Today we look at
Claydol (DP: Great Expectations
Honestly because I completely
messed up our review schedule in a
moment that blended ambition with panic!
So the Pojosama stepped in to clear
things up and decided that since no
current reviewer had covered
Claydol before, we might as well
enjoy some nostalgia as well as perhaps
learn a thing or two about the current
format and where it is headed.
Claydol was a Stage 1 Fighting-Type
Pokémon, and as
Donphan Prime can tell you that
isn’t a bad thing.
Of course, now this card is only
legal for Unlimited where being a Stage
1 is… not necessarily a bad thing, since
there is still
Broken Time Space.
As long as it’s a Stage 1 that
has something going for it to make it
worth running over the stupendous Basics
available, it might be able to see some
Claydol first came out, I was
winding down a few year run on Pokémon,
as it seems like life forces me to take
a vacation for a format or three.
I remember it being used in most
decks, but it wasn’t for the 80 HP: that
is too low now for a Stage 1 that
doesn’t further Evolve, and was honestly
low back then as well.
The Grass+20 Weakness shouldn’t
have been too terrible: Grass is such an
unusual type in that it seems like there
is always a rogue Grass deck of some
sort, but it beats having a widely
played archetype and of course, +20 is
only worse than no Weakness or +10
No Resistance was lame when the
It was lame when this card came
It is lame now.
Still, it also seems to be the
default for a card so there is no
penalty for lacking it.
Two Energy needed to Retreat
isn’t good or bad: by the time this card
had come out it was pretty clear that
Basic Pokémon by default had a single
Energy Retreat Cost and Stage 2 Pokémon
by default clocked in at a two or three,
and so Stage 1 Pokémon seemed to either
be single or double Energy Retreat
This was enough that you’d want
another card to help it retreat but that
if you had to, you could usually cough
up the Energy needed.
This card was played for Cosmic Draw, a
Poké-Power that let you bottom deck up
to two cards from your hand, then draw
until you had six cards in hand.
This was a good way to filter
through your deck, and encouraged decks
to run so that you could play out your
hand quickly and then reload.
It is the greatest Bench Sitter
No, because we have
Slowking (Neo Genesis
Still there aren’t a lot of draw
or search based effects like this that
can be used sitting on the Bench that
The attack was decent to have for
“Spinning Attack” did a vanilla
40 for (FC).
Personally I’d have been leery to
use it since at 80 HP it was practically
a suicide move and I wouldn’t want to
give up the draw power unless I had both
a spare and a significant lead… or of
course if it was the last Prize I needed
With the brutal decks of Unlimited, this
card might actually have a use.
Of course things are much
trickier than when I last could play in
this format seriously: I mean
Scoop Up is brutal.
Then again with
Broken Time Space and
Slowking, this might be nasty to
face as well: between search/draw
Claydol, you should be able to fill
your Bench with a combination of the
two, which would frustrate many
Unlimited strategies as I remember them.
Indeed, from there you mostly just need
a solid beatstick to hide behind and do
As I said, in the Modified Formats this
was legal for, I recall it being a must
Of course, I never had more than
one so I did without… which might be why
it was so easy to take a break from the
Now what is interesting is… would
this be worth it for the current
Yes, but with a stipulation: it
is an amazing set-up too but in this
format 80 HP on a Bench-sitter probably
only works when combined with Trainer
Of course, there are some
upcoming cards giving more Trainer
disruption options coming, if spoilers
Those decks most definitely would
Claydol, and be able to protect it.
What about everything else?
It’d be tempting for those that
don’t already have something with a draw
effect, but with the high damage output
Claydol is too easy to OHKO.
I don’t think it could reclaim
its spot because of this.
Oh, and if you’re actually managing to
use this set for Limited play, the only
reason not to run this is that you
Baltoy, and I don’t dock points for
3/5 – The key is being a Stage 1
Broken Time Space can get into play
first turn, and hopefully chaining them
But without Trainer denial they
are all easy Prizes.
N/A – If it were legal I’d say it’d be a
4/5 but only for use with Trainer Lock
5/5 – Only skip it if you don’t have any
This card was amazing when it came out.
In a format where a single Item
can force it Active and the vast
majority of decks can OHKO it either
normally or with minimal extra effort?
Still potent, but it’d probably
just make Lock Decks the top decks of