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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Smeargle

- XY BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
January 28, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.88
Expanded: 2.88
Limited: 3.90

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Smeargle. The artsy beagle. The creative muse of the Pokemon world. The one to Beat. 

...heh. 

So Smeargle is an odd Pokemon with an even odder Ability. I'm assuming you're never gonna want to hear me talk about the 2-for-30 vanilla Beat attack outside of the opening, so let's get to the good stuff: Second Coat. 

What does it do? Well, it swaps out one type of basic Energy attached to a Pokemon of yours for another type of basic Energy in your discard pile! 

...what? 

Suffice to say, this is...really weird. I mean, in mono-Type decks, this is also completely useless! Why would I switch my Water Energy out for another Water Energy? Not that you could do that anyway, given the phrasing on the card, but it would make just about as much sense if you could. So what's the appeal of Smeargle? Well simply put, there are a few different decks that could make use of this oddity of an Ability. 

Let's start with the obvious one - Colorless. Since the Energy requirements on most of them don't matter, they can be thrown into any deck there is. Now while that starts to drift off into the aforementioned problem, keep in mind we're talking any deck out there - you might be able to rotate out a Metal Energy off of one of your Colorless Types and then later use Bronzong to reattach it to something else! 

Too complicated for ya? Well, there's also swapping out different Energies for Dragon-types, who frequently revolved around using 2 different Energies in their attack costs! Maybe you've got too many Water Energies on your Goodra and really need a Fairy Energy from your discard pile - and so there Smeargle comes to save the day! 

And then there's another card that really benefits from Smeargle: M Mewtwo-EX. 

No, not the Top 10 one, the OTHER one. The one that requires Fighting Energy in its attacks. You know, the weird one. And though he may be weird, Smeargle can help alleviate the weird cost easily by switching things around!

So there ya go, just a few ideas for Smeargle to work with. He's a bit niche and won't be run everywhere, but he'll excel in those decks that he'll run in. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (he's got great potential, it's just a matter of figuring out where he can fit) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (granted, he'll seem a bit awkward otherwise, but he can do it)

Limited: 3/5 (and hey, he can even help out in environments with a LOT of different Energies running around!) 

Arora Notealus: Smeargle: Picasso or Dali? 

Next Time: BREAK THE SOUND BARRIER!!


Otaku

Today we look at something that is not a Lightning-Type: we look at Smeargle (XY: BREAKthrough 123/162), which is a Colorless-Type.  This means no Weakness or Resistance, a few solid support cards and a few obscure, not-solid anti-Colorless-Type cards.  As a Basic Pokémon it is fast and easy to run, with a natural synergy for many card effects, a few that specifically benefit Basic Pokémon and a select few that adversely affect Basic Pokémon (like Silent Lab).  70 HP is fragile; it plausibly could be worse that it becomes pretty niche at that point, as you only survive things like a Quaking Punch from Seismitoad-EX.  This might make the Weakness seem less bad, except many Fighting-Types can deliver a solid 20 or 30 for [F], so now they just need a Muscle Band or Strong Energy to pull off the OHKO.  Lack of Resistance is typical and the single Energy Retreat Cost is low and easy to both pay and recover from having paid. 

Smeargle sports an Ability and an attack.  The Ability is “Second Coat”, which allows you to switch a Basic Energy attached to your Active Pokémon with a different Type of Basic Energy from your discard pile, once per turn per copy of Second Coat and before your attack.  You are not any Energy ahead, but it can make it easier to meet certain Energy costs.  For [CC] Smeargle can attack with “Beat” to viciously get all Bob Ross on his opponents… and deal 30 damage.  Then get back to painting happy little trees. 

Seriously when you’re stressed out check out The Joy of Painting; it is fantastically relaxing and eventually the both of the previous two sentences will make sense.  Still might not be funny, though. 

This is the only legal Smeargle for both Standard and Expanded, but why would you use it?  Second Coat doesn’t seem like much, but if you look you’ll find a lot of cards with attacks that would be great except one specific Energy requirement in their attack costs makes it awkward.  If you can find these attackers and still have room on your Bench after being mostly set-up, then Smeargle can take the sting out of those costs.  Looking at City Championships, it shows up in a few decks in the top eight, the top four, second place, and even a first place finish in a deck used by Chris Murray.  It often seems to be paired with another form of Energy acceleration; if you’ve got Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119) piling Metal Energy onto Tyrantrum-EX from the discard pile, a Smeargle can then swap one of those for a Fighting Energy from the discard pile.  You really only need one or two basic Fighting Energy for it to work, barring extremely bad luck with them being Prized.  You would still run Double Dragon Energy as well; this just gives you yet another option.  So while I don’t have a lot of detail, Smeargle seems like it’s got a niche already carved out in Standard and Expanded.  In Limited it is an amazing help for any multi-Type deck. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 4.8/5 

Summary: Smeargle is easy to overestimate (since it only changes the Energy but does not increase the overall amount) and to underestimate (as changing to a different Energy Type can do wonders.  The main reason it isn’t more valuable is that it will eat up a Bench slot but also that you can do it easier with Special Energy, though they carry their own risks. 

I had Smeargle as my fifth place pick for my personal Top 15 cards of XY: BREAKthrough.  On the Pojo list, it clocked in at 12th place with 11 voting points.  As a reminder, our 9th and 10th place picks were tied with 13 voting points, so it was close.  I don’t know if it really deserved to place so high on my own list, but I still think it probably deserved to make the actual top 10.


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