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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Promo

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 4, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.13
Expanded: 2.00
Limited: Promo

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Shiftry (XY Promo 23) 

The Shiftry which appeared in Flashfire was one of those very rare things: a Stage 2 that could just about be made the basis for a playable deck. This was because it offered very good damage potential alongside a pretty good drawing Ability. 

This Promo version doesn’t have any kind of useful Ability, but at least its Whisk Away attack promises good value by doing 60 damage for a single Energy if your opponent has a Pokémon in their hand. Of course, getting a look at their hand and sending that Pokémon to the bottom of the deck are nice bonuses too. It’s a shame that Shiftry can’t follow that up with a more substantial attack than the flippy and expensive Spirit Dance. 

This is one of those cards that has enough of a hook to make you look twice, but ultimately doesn’t offer enough damage to really be worth considering . . . especially as it is a Stage 2. 


Modified: 2

Expanded: 1.75

Limited: 2.75


Gen III brought with it a strange host of evolutionary families. Take the Seedot line for instance; it goes from a simple acorn to a strange tengu (a Japanese goblin who likes to play tricks and has a long nose) to...whatever Shiftry is. It's really strange - how do you get Pinocchio from an acorn?! Regardless, let's see if our last Phantom Forces Blister Promo Shiftry is a Stage 2 to run - or something to toss to the side. 

His first attack is probably the better of the two, if only because of its unusual effect. Whisk Away does only 30 damage for 1, which isn't bad in its own right, but then Shiftry does more. He can look into the opponent's hand, pick out a Pokemon from it, put it at the bottom of their deck, and THEN if he DOES do that, he gets to deal 30 MORE damage! That's 1-for-60 right there before Muscle Band and HTLBank come into effect! With that sort of thing, Shiftry's 2HKO-ing most everything in the format with just a single attack - provided he's hitting a Pokemon every time you check on your opponent's hand. 

His second attack, Spirit Dance, is a 3-for-60 with 2 coin flips to tack on up to an extra 60 damage. It's averaging about 90 a pop, so it's average at best, perhaps something to combine Fliptini with. I dunno if one should bother with this attack, since the potential to do so much with Whisk Away is just too good. Then again, there are Searchers like Ultra Ball ready to go grab that Pokemon you tossed to the bottom, never mind the presence of N's and such. 

Shiftry's alright as far as Stage 2s go. He's not gonna dominate the format, but he'll at least get some work in. 


Standard: 2.5/5 (Whisk Away can do lots of damage and disruption, messing up unprepared opponents) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (about the same here) 

Limited: N/A (not happening, being a promo) 

Arora Notealus: You'd think a Pokemon with the Ability to read minds would be more Psychic, or that as a forest guardian he'd be part-Fighting, but nope, Shiftry's a Grass/Dark combo. Weird... 

Next Time: IT'S SO SHINY 


This week we are going to look at some of the recent Black Star promos.  Today we look at Shiftry (XY Black Star Promos XY23).  It is a Grass-Type which right now (and likely going into the next set) is actually a good thing; Grass-Type Weakness will likely remain important to exploit due to some big name cards being Grass Weak, let alone current things like Seismitoad-EX.  Otherwise the Type support (direct and indirect) is okay and Grass Resistance is no longer a “thing”.  The other obvious thing is that Shiftry is a Stage 2, and that doesn’t look to be getting significantly better next set; I’ll be happy if I’m wrong but of the few cards I’ve heard people hyping as boosting Stage 2 Pokémon from the next set, I think they are general boosts that even if they favor Evolutions, are unlikely to narrow the gap. 

140 HP isn’t great but its solid, towards the upper end of what we’ve seen printed on legal-to-play Stage 2 Pokémon.  You’ll probably going to survive a hit.  Fire Weakness nullifies that statement; Fire-Types tend to hit hard and (somewhat fast) but with a lot of additional costs (like discarding Energy) as such Weakness is likely to merely save you some resources though sometimes it is the difference between a OHKO and a 2HKO.  No Resistance is the worst Resistance but it also is so common it isn’t a mark against the card.  A Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you will probably have the Energy to discard attached, with recovering from the decline in resources being unpleasant but manageable.  Something to lower the cost or bypass manually retreating is handy but not essential… at least if you absolutely must fail to run even a single card like Switch (I prefer having at least one such card in my decks). 

Shiftry has two attacks; the first is Whisk Away with a cost of [G] and base damage of 30.  The effect is interesting; see your opponent’s hand and if there are any Pokémon there you can shuffle it back into your opponent’s deck while doing an extra 30 points of damage.  60 for one is great.  Sending a Pokémon from your opponent’s hand back to the deck is usually good.  Making the former dependent on the latter is pretty limiting as decks often don’t run a lot of Pokémon.  The slight upside is that a player only can only have six Pokémon in play at a time and Evolving will also take your opponent a turn (or two) as well and not just yourself, improving your odds of catching something even when your opponent would like to avoid taking the extra damage.  For [GCC] Shiftry can use Spirit Dance for 60 damage and two coin flips; each flip is good for another 30 damage.  This means out of four possible results, one is a flat 60 damage, two are 90 and the last is 120, with 90 being the mean, the median and the mode.  If the rest of the card were awesome, this would be serviceable as it is 90 points of damage on average but presumably this is the “main course” so you’ll need to hope you’re fortunate with your flips, run Victini (latest printing BW: Legendary Treasures 23/113) which adds an Ability to a deck that doesn’t already need them or Trick Coin, which precludes you running another Tool.  So overall its disappointing. 

