– Lost Thunder
January 2, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Whitney is a Supporter card that draws one card, plus two more cards for each Whitney in your discard pile, excluding the one you’ve just played. So that means:
0 Whitney in discard: 1 card
1 Whitney in discard: 3 cards
2 Whitney in discard: 5 cards
3 Whitney in discard: 7 cards
She has the potential to be very good, even dethroning Professor Sycamore! In fact, she could be one of the big draw supporters. Sure, it takes a while in Standard before you eventually get to draw that many cards. But for Expanded?! With Battle Compressor, you can put three Whitney from the deck into the discard pile. This can get your fourth Whitney to draw 7 cards and you’ve got VS Seeker to get back one of your Whitney and continuing reaping the maximum benefit.
Sorry Sycamore and Juniper! You had your days of being awesome, but we now have someone who draws a similar amount of cards without the drawback of discarding your hand. You are not obsolete, however, as there are some decks that favors cards to be in the discard, but for those that can’t bear the cost, Whitney has them covered. In Limited, this is a must run if you’ve pulled a couple of those.
Standard: 2.25/5 (You won’t have many opportunities to pull the vaunted draw 7)
Expanded: 4.75/5 (But with VS Seeker and Battle Compressor?! Then drawing seven without drawbacks seems more realistic!)
Limited: 5/5 (Draw power is always welcome here, a definite must run)
Notes: Whitney won’t do much for Miltank, but she get to be possibly one of the best draw Supporters……..at least in Expanded.
Whitney (LOT 193) debuts in the Pokemon TCG out of the Lost Thunder expansion set. This Supporter allows you to draw one card.
And that’s why most of us haven’t given Whitney the time of day in our decklists.
In fairness, Whitney gives us one card, then three cards, then five cards, and, finally, seven cards… if you have the other three Whitneys in the discard pile.
And don’t get me wrong: drawing seven cards without having to shuffle or discard is pretty awesome. I’ve actually tried Whitney a couple of times, and I’ve gotten to straight up draw seven cards with her a couple of times. And then you can even potentially use Pal Pad to pull a Whitney out and potentially straight draw seven cards again.
The problem with Whitney is this: PTCGO is a very front loaded game. We all hit that concede button early on if we have a bad matchup or if we get a Greninja hand to start the game. Many PTCGO games are over within a couple of turns, whereas players would have slugged through those matches at least a little longer had it been IRL.
Whitney will be great for draw support late in the game. The problem is, she’s terrible the first time you get her in your hand. Maybe if you have Magcargo on your bench she’s possibly acceptable, but honestly, this card is worse than Hau the first time you play it and no better than Hau the second time… and we all know how great Hau is (only in Unown Hand could that card see any use).
Standard: 2 out of 5
Now, in expanded, she potentially could see a little more play. With Battle Compressor and VS Seeker, she could potentially get you seven cards without discarding or shuffling on a pretty consistent basis. But in Standard, we just don’t have that same consistency, and Whitney falls to the back of the line because she will only hurt you early in the game.
Whitney (SM – Lost Thunder 193/214, 214/214) is a Trainer-Supporter who draws one card, then draws another two for each copy of Whitney in your discard pile. Seems like a fairly simple concept, right? Whitney can draw one card, three cards, five cards or seven cards all depending on how many additional copies of her are in your discard pile. It is highly unlikely but plausible you could even find yourself in a situation where drawing just one card is desirable, but what we’re really after are those third and fourth uses. Even the second use isn’t that impressive when you consider you could just run Cheren, Tierno, or Hau and reliably draw three. You’re only averaging four cards per draw for saddling yourself with not only one terrible and one underwhelming Supporter usage, but likely at the times you can least afford it: early game setup. Simple combos, though, like discarding a copy of Whitney for Ultra Ball or Zoroark-GX’s “Trade” Ability let you up that average to five cards per copy BUT now you’re running a Supporter just as discard fodder. Use something like PalPad, and you can even recycle a Whitney or two, once the others are in your discard pile. That means not only can you enjoy the larger draws, but you’ll be able to use them more times.
Yet that hasn’t been happening in the competitive scene, at least from what I can tell. Not even in the Expanded Format, where instead of hoping a Whitney shows up at the right time to be discarded, you can just toss them into your discard pile with a copy of Battle Compressor. It should get even better; you can also use VS Seeker to recycle a single Whitney at a time; just these two Items alone could enable up to five uses of Whitney, with each drawing seven cards. That assumes no copies of Whitney are in your Prizes, of course, or that your opponent isn’t running a form of Item-lock. You’ll also notice we’ve suddenly gotten a lot of cards involved to make Whitney’s draw power extra potent. Even cards we would likely already be included in a deck are a concern because if we already are running them, that means we were already using them for other purposes. If Battle Compressor is tossing Whitney into the discard pile, it isn’t tossing the Pokémon or Energy or whatever else it was already intended to discard. Which is probably why I cannot find any decks using Whitney that also finished well at a major event.
Yes, my usual caveat of “The results available have gaps.” applies, but the only place I think I’ve encountered Whitney being used – though she was being used well – has been PTCGO matches where my opponent had an Unown (SM – Lost Thunder 91/214) deck. She does enable a significant hand-size spike, especially if you can play her twice in one turn thanks to something like Magnezone (BW – Plasma Storm 46/135) and its “Dual Brains” Ability. Even if that was a Standard Format legal option – and it definitely is not – it wouldn’t be enough to significantly increase Whitney’s overall usefulness, which means it isn’t enough to seriously raise her score for that Format or the one where the combo is actually legal (Expanded). In the Limited Format, the good news is you’re not bound by the 4-Copy Rule, so if you manage to pull five or six copies of Whitney, you can run them all. Decks are also 40 cards instead of 60, and usually scant on Supporters and draw power, so whatever you pull is welcome. Even with those considerations, though, she’s underwhelming. In fact, if you pull only one or two copies of Whitney, I’d be inclined to just leave her out of your deck entirely. Even with three or more, remember you’re probably going to have to play that first copy to draw only a single card.
I won’t be scoring for it, but I’ll also mention how useful Whitney is from an analytical standpoint. How so? Though I know so little about the true state of the current Unlimited Format, having not played it for at least a decade now owing to a lack of a good way of testing for it, I still remember some of the cards that helped “break” it back when I was still at least dabbling. In fact, these cards were pretty infamous while they were Standard-legal many, many years ago: Porygon2 (DP – Great Encounters 49/106) and Sableye (DP – Stormfront 48/100). Porygon2 has a Poké-Power (similar to an Ability) called “Download” which allows you to discard a Supporter from your hand so that Download can copy its effect. Sableye has multiple things going for it, but we’re interested in its “Impersonate” attack for  that let it search your deck for a Supporter, discard it, then copy that Supporters effect. Clearly, something like these would help Whitney… but I just said these are part of what messed-up the Unlimited Format over 10 years ago. While Impersonate wasn’t part of that, Download was (and probably still is). Which means “broken” cards still work better with something else.
I really like the concept behind Whitney but either they started her minimal draw too low or the current cardpool cannot do her justice. If Hau isn’t cutting it at a reliable three cards, you’d think Whitney could have started out drawing a reliable two cards and still been safe, but maybe not. It is also still possible a future release will let her really shine. Until then, she’s either a very underwhelming general use card or a card so niche she has maybe one legitimate use.
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