If it wasn’t for the fact that it appears in every set,
then I reckon I would probably forget that
Carnivine even existed. It’s
not the most appealing Pokémon, and the fact that its
attacks are nearly always unpleasantly-named doesn’t
help matters. I mean . . . ‘Spit Up’ . . . ‘Sweet
Saliva’ . . . ewwwww!
That said, this isn’t the
worst Carnivine, or even the
worst card in the world. It’s an
unevolving Basic with a very nice 80 HP,
a not-too-bad Fire Weakness,
and a very welcome resistance to Water. The Retreat cost
of two is a bit of a pain though.
has two attacks which complement each other pretty well.
Saliva Lure (ugh, there it is again!) costs [C] and
allows you to drag a Pokémon up off your opponent’s
Bench. That’s a pretty nice disruption effect right now:
useful to get rid of immediate threats and lock
something techy with a big
Retreat in place (e.g.: Regice,
Vileplume). The second
attack, Stick and Absorb, is very expensive at [G][G][C]
for a mere 30 damage, but it does have two nice bonus
effects: it heals 30 damage from
Carnivine and stops the Defending Pokémon from
retreating next turn.
Really, Carnivine is very
like a mini version of the
Victreebel from Triumphant which we reviewed last
week. The idea is to lock and slowly kill the Pokémon of
your choice while you heal. Like
Victreebel, the obvious partner is
Vileplume UD to prevent the
use of switching Trainers. Unfortunately, even though
Carnivine is a Basic, it’s
still inferior to the Stage 2
Victreebel. Any speed advantage it gains from
being Basic is eroded by the higher cost of the attacks,
and in the end, Victreebel’s
ability to do more damage for less Energy means it will
always be the better card.
Modified: 1.75 (not really workable, and there are
better alternatives, but at least it tries)
Limited: 3 (can be annoying and effective in a low HP
Combos with . . .
When writing reviews, I generally try to give cards the
benefit of the doubt when writing, because formats
change, the metagame shifts, and people more skilled at
Pokemon than I find uses for cards I never expected.
And then...we have this card.
So, Carnivine is an 80 HP Grass basic. So far, it's not
terrible. Its first attack, Saliva Lure, has a Gust of
Wind effect, which isn't terrible. Now, if it had an
attack that abused this well, it wouldn't be that bad.
Instead, it has Stick and Absorb, which does 30 damage
for GGC. That is not nearly enough damage. That's bad
damage for Limited. That's barely passable damage for
Limited, and only because it has the bonus effect of
preventing the Defending Pokemon from retreating. Yeah,
it also heals, but yeah, it also has 80 HP, so it's not
likely to live any sooner than it would without healing.
Of course, there's other ways to abuse Saliva Lure. For
instance, you could Saliva Lure something, then next
turn switch to a more powerful attacker. This isn't
quite as effective as, say, Luxray GL, but it could
Only then, you have to retreat this thing.
With its retreat cost...of two.
This is probably better in Limited, where the healing
will actually prolong its longevity for a few turns, but
you know what? I'm not feeling terribly charitable with
the ratings today. Therefore: