Echoing Horn – Chilling Reigns
June 24, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
First we set up the pins, then we knock them over. Echoing Horn is our 9th-Place finisher. This Trainer-Item Benches a Basic Pokémon of your choice from your opponent’s discard pile. Yes, you get to choose which Basic Pokémon, assuming there is more than one in your opponent’s discard pile. Echoing Horn is also a Rapid Strike card, so it can be searched from deck and added to your hand through the “rapid Strike Search” Ability of Octillery (SW – Battle Styles 037/163, 178/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH089). Echoing Horn is very similar to two older cards: Target Whistle Team Flare Gear and Pokémon Flute. We never reviewed Pokémon Flute, but here’s what we had to say about Target Whistle when it was new.
Echoing Horn is one of those cards that can border on broken or be practically useless, as well as various shades in between. You’re exchanging an Item from your hand to field a Basic Pokémon from your opponent’s Bench; in a sense, you’re helping them by giving them this resource at a minor cost to yourself. The goal, as the name implies, is to pick something your opponent doesn’t want in play, but which will help you… especially if it is an easy and profitable OHKO. The most likely targets are Crobat V and Dedenne-GX; get a small (for a multi-Prize Pokémon) target back in play, and then OHKO it for a quick return with a big Bench hit or a gusting effect (like Boss’s Orders). If you just need one Prize, the small, single-Prize support Pokémon or evolving Basics may also provide adequate targets.
You may also simple be able to Bench something, eating up a Bench spot, with a relatively useless Pokémon. However, all of these things can backfire as well. Less likely in Standard, I think, but especially in Expanded where it is easier to bounce Pokémon. If Echoing Horn shoes up at a bad time, you might be forced to waste it, or even use it when it can be dangerous to you. For example, you need to thin your hand before playing your own Crobat V. You pick a small, evolving Basic because it will give you the win if you draw into (and use) Boss’s Orders before attacking. You whiff on Boss’s Orders, and your opponent evolves that same Basic into something useful during their turn.
Overall, I think Echoing Horn is looking good. Not a four-of for your deck, but a one or two of for at least a few aggressive decks. Again, decks with heavy gusting effects and good damage output, or those with strong Bench hits, should be able to really leverage Echoing Horn against other decks. For the rest, there’s other TecH that can be a lifesaver, or just additional copies of other cards to improve your deck’s speed and reliability. Speaking of Echoing, I’ll say what I’ve been saying; I had Echoing Horn as my 6th-Place pick but I can see it clocking in at just 9th-Place. Target Whistle and Pokémon Flute were, to my knowledge, not rare plays, but sometimes they were uncommon and I don’t think they were ever anywhere close to universal. In Expanded, we still have Target Whistle, so Echoing Horn is just adding a Rapid Strike-friendly alternative.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 3/5
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