Poliwrath is one of those Pokémon that I always think
should be better than it is . . . both in the TCG and
the VGC. I mean, it’s got good typing (Water and
Fighting) and should make an awesome Physical attacker .
. . but somehow it just doesn’t.
This Poliwrath comes with a nice 130 HP (though that is
pretty much the standard for a Stage 2 these days), the
worst Weakness in the game (hello Luxray!), and an
appalling Retreat Cost of three, so you had better make
sure you have a way to Retreat without paying it.
Poliwrath’s first attack, Steamroll, cost [W][C] and
does 40 damage with a 20 snipe to the Bench. Now I’m not
going to say that’s terrible, because it isn’t, but it
IS outclassed by other cards. Just look at Kingdra LA
which does 60 +20 for only ONE Water Energy . . .
The other attack Poliwrath offers is Dynamic Punch. For
one more Colourless Energy, this has a base damage of 60
(which would be terrible), but it does offer a big bonus
if you flip heads. Then you will be doing 100 damage and
getting Confusion on the Defending Pokémon. That’s
actually pretty sweet, but having to flip a coin is
terrible. Get heads and you could get a vital KO; but
flip tails and you will do worse than mediocre damage
which could cost you the game. There is enough luck in
Pokémon without having to rely on even more of it just
to get off a decent attack. This is why players will
avoid coin-flip attacks unless they are a) completely
broken or b) pretty good, even if you get tails.
Unfortunately, Dynamic Punch isn’t either of these
things, and for that reason a good player will always
choose one of the many, many cards that are better than
Even the LA one is better than this, and when was the
last time you saw anyone play that?
Modified: 2 (so many better cards to use)
Limited: 3 (decent here, but it’s a Stage 2 so I can’t
score too highly)
Combos with . . .
I suppose you could make a Poli family deck with
Politoed LA and/or Politoed UL but don’t expect to win
anything with it.
Welcome back Pojo readers! Today we are reviewing a
card that won me a few games at the set's prerelease,
Poliwrath from the HS Unleashed.
Poliwrath is a Stage 2 Water Pokemon. 130 HP is standard
for a Stage 2, allowing Poliwrath to take a hit or two.
Double weakness to Lightning is awful, as Luxray GL will
continue to be a big problem, even after rotation. No
Resistance is disappointing, and a Retreat Cost of 3 is
terrible = use Switch or Warp Point instead.
Poliwrath has two attacks. The first, Steamroll, costs
[WC] and deals 40 damage to the Defending Pokemon and 20
damage to one of your opponent's Benched Pokemon. This
attack isn't bad, as it allows you to hit both your
opponent's Active and something benched, however the
damage output is a bit low. The second attack, Dynamic
Punch, deals 60 damage for [WCC] to begin with but has
you flip a coin and adds 40 damage and confuses if you
flip heads. At worst, this attack will deal a slightly
expensive 60 damage for 3 energy, but 100 damage and
automatic Confusion can be really annoying for your
opponent if they don't have a Switch or Warp Point, and
a few favorable head flips will probably net you a prize
Modified: 2.25/5 I like Poliwrath. While it doesn't do
anything spectacularly gamebreaking, it has two very
solid attacks, which is more than most cards from the
past few sets can say. However, in today's fast paced
metagame, Stage 2 Pokemon should either hit fast, hit
hard, or have a game-changing effect, where Poliwrath
sadly has none of these. Lightning weakness and high
Retreat Cost don't help, either.
Limited: 3.5/5 Poliwrath is excellent in Limited. High
HP and good attacks mean that you can easily take a few
prizes, especially if you are lucky with your flips for
Dynamic Punch. Being able to hit Benched Pokemon and
your opponent's Active at the same time with Steamroll
is also a huge plus.
Mad Mattezhion Professor Bathurst League Australia
Poliwrath (HS Unleashed)
Poliwrath is one of the many Water Pokemon featured in
this set, and has been the subject of both some good and
bad card versions. The Base Set version looked cool and
played decntly but LA version sucked due to the first
attck having a lousy drawback (60 damage for F, but no
damage if Poliwrath was damage during the opponent's
last turn). That may be why the design team gave us
Donphan Prime. Moving on...
This Poliwrath has a healthy 130 HP (standard, but a
good standard) with the usual Lighning weakness (Manectric
PT, Entei/Raikou and of course Luxray making that a very
BAD thing) and a retreat cost of 3. Poliwrath needs to
lose some weight, it seems. Or is it that muscle weighs
more than fat?
Now the attacks. 2 seems to be the standard and
Poliwrath does not dissapoint with Steamroll and Dynamic
Punch. Steamroll costs WC and provides 40 damage to the
active with 20 damage to one of your opponent's benched
Pokemon. This is a strange choice for an attack, and
while I can't really complain about the numbers it lacks
synchronicity with the second attack, especially since
there is very little support in the game for boosting
damage dealt to benched pokemon. Sure, there are plenty
of poke-powers you can use to place damage counters
beforehand (Kingdra Prime is the most obvious combo
here) but light sniping just doesn't seem useful or
desirable on a Stage 2, especially when it costs 2
energy to use.
Dynamic Punch is another strange choice for an attack,
with a cost of WCC. For that investment, you get to flip
a coin and deal 100 dmage with confusion for a heads, or
60 damage for a tails. Flippy = bad in the books of
serious players, and this attack probably won't change
their minds. At least the tails flip doesn't leave you
dealing no damage or even self damage. At an average of
80 damage for 3 energy (confusion is far too weak to
consider here) you can safely say that there are better
If this card sees play it will be in a rogue deck using
Politoed LA. If you have a Poliwag, Poliwhirl and
Poliwrath in play, Politoed LA boosts the attacks of
each of those Pokemon by 60 damage which would make this
Poliwrath playable, but the difficulty in getting those
pokemon into play without providing easy prizes to your
opponent means that it probbaly won't ever happen. Also,
Politoed only boosts the damage against the active
Pokemon, so the snipe is still useless.
Modified: 2 (and that is only because I like Poliwrath
Limited: 3.5 (a good choice next to Blastoise, and the
attacks are great in this slower format)
Combos with: Politoed LA
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