Jirachi – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: December 21, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Our 10th best card is Jirachi from Vivid Voltage. This card may have a different kind of higher rarity similar to Pokémon Prime, but otherwise isn’t much different than a regular Jirachi card.
We looked at Jirachi once when it was the best card of the set. Not because of its Amazing Star attack, which is incredibly hard to pull off. Rather, it’s Dreamy Revelation ability is why it got a lot of recognition. As long as this is your Active Pokemon, it lets you look at the top 2 cards of your deck, pick one of them to be in your hand, and put the other card at the top of your deck. And you can retreat for free with U-Turn Board to bring in another Jirachi to use its ability.
There is an older Jirachi from SM Team Up, which also searches for cards. Unlike today’s Jirachi, the Team Up version only fetches for Trainer cards and it puts itself to sleep. Unless you have switching cards, that Jirachi is stuck up front, and Escape Board is no longer in the Standard Format. Today’s Jirachi has no such problems, so this will surely replace the older Jirachi.
At the end of the day, Jirachi would be one of those cards that you would like to see in your opening hand!
- Standard: 4
- Expanded: 4
- Limited: 4
If you skipped Sunday’s review, welcome to our countdown of the top 10 cards from 2020! If you need an explanation for how this works, a more detailed one can be found here. The short version is the reviewers each submit their own Top 10-ish list, and the site’s top 10 list comes from combining those lists. Only cards released in 2020 are eligible, but reprints are not unless they’re significant (like returning something to Standard-legality). The other Pojo sub-sites are also doing year end countdowns, so we’ll actually be looking at some runners-up during our weekend reviews, such as yesterday’s Tool Scrapper.
Our 10th-Place pick is Jirachi (SW – Vivid Voltage 119/185)! This is a Basic, Metal Pokémon with 70 HP, Fire Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], one Ability and one attack. The Ability is “Dreamy Revelation”, which may only be used when this card is your Active Pokémon. If you choose to use it, you look at the top two cards from your deck; select one to go to your hand, while the other is placed on top of your deck. Each instance you have of Dreamy Revelation may be used once during your turn, assuming you can get multiples of it not only in play, but into and out of your Active Spot. The attack is “Amazing Star”, which costs [PFM] and lets you search your deck for up to seven basic Energy cards, then attach them how you like to your Pokémon. You can attach all the Energy to a single target, or divvy it up between multiple recipients.
Jirachi is all about its Ability, but its Ability has to be understood in the context of the rest of the card. Dreamy Revelation is an effect that blurs the line between draw and search. You’re only ahead one card, and that card can only come from the the two cards of your deck, but there “cost” is a condition: Jirachi needs to be Active. You’re also not restricted to cards of a specific type, either; anything you need is a legal target, so long as it is in the top two cards of your deck. The card you don’t pick goes back to the top of your deck, which is a mixed blessing; great when it is something you want to draw soon, or when you have an effect that works based on the top card of your deck, but backfiring if it is something you just don’t need anytime soon.
Being a Basic means it requires minimal space in your deck, effort to Bench, and it can even be your opening Active. It means Quick Ball can fetch it from the deck, and that Scoop Up Net can not only bounce it, but that you can easily field the same copy yet again… even reusing Dreamy Revelation is you can get it back into the Active Spot! Being a Metal type is largely irrelevant. You’re not attacking to do damage, so no worrying about attacking into Weakness or Resistance. Type support and counters don’t matter, either; the latter because it rarely does do to not being good, but the former because it just doesn’t do much for Jirachi, due to its low HP and likelihood of being run off-type.
70 is small, especially for something which cannot evolve. It might survive if your opponent’s field is rubbish, or they’re using attacks largely focused on their effects and not damage, but even then 70 HP may be OHKO’d. This means the Fire Weakness and Grass Resistance are seldom going to matter, even if you run into several attackers of those types. The bottom stat that makes a big difference is the card’s little Retreat Cost. [C] is easy to pay and recover from having paid, but also is low enough a card like U-Turn Board can zero it out entirely. You could also use Air Balloon, in case other cards in your deck need it or you just want some insurance against an opponent running Absol (SM – Team Up 88/181).
In a word, Amazing Star is “complicated.” Three Energy is pricey, and the fact it requires three different Energy types, none of them Colorless, makes it functionally even more expensive. To the point you’ll need Energy acceleration to access this… Energy acceleration. Which begs the question of why you don’t just use that other Energy acceleration to do the job. The potential answer being because it isn’t the right kind of Energy acceleration, but then you have the opposite problem of your deck being too dependent on Jirachi. Still, if you can find a way to make it work and work reliably, you’ll be +4 Energy attachments ahead and they can be of any basic Energy type. Of course, not working with Special Energy is a drag. Probably important for game balance, but Special Energy are helpful with Amazing Star’s Energy cost, but not compatible with its effect.
Even Jirachi’s name and rarity are relevant. The game doesn’t distinguish between “Amazing Rare” cards and their baseline counterparts. So this card is worth a single Prize, and no game effects are going to treat it differently. There are no special rules for “Amazing Rares”, just some features in common between them, besides their rarity. It also means this card counts against the 4 Copy Rule for any card named “Jirachi” and just “Jirachi”. Jirachi (SM – Team Up 99/181; SM – Black Star Promos SM161) isn’t as easy to use as it once was, but its “Stellar Wish” Ability is still great… and based on usage, better than Dreamy Revelation. Or are people just not using today’s Jirachi because it is much more rare than the previous Jirachi, and also much more expensive.
Glancing at card prices, yeah… even though the older Jirachi requires a little more effort to use, its the preferred option. I do not have a lot of experience in Standard for this year, and while I normally can rely on official tournament results to help me with my theory crafting, 2020 saw in-person Organized play cancelled. Even if it hadn’t, today’s Jirachi is so new we wouldn’t have a lot of results to consult, and the few I have seen do not include the Amazing Rare Jirachi, just the older one from SM – Team Up. I have zero data, but I’m betting that is still the case for Expanded. Which may sound odd, given the praise I gave today’s Jirachi when we first reviewed it. Jirachi was our 1st-Place pick from SW – Vivid Voltage, and my personal 2nd-Place pick… and I think it may still have good long term prospects, but I overestimated the Jirachi from SM – Team Up’s monetary value while underestimating the strategic value of its effect. I can’t see how Expanded would be any better for today’s Jirachi, and I’m still guessing at its value in the Limited Format.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 2/5
- Limited: 4/5
Jirachi is still a good card, but I expected it to be a great card and – so far – it hasn’t lived up to that. Maybe it is just because the decks four decks from the Player’s Cup II that placed well are the ones that do not benefit as much from this Jirachi. Maybe if I’d only gotten a solid Standard Format deck together and played on the PTCGO, I’d have seen it everywhere. I suspect I was just overestimating this Jirachi. I didn’t include it in my Top 15 for this year, but I still think Jirachi has real potential. I’m not as confident as before, but at the very least, we should remember it by the time of the 2021 rotation.
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