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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- XY BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
January 22, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.85
Expanded: 3.50
Limited: 4.38

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

Back to the main COTD Page


And finally, wrapping up the week, we've got...a Stage 2? In Gallade? Well now, isn't that a surprise! It's like I was talking about Xerneas yesterday with the idea of talking about Stage 2s like Gallade today! 

...I mean, I wasn't, but still! 

Gallade here actually has a lot of advantages, and just thinking about them all makes me think of the potential for a deck to run some crazy combination of Simis, Parasect, Gallade, M Mewtwo-EX, and Xerneas all together! It would probably be a congealed mess, but given that they have a lot of Colorless costs between them, they really could fit in just about anywhere. 

...okay, I probably wouldn't play Parasect and the Simis, that'd make the deck too clunky. 

But just look at Gallade's Sensitive Blade! It's a 2-for-60 strike that can deal an additional 70 damage if you played a Supporter card this turn. It's kinda like Sceptile-EX's Unseen Claw attack with a couple minor tweaks, the biggest of which would probably be the removal of any Colorful Energy - meaning Gallade is actually technically splashable in any deck! And if you're worried about clogging up the line with a Stage 2 line-up, also note that Gallade is Fighting type and can therefore be brought out again from the discard pile via Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick! 

On top of all of that, Gallade also has the benefit of an Ability called Premonition, which allows the player to, once per turn, look at and rearrange the top 5 cards of their deck in any way they'd like! This is something I can imagine comboing very easily with Gallade's Sensitive Blade - find a Supporter, put it on top, draw it on your next turn, and use Sensitive Blade after you've played it AND used Premonition again to put another Supporter on top! 

Now if you're worried about clogging your drawing power with Supporters, don't worry - we've got a wide variety that will make things easy! Sycamore is always a helpful option, but you could also be running the aforementioned Maxie's too, or maybe you're letting Skyla do her thing! On top of that, we've got cards like Judge, Hex Maniac, Lysandre, Xerosic - you name it, there's a Supporter to run in just about every deck! 

Even Steven could, in theory, work well with Gallade! And he's not even that good! 

So whether it's making old cards playable or just giving more incentive to play the good ol' staples, Gallade can be a reasonable force to reckon with! 


Standard: 3.5/5 (an Ability to rearrange cards so you get what you need alongside an attack that can get stronger based off of the best cards in the game? yes please!) 

Expanded: 3/5 (the inclusion of cards like N though make it a little more difficult for Premonition to get pulled off) 

Limited: 4/5 (and naturally, getting all the stars to align would make him great here, though Premonition on its own isn't a bad idea either) 

Arora Notealus: But seriously...don't play Steven. 

Weekend Thought: Do you see the potential of this week's cards? I know some of the earlier stuff was a bit "meh," but they've all go their own prospects, don't you think? Or maybe some of them are just outright terrible. What're your thoughts on this week's cards?


We finish the week with Gallade (XY: BREAKthrough 84/162)!  This is a Fighting-Type, which you know I think highly of thanks to my frequent praise for it.  Most Colorless-Types and nearly all Darkness-Types and Lightning-Types are Fighting Weak, building in a lot of advantage.  Fighting Resistance is one of the most common forms but to keep things in perspective, “No Resistance” is by far the most common and -20 damage will only matter in borderline cases.  There are a few anti-Fighting-Type effects but they seem to be limited to attacks on certain Pokémon and either the Pokémon, the attack or both aren’t particularly good.  Fighting-Type support is amazing: Strong Energy may be the best of the Type-specific Special Energy cards, Korrina and Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick provide two different Type specific Supporters, Fighting Stadium is a good, solid Stadium that provides yet another way to boost damage done and they also have access to Focus Sash to make it highly likely a Fighting-Type will tank a hit regardless of the damage done.  There are many strong Fighting-Type Pokémon; though nothing on par with - pardon the term - monsters like Yveltal-EX there are still some great attackers whether they are the focus of the deck or a back-up.  This is a simple a wonderful start for Gallade. 

