– Rebel Clash
May 5, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Skyla is a familiar card which debuted way back in Boundaries Crossed (regular and Full Art print) while receiving another print in XY BreakThrough (regular print) and XY BreakPoint (Full Art print). Now, she gets another print on Sword & Shield Rebel Clash expansion. I guess that as long as Skyla has a plane, she can travel to any region based on TCG prints of her, and she already did that for two regions besides the Unova region (Kalos and Galar)!
Moving along, this is actually the FIFTH review of her because she has been reviewed four previous times, one being the second best card of Boundaries Crossed, the fourth best card of 2012, the ninth best card lost to rotation in 2015, and another review not long after she became Standard legal once more (and left once again after the 2017-2018 rotation, where she didn’t make it in the list). If you read previous reviews, their insight regarding competitive use is favorable (they explained very well about how she was being used). I would have thought that she would make it onto this list, and while she indeed made it to be the 11th best card of Rebel Clash, much to my surprise, all of these 14 voting points were from me because I ranked her as my personal second best card of the set based on past history.
Skyla is a Supporter card which lets you fetch a Trainer card – be it an Item, Supporter, or a Stadium card – and put it onto your hand. This is a very good effect on a Supporter card because the card you’ve just fetched could be used right away (either an item or a Stadium card). She might not provide draw power, but she can indirectly fake being one by various cards. While – during late 2015 – you would use Skyla to fetch an Ultra Ball for a Shaymin-EX whose effect is identical to Bianca, nowadays, you would use Skyla to fetch a Cherish Ball for a Dedenne-GX to emulate what Professor based cards do, albeit one less card. Or instead of draw power, how about some disruption? Use Skyla to grab Chaotic Swell so that your opponent has to waste their stadium card since playing them automatically discards itself and not reap the benefits of whatever you try to do.
She can fetch you a Supporter card, but because Skyla is a Supporter card, you won’t be able to play another one unless you use unconventional methods like playing Lt. Surge’s Strategy first, play Skyla second, and play whatever Supporter you fetched third. Magnezone’s (Plasma) Dual Brains let you play 2 Supporters instead of one (multiple abilities like this doesn’t stack), so you would play Skyla to fetch another Supporter card and play that card as well. Without those unconventional methods, the reason why using Skyla to fetch for a Supporter is NOT a good idea is that the card you just fetched is stuck in your hand at the mercy for your opponent to inevitably shuffle your hand on their turn by using Judge, Marnie, N (Expanded), and the like.
And then there’s some occasions where Skyla happens to be useless on specific turns, mostly due to Item/Supporter/Stadium lock. You may happen to draw into Skyla AFTER your opponent has something like having a Benched Vileplume’s Allergic Pollen and/or being struck with Giratina-EX’s AOR Chaos Wheel attack, and she is no better than grabbing you a Supporter card (while still having access to looking at your entire deck while you’re searching, and thinning your deck after you fetched a card). She also faces competition from other Supporter cards due to deck space and far better options than merely searching for a card. Professor’s Research and Marnie could be a full four while the upcoming Boss’s Orders is necessary for board control, so Skyla could be run as a loose copy or two at best.
Still, she does one thing and does it very well. If I wanted to grab Trainer cards, Skyla is the first thing I would consider in my deck for Standard and Expanded despite massive competition. While there are other Supporter cards that can fetch more than one card, they usually have a condition for you to fulfill. Both Rosa and Teammates, for example, require your Pokemon to be KOed from your opponent’s turn before your turn begins, and they can fetch either a Pokemon, Trainer card, and a basic energy, or in Teammates case, two of any card. If you can’t fulfill it, then they are dead cards in your hand in that specific turn. Skyla doesn’t have any conditions at all; just grab one and go. For Legacy, even if there wasn’t a Pokémon whose ability provide draw power, she can indirectly fetch for any card when you play Skyla to fetch for a Computer Search, which can let you find anything. Also, although there are different terminology from HGSS sets – with cards saying trainer-trainer twice, as well as Supporter-Supporter, or Stadium-Stadium – they still are bound to being Trainer cards regardless.
