– Forbidden Light
May 8, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Our number nine pick for this set is…………………….Yancy (SM Forbidden Light 87/131), a card in which I had this as my top pick. The reason for that is extreme favoritism; I’ve instantly liked this Pokémon the moment it was revealed; An extremely cute Eeveelution that can unflinchingly take on Dragon Pokemon that are much bigger than herself. For those wondering what cards that I’m holding in my profile picture, it is Sylveon XY Furious Fists, Sylveon EX (XY Generations/Radiant Collection), Full Art Sylveon EX, Sylveon GX (SM Guardians Rising), and Secret Rare Sylveon GX. I do not expect any Sylveon card to make any top 10 list unless they are decent or truly good, but this is the second time that I tried to manipulate voting points, the first being Sylveon-GX on top 10 cards of 2017, and second, this one. I cannot seem to leave it off from my personal list when it’s in an expansion or a Promo unless such a card is truly bad.
However, I’m not going to sugarcoat it any further; I have to take this review seriously on the competitive point of view. Sylveon is the first non-GX Eeveelution to come out in the Sun & Moon TCG series, which might be easier for me to get a playset as opposed to their GX counterparts (though a regular Rare says otherwise, I’ve only pulled 2 of them from a booster box that I’ve opened today). Being a Stage 1 means waiting a turn outside of Wally or Eevee with Energy Evolution Ability to evolve. Fairy types can only hit XY-era dragon types for double damage. 90 HP won’t seem much, but allows Level Ball to search for her (which would clash against Energy Evolution, unfortunately). Being weak to Metal isn’t surprising, as some popular Metal Pokemon can either OHKO while having additional effect or straight up overkill. Resisting Dark Pokemon might be useful, but raw damage can still OHKO even with resistance if the damage is 110 or higher. And a retreat cost of one is easy to pay.
Sylveon has no Abilities but two attacks. I’ll get the second one out of the way because it isn’t as exciting as the first one. Magical Shot does 40 damage for YC. Even if you put in the pieces in hopes of dealing significant damage, you are investing too much. Choice Band (SM Guardians Rising 121/145, SM Burning Shadows 162/147), Professor Kukui (Sun & Moon 128/149, 148/149), Vaporeon (XY Ancient Origins 22/98), Jolteon (XY Ancient Origins 26/98), and Flareon (XY Ancient Origins 13/98) comes to mind, whether it be exploiting weakness or doing more damage against specific Pokemon. Her first attack, Wink Wink, costs C and you get to look at your opponent’s hand. You discard a Supporter card that you find from your opponent’s hand and use that effect of that Supporter card as the effect of this attack. If your opponent has no Supporter cards in their hand, then this attack does nothing. Wink Wink can fail if the Defending Pokemon is protected with the quotes: “Prevent all effects of attacks…”, even if the effect came from a Supporter card. Not common but worth noting.
This is a disruptive attack that’s actually a double-edged sword. The things that a Supporter card would do is extremely vast. Taking it away from your opponent, however, is even better because that would leave your opponent with little to do. It’s one of those moments where you get to use two Supporters in one turn; one is from you and the other is from your opponent. There are some Supporter effects that you would and would not want to happen when you use this attack. Ideally, you would like to use Sycamore to discard your hand and draw seven cards. You would even use N to disrupt your opponent’s hand which refreshing your hand. Cynthia also refreshes your hand. Guzma can switch both Active Pokemon unless either one of you don’t have any Benched Pokemon. Team Flare Grunt and Team Skull Grunt (yes, I still see them at PTCGO) can leave your opponent energyless. Hex Maniac can shut down your opponent’s Abilities. And much much more! Some Supporter cards that you DON’T want to use is Acerola, AZ, or other bounce cards, for the unfortunate moment where Sylveon is your only Pokemon in play, because that will cause you to lose the game. Not that it happens often enough, but that’s something you should be aware of. If you can’t make use of the effect, then do as much as you can. Even the ruling states to do as much as you can if you cannot fulfill what the Supporter card does. Volkner, for example, fetches a basic Lightning energy and an item card. But if you can’t get a basic Lightning energy but can get the item, then you’ll just get an item card. And one more thing! If you find a Prism Star Supporter card and you decide to use it, then your opponent would have to put their card in the Lost Zone!
Being an Eeveelution is a pretty big deal when it comes to reviews, because Eevee in the TCG can evolve into 100+ kinds cards related to Eeveelutions, if you’re counting the entire TCG history, thus making it harder to list them all, even Expanded. The bottom line is that Wink Wink costs a single Colorless Energy, making it fit in any deck, but because you can have only 4 Eevee in your deck, the evolutions are running out of space; you can only have four different Eeveelutions in play. Glaceon and Vaporeon, however, can be exempt by using Archie’s Ace in the Hole to skip the Eevee under it. However, I find this card useful in a Sylveon-GX deck, mostly because it is part of a disruption deck. Any other Eeveelution decks won’t need this sort of feature. So what do I think about today’s card? This card has the potential to be good in certain decks, and she has the speed to be brought into play. The tricky part would be to alternate between Wink Wink and Magical Ribbon from Sylveon-GX to either disrupt your opponent or getting the right cards. In Limited, there is no Eevee in this set unfortunately. If there was one, it’ll still not good enough to be used in Limited.
