Ditto [Prism Star]
Ditto [Prism Star]

Ditto {*}
– Lost Thunder

Date Reviewed:
August 7, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.75
Expanded: 4.25
Limited: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:


The most impactful card lost to rotation is Ditto Prism Star from SM Lost Thunder, and is also my personal top pick. You can read two previous reviews here:  the 5th best card of the set and the 8th best card of 2018! If you aren’t able to read them, then it’s ability is the reason why it is worth being a prism star card and it has a lot of potential, despite being a one-of in a deck with a fragile 40 HP body! Almighty Evolution lets you play any Stage 1 card on Ditto (*), and I believe Stage 1 GX Pokemon also does count as being one.

Some of the reasons why Ditto (*) is an amazing card is due to how this card is going to be used. If you’re running a certain Stage 1 Evolutionary line, then you would want as many opportunities to get them out as soon as possible. Ditto acts as a fifth evolving basic for a particular Stage 1 card. During the Sun & Moon era, we’ve got many Stage 1 Pokémon that have their regular single-prize counterpart and GX counterpart, but you can only run so much evolving basics. Say if you have 4 Zoroark and 4 Zoroark-GX, the unfortunate part is that you can only have 4 Zorua in your deck. While you still can’t get eight of them in play, Ditto eases the pain a little, acting as the “fifth” Zorua card with 40 HP! Stage 1 Eeveelutions also benefits from Ditto (*). With 4 Eevee, 4 Eevee-GX, and 1 Ditto (*), you can have up to nine opportunities to evolve your Eevee to whatever Eeveelution you like. While not focusing on using any specific Stage 1 line, you can use Ditto (*) to play mind games. Your opponent won’t know what Ditto (*) will evolve to, and there’s a robust amount of Stage 1 TecH that can potentially mess up your opponent. Evolve into Alolan Muk or Garbodor to shut down abilities. Magcargo’s Smooth Over for consistency. Other coming-into-play abilities. And much, much more! The list of Stage 1 TecH is drastically long for multiple formats like Standard and Expanded, which is already a testament of Ditto (*) potential to become anything it wants!

There’s not a card in Standard that can do replicate what Ditto (*) does (Eevee-GX does not count), which is why I have it as my personal number one. It probably won’t affect cards from the Sword & Shield series because their Stage 1 cards don’t have any other Stage 1 counterparts (VMAX cards don’t count as Stage 1s), but having to use an actual evolving basic is a giveaway to your opponent regarding what you’re trying to do (and the threat of your opponent possibly using Boss’s Orders to take out that target). But there’s still a few more Sun & Moon expansions that still have both their GX and non-GX counterparts. Without Ditto (*), you’ll have to think what the optimal Stage 1 evolutionary line you would run. Taking a fifth copy away reduces the opportunity of playing your desirable stage 1, and when it comes to TecH, you would’ve build inconsistent lines  that can clog up your deck as well as being too predictable; the element of surprise is completely lost. It may only had 1.75 years in its time in Standard, but it had already made its mark!


Standard: 4.5/5

Expanded: 4.5/5

Limited: 4/5

Yes, I’ve rated it higher than my previous reviews (and it could be Ditto (*) peak performance at this point). With every new expansion adding to the card pool, there’s always a possibility for a Stage 1 card to somewhat break the game or to become extremely useful, and it made Ditto (*) became a very important card to use, at least for Expanded now since its leaving Standard. This doesn’t excuse the risk of starting the game with Ditto (*) on the Active or being in the prize zone. Glaring drawbacks aside, Ditto (*) is going to continue having a wonderful time there helping Stage 1 decks and/or playing mind games on your opponent!


The number one card lost to this year’s rotation is, according to our countdown, is Ditto {*} (SM – Lost Thunder 154/214).  This was our 5th-best card of SM – Lost Thunder, and 8th-best for the year of 2018.  As a Prism Star card, you’re restricted to one copy of it per deck and if Ditto {*} would hit your discard pile for any reason, instead it is sent to the Lost Zone.  This means Wobbuffet (SM – Lost Thunder 93/214) can counter it via Wobbuffet’s Ability, Lisia can fetch it from your deck, and that Ditto {*} won’t feed Lost March.  The “{*}” (Prism Star) symbol is part of the card’s name, so Ditto {*} won’t affect how many copies of Ditto you can run in your deck.

