– Darkness Ablaze
September 2, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
The “Confused” Special Condition, in my opinion, is the weakest Special Condition mostly because it can be played around in many ways. The gist of what this Special Condition does is this:
-when a Confused Pokemon tries to attack, you flip a coin. If tails, the attack fails and you take 3 damage counters. (Before that, before the 2003 ex-era, you only take 2 damage counters).
-You can still retreat normally, removing that Special Condition (again, before the ex-era, you had to pay the retreat cost, then flip a coin. If heads, you retreat normally. If tails, the retreat fails!)
So yeah, you rarely get the free 3 damage counters on your opponent’s Active Pokemon if it decides to keep retreating/switching. Even worse is that they flipped heads, making the attack go through.
But I guess that’s enough of my rant of this special condition. Yell Horn is a useful card that guarantees both Active Pokemon to be Confused. As it happens during your turn, you can retreat normally and that special condition is gone (as long as you have something else on your Bench to send out). Most of the time, Yell Horn is gonna be a one-sided effect. Even though it guarantees a weaker Special Condition, there are applications to take advantage of.
-Some of your attacks have beneficial effects when your Pokemon is confused.
-When an attack does more damage to the Defending Pokemon if they’re affected by a Special Condition.
Applications like these can make Yell Horn useful than it looks, and even if it’s not the case, then you are thinning your hand to use Yell Horn so that you can play Crobat-V or Cynthia for a bigger draw yield.
Yell Horn (SW – Darkness Ablaze 173/189) is a Trainer-Item with an effect that leaves both Active Pokémon Confused. In general, Special Conditions are weak in the TCG. You can remove Special Conditions by
a Pokémon, in addition to effects that specifically treat Special Conditions. Ranking the Special Conditions can be tricky, because of all the variables. For example, if your opponent actually cannot treat Special Conditions, guaranteed Paralysis tends to be more potent than guaranteed Slee. This is because Paralysis is guaranteed until the end of your opponent’s next turn, but Sleep has a 50% chance of going away during each Pokémon Checkup.
Confusion is even more strange. Burn and Poison place “extra” damage counters. Paralysis and Sleep keep the opponent’s Active from attacking or treating. Untreated Confusion has a 50% chance of changing an attack so that, instead of its usual damage and effects, the attack places three damage counters on the attacker itself. Well, that or scaring your opponent out of even attempting to attack. Your opponent can manually retreat out of it, unlike with Paralysis or Sleep, and you don’t know the coin flip is happening until your opponent goes to attack.
Inflicting Confusion via Item is poor on its own… and Yell Horn does so to not only your opponent’s Active, but your own. Yet I think it is a decent card. Why? This screams “combo piece” to me. There are some Pokémon effects which reward you for your opponent’s Active being Confused, and even a select few that reward you for your Active being Confused. That is not where Yell Horn’s strength lies. Think of a control/stall deck, especially one that doesn’t attack. They don’t care your Active is Confused, but your opponent will have to deal with their own. Even those that do attack, you just need to time it so that you are – for example – about to evolve or switch out to a different Pokémon, anyway.
So, I think Yell Horn will have its own niche in Standard, but it may take quite a while before we see it. I don’t think it has as much value in Expanded; Hypnotoxic Laser requires a coin flip to inflict Sleep, but always causes Poison. Yes, we’re discussing Yell Horn as a form of stall or disruption… but Poison with a 50% chance of Sleep, even with it really being <25% chance because of the flip for Sleep between turns, is still a better deal. There’s just enough super specialzied uses for Yell Horn, however, that it still has some small potential. In the Limited Format, absolutely run Yell Horn. Timing it will be a little tricky, because you can’t shake Confusion as easily… but it will also be harder for your opponent to shake it.
Another review where I’m sorely tempted to use partial points, because Yell Horn rounds down to two-out-of-five, while Expanded is rounding up to it. Oh well, that is what this last paragraph is for. Yell Horn offers mild disruption for both players, so you need a deck where that is a bigger problem for your opponent than you. Just a tiny chance in Expanded, but a decent chance in Standard and a great chance in Limited. Yell Horn would have been our 20th-place pick, had we counted down from that high a number, and only managed that because I had it as my 12th-place pick. Thinking that might be a bit higher, but I really am thinking long term.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!