Today’s Throwback… wait, this isn’t Thursday! Surprise! Skyla (BW – Boundaries Crossed 134/149, 149/149; XY – BREAKthrough 148/162; XY – BREAKpoint 122/122; SSH – Rebel Clash 166/192) secured 11th-place in our countdown. We don’t normally allow reprints, but we make an exception if – like with Skyla – an older card is returning to Standard Format legality. As you’ve already read, this is the second time Skyla’s pulled this trick; she barely left Standard the first time for two months before her XY-era printings restored her.
Skyla is a Trainer-Supporter who lets you search your deck for a Trainer, then add it to your hand. Any Trainer is allowed, even another Supporter, not that you’d (usually) be able to play it right away. Though Skyla is pure search, with the right things to search out (mostly Items)she becomes a Swiss Army knife… but a Swiss Army knife isn’t a full toolbox. If you need Boss’s Orders this turn, Skyla can try and fake it with Pokémon Catcher. If you needed Faba, you can try to fake it by grabbing Crushing Hammer, Tool Scrapper, or a Stadium card. If you need a Pokémon or Energy card, she can try for an Item to search them out, but not much can reliably fetch Special Energy cards.
Skyla was amazing in the Standard Format for many years, but the last time we said goodbye to her, she did not make our countdown of the cards lost to rotation. That’s because we just didn’t have the same power-plays she’d enjoyed when she debuted. Standard Format decks no longer had Ace Spec cards, and other power players just weren’t what they once were. As she returns, she’ll have to compete with cards like Bill’s Analysis, Green’s Exploration, Rosa and Volkner. None of them are as good at grabbing any one Trainer you need from your deck, but I don’t think that will be the play often enough to make Skyla the better choice.
I believe Skyla will function in the Standard Format the way she does in the Expanded Format. Decks with certain kinds of setups, usually those with a focus on control, like having Skyla handy. She might be run in multiples, unlike Expanded where VS Seeker means a single Skyla is enough for those decks. She’s still strong in the Legacy Format, where most of her former power-plays are still intact. She’s also a welcome sight in the Limited Format, where she doesn’t even need advanced combos to be great. In the Theme Format, she’d be great in a modern Theme Deck, but she’s only in those from the Black & White or XY series. This means she can do very little.
In the few decks where Skyla still works well in Expanded, she actually would deserve a higher score, but this is balanced out by how she deserves a lower score in most decks, because she’s just not the current best option for their needs. You already know this from reading Vince’s review, but I did not have Skyla in my Top 15 for this set, nor was I expecting to see here. There is certainly a chance I’m wrong about Skyla, especially in the long run, but I just don’t see her being anywhere near as big as she used to be without similar circumstances (Ace Specs, Hypnotoxic Laser, etc.) arising.
Well hey there, Skyla! Fancy seeing you here after all this time!
Skyla is a Supporter that actually came out initially in the Boundaries Crossed expansion about 8 years ago, so you can imagine it’s been a few years since she was last playable in Standard…well, I guess not that long ago, since her last printing was in BREAKpoint about 4 years ago! So if you haven’t touched Expanded or haven’t been part of the game for a LONG time, then it’s good to get a refresher on the Supporter that lets you add any Trainer card to your hand.
Any Item (or Tool) in your deck, any other Supporter, any Stadium you might be running, it’s all easily accessible! Grab yourself Lt. Surge’s Strategy for a big turn of multiple Supporters, or play it alongside Skyla to set yourself up for even more plays on your next turn! Search out those hard to get <Prism> cards like Heat Factory or Thunder Mountain and be able to play them consistently! Grab yourself a TAG TEAM Whistle and get 2 TAG TEAM cards instantly! The possibilities are pretty much limitless.
Skyla’s been a major part of many decks in any format she’s in, so it should go without saying that she’ll be a big part of many decks for the next couple of years. Not to mention now you can play the 4 different art variations all in Standard in a single deck! Pretty nifty~
Standard: 4.5/5 (there’s not too many decks that I think would refuse to use Skyla at this point)
Expanded: 5/5 (…well yeah, she’s been here for years)
Limited: 5/5 (don’t call it a comeback and what-not)
Arora Notealus: I usually don’t include reprints of cards in my ratings for new sets, mostly because I like rating a lot of the newer cards instead. Course I won’t say no to Skyla making it onto the list, since it has been a while, and she’s going to undoubtedly have a big impact on the game at large. It’s not like we’re ranking Potion on our Top X lists!
Next Time: You better get the music out.
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