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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Dark Marowak

EX Team Rocket Returns

 

Date Reviewed: 07.06.05

Ratings & Reviews Summary
Unlimited: 2.13
Modified: 3.36
Limited: 3.36

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


Otaku

Find this review is too long?  Skip straight to the scores and summary!

 

Name: Dark Marowak

Set: EX Team Rocket Returns

Card#: 7/109

Rarity: Holographic-Rare, Starter Rare

Type: Darkness/Fighting

Stage: 1 (Evolves from Cubone)

HP: 70

Weakness: Grass

Resistance: None

Retreat: (C)

Attack#1: (CC) Brick Smash [30]

This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Resistance, Poké-Powers, Poké-Bodies, or any other effects on the Defending Pokémon.

Attack#2: (FFC) Hard Bone [70]

Discard a Basic or Evolution card from your hand or this attack does nothing.

Name: Cubone

Set: EX Team Rocket Returns

Card#: 51/109

Type: Fighting

Stage: Basic

HP: 50

Weakness: Grass

Resistance: None

Retreat: (C)

Attack#1: (C) Look for Friends

Reveal cards from your deck until you reveal a Basic Pokémon.  Show that card to your opponent and put it into your hand.  Shuffle the other revealed cards into your deck. (If you don’t reveal a basic Pokémon, shuffle all the revealed cards back into your deck.)

Attack#2: (F) Bonemerang [10x]

Flip 2 coins.  This attack does 10 damage times the number of heads.

 

Attributes: Dark Marowak is a Stage 1 Pokémon.  It is blessed by being two types at once.  Normally, this would be mixed, as it means twice the Resistance in exchange for twice the Weakness… but the type mix is Darkness and Fighting.  Fighting Types can get around Resistance via Magnetic Storm and Darkness Types face very little Resistance to being with.  Additionally, the Darkness trait allows Dark Marowak use the damage bonus granted by Darkness Energy.  Of course, it already could thanks to having Dark in its name, so here it is redundant.

 

Dark Marowak has 70 HP, which is a little low.  This likely is to fit the feel of being a Dark Pokémon, as well as offset the inherent advantage of being not only a dual type, but one of the better pairings of types.  Still, be careful, since most Stage 2 Pokémon will at most need a Strength Charm to reliably KO you.

 

Next we come to Weakness.  Dark Marowak is Grass Weak.  I have a hard time quantifying Weakness: no Weakness is good, so it is a matter of “Which is the least bad?”  Right now, it’s hard to peg down an exact dominant Type.  Grass is being played now, both weird little rogue decks and well known decks that were recently overhauled and now see some significant play (Muk ex and Vileplume ex).  Sadly, we once against lack Resistance, so I’ll just move on to the Retreat Cost: one.  This is a nice, low amount that should be pretty easy to pay.

 

Of course, Dark Marowak can’t get into play on its own; it must be Evolved from Cubone.  The Cubone from the Team Rocket Returns set is pretty good.  Since it can Evolve once, this isn’t too bad (60 HP is so rarely seen on Basics that can Evolve at least once).  Its second attack, Bonemerang, is a bit of a rip-off: you pay for an average of 15 points of damage and get an average of 10.  Fortunately the first attack is rather useful, guaranteeing you a Basic, albeit random, from your deck.  All in all, I think this is the Cubone to use, but perhaps that is due to my paranoia about a bad start.

 

Abilities: Dark Marowak’s first attack is Brick Smash.  Like Hidden Legends Machamp’s Brick Smash (after the errata), basically the only thing (that resides on the Defending Pokémon) that affects this attack’s damage is Weakness.  This is incredibly sweet.  It is an inexpensive attack, and will allow you to put quite a lot of pressure onto decks that feature Fighting Weakness.

 

Hard Bone (Bloody Bone for the Japanese name, if the spoiler I read was correct) is a solid attack.  Most decks tend to have extra Pokémon, since they are built with intentional redundancies incase something doesn’t set up.  In terms of Energy, you pay for 40 points of damage, and being an Evolution is usually good for at least an extra 10, so you’re getting 10 to 20 points of damage out of that discard.  Fairly solid, but not as impressive as the first attack.

