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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Mewtwo EX #61

- XY BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
February 3, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.13
Expanded: 2.63
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

 

Mewtwo EX #62

- XY BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
February 3, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.38
Expanded: 2.88
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

No, you're not reading that wrong, we are reviewing Mewtwo-EX twice...just two different forms of Mewtwo-EX! 

The first copy of Mewtwo-EX, #61, was originally printed in the Blue Shock set in Japan, hence why it's got a blue coloration to it as opposed to its brother, #62, which has more of a red coloration due to being printed in the Red Flash set. For simplicity's sake and so you don't have to keep wondering which one I'm talking about, I'm gonna stick to calling them Redtwo (#62) and Bluetwo (#61). 

Bluetwo isn't a particularly exciting variation, wielding only two attacks, one of which is a vanilla strike. Yep, you heard me, there's a Pokemon-EX with a vanilla attack. You can see why I'm not terribly excited about this one, and considering its vanilla attack is the more expensive 4-cost Psyburn that does 120 damage (which, to its credit, is pretty good), I'm not going to hold my breath when this one turns out to be the lesser of the two. At least Photon Wave is cheap and flexible, at 2-for-30 and given the ability to reduce any damage by 30. In a way, this is the "defensive" form of Mewtwo. 

Redtwo on the other hand is much happier dealing out a ton of damage. Scatter Shot can deal an explosive amount of damage in a short amount of time, starting out at a cheap 1 Energy and dealing 30 damage for every Energy attached to Redtwo. In a way, this makes him a more balanced version of the older Mewtwo-EX, dealing more damage but also limiting its output by restricting it to just Energy attached to itself. And if he's ever in danger of getting KO'd, you can just use Damage Change to put all the counters on him onto your opponent's Pokemon instead! Or at the very least, make sure your opponent has more damage counters than you do. 

So at the end of the day, I'd personally be picking Redtwo over Bluetwo, but both are relatively viable. Their weaker attacks make them usable, and their larger attacks, while not strictly foolproof, are useful in their own ways - Bluetwo's being an offensive power, and Redtwo's making up for what Scatter Shot might not be able to do. Combine these guys with a M Mewtwo-EX, and well, things could get really nasty really quick. 

Rating 

Mewtwo-EX #61 (Bluetwo)

Standard: 2.5/5 (his defensive power lets him stick around a little longer than normal, but he's still a decent pick) 

Expanded: 2/5 (course it's hard to compete with the original Mewtwo-EX) 

Limited: 5/5 (no question about it, you'd play him here) 

Mewtwo-EX #62 (Redtwo)

Standard: 3/5 (Scatter Shot is a powerful, cheap, explosive type of attack that needs time to become really strong) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (but Damage Change is a really nice addition to keep him around a bit longer) 

Limited: 5/5 (OF COURSE YOU RUN THIS GUY) 

Arora Notealus: It's always interesting to see the comparisons between rivaling EX's in the same set. It's definitely a rare opportunity when it's the same name but a different card entirely! 

Next Time: Mewtwo Mega Evolves into his final form!!...man, he looks buff!


Otaku

We have a double feature today, covering Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 61/162, 157/162, 163/162) and Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 62/162, 158/162, 164/162).  Why?  The only difference between the two relevant to game mechanics are their different attacks: they have all the same attributes so if we reviewed one (and I thought we ought to at least look at one) then covering the other won’t even take me that much extra writing. 

So both Mewtwo-EX are Psychic-Type Basic Pokémon-EX with 170 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], no Ancient Trait and no Ability.  Being a Psychic-Type means you can exploit Weakness against many Psychic-Types and Fighting-Types, but you must deal with Resistance against nearly all Darkness-Types and Metal-Types.  It also means don’t have to worry about any explicitly anti-Psychic-Type cards while also enjoying some Type-specific support.  Since there isn’t much I’ll just name them: Dimension Valley, a Stadium that reduces the Energy Cost of attacks on Psychic-Types by [C]; Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99; BW: Dark Explorers 109/108), a Stage 2 Pokémon with an Ability (Psychic Mirage) that causes basic Psychic Energy to provide [PP] instead of just [P], Mystery Energy, a Special Energy that can only be attached to Psychic-Types which provides [P] and reduces a Psychic-Type Pokémon’s Retreat Cost by [CC] while attached; and Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119; which shuts down Abilities while Active, except for Abilities on Psychic-Types.  There are also some cards that are easier to use in a Psychic-Type deck but which aren’t restricted to them for effective use, and may indeed be better elsewhere, such as Sigilyph (BW: Dragons Exalted 52/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 118/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 66/113). 

