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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Yanmega Prime


Date Reviewed: July 25, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.17
Limited: 3.67

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

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Yanmega Prime (Triumphant)

Hello, and welcome to another theme week here on Pojo’s CotD. This week we are looking at those Primes which made an impact in the recent North American National Championships. All are now significantly better than they were when we first reviewed them. How long will they stay good? Who knows? The imminent release of Pokémon Catcher and cards like Kyurem and Beartic is going to shake things up a bit for sure . . . all I can do is rate the cards for the format we have right now: HGSS-BW.

We kick off the week with the card that has seen the biggest shift of all: Yanmega Prime. Before the recent rotation, this was a $5-10 card that saw very limited play. At Canadian Nationals, it was very successful with two Yanmega decks making the top four. By US Nationals, Yanmega Primes were selling for upwards of $60 a piece, every deck in the top four ran it, and over half the decks that made it out of the Swiss rounds included copies of this card.

So . . . what happened? Well, in short, the rotation happened. That meant three things: firstly, the SP decks that could beat Yanmega for speed and damage output disappeared; secondly, Dialga G LV X, the card that made Yanmega unworkable went too; thirdly, the lack of drawpower in the new format meant that people turned to Baby Pokémon (i.e.: Cleffa) for deck consistency . . . and Yanmega eats Baby Pokémon for breakfast (and easy Prizes).

So, in a format that has just lost all of its near-broken staple attackers (the SPs, Gengar SF, Gyarados SF), people took a second look at Yanmega Prime, a card that does a lot of things quite well (and a couple of things brilliantly).

Let’s start with the things that Yanmega Prime is ok at: the HP of 110 is reasonable, but clearly not special, while the Lightning Weakness isn’t the nightmare it was when Luxray GL LV X dominated, but it’s still not much fun with Magnezone Prime and Zekrom getting a fair bit of table time. Then we have the attacks: Linear Attack is a snipe for 40 damage anywhere, while Sonic Boom does a respectable 70 damage that is unaffected by Weakness or Resistance. They are both decent enough attacks, but some way short of turning Yanmega into a broken, OHKOing sweeper.

Now let’s look at what Yanmega does brilliantly. Firstly, it has free retreat in a format where few Pokémon other than the Babies have that advantage. Secondly (and most crucially) it can attack for free. That last bit comes courtesy of Yanmega Prime’s Insight PokeBody. If you can are holding the same number of cards as your opponent, you get to ignore Yanmega’s attack costs. That is not a difficult feat most of the time: you just play out your hand accordingly and use Judge or Copycat as necessary (for example when your opponent tries to make life difficult by keeping either a very small or very large hand size). When they cost absolutely no Energy to use, Yanmega’s 40 snipe and effect-free 70 damage attacks stop looking mediocre and start looking amazing in this format, and with Dialga G gone, there is no way for your opponent to lock the PokeBody.

Basically, Yanmega became the fastest, most flexible attacker in HGSS-on. The fact that it’s a Stage 1 that doesn’t need Energy to attack makes it incredibly versatile: partner it with Donphan to cover Weakness, play it with Kingdra to make sniping 50 HP Basics a breeze, use it with Cinccino and/or Zoroark as part of a Stage 1 toolbox, or include Magnezone Prime for draw Power and a late game heavy-hitter . . . the choice is yours.

No wonder so many people are choosing Yanmega Prime these days.


Modified: 4.5 (the fastest, most versatile attacker in the format right now)

Combos with . . .

Where would you like to start? Kingdra Prime, Judge, Copycat, any other Stage 1, Zekrom, Magnezone Prime . . .


Welcome back, Pojo readers! While we still have quite a bit of time left before the release of Emerging Powers, we're going to spend the next few weeks presumably catching up on cards that we've forgotten, or cards that are important to our new HGSS-on Modified. This week we're going to start by covering some of the Pokemon Prime cards that made a big impact at the various North American National Championships. Today's Card of the Day was probably the biggest surprise, and has since found itself it many of the current decks to beat in Modified. Today's Card of the Day is Yanmega Prime from HS Triumphant.

Yanmega is a Stage 1 Grass-type Pokemon. Grass-types (aside from Yanmega) aren't at all common in Modified, with the exception of some people still running Jumpluff decks, and a few people that have Serperior as a combo piece. Even still, Yanmega is generally used in combination with Pokemon of other types, such as Kingdra Prime, Jirachi UL/CL, and even Magnezone Prime. 110 HP is fairly good for a Stage 1, meaning Yanmega should be able to easily take a non-Weak hit unless the opponent is Reshiram, Zekrom, or Magnezone. Lightning Weakness could end up being a significant problem for Yanmega, meaning that Zekrom, Magnezone Prime, and other uncommonly played Lightning-types (such as Lanturn Prime or even Ampharos Prime) can OHKO with minimal effort. Fighting Resistance is great against Donphan, really hurting Donphan's early-game setup and forcing them to come up with an answer they may not have. Finally, a free Retreat cost is the absolute best you can have, and Yanmega absolutely shines with it.

