– Ultra Prism
March 28, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Missing Clover is one of those cards where the designers hinted at something unbalanced, but creates a requirement or more in order to get to the desired effect. Sadly, they probably made a irrational requirement that is difficult to achieve and are not worth using. I won’t get to the first effect but to get to the second effect. If you played four missing clovers from your hand at once, meaning you must play all four missing clovers from your hand at once, you take a Prize card.
You can only have four of the same card in your deck, so with four missing clovers, you get to take one prize card at best. You can go overboard and have four Puzzle of Times to get back four Missing Clovers so that you can get another Prize Card. And Arceus forbids you have Junk Hunt Sableye to retrieve item cards. Well, let me pop your imaginary bubble and tell you other factors. Any of these missing clovers could be prized, making other Missing Clover dead cards and a waste of deck slot unless your deck is perfect at 56 cards. Item lock and Trashalanche fuel will ensure gimmicky items like these will be punished heavily or being discouraged. Overall, you can almost never pull 4 Missing Clovers in a tournament setting.
At least I think Missing Clover is far easier to use than Greedy Dice, but then again, the requirement is still atrocious.
Standard: 1.05/5 (not saying that you’ll never pull that off)
Conclusion: Missing Clover may be tempting, but the amount of work needed to achieve the second effect is too much. Even if you did take a prize card, some GX forms of Ultra Beasts can alter the amount of prize cards such as Nihilego GX, Xurkitree GX, or Nagandel GX.
Missing Clover (UP 129) sprouted into the meta from the Ultra Prism expansion set. This Item card lets you do two things:
I have seven words for this card:
No No No No No No No
Standard: 1.5 out of 5
If Greedy Dice doesn’t work, what makes you think this will? I know that there was a Zoraork deck that ran 4 Clover, and with Oranguru (UP 114), it’s actually not impossible to pull this off (BTW you can only pull this stunt once per game… but yeah good luck getting it off even one time). I haven’t tested it, and I’m not going to, and I can promise you that I could randomly choose four Items from a hat and they would help you win more than four Clover.
I will say this about Missing Clover: what differentiates it from Greedy Dice is that it isn’t luck based – it will take a tremendous amount of skill (ok and a little luck too) to get these four specific cards into your hand at one time. Greedy Dice is much more luck dependent (even with UP Oranguru and Looker), and that’s a big part of what makes Greedy Dice a bad design. At least with Clover you’ve got to work for that prize card.
Missing Clover (SM – Ultra Prism 129/156, 168/156) is a Trainer-Item that reminds me how finicky wording can prove. When I first saw it, I thought its text was straightforward – and for me, it was – but since then I’ve found some folks confused by how it works, and trying to concisely write a review without resorting to a copy and paste of the text, I’m starting to see how that happened. Normally, you only play one card at a time in Pokémon; to play more than one card at a time requires another effect. In this case, that effect comes from Missing Clover itself, allowing you to play either one copy at a time (like normal) or four at a time; it does not allow you to play any other amounts. As we English-speaking players sometimes use “play” and “run” interchangeably, note that you can include any amount from zero to four copies of Missing Clover in your deck. When you play a single copy of Missing Clover from your hand, you may look at the top card of your deck; when you play all four copies at once, you take a Prize. These effects are mutually exclusive; obviously, a single copy doesn’t allow you to take a Prize, but playing four at a time does not allow you to look at the top card of your deck. If you can recycle all four of copies of Missing Clover and then play them all from your hand again you can use the Prize-taking effect more than once; the bit of text in parenthesis is just so that people don’t try and take four Prizes (one per copy of Missing Clover) each time you play four at once.
