Celestial Storm 163
August 27, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
You ever feel like these reprints are the real copycats around here?
Copycat is a Supporter that simply shuffles your hand into your deck, and then you get to draw cards until you’ve got the same amount in your opponent’s hand…or as the card text puts it nowadays, you draw a card for each card in your opponent’s hand. This card initially came out in Expedition’s Base Set but most recently saw play in the HGSS era thanks to its reprinting there.
These days, Copycat is making its entrance at a pretty good turning point. In a time period where we’re losing access to powerful draw Supporters like Sycamore for the first time in…a while, Copycat is set to make a grand reappearance in this format. As arguably one of the better draw Supporters alongside Cynthia, Copycat’s in a good position to make a good staple in many decks.
The real question is, can Copycat duplicate the success it’s had in previous formats? From a base standpoint, it should be able to. While most of the time it may end up acting as an inferior Cynthia – shuffling back only a couple of cards to get 3-4 cards in return – Copycat also has potential to be on-par or even better than Cynthia, depending on the match-up. For instance, playing Copycat after an opposing Rayquaza-GX’s Tempest GX makes for an instant boost in card advantage no matter the situation!
So there’s definitely room for Copycat, and I think it’s one of the best formats to enter in on. It’s slower, there’s less competition, and it’s going to have a lot of great impact moments. Just don’t start repeating everything your opponent says…or does…even in a mirror match.
Standard: 4.5/5 (there are some situations where Copycat is not so great, but for the most part, it’s in a pretty good spot)
Expanded: 2/5 (here though, there are just much better Supporters out there to out-pace it, although it could be great after an opposing N)
Limited: 5/5 (draw is good)
Arora Notealus: I think right now for Standard, the best draw Supporters are Cynthia, Tate & Liza (which we’ll be reviewing later this week), Copycat, and Hala. Funny enough, all of them have the same general effect of shuffling cards into your deck and then drawing more. Of these, Hala depends on if your deck can use an early-game GX Attack, Copycat depends a bit on what you’re playing against, Tate & Liza depend on the situation, and Cynthia’s just good all around. Any other draw Supporters are…not as great by comparison after that.
Next Time: Sometimes the best start…is a head start!
Wow, looks like this will be our 7th time in Pojo’s COTD looking at Copycat (Expedition 138/165; Team Rocket Returns 83/109; EX – Dragon Frontiers 73/101; HeartGold SoulSilver 90/123; Call of Legends 77/95; HS Trainer Kit – Raichu Half Deck 21/30; SM Celestial Storm 127/168, 163/168). As for six older reviews, those links are here:
Copycat has been doing the same thing since day one by shuffling your hand and drawing cards equal to how many cards your opponent has in their hand. The amount of usefulness ranges from being terrible (opponent hand size is small) to being insanely generous (opponent hand size is big). The first five reviews were very favorable, but then in the sixth review when we last chimed in, I think we have nailed it, showing it’s actual viability instead of celebrating about a certain card that came back to the 2018-2019 Standard Format. In fact, the first five reviews didn’t account for Professor Juniper and N, hence the dated favorable remarks. With those two supporters, Copycat has seen almost no play due to other supporters having consistent amount of draw power rather than relying on your opponent’s hand.
Copycat’s saving grace would be in decks that take advantage of having the same hand size as your opponent. This is evident on appearing on some of the decks from 2011 World Championships. The deck that needs Copycat to be essential to its strategy is MegaZone, which was an archetype that was popular to use, but only one actually made first place in the Junior division. Yanmega Prime’s Poke Body Insight makes it that this Pokémon have free attacks if you have the same amount of cards as your opponent. Yanmega Prime will attack with either Linear Attack or Sonicboom (that would’ve cost GC and GGC respectively). Linear Attack was a 40 damage snipe to one of your opponent’s Pokemon while Sonicboom does 70 damage without factoring Weakness or Resistance. Although not powerful in its time, it can still 2HKO the game. Magnezone Prime was there to provide some draw power in case Copycat was unavailable and also acts as a secondary attacker with its Lost Burn attack. And Kingdra Prime is also there for extra damage counter placement. Having three different Stage 2s is difficult, but it seemed to work for him in the end. I doubt anyone can replicate this in the present time. I could imagine different Pokémon that can do a similar thing in Expanded: Mystical Fire Delphox XY, Decidueye GX, and Yanmega BREAK. Yup, that’s some wishful thinking…
Appearances aside, Copycat might be a clutch play for opponent’s that used Drampa’s Big Wheel GX or Rayquaza’s Tempest GX so that you can get ten cards. But for every other scenario, there will be better forms of draw like the infamous Professor/N in Expanded or Cynthia in Standard. That’s probably where the future stands for Copycat, and it’s not looking good, I’m afraid. In Limited, with lack of many staples due to the nature of using only one expansion based on the cards that is about to release, both players may end up with larger hands, which gives Copycat the opportunity to generate a better return than other formats.
