Shedinja (Lost Thunder LOT 95)
Shedinja (Lost Thunder LOT 95)

Shedinja
– Lost Thunder

Date Reviewed:
January 16, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 2.50
Limited: 3.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

21 Times Avatar
21times
PokeDeck
Central

Shedinja (LOT 95) buzzed into the Pokemon TCG from the Lost Thunder expansion set.  I REALLY liked the idea of this card when I first saw it, and I’ve tried it in a variety of decks over the past couple of months.  I tried it in Donphan (LOT 112… not sure what I was thinking with that), Blacephalon, Mewtwo (SM 77), Stantler (LOT 156… don’t recommend that either), and Buzzwole Garbodor.  I’ve actually gone 4 W 1 L with BuzzGarb, that’s the most success I’ve had with a deck with Shedinja in it.  I  threw it in a Zoroark GX deck and went 5 W 5 L (and was reminded of why I haven’t played GX Pokemon lately.  Geez, there’s a LOT of GX hate out there on the ladder!).

In my brain, it seems like this would be a no brainer 4-4 line in every deck, right?  How great is that, to give up only one prize if your opponent KO’s one of your GX’s or – even better – NO prize for taking out a single prize Pokemon.  And it’s been great in some matches, sometimes your opponent has to KO two or even three Pokemon before being able to take a prize card.  I remember one game with Blacephalon where my opponent took out two of my Mewtwos, got no prizes, and quickly conceded because he knew that he just wouldn’t have enough energy take them all out.

The idea with Mewtwo and Buzzwole / Garb is to stream attackers.  You hit your opponent turn after turn after turn and eventually wear him down, whereas he’s attacking you turn after turn after turn while still not taking any prizes.  Mewtwo can theoretically reload energy with Malamar, and Buzz and Garb are primarily single attachment attackers, so you don’t have to worry as much about running out of energy because their attacks only cost one energy.

But that’s me being greedy.  You could easily run Shedinja in any deck.  There were plenty of times when I was playing it with Zoroark GX when I was very relieved to only be surrendering one prize instead of two.  Heck, you could even attach it to some of the new Tag Team Pokemon that are coming out so they’ll only give up two prizes instead of three.

Field Blower (along with some other disruption cards) is potentially an issue, but in the ten matches I played with Zoroark GX the other night, not a single Shedinja got knocked off by Leaf Blower.  I also run four Rescue Stretchers with Shedinja because – like I said – I’m greedy.  I should probably just settle for a 4-4 line, but the Gollum in me wants to abuse Shedinja over and over and over again, and you need to be able to recycle feature Pokemon too.  You can play Ninjask (LOT 30), but to me it seems to make more sense to run Stretchers since Ninjask evolves from Nincada as well.  Ninjask would just become a worthless bench sitter, although it does let you put Shedinja directly onto the bench from the discard.  I haven’t played Ninjask in any of my lists though.

So if you haven’t tried Shedinja yet, I totally recommend it.  Force yourself to find 8 slots, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised.

Rating

Standard: 3.5 out of 5

Conclusion

I feel like there’s some really nasty pairing that we’re all missing with Shedinja… maybe with Shuckle GX?  Or Steelix?  Or some other stall deck?  It just seems like there’s some wombo combo out there that’s perfect for Shedinja, but I’m just not sure what it is.

Oh I almost forgot to mention, Shedinja isn’t limited to being in the active or when you take damage from an opponent’s attack.  It’s whenever or however the Pokemon Shedinja is attached to is KO’d.  Doesn’t matter if it’s from Shrine damage or Feather Arrows, your opponent takes one fewer prizes.

aroramage avatar
aroramage

There are some strange cards that come out of Pokemon sometimes, but none are stranger than the ones that can attach themselves as Tools to other Pokemon. Some give Energy, some give powerful effects, and some are Shedinja. He’s just in a class of his own.

Shedinja is a Stage 1 Psychic Pokemon, 40 HP, with no Weakness or Resistance and a Retreat Cost of 1. Haunt puts three damage counters on your opponent’s Active Pokemon and lets you wave a tissue in their face with a pair of googly eyes drawn on it in some kind of permanent marker, thus startling their every waking moment with bewilderment and wondering why someone would try and scare them with a Castform. In the meantime, Shedinja can use Vessel of Life to discard all the cards attached to it and use itself as a Tool to put on another Pokemon, making it so your opponent takes one less Prize card when KOing the Pokemon that Shedinja’s attached to.

It’s obviously this Ability to be used as a Tool that makes Shedinja worth talking about, since it can effectively turn a Pokemon that’s a non-EX/GX into a complete flop for your opponent when they KO it, and it can make Pokemon-GX even more effective than before since the one you attach it to becomes a one-Prize Pokemon! The problem though is whether or not it’s better to have Shedinja or another Tool on the Pokemon you’re choosing. For something that could deal a lot of damage, it could be worth it, but I would think that the best targets are the ones that offer you a lot of damage, don’t need anything like a Choice Band or the like to sweep, and will leave your opponent with nothing thanks to Shedinja. One-Prize cheap attackers!

Ditto <Prism> makes it more plausible to play Shedinja on its own, so it’s something to try out if you want!

Rating

Standard: 3/5 (Prize denial is a pretty big deal) 

Expanded: 3/5 (especially from something that’s normally an easy target otherwise)

Limited: 3/5 (seriously, at 40 HP? you better be using that Ability)

Arora Notealus: Shedinja has some pretty dark undertones to its cards. Probably doesn’t help that it’s part-Ghost, but it’s also the only Bug/Ghost Pokemon in the game. And considering it comes from being shed off of a Ninjask, that’s…kinda spooky. Though having Wonder Guard is a fantastic Ability in the games, since it prevents Shedinja from taking any damage from anything that’s not a super effective move, though it doesn’t immunize him to weather, Status Conditions, etc.

