Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX
– Sun & Moon Promos
January 3, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We close the week with Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX (SM – Black Star Promos SM). This promo released back in October, when it would have been a lot more seasonal, but we’re just getting around to reviewing it now. Being a TAG TEAM Pokémon comes with all the pros and cons of being a Pokémon-GX, but with added TAG TEAM support and giving up three Prizes when KO’d, instead of just one or two. The [P] Typing is handy for striking Weakness against fellot TAG TEAM Mewtwo & Mew-GX, plus access to cards like Mysterious Treasure and Spell Tag. Being a Basic makes the whole thing easy to run and to put into play. Having 270 HP makes it a tricky (but not impossible) OHKO. The [D] Weakness important because it is not [P] Weakness. The [F] Resistance is appreciated, but I haven’t seen a lot of decks with [F] Type attackers finishing well at recent events. A Retreat Cost of [CCC] is a pain to pay.
Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX has one regular attack and one GX-attack. The former is “Night Watch”, priced at [PPP] and doing 150 damage, plus you select two cards from your opponent’s hand. Your opponent reveals the selected cards to you before shuffling them into their deck. The damage is a tad low for this much Energy on a Pokémon-GX, but I think the hand disruption makes up for it. You should still be able to 2HKO anything, at least before Resistance, defensive buffs, etc. For [PC], Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX can attack using “Pale Moon-GX”, which places an effect on the Defending Pokémon (your opponent’s Active at the moment of attacking), an effect which automatically KO’s it at the end of your opponent’s next turn. If you have at least one extra [P] Energy attached, Pale Moon-GX also discards all Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokémon. I’m pretty sure your opponent can shake the KO-effect of Pale Moon-GX by simply retreating, Evolving, etc. but if you can wreck sufficiently wreck your opponent’s hand first through Night Watch, it might stick.
As is often the case, we’re looking at Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX because it has already been performing well, specifically in Malamar (SM – Forbidden Light 51/131; SM – Black Star Promos SM117; Shiny Vault SV18/SV94) decks. These decks can easily cover the attack costs, and that means you can attempt to go for a stream of 2HKO’s (OHKO’s against [P] Weak Types) while constantly messing with your opponent’s hand. Will that be a good idea every game? Probably not, but the lists I’m seeing only include one or two copies. I also suspect being anti-Mewtwo & Mew-GX is a big selling factor as well; one-shotting them while also messing with their player’s hand, but not being an easy OHKO right back.
I’ve no results for Expanded after this card became legal; I didn’t think Malamar decks were big there, so I doubt this would see any competitive play. Plus, Zoroark-GX is still a solid card, and with a reasonable setup it OHKO’s Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX thanks to the [D] Weakness that helped the duo out in Standard. As a promo, it isn’t legal for Limited Format play, either. If it were, it’d be strong enough to build a +39 (a.k.a. Mulligan) style deck around it.
Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX is a promo card that made good. It isn’t a must-own card, but if you’ve got a Malamar deck, it is a solid addition to your arsenal.
Probably one of the most out there cards to hit the competitive scene, but certainly not unwelcome! It’s a promo card that ends up as today’s card, and it’s a doozy!
Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX is a Basic Psychic Pokemon Tag Team-GX, 270 HP, with a Dark Weakness, a Fighting Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 3. Night Watch is a pretty powerful attack, a 3-for-150 that lets you pick 2 random cards from your opponent’s hand to put back in their deck, though they reveal them before doing so. Then there’s Pale Moon-GX, a 2-Energy move that will KO the Defending Pokemon at the end of your opponent’s turn, with an extra Psychic Energy helping to get rid of all their Energy.
To me at least, Night Watch is the attack to…well, watch out for. Removing 2 cards from your opponent’s hand can be pretty devastating, if Jessie & James had anything to say about that, and while there hasn’t been a use in something like Pidgeotto Control for that, the card did find its way into Malamar decks at San Diego, where it would help out alongside Giratina to control the board until you could power up Garchomp & Giratina-GX enough to sweep through the board at that point. It definitely helps that Malamar can power up Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX pretty handily.
The highest up it got at San Diego was about 5th place, falling short of ADP Keldeo, a more pure Garchomp & Giratina-GX deck, and even a Lucario & Melmetal-GX deck oddly enough. But there were plenty of Malamar-Giratina decks around to make a showing, and there was even a deck that worked Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX with Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX! So keep an eye out for the trees, cause the trees may be looking back…
Standard: 4/5 (a solid showing in favor of this card, and possibly in its future as well)
Expanded: 3/5 (I think it’s a got stiffer competition in this format, but it could work out possibly in a certain deck here)
Limited: N/A (naturally as a promo, this doesn’t have a set to play with!)
Arora Notealus: Trevenant & Dusknoir-GX showcases a really big part of the game – the promo cards – and how they can shift the game about with their inclusion. Usually the promo cards are nothing to write home about, but here is another great example that lets you see just how powerful a promo card can be even in the midst of the shifting metagame. Though admittedly it would have been more amazing if we had access to that sweet Secret art they have in Japan! Seriously, when are those arts coming?
Weekend Thought: Hope the new year is already treating you well! Are you glad to be done with another year of Pokemon? Excited for the year to come? What were your thoughts about the Tag Team GX that showed up this year? Do you miss anything from 2018 and beyond? Or are you out with the old and in with the new?
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