Gallade is a Stage 2 Pokémon which is not so wonderful; while I believe the TCG should be balanced so that fully Evolved Pokémon are on the same level with each other, with lower Stages designed to contribute to the value of playing the final Stages so that the entire line is worth the effort of running, combined with fully Evolved Basic Pokémon (and Evolutions for that matter) shouldn’t be able to rush into play and start offering any serious offense the first few turns of the game but I’m already off in the weeds.  If you wish to manually Evolve Gallade you’ll have to start with a Ralts and then either use a Kirlia or a Rare Candy, the former then requiring yet another turn before Gallade can hit the field.  As a Fighting-Type you gain a third alternative: sending Gallade to the discard and getting your hand down to only Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick so you can play it and Bench said Gallade from the discard pile.  Gallade enjoys 150 HP, allowing it to survive moderate blows; it will take a big hit to down it in one shot without exploiting Weakness.  Said Weakness is to the Psychic-Type and it is dangerous; you’ve got Night March, various Mewtwo-EX and M Mewtwo-EX floating around, Mew-EX, and several other attackers that you might not expect that will find a OHKO much easier, sometimes where it wouldn’t have been possible without Weakness.  Lack of Resistance is typical as is the Retreat Cost of [CC]; nothing to do about the former, but the latter is low enough that manually retreating is viable, but the cost is still high enough you’ll prefer to avoid it when you can.

Gallade lacks an Ancient Trait (no surprise, those seem to be done) but enjoys an Ability (Premonition) and an attack (Sensitive Blade).  The former is basically a free Pokédex once per turn per copy of Premonition, though using more than one Premonition is merely there for if you change your mind unless you do something to your deck between uses.  As there are many cards that care about the top few cards of your deck (including some forms of draw power), this goes from being a good effect that improves your draw for the next turn to a powerful play that can help you avoid wasting certain resources while vastly improving the yield of others.  Even if you’ve got five cards you just don’t need at the moment on top of your deck, at least with Premonition you’ll know it.  Sensitive Blade requires [CC], allowing a single Double Colorless Energy to easily fuel it, which means Gallade can quite well even totally off-Type.  The attack does 60, which isn’t bad for two Energy, but it includes an effect that states the attack does 60+70 (so 130 total) if you played a Supporter this turn.  As you will often want to (if not need to) play a Supporter each turn, this is less a damage bonus and more an occasional damage penalty, for those times when you actually can’t or don’t want to play a Supporter.  The majority of the time you’re enjoying 130 damage for just two Energy.  The two effects have a surprising amount of synergy that may not be obvious at first; Premonition can help ensure you’ve got a Supporter for the next turn and both are “generically beneficial” which means Gallade can be splashed into many, many decks. 

I’m telling you now you can skip this paragraph and the four after it unless you’re really curious or bored.  Still here?  Then we’ll run through the options we have for Ralts, Kirlia, Gardevoir and Gallade (yup, split Evolution line!).  We have six versions of Ralts released as seven different cards: BW: Next Destinies 55/99, BW: Plasma Storm 59/135, BW: Legendary Treasures 59/113 and BW: Legendary Treasures RC8/RC25 are Expanded only while XY: Ancient Origins 52/98 (reprinted with new art as XY: BREAKthrough 100/162) and XY: BREAKthrough 68/162 are available in Expanded or Standard.  We have six Kirlia as well: BW: Next Destinies 56/99, BW: Plasma Storm 60/135, BW: Legendary Treasures 60/113 and BW: Legendary Treasures RC9/RC25 are again Expanded only while XY: Ancient Origins 53/98 and XY: BREAKthrough 69/162 are available in both Expanded and Standard.  Only four Gardevoir and two are the same: BW: Next Destinies 57/99 (reprinted with new art as BW: Dark Explorers 109/108), BW: Legendary Treasures RC10/RC25 are all only available in Expanded while XY: Ancient Origins 54/98 is available for both Constructed Formats.  There are only two other options for Gallade itself and both are Expanded only: BW: Plasma Storm 61/135 and BW: Legendary Treasures 81/113. 

