Yo Cut or Tap, Liam back again, this time with a Steam Siege set review. This set has a lot of exciting possibilities in the XY-on Standard format that will be used at the 2016 World Championships, the Primal Clash-on Standard format for the 2016-2017 season, and the Black and White-on Expanded format that we can expect to see come Regionals next season. While every card in the set will be legal in all three of these formats, the utility to be gained from these cards could be wildly different based on the card pool they’re placed into, so if I think a card deserves mention in multiple of these formats, I’ll make sure to specify where I think it could be the best.
I’m going to discuss the Item/Supporter/Stadium cards from Steam Siege first, but will otherwise review in the order of the setlist, unless a Pokemon evolution line spans multiple types and would be split up in the setlist.
**BONUS** SHAYMIN EX:
Shaymin EX is not technically a Steam Siege card, but its first major event legal will also be the first with Steam Siege legal, so I thought it was worth writing about.
This card is very good against Trevenant; which means that this card might be worth playing at the World Championships if one expects a lot of Trevenant. This Shaymin EX probably won’t see much play in Primal Clash-on, as Trevenant’s popularity should dip severely following the rotation of Trevenant XY, but is an option worth remembering if another spread deck ever rises to the top tier again.
ARMOR FOSSIL SHIELDON/SHIELDON/BASTIODON:
I think Bastiodon would be unplayable in any of the 3 formats, even if it didn’t require a lot of work to circumvent having to play Armor Fossil Shieldon to get it in play. Paying MMCC to do a maximum of 180 damage given a perfect set up (Sky Field in play, 8 damaged benched Pokemon) is simply too underwhelming to even try to make a deck work around.
This is a pretty exciting card from Steam Siege, and I’m sure it will at the very least find a spot in the Primal Clash-on metagame. Captivating Pokepuff is most effective in decks that want the extra damage from Zoroark BKT’s Mind Jack or ones that spread damage, since it will allow for more damage to be put on the field and potentially allow for Lysandre-stalling a Pokemon that your opponent wouldn’t have wanted to play otherwise. I don’t think Captivating Pokepuff is close to the best card in Steam Siege, but it has a cool effect and I would be pretty surprised if it never filled some niche.
CLAW FOSSIL ANORITH/ANORITH/ARMALDO:
Armaldo’s problems are similar to Bastiodon’s, but are a little bit more forgivable thanks to its Fighting typing. Being able to utilize Strong Energy and Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick makes any Fighting types worth a second look, but even with these bonuses accounted for, Armaldo definitely doesn’t make the cut as an attacker – at least not while Gallade and Garchomp are around.
Anorith is worth mentioning for its Restored Barrier ability, and could find its way into Omastar BREAK/Aerodactyl decks, but Aerodactyl’s HP is too low for lack-of-Weakness to be particularly relevant, and the biggest grass type attacker in every format right now is Vespiquen, which can do enough damage to knock out an Omastar BREAK even without Weakness.
GARDEVOIR SPIRIT LINK:
This card is a reprint that was already still legal in Primal Clash-on. Maybe after next season this reprint will have headier consequences than taking up an uncommon slot in your packs of Steam Siege.