– Base Set
January 18, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Man, this card hasn’t been in the game for YEARS!! Lass is a Trainer card that in today’s game would come back as a Supporter, and she has both players reveal their hands before shuffling back all Trainer cards into their decks. It’s hard to imagine Lass coming back into the game these days with this effect, considering Trainer cards encompass Items, Supporters, and Stadium cards. It could be brought back with a nerf where it only targets one of these categories, which would make it impactful enough in its own right, but this might be one of those card effects that’s too hard to duplicate successfully into a modern game. Not that the loss of Lass is that bad – it’s disruption at its finest, plain and simple.
Standard: N/A (I’m sure that regardless, it would have an immediate impact of sorts)
Expanded: N/A (especially against Supporters, since those are a crucial part of any game)
Limited: 4/5 (but it would also slow the game down quite a bit)
Arora Notealus: Lass puts a bit of a luck-based spin on the game, when you think about it. Putting the rest of the Trainer cards back into the deck makes things even for both you and your opponent. I’m sure it’s extra devastating to an opponent in the early game, when you can play all of your cards and then play Lass to keep your opponent from going off.
Side Reviews: Champion’s Festival – I can’t really say that much more about this card. I wonder if this year’s will include the Tapus though. Seems like it’d be appropriate for Gen 7! Although there is some speculation about those Gen 4 remakes.
Next Time: Deep within the realms of the other dimension lies a body of water…
Today we are going all the way back as we look at Lass (Base Set 75/102; Base Set 2 104/130). Debuting in the first set of the game and last having been seen in the game’s first reprint set, Lass predates mechanics like Trainers having been split into Items, Stadiums, and Supporters. As such Lass was released as a “normal Trainer” and so is actually played as if she were a Trainer-Item. Yes, even though she’s based on the recurring Trainer Class of the same name from the video games she is not a Supporter; other cards originally released as “normal Trainers” but updated as Supporters (like Bill and Here Comes Team Rocket!) were able to do so because they were reprinted as such after Supporters were added to the game. Predating Supporters also explains the rather potent effect of Lass; both players must shuffle all Trainer cards from hand to deck, showing their respective hands to each other to confirm they have done so. In the early days of the game, this could be devastating… or mean little. If your opponent had no Trainer cards in hand, you got to see his or her hand at the cost of revealing your own (having to shuffle away your own Trainers was also usually a bad thing). If your opponent had his or her side of the board already sufficiently built up and/or drew the right card next turn, again, you gained little from Lass, and maybe even helped your opponent out (such as when he or she had multiple Professor Oak in hand).
Which is why Lass was typically used to enhance the control element of decks like Haymaker, or TecH to counter it should you have a good field but your opponent still didn’t. While your opponent had Bill, Computer Search, (eventually) Erika, Item Finder, and/or Professor Oak to potentially topdeck out of the situation, this was before we had any worthwhile Pokémon-based draw or search. You also had those same cards to burn through most of your deck before dropping Lass, plus cards like Energy Removal, Gust of Wind, and Super Energy Removal to try and wreck your opponent’s setup. We two sets later we received Psyduck (Fossil 53/62; WotC Black Star Promos 20), which had the attack “Headache” for [P]; it prevented your opponent from playing any Trainer cards during his or her next turn, and as you could attack T1 back then, this led to some nasty early game locks after ripping through your own deck for a solid setup. We would also eventually get Dark Vileplume (Team Rocket 13/82, 30/82), which had a Pokémon Power (a predecessor of Abilities) that prevented either player from using Trainer cards once it hit the field. Then, of course, we eventually got some more sets, and the very first rotation happened, cutting Base Set, Jungle, Fossil, and Base Set 2 from Standard Format play.
A few Lass-themed cards have released since then, but the effects were very different: Holon’s Lass and Lass’s Special are about helping you setup, the former by searching the top of your deck (the number of cards equaled the remaining Prizes in play for both players) or drawing (the number is equal to your opponent’s Benched Basic Pokémon). We do have a successor to Lass, and it has proven pretty potent: Ghetsis. While Ghetsis only shuffles away an opponent’s Item cards, it also doesn’t hit your own hand and you get to draw an amount equal to the cards you shuffled away. If Lass were reprinted now, it would almost certainly be as a Supporter; I can imagine them releasing an Item with this effect (but a different name), but it is rare they release something that potent. Possibly, a Lass reprint would only target Item cards, but that creates the opposite problems; she’d be a worse Ghetsis! A hypothetical, Supporter reprint of Lass actually doesn’t sound too bad for the current card pool, at least if the designers wish to encourage the use of Pokémon-based draw/search. She’d be both countered and backed by cards like Octillery (XY – BREAKthrough 33/162), Oranguru (SM – Black Star Promos SM13; Sun & Moon 113/149), and Tapu Lele-GX. As she hasn’t been re-released in almost 18 years, the Limited Format score is even more an exercise in theory than usual; players usually run fewer Trainer cards here simply because they won’t have pulled them, but the few they get are more likely to be held in reserve, and seeing your opponent’s hand (even at the cost of revealing your own) is more useful.
Standard: N/A Expanded: N/A Limited: 3.5/5
Today’s Throwback Thursdays is Lass from Base Set! I used to have one but never get to experience the potential of this card (if there is any). She makes both players reveal their hand, then shuffle ALL the trainer cards from your hand to your deck. That is one heck of a disruptive card, since back then, after you shuffle all trainer cards from their hand to their decks, they’ll be left with just Pokemon and Energies. No Gust of Winds, no Energy Removal/Retrieval, no Itemfinder, and the like! You best be hoping that the top card you’re about to draw is a draw card such as Professor Oak or Bill.
If this card were to be legal if it was reprinted, I would imagine that it would affect just item cards because trainer cards back then were spammable and didn’t have a sub-classification unlike the later sets. And even if she did affect all divisions of trainer cards, it would be a matter of time until a Pokémon with a ability based draw would help the player from being hopeless with just Pokemon and Energy. Shaymin-EX and Tapu Lele-GX will entend your hand and/or consistency search. Because of that, I don’t see Lass being good at any format; there is just too many “outs” to this strategy.
Standard: N/A Expanded: N/A Limited: 1.5/5
Other Lass cards whose effects are unrelated include Holon Lass and Lass’s Special.
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!
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. 😉