Shauna – Fusion Strike
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Our 12th best card of Sword & Shield Fusion Strike is your friendly neighbor in the Kalos region: Shauna!
She did get reviewed once in March 6, 2014 as a regular review, and she did see a decent amount of play at the time. She is a Supporter which lets you shuffle your hand onto your deck and then draw five cards. This seems pretty reminiscent of Professor Oak’s New Theory from the HGSS series and Cynthia from Sun & Moon Ultra Prism, but Shauna’s effect is weaker. Five cards is still a good amount of cards to have, but one wished she would draw more than five.
When she debuted, Professor Juniper/Sycamore and N were still in the format. Those two Supporters were some on the most influential cards in the format(s) they were in, and that made many other Supporters that aren’t as powerful (draw less than seven, search based, gimmick one-time deal) see far less play. There were many decklists that screams “Your deck should have 4 of Professor Juniper/Sycamore and N!”, and it made sense to do that. Professor Juniper lets you discard your hand and then draw 7 cards while N makes both players shuffle their hand onto their decks and draw cards based on their remaining prize cards. While those Supporter cards have obscenely powerful effects, they also have drawbacks. The Professors makes you lose existing resources if you aren’t able to use it and a well-timed N from your opponent could leave you dry with fewer cards in your hand, and might backfire at some times. Shauna doesn’t have any drawbacks, she gets you five cards consistently, no matter which part of the match you’re at. As such, she could be considered to be another Supporter card that could be used alongside Sycamore and N. At the present time, there’s Professor’s Research and Marnie performing a similar role, though Marnie’s disruptive effect is way too soft compared to N; giving the opponent four cards might generate some randomness, but if those four cards happened to be great cards that the opponent can use to their fullest extent, then you might put yourself in a bad spot where the situation might be getting out of hand.
She has been reprinted several times before that she has been standard legal for the 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 rotation. This would be the fifth season Shauna would be at since she just got reprinted. She even appears in certain World Championship decks…well, only one, which is the Crazy Punch deck that’s based on Mega Kangaskhan-EX, so she did have her uses there as a single copy. Unfortunately, during the 2017-2018 season, another card outclassed her completely, which is Cynthia, whose effect is identical to Professor Oak’s New Theory. While Cynthia is superior than Shauna, there are a few situations where the player would want to draw one fewer card to keep them from decking out, or to fulfill certain conditions that requires players to have no cards in their hand….so that saves her from getting the minimum score in Expanded. She does appear in a variety of Theme Decks from the XY-era, though the various deck themselves are pretty underwhelming compared to SM-era Theme Decks. Not that it matters much now due to PTCGO transitioning into PTCG Live, and as far as I saw, they don’t have a Theme format at the moment.
Shauna is back in the Standard Format….though the second time because she did not leave until 2018. Gameplay-wise, she is a safer option for when players occasionally cannot bear the drawbacks from some of the strongest Supporter cards such as Professor’s Research and Marnie, but I don’t think many decks have room for her, especially when there isn’t something similar to VS Seeker that could help decks run a variety of Supporters. I can think of two conditions that could help Shauna’s viability:
- Professor’s Research and Marnie’s regulation marks are “D”, so those two will rotate by the end of the 2021-2022 standard rotation.
- There has yet to be a Supporter card that eclipses Shauna.
The first condition will happen eventually but then who knows what kind of future Supporter cards they’ll make or if they straight-up print the same effect under a different name. The second condition is pretty shaky; assuming draw-based Supporter options are still underwhelming, Shauna’s relevancy would drastically improve, and would probably be run at a full four. It may be a filler card now (but the good kind of filler), but she’s not underwhelming either.
We’re counting down our top 15 picks from SW – Fusion Strike, and today’s doubles as a Throwback… Tuesday? Shauna (XY 127/146; XY – Phantom Forces 104/119; Generations 72/83; XY – Fates Collide 111/124, 111a/124; SW – Fusion Strike 204/264, 263/264, 278/264) is a Supporter that has you shuffle your hand into your deck, then draw a new hand of five cards. She’s a card reprinted from the XY-era. However, she’s kind of older than that. How so? She’s an example of Different Name, Same Everything Else. Professor Oak’s Research (E-Card – Expedition 149/165; EX – FireRed & LeafGreen 98/112, EX – Dragon Frontiers 80/101) is also a Supporter that has you shuffle your hand into your deck, then draw a new hand of five cards. Fun fact, the EX – FireRed & LeafGreen version has “Prof. Oak’s Research” as its printed name but it was ruled that, as “Prof.” is a commonly accepted abbreviation for “Professor”, they do indeed count as having the same name.
