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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 New Pokemon Cards of 2013

#9 - Mr. Mime  

- Plasma Freeze

Date Reviewed:
December 19, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.75

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

#9 Mr Mime (Plasma Freeze) 

After the surprises of yesterday, here is a card that I think has definitely earned a place on the top 10 of 2013 list. 

Mr Mime may be a low HP, non-Evolving Basic with a pretty sucky attack, but he has something that makes up for all that: his Bench Barrier Ability. With Mr Mime out, your Benched Pokémon are completely immune to any damage done by attacks, and this includes your own just in case you are using something like Excadrill EX or Landorus LTR. 

How good is this? Right now, it’s very good as many extremely common Pokémon can and will put some damage on an unprotected Bench, looking to finish off damaged Pokémon, set up KOs for later, or just deal with something that has low HP. Darkrai EX, Kyurem PLF, Genesect EX, and Landorus EX are all great examples of the kind of card that Mr Mime is highly effective against. The errata to Pokémon Catcher only makes Mr Mime better as he is now much more difficult to get rid of, as are the Benched Pokémon that he protects. 

Obviously, Mr Mime isn’t useful in all match ups (Blastoise decks just don’t care about him, for example), and Garbodor DRX can render him useless. It’s also worth noting that Mime doesn’t protect against damage counter placement from attacks like Chandelure EX’s Cursed Drop (which is considered an effect). Nevertheless, Mime is good enough against enough things to be worth playing in pretty much any deck as a one-of card.  

Quite possibly the best (and most common) piece of tech in the format. 


Modified: 3.75 (building a deck? Then you should seriously consider saving a space for Mime)


Today as we count down the Top 10 Cards Of 2013, we look at the number nine pick: Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116).  We first looked at this card here, Baby Mario and Ness scored it pretty well.  I missed out on that review, so here’s a quick breakdown of the card.  It is a Basic Pokémon, which is still the best.  It is a Psychic-Type which is not the best; Psychic-Type support hasn’t had a lot of success and this card isn’t for attacking, but if you try you’ll realize its damage is too low to make good use of Weakness while getting walled by Resistance.   

The 70 HP is just high enough that some of the more common early, opening attacks (which were a bigger issue for the card before the rules about attacking first turn changed) needed too much of a boost to push for a OHKO; obviously much higher scores are still at risk so it was by no means safe, but at least a quick 30 points of damage (practically the minimum done by early opening attacks) boosted by Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym wasn’t going to cut it.  If the Ability (more on that in a bit) is not working, this is also enough that the most common spread/snipe attacks, such as Night Spear on Darkrai EX, have to hit it thrice while on the Bench.  70 HP is also small enough for Level Ball, and this too has proven useful. 

The card’s Psychic Weakness all but guarantees Psychic-Type attackers will score a OHKO; something like Mewtwo EX just needs enough Energy to use X-Ball and it will be enough regardless of how much Energy is attached to Mr. Mime.  No Resistance is the worst, but it isn’t that strong of a mechanic and likely wouldn’t save Mr. Mime from a OHKO; 90 points of damage per turn is the minimum going rate for most competitive decks, and 90-20 is still 70.  The single Energy Retreat Cost is good, though perhaps ironically undermined by how most decks need to already pack an option to reduce the cost of retreating or bypass manually retreating entirely.  If you’ve got a deck that can still make use of Skyarrow Bridge, you’ll enjoy a free retreat. 

Psy Bolt is a bad attack.  It isn’t the worst attack, but looking at it in a contemporary card pool (outside of the last five years of the game, it would have been either “average” or “good”) two for 20 is far below the expected return.  The 50% chance of Paralysis helps, but I just said this was a format where most decks have a means of changing out their Active without retreating, which makes it an annoyance at best.  One only attacks with this card out of desperation.  The Ability is where it is at; Bench Barrier prevents all damage done to your Benched Pokémon by attacks.  If decks weren’t so crowded, that would have made this card a lose staple only skipped by decks that shut down Abilities or wanted their own attacks to hit their own Bench. 

Decks are crowded, so even though one of the regular faces of the format, Darkrai EX, hates having its 30 points of bonus Bench damage blocked (as well as a few other high profile attackers), not everyone could make room for it… at least that was how it was when this card was new.  It still isn’t in every deck, but the erratum for Pokémon Catcher was huge for Mr. Mime; its fatal flaw was that it was easy to force up and OHKO, thus you mostly played it as a sacrifice or in decks that blocked Items as without that added level of protection, it was just an easy OHKO that bought a single turn (if it benefited you at all).  After the erratum, hitting the Bench became more valuable because we it was easier to “hide” Pokémon on the Bench.  It also meant a lot of players stopped running the three or four Pokémon Catcher that were the norm, and one of the cards to fill those empty slots?  Mr. Mime. 

Mr. Mime isn’t a perfect defense; besides the fact that some decks can still force a Benched Pokémon of their choice up (just not reliably and for the price of a single Item), it does nothing against damage counters being placed or moved about.  Attacks that place damage counters still get through, and either damage or damage counters inflicted by Abilities work as normal.  Effects that shut off Abilities obviously cancel out Bench Barrier as well. 

When I first saw this card, I assumed some attacker (which hit its own Bench) that we either already had or would soon be getting would combo with it… but that never happened because so far, such attackers just haven’t been good enough.  In Unlimited, I have to rely on Theorymon due to lack of recent experience or reliable second hand data, frustrating certain lock decks and protecting from self-hits could be valid reasons to play Mr. Mime.  It won’t protect against most remaining First Turn Win decks (they too have to win without attacker, Bench Barrier only protects against attacks), but some established lock decks should consider it.  Sadly with its 70 HP it will be an easy KO for things like Sabledonk, but I was suggesting it for those decks that already take a risk by running multiple Basic Pokémon with HP scores of less than 130. 

For Limited play, I consider this card a near staple.  Why?  It is from a set that has cards that can hit the Bench, and at least one is great at it: Kyurem (BW: Plasma Freeze 31/116) a.k.a. Kyurem [Plasma].  Even if your opponent has to pull it to use it, this is Limited; you should have room for this in your deck.  If you have room for some Psychic Energy as well, it even becomes decent “filler”; its Limited and sometimes you’re stuck using Evolving Basic Pokémon because they are all that fit into your deck and you’re desperately low on Basic Pokémon.  In Limited, the 20 points of damage is still bad, but at least the Paralysis is handy.  So unless you pulled a big Basic Pokémon worth running solo, make room for Mr. Mime unless you have some ludicrous luck with your pulls. 


Unlimited: 3.5/5 

Modified: 3.75/5 

Limited: 4/5 


Mr. Mime demonstrates how useful these Top 10s for the year can be; this was a “good” card when it debuted but the erratum to Pokémon Catcher has turned this into a reasonable common inclusion for decks.  Not everything can or should run it, but that is only because of occasional conflicts e.g. you’re shutting of Abilities anyway and lack of space. 

Mr. Mime missed my list to do an editing error; as I was composing the list I accidentally overwrote its entry without realizing it.  So much for professionalism.  The sort of good news is that I was merely debating on placing it in the 9th or 10th place slot anyway.

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