Suspicious Food Tin
– Champion’s Path
October 4, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If you’re just joining us, we’re in the middle of counting down our top 10 picks from the latest expansion, Champion’s Path. The usual rules about no reprints except those that restore something to Standard or both Standard and Expanded legality applies, but we do have one twist. There are some unranked reviews mixed in: some so that we don’t have to do multi-card reviews or dance around obvious lead-ins, and some honorable mentions now instead of at the end of the review. Suspicious Food Tin (Champion’s Path 066/073, 080/073) is an example of the latter.
Suspicious Food Tin is a Trainer-Item that allows you to heal 80 damage from one of your Pokémon that has a [P] Energy attached to it. Then, as long you healed any damage in this manner, discard a [P] Energy from the Pokémon you healed with this card’s effect. Healing is one of those aspects of the game that can be powerful or pointless. A few effects are triggered based on how much HP or damage counters, but the main purpose is to increase how many turns it takes for your opponent to KO one (sometimes more than one) of your Pokémon.
The Energy cost also matters; if you can’t get ahead a [P] Energy – it can be anything that counts as [P] while attached – you’re either sacrificing your attack or you’re not using Suspicious Food Tin that turn. It is nice that this means non-Psychic deck can use this card, so long as it can make room for some form of expendable Psychic Energy. As for the healing itself, 80 is decently sized. This is 20 more than Pokémon Center Lady or Super Potion, and two-thirds as much as Hyper Potion or Mallow & Lana. Pokémon Center Lady and Mallow & Lana are Supporters, Super Potion is Expanded-only, and Hyper Potion requires you discard two Energy cards from your Pokémon.
Assuming you survived the attack in the first place, it can erase the damage from smaller attacks and still put a dent in the damage from larger ones. Suspicious Food Tin can still be a waste, though; just because the previous attack failed to score a OHKO, doesn’t guarantee the next one will. It isn’t as easy to raise your effective damage output for the turn in a meaningful manner as it has been in some past formats, but we do still have some tricks… and your opponent may simply have a different attacker finally ready. You really need to be thinking about Pokémon that would survive a 2HKO attempt if only you healed at least close to that 80 damage. If you need to heal substantially less or more, there are other cards better suited to the task.
We have at least one possible candidate to show off what Suspicious Food Tin can do: Gardevoir V and Gardevoir VMAX, which we looked at earlier in this countdown. Some turns you may not be able to afford the Energy discard, but Gardevoir V does decent damage if it was healed that turn, and also has typical Basic Pokémon V HP. Gardevoir VMAX has a nice bit of HP and an attack which does decent damage while healing itself a little; a Suspicious Food Tin or two could really extend its lifespan. Both of these cards are [M] Weak, which is I personally didn’t include Suspicious Food Tin on my list, but for its niche, it looks “good” for Standard. Just not “great”.
In the Expanded Format, you do have a lot more healing options, as well as more healing alternatives, like bounce. I think Suspicious Food Tin may still enjoy some use here, but not as much as in Standard. In the Limited Format, if you pull this you find a way to include some Psychic Energy into whatever you’re running, or a few more than you thought you already needed. There is more room for healing plays in this Format, and you’ll almost always have the room to try this. The main reason you might not try at all is because Champion’s Path has no Pre-Releases or Pre-Release kits. Even if you want to do a different form of Limited Format play, you cannot obtain the packs individually or in booster boxes, but only through buying things like gift sets.
Going by the scores, Suspicious Food Tin probably should have made the countdown after all, though you could argue that it kind of did since my best – but still hypothetical – example of where to use it was another card from the countdown. I should also mention that I was being generous with the above scores, erring on the side of caution since I hadn’t thought too higher of the card before reviewing. Mysterious Treasure this card ain’t, though I am having to fight the urge to call it “Mysterious Food Can” thanks to an early fan translation.
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