– Lost Thunder
October 2, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Mixed Herbs is another one of those cards that you can benefit from if you used multiple cards of the same copy. If you played one copy, the you remove a Special Condition from your Active Pokemon. If you played two copies from your hand, then you heal 90 damage and remove all Special Conditions from your Active Pokemon.
I had played a card that does similar things. More than ten years ago, Poke Healer+ was one of the best healing options despite having to play two cards at a time. The HP scores were significantly low at the time (most Stage 2s has HP up to 140, and Wailord has 200 HP), and healing 80 damage was almost unheard of Diamond & Pearl onwards. Other healing cards were made obsolete like Full Heal, Potion, and Moomoo Milk thanks to Poke Healer+. Sure, players can simply switch their Active to remove Special Conditions or bounce them with Super Scoop Up, but when lacking those options, Poke Healer+ was another good alternative.
Mixed Herbs might experience similar playability Poke Healer+ has, and it has things that other healing options don’t. Max Potion heals all damage, but also discards all energy from that Pokemon. Great Potion only heals a paltry 50 damage from your Active Pokemon-GX. Mixed Herbs heals more than Great Potion while being unrestricted as it heals anybody and doesn’t discard energy unlike Max Potion. Though that’s if you actually get a chance to heal. Item lock, trashalanche Garbodor, and OHKOs May deter you from heavily relying on Mixed Herbs. Being that Mixed Herbs is a reintroduced – but stronger – effect, I can see this card getting a decent amount of play based on older cards.
Mixed Herbs (SM – Lost Thunder 184/214) is a Trainer-Item that has two different effects. You can’t use both effects at once; which one you get depends on how you played Mixed Herbs. Besides playing (using it) normally, you can play (use) two copies of Mixed Herbs at the same time. A single copy just removes one Special Condition (your choice which if there is more than one) from your Active Pokémon. If you do play two at once, then Mixed Herbs removes all Special Conditions from your Active plus heals 90 damage from it as well. So a single copy of Mixed Herbs is a worse version of Full Heal while using two at once is like using a Full Heal and three copies of Potion all at once (but with a restriction you have to use them all on your Active).
Compared to set-mate Custom Catcher, Mixed Herbs is underwhelming, but Custom Catcher has become a potent card due to the current cardpool, so that is a high bar to clear. The proof of the pudding is in the eating – yes, that is the full expression – and the proof of a card is in what runs it. Starting with the World Championships, Blaine Hill ran four copies and finished in 3rd-place, specifically using a Volcanion (SM – Unbroken Bonds 25/214; SM – Black Star Promos SM179) and Reshiram & Charizard-GX deck. Checking other results, we see some decks run a full four while others opt for just two, and Mixed Herbs isn’t showing up as often as it was. This could be because it isn’t as good of a play as folks thought, or because decks don’t need the healing as much anymore, or simply because post-worlds folks are more willing to experiment, and so decks that can justify it will soon be running it again.
I cannot say for certain, but Mixed Herbs fills a particular niche. It is a narrow one, as there are other forms of healing, including Item-based options. There are simply plays like using Bill’s Analysis or Green’s Exploration to much more easily get two copies of Mixed Herbs into your hand, but that means we ought to consider plays like Pokémon Center Lady instead. If you’re going to burn a Supporter on it, why not? Simply because sometimes, you won’t need that combo. Maybe you just need one copy of Mixed Herbs because you have one in hand or you just need to remove a Special Condition. The search Supporters I just mentioned have many other uses, while Pokémon Center Lady is just about the healing. Mixed Herbs probably won’t be as good in Expanded – too many other options – but run as many copies as you pull in Limited.
For those times when one is never enough, because that’s the idea behind mixing things. You kinda need two different things to mix them together. Can’t exactly mix water with water, now can you? Unless it’s like, dirty sewer water, but nobody wants that, eww…
Mixed Herbs follows in line with cards like Puzzle of Time and Missing Clover that you can play on their own but get stronger effects when you play multiple copies at once. This can either be really strong or really mediocre, so on a scale of Missing Clover to Puzzle of Time, where does Mixed Herbs come in? If you play only one, it removes a Special Condition from your Active Pokemon, but playing 2 of these will remove not only ALL the Special Conditions affecting them but also heal it off for 90 damage.
I wouldn’t say this is Puzzle of Time powerful, but it is noteworthy as a possible option instead of Full Heal and using a Potion. It’s definitely the closest we have to a Full Restore type of effect, and healing off 90 damage is pretty significant especially for those with larger HP pools. I think the utility of this card surpasses that of Missing Clover, but it’s not really a set-up into anything the way Puzzle of Time can – it’s just a strong healing effect. That could mean that you might not be interested in it most of the time, especially since it’s at its best when facing off against a deck hitting on lots of Special Conditions, but when that situation does come up, you can rely on this card pretty readily.
At least as long as you’ve got two of them in hand.
Standard: 3/5 (it’s not a bad card, by any means, though it is more format-dependent than most)
Expanded: 3/5 (I think here it could see play as one of many Special Condition techs)
Limited: 2/5 (really depends more on what your opponent runs, otherwise it’s not very good here)
Arora Notealus: Fun fact that I ended up finding out today, it’s that apparently Chip-Chip Ice Axe from yesterday is one of several cards that got banned in Japan’s Expanded format. It’s one of those things that at first glance doesn’t make much sense, but seeing what else was banned and why they got banned does kinda bring to light what I was saying about stacking cards on the top of your opponent’s deck. Ultimately, it’s the Pokemon TCG’s policy to create a fun environment, and hand locks aren’t fun. Don’t think we’ll have to worry about Mixed Herbs facing any bans in the near future!
Next Time: Looking back into a particularly troublesome card for its time!
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