Galarian Mr. Rime
Galarian Mr. Rime

Galarian Mr. Rime – Battle Styles

Date Reviewed:
March 19, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 3.00

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

Reviews Below:

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Welcome to our countdown of the Top 15 Cards From SW – Battle Styles!  If you’re unfamiliar with our site, one of our traditions is trying to work out which cards are the best from the latest expansion.  You can get a better idea of the process here, but the short version is that our reviewers (in this case, Vince and myself) each created a list of what we thought were the best cards in the latest set, then we combined those lists to create our countdown.  Reprints were only permitted if they did something like return something to Standard Format legality
15th-Place goes to Galarian Mr. Rime (SW – Battle Styles 035/163), but we’re including Yamper (SW – Battle Styles 052/163) as an Honorable Mention alongside it, complete with its own separate review.  If you want to know why… keep reading!  As the name tells us, Galarian Rime is a Galarian Pokémon; at least one future card will distinguish between Galarian and other Pokémon based on card names, but for now this doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is that Galarian Rime is otherwise a baseline Pokémon.  Not a multi-Prize Pokémon with a Rule Box.  Not one of the Pokémon sporting the new Battle Styles mechanic.  While this means it misses out on the support for the new mechanic, not being a multi-Prize Pokémon and having access to cards like Twin Energy can be quite handy.
Galarian Mr. Rime is a [W] type.  The main benefit to this is exploiting the Weakness of most Fire attackers.  I don’t think the available [W] support in Standard lends itself to Galarian Mr. Rime, but Expanded offers a few tricks that might be worth it.  As a Stage 1 Pokémon, you’ll need Galarian Mr. Mime for Galarian Mr. Rime to hit the field… barring a few shortcuts, most notably Ditto {*} and Archie’s Ace in the Hole.  The former is probably a good option, but the latter isn’t likely to be worth it, based previous Stage 1 Water types that have skipped it.  None of the Galarian Mr. Mime stand out, so just run whichever version(s) tickle your fancy.
110 HP is high enough to avoid being an especially easy OHKO, but low enough to be a probable OHKO.  Instead of wishing this card had more HP, there’s a good case for wishing it had just 90.  It wouldn’t be too much easier to OHKO, but it would be Level Ball legal, and we’ll see that matters for this card.  [M] Weakness might be an issue, but the main Metal attacker (Zacian V) scores a OHKO regardless.  No Resistance is the worst, but incredibly common, and unlikely to have made a serious difference even if one had been present.   The Retreat Cost of [CC] is neither good nor bad.  I don’t think Galarian Mr. Rime will often survive being in the Active spot, so you shouldn’t have to worry much about retreating it, anyway.
Galarian Mr. Rime has two attacks, and we’ll start with the second just to get it out of the way.  “Frost Smash” has a cool name (pun intended), and a reasonable price at [WCC].  You can cover part of the cost with something like Twin Energy, though [CCC] would have been better so that Triple Acceleration Energy could cover the entire cost, instead of just being the backup for Twin Energy.  The problem is that the payout is just 80 damage.  For a vanilla attack, this isn’t worth the Energy.  Still, it is better than nothing, or something with a heftier cost, a really bad effect, etc.  Galarian Mr. Rime has a good reason to fixate on Colorless Energy costs…
…because its first attack costs [CC] and is the reason we’re here.  “Ball Juggling” has an effect that lets you discard Item cards with “Ball” in their name from your hand.  For each Ball-Item discarded in this manner, the attack does 40 more damage, on top of a printed base damage of 10.  So discarding one means 50 damage, two means 90, three means 130, etc.  If you want to one-shot Basic Pokémon V, you’ll need four to OHKO the smallest Pokémon V (Falinks V), and seven if you want to bring down the largest Basic Pokémon V (Wailord V).  Most Basic Pokémon V will require five (210 damage) or six (250 damage).  Of course, these numbers are all based only on printed HP; other effects and mechanics can alter things.
What about the really big stuff?  The largest TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX call for discarding eight Ball-Items, as do most Pokémon VMAX.  Something like Eternatus VMAX, with its 340 HP, needs you to discard nine Ball-Items.  You’re actually scoring overkill with most of the time, so you have a little wiggle room.  Nine Ball-Items discarded mean Ball Juggling hits for 370 damage, while eight means 330.  Even the tiniest damage buff can sometimes shave one off of the discard costs, or you might need the extra to overwhelm something with Big Charm equipped.  All of this on a Stage 1 that can attack using a Twin Energy, and discarding a lot of a particular family of Item cards from your hand.  Which means the next questions are
  1. How many Ball-Items are there in the Standard Format?
  2. How many Ball-Items are there in the Expanded Format?
  3. How many Ball-Items can I squeeze into a deck?

