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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


- S&M: Burning Shadows
- #BUS 96

Date Reviewed:
Sept. 1, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.40
Expanded: 2.76
Limited: 3.80

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Hmmmm, Ribombee's starting to look a little better and a little worse in different ways... 

Like the last version of Ribombee from Sun and Moon, you're not using this Stage 1 70 HP one for it's 1-for-20 vanilla Pollen Shot. You'd be using it for the Ability, and this Ability is...actually pretty neat. Honey Gather retrieves two Basic Energy from your deck and adds them to your hand. Not bad, actually, but is it any better than before? 

...well, actually, yeah. The main draw to Ribombee, aside from having the ability to thin out your deck space, is to combine it with Gardevoir-GX. In tandem with each other, you get access to playing out at least 2 basic Fairy Energy from your deck each turn. Use Honey Gather to grab the Fairy Energy, play one down normally, and the other you play with Gardevoir-GX's own Ability. Pretty good stuff right there! 

But is that all Ribombee's good for? Well, in immediate application, that might be the best. But go to Expanded, and there's Deluge and Inferno Fandango decks that could pull off the same thing even better! It's a free Professor's Letter every turn that Ribombee's in play, and that's pretty nifty. In the right hands, Ribombee could see more play than...well, Ribombee (SM). It might even be a potent enough Pokemon to see play in the best decks. 

Give Ribombee a shot if you've got room for it - it's better to play a 1-1 line-up that thins your deck out multiple times than to use 4 cards that thin it out once apiece and are susceptible to Garbodor. 


Standard: 3/5 (for quick Energy access, Ribombee may even become the standard) 

Expanded: 3/5 (but its usage will strongly depend on Garbodor's presence) 

Limited: 4/5 (with him, she's powerful; without him, she's less likely to see play)

Arora Notealus: Ribombee's the card with potential, but it's definitely a huge target. Guzma can draw it out, and it's an easy Prize having only a little more HP than most evolving Basics. Be careful and be aware of the risks as well as the great benefits you have with Ribombee! 

Weekend Thought: Do you see potential in these cards? Are they going to see play in your decks? Think one of these should've made the list? Think one of these is really good? Think these aren't that great? 


Ribombee (Burning Shadows, 96/147) receives a new incarnation in the Burning Shadows expansion set.  A frail 70 HP Stage 1 Pokemon, Ribombee will probably see use because of its ability Honey Gather, which allows you to search your deck for two Basic energy and put them in your hand once per turn.  Notice that I used the future tense in the previous sentence – I haven’t seen anyone use this card yet.  In pre-release analysis, I figured it’d go into every Gardevoir GX (Burning Shadows, 93/147) deck as a 1-1 line at a minimum, but I haven’t seen anyone use it yet.  Not even mention it!  I refuse to believe that no one has tried it – there’s no way that everyone has completely whiffed and missed on this, it must not be worth the two card slots, maybe there just isn’t room for it on the bench, but I figured it’d see at least some play.  I mean, think about all the times you’ve played Professor Sycamore (Steam Siege, 114/114) and completely whiffed on energy.  With Ribombee, that’s never a concern.  Plus, you can use Honey Gather and then use Secret Spring to attach both those energies.

However, I don’t think that Ribombee’s usefulness is limited solely to Gardevoir GX though.  I would guess that Volcanion EX (Steam Siege, 26/114) and Greninja Break (Breakpoint, 41/122) could use it, although Starmie (Evolutions, 31/108) is probably the better tech in.  And for any deck, the guarantee of getting energy is a strong argument for Ribombee (you could probably run a lower count of Basic energy), and it also provides the secondary side effect of helping to thin out your deck.  You can use it to put energy in your hand, thereby increasing your probability of top decking a Supporter, Item card, or other Pokemon that can help you out.

