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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Musharna #59

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed: Feb. 28, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.75
Limited: 4.80

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
Seniors
Champion

Musharna

Although some people hate them because end up being universally included in decks, I love Pokémon-based draw engines. They actually make for more diversity in the game, not less, as players are free to run more techs and more evolution lines, safe in the knowledge that they will be able to draw into them. Yes, when Claydol GE, and then Uxie LA got rotated, I missed them a lot. Relying on shuffle-draw Supporters like Professor Oak’s New Theory just feels clunky and luck-based by comparison.

So . . . as you can imagine, I was pretty interested when Musharna came along with its Uxie LV X-style Ability. Forewarn is pretty similar to Uxie’s Trade Off: you look at the top two cards of your deck and choose one to put into your hand. Where it differs is that with Uxie, you put the other one to the bottom of your deck, and with Musharna, it goes back on top. Overall, I prefer the Uxie version as it enables you to bury a card you don’t really want, whereas with Musharna it will be your next draw. Of course in situations where you want both the cards, Musharna would be preferable, but in the majority of cases, Trade Off’s effect is better.

So, what you have here is a nice little draw engine that is clearly superior to something like Noctowl HGSS (draw one card) and, unlike Ninetales HGSS/CL (needs Fire Energy to discard), it can be fitted into pretty much any deck. Does it do enough to justify devoting deck or bench space to it though? I have to say, I am doubtful on that one.

You see, Uxie LV X was played because it had so much more going for it: the fantastic burst draw from the Basic, the more-than-useful attack, and the ability to recycle itself back to the deck if required by using Psychic Restore. Musharna has none of those things. The most useful thing any of the available Munna can do is inflict Sleep, while Musharna itself has a useless attack (two Psychic Energy for 40 damage and then it sends itself to sleep!), and a horrible retreat cost of three. That last fact is especially damaging to Musharna’s chances of being played: it’s an obvious Pokémon Catcher target for an easy KO (100 HP on a Stage 1 won’t save it), and even just dragging it active can buy an opponent some valuable turns to set up while the Musharna player tries to draw into Switch or, even worse, waste their Energy attachments on it.

It’s a shame really, because this card comes quite close to being the draw engine that the format needs. If only it had a single retreat cost, a Basic that draws cards, or an improved Ability (let’s face it, this is no Claydol), I think it would see play. As things stand, I don’t see the benefits outweighing the costs of putting Musharna in your lists.

Rating

Modified: 2.5 (good Ability, undermined by the fact that everything else about the card is utter rubbish)

Limited: 4.5 (no Catche

virusyosh

Greetings, Pojo viewers! Today we're reviewing a new Psychic-type Pokemon that got a bit of hype when Next Destinies was first spoiled, but hasn't really caught on in terms of competitive play just yet (though it may in the future). Today's Card of the Day is Musharna from Next Destinies.
 
Musharna is a Stage 1 Psychic Pokemon. Mewtwo-EX is the most common Psychic Pokemon in Modified right now, with Mew Prime and Chandelure seeing a bit of play outside of the genetic cat, however, Psychics are generally avoided as a whole due to most of them having a Weakness to Mewtwo. Musharna has a solid 100 HP, which should allow it to take a weak hit or two (although the dragons and most EXs still sadly OHKO). Psychic Weakness is one again a problem against the aforementioned Mewtwo; no Resistance is no Resistance; and a Retreat Cost of 3 is rather unfortunate, so you'll want to use something like Switch in order to move Musharna from the Active Position.
 
Musharna has an Ability and a single attack. Forewarn allows you to look at the top two cards of your deck, choose one, and put it into your hand, while putting the other back on top of your deck. Card draw in any form is very good, and Musharna is no exception. When first spoiled, many people thought Forewarn was a copy of Uxie Lv. X's Trade Off, which was very good in that it cycled through your deck as well as drawing cards. Unfortunately, Forewarn puts the card back on top of the deck, making the Ability somewhat less effective than it could be. However, in decks requiring steady, Pokemon-based draw (Trainer lock decks, perhaps?), Musharna can make a considerable impact.
 
Musharna's only attack, Fluffy Dream, deals 40 damage for two Psychic Energy with the effect of putting Musharna to sleep. 40 for 2 is just about average, and average doesn't cut it in today's Modified metagame. Even worse, putting yourself to sleep is generally counterproductive, so therefore you'll want to use Musharna as a bench sitter for Forewarn.
 
