6/11 Shiftry Lv.55 (RR)
Hello, welcome to Thursday's COTD, and today, we have a
Pokémon that, shock, isn't an SP Pokémon! No, it's the
new Shiftry, as you may already have been able to guess.
It's received a fair bit of hype, and, as you'll be able
to find out, it deserved it for it's Poké-Body, but does
that mean it's any good? Well, I'll talk about that
later. First of, it's the basics of the card. 130 HP on
a Stage 2 Pokémon is roughly average, but I wouldn't
really expect any more, since Shiftry is normally quite
a fragile card (I think). +30 Weakness to Fire may seem
strange on a Dark Pokémon, until you remember that it's
also part Grass in the games, then it makes more sense.
Oh, and apart from against the odd Infernape 4 Lv.X (RR)
deck, it won't really be a problem. -20 Psychic
Resistance is standard on a Dark Pokémon, and good
since, as always, there are plenty of popular Psychic
attackers around. 1 Retreat Cost is better than average
for a Stage 2, but if you want to reduce it, you could
always use Moonlight Stadium.
Abilities now, and time for the frankly ground breaking
Poké-Body, Unlucky Wind. Whilst Shiftry if you active
Pokémon, all coins flips your opponent has to make
during their turn tails. This sounds brilliant, and you
now want to find a way of breaking the cards, and you
don't care how. However, you have to remember about the
subtle words that are used in the Poké-Body. First,
active, and second, opponents turn. I've seen a lot of
people want to make a Sleep lock deck with this card, or
auto-KO deck with Darkrai Lv.X (GE), and both of those
words stop it completely. Still, it can make a nice
Confusion lock sort of deck.
Still, you really need a good attack on this card to
inflict Confusion to make the lock work, and this card
has it. Conform, for DC, does 40. Not a brilliant start,
but Special Darks boost the damage output if need be.
However, it's the effect that makes it great. If you
have the same number of cards in your hand as your
opponent, the Defending Pokémon is automatically
Confused. OK, sounds a little situational, but there are
ways of making it happen, and then, your opponent has to
Retreat, or take Confusion damage. Evil, and brilliantly
So, what will you do if you've already Confused the
Defending Pokémon then? Well, for DCC, Shiftry has
another attack in the form of the 60 damage Seal Off.
Again, 60 is quite low, but again, Special Darks can be
used to increase the damage. Anyway, it has the nice
effect of stopping the Defending Pokémon from using any
Poké-Powers or Bodies during your opponents next turn.
It's nice enough, and while there are a lot of Pokémon
with a Poké-Power or Body, the turning off part will not
always cause as much disruption as you may like or think
it will. Still, it can be useful.
As I've already hinted upon, the main combo for this
card is to make a Confusion lock. Of course, the easiest
way is to use Conform. To make the effect easier to
happen, TGW, Looker's, Giratina (PL Let Loose), and even
the standard Claydol's (GE) and Uxie's (LA) can be used
to equalise the hand sizes. Of course, it may mean you
end up with a card in your hand that you'd like to use,
but can't, but that's one of the hazards of using such a
card. However, the thing about Confusion is that it's
very easy to get out of, simply Retreating will do. To
encourage your opponent to keep their Confused active,
er, active, you could use cards like Ariados (MT) and
Dugtrio (PL) to increase the Retreat Cost of your
opponents Pokémon, or for their active to take damage
when they Retreat. Memory Berry is also nice so Shiftry
can use the RR's Nuzleaf attack, Blind, which is a
Smokescreen kind of attack. Basically, it means your
opponent can't attack every time to you use Blind, which
is a great stalling tactic for until you get Conform
powered up, or a good bench set-up.
Counters, and there are many surprisingly simple ones.
First up, it's the obvious Dialga G Lv.X (PL), who shuts
off the brilliant Unlucky Wind. Stopping that makes
Shiftry next to useless, so is really the best counter.
However, if you deck can't afford to run a 1-1 Dialga G
Lv.X line, there are simple alternatives. First up,
there's the surprisingly simple Switch or Warp Point.
Gets your Confused Pokémon back to the bench, breaking
the lock. Brilliant, especially when you consider most
decks will run at least 1 or 2 of them anyway. Other
ways include, but are not limited to, giving your
Pokémon free Retreat Cost (such as with Flygon (RR)), or
have Poké-Powers that Switch, like with Palkia Lv.X
Modified: I love this card. Unlucky Wind is great, no
denying that, and it can create a brilliant lock thanks
to Confusion. However, it's Confusion inducing attack is
a little unreliable, and it's second attack doesn't
really help at all. Also, it would be so much better if
it wasn't so easy to get out of. I'm just annoyed I
can't really give it a higher mark. 2.75/5
Limited: OK, there are less ways of getting out of such
a lock here, but there are also less flips that your
opponent will actually care about (apart from Confusion
flips), so unless you Confuse your opponents active, I
doubt anyone could care less about Unlucky Wind. Seal
Off is better, not because turning off Poké-Powers/Bodies
is that much better here, but simply because it's more
likely to actually KO something. 3/5
Top 4 UK Nats
Shiftry is a REALLY interesting Pokémon which could be
used in some nasty decks.
