– Unified Minds
August 16, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Our first-place pick is Reset Stamp (SM – Unified Minds 206/236, 253/236), a Trainer-Item that forces your opponent to shuffle their hand into their deck, then draw a number of cards equal to their remaining Prizes. Barring effects that add to a player’s Prizes, that means its range is from one to six cards in traditional Unlimited, Expanded, or Standard Format play, one to four for most Limited Format rule sets, and as few as one to three cards for some unsanctioned “fun” formats for which we nonetheless have official rules.
In one sense, Reset Stamp is a card that is all about luck but in reality is very skill intensive… at least when used to its fullest. If you don’t know what is in your opponent’s hand and/or deck, it is always possible you’ll somehow give them a better or worse hand, regardless of the hand’s size. However, there are many applications of skill in using it well. You need to read the situation, considering the odds of whether or not your opponent will come out worse for you having hit them with Reset Stamp. Sometimes you’ll be fortunate and it will be quite obvious, namely when your opponent uses a search effect to add something to their hand that wins the game for them on the next turn, so there’s no real risk to Reset Stamp.
Most of the time, Reset Stamp is a poor choice early game, but some decks have the kind of strategies that Reset Stamp wrecks: draw, search, and/or recycling effects that come at the end of the turn, or for some other reason add cards to a player’s hand that player can’t use until the next turn. Mid-to-late game, once your opponent has taken some Prizes, you likely have a better chance of shrinking your opponent’s hand. What may work either for or against you is how your opponent runs through their own deck; they might be able to thin out clutter, improving their draws, or they might burn through most of their power plays early on, and be running on fumes by this point.
Reset Stamp’s effect should be familiar to anyone who has ever played in a remotely competitive metagame for the Expanded Format, and unless they’re a very new player or a very old player just returning, from Standard as well. Reset Stamp is just half the effect of the infamous N; for better and worse, its only the half that affects your opponent. That’s why most of what I’m saying is not Theorymon this time; it is just applying what we’ve learned from N, and to a lesser extent, Judge, Marshadow (Shining Legends 45/73; SM – Black Star Promos SM85), Red Card, and Peeking Red Card. When it comes to Standard Format play, I expect Reset Stamp to become at least a loose staple, with two per deck being much more likely. I am thinking three or four would be overkill, especially if Pokémon-GX are heavy in the metagame.
For the Expanded Format, I’m not sure how long we’ll be able to use this card. As I mentioned in a recent article, Reset Stamp has been banned from their version of Expanded Format play, so it is likely it will also be gone from ours. Why? It is another option to erase the penalty for mulligans early game, and when combined with effects where you give up Prizes, you can dramatically shrink your opponent’s hand even T1 (the overall first turn of the game). It may even be possible to completely eliminate your opponent’s opening hand, though putting a good dent in it is more likely. For now, I think it will be brutal in a few select decks and a solid one- or two-of for many; space is the main concern. For the Limited Format, at best your opponent draws four cards, so run it! Due to lack of information, space, and time I’ll resist guessing at this for the various unsanctioned “fun” Formats.
I don’t like Reset Stamp, but it was my personal first-place pick for this countdown; I’m just worried it might be a little too good. Reset Stamp can definitely backfire, and if you’re deck is built to take full advantage of Reset Stamp or you’re simply not skilled enough, its you trying your luck to facilitate a comeback… whether you’ve earned such a chance or not. It also is going to punish decks where the strategy requires cultivating a good hand for future use, something the game’s pacing already tends to do in abundance. None of my concerns detract from Reset Stamp being a great card, however!
Who would’ve thought that our best card in this set is banned in Japan?! Reset Stamp and Unown HAND has been banned in Japan for reasons unknown. Most likely that it creates an environment where you got little or nothing to do, OR creates a situation where you have no chance to respond from the victory condition. I guess that’s a testament to how good these cards really are.
Reset Stamp is an Item Card that makes your opponent shuffle their hand and draw cards based on how many prizes they have remaining. Think of it as a one-sided N without using up your Supporter for the turn. You can then choose whatever draw power you like, be it Cynthia to fake being him. It might not help as much early game, and your opponent may or may not benefit from having a refreshed hand. Late game would be more disruptive, leaving your opponent with much fewer cards in their hand as the game progresses unless they have an “out” to draw more cards such as abilities or lucky top draw.
Reset Stamp renders most search related cards – whether it be from an attack, Abilities, or Trainer cards, that you can’t make use of right away – pretty underwhelming (I wouldn’t call those cards/effects useless). From now on, know that your hand isn’t safe from being shuffled!
Would it surprise you to hear that the #1 card on the list is yet another Item card? It’s true, Items are powerful.
Reset Stamp might also be one of the most powerful Items out there. Playing this card forces your opponent to shuffle their hand back into their deck, then draw cards equal to their Prize count. Basically, it’s like a one-sided “N” that works against your opponent the further ahead they are. At first glance, that might not seem that impactful. I mean, if your opponent’s already leading in Prizes (i.e., they have fewer Prizes left than you do), why would giving them less cards in hand be any helpful?
And then you remember, “Oh yeah that’s exactly why N saw play, and also now I don’t have to use my Supporter for the turn or shuffle my cards back, meaning I get to keep all of my options while limiting what options my opponent has instead!” And then you start to have that existential moment where you’re self-conscious of how long your thoughts can be, and by the time you’ve come to the conclusion of your own mental state, time’s already been called in the round and you’ve lost on account of slow play.
Needless to say, Reset Stamp does have a lot of power behind it. It might even power-creep “N” in Expanded, which is already treated as a staple card in that format, so seeing a card more powerful than that is frightening to say the least. In Standard, it’s definitely gonna see more play than something like Judge. So keep an eye out for this card, cause it could mean the difference between a winning game and a terrible loss out of nowhere.
Standard: 5/5 (super solid card all around)
Expanded: 5/5 (it power creeps N, in my opinion at least)
Limited: 5/5 (low Prize count to start means this card hits hard and fast)
Arora Notealus: I feel like a card so simplistic and powerful like Reset Stamp needs to be watched carefully, such that it doesn’t end up somewhere on the ban list. Granted, N was never touched by the ban hammer, so it might be that Reset Stamp isn’t powerful enough on its own to warrant such a hit at some point. But if there’s enough aggressive play with it, and it becomes the deciding factor in a lot of games, then it could be too powerful for Expanded (or even Standard, which would say a lot). Needless to say, this card is super strong, and it’s going to be seeing a lot of play for what it’s worth.
Weekend Thought: Do you agree with our list? Think some cards need to be higher or lower? What’s your take on the “N” Stamp? Are there cards from this set you’re looking forward to using that aren’t on the list? What deck do you think will be the next big deck? Do Reshiram & Charizard-GX have some new competition, or will they dominate the competitive scene?
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