Tech of the Week: Spiritomb

Welcome back to Tech of the Week! We had a bit of a hiatus with Regionals and the rule changes, but now we’re getting back on track. Each week we’ll be looking at at interesting cards that may be effective in the current metagame. If you missed the last TotW, I looked at the cool Stadium, Frozen City.

While Legendary Treasures was mostly a reprint set, there are a few new interesting cards that were released. One of those is the spooky specter, Spiritomb.

87-spiritomb

The reason to look at Spiritomb is because it has two separate roles – one that we’ve never seen before, and one that hasn’t been seen in a while. Both of them are interesting enough to warrant discussion. Might as well discuss a card from the new set anyway, right?

The first thing we want to look at is Spiritomb’s Ability, Sealing Scream. When it’s in play, neither player can play any Ace Spec cards from their hand. Although Ace Specs have been around for about a year now, this is the first card we’ve seen that really counters the mechanic. Sure, there are cards that block Items from being played, but nothing specifically targeted down these restricted Trainers. Of course, every deck can play only one, but every deck does play one. Therefore, Spiritomb is worth looking at.

Are there any decks that depend on an Ace Spec card? At first, you’d probably say, “No, how can a deck depend on a card it can play only one of! That’s just silly.” In most cases, you’d be right. But the reality is that there are a few decks that rely quite heavily on the use of Ace Specs. Above all, the deck that relies on one the most is Virizion/Genesect.

92-g-booster

Ah, yes, G Booster. Without this bad boy, Genesect decks max out at a meager 100 damage. But with this at its disposal, all of a sudden an attack for 200 damage can come out of nowhere. If Genesect decks didn’t have the option to use this deck, how good would they really be? Taking away G Booster actually does hurt them quite a bit. For example, in a Darkrai vs. Genesect match, what normally swings the game is when Genesect EX can OHKO a Darkrai with G Booster. Maybe the matchup changes completely when you take it out of the equation!

Another deck that uses its Ace Spec quite a bit is Darkrai. How often do you see a Sableye using Junk Hunt to get back a Computer Search or Dowsing Machine? Once you block the Ace Spec from being used, you limit Sableye’s usefulness. Even though it may not be much, small advantages can be the difference between a win and a loss in Pokémon. At any rate, it’s something to consider. Any time you can block someone from using an Ace Spec, you’re gaining an advantage. Unfortunately, the downside is that you also prevent yourself from using one. If that’s the case, you may not be gaining any ground; this is where Spiritomb can be a double-edged sword.

Beyond the Ability, the Forbidden Pokémon has a nifty support attack, Hexed Mirror. For just one Colorless Energy, you shuffle your hand in and draw until you have as many cards as your opponent. In the past, we saw these kinds of Pokémon used quite frequently (Cleffa, Chatot, etc.). But in recent times, these kinds of support Pokémon are basically extinct. (Jirachi EX is an exception, but many people are hesitant to use a 90 HP Pokémon-EX.)

If you have a hand without a Supporter, but you have a way to search for a Pokémon, Spiritomb turns that search card into a new hand. While you do have to pay a cost in an attachment and an attack for the turn, it’s much better than sitting there passing. Unlike other Pokémon with useful Abilities, Spiritomb also has a useful attack, giving it more utility. If all it had were Hexed Mirror, it probably wouldn’t be playable. But when you combine it with Sealing Scream, it’s possible that Spiritomb does have a place in the format. The main selling point is that it’s versatile; any deck can use it!

So, what do you think? Will we see Spiritomb in decks, or is it just another mechanic that seems cool but has no viability? Whatever your thoughts are, let me know down in the comments. Thanks for reading!

19 responses to “Tech of the Week: Spiritomb”

  1. Cosmo

    I believe Spiritomb will make it into sever decks. I mean, it’s ability is one of the greatest counters to those too OP ACE SPEC Cards, and it’s attack is a great starting move. I usually run a master ball so I can get Spiritomb out before they can use their ACE SPEC. It deserves more attention.

    1. Deathbydragon

      I hate master ball! There are so many better cards you could be running. Better would be level ball, 1 of it, same odds of getting it, and auto spiritomb either way, without taking up your ace spec spot. A more effective ace spec would be to run a rock guard, if you don’t want comp. search, just attach it to one of your pokemon, then throw down the spiritomb. You could even run life dew I guess, anything is better than master ball.

      1. Darkrai

        very true. it can also be ultra ball, which many decks paly 2-4 copies

  2. brad somers

    i love this card i been hyped about it from when i seen the scans of it, great locking power with good draw help early or late game, coming back from late game N’s can happen with this card, 5/5 great read on it as well

  3. Ben Barham

    With gothitelle coming back this card is completely outclassed.

    1. Kyle Sucevich

      Gothitelle isn’t really a card you can “tech” into decks. Spiritomb takes up only one spot in your deck.