The following Ball-Items are legal in Standard:

  • Cherish Ball
  • Great Ball
  • Level Ball
  • Poké Ball
  • Quick Ball

Theoretically, this means Ball Juggling could, through only its own effect, do up to 810 damage!  Realistically, your maximum damage will be far, far lower.  You’re going to need at least some of these Ball-Items for setting up.  This is the mixed blessing of this kind of attack; your discard fodder is not useless, dead-weight for the deck to carry, but that also means it isn’t always available to act as discard fodder.  I also cannot recommend you run four copies of all of these cards.  Oh, and if you’re wondering, no, Air Balloon does not count as a Ball-Item.  The exact text for Ball Juggling specifies that it must be the word “Ball”.  Just having the letters b-a-l-l is not enough, even when they’re all in a row.

In the Expanded Format, things get kind of nuts for Ball Juggling.  The above options are joined by

  • Beast Ball
  • Dive Ball
  • Friend Ball
  • Heavy Ball
  • Lure Ball
  • Master Ball
  • Nest Ball
  • Net Ball
  • Repeat Ball
  • Team Aqua’s Great Ball
  • Team Magma’s Great Ball
  • Team Plasma Ball
  • Timer Ball
  • Ultra Ball

Yeah, that means 19 total options for a Ball deck!  While Master Ball is an Ace Spec, and thus restricted to a single copy in your deck (or zero if you want to run a different Ace Spec), the others follow the normal 4 Copy Rule.  18 * 4 + 1 = 73 cards, more than you can have in a single deck!  In Expanded, the maximum damage Ball Juggling can do as base damage, through only its own effect, is 56 * 40 + 10 = 2250.  That is completely unrealistic, as it would be a deck containing at minimum 56 Ball-Items, one Galarian Mr. Mime or Ditto {*}, a copy of Ball Juggling Galarian Mr. Rime, a Special Energy that covers the full cost of Ball Juggling (Double Colorless Energy, Twin Energy, etc.), and any one other card to be a Prize.  Yeah, your opponent has to not KO your only Pokémon, give up five Prizes and help you draw the rest of your deck to get to this point.

I don’t know how many Ball-Item cards a deck can comfortably run.  If they’re the right Ball-Items, such as Quick Ball and Ultra Ball, we’ve seen some successful decks max both of them out.  We’d need more than that, though; the preceding example has you using those eight Ball-Items much of the time.  As we’re also using them to fuel an attack, You’re going to probably need as many Ball-Items as you can fit into your deck.  Some may end up Prized as well, or discarded for other purposes.  If you have 18 to spare for discard purposes, you could use Ball Juggling once to do   730 damage!  No real reason to do that, but 18 is enough for two attacks for 370 a piece is enough to OHKO two Pokémon V Max, or three attacks with an average of 250 damage.  Which makes it sound like we’ll need at least 20 Ball-Items, and probably more like 22 to 28!

What can you do to help yourself out?  You might include cards like Ball Guy, letting you use your Supporter for the turn to add the exact two Ball-Item cards to your hand from your deck you want.  I’m not sure it is cost-effective enough, but most big draw Supporters aren’t conducive to building up a massive hand.  Marnie bottom-decks your current hand to draw five, while forcing your opponent to also bottom-deck their hand then draw four.  Professor’s Research requires you discard your current hand before drawing seven.  Even when it comes to draw Abilities, Dedenne-GX also forces you to discard your hand before drawing six, while Crobat V draws until you have six cards in hand.  There are Supporters that draw smaller amounts, without doing anything to your hand, but this means the “big draw” we usually rely on is probably reserved for the few times you’re starting from scratch.

So maybe Ball Guy is going to be helpful?  However, I am wondering if you instead ought to use something like Cincinno (Sword & Shield 147/202; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH009; Shining Fates SV094/SV122).  Its “Make Do” Ability requires you discard a card, and it only draws two… but it is a Pokémon with under 90 HP, and Level Ball is probably going to be in the deck already.  Getting Ball-Items back into your hand from your discard pile would be a big help, but that ain’t easy.


However, there’s Yamper (SW – Battle Styles 052/163), our Honorable Mention for today, alongside Galarian Mr. Rime.  It is a Basic Pokémon with a coming-into-play Ability that lets you add a Great Ball and Poké Ball from your discard pile into your hand.  While you only have so much space on your Bench to do this, and while Poké Ball is normally a card you wouldn’t want to use, Yamper is probably going to earn its keep.  With Pokémon like Cinccino and Yamper, even if your opponent messes with your hand, you can hopefully get your deck going again and start spamming those Balls.  Not just in Standard, but Expanded as well.  As is usually the case, there are more combos available to Galarian Mr. Rime in Expanded, but also more competition and counters.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 3/5

Galarian Mr. Mime is what you might call my “pet pick” this go round.  I think there will be decks using it, even if it isn’t overly good, because of all the hilarious horrible jokes you can make because of Ball-Item cards.  If you can find the right card balance, you should have a deck that can push for strategic OHKOs and also deliver somewhat reliable 2HKOs, but I might be giving the deck too much credit.  If you whiff on a needed KO, odds are good you’ll run short and need a fallback attacker to try and still win the game.  The fact I don’t have a fallback attacker to suggest is not a good sign.

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