Full Face Guard – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Full Face Guard (SW – Evolving Skies 148/203, 231/203) is a Pokémon Tool that reduces damage taken by 20 for the equipped Pokémon, after applying Weakness and Resistance, but only for Pokémon without an Ability. This is a decent effect, but I’m not sure if it is going to be good enough to see actual, competitive play. I also can’t tell as easily as with cards important enough to help identify a deck. Let me run you through the pros and cons. To begin with, yes we have Tool counters in the game right now: Tool Jammer, Tool Scrapper, and even Liepard V. This is definitely a concern. There’s also the question of alternatives, as well as how many candidates are out because they have Abilities.
As far as alternatives, there are no generic Tools to help soak damage, unless you count cards that increase HP scores, which can soak damage once unless healing is involved. To be fair, Full Face Guard isn’t truly generic, since the card does nothing if the Pokémon to which it is attached has an Ability, so maybe it is acceptable to compare it to Galarian Chestplate, which can soak 30 damage but only if the Pokémon has “Galarian” in its name. Other than that, you’re looking at Cape of Toughness (gives Basic, non-GX Pokémon +50 HP), and Big Charm (+30 HP to anything). Against single attacks, it is a wash between more HP and reducing damage taken. Against multiple attacks, though, damage reduction keeps kicking in, assuming Full Face Guard is still working.
So, it seems there might be a niche for all of these. Your Pokémon has to attack three times for Full Face Guard to soak more damage than the +50 HP from Cape of Toughness. So… yeah, most of the time, go with Cape of Toughness. If you’re using an Galarian Pokémon, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Galarian Chestplate is better. If you have an Ability, and don’t qualify as either of the previous two, then Full Face Guard is the play. Finally, if it cannot use any of the others or is in a deck where most targets cannot use the others, there’s Big Charm. Except there are other Tools available, and those might mean none are worth using anymore.
I don’t think we have a truly standout Tool, a Tool that the other Tools have to beat, to see play, so that is to Full Face Guard’s benefit. As for the main focus of most decks, Dragapult VMAX, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, Leafeon VMAX, Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX, and Victini VMAX are possibilities, without having an obvious, superior option. As for Expanded… well, this reminds me a bit of Eviolite. It soaked 20 damage for the Basic with Eviolite attached. Eviolite was great back in the day, but once we got stuff like Float Stone and Muscle Band, its usage plummeted. Maybe it marks me as indecisive, but I’ll go with a two-out-of-five for Standard, and a one-out-of-five for Expanded.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 1/5
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