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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 

Focus Sash
- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 12, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

See Below

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Anything that can deny your opponent a KO is always worth a second look, and Focus Sash is no exception. Sure the Pokemon needs to be at full HP to be used, and it has to be on a Fighting-type, but in a format where OHKO's are aimed for and can easily be performed on anything that isn't a Pokemon-EX, Focus Sash can help those out at the bottom fight off those at the top. 

Rating 

Standard: N/A 

Expanded: 4/5 (a very useful Tool, if only useful on very specific Pokemon)

Limited: 4/5 (but it can always find a good spot) 

Arora Notealus: Do you like these focused concise reviews? I write them up while wearing a bandanna around my head at 3 in the morning. Remember kids, don't do drugs, eat your vegetables, and stay in school, and never forget to wear that extra sash for when you need to focus on your studies cause it's 3 AM. 

Next Time: The scientist that was and could've been...


Otaku

Our 13th place finisher is Focus Sash (XY: Furious Fists 91/111).  It is a Pokémon Tool, so anything that affects Trainers or Items also affects Focus Sash, in addition to Pokémon Tool specific effects.  Focus Sash can be attached to Pokémon of any Type, but its effect only triggers when 

·         Focus Sash is attached to a Fighting Type

·         That Fighting Type has full HP

·         That Fighting Type would be KO’d by damage from an opponent’s attack

Meet all three of those, and the Pokémon in question is not KO’d but instead has its HP set to 10 and Focus Sash discards itself.  The self discard might seem bad, but unless you can heal all damage from the Pokémon in question, this is actually a bonus as it clears the way for another Tool (should you wish to risk one on something so damage).  So how can this go wrong?  Well in the unlikely event your opponent can somehow make your Fighting Type into a different Type (devolving certain Evolutions, card effects only legal in Unlimited play, maybe something else I missed) that would do it.  Placing at least one damage counter on your Pokémon that otherwise has full HP would also prevent Focus Sash from triggering, but this only matters if you’re immediately following up with an attack for the KO; obviously you can always shoot for a 2HKO.  If you can easily Poison or otherwise place damage counters between turns (again without requiring a second attack), then a single attack will effectively score a OHKO.  The most obvious is using a card like Startling Megaphone, Tool Scrapper, or Xerosic to toss Focus Sash.  Just remember that again you need to follow up with a OHKO or you just burned a Tool removal effect to enable your opponent to replace a now useless Focus Sash. 

When we first looked at this card, it didn’t even manage a three out of five average for Standard or Expanded play.  So how did it make this list?  Times change, dear reader, times change.  This card released when Hypnotoxic Laser was still legal; having an Item based method of Poison that was already reasonably popular as a way of buffing attacks is a significant issue.  We still have Ariados to try something similar in Standard but a Stage 1, using an Ability, which hits your own Active as well (unless it’s a Grass Type) is a far cry from an Item that also has a 50% chance of inflicting Sleep as well (and only to your opponent’s Active).  We got rid of Hypnotoxic Laser and saw more and more OHKOs via raw damage, such as from the Night March Pokémon, and decks struggling to make room for Tool removal.  Suddenly it was a great little trick for any Fighting deck, with Korrina snagging both a Fighting Type Pokémon and a Focus Sash to go with it.  Certain Pokémon were amazing with it as well; Primal Groudon-EX (XY: Primal Clash 86/160, 151/160) and Regirock (XY: Black Star Promos XY49) which each have the Ancient Trait “Ω Barrier” which protects your attached Pokémon Tools (among other things) from the effects of your opponent’s Trainer cards not put into play.  Medicham (XY: Primal Clash 81/160) has the Ancient Trait “Ω Barrage”, which allows it to attack twice; normally you prefer to slap something on there that increases damage yield, but ensuring your 90 HP Stage 1 with two Strong Energy attached survives the next turn still enables high damage yields. 

The big reason though is that the easy counter of “just discard the Tool” is no longer easy in Standard.  Again there are still a few workarounds like Ariados but this card being legal would have all but guaranteed your opponent couldn’t score a OHKO.  No more Xerosic, no more Startling Megaphone, and the best alternative is Beedrill-EX, a Pokémon using an attack that does no damage.  Yes the Fighting Type lost Korrina, but we still have Skyla, Trainer’s Mail, fantastic draw Supporters and Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108), plus search like Hoopa-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 36/98, 89/98; XY: Black Star Promos XY71) and Ultra Ball to further help with set up.  You’ve got Pokémon like Carbink (XY: Fates Collide 50/124) that are protected by an effect (Safeguard) but a Focus Band means a simple Hex Maniac and OHKO won’t stick.  Focus Sash won’t be mind blowing in Expanded, but it will still be a good card and nasty trick you’ll have to worry about versus the Fighting Type, and it is also a good pull for Limited play unless you lack Fighting Types. 

Ratings 

Standard: N/A 

Expanded: 3.35/5 

Limited: 3.5/5 

Summary: Fighting Sash is a good trick, proven even in a somewhat hostile format that could Poison to get around it, discard it relatively easily, block it from being played, or sometimes even negate it after it had already been played.  Even a chance at living through a OHKO can lead to major swings in advantage, forcing your opponent to re-take a Prize while potentially taking a Prize with resources that should have been discarded due to KO.  Should it be reprinted, it would become a must for Fighting Type decks with a few using it brilliantly, doing what it is already doing but without as many counters. 

Fighting Sash earned 24 voting points, just edging out the tie we had in 14th and 15th place by one point, and only a single point below tomorrow’s subject.  It was my 10th place pick, but 14th place is still a respectable finish… plus I’m worried I was overly excited about the combo.  Like I said in the review, it only matters when you’re facing something that would score a OHKO in the first place and is not able to utilize one of the remaining counters (Item lock, Poison, etc.).


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