– Unified Minds
October 8, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Jirachi-GX (SM – Unified Minds 79/236) is all about its Ability, though almost everything else about the card still matters. “Psychic Zone” states no one applies [P] Weakness when their Pokémon are damaged by attacks. This means you’re giving up your capacity to exploit [P] Weakness to protect your Pokémon from the same vulnerability. There are multiple [P] Types with [P] Weakness functioning as attackers, so what might otherwise be a niche effect is much more useful.
So, how does the rest of Jirachi-GX affect Psychic Zone’s usefulness? There are no other cards named Jirachi-GX, so at least we avoid running afoul of the 4 Copy Rule. Being a Pokémon-GX means you can fetch Jirachi-GX with Cherish Ball but will have to deal with various anti-GX effects and giving up two Prizes instead of one when it is KO’d. 160 HP is good when you’re only worth one Prize, but bad when you’re worth two; if Custom Catcher wasn’t the best Gusting effect we had, it would be an even bigger concern.
Jirachi-GX is a [P] Type, lending itself to decks using Mysterious Treasure. Its own [P] Weakness is mitigated by the Ability, making it about as meaningful as the technically bad but functionally neutral lack of Resistance. The Retreat Cost of [C] is good and you can zero it out completely with just an Escape Board or U-Turn Board.
For [P], “Star Search” searches your deck for an Energy card to attach to one of your [P] Pokémon. “Star Shield-GX” requires [PPP] and does 100 damage while preventing damage and all effects of attacks done to the Pokémon using it (which will usually be Jirachi-GX). Don’t use Star Search unless you’re truly desperate; just skip the middle ‘mon and attach the [P] Energy fueling it to something else in the first place. Star Shield-GX delivers a decent hit while stalling unless your opponent can attack around Jirachi-GX or has something like Channeler handy.
Honestly, I didn’t think much of Jirachi-GX when I first saw it. It is a juicy target so long as you can force it Active or hit it while it is Benched. I was wrong. While both of those are still possible, they aren’t as easy as I thought they were, the former due to Guzma’s rotation from Standard and the latter due to Mew (SM – Unbroken Bonds 76/214; SM – Black Star Promos SM215) and its “Bench Barrier” Ability.
Jirachi-GX has been proving itself in some Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks. Given how TAG TEAM Pokémon often bank on being hard to OHKO, neutralizing your own [P] Weakness is worth giving up on exploiting your opponent’s while also having a tempting target like Jirachi-GX in play. At least, sometimes it is worth it; plenty of lists skip Jirachi-GX entirely, and those running it are only using it as a single. For Expanded, I’m still skeptical of this card, though I would run it alongside other [P] Weak attackers in the Limited Format (keeping it safely Benched).
It is also worth noting we’ve got another confusing ruling here. The short version is that if an attack or Ability lets you ignore effects on the Pokémon being attacked, it probably will not bypass the effects of Psychic Zone. Even though neither the rules nor card text makes this clear, Weakness and Resistance plus effects that alter how they are applied are a separate thing from all other attack effects. It is kind of like how damage sometimes is and is not treated as the effect of an attack, only without cards having the reminder text that helps make such a thing clear.
As you can tell, I’m still not enthralled with Jirachi-GX, but it has already proven to be a better card than I expected. Perhaps it will continue to surprise me, or perhaps it has already experienced the height of its usefulness. Pick up a copy of it unless you avoid running decks with [P] Weak Pokémon.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!