Raihan – Evolving Skies
September 8, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Okay, folks: I know I’ve been more than a little wishy-washy (Wishiwashi?) with the several of our reviews, even when they’re cards I personally ranked highly on my own Top 15. That ends now, because we’re in the top three, and the cards in the top three just take stuff that has worked in the past and remade it into new cards that should still work about as well, if not better, in the present.
Third-Place in our countdown goes to Raihan (SW – Evolving Skies 152/203, 202/203, 224/203)! This Trainer-Supporter may only be used if one of your Pokémon were KO’d during your opponent’s last turn. The Knockout can have been due to attack damage, an effect, a Special Condition, etc. but the KO itself must have occurred during the turn and not during the Pokémon Checkup. As long as these conditions are satisfied, you can play Raihan, which then has you attach a basic Energy card from your discard pile to one of your Pokémon. Assuming you did that, then you may search your deck for a card – any card – and add it to you hand. If you cannot attach a basic Energy from your discard pile, then you can’t play Raihan, because its search effect only happens if you attach.
While the Energy card you attach must be a basic Energy card, it can be any type of basic Energy, and the Pokémon that receives it can be any Pokémon. Combined with the search, this means you can sacrifice your Supporter for the turn to maintain your momentum, your flow, or whatever you want to call it. Even if you’re attacking with Basic Pokémon that only need a single basic Energy to attack, you can get ahead on Energy attachments and add the exact card you need at the moment. Pokémon, Trainer, or Energy, you can get the one card you need most, assuming it is still in your deck. Even the things that are typically difficult to search from your deck, like Item cards, Stadium cards, and Special Energy cards.
The thing is, since it may only be used on your turn after something of yours was KO’d during your opponent’s turn, Raihan becomes less useful the fewer KO’s your opponent needs to win. If your opponent is using a deck that wins without KOing your Pokémon, Raihan will be a dead card in your hand. If you’re deck focuses around Pokémon VMAX, you can use Raihan, but you’ll probably only get a single chance to do so. On the other hand, decks built around mostly or purely just single-Prize targets get up to five chances to use Raihan. If you’re fielding Lillie’s Poké Doll and your opponent KOs some of those, you might have even more chances to use Raihan! Which is something we learned with Teammates. That just snagged two card from your deck, without any attaching of Energy.
I think Raihan should be a big help for single Prize decks, and maybe even pop up in a few non-single Prize decks. That goes for both Standard and Expanded. Hence me scoring it a four-out-of-five for each Format, and that is why Raihan was my 2nd-Place pick. Okay, maybe my 3rd-Place pick could have been my 2nd or 1st-Place pick, but everything else? Naw, Raihan seems like he tops them.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 4/5
We’re now on the third best card of Evolving Skies, and feel like those three cards are going to see a lot of play to some extent. The 2nd and 1st place pick are usually run together, but Raihan is on his own. He is a Supporter card with a condition: your Pokémon has to be knocked out during your opponent’s last turn. If it does, then you get to attach a basic energy from your discard pile to 1 of your Pokémon, and if you do that, you get to fetch your deck for any card and put it onto your hand. If there’s no basic energy in your discard pile, you can’t play Raihan, let alone fetching for any card. And if your Pokémon is Knocked Out between turns, then you still can’t play him.
Having one of your Pokémon get Knocked Out can either be trivial or painful; painful if your Pokémon gives up multiple prizes (thus reducing the amount of chances to use Raihan, maybe down to only one chance), or trivial if it gives up a single prize (up to five chances). Raihan may be compared to Melony or Welder, but he is actually more flexible than Melony. Actually, he might be one of the best “comeback” cards that I haven’t seen for a while. Not only does it accelerate energy, but you can fetch for any card (maybe except Supporters since you’ve just used Raihan); it could be a Special Energy card that you can manually attach your Pokémon to; it could be an item or a Stadium card that you can use right away, or Crobat-V (or Dedenne-GX in Expanded) to fake being draw power. The options are plentiful!
As good as it sounds, the condition placed on this card means you won’t be able to always rely on Raihan at any specific time; he’ll be a useless card at the moment. If your opponent sees that you have Raihan, they may not have to Knock Out your Pokémon, and instead, whittle your Pokémon down between turns to keep you from fulfilling his condition. While slowly damaging your Pokémon via Poison or Burn is uncommon, that tactic still exists.
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