– Unbroken Bonds
August 9, 2020
Standard: See Below
Expanded: N/A (Banned)
Limited: See Below
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Mismagius (SM – Unbroken Bonds 78/214) is also banned from the Standard Format, effective August 28, 2020. Mismagius is a Stage 1 Psychic Pokémon with [D] Weakness, -20 [F] Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], the ability “Mysterious Message”, and the attack “Hypnoblast”. Mysterious Message can be used before you attack, once per instance of it you have in play. You draw until you have seven cards in hand, then you KO Mismagius (the copy whose Ability you used). Hypnoblast requires [PCC] and let’s Mismagius swing for 70 damage, plus it leaves your opponent’s Active Asleep.
On their own, none of these things is a problem. The [P] typing is handy, but this is being banned after Standard loses Mysterious Treasure. Being a Stage 1 means you’ve got a two-card investment, and Mismagius can’t hit the field in a single turn. 110 HP won’t matter if you’re using Mismagius for its Ability, and the Ability is indeed the only reason to use it. That also makes the Weakness, Resistance, Retreat Cost and attack unimportant. Yes, other cards used for their Abilities still care about such things, but Mismagius is different because of how its Ability works: it should be removing itself from the field shortly after evolving.
Mysterious message is not insane draw power. For the cost of giving up a Prize, it might even be a bit underpowered. Enter Dusk Stone, a Trainer-Item that – provided you have the previous Stage of evolution already in play, lets you search your deck for a Mismagius, Honchkrow, Chanedlure, Aegislash, or Pokémon-GX counterparts, then immediately evolve into it. Again, let me be clear; you must be able to evolve into the card you searched out, and you’re still bound by the “Evolves from…” information. You also must search your deck for the Evolution card you’re going to put into play; you cannot use Dusk Stone to immediately evolve from hand. Still, Dusk Stone not only functions as search, but evolution acceleration… and even that isn’t enough to break this card.
Most decks don’t use Mismagius. That’s because, for all it has going for it, you’re talking about two to three cards worth of investment and giving up a Prize to draw until you have seven cards in hand. Yes, when you can clean out your hand prior to using it, it is a fantastic amount of draw power. If you can’t drop your hand below seven cards, you can’t use it at all (I think), and even a “small” hand of four cards means you’d only draw three. Unless you need Pokémon-based draw that clears itself from the field, this won’t often be worth it. Don’t get me wrong, if you read our original review of this Mismagius, I was surprised it hadn’t already been showing up in the top cut of tournaments. It did eventually show up in a few, but the mast majority of decks did not and do not use Mismagius.
Yet it is already banned in Expanded, and about to be banned in Standard. There’s a particular use for this card, and that is exploiting Reset Stamp (or similar effects). Normally, letting your opponent’s take a Prize is a bad thing, but here it is being used to prep for a devastating Turn 1 or 2 Reset Stamp. Reset Stamp still leaves you with a few cards in hand but then additional cards are used to either eliminate your opponent’s hand, or just ensure their options are near worthless. The “new” T1 rule about “No Supporter” actually made this worse, not better; while harder to pull off without a Supporter, it can be done on Turn 1… and if you’re going second, using the combo Turn 2 (your first turn) means your opponent still lose their hand before they’ve ever had the chance to Evolve, use a Supporter, or attack.
Even all of that wasn’t enough to earn Mismagius a ban in Standard… but recently, at some Japanese events, some cards we’re getting sooner or later resulted in this play happening a lot in the winning decks. The good news? It ain’t permanent. Unlike most banned cards, they’re already working on a tweaked replacement for Mismagius (and Bellelba & Brycen-Man). Still, who knows how far away that is; if your deck needs Mismagius, enjoy it while you can.
Mismagius doesn’t really strike me as the card that needed to be banned in its combo. No Dusk Stone means no Turn 1 or 2 Reset Stamp to wreck hands, and while that would hurt several other cards… well… most of them are irrelevant to the metagame. Then again, that includes Mismagius since – outside of the problem combo – it doesn’t seem to see competitive play. Anymore, I’m skittish about Evolution acceleration, as it seems so hard to implement it without either
but the real, obvious problem is Reset Stamp. Which remains untouched, waiting for the next effect like this. Another good suggestion, and maybe it’ll wind up being reality with the new version of the card, is making the taking of Prizes optional. That way, your opponent has to walk into the trap of taking too many Prizes before an opponent hits them with Reset Stamp.
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. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!