"Set Up"- Why Shaymin EX is Going to be a Very Good Card

In our May set, a card called Shaymin EX is released. This card is going to have the
ability "Setup". Setup reads, "Once during your turn (before your attack), when you play this Pokemon from your hand to your bench, you may draw cards until you have 6 cards in your hand." This card gets even better when you factor in the new stadium which lets players have up to eight benched Pokemon, and as a result has huge synergy with Rayquaza EX. But besides being central to a Rayquaza deck, the card will be a staple. You're going to want to pick these up, know how to take advantage of the Shaymin EX in your deck and in your opponent's deck.

Anyone who played the game when Diamond and Pearl: Legends Awakened was released remembers Uxie LA. Uxie , like Shaymin, had the Setup Ability (it was a Poke Power) which let you draw until you had seven. Nearly every deck ran a Uxie. Most decks ran two, and some decks ran three. The current format is lacking in Pokemon-based draw power, and if Uxie is any indication, Shaymin is going to be huge. Imagine this: you have a dead hand. All you have is an Ultra Ball and a couple of other cards. You can use the Ultra Ball to get your hand down to almost zero and use Shaymin EX to draw five or six cards. You are likely to draw into a Supporter, so you get those four cards plus your Supporter for the turn. With both Pokemon and Supporter-based draw, people will be able to draw through many more cards throughout the course of the game, which will make decks faster in general.

In some ways, Jirachi EX is better, because it nets you a Supporter no matter what. But with Shaymin, the worst case scenario is that you've drawn a lot of cards anyway, which is what you want your Supporter to do. Another thing to consider is that Jirachi EX will likely rotate in August.. After it rotates, Shaymin will be the go-to card to make a dead hand with Ultra Ball a live one.

The more Shaymin that you bench, the less space you have for attackers and bench-sitters. One thing you can do to mitigate this is to play Shaymin in decks like Night March that don't require a lot of bench space. One other helpful feature of Shaymin is that it has an attack called Sky Return that does 30 damage for CC and returns it to your hand (This is reminiscent of Uxie LA's Psychic Restore). This way you can get Shaymin out of the way or even bench him again so you can draw more cards the following turn! In addition, in the set that Shaymin comes out in, there is a stadium called Skyfield that lets you have up to eight benched Pokemon. This lets you lay down a bunch of Shaymin EX. If Skyfield is replaced, you can discard the Shaymin EXes, freeing up bench space before you lay down a Skyfield again.

Silent Lab is a stadium released in Primal Clash that shuts off the abilities of Basic Pokemon. This blocks the use of Shaymin's Setup. As a result, if your deck is very reliant on drawing cards with Shaymin EX, then it is advisable to run four counter-stadiums so that you draw one if you desperately need to draw cards. If many people run Shaymin, that means less decks will be running Silent Lab, but that Silent Lab decks will be more effective.

Skyfield and Shaymin EX have synergy with the M Rayquaza EX that is coming out in the set as well. Rayquaza has an attack for CCC that does 30x the number of your benched Pokemon. Skyfield lets you have eight benched Pokemon. Shaymin can be one of those benched Pokemon while drawing you cards to find more benched Pokemon. So besides being a staple in many decks, Shaymin EX will also be part of an archetype that requires up to four of them.

When every deck plays multiple copies of cards like Shaymin EX, cards that snipe for 110+ damage  become that much more effective at taking prizes. Cards like Gengar SF took prizes by sniping Uxie and Claydol. In the yet-to-be-released May set, M Latios EX has an attack for WPC that snipes for 120 damage and discards two energy. Since Shaymin only has 110 HP, cards like Latios and other future cards will be able to take prizes in this way. This is something to keep in mind on the release of this set.

Like the very similar Uxie LA before it, Shaymin EX will define the format that it is in. It will be a four-of card in an archetype, but it will also be a staple in almost every deck. A Shaymin EX will most likely be a worthwhile investment.

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment below!


  1. Thanks for this post! I know I'm late to the party but your analysis was well thought out. Just got my own Shaymin EX and it's wonderful.


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