– Forbidden Light
July 29, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
*Not to be mistaken with a similar name, but as a TCG Expansion instead of an item card: Diamond & Pearl Mysterious Treasure.
Mysterious Treasure from SM Forbidden Light is an interesting search card for certain decks and might reduce over-reliance of Ultra Ball at the time. By discarding one card from your hand, you get to search your deck for either a Psychic Pokemon or a Dragon Pokemon. Decks that contain Malamar with Psychic Recharge, Ultra Necrozma, Mewtwo & Mew-GX, and much much more, would run this search card at a full four.
Being good on specific decks warrants enough to be in the countdown, and as long as such types still uses Basic Pokémon, maybe Quick Ball might be a decent alternative.
Mysterious Treasure (SM – Forbidden Light 113/131, 113a/131, 145/131) is s Trainer-Item that has you discard a card from your hand, then has you search your deck for a Psychic or Dragon type Pokémon to add to your hand. As usual, you reveal the card you searched out to your opponent, then shuffle your deck afterward. We’ve only looked at this card once before, as 10th-place in our countdown of the best cards from its set… though if you went to do a simple Ctrl+F search of the archive, you’ll get dozens of hits as there is an old expansion named Mysterious Treasures. Treasures, with an “s”.
An important part of a winning strategy in nearly any TCG is getting the needed cards into your hand at the right time. Mysterious Treasure is a Trainer-Item, so you’re not giving up your Stadium, Supporter,or Energy attachment for the turn to use it. You’re not forced to make room for a Pokémon other than the one (or ones) you wish to search out. Even having to discard a card from hand to use Mysterious Treasure is a minor drawback that can be turned into an advantage: thin your hand of clutter, or maybe you have an effect that wants certain cards in your discard pile. Anti-Item effects are more common than anti-Supporter, though that is more of an Expanded concern.
The baseline for Item-bases search is Ultra Ball. That lets you grab any Pokémon but requires you discard two cards instead of one. Even when they exist in the same cardpool, Mysterious Treasure is worth considering over or in addition to Ultra Ball. What matters is how many non-[P] or [N] Pokémon are in your deck, and if accessing them is more important than having a single-card discard cost instead of two. Yes, I said the discard cost isn’t bad and can even benefit you, but Ultra Ball’s double discard cost matters often enough to still be a factor. In my original review for Mysterious Treasure, Ultra Ball (plus a few other search options) led me to think that Mysterious Treasure was a bit too niche…
…I was very wrong. One big blunder was I got it into my head you’d only need four or fewer search cards. Considering how long I’ve played, including Formats where you’d run like 2-4 Ultra Ball alongside 2-4 Level Ball, this was a complete brain fail on my part. Decks that were (and are) predominantly Psychic and/or Dragon use this as the main search, then supplement it with something else if needed. It also helps that we’ve had Dragon and Psychic types worth searching out. Besides deck-specific options, there were times when support like Marshadow (Shining Legends 45/73; SM – Black Star Promos SM85) and Tapu Lele-GX were both legal.
While certain, existing [P] decks are going to take a hit by the time rotation happens due to other reasons, losing Mysterious Treasure will hurt nearly all of them. Dragon decks less so, simply because we haven’t gotten any [N] type Pokémon in Sword & Shield. To the point there is speculation that, like the Fairy type, it is has been phased out. With Mysterious Treasure having proved good enough to run instead of or in addition to Ultra Ball, it was an edge Psychic and Dragon decks enjoyed in Standard, where Ultra Ball isn’t legal. We have Quick Ball, Pokémon Communication, Evolution Incense, etc. but they’re just not the same. Mysterious Treasure will remain a probable must-run for majority Psychic or Dragon decks in Expanded, and is a great pull for the Limited Format unless you’re running a Mulligan build or don’t pull any worthwhile Pokémon for it to search.
Mysterious Treasure will be missed by Psychic (and if they aren’t extinct, Dragon) decks in Standard. It was my 9th-place pick, so finishing 10th ain’t bad at all.
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