By Jack Snell
At first glance we have a Stage 2 Psychic Pokemon with a seemingly awful 90HP, one Ability and a single attack. So the HP is what instantly stands out at you as being terrible. Having just 90HP puts it in an easy OHKO range from a lot of Pokemon in the format and the pre-evolutions only bear 30 and 60HP respectively, making them prime targets for Catcher + Reshiram/Mew/Cincinno/Donphan/Zekrom etc. = KO.
However, this Pokemon did feature in a deck that came 2nd at Worlds this year so it really can’t be that bad, but let’s have a look at what its main feature is first.
Reuniclus’ Ability is called ‘Damage Swap’ and simply allows you to move any damage on any of your Pokemon to another of your Pokemon as much as you like during your turn. This may not sound like much in a OHKO kind of format we are in at the moment, but pairing with the likes of Vileplume and Zekrom as Ross Cawthon did at Worlds made sure that no KOs were taken. By using this very unique ability, Ross was able to move around the damage onto big HP Pokemon such as Zekrom and keep the opponent from taking KOs while he could attack for massive damage with ‘Outrage’. The inclusion of Vileplume meant that no PlusPower was used to topple 130HP Zekrom and cards like Rare Candy, Pokemon Communication and Catcher were locked as well, making it really difficult for his opponents to set up.
So the Ability is good, but that’s pretty much where it stops for Reuniclus having another use in the format since its attack really isn’t anything special. ‘Psywave’ for 3 Psychic Energy does 30 damage, which is appalling to be honest and the small print only reads that it does 10 extra damage for each energy attached to the defending Pokemon. This attack is just plain bad. If there were some kind of Double Colourless compatibility in here then it might be okay against a very limited list of Pokemon, but it has three Psychic which will take you 3 turns to set up for the same amount of damage Tyrogue does for 0 energy. I don’t see any use for this attack at all in competitive play, so it’s a good job that the ability has a ton of potential.
Overall, this Pokemon was very overlooked until Worlds and now has proved to be quite the asset to many unheard of decks right now. There’s a ton of creativity you can get out of using this Pokemon, but it can only really be paired with trainer lock since it just has too little HP and is prone to Catcher KOs. I’m going to give this Pokemon a high 9/10. Despite all its shortcomings, Damage Manipulation is one of the most poweful abilities in the Pokemon TCG. More recently Reuniclus has been combined with Gothitelle, with the exact same concept as Ross.dec in that you prevent your opponent scoring KOs by moving the damage to tanks like Zekrom and Reshiram on the bench, but with only a one way trainer lock. You use cards like Max Potion/Blissey/Serperior for healing and the standard 4 Collector/ 4 Comms/ 4 Candy/ 4 Twins for setup. Some combination of Pichu and Cleffa as starters and between 5-7 draw supporters and you’re away.
So Reuniclus’ artwork is pretty neat especially in holo. This Pokemon is actually very clever if you’re into your science since it is based on a human being and the way that they develop during development in the womb. This may sound a little disgusting, but we all knew it looked kinda foetal anyway. This just shows how a simply Pokemon design can actually be born from a very complex piece of science which most competitive players never really know about.
The way Reuniclus is depicted in this card is great. It looks incredibly happy to be emitting psychic waves towards the opponent while stopping them from taking KOs. The holographic does make the card look a lot better and plays along with the psychadelic vibe. I’m going to give it a very nice 7/10. It’s an incredibly clever Pokemon if you know the origins of its design, but if not, it’s a pretty cool looking card anyway.