– Cosmic Eclipse
November 26, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Clay might not have anything to support Metal Types, but he does have something that falls into general use. He lets you discard the top seven cards of your deck and if any of those cards are item cards, you get to put them into your hand.
I noticed that I’ve been dismissing card effect that makes you have to discard a chunk of your deck, or hand, or Pokémon, etc. just to generate maximum effect. However, I believe that if a deck was optimized to minimize the pain from those effects, maybe Clay would see play in such decks. Most decks definitely contains Pokémon, energy, and trainer cards, so I can see why the discard cost can be pretty heavy. At the same time, most deck run trainer – item cards as well; Even Pokémon tools, Unidentified Fossils, and Poke Doll variants also count as Trainer – item cards!
Think of other similar costs such as Distilled Blast Gyarados or Spirit Burner Chandelure. They both have heavy discard costs, but they also have great returns. For Gyarados, if you revealed water energies, you get to keep them in your deck. Sure, other categories of cards gets discarded, but such a deck would have 30-35 water energies to minimize the pain. What about Chandelure? Just throw in a bunch of Fire Pokemon (maybe about 25-30 of them) so that if it does get discarded, you get to put them into the Bench. Clay is almost no different, just slap in 35-40 item cards a few Pokémon/energy and call it a day.
Despite such a heavy discard cost, Clay does see potential and its use depends on each deck. Some decks would love to max out at four copies and maybe others would use him as a single copy. Who knows, you might hit a jackpot and play up to seven more items on the same turn you played Clay! However, you might have to worry in a Expanded for a couple things: item lock, being hit much harder by Poltergeist style attacks, or being hit much harder by Trashalanche after you played your item cards. Hope you can deal against those lock strategies! Even Standard is no stranger to those obstacles.
Clay (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 188/236) is a new Trainer-Supporter; Trainers tend to have valuable effects, and Supporters among the strongest to justify their once-per-turn nature. You discard the top seven cards of your deck, but if of those cards discarded were Items, you then put them into your hand. Do note that the Items in question do hit the discard pile before moving to your hand. I don’t recall any card effects, past or present, that could interfere with this, but there’s always the future, and I certain recall such effects from other TCGs.
This is a very high risk, high reward card. Remember how I said Supporters usually had the strongest effects among Trainers? Items usually have the weakest effects but there’s no limit to how many you can play during your turn (baring the effects of other cards). Some times are a lot stronger than I think they ought to be, because they don’t come with a heavy cost or just outright being a little “too good”. Clay gives you the chance to load your hand with up to seven Items fresh from your deck. Items can snag other useful cards for you, buff your stuff, interfere with your opponent, or make other changes to the board state that are beneficial to you.
The cost really is quite high, though. Luck of the draw – or in this case, top of your deck – means you might whiff entirely on Clay. Some of decks have cards they actually want in their discard pile, and both Pokémon and basic Energy cards aren’t too difficult to recycle, but then you get stuff like Special Energy that is very difficult to recycle or Prism Star cards that – due to their own mechanics – go to the Lost Zone instead of the discard pile. You’re also out the opportunity cost of your Supporter for the turn, and a good draw-card can get a lot of the same stuff with much less risk.
Clay is a specialist. He’s meant for decks that need to spam Item cards, put non-Item cards into the discard pile, and/or pull off some particular combos. The high risk of it backfiring coupled with sound alternatives means I won’t score him too highly, but that also doesn’t mean he’s a bad card. He didn’t make my Top 11 but I did consider him, so I can see why he snuck onto someone else’s list, making him one of our runners-up. If we’d done a larger countdown, he’d have taken 18th-place.
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