Pikkdogs Pikks Three: Gardevoir ND, Skyarrow Bridge, and Shiftry ND

by Pikkdogs ~ January 19th, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with a special edition of Pikk Three for you.  As we enter in to the big calm that is the Cities to States break, we don’t have a lot to talk about.  So let’s look ahead to some cards from the Next Destinies set.  This set is coming out at the beginning of next month, and Pre-Releases start in about a week.  So a lot more info will come out on this set in the future, right now it is shaping up to be quite an impact ful set.  Before we go into 3 card reviews, let’s say hi to my extra-dimensionary sidekick Pedro.

How’s it hanging Pedro?

It’s going well.  It’s nice to be back, after you didn’t include me in your last couple articles.

Well, they were mostly tournament reports, and you would have just made fun of me.

I understand.  You don’t need me anyway, you play bad enough that you make fun of yourself. 

I know.  So what have you been doing.

I took a vacation to Florida.

Oh, do you like it down there?

Yes………………………………… and I like it in Florida too. 

Well I guess Pedro’s back in full force, the censors are about to be getting on our backs again, so let’s just head on to our article.

Card #1 Gardevoir ND

Description– Gardevoir is a 110 HP Stage 2 Pokemon with a 2 retreat cost and a psychic weakness.  It has an ability called “Psychic Mirage” that lets you count every basic psychic energy as 2.  It also has the “Mind Shock” attack that costs PPCC, and does 60 damage.

Analysis– This is one of the cards that everybody is talking about from this set.  People have been saying that this card is great with Mewtwo EX, because Mewtwo has an attack that gets more powerful with each energy it has attached.  People have also talked about using it with other psychic attackers like Chandelure, Gothitelle, and Gengar Prime.  It has received a lot of hype, and probably will get a lot of play.

Let’s take a look at the stats of this card.  110 is pretty terrible for a stage 2, but this card will be mostly a bench sitter.  “Mind Shock” does 60 for 4, which is terribly bad.  I understand that ability will make it 60 for 2, which is actually fairly decent.  60 damage for 2 energies is never bad, but for a stage 2 you would kind of like more.  The psychic weakness is horrible because of Mewtwo EX, but it is expected. The ability of course is really good.  It reminds me of Sceptile GE that was legal a couple years ago.  Sceptile was not played that much, but Gardevoir could be played more because of Mewtwo EX.

As mentioned, the main purpose of Gardevoir is probably going to be too power-up Mewtwo EX’s attack.  You will probably want to attach a DCE to Mewtwo to attack, and then start setting up Gardevoir.  Once you get Gardevoir going, you can attach psychic energies to Mewtwo and attack for a lot of damage for just a few energies.  Gardevoir can also help other psychic attackers like Chandelure and Gengar Prime.  Perhaps Gardevoir can bring back the power of the Lost Zone, or make Chandelure one of the best decks in the format.  Though, at least at the release, the main partner for Gardevoir will be Mewtwo EX.

The bad thing about the deck is that the retreat cost is not good.  Another bad thing is that the attack is not good.  And finally, it is an easy catcher prize for any deck that has Mewtwo EX in it.  So there are a lot of bad things about this card.

Final Rating8/10– It is hard to tell the future, but Gardevoir could be just what Mewtwo EX is looking for to be dominant.  It might be a catcher prize for an opponent’s Mewtwo EX, but overall it will be good for your deck.

Card #2 Skyarrow Bridge

Description– Skyarrow is a Stadium card.  Our format has really lacked in stadium cards since Broken Time Space has left the format.  So having a good stadium card will be nice.  This card reduces the retreat cost of all basic Pokemon by one colorless energy.

Analysis– As mentioned, our format is very stadium card starved.  Uusally most decks would have any where from 2-4 spots dedicated to Stadium cards, but today, anyone who plays a stadium card in there deck will probably lose more games than they win.  It is really nice to see Nintendo moving back to a format that has stadium cards.  I really do hope that this card is good, and we get to see many cool stadium cards in the future.

