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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day
Top 10 New Pokémon Cards
Jan. 6, 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
#7 Judge (Unleashed)
If you compare this year’s top 10 with the list from
2009, you will see that the Pokémon released this year
can’t really compare to the near-broken,
format-dominating beasts like
Dialga G, Garchomp C,
and Luxray GL that we got
back then. To make us feel better (I assume), we have
been given quite a few completely brilliant Supporters.
Judge might not be the best and most staple of them, but
it is my personal favourite. The hand disruption it
offers is the best in the game in my opinion because it
isn’t vulnerable to Power Spray (like Let Loose
Giratina) and doesn’t rely
on coin flips (like Cyrus’s Initiative). True, it is
more difficult to use now that the player can’t restock
their hand with Claydol
(other draw cards are available), but it’s still a very
effective way of breaking the Cyrus chain that SP decks
depend on, shuffling back cards that your opponent has
just searched out (such as Legend pieces), or just
generally cutting their options by reducing their hand
This is a card that takes skill and practice to play
correctly, now more than ever, but it’s still a potent
weapon, especially when combined with
Spiritomb AR (to lock any
Trainers they draw), or Mesprit
LA (so they can’t recover with Uxie).
If you do run a deck that has some Pokémon-based draw
support (Ninetales HGSS,
Magnezone Prime, even
Nidoqueen TM), then you
would be silly not to run Judge. It’s also essential for
any hand disruption deck like
Sablelock or (more obscurely)
Basically, Judge is a card that can wipe the smile off
the face of any cocky opponent who thinks he’s holding a
god hand. Fear it when it is played against you, and
learn how to abuse it yourself.
Modified: 4 (the best disruption card since Rocket’s
Limited: 4 (who
hasn’t had a hand they wanted to discard in
1/6/10:Judge(Unleashed)- #7 Card, 2010
Don't you Judge me, man :/
Today we have the premier disruption supporter in the
format. For a while, this card ended Gyarados, keeping
them from recovering as easily off a Gyarados KO. It was
also a large part of Sableye-based disruption decks,
lowering their hand size before reducing it further by
Impersonating a Cyrus' Initiative.
Sableye isn't as widely seen now, but several decks
still benefit from this card, especially newer cards
like Magnezone Prime and Yanmega Prime. Any deck based
on disruption should be using this card.
Combos With: Cyrus' Initiative
from HS – Unleashed actually scored higher, all the way
as my number three slot.
I blame Bondi, as he’s my main opponent and he
really loves the card.
Despite being so fond of it, the review will
likely be pretty short.
is a shuffle and draw Supporter, very similar to an
older Supporter known as
The main difference is that this has each player
draw a flat four cards, while
each player draw up to four.
Pokémon has long been known for large hand sizes,
and even though this latest format doesn’t get hands
quite as large as some past, four cards will usually be
shaving a card or two off the average hand size.
It disrupts any searched for cards that aren’t
being dropped again instantly, as well as cards you’ve
returned to hand, such as with
All these little annoyances, and the fact that a
well made deck can usually drop its own hand low enough
to benefit from shuffling said hand in and drawing four
cards, make it a good, solid card.
Skillful plays early game and specific combos make it a
Mostly the former, but if you are running a deck where
you need to force your opponent to draw cards (like
if/when we get
Lost World) or
(to synch up hands and kick its Poké-Body into gear).
As neither of those two are huge decks right now,
hopefully you realize that it is mostly the “skillful
plays” early game.
It is incredibly vexing when an opponent does
this every turn or every other turn, following up any
attempts at long term set up you make.
Once is bad, and easy enough to work into many
your deck can function with several copies of this, go
for it: I’ve seen first hand how effective it is.
Gengar (HS –
Good morning, Pojo! Today we continue our Top 10
Cards of 2010 by reviewing a Supporter card from the HS
Unleashed expansion that most players dread seeing.
Today's Card of the Day (and #7 on our list) is Judge.
Judge has a very basic effect: Each player shuffles his
or her hand into their deck, and then draws 4 cards. For
pure hand refresh, things like Cynthia's Feelings,
Professor Oak's New Theory, and even Copycat are
generally better, although this is not the reason why
most people use Judge. This card, unlike the others, is
generally used to mess up the opponent much more than
simply using it to refresh your hand. Smeargle UD is
very commonly played right now as a support Pokemon, as
your opponent will hope to use a critical Supporter such
as a Pokemon Collector, Cyrus's Conspiracy, or even
something like Twins from your hand. With Judge as the
only Supporter in your hand, your opponent will then be
forced to draw into a new hand, with the likely result
of really disrupting their game plan. Another great use
of Judge is to use it after your opponent returns one of
their Pokemon to their hand, as then you can Judge to
shuffle away the Pokemon in question. Of course, if you
find yourself in a bind, Judge can also be used to
refresh your hand as well, and although 4 cards isn't
necessarily great, it can certainly help, especially if
you get that one crucial card you need, or a Uxie LA.
