Blaine’s Last Stand
– Dragon Majesty
September 11, 2018
Limited: N/A (see below)
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Blaine is arguably the best Gen 1 Gym Leader, and he’s definitely my pick for fave Gym Leader. It’s funny though how he’s also the Gym Leader with the most changes between the interpretation in the guide, to the anime character, to the Gen 3 remakes of the games, from which his look has remained the same since. Guess it took them a while to get it right.
Blaine’s Last Stand is a Supporter that lets you draw 2 cards for every Fire Pokemon you’ve got out on the board, but you can only use it when it’s the last card in your hand. It’s similar to Lysandre <Prism>, in that it focuses on Fire Pokemon, meaning that between this and Blaziken, Fire decks have a pretty solid ground to stand on in the meta. And its condition isn’t even that big of a deal, as you’d likely want to play it when you have a low number of cards anyway; having it be the last one just gives you the biggest chance to draw what you need and surprise your opponent.
…I say “draw what you need”, but that’s really up to whatever is on top of your deck at the time. For the most part, though, Blaine’s Last Stand should be drawing you anywhere from 6-8 cards, assuming you’ve got 3-4 Fire Pokemon in play. That’s already on-par with Cynthia, who’s arguably the best draw Supporter currently, and it matches with Lillie, who can draw 8 at the start of the game. After that, you just end up with more cards in hand to work with, and that’s a pretty amazing thing to work with when it comes to Blaine!
Experiment away with everyone’s favorite scientist Gym Leader and see how he works for you!
Standard: 4/5 (solid support for Fire decks of all kinds)
Expanded: 4/5 (probably best as a one-of, since you don’t need to worry about drawing out your entire deck with him)
Limited: 5/5 (definitely a great piece here)
Arora Notealus: Blaine’s manga interpretation is also really neat. For those who don’t know, in the Pokemon Adventures manga, Blaine was initially apart of Team Rocket and responsible for creating Mewtwo, though after the protagonist Red beat up Team Rocket, he ended up departing from the organization. He even gets to control Mewtwo at one point to fight off against Lance, who actually aimed to wipe out humanity save for the ones who were kind to Pokemon. Kind of like a really evil N.
Pokemon Adventures is a pretty crazy manga.
Next Time: Speaking of Lance…
Our fourth place pick is…Blaine’s Last Stand. It’s the only card in the set that is a regular rare, while the other rares are either Holo Rare or time he ones above it. This is a Supporter which only works when it is the only card in your hand (Hello Maxie & Archie PRC!). When you do, then you draw two cards for each Fire Pokemon you have in play. I had this as my second pick, but because I misread one part of the text, and I now feel like I should’ve ranked lower (I overestimated this card). The part that I ignored was if that’s the only card in your hand. My mind was only thinking about the drawing aspect instead of shortcomings.
With that, it seems like Blaine’s Last Stand asks a lot for a player. Trying to fulfill Blaine’s requirement is not always a good thing. You may not want to mindlessly discard cards from your hand that you need much later on, and even then, there’s not much methods of really discarding some cards from your hand outside of Ultra Ball or Lost Mixer (even worse for most decks outside of dedicated Lost Zone decks such as Lost March, don’t use this). Loading a team full of fire types is also a bad thing, since most of them are weak to Water (or Lightning for Fire/Flying hybrids like Talonflame), and Araqunaid’s Water Bubble is a complete wall against your team. Once you get past all that, you can potentially draw 12 cards (or 18 with Sky Field), which totally ecplise all Standard straight draw Supporters.
I cannot convince myself that I can pull this off. If I can’t get Maxie/Archie to work, I don’t think I can with Blaine. As with Dragon Majesty cards, no one so far hosted a Prerelease of that set, so I can’t give it a rating.
Looks like I’m not the only one who misread the fine print. 🙁
Blaine’s Last Stand (DRM 58) enters the meta from the Dragon Majesty expansion set. Boy, did I misread this card when I first saw it. I missed that fine print that indicated that it could only be used if it is the only card in your hand. My eyes just went straight to the “Draw 2 cards for each Fire Pokemon you have in play.” line and popped right out of my head. You start with only 47 cards in your deck after prizes and your opening hand. This card can potentially draw 12 cards in a single play.