So, is are these effects any good? Seeing the top card of your deck can help you make decisions about what cards to use, as what you draw next matters, but if you aren’t drawing into it immediately or using some of the effects that car about the top card of your deck, your opponent will have a chance to change that top card, whether through N or something more focused on disruption. You’ll need to be careful yourself; use a copy of Missing Clover then decide to use Ultra Ball, and you’ve just erased the knowledge you had. There are cards that allow you to not only see the top few cards of your deck but even arrange them, and most such cards see little competitive play. The first effect can be beneficial, but it is far too weak to justify playing Missing Clover, even though it is an easy-to-use Item card. The second effect, taking a Prize, is potent, but tempered by the requirement that you have to play four copies at once. Puzzle of Time only requires you use two copies of it at a time for its recycling effect, and that has proven difficult enough for players. If a copy of Missing Clover is trapped in your Prizes or if you have to use Professor Sycamore while one copy is in hand, you’ll need a card recycling effect or else you’re never getting to make use of its second effect!
Yet there are still deck ideas for this card floating around; taking a Prize is just that good, even when it can be a pain. The real question is can anyone create a deck where it is MORE cost effective to make use of Missing Clover than to put the same deck space, effort, and time towards taking Prizes through the normal means? The answer is… maybe. Regretfully, I ran out of time to all of the cards needed – let alone test – any of these decks for myself. One option I’ve seen is to build a deck using Oranguru, using its “Resource Management” attack to repeatedly recycle Missing Clover, as well as whatever else you need to keep the process going. Even using a “Looker Loop” scenario, where Oranguru uses Resource Management to bottom-deck one Looper and two other cards, this basically requires setting up a lock and maintaining it while you painstakingly cash in on four Missing Clover maybe once every four turns. Even if you take your chances without heavy disruption, so that Oranguru is probably getting OHKO’d a lot, even if your opponent doesn’t wreck your combo with N, even counting on lucky draws to provide Looker, you’re only able to play four Missing Clover every other turn.
The next approach is for the Expanded Format, and I’ve got even less faith in it because… it is my own idea. Completely untested, and built mostly to justify naming it after a recent mediocre anime: Black Clover. My idea for such a deck is to use Sableye (BW – Dark Explorers 62/108) to recycle Puzzle of Time with its “Junk Hunt” attack. Wait, why not Missing Clover? Well, when you’re sure that is the play, you are free to do just that; getting two Puzzle of Time allows you to focus on various disruption strategies when needed. This has the same problem as the Oranguru approach; at best you’re pulling off the four Missing Clover play every other turn, and while you’re not stuck preserving a stacked bottom of your deck, N still can wreck your hand. The difference is that this isn’t a new deck, but taking the old Sablelock deck and finding four cards to cut so that you can add Missing Clover… but that is still a Sablelock deck. The idea for Black Clover is to back Sableye with another combo I had hoped would catch on but so far is a total no-show:
Darkrai [Prism Star] => Ninja Boy => Guzzlord-GX
You’ll need basic Darkness Energy in your hand and your discard pile because you also need to Dark Patch enough Energy so that Guzzlord-GX can immediately attack with Glutton-GX or Tyrannical Hole. You’re still not taking six Prizes more quickly than you would with a competitive beatdown deck BUT there is a small chance that being able to go from soft lock to crazy beatdown with one quick (albeit complex) combo creates a competitive deck. Probably not, however much I wish that weren’t the case. Still, anyone willing, please try the deck and share your results somewhere. For now, I’ll be rating the card based on the tiny bit of potential it has, but the lack of an actual performance since it released. Unless I missed it – possible, but unlikely – the only use for this card since it released is for daydreamers and troll decks. Plus Limited Format decks; you’ll probably have the space for as many of these as you can pull, the 4-Copy rule does not apply to Limited Format events, AND the first effect is actually fairly good here.
Before I rate the card, I will also add that, when we created our top 10 list for SM – Ultra Prism, it did make the “runners-up” who were nominated by at least one reviewer but didn’t come anywhere near close to making the actual countdown. The one reviewer to nominate it was me, which earned Missing Clover 12 voting points as I made it my ninth place pick. This actually tied with yesterday’s Volkner; for kicks, I broke the tie via dice roll so that Volkner is the “official unofficial” 24th place finisher for our top 10 countdown and Missing Clover is 25th. I haven’t given up on Missing Clover entirely, but I’m resolved to it probably only being used in casual (probably troll) decks. Just remember, if TPC forgets about it, it could go from chump to champ. After Lysandre’s Trump Card, broken recycling tricks seem quite pluasible.