The PokeBody, Unlucky Wind, makes any coin flip your
opponent makes during their turn tails. Please note that
this does not work for flips your opponent makes on YOUR
turn (like with Dialga LV X GE’s Time Skip) or BETWEEN
turns (for Burn damage and Sleep). So what does it
affect? Well, obviously it prevents the effects of
attacks that need a coin flip to succeed (like Paralysis
on Drapion SF’s Scorpion Grapple), and it also stops
Pokémon Powers that need to flip heads to work (like
Garchomp LV X’s Dragon Pulse), and flippy attacks like
Machamp’s Hurricane Punch. Probably the most important,
though, are flips for Confusion. A Confused Pokémon that
is faced by Shiftry will not be able to attack (it will
just damage itself), and has no choice but to retreat.
By a strange coincidence, Shiftry has an attack that
inflicts Confusion if you and your opponent have the
same number of cards. There are ways of managing this,
such as Lookers Investigation and Claydol, so it
shouldn’t be too difficult. The second attack, Seal Off,
is like a weakened version of Gardevoir SW’s Psychic
Lock: 60 damage and the Defending Pokémon cannot use
PokePowers and PokeBodies on the next turn.
Unfortunately, the effect is cleared if the Pokémon
retreats to the bench.
So, with a reliable way to Confuse the opponent’s
Pokémon, Shiftry could do some damage (Gengar GL and
Bronzong SF come to mind as they don’t need coin flips).
Beware, though: Shiftry’s Body is shut down by Dialga G
LV X. This fact, together with its relatively low damage
output (for a Stage 2) and Confusion not being the
greatest of status effects, means that Shiftry probably
isn’t going to be a top tier deck unless someone can
really find a way to make the most out of its
interesting Body and attacks.
Modified: 3 (interesting, but just falls short)
Limited: 1.5 (a Stage 2 with low damage output? Blah)
Welcome back to the Pokemon COTD!
As I'm sure most of you are aware, we are going to stay
with the DP-On format for another year! I think it's a
great move by the people at POP, and a big relief for
those worried about Claydol (GE), Sceptile (SW), and
Weavile (SW) being rotated out, amongst countless other
Now, let's get on with the review.
Shiftry is a Stage 2 Dark-type with an above average HP
of 130. It also has a +30 Weakness to Fire-type Pokemon.
Infernape 4 LV. X (RR), a somewhat damaged Arcanine
(RR), and Houndoom (LA) can OHKO this guy in one hit, so
watch out for them. A -20 Resistance is good. Gallade 4
can't cut as deep, and the Toxitank combo will lose a
bit of its effectiveness. Finally, a Retreat Cost of 1,
pretty average, really.
Shiftry has a Poke-Body: Unlucky Wind treats any coin
flip results as tails duing your opponent's turn for as
long as Shiftry is active. Not many people play with
cards that require flips, but there are some noteworthy
ones such as Houndoom (LA), Life Herb, Time-Space
Distortion (MT), Pokemon Contest Hall (RR) and Drapion
LV. X (PT). It's not bad, but in hardcore compertitive
play it won't see much use.
Shiftry has 2 attacks. Firs off, for a Dark energy and
another Energy of choice, Conform deals an average 40
damage, and if both players have the same amount of
cards in hand, the Defending Pokemon is Confused. To
me, it's not as good of an attack as it seems. For one,
pepole can simply switch with Warp Point and the like to
retreat a Confused Pokemon. And SP Pokemon can use Poke
The second attack, Seal Off, is a great attack for 3
Energies, one which muct be a Dark Energy. It deals an
average 60 damage, but the Pokemon that's hit by it
can't use it's Powers or Bodies on your opponent's next
turn.Try hitting a Claydol with this attack, and watch
your opponent despair as he or she can't cycle through
the deck for one turn. It also cripples quite a few
Pokemon, such as Porygon2, Houndoom, or almost anyone
else that doesn't have a one-shot Power.
Modified: 3/5 Shiftry isn't a bad card to use, I feel.
There's not much buzz about him at the moment thanks to
the SP Pokemon, but that could change.
Limited: 3.75/5 If you pull the whole set in Limited,
like I did, then you're going to use it. Seal Off
counters Mamoswine GL and the ever-popular Flygon.
This is Steel_Winger, until next time!