– Unified Minds
August 2, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Hot on the heels of counting down what we just lost, it is time to countdown the best cards from what we’ve just gained! SM – Unified Minds has officially released as of today, though it won’t be tournament legal until August 16th. That’s just in time for the World Championships, which are using the new 2020 Standard Format (UPR-On). Speaking of which, while the 2019 (SUM-On) rotation still has almost two full weeks left, with no major events during that time and SM – Unified Minds not tournament legal until after the rotation, we’re officially shifting the Standard Format portion of the review to post-rotation. If you’re not familiar with our how we countdown our top picks, you can get a better idea of how it works here. I hate to say it, but I’m operating on pure Theorymon right now, so take what I’m saying with a grain of salt. Possibly a lot of salt, for reasons to which I’ll get.
Why? Blizzard Town is a Stadium card which prevents Pokémon with 40 HP (or less) remaining from attacking. The effect doesn’t care about the Pokémon’s maximum HP (printed or otherwise), just its current HP score. As is typical of Stadium cards, it affects both players equally, at least before you factor in the decks being used, and it will stick around until another Stadium is played or another card’s effect discards it. There are some glass cannons out there that this Stadium can stop from attacking, like Natu (SM – Lost Thunder 87/214), but this mostly inconveniences Pokémon that you fail to OHKO, but by less than 50 HP. Assuming your opponent can’t just discard Blizzard Town or change to an attacker with more HP, or heal the damage, or increase the HP of their current attacker. Yeah, quite a few ways around this card’s effects.
I’m also not sure how many Standard Format decks are going to be inconvenienced by it. I mentioned Natu earlier, but I don’t hold out a lot of hope for Lost March. Spiritomb (SM – Unbroken Bonds 112/214) had a good showing at the North American International Championship, and its strategy means Spiritomb would not like Blizzard Town. There are likely other decks that will exploit Hustle Belt, though Vince had to remind me of that. In Expanded, it is another anti-Night March card, but only because the last time I checked, the deck was focusing more on Joltik (XY – Phantom Forces 26/119). Blizzard Town earns its keep in the Limited Format, though; you need a counter-Stadium for your own deck, and your opponent is more likely to run afoul of its effect. Then again, so are your own attackers, as OHKOs just aren’t as likely here.
Don’t let the scores fool you; Blizzard Town is not a bad card, but it is a specialized one. Maybe I’m just totally mistaken about where I think the metagame is going, but I just don’t see Blizzard Town being all that useful for now. As for that salt I mentioned, there were just several more cards I wanted to see in the Top 11 instead of Blizzard Town, which didn’t even come close to making my own Top 11. That’s the point of having multiple reviewers contribute to the list; if I’m right, we’re really just reviewing Blizzard Town ahead of schedule (because we would have eventually gotten around to it). If I am wrong… enjoy a laugh at my expense, and show me the power of Blizzard Town!
I can’t believe that three months have passed by while doing my usual activities outside reviewing cards, but we are here with another new expansion, and we’re about to cover what would be 11 most important cards in Sun & Moon Unified Minds based on voting points. I still haven’t looked at the entire set due to being busy so I took a quick scan instead, looking at trainer cards first before looking at Pokémon.
Anyhow, Blizzard Town is a Stadium Card which states that any Pokemon with 40 or less HP can’t attack. This is a pretty interesting effect as it creates a inconvenience on nearly all Pokemon who happen to have this much HP left. While this might not mean much against most fresh, undamaged Pokemon, it does for some. Pokémon that already has 40 or 30 HP to begin with can’t attack at all while this Stadium card is in play. Some Pokémon from various formats include, but not limited to, Lost March Natu, Night March Joltik, some 30 HP Shedinja cards, and perhaps more. It also single-handedly renders Hustle Belt totally useless due to this Tool needing a Pokémon with 30 or less HP, which is already in Blizzard Town’s range.
I think I made it sound over dramatic on the affected examples. However, Blizzard Town doesn’t last forever; it’d be a matter of time until it gets replaced with another Stadium, removed via some attacks and Field Blower, etc. Suddenly your affected Pokémon finally gets to attack with the Stadium gone. But until then, you must find your way around this, whether you’re using it or being faced against, or risk missing an attack or two due to this Stadium. This unique effect is why it secured the 11th spot of this countdown. Oh, and I’ll start to score Standard based on Ultra Prism onwards, no longer Sun & Moon onwards.
Like a McCree that’s letting you know that his ultimate’s ready to go would say, “You know what time it is.” TOP 11 TIME!!
Blizzard Town’s the first one barely making the list, although based on our voting system it actually just barely etched out over another card we’ll review sooner or later. It’s a Stadium that basically prevents Pokemon with 40 HP or less remaining from attacking. Truth be told…I’m not sure why this card’s up on this list. I mean, I know why it’s on the list, but I’m not sure why it’s on the list, you know?
Alright so here’s the theory behind this: you could use it to shut down your opponent’s Pokemon from attacking, which is a huge deal. Stopping big Pokemon-GX or Tag Team-GX would be really great, but even stopping little tiny Pokemon that are just a nuisance or can hit for obscene amounts of damage is tremendous in and of itself. But here’s the thing about this card that bothers me: shouldn’t you be more focused on getting rid of the last 40 HP than putting focus on a card that can just stop them from attacking?
Again, don’t get me wrong – stopping a Pokemon from attacking for a turn to then finish them off on the next is great! It’s how often that that comes up that bothers me, cause I don’t believe – and I could be wrong about this – that that doesn’t happen enough. Either because you’re not leaving them with 40 HP or less because you couldn’t get down that low in your last attack, or because you’re actually KO-ing them and making progress on your win condition. Never mind any of the Stadium removal that may or may not be present, depending on what’s popular in this post-rotation format, and never mind that this also affects your side of the board too, but doing this consistently and constantly to your opponent? You might as well try and make spread damage work and get lots of KOs all at once.
Spoiler alert: that strategy hasn’t worked that often.
I know there are some good sides to this card, and there’s a possibility that it’ll see play and be good and blow my opinion out of the water, but I’m just saying that between finishing off your opponent’s Pokemon versus relying on a Stadium card to freeze them in place so that they won’t attack with that Pokemon, relying on them not to switch into another Pokemon and finish off the Pokemon they were probably beating up on your side anyway, AND relying on them not to take advantage of your own Stadium that hurts you too by the way in order to do to you what you tried to do to them – I’m saying I’d rather not play this card and risk that.
Standard: 2.5/5 (I ain’t a fan of playing around with something that’s as detrimental to you as it can potentially be for your opponent)
Expanded: 3/5 (yeah, here, you can freeze off things like Night March critters immediately, and the damage numbers probably work out so you hit it consistently hear between this and things like Poison from HTL)
Limited: 4/5 (can’t argue with it here, this would definitely be solid in this format)
Arora Notealus: Come to think of it, this might be the first time I’ve had a card make the Top X List and actually disagreed with it being placed this high up on the list. Like, really disagreed with it. Maybe it’s cause I’m salty over some of the other cards that in my opinion are better than this card that should have made the list that didn’t cause this card made it all the way up here, or maybe I’m not a fan of a card that just stuns people out of playing the game but under very specific circumstances that it makes itself niche by design, but I’m pretty sure there are better cards to run over this in any scenario. In fact, we’re gonna talk about at least 10 of them on the way up the list! Needless to say, I’m not a fan of this card, but then again, I didn’t stick it on my list.
Next Time: Rounding off the top ten takes a good amount of tying things together!
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. 😉