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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Mew
- XY: Evolutions

Date Reviewed:
Nov. xx, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.13
Expanded: 1.43
Limited: 2.25

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

My goodness, it's Mew! 

...see, cause Mew in the games knows Transform and-okay... 

So we've got little Mew with a mere 40 HP and a measly Psy Bolt, dealing 2-for-30 damage with a 50/50 shot at Paralyzing the opponent. Really, this was a bit of an unnecessary nerf on the card, consider its older self could just do it for 1, albeit inflicting only 10 damage. Still, while 1-for-10 going up to 2-for-30 in modern times seems alright, it's really the only complaint I've got towards this card, especially given that its Ability isn't really going to help it out. 

On the surface though, Neutral Shield is a Safeguard variant, preventing damage and other effects from attacks from a specific group of Pokemon. While Safeguard protects against Pokemon-EX, Neutral Shield is a bit broader, protecting from Evolution Pokemon. Of course normally this would just refer to Stage 1 or Stage 2 Pokemon, but we've come a long way since the early days. Now we've got two new kinds of Evolution: Mega Evolution and BREAK Evolution. While functionally they are just the same putting a card down on another card as the other Evolutions, their classification as Evolution cards means that Mew's got a bit more utility going for him against certain match-ups. 

That all being said, Mew itself is still extremely vulnerable to a host of other problem cards. In the years that have passed since its release, this card could have at least gone up in terms of HP. Psy Bolt isn't much more to talk about, and considering we've got Basic Pokemon-EX that are more troublesome than any of the new Evolutions, it's probably going to be a bit of a miracle that Mew has any impact at all. Not to say it won't happen or that it couldn't happen, but it's going to affect how certain decks address it. 

And once they know how to, 40 isn't that big of a number to get past. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (against those particular decks that don't have the outs to this card, it'll prove extremely handy even as a tech piece) 

Expanded: 1.5/5 (but to other decks, it's just gonna be run over easily) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (similarly, in any environment where certain Basics can have an impact, Mew looks particularly fragile) 

Arora Notealus: This version of Mew came out as a promo card back in the days when the game was being handled by Wizards of the Coast. To think it's come all this way. Like when Yugioh was being done by Upper Deck Entertainment, and the animes were all voiced by 4Kids! Man...we've come a long way since those days. 

Next Time: Speaking of cards that have come a long way...


Otaku

Mew (XY: Evolutions 53/108) gets the spotlight today.  As a Psychic Type, many Fighting and fellow Psychic Type Pokémon will be Weak to it, but nearly all Darkness Type and Metal Type Pokémon are Resistant.  My usual search tools aren’t up to par right now, but I don’t recall any effects that specifically counter the Psychic Type, which is good for them.  There are some beneficial effects that reference the Type, however; Dimension Valley shaves [C] off attack their attack costs, Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99; BW: Dark Explorers 109/108) has an Ability that causes basic Psychic Energy to provide [PP] instead of [P], Mystery Energy shaves [CC] off a Psychic Type’s Retreat Cost while attached, and Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119; Generations RC11/RC32) shuts down Abilities while it is Active except those of fellow Psychic Types.  Out of these only Dimension Valley looks to be particularly useful for Mew.  Currently there aren’t any [P] Energy related tricks not restricted to Psychic Type Pokémon which could benefit Mew, though there are some strong Psychic Types that share some synergy with it; common Energy requirements and being able to tap the same Type support can do wonders, but again more on that later. 

Being a Basic is the best when it comes to Stages; minimum cards and time to hit the field, decreases your risk of mulliganing, some card effects naturally work better with Basics, and some card effects are specifically designed to benefit Basics (like Fighting Fury Belt).  The only drawbacks are you can’t tap the Evolution specific Stage support and are vulnerable to Basic Stage specific counters.  40 HP is tiny and an all but guaranteed OHKO; only a few Pokémon are printed with a lower HP score (30 HP), and the only real benefits 40 has over 30 are fringe.  They do exist though; spread or bonus Bench hits are less likely to score a (bonus?) OHKO and in Expanded play Mew would survive an opponent’s opening Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym combo.  Technically it makes Weakness a little less relevant as well; only Psychic Type attackers that do no damage, 10 damage, or don’t apply Weakness whiff on a OHKO and those that hit for 40 or more already would have scored a OHKO, so just the attackers that swing for 20 and 30 really benefit.  No Resistance is typical and on 40 HP, -20 damage for a single specific matchup likely wouldn’t have mattered anyway.  That Retreat Cost of [C] is fairly easy to pay, both up front and in the long run.  Still on something so tiny I would have appreciated a free Retreat Cost instead.

Mew has the Ability “Neutral Shield” which protects it from damage and any effects of attacks made by your opponent’s Evolution Pokémon.  Not the wording; not just “Evolved” but “Evolution” means something like Gallade (XY: BREAKthrough 84/162) put into play via Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick is still denied.  From what I am seeing of recent results, the format is still heavy on Basic attackers; heavy but not monopolized so sometimes this can come in handy.  Its real flaw is that with just 40 HP on Mew an opponent has to recklessly Evolve their entire field or else whatever Basics are waiting to Evolve - especially Basic Pokémon-EX - can take an easy OHKO.  If you have something else waiting to then OHKO them, you might pull ahead in the Prize trade, or you might not.  Mew has just one attack called “Psy Bolt”; it costs [PC] and does 30 damage plus it has a coin flip based effect to try and Paralyze the opponent’s Active.  This is overpriced unless Dimension Valley (or I guess Gardevoir from earlier) is in play, but even with the attack effectively costing only [P] it is just fairly priced.  The Ability and attack are an odd pairing; if Neutral Shield is doing its thing, the only reason to Paralyze the opponent’s Active is to prevent it retreating or your opponent forcing something else up and then attacking it.  If it is not working, then it does act as a failsafe, though not a particularly effective one, as you can try and keep a Basic attacker locked with Paralysis.  So they do complement each other a little, but just not enough for me to be particularly comfortable relying on them. 

