– Unified Mind
December 25, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Our countdown of the best cards of 2019 finally cracks the top five with Reset Stamp (SM – Unified Minds 206/236, 253/236). This Trainer-Item forces your opponent to shuffle their hand into their deck, then draw until they have a new hand of cards equal to their remaining Prize cards. When we originally reviewed this card, it was as our first-place pick for SM – Unified Minds. Why? The same reason it is close to being a true staple, a card run as at least a one-of in every successful, competitive deck: disruption.
Reset Stamp almost always has a small chance of helping you or your opponent, owing to luck of the draw. When you’re opponent still has five or six Prizes remaining, it is best used to reduce a massive hand or punish hand preparations for the next turn. Actually, that is what it is good for mid-game and late game as well, it is just more and more likely to succeed the more Prizes your opponent has taken. I used to describe effects like this as “come from behind” but I was wrong. Prize counts can be misleading, and even if they are accurate, you can easily benefit from Reset Stamp while actually having fewer Prizes to claim than your opponent. There is also the fact that – if the game is even remotely healthy – a lead should have been earned.
So, because it is so effective as long as it isn’t early game, Reset Stamp is a great card seen in most successful Standard Format decks. Nothing runs it in the Expanded Format, however, because Reset Stamp is so good it has been banned! Why? There are ways to KO your own Pokémon, including the first turn of the game. More importantly, this can be done as part of effects that are otherwise beneficial to you. Then you bring in cards of a similar bent, those with “come from behind” style effects… and you can completely strip your opponent of their hand before they’ve even had a turn! As for the Limited Format, both players start with only four Prizes; even without that this would have been a potent must-run option.
Reset Stamp is a great card, and the only reason it isn’t maxed out in everything is because we have only so much room in a deck… and possibly the rare strategy that clashes with it. Yet I only had it as my seventh-place pick. I’m perfectly fine with it ranking as high as it did, because it is stupidly good; it didn’t rank as high for me because it missed over half of 2019, leaving room for even slightly better balanced cards to surpass it in influence.
Reset Stamp is a pretty simple item card that made it to the best card of Unified Minds. It makes your opponent shuffle their hand and draw cards based on how many prize card your opponent has left. This card renders certain cards helpless such as Blue’s Tactics and Steven’s Resolve as the cards they just grabbed are about to be shuffled and grab different cards. This card can be considered as a one-sided N without sing up your Supporter for your turn…
…which is why Reset Stamp is banned in Expanded. No matter how many cards your opponent has, you can easily get them to have nothing in their hand in one turn! Have one Pokémon that knocks out itself, then have two Jirachi-EX get knocked out by playing Island Challenge Amulet, play Reset Stamp to get opponent down to 1 card after your opponent took 5 prizes, play Mars to discard the last card of your opponent’s hand, and play Chip Chip Ice Ace to manipulate the top couple cards of your opponent’s deck. Unless you have a Pokémon that replenishes your hand, your turn is completely useless.
Thank goodness several cards that were mention were banned in Expanded. No one wants a useless turn due to a combination of degenerate cards.
Expanded: Banned (would be 4.75/5 for such a combination)
Gee, a card that lets you force your opponent’s hand back into their deck and draw cards equal to their Prizes? Never heard of that being competitive before.
Sarcasm aside, Reset Stamp is basically an Itemized N for your opponent, and its impact has been shown plenty enough that I don’t think I have to go into the intricacies of how good it is. If you’ve been around the game long enough, you know how strong something like N, Red Card, or Judge can be, and even if you’re new enough to only know about Reset Stamp, you get a pretty quick idea as to why that is. Hand manipulation is a strong element in any card game, and Pokemon is no exception!
So yeah, an Item that can do that is definitely going to see play regardless. Even when you can reshuffle what’s in your opponent’s hand early on, this card is absolutely worth it for the disruption!
Standard: 5/5 (a modern N for a modern…uh…standard)
Expanded: 5/5 (pretty much does what N does but as an Item)
Limited: 5/5 (…I mean, why wouldn’t you, you know?)
Arora Notealus: You know what we should do? Let’s make it official, the way it was back in the day. My eighth wish is let’s bring in a Doubles format, or maybe even a 2v2 format! There’s been lots of discussion around the idea of getting 2 players in on a single game, where both players have their own separate decks but get to play off of each other’s cards and strategies while facing off against another team with their own cards and strategies. Double battles are already the standard competitive format in the video games, and while it would be difficult to fully implement something like that into the card game, they’ve made strides with that a long time ago as far back as the RSE era – heck, there were cards in that time frame worded with that in mind! So whether that’s allowing for 2 Pokemon to occupy the “Active” slot at once in a 1v1 scenario, or grabbing a buddy and facing off in a 2v2, let’s see some experimentation with a multi-Pokemon format!
Next Time: Oh hey, cool! I got a super good Pokemon from this ball!
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