– Sword and Shield
July 2, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This week’s Throwback is Switch, originally released in Base Set and has since received multiple prints, perhaps more than I can count. And looking at all the releases, Switch has not left rotation…at all. Seems like the format needs an important iconic card to remain Standard legal. Switch has a simple effect, but it has a lot of reasons why players would want to use it. What it does is to switch your Active Pokemon with one of your Benched Pokemon. This can be very helpful if:
-your Active Pokemon is on the brink of being KOed, possibly denying your opponent prize cards.
-your Active Pokemon is stuck in front due to high retreat costs. Depending on the format, not many can accommodate retreat costs of CCC or CCCC.
-your Active Pokemon just used up an Ability that requires said Pokemon to be on the Active spot and have no decent attacks. (Such as Stellar Wish Jirachi)
-you don’t want an Ability – that works on the Active Spot – that hinders your board control. (Such as Wobbuffet’s PHF Bide Barricade’s ability).
-your Active Pokemon is affected by Special Conditions such as Paralysis and Sleep, both which prevents you from attacking or retreating. Some of the decks whose strategy is to Paralyze every turn includes Accelgor’s Deck & Cover and others.
Even though Switch has been Standard legal for every season, there has been other cards that competes with Switch that has higher utility than Switch itself. Cards ranging from Skyarrow Bridge, Keldeo-EX, Scramble Switch, and Float Stone, to Solgaleo-GX’s Ultra Road, Guzma, Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX and Air Balloon, it made some sense not to run Switch since you could use some features multiple times. However, each competition has their own different weakness than Switch has. Skyarrow Bridge only shaves retreat cost by only one energy for Basic Pokémon, and as a Stadium card, it risks getting removed. Keldeo-EX/Float Stone combo is a force to be reckoned with, letting you switch your Active Pokemon with Keldeo-EX, and Keldeo-EX can retreat for free due to Float Stone. But that combo runs the risk of Ability denial (Garbodor’s Garbotoxin and Power Plant), tool removal (Tool Scrapper is in both Standard and Expanded), and that Keldeo-EX is worth 2 prizes if it’s Knocked Out (can be OHKOed even with 170 HP). Scramble Switch is an upgraded Switch, letting you not only switch your Active Pokemon with one of your Benched Pokemon, but also move any energy from that previous Pokemon to the new Active Pokemon. While this could have replaced Switch, Scramble Switch is an Ace Spec Card which your deck is only allowed only one in your deck, meaning you give up opportunities of using other Ace Spec cards such as Dowsing Machine and/or Computer Search! Guzma acts like both Switch and Gust of Wind, but uses up your Supporter for the turn.
Even though such two-card combo exists to outclass Switch utterly, the fact of the matter is getting those cards in your hand and making sure you deal with certain obstacles that keeps you from using such combos. Switch is actually efficient, even though it’s a one and done deal, sometimes that single Switch is all you need to turn things around. That’s why Keldeo-EX/Float Stone or Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX/Air Balloon isn’t in every deck due to those shortcomings despite being able to switch multiple times. As such, Switch’s competitive usage is probably extremely high as before, with or without competition (just look at several World Championship decks that uses Switch). With Boss’s Orders threatening to grab something of yours that you don’t want in front, Switch is a good counterstrategy to undo some of the work Giovanni does (unless your Pokemon is KOed of course).
This is hard for me to score because Switch has been around from the very beginning and is always an option when you need it. I know I have included some copies of Switch to finish building my deck, though some of my other decks made my Switch become the 61st card.
5 out of 5 in all categories. (Standard, Expanded, Limited, Theme, and Legacy)
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