– Crimson Invasion
December 15, 2017
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We close this week with Mismagius (SM: Crimson Invasion 4/111), a card that had a decent amount of hype going into it before its official release. What had some celebrating or even fearing it was its first attack, “Chaos Wheel”. For [P], Mismagius could attack do 30 damage while preventing your opponent from playing Special Energy, Stadium, or Tool cards from hand during his or her next turn. Few decks fail to run at least one of those, with many (most?) running all three. 30 damage isn’t huge, but it is enough to get you “started” with other effects being able to add to that damage. It also would combo with the card’s second attack; for [PCC] Mismagius can use “Dark Arts” to do 20 damage for each card in your opponent’s hand. If your opponent can’t play some of the key cards, he or she has a better chance of building up a large hand and thus taking a pounding from Dark Arts. You’d have to drop the lock, but it wasn’t bad for a finishing blow, with Double Colorless Energy making the cost a bit more reasonable.
Being a [P] Type seems reasonably good; it isn’t an uncommon Weakness, but it is a common Resistance; usually the former matters more than the latter, but that relationship tends to invert when an attack only does 30 damage. Other than allowing Dimension Valley to shave [C] off of the price of Dark Arts, I’m not sure how much [P] Type support matters either, though Dimension Valley would allow a functioning Counter Energy to fuel either attack. Being a Stage 1 means that you have to go through Misdreavous in order to reach Mismagius; not only is that extra cards and turns waiting to Evolve (or even more cards to bypass the waiting) but none of the available Misdreavous impress. Getting back to Mismagius, it has 110 HP; that is within OHKO range for most decks, though it gets a little iffy if they haven’t gotten sufficiently setup before Mismagius starts attacking with Chaos Wheel. The HP is just high enough that [D] Weakness might be needed for some OHKO’s (due to duress from Chaos Wheel) and for [F] Resistance to at least annoy your opponent. The Retreat Cost of [C] is good and low.
At the still recent European International Championship held in London, it isn’t among the decklists for which I have for the top 64 finishers in the Masters Age Division. It is possible that it is among the missing, but that doesn’t seem too likely. Chaos Wheel excited folks because it was going to be a faster version of the lock we saw Giratina-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 57/98, 93/98). Giratina-EX is a [N] Type Basic Pokémon-EX with 180 HP, [Y] Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCC], the Ability “Renegade Pulse”, and the attack … Chaos Wheel. While it was worth two Prizes and took some time to build, it was usually more durable; [Y] Weakness has only been an issue at certain times, but it doesn’t usually take the [D] Type long to claw its way back to the top of the competitive sphere. Mega Evolutions were a big deal back then as well, so Renegade Pulse was valuable. Then remember that cards like Double Dragon Energy and either Double Colorless Energy or Max Elixir (w/basic Energy cards) meant Giratina-EX was actually pretty speedy, and you can understand part of what made it a competitive card for a good while. The not-so-obvious part was being partnered with Darkrai-EX (XY: BREAKpoint 74/122, 118/122), which took advantage of Double Dragon Energy attached to Giratina-EX to help fuel the damage adding effect of its own “Dark Pulse” attack.
If you’re not sure what that has to do with Mismagius, that’s actually the reason; the previous card that made Chaos Wheel so great was bigger, about as fast, more durable, and hit harder. The format still has enough decks running – at least partially – on basic Energy that Chaos Wheel doesn’t provide enough protection for a 110 HP Stage 1 that isn’t even scoring a 3HKO most of the time. You’ll need to back Mismagius up with other control/disruption effects. Perhaps Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98)? Alolan Muk? If you can manage all three, your damage output would still be pitiful but your opponent would have to make do with basic just Pokémon (and no Abilities for Basics), Supporters, and basic Energy cards. I can see the kind of format where Mismagius could be awesome, but I don’t think we’re heading into one like that… in fact, we’re probably heading out of it. So I don’t expect much out of this card for Expanded or Standard Format play. For the Limited Format, Mismagius is decent, but mostly due to Dark Arts… and a fortunate opponent may even avoid having a large hand.
Like three of the other four cards this week, Mismagius was featured on at least one of the individual reviewer’s top 10 lists for SM: Crimson Invasion; in this case, it showed up as someone’s ninth place pick, earning two voting points. This means it tied with Gengar (SM: Crimson Invasion 38/111), as well as one more card we’re not looking at anytime soon (if ever), who were also ninth place finishers on a single list. Both myself and one other reviewer submitted Top X lists that were larger than 10; none of these cards made my “extended” list, but both Gengar and Mismagius made the other one, with their placement on that list breaking the tie in favor of Gengar. The third card actually showed up higher on the list, but that was its only showing, so it still had less overall than these two. Even if you don’t understand exactly how that works, it means Mismagius would have been our 18th place pick if we’d done a longer countdown.
Chaos Wheel is a familiar attack that I’ve seen before. In particular, that was from Giratina EX. This attack locks the opponent from playing Tools, Special Energy, and Stadium cards. Very rarely, a deck doesn’t use those three categories, but it’s possible!
