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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



Umbreon #61

Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed: July 19, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.80
Limited: 3.50

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:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Umbreon #61 (Dark Explorers)

Unlike some players, I’m not a huge fan of Eeveelutions, but I have always liked the Generation II additions to the line up. Umbreon and Espeon seem like pretty cool Pokémon to me. Umbreon in particular has a really nice design.

With 100 HP and Weakness to Fighting, Umbreon is not the most durable Pokémon, but the Psychic Resistance at least means that Mewtwo-EX will need one more Energy if it wants the one-hit KO. The Retreat cost of two seems a bit harsh, but being a Dark Type means that you could easily play Umbreon with Darkrai-EX and get free Retreat with Dark Cloak. Of course, Umbreon also has the benefits of Energy acceleration (Dark Patch), and damage boost (Dark Claw) to call upon.

Umbreon’s first attack, Confuse Ray, is actually pretty nice for the cost of a single Energy of any Colour. 20 damage isn’t too spectacular, but at least you do inflict guaranteed Confusion (no flip required!). It is by no means the best Status Condition as the opponent is free to retreat out of it, but it can be disruptive enough at crucial times where switching isn’t an option for the opponent, and this could allow you to buy a turn or two.

Shadow Shutdown costs one Dark and two Colourless Energy, and for that you get mediocre damage of 60 and a potentially devastating effect that has a fairly low chance of success. What happens is that you get to flip two coins and, if both are heads, discard all Energy attached to the defending Pokémon. In the right circumstances this could be a game-winning move in itself – getting rid of all the Energy from a heavily-stacked Mewtwo-EX or denying your opponent the Special Energy on which Energy Trans decks like Klinklang depend. If you really wanted to use it though, Victory Star Victini (AKA Fliptini) seems a must, and even then you would only have a 44% chance of success. Without Victini, the failure rate means that you would have to treat the discard as an unexpected lucky bonus. Is Umbreon worth running under those circumstances? That’s doubtful.

There are a few things to like about Umbreon, and I don’t think it’s a bad card as such. In this format, however, low HP attacking Pokémon that can only inflict average amounts of damage are just not really viable given the options we have. The only way I can see him being used is in decks which tech Espeon DEX to counter Status Lock decks. They might just find a space for Umbreon as a useable attacker in those matches where Espeon isn’t necessary. With lists so tight for space though, I can’t even see that happening.


Modified: 2.25 (A decent card, but that isn’t enough)

Limited: 4 (very nice here. Confusion can be extremely disruptive)


Hello once again, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing one of the new Darkness types from Dark Explorers that has a unreliable move with amazing potential. Today's Card of the Day is Umbreon #61.


Umbreon is a Stage 1 Darkness Pokemon. Dark types have seen a drastic increase in play lately with the popularity of the Darkness support cards printed in Dark Explorers, as well as Darkrai-EX, one of the Modified format's most used Pokemon. However, in terms of Dark types that aren't Darkrai, very few of them have seen play for a number of reasons, including low HP and a bad Weakness. Will Umbreon buck that trend? 100 HP on a Stage 1 is decent, but not great, though Umbreon will still take unboosted hits from many important Pokemon in the Modified metagame. Fighting Weakness is absolutely terrible against Terrakion, which will make short work of the Dark Eevee evolution. On the other hand, Psychic Resistance is excellent, harassing Mewtwo a little bit by requiring 3 Energy to OHKO when Umbreon is fully powered. Finally, a Retreat Cost of 2 is not terrible, and payable if you must.


Umbreon has two attacks. Confuse Ray does 20 damage and Confuses the Defending Pokemon for a Colorless Energy, which is altogether decent for the cost. In Limited, Confusion can be a great disruptive maneuver, even if the 20 damage isn't terribly impressive. In Modified, you should expect more than 20 damage from a fully-evolved Pokemon, and Confusion will rarely be relevant.


