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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Banette #31

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
June 25, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.13
Expanded: 2.20
Limited: 2.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page


When it comes to Stage 1s in the TCG, the only ones that usually end up seeing play are those that have an Ability. Most of the time you won't usually see more than 1 of a Stage 1 if it doesn't, and that's usually because they're used as an alternative to reaching the Stage 2. There are notable exceptions, and that's where we get to take a look at two different versions of the same Pokemon: Banette. 

To start with, the Banette we're looking at today has an Ability. Don't bother with the Psyshot attack, it's an expensive 3-for-60 vanilla strike that's not worth your time, and if that were the only thing on Banette, it would probably be used as part of the kindling in an unceremonious bonfire of crap as an attempt to ward off the bad cards from Pokemon TCG packs aside from the unavoidable commons. 

No one I know actually does that. Probably best you don't either. 

Back on topic, Banette here has an Ability in the form of Tool Concealment. It's kind of like Garbodor's Garbotoxin, only for Tools instead of Pokemon Abilities. That's not too bad - it shuts down things like Spirit Links, Muscle Band, and even the Team Flare Gear - but it does seem a bit niche, right? I mean, it's not like-YES, EVERY DECK HAS A TOOL IN IT!! 

Think about the cards I just mentioned - Seismitoad-EX loved working with Team Flare Gear, everybody runs Muscle Band, and every Mega Deck runs Spirit Links because no one plays Megas without them. Banta effectively stops all of this - he's secretly anti-meta for a part of the TCG some people might even take for granted! It's similar to how Exeggutor (PLF) didn't seem like such a great card cause it only locked down Supporters, and yet recently there was a huge shifting with him because of the rise of Seismitoad-EX - and he worked because EVERYONE plays Supporters! 

So while Banette doesn't seem like much at first, his Ability - like Exeggutors - depends on the meta. Right now, there are a lot of Tools floating around that are very beneficial, and having Banette around could cause a lot of decks to cringe a bit over what he does. Sure, it's not stopping them from drawing cards or from playing out most of their hand anyway, but it is stopping a key element in a lot of decks, and that's something worth at least taking a look at. 

After all, we've seen some powerful Locking decks recently. Why not have another tool to the pile? 

Oh right. Babette's concealing them. 


Standard: 2.5/5 (while on his own he's very weak, he removes a very big part of what the current meta is built around. Just be careful cause his Ability affects your Tools too) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (more Tools, so more use!) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (the only Tools in the set are the Spirit Link cards, which are useless unless you've got the other pieces together, and Healing Scarf, which will probably show up more, but is it worth running Banette against one Tool?...probably) 

Arora Notealus: Seriously though, remember when I said you shouldn't burn your old cards? It's basically the story behind Banette - he was originally a plush doll that was thrown away. He's effectively Lotso from Toy Story 3, only instead of running a day care center, he prefers cursing and torturing people forever. So if you don't want your cards appearing in your dreams cursing as to why you burned them all... 

Next Time: Banette drops the Ability in favor of something...different


Our next to last card for this week is Banette (XY: Roaring Skies 31/108); can you guess what we’ll be looking at tomorrow? 

As a Psychic-Type, Banette will enjoy some great support like Dimension Valley and some solid support like Mystery Energy; it isn’t as impressive as say being a Fighting-Type but its good.  You’ll be able to exploit Weakness against some Fighting-Types and (other) Psychic-Types while most Darkness-Types and Metal-Types; good thing Weakness is far more detrimental than Resistance is beneficial, so I’d say those either balance out or even come out in a Psychic-Types favor.  So like its support, being a Psychic-Type is solid is good.  Being a Stage 1 is not, but it isn’t as painful to get into play as most other non-Basic Pokémon; not as fast or space efficient as Basics but still fairly reasonable to get into play.  The HP is not reasonable; just 80.  While it is nice that Level Ball can search it out (especially if we get a reprint in our next set like Japan did in its equivalent set), it means Banette is pretty likely a OHKO; you’re only going to get lucky and avoid it due to an opponent’s incomplete set-up or similar fortune.  Darkness Weakness makes it even less likely, even something like Yveltal (XY 78/146; XY Black Star Promo XY06) just needs a Muscle Band for its first attack (Oblivion Wing) to seal the deal.  You do get Fighting Resistance though, slightly improving your odds and we finish this section off with a single Energy Retreat Cost; one off of a perfect free Retreat Cost and usually easy to pay and recover from paying. 

Banette has one Ability (Tool Concealment) and one attack (Psyshot).  Tool Concealment negates the effects of Tool cards… but they are still considered to be there, so an effect like Garbotoxin on Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) is still going to function if your opponent attaches a Pokémon Tool, which in turn would then turn off Tool Concealment.  If you encounter Trubbish (BW: Plasma Storm 65/135), it too will still be able to count all Tools in play, they just won’t grant their usual benefits.  So what actually does get affected?  I think everything else; Muscle Band provides no damage bonus, Hard Charm no damage resistance, Float Stone does nothing to the Retreat Cost… and what I’ve seen hyped quite a bit, Spirit Link cards won’t allow a player to avoid ending their turn from Mega Evolution.  For some decks, that is incredibly painful.  For others, it is a setback but far from fatal.  Psyshot requires [PCC] and simply does 60 damage - a good 30 points below where it would be especially useful, but better than nothing.  It tells us that this is a Pokémon meant to sit on your Bench, not swing away in your active slot. 