As if we needed anything to boost basic Pokemon in the current format, now we get this stadium card.  This card will give all basic Pokemon one less retreat.  This means that cards like Smeargle and Virizion NV now have free retreat.  It also means that the Unova Dragons; Reshiram, Zekrom, and Kyurem now have just a 1 retreat, which makes them better than ever.  It effects almost every basic Pokemon, and makes them all more playable.

The big question is, will this card make basic Pokemon significantly more playable than they already are?  Sure, Six Corners decks will throw in at least 1 copy of this card for fun, but will any deck really rely on it?  I have heard that a lot of people are talking about using Smeargle again.  The ability to use 2 supporters in a turn is very good, and having free retreat with Smeargle is a necessity.

It is hard for me to tell if Skyarrow Bridge will become a really playable card, or if it will share the fate of cards like Burned Tower.  I would guess that it will get play at the start of it’s life, but I don’t think that the play will last.  Sure Mewtwo EX will see some play with this card, and 6 Corner decks will play it, but I don’t think that this card will get a lot of play in the long run.  With Junk Arm around, it just seems better to use Switch instead of this card.  Switch does not help your opponent, and it can be used over and over again with Junk Arm.  Right now, there does not seem to be a reason to retreat so much that you would need to play this card.

Smeargle could be a reason to retreat a lot, however, his play last year has shown that using “Portrait” is not always a good thing.  You never know which supporter you will have to play, and having to play an extra Professor Juniper could be disastrous for your deck.  If Smeargle proves to be a great card in this format, then that would be a reason to play this card.  However, I do think that right now Cleffa is good enough for this format, and Smeargle and a stadium card is just too much to put in a deck for similar results.

Final Rating7.25/10– The future for this card is yet to be written, but I do not see a hopeful future for it.  I think it will not be a great card, and it will not usher in a new era of stadium cards.

Card #3 Shiftry ND

Description– Shiftry is a 130 HP Stage 2 Pokemon with a 1 retreat cost, a fighting weakness, and a resistance to psychic.  It has one attack, called”Whirlwind”.  This attack costs DDC, and does 60 damage and forces your opponent to switch their active.  It has perhaps the worst named Ability ever.  “Giant Fan” lets you flip a coin whenever you evolve a Pokemon.  If you get heads you can select a Pokemon that your opponent has in play, and they have to shuffle it into their deck.

Analysis– This card has had no hype, so we can’t talk about that, so let’s just get on to the stats.  130 HP is pretty standard for a stage 2.  The fighting weakness is bad, but the resistance is really good.  The retreat cost of 1 is really good for a stage 2.  The attack pretty much sucks, there is no reason to pay DDC for just 60 damage.  The Ability is interesting, although probably will not be anything impactful.

The lure for this card will be the Ability.  The ability to just get rid of a Pokemon on the field is really good.  I could see it working really good against Ross Deck or Chandelure. Imagine just getting rid of that pesky Vileplume, or Reuniclus.  If you need to use trainers, Shiftry is a good way of getting rid of Vileplume.

But, it only makes sense to do it against Stage 2 Pokemon, or Pokemon that have a lot of energy attached to them.  This format is really big on basic Pokemon and low energy attacks, so this doesn’t seem to be that good.  The card can’t really attack and is a liability against Donphan Prime.  So unless you really need to get rid of a Pokemon on your opponent’s side, I would stay away from Shiftry.

Final Rating6/10- It is a  cool Ability, and one that I could see getting some play as a rogue tech.  It will never be a staple or anything like that, but one would do well to always remember this card.  It is not a great card, but it just might see some play here and there.

Well that’s all three of em, count em, 1, 2, and three.  Now Pedro, are you ready to do the thing?

What thing, like sex?

No, the part where you end the article with a news story or fact of something like that.

Oh that! Today we will end the article by doing a this day in history.  This day in history, January 19th, marks the anniversary that Klaus Barbie was arrested in Bolivia. 

Did he invent the Barbie Doll?

No, he did not.  He was the chief of the Nazi Gestapo in occupied France during World War II.

Oh, well I feel pretty stupid for suggesting that he made the Barbie doll.