Conclusion: Copycat did enjoyed its success in past formats, but for what it’s worth now, it doesn’t seem to keep up against its competitors, and thus faded into obscurity.
Copycat (CES 163) enters the meta ready to fill the void left by the rotation of N and Professor Sycamore. This card allows you to shuffle your hand back into your deck and then draw the same number of cards that your opponent has in his or her hand.
I’m going to do a study on this as soon as rotation occurs, but I’ll tell you right now my initial feeling for this card is that it is good. It doesn’t have much competition – we already know that Steven’s Resolve will probably fall short, but Tate and Liza provides a flexibility that might make it more valuable. Personally, I’ve been choosing Mallow, but I’ve been playing a lot of Swampert and Honchkrow Koko with dual Oranguru. I actually went to four Mallow and two Copycat in that list because I was playing Mallow 50% more often than Copycat.
I’ve done well with Copycat, though. I would guess that it averages at least five cards a play, but like I said, I’ll do some testing with it, and I’ll get an exact number. I know in the past when I’ve done some studies, the average hand size was four and some fraction. I would definitely say that if the average isn’t six or above, Tate and Liza is almost certainly the better play because Tate and Liza offers an additional option that Copycat doesn’t. And for Swampert, Zoroark GX, and Oranguru, Mallow is most likely the better choice as well.
Standard: 3 out of 5
That three out of five could easily increase – there have been times when I’ve drawn ten or even more cards with Copycat. Zoroark hands are always big, it’s a great rebound play after Tempest GX or Big Wheel GX, and I could easily see the average being above six. However, I know that there have been times when it has only gotten me two or three, and in those cases Lillie would be WAY better, so I’m wondering if Copycat is just going to be a little bit under the quality of its alternatives. It has had success in the past, however. It has seen frequent use in past formats, but the game has significantly changed since Copycat was last Standard legal. Heck, we’ll soon have a THREE prize Pokemon that looks like it might be able to take four prizes in a single turn. Something like that sure hasn’t ever been around in any previous format.
Time for a week of runners-up from our SM – Celestial Storm countdown. Appearing on two individual top 10 lists, we have another exception to the “No Reprints” rule, Copycat! This Trainer-Supporter has you shuffle your hand into your deck then draw until you have the same amount of cards in hand as your opponent. She made two out of five individual top 10 lists, which was good for 47 voting points. That’s actually the same as our 10th place pick Acro Bike, which also only appeared on two of the five lists; in the end, a roll of the die assigned Copycat to 11th place. I can’t complain; Copycat didn’t make my personal top 10 or even top 25, while I had Acro Bike as my second place pick. In hindsight, I am wondering if Copycat did deserve to make my own list somewhere, and I’ll explain why. Before that, a reminder that this card has a LONG history in the game. SM – Celestial Storm 127/168 and 163/168 are only the latest in a long line of printings, and this is actually the SEVENTH review of Copycat! Her most recent is actually fairly recent; about four months ago we learned the reprint was in the works so we covered Copycat for a Throwback Thursday (https://www.pojo.com/copycat-pokemon-card-review-cotd/)!
More than a few folks have predicted Copycat will become one of the new staple draw cards and I mostly disagree. Unless it becomes almost impossible to drop your hand below five cards heading into your turn, Copycat just doesn’t strike me as reliable enough to qualify. Which is NOT the same as saying you shouldn’t ever run her. Keeping your hand small the entire game can be tricky as well, so having a SINGLE Copycat – again, POST-rotation – is mighty tempting. Cash in when you can, and make your opponent worry they need to restrict their own hand size even when you don’t have any additional copies of Copycat! Leave most of your drawing to Cynthia and non-Supporter draw effects, especially if the latter can combo with Magcargo (SM – Celestial Storm 24/168). A few decks might want to max out on Copycat; I cannot think of any worthwhile ways of making your opponent draw extra that can combo with Copycat, but there are some effects that work only if both players have the same hand size.
The same might hold true for the present Standard Format and for the Expanded Format, but I think both have too many other Supporters crowding out Copycat, at least for general deck usage. Pretty much all draw power is worthwhile in Limited play, and Copycat should prove no exception. She should be a bit more predictable here, at least once the game is already underway. Most decks won’t have a lot of options to swell or deplete the hand. The Legacy Format resembles the current Standard Format for Copycat; so many better options crowd her out of most decks, even though she’d be a solid pick otherwise. The Theme Format only has Theme Decks from the HS-era and later, so we won’t worry about any earlier appearances. Copycat is in the “Ember Spark” Theme Deck that released alongside HeartGold/SoulSilver, the “Recon” Theme Deck that released alongside Call of Legends, and both the “Hydro Thunder” and “Leaf Fury” Theme Decks which released alongside SM – Celestial Storm. She’s a lot like her Limited Format performance, except a little better owing to most competitive Theme Format players using recent SM-era Theme Decks, which are unreliable compared to competitive decks but heads and tails above older Theme Decks and many Limited Format decks.
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