– Unified Minds
August 13, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Fourth-place in our countdown is Hapu (SM – Unified Minds 200/236), a new Trainer-Supporter that lets you look at the top six cards of your deck, pick two to add to your hand, then discard the rest. If you’ve got less than six cards left in your deck, you can still use Hapu; look at however many are left, add two (or one of there is only one) to your hand, then discard the rest (if any). Hapu is an improved version of the Supporter Sage’s Training (HS – Undaunted 77/90; Call of Legends 85/95); besides the names, the only difference between the two is Hapu looks at one more card. That is a small but significant difference, and Sage’s Training was a good card back in the day.
However, I’m don’t think Hapu is particularly good. I think she has a niche in decks that are desperate to dig for a particular card or cards, and those that want to discard a lot from their deck. The former is how Misty’s Determination (XY – BREAKpoint 104/122; XY – Evolutions 80/108, 108/108) was used while it was Standard-legal; Misty’s Determination let you look at the top eight cards of your deck, add one to your hand, then shuffle the rest back into your deck. Eight is only two cards bigger, but again, that matters, even though you’re only getting one card instead of two. Not being forced to trash the cards you don’t want as much also seems better, though again, I will state that some decks are going to use Hapu specifically for the discarding aspect of it.
Which brings us to the latter; while adding two cards to your hand is important, the cards you discard can be just as important. We haven’t had Professor Juniper or Sycamore in Standard for a while now, but we just lost Ultra Ball. There’s Ingo & Emmet or Sightseer, who are better when you have a lot of cards in your hand you want to discard, or if the exact card you need is a little deeper in your deck. Only a little, though; Sightseer can reach up to five cards deep (if your hand is empty) while Ingo & Emmet draw the top (or bottom) five. In Expanded, you have so many better options, while in the Limited Format, you’ll take almost any Supporter or draw/search effect you can get, and your decks are likely to have more filler.
Hapu is one of those cards you could theoretically run in any deck but which you should only actually run in certain ones. I’ve seen a few lists from compelling sources showing she does have a place, but I’m still not 100% sold that she’s the best option. Expanded just does search and deck-thinning so much better, but because of Supporter-based combos (and anti-Ability and Item effects), I’ll still allow she might have a role. Limited is where Hapu should shine; pity Pokémon generally only uses this Format for Pre-Releases. She didn’t make my personal Top 11.
I had her as one of the cards that I’ve put on my personal list because this card brings back some nostalgia from another older card, which is Sage’s Training from HS Undaunted. That card did see some play in it’s time. Hapu provides a wider range than Sage’s Training, but at the risk of disposing cards more than Sage’s Training. They both let you pick any 2 cards you find there, so an unrestricted search is nice.
That said, even though this kind of effect is back in Standard, I don’t think that she will see a lot of play. Most of what the reviewers thought about in Sage’s Training can pretty much apply to today’s card. You can even read the older review of Sage’s Training here. Sometimes you might not get the cards at the right time, and you’re still forced to pick 2 and dump 4. There are some cards you can recover and some that you can’t. Effects like those in other TCGs can be gamebreaking, but not so much here.
Watch out Cynthia, there’s a NEW Supporter in town, and she’s ready to…uhhh…ride that Mudsdale across the Island? Not really sure what exactly, but let’s take a look at what she does!
Hapu is a Supporter that lets you look at the top 6 cards of your deck, then you add 2 of them to your hand and discard the rest. At first glance, this works similarly to a lot of the gimmicky “draw 2” Supporters that we’ve seen in the Sun & Moon era, where it draws 2 cards but also does something extra on top of that. In a somewhat different approach, though, Hapu is far better than a lot of those Supporters, cause you get to choose what cards your “draw 2” becomes.
Granted, it is only off the top of your deck, and it has to be within the 6 cards that are on top currently, but think about the applications that Hapu has for a moment. For a Great Ball-style effect, you get to grab any 2 cards you want out of 1 less card in total (since Great Ball searches through the top 7 cards), but instead of shuffling the rest back into your deck to draw later, you get to send the other 4 cards directly to the discard pile – where they become far more accessible.
I’d like to think in the past few years, we’ve learned what can come out of cards that send cards to the discard pile – especially with decks that revolve around Energy acceleration or grabbing for specific Supporters or even just dumping Pokemon for Vengeance-style attacks. In that regard, I think Hapu is a modern version of a lot of these, granting access to whatever you want in your hand as well as adding what you want to your discard pile. I don’t know if she’ll become a staple the way Cynthia has, but I think for the decks that can run her effectively, Hapu will be a definitive must-have.
At her worst, she’s a draw 2 that mills out 4 other cards. At her best, she’s a draw 2 and a whole lot more!
Standard: 4.5/5 (definitely a strong contender for best Supporter in the format)
Expanded: 4/5 (she may not be as strong as some older Supporters, but I think she may find her own uses)
Limited: 5/5 (draw is draw, and getting rid of some dead cards can be really helpful here)
Arora Notealus: Hapu is the youngest of the island kahunas, being only inducted as one during the course of the games. I wonder how she’ll handle the duties and responsibilities of an island kahuna. I bet she’s really into being “Kahuna Hapu”. Something about that name just rolls off the tongue well, right?
Next Time: An even more powerful and devastating duo thrashes onto the scene in an Outrage!
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