Standard: 5/5 (Oh shoot! Here I go again…)
Conclusion: With Eevee’s Energy Evolution and Wink Wink, the real letdown is Magical Shot. Maybe if she had an ability as well as Wink Wink doing some damage (even 10 would do), then it’s usefulness will likely spike. But as it stands, she’s good for only one type of deck. If I were to rank this seriously, she wouldn’t be on the list, let alone number one.
Sylveon earned 58 voting points, tying with yesterday’s card: Mysterious Treasure. Tomorrow’s card has 7 more points than today’s card. Perhaps there’s even more important cards to consider or watch out for.
Sylveon (FLI 87) makes its debut out of the Forbidden Light expansion set as the first non GX Eeveelution card in the Sun & Moon epoch. It has two attacks, the first of which is really the only one worth discussing. Wink Wink, for a single Colorless energy, forces your opponent to reveal their hand. If you find a Supporter card in their hand, you may choose to use that card as the effect of this attack. Meaning, if your opponent has a Guzma in hand, you get to use the Guzma. If they have a Sycamore, if you want, you can dump everything in your hand and draw seven cards. Perhaps the best part of this attack: if you choose to use it, your opponent must discard that card from their hand and will not be able to use it during their next turn.
Wink Wink has potential as a disruptive element to an archetype, but is it really worth it? Is it better than Magical Ribbon? Is it worth running more than 1 non GX Sylveon in a decklist? What if your opponent has a Sycamore in hand? What if your opponent has no Supporter card in hand but does have a Lele? There’s an unquantifiable amount of nebulousness around this card. I did play a few games with Sylveon GX to test this out – I’ve been thinking about adapting Sylveon into more of a fighting, aggressive build to counter all of the Ultra Necrozma GX that I’m sure we’ll be seeing soon, so I teched this in as a one of into a quad Sylveon single Gardevoir build. I won a couple and lost a couple but never once chose to go to the non GX Sylveon on turn 1. I just really felt like I wanted Magical Ribbon over Wink Wink. I’m going to have to force myself to do it at one point, but really the biggest factor is that Wink Wink may or may not get me a second Sylveon down on the board. Magical Ribbon (unless I get N’d) is guaranteed to get me a turn 2 Eevee down on the bench (maybe not evolved into a Sylveon GX, but at least the Basic will be down). That’s really one of the foundational tenets of the Sylveon archetype: you’ve got to get more Eevees / Sylveon GX’s down on your bench ASAP. If you only keep a single Sylveon GX out up top, you are just asking to get a surprise KO that will put you out of the game early. The idea of only a 90 HP Pokemon all by itself, exposed to a potentially easy KO really scared me off the non GX Sylveon, and I was focused on winning more than just testing out a new card. And that’s probably a bad thing, a mistake on my part, I should have taken some chances for the sake of this review. However, it seemed very clear to me when I had a chance to evolve the non GX Sylveon, it seemed like the clear choice was to go with the GX version. But again I could be wrong, I didn’t actually have the guts to try it.
Standard: 2 out of 5
I actually came across a Fairy box deck yesterday, and this might fit in to that sort of build, but I think that the GX Sylveon is still the superior choice over the non GX Sylveon.
Oh here we go again… Another Eeveelution card. Guess we’ll need to contend with them always pouring out every other set, will we? (I know Burning Shadows and Crimson Invasion doesn’t have Eeveelution cards so let’s gloss that)
Sylveon here is the first Eeveelution card to be released as a non-GX in the Sun and Moon block, or era, of the Pokemon Trading Card Game. Being a Fairy type with 90 HP, it is safe to assume that it is meant as a starting Pokemon. Although its Stage 1 status suggests otherwise, do remember that we still have the Energy Evolution Eevee (SM Base) that allows Eevee to jumpstart evolution delay turns and become an Eeveelution immediately. A retreat cost of 1 is as fine as it gets, as it can just retreat with the newfound energy it used to evolve. Having a 2 energy cost to retreat may be too much as a set up Pokemon, and having a free retreat is too broken anyway. A weakness to Metal is irrelevant as you only have 90 HP and a resistance to Dark by 20 damage may seem relevant nowadays as you can duel with Zoroark-GX decks better by effectively having 110 HP when facing said fox.
