Hex Maniac is a pretty good
Supporter that stuns Abilities.
...I mean, yeah, that's just a
really good effect. You can get out of Item Lock with
Vileplume, stop set-up with Hoopa-EX or Shaymin-EX,
cancel out bonuses like Solgaleo-GX or Darkrai-EX, the
list of utilities goes on and on. So you can imagine
what not having a card like this in the format will be
...IS GONNA RAAAAAAAAAAIN ARROWS
Standard: N/A (but not like,
Expanded: 4.5/5 (it's gonna be hard
to evolve to all those Decidueye-GX)
Limited: 5/5 (without, ya know,
Forest of Giant Plants)
Arora Notealus: Neither Trainers'
Mail nor Hex Maniac made my list. Cause I'm a fool who
forgets things. While I think Trainers' Mail is pretty
okay in terms of grabbing what you want - I mean, it
does accelerate through the deck, and Trainers are a
broad spectrum of cards - I'd say Hex Maniac definitely
deserves the higher spot on the list. Trainers' Mail can
just attempt to get you the Maniac - the Maniac shuts
...yeah, I think Lysandre should've
been better than Mail too.
Next Time: DRAW ALL THE CARDS WITH
YOUR NEW FLYING BUDDY
(Ancient Origins, 75/98) came from the Ancient
Origins expansion set and provided a tremendous
one-sided advantage to the player who employs it.
After being played, no Pokemon in play or in the
discard pile can use its ability.
This lasts until the end of the next turn, so
players frequently use the abilities of Pokemon they
have in play and then play down
Hex Maniac to
shut down the abilities of their opponent’s Pokemon.
As many decks build their strategy around
abilities, this can provide an invaluable tempo in setup
or prevent an opponent from doing significant (or any)
damage to you during their next turn.
And experienced, top level
players frequently “chained” this card, using
VS Seeker (Roaring
Skies, 110/108) to play
Hex Maniac on multiple consecutive turns and essentially speed ahead
of their opponents.
People would frequently play it on turn 1 so
their opponent’s development strategy would be stunted
because they couldn’t play
Shaymin EX (Roaring
Skies, 77/108) to help them get more cards out or
Tapu Lele GX (Guardians
Rising, 60/145) to get Supporters like
Professor Sycamore (Steam Siege, 114/114).
A well timed
Hex could give
you a tremendous advantage in tempo, and the best
players used this tactic to help them win many games.
I would say that the expert usage of this card
was one of the defining characteristics of master
Standard: 3 out of 5
Many players included at least
one Hex Maniac
in their decks, but it did see less play during much of
this season as
Garbodor (Breakpoint, 57/122) dominated the
meta for several months and frequently made it a wasted
However, since Guardians Rising, we’re seeing
Garbodor and many more decks playing Pokemon with
abilities (85% of decks I faced in July played at least
one Pokemon with an ability).
Hex Maniac has again returned to relevance and has
made its way back into many decks in the meta today.
Seven out of the top eight decks ran a copy of
Hex Maniac at
the Seattle regional, and two of the top eight ran a
copy in each of the next three major events.
(XY: Ancient Origins 75/98) is our fourth place
finisher. She’s been reviewed twice before, as she
fifth best card
of XY: Ancient Origins and our
eighth best card
of 2015. This Trainer-Supporter shuts down all
Abilities be they on your Pokémon or your opponent’s,
whether they are in a player’s discard pile, hand, or
simply are in play until the end of your opponent’s next
turn. Who knows when or if it will ever matter,
but this card has not been future proofed; should
we get any Abilities that work in the deck or Prizes
(unlikely as those sound), or a new zone is added in the
future (it happened in the past when the Lost Zone was
added), they won’t have to worry about Hex Maniac.
Temporarily shutting down Abilities may not sound all
that great, especially as it hits your own
Abilities, not just your opponent’s, but the timing is
the thing. As long as you weren’t stuck in a
situation like needing to play out your Hex Maniac
containing hand before dropping a Shaymin-EX
(XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) to use its
“Set Up” Ability, you can take advantage of many, most,
or even all of your own Abilities and then shut
down any that might be interfering with you on your
current turn or which could help the opponent on his or
her next turn. Hex Maniac can break through some
vicious combos, like Vileplume (XY:
Ancient Origins 3/98) locking down Items while
Decidueye-GX hammers your side of the field with
“Feather Arrow”, or preventing Metagross-GX from
building/rebuilding an attacker with its “Geotech
System”. Punching through protective Abilities is
another big bonus, at least with certain match-ups.