You would think that you would be used to that by now. Anyway, he was known as the Butcher of Lyons.  Which is not as delicious as it sounds.  He got that name for ordering large numbers of French Resistance members. and French Jews, to death in concentration camps.  Not a good dude.  He eventually got what he deserved and died of cancer in a French prison in 1991 while serving a life sentence.  

Good job Pedro, talk about concentration camps, that always livens the mood.

I guess that it is kind of a weird thing to be talking about in a Pokemon site, though we have talked about things just as weird.

Like hookers and stuff.

True, but maybe we should change the subject, it is kind of dark.  Speaking of kind of dark, it is also Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday today.  He is the famous author and poet who wrote works like “The Raven”, “The Pit and the Pendulum”, and “The Tell Tale Heart”.  He is also known for the fact that  he married his 13 year-old cousin. 

That’s more of our stuff, right there, a guy who marries his 13 year old cousin is more in our wheelhouse.    Though if marrying a 13 year-old cousin is “our stuff”, isn’t that a bad thing?

I guess, man we are not having much luck with “this day in history”, we should just end it. Good night everybody!

Category: Pikks Three | Tags: , ,
  • Anonymous

    It’s about time for a new article.

    Shiftry is one of my favorite pokemon. I wish they could make a decent copy of the card (Shiftry RR doesn’t count, but it was a cool card). My Shiftry RR + Memory Berry + Nuzleaf’s Blind deck failed as hard as Beartic, and I really want to see a Shiftry worthy of being the main attacker of a deck. But Donphan Prime won’t be a liability as 60 damage just isn’t enough anymore.

    Skyarrow Bridge will be interesting, but what struck me is you talked so negatively of it and then gave it a 7.25 rating. While no deck will rely on it (The basics in EelZone are in there to discard energy, ZPST is dead, D&D is dead, TyRam is dead, Zekrom EX/Eel will rely on discarding energy, who wants to retreat Reshiram EX, all GardeTwo energy cards count as 2) It may prove to be useful in some scenarios.

    Gardevoir has another obvious combo, Jirachi. Now you can theoretically devolve 6 pokemon the turn Jirachi hits the field without moving any energy. How bout that?

    • ZPST is far from dead, and I think the Pachi/Shaymin engine will be fueling a toolbox around Mewtwo, Zekrom, Tornadus, Zekrom EX, and Zapdos as one of the most threateningly consistent decks in the format. If a toolbox full of big basics and acceleration doesn’t have a good use for skyarrow bridge, I’ll eat my hat…and it’s a damn fancy hat.

      • Ed

        Skyarrow Bridge will see lots of play.  There are so many good basics around now, and with stuff like Eviolite just making them even better, why wouldn’t you play Skyarrow?  Also note that much hype is being placed around Celebi Prime.  With Skyarrow, he can give you 2 energy attachments on turn 1.  With 2 Celebi and a Switch, you can attach 3 energy on turn 1, so it ends up being like a Pachi/Shaymin, but you can use it in later turns also.  If the opponent uses a Mewtwo EX to KO you, promote Celebi, drop your own Mewtwo EX, Celebration Wind a grass onto him, attach for turn (maybe DCE), free retreat (with Skyarrow), and return KO for 2 prizes (assuming enough energy).

      • Anonymous

        The EXs will be better than all of those, ZPST will rely too much on the donk. I just don’t see ZAPDOS making it into ZPST, it really isn’t that good, Zekrom’s glory will be in Zekrom EX and that will be paired with Eelektrik and (It’s about time) Thundurus.

        • Zekrom EX and Eels will be good but fragile. Zapdos is a lategame singleton; a 120hp basic that snipes for 50 and fits into the deck’s energy model is brilliant, man. It’s also another starter that can take a turn 1 prize.

          Yes, the deck does revolve around “the donk” and taking cheap prizes turn after turn. You know what else relied on a toolbox and that same mentality? Luxchomp. Heard that was good last season. I think we’ll see more of Pachi/Shaymin than you think.

          So far in ND testing, I’ve loved seeing all these Celebi Primes thinking they can just load up Mewtwo and win the game. That pure X-Ball based Celebi/Mewtwo/Shaymin EX plan is honestly too easy to disrupt, too easy to hatedeck, and I just don’t think setup starters in an aggro deck are all that viable.

