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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 XY: Evolutions Cards

#7 - Mewtwo-EX
- XY: Evolutions

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 10, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.25
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: 5.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Ahhh, we're never going to truly be rid of a Mewtwo-EX, are we? I mean, he's iconic if for nothing else but his status as one of the first Pokemon-EX, so I guess it means he gets a new card every couple of years or so in some form - Next Destinies, Legendary Treasures, BREAKThrough, and now Evolutions. 

That being said, don't fret over this one being as dominant as the original. Much like his BREAKThrough counterparts, he's been dumbed down a bit so as not to be as overbearing on the competition, but he does retain some features from an older Mewtwo: notably a promo version of Mewtwo! 

Course he's a major power boost over the original, which only had 70 HP and two attacks whereas Mewtwo-EX has 180 HP and THREE attacks! The first is more or less a direct copy of the original's Energy Absorption, but it's nerfed in that it only grabs 1 Energy from the discard pile instead of 2. That's the trick with that, since the original could instantly power up into its 3-for-40 Psyburn attack, whereas Mewtwo-EX can't quite hit his 4-for-110 Psyburn attack. 

So what addition makes this more than a glorified reprint? Well, the addition of Regeneration actually makes him far more sustainable. At the same cost as Energy Absorption - at 1 Energy, though notably this costs 1 Psychic Energy compared to the Colorless 1 for EA - Regeneration is effectively a free Super Potion that only costs the attack for the turn but gives Mewtwo-EX 60 HP back. That's a pretty substantial number and can prevent your opponent from 2HKO-ing Mewtwo-EX effectively. 

With that little addition, this may make Mewtwo-EX a tad more viable overall, and that means he's probably going to see play in a few builds, notably any M Mewtwo-EX builds that run Shrine of Memories. I can already imagine people running this one for his Energy Absorption to power up Psychic Infinity faster or using Regeneration to stall out opponents from getting the KO as they power up their back-up attacker. Needless to say, I think Mewtwo-EX will leave a good enough impact on the game that lends him a lot of credibility in the long run. 

Rating 

Standard: 3.5/5 (a couple of good moves that while on his own lead up to an okay attack, in combination they can promote other cards even more) 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (he won't be as dominating as the original, but Energy Absorption can grab back any Energy - even Special Energies - to work with himself) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (so keep that in mind as you consider whether or not to build with him in mind) 

Arora Notealus: He's definitely a notable addition to the card pool, but it may end up being short-lived. He's a slower Pokemon in general and has to contend with the likes of M Rayquaza-EX, Primal Kyogre-EX and Primal Groudon-EX, and more recently Volcanion-EX. He might be more composed around the BREAK Evolutions and the Megas, but it'll be tough on his own to stand up to their colossal HP scores - and Psyburn isn't exactly my go-to option at the moment.

Next Time: What we really need is rock-hard determination.


Otaku

Note: I finally had a chance to glance at the results from the Regional Championship that took place in Philadelphia, PA on November 5th and 6th, courtesy of The Charizard Lounge.  Which means reviews prior to this one clearly had not been written with the knowledge the results of said tournament has provided.  Go ahead and give it a look for yourself; you’ll notice I was wrong about the demise of Night March.  Bad for my reputation, but possibly good for me since I’ve been including Karen in my own decks on the PTCGO, and trying to learn how to use her well. 

Today we review our lucky number seven finisher, Mewtwo-EX (XY: Evolutions 52/108, 103/108).  That’s right, two Mewtwo based cards in the top 10, and this is our fourth distinct Mewtwo-EX, and including reprints we now have 15 cards named “Mewtwo-EX” in the Expanded cardpool.  That is skipping variants where a card might receive an alternate holofoil pattern because it is a later printing of an earlier release (so it has the same set and card number).   We began with the original (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, BW: Next Destinies 98/99; BW: Black Star Promos BW45, BW: Legendary Treasures 54/130).  It was part of the first set to contain Pokémon-EX, BW: Next Destinies, a set that officially released back on February 8, 2012.   Late last year (official release date of November 4, 2015) in XY: BREAKthrough we received a second version of Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 61/162. 157/162,163/162; XY: Black Star Promos XY125, XY183) and a third (XY: BREAKthrough 62/162, 158/162, 164/162; XY: Black Star Promos XY107).  That same set also gave us M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) and a second, distinct M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162).  Part of me wants to skip over the others as you should be so familiar with them, but when I explain where you should and shouldn’t be using today’s Mewtwo-EX, I’ll have to bring them up anyway. 

