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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Xatu

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
June 24, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 2.25
Limited: 2.40

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

So would you ever evolve your Natu into Xatu? In the video games, of course! Xatu's got better stats overall, can do a bit more here and there; he may not be OMG levels of strong, but he's got a bit of a niche place here and there in competition. Though you'd probably use Natu in Little Cup, but Xatu is usually superior. 

Here in the TCG...it depends. Course, it also depends on a lot of other cards, but here in this case, Xatu fulfills a particular niche that Natu doesn't, but he also loses out on the Delta Plus trait. And from the look of it, his attacks don't do much more in terms of damage, but they do more in terms of other effects.

Take the Future Sight attack, for instance. Normally, Future Sight would do damage two turns later, but this one doesn't do any damage at all! Not to say it doesn't have its uses, since it does look at the top 5 cards of either player's deck and allows you to put them back in any order you'd like. That could be useful for keeping your opponent from getting what they need, or for rearranging your own deck to give you what you need. So not too bad - not the best, but not too bad.

And then there's the Stressful Eye, which while only being a 2-for-30 strike does have the beneficial effect of taking out a Trainer card - yes, a Trainer card! That's any Item, Tool, Stadium, or Supporter card from their hand, which could slow down an opponent drastically - whether by doing less damage, keep them from getting their strategy off the ground, or even just keeping their draw power to a minimum! 

Sure, there's the chance you won't discard a Trainer card, but even then at that point you're still getting a look at what's in their hand, which means in combination with Future Sight, you'll be more prepared for their next few turns! Course, you will have to deal with losing Xatu pretty fast if it's late-game - he's definitely not gonna survive too long late game with that 90 HP. But early game, he could disrupt their deck enough to potentially help you in the long-run for game! And with stuff like Wally out, it's easier than ever to get him out fast!

So while Natu with the Delta Plus is more of a quick finisher on a weak opponent, Xatu here is an early-game disruptor meant to come out fast and keep your opponent on their toes. He may not be effective depending on what the opponent's armed with - for instance, Sycaper will counteract Future Sight rearranging their deck just from drawing through the rest of it. But with the right usage, he could slow things down just long enough to make your game much easier! 

That or he'll just get KO'd by Seismitoad-EX, and you still won't be able to play Items. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (a nifty little disruption starter to make things difficult - not foolproof, but he's good!) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (at least with stuff like Level Ball, he can come out quickly enough if you don't have Wally) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (the disruption will be much stronger here with less stuff to work with, and learning what your opponent has can give you just enough advantage to prepare for them) 

Arora Notealus: I really liked Xatu's role in the Mystery Dungeon games, notably Red/Blue Rescue Team where the player would find him at the end of a dungeon and discover that all he did was stand at the top of a canyon wall and stare into the sun. ALL DAY LONG!! Xatu's one crazy bird, man. Still, Super Mystery Dungeon looks good so far, I hope they'll do good on this one after I heard Gates of Infinity was...not as great. 

Next Time: Spooky scary ghosties everywhere!


Emma Starr

Evolving from the tiny bird, we have Xatu. And Xatu…is a very techie card to say the very least. Xatu doesn’t have the ability to have an…ability either, which could have really been in his favor. But we’ll get to that later. With 90 HP, he’s kind of on the low side for being a Stage 1, and has a Psychic weakness just like Natu, along with a Retreat Cost of one. Pretty average stuff, really.

His first attack, Future Sight, for one Colorless, lets you look at the top 5 cards of you OR your opponent’s deck, and re-arrange those as you please. So, you can either give yourself a nice boost, or give a nice, hearty disruption to your opponent. I could imagine a decent combo with Mega Charizard EX (FF 108), by having Xatu use this, then look at your 5 next cards, then switching to Mega Charizard EX, and using Wild Blaze to get rid of those 5 cards, if they don’t look very useful to you. I wouldn’t rely on it very much, but it’s a possibility nonetheless. While the ‘attack’ has a nice effect, and it’s interesting to have an option to do this available as an attack, and it’s very inexpensive, you’ll still be forgoing giving out any damage that turn. Regardless, in the late-game, this could have the potential to be a game-changer, with a little luck.

Stressful Eye, for one Psychic and one Colorless, does 30, and your opponent reveals their hand to you, and you can discard any Trainer Cards you have. Right away, the possibilities of using this with N just seem very diabolical. You will have to wait a turn before using N though, so keep that in mind. Like his other attack, keep in mind that you won’t be dealing very much damage at all with this, and in the end, there are better ways to deal with Trainer Cards. Seismitoad EX can handle Item cards, and other deck staples can usually handle whatever your opponent may throw at you, without wasting an attack. 