Ditto {*} is a [C] Pokémon, but it doesn’t really matter given how and where the card is used.  As a Basic Pokémon, Ditto {*} is easy to slip into decks and can immediately be dropped into play.  Ditto {*} has just 40 HP, making it an all but guaranteed OHKO while Active, and fragile even while hiding on your Bench.  The HP means the [F] Weakness and lack of Resistance are near meaningless.  A Retreat Cost of [C] is very good, but almost feels high on something this fragile.  The only other thing about Ditto {*} is its Ability, “Almighty Evolution”, which lets you play any Stage 1 Pokémon on top of Ditto {*} to evolve it.  The text makes it clear you cannot use this Ability the first turn of the game, or the first turn Ditto {*} is in play.

Almighty Evolution almost lives up to its name.  You cannot combine Almighty Evolution with something like Rare Candy; the Ability only lets you fake evolving into a Stage 1.  You can still go on to evolve the Stage 1 into a Stage 2; as far as the game is concerned, once Ditto {*} uses Almighty Evolution, it is that Stage 1 Pokémon.  What makes this so useful?

  1. Ditto {*} functions as an extra copy of an Evolution line’s Basic.
  2. Ditto {*} functions as a variable Basic for multiple Evolution lines.

As you can tell, this is not a general deck strategy… but it almost could be, thanks to the second one.  You see, we can take it a step further; you run Ditto {*} alongside several Stage 1 Pokémon, each meant to assist in different match ups.   Each Stage 1 specialized for certain circumstances, especially those which are difficult for the rest of your deck to handle and/or which are common enough to exploit but not common enough to justify running the entire Stage 1 line.  The two uses aren’t mutually exclusive, either.  This kind of flexibility is sometimes referred to as a Swiss Army Knife, after the actual real-world tool.  Which is appropriate; like the real world device, you’re not as well prepared as if you had a full toolkit, but you’re far better off than someone with just a regular pocket knife.

Ditto {*} will be missed, but we’re not totally out of luck.  There’s no more Swiss Army Knife of Stage 1 Pokémon, but you can still run a TecH (1-1) Stage 1 line, let alone multiple Stage 1 lines in a deck, a heavy Stage 1 line in a deck, etc.  It just won’t be as space-efficient.  It also isn’t like every deck is using Ditto {*} right now, or had been over the course of its Standard-legal run.  Most decks don’t run any Stage 1 Pokémon, so they don’t run Ditto {*}.  It doesn’t help that we’re shifting from Pokémon-GX to Pokémon V.  A Stage 1 Pokémon-GX is just that: a Stage 1 that can make use of Almighty Evolution.  Pokémon VMAX may evolve directly from Basic Pokémon V, but they’re distinct from Stage 1 Pokémon, unable to use Almighty Evolution.  We also still have the massive TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX running around, strong single-Prize Basics, and various other deck foci that don’t need Ditto {*}.

Ditto {*} actually seems to be better in Expanded, where there are more examples of potent Stage 1 Pokémon, be they TecH or the focus of a deck.  Even with it being much easier to counter Abilities on Basics (or in general), Ditto {*} was showing up more often here (at least, three months ago) than it is at present in the Standard Format.  In the Limited Format, Ditto {*} functions in a manner similar to Standard, except you’re more likely to need it just to evolve your “main” Stage 1… because you may not have that many copies of its Basic due to the luck of pack pulls.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 4/5
  • Limited: 4/5

Ditto {*} provides a “variable Basic” from which to evolve your Stage 1 Pokémon, and that’s good.  The last two times we reviewed Ditto {*}, though, it was great.  I don’t think this is indicative of a perpetual downward trend, but it means I did not have Ditto {*} as my number one pick.  Ditto {*} straddles the line between “generic” and “specialized”, making it a bit trickier to place when compared to stuff like Cynthia or Thunder Mountain {*}.  Is it an unreasonable #1 pick?  No, but it was only #8 on my list.

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