– Unified Minds
September 30, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
So Channeler’s pretty simple – remove all the effects of attacks from you and your other Pokemon. What does that mean exactly? Any attack that would prevent a Pokemon from attacking, prevent you from playing Trainer cards from your hand like Items or Supporters, shut down Abilities, all that stuff, that’ll get removed from your Pokemon immediately!
…I guess Channeler’s not that simple when it comes to this sort of thing, but I’m pretty sure as long as it’s not a Status Condition or an effect that deals damage or removes Energy, you can pretty much assume it’s an effect that Channeler can remove. This makes Channeler pretty niche, but if there are popular effects that deal with these sorts of things, it’s a good card to tech in. I’d say this is more of keep an eye on the meta to see how well this works, and if it doesn’t, well, at least you’ll have it when it does become relevant.
Standard: 2.5/5 (I don’t think there’s much to do in this meta at the moment with this card)
Expanded: 3/5 (generally there are more of these kinds of effects out here)
Limited: 2.5/5 (but the smaller the card pool, the less likely there are going to be relevant effects)
Arora Notealus: Channelers aren’t really much for television surfing, but they do bring up some interesting ideas for tuning into the spirit world. Or just getting possessed by Ghost Pokemon. That’s all I think anyone really remembers them for.
Next Time: Picking away at the ol’ picky picker!
Note: Has some sort of Pokemon Ranger (XY steam siege) effect that only works for just you and not the opponent.
Channeler (SM – Unified Minds 190/236, 232/236) is a Trainer-Supporter that states it removes all effects of attacks on you and your Pokémon when you play it. There has been some confusion about what “effects” can be removed. The short answer is if it creates a physical change to the field, it won’t be undone by Channeler. Damage done by an attack isn’t undone, as that leaves damage counters (as do effects that place damage counters). Besides placing damage counters, Burn also places a Burn Counter and Poison a Poison Counter. You turn a Pokémon to the left if it is Aslpeep, upside down if it is confused, or to the right if Paralyzed. If an attack effect forces something to the Bench, Channeler will not force it back into the Active position, etc.
Wait, so what does Channeler remove? You know how the “Flare Strike” attack from Reshiram & Charizard-GX places an effect on the Pokémon that attacks with it, stating that Pokémon can’t use Flare Strike during your next turn? Whether it is Reshiram & Charizard-GX itself using it or the Flare Strike was being copied by something like Mewtwo & Mew-GX, Channeler removes that effect… so you could use Flare Strike again the next turn without changing out your Active.
Channeler also removes effects the attack of an opponent’s Pokémon places on you, the player; I’m drawing a blank on Standard Format examples, even though they exist, so I’ll use something from Expanded: “Quaking Punch”, the attack made infamous by Seismitoad-EX. Quaking Punch prevents your opponent from playing Item cards from hand during their next turn; Channeler will cancel out that effect, letting you play Item cards as normal.
Channeler is very similar to Pokémon Ranger, a Trainer-Supporter from the late XY-era. Pokémon Ranger removed all effects of attacks on both players and their Pokémon. This meant you may be fortunate, removing a detrimental effect from your own Pokémon (and/or self) while removing a beneficial one from your opponent’s Pokémon (and/or self). It also meant Pokémon Ranger could be a stupid play, removing good effects from you and deleterious effects from your opponent! There was also the middle option; you removed something you wanted to remove from one player, but at the “cost” of removing something you would rather stayed as well.
Pokémon Ranger received a good deal of hype before its release, and was actually our sixth-place pick for XY – Steam Siege, the set in which it released. It didn’t live up to all of the hype, but that was because a lot of the cards it would have countered had themselves diminished in the time between Pokémon Ranger being leaked in Japan to its actual release for the rest of us. Something I mentioned in its follow-up review. Which didn’t make Pokémon Ranger a bad card, just a bit niche, which is how I view Channeler, though without any pressing example of where it would be a good fit.
There aren’t any stand-out decks where Channeler is necessary or necessary to counter right now, but there is a decent chance they’re on the way. There are a few where it could help, but other tricks like retreating already do the job. Like Switch and Escape Rope sometimes you want the double-sided effect, sometimes you don’t, so I’m still giving Channeler a solid score for Expanded. In the Limited Format, attack effects are harder to deal with which can make them more potent, whether they help or hurt the player using them. Not every deck will contain such effects, though. Even with only 40 cards in your deck, you should be able to spare a slot for Channeler, so err on the side of caution and include it.
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