– Shining Legends #7/73
November 6, 2017
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I feel like I’m way too amused by Shaymin’s attack names more than anything. Might just be me though, ya know?
In any case, Shaymin has Flippity Flap, which is an attacking version of what Shaymin-EX (ROS) has an Ability…sort of. Set Up allowed you to draw up to 6 cards when Shaymin-EX entered play, while Flippity Flap shuffles your hand back into your deck and then draws you 6 cards. On the one hand, Flippity Flap technically guarantees the whole 6 cards that you’ll draw. On the other hand, you have to put back whatever was in your hand into your deck, meaning you might just end up drawing the same cards again. Course, you could use this attack when you don’t have any cards in your hand, but you’re still using your attack for the turn. Hmmmm…
Rally Back is the other attack, which is a Revenge-style attack that’s 2-for-30 but does 90 more damage if your Pokemon was KO’d by your opponent last turn. Keep in mind that this is by an attack and not an Ability like Decidueye-GX’s Feather Arrow or the lingering effects of a Poison or Burn status. It’s a decent 120 damage on its own if that’s the case, but it does rely on you losing a Pokemon to do so, and it’s not like you’re OHKO-ing a Pokemon-EX/GX with this…although you could hit something weak to Water and surprising catch up.
Shaymin has neat enough attacks, but I think the most concerning stat on him is that 70 HP. It’s a challenge to be promising and yet have the potential to just get completely devastated, but it’s a question of whether or not it’s worth giving up that one slot in your deck to a potential revenge attacker that can’t KO anything that isn’t Weak to its Typing or as a set-up that requires your attack for the turn.
At least there’s no debating how CUTE this guy is!
Standard: 2.5/5 (there’s potential in his maneuvers)
Expanded: 2/5 (but he is severely outclassed by his EX counterpart)
Limited: 3.5/5 (but Rally Back does make a great move in smaller formats)
Arora Notealus: Sky Form is pretty neat for Shaymin, though it’s hard to argue that Land Form isn’t cuter. I mean come on, it’s a freaking hedgehog~
Next Time: Fighting furious punches from the shadows!
Shaymin (Shining Legends, 7/73) – just saying this Pokemon’s name brings all sorts of connotations, feelings, and memories. Very recently the most impactful card in the game, this Shaymin doesn’t quite have the meta defining effect that its EX predecessor possessed. This card still has some potential in Grass decks, however. For a single Grass energy, Flippity Flap lets you shuffle your hand back into the deck and then draw six cards. To me, this seems like a really good functionality. To have the ability to completely refresh your hand and start the next turn with seven cards (including draw for turn) might give you good momentum if you have dead hand. Unfortunately, if you have several cards in your hand that you would like to use in the next turn, you obviously wouldn’t use this attack, and it loses some of its effectiveness. I tried a couple of Grass decks this weekend, and I chose to go with Kricketot (Breakpoint, 5/122) as Bug Hunt lets you go get any three Grass Pokemon you want.
Rally Back, Shaymin’s other attack, costs a Grass and a Colorless energy and does thirty damage unless you had a Pokemon KO’d from damage during the prior turn, in which case it does one hundred twenty. This revenge attack could have some place a Grass deck, especially in a Venusaur (Shining Legends, 3/73) deck where it would actually only cost a single Grass energy to use. However, at 70 HP, it will almost certainly not survive a single attack, but you could potentially string multiple Rally Backs together in sequence and do one hundred twenty in several consecutive turns (Revitalizer (Generations, 70/83) remains Standard legal, so a chain of Rally Backs isn’t completely unrealistic). I just don’t know how effective this strategy might be. Still, with a Choice Band (Guardians Rising, 121/145) and maybe even Sunny Day Lurantis (SM Promo 25), this 120 could become 150 or even 170, so there might be something here, but I’m not 100% certain the Theorymon here translates into reality.
Standard: 2.5 out of 5
Shaymin has a couple of decent attacks that have potential for use in the meta today. I can only speculate to its effectiveness, however. I have yet to come across Shaymin a single time in game play, and I haven’t tried to work it into a deck yet either.
So, another Grass Pokemon is in this set. And its Shaymin. Yes, after last year’s bombastic Shaymin-EX, which sees play EVERYWHERE, rotates out, a new Shaymin enters the fray as… another support?
This Shaymin-Sky is a very peculiar one; it is a 70 HP basic Grass Pokemon, with a weakness to Fire (as usual for a Grass Pokemon) and it has a retreat cost of one. Not bad, considering its purposes as a good splashable Turn 1 starter in Grass decks, which is rare nowadays (unless you count Tapu Bulu-GX for nudging damage). But what did it do?
Its first attack, Flippity Flap, is basically like Cleffa (HGSS Base)’s Eeeeeekkk attack, where you reshuffle your hand to 6. Like Cleffa, this is great draw support for many decks that can afford to invest in it; a non-Supporter, non-Item based draw that can help conserve resources is very welcome. But unlike Cleffa it a) needs a Grass energy to roll and b) it faces the same problems as Sylveon-GX and its Magical Ribbon attack, i.e. if you don’t open with the Shaymin as your lead Pokemon, you can’t fully abuse Flippity Flap. It also has a secondary attack in Rally Back which can deal a lot of damage, which is unique for what is supposed to be used mainly as a starter. Essentially its a renamed Retaliate, in which if you used this attack after your active Pokemon is K.O.ed last turn, it deals 120 damage. The good thing is that because it uses 1 Grass and 1 Colorless energies to use it, it’s a 1 prize Pokemon, and it deals the maximum damage after you are behind the prize trade, you can use Counter Energy (SM Crimson Invasion) to get it going immediately. With a Choice Band you’ll be hitting 150 damage to Pokemon-EXs and Pokemon-GXs, or in practice it one shots a Marshadow-GX (SM Burning Shadows), so it is a viable attack. A retaliation attack on the cheap, hitting the numbers and also for a relevant Weakness? Sign me up!
