– Cosmic Eclipse
December 13, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We end the week with Sylveon (SM Cosmic Eclipse 155/236). Before I get to the card, I wanted to share a story. So, around late October, I stopped by the hobby store to see the latest Pokémon stuff, and I saw a box of Cosmic Eclipse Prerelease Kits. I bought 14 kits while my friend bought 15. That equates to 203 packs, and to both of my and my friend’s surprise, we didn’t pull a single Sylveon card. I mean, this is just a regular rare, not a rare holo or a GX, and we still couldn’t pull one! Weeks later, various players saw me and wanted to trade their Sylveons and the other five Eevee related cards from that set to me – because they knew I was a fan of Eevee and it’s Eeveelutions – which I gladly accept. After all this time, I treasure those cards but I think I would eventually want to use Sylveon. Not because of just putting it on a deck on a whim; I believe that Sylveon can actually pull its weight, which I will get to why very soon.
Sylveon is a Fairy Type, which can exploit weakness found on XY-era Dragon Pokemon. 110 HP might be good for a regular stage 1, but that means medium sized hits can score an OHKO, even with Darkness resistance softening up the damage. Being weak to Metal isn’t a big concern, since outside of Lucario & Melmetal-GX, Metal decks aren’t seeing as much play due to ReshiZard or other fire based decks still running rampant in competitive play. The retreat cost of two is neither good or bad, but a future card will shave off two of the retreat costs; Air Balloon is a new Pokémon tool card from Sword & Shield that reduces the retreat cost by two. Moonblast costs Y for 30 damage and reduces the damage you take by 30. Even with damage reduction, you can still get OHKO by decks focusing on 2HKO thresholds, which is at least 170. No, that’s not the reason why.
The reason lies on its second attack, Beloved Pulse, which costs YCC for 80 damage, plus 80 more damage if you played a TAG TEAM Supporter card during your turn. If you can meet the condition, then 160 damage for three energy is decent value, exactly what you need to OHKO Dedenne-GX and enough to OHKO all Dragon Pokemon even if it’s HP is in Tag Team level! So far, there are only six different TAG TEAM Supporter cards, all six being inside the SM Cosmic Eclipse expansion. Taking some of Otaku’s text word by word with some thoughts:
Bellelba & Brycen-Man – Force both players to discard the top three cards from their deck. If you discard three cards from your hand, you force both players to discard down to three Benched Pokémon.
I doubt Sylveon would want to use this card as it also discard some of your resources, and you might not get some of those cards back.
Cynthia & Caitlin – Put a Supporter from your discard pile into your hand, but it can’t be Cynthia & Caitlin or something discarded for the secondary effect of this card. If you discard a card from your hand, you also draw three cards.
This card’s general usage is good. Grabbing a Supporter from the discard pile means you could retrieve a TAG TEAM Supporter card not named Cynthia & Caitlyn that you can use on your next turn.
Guzma & Hala – Add a Stadium from your deck to your hand. Discard two cards from hand to also add a Special Energy and Pokémon Tool.
This could be pretty helpful to Sylveon, since you can grab stuff that improves it. Like getting Double Colorless Energy, Choice Band, and Shrine of Punishment to fuel up the attack cost of Beloved Pulse while dealing a total of 200 damage when damage boosting effects and residual damage is factored in.
Mallow & Lana – First effect is a Switch. If you discard two cards from your hand, heal 120 damage from the Pokémon you moved from the Active position to your Bench.
You might be able to work around the switching effect. All it takes is just a Pokémon with free retreat so that the moment you play Mallow & Lana, you bring that pivot Pokémon in front and manually retreat to bring Sylveon back to the Active. Or even better, bring up Jirachi from SM Team Up with Escape Board to the Active, activate Stellar Wish, and retreat.
Misty & Lorelei – Add three [W] Energy cards from your deck to your hand. If you discard five cards from your hand and have already used your GX-attack this game, your [W] Pokémon can use their GX-attacks anyway.
As a card that is very specialized, I don’t think Sylveon would have any mileage with three water energies, and I don’t think any GX Water type Pokémon would accompany it.
Red & Blue – Search your deck for a Pokémon-GX that Evolves from your one your Pokémon in play, then play it directly onto that Pokémon. If you discard two cards from your hand, you get to search your deck for up to two basic Energy cards and attach them to the Pokémon you just Evolved.
This effect is also specialized as it demand you to have some Stage 1 or Stage 2 GX in your deck. It is possible to still play Red & Blue even if you didn’t have GX Pokemon, as it still lets you search your deck, fail the search, and shuffle your deck. This still counts as playing your TAG TEAM Supporter.
