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Yu Yu Hakusho
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Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


 #1 - Shaymin EX

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
May 15, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.62
Expanded: 4.75
Limited: 4.93

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Shaymin-EX deserves his spot at the top of our list. "But wait," you say, "he's a Colorless Pokemon!" What, you've never seen a Colorless Pokemon top the Top 10 List before? Not to say they haven't made it to the Top 10 before - heck, there's M Rayquaza-EX right there at #6! And let's not forget Lugia-EX pretty much came out on top back with Plasma Storm, only getting beaten out by Hypno-freakin-toxic LASER!! 

So why Shaymin-EX? Last we saw him, he was a Grass-type with a decent strike in Revenge Blast. Actually, looking back, that's ALL he's ever been - a Grass-type! So now he's lost his Fire Weakness and merged with the other Flying-types to serve everyone! And let's face it, he WILL serve EVERYONE!! 

That's the thing about Colorless Pokemon - they've always been flexible! Since most of the time they don't have any specific Energy requirements, you could always tech one into your deck and make it run smoother. It's why Miltank's a good choice for Evolution decks, or like how Tornadus-EX (DEX) was a potential threat for a while. And Shaymin-EX holds up the honor of being Colorless EXTREMELY well! 

Why's that? His attack certainly isn't impressive. Sky Return's just a 2-for-30 that can return him and any cards attached to him to your hand. Okay, I guess you could add Muscle Band to that for 50 and HTLBank for 80, but that's still not phenomenal - other Pokemon can KO even without those cards, so Shaymin-EX is no attacker. But this attack is absolutely perfect for him, and that's because of his Ability, Set Up. 

Aptly-named, the Ability helps you out with Shaymin-EX. All you do is play him from your hand onto your Bench, and then you can draw until you've got 6 cards in hand. That's right, this is a DRAW Ability, a rarely-seen and invaluable part of any deck. Sycaper has been the standard for drawing since their release, but Shaymin-EX has just upped the ante - imagine playing out your hand, playing Sycaper, playing out more of your hand, and then playing Shaymin-EX. The draw power is real, my friends! 

Some points to note: because most of the Colorless Pokemon in this set are weak to Electric moves, and Shaymin-EX doesn't have a whole lot of HP, be very wary of using him excessively especially against such decks. But hey, when you've got him running around with M Rayquaza-EX from before - or heck, playing him alongside Seismitoad-EX to replace Slurpuff - you've got a powerful ally on your side. 


Standard: 5/5 (Pokemon-based draw power is few and far between, and Shaymin-EX displays not only the best draw power but also the best way to keep recycling and using it) 

Expanded: 5/5 (drawing is too good an advantage to go to waste, though not every deck will want Shaymin-EX around - be wary of this!) 

Limited: 5/5 (without a doubt) 

Arora Notealus: Shaymin's an interesting Pokemon from the viewpoint of being a hedgehog one minute and a scarf-wielding deer the next. It's funny that he's a legendary one too. Cute little Pokemon having all these superpowers - Mew, Jirachi, Celebi, Victini, Shaymin, it's funny! 

Weekend Thought: Do you agree with our list? What do you think should have made the Top 10? Maybe there are some cards on here you'd rather WEREN'T on the Top 10 (coughcoughDeoxyscoughcough) I know I know, you hush. 


At last we come to our top pick from the newest set and it is… Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108; 106/108)!  Was there any doubt?  Still let us run through the card for the full effect.  This is a Basic Pokémon making it easy to run, be it as a single or multiples and similarly easy to get into play.  It is a Pokémon-EX so it is worth an extra Prize when KOed, can’t use certain pieces of support and is the target of certain counter cards.  It has 110 HP; this is pretty borderline and most decks are going to have the capacity for a OHKO at the very least with a full set-up and usually with an incomplete one.  We should note that it is just over 50% higher than the last non-Pokémon-EX Shaymin card we saw, BW: Boundaries Crossed 10/149, which is proportional but less effective than what most other Pokémon get from being rendered as Pokémon-EX. 

As a Colorless-Type it can tap Colorless support both new and old… but it is one of the newest pieces - Winona - that is likely to prove most relevant.  As someone that hasn’t played the video games for a while (and never did come close to completing my Pokédex except in Pokémon Blue), I had forgotten that the Sky Forme of Shaymin in the video games was a Grass/Flying hybrid, explaining the Typing here.  The Lightning Weakness may prove relevant as exploiting Lightning Weakness is pretty valuable right now thanks to several other cards; Shaymin-EX wasn’t likely to survive anyway but now even those that don’t hit as hard can still push for a OHKO.  Fighting Resistance is pretty handy, even on this small of an HP score, as an effective 130 is more likely to last than 110, and those that hit even harder are likely to be well into “overkill” territory.  The single Energy Retreat Cost is nice and easy, both to pay and recover from and so low that anything that decreases Retreat Costs will turn it into a perfect free Retreat. 

