– Rebel Clash
June 23, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Hatterene (SSH – Rebel Clash 085/192) is a [P] type, which can still be handy for exploiting Weakness (Mew & Mewtwo-GX), and for their Type support (Mysterious Treasure). You will bump into a small amount of [P] Resistance(Lucario & Melmetal-GX), though. The real concern is that she’s a Stage 2 Pokémon; if you evolve manually, you’re investing three cards and waiting two turns for her to hit the field. Most likely, you’ll be doing that or using Rare Candy to skip Hattrem, the Stage 1 of the line, as well as a turn of waiting.
Hatterene’s 150 HP is enough Hatterene might survive a hit while Active, but odds are as good it will be OHKO’d. At the same time, this is still a decent amount for a Stage 2, at least going by printed HP scores. For the Sword & Shield-era, it appears to be on the low end of what is “average” or common. [D] Weakness is actually one of the worst right now; Spiritomb (SM – Unbroken Bonds 112/214) has proven itself. [F] Resistance is appreciated, even if [F] Type decks are pretty rare (though not completely absent) from the competitive scene. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is typical, neither easy nor difficult to pay.
Hatterene has one Ability and one attack. The former is “Mind Hat”, a once-during-your-turn Ability, though if you have multiples of it in play, each may be used once that turn. Mind Hat forces each player to discard a card from their hand when it is used, with your opponent discarding first. The latter is “Dripping Grudge”, which costs [P] and has you place one damage counter on your opponent’s Active Pokémon for each Pokémon in your discard pile. There’s a simple synergy between the two, as you can pitch Pokémon from your hand to fuel Dripping Grudge.
Mind Hat favors Hattrene’s user, but specifically because you control when it happens, and (presumably) built your deck with the Ability in mind. Your opponent is down a card of their choice from hand, and you’re down a card of your choice from hand. You can toss spare copies of things you don’t need, that are easy to recycle, or that you want in your discard pile… and your opponent can do the same, assuming such cards are in your opponent’s hand when you use Mind Hat. Hand-size in Pokémon is often low when going into your opponent’s turn, so precise use of Mind Hat can leave your opponent functionally, if not actually, topdecking. Most other forms of hand control should just enhance this.
Dripping Grudge is ultimately a nerfed form of attacks such as “Vengeance” found on Flareon (BW – Plasma Freeze 12/116) or “Bee Revenge” found on Vespiquen (XY – Ancient Origins 10/98). You’re avoiding damage reducing effects, but have to worry about those that stop damage counter placement. That’s be a net positive except you also fail to hit Weakness; you also ignore Resistance, but doubling damage is far more beneficial than subtracting 20 or 30 damage is detrimental. The attack cost is nice and low, but you’re also only placing one damage counter per Pokémon in your discard pile. So, besides all the Pokémon you want in play, you’re going to need 21 to OHKO your typical Basic Pokémon V.
Hatenna (SSH – Rebel Clash 083/192) and Hattrem (SH – Rebel Clash 084/192) aren’t anything special, so it is all up to Hatterene to justify its presence in your deck. I don’t think Hatterene can earn her keep as your main attacker… maybe a nice late game surprise, but you’ll need to many Pokémon in your discard for her attack to really matter. Mind Hat, though, that is something most decks would like on their Bench, if only it was on a Basic. While it could backfire and hurt you while helping your opponent, competent play should only risk it helping you a little while it helps your opponent a lot. “Risk”, not “guaranteed problem”: your goal is to discard the cards you want in your discard pile, while forcing your opponent to discard cards they were intentionally saving back.
I have no proven, example decks for Hatterene, but she certainly has potential. Even just a small line of her for control decks seems like it would be useful. Expanded has more counters for Abilities, but it also has Exeggcute (BW – Plasma Freeze 4/116; BW – Plasma Blast 102/101), a natural partner and counter for Mind Hat. Simple combos can deal with an opponent’s Exeggcute (good for Hatterene). In the Limited Format, unless you pull a Basic Pokémon V worth running in a Mulligan (+39) build, work Hatterene and at least a few basic Psychic Energy into your deck. Whether as a Bench-sitter or a back-up attacker, she’s great… and Hatenna and Hattrem aren’t too bad here.
Maybe I’m being too generous, as I’ve grown fond of Hatterene and Grimmsnarl… not that I’ve played Sword or Shield. I think there’s some control deck that should be able to capitalize on Mind Hat, sooner or later. It might be a long time coming, but there may even be a Dripping Grudge deck in our future, as more and more Pokémon are released that can function as Trainers.
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