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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

M Mewtwo EX

- XY BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
February 4, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.63
Expanded: 3.25
Limited: 4.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

We've talked a lot about the Mewtwo-EXs and their various Mega forms - from #4 on our list, M Mewtwo-EX and his Psychic Infinity, to yesterday's two versions of Mewtwo-EX that came out in this set. And now we look at the final form of Mewtwo-EX...well, the other final form: M Mewtwo-EX!! 

The first thing that's readily apparent about this card is its attack's cost: it's 1 Psychic Energy, 2 Fighting Energy, and then 1 other Energy of any color. Now we're no stranger to having differently costed attacks - aside from the entire Dragon Type being various mixings of two Types on every card, there are some cards like Abomasnow (PLB) or Ho-oh-EX (DEX) that require completely different Energy than their original Typing (or in the latter's case, more than just their original Typing). Still, the distinction of having 2 different Types on a card isn't usually utilized very much outside of Dragons, and it's clear to see why - it looks really really awkward. I mean, how many Psychic decks are running Fighting Energy? Probably none, because most of those decks can fulfill their Energy requirements with just the Psychic Energy! 

Alright, so an awkward cost that demands Energy that isn't normally run in the deck must mean something for this attack. I mean, if the other M Mewtwo-EX can get a balanced version of the original Mewtwo-EX's X Ball, what can this M Mewtwo-EX offer in exchange for demanding more out of the player? Vanishing Strike is a pretty powerful attack; at 4-for-150, it's already pretty high up even amongst Mega EXs, hitting what is for most of them the "cap" for base damage (the only real exceptions being the M Charizard-EXs). On top of that, if there's a Stadium card in play, M Mewtwo-EX can hit for an extra 50 damage AND the attack isn't affected by Resistance or any other effects on the Defending Pokemon. 

In other words, M Mewtwo-EX will guarantee 200 damage if there's a Stadium in play. On either side. And you are NOT having to discard it. 

So does M Mewtwo-EX deliver on making the attack worth it? Absolutely! It's not uncommon to have The Stadium Wars going off in the midst of combat, and with the wild variety of Stadiums about, it's nice to have something on your side. In fact, Dimension Valley already is an ally for M Mewtwo-EX since it can take off that extra Colorless Energy in the cost, making this a 3-for-200 unblockable strike! But...there is that awkward PFF that makes things difficult.

...well, normally, it would. But then along came Smeargle from this set - remember how I mentioned in that review that he could be useful for different Energy costs? Welcome to M Mewtwo-EX's new best friend! Combine the two with some Battle Compressor to toss Fighting Energies into the discard, and watch the opponents crumble beneath your awesome might as you deliver unto them a strike so powerful, the Earth beneath their feet trembles at the sight!

...okay, maybe not that much, but M Mewtwo-EX is much more viable with Smeargle than without. 

Rating 

Standard: 3.5/5 (normally, the awkward cost would put him down to a 2.5 or even a 2, but the presence of Smeargle offsets it such that an incredibly potent attack is exceptionally doable) 

Expanded: 3/5 (that being said, there aren't many other forms of Energy acceleration for Psychic Types, so be wary of your opponent getting the upper hand before you can really let Mewtwo loose on them) 

Limited: 5/5 (...if you can get Mewtwo-EX, this card, and the Spirit Link played in this format, I will applaud you) 

Arora Notealus: Between the two Mega Evos for Mewtwo, this one...always looked kinda goofy to me. I mean, it's a brawny form of Mewtwo, one of the strongest Psychic Pokemon ever...why add in that extra Fighting-type and make him buff? It's so bizarre, and yet I can't look away... 

Next Time: And now for the return of a madman...or a cool man, depending on your viewpoint...actually he's really not that mad, just wants to take over the wor-never mind.