What makes Sylveon a powerful set up Pokemon? Its thanks to its one attack, Wink Wink. For a very cheap 1 Colorless energy, which can be from the Fairy Energy it used to evolve into Sylveon or any energy thanks to it being a Colorless move, it looks at your opponent’s hand, search for a Supporter card there and use it as this attack. This is a brilliant attack that reminds me a lot of one card – Smeargle (HGSS Undaunted) with its Poke-Power, Portrait. This “ability” Smeargle has is perfectly similar to Wink Wink, but the main difference is that Smeargle doesn’t need to use up a turn and can use this ability multiple times as you see fit, provided you had more than 1 Smeargle in play.
This move and this Poke-Power are very similar and good for two reasons. One, it looks at your opponent’s hand. This allows you to gain extra information about your opponent’s deck, such as possible techs so you can leeway your win around it knowing there will be at least a counterplay trap card. Two, it gives you up to 2 Supporter cards that can be used in a single turn. We all know that Supporter cards are quite busted if you can use multiple times in a row. Getting extreme draw power by virtue of using an opponent’s Cynthia or a Professor Sycamore and also getting field effects Supporters such as a Brigette, Acerola, Skyla, Professor Kukui or a Guzma can help you and haze your opponent’s strategy at the same time. In Expanded we also have Team Plasma’s Magnezone (BW PLS) which has the Dual Brains ability that allows you to play 2 Supporters in a single turn. Combined with Wink Wink, you can play 3 Supporters in a single turn, something unheard of since the Portrait-switching days long gone from tournament physical play yet still remains in the online-first Legacy format. However, this can backfire badly in your face when used incorrectly, such as when you use Professor Sycamore when its the only Supporter in your opponents’ hand and you only have 7 cards left in deck. That hurts. Also since this is an attack, its immune to ability lock making this semi-reliable technique much appealing. Item discards are also significantly reduced as you don’t necessarily need to search a Tapu Lele-GX anymore to use a certain Supporter if your opponent has that said card in hand.
If this card has any weaknesses, it has to be that it is a true one trick pony. It does have a second attack in Magical Shot that deals 40 damage for YC. This could be a last resort attack when combined with Counter Energy (SM CRI), dealing 70 damage with a Choice Band and when you are ahead of prizes resorted back to Wink Wink but most of the time it isn’t worth investing in. Wink Wink is also too slow, using up a turn where you can use it to attack with a Pokemon to take a prize instead unlike the old Smeargle where you can use 2 or more Supporters and still attack in the same turn. And as said before, this attack can backfire on you if they had a Supporter you don’t want to use, and you have to use it. Not saying it will happen every time, but these scenarios will arise now and then.
Sylveon from Forbidden Light seems to be a very interesting card with gleaming potential and a strong setup. However, with a huge backfire cost and a no offensive potential does let it down a bit, and so it has to stay at number 9 on our list. Not my list though – its too risky a card and there are better set up Pokemon.
Appearing on three reviewers’ personal lists is our 9th place finisher, Sylveon (SM – Forbidden Light 87/131), which earned 58 voting points like yesterday’s 10th place Mysterious Treasure (the tie was broken via dice roll) but fell short of our 8th place finisher by 7 voting points. I had Sylveon as my 7th place pick, so… why? Sylveon is one of those cards that laughs at my typical review style because so many aspects of it bleed over into others. It is an Eeveelution, which is highly relevant not only because it both combos and competes with other Eeveelutions in your deck, but because Eevee (Sun & Moon 101/149) has the Ability “Energy Evolution”, allowing Sylveon to his the field even on a player’s first turn and saving you the hassle of drawing into or searching out Sylveon. This eliminates (or at least, greatly reduces) many of the drawbacks of being a Stage 1. Being a [Y] Type matters not only for accessing bits of support, not only for punishing most [N] Types but because basic Fair Energy is able to trigger Energy Evolution.
Due to time constraints, I’m going to have to gloss over most of this card; the reason I rated it so highly was because it reminded me of Smeargle (HS – Undaunted 8/90; Call of Legends 21/95), but it definitely isn’t as good as a Basic using a non-attack effect to fake a second Supporter per turn. Sylveon does to one thing better than Smeargle with its “Wink Wink” attack; you may choose a Supporter, so if your opponent has something you do not want to use, you don’t have to choose it. Unless you’re running a Fairy Deck that needs to use a different attack early game, I’m thinking Sylveon is a must run. It might even help mid-to-late game with a little luck. That said, this is only for Fairy Energy using decks, so I probably rated it too highly for the countdown.
