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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Countdown: Top 10 Plasma Freeze Cards

#7 - Shadow Triad  

- Plasma Freeze

Date Reviewed:
May 16, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.67
Limited: 4.60

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

#7 Shadow Triad

In the video games, Shadow Triad are some kind of ninja bodyguards for Ghetsis. I’m not totally clear on their role, but it seems like they exist to taunt you for a bit, and then get absolutely hammered when you battle them . . . pretty much like any other member of any other ‘evil’ team in Pokémon history. When it comes to the card that made #7 on our top 10 countdown, you can see that Shadow Triad are nicely on-theme, still working for Team Plasma, this time in the form of a Supporter. 

Like most Supporters, this one has a very straightforward effect: you put a Team Plasma card from your discard pile into your hand. Remember, this is any Team Plasma card, so that not only means Pokémon like Lugia-EX, but also Plasma Energy, and all the Plasma Trainers, which notably includes Hypnotoxic Laser. Yep, feel free to go ahead and use this card as your fifth Laser, just when your opponent thought they were safe. 

So, Shadow Trio is definitely a very versatile card, but is it actually good enough to justify a Supporter slot in your deck? Is it really better to have than another draw card like Bianca or Colress? In my opinion, the jury is still out on that one. Shadow Triad reminds me quite a bit of Skyla in that it doesn’t get you much, but it can get you exactly what you need: the extra damage from a Laser, a revived Kyurem, a Team Plasma Ball to search out a Deoxys, that Plasma Energy you need to attach this turn . . . It’s not quite as universal as Skyla (which can be combined with Computer Search to access absolutely anything), but it does have the potential to be very useful in a deck that is built around Team Plasma cards. 

Shadow Triad is one of those cards that I haven’t quite made my mind up about. It goes in and out of the decks I am testing for this new format. I don’t think I would ever play more than 1-2 in a dedicated Plasma deck, but then again, one of these could be all you needed to win a game. 


Modified: 3.5 (versatile search tool for Plasma decks, but at the cost of a Supporter)

Limited: 4.25 (if you have a supporter, you play it)


Hello once again, Pojo! Today we're reviewing a new Supporter from Plasma Freeze that could be incredibly useful in upcoming decks, enough so that it made #7 on our Top 10 countdown. Today's Card of the Day is Shadow Triad.

Shadow Triad is a Supporter, meaning once you play it, you can't play any more Supporters for that turn. Since you can only play one Supporter per turn, the effect needs to justify the card's use over other powerful Supporters like N, Professor Juniper, and Colress. Luckily, Shadow Triad does this very well. Very simply, Shadow Triad allows you to put a Team Plasma card from your discard pile into your hand. There are a myriad of uses for this, including bringing back important Pokemon like Deoxys-EX or Thundurus-EX; other Team Plasma Trainers like Team Plasma Ball to fetch another Pokemon out of the deck, or even bringing back Plasma Energy to fuel your Lugia-EX's Plasma Gale. While Shadow Triad only gets you one card back, its unique ability to grab cards out of the discard pile will probably make it a worthy one- or two-of in many Team Plasma decks.

Modified: 4/5 Shadow Triad doesn't go into every deck, but it works incredibly well in the decks that run it. The ability to grab any Team Plasma card can really help your strategy, allowing you to reuse that crucial card in the discard pile that can be used to get a KO. Now, it is important to realize that Shadow Triad is kind of slow and there are often better cards for fetching Pokemon, but the ability to reuse Team Plasma Trainers and Plasma Energy really makes this quite useful, even if you have to use your Supporter for the turn. Overall, this dark trio have quite a powerful effect, and you can expect to see them on the tournament circuit.

Limited: 5/5 It's a Supporter that allows you to get things out of the discard pile, which immediately makes it playable in every deck. The only deck you wouldn't want to run this in is a deck with any Team Plasma cards, but given that Plasma Freeze has so many, you'll likely not have this problem.


Today we look at seventh place for our Top 10 Promising Picks of Plasma Freeze, Shadow Triad (BW: Plasma Freeze /116). 

They are ninjas! 

Card Breakdown 

Miscellaneous: Shadow Triad is a Team Plasma Trainer.  This means it can tap a little Team Plasma support, but not a lot of it; still any help is better than none at all.  

