Pokemon TCG

Cleffa in Standard Format Is Better Than You Know

With the launch of the Ultra Necrozma-GX Battle Arena Box, Jirachi is cheaper than ever, but there is still a cheaper alternative: Cleffa (Unbroken Bonds).

Cleffa (Unbroken Bonds UNB 131)

Let me be frank: Cleffa isn’t better than Jirachi, but both cards often serve the same purpose.

Jirachi is a good “buffer” Pokemon with an Escape Board attached — decks that run Jirachi often promote it to the active position and later retreat for a new active Pokemon (this is particularly useful in Malamar decks).

Jirachi (Team Up TEU 99)

However, decks with Cleffa don’t need to run Escape Board because it has free retreat. Unlike Jirachi, Cleffa will never be stuck in the active position.

I will admit that Jirachi’s ability is superior. If you manage to get a Jirachi with an Escape Board in the active position, Stellar Wish allows you to find a trainer card from the top 5 cards of your deck. Often times, Stellar Wish can land you a clutch supporter or item card.

But not so fast! Jirachi’s ability won’t be as good once you’re no longer able to use supporters on the first turn.

Cleffa, on the other hand, will be a great Pokemon on turn one once the rules for supporters change. With Cleffa, you have a 50 percent change of refreshing your hand, which is a game-changing coin flip when you can’t attack or use a supporter.

Cleffa isn’t a perfect card — anything with a coin flip is inherently inconsistent — but it’s not a bad card for 14 measly cents.

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