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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Banette  #14/102

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Dec. 14, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 1.50

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

Banette (Triumphant)


Gengar might be more popular, Dusknoir might be more weird-looking, but the most evil and twisted Ghost Pokémon award surely goes to Banette, the vengeful voodoo doll. There have been some pretty scary Banette’s in the past too: the EX version was a real top tier card, and the SW one was a decent tech as well. Will seeing this across the table be enough to give players nightmares? Let’s find out.


Well, the bad (if predictable) news is that Banette is an 80 HP Stage 1. The good news, however, is that its Dark Weakness shouldn’t be too much of a problem, the Colourless Resistance is brilliant, and the retreat cost on one is . . . not terrible.


It also has a one energy attack, which is almost essential these days on a Stage 1. Unfortunately, Lost Crush isn’t really any good. For the cost of one Psychic Energy, you get a coin flip chance of choosing an Energy attached to one of your opponent’s Pokémon and sending it to the Lost Zone. Energy Removal usually works best in a format where decks depend on Energy-intensive attacks. With an abundance of cheap attackers in today’s metagame, it is somewhat less effective, and no-one will really want to use a flippy attack to do it. Still, at least it gives you something to do with a turn 2 Banette, and that’s better than nothing.


For [P][C][C], Banette’s Breakdown attack is a bit more interesting. With this, you get to place a number of damage counters on the Defending Pokémon equal to the number of cards you opponent is holding. Damage counter placement can be very useful in all kinds of situations (such as avoiding Gengar’s Fainting Spell), and there is potential here to hit hard against decks that routinely have large hands (some SP lists, Gyarados). Unfortunately, the nature of the attack also means that your opponent can easily take steps to reduce the amount of damage Banette can do: they could use Judge, or simply play out their hand for example. In that case, you may well end up with Breakdown being a very poor value attack: three energy for the opportunity to place three or four counters is not a great return on your investment.


You could try combining Banette with Vileplume UD to prevent your opponent playing out their hand of Trainers, but if you are going to do that, then Gengar SF or even Mismagius UD will be able to do more damage at a cheaper cost than Banette can. It doesn’t even really have a niche as a tech Psychic attacker: placing counters means you are not hitting for Weakness.


If we ever get a viable way to make your opponent draw into a huge hand, then maybe some kind of combo with Banette might be viable. Until that unlikely event happens, it’s difficult to imagine how this card could be useful enough to deserve a place in any competitive deck.




Modified: 1.75 (interesting . . . just not very useful)

Limited: 2.25 (I can see big hands and low HP in this format making Banette slightly more playable)


Combos with . . .


Vileplume UD

conical 12/14/10: Banette(Triumphant)
If there's any card that wants the ability to place things in the Lost Zone to be broken, it's this one. Not because it abuses it particularly well;you'll have to settle for Gengar Prime for that. No, the first reason is because its other attack, Breakdown, is pretty weak, and the similarity of the name to Breakdance isn't helping it, sadly. No, the other attack, Lost Crush, is hopefully the selling point of this card, which lets you discard an energy attached to the Defending Pokemon and send it to the Lost Zone on a coinflip. It's nice that this sort of effect no longer requires 3-4 energy to use, such as the various Pokemon with Hyper Beam, but those attacks at least dealt damage. I want to say that it'd be a lot more usable if it was a coinflip, and it would be, but I can't say if it would make the card broken or not. With that said, in its actual state, Banette is not playable.
Modified: 1.75/5
Limited: 2.25/5


Banette is a tiny Stage 1 Psychic Pokémon. Being Psychic allows it access to Psychic support, which isn't bad, but the big draw (hitting Psychic Weakness) won't happen since this card doesn't do any damage with its attacks. Being a Stage 1 should be a nice compromise between the speed of Basics and the power of Stage 2 Pokémon... but right now we have some very potent Basic Pokémon and some very fast Stage 2 Pokémon thanks to Rare Candy and Broken Time Space. In other words, this isn’t a very promising start.  Speaking of starts, you’ll have to Evolve from Shuppet outside of a crazy Garchomp combo, and you have two choices: Platinum or HS – Triumphant versions.  The former has 50 HP but only takes +10 damage from Darkness-Type Pokémon, while the latter has 10 more HP but moderately worse Darkness x2 Weakness.  Remember, at this size a serious Darkness-Type attacker will OHKO it anyway.  Both enjoy Colorless Resistance -20, a useful treat, and single Energy Retreat Cost; again, quite useful though unlike Resistance, also quite common on Basic Pokémon.  The Platinum version can automatically inflict Sleep via an attack for no Energy, for a single Psychic Energy slap the Defending Pokémon for 30 but has to bounce itself and all cards attached to it to your hand.  The newer version requires a single Energy of any type for a chance (requires “heads” on a coin toss) to block one attack on the Defending Pokémon or a Psychic Energy to place a single damage counter on the Defending Pokémon.  Since you’re going to be desperate or opening in either situation, I’ll go with the slightly better Platinum versions attacks and Weakness, even if the +10 HP is tempting.

Back to Banette itself, 80 HP is small for a Stage 1. It was low in the days of Base Set and it's really low now. Darkness Weakness is not the worst right now, but it isn't the best either: at 80 HP you really can't be safe thanks to Darkness-Type Pokémon being able to boost their damage with the Special Energy version of Darkness Energy. Sure, any type can use PlusPower or Expert Belt for a similar effect, but it’s just that much easier for Darkness-Types. At least you get a handy Colorless Resistance, but then again the usefulness is lessened by the HP. The single Energy Retreat Cost is good, but given the low HP they could have let it off with a free retreat.

Lust Crush would probably be broken if it didn't require a coin toss. Removing an Energy card is good: sending an attached Energy card from the opposing Pokémon of your choice to the Lost Zone is great! No way to retrieve it, which can throw off Energy recursion and discard pile based Energy acceleration, and no restrictions about Basic or Special or how what the removed Energy provided. Unfortunately, it is unreliable and it isn't actually damaging the Defending Pokémon. This means if you're hitting the Bench, they are still KOing you. If you are removing from the Active Pokémon, it still gets to attack you as long as it doesn't have less Energy than its cheapest attack. The best Lost Crush can do is stall.  Now it is an affordable attack at (P), but it needs to be because Breakdown, the second attack, needs (PCC) to work. Breakdown is good in theory: it places damage counters equal to the number of cards in your opponent's hand. You'll have to inflate their hand and run something to try to render it useless (Vileplume with Allergy Flower) or hope to get real lucky. The current format is such that people seem to favor "shuffle and draw" cards quite a bit, which can make keeping a large hand size difficult. For the energy involved, you'll want to hit about six damage counters, and that strikes me as a bit more than you’ll average.

I would even avoid it in Limited play: the Resistance is tempting and you might luck out and face someone whose hand is cluttered, but if your opponent can play his/her hand out, all you can do is flip a coin and try to remove Energy to stall for time.


Modified: 1.75/5

Limited: 1.25/5

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