Mr. Mime #66
February 20, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This ability is pretty unique, as it prevents your opponent from picking up a damaged Pokémon from play into your hand. But it can be shuffled into your deck. Pretty much a hard counter to Acerola!
Mr. Mime (TEU 66) receives its first non GX incarnation in the Sun & Moon era in the Team Up expansion set. This card has drawn much interest because of its ability Scoop Up Block. Its uncreative name pretty much tells you what this ability does: it prevents your opponent from from playing Super Scoop Up or Acerola or any other mechanism to pick up a damaged Pokemon off of the table and put it into their hand.
Important to note is that if you play Super Scoop Up and flip heads, you can still use it to pick up any undamaged Pokemon in play.
For those of us who issue a string of curses every time we see a Zoroark GX player drop an Acerola, this card is an absolute gift. I’m sure that Zoroark Controls players everywhere teared up a little bit when they first saw this card. Playing an Acerola or two every game is a common trick from Zoroark GX players, you can always expect to see them pull her out of their sleeve at some point during a match.
I have yet to play Mr. Mime myself, and I have yet to come across it from any of my opponents either. It’s a good card, and I’m glad we have it now, but it’s hard to play because
I also don’t play two prize Pokemon very often as well, so my opponents probably don’t feel the need to bench it either when they see that I’m running a deck that probably doesn’t carry Acerola.
So basically, this is a good card, and if you find yourself losing because your opponents play Acerola or Super Scoop Up, you might want to try adding a copy of Mr. Mime. For many decks, however, Mr. Mime is a sixty or even seventy something card that just isn’t going to be able to make it into most lists.
Standard: 2 out of 5
Today’s subject is an apology: Mr. Mime (SM – Team Up 66/181). This is a Basic, [P] Type Pokémon with 80 HP. This means you can fetch it with Nest Ball, Mysterious Treasure, or (in Expanded) Level Ball; working it into a deck is even easier than for other Basic Pokémon in general. It would be nice if Professor Elm’s Lecture could snag it… but 60 HP is dangerously low for a Bench-sitter. [P] Weakness isn’t good, either, but Mr. Mime would likely be OHKO’d if it is in the Active position, where attacks actually apply Weakness. The 80 HP also means the lack of Resistance isn’t too meaningful; it wouldn’t make much of a difference, even if present. The Retreat Cost of [C] is good; manually paying it isn’t too bad and its low enough that Escape Board can make it a perfect free Retreat Cost. We’re here for the card’s Ability BUT I’m going to get the attack out of the way first; [CC] pays for “Psy Bolt” to do 20 damage and flip a coin to inflict Paralysis. Honestly, this is decent as far as filler attacks on a Basic being run for its Ability; a Double Colorless Energy lets you do a little damage while stalling.
Finally, we’ll address the Ability: “Scoop-Up Block” keeps bounce (or “scoop”) effects from working on your opponent’s Pokémon (or cards attached to those Pokémon) if they have any damage counters on them. In simpler terms, it is an anti-Acerola Ability. Sure, it will also prevent Super Scoop Up and all the other bounce effects from working but the main two being thwarted are your opponent’s Acerola (as it only works on damaged Pokémon) and… your own attacks? Not many, granted, but the few that bounce your opponent’s Active or its highest Stage of Evolution seem like they would be affected as well. Of course, you have to be the one running Mr. Mime alongside them, so that’s probably a non-issue. What does still confuse me a bit is the exact wording. The first few times I read it, I wasn’t sure what it meant. Then I thought it meant Scoop-Up Block ALSO prevents effects that bounce just the top Stage of Evolution (like Devolution Spray), attached Energy (like Energy Reset), attached Tools (like Tool Retriever); at least, if the Pokémon is injured they’d be blocked. INSTEAD, it probably just “reminder text” so you know that Acerola, Super Scoop Up, etc. fail to bounce anything. I’ve posted the question here just to be sure. If you’re unfamiliar with the PokéGym website, it is run by members of the official Rules Team team, but not by Pokémon itself. The short version is that the rulings they give are considered official.
I’ll continue the review assuming that it is indeed simply reminder text, and if I am wrong, it won’t change things too dramatically for the same reason Mr. Mime is a solid card; not too good, but not bad. Are you a deck that focused on 2HKO KO’s or complicated spread combos AND so you’re running afoul of Acerola spam? Mr. Mime is there for you… unless you could tweak your deck to include something that can just score the OHKO, which may have other benefits as well. Zoroark-GX has a few decks which spam Acerola, but they can only do that when they’re safe from OHKO’s or pseudo-OHKO combos. Which happens, but definitely isn’t an “every match” kind of thing. Well, maybe for the control variant, but now we’ve gone from a major part of the metagame to a significant-but-much-smaller portion of it. Outside of stuff like that, you’ll be punishing a kind of deck that periodically pops up in the metagame, like the old “Land O’ Bats” (Landobats if you’ve never heard of the Land O’ Lakes brand) archetype built around Landorus-EX, Goldbat (XY – Phantom Forces 32/119; Generations 31/83), and Crobat (XY – Phantom Forces 33/119). At least, if the stuff is damaged before it bounces. You could ensure that with certain combos, but again, now we’re talking about specialization within a niche. Still, this does mean Mr. Mime is a card you’ll want to have a few copies of – though you’ll probably only ever run it as a single – for both the Standard and Expanded Format. The latter has even more competition for deck space but more decks bouncing injured Pokémon and more combos to get damage on those Pokémon. For the Limited Format, that attack and HP score are actually pretty solid, so it is a happy pull there!
Mr. Mime punishes Acerola spam quite effectively, but that is something you’ll really only have to worry about in certain matchups when you’re running certain decks. Which sometimes will be the case, but usually not. It does show why the Side Board/Side Deck mechanic seen in many popular TCG’s doesn’t work with Pokémon. Inconvenience one major archetype to essentially eliminate one of the interesting strategies that spice-up the game… because you could easily toss one Mr. Mime into your Side Board and then side it in for games two and three. As TecH, you’ve got to build your deck to work around it when it isn’t needed.
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