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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Shaymin EX
- XY148 Promo

Date Reviewed:
Sep. 22, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.38
Expanded: 2.13
Limited: N/A

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

Back to the main COTD Page


As we come back from our break, we have only two reviews this week.  First up is Shaymin-EX (XY: Black Star Promos XY148).  As a Pokémon-EX, this card is worth an extra Prize when KO’d, will be vulnerable to anti-Pokémon-EX effects, and is excluded from certain beneficial effects.  The potential payoff is improved stats and effects, but it does not always happen.  Shaymin-EX is a Basic, which is the best stage as they require the least effort to get into play, are the fastest, the rules and mechanics often favor them, and if that wasn’t enough Basic Pokémon have some great Type specific support like (but not limited to) Fighting Fury Belt.  Sure there are some anti-Basic cards and they do matter to Shaymin-EX, but overall the pros outweigh the cons.  Shaymin-EX is a Grass Type, which means it can hit many Water Types and some Fighting Types for double damage, while nothing is Resistant.  The Grass Type has a few nifty tricks but peeking ahead, about the only thing potentially useful to Shaymin-EX is Revitalizer.  Shaymin-EX has 110 HP, which is 40 above the most recent “regular” versions of Shaymin, XY: Black Star Promos XY115 and before that, BW: Boundaries Crossed 10/149.  This isn’t even high enough to reliably survive a hit outside of an opponent with bad set up or that isn’t focused on damage in the first place.  This is very dangerous due to being worth two Prizes; Shaymin-EX becomes a prime target.  Fire Types enjoy double damage, which mostly means scoring a OHKO with less effort than would normally be required.  Resistance is absent entirely so we’ll move onto the Retreat Cost of [CC], which is low enough you can probably pay but high enough you really shouldn’t. 

Shaymin-EX has the Ability “Aroma of Gratitude”, which may be used once per turn to heal 20 damage from each of your Benched Pokémon.  With the right combo this could prove useful, but it does need a combo: most of the time it is your Active getting hammered on and your opponent will be going for OHKOs when possible.  You need something that can survive and a deck that can get it to the Bench while maintaining pressure on the opponent.  You also would like a way to protect Shaymin-EX as it is just a Lysandre away from being forced Active for an easy KO.  Its attack is “Floral Gain” which requires [GCC] and does 60 damage while healing 20 damage and removing all Special Conditions from itself.  This is about 30 points of damage below where it could be useful for a much more robust Pokémon, and it seems unlikely between the HP and the Ability that this will survive being Active to attack to have damage so you could heal it.  Unless of course you’re doing the damage yourself.  Even then, it just screams “filler attack”.  Aroma of Gratitude isn’t good but it is far better than the attack. 

Shaymin-EX (BW: Next Destinies 5/99, 94/99; BW: Legendary Treasures RC21/RC25) and Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) are to different versions of Shaymin-EX also competing for deck space.  Both are Basic Pokémon-EX with 110 HP.  BW: Next Destinies 5/99 and its reprints are Grass Types with Fire Weakness, Fighting Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], and two attacks.  The first attack is “Synthesis” for [G] which allows you to search your deck for a [G] Energy and attach it to one of your Pokémon.  Spending an Energy and to get another of that same Energy only works if the whole shebang comes attached to something likely to survive the process and you’re building up another attack worth the delay.  At least it can attach to itself or another Pokémon.  For [GC] it can use “Revenge Blast” to do 30 damage plus 30 more for each Prize your opponent has taken.  So the attack can do 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, or 180 damage.  Past that, your opponent has taken enough Prizes to win.  Ignoring for a moment the rest of this Shaymin-EX, this kind of attack takes a while to really get impressive, but is decent after at least one Prize has been taken.  Now remember what Shaymin-EX is like; it has to be a glass cannon or a weak opener, and to hit hard enough you need to have three or less Prizes remaining.  At two or less, if you’re not attacking for the win, your opponent probably takes Shaymin-EX down in one and you lose.  We reviewed this Shaymin-EX here as part of our 10th place finisher for our Top 10 Picks for BW: Next Destinies and here without me.  Simply put I overrated it and so did some of my fellow reviewers. 

Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108; 106/108) is a Colorless Type with Lightning Weakness, Fighting Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], an Ability, and an attack.  The Ability is “Set Up” which triggers when you Bench Shaymin-EX from hand (not including pre-game setup, somewhat ironically).  Set Up (the Ability) allows you to draw until you have six cards in hand.  This card speed up an already blisteringly fast format.  The attack is “Sky Return” which does 30 for [CC] and bounces Shaymin-EX to your hand.  Not brilliant on its own but great when comboed with Double Colorless Energy and using the Ability again.  We reviewed this card here and here; both times it was taking the number one spot on a Top 10 lists (for the set and for the year, respectively).  There is a reason this card is so pricey, with a single copy running a good $60 to $80 USD: it is practically a deck staple with many decks requiring two or three copies for an optimal build. 

