– Burning Shadows
July 17, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Acerola is another one of those cards where she picks up where other Trainer cards left off. We’ve got plenty of scooping related cards over the years that sometimes see competitive play, and Acerola is no exception for the format she was in. Sure, there’s Super Scoop Up, but one would really wanted a reliable one, and apparently she’s the one to fit the bill.
She does have one tiny bit of a requirement, having your Pokémon to be damaged in order to scoop them (Rainbow Energy easily meets the requirement). So a non-damaged Pokemon won’t be scooped, and that may be a bit frustrating. That’s probably best to keep them from abusing coming-into-play abilities, and having to attach rainbow energy means you’ll miss out on other manual attachments unless you have one that bypasses that lock.
Even though Acerola may be a dead card for when Mr. Mime’s Scoop Up Block prevents you from scooping, this card will be missed, as I don’t think there’s another Supporter card in recent expansions that can pick up the pieces. As for Expanded, she’s gonna face competition against existing scooping related cards like AZ.
Acerola (SM – Burning Shadows 112/147, 112a/147, 142/147) is the eighth best card we’re losing to the 2020 Standard Format rotation. She is a Trainer-Supporter that lets you bounce one of your Pokémon in play plus all cards attached to it, so long as the targeted Pokémon has at least one damage counter on it. We’ve looked at Acerola twice before; first as the second best card of its expansion, then as the ninth best card released in 2017. As you might gather, that means we reviewers thought it was a pretty great card at those times, but how about since then, let alone in the present day?
Acerola was also my personal eighth place pick, so… yeah. Unlike AZ or Super Scoop Up, Acerola isn’t as good at spamming coming-into-play effects, because she can only bounce your injured Pokémon. She’ll still have the chance to do it, so long as your opponent neither completely ignores nor OHKO’s the Pokémon in question; depending on the matchup, you might have it easy or it might be impossible. You do have the option of running something to place a damage counter onto your own Pokémon you wish to bounce, with Rainbow Energy being one easy example… other than it burning your Energy attachment for the turn.
Acerola is almost a textbook example of TecH. She usually isn’t included as a single to counter a particular deck but a decent amount of decks include a single copy because bounce can be used as emergency resource recycling, healing, or switching effect… including all three at once! Reshiram & Charizard-GX, Lucario & Melmetal-GX, Zoroark-GX… whether in a deck that just uses a clutch Acerola to deny a Tag Team being KO’d one or which can use them over and over again to deny almost any KO’s, she’s pretty incredible. There are just seven more cards that I thought were even more important and/or widely played that Acerola didn’t make the list in a higher position.
I’m sadly still pretty lost about how the game will shape up post-rotation, but we’re keeping all Tag Team Pokémon and Pokégear 3.0 (even as we lose Tapu Lele-GX), so I’m thinking Acerola would still lead to some serious power plays. I also believe she’ll still lead to some of those in Expanded, even though she’s competing with AZ, Scoop Up Cyclone, and Super Scoop Up; AZ doesn’t bounce attached cards, Scoop Up Cyclone takes your Ace Spec, and Super Scoop Up (which will remain Standard-legal) requires a successful coin flip. Given its slower pace and likely lower amount of Supporters, if you’re still able to find a Limited Format event using SM – Burning Shadows packs, run it. Excluding +39 (Mulligan) builds where you’re only running a single Basic Pokémon in the first place. Though, if you value style over substance, Acerola makes for a fancy way to concede.
Definitely a great card that’s going to be missed, Acerola fills a role that in Standard was filled by AZ before her. The only difference is that you needed to have damage on the Pokemon to use Acerola, so it probably won’t be used in Expanded over AZ most of the time. I think this would have definitely made my list in some form or another, but again, I don’t know how many decks were focused on using Acerola most of the time. Since you can’t cycle back Pokemon for their effects without taking some damage first, Acerola doesn’t break any Pokemon in Standard, so it’s not that big of a deal in that regard.
Note: No scores, as the above is actually an exert from a larger email discussing our entire Top 11 list. Aroramage was unfortunately busy, but (shared with his permission) still lets him weigh in on the CotD’s he had to skip.
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