Modified: 4/5 Judge has great use as an offensive and
defensive card for reasons explained above, and this
explains why it definitely belongs on our Top 10 List.
If you've ever been on the giving or receiving end of
this card, you know how disruptive it can be.
Limited: 4/5 Trainers and Supporters are always great to
have in Limited, and Judge is no exception. It's great
if you can shuffle away a bad hand, and if you somehow
know what is in your opponent's hand and can disrupt
them, more power to you.
Professor Bathurst League Australia
Judge (HS Unleashed)
Here we have a card I really disliked when it was
released, and dislike even more now.
Judge is used for 2 things: shuffling your hand into
your deck for a fresh set of cards, and for making your
opponent want to smack you. Typically, 4 cards are
considered a small hand in Pokémon, so you only play
Judge for pure hand refresh when you are in dire
straits. The focus tends to be on the second use for
Judge, which is scrambling your opponent’s hand and
making them draw 4 cards.
Note that the wording for this card is very specific:
most other cards that shuffle your opponent’s hand and
make them a new hand have the clause ‘up to’ in their
wording, which means your opponent can draw ‘up to’ the
number of cards stated. If they so choose, they can draw
less than the amount stated, or even choose not to draw
any cards at all (though they can’t avoid shuffling
their old hand away). Cards with the ‘up to’ clause
include Giratina PT (the version with the Let Loose
Poke-power) and Looker’s Investigation.
The best use for the omission of this clause is to force
your opponent to draw cards so that you can use their
own cards against them. Smeargle UD, Gengar SF and
Gengar Prime all punish your opponent for having
specific cards in their hand, but if this is the angle
you are playing then you may well do better playing
Spiritomb TM, which has also omitted the ‘up to’ clause
and forces your opponent to draw 6 cards instead of just
4. True, there is the problem of bench space but Seeker
takes care of that and Trainer locking (the cornerstone
of VileGar builds) will prevent your opponent from
playing Power Spray to stop Spiritomb.
Since better options exist for forcing your opponent
draw different cards than the ones they have, the main
reason people use Judge is to disrupt the opponent by
forcing them to draw a smaller hand.
Previously I have said I don’t like Judge and the reason
is that, mathematically, you are getting the worse end
of the deal. Since your opponent is getting 5 cards (if
you include the card they draw at the start of their
next turn) and they are able to play a Supporter, while
you only get 4 cards to continue your turn and you have
already burned your Supporter use for the turn they are
left in a better position than you, which is hardly the
goal of disruption. The only advantage to you is that
you know a hand-scramble is coming, so you can build
your deck and your field to prepare and recover better
than your opponent can (unless they are trying to pull
the same stunt, in which case the battle will be very
Judge would be a very mediocre card if it wasn’t for the
number of options for maximising on your opponent’s
discomfort at losing their hand while pretty much
ignoring the loss of your own hand. Sableye SF is
central to this, and without that pesky little
Ghost/Dark nightmare Judge would never have appeared on
this list. Put simply, you can either play Judge from
your hand and then impersonate a card like Team Rocket’s
Trickery or Cyrus’ Initiative to further reduce the size
of your opponent’s hand, or you can use Impersonate to
get out Judge at the very start of the game to mess up
your opponent’s game plan when they haven’t built up
their field to get around such disruption.
Combine the above methods with cards like Slowking HGSS
and Chatot G to control your opponent’s top deck to
prevent a lucky recovery, and you can permanently keep
your opponent off balance until you are ready to stop
disrupting and start dismembering your opponent’s poor
So if Judge is so good at starting a chain of disruption
and destruction, then why do I think it doesn’t deserve
a spot in the Top 10? Because Looker’s Investigation
does all of the above tricks better, especially when
combined with some kind of lock (Poke-powers, Trainers
or otherwise) since you can look at your opponent’s hand
to decide whether or not a refresh would help your
opponent more than it hurts and you can scramble your
opponent’s cards while leaving your own hand intact.
Also, if you have some kind of intimidation in play (Gengar
Prime and Gengar SF fit well here) you can convince your
opponent that drawing less than the full 5 cards is
worth it, meaning an even smaller hand than Judge would
Judge may be good for starting the disruption but I have
never had it successfully used against me and I consider
Looker’s investigation to be superior in almost every
way. In the end, I just don’t like double-edged swords
that you can’t guard yourself against, even if they mess
up your opponent. You can never be sure that playing
Judge won’t hit you harder than it hits your opponent.
Modified: 3.5 (I pray for the day that someone can use
Judge against me properly and change my mind about this
card, but in the mean time I say it is only just above
Limited: 4 (with all of the draw supporters in this
format, you can really mess around with this card. And
yelling “JUDGE” when you play it is just so satisfying!)
Combos with: Sableye SF, Chatot G, Slowking HGSS, that
twinkle in your opponent’s eye that means they have a
great setup coming.