Side Reviews: Gyarados – a throwback to a Pokemon that is one of the few examples of a card that got better with time, namely because of Ditto <Prism>. This allows for a Standard deck to run Gyarados and fry up multiple Magikarp in the discard for its Venting Anger attack, which was the main reason the card got looked at in the first place. However the reliance of it around the one copy you play onto Ditto <Prism> doesn’t change the card’s fate, in my opinion, only makes it more playable. In the overall grand scheme of things, I don’t think it’ll be something that consistently gets to where it wants to be, and it will have no staying power after the one and only Gyarados is lost with the one and only Ditto <Prism>.

Sigilyph-GX – you either get KO’d the hero, or you live long enough to damage your opponent more than yourself with Mirror Counter. It sort of makes your opponent think twice about attacking into Sigilyph-GX, especially cause if they don’t OHKO it, it’s likely to KO the Pokemon that hit it very hard with Sonic Wing, which alongside the 170 HP it has in tow would be enough to KO that Pokemon as well. Of course, that’s relying on your opponent to do the heavy-lifting for you, and that’s assuming you want to lose 2 Prizes as well, so you can see why I’m hesitant to recommend Sigilyph-GX. Still, if he survives and you can swap him out for another Pokemon, then it can really turn things around against your opponent.

Next Time: Something old slated to be something new!

Otaku Avatar
Otaku

My tardy review today is for Shedinja (SM – Lost Thunder 95/214). It is a Stage 1[P] Pokémon with 40 HP, no Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of [C]. Shedinja posses the Ability “Vessel of Life”. Once per turn, before you attack, this Ability lets you discard all cards attached to this Shedinja, then attach it to one of your other Pokémon as a Pokémon Tool. If the Pokémon to which this card is attached is KO’d, that Pokémon gives up one less Prize to your opponent. Shedinja also knows the attack “Haunt”; for [C] Energy this allows Shedinja to place three damage counters on your opponent’s Active Pokémon. I wish to clear up a few things about using Vessel of Life. First, when you discard all cards attached to Shedinja, that includes any Pokémon from which it Evolved. Second, you cannot use this Ability to attach Shedinja as a Tool to something which has no room for another Tool. While it says “once per turn”, it means this particular instance of the Ability. You can use Vessel of Life again if you have another copy of this Shedinja in play or bounce then replay the original copy.

We can pretty easily gloss over everything about Shedinja other than it being a Stage 1 and its Vessel of Life Ability. The rest will only matter in dire straights or because another card effect (like Mysterious Treasure or Professor Elm’s Lecture) references it. Vessel of Life is an amazing effect, but remember that it eats up a Tool Slot (and most Pokémon only have one) while also needing to deal with anti-Ability and anti-Tool effects. At least you won’t have to worry about anti-Ability stuff when Shedinja is a Tool and anti-Tool stuff won’t matter except while Shedinja is attached as a Tool via Vessel of Life. That is enough, though; anti-Ability effects like the “Garbotoxin” Ability found on Garbodor (XY – BREAKpoint 57/122) stop this combo dead in its tracks (pun intended) while a Faba or Field Blower can sabotage it in the home stretch. So, how about the Stage 1 side of things?

Shedinja is part of a branching Evolution line, so if I was doing a full, deep dive review, I’d be covering every version of Nincada, Ninjask, and Shedinja that is Standard or Expanded legal. We’re on our third paragraph already and I cannot recommend running any other member of this Evolution line, because they’re just not especially good. Yes, even the Ninjask cards with Abilities that can directly Bench a Shedinja! There’s a barely competitive deck around Shedinja (XY – Roaring Skies 11/108) that might prove me wrong, but I doubt it can afford to split the Shedinja line. I will also allow an exception for some hypothetical (at least to me) deck where you KO your own Pokémon either through suicidal attacks or Abilities; such decks have existed before, but in my experience are so crowded you couldn’t fit in another Stage 1 line.  If someone does get either of these working, I’ll be happy I was wrong.

No, the best use of today’s Shedinja is alongside Ditto {*}. Yes, this means Ditto {*} cannot be used for other purposes that game, and that even when you do sacrifice Ditto {*} to play Shedinja, you get exactly one chance at using this trick. The thing is, that is something we’re already seeing that with Ditto {*} and other situational cards, like Alolan Muk. Shedinja just joins that list, though I am uncertain as to how high it would rank on it. Once something like Alolan Muk hits the field, it does its job until your opponent can KO it, which usually requires they force it into the Active position. Shedinja can hit the field, be attached… and then get discarded by a Field Blower. The general usefulness of Shedinja’s Ability versus its cost to use and ease of disruption means I’m giving it decent marks for the Standard Format. There are more Ability counters in the Expanded Format, plus even more useful Tools, though also a few additional opportunities; the net result is a lower score, but not abysmally so. Finally, this is a must-run for the Limited Format unless you manage to pull something like Blacephalon-GX you could risk running completely on its own, in a +39 or Mulligan-style build.

Ratings

Standard: 2.5/5

Expanded: 2/5

Limited: 3.5/5

Shedinja would be a little too niche to be worth consideration in most decks, but Ditto {*} lets it fake being general purpose. That is if you can spare your copy of Ditto {*} that game, have a Pokémon suited to it with an open Tool slot, and have reason to believe your opponent won’t just hit Shedinja with Field Blower or attack around it with Guzma!

vince avatar
Vince

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