Yanmega Prime has two attacks and a very excellent Poke-BODY. The Body, Insight, makes all of Yanmega's attacks free if you have the same number of cards in your hand as your opponent. This is the driving force behind Yanmega's current popularity, in that dealing a decent amount of damage for free is very difficult to do in Pokemon, and keeping the same number of cards in your hand as your opponent isn't even that hard to do, as you can simply play Judge, Copycat, or use Magnezone Prime's Magnetic Draw. Yanmega decks typically each of these methods (although possibly not all of them) in order to keep the opponent off-balance as well as keeping Yanmega fast.

Now onto Yanmega's attacks. Linear Attack allows you to choose one of your opponent's Pokemon and deal 40 damage to it for the price of [GC], although it's usually for free. Linear Attack is absolutely excellent for picking off your opponent's damaged Pokemon and weaklings on the Bench, such as low HP basics (including the Cleffas and Tyrogues your opponent put down and foolishly thought they were going to use). This attack pairs especially well with Kingdra Prime and Jirachi UL/CL, as Yanmega can attack and Kingdra Prime can Spray Splash damage onto your opponent's Pokemon, and then Jirachi can Time Hollow, devolving your opponents damaged Pokemon, knocking them out if they have enough damage on them. I will note, though, that this attack is a little bit expensive for the cost if you aren't reducing it using Insight, but given that the cost will be reduced unless something is seriously wrong, it shouldn't matter all that much.

Sonicboom normally costs [GGC], and deals 70 damage, ignoring Weakness and Resistance. While not particularly strong (it won't be OHKOing many popular threats in the late game, for instance), since Yanmega's strength is due to its powerful early-game and its speed, Sonicboom should do more than enough to your opponent's weak Basics as well as softening them up to be hit later with another Sonicboom or even a Linear Attack.

Modified: 4/5 Yanmega has been an absolute beast in our current HGSS-on Modified, and it's quite easy to see why. With a very abusable Poke-BODY resulting in this Ogre Darner Pokemon having free attacks, Yanmega can fit very nicely into any deck that utilizes Judge or Copycat, and has already found its way into many very strong winning decks. However, I can't help but wonder if Yanmega's presence in Modified won't be weakened slightly with the release of Emerging Powers and Pokemon Catcher, which will inevitably shake up the metagame. But until that set is released, Yanmega is most definitely a Pokemon to be feared, and if you don't have a way to deal with it, you'll probably find yourself losing.

Limited: 3.25/5 Yanmega isn't quite as good in Limited, due to the lack of Judge and Copycat to make Insight work all of the time, but the attacks are still good for the cost in Limited, and being able to snipe 40 damage should really give your opponent a hard time when they are trying to build up a bench. Free retreat is also a major plus.