This card reminds
me of Goop Gas Attack (Team Rocket 78/82),
an old, old Item from the fifth set ever released (or
fourth, if you refuse to acknowledge Base Set 2);
it stopped Pokémon Powers (they are similar to
Abilities) until the end of your opponent’s next turn. Goop
Gas Attack seems like it would have been more
potent, and I definitely remember it enabling some nasty
plays, yet in a way, what should be a nerfed
update seems better. Why? Technically,
Goop Gas Attack was not an Item, just a
“normal Trainer”; it released before we had Stadiums,
Supporters, even before Tools! Which meant it
didn’t face anti-Item effects but anti-Trainer effects;
Hex Maniac is great for dealing with our
Vileplume, but Goop Gas Attack didn’t mean a
thing to Dark Vileplume with its “Hay Fever”, and
needed a lucky coin flip (or four) to deal with
Slowking (Neo Genesis 14/111) and its “Mind
Games” Pokémon Power! Goop Gas Attack did enjoy
Computer Search (as a non-Ace Spec) plus Item
Finder (Dowsing Machine as a non-Ace Spec),
but Hex Maniac has VS Seeker and Tapu
Lele-GX, with Battle Compressor and/or
Jirachi-EX to provide search prior to that.
There are other ways to deal with Abilities, but they
all have their own drawbacks, even Garbodor (XY:
BREAKpoint 57/122). Hex Maniac provides a
quick two turns sans Abilities, or turn-and-a-half if
you need to use some of your own Abilities before
playing it; that has made it a killer piece of TecH for
most decks. I don’t think it ever happened, but
hypothetically a deck could even go all in on it if it
wanted a weird, not-quite-one-sided Ability lock.
So right now, this
is still a great card for both Standard and
Expanded Format play. After September 1st, I
expect it to remain a great card in Expanded and, should
it ever be reprinted, be very good in Standard play
(losing VS Seeker hurts all Supporters, but
especially those often used as TecH). A must run
if you pull it at a Limited Format event, not that
you’ll probably get the chance anymore. If you do,
though, know it won’t be handy all that often but
when you need it, you need it.
4/5 (soon to be N/A)
Enjoy Hex Maniac
in Standard play while she lasts, as she helps you break
through protective Abilities and protects you from
game-breaking Abilities. Offense or defense, she
has her uses and will continue to fill the role of
valuable TecH for Expanded Format play.
secured fourth place with 26 voting points, six more
Trainers’ Mail, and falls short of tomorrow’s
third place pick by three voting points. She
appeared on four out of five top 10’s, specifically
finishing in fourth place on my personal list… which is
bittersweet because in one sense I “got it right”
(matching the final list) but if I’ve since
changed my mind on at least one, maybe even two of the
three cards I rated above her.
Our 4th place pick is Hex Maniac from XY Ancient
Origins. This card took 5th place in
the top ten cards of XY Ancient Origins and 8th
place of the top ten cards of 2015. It is a
supporter that shuts down abilities from Pokemon in
play, each player’s Pokemon in hand, and each player’s
Pokemon in the discard pile until the end of your
opponent’s next turn. The application for using
this card varies; you can temporally shut down your own
abilities so that you can plan out your current strategy
(i.e. shutting down your own Allergic Pollen can let you
use items for that turn only), or you can set back the
opponent a turn if he or she are relying on their
abilities for their deck to function.
Shutting down abilities for even a turn can catch the opponent off
guard when it comes to using abilities. Opponents
can’t spam Deluge/Inferno Fandango/Magnetic Circuit for
energy acceleration; they can’t use Set Up/Abyssal
Hand/Instruct/Mystical Fire for draw power.
Opponents could hold off from playing Pokemon whose
abilities are a one-time deal when they are put into
play. Overall, a pretty nice option if your deck
can’t make room for Garbodor’s Garbotoxin, Wobbuffet’s
Bide Barricade, or Alolan Muk’s Power of Alchemy.
Notes: This is a good example of “clutch” moments where one
turn is all you need to turn the game around. I
had this as my 6th place pick.