Being a Pokémon-EX means these cards will give up an extra Prize when KOed, will be excluded by a few card effects, and also will be the target of certain, detrimental-to-the-Pokémon-EX effects.  It also usually means better attributes (mostly HP) and effects, but this isn’t hardwired into the cards.  170 HP is the lower of the two most common HP scores for Basic Pokémon-EX; nothing is guaranteed to survive any and all attacks, but 170 HP is will survive a good deal.  Of course, not when Weakness is factored in, and that Psychic Weakness can be quite dangerous: Night March decks, Mewtwo-EX (really, any version), etc.  Lack of Resistance is typical so while it may have been nice, I won’t dock either of these cards for lacking it.  Retreat Cost [CC] is low enough you can afford to pay it often enough, nor is it so high you’ll always be struggling to recover from having paid it, but it is still high enough I’d prefer an alternative to retreating at full price.  Fortunately, quite a few options are available and likely already in your deck: Switch, Mystery Energy, etc. 

Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 61/162, 157/162, 163/162) has “Photon Wave” for its first attack, at a cost of [CC].  It does 30 damage while also placing an effect on the Defending Pokémon that reduces the damage by 30 before applying Weakness and Resistance.  So in a mirror match, if one Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 61/162, 157/162, 163/162) smacks another copy of itself with Photon Wave, that second one will not be able to damage the first since again, the damage is reduced before Weakness.  The second attack on this version of Mewtwo-EX is “Psyburn” for [PPCC], doing 120 damage.  While not brilliant, this seems like a decent enough return for that much Energy.  If this card had nothing else to offer, it would be a concern but this is an Evolving Basic Pokémon-EX so this likely wouldn’t be your main reason for using the card.  The attacks have some basic synergy in that you have the smaller attack leading into the larger attack (including with compatible Energy costs, even factoring in common Energy acceleration), plus Photon Wave should help Mewtwo-EX survive longer, allowing you to build to Psyburn. 

Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 62/162, 158/162, 164/162) on the other hand can use the attack “Scatter Shot” for [P].  The attack does 30 damage times the amount of [P] Energy attached to itself.  This is a good attack, though not great.  It allows you to scale the damage based on how much [P] Energy you have attached to this Mewtwo-EX: 30 for [P], 60 for [PP], 90 for [PPP], 120 for [PPPP], etc.  Getting more than two [P] Energy attached seems difficult, but if you do you get an okay return.  The second attack is “Damage Change”, priced at [PPC].  This allows you to switch all damage counters from this card and the opponent’s Active.  So if this Mewtwo-EX has 150 damage on it and the opponent’s Active has 40, then you’ll end up with 40 on Mewtwo-EX and 150 on the opponent’s Pokémon after using Damage Change.  Ideally you’ll find something with no damage and shift enough damage from Mewtwo-EX to score a OHKO, but the reality is you may simply end up hitting your opponent’s Active as hard as it just hit you (if Mewtwo-EX survived the hit).  You need to be careful as these attacks can clash if used in order of damage costs: if you plan on using Damage Change, don’t pepper the opponent with Scatter Shot while building (unless it will score a KO).  Otherwise you’ll just have damage to move back onto Mewtwo-EX.  Now using Scatter Shot to finish off something that survived Damage Change can be necessary. 

Both of today’s Mewtwo-EX are competing against the original Mewtwo-EX in Expanded, released as BW: Next Destinies 54/99, BW: Next Destinies 98/99, BW: Black Star Promos BW45 and BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113.  Once again, we have the exact same attributes:it’s a Psychic-Type Basic Pokémon-EX with 170 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], no Ancient Trait and no Ability.  It also has two attacks, in this case “X-Ball” for [CC] and “Psydrive” for [PPC].  The former does 20 damage times the total amount of Energy attached to itself and the Defending Pokémon, while the latter hits for a flat 120, but requires you discard an Energy from Mewtwo-EX (that is, itself).  If you’re new, this is great and was once incredible: we reviewed this card here as the number one place for our Top 10 for BW: Next Destinies, as the number one new card in our Top 10 countdown for 2012 here, then a third time here as the fourth most important card reprinted in BW: Legendary Treasures and finally here as the eighth most important card lost to the last Standard set rotation.  Even with the increased competition for doing what it does, it remains a great card, though it is no longer shaping the format.  Any deck running Double Colorless Energy or with a similar trick to allow you to X-Ball for a single Energy attachment can make use of it as a good-to-great attacker, and if you’ve got a means of attaching more Energy then it can become an amazing OHKO machine.

