deal here)

Limited: 5 (never say no to search in limited)


aroramage

For our last card of the week and our #6 slot, we have...Teammates! Huh. Not that having a couple of schoolgirls bonded together through the power of friendship and Pokemon is anything bad, but...well, I'll be honest, this wasn't on my list. So let's see what's up with this card!

 

So at first glance, it seems rather appealing - you can search your deck for any 2 cards and add them to your hand! That's a really good effect - simplifying Battle Compressor combos, doing Skyla and Ultra Ball's jobs at the same time, though I wouldn't be using them to simulate Professor's Letter unless you REALLY need Energy! That...almost seems too good an effect!

 

AND INDEED IT WAS!! Because like Archie and Maxie, there's a restriction on this card too! I think it's a sign of the times when you begin to see limitations on your Supporters - maybe the developers have noticed the trend of powerful Supporters getting used a lot? Alright, so what's the limitation on Teammates?

 

One of your Pokemon has to be KO'd.

 

...oh. This isn't a Skyla/Ultra Ball/Battle Compressor combo. This is a "catch-up" card. As in you have to be behind in order to use it. Archie and Maxie are similar in that manner to this card - they also only activate in a particular situation, and usually that's when you're at a disadvantage. The big difference? YOU DON'T HAVE TO PUT YOUR OPPONENT IN THE LEAD TO DO IT!!

 

Alright, so that's a rather pessimistic way of looking at it, but maybe it's the case where you've got, say, M Aggron-EX in play and have been landing heads for a while now. All of a sudden, opponent plays a series of cards, and long story short, M Aggron-EX got KO'd. But wait, is that a Teammates in your hand? Oh look, two free cards to make up for the M Aggron-EX you just lost!

 

In that way, this is not only a "catch-up" card but a "reinforcements" cards. Sure, you could be behind in Prizes, in which case it can grab you what you need to attempt a counter assault, but if you're in the lead and lose your big sweeper, it can get you just what you need to reinforce your current position so you can hold strong. And that's why I suspect this card is our #6.

 

I personally don't like the idea of having a Pokemon get KO'd in order to use a card like this, even with as powerful an effect as it's got, but I'm not going to deny the benefits of being able to snag 2 cards from your deck - the possibilities are literally endless, so really the big question is, "Is it worth running knowing that you need to lose 2+ cards to get up to 2 cards from your deck?" Cause chances are in most decks, you're going to have that M Aggron-EX scenario - only with Yveltal-EX, Lucario-EX, Seismitoad-EX, etc. - in which case you lose:

 

1) a really big Pokemon

2) any Energy/Tools attached to said Pokemon, on top of

3) your opponent getting 1-2 Prize cards

 

It's a half-and-half card for me, but who knows? I usually don't like ketchup on my cards.

 

Rating

 

Standard: 3/5 (I rate it above my half-n-half score of 2.5 because of how beneficial that effect really is, but that's about as big a pass as I'm willing to give this card)

 

Expanded: 3/5 (same situation here)

 

Limited: 4/5 (outside of a +38/39 deck, I can understand running this card in this format. Again, you have to lose to gain, but considering you're usually going to be losing only 1 Prize to your opponent, it's not as bad to get 2 cards like, say, an evolution line or a Trainer you really need)

 

Arora Notealus: The actual relationship between the two Teammates here is, in the Japanese version of this card, known as "senpai and kōhai," or translated, "mentor and protegé," or even, "senior and junior," relating to the original Gen III names of this particular duo, "Sr. and Jr." Language is fun!

 

Weekend Thought: Do you agree with our list so far? What cards do you expect to see in the Top 5? Any cards you think we ought to reexamine?

 

Next Time: I dunno where we are...but I don't like how quiet it is.


