– Rebel Clash
May 4, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If you haven’t been paying attention to weekend reviews, know that we covered 14th-place and 13th-place then and are now on 12th-place… Oleana (SSH – Rebel Clash 163/192, 191/192, 202/192)! She’s a Trainer-Supporter that requires you discard two other cards from your hand in order to play her, but she then lets you look at your opponent’s hand, select a Trainer you find there (if any), and bottom deck it.
You’re down a Supporter and two cards from hand to use it, and Oleana can’t do anything if you need to bottom deck an Energy card or Pokémon, and its possible you could even help your opponent out (hand has two copies of Professor’s Research and no other Trainers). On its own, this card is literally hit or miss… but what makes it worthy of our countdown is the potential it has when used in a control deck. Though it isn’t a bad card in general, either; you just need a little luck and foresight, as a lot of folks drop their hand down to something like one Supporter for the next turn plus miscellaneous other cards.
The same holds true for Expanded, but now? Now you have Exeggcute (BW – Plasma Freeze 4/116; BW – Plasma Blast 102/101), Tapu Lele-GX, and VS Seeker, in addition to various vicious lock decks! The thing is, even with all the bans, there are still other hand control/disruption cards that may be a better fit or a better bargain. In the Limited Format, odds are you have room in your deck and some filler in hand you can spare… and even if you whiff, just seeing your opponent’s hand is a little more valuable here. If you do hit, odds are good your opponent has few or no spare copies of whatever you sent to the bottom of their deck.
Oleana can be devastating in the right deck or any deck under the right circumstances, so it might seem like a shock I’m only giving it an average score. While I agree with the card having a two-card discard cost, and being a Supporter, they’re still serious drawbacks… as is being limited to Trainers and not just being allowed to bottom deck any one card. Bottom-decking versus discarding is also a point-loser, though there are circumstances where that is the better option. In the end, I couldn’t quite justify Oleana on my Top 15, but I can see why she made someone else’s list. If she showed up much higher I’d be a little puzzled, though.
As always, we’ve gotta have a Supporter for any character that appears throughout the course of the franchise, and Oleana is no exception. Of course, she’s someone you do encounter through the course of the Sword & Shield storyline and actually have a good fight with…unlike some people.
Oleana is a Supporter that has you discard 2 cards from your hand in order to play her. Then your opponent reveals their hand, and you pick a Trainer card to put on the bottom of their deck. Simple! And we’ve been getting used to discarding things from our Supporters as of late (thanks to the Tag Team Supporters), so the concept isn’t so different. And with some handy disruption involved, I think this certainly has a lot of potential.
I can imagine pretty easily that Oleana comes up in certain situations where, after your opponent has exhausted a lot of their hand’s resources, you play Oleana to shuffle back the Professor’s Research they would’ve used during their next turn to refuel their hand and stunt their plays for a couple of turns. And you know they’re not getting that back any time soon, since it goes to the bottom! That’s not the only useful time Oleana can be used though – there’s also moments where you’re aware of your opponent having a card in their hand that they’re hanging onto, or maybe they have a bunch of cards in hand that they haven’t played. So you play Oleana, take a look, and whaddya know, there’s a card that could’ve messed with your strategy pretty easily! Back to the deck with you!
Of course this is all in an ideal setting, but it can be tough to figure on when that is. Usually the earliest instance you can play Oleana, your opponent has likely already played out most of their Items, so they’re likely to only have Supporters in hand. That’s still very useful to hit something like Lt. Surge’s Strategy or Professor’s Research, but it’s also so tough to hit it most of the time. There is, however, at least one time you’re guaranteed to hit a Supporter, and that’s your first turn going second.
Because of the rules change, the player who goes first not only can’t attack, they can’t even use a Supporter! That gives you a major advantage when going second, especially if you end up with Oleana in your opening hand. Not to mention if you’ve got Energy to pitch for stuff like Metal Energy, you can actually set yourself up pretty nicely during your turn while delaying your opponent! But is this useful in the mid- to late-game? It’s debatable. You might not be so happy to play an Oleana when you’re behind.
Oleana is definitely going to have some experimentation I feel, and I think it’ll be very powerful at certain times depending on what she ultimately hits.
Standard: 3.5/5 (definitely a stronger disruptive support card)
Expanded: 3.5/5 (more powerful Supporters to hit but also get hit by here)
Limited: 4.5/5 (for the few Supporters that are available here, as well as some Items)
Arora Notealus: Oleana in the games actually has a pretty diverse team in terms of typing, unlike most of the bad guy groups…or heck, unlike MOST Trainers in the games. Oddly though, it’s her Garbodor that stands out the most, not only because it’s the one she Gigantamaxes but also because it’s the only one that isn’t really…feminine. Froslass, Tsareena, and Salazzle are all female-only Pokemon, while Milotic is a symbol of beauty. Maybe Garbodor’s there to symbolize her twisted inside working for the chairman…or maybe she just likes literal trash.
Next Time: Flying back in from the Unova region, a fan favorite returns!
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