– Darkness Ablaze
September 5, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Mew V (SW – Darkness Ablaze 069/189) is a Basic Pokémon V. Being a Basic is the best; easiest to run, fastest to the field, etc. Basic Pokémon V give up an extra Prize when KO’d, have to deal with counters specific to them (or them and Pokémon-GX), and are excluded from some beneficial card effects. It also means significantly more HP than this Pokémon’s baseline counterpart, and better effects (relative to costs). In this case, 180 HP is low for a Pokémon V, but still has a decent chance of surviving a hit. What hurts is the damage-to-Prize ratio when your opponent attacks it; 90 damage equals one Prize in this scenario.
Mew V is a [P] type, which is… not so good. [P] type-based support took a hit with the rotation, but it isn’t all gone, but it just poor at type-matching. Only (TCG) Fighting types based on VG Fighting types seem to be [P] Weak anymore. While it is nice that Psychic Resistance is absent from Sword & Shield-era Pokémon, exploiting Weakness is more important than dodging Resistance. Not that things are better among the currently competitive older cards; [P] Weak (former) powerhouses like Mewtwo & Mew-GX haven’t had a good recent showing, while [P] Resistance still remains relevant thanks to the likes of Lucario & Melmetal-GX.
Mew V’s own [D] Weakness is a concern, though perhaps not as bad as it looks. Eternatus VMAX only needs two additional Darkness types on its Bench for its “Dread End” to swing for a OHKO, instead of five… but Eternatus VMAX decks exploit its “Eternal Zone” Ability to shoot for eight Darkness Pokémon on their Bench. If Spiritomb (SM – Unbroken Bonds 112/214) were to make a comeback, then it could be a real problem. On the other hand, Mew V’s -30 [F] Resistance, while appreciated, will rarely matter. That perfect free Retreat Cost is great, at least.
Mew V knows the attack “X Ball”, priced at [PP] and doing 30 damage times the amount of Energy attached to both Active Pokémon. Barring other effects or mechanics, X Ball should swing for at least 60 damage. 60-for-two is poor, but this is all before factoring in how much Energy is attached to your opponent’s Active. Just one means 90, two mean 120, three mean 150, etc. 120 or more is where this attack starts to pay off… except we need to consider the rest of the card, still. We’ve got a 180 HP Basic Pokémon V with a poor Weakness (even if the Resistance and Retreat are nice), unlikely to exploit Weakness, and the upfront cost of the attack is a minimum of two Psychic energy. You need to be OHKOing fellow Basic Pokémon V, at least.
I haven’t had time to run the numbers again, but at least for a while, 210 HP was the median and mode for Basic Pokémon V. For Mew V to OHKO that amount – before Weakness, Resistance, or effects other than X Ball’s own – would require seven Energy between the two Active Pokémon. That means five extra Energy to OHKO something with zero Energy, four for something with one Energy, three for something with two Energy, etc. Five Energy attackers exist, but they aren’t common… and they tend to skew towards higher HP scores. Centiskorch VMAX is something likely to have a bunch of Energy attached, but for Mew V’s X Ball to score a OHKO requires 11 Energy between the two of them.
Thinks don’t get better for Mew V in Expanded. Mew V’s Weakness matters a lot more thanks to Zoroark-GX. Mew V cannot take advantage of Dimension Valley. None of these are deal breakers, but then we get to the original X Baller Brawler, Mewtwo-EX (BW – Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW – Black Star Promos BW45; BW – Legendary 54/113). Pokémon-EX are a lot like Pokémon V, and Mewtwo-EX has 10 fewer HP, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of [CC]. Both Mewtwo-EX ‘s [P] Weakness and Mew V’s [D] Weakness are dangerous in Expanded. Mewtwo-EX’s X Ball does less damage per Energy attached; 20 instead of 30. So why is Mewtwo-EX better? Its X ball costs [CC], and if you’re in a Psychic-focused deck, being able to Mega Evolve into M Mewtwo-EX and/or utilize its second attack (“Psydrive”) may be factors as well.
Mewtwo-EX was the Pokémon-EX when it released, shaping the metagame for years. Even now, with the lower HP and damage output, with no Double Colorless Energy to enable easy X Ball hits, it would be about as good as Mew V in Standard, were it legal. So in Expanded, thanks to what I just said, Mewtwo-EX is still better. Which isn’t saying much, because I’m thinking Mew V is pretty bad in both Standard and Expanded. The only place where Mew V is strong is the Limited Format. I just barely has the HP and damage output to still run in a Mulligan build, but I wouldn’t risk it personally. If I’m running a mostly or mono-Psychic deck, though, it should be a great finisher or counter to Energy hungry attackers.
At a glance, Mew V might look like a better Mewtwo-EX, with a tiny bit more HP, doing more damage per Energy attached, and lacking the “mirror Weakness” caused by Mewtwo-EX being [P] Weak… but not being able to pay for X Ball with a single Energy attachment and maximum printed HP score now being 340 (instead of 180) means 30 per Energy still isn’t enough. As you’ve no doubt realized by now, Mew V didn’t make my Top 15 for this set.
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