– Celestial Storm
October 2, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Sometimes you don’t just wanna draw for yourself – you wanna draw for everybody! And that’s the closest thing I’ve got to a transition to today’s card.
Plusle is a Basic Lightning Pokemon, 70 HP, with a Fighting Weakness, a Metal Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 1. Draw for Everybody costs 1 Energy and shuffles your hand back into your deck before letting you draw a card for every Benched Pokemon – yours and your opponent’s. Electro Ball is then a 2-for-30 vanilla snooze fest that we won’t be focusing on at all.
As is to be expected, Draw for Everybody seems to be the main appeal, and considering it has the potential to match up with Cynthia or even do better than her, it’s something of a talking point. I imagine most of the time you’ll match up to Cynthia, as in order to draw 6 cards, there need to be 6 Benched Pokemon in play – meaning that while your Bench could be full, your opponent would still need at least 1 Benched Pokemon to even things out. After that, you’re doing better than Cynthia.
Now as for how often that occurs, that’s a little bit tougher to track. Sure, your opponent could throw down a Pokemon on the Bench or two, but I think generally speaking, most people keep 2-3 Pokemon on the Bench at any given moment of time, with 4-5 being a bit less likely such as not to give an opponent too many targets for other cards, i.e. Guzma. I feel like most of the time, you’re dealing with another version of Cynthia, and that’s where something of a problem comes up: why would you want to use a Cynthia that takes up your attack for the turn?
Cynthia normally takes up the Supporter slot for a turn, which is perfectly fine, but Plusle wants to not only have the opportunity to mimic Cynthia but even to do better than her in certain times, only to cost you your attack for the turn. It’s a bit of a conundrum, and I might just be at fault for not thinking of one sooner, but I don’t know of a deck that could benefit from a Cynthia during the attack step. Maybe there is one though, and that’s the one Plusle sees play in.
What do I know? I am but a simple man with an opinion on the internet.
Standard: 2.5/5 (personally, I think I’d rather just play Cynthia most of the time)
Expanded: 2/5 (or really any other draw supporter)
Limited: 4/5 (but in light of an environment lacking those, Plusle can excel)
Arora Notealus: It’s not to say that Draw for Everybody won’t be successful and land upwards of 6 or more cards most of the time. I wouldn’t be surprised if people play Plusle and end up finding a lot of success with it! But for me, I don’t think I’d run something that could just as easily be worked with a card that doesn’t cost an attack for the turn. Drawing is powerful, certainly, but drawing just for the sake of drawing isn’t how you end up winning games most of the time. There needs to be a massive benefit to it, and with Plusle, that benefit can only really come from big Benches – something that Cynthia doesn’t need to rely upon. Still, don’t knock it till you try it out for yourself and see if you like having Plusle around!
Next Time: One strike is all I need~
In an era where there is no Sycamore or N, we are starving for good draw power from not just trainers, but Pokémon as well. Sure, we’ve got Cynthia for shuffle based draw and Sophocles and company of straight draw cards; we’ve got Oranguru and Zoroark-GX for straight draw power via ability. But what else do we need that might draw even more cards than what they do?
Enter Plusle, a Basic Lightning type with 70 HP, weak to Fighting, Metal Resistance, and a retreat cost of one. It’s 30 for LC attack is nothing to exciting to write about, though you can make use of Thunder Mountain Prism Star and Electripower to make it a fearsome attacker. But what players turned their eye to is Draw for Everybody, which functions exactly what Colress does, but as an attack instead of a Supporter. This can net you a maximum of ten cards (sixteen cards if Sky Field and full Bench from both players are present).
As much as you would like to rely on Plusle’s Draw for Everybody, it has to compete some of the first turn users as well the drawbacks of using it. Some might prefer Dunsparce for fetching three Basic Pokémon. Even using it, it benefits your opponent as well as they can use Copycat to copy your hand size, which could be ten cards. They can shuffle your hand for a lower hand size like Judge.
Seems like Standard would welcome back Pokemon who sets up hopefully early game. Expanded has a robust amount of insane draw cards that you shouldn’t need to give up an attack on something that does the same thing unless you lacked said card at the time. For Limited, I guess it wouldn’t perform well in the damage department, and having a full bench in Limited could be unheard of.