Modified: 2.75/5 Musharna's Ability-based draw is something we don't have a lot of in Modified right now, but there are some things to consider before simply throwing it into any deck. First, Musharna's huge Retreat Cost and Psychic Weakness make it a huge liability in a format dominated by Pokemon Catcher and Mewtwo-EX, as both of these things will often lead to a quick KO on the Drowsing Pokemon. Therefore, Musharna fits best into a deck utilizing Vileplume UD, as Trainer Lock conditions will guarantee that Musharna stays on the Bench while you keep your lock going. Musharna also gives these decks a value asset in Ability-based draw, as well as allowing for a little bit of cycling. Another consideration with running Musharna is deck space - often times you may find that you don't have the space to run Musharna over other less demanding solutions, such as hand refreshing Supporters. Overall, Musharna can be a decent draw engine if given the right niche, but Claydol GE (or even Uxie Lv. X) this is not.
 
Limited: 5/5 Musharna is fantastic in Limited for its Ability alone. Fluffy Dream isn't even that good by Limited standards, but Forewarn is great in any deck, as card draw wins games. Therefore, if you're able to get a Munna and Musharna, they will be worth running regardless of your deck's Energy types, simply because Forewarn is that good in this format.


Otaku

The next runner up we look at is Musharna (BW: Next Destinies 59/99), or as I like to think of it “Not Hypno”. Is this something we’ll soon be seeing at tournaments, something to experiment with at League, or something to quickly trade to whomever had it on his list?

Do you dare to dream?

Stats

Musharna is a Stage 1 Psychic-Type Pokémon. Being a Stage 1 is not fun this format: you have to compete against Basic Pokémon that are often as strong as you are, but a turn faster! Even the strongest Stage 1 Pokémon suffer because of that speed advantage, since it usually translates into an extra Prize taken against the deck that isn’t opening with such Basic Pokémon. If you have a strong enough opening Pokémon (or a more important target for your opponent), you might not lose the Munna you need to Evolve into Musharna, but if it is the most strategic target, expect to drop two Munna while only one survives. You’ll be able to tap a small about of Psychic-Type support thanks to the type, but only one piece of it – Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99) shows much potential.

Musharna has 100 HP, which should be the minimum we see on a fully Evolved Stage 1, unless it’s blatant compensation on a Pokémon that is known to be low on HP and Defense or Special Defense in the video games. At least that’s about what I’d require if the format lacked such a strong, aggressive Basic Pokémon presence (or the Trainers needed to support such a strategy). Most decks will be able to OHKO Musharna, and many with their basic attack strategy. The card’s Psychic Weakness does it no favors: Mewtwo EX is already showing up frequently, and is expected to be in virtually all competitive decks that can afford them. The Weakness drops the Energy requirement for a OHKO from X-Ball down from five to just three between the two Pokémon.

The lack of Resistance is unfortunate, as it usually is, so I will move on. The Retreat Cost of three is very high and seems a bit much for the card, unless the effects are anticipated to be quite potent by the developers. You will rarely be able or want to pay this, as that is a huge amount to be set-back. Seek some form of Retreat aid or replacement, though as the card is apt to be OHKOed that may not be a huge issue. There is a silver-lining to this, though, and that is Musharna is a legal target to fetch from the deck via Heavy Ball.

Effects

Musharna has an Ability and an attack. The Ability is Forewarn, and it allows you to (once per turn per copy of Musharna) look at the top two cards of your deck, select one and add it to your hand, and at last return the card you did not pick to the top of your deck. You get one piece of instant card advantage (the one you add to your hand), and some important knowledge (the top card of your deck). Of course, if all you’re using Musharna for is this effect then it actually will take just two turns to get ahead (one extra draw each turn to compensate for the two invested to get Musharna out, with the actual advantage generated being knowing the top card of your deck, twice). There are some combos that can optimize this effect, and it could make Musharna somewhat useful as a combination set-up and distraction Pokémon. You see, the effect is good but not great. If you’ve got a Musharna on your Bench beside (as an example) set-mate Gardevoir, Gardevoir is probably the more important target. Musharna might help set-up a replacement Gardevoir, but if a replacement doesn’t show up by the next turn, you’ve halved the effective amount of basic Psychic Energy in play (since it was being doubled by the Ability of Gardevoir, Psychic Mirage). It is an odd niche, but a skilled player may indeed be able to exploit it.

