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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Cards of 2015

#10 - Jirachi

- XY67 Promo

Date Reviewed:
December 14, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.67
Expanded: 3.67
Limited: N/A

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

As the end of the year approaches and we start to realize that we've only got so many review days left (ya know, cause of breaks and what-not), it's about time we got down to organizing what we believe to be the best cards release throughout the year. And BOY was this a big year! From the advent of Ancient Traits to the rise of even bigger monsters with each passing set and even the banning of a card that we never thought we'd see banned, all thanks in part to ANOTHER really powerful card, this year has seen some of the most powerful cards in the entire history of the Pokemon TCG! 

And to start off our list of undeniable powerhouses, we've got...Jirachi? 

Not even a Jirachi from a set! This is a promo card!! What gives?! WHO SENT ME THIS LIST?!?! 

Haha, just kidding, I know exactly who sent me this list :P 

Anywho, Jirachi's inclusion may seem a bit unusual - after all, promo cards are so rarely incorporated onto Top 10 lists, but don't be fooled! Jirachi is more powerful than he looks!...well, sorta. I mean, 60 HP is pretty much bottom of the barrel nowadays in terms of non-evolving non-EX Basic Pokemon, and Dream Dance at a 2-for-20 blow that puts BOTH players' Pokemon to Sleep isn't that exciting a build-up, so what's up with Jirachi's inclusion? 

As you might have guessed by now, it's actually Jirachi's first attack that has garnered so much attention in such a short timespan - after all, Jirachi only came out recently with special Blister Packs of BREAKThrough, alongside a reprint of Hawlucha from Fighting Fists, a Sableye with the Theta Stop Ancient Trait, and a Celebi that had a 50/50 shot at completely denying your opponent the Prize for beating it! And yet none of these other cards have seen the kind of approval that Jirachi has, thanks again to its first attack: Stardust. 

Stardust is a paltry attack at a measly 1-for-10, but never be fooled by an attack's damage output! After all, some of the most dangerous attacks in the game come not from the damage they deal but the effects they provide! And on that front, Stardust delivers. With any 1 Energy attached to Jirachi, he can use Stardust to discard a Special Energy attached to the Active Pokemon. 

...yeah, that seems pretty stellar, hehehe-wait, HE CAN'T BE HIT IF YOU DO?!

Yes, Jirachi mimics the Safeguard-esque effects of Suicune and Sigilyph in the same manner that Regice's Resistance Blizzard does, but oh how different it is! Not only is it cheaper than Regice's attack, but it does FAR MORE than just cover your bases against Pokemon-EX! It gets rid of a key card that your opponent's using - a card which becomes almost impossible to get back! 

...come to think of it, I don't even think there are any cards in Standard that can get Special Energies back... 

Needless to say, Jirachi stands out as an incredible underrated staple in any deck that could run it. The only main weakness to the strategy is that, aside from forcing a switch through Lysandre, if Jirachi doesn't discard a Special Energy, the rest of Stardust doesn't go off. So while this won't usually work against decks like Primal Kyogre-EX or, to a lesser extent, M Tyranitar-EX or M Manectric-EX builds, this attack will do wonders against M Rayquaza-EX and even Night March style decks! 

Will Jirachi see more play in other decks? Possibly, though he's no Shaymin-EX. But for a promo card to come so far, I'd say that's as good a sign as any. 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (super tiny little Basic gets amazing Energy discard with equally tiny damage...in a way, Jirachi is strangely balanced to just kinda stall out an opponent, and if they're not careful, they could run out of Energy to use period!)

Expanded: 3/5 (even so, the way to counter Jirachi is as simple as its effect, and 10 damage is going to be paltry in the face of EX with over 200 HP) 

Limited: N/A (still every little bit counts, and besides, HE'S NOT IN A SET, YOU FOOLS) 

Arora Notealus: Speaking of Stardust, I think that was a good movie. Am I right? Yeah? No? Eh... 

Next Time: TIME TO GO TURBO


Otaku

Welcome, dear Pojo readers, to our Top 10 Cards of 2015 countdown!  Our list only looks at cards released during that particular year - excluding reprints - with the rest of the criteria determined by the individual reviewer.  Each person on the Pokémon Card of the Day crew was given the chance to compose and submit a list, which then was averaged out with the rest to arrive at our final list for review.  We also had one extra list submitted by… well I won’t spoil the surprise on the off chance his review wasn’t posted above mine and/or his participation wasn’t loudly proclaimed on the main page’s update for today. 

