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Yu Yu Hakusho
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Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


- S&M: Guardians Rising

Date Reviewed:
June 6, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.10
Expanded: 3.15
Limited: 4.25

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Mallow's an interesting gal. I mean, what other character can cook for you and asks you to press A to pound? 

...wait a sec that came out wro- 

Mallow has one goal in mind - helping you out! However, she works differently from other Supporters. The good news is, she nabs 2 cards from your deck, but the twist on that is she puts them on top of your deck. Now that's not an instant death sentence on the card - after all, there are plenty of ways to get those cards from the top of your deck to your hand. Alolan Sandslash, Octillery, other draw Supporters, and even just waiting the two turns it could take are all options on the table, so it's not the end of the world if you can't get them right away. 

But there are a couple of problems. 

You essentially stack your deck for the next two turns tops, and if the situation warrants another card's usage, you're stuck with whatever you put on top - assuming you don't draw it out. The other thing is that, again assuming you don't draw the cards on top, you can't really search your deck. Think about it - you just got the cards you wanted on top of your deck, and you want to play a search card to get another? If you don't get those two cards off the top, then you're not going to see it within two turns - you might not even see it again this match! Of course, if you have cards that can just grab exactly what you need anyway, why use Mallow at all? 

This is what makes Mallow a tricky choice in most decks. Sure, she can be useful, and when she works, she works quite well - but you have to be able to plan around her, or else she could end up being more detrimental than helpful. It's cards like hers that make strategy extremely key in this game - you have to play smart if you're going to win! Like with Alolan Ninetales-GX, remember? 


Standard: 3/5 (a useful Supporter with a catch to work around) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (and if you can't work around it, then you're not playing her) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (course if you can get what you need in better ways, you won't play her anyway) 

Arora Notealus: Mallow is definitely one of the more interesting cards in the set, and it has a high potential too. It's just difficult to put her higher up considering she has to be worked around correctly or else she won't have a strong impact. Still, it's hard to not see two guaranteed draws and be like, "That's pretty good." Just gotta look at all sides of it though. 



Mallow (Guardians Rising, 145/145) comes to the game from the Guardians Rising expansion set.  A draw Supporter card, it allows you to take any two cards from your deck and put them at the top of your deck in any order.  A couple weeks ago I spoke to this card at length, and I still feel that it may find a place in the meta, but I don’t think that place exists right now.

To refresh, I have had the most success using Mallow with the following cards:

ˇ         Octillery (Breakthrough, 33/162)

ˇ         Skyla (Breakpoint, 122/122)

ˇ         Random Receiver (Fates Collide, 109/124)

ˇ         VS Seeker (Roaring Skies, 110/108)

ˇ         Teammates (Primal Clash, 160/160)

It can give you a huge advantage, to get any two cards you want instantly, and I have competed quite adequately in a number of matches.  I have discovered, unfortunately, that only two cards leaves you short of the resources you need.  For instance, I can use it to get an energy and a Pokemon, but then I can’t get another draw supporter.  Or I might get an Item card that will really help me and another supporter, but that means I probably won’t get the energy or Pokemon I need. 

The philosophy behind this engine differs significantly from the typical Professor Sycamore (Steam Siege, 114/114), N (Fates Collide, 105/124), etc. style.  Using Mallow as your primary draw supporter demands a tremendous amount of precision.  It requires you to select the exact, perfect cards that you need at this particular moment.  If you make a single mistake and select the wrong card, you probably won’t be able to recover.  You get so few cards with this engine that you have to grab the exact cards you truly need.  If you do, and if you can get some extra cards with Octillery, or, best case scenario, get two Octillery set up, that will greatly help you out, but another weakness is that it takes at least a couple turns to get Octillery up and running.

Also worth noting is that N is also very disruptive as well, but considering you normally have a small hand size in this style of play, your opponent might actually give you up to six additional cards, so even though they aren’t the cards you wanted, you will still probably get cards that you can use.

Mallow might also function in a few capacities other than just as a draw supporter:

ˇ         Rayquaza EX (Roaring Skies, 75/108) – this almost becomes a Battle Compressor (Phantom Forces, 92/119).

ˇ         Haxorus (Breakthrough, 111/162) - this almost becomes a Battle Compressor

ˇ         Typhlosion (Breakthrough, 20/162) – can use Mallow to ensure high damage

ˇ         Whiscash (Guardians Rising, 71/145) – can use Mallow to ensure high damage

ˇ         Entei (Ancient Origins, 14/98) – use to power up Pokemon

ˇ         M Gyarados EX (Breakpoint, 115/122) - this almost becomes a Battle Compressor

ˇ         Avalugg (Steam Siege, 37/114) – might make this a very dangerous mill deck


Standard: 2.5 out of 5


I have had some success using Mallow as a draw support engine, and if it allowed you to choose three cards, it might completely change the way we play the game.   Mallow, however, strikes me as the type of card that a year or year and a half from now, we’ll come back to and say, “Wow!  This card is perfect,” because something new will drop into the meta that will pair wonderfully with Mallow.


