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
(Guardians Rising, 80/145) received a new update
in the Guardians Rising expansion set.
Its main attack,
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
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
once on the ladder in 700+ games since the release of
I also have not had any success with
well, getting only 2 wins in 11 attempts.
I have attempted to pair it with
(Sun & Moon, 12/149),
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
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
the active on the first turn if you don’t start it
Moreover, as I mentioned quite a bit last week, we live
in a meta right now where there are a LOT of one
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
I have little doubt that there is a combination
that will supremely benefit from this card and the
potential dominance of
I have a feeling, though, that the pieces of the
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
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.
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.
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.