Notice how I didn't use the ? symbol in the title, because I am not asking a question, I am making a statement. Pachirisu is overrated and really isn't that great of a card. I think we can all agree that the most sought after holo (non lv.X) from Great Encounters is Pachirisu, but I wonder why that is. What does Pachirisu bring to the table that has everyone clamoring for it? Let's break Pachirisu down. Pachirisu is a 70HP electric basic Pokemon. It has weakness +20 to fighting, -20 resistance to metal, and 1 retreat. Pachirisu has 2 attacks, Call for Family and Smash Short. Call for Family is nice, but what does it do after your bench is full? You only have a few options. You can choose to retreat and attack with something you have powered on the bench but do you really want Pachirisu on the bench? Magmortar can snipe it for the free prize (or spread damage onto it to KO it and something else at the same time), and GG can bring it down pretty easily with its HP being so low. Even if the opponent doesn't KO Pachirisu, you can't pick it back up off the bench (GG and Magmortar doesn't run Super Scoop Up), so it's taking up a spot on the bench that you might need for another Claydol or Gardevior, or whatever. In today's environment with decks filled with multiple lines, each bench space is precious. If you decide to just leave it active and let it get KO'd, you might be surprised when it doesn't get KO'd and you lose the game because your opponent sniped your bench to death and you gave them too much time to setup. So not only does Pachirisu's first attack become useless after the second turn, it also takes up a space on your bench if you do try to rush your opponent. If you leave it active, you are asking for problems too because it gives your opponent time to setup and gives your opponent plenty of chances of snipe your main attackers. What about Pachirisu's second attack? You're right, let's not forget about Smash Short. Smash Short does 10 damage to the defending Pokemon. If they have a Pokemon Tool attached, Pachirisu's attack does 30 more damage and that tool is discarded. You then look at your opponent's hand and discard any Pokemon Tools that share the same name as the tool Pachirisu discarded and discard them from the opponent's hand. Sounds great, right? Let me ask the crowd a question. For all you that went to a State Championship yesterday, how many times did you use Pachirisu's smash short and deal 40 damage and discard Pokemon-tools? I can't speak for the community, but I am going to guess that this didn't happen that much, if any at all. Why is that? Let's take a look at the format. The format is ruled by 2 decks, Gardy/Gallade(Furret/Absol/random tech) and Magmortar/Typhlosion/Delcatty(Claydol/Blaziken/random tech). What tools do these decks play? Does either of these decks play Buffer Pieces? Nope. Does either of these decks play Leftovers? Nope. Does either of these decks play any tools that stay around for more than the turn it is played on? Not a single one. The only tool I've seen played in either of these two decks is Strength Charm. The great thing about Strength Charm is that it goes away after the Pokemon it is attached to attacks, meaning that unless someone attaches a Pokemon-Tool to their active Pokemon and chooses to NOT attack with it, Strength Charm will not be around for when Pachirisu uses Smash Short. So you are telling me that Smash Short is not useful? I'd take it a step further. Pachirisu's Smash Short is virtually useless in today's environment. This only leads to supporting my view that Pachirisu isn't the best starter for decks and isn't that great of a card overall. Even though Great Encounters introduced 2 brand new tools, both being decent, to the format, none of the big decks are utilizing them at the moment, and thus Pachirisu's Smash Short rarely, if ever, does its added effect. Pachirisu isn't the best starter? That's blasphemy! Honestly, I feel it to be true. I think history shows this to be true, and I think our current collection of cards shows this to be true too. Let's take a time machine back to the days of RS-on (2003). There was a card named Dunsparce. It was released in EX: Sandstorm and everyone loved this card. It grabbed 3 basics from the deck and put them on the bench. This was THE starter for almost every deck during this period, and that lasted for quite a while, until EX: Hidden Legends came out. When EX: Hidden Legends came out, there was a card in the set named Jirachi. Jirachi allowed you to search your deck for an evolution to a Pokemon on your bench and evolve it that same turn. Then Jirachi would put 10 damage on itself. People instantly starting using this card with Dunsparce. They would grab Jirachi and 2 basics, then retreat and use Jirachi next turn to evolve their basics. Dunsparce was later rotated out, and Jirachi was still around in HL-on. Jirachi stayed pretty popular, and was played with Pidgeot in a lot of decks. Another Jirachi was released in EX: Deoxys, and it become very popular too. You could use it to