Should You Pull? Mallow & Shiinotic

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TL;DR: Should You Pull?

How To Use It?

Sync Grids & Upgrades

Sync Level & Grids

As a Variety Pair, it’s understandable that one wouldn’t want to put too much stock into investing in the unit. Thankfully, Variety Mallow gets most of her butter’s worth with only two copies. While Stalwart is the only really notable tile at one copy, two copies grant Variety Mallow the majority of her core utilities. Chiefly amongst these are Shielded 1 on X Special Defense All and its MPR2, granting her the ability to buff mixed defenses, as well as Today’s Special! Pep Rally 1 and Catalyst, which are necessary to compensate for her otherwise hefty gauge consumption. Other notable tiles include the Stun Spore accuracy +10 to round off her consistency,  Hit and Heal 9 on her Trainer Move, as well as Refreshing Rain 1 to further add (even more redundant) healing to her already illustrious profile. 

Three copies aren’t especially necessary for Variety Mallow, but it can be useful to have. Notably, Team Sharp Entry 1 allows her to clean up the missing link in her Trainer Move’s +4/+2 buffs, while Synchro Healing 1 can combine well with Catalyst to form a reliable EX Support repertoire of utilities. “Absorbs” Hit Down Special Attack is another important tile that crucially allows her to debuff both Special Attack and Attack at the same time; this elevates her defensive utility and durability to be amongst the most sturdy defensive behemoths in the game. Giga Drain MGR9 and Revenge Boost alleviate her otherwise difficult gauge issues long term, while Endurance, while usually redundant, can be useful in some extremes, such as off region Extreme Battles or high point Master Mode Champion Stadium clears.

Lucky Skills

Mallow can make use of several Lucky Skill choices, crucially Vigilance to avoid critical hits. Move Gauge Refresh 2 and Speedy Entry 2 are useful as Variety Mallow isn’t exactly the best gauge anchor, though taking some of the aforementioned tiles means you can avoid these. Outside of these, Adrenaline 1 is mandatory to avoid messing up builds that run Revenge Boost and easing the harsher queue on her syncing passives, while Head Start 1 can correspond to other partners that benefit from her incredibly fast buffing. Given the abundance of Chewy Cookies, Mallow can also opt for a cookie Guard of choice to defend against specific attacks, which is an increasingly useful tool against the Legendary Gauntlet and the newly released Score Rank Battles, which may heavily favor Variety Mallow as Grass is one of the more widely distributed types in the game.

EX Viability

The value for EXing Mallow is a no-brainer as she is an EX Support that has access to sync-motivating passives in Catalyst and Synchro Healing.

Games Modes

Variety Mallow’s unique suite of kits mean she is fit for any mode short of the Battle Villa, though few Supports can claim to excel there for current standards due to their MP-laden nature. Mallow excels in both fast and slow versions of the Champion Stadium, where her Trainer Move’s unprecedented buffing Speed pairs her well with most Special Attackers, while her durability also makes her nigh impenetrable even for longer fights. 

The Legendary Gauntlet and Extreme Battles are where Variety Mallow feels even more like a unit worth her while. Outside of her ridiculous defensive profile which easily allows her to solo a variety of LAs, her access to Paralysis, Status Immunity and stat drops all allow her to be an extremely reliable tech against most difficult stages, including Latias, Uxie, Tornadus, Cobalion (and will likely reliably solo the latter two). Uniquely for a drain tank that would usually struggle in an off-region context, this is ironically where her excess healing that gives her flat amounts comes into great use, as it allows her to stay continuously healthy in the face of harsher punishment when Giga Drain doesn't tickle enough to heal herself much.

Team Compositions

Variety Mallow fits in a variety of compositions due to her ability to function as a status user, a debuffer, and incredibly fast Special Attack buffer.  Though she faces competition from more offensively laden Special Supports such as Sygna Suit Kris and Suicune and Sygna Suit Brendan and Latios, she remains an excellent alternative that fits in most comps requiring a strong Special Attacker.

Chiefly amongst her unique beneficiaries include pairs such as Karen and Houndoom as well as Ghetsis and Kyurem, who can benefit from not only her fast buffing but can also leverage that time to apply debuffs of their own on top of their synergistic passives, as both scale with paralysis and Attack/Special Attack drops. Other units such as Diantha and Gardevoir as well as Special Costume Rosa and Shaymin also benefit from her combinations, namely her buff and debuff combination that works well with both of their scaling options.

Is It Worth Pulling?

Despite the bad reception of the Variety scouts as a concept, players with change to spare can definitely make use of the cheaper-than-usual guarantee for the unit, as she is easily the best Variety unit released so far and boasts niches that justify her even over the most durable defensive bulwarks.  Players with less resources may gain better benefits from the units that are currently running or forthcoming especially as the Anniversary draws near.

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