Only two Seedot legal for Expanded and just one for Standard alone: BW: Next Destinies 2/99 and XY: Flashfire 5/106 (the latter obviously being the one still Standard legal).  Both are Basic Grass-Type Pokémon with Fire Weakness, a single Energy Retreat Cost and no Ability.  BW: Next Destinies 2/99 has 40 HP, Water Resistance and for [C] can use Trip Over to hit for 10 damage (plus 10 more with a successful coin toss).  XY: Flashfire 5/106 lacks any Resistance but has 10 more HP and for [C] can use Call For Family to Bench a Pokémon from your deck.  Use XY: Flashfire 5/106.  For Nuzleaf there are again two options Expanded options - BW: Next Destinies 2/99 and XY: Flashfire 5/106 - with the latter being the only choice for Standard.  Both are Stage 1 Pokémon with 80 HP, single Energy Retreat Costs and no Abilities.  BW: Next Destinies 2/99 is a Darkness-Type with Fighting Weakness, Psychic Resistance and the Surprise Punch attack, which requires [DC] and does 30 damage while moving an Energy from the Defending Pokémon to one of the opponent’s Benched Pokémon.  XY: Flashfire 5/106 is a Grass-Type with Fire Weakness, no Resistance and two attacks: for [C] you can use Razor Leaf for 20 and for [GCC] can use Cut for 40 points of damage.  Use whichever one you prefer and of course, Rare Candy when Items aren’t being locked down, as this Shiftry can attack for just one Energy. 

There are actually two other Shiftry as well: BW: Next Destinies 3/99 and XY: Flashfire 6/106.  Both are Stage 2 Pokémon with one Ability and one attack.  BW: Next Destinies 2/99 is a Darkness-Type with 130 HP, Fighting Weakness, Psychic Resistance, a single Energy Retreat Cost, the Ability “Giant Fan” and the attack “Whirlwind” for [DDC].  The Ability only triggers when Shiftry is played from hand to Evolve one of your Pokémon and it also requires a successful coin flip; if “tails” it fails and does nothing while if “heads” you get to select one of your opponent’s Pokémon and you can shuffle said selection and all cards attached to it back into your opponent’s deck.  This can be anywhere from game winning to beneficial to your opponent, though in case of the latter just remember that its an optional effect so long as you don’t start the process before realizing it.  The attack simply does 60 points of damage while forcing your opponent to promote a new Pokémon to the Active position (your opponent chooses which one); pretty overpriced/underpowered. 

XY: Flashfire 5/106 is a Grass-Type with 140 HP, Fire Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat Cost of [CC], the Ability Leaf Draw and the attack Deranged Dance for [GCC].  The Ability allows you to discard a [G] Energy from hand, once per turn (though if you have a second, third or fourth copy of this Shiftry in play you can use their copies of the Ability once each turn as well).  Deranged Dance does 20 damage times the number of Benched Pokémon in play (for both players), so a range of zero to 200.  Had high hopes when I first saw it and can read the original CotD for it here.  For the curious, the injured pet I mention (and was trying to raise funds for) surprised us (and the vet) by bouncing back (almost literally) from his severe injuries; we raised enough funds to cover its vet bills that did accrue but it didn’t have to undergo surgery of any kind.  He does sit a bit odd but is large and in charge of many of the other cats… and likes to avoid us because it didn’t enjoy the vet visits or medication it had to take.  Oh the card?  Yeah it didn’t really go anywhere; it did come out in a set beefing up Fire-Types and the next set gave us Seismitoad-EX and thus easy Item lock that makes it even harder to run a Stage 2 deck.  As for specifics, you can’t rely on the Ability too much without running a lot of Grass Energy or Items to get said Energy into hand, not saving you a lot of space or majorly speeding up your set-up. 

So what does all this mean for today’s Shiftry?  The good news is it turns out the other options aren’t much competition, but neither are they much support.  No “fun” decks really pop into my head for the card and odds are if you could find a build that made this version competitive, it would do even better with the version from XY: Flashfire. 


Standard: 1.75/5 - Not terrible, but not high functioning even if you get it working. 

Expanded: 1.75/5 - I might be oversimplifying but I’m not seeing a lot to convince me that Expanded is adding anything major to it. 

Limited: N/A - If it were legal it’d be a great pull, though you’d need to get at least a 1-1-1 line as well as have room for at least a few Grass Energy.

Summary: Not as much wasted potential as the other Stage 2 we looked at this week, this one has an interesting idea with its first attack but is let down by lacking a worthwhile Ability (or any positive Ability) or better “big” attack.  If you insist on doing it, just do it because you think it looks fun. 

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