 

Uses and

Combinations: Here is where Dark Marowak begins to shine.  Its name open’s so many possibilities.  As stated, this card can get the damage bonus from Darkness Energy.  What is extra sweet is that you can still make good use of Crystal Shard with this Pokémon, since the name clause will keep the damage bonuses when your type changes.  It also has access to R Energy, which is significant due to the first attack.  While this seems rather intricate, you can Rare Candy a Cubone into Dark Marowak on the first turn, drop an R Energy and a Strength Charm and probably score a FTKO against a lot of decks.  Rocket’s Hideout is the natural Stadium to use with Dark Pokémon, as it grants them an extra 20 HP (and a 90 HP Stage 1 Pokémon is fairly nice). Then there are the rest of the Team Rocket affiliated cards that provide fantastic back up.  Set mate Pokémon Retriever is also useful for “reloading” and making the initial discard less troublesome to begin with.

 

As for actual deck strategies, I have seen two interesting concepts, which seem to fit the mold of recent “Voodoo” decks.  Granted, the term is still new to me, so my definition of such a deck is very, very loose: basically anything that focuses on Stage 1 Pokémon that hit for about 80 a turn quickly and reliably, usually on their second turn.  More than likely, who ever coined the term is cringing at that definition.  Still, given the extensive use of bones, Dark Marowak indeed has a voodoo flavor, and would be helpful for Dark Hypno.  It can exploit Fighting Weakness, and gives a back up option for even Dark Hypno’s attacks: Dark Link may be a flip, but against the recent crop of control decks, I’d rather flip for 30 or flip and discard for 70 than sit their doing nothing against Medicham ex… who would be OHKO’d if a Dark Linked Hard Bone hit.

 

The other deck I’ve seen use Dark Marowak is Maroswap.  This deck tries to open with Dark Marowak, and once the discard has six Pokémon in it, the player will use Surprise! Time Machine to switch to Fire Red/Leaf Green Marowak and use Vengeance to his for a solid 90 each turn.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1.5/5-It is not utterly useless, but there are better Fighting Pokémon available.  Also, 70 HP is very low for this format, so while Hard Bone would be racking up OHKO’s… your opponent will just OHKO you back.

 

Modified: 3.5/5-This appears to be a very solid card, but mainly due to its combo potential, as opposed to intrinsic strengths.

 

Limited: 4/5-The HP may be low on it, but its low on a lot of Pokémon in this set, and I already pointed out the Cubone is useful for setting up… and stock piling for Hard Bone.

 

Summary

This is a good card with a slight HP/Resistance deficiency that keeps it from starring in its own deck, but makes it an excellent co-star or supporting cast member.  Yes, the TV is on right now.

 


Hinkbert
Dark Marowak: EX Team Rocket

Today we check out a card from my favorite recent set; Dark Marowak. I would like to start out by saying I really enjoy the artwork, he reminds me of Batman, very cool. Anyway let’s look at the standard stuff; 70 Hp, weakness to grass, and retreat cost of one, and he’s also a dual type both Fighting and Dark. His Hp can be raised by Rocket’s Hideout which is helpful, his weakness is probably one of the best in modified right now since there are few, if any strong grass decks, just watch out for Rocket’s Scyther if he’s still hanging around, and his retreat is easily paid for. Now the attacks; Brick Smash does 30 damage for 2 energy and ignores any and all effects except it still calculates weakness, always good to include weakness, the second attack (love the name) Hard Bone does 70 for 2 fighting and 1 colorless, but you also have to discard a Pokemon, possibly a liability but there are definite ways to use this as a combo.

Speaking of combos, here we go. Well obviously he can benefit from dark energies and R (Rocket’s) energy. He still gets their benefit even when using Crystal Shard too, always a plus. Banette from HL and the regular Marowak can combo with this beast as the both base their damage on what Pokemon are in your discard, Banette places damage counters, while Marowak does damage. So go with what works, or possibly use both. Double Rainbow Energies are also helpful in preparing Dark Marowak to attack, the fact that he needs 2 fighting energies to attack can be hindering, but a DRE and a Darkness energy essentially cancel each other out but still allow him to do 70 damage, and any extra dark energies are just gravy. Generally in whatever way you use him it’s good to concentrate on speed since even with a Rocket’s Hideout he’s still relatively easy to knock out. A single R energy could also power up Brick Smash for a turn for a quick 40 damage in case it’s ever needed.