Standard: 2/5 (He may be techy, but you’ll be sacrificing some turns of damage along the way, so make sure you play him when the time is most beneficial.)

Expanded: 2/5

Limited: 1.3/5 (With a smaller deck space already, you’ll have to rely on luck a bit more when looking for Trainer Cards with Stressful Eye, but Future Sight could still come in handy, since a five card disruption can usually mean a lot more here than it would in Standard, where you could have all sorts of deck searchers.)


Otaku

We finish the week with Wally (XY: Roaring Skies 94/108, 107/108).  Wally is a Supporter that allows you to select one of your Pokémon (excluding Pokémon-EX) and search your deck for a card that Evolves from it and put it onto that Pokémon.  The text specifies that you are able to do this the first turn a Pokémon is in play, including the very first turn of the game, when normally Pokémon cannot Evolve, as well as reminding you to shuffle your deck when this is all done.  Though it doesn’t refer to this process as “Evolving” in the text, it still seems to count as Evolving, just from the deck and not the hand.  So you can’t Evolve the Pokémon you just played via the effect of Wally, unless of course you can use another effect that bypasses the rules: for example if you have a Magnezone (BW: Plasma Storm 46/135), its Dual Brains Ability allows you two Supporters per turn and thus you could use Wally to play search out and play the Stage 1 on the selected Basic and then a second Wally to search out and play the Stage 2 on top of said Stage 1.  You won’t trigger “from the hand” Abilities since the Pokémon is coming straight from the deck, but you will shake effects such as Special Conditions. So this card is a combination of search as well as breaking the normal rules for Evolution.  While you cannot Evolve what you just searched out, you can use it to target something you just Evolved; no easy single turn Stage 2 but you can go 

Basic => Manually Evolve into Stage 1 => Wally into Stage 2 

Unlike yesterday, Wally is very similar to its predecessor Wally’s Training (EX: Sandstorm 89/100; EX: Emerald 85/106).  The first difference you’ll notice is that the older version could only target the Active Pokémon: the text is a bit funny because the TCG ended up with a 2-on-2 (Active Pokémon, not players) format because that was the “new thing” in the video games of the time.  There was a two-player team versus two-player team mode (I believe it was called Team Multi-Player or TMP for short), but it while it was from then official sources, it wasn’t baked into the text on cards.  Despite lacking text specifying it, you could indeed use Wally’s Training to Evolve a Pokémon on the first turn it was in play and the very first turn of the game, though I cannot remember if you were able to use Supporters on your first turn when this card was released (either time).  It is interesting to note that Wally’s Training does not have any restrictions beyond the target to Evolve being Active. 

So… is Wally an improvement over Wally’s Training?  I think so; while it would be more useful if it could Evolve Pokémon-EX (thus allowing you to get a Mega Evolution into play faster), I do believe it would cause balance issues, especially with Spirit Link cards and Mega Turbo on top of Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108).  Said Shaymin-EX is important because it creates a somewhat easy means to draw before or after using your Supporter, which gives decks more leeway to use non-draw effect Supporters.  Wally’s Training was not a heavily played card, at least that I can recall, but it was released in the same set as the original Rare Candy, which allowed you to skip directly from Basic to Stage 1 or Stage 2 and could also break first turn Evolution rules.  This lessened the need for Wally’s Training.  Right now Rare Candy has gone from being something you rely on to get your Stage 2 into play to a single you include so you can get one copy of your Stage 2 into play quickly; the shift is due to the increase of successful Item lock.  Wally’s Training isn’t an Item so it doesn’t have to worry about them. 

Perhaps because I carelessly left this article to finish rather late at night (or should I say early in the morning), but I am struggling to think of any specific decks that really need Wally.  Some established decks/tricks get better, but most of the obvious ones have competition.  For example Trevenant (XY 55/146) could lock Items down first turn, but thanks to Seismitoad-EX, we are used to something nearly as fast.  We face something similar with Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113), Silent Lab and/or Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119): is it worth including these in decks that were already good at getting a lock by their second turn?  It appears to be a useful Supporter, the kind for which you pay should you forget to consider the possibility of your opponent running it, but I’m not sure how many decks really need it (if any).  As long as you have an Evolution to search out the card should appear in your Limited decks… and possibly even if you don’t.  You can’t use Wally if you don’t have a Pokémon with an Evolution in the relevant card pool, but you can use it on something even if you know your deck has no target for it.  The only place to really skip it is a +39 deck built around an illegal target; either a Pokémon-EX or something that doesn’t Evolve at all. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 4.8/5 

Summary: I am always leery of generic Evolution acceleration as it tends to quickly throw game balance out the window but for now, given the state of the rest of the format, I am happy to add Wally to our Supporter options.


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