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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Grumpig #23/102

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.13
Limited: 3.37

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
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Grumpig (Triumphant)

 

Anyone who played through the 2008 season must have had mixed feelings about the rotation of Gardevoir SW and the loss of its Psychic Lock attack from the Format.

 

Well, the good/bad news is that it’s BACK! And this time they have given it to . . . .GRUMPIG!?

 

(Well, sort of).

 

Grumpig is, of course, no Gardevoir. It doesn’t have that amazing Telepass Power for one thing. It’s also pretty weak, being a 90 HP Stage 1 with double Psychic Weakness, and that two Energy Retreat cost doesn’t do it any favours either.

 

As for the Psychic Lock attack, it IS cheaper that Gardy’s version, costing only [P][C] to use. The drawback? It only does 20 damage so, yes, you CAN shut of your opponent’s Powers, but you will take so many turns to KO them that it really won’t matter much . . . and Grumpig will likely be long gone before it even gets near to taking a Prize.

 

One of the reasons Gardy SW was so effective was that most decks relied heavily on using Claydol’s Cosmic Power every turn for set up and consistent draw. With Claydol out of the format, Psychic Lock is much less useful. Sure, if you can get it out fast enough you may stop an Uxie drop or a Bright Look . . . but the minimal damage output, and the ease with which your opponent will KO Grumpig, mean that that is not really a very viable strategy.

 

If you do manage to get another colourless Energy on Grumpig, you get access to Bench Manipulation – an attack where your opponent gets to flip a coin for each of their Benched Pokémon, and you do 40 damage to the active for each tails. Despite the potential for huge damage (up to 200!), and the fun factor of making your opponent flip for YOUR attack, this isn’t something you would really want to use in a tournament. Not one, but two factors (number of tails, number of Benched Pokémon) are outside of your control, making the attack extremely unreliable. Good players need to know how much damage they can do . . . not trust to luck.

 

So it looks like we can all breathe a sigh of relief – Psychic Lock will NOT be coming back to a tournament near you.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 1.5 (it’s almost a shame to see a once-great attack nerfed like this)

Limited: 3.5 (forget Psychic Lock . . . in Limited, Bench Manipulation can get you a ton of OHKOs with only average luck!)

conical

 11/16/10: Grumpig(Triumphant)
 
To my knowledge, Grumpig has never had a playable card printed ever. So this should be an easy enough review, just...wait a minute, Psychic Lock? Where have I seen that attack before...OH SNAP GARDEVOIR.
 
Yeah, that's more or less the general reaction people have had to the new Grumpig. To be honest, Grumpig probably plays little like Gardevoir, and more like Jirachi ex, who has the exact same attack under a different name. If Gardevoir was still in the format, maybe Grumpig would see play; however, like Jirachi, its attack is too weak to be the focus of a deck like Gardy, and with Mesprit LA likely seeing heavier play with Seeker, Grumpig may still be too slow. It will likely see play somewhere, though probably not until Mesprit rotates out. It's always an option to consider, though.
 
Modified: 2.75/5
Limited: 3.25/5


Otaku

Today we look at Grumpig.  Grumpig tends to be one of those overshadowed Pokémon: many of its past iterations were poor, and whenever one showed potential, another Pokémon would be released (similar or not) that drew all attention away.  The best have merely replicated older strategies, sometimes better and sometimes worse than past decks.  As someone who has toyed with some of those decks (and is just fond of pigs in general) I’ll have to fight a positive bias.

 

Grumpig is Psychic, which will allow it to slam the Weakness on a few popular cards, such as Uxie and Uxie Lv.X.  It is a Stage 1 which is still a mixed blessing.  Harder to splash into a deck than a Basic but easier than a Stage 1, power creep has blurred the lines on what is appropriate for each level: you can’t count on a Stage 1 to be stronger than the average played Basic Pokémon or faster than (a regularly played) Stage 2 Pokémon thanks to the support enjoyed by both.  90 HP is the least a Stage 1 Pokémon can get away with (barring some compensation in terms of raw power).  Yes, 80 HP Stage 1 Pokémon see some play but they tend to be protected, Bench-sitters, or simply so powerful that it’s just okay to regularly lose a Prize for them.

 

The Psychic Weakness x2 is expected, but also hurts the wonderful type-matching this card would enjoy: if it doesn’t take out an Uxie/Uxie Lv.X, Uxie Lv.X just needs a Double Colorless Energy to OHKO Grumpig.  Taking out Uxie was why being a Psychic Pokémon was useful, so this is both a mark against it and diminishes one of the cards potential perks.  The lack of Resistance still irks me, since I can tell you now this card doesn’t have enough raw power to justify dropping it as a matter of balance.  The two Energy required to retreat I would normally score as “average”: in terms of usefulness two Energy is a bit too high to Retreat easily, but when you have to you can without crippling your set up.  The thing is, this card isn’t looking all that great and I’ll tell you now, it doesn’t get a whole lot better.  A lower Retreat Cost would have been just one more little thing that would have helped compensate for the other less impressive aspects.