          …I just came up with another brilliant hate tech. Oh self, you magnificent bastard. No, I’m not telling YOU…

          • PUAthelas

            Im actually testing Mewtwo Ex/Celebi Prime
            I think you are either bluffing when you say “too easy to disrupt” or just exagerating

          • Anonymous

            You say LuxChomp revolved around the same mentality, but you lack mentioning all the trainers that were only used by LuxChomp. Has your Afterburner ever been Power Sprayed by ZPST? I didn’t think so. Oh look, I’m going to snipe you for 80 for one energy. Oh wait no, that was LuxChomp. You can Bright Look Vileplume, but you can’t Catcher it. Oh, I’m just going to heal that 100 damage you just did to me, and I’m also going to heal the 100 you did to that other Zekro… Luxray. While we’re at it, I’ll play a SSU that works on my Luxray but not your Shaymin, and doesn’t require a coin flip, and I’m going to play a trainer card that can search out anything in my deck except for Uxie’s and Azelfs. Is there a card that says “Search your deck for a Zekrom or Tornadus”? I didn’t think so.

            Now that you see the differences between the decks, Mewtwo/Celebi is, in my opinion, stupid. I’ll just blow up my Electrode and, Turn 4 you won’t have any Celebi left. Gardy is the answer. Gardy is better. Gardy is BEST. All I need now is for the people who make these cards to release a Gallade that can serve as my secondary attacker.

          • Actually that 80 Snipe cost _three_ energy, and yes, things are all somewhat weaker than LuxChomp, which was broken. The mentality is still the same.

            As for a universal search Trainer, it’s called Dual Ball. Different drawback, but still works.

            Gardy is SLOW. Gardy is TERRIBLE. It may be good when there’s a Gallade to roll with, but right now I stand by Pachi/Shay and Emboar being the best Mewtwo accelerators.

    • PUAthelas

      Tyram is far from dead !!

      • Anonymous

        I still think that a Reshiram that does 150 instead of 120 for the same amount of energy cards and 50 more HP will do better than the one we have now. I could be wrong.

        • Anonymous

          You are right, but that doesnt exclude playing ReshiramEx and Reshiram together in the same deck. In addition staying with only one energy after you attack in my opinion is a solid strategy to counter MewtwoEx Xball.

          • Anonymous

            That doesn’t stop them from using the second attack (Psyburn?)

          • Anonymous

            No, you are right.That doesn t stop them from using Psydrive, but the number of decks that will run prism energy(if confirmed) or psychic or rainbow only for mewtwo EX apart from Gardevoir decks will be small. Thats why I expect a lot more of Xball based decks.

          • Anonymous

            That’s why I’m playing Gardy.

  • PUAthelas

    Skyarrow deserves a better rating, and Shiftry too.
    It seems you didnt mention its retreat cost of only one energy nor its resistance to psychic.In addition, asuming one special dark, it OHKOs chandelure

    • Anonymous

      I think the balance of support cards is slowly tilting towards basics though, meaning Stage 2’s almost need to have multiple positives to justify them. In the last format, Magnezone was the perfect example of a card that does that, while other strong stage 2’s, like Emboar, Typhlo, Gothitelle, and even Vileplume, didn’t cut it. I think things will be even worse for Shiftry–he’ll just be too easy to Catcher & counter.

      Skyarrow on the other hand will rock.

      • Anonymous

        I have to redirect you to the comment you just replied: Shiftry has only ONE retreat cost ” easy to cather” sure, but easy to retreat too.

        • Anonymous

          I’m not going to set up a Stage 2 to use a mediocre drop power. I’d rather use DPL to Delete Vileplume.

          • Anonymous

            Shiftry has more purposes than to be just a “Vilplume/Reuniclus counter “, and I agree with you that I am not going to play Shiftry only for that purpose.
            Could you please tell what is DPL? Thank you :)

          • Anonymous

            Dialga/Palkia Legend. For WCC you force your opponent to pick up a benched pokemon of your choice.

          • fire/lightning weakness?  that is just disgusting.