Type: Shadow Triad is a Trainer-Supporter.  There isn’t a lot of generic Trainer support to begin with – just Skyla and Dowsing Machine – and the former isn’t a great play because you’ll have to wait a turn to use a fetched Shadow Triad, while the latter is an Ace Spec with decent odds of being able to target a lot of what you would want to use Shadow Triad to snag. 

Generic Supporter specific support is limited to Xtransceiver (not that it sees play) and Random Receiver (which has lost a lot of popularity); there are a few Pokémon that can pull tricks, but they tend to be pretty deck specific and none of those decks have proven competitive.  We have had one or two Pokémon that can punish Supporter usage, but they similarly haven’t made a good showing, though it is worth noting that the new Exeggutor (BW: Plasma Freeze 5/116) can block Supporter usage with an inexpensive attack. 

Effect: Shadow Triad allows you to reclaim a Team Plasma card from your discard pile, be it Pokémon, Trainer, or Energy.  This is a pretty expensive deal that is likely going to be unusable first turn since you aren’t as likely to have any Team Plasma cards to target (either at all, or that you would want to burn Shadow Triad on to reclaim).  The longer the game goes, however, the better this card becomes.  Exactly how much better will depend upon how Team Plasma heavy your deck is, and in what ways. 

Shadow Triad is the only simple, reliable way to return a Plasma Energy from the discard pile to the hand… but Plasma Energy is also the only Team Plasma Energy card currently available (and unless we get a surprise from Japan, the only one we are going to get).  Pokémon have multiple recursion options, so most of your worthwhile targets are going to be the Team Plasma Trainers.  This does seem like a good effect, though it is also quite scary since you are giving up access to what is usually needed draw power or reliable Trainer search seen in the most played Supporters. 


Card Family: You can get an idea of the extended Team Plasma card family here; the update to my previous article detailing the kind of support Team Plasma cards have in general is up.  Pokémon have other options, but unless you run Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108) this is the best way to get back one of the four Team Plasma Items… which includes the oh-so-amazing Hypnotoxic Laser.  Shadow Triad ends up being one of the four Supporters that Metagross (BW: Plasma Freeze 52/116; BW Promo BW75) can snag with its Ability as well. 

Combos: This is a card that isn’t about overt “combos”; running it allows you to either effectively exceed the maximum amount of copies of a Team Plasma Trainer, or when it comes to any Team Plasma card have more leeway with however many you are running.  The price of your Supporter is steep, but this is might allow some builds to get by with just three Hypnotoxic Laser or Colress Machine but still prove effective.  While I downplayed that it can snag Pokémon, this can be useful; not every deck has room for Revive and especially if you just need to reclaim and Bench a Deoxys EX to make use of its Power Connect Ability to secure a KO, that is a Supporter well spent.

Future: There are some more Team Plasma cards that we have yet to see stateside, but I don’t know if they are really going to make much of a difference for Shadow Triad usage. 


Unlimited: I don’t see this helping the first-turn-win, first-turn-lock, or even classic powerhouse decks that last I checked, still see the most play here… plus there are some older tricks that aren’t so specific for getting anything out of the discard.  Quick heads up; if your area has a strong Unlimited format going, consider writing an article on it for Pojo because I would love to read it. 1/5 

Modified: This is going to be a great choice for some Plasma decks, but not all of them; for a lot of decks raw draw power is going to be more important than Team Plasma specific recursion.  While it is possible a non-Team Plasma deck that uses Hypnotoxic Laser might consider running one Shadow Triad to function as that “fifth copy”, it don’t know of a deck that needs one more use of Hypnotoxic Laser that badly that wouldn’t be better off with some other alternatives, like Dowsing Machine or Junk Hunt. 3.5/5 

Limited: As long as you are running even a single Team Plasma card worth reclaiming from the discard pile, even a single one, you should also make room for Shadow Triad; you are unlikely to have any other Supporters to worry about, so this card is no more “expensive” than an Item, and most decks should have the room. 4.75/5 


Shadow Triad will likely be amazing in some Team Plasma decks, but others may pass on it since you are trading a Supporter for one card that has to already be in your discard pile.  I can’t come up with a good reason for using it in a deck with only a few Team Plasma cards (like a four count of Hypnotoxic Laser), so this is definitely specialized.  Shadow Triad was actually my number eight pick, so again not too different than what the rest of the group rated it, or at least the average of the group ratings.

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