– Unified Minds
June 10, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Jynx (SM – Unified Minds 76/236) is a Psychic Pokémon, which is a good start. [P] Weakness and Resistance are more common in the pre-Sword & Shield cards, but the main thing is Type support; Mysterious Treasure is a better Ultra Ball if your deck is mostly or mono-Psychic. Being a Basic is the best, as you don’t need additional slots in your deck or time to evolve. Anti-Basic effects are a thing, but they have a tiny bit of support and many game mechanics naturally favor them. Jynx has 80 HP; this is low, but not in the “extra fragile” range. Most decks can reliably score a OHKO while Jynx is Active, but at least she’s not likely to fall to most bonus Bench hits. The HP means the [P] Weakness and lack of Resistance barely matter. The Retreat Cost of [C] is very good; often affordable and Escape Board zeroes it out completely.
Jynx knows the Ability “Ominous Posture” and the attack “Attact Smack”. The former lets you move a damage counter from one of your Pokémon to another, once during your turn. As usual, it needs to be done before you do anything that automatically ends your turn upon resolution (like attacking), and multiple instances of Ominous Posture may each be used once during your turn. Attract Smack costs [PC] and does 30 damage, with a coin flip to Paralyze your opponent’s Active. Ominous Posture can fake healing, but its main calling is manipulating effects that care about damage counters. Attract Smack is filler, but at least it can attempt to stall if you’re desperate.
As with the other cards we’ve reviewed so far this week, Jynx didn’t impress me, but tournament results have proven a nice, competitive use for her: backing up Spiritomb (SM – Unbroken Bonds 112/214). This is the Spiritomb with the Ability “Building Spite”, that lets it place a damage counter on itself once per turn, before attacking, and the attack “Anguish Cry”, which costs [D] and does 10 damage plus 30 per damage counter on itself. The combo is simple; each Spiritomb and Jynx pair on your Bench means an extra 30 damage from your Active Spiritomb’s Anguish Cry. That alone is good damage for the Energy, but still not enough… so how about the rest of the decks?
Yeah, decks; there are two Spiritomb archetypes that have been doing well in the Limitless Online Qualifier series. One combines Spiritomb and Jynx with some of the Ultra Beast cards, namely those with strong single Energy attacks. The other has a slightly longer track record, Spiritomb ADP decks, which lead off with an Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX using their “Altered Creation-GX” attack. Even within this archetypes, there’s a lot of variation, so you’re best of taking a lot for yourselves:
Though I will shout out Rainbow Energy and Hustle Belt. Rainbow Energy does help with meeting Energy costs in a multi-Type deck, but Anguish Cry turns the damage counter Rainbow Energy places from a cost into +30 damage bonus! As long as you have three to five damage counters on it, Spiritomb’s HP will be 30 or lower, so it can cash in on a +60 damage bonus from Hustle Belt. Spiritomb with five damage counters swings for 160 damage; if Hustle Belt is present that’s another 60 or 210 total. The ADP build then adds another 30 (so, 240 total) while taking a bonus Prize. I can see why these two decks are popular.
Also how they’re winning. They aren’t taking 1st-place, but they’re coming close: 3rd-place (out of 945) in LOQ#1, 9th (out of 940) in LOQ#2, 40th (out of 1158) in LOQ#3, and 7th (out of 1303) in LOQ#4! With turnouts like this, even the best Spiritomb deck taking 40th-place would be great, but that’s the “worst” of the deck’s best recent finishes. The decks weren’t alone in any events, either, though they weren’t as heavily run as – for example – Zacian V. If you’re wondering how this turned into a Spiritomb review, again, Jynx is a natural partner for it and every list where Spiritomb was a main attacker included at least a TecH Jynx, is not multiples of her.
That is for Standard; what about Expanded? The most recent Standard Format event is still the Collinsville, IN Regional Championship from February 29th. No Spiritomb decks, or anything else using Jynx, and Silent Lab is one of many anti-Basic or anti-Ability effects. Nonetheless, I think Jynx has good potential; she fills out her niche nicely. It is a weak effect, but one that stacks and is found on an easily run Basic. Maybe Spiritomb decks would be a thing if we had some more recent results, or maybe something else down the road will come about that can make good use of Jynx.
How about the Limited Format? Here, Jynx is important not for intricate combos but for fake healing. While HP scores tend to be lower here, damage output tends to be lower, or at least slower to escalate. Your opponent also has a lot fewer tricks for taking advantage of something injured on your Bench, so you could dump a lot of damage counters onto something with no other purpose, extending the life of your current Active. Or not; remember, sometimes 10 damage just doesn’t matter. There were a few potential Pokémon combos that caught my eye as well: Terrakion (SM – Unified Minds 122/236; SM – Black Star Promos SM205, SM223) and Yveltal (SM – Unified Minds 139/236).
Jynx reminds us that small effects can lead to big plays. Her attack may not matter, but Ominous Posture can put a damage counter or two where you need it. The catch is finding a deck where moving one damage counter (per Jynx) is going to generate worthwhile advantage. Fortunately, Spiritomb has provided just such a deck.
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