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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Smeargle #8/90

HS Undaunted

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.80
Limited: 2.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Smeargle (Unleashed)


The role of the unevolving Basic in the TCG is to be a starter Pokémon. See Holon’s Castform, Pachirisu GE, Spiritomb AR and many, many more for details. The role of a starter is to help your deck get set up (usually by drawing cards or searching out Pokémon) before retreating or being KO’d.


Smeargle is another unevolving Basic which fits into this category. As a starter, its stats are fairly irrelevant, though 70 HP means it isn’t weak enough to be a liability. The Retreat cost of one isn’t ideal though, as you will have to waste a card of some kind (Energy, Unown Q, Warp Point) in order to retreat it once you are ready to start doing some damage. Smeargle’s attack is of even greater irrelevance: [C][C] for minor coin flip damage? Ugh. No thanks.


The real attraction of Smeargle is its PokePower, Portrait. With this, if Smeargle is active, you get to look at your opponent’s hand, choose a Supporter you find there, and copy its effect. Now there are some really nice aspects to this. Firstly, seeing your opponent’s hand is a good thing by itself. You can gather information on what they are playing and what their hand is like and plan your strategy accordingly. Secondly, it is a Power, not an attack. In theory, you could use it to set up and then retreat Smeargle to do some damage. In practice, though this may be a little hard to pull off very early in the game, thanks to Smeargle’s Retreat cost. Thirdly, this power lets you, in effect, play an extra Supporter on your turn: this breaks one of the fundamental rules of the game (one Supporter per turn) and in general, any effect that lets you do that should be considered a very good thing.


There is one major drawback, however. The effectiveness of Smeargle is entirely determined by what cards your opponent happens to be holding in their hand. If they have a Pokémon Collector on turn 1, fantastic. If they are holding a Bebe’s search when you just need a Stage 2 for the donk win, that’s great. But what if they have something useless like an early game Palmer’s Contribution or Lucian’s Assignment? What if all they are holding is an Aaron’s Collection when you aren’t running SP, or a Department Store Girl when your deck doesn’t use Tools?


Because of this, I suspect most players will stick with Sableye SF. Like Smeagle, it effectively allows you to play a Supporter on the first turn and play two on subsequent turns. Unlike Smeargle, it allows you to choose the extra Supporter you play from your deck, which guarantees you exactly the card you need for a particular situation.


Nevertheless, Smeargle is an interesting Pokemon whose rule-breaking Power shouldn’t be dismissed. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone came up with a competitive deck that made good use of it (a bit like how Gyarados got the most out of Sableye SF), but right now that person isn’t me (sadly).




Modified: 3 (faces stiff competition from Sableye, but keep this card in mind anyway).

Limited:  2.5 (Not that many great Supporters in Limited so less likely to work, though if you can catch Team Rocket’s Trickery you are in business!)


Hello again, Pojo readers! Today's review is of a card that got a fair bit of hype at my local prerelease, so there is a pretty good chance that it might see some play. Today's Card of the Day is Smeargle from HS Undaunted.

Smeargle is a Basic Colorless Pokemon. Colorless Pokemon are generally nice to have in a deck due to their splashability, and Smeargle is no exception here. 70 HP is slightly low for a non-evolving basic, but given Smeargle's stats in the video game, the value is quite welcome. Double Fighting Weakness and no Resistance are standard on card game Colorless types, and a single retreat is decent.

Smeargle has a Poke-Power and a single attack. First of all, let's forget about Tail Rap, for which you flip a coin twice and deal 20 damage times the number of heads for [CC]. Too expensive and unreliable to be worth anything in today's Modified environment. The power is really what is of interest here. Portrait allows you to look at your opponent's hand once per turn and use the effect of a Supporter they have there as the effect of the power, but only if Smeargle is your active Pokemon. This definitely has the potential to be good, especially because Supporters are so common in the metagame. Plus, in addition to seeing your opponent's hand, you still get to use your Supporter for the turn, and could possibly use theirs again if they don't play it afterwards! However, if your opponent doesn't have any Supporters in hand, this will obviously be a huge waste of time. It is also important to note that if your opponent has a Supporter in hand and you use the Power, you must use one of the Supporters as the effect of this power, even if it wouldn't have an effect or would possibly be detrimental to you (such as with Copycat, or other things that cause you to discard/shuffle your hand into your deck).

So, how do you get the most out of Smeargle in this role? Using it early game (like how Sableye SF is used) could be helpful, as well as being able to switch out Smeargle after using the power. Unown Q and Dodrio UD are both good choices to deal with retreat costs, as they lower Smeargle's retreat cost to the point where it is free. That way, you can use the power once per turn, retreat, and then get on with your normal attacking and combos.