The attack is Fluffy Dream, which does 40 points of damage for (PP), and then puts Musharna itself to Sleep. For a Stage 1 Pokémon, especially one that has a single attack, you’d expect better for a single (P) requirement: this attack is clearly intended as something better than nothing, but intentionally nerfed to keep the card from being too powerful. I think it could have been just a bit better without endangering the “too useful to ignore completely, not good enough to prioritize” nature I just outlined when describing Forewarn.

Looking at the two effects together, its underwhelming, but the right combos could still salvage it. Let’s see if we can find them.

Usage

Before we address the combos, since Musharna has to Evolve from Munna, let use quickly evaluate our options there, as well as see if the other Musharna helps, hinders, or just doesn’t matter to use of today’s version. There are three versions of Munna, all of which are Basic Psychic-Type Pokémon with Psychic Weakness and no Resistance. McDonald's 2011 7/12 has 60 HP, a single Energy Retreat Cost, and for (P) automatically inflicts Sleep on the Defending Pokémon. The remaining two both have 70 HP and Retreat Costs of two. Black & White 48/114 can automatically inflict Sleep for (C), and for (PP) can do 60 points of damage, but only if the Defending Pokémon is still Asleep. BW: Next Destinies 58/99 can do 20 for (CC), and that’s it. Unless your deck has good reason to run Skyarrow Bridge, the McDonald's 2011 version is clearly inferior, with an overpriced attack and lower HP. Even with Skyarrow Bridge, it’s probably going to take playtesting to reveal if retreating one you got stuck with as your opening Basic is worth it. The Black & White version seems preferable to me, since it can inflict Sleep for one of any Energy, and that gives it overall the best odds of survival if stuck Active. Plus if you get quite lucky, you can actually risk a bit of offense.

The only other Musharna we have is Black & White 49/114. It has the same stats as today’s version, save 10 less HP. For (P) it can do 20 with automatic Sleep, and if the Defending Pokémon is Asleep when you attack, you can use the second attack for (PP) to do a quick 90. Unless you’re building a deck built around putting the Defending Pokémon to Sleep via a Poké-Power or Ability, I’d steer clear of this version. For the record, I don’t think I’d build such a deck outside of having some fun at Pokémon League.

Now that we know what Munna and Musharna we are using, I can see only two real uses for this card. The first is as implied above: bait! Successfully using it as bait will require capitalizing on the Ability. If you have an effect that searches or discards the top card(s) of your deck (especially if said card’s type is important to the effect), you have a mildly useful combo. Even by simply knowing which is more beneficial, using a “straight draw” card or a “shuffle and draw” card, you can slowly but steadily generate advantage. Good Rod, while you don’t know exactly which you’ll be top-decking, add either a Pokémon or Trainer (coin flip based; “heads” for a Pokémon, “tails” for a Trainer) to the top of your deck, which Musharna could then draw. These kinds of combos are unlikely to be enough to make Musharna critical to your deck, but enough to justify its inclusion and make your opponent struggle deciding if it could be important enough. Maybe, just maybe if you can find the perfect combination to back up a deck built around massive amounts of Trainers, Celebi and Mewtwo EX you can actually improve that deck’s performance. This seems unlikely but there might be that perfect ratio that doesn’t just slow it down. Regigigas EX might work as an alternate build.

The second use I find questionable, but it might simply be from a lack of experience. If you have a deck that protects Musharna from being forced Active, namely a Gothitelle (BW: Emerging Powers 47/98) or Vileplume (HS: Undaunted 24/90), you gain a bit of synergy. In the case of Gothitelle decks, you’re trading deck and Bench space hopefully to ultimately improve deck reliability: you won’t fit as many useful cards in but if you reliably set up Musharna, you’ll have them faster. I’ll be honest, I am none too confident that this is a good idea, because space is already at a premium in such a deck, and adding yet another Pokémon-line is more likely to make it harder, not easier, when setting up a fast Gothitelle (or whatever form of Energy acceleration you combine with it). I’ve not had a chance to test out the popular Vileplume builds, but I get the impression they too are crowded. Still, since you’ll have no working Item cards to improve draws once Vileplume hits the field; it might behoove you to have Musharna streamlining the process.