Combos With: Kingdra Prime, Magnezone Prime, Jirachi UL/CL

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Yanmega Prime (HS Triumphant)
Hello all, this week we are going back over some of the Primes which weren't playable in MD-on but have become, if not viable, at least worth consideration in the current HGSS-on format.
The first of these Primes is Yanmega, which was completely ignored last format because it was overshadowed by Gyarados SF. With the loss of that card (the first and last playable Gyarados ever, I'm willing to bet) Yanmega is one of only 2 Poke'mon capable of an offensive attack without any energy attached.
Before I get too far ahead of myself though, I'll go over the stats. Yanmega Prime is a Grass type non-evolving Stage 1 Poke'mon with 110 HP, Fire weakness, Fighting resistance, a free retreat cost, a Poke-body and two attacks.
While there are no Stage 1 Poke'mon with the survivability of Donphan Prime, the HP is excellent and will alow you to survive most attacks at least once with the resistance further prolonging your life. The free retreat is also extremely useful as it allows you freedom to run to the bench when Yanmega has taken a beating. The weakness is surprising (I expected Fire weakness) but definitely a problem as it allows Zekrom and Magnezone Prime to expend a lot less resources scoring an OHKO.
Still, as a Grass type Yanmega can take advantage of Metapod HGSS to remove that weakness and can also benefit from Sunflora HGSS which will make it easy to search and play several Yanmega cards (which is a definite speed advantage since both your attackers and support are all Stage 1 Poke'mon). All in all, if you can throw in a partner to handle Fire matchups then you should be able to play Yanmega by Turn 2 and keep it in play for several turns after that. If this isn't an excellent start then I don't know what is.
But stats alone don't make a card great. The strategic value of Yanmega Prime lies in it's Poke-body, Insight. What this Poke-body does is make remove the energy cost of both of Yanmega's attacks, provided you have the same number of cards in your hand as your opponent.
The ability to attack for heavy damage without any energy investment is awesome, as proven by all of the Gyarados decks run in the last couple of years. The main problem historically was that Gyarados outgunned Yanmega with greater damage output, better type for matching weakness, an attack that was always free (it can't be shut off by Dialga G or changing hand sizes) and greater survivability (better +30 weakness, same resistance and more HP). With Dialga G and Gyarados SF no longer present in the metagame people are now giving Yanmega Prime another look.
Insight still has the difficulty of matching your hand size to your opponent's. Fortunately, you can play either Judge or Copycat to instantly synchronise your hand sizes, although you suffer the drawback of being unable to play any of the cards you draw when you shuffle your hand in (unless you can draw cards to replace them). Alternatively you can fill your deck with Item cards to make playing out your hand easier for those times when you want to synchronise your hand sizes manually. I would use both approaches together, because if Yanmega has to attach energy to attack then it becomes a lot less potent.
The first attack is Liner attack, which normally costs [g][c] and allows you to hit any Poke'mon for 40 damage. While this isn't very impressive for 2 energy, as a free attack it allows a lot of utility as you can 2HKO all evolving Basics and several evolving Stage 1 Poke'mon or you can finish off an opponent who has run away from Sonic Boom. With Kingdra Prime as an attack booster (and decent backup attacker) you can do a lot of damage with this free attack, and you can still use this attack turn 2 if you attach enough energy.
Sonic Boom is both the main attack and grand failure of this card. At the usual cost of [g][c][c], the 70 damage would be poor return so you had best be able to match your opponent when you need to use it. Although I think the damage is low it is still a 2HKO on most Poke'mon you will come across so as a free attack used with a swarm of Yanmega Prime it can be highly effective. The reason I dislike this attack is that it ignores weakness and resistance. Since there are currently no Grass-resistant Poke'mon in the format, the inability to hit weakness is an unnecessary nerf. Admittedly the only cards you are likely to run into with weakness to Grass are Feraligatr Prime and Feraligatr HGSS, but the loss of the ability to OHKO them (and any future cards with the same weakness) still hurts.
Now that I have finished griping about the shortcomings of Sonic Boom, it can still be used whether or not you have Insight in effect as it only costs 1 energy more than Linear Attack, so following the usual method of evolution allows you enough time to power up before battle begins in earnest. But getting this attack for free is the only way to get your money's worth.
Since Gyarados bit the dust at the start of the month, Yanmega Prime has been used as both the centrepiece of a fast swarm deck and a tech sniper/wall that combos well with Judge and Copycat if you have a couple of deck slots spare. The fact that the only available Yanma also has a Poke-body to give itself free retreat if there are no energy attached (good for a 70 HP evolving Basic) means you can tech in a 1-1 line and not have to worry about conflicting energy costs in your deck, allowing you a little more wiggle room with your energy mix in a multi type deck.
If nothing else, Yanmega Prime is the best sacrifice/wall in the format right now as you can pick off an important bench sitter while absorbing several hits meant for your other Poke'mon without anything more than an Evolution card, a Basic Poke'mon and a Judge. Mixing disruption with sniping is a heady combo (just look at the succes of the SP decks mixing Luxray GL and Garchomp C with Power Spray and Dialga G) so I expect to see Yan,ega Prime tried out in a few decks at any given tournament.
Modified: 4 (I'm being generous, but free attacks are not to be laughed at and the speed with which you can play Yanmega Prime mixed with the disruptive force of Judge allows you to take an early lead, which can extend to the rest of the game if you snipe something critical)
Limited: 4 (the high HP, free retreat and sniping attack make Yanmega a beast, and Stage 1 Poke'mon are usually the main attacking force in a Limited deck because Stage 2 Poke'mon are so hard to play. With the lack of Trainer cards in this set, increasing/playing out your hand to activate Insight is a pain in the neck but paying for the attacks manually is easier because of the higher energy counts in Limited and the free retreat so you should definitely go for it)
Combos with: Metapod HGSS, Sunflora HGSS, Copycat and (most importantly) Judge

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