– Sword & Shield
April 8, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I’d be lying if I’ve said that I’ve never drank any tea. Ranging from Black, Green, or even Jasmine tea, they are fun to drink as if it was water. If you’re feeling tired of soda, then this is as clear as it can get.
Anyhow, Polteageist isn’t your ordinary teapot because someone inside that teapot looks like it’s gonna cause mischief, and those two attacks are trying to do that. Teatime makes both players draw 2 card, which is actually pretty bad most of the time. That’s because your opponent can get to perform more actions based on the two cards that they’ve drawn at the end of your turn in addition to their manual draw in their turn. You won’t be able to benefit from those cards but your opponent can. If you’re trying to aim for a mill strategy, then your opponent can simply shuffle their hand into their deck and draw fewer cards.
So that doesn’t help lead to Poltergeist, which does 50 damage times the amount of trainer cards in their hand. Item cards can be played as many times as they want, but Supporter and Stadiums can be only be used once per turn outside of game breaking abilities that lets you play more than one. What Polteageist needs is someone that is a Bench sitter locking down your opponent’s options. There isn’t anything like that in Standard; the ones that lock down your opponent’s options usually last for one turn and is simply not enough. Expanded, however, does have one in the form of Vileplume from XY Ancient Origins, in which it’s Allergic Pollen Ability does lock your opponent from playing item cards. Then Poltergeist actually does a good amount of damage due to Allergic Pollen keeping your opponent from playing items (oh, and that also includes Pokémon Tools, since they’re item cards as well).
Overall, Polteageist is more suitable in Expanded for this kind of strategy, but not in Standard.
Polteageist (Sword & Shield 090/202) is a [P] Type, giving it access to good support like Mysterious Treasure and (in Expanded) great support Dimension Valley. You’ll have to deal with relatively common Resistance on pre-Sword & Shield cards, but pre-Sword & Shield [P] Types like Mewtwo & Mew-GX are usually [P] Weak. All in all, it is a good Type to be.
Polteageist is a Stage 1, not as good as being a Basic, but still decent. 60 HP is terrible, though there is a silver-lining in that Professor Elm’s Lecture can fetch it from your deck. Polteageist is all but guaranteed to be OHKO’d if Active, and is vulnerable even on your Bench. [D] Weakness isn’t awful, but it probably isn’t safe. [F] Resistance is better than nothing, but even if the Type wasn’t dormant right now, 60 HP means it matters even less than normal. A Retreat Cost of [C] is good, and yet seems high given the HP.
Polteageist has two attacks, “Teatime” and “Poltergeist”. The former costs [C] and forces each player to draw two cards. The latter requires [PC] and has you look at your opponent’s hand, then does 50 damage per Trainer you find there. As Teatime forces your opponent to draw, while letting you draw, it actually might have potential in certain mill decks. Poltergeist is highly variable; even though decks run a lot of Trainers. Looking at recent events, the lowest was 22 Trainers from the 10th-place finisher at Malmö, while the highest was a deck running 50 Trainers and taking 51st-place at Colinsville…
…and besides the actual amount of Trainers in a deck, the strategy matters as well. Some hold onto them while building a combo, or because they’re more about countering the opponent’s plays. Others are about using them quickly, maybe recycling them or maybe not. Poltergeist could whiff and do nothing or hit overkill levels even against Pokémon VMAX. Which means Poltergeist could be a glass canon or just a dud. Nor do I have any examples of this placing well at recent events. I can’t even recommend it for Limited; super fragile, you’ll deck out about as fast as your opponent with the Teatime, and your opponent probably doesn’t have a lot of Trainers for the Poltergeist.
Polteageist is one of those cards that is probably Johnny Bait. There are some obvious combos, such as using it with Dimension Valley but after that, then what? There’s just enough here that I’m still giving it a two-out-of-five, but mostly for future potential. I’ve just got that nagging feeling that I missed something…
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