 

Grumpig has two attacks to choose from, and both seem to be underrated from what I heard and read.  How so?  Psychic Lock is a good attack, but not strong enough to build your entire deck (and strategy) around.  (PC) for 20, even with the excellent effect of preventing your opponent from using Poké-Powers during his/her next turn, is a little low.  It isn’t that far off, though: it really is a potent effect, as can be attested to by the popularity of the Gardevoir (Secret Wonders) that possessed a beefier version of it.  Everyone praising that card should remember the raw power Gardevoir enjoyed when we had multiple potent versions that combined well (and a great Gallade on top of all that).

 

The second attack, Bench Manipulation, is also recycled.  It needs (PCC) to attack, and that is pretty reasonable provided this is a “good” big attack.  Thanks to Double Colorless Energy, you can get it off in two turns.  Is it worth it?  The answer is “maybe”.  The attack has your opponent flip a coin for each Benched Pokémon they have and does 40 points of damage for each result of “Tails” they get to their Active Pokémon.  It also ignores Weakness and Resistance, which is unfortunate: right now scoring off of Psychic Weakness is useful while running into Resistance is quite infrequent.  If your opponent has a full Bench, you may score 0, 40, 80, 120, 160, or even 200 points of damage.  While striking out with 0 points of damage is horrid and getting a mere 40 points is poor for three Energy, 80 points is solid, 120 really good, 160 great and 200 probably overkill (but still a happy thing).  The problem is that you can’t always guarantee a full Bench.  If you’re swinging against a Bench with at least three Pokémon, the attack is still alright, but once you get below that you work too hard for the return.  The more vulnerable your opponent is, the less this attack can do (like nothing when they are down to just an Active).  Then again, you can also look at it as the attack having the most potential when your opponent is strongest.  Ultimately I think it is a good attack, but only just.  The format seems to favor decks that try to focus on a single strong Pokémon and speed for a First/Second turn KO, often for game… or that have a good two or three Pokémon set-up.  The latter have that as a minimum and usually prefer to have a duplicate of each piece in play if possible.

 

To play Grumpig we should examine where it comes from and what other versions are available.  The Modified legal versions aren’t “good”, but they aren’t bad: they are Basic Pokémon you would only play to use their Evolved form.  Both have attacks to get them back to the Bench, which is where I’d want them since Grumpig won’t have any HP to spare.  I’d go with the Legends Awakened version as it has a better Weakness, though with only 50 HP neither will last long in the Active slot.  The other legal Grumpig is one of those cards that makes me think “There has to be something I can do with that!” as it has an attack for no Energy that inflicts Confusion that places six damage counters if the afflicted Pokémon fails in an attack (instead of three).  It can also hit with Grind for a decent 20 points of damage per Energy attached to its self, thus you can’t hit for less than 40 points of damage.  Three would still yield a solid 60 points of damage, and anything else would become a poor yield but would still be possible.  As a tag team you’ve got more options, though there isn’t any special synergy between the two.

 

How can you maximize the effectiveness of Grumpig?  Simply put, your Bench is your friend.  Try to cut off access to another resource (like Trainers via a benched HS – Undaunted Vileplume) and/or add extra damage (Drapion Lv.X).  Both seem a bit fragile, but what if you have a Vileplume deck that already also uses Psychic Energy?  Locking down Powers the first few turns (even though your opponent will have to get one or two turns at first) is quite handy.  You can’t really rely on Bench Manipulation to carry a deck, but as a fallback option it isn’t bad at all.  Not just because it can hit fantastically high damage if your opponent has no choice but to fill the Bench, but because it may scare them into playing light, further limiting your opponent’s set up.  If your opponent tries to completely nerf Bench Manipulation by forgoing a Bench, they can lose from a single Take Away by Driftblim (HS – Undaunted).  If you go the opposite route, you can run Honchkrow from Supreme Victors to fill your opponent’s Bench with your choice of their discarded Basics.

 

There are only nine Pokémon I can find with Poké-Powers in HS – Triumphant, so you probably won’t be locking away much of anything with Grumpig.  Bench Manipulation becomes a good attack here, though.  Besides the nightmare scenario of facing a single, Psychic Resistant Pokémon you should find your opponent has a large enough Bench to be swinging for good damage or such a bad set up that you can keep Grumpig in reserve and let something else peck away at the Defending Pokémon.

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 2.75/5 – I really think there is some potential to this card, but it will require a near perfect build: there isn’t raw, reliable power to fall back on.

 

Limited: 3/5 – A bit small but forces the opponent to keep their Bench low or create a powerhouse.  The fact that it only needs one actual Psychic Energy makes it easy to work into multi-color decks.

 

I am still selling my former collectables on eBay.  I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various times I’ll have comic books, manga, action figures, and video games on the auction block.  You can take a look at what’s up for bids here.  Just a reminder, Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions and was merely kind enough to let me mention the auctions here. ;) 


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