grab you another card from the top 5 cards of your deck each turn, but it would then go to sleep. A combination of Jirachis was played with Pidgeot until Pidgeot and the HL Jirachi were rotated out the year after. DX Jirachi stayed popular the entire format of DX-on. Even though there was also a card like Dunsparce in the format (Plusle), DX Jirachi was usually the starter for many decks. But why? I think the answer lies in the trainers. What trainers were around when Dunsparce was so popular? What trainers could actually get basics from your deck? In EX: Ruby and Sapphire, there was just 1 trainer that could grab a basic from your deck, and it was at a flip of a coin (Pokeball). In EX: Sandstorm, there a Supporter that grabbed 3 different kinds of basic Pokemon from your deck. Not the best idea since there were many one color decks like Gardevior that was popular. In EX: Dragons, there were no trainers that could grab basics from your deck. In EX: Team Aqua vs. Team Magma, Dual Ball was introduced, but was also flippy, so it wasn't the best alternative. Not until EX: Fire Red and Leaf Green did we actually see 2 trainers that could grab any basic from your deck (Great Ball) and any Pokemon (other than ex) from your deck (Celio's Network). Grabbing basic Pokemon was really hard in RS-on, and that is why Dunsparce was all the rage. When FRLG came out, and more sets came out, more trainers were released that made Dunsparce not as needed, and by the time DX-on came around, decks didn't even need a new Dunsparce because there was already many ways to grab basics now. That was years ago...what about now? You'd be surprised how similar the format is now to how it was around DX-on. Decks now have MANY ways to grab basics from the deck. Here is a list of all the trainers/supporters that can grab basics from the deck and are legal right now: ·Celio's Network (Crystal Guardians - Trainer - 73) ·Dual Ball (Crystal Guardians - Trainer - 78) ·Dusk Ball (Mysterious Treasures - Trainer - 110) ·Great Ball (Power Keepers - Trainer - 77) ·Holon Mentor (Dragon Frontiers - Trainer - 75) ·Master Ball (Power Keepers - Trainer - 78) ·Poke Ball (Crystal Guardians - Trainer - 82) ·Pokemon Fan Club (OP Series 4 - Trainer - 9) ·Quick Ball (Mysterious Treasures - Trainer - 114) ·Bebe’s Search (Secret Wonders – Trainer – 119) ·Roseanne’s Research (Secret Wonders – Trainer – 125) My gosh, look at all those choices! Someone explain to me why we need Pachirisu. The answer: We don’t. Decks were able to get away with grabbing basics without a starter in DX-on, and decks can get away with grabbing basics now. Before Great Encounters was released, decks got a long pretty well. The only deck that actually used a starter that could grab basics was Magmortar, and that used Corsola. I feel Corsola had the same problems Pachirisu has, and I think one of the main reasons behind its use was the tactic to let it get KO’d and then Scramble a Magmortar to spread damage or hit for big damage. But that can be accomplished with any starter, and wouldn’t the opponent try to KO a constant help starter like Stantler more than trying to counter a starter like Corsola that becomes useless on turn 3? I think so. Okay, give me a better starter! Here is a list of basic Pokemon that I feel are better than Pachisiru and will continue to help past turn 2: ·Chingling (Mysterious Treasures – Psychic – 42) ·Girafarig (Mysterious Treasures – Colorless – 49) ·Lapras (Great Encounters – Water – 21) ·Mawile (Crystal Guardians – Metal – 9) ·Stantler (Secret Wonders – Colorless – 113) These cards can grab you trainers and supporters from your deck, and will usually be more useful than Pachirisu in the long run. There is not a big difference between using Pachirisu to grab 3 basics and using Stantler to grab Roseanne’s Research and using that the turn after to grab 2 basics (or any combination of basic pokemon and basic energy cards). Sure, sometimes you need the basic that turn, but the days of fast rush decks is coming to an end, and the opponent will usually not be able to OHKO your active pokemon on T2 or T3. Wrap it up please… Okay. In conclusion, Pachirisu isn’t needed, and really isn’t that useful as a starter. It is great at grabbing basics, but there are many trainers in the format that can do the same thing. Pachirisu’s second attack is nifty, but just doesn’t do anything in today’s metagame. The past shows that a lack of trainers that can grab basics is the main reason Dunsparce was so useful, and that with the release of more trainers that could do the same job, Dunsparce-like starters were cast to the side and not used that much in favor for starters that could get your extra cards that would help you setup the multiple lines of Pokemon you are running. That same logic should be applied to today’s format. We have plenty of ways to grab basics from the deck, and there really isn’t a big need for Pachirisu to be played in so many decks. Even if you do need to grab basics, there are still alternatives like Corsola that works in certain decks.