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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

 Noctowl #8/123

HeartGold & SoulSilver

Date Reviewed: 03.04.10

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.00
Limited: 3.67

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
Top 4 UK Nats

Noctowl HGSS

 

Like yesterday’s card, Noctowl HGSS has been mentioned as possible draw support in a post-Claydol format. Like Monday’s card, it is a great example of some of the wonderful artwork in the HGSS set.

 

Noctowl is a Colourless Stage 1 with 90 HP (kind of average), x2 Lightning Weakness (the worst!), and a handy Resistance to Fighting. The Retreat cost of one isn’t ideal, but is low enough to work with.

 

Noctowl’s Night Sight Power is simplicity itself: it lets you draw an extra card per turn. An extra card is nothing to be sneezed at, but is it really worth benching a Stage 1 for? Especially a Stage 1 that can be dragged out and OHKO’d by Luxray? Well, the answer right no is emphatically ‘no’. While we still have Claydol and Uxie, there’s no reason to run this card for its Power . . . none at all.

 

You do get an attack called Extrasensory with Noctowl, however. For [C][C][C] you do a base damage of 40 (which is terrible), but if you and your opponent have the same number of cards in hand, the damage is doubled to 80. This could actually be quite a decent attack in some circumstances. The Colourless cost, though high, is easy enough to fulfil no matter what deck you run, and there are several popular Pokémon that have Colourless Weakness (Garchomp C, Flygon, Garchomp SV). Ensuring your hand size is the same as your opponent isn’t too difficult either. Most decks keep their hand at 5-7 cards with Uxie and Claydol so you can play out, or conserve your hand as appropriate, and there’s always Copycat if you want to make sure.

 

Sadly for Noctowl, a semi-decent but slow attack, and a PokePower that is Clearly inferior to alternatives means that it is unlikely to see any play in this format. In fact, we already have a card with an identical Power, similar attack, and free Retreat (Dodrio SV), and no-one thinks of running that.  Even in a world without Claydol, this card is of doubtful worth. If this is the best generic draw support we will have, then the format will be very slow indeed for set up decks.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 2 (situational attack, sub-par Power)

Limited: 4 (draw is brilliant and the attack is good here too)

virusyosh

Greetings, Pojo readers! Today's COTD is Noctowl from the HeartGold and SoulSilver set.

Noctowl is a Stage 1 Colorless Pokemon. Colorless Pokemon aren't generally bad, as they have flexible energy requirements and can easily find a place in most decks. 90 HP is about normal for a Stage 1, but could afford to be a little higher. Double Weakness to Lightning is bad in a format where Luxray GL Lv. X is one of the most common cards. Resistance to Fighting is great. A Retreat Cost of 1 is decent, and can be paid without too much trouble.

Noctowl has a Poke-Power and an attack. The Poke-Power, Night Sight, allows you to draw a card once per turn, given that you aren't affected by a Special Condition. This straightforward power obviously can generate you some free card advantage, but there are generally better alternatives. While Noctowl's card draw is without any relative drawback, drawing one single card will rarely be helpful when you could simply draw multiple cards (Claydol, Uxie, Ninetales, Felicity's Drawing) or search for whatever you need (Roseanne's Research, Bebe's Search, Poke Drawer+). However, any sort of card advantage is good to have, and who knows, Noctowl could see some play after the format rotation as a weak draw engine.

Noctowl's attack, Extrasensory, obviously has some synergy with Night Sight. For [CCC], it deals 40 damage plus 40 more if you have the same number of cards in hand as your opponent. 40 damage for 3 Energy is a horrendous cost, but 80 for 3 Colorless is actually pretty decent, provided that you can actually get the same number of cards in hand as your opponent. This isn't as hard to do as one might think: With Claydol being played so often, it is a fairly common occurrence for your opponents to have somewhere around 4-6 cards in hand, and this number is fairly easy to match if you run a Claydol of your own. However, if you're running Claydol, you probably shouldn't be running Noctowl in the first place.

Modified: 2/5 Much like the Ninetales we reviewed yesterday, Noctowl is largely a bench-sitting support Pokemon. However, unlike Ninetales, the rewards for playing Noctowl probably don't justify using it in a deck, given that you're only drawing a single card per turn. However, Noctowl may see some play when Claydol and Uxie rotate out, when card drawing with Poke-Powers isn't nearly as common.

Limited: 3/5 Colorless energy requirements and card advantage make Noctowl a pretty decent pick in Limited. While the attack is still overpriced, any sort of card draw helps win games.


Otaku

Today’s CotD is the latest Noctowl.  It has 90 HP, which is pretty standard for fully Evolved Stage 1.  It has a double Weakness to Lightning Pokémon: even just coming back to the game and still trying to find time to catch-up, I know there is a strong, effective deck to put the hurt on Noctowl, which means so does everyone else.  Fighting Resistance, even at the -20 level, is still welcome, but remember that Fighting Pokémon are known for hitting hard and bypassing Resistance.  A single Energy Retreat Cost is good but not great.  Hoothoot is nothing spectacular, so Noctowl had better have some spectacular abilities to warrant a spot in your deck.

 

*reads card*

 

No.  Not seeing it.  Night Sight isn’t a bad Poké-Power, but it can’t carry the card.  Drawing an extra card is always nice, but can’t justify a Stage 1 on its own.  Likewise, Extrasensory is a good attack, but won’t carry the card either: 40 damage for three Energy on a fully Evolved Stage 1 Pokémon is poor.  The extra 40 damage you get if you can match your hand size to your opponent’s is good, but requires effort and a gives your opponent a chance to make it unreliable.

 

For Noctowl to see play, Pokémon has to have a radical shift.  Not just the normal set rotation, but a loss of all other significant sources of speed or support for other aspects of this card.  For example, a return of the Poké-Power Smooth Over on something less than a Stage 2 Pokémon: you could build an entire deck based on getting up to the exact three cards you need each turn.  More non-attacks that allow you to reliably synchronize your hand with your opponent: unless I missed it (and I will remind you that is quite possible right now) it’s just Copycat.  Lastly, if there was something else to reward you for having a Bench full of Noctowl, again it becomes a serious contender.  After all, a reliable extra draw of two to four cards on top of some other effect would be worth the space.

 

Unfortunately for Noctowl, none of that seems to apply, and it feels like such a waste.  This card is less than the sum of its parts: everything that went into it (other than Weakness) is passable or even good, but not enough to beat out the competition.  You’d be better off dedicating the space for it in a deck to a better supporting Pokémon and/or non-Pokémon cards to speed your set up.

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 2/5 – It doesn’t grant a good return, but it does give you something.

 

Limited: 4/5 – Here there is a distinct lack of competition: any draw is good as is a weak but reliable Colorless fueled attack that occasionally hit hard.  At the very least, your opponent has to work to keep your hand sizes from matching up.  So while the rest of the article is down on our bird, here it can fly high.


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