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Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 SM: Burning Shadows Cards

#1 - Guzma
- S&M:
Burning Shadows
- #BUS 115

Date Reviewed:
August 25, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.71
Expanded: 4.85
Limited: 4.95

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

Back to the main COTD Page



That's right, Guzma ended up topping out the list at #1, and looking at his effect...it's no surprise. He's basically Lysandre but better! See, Lysandre already forces a switch on your opponent to whatever you want, but you usually couldn't do anything with your own Active in the meantime. If it was affected by some effect, a Status condition, or would be easily KO'd in the next switch, Lysandre couldn't do much in those cases - he'd just be focused on getting the KO on the other side. 

Guzma's different though, cause he cares. Not only will he switch things up for your opponent, but once he's done there, he'll switch things up for you too! This opens up plays to allow you to get out your ideal attacker and/or recover your primary attacker from certain doom. And it combos well with Golisopod-GX once more - switch him into the Active slot and First Impression for a potential KO!

Lysandre's been considered one of the strongest Supporters in recent history, and Guzma looks to outdo him right off the bat. Hope you enjoy seeing Guzma's smug face for the next few years! 


Standard: 5/5 (absolutely the best of the best) 

Expanded: 5/5 (he's an improved version of one of the best!) 

Limited: 5/5 (you just...you just use him) 

Arora Notealus: Now I've got the Team Skull theme in my head, yo. 

Weekend Thought: Do you agree with our list? Think something should've been higher but not higher than Guzma? Think something should've been lower or not on the list? Think Guzma's too hyped for his own good? What decks would you rather not run Guzma in? Ooooh, now THAT'S a hard one!


Guzma (Burning Shadows, 115/147) comes into the meta out of the Burning Shadows expansion set and instantly stakes a claim as one of the best cards in the format today.  Even if Lysandre (Ancient Origins, 78/98) weren’t rotating out, Guzma would have supplanted him anyways.  The proof of that comes from last weekend’s world championship, in which only one of the top eight decks ran Lysandre.  Almost all of the decks ran two Guzma with only one deck running one copy and one deck running three.

Guzma improves upon Lysandre because in addition to allowing you to switch your opponent’s active Pokemon, it lets you switch yours as well.

“Wait,” you say, “what if I already have the Pokemon I want in the active?”  Here are my responses:

·         Play Tapu Koko (SM31).  Guzma Koko into the active and then just retreat it back.  You could also play Wishiwashi (Sun & Moon, 44/149), but at 30 HP he’s just too frail for my liking.  Plus, Garbodor (Breakpoint, 57/122) shuts him down.

·         Right now we live in an era of single energy attackers.  If you’re not running a deck that’s primary attack is a single energy attachment, you might want to think about not running that deck.

·         Guzma will actually help many Pokemon (Golisopod GX (Burning Shadows, 17/147) being the most notable) with negative side affects attached to their attacks.

·         There are still a number of item cards (Switch (Sun & Moon, 117/149) or Super Scoop Up (Burning Shadows, 124/147) for instance) that you can potentially use to get the Pokemon you want back into the active.

·         Your active Pokemon might be the one you want up there, but it might be Confused or Paralyzed by your opponent. 

And let’s not forget that your opponent will be using Guzma as well and might have actually put one of your Pokemon in the active that you don’t want there.  Also, we have some tech in Pokemon (Alolan Vulpix (Guardians Rising, 21/145)) to help us get started.  Guzma helps us get those Pokemon out of the active position.  Running Guzma might even allow us to cut out a switching card or two and free up a little deck space.  The amount of situations where Guzma will benefit us more than Lysandre significantly outnumber the times where Lysandre would be preferable.


Standard: 5 out of 5


I don’t feel that there’s a lot more to say about Guzma.  It’s a powerful card (too powerful IMO but I’m sure that’s just me).  The one comment I do have though: after watching all of the streams from last weekend, if I hear the phrase, “Your boy, Guzma” one more time, I’m going to stab myself in the ear and rip out my cochlea.  Good thing the August set always gets short changed and Guzma will be rotated out in two years.  It’s bad enough having your opponent grab your Pokemon off the bench to win the game against you, having to hear that phrase to go along with it is just too much.


Meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss.

