Why is base set Mewtwo so weak?

Has anyone ever wondered why base set Mewtwo has 60HP yet it is ridiculously powerful in the first movie? My only theory is that whoever was making the cards judged them roughly on size without really knowing anything about them at the time when Pokemon was brand new


Ironically it’s actually not that weak in the format it was played in. There’s a stall deck that abuses its Barrier attack to keep it from taking damage until your opponent runs out of cards. The 60 HP doesn’t hold it back from being a good card.



Mewtwo has a great character and an interesting backstory, it doesn’t need huge stats to make itself feel important.

Unlike some others… *cough* charizord *cough*


Mewtwo was useful, and the relatively low HP was with the intention of providing balance. That Mewtwo with the same moves and type but 120 HP would have made it infuriating to play against. Of course, Base and expansions ended up not very balanced at all once metagame was inevitably optimised, but that would have been the original intention. :stuck_out_tongue:

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So basically the all-powerful Mewtwo stands all day with it’s barrier making the opponent run out of energy like an infinite protect loop :rofl:

Mewtwo is level 53 vs charizord level 73.


Something about the TCG that always irked me was that Pokemon with no evolution lines (e.g., Snorlax) and Mewtwo did not have their power accurately represented in the TCG.

This might sound rather stupid since many would say that Pokemon like Hitmonchan, Electabuzz, Scyther, and Magmar dominated the initial formats (and they did), but I didn’t like that these Pokemon that don’t evolve are only “good” because they don’t need to evolve and have that extra set-up. Mew and Mewtwo are big examples of this. Why do the most powerful Pokemon in the first generation have 50 and 60 HP (respectively) with not much damage output? Similar sentiment can be said for the legendary birds.

I think from the very beginning it should’ve been arranged so that Pokemon that don’t evolve are legitimately as strong as fully evolved Pokemon (as they often are in the games), but there is some sort of catch to using them since they don’t require evolution to power up. Maybe they should work like ex cards and cost two prizes if knocked out, or maybe you have to discard cards from your hand or deck to play them. And for legendaries, they should be extremely powerful (like, 150+ HP, devastating attacks) at a very high cost/risk–perhaps you could only have one legendary in your deck and if they’re knocked out you automatically lose.

To be honest, I’ve always loved the cards but never really been too fond of the game–because I don’t feel like it holds true to the creatures’ origins. I lose the sense of intensity of having an actual Pokemon battle when Celebi has as much HP as Psyduck, or you have 4 Moltres in your deck and instead of doing any damage they just make the opponent discard cards from their deck.

The Pokemon TCG obviously isn’t “real” in so far as that you’re battling with actual Pokemon (which also aren’t real), but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t hold consistent to its original principles. I even think the whole Energy system is dumb. Pokemon don’t sit on the battlefield waiting for their Trainer to give them energy, sitting there staring at the adversary while the opponent trainer does the same–they just attack!

Idk how popular these things are to say, but I’ve just never liked the actual trading card game itself because it does not at all represent the feel for Pokemon that I ingrained in my mind and loved so much about the games and the anime.

…but yeah, Base Mewtwo is lame. I like to imagine a world where Mewtwo was the star of Base Set–not Charizard–and he was some sort of secret rarity reserved for legendaries, you could only have one legendary Pokemon card in your deck and they were extremely powerful, and if that legendary got knocked out you automatically lost. I’m still hoping that someday they turn the entire format of the game upside-down and take it in a different direction (extremely unlikely) so that I could get more absorbed into the actual Trading Card Game and not just be a collector.


That sounds like a good idea, I think Yugioh got this part right because you would have to sacrifice cards to summon more powerful ones. I’ve never played the card game myself other than the Pokemon Play-It demo CD

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Base Set Mewtwo was weak, but Mewtwo got the justice it deserved with the Promo Mewtwo (the one with Energy Absorption), which was an extremely powerful card that dominated the Base-Fossil format.


You could argue that Base Mewtwo was at least borderline playable in some early decks, compared with the Charizard, who is 100% unplayable in a competitive deck, along with several other Base holos, like Nidoking, Magneton, Ninetales, etc.


I bet Charizard drives a big truck, if you know what I mean :wink:


As someone who collected as a youngster but never really played, why is Charizard unplayable?

In the early formats, 2 of the most powerful Trainer cards were Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal. Nearly every deck played multiple copies of them. Since you can only attach 1 energy per turn, and your opponent would likely have access to a couple Energy Removals, you might never get Charizard set up. Even if you did, his attack then discards energy every time you attack.

Add onto that Charizard is a Stage 2 (which takes too long to set up), and it made Charizard not at all part of the meta in the early formats.

Some of the most powerful Pokemon at the time were basics like Hitmonchan (20 damage for 1 energy), Electabuzz (10 + paralyze chance for 1 energy, 30-40 for 2 energy), Scyther, Magmar, Mewtwo…

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Interesting and makes sense. I wonder if the creators took some of that into consideration when creating these cards. Seems like a no brainer now that the non-evolved Pokémon would have an inherent advantage

I feel like Mewtwo’s cards are all just meant to mess with your opponent’s head. A few years ago when the Damage Change Mewtwo was released,

I abused the shit out of that thing. Doesn’t have a high base damage attack like Charizard persay,

but its playability exceeded Charizard and other high stat pokemon by a mile lol.

*Applause* for this comment.

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I hated trying to force nidoking in for toxic… I did the best just stacking out nidorinos with a fetch/ energy trans kanga venusaur deck build instead

Something went awry with the gene-splicing and DNA engineering experiments for that one.

Cos it was a cardgame, it should be balanced (not that it was, but at least they kinda tried)

Venusaur’s power actually wasn’t bad. Paired nicely with Scyther/Dodrio/Exeggutor & Pokemon Center

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