For my picks, while I didn’t go through every single new card released this year to evaluate it in each category (I started to, but then I realized I lacked the time nor the patience for it) I did compose a list of them and make myself at least glance at a scan of each of said cards, making a note if it was at least somewhat likely to deserve making the Top 10 for the year.  I then used my familiar (if stupidly named) categories that all fall under “card impact”: breadth (Does it affect a lot of decks or just a few), depth (For what it affects, is the change deep or shallow?) and length (How long has it been noticeably affecting the metagame?).  Yes this favors cards that released sooner versus the ones that released later, but as this is a Top 10 for the year, that seems appropriate.  For a recent release to make the list it has to have affected things so much in such a short time that it can hang with cards that have shaped how we played the rest of the year.  Like our first subject: Jirachi (XY: Black Star Promos XY67)! 

Our 10th place pick is a card some of you may not recognize but have probably seen as Jirachi is a the pack-in promo for the single booster blister of XY: BREAKthrough, at least in North America and I thought in general outside of Japan.  I wanted to start with this tidbit because if you don’t already know why it made the list, you probably don’t have one yet and you really should make it your next Poké-purchase or trade.  Why?  Jirachi is a counter to some strong, popular decks.  It is a Metal-Type, but that doesn’t really matter because even though its attacks do a little damage, you’re using the card for its effects, and it isn’t a major beneficiary of Type support (though if you already run Metal-Type support, enjoy the mild synergy).  It is of course a Basic Pokémon which makes it nice and easy to slip into decks, search out and slip into play.  It only has 60 HP so without some help, it is a pretty reliable OHKO for you opponent, but at least this is low enough to make it a Level Ball target but not so low that it’s super vulnerable to snipe/spread attacks.  Fire Weakness barely matters with 60 HP; basically your opponent has to be in a kind of bad situation already that their Fire-Type isn’t already in OHKO territory.  Similarly the Psychic Resistance isn’t going to save you often but you might be fortunate and your opponent has an iffy set-up or has a math fail and misses a KO they could have pressed to obtain.  The single Energy Retreat Cost is nice and low; easy to pay and to recover from having paid. 

Jirachi has no Abilities nor any Ancient Trait, but it does have two attacks.  We care about the first one, “Stardust”: for [C] it does 10 damage and discards a Special Energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokémon and if you discarded a Special Energy, Jirachi is immune to all effects of attacks including damage until the end of your opponent’s next turn.  Your opponent can get around this only by forcing Jirachi out of the Active spot (and back to it if he or she wants it KOed that turn) but even then the Special Energy that was discarded is gone.  Of course not all attackers require Special Energy and some decks don’t run any at all but some of the best are currently making do with mostly Special Energy and in a tight list where every copy counts.  “Dream Dance” requires [MC] so most of the time you won’t be able to use it, and even when you can it just does 20 damage while putting both Active Pokémon to Sleep; a filler attack but not totally worthless. 

A lone copy of Jirachi is within reason for many decks to include and it is quite a challenge to certain strategies, be they highly aggressive beatdown decks like those focused on Night March attackers, Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) and/or Flareon (BW: Plasma Freeze 12/116) or lock decks built around the likes of Seismitoad-EX and/or Giratina-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 57/98, 93/98).  This is by no means foolproof; the most obvious vulnerability is when an opponent simply doesn’t rely (or rely heavily) upon Special Energy cards.  You wouldn’t drop a Jirachi when facing such a deck unless you must (for example, as your only opening Basic Pokémon) so the next and still fairly obvious exception is not to use Jirachi when it would just be more effective to take the KO.  For both Expanded and Standard, this card is becoming a popular bit of TecH and at least until the next set Jirachi might even rise to the status of near staple.  For Limited it isn’t legal anyway. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.75/5 

Expanded: 3.75/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary: Jirachi is a potent, attack-based means of dealing with Special Energy.  Jirachi won’t always be useful in a given match and does require some forethought to use well, but that is not a reason for a competent player to avoid it.  Some decks won’t need it because they have more effective methods of dealing with Special Energy, but most should test including a copy and I suspect many will find it well worthwhile. 

On my own list, I actually had Jirachi as my 10th place pick.  Even if it proves to exceed all expectations, it just came out so late in the year that it left room for other cards to surpass it for this list.


Jason Klaczynski
(Three time
World Champ)

Talk about a Seismitoad EX counter! Not only do you take away the Double Colorless Energy Seismitoad EX so heavily relies on, but then they can’t damage you next turn, either?

A great card for keeping a dominant card in check.

(Jason had this at #5 on his personal Top 10 List.)


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