Discussion Cynthia vs. Marshadow Let Loose - How to approach this choice?

Discussion in 'PTCG Competitive Play' started by DorilMagefont, Mar 14, 2019 at 12:53 AM.

  1. DorilMagefont Aspiring Trainer


    I find myself thinking about the scenario about whether to recycle my own hand or to disrupt the opponent's hand a lot so I wanted to see what more seasoned players have to say. The two extreme situations usually go like this:

    Situation 1 - The ideal start. It's turn 1 and you're going first. You drew really well and were able to play most of your cards ideally onto the bench. The last two cards you have left in your hand is a Cynthia and a Marshadow with Let Loose. Your opponent has 1 active Pokemon only, meaning they have 6 cards in their hand (assuming no mulligans). Do you:

    1A: Play Marshadow to basically remove 2 of their cards and hope that you draw a supporter?
    1B: Play Cynthia to get more cards to further develop your board -- maybe you will draw Marshadow again to get the best of both worlds.

    Situation 2 - Things are going bad for you but your opponent has a big hand. Either you went second and it's Turn 1 or it's an early turn. You're not 100% sure if they have a dead hand or they're setting up for evolutions/etc., but they have 6+ cards in their hand. Their board is good/decent but your board is bad -- suppose you have something like a Tapu Lele-GX in the active position and something non-consequential on your board because of a bad first Turn 1. Once again, you have a Cynthia and a Marshadow in your hand. Do you:

    1A: Play Marshadow to disrupt their big hand? There is a risk they'll still draw a supporter and it won't matter anyways.
    1B: Play Cynthia with the goal of developing your own board -- it's possible they're setting themselves up for rare candy + evolution or other shenanigans if you do not find a way to find another Marshadow after your Cynthia.

    I think there are other situations where the answer is obvious: for example, if your opponent just used a Steven's Resolve to find 3 cards, then it is a no brainer that you should play Marshadow to try to disrupt their plans. However, for these extremes I find myself teetering. I realize a lot of the answer is "what is your win condition" but sometimes even knowing that, it is unclear what I should do. For example, if I'm playing Lost March, I'm trying to continuously dump my hand to try to maximize putting Pokemon in the Lost Zone, so it would seem I should favor playing Cynthia unless I'm against a low HP deck. However, sometimes I really, really want to get rid of that huge hand they have - maybe I saw them search for evo Pokemon, so I think that it's coming.
    FourteenAlmonds likes this.

  2. OppositeAttract Aspiring Trainer


    Situation 1 I would easily Marshadow as doing so is both detrimental to my opponent and allows me the opportunity to dig for Lillie the ideal turn 1 starter making it not really close imo.
    AngryBokoblin likes this.
  3. DorilMagefont Aspiring Trainer


    Is it really a no-brainer though? On average, if you do 1 play, you can expect that you will not be able to do "the other play" (IE. If you play Cynthia, you are likely not to find a Marshadow and if you play Marshadow you are not likely to find a Cynthia). I did some searching to find the math behind this and it's the "Hypergeometric distribution". We can use this to ask ourselves what the chance is of drawing the "other thing" in Scenario 1 is:

    1A: Play Marshadow - Let's say you have 4 Lillies and 4 Cynthias. What is the chance you'll get at least 1 of either? It comes out to 48.4%
    1B: Play Cynthia - Let's say you have 2 Marshadow. What is the chance you'll get at least 1 of either? It comes out to 21.1%.

    This math ignores the fact that you actually care about what the other cards are: in the Marshadow case, you end up with a hand of 4. In the Cynthia case, you end up with a hand of 6. So you're making a choice whether to lose card advantage. So I'm not so sure that it's a no-brainer: you don't know what the opponent drew in their 6 cards hand -- I don't think you can necessarily know that they're trying to be greedy (IE. They have an ultra ball or something) or if it's a could be a dead hand (they couldn't play anything, hence 6 cards) and you're helping them recycle.
  4. OppositeAttract Aspiring Trainer


    Except in your original scenario you're saying that you've achieved mostly your ideal setup and having gone first get to decide whether or not to hypothetically marshadow your opponent or Cynthia. In said circumstances we will then know what our opponent has started and given this information we would deduce whether or not it's favorable to marshadow them or not. Since said information is unavailable we cannot really deduce whether or not marshadowing is favorable given the context of the situation. However, I would lean toward thinking it would be more favorable to marshadowing given the context of the situation and with the understanding our hand is 4 or less when we decide to marshadow.
  5. snoopy369 Aspiring Trainer

    Advanced Member Member

    I tend to find that it depends on what I'm playing against, but also with the caveat that Marshadow is there instead of Judge for a very specific reason.

    First - some decks are more vulnerable than others to let loose. Pikarom wants a good setup, so 4 cards can really slow it down. Koko Spread on the other hand doesn't need as much help. Lele-containing decks will probably be able to Lele for a Cynthia/Lillie anyway (though I'd still slow Pikarom down). It all depends.

    More importantly though is Marshadow's role as a searchable draw "supporter". While sometimes the job of Marshadow is to shorten your opp's starting hand, in some decks it's very important to use him as a searchable draw supporter. In particular in decks with no Lele, and also no Jirachi, you want to save that Marshadow for the time where you have a Mysterious Treasure or Ultra Ball and no supporter, so you can get a free redraw. Unless you think it's super important to slow your opp's start down, it might be better to hold on to it.

    Last, it depends on your opp's starter. Say they start Lele. Or something slow to retreat that's not supposed to be active, Slugma or something. Then you hit them with marshadow for sure, because you're already at an advantage, and want to keep up the pressure.
  6. izuef Aspiring Trainer


    Another thing to consider is: can I spend the bench spot to a Marshadow? In your second example you already have a lele active, and some decks with tight bench space can't really afford to have both on the bench. Also, when playing against Ultra Mally, you're giving them an easy sky scorching target.

    My thumb rule: if you can afford it, go ahead and let loose. If it seems like you're getting seriously behind, let loose. If not, it might be better to let the bench space open.
  7. Audiofreak19 Aspiring Trainer

    Advanced Member Member

    I have bought about the same thing. Also consider when turn 1, if it’s your only marshadow, do you really need anything else to set up. Also in most decks marshadow is a better disruption in the mid to late game. If there are not many things I will be able to do after either option then I would cynthia

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