-Don’t Get Fooled Again, The Who

According to our collective opinion - as opposed to our individual lists - the best card of our newest expansion is Guzma (SM: Burning Shadows 115/147; 143/147)!  This is a Trainer-Supporter with a compound effect: 

  • Select one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon and promote it into the Active position (forcing the former Active to the Bench).
  • Select one of your own Benched Pokémon, and promote it the Active position; the former Active is sent to your Bench

Or the short version 

Guzma = Lysandre +Switch 

We know Lysandre is good, as it is a time tested quantity; does the second effect help, hurt, or barely matter?  Most decks feature “pivot Pokémon”  that have a natural free Retreat Cost or fill the role via Float Stone, and that is only a concern when you don’t want to promote something else anyway.  In case anyone is still unclear, this is not Double Gust as a Supporter; you get to pick both new Active Pokémon. 

Which is probably why Guzma has mostly replaced Lysandre; out of the Top 8 decks from the Masters Division of the 2017 World Championships, every deck had Guzma and only one still had a Lysandre.  One deck ran a single Guzma with a single Lysandre while one deck ran three Guzma and every other ran two.  After September 1st, you won’t even have a choice in Standard; you’ll have to run Guzma or go without a Supporter that guarantees the opposing Pokémon of your choice is stuck in the Active position.  Lysandre will still be an option in Expanded play; the few decks that really can’t handle the second effect of Guzma (I’m thinking Trevenant BREAK might be one) and the fact that Lysandre is almost the same card will keep Lysandre from disappearing entirely.  It is not, for example, like when a struggling player has to run a deck using Shauna instead of N.  For Limited Format play, this is a welcome pull but when you don’t need both halves of the effect, you aren’t likely to have something to deal with the undesirable half. 


Standard: 4.75/5 

Expanded: 4.7/5 

Limited: 4.95/5 


Guzma is, overall, the upgrade to Lysandre, and Lysandre was a great card anyway.  Make sure you’ve got a playset; you probably won’t need it in either Standard or Expanded play but with Standard losing VS Seeker, you’ll definitely want to run at least two.  Better safe than sorry, though; three or even four could become the new norm.




Guzma appeared on all five personal Top 10 lists, and dominated, earning 48 voting points.  So not only did Guzma beat out Acerola (second place) by 12 points, it missed a “perfect” voting point score by only two!  It was number one on my list, and I still think it deserves it.  Most of us were sweating the loss of Lysandre until Guzma was revealed.


I had Acerola in 7th place, but the Pojo’s top ten had this on 2nd place with 36 points, 12 below 1st place, and 6 above 3rd place. I guess it ranked very highly since we need a reliable card that bounces since AZ left the format.

So, we came down to the number one card in the Burning Shadows set, and there shouldn’t be any surprises for readers who consistently looks at the latest Pokemon cards leaked from Japan. Guzma has been unveiled on June 3, 2017 at Pokebeach, and upon looking at its effects, you would know now that Guzma will have a long-lasting impact in the lifespan of several rotational seasons.

Guzma is a supporter that has a “Gust of Wind” effect (that is you pick one of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon and force it active) as well as making you switch one of your benched Pokemon with your active. It’s like two different cards into one: Lysandre and Switch. The ability to drag one of your opponent’s benched Pokemon to the active position is always a good effect; it puts your opponent into an unfavorable spot, whether it be KOing a potential threat or make the bench sitter helpless. I wouldn’t say that Guzma made Lysandre obsolete because the secondary effect may or may not help you at all. In Standard, that’s your only option, but in Expanded, players may think about whether or not they would run one over the other or alongside each other.

A bit of a Create-A-Card scenario, but if Guzma’s secondary effect was optional, then Guzma totally makes Lysandre obsolete! Not only it maintains the “Gust of Wind” effect, but you wuld choose whether or not you want to switch your Pokemon…

…and that’s the problem for cards that do two things at once. You may like one effect but not the other, but when you are forced to do both effects, it makes players think about using it at the right time. Players can try to mitigate effects that they don’t like depending on the situation. Guzma is one of these examples of this problem.

You would like to force one of your opponent’s benched Pokemon to the active spot, but you don’t want to switch your own Pokemon. Players can mitigate the second effect by bringing a pivot Pokemon active and then manually retreat (that is, a pokemon with free retreat, retreating without paying/discarding energy that is attached to it), having no benched Pokemon, or using a different card.

What Guzma does is enable some wicked combos that will need both effects at the same time. There are couple strategies that I can think of. Golisopod-GX and other Pokemon has an attack that does more damage if this Pokemon was promoted from the bench to the active. In Golisopod’s case it does 120 damage for one energy! Another method is to use Abilities that require said Pokemon to be Active. Like Greninja BREAK for instance. Just one manual retreat would give you two uses of Giant Water Shuriken (one already active, and one about to be active via manual retreat). Adding one Guzma would enable you to switch to another Greninja BREAK, letting you sue a third Giant Water Shuriken, and of course, switch item card that would get you a fourth one. Even if you have no strategy, at least it helps your helpless active Pokemon (either high retreat cost or being unable to retreat due to sleep, paralysis, or effects that prevent retreating) out of a tough spot.