Mewtwo-EX is a Psychic Type, which shouldn’t be a surprise as Mewtwo is a Psychic Type in the video games, with only “Mega Mewtwo X” being Psychic/Fighting.  Based on card art, that means everything but M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) has no other option.  In Expanded being a Psychic Type means access to some nifty tricks like Dimension Valley and Mystery Energy, access to some solid attackers, relevant here because while they might work off Type, they are just that much more effective in a partial or totally Psychic Type deck, and hitting most a major chunk of the Psychic and Fighting Types for double damage due to Weakness.  It comes with the drawbacks of nearly all Darkness Types and Metal Types being Psychic Resistant.  There are some non-issues in the good way (no explicitly anti-Psychic effects) and the not-so-good way (Psychic Energy based support is weak enough we can gloss over it), and Standard loses the best pieces of Psychic Type support but faces a smaller card pool with fewer foes.  Being a Basic Pokémon means one card equals one copy, no waiting to Evolve, can act as your opening Basic (sometimes not a good thing), natural synergy with certain card effects, and access to Basic Pokémon Stage support, versus… an inability to access certain bits of Evolution support (or at least not directly) and a few anti-Basic Pokémon effects which have proven effective.  Yeah, it’s good to be a Basic. 

180 HP is good; nothing is safe from being OHKO’d, and this isn’t especially safe, just more likely to survive a hit than not with the “more likely” side including decks which aren’t trying for a OHKO and the “not” side including decks which nearly always score OHKOs, so make of that what you will.  It is the higher of the two typical Basic Pokémon-EX scores, at the very least.  Psychic Weakness is not a happy thing to have; not only do you have some decks which are focused upon a Psychic Type attacker, but you’ve got a few that are easy to splash in off Type, less so in Standard than Expanded however.  “No Resistance” is the worst Resistance, but as the mechanic isn’t very strong (defensively) it also isn’t a big deal.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can afford to pay it but high enough you’d prefer to avoid it; some alternatives to manually retreating at full Price.  At least at this level it is low enough that a single Mystery Energy (at least in Expanded play) can zero it out entirely. 

What makes Mewtwo-EX (XY: Evolutions 52/108, 103/108) really stand out though is the attacks; while it lacks an Ability or Ancient Trait, it brings three attacks to the table.  “Energy Absorption” costs [C] and allows Mewtwo-EX to attach an Energy card from your discard pile to itself; no damage done, but it can be any Type as well as being either a Basic Energy card or Special Energy.  This can be helpful for fueling up its own attacks, or building to M Mewtwo-EX.  It isn’t a tremendous amount of Energy acceleration and is really hurt by the inability to attack first turn.  Considering the various Energy acceleration options available, I am somewhat skeptical of it being worth giving up an attack to come out just one Energy ahead.  “Regeneration” costs [P] and allows Mewtwo-EX to heal 60 damage from itself.  The low cost means it might help by wiping out half the damage from a typical attack, but in a format of OHKOs and 2HKOs (including of much larger targets), again it’s only going to come in handy under select circumstances.  The third and final attack is “Psyburn” for [PCCC], which does 110 damage; a decent enough return for the Energy required, given that only one is a specific Type.  Dimension Valley brings Psyburn down to [PCC], which means a Max Elixir plus Double Colorless Energy for your manual Energy attachment of the turn gets this card swinging immediately.  It also means Energy Absorption is free, but not as thrilling as it might sound; handy if you’ve got an Energy to attach from the discard pile and think Mewtwo-EX can survive up front, but if you’re focused upon building up Mewtwo-EX you probably attached an Energy to it… which means you could afford Energy Absorption without the discount. 