So I decided to try this out in an old favorite, the first Pokemon I ever built a deck around: Ho-Oh EX (Breakpoint, 92/122).  When I first started playing, this was the only Pokemon that I had two EX’s of, so I started using this Pokemon and played (and lost) with it a lot.  Unfortunately, Ribombee didn’t help it a whole lot.  I went 5 W 5 L, and Ribombee definitely helped, but it’s still not a particularly competitive deck.  Whenever I finally get some Gardevoir GX’s, I’ll try Ribombee with them.  Until then, it’s just my Theorymon that thinks that Ribombee is the perfect tech in to Gardy decks.


Standard: 1.5 out of 5


This is another one that (in my brain) should be seeing more use than it is.  It seems to me that being able to grab two energy guaranteed every turn would be a GREAT ability, I’m not sure why Ribombee isn’t seeing more use.  I actually had this listed as eighth on my list.

By the way, Happy Rotation Day!  I’ve posted the Pojo 2017 top ten lost to rotation and the 2016 lost to rotation lists in the forums as well as below… I actually don’t think that this year’s rotation is nearly as impactful as last year’s, but maybe you disagree?  It’d be interesting to get your input on if you think this year’s or last year’s rotation was worse.  Let me know what you think here:


2017                                                                             2016                

1. VS Seeker                                                                  1. Battle Compressor

2. Forest of Giant Plants                                                2. Seismatoad EX

3. Shaymin EX                                                               3. Muscle Band

4. Hex Maniac                                                                4. The Night March Crew

5. Trainer’s Mail                                                            5. Startling Megaphone

6. Lysandre                                                                   6. Trevenant

7. Vileplume                                                                  7. Dimension Valley

8. Teammates                                                               8. Korrina

9. Double Dragon Energy                                                9. Az

10. Mega Turbo                                                             10. Blacksmith


Our final runner-up this week *hint hint* is Ribombee (SM: Burning Shadows 96/147), a Stage 1 Fairy-Type Pokémon with 70 HP, Metal Weakness, Darkness Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], the Ability “Honey Gather”, and the attack “Pollen Shot”.  Honey Gather allows you to add up to two basic Energy cards from your deck to your hand, once per turn before you attack.  Pollen Shot costs [C] and does 30 damage.  Being a Stage 1 is adequate; Basics are better, but it beats out all other Evolutions in terms of space efficiency and ease of use.  Being a Fairy-Type is actually not that great; while they have some things going for them, most strong Fairy-Type cards are the focus of their own decks, and exploiting Fairy Weakness isn’t (currently) a big deal.  70 HP is bad; not only is an easy OHKO when Active, but this means snipe might OHKO it and spread/moving damage counters might take it out with just a few turns.  Metal Weakness and Darkness Resistance don’t matter much with the HP, while the Retreat Cost of one is serviceable.  Pollen Shot is handy if your deck needs a steady flow of basic Energy; emphasis on “steady”.  If you just need a periodic influx of basic Energy or need lots of basic Energy all at once, you’re better off focusing on Trainers, maybe even just raw draw power.  If it wasn’t for anti-Item effects, Professor’s Letter would be the obvious, better choice.  Pollen Shot is - and pardon me for reusing the term - decent filler; you shouldn’t be attacking with this card, but if you have to, a single Energy delivers 30 damage.  The now established Choice Band plus Professor Kukui combo won’t OHKO anything that isn’t both Fairy Weak and modestly sized, but at least it easily sets up a 2HKO.  Being able to use any Type of Energy with both the Ability and the attack helps Ribombee be splashable.