Our next runner up is Mallow (SM: Guardians Rising 127/145; 145/145), finishing in 17th place.  This is another example of a card that is nearly a reprint, as Mallow shares her effect with the much older Oracle (Skyridge 138/144), a card the review crew looked at here.  The exact wording is a bit different, but both cards have you look through your deck, pick the two cards you want, remove them from your deck, shuffle your deck, and finally place the two removed cards on top.  Some of them were aware of how useful Oracle was during its tenure in Modified (Standard) play.  When Oracle released, the reprint of Bill from the Legendary Collection has returned it Modified as well, and unlike the final reprint of Bill in HeartGold/SoulSilver, this one was still a “normal Trainer”, which meant it wasn’t a Supporter but what we’d now refer to as an Item.  A Supporter/Item combo that acted like a double Computer Search (sans the discard) or Teammates (without the conditional usage) was great.  Yeah, even though some of those guys were worried about not having Bill and Oracle in hand at the same time.  Of course, even if they had been right (and to be fair, I could have been wrong and they could be right), a few months later we received the first printing of Delcatty (EX: Ruby & Sapphire 5/109; EX: Power Keepers 8/108), which had a  Poké-Power (similar to an Ability) that allowed you to discard an Energy from hand, then draw three cards.  By this point, Oracle was a confirmed power play as long as your deck ran the kitty (and most of the top ones did). 

So what does that have to do with Mallow?  Obviously, we don’t have Bill or Delcatty.  We do have several other viable partners.  Acro Bike means you select one card you want in hand and one card you want in the discard pile as your picks with Mallow.  Scorched Earth only works in certain decks, but they usually want to discard a basic Fighting Energy or Fire Energy card from hand, and now you’re getting the exact two cards added to your hand instead of two random ones.  A very general option is Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108); unless you want to go with a glass-half-full view of it reducing its draw yield, Mallow ensures that two of the up-to-six cards you draw are exactly what you wanted.  Octillery (XY: BREAKthrough 33/162) provides a more budget-friendly version of that combo, and perhaps better as it’s once-per-turn Ability can be reused.  Oranguru is another alternative, but being easier to get while still a Basic is coupled with only drawing until you have three cards in hand, but that can still work wonders with Mallow.  Unown (XY: Ancient Origins 30/98) is the last of the proven Pokémon Ability-based draw I’ll cite, but again it turns a single card of draw power into exactly what you wanted, and potentially a favorable topdeck for your next turn.  Why “potentially?”  If you goof and use an effect that makes you shuffle your deck or your opponent is able to do so, Mallow is effectively erased! 

Which is why I am only now mentioning the most obvious but often ineffective use for the card; setting up a good draw for your next turn or two.  This is often going to be ineffective because your opponent has two ways to thwart this tactic, as well as using an attack to supply the bonus draw: force you to shuffle your deck (including shuffling your hand into your deck) or changing the current game situation enough that your previous picks become less useful (maybe even bad).  The former is the easiest, with good ol’ N.  Even with such a risk, it isn’t a worthless fallback strategy, just suboptimal.  Sometimes this isn’t even much of a risk; if you’re top-decking and use Mallow, an opponent’s N would mean ending up with at least one card in hand and your draw for the turn still pending, even if they’ll be from a sufficiently randomized deck and not your cherry-picked selections.  I believe the combos for Mallow outweigh this, including the usual Supporter help; Battle Compressor (in Expanded), Tapu Lele-GX, and VS Seeker.  You don’t have to run a massive Mallow count to make use of her, though if things shift back to being anti-Item and/or pro-conservative play, you might want to run her in multiples after all. 

One final use for Mallow are the various card effects that depend upon the top two cards of your deck.  In fact, this might be what some of you have been expecting me to discuss all along.  This guarantees Energy Loto, Ether, Great Ball, Max Either, Trainers’ Mail, etc. doesn’t just hit a compatible target, but the exact one you want.  A surprising number of attacks care about the top of your deck: any draw attacks and any that inflict self-mill.  Some of the latter have beneficial effects if you hit a particular kind of card (usually basic Energy).  So I want to tell you that Mallow is at least a loose staple, something you’ll run in every deck unless you’re forced to cut it by space constraints.  This isn’t borne out by recent tournament results, though.  In Limited, you have less disruption to worry about, so while you might not have access to killer combos, she’s still a very happy pull. 


Standard: 3.8/5 

Expanded: 3.8/5 

Limited: 5/5 


I am still scoring Mallow high because I truly believe the potential is there.  However, I cannot argue with the last two weeks of Regional Championships.  I can speculate, which I have done, but she may have to settle for being a potent-but-niche play. 

As already established, 15th place Trevenant tied with 16th place Energy Loto in voting points; Mallow was a single point away from making that a three-way tie.  She took 9th place on my own list, and even tempering my expectations based on the past two Regional Championships, I still think she should have taken at least 15th place.

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