So… what about the other Mewtwo-EX?  All are Basic, Psychic Type Pokémon with 170 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], no Ability, no Ancient Trait, and two attacks.  10 less HP matters, but not tremendously.  Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, BW: Next Destinies 98/99; BW: Black Star Promos BW45, BW: Legendary Treasures 54/130) is an Expanded only option, sporting the now iconic “X Ball”; for [CC] Mewtwo-EX attacks to do 20 damage for each Energy attached to all Active Pokémon (yours and your opponent’s).  With just the minimum investment (often provided via Double Colorless Energy) that’s 40 damage, which is quite respectable even today, and most of the time your opponent’s Pokémon is supplying another 20 to 40.  Where this card still proves amazing is when a deck specializes in loading it with extra Energy to hit key damage amounts, needs a counter for another deck that runs Energy heavy attackers, needs a generic attacker to exploit Psychic Weakness but which works with any Energy Type, or some combination of the the preceding.  Its second attack is “Psydrive” for [PPC] delivers a 120 damage but requires you discard an Energy from Mewtwo-EX itself.  Even with a discard cost, 120-for-three is fairly good.  This attack is rarely used though, as Mewtwo-EX is heavily played in decks with little or no Psychic Energy.  Power creep has eroded some of this card’s niche, plus Lugia-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 68/98, 94/98) and Yveltal-EX possess attacks similar to X Ball, as often as not being a better choice.  It was our top pick from BW: Next Destinies, number one for all of 2012, fourth most important reprint for BW: Legendary Treasures, and eighth most significant card lost to the 2015-2016 rotation. 

Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 61/162. 157/162,163/162; XY: Black Star Promos XY125, XY183) has similarly priced but very different attacks from its predecessor.  For [CC] it can use “Photon Wave” to do 30 damage while soaking 30 damage from attacks by your opponent’s Pokémon (before applying Weakness/Resistance).  That’s reasonably good, it just seems lackluster compared to X-Ball.  I like it better than Regeneration (the second attack on today’s Mewtwo-EX).  This card also has Psyburn, but it costs [PPCC] and does 120.  I like hitting harder, but if doing just 10 less allowed the Energy cost to also drop to [PCCC], it is probably worth it.  Especially in Standard, where you can’t stack multiple damage bonuses as effectively to hit key damage totals.  It’s set-mate Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 62/162, 158/162, 164/162; XY: Black Star Promos XY107) brings “Shatter Shot” to the table, which does 30 damage per [P] Energy attached to itself.  30 for [P] is decent, as is 60 for [PP].  90 for [PPP] is low (many cards can hit that hard with some or even mostly Colorless Energy costs), and past that you’re overpaying, but the flexibility is appreciated.  Not a great attack, but decent.  The second attack is “Damage Change” which costs [PPC] but allows you to exchange all damage counters between Mewtwo-EX itself and your opponent’s Active.  A bit pricey, but when you can time it right you’ll heal all damage from Mewtwo-EX while scoring a OHKO against the opponent’s Active; net result is a good attack.  We ended up reviewing both Mewtwo-EX from XY: BREAKthrough at the same time.  Experience has proven I was a bit generous with both, but XY: BREAKthrough 61/162 (and its reprints) more so than XY: BREAKthrough 62/162 (and its reprints) as the former has seen little to no successful competitive play while the latter is important to M Mewtwo-EX decks, as at least in Standard play they make excellent use of Damage Swap via Shrine of Memories. 

