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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Chandelure
- Steam Siege

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 25, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.13
Expanded: 2.25
Limited: 3.65

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Man, there's just no getting away from these massive discard based attacks, is there? I suppose there's some potential in a card like this though. 

Chandelure is an interesting self-fueling beast of a card. His main attack, Past Friends, starts out pretty lowly at only 2-for-10. It does have the unique distinction of being able to increase its damage, again based on the discard pile. In this case, it's all about them Supporters, and for each one, it increases Chandelure's damage by another 10. Keep in mind though that that just means you have to be running a LOT of Supporters to make this work - you need at least 17 in the discard pile to one-shot Pokemon-EX, 24 to OHKO anything in the game, and most decks tend to just hover around 12 Supporters on average (though there are some that go upwards of 15-16, if Worlds is any indication). 

On the other hand, Chandelure does offer Sinister Selection, an Ability that allows the player to look at the top 2 cards of their deck, pick one to add to their hand, and then send the other to the discard pile. The obvious usage is to scry (heyyyyy, Magic terms!) for a Supporter to toss into the discard while adding a new card into the hand, thus speeding up the fuel for Chandelure's attack. Between these two, though, this ends up maybe putting in two Supporters into the discard per turn - one for Sinister Selection, if it's lucky, and one for your regular play for the turn...if you've got one. There's a lot of chance-based stuff in this particular set-up, and running multiples of Chandelure, while helpful, may not always work out in one's favor. 

The other usage for Sinister Selection, though, is to just fuel up the discard pile for other reasons. Energy for anything like Volcanion's Power Heater or other Pokemon for attacks like Vespiquen's Bee Revenge or the Night March strategy that loves this so. Needless to say, Chandelure has potency in other builds, but it's a matter of whether they'd want to run a Stage 2 just to toss stuff into the discard. Course with Battle Compressor leaving our midst with rotation (it will be missed), Chandelure's starting to look like the only decent option to loading up the discard. 

...well, aside from Sycamore, but you were running 3-4 of him anyway, weren't you? 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (Chandelure's got potential, there's no question about that)

Expanded: 3/5 (but as his own attacker, he suffers a lot) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (but as support, he can work out the deck-thinning option easily)

Arora Notealus: I like seeing cards like Chandelure here, since they offer a lot of play options that aren't just straight up damage. Sure, damage is still the biggest priority, as it gets you the win condition faster, but the vast number of ways to get there makes it all the more exciting, don't you think? 

Next Time: Jingle jangle dingle dangle!


Otaku

Chandelure (XY: Steam Siege 50/114) is our Thursday Card of the Day.  It is a Psychic Type, allowing it to hit a good chunk of both the Fighting and the Psychic Type for double damage thanks to Weakness, but meaning it has to deal with Resistance against nearly all Darkness and Metal Types.  This sounds worse than it is; besides the usual variation caused by what actually sees competitive play, we must also consider that double damage is far more potent than merely reducing it by 20, as well as how the Psychic Type seems at least a little more focused upon attack effects: placing damage counters, inflicting Special Conditions, etc.  I know of no Type specific counters, however my usual resource for quick review (pokepedia.net) has not been updated for almost five months, so I have to go off the top of my head.  There is Type specific support for Psychic Pokémon:

·         Dimension Valley, a Stadium which shaves [C] off of the attack cost of Psychic Types while in play.

·         The Stage 2 Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99, BW: Dark Explorers 109/108), which has an Ability (which does not stack) that causes basic Psychic Energy cards to provide [PP] while attached to Psychic Type Pokémon.

·         Mystery Energy, a Special Energy that cannot be attached to anything which is not a Psychic Type (or part Psychic for Dual Types), and while attached to a Psychic Type it provides [P] and reduces the Retreat Cost of that Pokémon by [CC].

·         Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119; Generations RC11/RC32) shuts down all Abilities in play, in the discard pile, and in hand while Active except for fellow Psychic Types.

All but Gardevoir has been proven in competitive play more than once, and I keep meaning to give it a try again now that Max Elixir provides a way to accelerate basic Psychic Energy to the field.  All in all it’s a good Type, and countering it is (for better or worse) about countering specific Psychic Types such as through Weakness, outthinking or shutting down their Abilities, etc. 

Being a Stage 2 is not a good thing though.  It does not have to be so poor; the designers need to stop creating so many Pokémon that hit hard and fast before a Stage 2 can manually Evolve, as well as give Evolving Basic and Stage 1 cards effects that either help with general set up, those cards surviving long enough to Evolve, and/or something to do with that Evolution line’s specific setup.  That is not what the designers have been doing, so instead this ends up being mechanically inferior to Basic, Stage 1 Pokémon, Mega Evolutions with a Spirit Link, fellow Stage 2 Pokémon with a shortcut (other than Rare Candy), and Pokémon which must Evolve from Restored Pokémon (as a Stage Restored Pokémon are on par with baseline Stage 2s).  The Psychic Type has no super-shortcut so even with Rare Candy to skip the Stage 1 form or a Wally to Evolve a turn early, it takes two turns to get Chandelure into play, three doing it through standard Evolution.  It also takes at least three cards for it to hit the field.  Its 130 HP is high enough this card is more likely to survive a hit than not, but not by a comfortable margin.  Darkness Weakness is quite dangerous as there are multiple strong, Darkness Type attackers; the 130 HP is often going to act like approximately 70.  The Fighting Resistance is appreciated; though multiple Fighting Types ignore Resistance or stack damage bonuses which may overwhelm it, those are more resources for your opponent to commit to the field and if he or she lacks them or counts wrong, Chandelure has a better chance of survival.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you often can pay but high enough you’ll want to avoid it. 

