– Team Up
April 30, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Next up for today is Evelyn, which can be used only if your opponent’s Active Pokemon is a Stage 1 Pokemon; you get to draw 4 cards. There are other cards with similar draw power that doesn’t rely on your opponent to use Stage 1 Pokemon, let alone even have one in their deck depending on what kind of deck it is.
Today we look at another card inspired by the Battle Chatelaine Trainers of the Battle Maison, Evelyn (SM – Team Up 141/181, 175). Yes, I had to look up even that tiny bit of information, because I haven’t played the Pokémon video games in quite some time. All four cards in this series have some condition about when you can play them: in Evelyn’s case, she may only be used when your opponent has a Stage 1 Pokémon Active. The actual effect of Evelyn is simply drawing four cards. I realize it is far too small a sample size, but the best data I’ve got for the present Standard Format’s metagame comes from Top 8 of this past weekend’s International Championship, which was held in Berlin, Germany. Unfortunately for Evelyn, while two out of the eight decks were Zoroark-GX variants, where it was quite likely your opponent would have a Stage 1 Pokémon as their Active, the rest focused more on Basic attackers. If this does prove to be an accurate reflection of what you’d face, then that means Evelyn would be useful only about one in four games.
Drawing four cards is not a bad effect, it just isn’t a particularly good. I believe the designers dropped the ball all the way back in BW – Emerging Powers with Cheren. It was clear that drawing three cards for your Supporter (no additional costs or conditions or effects) was underpowered, even when Cheren was new. I’ve since speculated that the base value ought to be four cards for a Supporter, but it isn’t like I’ve done any actual testing to see if I’m right. Since then, the powers-that-be keep releasing “Draw 3 cards.” Supporters, with the current version being Hau. Why bring this up in a review about Evelyn? To give an idea of how underpowered and/or overly strict her requirements actually are; being unplayable approximately a quarter of the time in order to draw one more card than the draw Supporter baseline (itself usually too weak to bother running) is a bad, bad deal.
When compared with yesterday’s Dana, I actually thought highly of Evelyn; your odds of being able to actually play Evelyn from your hand are much, much greater the chance you could actually use Dana. If we go back just a bit, we’ll see that sometimes Zoroark-GX decks (give or take some other Stage 1 attackers) sometimes dominate the competitive scene. Which means your odds of being able to actually use Evelyn may be much greater… but we’re at a point where you’re able to freely play Evelyn at least three-fourths of the time, it still isn’t worth it for a simple four-card draw. The recent Regional Championship held in Daytona, Florida (USA) featured more Stage 1 deck, but most of those were using a Basic as the main attacker; combined with all the additional Supporter options and Evelyn seems even worse here. As I mentioned with Dana, Morgan (SM – Team Up 149/181, 178/181) might give you a reason to run Evelyn, but otherwise, the only other place I’d bother with her is the Limited Format. Odds are you won’t have enough “better” Trainers to run in her stead and you’ll run into slightly more Stage 1 Pokémon in the Active position than you would in Standard.
As I tend to favor cards with a general use over cards with a more narrow purpose, Evelyn is better than Dana. I can understand why some – like my fellow reviewer Vincent – disagree. I didn’t at first, however; it took writing this review and trying to prove that Evelyn was the better card that I realized it came down to such a thing. If you have reason to value an extremely niche place – like a local metagame lousy with Vileplume (SM – Burning Shadows 6/147) – then Evelyn wouldn’t just be better because she could be played more often… but because her effect is likely to help you break the soft-lock created by “Disgusting Pollen”.
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