Shadow Shutdown, Umbreon's second attack, is as interesting as it is unreliable. For a Darkness Energy and two Colorless, the attack does 60 damage, and can discard ALL of the Defending Pokemon's Energy...if you flip two heads. You'll have a 25% chance of flipping two heads in a row normally, which can be helped slightly by Victory Star Victini, but not often enough for this to be a major impact card. That being said, discard all of your opponent's Energy should set them behind for quite a while (especially in Limited, where the format is slow and acceleration is hard to come by). Therefore, if you like to gamble, Umbreon may be a card for you.


Modified: 1.75/5 While Shadow Shutdown is potentially very interesting, it's too unreliable and costly to be used in a format built on speed and consistency. Aside from discarding all of your opponent's Energy, Umbreon is an average Pokemon at best. A great comparison is HS Triumphant Sharpedo, whose hand discarding attack is fun to play around with and will occasionally anger opponents and win games, but the card just isn't strong enough or reliable enough to make a splash in the Modified format.


Limited: 3.5/5 Umbreon is fairly good in Limited. Darkness typing is great with all of the Dark support in Dark Explorers, and both attacks are useful here too. Confuse Ray is a great cheap attack with Colorless Energy requirements, and Shadow Shutdown is absolutely ridiculous if you can flip double heads. Overall, if you draft a lot of Dark support and a few Umbreons, you can't go wrong with running it.


Combos With: Victory Star Victini (I guess...)


No attempted witty or at least painfully funny intro; I just realized I stayed up about three hours later than planned and it normally takes me an hour to write one of these, so onto Umbreon (BW: Dark Explorers 61/108)!


Umbreon is a Darkness-Type Pokémon, so it enjoys the strong support currently available to them, though as we transition to BW-On the Special Energy card “Darkness Energy” will rotate out of Modified seemingly for the final time. You won’t hit a lot of Weakness, but they’ll be a few key cards where it will come in handy. What won’t be handy is Evolving; as a Stage 1 Pokémon Umbreon is at a distinct disadvantage in a format so focused and friendly to Basic Pokémon, and even losing a few key pieces of support BW-On is similar. Fortunately Evolution backed decks aren’t completely extinct, it is just that Basic Pokémon (often Pokémon EX) do a better job as your primary attacker, with Evolutions working in supporting roles.

100 HP isn’t much right now; that’s a OHKO for too many attackers, or an easy 2HKO (often faking a OHKO because it involves some spread damage the previous turn). Fighting decks have to work only half as hard due to Weakness, but at least there is a useful -20 Psychic Resistance so that Mewtwo EX needs one more Energy for X-Ball. Needing to discard two Energy to retreat is a bit of a surprise… and a disappointment. This is high enough that if you are stuck paying it, it hurts but not high enough for Heavy Ball (not that Heavy Ball is a staple).


Umbreon gets two attacks; Confuse Ray and Shadow Shutdown. Confuse Ray only requires (C) so quite easy to power-up, but that means juts 20 damage and automatic Confusion for the Defending Pokémon. In the current format, most players will be able to use a combination of Switch and Retreat to completely treat Confusion, and at least Retreating to get out of it and send up something else to attack. With modern damage standards, it still feels pretty weak, and since the Shadow Shutdown needs at least one source of (D) Energy, they might as well have made Confuse Ray cost (D) and then allowed it to hit for 30 or 40 points of damage.

Shadow Shutdown is a risky but devastating move… when the effect portion works. The damage is a bit low for a card’s “big” attack: (DCC) buys 60 points of damage. The effect requires you flip two coins, and only works when both are heads (one of four possible outcomes); when it works though it discards all Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon. That would only annoy a deck relying on an Ability like Dynamotor, or Pokémon that attack for very low Energy costs, but the majority of decks and attackers will really feel that.


Due to time constraints, I shall merely recommend Eevee (HS: Undaunted 48/90) while it remains legal, due to its Call For Family attack. While no where near as valuable in a format with Dual Ball and Pokémon Collector, it still seems like a better use of your attack than anything the other Eevee offer. Once it is gone, go with BW: Dark Explorers 83/108 because the attacks aren’t that great on its set-mate aren’t any better but that version has 10 more HP (that is, 60).

