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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


 Cleffa #17/123

HeartGold & SoulSilver

Date Reviewed: 02.16.10

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.50
Limited: 4.25

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

Baby Mario
Top 4 UK Nats

Cleffa (HGSS)


They’re back!  The cutest and most annoying Pokémon in the history of the TCG . . . it’s the return of Neo Babies!


(Well, sort of).


Hello and welcome to Baby Week here on Pojo’s CotD!


The recent Heart Gold Soul Silver set saw the release of a whole set of new Baby Pokémon. Although the Diamond and Pearl and Platinum blocks also contained Babies, these ones are somewhat different.


The first and most important difference is that the new Babies don’t have the Baby Evolution Power, which means they CANNOT evolve into Basics. Yep, that’s right, you can’t evolve the new Pichu into Pikachu, or the new Cleffa into Clefairy. The Babies from HGSS are standalone, unevolving Pokémon. There are other things they all have in common too: no-Energy attacks, 30 HP, no Weakness, no Resistance, and no Retreat Cost. You may think that leaves them pretty weak and vulnerable, and you would be right, except for one thing . . .


They all have the Pokémon Power, Sweet Sleeping Face, which means that, when asleep, they cannot take. What’s more, each of their attacks has the effect of sending the Baby Pokémon to Sleep, thus giving it a 50/50 chance of damage immunity during your opponent’s turn.


In effect, Sweet Sleeping Face is very like the old Baby Rule that used to apply to the Babies from the Neo sets, which made the opponent flip a coin to see if they could even attack an active Baby. Very frustrating, especially when used with Focus Band. Even without it, though, these Babies do have some chance of surviving when active, although they are obviously extremely vulnerable to anything that can do 30 damage on the first turn of the game. They are also a liability on the Bench . . . especially to Crobat G and a couple of PokeTurns!


We kick off our Baby Week with Cleffa, a card that should definitely bring back memories for old school players. Like Cleffa from Neo Genesis, Cleffa HGSS has the hilariously-named Eeeeeeek attack, which allows you to shuffle your hand into your deck and draw six cards. The old Cleffa was near broken, thanks to the fact that it pre-dated the introduction of Supporters. This meant that a player could go through their whole deck with cards like Bill and Professor Oak, play out as much as they could, then Eeeeeeek for a completely fresh hand of seven cards.  The mechanics of the game are not so friendly to Cleffa today, as we lack all the broken Trainers. That doesn’t mean that Eeeeeek can’t be a useful hand-refresh card (with the potential to stall, thanks to its Power), but players may well prefer to stick with Chatot MD which has double the HP of Cleffa, and usually (not always) allows you to draw at least as much as Cleffa does.


There are other options for hand refresh too, if you prefer to use Supporters rather than your attack: Lookers Investigation, Cynthia’s Feelings, Copycat, and Professor Oak’s New Theory, will often do Cleffa’s job as well, if not better.


It’s very tempting to try Cleffa out, just because it is so old school. At the moment, though, cards like Cynthia and Chatot are a safer bet. If and when they disappear from Modified, there might be a place for Cleffa as a tech in some decks.




Modified: 2 (nice to see it back, even if it isn’t as great as it used to be)

Limited: 3.5 (draw/refresh is hard to come by here, so it’s very useful)


Pokémon Organized Play Tournament Organizer, League Owner, Pokémon Professor and Judge

Pokémon Cards of the day for Tuesday, 2010-02-16:


Cleffa (HeartGold & SoulSilver, #17)


The HeartGold & SoulSilver expansion brings back notable Basic Pokémon that are prevolved forms of other Pokémon.  These Pokémon are Cleffa, Igglybuff, Pichu, Smoochum and Tyrogue.  Unlike past appearances, these Pokémon lack  the ability to evolve using any Baby Evolution Poké-Power into Clefairy, Jigglypuff, Pikachu, Jynx, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee or Hitmontop.


Cleffa, Igglypuff, Pichu, Smoochum and Tyrogue share the same Poké-Body, Sweet Sleeping Face.  Its effect is as long as the Pokémon is Asleep, all damage to it is prevented.  These Pokémon stand good chances to be Asleep as their attacks initiate the effect.


The statistics for each of these Pokémon are consistent.  They all share 30 HP, have no Weakness, have no Resistance, and have zero Energy Retreat Cost.


Eeeeeeek!  Cleffa's attack, for no Energy, causes you to shuffle your hand into your deck, and draw six cards; it falls asleep afterwards.  This is not a bad attack for getting a new hand in either modified or limited formats; however, Eeeeeeek can lose easily to Claydol's Cosmic Power Poké-Power.



Modified: 3/5

Limited:  5/5


Welcome to Baby Week, Pojo readers! The first baby we're reviewing this week is Pichu from the HeartGold and SoulSilver expansion.

The new babies in this set are interesting, because they have no way of legally evolving into their evolved forms. This means that your Pichu can't evolve into a Pikachu, your Cleffa can't evolve into Clefairy, etc. However, babies haven't usually been played to evolve, so this really isn't so much of a problem.

Pichu has 30 HP, which is quite low, but what we'd expect from a Baby. All of the babies in HGSS have no Weakness, Resistance, or Retreat Cost, and Pichu is no exception. Having no Weakness or Retreat Cost is great, but having a Resistance would really add to Pichu's survivability.

The new Baby Power, Sweet Sleeping Face, prevents all damage done to Pichu from attacks while asleep. All of the babies in HGSS have this as well, and it is a useful power for increasing the lifespan of the fragile babies. Unfortunately, staying Asleep is very difficult, since the flip is in between each turn. Thus, it is really easy for your Baby Pokemon to wake up, get hit for at least 30 damage, and then your opponent takes a Prize card.

Pichu has a single attack, Playground, which allows each player to search their deck for as many Basic Pokemon as they want and put them directly on their Bench. While letting your opponent set up is a definite downside, Jumpluff HGSS decks will love making your opponent have lots of Pokemon on their Benches to make sure they do the most possible damage. Additionally, there are quite a few support Pokemon that have powers that only work if played from the hand (Uxie and Crobat G come to mind). Even still, giving your opponent that Gastly, Baltoy, or SP basic may not always be the best thing in the world. After the attack, Pichu puts itself to sleep, helping it stall longer with Sweet Sleeping Face.

Modified: 2.25/5 While the set-up potential is very high, there are many potential drawbacks. First of all, you let your opponent set up too. From that, 30 HP allows for your opponent to possibly net an easy KO. Finally, even though Pichu definitely has a place in setting up the Jumpluff deck, if your opponent realizes what you're doing, they will probably not bother getting any Basics to help foil your strategy.

Limited: 4/5 Pichu is a fantastic set-up card in Limited, allowing you to fetch many Basics while thinning out your deck in the process. Just be careful if your opponent can set up faster than you.


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