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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Banette #32

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
June 26, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.05
Expanded: 2.08
Limited: 3.20

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Now we come to the other Banette. As I mentioned briefly yesterday, Banette drops out of the Ability arms race in favor of the new arms race - the Ancient Trait line-up! Today he gains the power of Delta Evolution, meaning you can play him as soon as you have a Shuppet in play! Crazy right? Well that's not the only thing that's crazy about Banette. 

LOOK AT THAT CURSE DEEPLY ATTACK!! HE REALLY IS COMING BACK FROM THE GRAVE TO CURSE US ALL!! 

...*er-hem* Or maybe just stick about 5 damage counters on your opponent's Active Pokemon. Meh. Not that great, you could do more with an attack that does 50 damage - at least Muscle Band could improve on it. 

But what about Evolution Jammer? Like yesterday's Banette, this one tackles a particularly niche aspect of the TCG, but it's far more relevant than you'd think. Look at the phrasing: "Your opponent can't play any Pokemon from his or her hand to evolve his or her Pokemon during his or her next turn." It's rather particular, don't you think? Well, sorta particular. 

Why not just say, "Stage 1" or "Stage 2" Pokemon? Isn't that all the Evolution cards we've got? Actually no, because we've gotten a new type of Evolution in the TCG - Mega Evolution. That's right, this Banette STOPS Mega Evolution. Or rather, jams it while dealing a paltry 20 damage for 1. Still, this can hold off Evolution decks in general as well as the powerful Mega decks that are plentiful around these days. 

Will it be enough to stop them though? Maybe not on his own - unlike Seismitoad-EX, Banette doesn't have the luxury of foregoing the opponent's Item usage nor the massive HP to keep going turn after turn. Perhaps in combination with his other version, he'll be able to stall out early-game while you take your time setting up the rest of your guys, but late-game, there's no hope for that happening. 

He's like Xatu from earlier in the week in that way: great early-game disruptor, but late-game he'll fall apart. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (anti-Mega is probably the nicest part about him, and he can come out really fast too, which is a plus!) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (more Evolutions abound here, and if I'm not mistaking, this actually stops Rare Candy since you need to play the Stage 2 from your hand in order to be successful) 

Limited: 4/5 (lots more Evolutions to stall out on, and with lower damage outputs and HP scores, you might even KO something while you're here)

Arora Notealus: Seriously though, kinda creepy, isn't he? I'd say he's cursing other Pokemon for being able to Mega-Evolve and what-not, but he actually does have a Mega Evo. Maybe a Banette-EX/M Banette-EX combo isn't too overdue yet... 

Weekend Thoughts: What do you think of this week's cards? Think there are some uses for them? Would you be running a dedicated Psychic disruption deck? Or maybe you'll just stick to one or the other? It'd be neat to see a full-on disruption deck work, especially nowadays when you've got so many ways of going about it. Just be wary of some of the stuff you're dealing with.


Otaku

If you were wondering, we are finishing the week with a card I half-reviewed yesterday for a reason; I knew I had a busy Thursday and wanted a prayer of staying caught up on my CotDs this week… at which I already failed.  Wednesday’s CotD should have be up soon if not now; I was surprised by how much I had to say about a card I initially dismissed as filler, but now onto Banette (XY: Roaring Skies 32/108)! 

As a Psychic-Type, Banette will encounter Weakness in some Fighting-Types and (other) Psychic-Types while most Darkness-Types and Metal-Types are Psychic Resistant; Weakness is far more damaging than Resistance is protective so in the ends it at worst balances out and more than likely comes out in the Psychic-Type’s favor.  It is also a Type with some good support, though not as good as that of the Fighting-Type (still probably the best supported Type even though most have or are getting their own Type Specific Special Energy cards).  Being a Stage 1 is usually slower and more space consuming than being a Basic, but it’s better than all the other non-Basic Stages and quite a few of them still see successful competitive play.  The 90 HP is low and pretty easy to OHKO; survival will mostly come from the opponent’s incomplete set-up or luck or as part of a serious strategy on your own part.  At least this makes it Level Ball compliant; currently only useful in Expanded but we may be seeing a reprint of it in our next set. 