The only “Eeveelutions” really worth using right now are Espeon (HS: Undaunted 81/90) “Prime”, Espeon (BW: Dark Explorers 48/108), Jolteon (BW: Dark Explorers 37/108), and Leafeon (HS: Undaunted 17/10, Call Of Legends 13/95). Espeon “Prime” has that nifty Poké-Body that allows it to access the attacks of any other Eeveelution in play, the other Espeon I listed has the nifty Ability that allows your Pokémon with at least one Energy attached to ignore the effects off attacks from opposing Pokémon, the Jolteon just has a 60-for-one attack, provided you can discard (L) from it, and the Leafeon can do 50 times the number of Special Conditions on the Defending Pokémon in damage for just (C). The two Espeon could work into a deck with Umbreon fairly well, but the other two are more specialized… plus we’ll lose Espeon Prime at rotation.

So is there a deck for this card? Yes I think there is, but it is more a League deck. Combine Umbreon with Sharpedo (HS: Triumphant 30/102) and Victini (BW: Noble Victories 14/101, BW: Noble Victories 98/101) and appropriate support. The Sharpedo in question has an attack for (D) that requires two coin flips, and if both are “heads” discards all cards from the opponent’s hand. I don’t know how much Victini and its Ability will improve the odds of the two attacks that require them, but losing all your Energy (even if only on one Pokémon) and losing your hand sounds pretty painful. The Bench would already be crowded but maybe a Slowking (HS: Undaunted 12/123, Call Of Legends 32/95) to control what your opponent can top deck. When we switch gears to BW-On, you’ll have less effective means of controlling the opponent’s hand.

Don’t bother with this card in Unlimited; you have Trainers to do this job. Being an Eeveelution is great for Limited, however. Besides the usual bit about “lower average HP and damage yields”, Special Conditions are more effective, and discarding Energy (while not something to count on) is more likely to be devastating when it works. The Energy costs for the attacks mean you could settle for just Confuse Ray and run Umbreon without any Darkness Energy, but just a few in the deck allows it access to both attacks. Lastly, this set has two Eevee, one other Umbreon, and six other, multi-Type deck friendly Eeveelutions.


Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 2.25/5

Limited: 4/5


Again I am not scoring the current and coming Modified separate, because the scores would be the same; whatever benefit is gained from the shift is offset by the loss of Espeon Prime and Sharpedo. This Umbreon is interesting, but far too dependent on luck for my taste, and even if you always got two “heads”, if your opponent can build up anything they will probably OHKO Umbreon.

Please check out my eBay sales by clicking here. It’s me whittling away at about two decades worth of attempted collecting, spanning action figures, comic books, TCGs, and video games. Exactly what is up is a bit random. Pojo.com is in no way responsible for any transactions; Pojo is merely doing me a favor by letting me link at the end of my reviews.

Jebulous Maryland Player
Umbreon 61
Umbreon is a Stage 1 Drak Pokemon with 100 HP.  It is weak to Fighting, resistant to Psychic, and has 2 retreat cost.  Like most Dark, the resistance helps against Mewtwo EX (somewhat) and the weakness means it can be run over by Terrakion and Groudon EX.
'Confuse Ray' costs 1 energy, does 20 damage, and confuses.
Cost-wise, I think that's pretty good.  Granted, 20 damage isn't much and Confusion doesn't mean much against Basics + SkyArrow Bridge and Switch.  But it's only 1 energy, you don’t have to invest much.
'Shadow Shutdown' costs 1 Darkness and 2 of any energy.  It does 60 damage and if both coins are heads, you discard all energy on the Defending Pokemon.  Dark Patch helps accelerate the energy onto this guy.  If both are heads, the results could be devastating.  COULD BE.
If you go up against a deck with energy acceleration, it doesn't mean much.  But other decks, it spells trouble.  The 60 damage is mediocre, nothing to write home about.  You could combo with Fliptini to try to better your odds.
I like Umbreon, the Pokemon itself.  I'm on the fence about this card.
 I wouldn't use it competitively; it's HP is too low (not low enough for Level Ball), it has coin flips, and it doesn't seem like it'd do much.  I'd consider it in some kind of gimmick deck or just playing around for fun.
Modified: 1.5/5
Limited: 2.5/5
Combo's With: ...
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com

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