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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day



Undaunted/Call of Legends

Date Reviewed: March 30, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.75

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Smeargle (Undaunted/Call of Legends) 

Smeargle was one of the few reasons for buying Undaunted and one of the very few for buying Call of Legends (unless you are a collector). They are both exactly the same card, so feel free to use the one whose artwork you like best. 

Smeargle, like Sableye, is good because it breaks that fundamental ‘one Supporter per turn’ rule. Portrait is a Power which allows an active Smeargle to get you a look at your opponent’s hand (always a good thing) and copy the effect of a Supporter there. In some ways it is superior to Sableye: it doesn’t waste an attack or force you to go first. On the other hand, you are somewhat at the mercy of your opponent’s hand. Maybe they have nothing, maybe they have something that actually hurts you (like Judge or Cynthia’s Feelings when you haven’t just suffered a KO). Alternatively, you could hit an early game Pokémon Collector or Cyrus to get yourself set up fast. 

I have seen decks (mostly Machamp-based) which run a playset of Smeargle as an out-and-out starter. Mostly it tends to be run together with Sableye (as a 3/2 split in some Gyarados lists), or as a tech which can hopefully Portrait something useful following a KO. It’s a pretty risky Pokémon to rely on for a good start, but on the other hand, it’s unlikely that you will be disappointed if you open with one of them in your hand. Unlike most starter Pokémon, it can also be useful later in the game, which is another slight edge that it has over its rivals. 

A card with a lot of potential, but use with caution. 


Modified: 3.75 (I still prefer it as a tech because it can be somewhat unreliable. Still a very good card) 


Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today's Card of the Day is yet another common support card in many decks in Modified, both as a starter and as a sort of "transition" Pokemon. Today's Card of the Day is Smeargle, which was first printed in Undaunted and was printed again in Call of Legends.

Smeargle is a Basic Colorless Pokemon. Colorless Pokemon are great supporting Pokemon, as they can easily fit into any deck because they are able to use all types of Energy for their costs. 70 HP is right about average for a non-evolving, non-Legendary Basic, meaning that Smeargle should be able to survive at least one weak attack. Unfortunately, Garchomp C Lv. X will OHKO with Dragon Rush. Fighting Weakness hurts against Machamp and Promo Toxicroak G, no Resistance is unfortunate, and a Retreat Cost of 1 is cheap, payable, and works amazingly with Unown Q to keep Smeargle useful (but more on that later).

Smeargle has a Poke-Power and a single attack. Portrait, Smeargle's Poke-Power, is the main reason why Smeargle sees so much play. When Smeargle is your Active Pokemon, Portrait allows you to look at your opponent's hand once per turn, choose a Supporter there, and use it as the effect of the power. This is very similar to Sableye SF's Impersonate attack, although Smeargle is a bit better in this regard because it does not require you to attack to use the extra Supporter. However, the downside is that Smeargle has to be active to use the Power, and you are at the mercy of whatever is in your opponent's hand. Therefore, if you have an amazing hand and Portrait into a Judge, you will probably be very upset.

So, how is Smeargle best used? It works very well with Unown Q, allowing you to have free retreat and use Portrait. Once one of your Pokemon is KOed (or you are ready to retreat it from the beginning of the game), you can Portrait, retreat Smeargle, then continue hitting with your attackers. Once your attacker gets Knocked Out, assuming that Smeargle is still around, you can repeat the cycle. This is a very efficient way to use multiple Supporters per turn, especially if you know that your opponent has something like a Cyrus's Conspiracy in hand.

The attack, Tail Rap, costs [CC] and allows you to flip two coins, dealing 20 damage for each head you flip. Not at all worth it in Modified, but possibly usable, if not overcosted, in Limited.

Modified: 4/5 Smeargle is not only a great Starter Pokemon, but works well mid-game after your big hitter goes down in order to bounce back. However, most of its utility relies on not having a Retreat Cost, so Smeargle will take a bit of a hit once Unown Q leaves the format. That being said, Smeargle is an excellent support Pokemon, and most decks should consider running it.

Limited: 3.25/5 Like the other Pokemon that we've reviewed this week, Smeargle is slightly less useful in Limited. Supporters are a lot more rare in Limited, and retreating Smeargle to use Portrait multiple times is difficult. However, Smeargle can still be useful to look at your opponent's hand, and still fits pretty well into most decks because of its beneficial Colorless typing.

