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.
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.
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!