Hello and welcome to another week of Pojo’s CotD. This
week we shall be reviewing a few more rares and
uncommons from the HGSS set, starting with Azumarill
which is (apparently) some kind of rabbit.
Azumarill is a Stage 1 Pokémon, which makes it a tough
sell in this format. For a Stage 1 to be tournament
playable, it either needs huge HP (like Gyarados and
Donphan) or be pretty fast (like . . . errrr . . .
Gyarados and Donphan . . . see where I am going with
this?). It needs these qualities to compete with high HP
SP Basics and the fast and hard-hitting Stage 2s. Has
Azumarill got what it takes?
Well . . . it only has 90 HP and an x2 Lightning
Weakness (possibly the worst of all the Weaknesses
thanks to Luxray), so Azumarill doesn’t score very
highly on durability. With attacks that cost [W][W] and
[W][C][C] and a Retreat cost of [C][C], it doesn’t
appear to be very fast either. Oh dear . . . maybe it
can make up for it with spectacular damage output?
Ummmm . . . no. For the astonishingly high cost of
[W][W], Waterfall will do 40 damage. That’s just
lame in this format. Donphan does 60 for [F], Gyarados
does up to 90 for no Energy. Even Raichu HGSS does 100
for two specific Energy, and that card isn’t especially
playable. Azumarill’s second attack, Bubblebeam, does at
least give you a chance of an effect with a coin flip
for Paralysis to go with the underwhelming 60 damage.
True, Paralysis is a very nice effect, but flips
are not nice . . . and neither is being stopped by Unown
Really, there’s no nice way to say it: Azumarill is weak
and its attacks are too expensive and don’t do enough
damage. There are much better Stage 1s and much better
Water Pokémon to use. Heck there are even other rabbit
Pokémon that are better than this (Lopunny).
Modified: 1.25 (Play if this and Marill are the only
Pokémon cards you own. Actually, forget that, just play
Marill and 59 Energy)
Limited: 2 (Not completely hopeless if you can keep
Welcome back, Pojo readers! We are continuing
reviewing cards from the HeartGold and SoulSilver
expansion this week.
Today's Card of the Day is Azumarill from HGSS.
Azumarill is a Stage 1 Water Pokemon. Being a Water
Pokemon is a pretty good thing right now, with decent
support from Rain Dance. 90 HP isn't bad for a Stage 1,
but could afford to be a little higher. Double Weakness
to Lightning is awful, with all of the Luxray GL. No
Resistance is unfortunate, and a Retreat Cost of 2 is
fairly expensive, but you can pay it without setting
yourself back too much.
Azumarill has two attacks. The first attack,
Waterfall, does a vanilla 40 damage for [WW]. Not much
to say about it, other than the damage output is a bit
lower than what one would want. The second attack,
Bubblebeam, deals 60 damage for [WCC] and has a chance
to Paralyze if you flip heads. Paralysis is always nice,
although the attack is flippy and 60 for 3 is a bit
expensive. Overall, like the rest of the HeartGold and
SoulSilver expansion, Azumarill has overcosted attacks
for a somewhat underwhelming damage output.
Modified: 1.5/5 You could use Azumarill as an
attacker in a Rain Dance deck, but you'd probably be
better running Lapras PL, Starmie HGSS, or something
else like that.
Limited: 3/5 I actually like Azumarill here.
Waterfall deals pretty good damage for 2 energy here,
and Bubblebeam has Colorless Energy requirements. Plus,
the damage output isn't so bad here. An overall solid
is a Stage 1 Water Pokémon with 90 HP,
Lightning Weakness, No Resistance, and
requiring two Energy to retreat.So far, so… poor?Stage 1 Pokémon have always been
in danger of being “squeezed out” by big
Basics and fast Stage 2 Pokémon, and
that seems to be happening in this
format. That means a Stage 1 Pokémon has
to have strong, inexpensive attacks, a
good Pokémon Power, or better still,
both.Being a Water Pokémon is neither
crippling nor a huge advantage right
now, and the 90 HP is average.The Retreat Cost is above average
for this Pokémon, which is unfortunate,
as the utter lack of Resistance
(anything is better than nothing).The Lightning Weakness is
extremely problematic in this format,
and together with the rest of its stats,
means that there are only two ways to
redeem this card:
When we see the attacks, we see
Waterfall, which does 40 damage for two
Water Energy.This would have been solid years
ago, before we started getting zero
Energy attacks, but now is mediocre even
on a Basic Pokémon that can further
Evolve.Bubblebeam is a little better: 60
damage for (WCC) and a 50% chance of
Double Colorless Energy can let you
start hitting for this by turn two, so
this is passable.
There is no brilliant version
Marill being splashed into most
decks, so one combo hope is gone.The only other “combo” I can see
for this card is to run it with
Feraligatr Prime.That may indeed be why the card
is almost pure vanilla, as far as Water
Pokémon go: even a marginally useful
Pokémon Power (be it Poké-Power or Poké-Body)
would have given
Feraligatr some extra support.Likewise, the attacks seemed to
be designed so that they don’t get a lot
of benefit from Rain Dance.
Azumarill could have had a big,
mono-Water attack that needed three or
four Energy.It would have made it hard to
run… except with
Feraligatr Prime.More importantly, it would have
justified more damage and/or better
effects for the attack.
2/5 – It functions, but is sub par.
3.5/5 – The stats are still poor here,
but the last attack becomes good.It is still a bit low on damage,
but Special Conditions are often
devastating in Limited and since you
only need a single Water Energy for the
three Energy cost, it can be run in a
multi-color deck pretty easily.