Pokemon Center Lady
– Hidden Fates
August 29, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This week’s Throwback Thursdays contains two cards to look at, but what we’ll be looking First is Pokemon Center Lady. This card actually debuted in XY Flashfire and it has been reprinted in the Hidden Fates set. As a Supporter, you are limited to playing one of them per turn unless you have either Lt. Surge’s Strategy or Magnezone’s Dual Brains Ability to let you use more than one. Would Pokemon Center Lady justifies the use of your Supporter for your turn?
Well, she heals 60 damage from one of your Pokemon as well as removing all Special Conditions from that healed Pokémon. During the time this card was released, Supporters are reserved for mostly draw power and maybe a few awesome niches here or there. Professor Sycamore or Professor Juniper and N took over most of their decks due to being the best draw/disruption power possible in various formats where they are legal. Lysandre didn’t provide draw power, but it was used for the gusting effect that was reliable after Pokemon Catcher got an errata that made it half as reliable. Pokemon Center Lady was thought to be pointless as Max Potion heals all damage, and the drawback can be mitigated. Even today, she could be outclassed by Mixed Herbs, which heals 90 damage and removes all Special Conditions…if you played two of them from your hand at the same time.
However, Pokemon Center Lady avoids some of the drawbacks from other competitions, aside from arguing that she’s the only Supporter in your hand. Sure, there are anti-Supporter effects, but not enough for them to see play. Item lock strategies are pretty common, like Seismitoad-EX using Quacking Punch to lock your opponent’s from playing items. Or Garbodor’s Trashalanche to punish heavy item usage. Pokemon Center Lady doesn’t have those problems and can be used a bit more freely. There are very few decks dedicated to inflicting Special Conditions every single turn as long as they got the resources to keep using them. Raichu’s Shock Lock or Accelgor’s Deck and Cover are few examples of infuriating moments where your Pokemon can’t do anything, and Pokemon Center Lady is part of the solution if you didn’t already have Rush In Keldeo-EX (or if you can’t fit it into your deck or being at risk of a two-prize liability isn’t for you). Healing 60 damage also undos Deck & Cover, and while HP counts rise as high as 300, 60 damage might turn some 2HKOs into 3HKOs; you would have to deal at least 180 damage as a surefire way to make Pokémon Center Lady not healed enough to tank the second blow.
Overall, Pokemon Center Lady would be an option to deal with few decks that gives you trouble, so I can see it being used at a single copy at best. Standard might not have too much competition against other Supporters, but draw power still exists there, and even more so in Expanded when said Supporters still exist in this format. She also appeared in some theme decks, but the contents of various Theme Decks from the XY series are pretty lackluster. For Limited, this is a good pull unless you also pulled Lysandre.
Another Throwback Thursday, and our third day of double reviews! Why? There were a ridiculous amount of reprints in Hidden Fates, but most were Alternate A reprints from the Shiny Vault subset or of cards that are already Standard-legal. There were two huge exceptions, and one of them was Pokémon Center Lady, originally released as XY – Flashfire 93/106 and 105/106, then reprinted as Generations 68/83, and now as Hidden Fates 64/68. This Trainer-Supporter heals 60 damage and removes all Special Conditions from one of your Pokémon; you choose which of your Pokémon; if there is less than 60 damage all of it is removed, and if there are no Special Conditions, then none of them are removed.
We reviewed Pokémon Center Lady a little over five years ago… though none of the current review crew were active at the time. Pokémon Center Lady didn’t receive a great Standard Format review back then, but that may be because she released in the same set as Lysandre. You know, the Trainer-Supporter that lets you force an opponent’s Benched Pokémon up front, replacing their former Active? Between that and still-legal draw Supporters like N and Professor Juniper or Professor Sycamore, your Supporter for the turn was looking a little too valuable for healing. Then things changed. Battle Compressor, Lsyandre’s Trump Card, and VS Seeker made it easier to utilize low counts of some Supporters… even after Lysandre’s Trump Card was banned. Non-Supporter draw/search gave us more leeway in what we could spend out Supporter-for-the-turn on, and in some decks?
It was Pokémon Center Lady. 60 damage isn’t enough to undo the damage from your typical attack, but it can be enough to shift how many turns it takes to score a KO once you run all the numbers. Shaking Special Conditions might be more of a bonus right now, but we’re just one good lock deck away from it being as or more valuable than the healing! It has been a while since I experienced the Expanded Format, and I don’t have any fresh tournament results for help, but I think there is at least a niche for Pokémon Center Lady there. She does have to compete against options like Acerola or Max Potion, but sometimes you can’t afford bouncing or having to discard all your attached Energy. Older releases mean it is technically possible you’ll have the chance to use her in either the Limited or Theme Formats, but I’ll only bother scoring for the former as any Theme Deck old enough to contain Pokémon Center Lady is likely so weak it would just drag her score down anyway.
Pokémon Center Lady didn’t make our countdown, nor did the other significant reprint we reviewed today because we decided to save them for Throwback Thursday. I’m fairly certain at least one (if not both) would have made our countdown, otherwise… though neither would have dethroned tomorrow’s number one pick.
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