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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 18, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: Gone
Expanded: 3.40
Limited: 4.17

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

#5 Sableye DEX 

Hello and welcome to the second part of our countdown of the top 10 cards lost to modified in the forthcoming rotation. (Though they can still be used in Extended). We kick off the week with a look (back) at Sableye: a card that has been providing invaluable support to the Dark decks that have been so powerful over the last couple of years (two Worlds wins in a row!). 

Although Confuse Ray is a usable attack in a pinch, what made this card so good is Junk Hunt. Once the virtually staple Junk Arm rotated out, Junk Hunt was pretty much the only practical means of repeatedly recycling Items. When you consider just how powerful Items have been in this format, Sableye could more than earn its place in a deck: it got back Hammer Trainers for disruption; Hypnotoxic Lasers for ramping up damage; Dark Patches for Energy acceleration; and Computer Search for set up . . . and that’s just the obvious. 

Because of its specific Energy needs, Sableye really only saw play in Dark decks, giving them a considerable advantage over everything else. The many Darkrai variants were the classic users of Sableye, but it did see some success in its very own deck, based on continual cycling of Hammers and Lasers to disrupt and chip away at the HP of opposing Pokémon. 

Since the format changed to Black and White-on, Sableye is the closest thing to a traditional ‘starter’ Pokémon to be played extensively: that should give you some idea of just how good it is. If Dark decks get played in Extended (and they almost certainly will), then there’s no reason why they wouldn’t play a copy or two of this card. 


Overall impact: 4.25

Extended: 3.75


Hey guys, welcome back to our Top 10 Cards Lost to Rotation! Hope you've been keeping up with Worlds, cause it's been pretty exciting so far! This week, we're starting off with a big card in Dark decks, Sableye from Dark Explorers!

Now why has Sableye been a huge deal since his debut? Well, it's probably not because of his magnificently simple Confuse Ray, which while it's an attack that makes him splashable, it only does 10 damage with a chance to confuse. Chances are if you weren't play a Dark deck or running some form of multi-colored Energy, you weren't playing Sableye.

Though there's a good reason to run Sableye, and that is Junk Hunt. While it doesn't actually inflict damage, it does allow for you to add back 2 Item cards in your discard pile to your hand. There's a LOT of utility to be had from such an attack, something that Dark decks took advantage of with support like Dark Patch and Dark Claw! Never mind that Sableye could grab Enhanced Hammer, Hypnotoxic Laser, Super Rod, Eviolite, Max Potion - if you can think of an Item, Sableye can grab it!

Personally I'd love to delve more into Sableye, but I wanna save that for when I compare him to another card later on in the week. He's a great utility Pokemon, but there's a lot of strategy involved with him as you are giving up an attack in order to retrieve 2 potentially valuable Items - and at the risk of losing him just as quickly! But if you can play him skillfully enough, Sableye will do wonders for you in the Expanded format!


Modified: N/A (I'm gonna miss those jewels...well, until Mega Sableye gets released as a card)

Expanded: 3/5 (a card that takes a lot of skill and strategy, and while his Junk Hunt normally limits him to Dark decks, other decks may find he's a good tech)

Limited: 4/5 (if you got him and any of those Dark-support cards in the set, you ran them together. Of course, it's also advised you run an actual attacker to work with those, but he'll help you out greatly!)

Arora Notealus: How does Sableye even see through those gemstones? And does the world look like a giant kaleidoscope to him? I wonder...

Next Time: A triple review approaches!!


Welcome to the upper half of our countdown of the Top 10 cards lost due to rotation!  Today we look at Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108).   70 HP Basic Darkness-Type Pokémon is a surprisingly good fit for this format and the previous one.  Being a Basic has been the best for a while now, as they end up taking less space and being significantly faster than Evolutions and until recently, Darkness was the best supported Type due in part to Dark Patch (and before Muscle Band, Dark Claw), potent Pokémon like Darkrai-EX and Yveltal-EX (though of course they can be worked into other decks) and perhaps most critical, a lack of worthwhile support for other Types (which recent sets have changed).  70 HP is most likely a OHKO except for the earliest part of the game (where its just slightly more likely to avoid being OHKOed than OHKOed).


