– Rebel Clash
May 27, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
So… one of the things you’ve heard me criticize the Pokémon TCG for multiple times over several years is how evolving Basic Pokémon tend to just be filler at best. Sometimes, they’re more stumbling blocks than stepping stones to reach their evolved forms, and combined with the game’s pacing issues, this is why evolutions are almost always at such a significant disadvantage to Basic Pokémon, barring specialty mechanics or crazy cheats (and those usually bring their own game balance issues).
Enter Galarian Meowth (SSH – Rebel Clash 126/192). It is a Basic [M] Pokémon with 60 HP, [R] Weakness, [G] Resistance, and Retreat Cost [CC] like you would expect, more or less. So is its disappointing “Scratch” attack, priced at [MC] but doing only 20 damage. Disappointing less because it doesn’t do enough damage for the Energy, but that it is about doing damage at all instead of aiding your setup, but let us look at its Ability, which I skipped. “Evolution Roar” requires you discard two cards from your hand in order to use it, and can only be activated once during your turn. You search your deck for a Galarian Perrserker, reveal it, then add it to your hand.
No, this doesn’t help Galarian Perrserker hit the field faster, but it makes it so much more reliable. So long as you have the discard fodder, you can use cards that search out only Basics (or at least, cannot search out Galarian Perrserker) to fetch Galarian Meowth, and if it survives long enough to evolve, you use Evolution Roar the next turn. If your only evolution is Galarian Perrserker, this means your deck can still run purely on Quick Ball! Even if you do have other means of fetching out Galarian Perrserker, or run other evolutions, it rarely hurts to have spare capacity.
Of course, you need a Galarian Perrserker worth running. Galarian Perrserker (Sword & Shield 128/202; SSH – Black Star Promos SWSH008; SSH – Rebel Clash 205/192) and Galarian Perrserker (SSH – Rebel Clash 127/192) are both Stage 1 Metal-Type Pokémon with 120 HP, [R] Weakness, [G] Resistance, and Retreat Cost [CC]. The former has the Ability “Steely Spirit”, which increases the damage from the attacks of your [M] Pokémon by 20, while both have overpriced attacks. The latter’s are slightly less overpriced, for what little that is worth.
Which finally brings us to how Galarian Meowth is already showing up in successful, competitive decks. Once again, we’re looking at the most recent of LimitlessTCG’s own online tournament series. There are only three hits for Galarian Meowth in the top 149 decks:
Yes, all three are Zacian V variants, but that is the go-to Metal Type deck at the moment. We’re only seeing 1-1 or 2-2 lines for Galarian Mewoth and Galarian Perrserker (Sword & Shield 128/202; SSH – Black Star Promos SWSH008; SSH – Rebel Clash 205/192), and there were other Zacian V decks that finished far higher, but this is enough that the simple combo still has potential for one of the dominant decks of our metagame. The did not show up in the top 149 decks of this 1158 player event, but most [M] Type attackers should be considering this dynamic duo, as a way of improving damage output.
Just for fun, I’ll list some budget (at best) deck ideas for today’s CotD. These are not things I’ve tested or even seen played, just what caught my eye and look like they might be fun, even if (when?) they ultimately fail:
How about the Expanded Format? Well, there are probably more budget-style attackers to consider, including things that used to be competitive, but what about the approach overall? There are a lot of anti-Ability effects, including stuff like Silent Lab that Galarian Meowth won’t like, but if you plan on having an [M] Type attack for damage, it still seems like an inclusion playtest. In the Limited Format, Galarian Meowth is a pricey way to get a peek at your deck, but if you pull a few copies of either Galarian Perrserker (the “good” one is a Secret Rare), go ahead and try to run them as long as you don’t have enough other “good” cards to warrant your deck not running on mono-or-mostly Metal Energy.
For an evolving Basic, Galarian Meowth is brilliant… but in the grand scheme of things, that means it is “merely” a good, solid card. Here’s hoping we see more like it!
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