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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day
Sept. 16, 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
In yesterday’s review I talked about the different
options for Supporter draw in the format. Well, today we
get another one, and it too is based on one of the
companion/rivals from the Black and White video game.
Cheren is yet to appear (as
far as I know) in the anime, but when he does, I hope he
won’t be as annoying as Bianca.
is a Supporter card with an effect that is about as
simple as you can get: draw three cards. No
discard, no shuffling into
the deck, no coin flips, and no conditions: just
He doesn’t give you the same potential to recover from a
bad hand that shuffle draw does, and he won’t dig as far
into the deck as Juniper or Sage will. On the other
hand, he will get you three cards in any situation (as
long as you have them left in your deck),
no matter how many you are holding. Historically, ‘draw
three’ has been the threshold at which Supporter draw
becomes viable (compare TV Reporter and Professor Oak’s
Visit), especially in a format that lacks a
Pokémon-based draw engine (like
Claydol or Uxie).
Cheren meets these criteria
and offers no real downside whatsoever, so the question
is, could he be playable?
The answer, I think, is a qualified ‘yes’. In decks that
retain large hand sizes (e.g.: by using
Cheren is a better option
than cards that force you to shuffle in, or discard your
hand (Copycat, Juniper etc). I would never like to rely
on it as the only means of draw, but used in conjunction
with cards like Professor Oak’s New Theory or Sage’s
Training, it can give certain decks a valuable
consistency boost without running the risk of a
Finally, I should mention that
Cheren is an absolutely brilliant card for a new
player or inexperienced younger player. It offers draw
power and deck consistency without forcing them to make
tough decisions about shuffling or discarding cards they
might want to hang on to. If I was helping out someone
like that with a deck, four copies of
Cheren would pretty much be
the first thing I put in. But don’t think of it as a ‘noob
card’. I reckon it will find its way into quite a few
decks during its time in Modified.
Modified: 3.25 (uncomplicated but good. Won’t always be
the optimal play, but its reliability can make up for
Limited: 5 (If I could give more than 5, I would)
Happy Friday, Pojo readers! Today we're ending our
COTD week with another Supporter from the new Emerging
Powers expansion. Today's card is a representation of
your other rival in the Black and White video games, as
we reviewed Bianca yesterday. Today's Card of the Day is
Cheren is a Supporter with an incredibly simple
effect: you play it and draw 3 cards. That's it. In
Limited, any kind of card draw is amazing, so you should
run Cheren regardless of whatever else you get,
especially because Supporters are so rare in the format.
In Modified, pure card draw is often decent and it's an
upgrade on never-played Bill (and the older Mom's
Kindness) in that it gets you three cards instead of
two, but keep in mind that you need spots for it in your
deck. Being a Supporter, Cheren is going to be competing
with Professor Juniper, Professor Oak's New Theory,
Judge, Pokemon Collector, Seeker, and Copycat for spots
in a deck, all because you can only play one Supporter
each turn. Much like Bianca yesterday, there are some
combo decks were pure card draw is better than hand
refresh, but if you're running a deck where you need to
get certain pieces into your hand to make something work
(such as ZPS), Cheren may be worth running, depending on
your list's needs. In most other cases, you're likely
better off with a hand refresh card, given your deck is
Modified: 3/5 It's not for every deck, but Cheren is
serviceable for pure card draw. It often won't bring you
the number of new cards that a hand refresh card would,
but if you run a combo deck, it's an option worth
looking at. If you're running something more consistent
like PrimeTime or Stage 1 Rush, chances are Cheren will
be too slow for your deck, and you should just stick
with other draw Supporters.
Limited: 5/5 Card draw in Limited is always important
to make your deck more consistent, and you should
include as much of it as you can. Therefore, if you
draft any Cheren, run them.
We end the week with
is apparently a dude.
As someone who hasn’t played Pokémon Black
or Pokémon White yet and was pronouncing the name
I just sort of assumed it was a female character.
The artwork honestly looks like an androgynous
(and stereotypical) “nerd” character to me.
is a Supporter.