Update: Now that I am in a position to complete this review, I find there isn’t much worth adding other than scores. The above mostly applies to the Standard Format, but even there Sylveon won’t be run in every Fairy Energy using deck, let alone every deck. For the Expanded Format, reading the metagame will become even more important; if Item-lock (as an example) surges so that Supporters are played more heavily, Sylveon would be welcome in compatible decks. There may even be some nice specialty decks as Sylveon gains access to potent cards of the past. If most decks are relying heavily on VS Seeker, Shaymin-EX (XY – Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108), etc. then Wink Wink is a bit too likely to “whiff whiff.”
Speaking of whiffing, there’s no Eeve in SM – Forbidden Light, so unless they are in the Evolution Pack (those still a thing?) that they started including in Limited Format events for Prereleases or you’re doing an event that mixes packs from different expansions, Sylveon is a dead card. If either of those two exceptions apply, then Wink Wink is amazing when it works, but usually is just kind of valuable for seeing your opponent’s hand, and Sylveon itself is just an alright 90 HP Stage 1 that can do 40 for [YC] with its second attack. Finally, let me be clear that I have not had a chance to test this out, nor do I have the results of other players to guide me; regrettably, this is still Theorymon.
Limited: 1/5 (No Eevee)
Nudge nudge, say no more?
…that’ll make sense in a couple seconds.
Sylveon is a Stage 1 Fairy Pokemon, 90 HP, with a Metal Weakness, a Dark Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 1. Her first attack, Wink Wink – see now you get it – costs 1 Energy and reveals your opponent’s hand, letting you discard a Supporter from there to use as the effect of this attack. Magical Shot is then a 2-for-40 vanilla strike.
All things considered, Sylveon didn’t really strike me as that amazing, but let’s start with the positives. Wink Wink is the reason you play Sylveon, and considering the potential for her effect, you could be increasing the gap between your opponent and yourself by taking advantage of their set-up options for yourself. Discarding a card like Cynthia would immediately put you in a better spot than it would your opponent, and it could be the difference between an amazing game and a lousy one.
But I find there to be some glaring issues with being reliant on Wink Wink. First off, you’re at the mercy of what actually is in your opponent’s hand. Assuming they hadn’t used up every Supporter they’ve got – cause that can happen – what are the best ones to hit? Cynthia is one option, but your opponent will likely have played theirs during their turn, so unless they draw a second one, that’s not that great. Guzma could work, letting you pull up one of their Bench-sitters and rotating Sylveon out of the Active slot…assuming you both have Bench-sitters naturally, but why wouldn’t you really? Acerola…could honestly be a dud. And that’s just some of the more commonly played Supporters! That being said, even if you end up with a dud on your Supporter pick, you do still discard the Supporter you want, and you get information from your opponent’s hand, so there’s disruption and some useful info for later!
Do I think Sylveon’s that good? Well it didn’t make my list, so you tell me on that. I do think Sylveon could see play, but I don’t think it’s going to be as high impact as some people think it’s going to be. I’ve gone through a few popular options as to what could get hit, and I didn’t even mention how the lack of an attack if you’re going first could impact the move. Overall, Sylveon has potential, certainly, but it’s going to depend strongly on what the opponent is running, and that’s just not always feasible.
Not to mention you’re bound to whiff every now and again.
Standard: 3/5 (certainly has a good enough power to utilize)
Expanded: 3.5/5 (but I don’t think it’s going to be too crazy)
Limited: 3/5 (though there are some good Supporters to hit in the set)
Arora Notealus: Ultimately Sylveon’s impact will depend on what’s going around in the format, what your opponent is playing, how many they’re playing of each Supporter, and if they end up with one or two stuck in their hand. It’s got potential, but I don’t think it has #9 on the Top 10 list status personally.
Side Reviews: Shaymin – speaking of high potential, low impact cards, both Shaymin are in this same position. Bringing out a lot of Pokemon from the deck is certainly a big deal, but depending on what decks they’re in, Shaymin could be really good or just a bit redundant. Not to mention the halt to the attack on the first turn has never been too kind to “Call for Family” style attacks.
Rampardos – Fossil Pokemon continue to remain in a weird spot, and I wish that we were able to review one of the newer ones before I got to Rampardos again. They’re becoming stronger and stronger, which is great and all, makes them more appealing, but there hasn’t been a clear cut way of making them ultimately more consistent. Rampardos, like many Fossil Pokemon, will need a way to get brought out quickly and efficiently if it’s going to see any level of play – cause at some point, if he can, he may make a great impact!
Volkner – I don’t know how many Lightning decks play Volkner, but considering a lot of the meta centers around the Buzzwole and Zoroark decks, it’s probably not surprising to see Lightning decks go by the wayside. It’s nothing of fault, really; it’s just that Zoroark-GX is very powerful, Buzzwole-GX makes for a great counter, and most decks need to have a means of powering themselves up to match them. Volkner can provide this for Lightning decks, but I imagine most will want a Cynthia for more cards rather than an Item and an Energy.
Next Time: Powering up to the maximum is hefty!
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