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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 15 Sun & Moon: Guardians Rising

#10 - Hala
- S&M: Guardians Rising

Date Reviewed:
May 22, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.10
Expanded: 3.65
Limited: 3.75

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Get it? Cause his name is Hala and it sounds like hol-GET IT?! 

So Hala is a cool guy who has a cool effect, and he's pretty much here for you. Let's start by saying this is the new "draw 7" card of the Sun/Moon era, but don't mistake that to mean he's a full-blown replacement for Professors Sycamore or Juniper. He plays very differently, and it may be a signal in a future Sun/Moon-on format as to how draw power will work. 

But I digress. Hala starts by shuffling the remaining cards in your hand back into your deck...if you have any. And then from there, you draw a certain number of cards - 4 cards to be exact. But I did mention it was a "draw 7" card, and that clause is limited by your usage of a GX attack. That's right, you only draw 7 cards if you've used your GX Attack for the game. 

Now that may limit this card's potential in decks where the GX Attack may be more useful as a finisher or in the late-game, but there are a couple of GX Attacks that actually can be useful in the early game. For instance, Drampa-GX from last week actually would be a great combo piece with this card - use his attack early game to draw 10 cards out, and then you can use Hala to grab 7 cards for the rest of the game whenever you use him! Nice! 

Hala is not going to be for every deck though, but given the wide range of GX Attacks that we've seen, it's likely that he'll see play in those decks that can be used early or even mid-game to swing card advantage in the player's favor. Some decks may still prefer to use Sycamore for dumping stuff into the discard pile, but for those that don't mind drawing some old cards with their new ones (if they shuffle any back, of course), Hala is a great addition to have in one's deck. 


Standard: 3.5/5 (while Sycamore is the better draw option overall, Hala is definitely going to get his time to shine) 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (who knows? there may even be some older decks that benefit well from his draw abilites) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (at least so long as they have a GX Attack to use with...) 

Arora Notealus: Hala's gonna have a lot of future potential, and I imagine he'll be reprinted a couple of times throughout the course of the Sun/Moon era here. It's certainly going to be an interesting run for him. Who knows, he may even be a major highlight in a deck! 

Next Time: Taking to the skies once more...a non-GX??



Hala (Guardians Rising, 126/145) comes out of the Guardians Rising expansion set.  A brand new supporter card, it allows you to reshuffle your hand into your deck and then draw four cards.  If you have already played your GX attack for the game, then you can draw seven cards.  If you play a GX Pokemon where playing an early GX attack fits in with your deck’s strategy, you will probably want to play four of Hala.  A couple of Pokemon that would probably do well with Hala include Solgaleo GX (Sun & Moon, 143/149) and Drampa GX (Guardians Rising, 142/145).

Outside of those two Pokemon, I don’t see any reason to run Hala.  A four card blast just won’t cut it in today’s game.  Professor Birch’s Observations (Primal Clash, 159/160) will get you an average of five and a half, Shauna (Fates Collide, 111/124) will get you five.  Hala didn’t make my top twenty because it only works for a couple of Pokemon.  I significantly downgraded it because of that.  Furthermore, I have experienced some recent success using an entirely different type of draw supporter: Mallow (Guardians Rising, 145/145).  Only Otaku had the wisdom to see the value of Mallow at the time we submitted our top lists for Guardians Rising.  I did not realize its potential until after I had turned in my list; otherwise, Mallow undoubtedly would have made the top fifteen.

Therefore, I am hijacking the rest of this review and dedicating it to the superior draw supporter, Mallow.  Mallow allows you to select ANY two cards from your deck and place them in any order as the top two cards of your deck.  I think many of us, myself included, simply failed to see how easy it would be to actually get those cards into your hand in the same turn subsequent to playing Mallow.  A variety of options exist to help facilitate accessing these cards immediately after playing Mallow:

ˇ         Octillery (Breakthrough, 33/162)

ˇ         Shaymin EX (Roaring Skies, 106/108)

ˇ         Unown (Ancient Origins, 30/98)

ˇ         Oranguru (Sun & Moon, 113/149)

ˇ         Alolan Sandslash (Guardians Rising, 20/145)

ˇ         Trainer’s Mail (Ancient Origins, 100/98)

ˇ         Acro Bike (Primal Clash, 122/160)

Also, Pokemon like Lapras GX (Sun & Moon, 139/149) and Drampa GX could get you both of these cards for your next turn (and a couple more as well).

Mallow will not function well for every deck, though.  For big basics, the traditional shuffle or discard and blast six or seven card draw supporters remain the preferred engines for these decks.  However, for decks where you need to hold cards to wait to evolve them (especially Stage 2 decks), Mallow provides an interesting, precision based draw support engine.

