– Sword & Shield
April 2, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Today’s Throwback is a pretty thematic item which actually heals the exact amount like in the games….until the errata in Gen IV (healing 25% of Max HP instead of healing 30HP). Sitrus Berry is a Pokémon Tool card which can only heal your Pokémon at the end of the turn AND does have some requirement, which could be irritating. If the Pokémon that has three or more damage counters, it heals 30 damage at the end of the turn, not immediately. I can see that it could temporary benefit Outrage style attacks since Sitrus Berry doesn’t heal your Pokémon immediately. You can benefit this effect at the end of your turn.
On the other hand, depending too much on your opponent’s input may cause them to play around Sitrus Berry by outright Knocking Out the Pokémon with the Tool (which makes healing irrelevant as the tool gets discarded along with the Pokemon) or playing Tool Scrapper to remove that tool if they think that they cannot KO certain Pokémon. Regardless of whose turn’s ending, Sitrus Berry can offset certain Special Conditions that places damage counters between turns. I believe that, due to the wording, you would heal first before taking damage, since the healing occurs at the end of a player’s turn, then it changes to in-between turn, and then to the player’s turn. However, if you didn’t have at least three damage counters before your turn ends, then Sitrus Berry fails to heal, and you still take Special Condition damage. Sitrus Berry can, at best, cover normal Poison (10 damage) and Burn (20 damage) once. It is still hopeless against Poison condition if it was 4 or more damage counters between turns.
This is another card which may involve precise timing, but nonetheless, a healing item card which could be one of the good alternatives you could consider in the Standard Format. The reason why I said “good alternative” is because I think both Mixed Herbs (which is about to leave rotation), Great Potion (restricted to GX Pokémon), and Hyper Potion asks too much and not provide as much.
Sitrus Berry (EX- Unseen Forces 91/115; Sword & Shield 182/202) is a Pokémon Tool, a subclass of Trainer-Item. That means a lot of support and counters apply to Sitrus Berry. All but a few Pokémon can hold only one Tool at a time, so if you use Sitrus Berry, you can’t have something potentially better. Its actual effect heals 30 damage, specifically at the end of the turn (either player’s) when the equipped Pokémon has three or more damage counters on it. At healing, Sitrus Berry discards itself.
You could run Big Charm for +30 HP, but if your opponent can discard Big Charm you might never see the benefit. Potion can heal up to 30, so you can heal smaller amounts… but only during your turn, before attacking, at the moment you play it. Sitrus Berry is about healing at an unusual time. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any decks that currently make good use of such an effect. Still, Sitrus Berry is functional in many decks, just not an optimal play, and the kind of decks where healing at the end of the turn matters is plausible. Do run all the Sitrus Berry you pull in the Limited Format, however.
Wait, this is a Throwback Thursday! Sitrus Berry debuted back in EX – Unseen Forces (August 22, 2005), during the latter half of Gen III (or EX) era. An erratum has been issued, so that this version functions the same as its modern counterpart. How did it use to work? It triggered between turns, instead of at the end of either player’s turn and couldn’t be attached to Pokémon with “Dark” or owners in their name. If the original Sitrus Berry wound up on such a Pokémon anyway, it would immediately discard itself (without healing).
Healing “Berry” Pokémon Tools have been around a lot longer than just Sitrus Berry, and I can recall only one that was successful in competitive play: Gold Berry (Neo Genesis 93/111). It triggered between turns, healing 40 damage… at a time when the maximum HP score was 120! Some of the non-healing Berries have also been worthwhile, and there were weaker healing Berries than Sitrus Berry. Most of the time, though, Berries haven’t been worth it.
This is one of those times where it pays to read the review, and not just go by scores. I don’t know of any current decks where Sitrus Berry is the optimal play, but at least it should function in most of them, providing a little bit of healing that other cards do as well or better. If you can find a combo where you really need to heal after a player attacks and you don’t need another Tool more, give Sitrus Berry a try. Otherwise, just enjoy it in the Limited Format.
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