Plusle (CES 53) definitely caught my eye when the Celestial Storm expansion set came out. I tried it in a number of decks initially, but then I kind of forgot about it. It worked great for me a number of times – think about it: every deck in the format today wants to use all five bench slots. Double Oranguru – I’ve fallen in love with that. Squids wants to put as many Malamar on the bench as possible. Zoroark GX wants for at least two and preferably three trades per turn and now needs a spot on the bench reserved for Magcargo. Actually, Tapu Lele GX is seeing so much less play because bench space is becoming so much more valuable. You simply can’t devote a bench space to a card that is only going to give you a one time benefit. If it’s a tech Pokemon, it’s got to do its job at least once a turn. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of space and limiting you from putting something there that could be helping you each and every turn.
But I had kind of forgotten about Plusle so I decided to throw it in a Dusk Mane Necrozma GX Beast Ring deck and it was great at getting Beast Rings for me. The six times I played Draw for Everybody, I got six cards once, seven cards twice, eight cards twice, and ten cards once. That is an average of seven and two-thirds cards per draw. Then I tried it with Garchomp with Dunsparce leading, and it got me eight and seven cards the two times I played it with that deck.
Basically, if you need a jump start at any time pretty much after turn 1, Plusle can do this for you. Plusle does have some downsides though:
I only got Judged once after playing Draw for Everybody, and I played it a total of eight times, but it is a concern. Still, the ability to put seven, eight, or even ten cards in your hand for the next turn is definitely something worth considering, and it absolutely was a huge help to me in the matches I played it. I don’t know if it belongs in every deck, but if you haven’t tried it yet, I would HIGHLY recommend giving Plusle CES a try.
Standard: 3 out of 5
In theorymon, I really like the idea of leading with Dunsparce and then playing Plusle turn 2. Hopefully that will put a bunch of energy and evolution cards you might need in your hand to begin attacking on turn 3. I also like it if you have a tech like Blaziken or Malamar on your bench and need an extra turn to recharge your feature Pokemon.
Plusle (SM – Celestial Storm 53/168) is a Basic [L] Pokémon with 70 HP, [F] Weakness, [M] Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], and two attacks. For [C] Plusle can use “Draw for Everybody” to allow your shuffle your hand into your deck and then draw one card for each Benched Pokémon in play, while [LC] lets it use “Electro Ball” to do 30. Plusle is one of the would-be opening Pokémon we see pretty frequently in the Pokémon TCG. “Would be” because the game’s pace doesn’t usually allow for them to succeed. Even with the first turn rules technically nerfing the most aggressive decks, forcing them to go first and wait a turn to kick into high gear or to just go second, they still leave almost no time for “set up” attackers. There have been notable exceptions, but if Plusle is going to join them, it hasn’t happened yet according to the latest tournament results posted to limitlesstcg.com.
Plusle looks like a high risk, high reward opener for decks that do want to risk burning an attack on setting up. Ignoring the rest of the card for a bit, Draw for Everybody is a “big draw” attack but only after you and your opponent fill your Benches e.g. after you each already have at least the beginnings of a good setup going. Draw for Everybody has a draw range of zero (both players whiff on a Bench) to 10 (Standard) or 16 (Expanded, via Sky Field). I don’t expect either extreme to be typical but instead draws of four to eight cards. You’re shuffling your hand away, so you can’t hold onto anything in reserve and because you’re shuffling and drawing immediately before your turn ends, your opponent has all of his or her turn to mess with the cards you just drew… such as by using a Judge, Marshadow (Shining Legends 45/73; SM – Black Star Promos SM85) or – in Expanded – N to make you shuffle and draw something else. There are more options than those, but I am sticking to what are common plays right now.
As you can tell by my tone, I don’t think Draw for Everybody is worth it; I haven’t even gotten to the part where I point out that you’re also investing an Energy on something quite likely to be OHKO’d, but not so likely you can use Plusle as a pressure card to keep your opponent from going after something on your Bench. While relying on luck of the draw. This isn’t Alolan Vulpix (SM – Guardians Rising 21/145), which is also an easy OHKO your opponent can ignore if they want but doesn’t need Energy to use its “Beacon” attack to add any three Pokémon of your choice from your deck to your hand. Nor is this Drampa-GX, which can use its Big Wheel-GX attack for a reliable shuffle-and-draw for 10 cards; yeah, that eats up your GX-attack and still requires an Energy, but Drampa-GX has two useful, offensive-minded attacks while still being a Basic Pokémon-GX with 180 HP. Enjoy Plusle in the Limited Format; if you’re not running a mulligan build, that’s where Plusle should be brilliant.
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