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Yu Yu Hakusho
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Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 Cards Lost to Set Rotation

#4 - Hex Maniac

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
August 8, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

See Below

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

Back to the main COTD Page


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 like. 



Standard: N/A (but not like, literally) 

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 down Abilities. 

...yeah, I think Lysandre should've been better than Mail too. 



Hex Maniac (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 Brigette (Breakthrough, 134/162) or 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 players.


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 card.  However, since Guardians Rising, we’re seeing significantly less Garbodor and many more decks playing Pokemon with abilities (85% of decks I faced in July played at least one Pokemon with an ability).  Therefore, 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.


Hex Maniac (XY: Ancient Origins 75/98) is our fourth place finisher.  She’s been reviewed twice before, as she was our 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. 


Standard: 4/5 (soon to be N/A) 

Expanded: 4/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 


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. 


Hex Maniac secured fourth place with 26 voting points, six more than fifth place 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.




Standard: 4/5


Expanded: 4/5


Limited: 5/5


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.

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