In my own personal testing with Mallow, here are my results (Deck_Wins_Losses):

ˇ         Tapu Koko (Guardians, Rising, 47/145)_10_6

ˇ         M Mewtwo Ex (Breakthrough, 64/162) Garbodor (Guardians Rising, 51/145)_12_6

ˇ         Solgaleo GX (Sun & Moon, 89/149) Metagross GX (Guardians Rising, 85/145)_6_5

ˇ         Alolan Ninetales GX (Guardians Rising, 22/145)_4_4

ˇ         Greninja Break (Breakpoint, 41/122)_0_2

ˇ         Toxapex GX (Guardians Rising, 57/145) Lunala GX (Sun & Moon, 66/149)_0_1 



Standard: 2 out of 5


Both of these draw supporters have significant limitations that inherently prohibit them from use in a majority of decks.  They both have niche roles that provide immense value to the limited number of decks that will benefit from them.  I do believe, though, that Mallow has a larger audience than Hala, but who knows what will happen in the future.


We are in the middle of counting down the top 15 cards of SM: Guardians Rising.  The Pojo site list is based on individual lists submitted by the review staff; reprints are excluded to avoid highlighting cards we already know are quite good. 

Our 10th place finisher is the new Supporter, Hala (SM: Guardians Rising 126/145, 143/145)!  As a Supporter, Hala is competing in what should be a brutally competitive field, but Tapu Lele-GX and VS Seeker; the former needs a bit of an explanation because it is a new card.  Tapu Lele-GX has the Ability “Wonder Tag”, which triggers when you play her from your hand to your Bench.  When this happens, you may add a Supporter from your deck to your hand, like the “Stellar Guidance” Ability of Jirachi-EX.  This makes it so that even in Standard, you can easily snag a Supporter from your deck, even if you’re running it as a single.  VS Seeker means you can make use of that card from your discard pile; besides allowing Battle Compressor to serve as Supporter search as well, it means a single copy can function as up to four more.  These don’t stop being helpful even if you decide to run more copies of a Supporter, but what I am getting at is that Supporters aren’t in as cutthroat a competition as they were before these cards.  Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) and other Pokémon-based draw help as well, as you can afford to run more non-draw Supporters or less reliable draw supporters, while they pick up the slack. 

Hala is a draw Supporter, which has you shuffle your hand into your deck and then draw more cards.  How many depends upon whether you have used your GX-attack for the turn.  If you haven’t, you draw four.  That is poor, but not horrible; four potentially new cards in hand still has the potential of keeping you going.  At the very least, even if the current turn ends up lean, it gives you a decent chance of pulling a Supporter (or means of gaining a Supporter) by your next turn.  If you have used your GX-attack already, then you shuffle and draw seven cards, which is a great number.  Now, sometimes you’ll prefer discarding and drawing a reliable seven cards; that’s what we (currently) have Professor Sycamore to accomplish.  Other times, you’ll have cards in hand you wish to save for later, and we don’t have a lot of great draw options for drawing when that is the case.  N is a great card, but its yield varies as the game goes on and it affects your opponent as well (sometimes good, sometimes bad).  Everything else in Standard falls far short.  Shauna shuffles and draws five; reliable, but the yield seems to be insufficient.  Professor Birch draws four or seven, this time decided by a coin flip; you always have a chance of drawing seven, but you always have a chance of drawing four, and you won’t know which until after you flip. 

Are there competitive decks that lack a Pokémon-GX?  Some that couldn’t just work in a few Drampa-GX, Tauros-GX, or a deck-specific option if they really wanted to use Hala?  Probably, and certainly possibly, so obviously skip Hala for those decks.  How about decks that just don’t need a shuffle-and-draw-seven card, or at least don’t need one that will only draw four cards until they use up their GX-attack?  Some decks are saving their GX-attack, if not for the game-winning KO, then for a similar key play.  These could still consider using Hala, for the times when things don’t go as planned and a player has to use his or her GX-attack ahead of schedule, but unless it is a very loose plan, probably not.  Some decks have a GX-attack that is meant to be used ASAP, probably because it has a setup based effect; Hala is likely going to be an amazing option for such decks.  Finally, we have what I believe most decks qualify as something that doesn’t have to use its GX-attack early, but can if you give it a good reason, and Hala could be that reason.  Expanded has more options (like Colress) but more combo opportunities (Battle Compressor), which I’m going to propose roughly even out.  For Limited play, even if you have no GX-attack to use, shuffle-and-draw four may be better than no Supporter at all, so it’s worth including (and if you do have a GX-attack you can pull off early, then it’s awesome). 


Standard: 3.8/5 

Expanded: 3.8/5 

Limited: 3/5 (if you have a GX-attack to use, 4/5) 


While still not the Supporter that will give us a universal three to run in all decks, this is a very good, maybe great card.  I expect Hala to be the “new” Colress; there are just enough decks that can’t make sufficient use of it to keep it from being the equal of N or Professor Juniper/Professor Sycamore, but it is a great card, otherwise.  I confess, though, that there is some nagging feeling in the back of my mind keeping me from giving it a four-out-of-five. 

Hala took 10th place, beating last Friday’s 11th place Drampa-GX by two voting points, and lost to tomorrow’s 9th place finisher by the same amount.  For my personal Top 15, Hala secured 7th place.

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