July 26, 2011

Card of the Day Review - Jirachi (Unleashed 1)

Greetings everyone! LuxrayMogul here, today I'm going to talk about the first card from HS Unleashed, Jirachi. Now Jirachi has been getting a relative amount of hype lately from decks that featured it in Nationals and other related tournaments. Let's analyze this card and see what the hype's all about!

Jirachi is a Psychic Type Basic Pokémon with an average Basic Pokémon-HP of 60. It has a double weakness to Psychic Type (Psychic types aren't seeing too much play so it should be alright), no resistance, and a common one Colourless energy retreat cost. So, it seems like a normal card so far. Let's look at the card text.

Jirachi is one of those Pokémon whose Poké-Power sets up its attack. Its Poké-Power, Stardust Song, lets you flip 3 coins when you play Jirachi from your hand onto your bench. For every heads you get, you can search your discard pile for a Psychic energy and attach it to Jirachi. Not bad. But there are some problems - Jirachi might take some time to set up: and assuming you have to have discarded Psychic energy before in the game so you actually have something to get from the discard pile (or else this won't do anything).

What's the use of this power you might ask? Well, it all has to do with the attack. For one Psychic energy (see where the power comes in handy? If not, it gets better.) you can use Time Hollow. Now Time Hollow doesn't do any damage, but you can choose a number of your opponent's Stage 1 or 2 Pokémon up to the number of energy cards attached to Jirachi. You technically "devolve" all of the Pokémon you chose, but unlike Dialga (Diamond and Pearl 1, out of rotation), the highest stage evolution cards you remove only go back to your opponent's hand, not being shuffled into the deck like Dialga's Flash Cannon. (Darn!)

So, you might be asking. "What's the use of that?" Nothing. Absolutely nothing. On it's own. Your opponent can once again evolve all the Pokémon you devolved on their next turn. But when you combine Jirachi with a certain-card-that-everyone's-talking-about-that-did-really-well-at-Nationals, you can collect a bunch of prize cards at once. How?

In case you haven't figured it out, the certain-card-that-everyone's-talking-about-that-did-really-well-at-Nationals is Kingdra Prime (Unleashed 85). When used with Jirachi, Jirachi's seemingly harmless Time Hollow suddenly changes your game. Kingdra Prime's Poké-Body Spray Splash allows you to place one damage counter on one of your opponent's Pokémon before you attack. If you have four Kingdra Prime, that'll be doing 40 damage a turn! The strategies come here. If your opponent used Rare Candy to evolve their Basic straight to a Stage 2, even better. If not, it'll just take longer for your attack to work.

Using Kingdra Prime's Spray Splash (the more Kingdra Prime you have the better), you place damage counters on their Stage 2 Pokémon every turn until the damage counters of most of their benched Stage 1 or 2s can be knocked out if they get "devolved". All the while, you're attaching energy to Jirachi. Then in one sweep, you use Jirachi's Time Hollow and devolve all of your opponent's benched Pokémon (you'll need a lot of energy attached to Jirachi, maybe at least 3?). If you used Kingdra Prime's Poké-Body correctly, the damage will now equal or exceed the hit points, knocking out all of your opponent's benched (or even Active) Pokémon, allowing you to draw a ton of prize cards! Now this strategy has been used very effectively at Nationals and have been featured on a lot of sites, but I thought that it would be useful to have it on the PikaCirculator database as well.

The art is amazing, like most of the HeartGold SoulSilver era cards.

Overall, I'd give this card a 2.5/5 for having an effective strategy (it requires a lot of patience though!) of devolving and knocking out Pokémon. But however, my ratings significantly dropped for this card because it simply is useless when used alone. So please don't use four Jirachi (Unleashed 1) in your deck and expect to win, because it probably won't happen. But its potential when used with other cards like Kingdra Prime is simply deadly.

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