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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day
Sept. 2, 2011
& 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
27/98 (Emerging Powers)
is one of those rare Pokémon that look like they could
actually be a real life animal. Actually, a lot of bird
Pidgeot) fall into that category. The designers
seem to hold back on the weirdness when it comes to
One of the things that Swanna
has going for it in the current format is that it is a
Water type. This gives it excellent coverage with
Reshiram-based Fire decks
and Donphan being very
popular. The Fighting Resistance is also helpful against
the ugly elephant Pokémon, as it makes it very unlikely
that it will be able to OHKO your
Swanna (Heavy Impact + 2
PlusPower would be needed). The Lightning
Weakness may not be the best but hey,
Zekrom are going to one shot
first attack, Wing Dance, is fairly priced at [C][C] and
does 30 damage with a coin flip for next turn immunity
from damage and effects. Luckily the effect lies on
Swanna, so the opponent
can’t avoid it by Retreating or evolving: they would
need to switch Swanna out
with Pokémon Catcher in order to get around it. It’s a
potentially handy (though not infallible) stalling
attack with some bonus damage. Up next is
Swanna’s second attack, Air
Slash. This is a bit less of a bargain: [W][C][C] for 70
damage and an Energy discard, but at least it keeps the
synergy with Double Colourless Energy and packs enough
of a punch to OHKO nearly every Fire Pokémon (except
Emboar, but you use
PlusPower for that) plus
And if Swanna is ever going
to be playable, that will be its niche. The low HP and
lack of real attack damage make it pretty ineffective
unless it is hitting for Weakness. Even as an anti Fire/Donphan
tech, it’s not ideal: the Energy cost is a tad high for
that, though the ability to one-shot most of its enemies
does make it just a little better than the BW version.
Due to the lack of decent Water type techs, and the need
for them in the metagame,
it’s just possible that this Swanna
could be tried in a deck. I’m not optimistic about the
outcome, but until we get something better (looks at
Cryogonal from the Japanese
Red Collection), it’s probably one of the best of a bad
bunch of choices.
Modified: 2.25 (may be used as a tech until we get a
Limited: 3 (Reasonably splashable
Stage 1s are always a good pick to exploit Weakness)
We end this week with
So are we going out with a bang
or a whimper?
Do swans make either noise?
is a Water-Type Pokémon, so it can
Water Energy from Rain Dance and
enjoys double damage against nearly
every Fire-Type Pokémon and at least one
prominent Fighting-Type Pokémon,
Weakness exists but it resides on
largely underplayed Grass-Type Pokémon.
It is a Stage 1 Pokémon so even
Pokémon Breeder, you can bust it out
on your second turn.
has 90 HP, which is a bit low for a
Stage 1 Pokémon that doesn’t further
Evolve but fairly common for Stage 1
Many competitive decks will be
able to OHKO
Swanna, but not all of them and some
will have to really push for it.
Lightning Type decks will find it
fairly easy since
Swanna is Lightning Weak:
Magnezone Prime just has to remove a
single Energy and
Zekrom can take it easy and just use
Zekrom has at least three damage
counters on it, and even a
Pachirisu can pop the White Bird
Pokémon in a single shot.
At least this is offset by some
Fighting Resistance, making
Swanna even more frustrating for
Donphan Prime: even four
PlusPower won’t boost Earthquake
enough to enable a OHKO.
The single energy Retreat Cost
that finishes the bottom stats is
technically good: a single Energy is
usually isn’t a huge set-back and will
rarely be unavailable… but this Pokémon
is part Flying-Type in the video games
and at just 90 HP, a free Retreat Cost
is not only appropriate but needed.
has two attacks.
Wing Dance requires (CC) and does
30 points of damage while giving
Swanna a 50% chance (coin flip
based) to prevent all effects of
attacks, including damage, done to
itself during your opponent’s next turn.
Of course if it gets Benched the
effect goes away.
The attack isn’t bad but it isn’t
quite strong enough to be good.
The second attack is Air Slash
and for (WCC) it hits for 70 points of
damage but requires you discard an
Energy attached to
Without the discard it would have
The discard really hurts because
it just isn’t needed.
While I don’t think everything
Donphan Prime and the 60 for (F),
this is the card’s “big” attack, and
this is the end of the line.
As such it needed to be fairly
You’re getting about twice as
much damage as you pay for in Energy,
but factoring in both the discard and
being a Stage 1 Pokémon that can’t
Evolve, it really needed another 10 or
20 points or better yet just no discard
The good news is that the card has a
little extra utility as not only can the
first attack be powered fully by
Double Colorless Energy, but the
second attack can use it as well and
since you only need a single Water
Energy for the “big” attack the card
could even work reasonably well
Is this enough to make the card
First and foremost, you’ll have to run a
Ducklett in order to get
Swanna into play.
The set-mate to this card is
60 HP is as low as I want to see
on a Pokémon that only Evolves once, and
I am glad this card maintains Fighting
The first attack would be good
except… it’s an attack.
You have to survive to heal 40,
and if this card survives it wants to
The second attack does 20 for
(WW) and that is quite bad.
However this is still an
improvement over the Black & White
version which has the exact same stats
but only a single attack that does 10
So if you wanted a Stage 1 Water
Pokémon, there are better options but
this card would at least be functional.
In a Rain Dance deck the discard
cost of the second attack wouldn’t
matter but it still isn’t the best Stage
1 to use.
I will mention that since it can
Double Colorless Energy so well,
unless you’re not running enough
Water Energy to get away with it you
should be able to fairly easily take a
Swanna and use a
Max Potion to completely heal it and
then attack by simply dropping a
Double Colorless Energy.
