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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 

Startling Megaphone

- Flashfire

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 24, 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


Otaku

Startling Megaphone (XY: Flashfire 97/106) is our fifth place finisher for our Top 20 Cards Lost to Rotation countdown?  How is it so high?  Well this is an Item that discards all Pokémon Tools attached to your opponent’s Pokémon.  Being a Trainer means you can recycle it with Dowsing Machine, search it out from your deck with Skyla, or snag it with Trainers’ Mail if it is in the top four cards of your deck.  There aren’t any worthwhile generic Trainer counters to worry about either.  Being an Item means little in the way of specific support; nothing I can think of in Standard and just Korrina and Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108) in Expanded.  There are many Item counters ranging from the easy to TecH in Ghetsis to the often easy to include Seismitoad-EX to the deck foci like Trevenant (XY 55/146) or Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98).  However being an Item usually rocks because they are the Trainer with no built in restrictions; you may play as many of them per turn as you wish (and are able).  Any costs to play the card are a part of that specific card’s text and not its generic status as an Item.  The specific effect of Startling Megaphone is thus amazing as it can discard large amounts of Pokémon Tool cards with so little effort.  There are times when this card has been ignored, but they were when Item lock was painfully good or… well it is a bit complicated. 

You’ve got Startling Megaphone punishing people for heavy Item reliance, causing Item usage to plummet.  Some Tool cards were still too good not to use, but said usage was in a manner that made Startling Megaphone a poor counter.  If your deck can OHKO an opponent’s attacker, then you just do that instead of discarding said attacker’s Muscle Band.  If your opponent uses Spirit Link cards then they might hold them in hand until right before they Mega Evolve to avoid said Spirit Link being discarded, and hey if you were using Pokémon Tool F cards then you’d hit those alongside anything your opponent had down.  Players also got good at keeping a minimal amount of Tools in play at a time as well.  Still, if Startling Megaphone wasn’t there, Xerosic or an alternative probably was.  In Expanded play, Startling Megaphone is a pretty common sight though some decks go without it, either using Xerosic, Tool Scrapper, or being able to get by without due to extenuating circumstances.  In Limited play, XY: Flashfire only contains Protect Cube and only a few Pokémon can make use of that Tool; not a high priority.  So… what if this were reprinted immediately and thus soon returned to Standard play: would it matter?  Oh yes!  All the easy Tool removal is gone so it would at least resume its role as a loose staple.  Part of why the current format operates how it does is because of the lack of such cards. 

We looked at Startling Megaphone the first time when I wasn’t here, but the second time it was the 10th place finisher for the Top Cards of 2014.  It released before Tool Scrapper left Standard play, making it less important at first (an already good card replaced by a very good card).  If you read my old review, I was a bit naive in thinking it couldn’t drop down from “one-per-deck staple” to “loose” or “near” staple.  I also wanted to point out that yes, even though this isn’t a maxed out staple, it is still a broken card: I do not want this back because it is just too good at discarding Pokémon Tools.  While they are also Item cards, they require a Pokémon with an open Tool slot to use and are lost alongside a KO’d Pokémon (when attached to that Pokémon). 

Ratings 

Standard: N/A 

Expanded: 3.75/5 

Limited: 2/5 

Summary: I am glad Startling Megaphone is gone but only because I thought it was too strong, even if in this crazy format that wasn’t enough to remain a staple.  I still miss having a means of Tool discard that was not an Ability or attack effect, however. 

Startling Megaphone took in 37 voting points, one more than last Friday’s Trevenant (XY 55/146), for which my review went up very late.  Tomorrow’s subjects took in 39 voting points, beating it my only two points.  On my own list, Startling Megaphone ranked second, because of how much its absence (especially alongside Xerosic) has shaped Standard play.  As such fifth seems a little low even though there isn’t much higher it could go.


Zach Carmichael

Today we continue to our countdown with Startling Megaphone, released in the Flashfire expansion. Without going too much in depth, the card provided a hard counter to Tool cards while in the Standard format, many of which now being overpowered in the Primal Clash-on format because they can no longer be discarded. As we wait for a viable way to solve this problem, let us look back at Startling Megaphone to see why it was easily a staple in virtually all competitive decks. 

If you remember the previous formats before XY-on, then you are familiar with Startling Megaphone’s predecessor, Tool Scrapper. Arguably more useful than the former, it allowed you to remove up to two Tool cards from either player’s Pokémon. This explains why it often sees more play in Expanded, as it provides a way to get around Team Flare Hyper Gear cards, like Head Ringer and Jamming net. Unlike Tool Scrapper though, Startling Megaphone removes all Tool cards, albeit only on your opponent’s Pokémon. This adds a bit more strategy, as your opponent now has to manage resources effectively and not just lay Tools down recklessly to burn through their deck. Indeed, Startling Megaphone was an incredibly powerful asset for competitive decks, as it made cards like Garbodor semi-unplayable and also help achieve magic numbers for KOs – being able to knock off a Fighting Fury Belt for potentially an automatic KO was pretty nice!  

Without Tool removal, the Standard format has become somewhat bland, with much of the meta being M Mewtwo-EX (Y) paired alongside Garbodor. Not only can they quickly fill their board with several M Mewtwo that can effectively tank thanks to its Damage Swap attack (using Shrine of Memories), but Garbodor shuts off all Abilities in play. This deadly combination makes a number of decks that were once great now quite terrible, like Greninja BREAK. The only two options we now have for Tool removal are Rattata from Evolutions, and the recently released Beedrill-EX in a promotional box. Neither of these really solve the issue, however, as the skilled player will just hold on to their Tools and play them down only when the timing is right. 

Ratings 

Standard: n/a

Expanded: 3/5

Limited: 2/5 

Summary: Startling Megaphone was a game balancer. It was easily a one-of in a format dominated with such Tools as Fighting Fury Belt and Float Stone. Without Tool removal, the Standard format struggles in many ways because certain decks are now inherently more powerful to the point that they essentially can not be countered. Perhaps the card developers will realize this after more large-scale tournaments like Regional Championships this fall and winter, but until then players will have to build decks that are designed to hard counter decks that revolve around Garbodor. 


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