The Ralts are all Basic Pokémon with Retreat Cost [C] and without Ancient Trait or Ability.  BW: Next Destinies 55/99, BW: Plasma Storm 59/135, BW: Legendary Treasures 59/113 and XY: BREAKthrough 68/162 are Psychic-Types with 60 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance. BW: Next Destinies 55/99 has two attacks, hitting for 10 at a cost of [P] with “Psyshot” or hitting for 20 with “Smack” at a cost of [CC].  BW: Plasma Storm 59/135 has just one attack (Psybolt) that requires a coin flip: “heads” Paralyze the opponent while “tails” means the attack does nothing.  BW: Legendary Treasures 59/113 also has a single attack, this time “Mind Bend” for [PC], which does 10 damage and has you flip a coin; “heads” means the opponent’s Active is also Confused while “tails” means just the flat 10 damage.  XY: BREAKthrough 68/162 goes back to having two attacks and indeed one of them is a repeat: it has “Nap” for [P] which heals 30 damage from itself and brings “Smack” back, still doing 20 for [CC].  BW: Legendary Treasures RC9/RC25 is quite aesthetically pleasing, which is good as it is part of the “Radiant Collection” subset that was a part of BW: Legendary Treasures.  What isn’t so good is that it only has 40 HP.  Its two attacks are “Hypnotic Gaze” for [P] (which leaves the opponent’s Active Asleep) and “Pound” for [PC], which hits for 20 damage.   XY: Ancient Origins 52/98 shakes things up by being a Fairy-Type, with 60 HP, Metal Weakness, Darkness Resistance and two attacks: for [C] it can use “Mumble” to hit for 10 and for [YC] it can use “Magical Shot” to hit for 20.  After all of that… none of these are particularly good.  Go with what you like but avoid the 40 HP version. 

All Kirlia have a Retreat Cost of [C] and none have either Ancient Trait nor Ability.  All except BW: Legendary Treasures RC9/RC25 have 80 HP (it has only 70) and all except XY: Ancient Origins 53/98 are Psychic-Types with Psychic Weakness and no Resistance (XY: Ancient Origins 53/98 is a Fairy-Type with Metal Weakness and Darkness Resistance).  BW: Next Destinies 56/99 can use “Smack” for [CC] to hit for 20 damage (sensing a pattern here) or for [PCC] it can use Psychic to do 40 damage plus 10 more for each Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon.  BW: Plasma Storm 60/135 has a single attack - Psy Bolt - for [P] and it does 20 damage and (on a “heads”) Paralyzes the opponent’s Active (“tails” still does the 20 damage).  BW: Legendary Treasures 60/113 brings back “Mind Bend”, still priced at [PC] and still causing Confusion with a successful coin flip, but this time doing 20 damage (damage does not depend on coin flip).  For [PCC] it can use “Spinning Attack” to hit for 40 damage.  BW: Legendary Treasures RC9/RC25 can use “Tiptoe” for [P], which allows you to draw a card for each [P] Energy attached to it while for [PC] it can use “Double Slap” to flip two coins, good for 20 damage per “heads”.  XY: Ancient Origins 53/98 can use “Calm Mind” for [C] to heal 30 damage from itself or “Magical Shot” for [YCC] to hit for 50.  XY: BREAKthrough 69/162 can use “Beckon” to add a Supporter from your discard pile to hand at a cost of [P] while for [CC] it can use “Quick Turn” to flip two coins good for 30 damage per “heads”.  It is also my recommendation, though should only attack when desperate. 

Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 55/99) has actually been reviewed here.  That nearly four year old review was horribly optimistic.  A Psychic-Type Stage 2 with 110 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance and Retreat Cost [CC], it proved too slow and fragile even as a Bench-sitter.  Its Ability is “Psychic Mirage”, which causes all basic Psychic Energy attached to your Psychic Pokémon to provide [P] instead of [PP] and that is actually pretty good, but it wasn’t good enough.  Its “Mind Shock” attack is poor even factoring in Psychic Mirage and terrible without it, as it costs [PPCC] to hit for 60 damage while ignoring Weakness and Resistance.  Gardevoir (BW: Legendary Treasures RC10/RC25 surprisingly also received a review when it released.  It has 10 more HP and a Retreat Cost of only [C] but with the same Weakness and (lack of) Resistance.  No Ability this time just two attacks: “Psybeam” for [PC], hitting for 40 damage and giving you a coin flip to inflict Paralysis and “Eternal Radiance” for [PP] which allowed you to move all damage counters from itself to the Defending Pokémon, with the catch that you couldn’t use it again the next turn.  That restriction didn’t matter because the card just wasn’t good enough to bother with anyway. 

Gardevoir (XY: Ancient Origins 54/98) is a Fairy-Type Stage 2 with 130 HP, Metal Weakness, Darkness Resistance, a Retreat Cost of [CC], an Ability and a single attack.  The former is “Bright Heal” and once per turn per copy of Bright Heal, you may heal 20 damage from each of your Pokémon.  For [CCC] it can use “Telekinesis” to hit one of your opponent’s Pokémon for 50 damage (your choice which).  This version didn’t manage a review.  Gallade (BW: Plasma Storm 61/135) is a Psychic-Type Stage 2 with 140 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC] and two attacks: Powerful Storm for [CC], which does 20 damage times the amount of Energy attached to all of your Pokémon and “Powerful Lunge” for [PPC] which does 80 damage and forces your opponent to switch their Active with one of their Benched Pokémon (they get to pick which).  It was reviewed here and showed a little potential, but never was quite good enough.  Gallade (BW: Legendary Treasures 81/113) is a Stage 2 Fighting-Type that also has 140 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC] and two attacks.  For [F] it can use “Nerve Shot” to hit for 30 damage and it lets you flip a coin to try for Paralysis, while for [FCC] it can use “Pandemonium Blade” to hit for 60 damage, plus 20 more for each of your Benched Pokémon with a damage counter on it.  It was reviewed her; even with all the new support since then it doesn’t seem worth it.  None of these are worth working into a deck with today’s card, but if you insist on building a deck involving any of the other Gallade or Gardevoir, you probably should make a little room for today’s Gallade. 

The previous five paragraphs hardly matter, hence why I made it clear you could skip them: you should be putting Gallade into play via Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick.  This isn’t just me predicting what works; the evidence is already out there and yes, Gallade has quickly become a common sight in decks.  Many of the cards you’d run to help control your hand size (while still setting up at least a little) to set up for using Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick just so happen to benefit from Premonition.  Gallade is often not the main attacker, but it is a Bench-sitter that double as the secondary attacker.  Sometimes Gallade competes with Octillery (XY: BREAKthrough 33/162) as a Bench-sitter sometimes players successfully combine them so that when you’re getting less than the full five cards off of “Abyssal Hand” you can improve its quality with Premonition.  Sometimes it will be the main, though: just check out the City Championship results on The Charizard Lounge.  I almost didn’t because I knew a simple Ctrl+F search would get too many hits due to its supporting nature but sure enough, one top four finish in Expanded, six more in Standard plus two second place and four first place finishes for decks that apparently focused on Gallade.  Even though you won’t get the damage boost all that often and it will have to Evolve manually, Gallade is a great pull (and play) for Limited well! 


Standard: 4.25/5 

Expanded: 4/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Summary: Gallade is a very impressive card; while built as a supporting Bench-sitter it packs a strong punch and has solid HP.  Thanks to Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick and Double Colorless Energy, you can never be sure you it won’t pop up.  In a few it is vital because on top of everything else it helps with Type matching.

I’m embarrassed this card didn’t make our Top 10 list for XY: BREAKthrough.  I sold it short when I glanced at it and was proven very wrong.  Due to the raw competition, being released towards the end of the year and fact it got a little representation anyway thanks to Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick making the list, I am only a little uncomfortable Gallade didn’t make our Top 10 cards of 2015 list.  At least Ness had it as one of his Honorable Mentions.

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