Unfortunately, a good familiar attack doesn’t justify using Mismagius from SM Crimson Invasion; the rest of the card isn’t too exciting. I suppose it helps Dark Arts do more damage, but it’s attributes can go so far…
Chaos Wheel returns to the meta… and if anyone still remembers the terror that is Giratina-EX (XY AOR), they will surely rejoice as another wheeler enters the Sun and Moon block.
The wheeler in question takes the form of Mismagius; a Pokémon rarely seen taking stage as a potentially viable attacker. Its a Stage 1 Pokémon, which is all right considering the slower meta now, making evolution decks more viable, and also its quite compact in deck space; also it has decent bulk in 110 HP, and like all Ghost types its weak to Dark and resist Fighting. The weakness to Dark might be problematic seeing that Zoroark-GX is very viable, but let’s be honest, its going to lose badly anyway with the speed that Zoroark-GX’s Riotous Beating damage can achieve. A retreat cost of 1 improves mobility, and it does tie in well since its main attack is for 1 colored energy, although it can use the Altar of the Moone (SM GUR) since it uses Psychic energies to give it free retreat.
The main attack is well.. Chaos Wheel. For 1 Psychic energy, it deals 30 damage and blocks your opponent from playing Tools, Special Energies and Stadiums on their next turn. This, against some decks, creates a dead draw scenario in which your opponent cannot do anything productive, as in attacking or even the setup of their board. Although the meta isn’t as wild about the 3 components that this attack locks as when the last Chaos Wheel-er, Giratina-EX is around, it still is useful to create the potentially perfect lock you’ll need to buy time to win. Although the damage is lower than Giratina-EX’s wheel which deals 100 damage, that costs a Grass, Psychic and 2 Colorless energies while Mismagius’ wheel only cost 1 Psychic energy to deal 30 damage, meaning that it is easier to maintain, but it really struggles to find knockouts while doing so. Giratina-EX is useful because 100 damage is more than enough to destroy the deck it really has a good matchup against; Night March. Mismagius’ Chaos Wheel can only deal a knockout to a bare bones Joltik, as Pumpkaboo has a Dark weakness, not Psychic. Back to Standard, there are few instances where 30 damage would be gamebreaking, so damage output here is really a big issue.
The other attack, Dark Arts basically punishes your opponent for keeping those cards that you locked out with Chaos Wheel by dealing 20x the number of cards in their hand for 1 Psychic and 2 Colorless energies. But I can’t simply see the point or situation where punishing overstocked hands is useful, and still think that Chaos Wheel is the only good point of Mismagius.
Before we end our look, I also want to address the evolution issue; although both are equal in setup speed as Giratina needs 2 energy attachments in practice and Mismagius needs the Misdreavus, a Psychic energy and a Mismagius, Giratina needs only 3-4 spaces in decks, while Mismagius will need an average of 6-8 spaces, thus cutting off space for other potentially more useful cards, like draw Supporters. But Chaos Wheel is a good attack, as we seen from Giratina’s success in various decks and tournaments; and I believe that Mismagius is poised to do something similar, at the very least. Just not now. The meta is too unreliant on Special Energy (unless you are in Expanded; in which case why not use Giratina-EX?)
Standard: 2.9/5 (Its the only Chaos Wheel-er in the format, but there are many ways to avoid the nasty side effects it gives.)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (Faces competition with Giratina-EX, which is about as speedy to get into play, has more HP and isn’t an evolution, avoiding Po Town disruption methods.)
Mismagius (Crimson Invasion, 40/111) received a new incarnation in the Crimson Invasion expansion. A 110 HP Psychic Pokemon, this card has two attacks. Chaos Wheel, for a single Psychic energy, does thirty damage and will annoy the heck out of your opponent because he or she cannot play any Tool, SPE, or Stadium cards during the next turn. The least intimidating of the locks available in the game today, Chaos Wheel still will hinder your opponent to an extent considering almost all top tier decks run some kind of SPE and Choice Bands, Float Stones, and other Tool cards still see considerable play. Mismagius’ second attack, Dark Arts, does twenty damage times the number of cards in your opponent’s hand for the cost of a Psychic plus two Colorless energy.
Wasn’t sure what to run this with, and I saw that Shadowforce TCG had the only video on it, pairing it with Garb and the Espeons. I don’t like the Espeons because I beat them too much to want to play them (I know I’m actually 49 W 48 L against anything named Espeon since Sept. 1 but they really just don’t scare me). So I went with the straight Mismagius Garb lineup to see exactly how well I might do with this deck.
Yeah 1 W 4 L later, I realized Mismagius just wasn’t going to work in the current meta. It just doesn’t do enough damage, and that lock isn’t particularly disruptive. I did beat a Tapu Bulu GX deck, but lost to Gardy, Xerneas Break, Darkrai EX, and Buzzwole Zoroark.
Standard: 2 out of 5
Maybe there’s another partner out there for Mismagius that might function as a better complement, and maybe Mismagius is just a one of in some kind of Psychic toolbox list. Unfortunately, it’s just not good enough to be competitive in today’s meta.
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. 😉