The scary thing is, that SM: Burning Shadows seems to have improved the Evolution line when compared to its Sun & Moon iteration.  Let’s look at these cards to see what I mean: Cutiefly (Sun & Moon 92/149), Cutiefly (SM: Burning Shadows 95/147), and Ribombee (Sun & Moon 93/149).  Both Cutiefly are Basic, Fairy-Type Pokémon with 30 HP, Metal Weakness, Darkness Resistance, and just one attack.  Cutiefly (Sun & Moon 92/149) has Retreat Cost [C] and the attack “Fly Around” for [Y], which does 10 damage and allows you to flip a coin if it is attacked the next turn (“heads” prevents any damage from being done).  Cutiefly (SM: Burning Shadows 95/147) has a free Retreat Cost and the attack “Fairy Wind” for [C], doing 10 damage.  30 HP is awful, the lowest printed amount for an actual Pokémon and so easy to OHKO that it might be taken out with bonus Bench damage or spread attacks.  It makes Weakness and Resistance almost totally meaningless.  Seems to earn the free Retreat Cost, making me dislike the normally fairly good single Energy Retreat Cost of the older version.  Fly Around suffers a bit for requiring [Y] versus [C] to use, but at least it tries to preserve Cutiefly long enough to help it Evolve.  In the end, though, both are bad but I value that free Retreat Cost more.  Ribombee (Sun & Moon 93/149) has almost the same exact stats as today’s Ribombee (SM: Burning Shadows 96/147), but that isn’t a good thing as the one difference is 10 less HP (so 60 HP).  It also has a once-per-turn-before-you-attack Ability and a single Energy attack.  “Curative Pollen” allows you to heal 20 damage from one of your Pokémon while Fairy Wind shows up again, this time requiring [Y] to do 30.  Not competition for today’s card, but looking at it reminds me I overrated it.

Looking at this card, it seems like it would make sense in a deck like Gardevoir-GX or Volcanion-EX to help claim Energy from your deck without having to worry about Item-lock blocking it for Garbodor (SM: Guardians Rising 51/145) and its “Trashalanche” attack punishing you.  I don’t think this works all that well, though; not only are you dealing with a very fragile Stage 1 line (so two slots, minimum) but Garbodor usually is backed by Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122)... so you’ll need an Item (Field Blower) handy or some good luck to even access Abilities that turn.  Seems like you might as well run Professor’s Letter anyway or simply run a little extra draw power or a little extra Energy.  I know Starmie (XY: Evolutions 31/108) has proven competitive, but it enables you to reuse Energy from the discard (even if you’ve got to discard a card from your hand) and simply had better timing in terms of its release; if this had been our Sun & Moon Ribombee, it may have enjoyed some time being worthwhile for Standard Format play.  See our review of it here for more details.  I think things are worse for it in Expanded Format play, where your non-Item option can be Cilan for three basic Energy and Hypnotoxic Laser with either two Seviper (SM: Black Star Promos SM46; SM: Burning Shadows 50/147) or Hypnotoxic Laser allow a player to donk you should Cutiefly be your opening Active.  On the other hand, it does look good for Limited Format play, where having the correct basic Energy cards in hand is trickier.


Standard: 1.75/5

Expanded: 1.25/5

Limited: 3.5/5

Conclusion & Top 10 Background

I can see why some expected Ribombee to be important, but I think we are getting to a point where fragile Bench-sitters are a risk even when they are worth just one Prize and when we’ve just got too many better options for getting basic Energy cards into hand, whether from the deck or the discard pile.

Ribombee finished in what would have been 14th place by showing up on one reviewer’s personal list high enough to earn three voting points.  If I hadn’t been so wishy-washy with many of my own reviews, it might be obvious that it didn’t come close to making my own list.  In fact, I reviewed it a hair more favorable than I expected, as I awarded it only a single star with my first two passes through the set.  Remember, that’s the minimal score I allowed myself to award.


Today, we’re looking at Ribombee from Burning Shadows.  This 70 HP Pokemon (which, although small, needs 2 uses of Giant Water Shurikens instead of one and 4 Feather Arrows instead of three to KO it, meaning more resources is needed from the opponent) doesn’t have much to offer……………….aside from its ability Honey Gather.  This function the same as Professor’s Letter, but as an ability instead of an item.  Plus, it stacks, as well as continues to function on every turn!  This is a good alternative since it doesn’t fuel Trashalanche’s damage output, but Oricorio’s Supernatural Dance’s damage output will rise if Ribombee gets KOed.  The opposite will hold true for Professor’s Letter, conversely.


