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Cacturne - Sandstorm


Date Reviewed: 10/08/03

Ratings & Reviews below

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Otaku

Name: Cacturne

Color: Grass

Type: Stage 1 (evolves from Cacnea)

HP: 80

Weakness: Fire

Resistance: None

Retreat: C

Poké-BODY: Poison Payback

If Cacturne is your Active Pokémon and is damaged by an opponent’s attack (even if Cacturne is Knocked Out), the Attacking Pokémon is now Poisoned.

Attack#1: (CCC) Feint Attack

Choose 1 of your opponent’s Pokémon.  This attack does 40 damage to that Pokémon.  This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Weakness, Resistance, Poké-Powers, Poké-Bodies, or any other effects on that Pokémon.


Attributes: There is only one Cacturne, so it doesn’t have to worry about “competing” against itself, but won’t something you could toss into a pre-existing Cacturne deck.  There are many Stage 1 Pokémon to compete against, and many Stage 1 Grass Pokémon, so this isn’t going to make it into a deck by filling that niche.  It does have a solid 80 HP to keep it going.  Sadly, it has Fire Weakness and no Resistance, which is pretty bad.  Fire Weakness itself isn’t too bad: most big Fire Pokémon will end up “over-killing” you with their big attacks, as they tend to only have one big attack or one big and one much smaller back-up.  Last bottom stat is retreat: a retreat of one, while getting more common on Stage 1s, is still excellent: it is, after all the second best retreat score in the game. ;)

 

As usual, I feel I should address the basic this evolves from.  In this case there are two:

 


Name: Cacnea

Color: Grass

Type: Basic

HP: 50

Weakness: Fire

Resistance: None

Retreat: C

Poké-BODY: Poison Payback

If Cacnea is your Active Pokémon and is damaged by an opponent’s attack (even if Cacnea is Knocked Out), the Attacking Pokémon is now Poisoned.

Attack#1: (C) Light Punch [10]


 

And

 


Name: Cacnea

Color: Grass

Type: Basic

HP: 50

Weakness: Fire

Resistance: None

Retreat: C

Attack#1: (G) Poison Sting [10]

Flip a coin.  If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Poisoned.


Both are solid Pokémon basics (since they are meant to evolve), but I must go with the first one, as it just needs to be damaged to Poison and it’s attack can use any energy.  Having the same Poké-Body makes for good synergy, since it is bad enough on a “puny” basic’s Poke=Body, but you can evolve without losing it.

 

Abilities: Cacturne has some useful tricks.  Its Poké-Body isn’t too bad in general: with the restrictions on retreat under Nintendo rules, all the Special Conditions are harder to shake.  There are also cards you can combo with to make it even more difficult to cure.  Still, most players will “tough it out”, and probably nab a prize before their Pokémon is KO’d.  So in most cases, the Poison will not discourage attacks.  Fortunately, Cacturne’s attack is the infamous “Feint Attack”.  This is an improved version of the attack made famous by Murkrow: “improved” meaning it ignores all effects on the selected Pokémon.  This effect used to only pertain to the Defending Pokémon, but now it works on the Bench as well.  While more expensive than some past versions in terms of energy count (three versus two for Murkrow), can use any color energy to fill the requirements.  I believe this is also the strongest version: it does a whopping 40 damage!  That’s 20 more than Neo Genesis Murkrow and 10 more than the Holo-Rare Neo Discovery Umbreon, but with nary a colored energy.

 

These abilities compliment each other:  you focus on KOing their bench with Cacturne, while the suffer from Poison damage for attacking you.  It also makes retreating out of Poison a foolish idea, as you’ll just nail them on the bench.

 

Uses/Combinations: Given that Feint Attack still doesn’t apply Weakness or Resistance, the idea of using this to splash in Grass is kind of pointless. =P Instead, this Cacturne is used for its Feint Attack.  40 damage is enough to KO a handful of basics that belong to Evolution strains.  Evening weakening them is useful.  40 is also good enough to most any Pokémon in three shots.  For formats where either a “hit and run” strategy is popular, or where a “Big Metal” deck is strong, this has a lot of possibility: two shots from this and a Scizor is toast!  Some useful ways to maximize the effectiveness of Cacturne are cards like Broken Ground Gym, Rocket’s Training Gym, and Mirage Stadium are good options to make retreating hard, as are Trainer denial cards like Chaos Stadium or Neo Genesis Slowking.

 

The lack of colored energy is very nice: there are many Special Energies that are Colorless, even in Modified.  You can use Rare Candy and a Boost Energy for a surprise Feint Attack.  The colorless requirements also make it easy to splash into any color deck.  One possible combination is with Sandstorm Arcanine and/or Sharpedo: both can combo nicely.  One last little trick might be with some large scale bench damaging Pokémon.  For example, either Skyridge Forretress.  Getting another 10 to 20 damage on each benched Pokémon should set up a lot of easy KOs.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 3/5-not necessarily archetypal, it still could be useful in some rogue decks.  Given the propensity of people to run decks that focus on small basics, the Feint Attack/Poison combo could add up quickly.

 

Modified: 3.5/5-a little better here, as you don’t have to worry about quite as speedy of attackers or reliable energy removal.

 

2-on-2: 4/5-Combo it with something like Cradily, and really tick people off. >:D

 

Draft: 4.5/5-Nasty here.  Poison is a big threat when you lack Switches and the like.  Also, injured Pokémon tend to build up on benches, and a few Feint Attacks will net just as many prizes.  Let’s not forget it can go in almost any deck, and the Cacnea you’d want to draft (that also has Poison Payback) also goes in any draft deck (I ran into just last Saturday -_-)

Ralphy
I don't quite know what to say about this card. What is it, some sort of grasshopper-puppet-scarecrow dealy. In any event, this is a pretty nice card. It could see some play in the current Modified.
 
Unlimited- Decent. Fire will rip it to pieces but outside of that, Cacturne can hold it's own. The 40 damage Feint Attack is more than enough to KO babies sitting safely (or so they thought) on the bench. It also makes for nice cleanup in the late game. The poison isn't such a big deal as the best Unlimited Pokes have free retreat to shake it, or their are substantial ways of removing it. In Unlimited, the power is sort of like a Machamp Strikes Back power, which is pretty good. 3/5 here.
 
Modified- A bit better in Modified. Poison will be more effective as there are less ways to get rid off it, and there are also less free retreating Pokes running around. The attack is nice too as it can pick off the bench sitters that this format has. KO's Furret in two shots which is nice as KOing Furret will kill Scizor too. Too bad you can't apply weakness, but not that much is weak to grass that's any good anymore anyway. 3.5/5
 
Limited- Nice. The ability to Poison without energy is great, especially in Draft. The power may cause your opponent to second guess attacking even if you have no energy. Cacturne could make for a good staller if your getting a bad draw. The ability to hit the bench for 40 is great in draft too. Your opponent will probably retreat their Pokes before they get KOed to keep you from picking prizes. Drop Cacturne late game and you there's a good chance you win, fast. 4.25/5 here.


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