Otaku

As promised, today we’ll finish up our Mewtwo coverage for the set with the last of them from this set, M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162)!  As a Mega Evolution, you’ll need to go through a Mewtwo-EX to get to it, hence covering all that yesterday, though I’ll recap it after we finish with today’s M Mewtwo-EX.  Unless you use Mewtwo Spirit Link, you’ll have to give up at least an attack (and possibly more) of a turn as natural Mega Evolution instantly ends said turn.  In addition to that serious drawback, there are a few cards that are harder on Mega Evolutions, though they do get some help from the pretty potent Mega Turbo.  There is also the usual drawbacks of being a Pokémon-EX: giving up an extra Prize when KOed, being the target of certain detrimental card effects and being excluded from a select few beneficial card effects.  All of this comes with the potential (but not the guarantee) of better card attributes and effects.  So does M Mewtwo-EX claim that promise? 

Well, being a Psychic-Type isn’t a bad thing but it isn’t spectacular.  We’ve covered it multiple times this week but there are no cards that specifically reference Psychic-Types in a negative manner, a few cards that explicitly help (or spare, in the case of negative effects) them, and a good deal of Resistance and a decent amount of Weakness to exploit.  Specifically, you’ve got Dimension Valley, Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99; BW: Dark Explorers 109/108), Mystery Energy, and Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119) for Type-specific support, with Dimension Valley and Wobbuffet often showing up in mixed company, plus some cards that just have a bit more synergy in a Psychic-Type deck but can work anywhere, like Sigilyph (BW: Dragons Exalted 52/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 118/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 66/113).  The referenced Resistance shows up on nearly all Darkness-Types and Metal-Types, but even if -20 damage wasn’t often negligible, we’ll see this card doesn’t have to sweat it anyway.  The “true” Fighting-Type and Psychic-Type cards (that is, the ones that aren’t just those Types in the TCG but in the video games as well) are the cards that will usually take double damage, like Lucario-EX and the various Mewtwo-EX and M Mewtwo-EX. 

The 230 HP is where we first see M Mewtwo-EX living up to the name “Mega Evolution”: while even this much HP isn’t safe from a OHKO, it is high enough that most decks will either fall short or at least really, really have to commit to hitting it.  That doesn’t apply to decks with Psychic-Types that are doing the damage as M Mewtwo-EX has the typical Psychic Weakness.  Speaking of typical, the card lacks Resistance, and I’m repeating myself enough I’ll just accept it and move on to the Retreat Cost of [CCC]: this is chunky and a potential pain as it can be difficult to even pay in the first place and losing that much in one shot is hard unless the deck has a lot of Energy acceleration.  As such, pack some alternative options.  As this card has no Ancient Trait, all that leaves is the one attack so far found on all Mega Evolutions: this time it costs [PFFC] and is known as “Vanishing Strike”.  Its base damage is 150, which is only reasonable given all that must be invested to reach it, but it contains an effect that helps put it over the top: if there is a Stadium in play the damage jumps by 50 to 200 and the damage from Vanishing Strike isn’t affected by Resistance or any other effects on your opponent’s Active Pokémon.  The wording means Weakness should still apply but does mean the rare occasion when an effect on the opponent’s Active would increase your damage, it won’t apply.  While a Stadium in play adds another card to the combo, Stadiums are often in play right now so it is a pretty reasonable demand to get an almost guaranteed OHKO of anything that is not a Mega Evolution or Wailord-EX. 

So about those other Mewtwo-EX, you’ve got three to pick from in Expanded: BW: Next Destinies 54/99 (also available as BW: Next Destinies 98/99, BW: Black Star Promos BW45 and BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113), XY: BREAKthrough 61/162 (also available as XY: BREAKthrough 157/162 and 163/162), and lastly XY: BREAKthrough 62/162 (also available XY: BREAKthrough 158/162 and 164/162).  All three are Basic Psychic-Type Pokémon-EX with 170 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], no Ancient Trait, no Ability and two attacks.  BW: Next Destinies 54/99 is the original and has had such an impact on the game we’ve reviewed it on four separate occasions, with each being part of a separate Top 5 or 10 list.  This is due to its “X-Ball” attack: for the low, low price of [CC] it can smack the opponent’s Active for 20 damage times the number of Energy attached to both Active Pokémon.  Though used much less often, when you’ve got the Energy the second attack “Psydrive” is actually pretty good as well: for just [PPC] and discarding an Energy from itself, Psydrive allows Mewtwo-EX to deal a flat 120 damage.  X-Ball only does 60 for that plus whatever is supplied by the Energy attached to the opponent’s Active, so against big HP, low Energy attackers, it is greatly appreciated. 

