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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Steam Siege Top 10

#6 - Pokemon Ranger
- Steam Siege

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 12, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.88
Expanded: 3.88
Limited: 3

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

...okay, so it's NOT otaku's #1, but it's still up there. Pokemon Ranger is a pretty good Supporter in its own right, and it's time to take a look at why it tied with Special Charge! 

...aside from I voted Special Charge my #1. 

Pokemon Ranger is a Supporter with a single effect: remove all effects of attacks on each player and each Pokemon. Now that's gotta just be plain confusing, cause what exactly does that all entail? First of all, it's not including the effects of attacks that increase the damage output of an attack - those don't affect the Pokemon or player so much as the damage dealt, so those are right out. It also doesn't affect the infliction of Status Conditions, I believe, since those aren't really the "effects of an attack"...well, I guess technically they are, but uh...well what does it mean? 

Basically, I think it's simply refer to any non-Status non-damage effect on a card that affects any Pokemon in play and/or either player. That seems like a small number of cards that do that, but off the top of my head, there's Seismitoad-EX which prevented players from playing Item cards. Giratina-EX similarly falls in line with this, as he prevents players from playing a few different kinds of cards. Then there's some of the less obvious cards, like Regice, Jolteon-EX, and Glaceon-EX. These guys all have protection effects on themselves that prevent the opponent from inflicting damage onto them with a certain kind of Pokemon. One Pokemon Ranger later, and those effects are null and void. 

So that's essentially what the "effects of attacks" are, and with that in mind, it's easy to see why Pokemon Ranger will see play. After all, getting rid of your opponent's wall or removing a detrimental effect from yourself is a pretty good usage of your Supporter for the turn, so at the least you'll see it teched into some decks as a counter for those kinds of cards. At worst, well it'll have its time in the sun and then head to Alola for a relaxing vacation. 

Rating 

Standard: 4/5 (as long as lock decks in some form are around, Pokemon Ranger will be there to unlock things) 

Expanded: 4/5 (and that's a pretty powerful promise) 

Limited: 2/5 (I don't recall too many effects in this set, but come to think of it...) 

Arora Notealus: There is one card in this set at least that I can think of that it might be okay to use Pokemon Ranger with. Though that really depends on if it would work on effects that prevent Pokemon from attacking...probably, but if it prevents itself? Hmmm... 

Weekend Thought: Thoughts on this week's cards? Excited for the new set, or are you not so excited for it? I dunno about you, but there are some interesting cards at least showing up in this set. It's exciting enough, trust me, you'll see what all this set has to offer if you haven't already. 

Next Time: Breaking into the new form is...


Otaku

We finish the first week of our top 10 with our number six selection, Pokémon Ranger (XY: Steam Siege 104/114, 113).  Before I get into that, you should be able to read my reviews for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday now; apologies for the delay.  Pokémon Ranger is a brand new Supporter, which means it will face stiff competition from all existing Supporters; only so much space in a deck and all other Supporters are dead in hand until your next turn after you use one.  For most if not all of their entire existence in the TCG, the primary purpose of the Supporter card has been set up and field maintenance, but thanks to Battle Compressor, VS Seeker, and Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) we have a lot more wiggle room than we otherwise would have based on recent, previous years of the game.  Battle Compressor alone allows you to ditch specialized Supporters you won’t need for a particular game, avoiding wasted draws, VS Seeker allows you to reuse either core or niche Supporters so that either can make a difference with lower counts, and Shaymin-EX can often provide enough draw that you won’t always need to focus your Supporter on draw or search effect; all three together combo nicely allowing you to search out needed Supporters while still decreasing the odds you’ll need to devote that Supporter to setting up (sometimes even on your first turn).  Playing in the Legacy Format has reminded me of how different this really is from where we came, and also how nice it is that there are few anti-Supporter effects but still some great Supporter support like Jirachi-EX and the aforementioned VS Seeker.

Moving onto the effect, I’ve already telegraphed that it isn’t about drawing, searching, or really anything pertaining to setup or field maintenance.  At least not directly, because Pokémon Ranger is there to allow what you already have to keep working as intended, which I suppose does save you having to try and build up a replacement option for the afflicted.  Afflicted with what?  Pokémon Ranger removes attack effects on both players and their respective Pokémon.  This can be amazing when your opponent has hit your Pokémon or yourself (like your hand) with some sort of attack effect based lock.  I do have some confusion over what all counts as the effects of attacks for the effect of Pokémon Ranger.  What happens when it involves a mechanic that marks the change: placing damage counters without first doing damage can be an attack effect, as can Special Conditions.  I could see the latter possibly being affected, but the former would be too difficult to track.  For the sake of this review, I am going to assume such things are not removed by Pokémon Ranger. 

Some how about some examples of what can be affected?  Jolteon-EX, which can wall with its “Flash Ray” attack against Basic Pokémon, and Seismitoad-EX, long known for blocking the other player from using his or her Items thanks to its “Quaking Punch” attack.  Much less important is how it can reset beneficial, lingering attack effects like that of “Echoed Voice”, an attack found on a couple cards but we’ll reference Sylveon (XY: Furious Fists 72/111).  Even if it was used the turn before, Pokémon Ranger would erase that attack’s +50 damage effect it grants to itself with repeated usage.  You could also erase self inflicted detrimental effects; Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire ; XY: Black Star Promos XY121) can use its “Combustion Attack” twice in a row if you use Pokémon Ranger in between.  The catch is all this applies to your opponent as well; not a huge drawback as you’ll know what you yourself are running and you’ll even know what attacks just happened.  So the rule-of-thumb would be if an attack effect is not in someway marked on the field, Pokémon Ranger for sure can delete it. 

Pokémon Ranger faces some competition in this area.  Effects done to a specific Pokémon are reset by that Pokémon leaving the field, and usually by it Evolving and/or being sent to the Bench.  Sometimes it is more beneficial to include a workaround solution in your deck; going back to the Jolteon-EX example, if your opponent has anything on his or her Bench you can use Lysandre to force it up and attack it, or you may be able to work in an Evolved attack to just completely ignore Flash Ray.  Marowak (XY: Fates Collide 37/124) protects your hand from the attack effects of your opponent’s Pokémon.  For many decks though, a TecH Supporter is the best answer, as we’ve seen with cards like Hex Maniac and Xerosic which tend to be used in a similar manner.  This should lead Pokémon Ranger to see at least some successful competitive play in Standard and Expanded.  For Limited, you really ought to work it in as attack effects are much more important here.  Just be careful not to erase an effect you want to remain.

Ratings 

Standard: 3.75/5 

Expanded: 3.75/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: Another Supporter well worth running as a one-of in many decks, and which you wish you could squeeze in for most of the rest, Pokémon Ranger addresses what has been a more and more problematic issue of overwhelming attack effects.  Not mentioned above, is that this card feels very late to the party.  Post rotation Standard loses the big, bad Seismitoad-EX, and while that card is still strong and competitive it was abusively dominant several times since its release.  One of its partners, Giratina-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 57/98, 93/98), is sticking around and also creates a lingering attack effect you’ll want to erase, but I think this is yet another example of Pokémon fixing a problem they created, and long after most of us had given up hope.  At least Pokémon Ranger should remain important for Expanded play. 

Pokémon Ranger earned 10 voting points, tying with yesterday’s Special Charge.  Both of these cards could have been vying for the #1 slot if they had released a few sets sooner, but this time there wasn’t a huge difference between where I had it and where it ended up.  It earned five voting points from both myself and aroramage, as we each had it as our sixth place pick… so with this it officially took sixth place on all three lists.


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