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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Sigilyph #41

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: October 5, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.33
Limited: 4.25

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Sigilyph 41/98 (Emerging Powers)

The Emerging Powers set brought us two Sigilyph, which has to be one of the weirdest looking Pokémon ever designed. Apparently it’s based on spooky Nazca Lines and has an Unown for a head . . . all I know is that it makes Drifloon seem completely normal.

Sigilyph is an unevolving Basic with 90 HP (a number which used to seem halfway decent until the Unova Dragons came along). It has an unfortunate Lightning Weakness, a pretty useful Fighting Resistance, and a manageable Retreat cost of one.

There’s no Abilities to talk about here, so let’s move straight on to the attacks. Reflect is a move that should be familiar to anyone who has played the video games. It’s a non-damaging move which raises the user’s Defence . . . and that’s pretty much what it does on the card. For a single Psychic Energy it reduces the damage it takes on the opponent’s next turn by 40, effectively requiring them to do 130 damage next turn to OHKO Sigilyph. This is an adequate defensive but by no means infallible. Doing 130 damage is most definitely not beyond the reach of most decks. Reshiram can do it with a PlusPower, and Zekrom doesn’t even need that, thanks to Weakness. For other decks, there is always Pokémon Catcher to just drag out something else for the KO.

Sigilyph’s second attack, Telekinesis isn’t terrible either. It’s fairly easy to pay for with a Psychic and a Double Colourless, and its ability to hit anything on the opponent’s side of the Field for 50 is pretty useful too: Babies and a lot of Basic Pokémon can be sniped in one hit with this attack. It seems like a reasonable alternative to Mandibuzz BW, whose 50 snipe attack is much cheaper, but needs pre-existing damage in order to work. The real drawback to the attack is that it doesn’t apply Weakness or Resistance against the active. Being one of the few Psychic Pokémon without a Weakness to its own Type could have earned Sigilyph a niche as an anti-Psychic tech at some point . . . however the fact that it can’t hit for double damage effectively rules that out.

In fact, although Sigilyph is by no means a bad card, it is extremely hard to find any kind of niche for it. Yanmega is a more efficient Baby killer (that came out wrong), Reflect is easily played around or just ignored, and the old suggestion of using its Fighting Resistance to combat Donphan Prime (take a couple of hits while sniping around it) seems irrelevant now that we have Tornadus to trade blows with the elephant-esque Pokémon.

Maybe I’m missing something, but to me this card comes close to being extremely useful, only to fall short of what would be needed.


Modified: 2.25 (a decent card with no real role in the current metagame)

Limited: 4 (you could spend several turns setting up behind it, then snipe yourself a Prize or two)


Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we continue our reviews of new cards from Emerging Powers by reviewing one of the new Sigilyphs in the set. Today's Card of the Day is Sigilyph (#41).

Sigilyph is a Basic Psychic Pokemon. As I've said earlier in the week in the Whirlipede and Scolipede reviews, Psychic is only commonly seen in Modified as Gothitelle and Mew, so any Psychic Pokemon will be compared to them. Sigilyph has a decent 90 HP, which is fairly good for a Basic (though sadly many heavy hitters still OHKO). Lightning Weakness is a problem against Magnezone and Zekrom, but also allows Sigilyph to hit Gothitelle and Mew without fear of them hitting back for Weakness. Fighting Resistance is good against Donphan, but not much else. Finally, a Retreat Cost of 1 is decent, and easily paid if necessary.

This iteration of the Avianoid Pokemon has two attacks, Reflect and Telekinesis. Reflect is your basic defensive attack, giving Sigilyph 40 points of damage reduction during your opponent's next turn for a single Psychic Energy. This attack works well in the Modified early game and even better in Limited, as it allows Sigilyph to stall until you can Telekinesis. However, it is important to note that many heavy hitters will still significantly damage Sigilyph even with the damage reduction: For example, anything doing over 100 damage will still significantly dent it (and that's most of the current meta).

Telekinesis, Sigilyph's form of offense, allows it to snipe 50 damage anywhere on the board for a Psychic and two Colorless, but without applying Weakness and Resistance. 50 damage anywhere on the board is fairly nice, as it will probably pick off weakened opponents. It is unfortunate that Weakness and Resistance isn't applied for the Active Pokemon though, as Sigilyph loses a few important OHKOs due to this. Even still, three Energy is a bit too expensive for this attack to see a lot of play in Modified, but it can still surprise people. In Limited, Telekinesis is amazing, allowing you to take out your opponent's low HP bench sitters for easy prizes.

Modified: 1.75/5 Sigilyph isn't horrible, but the format really isn't that kind to it right now. Telekinesis can do quite a bit of snipe damage, but it's simply outclassed: Reshiram and Zekrom can do a ton of damage for the same Energy cost. Additionally, snipe is largely dead in this format, as Pokemon Catcher removes the necessity to snipe. This relegates Sigilyph to maybe seeing use as an anti-Gothitelle tech, but even then, you're probably just better off using Mew Prime.

Limited: 4/5 Sigilyph is awesome in Limited. Good HP for a Basic, a stalling attack, and sniping all make Sigilyph great to use here. Telekinesis will easily get you a few KOs, and Reflect will allow you to stall out a weaker opponent until either your opponent can deal with it or until you have Telekinesis powered up. Sigilyph also has the benefit of being a Psychic-type without a Psychic Weakness, so it can easily counter other Psychics in the set, including the aforementioned Gothitelle line.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Sigilyph 41/98 (Emerging Powers)
Hey Pojo fans, today we are reviewing one of the wierdest looking Poke'mon since the Unowns were released. Put your hands together for Sigilyph!
Aside from looking like a cross between a totem pole and a scrubbing brush, Sigilyph is a Psychic type non-evolving Basic with 90 HP, Lightning Weakness, Fighting Resistance, a retreat cost of 1 and two attacks.
Sigilyph has decent enough stats to keep it around for a turn or two, although it is still at a massive disadvantage against Legendary Poke'mon, especially the Lightning variety.
Reflect helps to increase that survivability by preventing 40 damage from your opponent's next attack. The cost of [p] is very reasonable and the blocking is more substantial than most attacks of the same variety that I have seen. Unfortunately, Reflect is easily countered by Poke'mon Cathcer and other similar effects. The real problem though is that Reflect is passive in nature, so unless you have Kingdra Prime in play to provide an offensive edge you are certain to fall behind when you opponent builds up to a higher damage attack.
However, all is not lost. Telekinesis costs [p][c][c] (ah, the joys of Double Colourless Energy) and deals 50 damage to any one of your opponent's Poke'mon. In Modified we have much cheaper options (Yanmega Prime) as well as more powerful options (Entei & Raikou Legend, Blastoise UL) so I don't expect anyone to get excited, but in Limited a Basic Poke'mon that can absorb damage and then begin some heavy sniping without much need for specific energy is a must-run. The only reasons not to use Sigilyph at the prerelease would be too many types in your deck or an overabundance of Lightning.
the Tao Dragons provide a much more effective wall with their Outrage attack and massive HP, but this Sigilyph was very close to being something special. Keep your eyes peeled for an attacker that combines sniping and damage reduction in the same attack!
Modified: 3 (it's splashable and relatively cheap to power up, but it is heavily outgunned. So close and yet so far...)
Limited: 4.75 (if you can run Psychic energy then you have every reason to use this Poke'mon!)
Combos with: some metapmorphic process that combines both of Sigilyph's attacks into one, along with a boost to 110 HP for a better chance at survivng the early turns long enough to power up

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