Mew directly competes with all other Mew cards, though sometimes they may complement each other as well.  Other versions of Mew are BW: Black Star Promos BW98, XY: Black Star Promos XY110, and XY: Fates Collide 29/124.  All are Basic, Psychic Type Pokémon with Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, and no Ancient Trait, with all but BW: Black Star Promos BW98 being Standard legal.  BW: Black Star Promos BW98 has 60 HP, Retreat Cost [C], the Ability “Psyscan”, and the attack “Psychic Exchange”.  Psyscan allows you to look at your opponent’s hand once per turn (before you attack) if this Pokémon is your Active, while Psychic Exchange costs [P] and has you shuffle your hand into your deck before drawing six cards.  The Ability is weak as Mew must be Active, and for that matter the attack also suffers for the same reason; you could change out your Active Mew after using the Ability, but it’s stuck up front after attacking.  Granted, only the Ability would really be tempting if it worked on the Bench, as “draw attacks” are just too slow under the current rules and card pool (at least the vast majority of the time).  This card was never reviewed. 

XY: Black Star Promos XY110 was also never reviewed before.  It has 70 HP, Retreat Cost [C] (again) but this time with two attacks and no Ability.  The first attack is “Clairvoyance” for [C] and… it lets you see your opponent’s hand, so it’s a worse Psyscan.  The sad part is that it wasn’t until I just typed the previous sentence that I realized it wasn’t just a bad attack but a downgrade of the previous Mew promo!  The second attack is different at least; “Psychic” for [PPC] doing 40 damage plus another 10 for each Energy attached to the opponent’s Active.  Very overpriced, though potentially useful under select circumstances, namely when you can somehow afford the cost and need to take down an Energy laden attacker who is Psychic Weak, has low HP, or both.  So far, today’s Mew is still coming out ahead.  That ends with XY: Fates Collide 29/124; it has 50 HP, a perfect free Retreat Cost, the Ability “Memories of Dawn”, and the attack “Encounter”.  Memories of Dawn allows this Mew to copy and use attacks from your other Basic Pokémon; though there is no discount without other cards (like Dimension Valley) it is still a potent play in certain decks.  Encounter isn’t great, but it is far better than it would normally be, basically allowing you to sacrifice Mew to help with set up in some other way.  That free Retreat Cost has also helped it slip into decks, as it is one of the few Basic Pokémon with said feature.  The only reason this is not what I consider to be the main competition for today’s Mew is that they serve almost totally different purposes. 

Mew (XY: Evolutions 53/108) joins the ranks of other Pokémon capable of “walling” due to their effects.  Currently we have Glaceon-EX who also is protected from Evolution Pokémon, though by its attack.  In one sense an Ability is better since your opponent cannot get around it via Pokémon Ranger or forcing Mew up before it could attack, but at the same time Abilities have to fear Hex Maniac and (as this is a Basic Pokémon) Silent Lab, as well as other Ability counters.  Glaceon-EX is worth two Prizes when it is KO’d, but it’s much more durable and the attack it uses to wall - “Crystal Ray” - is better than Psy Bolt, so unless your deck just cannot afford a Water Type or Pokémon-EX while it can handle a Psychic Type, Mew loses.  I don’t think it is totally without purpose in the current and pending metagame, but unless predictions of an Evolution dominated metagame come true, it is quite niche for Standard and Expanded play, though a hair more useful in Limited as a surprise drop against an opponent that managed to field and fuel a worthwhile Evolution. 

Which may be better than the Mew which inspired it, Mew (WotC Black Star Promos 47).  As with some of the other cards, I am uncertain if today’s version counts as a full on “updated re-release” (rendering the old version unplayable even in Unlimited due to significant text changes) or not.  WotC Black Star Promos 47 is not the first Mew card released, and there was none in the original Base Set which XY: Evolutions otherwise likes to copy, but I don’t fault the powers-that-be from wanting to include the infamous Mew in the set.  This older Mew is also a Psychic Type Basic Pokémon named “Mew” with 40 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance and Retreat Cost [C].  Neutral Shield first appeared here, though as a Pokémon Power and not an Ability.  Pokémon Powers are essentially the original form of Abilities, though card effects that refer to Abilities do not affect Pokémon Powers and vice versa.  This Neutral Shield worked against “Evolved Pokémon” instead of Evolutions.  I don’t recall if we had any tricks to put Evolutions into play directly at the time, so it may not matter that the coverage was a little less thorough.  Another difference is that when this card was printed, Confusion, Paralysis, and Sleep would turn off Pokémon Powers; later once the blanket term “Special Condition” was coined, it was ruled that cards with this clause were shut down by any and all Special Conditions, so Burn and Poison were added to that list.  Instead of Psy Bolt, this Mew had “Psyshock” for [P] to do 10 damage and flip to Confuse… which actually was a misprint as the original Japanese version Paralyzed.  As the early days of the game were even more Basic dominated than the present, this Mew was merely a novelty. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.35/5 

Limited: 2/5 

Summary: An easy to bypass protective effect, an overpriced, underpowered attack, and an almost minimal HP score make this Mew one to keep in your binder and not in your deck.


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