I once again grace you all with my presence! I am back from the depths of exams, and I bring the expansion Rebel Clash.
For anyone unfamiliar with these reviews, I use a 5 point grading scale to rate each card. A card that receives a 5 is typically meta-defining or is a staple used in essentially every deck. A 1-star review means the card is useless, and cannot even be built around reliably. I generally give a 2.5 or 3-star rating to very rogue cards that can be built around, and the rest just fills in.
I’ll start at the top, with the grass types of the set. This time around, there are some pretty decent Grass-types and even some real staples.
Caterpie, Metapod, and Butterfree
The first cards on my list may look a little familiar. The Caterpie and Metapod have the same ability as they did in Flash Fire, but it’s considerably more useful now. In the current Standard format, we not only have the most recent Butterfree, as seen above, but we also have the Unbroken Bonds Butterfree, which can be used in conjunction with the new one.
I give this line 2.5 stars because it works as a rogue deck on its own and enables the old Butterfree to be utilized fully.
I love this little guy, and although it hasn’t ever been a great card, this one can hold its own fairly well. The main draw of this card is Berry Picking, which enables insane energy recovery, but in the end, you will probably end up trading a prize and energy for it.
I rate this card 1.5 stars, as I can see it being used, but I doubt it will see any real competitive play.
I can genuinely see no reason whatsoever to ever use this card. Push Down is completely useless, Superpowered Horns costs too much, and it’s overall weak. I can’t in good conscience recommend this card to anyone, 1 star.
Lombre and Ludicolo
This line is the first of the set with the Top Entry ability. This interesting ability allows you to play an evolved Pokémon directly to the bench, but only if it is drawn at the start of the turn. I can only really see this used with some sort of Smooth Over ability, but Ludicolo has an interesting first attack. I can see this being used, but it’s far too clunky; 2/5 stars.
Masquerain, Trevenant, and Abomasnow
These cards are not related, but I can tell you with no amount of uncertainty that they are all terrible. Masquerain prevents Energy attachment—from the opponent’s Active Pokémon. Abomasnow can put the enemy to sleep, but takes a ridiculous Energy cost and is lacking in HP, and Trevenant is possibly the weakest, only preventing retreat. These awful cards all receive a solid 1 star.
I would say that this is the first really good card in the set. Rillaboom-V is a solid card, able to dish it out and bring allies to its side, but Rillaboom-Vmax is where it’s at. Max Beating synergizes incredibly well with Baby Rillaboom, and 280 damage is not something to be taken lightly.
This line gets a solid 4 stars from me, falling just short from the future meta-defining cards.
Now THIS is a meta-defining card. It’s reminiscent of Shaymin-EX, Tapu-Lele-GX, and Dedenne-GX. The ability to pull back supporters is one we have been sorely lacking since the days of VS Seeker. I would definitely rate this card as a staple, with a solid 5-star rating.
I’m actually really happy how the Applin line turned out in this set. The first one is Flapple, with the ability Apple Drop, which can place 2 damage counters, and then shuffle itself back into the deck. I’m not sure how powerful this card is really, but it seems like a decent way to soften up some tough foes; 2.5 stars.
This adorable little pie is yet another interesting card. Its Delicious Aroma ability works as a semi-useful gust, only working on Basics and requiring a coin flip. It’s because of these limitations that I’m not placing it higher, but that being said, it still receives 2.5 stars.
In general, I think that the grass-types of the set are pretty powerful, with cards like Eldegoss and Rillaboom dominating the scene. Thanks for reading, have a great day, and try not to break your knees!