The Darkness Weakness is dangerous; if you run into one of the faster Darkness-Type attackers its almost guaranteed to take you down.  Yes I am going to trot out the same example as yesterday: Yveltal (XY 78/146; XY Black Star Promo XY06) just needs a Muscle Band for its first attack (Oblivion Wing) to score the OHKO, though at least most other Darkness-Types I can think of require more than one Energy to attack (at least that see major competitive play).  Of course in Expanded they still have Dark Patch.  The Fighting Resistance is appreciated but unlikely to make a major difference: 90 HP plus Resistance means it takes 110 damage for the OHKO but even Fighting-Types usually are doing well to “open” with a 60 or 70 point combo (20/30 base damage, +20 from Strong Energy, +20 Muscle Band).  Actually the fact that it makes a 2HKO trickier might prove relevant - a Landorus-EX using Muscle Band and one Strong Energy so that its Hammerhead attack hits for 70 before Resistance only does 50 afterwards, causing it to whiff on the 2HKO.  Retreat Cost [C] is going to almost always be something you can afford to pay initially and also recover from, with only a perfect free Retreat Cost being better. 

Banette sports an Ancient Trait - Δ Evolution - that allows you to immediately (even on the first turn of the game!) Evolve your Shuppet into this particular Banette.  It also has two attacks.  The first is “Evolution Jammer”  for [P], which hits for 20 points of damage while preventing your opponent from Evolving their Pokémon from hand: Evolving from someplace else such as from the deck Evosoda or Wally would still work.  The second attack requires [PC]: “Curse Deeply” and just puts five damage counters on your opponent’s Active Pokémon.  As you can tell I’m not thrilled with Curse Deeply; unlike similar attacks it doesn’t let you place the damage counters as you wish, or even dump them all on the target of your choice, but straight up only works on the opponent’s Active.  Dimension Valley can make the cost more reasonable, but this is not a reason to run the card.  Evolution Jammer might be though; while many (including myself) lament that Evolving has not been properly balanced against being a Basic, it isn’t like decks don’t run Evolutions.  Some don’t or regularly use a method to get said Evolutions into play that Evolution Jammer can’t stop, but it’s going to interfere with at least part of a lot of decks’ setups.

Shuppet (XY: Roaring Skies 30/108) is the only option for a Shuppet and surprise, its actually not too bad: almost (but not quite) good.  A Basic, Psychic-Type with 60 HP, Darkness Weakness, Fighting Resistance, single Energy Retreat Cost, no Ability or Ancient Trait and lone attack, one doesn’t expect much.  Yet the attack actually does something a bit unusual and useful.  “Bleh” is actually far from “bleh” or “meh” or similar utterances: requiring [P] to use, it allows you to discard a Special Energy attached to your opponent’s Pokémon.  Any of your opponent’s Pokémon, not just the Active.  This can help disrupt things in the future or maybe even keep Shuppet alive long enough to Evolve.  The other Banette is what we covered yesterday.  10 less HP than today’s version, no Ancient Trait but with an Ability and a single attack instead of two, its claim to fame is said Ability: “Tool Concealment” negates the effects of Tool cards.  Since the Tool is still there an effect like Garbotoxin on Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) is still going to function but it’ll prevent goodies like Muscle Band and what got people really excited, it’ll prevent Spirit Link cards from keeping a player’s turn from ending due to Mega Evolving.  The attack though is filler, but better than nothing: “Psyshot” requires [PCC] and only does 60 damage.  This other Banette is clearly a Bench-sitter, which actually means it could function with today’s reasonably well.  The downside is you might want a Muscle Band or Silver Bangle to pup up Evolution Jammer, and the two together are bit redundant with respect to Mega Evolutions. 