Unlimited 1.5/5 His second attack is pretty hard to keep powered up since your opponent can so easily get rid of the energies, and Tyrogue achieves what Dark Marowak’s first attack does better and more efficiently for the most part. Grass Pokemon (Scyther, Vileplume, possibly Ninjask) have a more potent presence here too.

Modified 3.75/5 The best format to use him in. Grass is little to no threat here and he has a good amount of speed and can combo well with others. He’s basically encumbered by his second attack’s requirements and his low Hp, but he still can hit fast and hard posing a viable threat.

Limited 3/5 Since combos are either none existent here, or rely heavily on luck to first pull what you need and then get to them while playing the game, he becomes more difficult to use here. There are some strong and quick grass Pokes (Dark Crobat, Jumpluff, Dark Arbok) that can seriously hurt or OHKO Dark Marowak. Hard Bone becomes much more of a burden here, first requiring a minimum of 2 fighting energies, and then you need to have the Pokemon to discard, both of which can be problematic in this format, but when you can do the attack it’s pretty damaging. At least his first attack allows him to get around the resistances in the format.
 
Scyther 21 Dark Marowak

Hhmm.... Dark Marowak, Skull and Bone cool lookin'.

Marowak has 70 HP is decent and pretty normal for Marowak. This fits fine as stage one pokemon (as always I feel that 10 more HP would push it more).

The first attack Brick Smash is a solid 30 unchangeable points of damage for two colorless energy. However, you can recieve the +10 damage from the darkness energy because it is an effect on Dark Marowak, not the defending pokemon. This is solid since you can hit a second-turn 30 to the opponent.

The second attack, Hard Bone deals 70 points of damage for two fighting energy and one colorless energy. Before ya get excited there is a downside (as if you didn't see it coming). In order for the attack to do damage you have to discard a basic pokemon or evolution card. This while a problem can be overcame. Some decks that are played sometimes have excess cards in hand (namely pokemon) which is not that bad as those extra cards we want to get rid of for trainers (Stevens) or use them to play trainers (TV Reporter) if worst comes to worst you could use Pokemon Retrevier. Of course, these detours should be used seldomly, when you need that fast 70 damage points.

The bottom stats are expected Weak: Grass, Rest: None (put lighting here), Retreat: One

Unlimited: 3.4 this card can find multiple ways to get over its disadvantage throughout the sets of Pokemon
Modified: 2.9 slightly less because of Hard Bone but should not be overlooked as it can deal major damage
Limited: 4.0 a solid card if you get it (hard) and its lower form (easy) play it, Hard Bone works best here because most draft deck have more Pkmns than anything and often need to be rid of them if anything else its Brick Smash will be a solid 30 for any two energy, nice.

Scyther 21 out
 
Bullados Dark Marowak

Attributes: 70 HP upgradeable to 90 with HIdeout. Standard, but unimpressive by today's standards. Grass weakness isn't too bad, as it isn't seen that much, but it will be a problem when you face a Muk or ScepTecH deck. Retreat of 1 is always good, and very payable in today's environment.

Attack #1: [CC] "Brick Smash"
I LOVE the fact that this CAN be affected by Weakness. Makes it SO much more powerful than any Swift attack ever can be. Also, it can't really be reduced, making it a VERY solid backup attack.

Attack #2: [FFC] "Hard Bone"
Somebody over at Nintendo must have been having a laughing fit when naming this thing. 70 damage for 3 energy, only discarding what's expendable AND easily recoverable is a VERY attractive prospect. That amount of damage can easily be the backbone of a TecH deck or something like that.

Ratings:

Unlimited: Unfortunately, the attack is too steep in price, and 70 damage isn't all that much when Sneasel is running around. The auto-30 is always good, tho.
2/5

Modified: This thing is, like, UlTiMaTe TecH in most Stage 1 decks. A pure 70 damage, with very little drawback, solid HP, and a good backup attack all make this card VERY playable in this format.
4/5

Limited: Once this guy gets going with enough backup, it can be difficult to stop, to say the least. Unfortunately, it will have to win you the game in about 4-5 attacks, because there is very little draw power in Limited, meaning that you'll have to time your Hard Bone attacks *snicker* very well in order to use them effectively. Also, it would be wise to take note of which Basics in your deck are expendable before using the attack. Still, it's 70 damage and a very solid 30 damage backup.
4/5

~bullados
Bullados@comcast.net
 


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