There’s not much weaknesses in using Shaymin, as far as I’m concerned in Grass decks, except the fact that it is very deck type-exclusive and it has a low HP count. But as far as an engine for the revival of Grass decks after the ban of Forest of Giant Plants, Shaymin does its job rather well.
Standard: 3.4/5 (Sylveon-GX also faces the same problem as Shaymin, and it is also a deck engine. And considering how popular is Sylveon in Fairy decks, I can assure that Shaymin will be as widespread as Sylveon, if not for the release in a very hard to obtain expansion.)
Expanded: 2.8/5 (As a Grass deck starter, it faces competition from the likes of Virizion-EX (BW Plasma Blast) and it also faces competition from Terrakion (BW Noble Victories), but Shaymin is less a liability than either of them. Sadly Fire decks rules in Expanded.)
Limited: 3.5/5 (A nice starter overall.)
Next in SM Shining Legends:
Let Loose from the gates of hell.
We begin the week with Shaymin (Shining Legends 7/73). Why? With it no longer being quite so easy to find a single source of quality English scans a week or two before the official release, we’d have had to trust translations. They are better than they used to be, but mistakes still happen. Waiting gives us time to at least see the official, English cards and maybe even test them ourselves, plus we can get some of the early, official rulings. As a reminder, cards from SM: Crimson Invasion won’t be legal for competitive play until November 17, 2017. Back to Shaymin, it is a Basic, Grass-Type Pokémon with 70 HP, Fire Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], and two attacks. For [G], “Flippity Flap” shuffles your hand into your deck then has you draw six cards while [GC] pays for “Rally Back” to do 30 damage, plus another 90 if one of your Pokémon was KO’d by damage from an opponent’s attack during the previous turn.
The Grass-Typing of Shaymin doesn’t mean much right now; nice when you’re staring down something Grass Weak like Greninja BREAK, but not a lot of cards that care about a Pokémon being a Grass-Type itself. Being a Basic means quite a bit, as the game’s pace and mechanics still favor them. 70 HP does the card few favors, but at least it isn’t the worst we’ve seen (even just lately) and makes Shaymin a legal Level Ball target. Fire Weakness matters because of metagame specifics; Volcanion-EX decks love things that their smaller attacks can reliably KO with a single use of its “Steam Up” Ability. Lack of Resistance is the worst but Resistance usually doesn’t mean much anyway. The Retreat Cost of [C] is good, though; usually, you’ll be able to afford it without cutting deep.
The best thing about Flippity Flap is that it is fun to say, but a shuffle-and-draw effect that snags six cards is a close second. It isn’t reason enough to run this card, but for [G], it’s a decent option Turn 2 (so the first turn of the player going second) or when you’re already in a bad way a new hand is worth sacrificing an Energy and a Prize (as Shaymin has little hope of surviving in the active slot. Rally Back brings back a mechanic that hasn’t ever left Standard play, but which hasn’t been big for several years; doing more damage if one of your Pokémon was KO’d from an attack’s damage on the previous turn. If that effect doesn’t trigger, Revenge does a paltry 30 damage for [GC], but when the conditions are met, you get a great 120 damage for just two Energy! Unless you’re attacking something small and/or [G] Weak, you’re going to have to invest a lot to score a OHKO. Thankfully, that isn’t necessarily a requirement; setting up or completing a 2HKO while only risking a single Prize and a small amount of Energy is what matters. The Energy costs mean Shaymin isn’t easy to power up in a single turn or run off-Type, but neither would such things be particularly hard, even together.
When most TCG players hear “Shaymin”, they think of Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108). It isn’t that we haven’t had any other competitive cards with “Shaymin” in their names, it is just they aren’t legal for Expanded Format play (let alone Standard). Shaymin still faces a tremendous amount of competition; even if they aren’t currently starring in a deck, we’ve got a decent amount of basic attackers that pack a punch. Even narrowing things down to [G] Energy focused decks and attacks that help you come from behind, we’ve got Virizion (XY: Ancient Origins 12/98) in Expanded play. Not the exact same niche, but we have Shining Genesect as an option in the Standard Format. Once legal, Counter Catcher and Counter Energy (especially Counter Energy) will make cards like Shaymin much more effective in both formats, to the point I am wondering if taking similar cards of different Types could serve as a deck focus, at least in Expanded. Probably not, though. Since we review Shining Legends cards for the Limited Format, even though it is highly unlikely you’ll ever use Shining Legends packs there, I’ll point out this is a great addition for any deck that is not a +39 build and can squeeze in at least a few basic Grass Energy.
Remember, these are scores for the card now; once Counter Catcher and Counter Energy become legal, I expect Shaymin to rise to a three out of five in both formats. That still isn’t an amazing score, and I do think Shaymin is a solid addition to the card pool, but it faces a crowded field. Unless it really does get its own competitive deck (or at least becomes a major backup attacker in one), I can’t justify scoring it much higher. Shaymin would have been our 10th place pick had our Shining Legends Top 5 been the usual Top 10 list. I was among the three reviewers who submitted a personal list larger than five; Shaymin was my personal sixth place pick.