So today’s Shaymin-EX means one less space for the XY: Roaring Skies version.  Even if you haven’t maxed out our Set Up Pokémon, having yet another 110 HP Pokémon-EX is a serious drawback and Shaymin-EX (XY: Black Star Promos XY148) is no where near good enough to compensate.  In fact even without the other two Shaymin-EX, it would probably be binder fodder.  Skip it unless you have a deck that can move damage counters around or perhaps places damage counters on your own Benched Pokémon (self inflicted Bench damage can be blocked by multiple cards).  This also assumes that other healing effects aren’t enough and I seriously struggle to think of where they would be insufficient.  It isn’t legal for Limited play, where it just barely could have been decent, otherwise. 


Standard: 1.25/5 

Expanded: 1.25/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary: Another forgettable promo, the best thing about Shaymin-EX (XY: Black Star Promos XY148) is the adorable artwork.  Unless you’re a scammer, then it might be tricking people into overpaying because they don’t realize it isn’t Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 160/108).  Don’t be that person!

Zach Carmichael

This will be my first post as a content writer for Pojo, and I am ecstatic to see what lies ahead! Today’s card is Shaymin-EX. Released only in the Generations Elite Trainer Box, at one point it was highly sought after and going for quite a bit online, however, it seems the green hedgehog has dropped in price considerably as the World Championships have drawn to a close and the new Primal Clash-on format having begun. In short, Shaymin-EX is quite useful in the Expanded Format thanks to its immediate healing effects to counter certain deck archetypes, but in Standard the card is lackluster, at least for the time being. 

First, I should note that the Pokémon’s “Floral Gain” attack is irrelevant. Often times, even the most playable Pokémon – such as Hoopa-EX for its “Scoundrel Ring” Ability – have attacks that will never be used. This card is no exception. Healing 20 damage and removing all Special Conditions might seem decent, but the relatively high attack cost and meager 60 damage is disappointing, especially given that it has low HP and gives up two Prize Cards. What makes the card somewhat playable is its “Aroma of Gratitude” Ability, which allows you to heal 20 damage from each of your Benched Basic Pokémon once per turn. Ignore the fact that its name is Shaymin-EX or the Grass typing – let’s instead focus solely on the Ability. Immediately the type of deck that I can find this useful in is one that heals to deny KOs. Perhaps the biggest deck archetype that does this well is “Water Box.” Focusing on Water-type attackers like Seismitoad-EX and Regice, its goal is to provide constant disruption and denial through such powerful strategies as Item lock and preventing damage from Pokémon-EX and Evolutions alike. More specifically, the deck often plays 4 Rough Seas to constantly heal damage, while Manaphy-EX lets you retreat freely between your attackers, forcing your opponent to use Lysandre the following turn if they don’t want the damage to be offset through healing.  

Where does Shaymin-EX fit into this? Prior to the recent rotation, Trevenant was a huge threat to most players due to its powerful “Forest’s Curse” Ability, which prevents your opponent from playing Item cards. Moreover, Trevenant BREAK’s “Silent Fear” attack places 3 damage counters on all of your opponent’s Pokémon. Many players at this past World Championships opted to include Shaymin-EX as a one-of simply to negate this effect. While being locked from playing Item cards may seem scary, it isn’t quite as bad when your opponent is barely putting damage on your board. The “Water Box” deck really benefits from Shaymin-EX, as its Ability can combine with Rough Seas to heal a whopping 50 damage a turn from all of your Benched Basics, essentially making the Trevenant match-up virtually an auto-win. This combo can also be deadly against Greninja BREAK decks, as reducing damage from the constant barrage of “Giant Water Shuriken” Abilities can make this match-up highly favorable as well.   

While all of this might sound great, keep in mind that Standard is a different scenario entirely. With it now being Primal Clash-on, we lose a lot of cards that I mentioned above. Trevenant decks are no longer viable. Seismitoad-EX is gone. (Finally!) The only useful situation I can see Shaymin-EX being used in is against Greninja BREAK, but that deck seems to be inherently weaker now, too, due to the rise of Vespiquen and Garbodor variants. Lastly, let’s not forget that “Aroma of Grace” is indeed an Ability, so it can easily be shut off not just by Garbodor, but also Hex Maniac, a card that now standard in most competitive decks. For these reasons, I don’t see Shaymin-EX being played in Standard unless some type of damage spread deck becomes widely used.  


Standard: 1.5/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary: Shaymin-EX is a niche card that is only as good as what is being played at your local tournaments. While “Aroma of Grace” is certainly useful in a format filled with Trevenant and other decks that rely on damage spread, it doesn’t exactly have a place in today’s metagame. Collectors will probably jump on this card – it is the first Grass-type Shaymin-EX since Legendary Treasures after all – but I can’t recommend the purchase if you are a competitive player who primarily attends Standard events.

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