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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 XY: Evolutions Cards

#9 - Mewtwo
- XY: Evolutions

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 8, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.88
Expanded: 1.88
Limited: 4.13

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Otaku

Mewtwo (XY: Evolutions 51/108) is our ninth place finisher, and is a reimagining of Mewtwo (Base Set 10/102; Base Set 2 10/130), which has never officially been reviewed, probably because the only reason it had more than a joke deck back in the day was the combination of general card and knowledge scarcity.  Which lead people like me to mistake “Mulligan’s Mewtwo” for a real deck (Sadly not my most embarrassing mistake from back then).  Once again, I’ll be comparing and contrasting the original with its successor throughout the review. 

Both are Psychic Type, Basic Pokémon with Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, two attacks, and no other effects.  Psychic Weakness is found on many other Psychic Types as well as many of the Fighting Type Pokémon, while Resistance is near universal on both the Darkness Type and Metal Type; if Resistance wasn’t less impactful, this would be very bad for the Psychic Type… but Resistance is far less useful than Weakness is problematic so the Psychic Type isn’t hurting for this (maybe it even comes out a little ahead). What about Psychic Type specific support?  Not overly abundant, but we’ve got some solid tricks in the form of Dimension Valley and Mystery Energy (too bad both are Expanded only).  There is also Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119; Generations RC11/RC32) which is Standard legal, but it becomes indirect support as Mewtwo has no Ability for it to not shut down.  There is some synergy with other Psychic Types, such as Mew (XY: Fates Collide 29/124) and Mew-EX, which can make use of the same Energy and Type support.  I am unaware of any cards that are explicitly anti-Psychic Type.  That doesn’t mean there is no way to counter Psychic Types; usually the trick is just countering their Weakness and/or whatever strategy it is said Psychic Types support. 

Being a Basic was the best back then and it’s still the best now, though for those who didn’t experience it there were times in the middle where being a Basic usually meant the card was going to be bad.  Both then and now being a Basic meant requiring the least deck space, minimum time and effort to put Mewtwo into play, the capacity to be your opening Pokémon, Basic Stage support, and a natural synergy with certain card effects.  It took a few sets before we got the first anti-Basic cards if I remember correctly, and now such things are the only knock against being a Basic Pokémon.  Mewtwo (XY: Evolutions 51/108) has 130 HP, only 10 HP under the maximum we’ve seen printed on a Basic Pokémon which lacked a specialty mechanic (like being a Pokémon-EX), and was the maximum until Snorlax (XY: Fates Collide 77/124).  This is much better than the original Mewtwo, which only had 60 HP (half the maximum printed on anything back then).  With 130, Mewtwo (XY: Evolutions 51/108) has a decent chance of soaking a hit, especially if it is bolstered with Fighting Fury Belt.  That Psychic Type Weakness provides one of the most common exceptions and is dangerous though not the worst Weakness a Pokémon can have right now.  Lack of Resistance is a bit disappointing but expected and not a major loss.  Mewtwo (XY: Evolutions 51/108) has a Retreat Cost of [CC], low enough you can probably pay it up front but high enough you’ll also probably feel the loss of Energy before the game is over.  Pack a little something to help with that.  Still, this is an improvement over the original Mewtwo as it had a [CCC] Retreat Cost! 

Both Mewtwo have the same attack names, and they work in a similar manner, but the costs and specifics of the effects are definitely different.  Mewtwo (XY: Evolutions 51/108) has “Psychic” for [CC], doing 20 damage plus another 20 per Energy attached to the opponent’s Active.  Poor return against something with no Energy, a little underwhelming against something with just one, but past that it starts to pay off (especially when attacking something Weak).  The original’s Psychic cost [PC] and did just 10 plus 10 per Energy, so both the cost and damage output have improved substantially.  The second attack is “Barrier”, and it costs [PP] on both versions of Mewtwo.  XY: Evolutions 51/108 can use the attack to protect itself from all effect of attacks (including damage!) during your opponent’s next turn, but the attack states you cannot use it if you used Barrier the previous turn.  The original offered the same protection, but instead of being unable to use Barrier the next turn, the original required you discard a [P] Energy from Mewtwo.  The “can’t use twice in a row” effect is a much better deal than the Energy discard, but the attack is mostly a desperately play as your opponent can cancel it out with Pokémon Ranger, for up a new Active with a card like Lysandre or Escape Rope, or use an attack that hits the Bench or ignores the effects on the opponent’s Active.  Of course, some of those are more likely than others.  If you need a single turn stall, though, it isn’t a horrible option. 

