Mewtwo-GX (SM - Black Star Promos SM196)
Mewtwo-GX (Black Star Promos SM196)

– Promo SM196

Date Reviewed:
April 17, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.00
Expanded: 1.50
Limited: N/A (Promo)

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

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Note: I added an Addendum to Tuesday’s review, as there were two combos I wished to highlight yet failed to include. The Ratings for the card did not change, as I had already factored in those combos; my mistake was not actually mentioning them. My apologies for the error.

Another day, another promo: Mewtwo-GX (SM – Black Star Promos SM196). This isn’t our first Mewtwo-GX; we reviewed Mewtwo-GX (SM – Shining Legends 39/73, 72/73, 76/73; 78/73) a little over a year ago. Relevant to game mechanics, the only differences between the cards are their attacks, as their stats are the same. Being a Pokémon-GX grants power, but at a price; better HP, better effects (including a GX-attack), even one or two cards that treat Pokémon-GX better than the rest, but at the cost of giving up an extra Prize when KO’d and multiple proven anti-Pokémon-GX cards in the metagame. The [P] Typing is somewhat useful for exploiting Weakness, and while [P] Resistance relatively common, it still isn’t a huge problem. [P] Pokémon and [P] Energy support – which sometimes overlap – are very good as well, and in both the Standard and Expanded Formats.

Mewtwo-GX is a Basic Pokémon, meaning one slot in your deck is one copy you can play, you can open with it, and it enjoys better synergy with certain game mechanics (like bounce) than the other Stages. There are anti-Basic effects in the game, but there are also pieces of Basic Stage support and the total package amounts to Basics having the best Stage for most of the history of the TCG. Mewtwo-GX has 190 HP, which is the high end of what is typical and enough that Mewtwo-GX has a reasonable chance of surviving an attack, barring the obvious exceptions like a deck built around OHKOing most things, or one exploiting Weakness. Like many Psychic Types, Mewtwo is [P] Weak; it isn’t the worst Weakness to have but it’s up there. No Resistance is the worst, yet it actually isn’t too important; -20 damage in a particular matchup can be handy, but sometimes it makes no difference, and most Pokémon lack Resistance. The Retreat Cost of [CC] is probably a bit more important, though it is also fairly common; high enough you don’t want to pay it but low enough you usually can.

Mewtwo-GX has two regular attacks and a GX-attack. Its first attack is, appropriately enough, the least expensive: “Telekinesis” requires [PC] and lets you select one of your opponent’s Pokémon, doing 50 damage to your target. Telekinesis doesn’t apply Weakness or Resistance, even if you’re attacking your opponent’s Active or utilizing something like Wide Lens in Expanded. The damage isn’t bad for the Energy, even if it isn’t overly good, either. What is bad (at least for Mewtwo-GX) is that the attack doesn’t apply Weakness; the benefits gained from applying Weakness are almost always greater than those of ignoring Resistance. Telekinesis can still be handy for taking out an opponent’s Benched Ditto {*} or the like without having to use cards such as Guzma to first force it into the Active position. Though Professor Elm’s Lecture has more decks risking the lower-HP options for their evolving Basic Pokémon, many (most) are going to have 60 HP, just outside of this attack’s range without some help.

The second attack is “Reigning Pulse” for [PPCC]. This does 120 damage while Confusing your opponent’s Active and that’s pretty poor. 120-for-four hasn’t been competitive in a while (since before I admitted it in my reviews, to be blunt). Confusion can be handy, but you shouldn’t have to run a Parasect (SM – Team Up 7/181) or three so that your Basic Pokémon-GX can reliably OHKO most other Basic Pokémon-GX. For just [LLC], you’ve got Zeraora-GX swinging for 160 damage, even if it can’t attack during your next turn (a drawback usually dealt with easily). Paying [C] more, Mewtwo-GX is only doing 120 with Confusion. It isn’t like Zeraora-GX is alone; though it costs [FFF] or [WWW] (respectively), Buzzwole-GX and Lapras-GX have attacks that work the same as Zeraora-GX’s! While Reigning Pulse (and the GX-attack) can benefit from Double Colorless Energy, Telekinesis does not.

