– Shining Legends
July 16, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I thought I have reviewed Marshadow back in late 2017, but looks like I was busy. But anyhow, Marshadow from Shining Legends has a fantastic ability, and hence why it was being heavily played. Let Loose is another familiar ability name that was seen on a Giratina card from the Platinum series. This ability makes both players shuffle their hand into their deck and draw four cards, which is identical to Judge Supporter card, except that as a ability, you can use a different Supporter than Judge.
Let Loose can be used in different ways, like trying to thin your hand so that you’ll have a higher draw yield. You can also disrupt your opponent’s hand to get them a smaller hand. This can be pretty frustrating for your opponent when they just barely searched out their crucial pieces, only to get randomizes again. Unfortunately, both actions happen, and there’s no getting away from it. So far, one in four outcomes could happen:
1) You: high draw yield. Opponent: low draw yield
2) You: high draw yield. Opponent: high draw yield
3) You: low draw yield. Opponent: high draw yield
4) You: low draw yield. Opponent: low draw yield.
Most likely you would be aiming for scenario one while your opponent would aim for the same, albeit scenario 3 would be when you’re the opposite side of the table. Sure, Marshadow just sits there after using its ability, but it can help fuel up damage output of Riotous Beating, and its single energy retreat cost can be shaved off via Escape Board, easing the burden of switching via Guzma.
Marshadow will be missed and is one less disruption card to worry about in Ultra Prism onwards, though another card might further cause mayhem to their opponent’s hands: Reset Stamp!!! So looks like nothing is safe from disruption!
Standard: 3.5/5 (Soon to be N/A)
Expanded: 3/5 (I can imagine the struggle players had to try making room for their decks.)
Limited: N/A (Pretty sure expansions that are boxed instead of being sold individually aren’t being hosted in prereleases sadly. Generations, Shining Legends, Dragon Majesty, and Hidden Fates would never get the chance to be used early.)
Ever since he got introduced into the game as a whole, Marshadow’s just been a fun little shadow dude that can rapidly punch you. He’s like a fun-sized Star Platinum!
Obligatory Jojoke out of the way, the copy of Marshadow that’ll be missed the most is Shining Legends, which came with its own Ability to shuffle both players’ hands back into their decks and draw 4 new cards. It’s basically like Judge on legs, and that’s really the biggest difference between why Marshadow sees play and Judge doesn’t. Just imagine having a Supporter you can play without impacting the “once per turn” clause on Supporters – if Lt. Surge was a crazy enough card to even consider getting made, imagine just being able to do that with Pokemon.
This is what makes cards like Marshadow so valuable on a competitive level. Given the same type of effect on a Supporter to a Pokemon changes a lot about how it gets played, allowing you to effectively play up to 4 copies of a Supporter effect that don’t affect your Supporter for the turn. Granted, I don’t think people were playing Marshadow at the full 4 copies, I think most of the time they were just playing a couple of copies for the effect, but the idea can be broken in concept in the right hands. We’ve seen this happen with all sorts of other Pokemon, and that effect can be the difference between seeing play and not seeing play.
That all being said, I feel like I would’ve missed Marshadow if I didn’t catch sight of it to put on my list. It’s not one of those cards you think about too often; usually, the thought drifts over to the big ace monsters that get their names transcribed onto the deck. You didn’t have Jirachi-EX scrawled into the name of every deck that ran it, but that didn’t diminish its impact! It’s the sort of card that you have to watch out for on every list, because if there are a lot of decks running it, chances are it’s not just a fluke of a card or a gimmick for one deck.
Standard: 4/5 (pretty solid soon to be pretty much not in Standard anymore)
Expanded: 3.5/5 (he’s got some competition between cards like N and Shaymin-EX, but I think he’ll find a spot in some decks looking for more disruption)
Limited: 5/5 (draw is draw, even if you’re shuffling one or two cards back)
Arora Notealus: Marshadow is definitely worth the recognition though. In general, I agree with the cards that made it onto the list – maybe the placements are off in a couple of cases, based on my own opinions – and it’s hard to say that a Pokemon Ability with draw shouldn’t be on a list like this. Supporting Abilities are extremely helpful in every deck, so it’s hard to pass up when the time comes. Marshadow may not be Shaymin-EX, but he’s still a powerful card in his own right, and I think underestimating that can lead to an early downfall.
Next Time: Looks like Az’s granddaughter’s about to come back home to him.
As aroramage already covered the obligatory Jojoke, let’s get straight to our ninth place finisher, Marshadow (Shining Legends 45/73; SM – Black Star Promos SM85), which we originally reviewed here. This is a Basic [P] Type Pokémon with 70 HP, [D] Weakness, [F] Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], the Ability “Let Loose”, and the attack “Shadow Punch”. Let Loose triggers when you Bench Marshadow from hand; you can choose not to use the Ability, but if you do, then both you and your opponent shuffle your hands into your respective decks and draw a new hand of four cards. Shadow Punch does 30 damage while ignoring Resistance (but not Weakness).
Being a Basic Pokémon makes Marshadow easy to search from the deck, retrieve from the discard pile, and even easier to both bounce then play it back down to the field. The [P] Typing means Mysterious Treasure (which does survive rotation) can fetch it from your deck, while the 70 HP means Level Ball is an option in Expanded. We’re actually losing a lot of our Pokémon-searching Item cards this rotation; that means a surprise Marshadow reprint could prove useful, at least for decks already likely to run remaining Pokémon search such as Pokémon Communication and the aforementioned Mysterious Treasure. 70 HP also means Marshadow is an easy KO for most decks, even easier for [D] Types and (just barely) a bit harder for [F] Types. The Retreat Cost of [C] is good, though there are so many times I’ve wished my Marshadow had a free Retreat Cost… and that my opponent’s was higher.
Marshadow is all about Let Loose; while Judge is a good (but not great) Supporter, its effect as an Ability is potent. You can still use another Supporter that turn, though if you use it after Let Loose, you’ll need to draw into one. Four cards is in that odd area where it isn’t good draw power, but it isn’t awful, either. It is bad enough that Red Card – an Item – has the effect of forcing your opponent to shuffle-and-draw into a four-card hand. When you control the timing of it, though, it can be quite valuable for aiding your setup. Though it eats up valuable Bench-space and is a fairly easy OHKO (if stuck Active), Marshadow has proven valuable as a single-Prize Pokémon you can fetch to jump-start your deck, or keep a massive turn going.
Marshadow is a very good card in the current Standard Format, and if Marshadow wasn’t rotating, it’s future performance would be… hard to predict. No more Ultra Ball, but we still have Mysterious Treasure. Would Reset Stamp replace it – even though it is just pure disruption – or would Marshadow become an important answer for when you’re hit by your opponent’s Reset Stamp? Note: Reset Stamp is a Trainer-Item that forces your opponent to shuffle their hand into their deck, then draw up to as many cards as they have remaining Prizes. Marshadow should still remain a decent option for Expanded, and while you’re not likely to get a chance to use Shining Legends packs for a Limited Format event, if you do, only skip Marshadow if you’re running a Mulligan (+39) build.
Limited: 4/5 (but functionally N/A)
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