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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day
September 14, 2010
& Reviews Summary
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
Defender is a reprint of a card we last saw way back in
Base Set – the very beginning of the Pokémon TCG!
(Outside of Japan, anyway).
It looks very like a blue version of Pluspower and it
has a similar, but opposite, effect. You attach it to
your Pokémon and discard it at the end of your
opponent’s next turn. While it’s there, it reduces
attack damage taken by your Pokémon by 20.
Remind you of anything? Yep, it’s very similar to
Buffer Piece, but with some important differences. On
the plus side, you can stack it to reduce up to 80
damage from an attack! You are also free to go ahead and
attach a Tool to your Pokémon, so it can be used with
Expert Belt or Unown Q (for example). A relative
downside is that you can’t search it out as you can
Buffer Piece (using Department Store Girl), but taking
everything into consideration, it is the better card.
But is it good enough? Well, you will undoubtedly find
game situations in which it would be very useful in
allowing your Pokémon to survive for an extra turn (I
once won a game by putting an Expert Belt on a damaged
Combee SF, stopping my opponent from taking a Prize by
KOing it with Shadow Room). The real question is: is it
good enough to be worth a punt, especially since your
opponent can work around it by switching the Pokémon
out, or by sniping the Bench?
I suspect that the answer will almost always be ‘no’.
Deck space is usually just a bit too tight to include
cards which are only situationally useful, and Defender
definitely falls into this category. If you have an
issue with low HP Pokémon getting OHKO’d too easily, you
could always give it a try, but I don’t expect it to
make the cut in many tournament-winning decklists.
Modified: 2 (nice, but not quite nice enough)
Limited: 4 (really good here: buying a turn for your
big-hitter could be game-winning)
was never as popular as
Plus Power, simply because it was a
more specialized card.
Soaking 20 points of damage was
Plus Power could help you avoid
damage by ensuring a speedy KO.
Defender might buy you an
Its real use back in the day was
when running a self-damaging Pokémon.
You could drop this to get off a
fat attack without finishing yourself
off and make it harder for the opponent
to finish you off to boot!
Alas, modern wording changes this: while
it still is a plain Trainer and can be
attached to any of your Pokémon without
counting against things like Pokémon
Tool usage, it only reduces damage from
an opponent’s attack.
Still reduces the damage by 20
points and after Weakness and Resistance
and still only lasts until the end of
your opponent’s next turn (at which
point it is discarded).
So its main use is now gone.
It can still be handy for helping
a Pokémon tank out, I suppose, and if
you make room for multiple copies they
can still stack: if you can manage to
drop all four at once you can ignore 80
points of damage, basically one solid
Unfortunately, the “normal”
Trainers face quite a few lock decks
right now, so while that earns the card
points by allowing it to stack (unlike,
Of course, due to the intense number
crunching and smaller damage yields in
Limited, it is good pull.
I am still selling my former
collectables on eBay. I’ve had a
lot of hobbies over the years, so at
various times I’ll have comic books,
manga, action figures, and video games
on the auction block. You can take
a look at what’s up for bids
here. I usually add new stuff on
Wednesdays and Saturdays. Just a
reminder, Pojo is in no way responsible
for any transactions and was merely kind
enough to let me mention the auctions
Professor Bathurst League Australia
Defender (HS Undaunted)
This is one of my many late reviews, sorry for the
See people? I AM catching up.
Here we have a trainer that was first printed back in
Base Set and was the counterpart to Pluspower (which has
had many more reprints). What it did back then was
reduce any and all incoming damage by 20 (after weakness
and resistance to the Pokémon you attached it to, and
was discarded at the end of your opponent’s next turn.
This included spread damage (if it was attached to a
Benched Pokémon) and self-damage.
Defender would remain in play if it was used to
reduce self-damage due to the wording so it would also
take 20 out of the next incoming attack, giving a total
reduction of 40. The card was occasionally used by
players who favoured recoil attacks to take the sting
out of the self-damage and better the chances of getting
off a second attack. Defender could also be stacked (to
a maximum of 4 on a single Pokémon) to give more
protection, though this was generally not a good
strategy as you had to find space for 4 almost
unsearchable cards and get them into your hand for only
a single turn of survival.
Sadly, the new version has been nerfed (game-speak
for weakened by the designers) since it no longer
prevents self-damage, which was the most useful aspect
of the card. Power creep has further reduced the
effectiveness of Defender since average damage totals
are now higher, yet the damage reduction remains the
same. Even worse, the current meta-game favours trainer
denial, and plenty of cards place damage counters as
opposed to actual damage which dodges Defender
In the end, Defender is a terrible choice for any
modern deck, and it wasn’t a top pick in the old days
Modified: 2 (more damage reduction, say to 30 or
maybe 40, would make sense in this modern gaming
environment. Sadly, this card is now useless)
Limited: 4 (here this card can buy you an extra turn and
help you win the game, as it often comes down to
attacker VS attacker with the first Pokémon to get a
2HKO being the winner)
Combos with: maybe Steelix could use this card to really
annoy the opponent, or if you have vital techs and
Blastoise or Garchomp are annoying you.