“Psychic Nova-GX” is a one-time trick for your deck, or not even that if you use your GX-attack of the game on something else. It has the same [PPCC] cost as Reigning Pulse but does 180 damage, enough to OHKO almost all single Prize targets, as well as the majority of Basic Pokémon-EX/GX. A simple damage buff like Choice Band brings won’t bring all Basic Pokémon-EX/GX into range, but it does bring down a few more, as well as some Stage 1 Pokémon-GX and Mega Evolutions. Psychic Nova-GX also places an effect on the attacking Mewtwo-GX which protects it from attack damage during your opponent’s next turn. It won’t do anything about attack effects, nor will it protect your Bench, but it makes it very difficult for your opponent to KO your Mewtwo-GX. Dark Wings Necrozma-GX has a GX-attack with a similar trick, where it has proven to be a simple but game-winning play; take a KO that sets you up to win next turn, and if your opponent can’t get around the protection, attack again the next turn for the win.

Unfortunately for Mewtwo-GX, Dark Wings Necrozma-GX does it better. Not across the board, of course. Dark Wings Necrozma-GX has 10 less HP, an even more dangerous [D] Weakness, no [C] Energy requirements, and its “Moon’s Eclipse-GX” may only be used when you have more Prizes remaining than your opponent. However, its two attacks also only require three Energy instead of four, and while Mewtwo-GX can take advantage of Double Colorless Energy to help with its bigger attacks and it does have a smaller attack which can lead into a larger one, it still can’t easily go from zero to attacking without Energy acceleration beyond Double Colorless Energy. Both attacks also do the same damage for [PPP] that Mewtwo-GX does for [PPCC], with “Dark Flash” ignoring Resistance (on par with inflicting Confusion) and Moon’s Eclipse-GX protecting Dark Wings Necrozma-GX not only from attack damage but effects as well.

Of course, I saved the most compelling reason for last; Dark Wings Necrozma-GX has the very useful Ability “Invasion”, letting you promote it to be your Active (benching your former Active) once-per-turn. With combos like Float Stone (in Expanded) or Altar of the Moone and an attached [P] Energy (in Standard), this gives you a pseudo-Switch each turn. The rest is just a bonus. The deck most likely to run either of these would be those fueled by Malamar (SM – Forbidden Light 51/131; SM – Black Star Promos SM117), which means the Energy costs on Dark Wings Necrozma-GX end up suiting the deck more. It also means space is quite tight and Dark Wings Necrozma-GX is (again) already probably in use for its Ability.

Even if you do have room to TecH in a single Mewtwo-GX into your Malamar deck, you’d probably want to bring in Mewtwo-GX (SM – Shining Legends 39/73, 72/73, 76/73; 78/73). For [P] it can use “Full Burst” to do 30 damage per Energy attached to itself. [PC] lets it use “Super Absorption” to do 60 while healing 30 from itself. [PPP] allows it to use “Psystrike-GX” to do 200 damage that ignores all effects on your opponent’s Active Pokémon. Neither Full Burst nor Super Absorption is great, but Reigning Pulse didn’t set the bar all that high. They do give you decent attacks if Malamar is slow showing up, with Full Burst also giving you something decent – again, not good – to do if you have to flood Mewtwo-GX with Energy but can’t use Psystrike-GX. The GX-attack is still the draw, just as with the newer Mewtwo-GX, but instead of offering something Malamar decks can already do with Dark Wings Necrozma-GX (more or less), this Mewtwo-GX gives you a solution to… well… certain stall tactics, like the GX-attack on today’s Mewtwo-GX.


Standard: 2/5

Expanded: 1.5/5

Limited: N/A

Today’s Mewtwo-GX isn’t horrible, just a little underwhelming in a very crowded field. Perhaps I’ve missed some spread deck where Telekinesis can take center Stage, but I doubt it.  While it is nice that this gives you an attacker that can snipe, that can stall (via Confusion or the GX-attack), it doesn’t do any of these things better than cards we’re already seeing in the relevant decks.

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