Nessa – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: December 12, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Nessa (SW – Vivid Voltage 157/185, 183/185, 196/185) is a Trainer-Supporter that has you add up to four [W] Pokémon, four [W] Energy, or a combination of both [W] Pokémon and [W] Energy to your hand. Your Supporter is a steep price to pay, but we know from Fisherman that an effect similar to this can be worth it. More specifically, you’re losing the flexibility of snagging any four of any basic Energy, but you gain the capacity to grab Pokémon instead of some or all of the Energy, as well as grabbing fewer than four cards for those times when you need something left in the discard pile. As a reminder, only basic Water Energy cards count as [W] in the discard pile.
Is Nessa a staple for every Water deck? I don’t think so, but she may come close. If you have a mostly or mono-Water deck in Standard, you shouldn’t be hurting for reclamation targets. It doesn’t have to be a pure Water deck either; as long as you have enough one, the other, or both classes of cards, Nessa should get a good return. After all, there isn’t really an equivalent for returning Pokémon to your hand from the discard pile, at least, not directly. Brock’s Grit is probably the closest option, but it is pretty different; any basic Energy cards, any Pokémon, six instead of four, but they go to your deck instead of your hand. Energy Retrieval lets you return two basic Energy (any type) from your discard pile to your hand, but is only an Item. Ordinary Rod lets you shuffle any two Pokémon, any two basic Energy cards, or any two Pokémon and any two basic Energy cards from your discard pile into your deck.
In Expanded, we still have Fisherman, and we do have Items like Rescue Stretcher, but for Water decks, Ness is still in the running. Again, as long as you have enough basic Water Energy and/or Pokémon in your deck so you’re not regularly falling short of the full four cards, Nessa can be worth your Supporter for the turn, even in the face of competition. In the Limited Format, as long as at least a small chunk of your deck are basic Water Energy cards and/or Water Pokémon, run it. You should have more Supporter uses to spare, even though your deck is only 40 cards here.
In the Theme Format, Nessa shows up in triplicate in the Drednaw Theme Deck. Not only are all 22 Pokémon and 18 basic Energy cards Water type, but Drednaw (SW – Vivid Voltage 039/185; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH047) has an attack that does 80 for [WCC] and – if you use Nessa that turn – Paralyzes your opponent’s Active. While not a direct reference, Cramorant (SW – Vivid Voltage 40/185) and three copies of Arrokuda (SW – Vivid Voltage 041/185) are also included; for [CC], Cramorant can discard as many Arrokuda as you want from your Bench, doing 60 damage per to your opponent’s Active, via Cramorant’s “Continuous Gulp Missile” attack. There are times when Nessa shows up and you really wish she was a draw or search card, but the deck has enough that most of the time, she’s a welcome sight. Apart from the above combos, she’s also a nice insurance policy for when you have to get a bit reckless discarding for Professor’s Research!
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
- Limited: 3/5
- Theme: 4/5
Nessa surprised me, because Fisherman is only useful in certain decks. Namely, ones where you need a lot of Energy in hand. Most decks don’t actually need that much in hand at a time, as you’re only able to manually attach one. Even ignoring a card like Frosmoth, which lets you attach multiple basic Water Energy cards from your hand to your Benched [W] Pokémon, being able to grab [W] Pokémon and/or Energy means you don’t need such specialized circumstances for Nessa to prove useful. Which is why she snuck onto my list as my 19th-Place pick, and officially finished in 27th-Place on the site list.
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