So back in the day, the joke deck Mulligan’s Mewtwo was built using 59 basic Psychic Energy cards and one Mewtwo (Base Set 10/102; Base Set 2 10/130).  An unprepared opponent could actually lose, and even if there was a way to reset the effect of Barrier (no official ruling on it yet but based on something related, I am thinking “no”), it wouldn’t be worth it.  Having a big, Basic Pokémon worth a single Prize which can punish Energy hogs might be, however.  So the real competition for this card comes not from other Mewtwo but from attackers with a similar niche.  In Standard, this means Lugia-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 68/98, 94/98) and Yveltal-EX for notable examples, while Expanded adds in Dedenne (XY: Furious Fists 34/111), Meloetta (BW: Legendary Treasures 78/113), and Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW: Black Star Promos BW45; BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113).  Why use Mewtwo (XY: Evolutions 51/108) over any of these?  Some of them are quite good cards, but Mewtwo is the only Basic, Psychic Type that can do the job for [CC].  In Standard play, this is especially important because M Mewtwo-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 64/162; 160/162) became quite popular post rotation and seems to have at least some staying power.  Mewtwo isn’t a silver bullet counter; to score a OHKO you’ll need to use Psychic while the opponent’s M Mewtwo-EX has five or more Energy attached (four if you’ve got Fighting Fury Belt on your side of the equation). 

Which in a deck that fares poorly against M Mewtwo-EX is a somewhat reasonable occurrence.  Also reasonable is how said decks probably don’t need a OHKO so much as they need a decent beginning or ending for a 2HKO, and Mewtwo obliges whether it is being fueled by a Double Colorless Energy or whatever is covering the [CC] cost.  Against somewhat Energy intensive Types (3+ Energy) or the Psychic Weak it can still set up a 2HKO fairly well.  So that is how to use it in Standard play, but it probably isn’t needed in Expanded.  For Limited play it is a good, strong pull you would only skip if you pulled a big, Basic Pokémon-EX and built your entire Limited deck around that one Basic Pokémon (and only that Pokémon). 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 2.25/5 

Limited: 4.25/5 

Summary: Mewtwo is a niche attacker, punishing Pokémon which are Energy heavy, Psychic Weak, or both.  Only in the case of the latter is the goal a 2HKO; instead you’re hoping Mewtwo pulls off a 2HKO, probably with an assist from your previous or next attacker though its 130 HP might allow it to do the job itself. 

Mewtwo managed five voting points, only beating out yesterday’s 10th place finisher by a single point, and similarly losing out to tomorrow’s 8th place pick by one point.


Zach Carmichael

Tuesday’s Card of the Day is Mewtwo from Evolutions. Like many of the cards in this set, Mewtwo is a pseudo-reprint of its Base Set counterpart, but there are a number of notable changes that warrant it to make out Top 10 list. When I first read the card when it was revealed through Japanese scans some time ago, instantly I thought that it could be a viable counter to the monster known as M Mewtwo-EX (Y) that has continued to dominate the Standard format since the rotation in September, but is this really the case?

I won’t get into specifics, but there are actually five versions of this card currently in print if you include its theme deck and Prerelease versions – that’s a lot of love for the Psychic Pokémon! What’s more is that the card has been considerably buffed to compete with cards in the modern era of the TCG. Mewtwo now has 130 HP instead of 60 HP, and its Retreat Cost is now 2, not 3. Its attacks include Psychic and Barrier, both of which were present on its Base Set counterpart. Psychic’s cost is now 2 Colorless Energy versus a Psychic and Colorless, making it a bit easier to use in a pinch. It does 20 damage plus two more for each Energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokémon. While this certainly makes it splashable in a number of decks for some easy damage, it is not game-changing by any means. Had it said both Active Pokémon, then that would be another story entirely – it would basically be a non-EX version of the infamous Mewtwo-EX from Next Destinies (Seriously, do we really want another Mewtwo War?)!

That said, Mewtwo suddenly becomes merely average because of this text wording, making it fall short of getting the OHKO on M Mewtwo-EX in most circumstances. M Mewtwo-EX would need a whopping 4 Energy for Mewtwo to get the KO with Psychic, and that’s assuming you have Fighting Fury Belt attached. The other attack, Barrier, allows it to become virtually untouchable the next turn (at least if it remains your Active Pokémon). This would be incredibly powerful if you could just repeatedly use the attack, but knowing this, the card developers added some balance by preventing you from using it two turns in a row. I’m not 100% sure on the ruling, but I would assume that Pokémon Ranger would not get around this based on how this caveat is worded. I can see Mewtwo being a one-of in M Mewtwo-EX decks just as a single-price attacker to set up for future KOs, but otherwise I don’t see a real use for Mewtwo at the moment. Expanded is essentially the same story. Dimension Valley makes Psychic a bit better, but that’s about it. Perhaps Trevenant players will embrace Mewtwo as a quick way to put damage on their opponent’s board, but even then they will probably opt to just let Trevenant remain Active and take a hit if it means keeping the Item lock. 

Ratings

Standard: 2.5/5

Expanded: 1.5/5

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: It’s crazy how a simple textual wording of a card can make all the difference. Mewtwo was so close to being the M Mewtwo-EX counter players have been waiting for, but unfortunately this is not the case. Perhaps some decks will take advantage of it simply for its potentially solid damage output for just a lone Double Colorless Energy, but I don’t see the card being popular for quite some time in either Standard or Expanded.


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