Modified: 2.75/5 Yes, it is largely dependent on your opponent. Yes, it may not always be reliable. However, in this new format, anything that can draw a significant number of cards is good, and Smeargle here is no exception, especially if your opponent plays a lot of common Supporters like Pokemon Collector, Bebe's Search, Cyrus's Conspiracy, and numerous others. As long as your opponent plays Supporters and you can get it active, Smeargle probably won't disappoint.

Limited: 2.5/5 There aren't many Supporters here, but Smeargle is definitely passable, especially if your opponent has drawn a few of them. Just keep it away from Fighting types.

Combos With: Unown Q LA, Dodrio UD

Crazed Eeveelutionist

Hello, fellow Pojo readers.  We're back with another pokemon from HS Undaunted, and this pokemon has been widely known as the pokemon that paints art with its tail.  Unfortunately, the TCG hasn't really treated Smeargle that well.  Will this one allow it to paint a new picture for the MD-on format, though?
Firstly, the basics.  Colorless typing is... really next to irrelevant on this guy due to such an unreliable and worthless attack (we'll get to that later).  70 HP for an unevolving basic is crappish, but expected from a non-legendary pokemon.  Weakness to fighting turns this artist into a nothing more than a harmless speed bump for Machamp (who would kill this guy regardless of HP due to Take Out) and Donphan Prime.  No resistance is lame, but again expected, and a retreat cost of one is more than payable, but hurts seeing as you won't want to waste any energies on this guy for anything more than paying the retreat cost itself.  Ready that Unown Q.
Smeargle continues its artistic theme by sporting a power called Portrait.
When Smeargle is active, Portrait allows you to look at your opponent's hand (anything that allows a free peek at the opponent's hand is nice just to see what might come soon) and copy the effect of a supporter card among the cards there as the effect of the power.  Anything that allows you to get around the one-Supporter-card-per-turn rule is awesome, but there is one major fault this time around: the possibility of not finding the supporter card that you want.  I suppose that it might be nice for trying to determine whether or not you should Judge your opponent since you DO get to look at their hand and see what else they have.  Other than that, the power is too unreliable in that you're not guaranteed the supporter effect that you want.
There's also a possibility of the power back firing if a card like Judge is the only supporter that they have since choosing a Supporter, if one exists, is mandatory.  You could very well destroy your own good start in the game.
It's still not a bad power, but it's risky early-mid game and becomes useless late game since the active slot is taken up by your main attacker and other pokemon.
Okay, so we have a risky power, but what about the attack?  Well, it would seem that this artist pokemon has two themes going on here.  It's an artist, and its risky.  Costing a way overpriced [CC], Tail Rap makes you flip two coins (a dead giveaway to a risky card) and do 20 damage for each heads.  20 damage average for [CC]?  My lordy, I've seen many attacks very unworthy a DCE, but this one takes the top slot out of all of them.
It's clearly meant to be a starter pokemon early in the game, but overall, this one has to be one of the most risky and unworthy starter pokemon other there.  SF Sableye is VASTLY superior to Smeargle, both in supporter abuse and its own bit of small offense, one that can sport possible donks at that.
On top of that, Portrait can be Powerspray'd.  Say hello to the binder.
Modified: 1.5  It got this rating simply because of Portrait's ability to look at your opponent's hand.  Beyond that, it's outclassed by so many other starters.
Limited: 1  Whatever few Supporters are in this format are immediately disappearing from your opponent's hand the moment they draw them.  Portrait becomes useless.  Attack is already useless.  Smeargle should go straight to your binder.
Combos with: Judge, but its best bet is the binder.  Sorry.
- Wes1234
Crazed Eeveelutionist

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Smeargle (HS Undaunted)

This has to be one of my favourite cards from the set, and I got 2 at the prerelease. Yay!

Smeargle has 70 HP, fighting weakness (which is great because Machamp and Donphan will mulch this guy regardless of weakness) and 1 retreat (payable). I think the 70 HP is great on this card because it is high enough to avoid most OHKOs on the first turn or 2, and for avoiding all but the heaviest snipers getting a OHKO, much like Uxie. Great stats for a starter/tech.

The attack is crap, though the colourless cost means in a last resort, go-down-fighting situation you can take one last roll of the dice before you get anhilated. Tail Rap gives you 2 flips at 20 damage per Heads for CC, so don't use it.

