Ratings are based
on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 3 ... average. 5 is the highest rating.
For a Pokemon that I never hear anyone talk about,
except to complain about getting their twentieth POP
one, Nintendo sure does seem to like making Swellow
cards. The newest version actually seems alright, and it
seems to be the best over-all. First the stats: 70 Hp
which is to be expected, lightning weakness, fighting
resistance, and a retreat for free. Pretty good bottom
stats, lightning has some powerful hitters right now,
but most can easily do 70 damage easily without even
taking weakness into account. A resistance is always
nice, although I suppose it’s a bit more dangerous to
have a fighting resistance with the new Medicham ex, but
still better than nothing. A retreat cost for free is
the best and there’s really no down side to it.
Swellow’s first attack does 20 damage for 1 energy, it’s
nice that it has a one energy attack since that allows a
quick Wally’s training and you can bypass those horrible
Taillows. The second attack does 40 to anyone for 3
energy, a great attack, especially since it’s boostable.
Swellow is a supporting Pokemon at best; the problem is
that it’s hard to find a deck to use it in, even though
it is colorless and should easily fit almost anywhere.
Most decks that use boost energies use them on big
hitters, like T-Tar or Gardy, so it would seem a waste
on Swellow, plus it has nothing else special about it,
and it’s encumbered by its its own low Hp, and horrible
pre-evolution cards, all of which have either horrible
attacks or Hp or combination of both. Theoretically one
could make a deck with Surprise Time Machines and an
assortment of Swellows, I’d recommend the Deoxys and R/S
ones, if played correctly a deck like this could do
well; not tournament level well but still pretty good.
So while Swellow could fit into most decks, there’s
usually if not always a better choice, at least for now.
Perhaps our little bird friend will become more powerful
after rotation, but for now it is relegated to the
obscurity of the deck binder.
Unlimited 2/5 Uses any energy, resistant to Tyrogue, and
can OHKO benched babies, so it does serve some purpose,
but like most new Pokes Swellow can’t compete that well
in this format.
Modified 2/5 Good for hitting the bench and not much
Limited 3.5/5 Bench hitting is great here, but the
weakness isn’t. Even a lucky Minun with 2 energy, of any
color I should add, can OHKO this bird. Free retreat is
good though, so you could potentially save it and the
energies on it for a late game bench hitting win. The
only Taillow in this format has a tails/fails attack,
weakening its evolved form since Taillow so ineffectual.
EX Emerald - 41/106 - Uncommon
Nice Stage One we have here, slightly more playable than
the POP ones =P
It has 70 HP; OK for a Stage One, but I've seen better.
Of course, the Fighting resistance and Free Retreat make
it more attactive. It only requires 1 Energy of any type
to do 20 damage; great when wanting to get a head start.
Its other attack does 40 damage to ANY of your
opponent's Pokemon. Always nice to start hitting the
Bench...Also, a lot of Pokemon have Colourless weakness
nowadays, so seeing a Pokemon to take advantage of that
The disadvantages of this card...well, it'll be terrible
against Zappy ex decks. It might help a little against
DragTrode, but can get OHKOed too easily. I personally
don't think it'd be strong enough to last all that long.
Nice, but too easy to OHKO.
OK against DragTrode, for rest of comments, see
Great fast attacker and nice to attack bench to make the
opponent more vunerable.
Attributes: Decent HP for a stage 1, it should stay
alive for a good amount of time before anything major
happens. Weakness to Electric is not so good, as 2 of
the biggest decks today are fast electric decks, and
would easily OHKO Swellow because of the weakness.
Resistance to Fighting is very nice, as there are also a
good number of top decks that use that type extensively.
Also, having a Resistance is always better than NOT
having one. The opposite is true for Retreat; the lower,
the better, and you can't get much lower than 0, which
is what this bird has. Not really surprising, as most of
the birds have had very low retreat costs, never more
than 1 from what I remember.
Attack #1: [C] "Peck"
Very simple, yet very effective. 1 for 20 is always
good, and very cheap for the damage. However, this is
your classic filler attack, and the other attack, as
usual, is much better.
Attack #2: [CCC] "Skill Dive"
40 damage anywhere for a simple Boost or Scramble is
always good, also cheap by the old standards, although,
I'm thinking of revising the standard due to the amount
of cards out now that easily exceed those standards, and
not just Pokemon-ex either. This is a nice backup attack
if you want to pick off a weak Bench or something like
Unlimited: Scyther is better for free retreat, Umbreon
is better for bench picking, Dark Raichu is better for
spread damage. Simply put, whatever Swellow can do,
there are others in the format that can do it better.
Modified: Actually, pretty nice here. Bench damage is
something unexpected, and 40 HP basics are fairly common
in the format today. Unfortunately, both Dark Tyrannitar
and Steelix do a better job of spread damage than
Swellow, and Electabuzz is easier to get rolling
consistantly. Just like Unlimited, there is something
that does what Swellow does BETTER than Swellow.
Limited: An uncommon stage 1 with a common basic, you
should be able to get a good line of these in Draft and
probably a 2-1 or 3-2 in Sealed. Free retreat is always
nice, and people love retreating to protect their
damaged goods on the bench. Just use Swellow to pick
them off. Also, to add to the excitement, there is very
little good Electric in Emerald, and a whole lot of
Fighting, making Swellow a good defensive choice most of