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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 BREAKthrough

-#4 - M Mewtwo EX #64

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
November 23, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.0
Expanded: 3.75
Limited: 4.88

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 probably figured that, of the 4 Mewtwo-EX cards (2 Basic Mewtwo-EX and 2 M Mewtwo-EX, never mind the 6 other variants of Full Art cards including the two Secret Rares), at least one of them was bound to make it onto our Top 10 List. And lo and behold, one of them did indeed - the M Mewtwo-EX (64)!! This version originally came out in Japan in the Red Flash booster alongside Mewtwo-EX (62), with Mewtwo-EX (61) and M Mewtwo-EX (63) featured predominantly in the Blue Shock booster.
 
There's a lot of variation amidst these 4 cards, but for now I'm gonna just focus strictly on M Mewtwo-EX here, since we'll be reviewing the other three at some point in the future (who knows, maybe we'll have a Mewtwo-EX week or something). M Mewtwo-EX here is probably the better of the two M Mewtwo-EX, and he's got a lot going for him. While he does maintain less HP, he does have an attack called Psychic Infinity, and it works just as well as any of those "Ball" moves we've seen in recent history.
 
Basically, Psychic Infinity costs 2 Energy of any kind, making this M Mewtwo-EX arguably splashable in a lot of decks, though really he's better off in a Psychic deck working off of Dimension Valley, making it cost 1 Energy. While the initial damage of 10 doesn't seem like that much, this attack works a lot like Yveltal-EX's Evil Ball, tacking on more damage based on the total amount of Energy between the two Active Pokemon. How much damage though?
 
30 damage per Energy.
 
That's right, taking into account M Mewtwo-EX's own Energy costs (assuming you're not using Dimension Valley to cheapen it), the attack will deal at least 70 damage just on its own. Add on whatever amount of Energy is on the opponent's Pokemon, and you could have a very large problem on your hands, ranging anywhere from an additional 30-120 damage for most other Pokemon! The latter is enough to KO most Basic-EX (dealing what would be 190 damage including M Mewtwo-EX's own Energy costs), though it's not overbearing enough to KO many Megas without some more Energy pushed onto M Mewtwo-EX.
 
There is a slight catch to this, but I actually appreciate the text: Psychic Infinity's damage is unaffected by Weakness. This may seem like a somewhat irrelevant or even unnecessary bit of rule text, but consider that the original Mewtwo-EX from Next Destinies had a weaker version of this attack that was affected by Weakness, forcing a format of Mewtwo Mirror Matches that no one enjoyed - it was either Win or Die back in those days. With this little bit of text, the Pokemon TCG designers acknowledge their little mishap and work to keep the format strongly balanced, keeping M Mewtwo-EX from becoming the next Mewtwo-EX...err, so to speak.
 
It's balanced, powerful, and not too heavy (or awkward) in terms of cost, giving M Mewtwo-EX a proper spot as the #4 on our list.
 
Rating
 
Standard: 4.5/5 (he's got a lot of power to tap into, but he's not ridiculous broken like Mewtwo-EX was)
 
Expanded: 4.5/5 (though access to his previous form in this makes him feel a tad inferior; after all, Mewtwo-EX could actually KO this M Mewtwo-EX with just a measly...wait, he needs 11 Energy?! Pssh, this guy only needs 6 Energy to KO him back, and he's not even relying on Weakness!!)
 
Limited: 5/5 (naturally, if you get the parts, you play this guy)
 
Arora Notealus: You know, it's interesting to see this version of Mega Mewtwo around and about. I mean, he's been getting a lot of comparisons with Frieza from DBZ in terms of design, and if you've seen the Zygarde evos coming out, they look a bit like Cell. What's next, a legendary that transforms similarly to Majin Buu?
 
......I'd like to see that, actually. (although maybe that's what Hoopa's for? Hmmmm...)
 
Next Time: A familiar face in a different form!


Otaku

Welcome to the final four for our Top 10 Cards of XY: BREAKthrough!  We begin this week with M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162) and as I plan on going through all options for Mewtwo-EX and touch upon the other M Mewtwo-EX let’s go through all they have in common.  So in addition to M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162) we are looking at the original Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW: Black Star Promos BW45; BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113) and our first new Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 61/162, 157/162, 163/162) and second Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 62/162, 158/162, 164/162).  The other M Mewtwo-EX is XY: BREAKthrough 63/162 and 159/162. 