Speaking of M Mewtwo-EX, both are Psychic Mega Evolutions with Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, no Ability, no Ancient Trait, and a single attack.  Being a Mega Evolution isn’t great, but it is probably the fourth best Stage right now; Basic is best, while second and third best is a tie between Stage 1 Pokémon and the BREAK Evolutions of Basic Pokémon.  That is actually pretty respectable as Mewtwo Spirit Link allows your Mega Evolution to function as only a slightly more demanding Stage 1.  Being a Mega Evolution includes access to tricks like Mega Turbo but also a vulnerability to things like “Wonder Lock” - the Ability on Klefki (XY: Steam Siege 80/114), but what makes it a good thing here is how it gives all of these Mewtwo-EX an out to dealing with Basic counters, plus combos to exploit generic Evolution support and/or Mega Evolution support.  Plus the HP and attacks found on that respective Mega Evolution.  Speaking of which, M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 63/162, 159/162) brings 230 HP, the second highest we see on Mega Evolutions, making it pretty sturdy.  Its Retreat Cost is [CCC], high enough that if you use it, more cards for changing out your Active, allowing it to tank, etc. are probably a good idea.  Its attack is “Vanishing Strike” for [PFFC] to do 150+ damage, where the “plus” is another 50 damage while ignoring Resistance and effects on the opponent’s Active so long as there is a Stadium card in play.  That’s a hefty Energy cost, and it falls just a bit short of threatening most Mega Evolutions, but it saves you needing something like Hex Maniac, Lysandre, Pokémon Ranger, etc. to deal with problematic protective effects.  We looked at it here and again, I was too generous considering the competition it faces for deck space. 

M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162, 160/162) has just 210 HP, a bit low for a Mega Evolution but still fairly durable: OHKOs still happen, but the average deck is lucky to pull it off once per game.  Its Retreat Cost is back down to the usual [CC] of its kin, so onto its lone attack, “Psychic Infinity”.  This is a beefed up version of X Ball; it costs [CC] and does 10 damage plus 30 more for each Energy attached to either player’s Active Pokémon.  Weakness does not apply to this damage, per the text of the attack; at first I thought this was a serious drawback, but it’s benefits may actually outweigh its drawbacks.  While it would be nice to enjoy double damage while attacking the Psychic Weak, as this card itself is also Psychic Weak it prevents something like Mew-EX from scoring easy, low cost OHKOs for your opponent against your own M Mewtwo-EX.  As decks built around this Pokémon have proven fairly successful in Standard play, where Mew-EX is still legal due to its latest reprint (XY: Black Star Promos XY126), this goes from being obscure to badly needed protection.  We looked at this M Mewtwo-EX here. 

So what does all of this mean for Mewtwo-EX (XY: Evolutions 52/108, 103/108)?  As far as I can tell, it may have niche usage in M Mewtwo-EX decks (either version), as accelerating Energy while attacking might be needed by them.  As they have other Energy acceleration options, it might be more of an Emergency fallback for them, and it comes with the other two attacks should you need to heal a bit or use Psyburn.  Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 62/162, 158/162, 164/162; XY: Black Star Promos XY107) is however the proven and preferred option, so we are talking about maybe a niche position, and mostly only relevant to Standard play.  So try it out in Standard and (with less promise) in Expanded, and enjoy it in Limited where you can probably just run it and skip including any other Pokémon.  This Mewtwo-EX is patterned after Mewtwo (DP: Majestic Dawn 9/100), a Psychic Type Basic Mewtwo with 90 HP, Energy Absorption for [0] and capable of attaching up to two Energy, Recover for [P] but now requiring you discard a [P] Energy to remove six damage counters from itself, and Psyburn for [PPC], doing 60 damage.  This would be an odd choice for XY: Evolutions except except Mewtwo (DP: Majestic Dawn 9/100) is patterned after Mewtwo (WotC Black Star Promos 3, 14).  Not something from the original Base Set, but WotC Black Star Promos 3 was one of the promos you could get with your ticket to Pokémon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back, while WotC Black Star Promos 14 was included with your purchase of the original home release of said film.  This Mewtwo has 70 HP, Energy Absorption that costs [P] but attaches two Energy, and Psyburn for [PPC] and doing 40 damage… and all of that was amazing when it first released, and for a decent amount of time afterwards.  The CotD crew of the time (I was on hiatus) reviewed Mewtwo (DP: Majestic Dawn 9/100) here, while Ness (the original CotD reviewer) covered Mewtwo (WotC Black Star Promos 3, 14) here. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 2.5/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Mewtwo-EX (XY: Evolutions 52/108, 103/108) is a reasonably good Psychic Type attacker that might score higher except we’ve got two other options that are as good or better in Standard, and one more that is definitely better in Expanded.  This is whether we focus on it or use it as a stepping stone into an M Mewtwo-EX card. 