Professor Oak’s Research was a good card when it first released, and a very good card when the next rotation finally cut Professor Elm from the Standard (Modified) Format of the time. It was only ever reviewed once, and I’m actually surprised as I remember its early reception being a bit more… lukewarm. As I said, once we lost Professor Elm, it became a very good source of reliable shuffle-and-draw. I was quite happy when it was reprinted the first time, and also the second time. The difference between those times is that Professor Oak’s Research was still a solid, if not good, card when reprinted in EX – FireRed & LeafGreen. By the time of its third and final release, a little over two years later, power creep was starting to show.
What about Shauna? Shauna also only has a single CotD to her credit, this one from March of 2014. That’s about a month after she released. I was not reviewing at the time. I might have scored Shauna reasonably well, as we didn’t have a shuffle-and-draw Supporter without any costs or conditions at the time. Plus, while I mentioned Professor Oak’s Research was showing its age by the time of its third printing, I think that is something I only came to accept in hindsight. So the same would likely be true with Shauna. Yes, she saw some successful use during her first tenure in the Standard Format. It wasn’t that much because, after a wave of initial testing at tournaments, she got scarce. Not totally abandoned, as I thought: Michikazu Tsuda included one Shauna in his “Crazy Punch” deck, with which he took 3rd-Place in the 2014 World Championship Masters Division.
So Shauna did better than I thought but most of the time, players were using draw like Professor Juniper or Professor Sycamore, draw-plus-disruption like N, or strong search like Skyla. Something I haven’t mentioned yet is that sometime after Professor Oak’s Research but before Shauna we received Professor Oak’s New Theory; a Supporter that has you shuffle your hand into your deck, then draw six cards. Alongside Professor Juniper and N, these three Supporters were the core draw trio of most decks while all three were legal. Shauna released after Professor Oak’s New Theory had rotated from the Standard Format, but she still felt like a nerfed card. Less than two years after Shauna’s first reprint, we received Cynthia… who was Professor Oak’s New Theory with a new name. In the Expanded Format, Shauna was once again obsolete.
What about the present? I could be mistaken, but I think I’d rather run Professor’s Research and Marnie before Shauna. Maybe she’s the third Supporter some decks have been waiting for, but then I think of where she might come in handy and the also freshly re-released Judge seems like a better option. You only draw four cards (instead of five) but your opponent also has to shuffle their hand into their deck and draw four cards. So, if you were settling for drawing fewer cards with Shauna because hey, there’s a decent amount of “Draw until you have X cards in hand” effects it could feed into, Judge feeds into that better while messing with your opponent’s hand. Come to think of it, Judge debuted in HS – Unleashed (May 2010), was reprinted in XY – BREAKthrough (November 2015), then again in SM – Lost November 2018) with “Judge’s Whistle” for added a support in the next set. We didn’t get Judge’s Whistle back but I’m just saying the card kind of has a history of one-upping Shauna. We’ve looked at Judge not just once, not just twice, not just three times, but a full four. While no guarantee, that does suggest Judge has something going for it.
However, there’s one last thing (for Standard – don’t bother with Shauna in Expanded): Regulation Marks. At least for now, Professor’s Research and Marnie are only available with Regulation Mark D. This year, the Standard Format switched to D-On for legality. Next year is probably going to be E-On, so even if I’m right and Shauna isn’t worth it now, she might be then. Shauna didn’t make my Top 15, but once I saw her on Vince’s list, I kept trying to figure out “Why?” until I finally thought to check the regulation marks. Even now, it is possible I’ve been a bit hard on her, and she’ll become the third draw-ish Supporter for most decks. I’m not sure if the Theme Format is still a “thing”, since it was a construct of the PTCGO, but Shauna was a good card there, so I’ll still throw in her score for that Format.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 1/5
- Theme: 3/5
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