Like I said from the beginning, Guzma is your Standard only option, while Expanded allows you to get creative or sticking to what already works. I believe it doesn’t outclass Lysandre, just a great card in a crowded field. You could put one Lysandre and one Guzma on the same deck, with couple supporting cards such as VS Seeker and Trainers’ Mail to get/retrieve supporter cards. In Limited, this card is a must-run unless your opponent is doing the +39 deck (that is, one Pokemon and 39 energies), thus making both effects useless!


Standard (pre-rotation): 4/5

Standard (post-rotation): 4.75/5

Expanded: 4/5

Limited: 5/5

Summary: Guzma picks up where Lysandre left off (at least in Standard) and will probably get to be reprinted several times to signify the importance of this effect. Go grab a playset of him before supply runs dry.

Guzma secured 1st place with 48 voting points, 12 points above 2nd place finisher. This was almost a unanimous decision; one or two reviewers out of five didn’t have Guzma in their number one spot. I had mine as my first place pick, and I’m relieved that I’m not alone.


            "I'm the Team Skull boss, and I've never been scared of nothing or nobody. Heck, I live my life making people scared of ME! So listen to what big bad Guzma has to say..."

"Y'all are stupid!"

The infamous line, from the infamous boss of the most infamous villainous team in Pokemon: Guzma of Team Skull. This self proclaimed vessel of destruction (which he has only managed to destroy a Wimpod’s life apparently) is one of the cockiest, if not the cockiest villains of the Pokemon universe just because his team is basically a bunch of 4 gangsters who just did gangster stuff instead of world domination, like most villainous teams do. Some of their actions have inspired memes worldwide, and especially Guzma, who has some of the funniest lines in the game. But enough of the memes; Guzma has arrived to accompany his partner, Golisopod-GX by being a Supporter himself. But how good is he that he managed to top out at number 1 on Pojo’s Top 10 Burning Shadows cards?

            Well, Guzma is essentially an enhanced reprint of Lysandre (XY Flashfire, XY Ancient Origins). It brings up a Pokemon from your opponent’s bench to swap it for the Pokemon in their Active slot. So you can do a bunch of stuff; you can trap a Pokemon with a high retreat cost so unless your opponent finds a switching card they will be trapped there. But really, the main reason to use this “Catcher” cards is to get a target which you are sure you can defeat into to dispose of them, usually in the late game with the help of VS Seeker. Although Guzma will live back in a format without them, which is really unfortunate.

            But what Guzma brings to the table is the ability to not just switch your opponent’s Pokemon around, but also switch your own Pokemon around. This allows new combos that cannot be performed with a normal Lysandre. You can retreat your own wounded Pokemon in the Active slot with another battle ready one in the bench. You may be able to perform a similar trick with Acerola and Pokemon Catcher in Expanded, but being able to do both in the same time is better than doing it separately. Guzma can also help deny status conditions, which may become prevalent in the coming future thanks to the slower format and bigger HP Pokemon, even when you are under Ability lock. This is the beauty of using Guzma; not only you can use it offensively by hunting down your target Pokemon, but you also can use it defensively in one sitting, which the previous method of using Lysandre and Switch may just be too excessive.

            However, this method of dual switching can backfire on you: because you need to switch your own Pokemon around decks with Pokemon that have high retreat cost is going to suffer because they need to retreat back to their main attacker, which is hard to be really honest. But I honestly believe that all of you should just buy Burning Shadows packs just to get at least 3 of the Guzma cards; he’s already huge, as the people who played Worlds this year can tell you, and also it is a worthy successor in Lysandre in the next format.

Standard: 4.8/5 (There is nothing wrong with Lysandre, so we might just expect the same from Guzma; a game changing Supporter. However, no VS Seeker means that you need to dig for it more.)

Expanded: 4.95/5 (Vs Seeker, Guzma and Lysandre in the same format does bring some amazing combos together. Battle Compressor just doubles its madness.)

Limited: 4.9/5 (It’s like Lysandre in Burning Shadows; the presence of Pokemon-GX with high retreat costs will really make it good here.)

Wanna see what destruction looks like? Here it is in human form—it's your boy Guzma!"

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