Again repeating myself, XY: BREAKthrough 61/162 and XY: BREAKthrough 62/162 were already covered in depth yesterday, and the options that are Standard legal.  The former can use “Photon Wave” for [CC] for an okay 30 damage while also placing an effect on the Defending Pokémon, dropping the damage it can do on the next turn by 30 before Weakness and Resistance.  It also has “Psyburn” for [PPCC] to hit for 120 damage, should you actually have that much Energy attached.  120 for four is adequate, but only just barely since we are most likely using this card for Mega Evolving and not as a stand alone attacker.  XY: BREAKthrough 62/162 sports the attack “Scatter Shot” for [P], which does 30 damage times the amount of [P] Energy attached to whatever is using Scatter Shot (usually Mewtwo-EX).  Again, decent damage for the Energy invested but nothing brilliant, though being able to scale things helps.  The big attack is “Damage Change” which requires [PPC] and allows you to swap the amount of damage counters on Mewtwo-EX (again, itself) with however many are on the opponent’s Active.  Done well this enables an amazing offense and self-healing.  Done poorly it can backfire.  XY: BREAKthrough 61/162 is a bit better when you’re going to be dealing with mostly non-Psychic-Type Energy, otherwise XY: BREAKthrough 62/162 does it better.  Both are at best one-ofs in Expanded because the original Mewtwo-EX is just that much better. 

There is also another M Mewtwo-EX, M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162); game relevant differences between it and today’s version are that it has 20 less HP (so just 210), a Retreat Cost that is one less (so only [CC]) and a totally different attack.  The attack is another scalable one: “Psychic Infinity” costs only [CC] to use but it does 10 damage plus 30 per Energy attached to both Active Pokémon.  It does have a bit of a drawback in that Weakness does not apply to the damage, but it still takes the best of the classic Mewtwo-EX and (unless could have attacked Psychic Weakness) and does it better.  This version is easily used alongside today’s, provided you have room for both, thanks to its Colorless Energy costs and pretty straightforward nature.  It also has already been reviewed, here where it was part of our Top 10 countdown for this set.

So… can you use M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) successfully in competitive play?  According to tournament results a decent enough number of folks have so unless XY: BREAKpoint shakes things up enough, I think so.  The newest set isn’t legal for almost three weeks, so unless you’re on the PTCGO, you have decent odds of not having to sweat it yet.  The PTCGO just updated the day I wrote this (and seemed to be taking a lot of time) so I’d be completely guessing on how things will change… and I’d rather save that for our pending Top 10 list.  I will share what I know about today’s M Mewtwo-EX in competitive play though.  I was thinking of trying to use it alongside Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119, to supply whatever extra bit of damage was needed for a OHKO, but it doesn’t look like that saw success during the recent City Championships.  Instead, Landorus (XY: Furious Fists 58/111) and Smeargle (XY: BREAKthrough 123/132) helped to set it up, probably with some Mega Turbo.  I don’t know if Giovanni and Muscle Band are used for extra damage or if it just isn’t worried about… I am beginning to suspect the latter as M Mewtwo-EX would be hard to OHKO and if you can give up a Landorus, you might be able to safely soften something up for M Mewtwo-EX to finish off.  Either of them, as more than a few decks ran both.  Oh… and for Limited play, if you pull this you can risk it but losing a turn could be really really dangerous and either of the Mewtwo-EX in this set have pretty good attacks. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.75/5 

Expanded: 3.5/5 

Limited: 3/5 

Summary: If you’re wondering why I rated this one so much higher than I scored its set-mate which has been outperforming it, I’ve realized I scored M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162) too low for Standard by a good margin (probably a quarter of a point) and possibly scored it a little low for Expanded play.  While not as easy to use, M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) actually seems to bring enough to avoid the fate of many other cards that have multiple Mega Evolutions already released.  While not every deck should run both together, we’ve got proof that a successful deck can run them both.


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