Something that looks quite fun but hardly tournament worthy would be to use Musharna to aid in a Kyogre & Groudon LEGEND (HS: Undaunted 87/90 and 88/90). Here it would be useful bait while streamlining the attack process for Kyogre & Groudon LEGEND, which has two attacks that discard cards from the deck. The first discards 5 cards from the top of your opponent’s deck and can do between zero and 150 points of damage to all of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon (30 points per Energy card discarded through the card’s effect). The second attack discards five cards from your own deck, but does 100 points of damage per Energy card discarded to the Defending Pokémon. Here Musharna can help by getting the many desperately needed supporting cards ready to go: I assume a deck with a lot of Energy and Electrode (HS: Triumphant 93/102) “Prime”. It also lets you know your top card: if it isn’t an Energy card, you have a better idea of which attack to use. Of course, given that we are dealing with a Pokémon LEGEND with a double Weakness of Grass and Lightning, plus requiring (WWCC) for the Bench hitting attack and (FFCC) for the attack that hits the Defending Pokémon, like I said, a fun Pokémon League deck.

I’ll give it one last shot with another deck that might at least be fun for Pokémon League; swarming today’s Musharna with Noctowl (HeartGold/SoulSilver 8/123) and/or Slowking (HS: Undaunted 85/90) “Prime”. This Noctowl has a Poké-Power that is simple: draw a card. Slowking has a Poké-Power that is a big more complex: reveal the top two cards of your deck to your opponent; they pick one and the other is placed on the bottom of your deck. The idea is pretty simple: you’re going to load the deck with a significantly large amount of Items that frustrate your opponent (like Crushing Hammer), as well as some key Supporters to synch up your hand size so Noctowl can do 80 for (CCC). Slowking can do 60 for (PCC). If you successfully fill your Bench with a combined total of six of these Pokémon, you’ll always be able to draw seven cards per turn (your normal draw plus one for each of these Pokémon). If you play it smart and either synch your hand size up with a Supporter like Copycat or just smart usage of their Poké-Powers/Ability, you can also match your hand size. I’ll be honest though, all three are almost certainly overkill in the same deck.

In Unlimited, such a subtle Ability is unlikely to be important outside of some very specific combo decks, and I don’t believe any contribute to a first turn win, so I can’t see a use for it here. In Limited, though, the card is a must run unless you lack a Munna. Even as a 1-1 line, the source of draw power (and knowing what you’re getting for your next draw) is hugely important. If you can attack with it, it becomes adequate, but its true strength is the Ability, so don’t attack unless it’s for game (either winning or avoiding losing).

Ratings

Unlimited: 1.25/5

Modified: 2/5

Limited: 5/5

Summary

Yesterday’s CotD, Kyurem EX (BW: Next Destinies 38/99, 96/99) didn’t make my list, and neither did Musharna, but I did include some honorable mentions after my 10 to act as “tie breakers” in case there were some close calls. After all, my list was a bit unusual, patterned after my uncommon method of thinking. I am desperately struggling to find a good use for Musharna, but all I can find is streamlining fun decks not meant for serious competition, because I am not seeing how it can provide enough advantage to offset the space and effort of running it, even if you do expect it to act as bait the next turn. It only scores as high as it does because it does just enough that a deck can still function while running it, and sometimes in very specific aspects function even better, but the overall package is weaker than a competent build without it. Still, at least keep an eye on it; I’d love to be wrong.

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conical 2/28/12: Musharna(Next Destinies)
 
Musharna would have been pretty good 2 formats ago. That's because there was already a card with this ability in Uxie Lv. X. Although the Level X mechanic was, in many ways, essentially a different means of evolving, I think many people would have liked to have Uxie X's Power on something that didn't need to be active first. However, as usual, context is everything, and something that might have lasted on the bench for a while* now must fear the threat of Pokemon Catcher. And given that Musharna has 3 retreat and a mostly unusable attack, it fears Catcher a lot.
 
*Unless you were playing against a Luxray deck. Which you probably were.
 
I like the card, and I think that there might be a deck that could really use this. For example, perhaps you could try running this as a draw engine for some sort of Metagross UL deck, where the retreat will be less of an issue. If nothing else, run it in Limited, because draw power is draw power is draw power. But the threat of Catcher probably means this won't see much play.
 