Sableye also has good bottom Stats; no Weakness is the best and while no Resistance is the worst, at 70 HP it mostly would have been a fun trick once in a while, even if it had been present.  A single Energy Retreat Cost is easy to pay and Sableye is even more likely than many other cards to be in a deck that zeroes that cost out entirely; Skyarrow Bridge (since its a Basic) and Dark Cloak (you’ve got to run a source of [D] Energy for Junk Hunt).  Junk Hunt is why we are here, but Confuse Ray is the first attack on the card: 10 and a flip for Confusion is decent at a cost of [C], and its not smart to forget this attack exists especially in light of all the Item based combo Sableye has access to in order to boost that damage up.  You shouldn’t make it your main attacker, of course, but I’ve seen more than one Prize taken by a Sableye attacking with Confuse Ray, bolstered by Muscle Band or Silver Bangle and/or Hypnotixic Laser/Virbank City Gym.


Junk Hunt is the main star, and for [D] you snag two Items back from the discard pile, directly to hand.  This used to be even more impressive when you were still able to attack first turn and is still a solid move now, though Sableye faces competition as a opener in Darkness-Type decks due to more recent releases and (again) the change in the rules.  Junk Hunt is almost perplexing in that its hard to think it was an “accident”: create a Pokémon that can attack to reclaim two Items in a format that has some of the most powerful Items since the Base Set Set 2… that will continue to have powerful Items available to it for the next two formats afterwards!  True in all of these formats, its been within OHKO range the first turn attacks were legal (which until late last year meant the overall first turn of the game), but thanks to Pokémon-EX you could even try to play down an odd number of Sableye so that at least one of them essentially didn’t count as a Prize e.g. a seven Prize game.


Sableye is a fantastic card and the only reason it didn’t become a staple in all decks is that Junk Hunt requires [D]; had it required [C] it would likely have become the premiere opening Pokémon as it allows you to spam various searching and disruption Items, with highlights including just about any Ace Spec (but especially Computer Search), Crushing Hammer, Dark Patch, Enhanced Hammer, Hypnotoxic Laser, Pokémon Catcher and Ultra Ball.  Obviously, any Item worth reusing would be including in a full list; I’ve seen impressive (though not necessarily “optimal”) use of every currently legal Potion card (Gold Potion, Max Potion, Super Potion and Potion), though not in the same deck.  I’ve got a Delphox (XY 26/146)/Miltank (XY: Flashfire 83/106) deck where to my surprise, Sableye became a great opener.


I expect Sableye to see at least some play in Expanded; as stated it isn’t the force it once was due to the “Item Spam” strategy being a bit less reliable (so many inexpensive attackers) and direct competition in Darkness decks in the form of Yveltal and Yveltal-EX.  Should you be fortunate enough to play in a Limited event with BW: Dark Explorers boosters, Sableye is a good pull and outside of decks built around a single big Basic Pokémon (“+39” decks), even if only for its Stats and Confuse Ray, its high quality “filler”.  The set is focused on Darkness-Types and features eight Items, but between set composition, rarity and other pulls needed to make them useful, only Ultra Ball is likely to be worth regularly reclaiming… and in Limited your hand might not be able to support spamming it.




Modified (NXD-On): 3.5/5 - It is still a great card but entirely combo dependent: if we had weak Items this card wouldn’t be anywhere near so impressive.  It also sees less play at the end of its lifecycle due to increased competition.  This score is for decks that can easily work it in (already run a source of [D] Energy): its probably worth half to a full point less “in general”.


Modified (BCR-On): N/A - If it remained legal, it would probably remain a popular choice, though the loss of Dark Patch and Enhanced Hammer (unless replaced by better Items) would diminish it a little and as above, I am speaking about decks that can easily work it in.


Expanded (BW-On): 3.25/5 - Even more competition than in the current format, and again this is a rating for decks that can already incorporate it more or less hassle free; if you’ve got to make multiple changes to accommodate it, its probably worth half to a full point less.


Limited: 4.75/5 - A great pull, perhaps surprisingly not for Junk Hunt, which you might not be able to use well.  Instead its high quality “filler”: Confusion is quite useful in a format where most decks can only shake it by retreating or Evolving… which itself isn’t always an option.  When you can make use of Junk Hunt, even better!


Summary: Sableye has been a serious presence over the last three years, whether you loved it, hated it, loved to hate it or hated to love it.  It was fascinating to see how what looked like a mere set-up or technical card instead was the face of a deck (for a time).

Chicago, IL

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