You should never have to attack with Ribombee, though Pollen Shot does 20 damage for a single colorless energy.  Being Colorless on attacks mean it could fit in any deck.  The damage can be improved with Choice Band, making it 50 for C on EX/GX Pokemon (before factoring weakness).  This could potentially 2HKO Giratina-EX and/or Noivern GX!  If you are able to land KOs on those Pokemon, then your opponent must have serious problems!  Something to have in mind for surprise value.


My only complaint is the retreat cost.  At 124 base speed (faster than Greninja), I would expect to have free retreat, but then that’ll make Ribombee double itself as a weak pivot attacker and supporter.




Standard: 2.75/5 

Expanded: 2.8/5 

Limited: 3.5/5




Useful ability plus a cheap vanilla attack helps Ribombee being able to contribute to the deck. As always, ability denial will make it helpless and its survivability leaves a lot to be desired.


Card: Ribombee

            Well, Ribombee. One of the more memorable Pokémon from the aspect of Alola’s hidden gems. It has a good offensive typing in Bug/Fairy, it is blindingly fast with its 124 base Speed, a wide movepool, and access to the best setup move ever; Quiver Dance. But its TCG forms are far from speedy, good chip attackers. Instead, they are more support than carry, which is weird. Just like this Ribombee we have now!

            Now the new Ribombee is a Stage 1 Fairy type with 70 HP, which is really low. It has a weakness to Steel, which is unfortunate, but again, 70 HP is low for a start, so it’s not meant to take hits. Resistance to Dark types are rather good, but I’m not really obliged to take type matchups to account unless that Pokémon has at least 150 HP. A retreat cost of 1 is also unfortunate, which means that if it’s captured in the Active slot you need energy to retreat it, and it being a support Pokemon, it’s not the type where you are willing to commit energy to. 

            So where do we start? Well, there’s the attack, Pollen Shot which deals 20 damage for 1 Colorless energy. Well, the fact that it has a 1 Colorless energy cost instead of 1 Fairy is nice, which means Ribombee can be used in any deck without problems. But again, 20 damage is very low that it’s basically useless. And unlike that other 1 energy for 20 damage attack like Diamond Gift (Carbink BREAK, XY Fates Collide), this attack has no side effect. 

            So we have established that the attack is basically trashed out. But when you see the ability, all is forgiven. Its ability, Honey Gather, searches your deck for 2 basic Energy cards and put them in your hand, after revealing them first of course. It’s a Professor’s Letter as an Ability. And best of all, this ability stacks. So if you have 2 Ribombees, you can search for 4 basic Energy total, and that is really good.

            Where I can see this little bees be useful is in decks that needs lots  of energies or decks that needs weird energy costs. Such decks like Gardevoir-GX (SM Burning Shadows) that needs lots of Fairy energy to accelerate the damage for Infinite Force, or like the way I made it and use them in my Kommo-o GX (SM Guardians Rising) deck for post rotation, or pretty much all Dragon decks after Double Dragon Energy (XY Roaring Skies) is rotated. Most of these Dragon decks have weird multi colored energy cost attacks, and being able to search the specific Energy type I want without getting extra 20 damage to Garbodor’s Trashalance attack to help set them up reliably is nice.

            But then we hit the elephant in the room. You see, Ribombee performs energy acceleration via Ability and it puts them in your hand, not directly to the Pokemon. This means that you can deny the ability with something like Garbodor (XY BREAKpoint), or just deny their energy gains with N (XY Fates Collide) or Judge (XY BREAKthrough) by whiffing back their energy to their deck. But then there exists counterplays to these, so it’s not exactly the worst thing ever.

            In short, Ribombee is a nice tech for specific decks just to improve setup by energy acceleration, and that alone is nice for some decks. But it’s just not meta defining enough; and that is my biggest fear with this card; it’s not good enough to cut it with the finest.

Standard: 3/5 (might be good for Dragons or decks that have ways of speeding energy)

Expanded: 4/5 (there are many Pokémon that can accelerate energy from your hand such as Deluge Blastoise, so it’s worth a shot)

Limited: 4.2/5 (the best energy search Pokemon, or the only energy search Pokemon in the format. It’s a cool gimmick in this format)

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