Otaku

Welcome as we finish the first week of our Top 10 list for XY: Primal Clash.  If you’re jumping around in the list, note that I’m not sure if I should refer to this as a plain “top 10” or “Promising Picks” or anything like that because of the criteria used.  As usual cards can’t be a reprint, but other than that each reviewer had a lot of leeway over what guidelines to use.  A popular, powerful card worth running maxed out in every deck should be the pinnacle of picks… but (thankfully) we didn’t have 10 of those this set.  So it was our job to weigh the different aspects of the cards, even though it was often like comparing apples to oranges.  I took into account how strong a card was in general, how strong it was in a particular deck (or decks) and how popular I expected it to be (regardless of quality).  That last bit is important because sometimes a card sees heavier play than it deserves (relative to how “good” it actually is): just run the Pokémon they like or what is easiest to obtain, especially when its “new”.  After realizing my criteria... I ran out of time so I kind of had to eyeball things.  That might be why my picks didn’t match-up very well to those of my fellow reviewers. 

Teammates is one the much hyped and yet also often ballyhooed (wow, spell check recognized that word) Supporters this set.  Its effect requires one of your Pokémon was KOed the previous turn (that is, the turn your opponent just took), and when you do you get to search your deck for not just one card but two with no additional restrictions!  Also, you shuffle your deck afterwards as is normally the case.  The two exact cards you need can lead to some amazing plays; get a Supporter for next turn plus a card you need immediately, get a Strong Energy and Muscle Band for your attacking Fighting-Type or as some were quick to point out, snag a Stage 2 and Rare Candy for an Evolving Basic.  That last one is possible but shouldn’t be seen as an “advantage” for Stage 2 Pokémon; I’ve heard some trying to paint this card as Evolution support but we all know how well getting a Pokémon and Rare Candy with your Supporter worked for Fighting-Type Stage 2s (if you’re new or weren’t paying attention… it didn’t).  Still this is a very handy trick.  So what’s not to love? 

Well if you need to KO one of your own Pokémon, it won’t enable you to use Teammates; it has to be one of your Pokémon KOed on the turn your opponent just took.  Due to rule revisions that now seem like so long ago, you’re not going to be able to use this card when you go second unless for some reason you Benched a 30 HP Basic Pokémon while you have another Pokémon in play, and your opponent is able to Poison while Virbank City Gym is in play.  Poison and similar “between turns” KOs also skirt the effect.  Unless you’re using some creative combos, the most you can hope to use this card in a single match is five times, with your opponent only giving up a single Prize per KO.  Sounds like a lot but often enough you’ll need quantity and not quality, thus you’ll be running the usual other draw Supporters.  Each Pokémon-EX you have that is KOed (again, barring various effects) reduces your chances of getting off a copy of Teammates by one.  Lugia-EX would allow you but a single chance to use Teammates if it is able to KO two of your Pokémon-EX while Overflow is working.  It isn’t all bad though; Robo Substitute is a legal trigger for this effect so you can give up an Item, no Prize and then next turn a Supporter to soak some damage and search for two cards. 

I think the reason some people are down on this card (besides it not being simpler fare like a good draw card) is that it is similar to an old Supporter called Twins; it gave a two card search if you had fewer Prizes than your opponent.  This meant it was intended as a come-from-behind card but since Prize counts are often misleading about who is actually winning, it could instead help someone seal their lead.  A single copy of Twins is going to be a good option for most decks, but at the same time that might not mean most decks should actually run it; while better than the other cards we’ve covered already its just a good, solid piece of generic support. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.75/5 

Expanded: 3.75/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Teammates seems to be the simplest card I to review this week.  Its double search you can’t always activate, but as there are no other costs or restrictions other than those inherent to being a Supporter, it is still rather impressive.  There are enough key cards that running more than one is a waste (though make sure you’ve got some VS Seeker) and remember to mind the timing of both players’ KOs so you can anticipate this card.  Though my scores may seem low (other than Limited, where this card is awesome), remember the raw draw power we currently have and how decks have evolved to suit it.  As I value cards that help me pull off incredible combos and that work in nearly any deck, I actually had Teammates as my number one pick.  It does seem a bit big in hindsight, but not to the point I didn’t expect it to crack the Top 5.


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