– Hidden Fates
August 28, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If Brock’s Onix is defense oriented, then Misty’s Starmie is offense oriented! A Stage 1 Water type with 190 HP, weak to Grass, and free retreat, it has three attacks. Star Stream does 40 damage for W and also attaches two water energies from the discard pile to one of your Pokemon. Spinning Attack does 100 damage for CCC. And Hydro Pump is designated to be a GX attack because it cost C for 40 damage plus 40 more damage for each water energy attached to this Pokémon.
And if you thought those attacks are cheap and reasonably powerful, another card helps deal even more damage! Misty’s Cerulean City Gym is a Stadium Card that makes Starmie-GX deal 40 more damage before applying Weakness and Resistance. That means three of its attacks will do 80, 140, and 80+ respectively, and we haven’t factored in damaging boosting tools…which we don’t have in Standard at the moment, but Expanded has Choice Band or Muscle Band to lay in the hurt. And unlike Brock’s Pewter City Gym, you can actually benefit from Misty’s Gym for at least one turn until it gets discarded/removed from other stadiums or Faba.
This is one of those cards that you should track down from Hidden Fates as opposed to opening massive amount of packs hoping to pull one. If you’re making a thematic deck, then Starmie-GX is for you!
Expanded: 4/5 (Aqua Patch, Choice Band, and still not yet banned Archie’s Ace in the Hole can further aid in more offensive pressure!)
The runner-up in our countdown is Starmie-GX (Hidden Fates 14/68)… but we have another bonus CotD because there’s a card in Hidden Fates that works exclusively with Starmie-GX. More on that later, though. The downside of being a Pokémon-GX includes giving up an extra Prize when KO’d, cannot make use of certain beneficial effects, and it vulnerable to certain anti-GX effects. The upside is better HP than the baseline version, access to GX-support (mainly Cherish Ball), and potentially better effects. As a [W] Type, Starmie-GX is in a good place when it comes to exploiting Weakness in our [R] heavy metagame and… not much else. Being a Stage 1 isn’t as good as being a Basic, but is still functional. 190 is low for a Stage 1 Pokémon-GX, but still high enough it Starmie-GX has a decent chance of surviving a hit. [G] Weakness is one of the “less bad” Weaknesses, though that could flip if [R] decks suddenly cool down. No Resistance is the worst Resistance while a free Retreat Cost is the best; the former probably won’t matter but the latter means Starmie-GX is hard to strand.
Starmie-GX has two regular attacks, in addition to its GX-attack. The first is “Star Stream” for [W], doing 40 damage plus attaching two [W] Energy from your discard pile to one of your Pokémon. The damage would be a tad low on its own but with the Energy acceleration? It is a good deal; if this was a Basic Pokémon it would have been a great deal! [CCC] pays for “Spinning Attack”, which does 100 damage. It almost seems like a waste after Star Stream, but if you jump straight to it with Boost Energy (or similar acceleration) it is alright. Even with Weakness, it won’t OHKO a Reshiram & Charizard-GX, but Blacephalon-GX is within range. “Hydro Pump-GX” has a printed cost of [C] but does 40 damage plus another 40 for each of those [W] Energy… so you’re going to want to load it up with two to seven Energy to deal with most of the metagame.
Starmie-GX is part of a card family. None of the Staryu are worth detailing, but there are two standouts amount the Starmie. In Standard, Starmie (SM – Team Up 65/181) also has an Energy-accelerating attack, “Strange Wave”. Instead of attaching two [W] Energy from the discard pile, you can attach up to three Energy from your deck, and they can be all [W], [P], or a combination of the two. Strange Wave can only attach to Benched Pokémon, another difference… but how often would you want to attach to itself? In Expanded, Starmie (XY – Evolutions 31/108) has that useful “Space Beacon” Ability but adding two basic Energy cards from your discard pile to your hand at the cost of discarding a card from your hand may prove counterproductive, given Star Stream.
As with Onix-GX, Starmie-GX is named in two new Trainer cards, Misty’s Water Command and Misty’s Cerulean City Gym. Misty’s Command lets you move any number of [W] Energy from your Pokémon to your Gyarados, Horsea, Lapras, Magikarp, Psyduck, Starmie-GX, or Staryu. It’s a good thing working with all those other Pokémon gives us enough reason to revisit Misty’s Water Command later, because I’m not sure if you pick one of the listed Pokémon and it receives all the [W] Energy you move, or if you can freely move the [W] Energy to multiple targets. What this does mean is that you just need your Supporter-usage for the turn and Starmie-GX in play to instantly load it for Hydro Pump-GX. Not a game-winning combo, but fairly nice.
I’ll go into a little more detail in today’s bonus review, but Misty’s Cerulean City Gym only works with Starmie-GX, causing its attacks to do 40 more damage before Weakness and Resistance. That’s fantastic! Now Star Stream does 80 damage while attaching two basic Water Energy from your discard pile, and Spinning Attack now does OHKO Reshiram & Charizard-GX (plus 2HKO’s most non-Weak, unprotected targets). Hydro Pump-GX is even able to get by one less Energy, except against smaller targets since you still need at least [C] (probably filled by a [W] Energy) to attack at all. In a deck built around Starmie-GX, it is hard to imagine running something else to the exclusion of Misty’s Cerulean City Gym. It is possible, though, and while I would expect Misty’s Cerulean City Gym to be your primary Stadium, that doesn’t mean it should be your only one.
We’ve no proof that Starmie-GX is going to make for a strong, new deck. Even if it does, I expect it would be working with other cards. Exactly what, I don’t know, but there seems to be enough potential here to warrant a good Standard Format score. I say it all the time, but the Expanded Format adds more combos, more competition, and more counters; the net result is Starmie-GX being functional but likely outclassed. Don’t forget about Starmie-GX, though, sooner or later we’ll probably get something worth powering up that can’t make it on Aqua Patch alone, and where Blastoise (BW – Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW – Plasma Storm 137/135; BW – Plasma Blast 16/101) is overkill… or at least a little too much to work in a deck, even with Archie’s Ace in the Hole. Given that Starmie-GX would have access to Choice Band and Muscle Band here, it might even hit hard enough to be its own deck even in Expanded.
Starmie-GX reminds me of M Manectric-EX, and perhaps that makes me too easily impressed by the card. I had it as my second-place pick, agreeing with its site placement because it could be a nice, aggressive opener… even though you’ll have to wait a turn to Evolve into it, and its HP is on the shallow end of the (card)pool.
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