I don’t have a good, established Banette deck to suggest; I’m actually looking to the future as the next set (XY: Ancient Origins) should contain a Vileplume with an Ability that locks both players out of Items and Ability that works from the Bench.  Take away an opponent’s Items and Evolutions and… some decks won’t really care and still slam you hard.  Most, however, should be inconvenienced with some shutdown, so the idea warrants testing.  For now you might try Banette with Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119): I’m not making any promises but since your Evolutions still work you can offset the low damage output, at least to some degree.   Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym is another option in that department, and is an established Crobat partner (I don’t think you’ll need Dimension Valley for this deck, or at least not as your “main” Stadium).  There may be better ways to use the Banette and even should this proposal prove to be its best deck we have a bit of a problem; Seismitoad-EX.  Not in the usual “Seismitoad-EX shuts this down hard” kind of way (though it will hurt) but in that Seismitoad-EX already uses the same set-up in its own deck.  This makes me wonder if you couldn’t perhaps work Banette into “Toadbat” decks; while likely weaker in general it may help when an opponent Evolving is actually a bigger threat than an opponent with Items.  I may loathe how most Seismitoad-EX based locks seem to force the game into solitaire, but I can’t deny their effectiveness. 

Expanded gives you Level Ball and while the Darkness-Type regains Dark Patch, I can’t help but think of all those Evolution dependent, insane power combo decks that exist in this format… and how that means a net gain as said Darkness-Types were going to wreck Banette anyway.  Unlike its set-mate, this Banette is a great pull for Limited owing to the usual (lower average damage output and HP, having to run what you pull, etc.) and the fact that Evolutions are usually potent here so denying them is also strong.  Throw in a potentially useful Basic (Double Dragon Energy is in the set) for Shuppet to discard and that the other Banette ( it is still better than having a slimmer Evolution line) and it looks pretty nice. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.15 

Expanded: 2.25/5 

Limited: 3.25/5 

Summary: Another surprise for this week, I hadn’t expected much out of this Banette, let alone to find it on par with its Bench-sitting counterpart.  I don’t know if that should be seen as a plus for this card or a minus for its set-mate, but I think I’ll end this week as an optimist, glad that this card has some potential for more than just “fun” play and may even become stronger in the future.


Emma Starr

                Right after Banette, we get…Banette? Well, this is literally the card that comes after yesterday’s card, so why not take to Banette’s out in one week? Today’s has 90 Hp, a Retreat Cost of one, a Dark weakness, a Fighting Resistance, same as yesterday’s for the most part.

                Noticeably, today’s Banette has an Ancient Trait – Alpha Evolution, which lets you evolve Shuppet on the same turn that you put Shuppet into play. So, this essentially means that you could potentially play this as a Turn 1 Evolution, but since it only does 50 damage at most (I’ll get to that later), it’s actually not very broken. With that out of the way, let’s get to it’s attacks.

                Evolution Jammer does 20 for one Psychic, and makes your opponent unable to evolve a Pokémon with a card from their hand during their next turn. However, there are now many ways of getting around this, namely Evosoda, and more recently, Wally. So, pathetic damage, with an effect that could disrupt your opponent, but shouldn’t break their game too much in the long run.

                Curse Deeply, for a Psychic and Colorless, let’s you put 50 damage onto your opponent’s active Pokémon. Actually, it’s quite devious how they decided to have this work. Since the damage actually comes from an effect, you won’t be able to use a Muscle Band or anything to boost the damage, so you can’t do say…70 damage on Turn 3, or anything insane like that. Why? Alpha Evolution, my friend. With great Ancient Traits, come great responsibilities.

                Standard: 1.5/5 (you could potentially do 50 damage on Turn 3 under the best conditions, but this ghost is best suited for the early-game. 50 damage is just pathetic after everyone is powered up.

                Expanded: 1.5/5

                Limited: 2.35/5 (smaller decks = bigger chances for disruptions, as evolutions tend to get played much more often here, along with better chances of getting Shuppet and Banette in the same hand.)


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