Banette – Chilling Reigns

Date Reviewed:  August 3, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.0
Expanded: 2.0

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

Reviews Below:

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Banette (SW – Chilling Reign 063/198) almost seems like a Throwback pick.  Not because it resembles another Banette, but because of its first attack.  However, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Lets run through the rest of the card, first.  Banette is a [P] type, handy for exploiting some Weakness now that Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX decks have become firmly established, and maybe some others like any surviving Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks.  Being a Stage 1 is decent; Basics are best, but Stage 1’s just require one more turn and one more card.  Single Strike cards haven’t really made much of an impression on the metagame, but being one gives Banette access to some solid-looking (but unproven) support.

80 HP means you can Level Ball for Banette, but also means it is either destined to be a Bench-sitter or a glass cannon.  [D] Weakness would be awful but the HP means Darkness decks are super-reliable at OHKOing it… instead of just “very” reliable.  [F] Resistance is appreciated, but due to the HP, will rarely matter.  Similarly, the Retreat Cost of [C] is good, but an Active Banette is likely a KO’d Banette.  [PC] pays for Banette’s second attack, “Eerie Light”.  All it does is 50 damage while also Confusing your opponent’s Active.  For one Energy, this could be handy, but for two… its filler, and mediocre filler at that.  So, what about that first attack?

For [P], Banette can use “Resolute Spite”.  This attack lets you place up to 7 damage counters on Banette itself.  Wait, how is that good?  That’s only the first part of the attack.  The rest is that the attack does 20 damage for each damage counter you just placed on Banette.  In other words, you can do up to 140 damage for [P].  Banette’s 80 HP means you can do the 140 and fall just short of self-KOing.  If Banette is already damaged, though, you can still use Resolute Spite and place up to 7 damage counters; the way attack effects resolve, an injured Banette will place the damage counters on itself, damage the opponent’s Active, and only at the end of the attack will any self-KO’s resolve.

We have a decent idea of how to use this attack thanks to Froslass (SM: Unified Minds 38/236).  She can use “Spiteful Sight”, priced at [W] to… do the exact same thing Banette does with Resolute Spite.  Froslass ended up seeing some success in competitive play, mostly as a counter to things like Reshiram & Charizard-GX, which it could OHKO via Weakness.  Banette doesn’t enjoy the same benefit, simply because its targets have too much HP.  Well, primary target (singular): Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX.  It has 330 HP, so Banette will need help to reach 170 damage before Weakness.  All hope is not lost, though.  Rapid Strike Urshifu V (either version) is within OHKO range.  If Mewtwo & Mew-GX makes yet another comeback, it too can be OHKO’d thanks to its [P] Weakness.

There is also Banette’s status as a Single Strike Pokémon, so that help is readily available.  You “just” need an extra 30 damage, and Single Strike Pokémon can tap Emboar (SW – Battle Styles 025/163), Karen’s Conviction, and/or Single Strike Energy can all help with that.  The real issue is that we no longer have a TecH 1-1 line like Froslass.  In fact, Froslass could be utilized via Ditto {*} back in the day, so it could be run as a 0-1 line!  Banette will need to be in a deck built around it, or at least in a Single Strike deck.  The most obvious damage buff – Single Strike Energy – isn’t as handy here since

  • Resolute Spite doesn’t require [F] or [D] Energy, which is what Single Strike Energy provides.
  • To get +30 from Single Strike Energy alone, you’ll need two copies attached.
  • The Ability of Houndoom (SW – Battle Styles 096/163, 179/163, SW – Black Star Promos SWSH090) to accelerate Single Strike Energy from the deck places damage counters on the Pokémon receiving that Energy.  You can still go for Resolute Spite after, but your injured Banette will most likely self-KO.

Emboar means running a Stage 2, or relying on Single Strike Style Mustard, neither of which is appealing.  Karen’s Conviction shouldn’t be too hard to utilize, given you’re attacking with a low HP, single Prize Pokémon that can self-KO if your opponent attempts to ignore it.  Given how I was recently blindsided by the Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX/Galarian Moltres V deck proving itself in the Players Cup IV, maybe needing to run a complicated mess of Energy to pull off the same thing with Banette could be worth it… but probably not.  Again, we were fixating on OHKOing Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX… but Galarian Moltres V upping its damage put most Basic Pokémon V into OHKO range.

Expanded offers a few more tricks to Banette, but not enough that I expect it to do well there.  Still, it seems like it could at least be functional.  So it will avoid a minimum score for Expanded.  For that matter, Standard will also be a two-out-of-five, as I’m not convinced that it is worth the hassle to do what it can do… but remember Banette nonetheless as it truly could be your answer to Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX in the right deck.


  • Standard: 2/5
  • Expanded: 2/5

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