The real selling point is the power, which gives you a look at your opponent's hand, followed by the use of a Supporter you find in your opponent's hand. Unfortunately this only works if Smeargle is active, or otherwise this would be the best power ever, but it is great against decks that favour Trainer locking. Also, you can give Gengar the edge before using Poltergeist, and you can continue to scare your opponent into playing their Supporters early if you can keep switching your active Pokemon around. Admittedly you can wind up in trouble if you have to copy a shuffle-draw Supporter from thier hand when you want to keep your own cards, but the amount of bluffing you can do with this card, especially when putting up a sacrificial lamb while you build an attacker, is just plain awesome. Gengar decks will love this card, though other decks will keep Sableye for the Supporter cheat. It will be interesting to see how the matchup between these 2 starters pans out!

Modified: 3.5 (good for countering trainer lock and rewarding for risk takers!)
Limited: 1.5 (not much to copy here)
Combos with: Gengar SF


Ah, a new Smeargle.  Smeargle, Pokémon important for advanced breeding techniques.


The new Smeargle is a Colorless Basic Pokémon with 70 HP.  Now, this is a good start for an opener and possible a closer (a.k.a. cleaner) Pokémon.  Something that helps you set up, hurts your opponent’s set up, and/or is good for taking a prize or two but incapable of being a sustained attacker.  Smeargle has the traditional double Weakness to Fighting Pokémon, but since it is a Basic with 70 HP, it lucks out.  Why?  The smallest hits will KO it faster than normal, but it will still take multiple turns.  Larger Fighting Pokémon usually hit for at least 70 anyway.  Basically, it only hurts if you both have lousy opens so something that only hits for 20 base damage 2-hit KOing your Smeargle instead of requiring four attacks, a Fighting Pokémon with a big attack that doesn’t do base 70 damage, or an intermediary form that hits for 40 to 60 scoring a OHKO.  This is a pretty small margin.  The lack of Resistance hurts less as well: it really would only help a small Basic like Smeargle when you had a lucky match-up and their tiny opening Pokémon couldn’t hurt Smeargle for a turn or two before they got their real attack up and running.  Otherwise, how many serious attackers would Resistance have blocked: even the effective 90 HP (with its current -20 default) wouldn’t matter much against the heavy hitters a deck normally focuses on.


The single Energy Retreat Cost matters greatly for this card because of its Poké-Power.  The Poké-Power is a once a turn affair that let’s you see your opponent’s hand, then the Power copies the effect of a Supporter of your choice you find there.  If this was a card with a free retreat, it’d be a must run: anytime you opened with it you could score a free peak at your opponent’s hand with the change of either a second (or third) Supporter for your turn or any Supporter use on your very first turn.


That didn’t happen.  Instead it has a single Energy Retreat Cost.  Not enough to be crippling, but enough you either have to burn your Energy attachment for the turn, have a way to break the one Energy attachment per turn rule, an effect to lower the Retreat Cost, or simply drop a card that let’s you Bench Smeargle.  That is, if you wish to milk the effect.  You can still, easily enjoy it for a look at your opponent’s hand, letting you know ahead of time if you should play a disruption card, or if you have to play defensively to keep from losing right away, or to play aggressively because you can safely push for the win.  There is a risk they will have no Supporter, though what is more likely will be your opponent running a more deck specific Supporter you either can’t make work, or don’t want to make work because it clashes with your own theme or set-up.  It could be as simple as you have a hand you can’t play out this turn but that has some very important cards, and your only Supporter choice ends up being a “shuffle and draw” Supporter.


The attack is one level removed from being straight forward.  (CC) to flip two coins and score 20 per heads.  It’s slightly sub par.  It is better than many other attacks and if you had to, you can burn a Double Colorless Energy to try and swing for 40, possibly do nothing, and probably hit for 20.  They must assume the Poké-Power is really good: Smeargle doesn’t Evolve so it should have a slight “bonus” to its attack to compensate.  This attack was fair by “old school” standards before power creep raised both average and maximum HP scores and we had zero-Energy attacks.  Even something as simple as 20 with an extra 20 on a successful coin toss would have been valuable to an opener like Smeargle.


For Modified play, this is a card that can be used in any deck but is outclassed by other options.  For Limited play it is a good pull… because it is incredibly valuable to see what your opponent has.  I am still ignorant of how many Supporters are in this set.  If they are plentiful, it will be a must pull.  If there are at least a few, it is a great pull.  Even if there are somehow none or you face people who didn’t pull, seeing that hand is very valuable in a format where getting out a Stage 2 tends to spell game.  This way you can see how best to counter your opponent’s set up.  I’ll score it with the assumption they are at least a few general use Supporters in the set – adjust based on what you know.





Modified: 3/5


Limited: 4/5


I am still selling quite a bit of my stuff on eBay.  I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various times I’ll

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