Korrina’s Focus – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We’re kicking off this week with Korrina’s Focus (SW – Battle Styles 128/163, 160/163, 174/163)! I believe this is the second Supporter based on this Gen VI Gym Leader. If she’s shown up in anything other than this and the original Korrina (XY Furious Fists 95/111, 111/111), it has slipped my mind. Korrina’s Focus is a Rapid Strike card! This allows access to Rapid Strike support, or rather, it allows Rapid Strike support access to Korrina’s Focus. The main thing right now is that the “Rapid Strike Search” Ability of Octillery (SW – Battle Styles 037/163, 178/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH089) can fetch Korrina’s Focus from your deck. Having a draw Supporter Octillery can fetch from your deck is handy when you’re in a pinch, though it is a waste to use it on the regular (you cannot use more than one Rapid Strike Search in a turn).
So, Korrina’s Focus is a great card? Nope. The simple combo with Octillery makes it useful, but I wouldn’t recommend it without Octillery. Even with Octillery, I’m not that sure of it. Not counting Korrna’s Focus itself, if you have two or fewer cards in hand, you get good to great draw from it. If you have three cards in hand, you’re doing no better than you would have with Hop. A four or five card hand means a pitiful amount of draw, but at least you can still play Korrina’s Focus; once your hand is at six or more cards, you can’t even do that. I’m still out of touch with the current metagame, but I’m used to three-to-five card hands being the norm. If things are skewing lower than that right now, that is great news for Korrina’s Focus. If they’re actually larger than that, it becomes a significant hurdle.
Yes, you can build your deck so that it focuses on thinning the hand to optimize your draw power. While that improves the effect of Korrina’s Focus, it also helps when using Marnie or Professor’s Research; they still draw their usual amount of cards, but their drawbacks are diminished. Considering cards like Judge, Marnie, and Red Card leave your opponent with a four-card hand (and Marnie is actually still “current”), a four-card hand is still supposed to be a penalty. Your opponent hits you with Marnie the turn before, but you’re only able to use Korrina’s Focus for three cards after that… really, just two as you would draw at the start of your turn. So… unless you get lucky or build your deck to accommodate, Korrina’s Focus is an unreliable Hop.
I do not have results from the Players Cup III at the time of writing this review. I can peak at a few Japanese Format events, and Korrina’s Focus wasn’t showing up. Actually, Octillery wasn’t, either, so I may have grossly overestimated its value at this point (maybe overall). If that isn’t enough, this effect ain’t unique. As a Supporter, it debuted back in 2003 on Professor Birch (EX – Ruby & Sapphire 89/109; EX – Emerald 82/106; EX – Power Keepers 80/108). In Expanded (and past Standard Formats), we have Bianca (BW – Emerging Powers 90/98; XY – Boundaries Crossed 147/149; BW – Legendary Treasures 109/113). Neither of these Supporters saw real competitive success; Professor Birch was the “new player” card, and people tried to make Bianca work when she was new, but she quickly disappeared from winning decklists.
What about Lillie (Sun & Moon 122/149, 147/149; Shining Legends 62/73; SM – Ultra Prism 125/156, 125a/156, 151/156)? She is also a draw-until-six Supporter, but she had a bonus effect: if you used her on your first turn, you got to draw until you had eight cards in hand. This skewed draw yields significantly in your favor. Lillie wasn’t always a deck’s main draw Supporter, but she became a pretty common sight. Then they changed the rules so there were no Turn 1 Supporters; you could still drop Lillie for extra draw Turn 2 (Player 2’s first turn), but alongside growing competition (Professor’s Research and Marnie), her use plummeted. There are multiple Abilities which have draw-until effects, but their value comes from being reusable and/or not burning your Supporter for the turn.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
I’m rounding down for Standard, and up for Expanded. Early impressions of Korrina’s Focus had me leaning towards it being a three-out-of-five card. As my long-winded review explains, I’m not seeing that, even with the bonus of being a Rapid Strike. Maybe I’m wrong. As more Rapid Strike Support releases, Korrina’s Focus has a chance of being better, though also of being replaced by something better.
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!