All of these are Pokémon-EX, which means they give up an extra Prize when KOed and are both categorically excluded from certain beneficial effects and targeted by detrimental ones.  Of course this usually is accompanied by better attributes and effects.  All the Mewtwo-EX are Basic Pokémon, making them the easiest to fit into decks, put into play and even enjoy some specific Stage support in addition to a natural synergy with many card effects, such as using Super Scoop Up to bounce a Pokémon and then playing it back down.  Both M Mewtwo-EX are Mega Evolutions, which means all the baggage from being a Pokémon-EX in addition to the specifics of Mega Evolution and losing the benefits of being a Basic.  Without Mewtwo Spirit Link your turn ends upon Mega Evolving, and rarely are you going to want to give up the chance of attacking just to get your Mega Evolution into play (after all, wasting a turn while taking an extra hit usually mitigates the advantage of being a Mega Evolution).  We’ve got a few cards that specifically cause problems for Mega Evolutions but we’ve got Mega Turbo to provide them basic Energy acceleration from the discard pile. 

All versions of Mewtwo-EX and M Mewtwo-EX are Psychic-Types.  The majority (though by no means an overwhelming amount) of Fighting-Types and of Psychic-Types are Psychic Weak: both TCG Types are made of three video game Types (Fighting, Ground and Rock for Fighting and Psychic, Ghost and Poison for Psychic), so between that and Pokémon based on dual-Types in the video games, there’s some variety in the Weaknesses one will see.  Resistance is far less varied; nearly all Darkness-Types and Metal-Types are Psychic Resistance, though -20 damage is an annoyance and not the Achilles’ heel Weakness tends to be.  Psychic-Type support exists and has some good cards, but the cards that explicitly refer to Psychic-Types is just four cards deep: Dimension Valley, Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99; BW: Dark Explorers 109/108), Mystery Energy and Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119).  Dimension Valley is great, Gardevoir isn’t worth it, Mystery Energy is somewhere in between and Wobbuffet stands on the outside because it affects Abilities and no Mewtwo-EX or M Mewtwo-EX has one.  Indirect support does better having a decent amount of Psychic-Type Pokémon that don’t need to be run in Psychic-Type deck to be effective, but are still enhanced by the support.  All in all, this still seems like a solid deal to me. 

Let’s talk Hit Points: pretty easy with Mewtwo-EX because all versions have 170 HP, which is enough to soak a hit before being KO’d but usually because the opponent’s set-up is lacking and/or the deck isn’t focused on doing damage just to your Active.  M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) has 230 HP which is enough that only the biggest hits will take it down in one shot while today’s actual review subject - M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162) as I made it easy to forget with this approach - has 210 HP so it is a little less sturdy but still relatively durable.  Psychic Weakness is common to all of these cards and it is a substantial risk… in part because of the original Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW: Black Star Promos BW45; BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113), which if you somehow didn’t know this card was still impressive, I’ll explain why shortly.  Also common to all of them is a lack of Resistance which is typical so we’ll move on to Retreat Costs; M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162) has a chunky Retreat Cost of [CCC], which means you probably need to include some options to lower the cost and/or bypass manually retreating it entirely.  All the others including today’s official subject have a Retreat Cost of [CC], low enough that if you have to pay it, it likely can be afforded (both up front and in terms of the long game) but still high enough you’re better off finding something to lower the cost or bypass it. 

So how about attacks?  Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW: Black Star Promos BW45; BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113) can use “X-Ball” for [CC] to do 20 damage times the total amount of Energy attached to both Active Pokémon (both yours and your opponent’s).  This is a great deal as for just a Double Colorless Energy you can score a quick and easy 40 damage even if the opponent’s Active has no Energy (and still subject to Weakness, Resistance or any other effects that can alter damage).  Decks with compatible Energy acceleration can often manage an easy (though Energy intensive) OHKO.  Its second attack rarely sees use but is actually reasonably good in a Psychic deck: “Psydrive” requires [PPC] to hit for 120 damage and then you must discard an Energy from it.  The main issue is that X-Ball is just so much easier to afford and if both Actives have enough Energy it will do more damage as well.  When you’ve got the right deck though, it can be a nasty surprise for an opponent that thinks his or her lean, mean attacker is safe.  It has been reviewed four different times already with all of them being a Top X list of some sort.  If you haven’t figured it out already, this detailed re-review of such a familiar card (besides being typical of me) will make at least a little sense. 

Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 61/162, 157/162, 163/162) also has an attack that requires [CC] - Photon Wave - which does 30 damage in addition to reducing any damage the Defending Pokémon does during your opponent’s next turn.  The damage is and effect are “okay” for the effort involved, but remember that if your opponent can reset effects on the Active that was the Defending Pokémon, you won’t gain that bit of protection.  For [PPCC] this Mewtwo-EX can use “Psyburn” to hit for a flat 120 which might be okay except there is nothing really supporting it.  It does meet my preferred minimum damage criteria (120 vanilla damage for four) but it needs something else like superior attributes or effects (such as via an Ability or Ancient Trait) to really work, otherwise especially with its vulnerability to the preceding Mewtwo-EX and its X-Ball, it just becomes a huge target.  Maybe use it in Standard when you need a Mewtwo-EX but won’t have much (if any) source of [P] Energy available, but not in Expanded unless you’ve got a specific combo in mind. 