Man, sometimes you get caught up in your own work, and you end up forgetting you’ve got to do other things too. And then you end up finding that something’s not in its place, and then when someone asks you how things are coming along, you suddenly shout out, “Clover? I don’t even know here!”
…DON’T JUDGE ME
Missing Clover is another one of those cards that you can play multiple copies of at the same time to get different effects. Unfortunately, it’s only one or four. Should have had more. If you played one Missing Clover, you get to look at the top card of your deck. If you play four Missing Clovers at the same time, you get to take a Prize card.
I’m sure there are already a ton of gimmicky decks designed around amassing a bunch of Missing Clovers to your hand so that when you get to the point where there’s only one Prize to go, you can play them all down at once and surprise your opponent by just winning the game. Alternatively, you can use this to achieve a bunch of different tricks, and that’s where you’d really want to use Missing Clover – taking a Prize can do a LOT for you suddenly, and not just because you get another card.
One such gimmick deck to try could be Slowbro from BREAKpoint, whose Walk-Off Homer wins you the game if you’ve only got one Prize left. I’m sure you remember that guy being such a huge gimmick already, but then suddenly 2 Prizes with a hand full of Missing Clovers becomes an instant win for you. Just saying though, you’ve still gotta fight for the other 4 Prizes. But the major competitive possibility you could work with are the Ultra Beasts – all of which have something relating to Prizes in their attacks.
So what Ultra Beasts work well with Missing Clover right now? So far the best partners seem to be Kartana-GX, who can take a Prize card anyway, Celesteela-GX, who can reveal all your Prize cards and make picking one out with Missing Clover a no-brainer, and Guzzlord-GX, who can take up to 3-4 Prize cards if he KOs with his GX Attack, thus prompting a Missing Clover surprise maneuver. There are some other Ultra Beast cards to come out in the near future, but for now with these, Missing Clover is as much a gimmick as can be expected.
Standard: 2/5 (I wouldn’t sleep on this card though, getting 4 can be pretty easy…outside of one ending up in your Prize cards)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (all you need is to draw them all without discarding them, and that’s pretty easy to do)
Limited: 2/5 (but getting four in the first place is the only tricky part)
Arora Notealus: Missing Clover’s a lot like Puzzle of Time for me – having more copies makes it better, cause just playing the one copy isn’t good enough. The effect of having multiples is greater than the effect of having only one. I do wish though that these cards added more to their effects in case you end up with an odd amount, or at least you could have the option in deck building to not have to run all 4 copies you can. Such is life…
Side Review: Volkner – Volkner is basically the Korrina of Lightning decks, the biggest difference being he grabs an Energy instead of a Pokemon. That does change his utility, but the benefit of grabbing an Item and an Energy attachment for the turn means that Lightning decks that run him can likely afford a lower amount of Energy since they’ll be able to grab any they need. At least that’s the theory if you do run Volkner, but if you don’t, you have some room for a couple more Energies and maybe a tech card or two, depending on the number of Volkner being run.
Magnezone – Coming up at #4, Magnezone’s already appeared in a few lists as a major player in Metal decks, which should come as no surprise. His Ability gives him a lot of power, and the number of partners he can be with will only continue to grow especially in Expanded assuming no rotation actually occurs. Keep some around if you wanna play Metal decks, and even if you don’t, you’ll be sure to get some value trading him around!
Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX – bringing back the swapping Ability, Dawn Wings brings a lot more utility than her Dusk Mane counterpart, all while bringing some strong attacks as well. There are a few videos of some combos you can pull off with Dawn Wings, so it’s likely worth it to check her out for that alone. Definitely keep tabs on her, as being an Ultra Beast, she benefits from any Ultra Beast support that comes in the future. And yes, there will be Ultra Beast support in the future.
Next Time: Taking a look back at another old card that could get you whatever you wanted!
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