Top 4 UK Nats
This was great at pre-release. Players were using this
card and saying ‘JUDGE!’ in an unnecessarily loud voice.
It was pretty funny . . . unless you were the poor judge
who had to keep looking around the room every time
someone did that.
Unfortunately for judges, pre-release won’t be the only
time they have to deal with players being annoying with
this card. It is very probably the best card in the
whole Unleashed set and it is definitely going to see
some serious table time at Nationals, Worlds, and
That’s because Judge is the best hand refresh/disruption
card we have seen since Rocket’s Admin. Yes, that’s
right, it’s even better than the dreaded Team Galactic’s
Wager (unless you never lose at Rock, Paper, Scissors).
Yet again, the effect is a simple one. When you play
this card both players shuffle their hand into their
deck and draw four cards. Yep, it’s Giratina PL’s Let
Loose Power, except it can’t be Power Sprayed, doesn’t
take up Bench space, and won’t give you one of the worst
possible starts in the game (probably only Regice LA is
worse out of cards that see play).
There are basically two parts to Judge, so let’s look at
them separately. First of all, what does the card do for
you? Well, it gives you a new hand of four cards. That’s
not terrible, and if you have Claydol in play, it’s not
hard to turn that into a very nice new hand of six.
However, if it is hand refresh you want, then cards like
Cynthia’s Feelings, Copycat (usually) and Professor
Oak’s New Theory will do a better job. So, the real
appeal of Judge must be what it does to your opponent,
Making your opponent shuffle their hand into their deck
and draw four can be a hugely disruptive counter to a
lot of popular decks. SP decks will have their Cyrus
chain broken, Gyarados players will lose those Pokémon
Rescues they have been hoarding, and Shuppet donk
will be devastated by having their unsearchable Expert
Belts and PlusPowers put back in the deck. In fact, any
deck that likes to maintain a big hand, or keep key
cards in reserve, can be hurt by Judge.
Judge is a bit of a skill card and does need to be timed
just right though. If your opponent has a Claydol or two
on the Field, then Judge will not be so effective. The
best way to use it is on a turn where you can take out
their draw support (by sniping or dragging out a Claydol
for the KO), or if you can Power Lock them in some way
so that they can’t recover (Mesprit LA, Gardevoir SW,
and good old Power Spray will do the job nicely).
Obviously, Hand disruption and Power Lock decks like
Sablelock and Gallade/Gardeveoir have just found a new
best friend in this card, but a well-timed Judge can be
such a good counter to such a big part of the metagame
that it is really worth considering as a tech supporter.
Gyarados decks will still prefer Cynthia or Copycat,
Gengar may well want to stick with Lookers
Investigation, but most other decks can benefit from
including one or two copies of this card.
Modified: 4.25 (the best disruption Supporter we have)
Limited: 3.75 (the hand refresh is nice, even if
disruption isn’t so important here)
We finish our week of HS – Unleashed
It is another draw Supporter,
which is very similar to an older
Supporter known as
The main difference is that this
has each player draw a flat four cards,
Shaman had each player draw up to
I’d like to give you some brilliant
combo for this card, but it strikes me
as being very dependant upon the
If you are in an area where
players are loading their hands up,
either through raw draw power or
multiple search cards, and not burning
through it all in one turn, this can be
an excellent counter.
You still get a decent draw out
of it (especially if your own deck is
efficient and you have no hand left) and
ideally, you’ll shave a few cards off
their hand while disrupting their plans.
Hand disruption is extremely
potent in the TCG’s I’ve played.
Pokémon is no exception, though
the scale differs thanks to the
(comparably) abundant draw power this
Basically Pokémon can have
disruption where as in a game like Yu-Gi-Oh,
so much of the hand disruption ends up
restricted, banned, or so crippled with
costs and drawbacks that it’s useless.
While I hate sounding like a broken
record, this is another solid Supporter
any deck can play, but that probably
isn’t the best card for the slot.
Absol (Secret Wonders),
Feraligatr (Mysterious Treasures)
Professor Bathurst League Australia
Judge (HS Unleashed)
This doesn't look like a real Judge, they should have
called it Referee. Or given the guy a big Ban Hammer
like real judges have (I know it's called a gavel, but
Ban Hammer looks better in print). Now the effects.
The Supporters in this set are mediocre to good, and
with the exception of Interviewer's Questions they all
have very simple effects. This one makes both players
shuffle their hands into their decks and draw 4 cards.
I'm going to give this card the gong, simply because we
already have a much better card that will survive the
rotation: Looker's Investigation. Not only do you get to
draw up to 5 cards if you wish (or less if you need to
prevent decking yourself), you get to choose either your
opponet or yourself to shuffle. The topper is looking at
your opponent's hand before you make the decision, so
you can refresh yourself, or force your opponent to lose
cards they need to play (and hope they don't draw
something even worse, because they will almost
definitely take the 5 cards).
Judge isn't good enough for shuffle-draw (a maximum of 4
cards really sucks when compared to other shuffle-draw
options) and you can't tell if you are helping or
hurting your opponent. Even worse, you can't use a
better Supporter if you draw one in your new hand, while
your opponent can. Finally, this exact effect is
available as a poke-power on one of the Giratina cards
form Platinum, and noone has used that card much either.
Conclusion? Use it in Limited, then bury it in the ol'
Modified: 1.5 (just not up to standard, and more likely
to disrupt you than the opponent)
Limited: 2.5 (it can stop you decking yourself, but
that's the only redeeming feature)
Combos with: a pin for Tournament Judges to use at