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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Steam Siege Top 10

Captivating Poké Puff
- Steam Siege

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 24, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary


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

Back to the main COTD Page


It's a delicious fluffy treat that gives you some good to eat! It's the Captivating Poke Puff! 

This card is an...interesting idea to say the least. You put it down, and your opponent reveals their hand. Then they throw down any Basic Pokemon they were holding onto on their Bench. 


Alright, assuming they don't have a full Bench, why wouldn't they throw down Basic Pokemon in their hand? Well usually it'd be to save them for plays or to avoid an easy KO from something getting Lysandre'd. Better yet, it'd be to avoid those sniping attacks that could KO something easy - so the first reason to play this is to get that one target they're holding back and then KNOCK IT OUT!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA- 

That's really about it. That's all I can think of. I thought that maybe based on the wording it could keep cards like Shaymin-EX from activating, but no, it wouldn't. It's just gonna make them work faster. So ya know, great. Maybe against Night March, but soon that's not even going to be a deck type with rotation. And against Pokemon-EX decks? Please! If anything, it's only other use is late in the game to, again, put something down your opponent doesn't want to put down and get the easy KO. 

So Captivating Poke Puff: it's got merit, so keep an eye out for that! 


Standard: 2.5/5 (I'm in the middle with this card cause I see it's got GREAT usage) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (but then I also think of those times where those misplays give your opponent a bigger advantage) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (...would...would giving your opponent more Bench-sitters be good or bad here?!) 

Arora Notealus: It's deliciously sweet and easy to eat! Poke Puff! 

Next Time: And now for one of our runner-ups in the Top 10-oh wait, you thought that's what those earlier cards were? Psh, nah!


Captivating Poké Puff (XY: Steam Siege 99/114) is our subject for today, and it is deceptively simple.  This is a Trainer, specifically an Item, and its effect allows you to see your opponent’s hand, then put as many Basic Pokémon as you want from there onto your opponent’s Bench… provided there is room for them.  At a glance this might seem quite useless; you’re just helping your opponent fill his or her Bench from hand.  Of course, almost as quickly you realize “Wait, unless I just made them draw, any Basic Pokémon he or she has not yet played must be in hand for a reason.”  This is the point where the wheels in my (and hopefully your) head begin to turn. 

The two chief uses for this card are clogging your opponent’s Bench with cards he or she would rather not go there and/or setting up an easy KO.  The use that would be highly specialized except so many decks run multiple copies of Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108), is that coming-into-play Abilities are not triggered.  Early on we had a ruling from Japan stating just the opposite, but as of the Pre-Releases the ruling had been reversed.  For the record even if it flip flops again, we come back to the “Your opponent probably kept it in hand for a reason.” and so even if “Set Up” activated, forcing it at the wrong time is better than leaving it alone.  Forcing certain counters like Jirachi (XY: Black Star Promos XY67), forcing them to the field ahead of schedule can make them vulnerable, and of course counters that your opponent doesn’t need this match; for example that same Jirachi when the other player isn’t running any Special Energy cards.  Attackers that feed of your opponent’s Bench, like Zoroark (XY: BREAKthrough 91/162), as well as Trainers like Colress (still good in Expanded) or Lass’s Special (not an endorsement of that combo) may also benefit.  So would spread decks, especially the ones that manipulate damage counters or produce true spread that hits everything your opponent has in play.  Night March probably will Bench the Basics wanted and discard the rest before you can use Captivating Poké Puff, but if they are even a bit slow, stick them with a Bench full of weak Basics while also leaving them no room to use Shaymin-EX. 

Besides the two obvious issues of deck space and Item lock, the final thing hurting this card is that sometimes you won’t find anything you want to Bench.  Of particular note is that players are often trying to Bench all their Shaymin-EX (or at least two of them) first turn for a massive opening set up.  Still you will be able to see your opponent’s hand, so basically at its worst it is a Hand Scope.  Try this out in Standard and Expanded play, and definitely use it in Limited; your opponent might be forced to play a bunch of “spare” Evolving Basics that can’t actually Evolve (like someone running a 3-1 line).  Even if your opponent fills his or her Bench completely Hand Scope would be an almost auto inclusion were it legal, so Captivating Poké Puff is pretty much a must run. 


Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3.35/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: An interesting bit of control/disruption, Captivating Poké Puff is one of those cards you leave out because it isn’t the optimal pick, as opposed to not being a useful card.  It reminds me a bit of Target Whistle.  No T8 lists from the 2016 World Championships included it, which does leave me a bit concern, but then against Target Whistle took a while to find its niche. 

This is the last of the cards that were on my (lost) Top 15 list; tomorrow we start with the actual two runner ups from the list!

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