After ruling out which ones to use, ideally a Sylveon deck focused on Beloved Pulse would have 4 of Cynthia & Caitlyn, 4 Guzma & Hala, and 4 Mallow & Lana. Any Tag Team Supporter counts beyond 12 is overkill. As for the attack cost, despite Double Colorless Energy leaving for Standard format, Welder can help attach 2 Fire energies from your hand. However, you’ll miss out on playing a tag team Supporter unless you also played Lt. Surge’s Strategy. While this may not be the next big thing to watch out for, Sylveon does just enough to surprise unprepared opponents. Dragons are in OHKO range due to weakness (Naganadel-GX, Reshiram/Zekrom). Even Blacephalon-GX and other 180 HP GX Pokemon is at risk of an OHKO when Fine Band and Shrine of Punishment comes into play.
There’s even more cards to work with in Expanded, mostly Energy Evolution Eevee, Triple Effect Eeveelutions from XY Ancient Origins, Muscle Band, and Double Colorless Energy, as well as more smaller targets to OHKO. In Limited, this might be a good pull unless you didn’t pull any Tag Team Supporter cards. But you won’t get to use Beloved Pulse until two turns later due to manual attachments.
Having to maintain the bonus damage output by playing certain cards every other turn may keep Sylveon from having a serious presence in the format, but it does enough damage to reach certain threshold to become a threat against few decks and can have a good chance of winning. Which is good news for Sylveon fans like myself as previous Stage 1 non-GX Sylveon cards have been pretty disappointing. I am also flabbergasted that Sylveon in Sword & Shield can learn Mystical Fire and Magical Leaf via Technical Machine in the games!
Note: And I wrote my late Drampa review that I missed last week.
We close this week with Sylveon (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 155/236), and our final Eeveelution for the week. Other than evolving from Eevee, there’s nothing to connect this card to it’s three set-mates we reviewed earlier this week. Sylveon is a [Y] Type; all [N] Pokémon in the Standard Format are [Y] Weak and nothing is [Y] Resistant, plus there are some strong pieces of [Y] support such as the Fairy Charm series of Tools. Being a Stage 1 is okay; being a Basic is best but at least this isn’t as painful as trying to run a Stage 2 and hey… Sylveon is only worth one Prize. 110 HP is still a probable OHKO, but at least it isn’t super fragile. [M] Weakness isn’t great, but neither is it particularly bad at the moment. The [D] Resistance is appreciated, though it probably isn’t going to come in handy all that often. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can pay it, but you’ll really wish you didn’t have to.
Sylveon has two attacks. “Moonblast” costs [Y] and does 30 damage, while placing an effect on the Defending Pokémon so that it’s attacks do 30 less damage (before Weakness and Resistance). [YCC] pays for “Beloved Pulse”, which does 80 damage unless you played a TAG TEAM Supporter from your hand that turn, in which case it does 160 damage. Moon Blast is decent for a quick, opening attack that might buy you a little time, while Beloved Pulse makes you Choice Band and Professor Kukui, as 160 falls short of OHKOing any Pokémon-GX bigger than Dedenne-GX. It is still enough to OHKO most (still not all) single Prize Pokémon and 2HKO everything else, barring protective effects.
One issue is fueling Beloved Pulse quickly while also having your Supporter for the turn available for a TAG TEAM Supporter. None accelerate Energy, though Guzma & Hala can snag Triple Acceleration Energy for you from your deck, to cover the [CC] from the cost. You’ll just have to have attached a [Y] Energy from hand that turn, or else be behind in Prizes and use Lt. Surge’s Strategy. If you do, then you could use Mina (to cover the [Y] in the cost) or Welder (to cover the [CC] with basic Fire Energy), with your manual Energy attachment covering the remaining cost. While still having a Supporter usage left for a TAG TEAM Supporter.
At a glance, I don’t think I really processed how difficult it is to power up Sylveon in a single turn while still using a TAG TEAM Supporter. At least, it is in Standard. In Expanded, you could use Max Elixir to try for a basic Fairy Energy and then manually attach Double Colorless Energy. You also have better Bench-sitters to provide supplemental draw power, because most TAG TEAM Supporters don’t draw cards and none draw a lot. Oh, and those damage buffs I mentioned are all legal here. For the Limited Format, Sylveon is a good pull. Even without a TAG TEAM Supporter, the stats and the two attacks are decent. With a TAG TEAM Supporter, its vicious!
Sylveon looked a lot more impressive before I really thought it through; a single Prize attacker that can do 160 is useful but only if you can either power it up quickly or somehow keep it alive while building it slowly. Neither seems to apply here. Maybe in Expanded, however.
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