The good news is that blocking Supporters is no where
near as easy as blocking Items so the only reason you
won’t able to play
because you’ve already used a Supporter that turn.
will need a good, solid effect for just that reason:
your Supporter use per turn is such a critical part of
your deck’s flow.
For now there also aren’t any really good supporting
cards for Supporters, except in Unlimited and those are
only used for cards that aid in first turn wins.
has a very simple effect: draw three cards.
This is somewhat noteworthy because other “draw
three” Supporters always had a small drawback, and while
many decks learned to use those drawbacks to the
player’s advantage, this is a good example of “power
Three cards for one is not a bad deal at all, and
quite solid even for a Supporter.
The “Draw two” Supporters (Bill
Kindness) were obsolete either upon printing or
shortly after due to the “Draw two plus” cards that came
out around the same time, because you might as well run
those even if you rarely make good use of the bonus
effect. The “Draw
three minus” crowd has long been popular, where you can
draw three but with a small cost (discarding before,
discarding after, shuffling in before, shuffling in
after, coin toss, etc.)
has now made the “Draw two plus” and “Draw three minus”
Supporters a little less useful, though of course many
weren’t especially useful to begin with.
Cheerleader’s Cheer should only see play if four
copies of Cheren
aren’t enough non-shuffling draw power.
You still might prefer something like
Adjustments if your deck can handle (or combo with)
the Energy discard requirement, and hand control decks
might still back up
Cheren is now the height of straight draw power for
So in Modified,
Cheren is at least useful to a deck.
He might not be the optimal choice, but he’ll
always net you three cards.
The nature of the format right now is pretty fast
and decks are currently built to minimize the pain of
Professor Juniper, so I honestly can’t predict how
and his “just draw three cards” approach will be to the
game. Right now
he strikes me as a great “deck-testing” staple: he is
part of your default build and you only drop him out
right away if absolutely necessary, and then replace him
with one of the other options if your deck testing
indicates them to be preferable.
He does have to compete against
Adjustments (discard an Energy, draw four),
(discard your whole hand, draw seven),
New Theory (shuffle your hand away and draw six),
(shuffle your hand away, draw as many cards as are in
your opponent’s hand),
player’s shuffle their hands into their respective decks
and draw four cards), and those are just the ones
currently out that see a lot of play.
Decks that will probably keep
likely those where the player just can’t afford to mess
with his or her own hand, perhaps due to a larger combo,
or more likely because they have an Ability or Poké-Power
that provides the player with a larger-than-normal
average hand size, making discarding the whole thing
Juniper or shuffling it away with something like
New Theory undesirable.
Baby Mario had to explain to me how this could be
useful for a deck using
since I didn’t realize that four
Adjustments might not be enough, and I just
explained why other popular draw Supporters clashed with
the deck’s own strengths.
Lastly for Modified usage, this is just a good
card for inexperienced players, those who dislike having
to make hard choices, and players like me who tend to
crack under pressure. ;) Learning the game can be
overwhelming as is without trying to figure out what
draw back effect to deal with, and seriously I had to
finally admit that I was my own worst enemy in
competitive events, where I almost always was either
over or under thinking things and defeating myself with
my own mistakes.
In Unlimited, even outside of the “first turn win” decks
you can just use an alternate Trainer card like
Unlimited decks are quite good at disrupting your
opponent’s draw and/or your opponent will already have
all the draw power s/he needs, making the cards
them to most often be negligible.
Odds are between
and Item Finder
you won’t even need the small draw.
It does still provide a decent return, but it
certainly isn’t optimal, and the more Supporters you run
the worse it will become.
In Limited, this is a must run should you pull it.
It only fails you if you have less than three
cards in your deck and can’t win the game this turn.
Whether he sees play or not (and I expect he shall)
Cheren is now
the new standard for straight draw power, and
nearly-straight draw power.
He already renders several cards as either
useless or “only when four
the same time,
Cheren isn’t going to be your “main” draw card, but
rather your secondary option or possibly tertiary
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