So what other cards go with it?  Well there is just a single Shuppet (XY: Roaring Skies 30/108).  It is a Basic, Psychic-Type with 60 HP, Darkness Weakness, Fighting Resistance, a single Energy Retreat Cost, no Ability or Ancient Trait and just a single attack (Bleh) for [P] that discards a Special Energy attached to one of your opponent’s.  The designers have a great sense of humor; an attack called “Bleh” is actually useful; I wouldn’t slap this into just any deck but Bleh discards any of your opponent’s Pokémon the way it is worded and now that we’ve lost Lysandre’s Trump Card, getting Special Energy back is difficult.  It may even help Shuppet survive long enough to Evolve should you nail something important to the opponent’s attacker(s).  Quite a nice surprise. 

The other relevant card is tomorrow’s CotD, Banette (XY: Roaring Skies 32/108), and that link won’t work until after the review actually goes up.  It has 10 more HP than today’s version and instead of sporting an Ability and one attack, instead it has an Ancient Trait and two attacks.  The former is “Δ Evolution”, allowing you to immediately (even on the first turn of the game!) Evolve your Shuppet into this particular Banette.  The latter two are “Evolution Jammer” and “Curse Deeply”, for [P] and [PC], respectively.  Evolution Jammer appropriately enough prevents your opponent from Evolving their Pokémon from hand (so something like Evosoda or Wally would still work).  Curse Deeply just puts five damage counters on your opponent’s Active Pokémon.  We’ll go into this card more tomorrow, but the two can indeed work together though I’m not sure how major stopping your opponent’s Evolutions and all Pokémon Tools are going to be; such a strategy wouldn’t even be able to use Muscle Band to bump up its damage output and plenty of decks are just fine without the capacity to Evolve from hand, either having no Evolutions or using an alternative method of getting them into play. 

So what kind of deck does Banette (XY: Roaring Skies 31/108) work in?  Actually when you think about it, it’s easier to run than a Bench-sitter like Garbodor, which is a Stage 1 that needs a Pokémon Tool attached to it for its Ability to trigger.  If you’re using this Banette you’re also going to have more space since you shouldn’t bother with Pokémon Tools (unless Banette is being run as a very specific counter that you won’t use most of the time).  You won’t have to worry about discarding Pokémon Tools from your own cards either since we just established you’re probably not running any of your own and your opponent’s Pokémon Tool F cards won’t affect your own Pokémon-EX.  Until Garbodor leaves the format, though, you’ll either have to accept it trumping Tool Concealment with Garbotoxin or run something else like Startling Megaphone or Xerosic to discard its Tool to reactivate your own Ability.  In fact, until Garbodor is gone it might be better to handle Tools with more copies of those cards; the main exception being Rayquaza Spirit Link due to M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108) also having Δ Evolution, enabling it to get going before you could even Wally a Banette into play. 

So for Standard play, this is an interesting option but not something with a really obvious deck waiting for it.  In Expanded it fairs just a bit better because of Level Ball.  Unlike a lot of other cards, this isn’t a great pull for Limited.  It has its uses though - there is a Special Energy in the set that Shuppet can discard some Pokémon Tools, but most of the latter are Spirit Link cards and as such unlikely to really matter (think of all it would take for them to prove relevant in a match).  The Weakness should only matter if you’re luck is horrible (only two Darkness-Types in the set and they aren’t the kind of cards you build decks around), and unfortunately the Resistance is almost as unlikely to matter because there are only four Fighting-Types (three of them Basics) in this set.  The fact that there is another Banette you might pull and so you might be able to get a split Evolution line helps keep this a plausible thing to run. 


Standard: 2.15/5 

Expanded: 2.25/5 

Limited: 2.5/5 

Summary: Banette is interesting; unlike some of the cards we’ve been dealing with or will be dealing with in revealed future cards, we’ve got an Ability that works while on the Bench and neutralizes something, but instead of being one of the three major kinds (Pokémon, Trainer, Energy) or one of their subclassifications (like Items), it is a sub-subclassification and affects both players equally (disregarding deck builds).  This card has potential but right now, it’s well hidden.  Another card to casually pick up and play, with an eye toward more serious usage.

Emma Starr

Ah, Banette, one of my favorite Megas to use in the games. Unfortunately, there has yet to be a Mega Banette card made, so we’ll have to do with a normal Banette instead. An indeed normal, very average Banette. With 80 HP and being a Stage 1, you already know it won’t survive too long. So, why would someone consider using this Banette? Well, most likely for its ability.

Tool Concealment makes every Tool card attached to a Pokémon do nothing. While this obviously isn’t good if you play a bunch of Tool cards for boosting your own Pokémon, it does shut down any Tools your opponent may try to use as well. Most optimally, it will also let you shut down your opponent’s Team Flare Gear that they may have attached to your Pokémon. So, for that safeguard alone, it could be worth having a Banette just to sit in your bench for insurance against those. With Sky Field, even having a Pokémon just take up bench space shouldn’t hurt as much. Just be aware that Pokémon like this, of course, can be easy Lysandre bait.

Oh, right, Banette can also do the vanilla Psyshot, which does 60 for a Psychic and Two Colorless. That’s literally all I can say about that; a last resort-ish, expensive attack that’s basically just there so Banette can have an attack. :P

Standard: 1.8/5 (standard bench-sitter ability-mon, but useful enough that you’ll actually want to have one handy. But be aware, it is a Stage 1…)

Expanded: 1.8/5

Limited: 1/5 (this set contains no Tool cards whatsoever!)

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