We also have two potential Mega Evolutions, M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) and M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162).  Both are Psychic-Types with Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, no Ancient Trait, no Ability but one single attack.  They also can each use Mewtwo Spirit Link to avoid the turn ending drawback of Mega Evolution.  M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) has 230 HP, Retreat Cost [CCC] and the attack “Vanishing Strike”.  Vanishing Strike costs [PFFC] and does 150 damage, plus if there is a Stadium in play an additional 50 (so 200 damage) while ignoring Resistance or any other effects on the opponent’s Active.  We’ll get into this more tomorrow, but the short version is that this is a pain to afford the Energy cost but pretty good once it gets going.  The big issue is supply the last 20 to 50 damage needed to OHKO anything in the format (that lacks boosted HP; that wouldn’t get ignored).  M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162) has 210 and Retreat Cost [CC] with the attack “Psychic Infinity”.  For [CC] it does 10 damage plus 30 per Energy attached to both Active Pokémon, but ignores Weakness.  This is still a great damage return as for two Energy you hit for 70, three you hit for 100, for four Energy you hit for 130… and as you count the Energy attached to both M mewtwo-EX itself and the opponent’s Active, four or more Energy isn’t unreasonable.  The more resource laden the opponent’s Active, the harder you’ll hit it.  This one was reviewed here as fourth place pick for the Top 10 of XY: BREAKthrough. 

Both M Mewtwo-EX managed to win multiple recent City Championships, with 60 total Top 4 finishes between the two (and including both Standard and Expanded play).  M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162) provided 45 of those, with 39 being for Standard play and 6 for Expanded, while M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) having 15 of the finishes, but only in Standard play.  I’m not seeing any results for plain Mewtwo-EX (any of them) over on the The Charizard Lounge.  That was a bit of a surprise but only a little; even the classic version may just be so familiar it isn’t worth specifically listing, or because by now there are so many alternatives that if you aren’t running a version of M Mewtwo-EX, you should stick to something like Lugia-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 68/98, 94/98) instead.  Still that gives us our guidelines for using today’s Mewtwo-EX (both of them).  If you can not meet the specific Energy costs, then Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 61/162, 157/162, 163/162) is your best bet in Standard: it can still use Photon Wave when M Mewtwo-EX isn’t online.  If you can meet the Psychic Energy costs, then I’d favor Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 62/162, 158/162, 164/162) for its solid attack in Scatter Shot and useful trick with Damage Change.  I can’t be certain, but I’d still probably run one Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 61/162, 157/162, 163/162) as well, for those odd situations where it would be better, assuming a fleshed out line (if you’re only running two Mewtwo-EX in the first place, nevermind). 

For Expanded play, the now iconic Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, BW: Next Destinies 98/99, BW: Black Star Promos BW45; BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113) is still the best.  Again though I’d be tempted to work in either of today’s versions if I had sufficient space: so room and need to run at least three Mewtwo-EX total (if not four) and only if I don’t need a full four copies of the X-Ball version.  That is a pretty big “if” but you never know when you’ll be better off going on defense or swapping out damage counters.  For Limited play, both Mewtwo-EX are strong enough to run entirely on their own in a +39 deck.  There is the usual risk of being overwhelmed as whichever Mewtwo-EX you go with you won’t have any other Basic Pokémon to fall back on after it is KOed, but Photon Wave will likely be amazing as it buys you time to build to a Psyburn that OHKOs most of what you’ll encounter, making it quite likely you’ll survive long enough to take four Prizes before Mewtwo-EX is KOed… while periodic uses of Damage Change and strong blows with Scatter Shot accomplish the same for our other Mewtwo-EX. 

Ratings (Both) 

Standard: 3.75/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Summary: Wait, how did two cards that are so different clock in with the same scores?  Besides the fact I likely wanted them to in order to make scoring more simple, neither is likely to be your focus outside of Limited, but instead are going to be stepping stones M Mewtwo-EX.  In Standard they are your only choice, but do offer enough to be more than vapid placeholders.  One could even tailor the deck a bit to try and exploit their unique strengths, which I did not delve into as I don’t have proof that this is worth the effort.  Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 61/162, 157/162, 163/162) is better when you can’t reliably supply [P] Energy while Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 62/162, 158/162, 164/162), and I believe this is close enough to balancing out that I’ll risk calling it that while looking silly with my two-places-after-the-decimal-point scores suggesting more precision.  Both drop a lot in Expanded due to superior competition, but still are solid cards in their own right, possibly with just enough uniqueness to still be worth considering as a single alongside Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, BW: Next Destinies 98/99, BW: Black Star Promos BW45; BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113).


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