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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


- S&M: Guardians Rising

Date Reviewed:
June 19, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.25
Expanded:  2.00
Limited: 3.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Seriously, who thought of the idea for a ghost that ate gems? That's definitely one of the weirder things I've ever heard! 

Sableye here though is a very simple Pokemon, with only 60 HP and two attacks that cost 1 Energy. Scratch isn't really worth it, a vanilla 1-for-20, considering you could attach 1 Energy to another Pokemon and get so much more out of it. So let's talk about his other attack, Limitation! For a single Dark Energy, Limitation stops your opponent from playing Supporter cards from their hand. 

Sounds familiar? Well it should - it used to belong to Exeggutor (PLF). Back then, Exeggutor had Blockade, which not only costed 1 Energy - that Energy could have been of any Type, and the attack also did damage! Combined with Item-locking Abilities, Exeggutor ended up getting a small following and his own deck, which secured your opponent's Ability to go through their deck while you went through your own. It basically slowed down the game for your opponent while lending you the opportunity to build on your own set-up. 

So can that success be duplicated by Sableye here? Well the good news is that Sableye, being a Basic, can get into play much faster than Exeggutor could. But there are a couple of key differences - notably the Type-specifics, the lack of damage done, and of course, 60 HP. Because Limitation is restricted to Dark Energy, only decks that could run Dark Energy or some form of it like Rainbow Energy can play Sableye - he's not as accessible or splashable in other decks. And since there's no damage being done, it won't matter how many turns you stall the opponent out - Sableye won't be able to KO your opponent's Pokemon. On top of that, it won't take much to knock Sableye off to the side - 60 HP is not that much these days, so at best you've got 2-3 turns to keep Sableye in play, unless your opponent does something without Supporters to wipe him out fast. 

Sableye can prove to be beneficial in the early game if you can get him out and keep him out, but beyond that, I don't really see him doing as much for decks the way Exeggutor was able to help decks out. Locking down Supporters though - even for just a turn - can be a powerful effect to have, so I wouldn't look away from him either. If a build comes around that can effectively utilize Sableye's Limitation, then you bet that it'll play an important role in the game. If you wanted to, you could combine it with Trevenant's Poltergeist, locking your opponent's hand until you're ready to strike... 


Standard: 2.5/5 (there's some potential for a card like this) 

Expanded: 2/5 (but beyond the Limitation move, Sableye himself can't do much)

Limited: 3.5/5 (wouldn't surprise me if this became a sleeper hit) 

Arora Notealus: Looking into his origin a bit, Sableye apparently is based off of something called the Hopkinsville Goblin, which apparently came up in an alien encounter over in Kentucky. This Goblin had shiny eyes, claws, short legs, and swayed back and forth, a detail noted in the games by his idle animations. Apparently Japan's really big on these alien fellows...huh. Thanks Bulbapedia!

Next Time: Now head for the great sanctuary of the lunar phases! We must bring Lunala back!


Sableye (Guardians Rising, 80/145) received a new update in the Guardians Rising expansion set.  Its main attack, Limitation, for a single Dark energy prevents your opponent from playing any supporter cards during their next turn.  Many of us had to pick our jaws up off the floor when we initially learned about this card.  Supporter lock? Really, are you kidding me?  At the time, it seemed like Sableye would quickly dominate the game and usher in a new era of control dominant Pokemon.

However, this hasn’t materialized in reality.  I haven’t come across Sableye even once on the ladder in 700+ games since the release of Guardians Rising.  I also have not had any success with Sableye as well, getting only 2 wins in 11 attempts.  I have attempted to pair it with Decidueye GX (Sun & Moon, 12/149), Absol (Guardians Rising, 81/145), and Drampa GX (Guardians Rising, 142/145) but I just haven’t been able to get it to work.

One thing to realize with Sableye is that, whether you go first or second, your opponent will always get to play at least one supporter if they have one in their opening hand.  I’ve also come across a number of opponents who have had excellent turn one set ups and were able to get themselves at least partially established before I’m able to get the Supporter lock going.  Also, it’s not always possible to get Sableye into the active on the first turn if you don’t start it there.  Moreover, as I mentioned quite a bit last week, we live in a meta right now where there are a LOT of one attachment attackers.  Sableye is extremely fragile at 60 HP, and that makes it very vulnerable to being KO’d sitting up there in the active.


Standard: 2 out of 5


I still believe there’s a decklist out there for Sableye.  I have little doubt that there is a combination that will supremely benefit from this card and the potential dominance of Limitation.  I have a feeling, though, that the pieces of the puzzle that Sableye is missing may not yet have been created, and I will definitely keep this in mind for the future as new cards come into the meta.


One of the early, hyped cards of our current set, Sableye (SM: Guardians Rising 80/145), our 24th place finisher… on a Top 15 list.  So what happened?  I think it will become obvious as we run through the card, but if not, you know I’ll spell it out by the end of this review.  Sableye is a Basic, Darkness-Type Pokémon with 60 HP, no Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], and two attacks: “Limitation” and “Scratch”.  Limitation costs [D] and prevents your opponent from playing a Supporter from hand during his or her next turn, while Scratch costs [C] and does 20 damage.  So… what does all that mean? 

