Rapid Strike Style Mustard – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
He’s popped up in multiple reviews, so let us officially review Rapid Strike Style Mustard (SW – Battle Styles 132/163, 162/163, 176/163)! We’ll also kick out a separate review for Single Strike Mustard (SW – Battle Styles 134/163, 163/163, 177/163). The two cards have nearly identical stats and effects, so I’ll be repeating myself a lot, but they different enough to just stick into a single review. However, they were close enough we decided to lump them together for our countdown, where they just missed the cut; 16th-Place in a Top 15. Ouch.
Rapid Strike Style Mustard is, as the name suggests, a Rapid Strike card. The main benefit to this is significant; you can fetch it from your deck via the Ability of Octillery (SW – Battle Styles 037/163, 178/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH089). Octillery’s Ability lets you snag any one Rapid Strike card from your deck each turn, so odds are good you’re including it in a Rapid Strike deck. Though you are giving up your capacity to fetch a different card that turn. This makes it far easier to run a single Rapid Strike Style Mustard, especially if you only need its effect once or twice in a game, and so you don’t want to max it out. You only want so many Supporters in your deck, after all; too many and your hand is cluttered, too few and you whiff when you need one.
Another benefit is maybe making it easier to deal with one of the three requirements that must be met before you can use Rapid Strike Style Mustard. Specifically, the one clearly stated at the beginning of the card’s effect text: Rapid Strike Style Mustard can only be played if it is your last card in hand. Use an effect that costs you your hand, or just play the rest out, then fetch Rapid Strike Style Mustard with Octillery. Not always easy, but not too bad. You also need an open Bench spot and a Rapid Strike Pokémon in your discard pile, because the next part of the effect is Benching a Rapid Strike Style Pokémon directly from your discard pile. Don’t worry about lower Stages or anything like that, but this won’t let you exceed your maximum Bench size. Finally, you draw five cards, which is great since you had to wreck your hand before using Rapid Strike Style Mustard.
This effect should be at least somewhat familiar to most of us, because it is almost exactly what Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick do. The difference is that Archie’s Ace in the Hole works Water types and Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick with Fighting, not Rapid Strike Pokémon. Both have been responsible for strong, competitive decks, with Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick proving so effective, it was (and still is) banned! So, how awesome is Rapid Strike Style Mustard? Nowhere near that good, I am afraid. These two released in a card pool that includes the likes of Battle Compressor, Ultra Ball, and VS Seeker. The former was great for discarding targets or the Supporters’ effect, as well as the relevant Supporter itself, so that VS Seeker could then add it to your hand. Ultra Ball mostly just to help thin your hand – it had a two card discard cost – while furthering the rest of your setup.
In Standard, we have options for these things, but they’re just not as good. That’s still only half the problem. The other is… what are you going to Bench via Rapid Strike Style Mustard? Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick taught us that this kind of effect is usually a waste for Basics and for Stage 1 Pokémon. It is great you can select such targets in a pinch, but those alone aren’t worth the hassle. So you need a useful Stage 2 that is also a Rapid Strike Pokémon and… all we have on that front is Luxray (SW – Battle Styles 048/163). It might have some potential as a main attacker in a combo focused deck, but I have my doubts and that doesn’t help any other Rapid Strike decks.
With Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, decks usually had two or three key cards they fielded through its effect. They didn’t worry about getting them all out, but thanks to VS Seeker, they technically could. They just prioritized the most important, and if the others showed up, even better. While they might also be a solid attacker, the cards in question were run for their Abilities and mostly (or exclusively) stuck to your Bench. In Expanded, Rapid Strike Mustard can utilize the same support as Archie’s Ace in the Hole, but it still needs a Rapid Strike deck to prove competitive, and I don’t think Luxray is up to it here. It also gets more support for its combo… but faces more counters and general competition.
Even with the above scores, I think I’m being generous to Rapid Strike Style Mustard. Which is so weird because, on paper, just based on Maxie’s Ace in the Hole, he’s got the potential to be broken. Without the right targets, though, he’s actually underpowered instead! We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds for this Supporter. When designing my list, I assumed Rapid Strike Style Mustard would be worth it, but then I really looked at its legal targets, and remembered it wouldn’t be as easy to pull off reliably, early game, as Archie’s Ace in the Hole or Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick. I then thought it would sneak into the Top 15 because of Single Strike Style Mustard, but it got to the point where neither of them made my list, even when we decided to lump them together.
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