– Team Up
May 1, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
2 down, 2 more to go. Nita can only be used if your opponent’s Active Pokemon is a Basic Pokémon; you put an energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokemon onto the top of your deck. This seems like a futile attempt to hinder setup, but unless your opponent uses a draw Supporter or draw based ability, your opponent will keep drawing the same energy that was previously sent back via Nita. For the most part, most decks are unfazed by this tactic and she doesn’t help the user as much. The reason I’m not giving the lowest score is because there may be applications to using her, like in the rare event where you send a Prism Star Special energy to the top of your opponent’s deck and use a card that discards the top card of your opponent, sending it to the Lost Zone instead.
Nita (SM – Team Up 151/181, 180/181) is the third Battle Chatelaine-inspired TCG card we’re looking at this week. Like the others we’ve looked at so far this week, Nita can only be used under specific circumstances. Her deal is that she may only be used when your opponent has a Basic Pokémon in the Active position. That’s actually a fairly reasonable restriction; unless your opponent opens with something like Manectric (SM – Celestial Storm 52/168; SM – Black Star Promos SM130) or Eevee (Sun & Moon 101/149, 101a/149; McDonald’s Collection 2018 11/12) you’re guaranteed to have at least one turn where your opponent has an Active Basic Pokémon.
So, when that condition is met and you play Nita, you can move an Energy card from your opponent’s Active Pokémon to the top of their deck. This effect is a little more nuanced than that of Dana or Evelyn. With Nita requiring your opponent having some Energy in play, that all-but-guaranteed usage first turn has another broad exception; your opponent’s opening (or even just early game) Active may have no Energy attached for you to target. I don’t mean because they’re having bad luck, I mean some decks won’t have any Energy on their Active by design. Others, like the aforementioned Eevee, allow a player to Evolve on his or her first turn, which means Nita can’t be used while that Pokémon is Active. As attached Energy typically hits the discard pile when the Pokémon to which it is attached is KO’d, and most decks are trying to KO an opponent’s Active as quickly as possible, we can see how thinking of Nita as just Energy denial would make her a pretty poor card.
We’re not hurting for options to discard an opponent’s Energy in the Standard Format, or at least we aren’t yet. There are even more tricks available to us in Expanded. There are various Pokémon and Trainer-effects that can do the deed, so you won’t even need to use your Supporter much of the time. True, they have their own costs or conditions to consider, but you’ve got things like Crushing Hammer among them, an Item that requires a coin flip but lets you discard an Energy from any of your opponent’s Pokémon, or (in Expanded), Team Flare Grunt which lets you discard an Energy from your opponent’s Active. Controlling what your opponent has on top of their deck can win games, though Nita isn’t especially strong in that regard, either. If your opponent doesn’t have the Energy to attack anyway, they might just keep it in hand, so you can’t try and “soft-lock” the top of their deck. If they can attack… then they can attack, potentially making progress even if their draw for next turn becomes an Energy card they must reattach. That can even be a benefit if you KO’d the previous attacker but your opponent has a spare that just needed the Energy.
Still, there may be a place for this card in competitive play, in some stall deck which has yet to be built (or tweaked to include Nita). Though most unlikely, perhaps we’ll get an attack like Entei (SM – Lost Thunder 47/214), or things will shift so that it is worth using. Its second attack, “Eruption”, does 80 damage for [RRC], plus it discards the top card of each player’s deck, doing an additional 60 damage for each Energy card discarded in that way. Nita can guarantee 60 from what your opponent discards, while Magcargo (SM – Celestial Storm 24/168) can use its “Smooth Over” Ability to topdeck an Energy from your own deck for another 60. A clunky combo, but not the worst way to do 200 damage for three (attached) Energy, considering Entei is also a Basic Pokémon with 130 HP, worth only a single Prize.
There is one other reason to consider running Nita, and that would be Morgan (SM – Team Up 149/181; 178/181)… but we’ll talk about that tomorrow. Even if Morgan ends up being a great card, it won’t boost Nita’s overall performance enough to matter. I’ve already considered it with respect to the above scores; Nita is still the best of the three Battle Chatelaine cards we’ve looked at so far, even though that isn’t saying much. Don’t run her for Energy denial, though; run for for controlling the top of your opponent’s deck.
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