Modified: 3.25/5
Limited: 4.5/5
Combos With: Metagross UL
Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Musharna (Next Destinies)
 
Here is a card that did make my personal list, mostly because it is such a drastic improvement over its predecessor. Introducing Musharna!
 
This squishy purple-and-pink puffball is a non-evolving Stage 1 member of the Psychic type (which is pretty much manadatory, with the only other typing alowable for purple Poke'mon being Poison). This is currently a double edged sword, as Psychcis have some great support and truly evil attackers to serve as frontmen, but at the nasty cost of having so many Psychic-on-Psychic beatdowns that I can't tell if the purple is the natural colour or the bruises (damn the mirror match nightmare that is Psychic Weakness!).
 
To round out the stats we have a retreat cost of 3 (a significant handicap but at least Heavy Ball becomes feasible) and a HP score of 100 (which is healthy enough to avoid most snipers) as well as an Ability and an attack. For a Bench siiter, Musharna is perfect but you had best play either Gothitelle EP or Vileplume UD if you want to keep it alive because that retreat cost is a killer when the Poke'mon Catcher comes calling.
 
Forewarn is the Ability and the reason I put Musharna on my list. Once during your turn, you can look at the top 2 cards of your deck and then put one into your hand while putting the other back on top of your deck. Rinse and repeat for each Musharna you have in play to get an extra card you may need and know what card you are going to draw at the start of your turn.
 
This Ability is rather like the popular Trade Off Poke-power possessed by Uxie Lv X, letting you cherry pick the better card from the top of your deck but trading thinning power for foreknowledge of what your next move should be. Unfortunately, there isn't a Munna card that is even close to approaching the level of awesomeness that Uxie LA had, but you can't have everything.
 
The attack, Fluffy Dream, reminds of quite a different Poke'mon. For the cost of [p][p], Musharna deal 40 damage and puts itself to sleep, which is quite simply a terrible attack meant to balavne the strategic benefit of the Ability. Much the same treatment was give to Claydol GE, which was universally loved for the draw power it provided depsite the terrible stats it possesed.
 
But is Musharna in the same league of demanding deck space and resources that Uxie and Claydol were 2 seasons ago? Despite my liking for the card, I'm not entirely sure.
 
You see, Musharna is weaker than both of the legendary draw techs I just mentioned, and despite having some statistical advantages it has a lot more competition than Uxie or Claydol ever faced. Professor Juniper and Sage's Training are both much more likely to net you the cards you need and aren't going to be blocked or KOed by your opponent, while Magnezone Prime remains an attacking force in its own right as well as a draw engine.
 
A niche does exist in the new Psychic archetype arising from the symbiosis between Mewtwo EX and Gardevoir ND. Since that build is also likely to run Gothitelle EP, having Musharna on the bench wouldn't be as danagerous with your opponent unable to use Poke'mon Catcher or Pluspower and a source of repeatble draw would be great to keep the energy flowing. Juniper and Sage are stil strongl competitors since the ability to discard energy for draw power and then replay it quickly with a mixture of Jirachi UL and either Mismagius UL or Shaymin UL is great for Gothitelle and Mewtwo alike, but I can see Musharna at least getting a trial.
 
A more likely place to use Musharna would be in any deck relying on Vileplume, since they are usually hurting for a little draw power because the regular methods work best when you can play out your hand (which is very difficult if you aren't able to play any Items). I don't know if they can spare the deck space, but players using The Truth style decks (I don't actually know what they are except that they contain Vileplume and Reuinclus BW) should try a 2-2 line of Musharna.
 
I loved Musharna during the prerelease, but I don't feel it has a solid home yet in Modified. All of the Item denial decks are tight lists where Bench space is precious, so Musharna will be more of a powerful luxury than a staple in lock decks. Maybe there will come a future time when Musharna moves into the light, so keep a copy or two in the binder. You never know when it will prove to be an in-demand trade or the missing piece of your rogue build!
 
Modified: 3.75 (I want to give a higher score, but with so much competition I expect Musharna will be mostly overlooked)
 
Limited: 5 (it's repeatable card draw that doesn't cost you an attack or anything else, so the only problem worth noting is the small deck size leading you to run out of cards)
 
Combos with: any build where the usual Professor Juniper/Sage's Training/Bianca engine for large draws isn't viable.


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