Being a Basic is still the best Stage due to the pacing of the game, no need for additional resources to hit the field and natural synergy with various game mechanics.  Being a Darkness-Type almost doesn’t matter.  This is because even the best pieces of Darkness-Type support don’t do a lot for this Sableye, or at least don’t do more for it than they would if Sableye was a different Type.  The only thing preventing Sableye from being a truly generic Pokémon is the [D] Energy requirement for Limitation, and slipping in a few basic Darkness Energy or utilizing Rainbow Energy (or some of its variants, in Expanded) still lets it show up off-Type.  This card doesn’t do enough damage for exploiting the rare Darkness Weakness or being walled by Darkness Resistance (universal but to Fairy-Types) to be worth much.  60 HP is low enough that most decks should be able to rapidly, reliably, and repeatedly score OHKO’s against Sableye unless your opponent’s deck as a poor setup or next-to-no damage output like certain control/mill/stall decks (most of which have never been especially competitive).  This means the card’s perfect lack of Weakness won’t do it a lot of good, but better for Sableye that it avoids an extra vulnerable match-up than not.  Lack of Resistance is the worst, but again the HP (and fact it is only good for -20 damage) means it also hardly matters.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is good; not great, but most of the time easy enough to pay (both up front and in the long run). 

Scratch is pretty obviously filler, so we’ll evaluate it first; with the re-introduction of attacks that require no Energy, it may be overpriced.  Otherwise, as something you’ll only use in rare situations where you or your opponent are in desperate straits, it seems adequate.  Limitation is what had players like myself dreading this card; even if it meant working in a source of [D] Energy, Supporters are a major resource of all competitive decks.  You only get one per turn, but that usually goes towards strong draw, search, disruption, or other effects and indeed, sometimes it is more than one of these at the same time!  While you won’t always need to use a Supporter in a given turn, you want the option; Limitation won’t always be devastating to your opponent, but it will almost always be annoying and inconvenient.  This is also a good time to note that there is a tiny gap in its coverage; there aren’t a lot of current, widely used cards that allow you to effectively play a Supporter from someplace other than your hand, but we’ve seen some excellent ones in the game’s past so it is plausible we could see one in the not-too-distant future.  It is interesting to note that one of the current cards capable of this trick is Sableye (XY: Ancient Origins 44/98); for [D] its “Bewitching Eyes” attack copies the effect of a Supporter from your opponent’s discard pile.  There are also, of course, many other effects that can supplement a player’s Supporter for the turn, which means they can carry some of the weight when a Supporter is totally absent. 

When we first saw Limitation, the obvious play was to combine Sableye with Decidueye-GX and Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98).  The “Feather Arrow” Ability of Decidueye-GX would allow you to still take Prizes against most opponent’s while the “Irritating Pollen” Ability meant your opponent was also working without Items.  Toss in some additional disruption like Team Flare Grunt to make it difficult for your opponent to keep Energy in play, and most decks would grind to a halt.  Though less likely, some feared Alolan Muk might join the mix, as that would shut down Abilities on Basic Pokémon, which covers most supplemental draw options seen in the typical deck.  Why didn’t this nightmare scenario come to pass?  Decidueye-GX/Vileplume decks were dethroned; the deck still exists, but SM: Guardians Rising birthed a potent counter by giving an existing counter - Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122) - two great beatsticks - Garbodor (SM: Guardians Rising 87/145) and Drampa-GX.  Beyond this, several other current or formerly dominant decks either got useful bits of additional support, saw something that was impeding them diminished, or both.  Instead of allowing Sableye to become the final nail in the coffin, it looks like Alolan Ninetales-GX is the new attacker for this deck, something I certainly didn’t see coming. 

Does this mean things are hopeless for Sableye?  No, as Limitation still looks like a nice option for messing with your opponent early game.  Instead of being part of a multi-lock approach, however, it might be something a deck already capable of utilizing it - one that already has [D] Energy - can just throw up to buy time.  I also wonder if its odds may be better in Expanded.  When I first saw the card, I assumed “Of course not!” because we already have Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108).  It has almost the same attributes as today’s Sableye but with 10 more HP, and it too has a great attack for [D] and semi-decent filler attack for [C]: “Junk Hunt” and “Confuse Ray”.  Junk Hunt (we won’t worry about Confuse Ray) is why this Sableye still sees competitive play in Expanded; getting two Items back from the discard pile and adding them directly to your hand often enough is worth giving up an attack, an Energy, and a fairly easy Prize (as Sableye isn’t expected to survive the opponent’s next turn).  Periodically, we’ll also see a Sableye-focused disruption deck prove competitive; indeed while the card was Standard legal, this actually birthed the top deck (for a time).  This Sableye is the one to use in Expanded… but just maybe, it needs to make room for a copy of today’s in most of those Darkness decks.  What is more, I’m not so sure that Decidueye-GX/Vileplume should give up on Sableye, especially in Expanded.  We really do have to wait and see, I think, for some notable Expanded Format tournaments to get a good idea.  I should also address Limited format play; Sableye may be adequate filler here.  Your opponent may badly need any Supporter he or she has, but given the nature of deck construction, probably won’t have any most turns.  Just being a 60 HP Basic with no Weakness and using the Scratch attack are what keeps this from being a bad pull here. 


Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 2.5/5 

Limited: 3/5 


Sableye possesses the fearsome capacity to deny you your Supporter for the turn, but its low HP and the rapid shifting within the competitive metagame makes it a very risky gamble… or perhaps a dead end.  Lock decks apparently cannot afford it being their frontman, and other decks may not have space or time to mess with it as an early game or emergency staller. 

Sableye tied with tomorrow’s card in terms of voting points, and they both scored one voting point above and below the picks surrounding them.  I was so worried about this card when it first debuted, I wrote this entire review until this point assuming I was the only one who included this in their Top 15 list.  Surprise!  Apparently, I wised up a bit while making my list, as it ended up being my 23rd place pick.  Which still seems rather high, given horribly underestimated Turtonator-GX and only ranked it as my 21st place pick.  Anyway, this means I’m just fine with this card lurking around this level of rank; even on something so frail, even as an attack, locking down Supporters could still be a threat.

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