      1. Deathbydragon

        I don’t know about one spot. You at least want to run 2, as they only have 80 hp. It doesn’t help you that much to stop genesect from playing g booster, if he can just KO your only spiritomb and attach it next turn anyway. Gothitelle is completely out if the question though, as it is a stage 2 that must be active to work.

        1. Dragonite3500

          But then again, if your opponent has to waste a turn killing the spiritomb, you’ll get a free attack on the genesect which may very well turn the game in your favor.

        2. C-Dub

          Spiritomb is purely a tech of 1 card in a deck. Running two really serves no purpose. Its a tech that you search out or play down in your hand when you think the situation is right for strategic reasons.

  4. C-Dub

    I have been using Spiritomb and its a very good tech when used right. It is a tech that actually requires skill to play. The great thing about this card is that ACE SPECS are obviously extremely good cards that no deck can afford NOT to play one. Spiritomb adds a new dynamic to the game that I would definitely like to see more of when cards are created by Pokemon.

    Based on my experiences with it so far, this is what I have concluded:

    – It should be used in a deck that has 2+ skyla so that you can either search it out with a level ball or ultra ball OR you search out your ace spec to play it, THEN play Spiritomb down (usually if your opponent hasn’t played theirs yet, but usually I will play it for a possible hexed mirror OR if i’m playing Darkrai and I know they can get it back with a junk hunt).

    – Like Kyle mentioned in the article, it is very good against Virizion/Genesect decks because they always use G-Booster as their ACE SPEC. If they can’t play it down for the automatic KO and can’t Shadow Triad for it late game, its a huge blow to their strategy. I’ve won several games now against that deck because they can’t touch my sigilyph and can’t use their G-Booster. And as Kyle also stated, Darkrai can’t abuse their ace specs with sableye if Spiritomb is out. I’ve played so many games where Sableye uses junk hunt to get back computer search or dowsing machine 5-6 times a game. This doesn’t happen anymore now that I play this tech and I can tell that it frustrates them.

    – Hexed Mirror is a solid attack that can get you out of supporter droughts and late game N’s that leave you crippled. I’ve had some clutched draws with this attack that gave me 5-6 cards late game. And this attack costs one colorless energy, which is amazing. Now that the game has slowed down with the new rules, you actually have turns where you can use pokemon draw engines.

    Overall, I love the fact that Spiritomb is a card that can literally be played in any deck to great success. I feel like its a card that helps increase the skill and creativity of the game.

    1. Deathbydragon

      Though I do agree that the ability to stop ace specs is powerful, this thing is so fragile you can’t expect it to stay down for the end game, especially against genesect virizion. Pretty much any ex can 1hko this thing, and with genesect’s red signal giving him an auto catcher, your spiritombs will not stay long. That said, if genesect virizion is reduced to megalo cannoning a 1 prize support pokemon, you aren’t doing too bad anyway. Definately an interesting card.

      1. Jacob Rush

        But it can be game changing in the sort of sense it prevents them from playing an ACE Spec the turn they need it. Also forces them to risk playing the catcher or wasting the attach to red signal it out… Also the 7th prize if you play EXes.

      2. Blaaargh

        attach a silver mirror to spiritomb when playing against a virgen deck. lots of virgen players put down the team plasma badge on thier early virizion for a turn 1 attack and genesect is team plasma so it should be pretty safe for awhile

  5. tehmoe

    tbh, with the new rule change, even starting spiritomb would be great if you go first and have a poor hand. i don’t really see any negatives other than cost of 1 energy to retreat(free retreat would have made this card amazing) having an early game lock down on comp search is very good or mid/late game on gold potion. all around 4/5 decent tech would def play 1 of in a deck.

    1. Deathbydragon

      In a sableye deck I’m assuming you run dark patch, right? Having the energy on the spiritomb doesn’t help you that much after you get that attack off, so the one retreat actually can help. Besides, you run darkrai, so free retreat anyway. One of the biggest problems I had with the Emolga from dragons exalted was the free retreat, as I ran it in Rayeels, and hated having the energy stuck on a useless pokemon.

  6. Jackpot

    I have been playing with this guy and he is great. I threw him into a Sableye deck and the irritation for my opponents spiked the moment he hit the table. While he did negate my ability to reuse Life Dew, it was worth it.

  7. James Good

    Good card. Denies Ace-Specs (G-Booster, Life Dew, Scoop Up Cylone) with game changing effects, cuts into set up decks consistency if they’re relying on Com Search / Dowsing AND can be used early to get out of a band hand.

  8. gible

    hated this card at uk regionals as it stoped the scoop up on my cobalion

  9. Jackson Staerk

    I have recently competed in a city championship and literally nobody was using spiritoumb. I think it is an amazing tech but with no practical use except in rouge decks.