Combos With: Unown Q

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Smeargle (HS Undaunted)
Smeargle UD is one of my favourite cards from the whole HGSS block, as you may have guessed from my 2 previous rave reviews. However, unlike Spirtomb and Sableye earlier this week, Smeargle was released recently and the game hasn't changed enough for us to give a review that matters as everything about this card has already been thoroughly discussed.
So instead I thought I would do a little article on which decks should use which starter to help all of the newer players out there.
SP decks, particularly Dialga/Garchomp/Luxray should use Smeargle UD, as getting an early look at your opponent's hand allows you to pick the best target for Dragon Rush in order to get rid of the biggest threat early. Or you can use Weavile G/Honchkrow G since they do an okay job opening for SP decks, but remember to run SP energy to pay for the costs of the secondary attacks.
Machamp Prime/Donphan Prime decks should use Spiritomb PA, as the speedy evolutions are a great benefit here. Better yet, Earthquake can help get rid of a Benched Spiritomb that is taking up space and Fighting Tag allows you to switch out Spiritomb easily if it gets locked Active. For donk variants of Donphan you could use Sableye instead, but the Bench damage from Earthquake will stop you using Sableye as a revenge attacker later on (unless you run Nidoqueen RR).
CharPhlosion decks should definitely use Spiritomb. Being forced to run heavy evolution lines because you can't use Azelf LA (due to Charizard PA needing an all-Fire supporting cast) to get Poke'mon out of your Prizes means that Spiritomb really shines, and you can use Afterburner to add extra damage counters if you need to KO it quickly to replace it with a Fire Poke'mon. it also works in the Blaziken variant of this deck, and disrupts your opponent long enough to allow you to set up.
Any deck that runs Vileplume UD should automatically use Spiritomb as its starter to get the total lockdown on Trainer cards, although if you don't have a full playset you may want to fill out the empty spaces with either Sableye SF or Jirachi RR since they can help the player get the most out of their Supporter cards. This applies to VileGar builds, Lost World Gengar Prime builds and Victreebel/Leafeon/Vileplume builds.
Sableye is the best choice for Gyarados decks to protect the weak Magikarps and get rid of Spiritomb since the Trainer lock interferes with quickly discarding the Magikarps with Junk Arm as well as blocking other crucial Trainer cards like Poke'mon Rescue. Althought most players I've seen don't take full adavantage of Sableye as they only run Call Energy with no Dark energy to power Overconfident.
Sablelock decks obviously need to use Sableye SF or the decks would have a different name, but throwing in a single copy of Pichu HGSS may be worth the space if you really like using Overconfident, especially if you run Galactic HQ to keep your opponent's Poke'mon in low health (punish them for evolving!).
Uxie donk decks don't seem to need a starter with the draw power provided by Uxie LA but if you did pick a starter I would use Chatot MD to shuffle and draw more cards, letting you push those Uxie drops further. Also, the free retreat is great and you can use the Mimic attack late game to put cards back into the deck to avoid decking out, and you can use Chatter to lock opposing Spiritomb cards Active (it's great becuase that Colourless resistance absorbs the damage and the Trainer lock stops Switch) while you find a way to work around the crippling Trainer loss (personally i runa 1-1 line of Dialga G Lv X, that card is undervalued by most of the players I know). Or just run some Dark energy and Sableye for the same counter while allowing yourself to run a few Supporter cards you otherwise couldn't justify.
Rain Dance decks can probably use Spiritomb to best advantage with all of the evolutions and Poke-powers they use (as well as slowing the opponent down which is important as Modified-legal Rain Dance are slower than a wet week) but Smeargle can fit pretty well in this deck with the chance to show the best targets for sniping if you use Blastoise UL. Jirachi RR also shines in this deck by reliably doubling your Supporter usage, which allows you to grab your Poke'mon based draw from the deck and play it quickly (this deck burns cards like no tomorrow with Broken Time Space and Rain Dance so Magnezone Prime is a great tech), or you can double the effectiveness of whatever Supporter-based draw you use (double Engineer's Adjustments really boosts your hand!)
Kingdra decks really like to use Rare Camdy and lots of Basic Poke'mon as support so Smeargle is probably your best bet since the added bonus is seeing the best target to hit with the snipes. But if you run heavy evolution lines and Evolved support then Spiritomb can be useful as well. If you run Dark energy you can run Sableye to get rid of Spiritomb so you can use your Rare Candy without fear but personally I still would rather run Smeargle.
Finally, Tyranitar decks could do well running either Sableye or Spiritomb. There is plenty of evolving to be done but you can also get great benefit from Sableye's donking power since your are certain to be running Special Dark energy.
In the final analysis the best place for Smeargle is as the frontman of a heavy sniping deck while Sableye is great for donking/countering donks and Spiritomb hits the spot in any evolution-heavy deck that doesn't use Rare Candy. Jirachi can be used if you really like your Supporter cards and excels at search (double Bebe's for the win!) while Chatot, despite being underused with the loss of Team Galactic's Wager and Claydol GE, can be useful in a Turbo deck that values draw above all things. And, in the end, you can always run those evolving Basics with weak search/topdecking attacks to pad things out. Or you can use Call Energy to better your odds (works especially well with Smeargle and Jirachi).
Modified: 4.25 (Because this is meant to be a review, I'll say that Smeargle has the best HP of all of the starters and will be the only viable starter to survive a rotation to HGSS-on [Pichu doesn't count with Ju,pluff out of the picture]. Black and White will give the bonus of being able to play other cards if Smeargle whiffs on the opponent's hand but will hurst the painter because your opponent will have a chance to play out their hand before you can copy anyhting useful. I still love this card and use it myself, so it gets a good score)
Limited: 2.5 (There are very few Supporter cards to copy but the HP makes a nice wall and getting a sneak peek is always good)
Combos with: Snipers and opponent's who run lots of Supporter cards (but don't run Sableye to discard them from the deck). Don't play Smeargle against a Trainer-heavy Turbo deck like Uxie Donk though.

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