We come to the reason why everyone was so excited about this card, its Ability “Set Up” which allows you to draw until you have six cards in hand when you Bench Shaymin-EX (excluding during set-up).  Its attack isn’t great but actually helps combo with this; Sky Return requires [CC] and hits for a decent 30 damage but more importantly returns Shaymin-EX and all cards attached to it to your hand.  This means that as long as you can spare the Energy and an attack for it, you can use Sky Return to reuse Set Up (plus any Energy or Pokémon Tools attached to it).  It does take some skill and effort to optimize Set Up for setting up, but longtime players likely already have that skill: this card is very similar to Uxie (DP: Legends Awakened 43/146), a card released about seven years ago. 

Ultra Ball becomes a natural combo partner for Shaymin-EX; unless a “turbo” deck (a deck built to be extremely fast and aggressive, even if it means recklessly burning through resources) also is built around shutting Abilities down, its going to include at least one Shaymin-EX and probably multiples.  If the deck runs enough other Colorless-Types that are easy and fast to put into play, then Winona is also an obvious partner.  The good news is that this makes us less dependent upon draw Supporters.  The bad news is that in doing so it makes the game even faster.  More than ever, things are going to quickly degenerate into who can throw more of their deck at the opponent and with Lysandre’s Trump Card there to clean up, you don’t even have to do it in a particularly efficient manner.  That means it isn’t a bad card but rather too good of a card. 

There are a few drawbacks to keep in mind; if it gets stuck in play (and especially in its most generic usage it will) then it’s a relatively easy two Prizes.  There is also the question of whether to run this or Jirachi-EX or both, and whether or not to run multiples of Shaymin-EX.  You are giving up a Bench space (likely not an issue in decks using Sky Field) and the more you run of either or both the more likely you are to open with just them.  Opening with Shaymin-EX isn’t quite as bad as with Jirachi-EX since you can attack to bounce it to hand, presumably after Benching something you hopefully get on your turn since otherwise you lose the game.  While of course Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) shuts it down, so does Silent Lab and Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119).  Item lock can actually shut this down.  How?  If your hand is full of Items you can’t play, it can easily get so big that Set Up draws little or no cards, effectively shutting off the Ability. 

For the most part though, expect to see this become the chief rival for Jirachi-EX in a lot of decks, and sometimes helping it to help you with building and maintaining your field with certain decks running it in multiples for incredible speed.  Expanded doesn’t help it out much but perhaps I’m missing some partners; the obvious concerns I have when shifting to this format are if things like Level Ball, Prism Energy etc. make a card better.  Skyarrow Bridge zeros out the Retreat Cost but that doesn’t seem like a big enough deal to grant Shaymin-EX itself any extra points.  In Limited this is a must run unless you pull another Pokémon-EX and want to use that other one to build a +39 deck.  In case someone is reading this before their morning coffee or the like, this is the worst Pokémon-EX ever to use on its own in a +39 deck; besides being small, besides not getting to use the Ability since you’d Bench it during set-up, you lose if you attack (+39 means no other Basic Pokémon, remember?)! 


Standard: 4.25/5 

Expanded: 4.25/5 

Limited: 4.9/5 

Summary: Shaymin-EX is pretty amazing and if the scores I gave seem a bit low, remember that those aren’t deck specific scores; its great in most decks and amazing in some specific ones.  I am still not completely convinced everyone should ditch their Jirachi-EX for one of these or make room for both, but I am thinking it is now going to be a standard deck design step until Jirachi-EX rotates out.  Shaymin-EX wasn’t my own number one pick but I’m not objecting.  It was my number three pick and I’m not sure if I shouldn’t have made it number one as well.

Emma Starr

And today, we have the pleasure to review Shaymin EX, with Shaymin in its ‘awesome-but-not-as-cute-as-its-first-form’ form. …Also known as it’s Sky Form. Regardless, there’s a good reason why it’s Number 1 on our list.

                When one first looks at the atrocious 110 HP, one may remember that the previous Shaymin EX had this much HP, but never became too highly of a used card. However, once you see that it’s colorless, and it’s great ability and attack, you’ll realize what’s so great about it.

                Its ability, Set Up, let’s you draw until you have 6 cards whenever you put it into play. Definitely an awesome ability! Just be sure to play as many other cards as you can within reason before putting Shaymin EX into play, to get the maximum benefit from it. It really is as great as it sounds, a nice Draw engine in the form of a Pokémon! Can’t say you see that every day!

                So does it have a perfect attack to compliment this ability? Well, Sky Return does 30-for-2 colorless, and lets you return all cards attached to it to your hand. So, as a compliment to a card you’ll probably only be playing to draw cards from, it’s a nice way to quickly get a Pokémon that normally couldn’t defend itself away from the situation, along with dealing a meager amount of damage. Conversely, if you don’t care about the damage, or drawing more cards, or Lysandre’s switching you back in, it has a handy Retreat Cost of 1, so that can be a nice alternative (or you could always just attach a Float Stone).

                So, as you can probably tell, this is a very nice card that any deck can take advantage of, giving you one of the best Draw Engines in the game, and being in the form of an ability! (Remember you can also combo this with Super Scoop Up to do some SERIOUS card drawing!)     

                Standard: 4.6/5

                Expanded: 4.9/5 (Imagine using this with Emboar or Blastoise, to get tons of Fire or Water energies in your hand. Craziness!)

                Limited: 5/5 (Draw Power = Win Power)

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