Chandelure has an Ability and an attack.  The former is “Sinister Selection”, allowing you to look at the top two cards of your deck, then select one to add to your hand while the other goes to your discard pile.  In short, this is a reusable Acro Bike each turn.  This must be used before you attack and is only allowed once-per-turn, though if you have multiples in play each may be used once.  The latter is “Past Friends”, which costs [PC] and does 10 damage plus another 10 per Supporter in your discard pile.  It will take a lot of Supporters to get to useful damage levels, but with the correct ones you could reach OHKO levels.  Dimension Valley can then shave the cost down to just [P], leaving the difficult part as finding room for additional Supporters, so you can afford to rapidly toss them with the usual suspects (Battle Compressor, Professor Sycamore, and Ultra Ball) and hit OHKO levels with damage output.  VS Seeker allows you to reclaim and use any of those Supporters as well, and as long as you don’t fail to play it that Supporter right away, your damage output won’t even diminish. 

Chandelure Evolves from Lampent Evolves from Litwick.  There are eight different Litwick available: BW: Noble Victories 57/101, BW: Noble Victories 58/101, BW: Black Star Promos BW27, BW: Next Destinies 18/99, BW: Plasma Storm 21/135, BW: Plasma Freeze 14/116, XY: Phantom Forces 41/119, and XY: Steam Siege 48/114.  There are slightly fewer Lampent at six: BW: Noble Victories 59/101, BW: Next Destinies 19/99, BW: Plasma Storm 22/135, BW: Plasma Freeze 15/116, XY: Phantom Forces 42/119, and XY: Steam Siege 49/114.  At last we move onto the four other options for Chandelure: BW: Noble Victories 60/101 (reprinted as BW: Next Destinies 101/99), BW: Next Destinies 20/99, BW: Plasma Freeze 16/116, and XY: Phantom Forces 43/119.  None of the BW-era reprints have XY-era reprints, so only the XY-era versions are Standard legal.  The obsessive part of me wants to run through them all, but I just can’t justify spending the time on it.  I will link to past reviews though.  No Litwick has been reviewed before, but somehow two Lampent were reviewed: BW: Noble Victories 59/101 and BW: Plasma Storm 22/135.  All past Chandelure have been reviewed.  BW: Noble Victories 60/101 (and BW: Next Destinies 101/99) were covered here and here.  We looked at BW: Next Destinies 20/99 two different times.  BW: Plasma Freeze 16/116 had its day here as a runner-up to that set’s top 10 list.  XY: Phantom Forces 43/119 is the only one aroramage and myself reviewed. 

Litwick (XY: Steam Siege 48/114) and Lampent (XY: Phantom Forces 42/119) are the versions I believe are relevant to today’s Chandelure, because I see it as a potential way to salvage Night March decks after Karen becomes a legal card.  We’ve mentioned Karen before; she is a Japanese promo that shuffles all Pokémon in each player’s discard piles back into their respective decks.  She has been confirmed in the newest Battle Arena Decks set, Keldeo Vs Rayquaza.  Imagine trying to refill your discard pile after nearly all your deck thinning cards are in the discard pile, and your Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) are on the field.  Chandelure (XY: Steam Siege 50/114) means one less Lampent in the discard pile unless you use Rare Candy but… that’s okay, you usually will be able to use Rare Candy.  The Litwick I mentioned can attack to discard two cards of your choice from your deck, while Chandelure has its Ability to help get Night March back up and running.  Or as you probably already have some Psychic Energy and Dimension Valley in your deck (at least the latter), if you have most of your Supporters in the discard pile, Chandelure can step in to push for the last KO or two in lieu of your usual Night March attackers.  You could also just leave out Night March, in which case replace Lampent (XY: Phantom Forces 42/119) with Lampent (XY: Steam Siege 49/114) due to its 80 HP and attack that makes both players draw or discard until they have four cards in hand.  Run your deck very Supporter heavy and chuck most to bring Past Friends up to full power.  Pretty out there, but maybe Magnezone (BW: Plasma Storm 46/135) is a good partner even though it is a second Stage 2; this allows you to use two Supporters per turn so that your deck is effectively less cluttered by them.  So that is the best I can think of for Chandelure in Standard and Expanded.  For Limited, so long as you get the rest of the line it is a great pick.  Don’t expect the attack to hit particularly hard, but the Ability is of course amazing, making it a useful Bench-sitter. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.5/5 

Limited: 3.8/5 

Summary: If you want crazy combo based powerhouses, Chandelure may be your ‘mon.  It has a nice Ability and an okay attack, but I don’t think the current format is friendly enough to it.  What about post rotation?  Well it loses Dimension Valley in Standard, but maybe it will be worth another look by then. 

So pretty obvious Chandelure didn’t make my list, and it barely made aroramage’s because Chandelure only has two voting points.  Now maybe I just missed something.  With M Audino-EX having won Worlds (and that almost totally blindsiding me), ol’ Otaku is ending this review with a huge grain of salt, just in case.


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