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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed:
December 12, 2012

Ratings & 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 Page

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Shaymin (Boundaries Crossed)


You know, it’s been quite a while since we saw Shaymin in Land Forme make it on to a card. The last time was way back in Platinum, I believe. Shaymin UL was a big card last format, and the EX version has seen some play since its release, but personally I prefer the cute hedgehog thing over the annoyingly bratty Sky Forme that featured on those cards (see the Giratina movie for details on that).


This Shaymin is an unevolving Basic with 70 HP. Not huge, but decent enough for what it is. You would have to be fairly unlucky to see it KO’d on the first turn, though it’s not beyond the realms of possibility (Tornadus-EX/DCE/Stadium/PlusPower, for example). The Fire Weakness is not an issue right now (though obviously that’s subject to change), but I’m a bit disappointed to see no Resistance. I don’t usually complain about this (it’s pretty routine), but Shaymin normally does better than that, with Fighting Resistance for the Sky Forme and Water for the Land Forme. The retreat cost of one seems reasonable but, as we shall see, it’s that which will effectively prevent the card from seeing play.


Shaymin’s first attack is Call for Family, costing just one Energy of any Colour. We have all seen this many times before in various versions and usually it’s pretty good. In this case it allows you to search your deck for two Basic Pokémon and put them on your Bench. It’s a great way to start if you are playing a deck that likes to set up multiple Basics quickly, especially as this format lacks other kinds of multiple Basic search (eg: Pokémon Collector, Roseanne’s Research, Call Energy). The problem is that we already have a Pokémon which can do this job, and it’s a bit better than Shaymin too. Emolga DRX has the same HP, the same attack, a useful Fighting Resistance and, crucially, free retreat. Now you might think this doesn’t matter: both Pokémon need an Energy to use Call for Family, so what does it matter if Shaymin has to discard it when retreating? Well, the first time, it probably doesn’t matter (unless you want to conserve it for Energy Switch), but never underestimate the benefits of having a free retreater to act as a ‘pivot’ Pokémon . . . going up after a KO and then switching out for free when you are ready to attack. Of course you could always use Skyarrow Bridge with Shaymin, but the point is that with Emolga, you don’t have to.


So, that one apparently minor, but oh-so-important difference will be enough to keep Shaymin out of decks. It does have a second attack, Leaf Drain, but it’s really not worth the effort: two Grass Energy for 30 damage and 30 heal. Even here Emolga outshines it by being able to do 20 for one Energy. Sorry Shaymin, you are slightly worse than something we already have and that means no play for you.




Modified: 2.5 (the tl;dr for this review is: just play Emolga)

Limited: 4.25 (grab your Basics, thin your deck: it’s the way to go in limited)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Shaymin is a Basic Grass Pokemon with 70 HP.  It is weak to Fire and has a retreat cost of 1.  It is searchable by Level Ball.
'Call for Family' costs 1 energy, searches your deck for 2 Basic Pokemon, and puts them on your Bench.  This kind of attack is great for setting up.  Emolga and Lapras (and loosely Foongus) have similar attacks.  With Catcher in the mix, it's almost impossible to set up Stage 1s or 2s without throwing 2 of the Basics down on 1 turn (and hope your opponent can't knock out both in the same turn).
'Leaf Drain' costs 2 Grass and does 30.  If you flip heads, it heals 30.  The effect is not good at all and the damage output is a little low for having to have 2 specific energies.
Where this card falls short is the retreat cost.  Emolga is the same HP and attack cost, but has a free retreat.  You have to understand how good that is.  Set up with Emolga, they Catcher KO one of your Bench, then you bring Emolga back up.  This allows you the option to retreat (for free) or do another 'Call for Family'.  More options with Emolga (especially now since it has a Fighting resistance).
Modified: 2.5/5
Limited: 2.5/5
Combos With:  ...

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