– Team Up
May 2, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Looks like Morgan was saved for the last. This requirement is manageable than the other three cards because it only requires you to discard the other three sisters from your hand, making your hand at -4 plus your Supporter use for the turn. You get to look at the top 12 cards of your deck and attach as many energies you find there to any of your Pokemon. The range is incredible and while many decks don’t run too many energies, maybe 5 to 15, you may find around 2 or 3 energies on average out of the 12 cards you’ll find there.
Unfortunately, using Morgan means you have to accept that those other three are dead cards, whose effects on the other three are extremely situational and would be fodder anyways. And you also hope that none of them are prized, otherwise you are going to miss one of the four materials. Beside those hiccups, effects that come with great power also comes with steep requirements, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from trying them.
So we’re about to wrap up on Team Up in favor of Unbroken Bonds, the first card of which we’ll be reviewing is tomorrow. In the meantime, we’ve got the Battle Chatelaine series of girls to cover, and I’ve already missed pretty much all the girls as is, but for me, that’s not a big issue, since they all tie into each other in some form or another.
Let’s start with Nita first. She lets you put an Energy card on your opponent’s Active Pokemon back on top of their deck, which while that doesn’t seem like it does much, it does stack your opponent’s next draw with a relatively useless card. I mean yeah, you need Energy to perform attacks, so it’s not that useless, but compared to a card that could draw you more cards? That hurts. There’s just one caveat to Nita: your opponent’s Active Pokemon has to be a Basic Pokemon.
You’ll notice that’s a trend with the girls when we look at Evelyn, who can draw you 4 cards if your opponent’s Active Pokemon is a Stage 1 Pokemon. Similar to Nita, you can see how this card is useful – you get to draw 4 cards after all – but having your opponent’s Active Pokemon be a Stage 1 isn’t always going to be viable. Not every deck has a Stage 1 to put out, and you usually want to take care of the ones that do put their Stage 1 out in front.
Dana has a similar feel to Evelyn, but she lets you search your deck for up to 2 cards to add to your hand if your opponent’s Active Pokemon is a Stage 2. If Stage 1 Pokemon are already shaky enough as is, surely getting a Stage 2 Pokemon from most decks is even harder. At least the effects correlate in terms of how powerful the effects are compared to the difficulty of your opponent having the right stage of Evolution out. But how do you even guarantee what your opponent’s Active Pokemon is going to be to benefit from the girls? That’s my biggest problem with the series so far, and our last leading lady…doesn’t help with that. At all.
Morgan can only be used by discarding the other 3 girls from your hand – Dana, Evelyn, and Nita. You then get to look at the top 12 cards of your deck and attach any and all Energy among them to your Pokemon any way you’d like, with the rest going back into the deck. Competitively speaking, it’d be hard to see whether this effect would work out well, considering most decks tend to run 12-14 Energy cards in the first place, and you’d probably want to be playing a few in the early game. But to achieve this, you have to nab 3 other Supporters that don’t do much on their own except in specific instances where they can be very useful, all to get a potentially massive amount of Energy acceleration based on whatever is stacked in the top 12 cards of your deck.
Overall? I’m not enthused by the series. There are too many factors that go into cementing their usage most of the time; Morgan wants you to effectively discard 3 specific cards to utilize her, and the others require your opponent to have a specific stage of Evolution Active, which isn’t always going to be the case. I can see maybe one or two of the girls seeing play, based on the popular decks at the time and what Pokemon stages prove to pop up more often than not, but all together, there’s no chance. Nita is the easiest to pull off since she relies on the easiest stage to be around, and while the effects get better, the restrictions become stricter.
Could there be cards in the upcoming set to help facilitate a strategy devoted to the ladies? Not really; having looked at the next set, it seems like there are just better Supporters that you’d rather run to nab cards useful to your strategy, rather than stockpiling the Battle Chatelaines to use when the situation calls for it. Evelyn strikes me as the one that’ll see the most play out of the series as a whole, but there are arguably better and less restrictive draw Supporters to run. Not saying she couldn’t be run, but she’s not much more likely to be run in tight deck spaces than Nita would be. And don’t even get me started on Morgan and Dana.
Standard: 1.5/5 (super restrictive conditions prevent their otherwise useful effects from being…well, useful)
Expanded: 1/5 (there are tons of better Supporters to run here)
Limited: 1.5/5 (there are only slight possibilities of pulling them off here, but I don’t think you want to try your luck on that)
Arora Notealus: The Battle Chatelaine girls are only seen in the Battle Maison, which probably explains why I’d never even heard of them until now. It’s one of those areas of the game that if you’re a competitively mindful player, you can get a lot of use out of it presumably. Or if you’re just a big fan of battling challenging teams and the like ala Battle Tower. As for me, I’ve never been particularly big on these areas; the Battle Frontier from Emerald was probably the only area I actively tried to poke around in, but otherwise, I haven’t been that invested in these areas. Still, if you do end up battling a winning a bunch at the Maison, you should be able to fight your way through to the Chatelaines. No big deal, just go through 20 battles without losing to fight each of them. Oh, and then battle through 50 battles without losing to battle them again and get a commemorative statue upon winning! Fuuuuuuuuuuuun…
Next Time: AND NOW FOR THE TOP 11 FOR THE UNBROKEN BONDS SET, starting off with a fiery hot contender.
Today would normally have been a Throwback Thursday pick, but we’re taking a break from that so we can cover Morgan (SM – Team Up 149/181, 178/181). She’s a Trainer-Supporter, like the other Battle Chatelaine cards. She requires you discard Dana, Evelyn, and Nita from your hand in order to play her; if you don’t have one of each Morgan will just be another dead card in your hand. The rest of Morgan’s effect is you look at the top 12 cards of your deck; it doesn’t say “reveal”, so you don’t show your opponent. You then may attach as many Energy cards you find in those 12 to your Pokémon in play. You can distribute the Energy how you like, putting it all on one Pokémon, spreading it out evenly, putting some here and some there, whatever. You may also attach fewer Energy cards than you revealed.
I want you to imagine if Morgan didn’t require you discard one Dana, one Evelyn, and one Nita. Imagine she worked by discarding any three Supporters; under such circumstances, do you include her in your deck? Yes, she can now function in just about any deck but will Morgan really help? Decks with low Supporter counts burn about half of what they run to play Morgan. Typical decks are still sacrificing a quarter to a third. Decks with low Energy counts (under eight Energy cards) are more likely to see Morgan whiff. Decks with higher Energy counts (over 12) often already include some other form of Energy acceleration. Not every deck is going to gain enough of an advantage even when Morgan works, and that is using an improved, hypothetical version of the card.
With the actual, factual Morgan you have to run at least one copy each of Dana, Evelyn, and Nita. A minimum of four of your deck’s “Supporter-slots” to pull off a combo… in an incredibly unreliable manner. In reality, besides the Energy to make Morgan’s attachments reliable, besides the Pokémon to make use of that Energy, you’re going to need search and recycling effects for Supporters (on top of what you might need for Pokémon and Energy). Multiples of each Battle Chatelaine, and/or Gladion to fish any out from your Prizes. If you can actually make use of Dana, Evelyn, and Nita on their own, then you’ll need to recycle them for Morgan, but if you don’t utilize them for their own effects, won’t you need to make room for the other Supporters to help with all of the above?
Shortly after her release in Japan, a Rayquaza-GX deck using Morgan for most of its Energy acceleration won a decently-sized event in Japan. I couldn’t find anything about her doing well since then, and her scores reflect this. Yet do not forget her; this is one of the many cards that have game-breaking potential, even if they are only filler or Johnny-bait at present.
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