I can’t put this on others though; Mewtwo-EX received eight voting points and three of those are from me, as I had it as my eighth place pick, above Hitmonchan (XY: Evolutions 62/108) and another card we haven’t reviewed yet (which may or may not have made the actual Top 10).  It beat out yesterday’s Electrode (XY: Evolutions 40/108) by two points and only missed tying tomorrow’s sixth place finisher by a single point.  Mewtwo-EX isn’t bad, but it making either the site or my personal Top 10 tells you that I should have had us do only a Top 5 for this set.

 

Who doesn’t like Mewtwo? We 90s kids were fortunate enough to experience the Pokémon craze that quickly swept America and the rest of the world, complete with the first movie that allowed us to learn Mewtwo’s dark past. We competed to beat Red, Blue, and Yellow Versions to make it to the Unknown Dungeon to battle and catch the ultimate Pokémon so that we could gloat to friends and show it off in battles during recess. While Pokémon has certainly evolved over the years, adding hundreds of new creatures in the process, Mewtwo has remained my favorite Pokémon and will continue being so. I am glad they decided to print Mewtwo-EX in Evolutions, and even more so that it was given the treatment it deserves, complete with three decent attacks and amazing artwork. 

M Mewtwo-EX (Y) is probably the strongest deck in the format right now for a number of reasons. First, there are virtually no Psychic-types to counter it besides M Gardevoir-EX. Second, unless you can deal 210 damage to OHKO M Mewtwo-EX, then it can just heal it off using its Damage Change attack thanks to the Shine of Memories Stadium. Lastly, its Psychic Infinity attack can deal a ton of damage depending on how much Energy are attached to both Active Pokémon. And as an honorable mention, Garbodor pairs nicely because the deck doesn’t use Abilities, so cards like Greninja BREAK and Volcanion-EX will struggle against M Mewtwo-EX.  

The new Mewtwo from Evolutions may not be a complete replacement for the one with Damage Change, but I think it’s easily a one-of in the deck. Energy Absorption is a great form of Energy acceleration – you can’t evolve on your first turn anyway, so you might as well attach an extra Energy. Doing so puts a ton of pressure on your opponent, as it makes them second guess whether or not they should attach to their Active in fear of a Psychic Infinity the following turn. Regeneration can be a solid way to stall as you find that Double Colorless to one-shot an opponent’s Pokémon. Keep in mind Shine of Memories will let you use these attacks even as M Mewtwo-EX, so that is why this Mewtwo-EX is strong. Finally, its Psyburn attack might seem lackluster because of the cost, but now M Mewtwo-EX has a way to deal with the mirror matchup, doing just enough damage after Weakness is applied to score a OHKO against an opponent’s M Mewtwo-EX. 

Again, I’m not saying this card is a full-on replacement for the Damage Change Mewtwo-EX, but look no further if you want a one-of that can potentially win you the mirror.

Expanded doesn’t exactly have a place for this Mewtwo-EX, however. Night March and Trevenant BREAK decks are widely popular, both hitting Mewtwo-EX for Weakness. In addition, the X-Ball Mewtwo-EX is overall a much stronger choice because it can be powered up in a pinch with a Double Colorless Energy.  

Ratings

Standard: 3.5/5

Expanded: 1/5

Limited: 4.5/5 

Summary: Mewtwo will always be a big part of the Pokémon franchise, having been featured in a number of movies and video games over the past 20 years. It is perhaps the most interesting Pokémon in terms of backstory, and that is why it will remain my favorite for years to come. The Mewtwo-EX in Evolutions pays tribute to the Pokémon by making it one of the more playable cards in the set and by giving it some incredible artwork to boot. And the best part is that it is currently pretty cheap, sitting at only about two to twelve bucks! Do yourself a favor and buy the full art while it is affordable. You know you want to. J  


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