Unfortunately, there are a number of factors working against Blaine’s Last Stand:
If you can pull it off, it’s absolutely fantastic. But how often will you be able to play it? Time will tell, but right now I don’t think all the effort is worth it.
Standard: 2 out of 5
I haven’t tested it yet, and maybe there is a fairly reliable means of meeting this card’s requirements, but my initial theorymon on this is that you’ll rarely be able to make this work. But the potential of being able to draw 12 cards….
Our fourth place pick is Blaine’s Last Stand (Dragon Majesty 58/70, 69/70), a Supporter you may only use when it is the last card in your hand, but then you get to draw two cards per [R] Pokémon you have in play. This card seems to have been inspired by Blaine’s Last Resort (Gym Heroes 105/132), which is probably why I keep calling it that. Another two cards that this should remind you of are Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick. They also require they (individually) be the last card in your hand before you can play them, and add the requirements of having an open spot on your Bench and a Pokémon of the correct Type ([W] or [F], respectively), because they then play that Pokémon from your discard pile directly to your Bench and have you draw five cards.
Blaine’s Last Stand is not as good as either Archie’s Ace in the Hole or Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, but I wouldn’t want it to be. Those cards were legal at the same time as cards like Battle Compressor and VS Seeker, and Archeops (BW – Noble Victories 67/101; BW – Dark Explorers 110/108) is banned because of how quickly and reliably Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick allows many decks to field it (usually on a player’s first turn). Even with just Mysterious Treasure, Ultra Ball, and Tapu Lele-GX, thinning your hand down to just the search card and discard fodder or Tapu Lele-GX itself shouldn’t be much of a hassle. Easy? No, but most of the time not especially difficult, either.
The reason most decks shouldn’t bother with Blaine’s Last Stand is that they’ll have zero or one [R] Pokémon on their Bench – hello, Magcargo (SM – Celestial Storm 24/168) – and even with “Smooth Over” it isn’t worth the effort of thinning your hand down to just Blaine’s Last Stand to draw two cards. Nor for four cards. Once you have at least three [R] Pokémon in play? Then Blaine’s Last Stand becomes worth the effort. If you can manage it with a all six of your Pokémon in play being [R], drawing 12 cards is almost too much. Almost. That probably won’t be a problem as you’ll likely have at least a Tapu Lele-GX eating up some of your Bench space and thus reducing your maximum draw. The real reason this is bittersweet isn’t because lowering your hand down to one card is impossible, but because the decks that most need the draw power without shuffling or discard cards are Evolution heavy decks and… well, not much point trying to draw into a Rare Candy when you had to discard your Stage 2 [R] Pokémon before you could use Blaine’s Last Stand. Assuming you could discard that Stage 2.
Expanded carries a potential higher return, as Sky Field and nothing but [R] Pokémon mean you draw 18 cards after burning through your hand… but as you’re not able to cultivate a good hand before drawing, you may as well stick mostly to Colress and just shuffle and draw for at least eight cards (your Bench plus anything your opponent has Benched) without having to get your hand down to zero or running nothing but [R] Pokémon. The former ought to be easier here but the latter? Too many essential non-[R] Pokémon most decks desire, if not require. Still, a single copy is probably great for a Volcanion-EX(or similar) deck. So… easier to use, but better competition. If you and some friends somehow cobble together a Limited Format event using Dragon Majesty boosters – again, not available in a booster box – then Blaine’s Last Stand is… bad. You will not have tricks like Ultra Ball to help thin your hand. If I pulled one and was running a deck of mostly or all [R] Types, I’d still slot it in just in case, but not more than that, even if I pulled multiple copies.
Note: As stated, I wasn’t going to delve into the specifics of how well the cards performed for individual lists, or the total voting points the card earned, etc. but there seems to have been some confusion with this card. It took sixth place on my (larger than five) personal list because I didn’t think it being your last card in hand was impossible and because everything else looked even more niche.
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