Its set-mate Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 62/162, 158/162, 164/162) spices things up a bit with its first attack (Shatter Shot) needing [P] and hitting for 30 damage times the number of Energy attached to itself.  Its second attack (Damage Change) needs [PPC] and swaps the damage on your opponent’s Active with itself… so if the opponent has no damage you completely heal this Mewtwo-EX.  Shatter Shot has solid damage for the investment though Damage Change may be a bit high; you have to survive a hit to even be able to use it, you need something less damaged than your Mewtwo-EX and scoring OHKOs requires something with less HP than Mewtwo-EX has remaining.  Possibly use it in Standard if the deck has a decent source of [P] Energy available, but not in Expanded unless you’ve got a specific combo in mind. 

M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) has just the single attack “Vanishing Strike” which does 150 damage and if there is any Stadium in play the attack does another 50 damage (so 200 total) plus ignores Resistance and any effects on the opponent’s Active.  Yes, that means Weakness still applies for the few cards where that matters.  OHKOing your opponent’s non-Mega Evolutions seems pretty sweet so where is the catch?  The Energy cost of [PFFC], a fairly awkward cost to meet; four of any Energy is already a bit tricky but a mix of both Fighting and Psychic Energy requirements is simply difficult, as apart from Mega Turbo there isn’t a lot of good Energy acceleration that applies.  Still it can be done, which just leaves the need to cover the last 40 to 50 points of damage needed to take out most Mega Evolutions and Wailord-EX.  This might be worth running, but it needs to be the star of the deck that features it. 

Finally we come to today’s actual subject: M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162).  Its lone attack is “Psychic Infinity”, with the easy to meet price of [CC].  The attack does 10 damage plus an additional 30 for each Energy attached to either player’s Active Pokémon, with the drawback that Weakness does not apply.  Yes, this is a version of X-Ball that - besides appearing on a Mega Evolution - trades the capacity to exploit Weakness for a minimum 10 points of damage doing 50% more damage per attached Energy.  If Weakness would not be a factor, where X-Ball does 40, Psychic Infinity does 70.  Where X-Ball does 60, Psychic Infinity does 100.  Where X-Ball does 80, Psychic Infinity does 130.  Etc.  So why run through everything else? 

The main use I see for this card is as a sort of personal Pokémon Tool for Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW: Black Star Promos BW45; BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113); in exchange for Mega Evolving and either just using Mewtwo Spirit Link or also including Tool Retriever so that you can use it, bounce it and replace it with the Tool you otherwise would have on Mewtwo-EX, you drop M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) so it becomes an Evolution with an HP and damage bump.  You can hit some very high amounts with fewer Energy if you go with this Mega Evolution, and you just use the same strategies you were using with the original Mewtwo-EX, adjusted for a little less deck space.  In Standard you’ll have to figure out which Mewtwo-EX works best but after that, you can find the same (or equivalent) Energy accelerating tactics and go to Psychic Infinity… and beyond! 

Unsubtle “Buzz Lightyear” reference aside, in Limited scoring this this is largely meaningless.  If you pull a Mewtwo-EX you may as well include it, whether you are going for a +39 deck where said Mewtwo-EX is the only Basic or whether you’re building a fully fleshed out deck and you can try to build Mewtwo-EX and/or M Mewtwo-EX up while it sits on the Bench.  While not all the time, you should have the deck space for those games where giving up a turn for an HP boost and better attack is worth it, and if you get Mewtwo Spirit Link and can draw into both it and the Mega Evolution in a timely manner, hurrah! 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.5/5 

Expanded: 3.5/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Summary: M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) scores the same for both Standard and Expanded which might seem a touch odd.  In Standard it becomes the main attacker for a deck… or rather specific variants of decks that can accelerate the needed Energy.  I don’t think it looks bad, but it may not be as good as something that simply takes less space and either hits just as hard or has more technical benefits.  The big knock against it in Expanded is that you could just stick to the original X-Ball wielding Mewtwo-EX and while it won’t hit as hard, it needs far less set-up to swing for less and with more Energy (versus Mega Evolving) can still hit the big numbers. 

On my own personal list, this was my eighth place pick; I’m not surprised it clocked in higher and I may be lowballing it.  Regardless of that I expect it to be popular before we get some solid, conclusive tournament results that either cement it as being that good or reveal it to be more players wanting to use a “new toy”.


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