Will this win you a major
Will it win you a small town
I consider that extremely
Will it let you use this
Swanna about as effectively as you
could hope to if you insist on running
Yes, yes it would.
Keep in mind that
Swanna isn’t all that likely to
survive without also dropping a
Defender but for those turns
Swanna does hang on, it’s going to
have plenty of damage to flush away.
The Unlimited format finds the card even
less useful, though it is a good pull
for Limited play: the stats go from
sub-par to solid as do the attacks, with
the added benefit of the card being able
to be functionally run without any
Water Energy cards (just relying on
Wing Dance) or with very few to full
As I find this card so disappointing, I
will attempt to preserve the basic idea
but make it something that is hopefully
worth playing, but not overpowered.
Odds are I will fail miserably
and we’ll all be able to get a good
laugh at my ego.
I am actually going to leave the
stats alone (with the possible exception
of the HP), because I will give it
something to warrant these stats: I am
going to turn Wing Dance into a useful
As far as I am aware, players are
pretty sick of coin flips and have been
since before Worlds, so let’s find a
different way to enable the protective
How about discarding (W) Energy
A single discard for total
immunity is ludicrous, and we are
designing this card so that it could
constantly be re-supplied in two
How about this for the Ability’s
text: “When this Pokémon is attacked by
one of your opponent’s Pokémon, you may
discard as many (W) Energy attached to
this Pokémon as you wish.
If you do, reduce the damage done
to this Pokémon (after
applying Weakness and Resistance) by
30 points for each (W) Energy discarded
for this effect.”
As for the attack, I’d change the
effect to read “You may discard a (W)
Energy attached to this Pokémon.
If you do, this attack does
nothing to the Defending Pokémon.
Select one of your opponent’s
Benched Pokémon and do 70 damage to it.
(Do not apply Weakness or Resistance for
Air Slash is a somewhat generic
looking move in the video games, but
this way you can use it to hit the Bench
as well; with a protective effect it’s a
Swanna could then give Rain Dance
decks a nice Stage 1 Active.
The rest of the deck would be all
about drawing into and later recycling
the massive amount of
Water Energy cards the set-up
requires, but it’d be a pretty potent
Potent, but I don’t think
Swanna can’t block effects of
attacks and the stats are still sub-par.
Zekrom are probably going to OHKO it
even with the protective effect, since
the damage reduction doesn’t happen
until after Weakness.
Worst case scenario, I am sure
that testing done before the card was
released would reveal that the only
required balancing agent would be
lowering the HP.
As is, I am assuming at least a
single Energy discarded each turn
against most decks, just to blunt the
damage, with many requiring two.
Another Stage 1 that seems to be a miss,
though I suppose that’s better than
something plainly overpowered.
If you must use
Swanna, I’d try some sort of
“porter” deck using the other one though
I guess this card is at least basically
functional in its own deck.
Hopefully my own imaginative
musings were entertaining, even if only
because they make me look quite silly
Enjoy your weekend! :)
Happy Friday, Pojo readers! I know that many of us in
the US are gearing up for a nice long Labor Day weekend,
but before we do that, we have one last card to review
for this week. It's still from Emerging Powers, and I
believe this is another card that EP received before
Japan. Today's Card of the Day is Swanna.
Swanna is a Stage 1 Water Pokemon. With the release of
Beartic, a number of variants of the deck have descended
upon us, and this has really been the go-to Water deck
since Gyarados and the rotation. Also, this appears to
be the format of Stage 1s, with many potent choices
available in the format. Does Swanna have what it takes
to find a place in a deck? 90 HP is sadly average for a
terminally-evolved Stage 1, meaning that many heavy
hitters such as Reshiram, Zekrom, Magnezone, and various
others will OHKO without any trouble at all (the list
gets even bigger if Swanna has damage). Lightning
Weakness is also a problem, as Zekrom and Magnezone will
have a field day, as will Pachirisu. Fighting Resistance
is nice against Donphan, but not much else. One Retreat
is also fairly decent, although it would have been nice
if it were for free.
Swanna has two attacks: Wing Dance and Air Slash. Wing
Dance deals 30 damage for two Colorless Energy, and has
the "Agility" effect: if you flip heads, you prevent all
effects of attacks, including damage, done to Swanna
during your opponent's next turn. This is a fairly nice
attack for Limited, as the protection will be handy more
often than not. In Modified, 30 damage is a bit low, and
the protective effect is realistically only going to
save you for a turn or two unless you get really lucky
or your opponent doesn't have a way to get Swanna out of
the Active Position.
Air Slash deals a solid 70 damage for a Water and two
Colorless, forcing you to discard an Energy attached to
Swanna. Fairly solid, if unspectacular. In Limited, this
attack is great, as you should be running enough Energy
to replenish the discard every turn. In Modified, there
are generally better options (Yanmega Prime, Donphan,
and others come to mind).
Modified: 1.75/5 It's not useless, but Swanna is greatly
outclassed by many things in the Modified metagame.
Maybe once the Ability Victini is released someone can
have some fun with Wing Dance, but outside of that,
Swanna won't be making a splash in Modified any time
Limited: 3.5/5 Swanna is quite good in Limited. Wing
Dance deals decent damage for the cost, and the
protective effect is excellent. Air Slash deals reliable
damage with a minimal drawback, which is also a major
plus. Both attacks also have very nice mostly Colorless
Energy requirements, meaning Swanna can be easily
splashed into almost any deck that runs a little bit of
Water Energy. The only real downside to Swanna is its
relatively low HP, which will hamper its usefulness if
your opponent brings out a heavy hitter like Thundurus,
Tornadus, or one of the Musketeer trio. Even still,
Swanna is a very solid choice for this format.
Have a wonderful weekend!