Jirachi – Team Up

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 4.00
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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Just missing the Top 3 is our 4th-Place Pick, Jirachi (SM – Team Up 99/181; SM – Black Star Promos SM161).  This is our third review of the card.  First we covered it as the 5th-best card of SM – Team Up, then we re-reviewed it as the 2nd-best card of 2019.  That was quite a jump; what’s up?  Let’s run through what makes this Jirachi work, what hurts it, and what probably doesn’t really matter.  Let us start with the main attraction, Jirachi’s “Steallar Wish” Ability.  This is the kind where each instance may be used once during your turn, though there is the added complication that Jirachi must be your Active Pokémon to use Stellar Wish at all.  So, if you want to use more than one Stellar Wish during your turn, you’ll need a way of making each of them Active at different times.

There’s one other drawback, after using Stellar Wish, that Jirachi is now Asleep.  When Jirachi was new, we had Escape Board to allow easy retreating, but that hasn’t been an option since the previous Standard rotation.  You can still use switching effects, bounce effects, or just use something to remove the Sleep condition so you can manually retreat.  What could be worth all this hassle, though?  Looking through the top five cards of your deck, selecting a Trainer card you find there, showing that Trainer to your opponent, adding that Trainer to your hand, then shuffling the remaining cards you looked at back into your deck.  If you whiff on a Trainer or just don’t see one you want, then you can shuffle all the cards Stellar Wish showed you back into your deck.

You lose if you have no Pokémon in play, or at least, no cards that count as Pokémon.  You usually need Energy and Pokémon to attack, and if you can’t attack well in this game, you’re probably losing.  However, Trainer cards are essential to every competitive deck I can remember.  They’re what help you set up and maintain your field, as well as what help you mess with your opponent’s setup.  Yes, non-Trainer effects can also do this, but not with the affordability and reliability needed to do all of that on their own in competitive play.  In other words, if you’re only able to fetch one of the three primary card types from your deck, Trainer cards are probably the best one.

Of course, this Ability wouldn’t be as good if other aspects of Jirachi were different.  Being a baseline Pokémon means Jirachi doesn’t have to worry about counters to the card mechanics that tend to be major players in the competitive card pool.  Being a Basic means Jirachi was and still is easy to fetch from your deck, play to your Bench, to bounce, and even be your opening Active!  Even when not dealing with specific cards like Quick Ball and Scoop Up Net, Jirachi tends to work better with cards that search out or recycle Pokémon by virtue of being a single, self-contained card instead of an Evolution line.  Its Retreat Cost of [C] was important before Escape Board rotated; it meant Jirachi could Retreat for free while Asleep so long as Escape Board was equipped, and another card’s effect wasn’t complicating things.

That is the end of the clearly good parts of Jirachi.  I don’t recall its typing being a major advantage; if a deck was already focused on Metal types, it could tap their support, but Jirachi was usually run off type.  Jirachi’s 70 HP doesn’t do much for it; it is a legal Level Ball target, but it could have had 90 and still qualified.  Jirachi is an easy OHKO while Active, and isn’t particularly safe on your Bench from damage spread or Bench hits.  That HP is why the card’s [R] Weakness isn’t particularly bad and why its -20 [P] Resistance isn’t especially useful; not a lot of OHKO’s enabled by the former, or averted by the latter.  The least important aspect of Jirachi, for better or worse, it its one attack, “Slap”.  Priced at [MC], it only does 30 damage.  That’d bad, but you can safely ignore it.

All right, we’ve looked through what Jirachi is, and Jirachi has been a major piece of deck support since it released.  It has been a common, supporting Pokémon for single-Prize decks, but also still may show up backing Rule Box Pokémon.  Even losing Escape Board, players found a way to still employ Jirachi well.  Which means Jirachi was robbed in our first countdown with it.  None of the cards that placed above it have proven to have the staying power and influence of Jirachi.  Well… maybe Tapu Koko {*} if we adjust for it being a less general card.  I’d brag how Jirachi was my number one pick from SM – Team Up but the rest of my list was not so hot.  Jirachi being our 2nd-Place pick for the 2019 releases still strikes me as placing it a little too high.  I had it as #2 on my list, but I had Dedenne-GX and Reset Stamp below it, with Welder on top.  Oh, how times have changed… or just weren’t what I thought.  Serious Otaku, 7th-Place for Reset Stamp?  Thankfully, the others balanced out my take a bit for the final, site list.

In the present, Jirachi is still seeing play.  All four Players Cup Global Finals feature at least one deck running this Jirachi in their top cut.  Most of the time, when Jirachi shows up, it is as a three or a four count, though a few decks have run it as a just a single or double.  I thought Jirachi usage was in decline when only two decks using it finished in the Top 16 of the first Players Cup Finals, and just one in the Players Cup II Global Finals!  Then seven decks from the Top 16 of the Players Cup III Global Finals ran this Jirachi, proving I was misreading the situation.  I think: the Top 15 of the Players Cup IV had only three decks including this Jirachi, but that’s good enough to convince me Jirachi still has life left in it… or would if it weren’t leaving Standard.  I’m going to throw caution to the wind and award it a four-out-of-five rating.

Not that it doesn’t have a place in Expanded.  It has to deal with more counters, like Silent Lab, but Escape Board and other combo partners are here.  I think it has enough competition that I cannot score it as highly as in Standard, but a three-out-of-five is definitely “good average” when there are just so many alternatives.  Plus, I’m worried I’m low-balling it here.  Still, Jirachi did not finish this high on my personal list.  I had it as my 9th-Place pick because… I goofed.  Well, that is my opinion at this time.  Were I remaking my list, it’d probably be in 5th-, 6th-, or 7th-Place.  Yeah, still not 4th-Place, but there are at least four cards I can’t bring myself to rank below Jirachi.  As more than one of those cards I ranked above it are as much due to future expectations of the metagame as those card’s lifelong performances, I’m do not regret Jirachi placing 4th in this countdown.  Thanks, Vince.


  • Standard: 4/5
  • Expanded: 3/5


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