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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Relicanth #69/95

Call of Legends

Date Reviewed: Feb. 18, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 4.25

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

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Relicanth (Call of Legends)

Relicanth is a card of a type that we haven’t seen in the game for a long while: the drawpower starter.

They used to be very popular. Remember Holon’s Castform and Lickitung δ from Dragon Frontiers? Both were awesome Pokémon to start with because thanks to their card-drawing attacks. These days, for a starter to be worthwhile playing it has to have some game-breaking ability like Trainer Lock and Evolution search (Spiritomb AR) or let you use two Supporters per turn (Sableye SF, Smeargle UD, Jirachi RR).

Yep, all the while we have Uxie to fall back on, using an attack to draw random cards off the top of your deck just isn’t worth it anymore. It’s a shame as Relicanth is pretty decent at it too: With Prehistoric Wisdom, just send an unwanted card to the Lost Zone (just make sure it isn’t a Pokémon if you are up against a Lost World deck) and you can draw three cards. Something else that is a shame is Relicanth’s Retreat cost of two. Ideally a starter Pokémon will Retreat for no more than a single Energy: you won’t want to waste cards on switching out after it has done its job.

Does Relicanth have anything else going for it? Not really. Although the 80 HP is more than decent, and the Grass Weakness shouldn’t be a problem, no-one is going to want to use Granite Head. A three Energy attack for 30 (even if it does have a damage-reducing effect) isn’t especially attractive.

Basically, with Uxie around, Relicanth just isn’t needed. When Uxie goes and IF the format slows to a crawl (which doesn’t look likely), then it may be an option. For now it has no use beyond Prerelease (where it is completely brilliant, by the way).

Rating

Modified: 1.75 (there are better starters and we have Uxie)

Limited: 4.75 (drawpower is amazing in limited. Just be careful not to deck out)

conical

2/18/10: Relicanth(Call of Legends)
 
And today, we're already reviewing commons. I guess it happens when there's not too many new cards in a set.
 
Relicanth's first attack lets you draw 3 cards, at the cost of being an attack and sending a card to the Lost Zone. Could it be a new draw engine? Let me answer my own question: No. Given that it's an attack, it's pretty much inferior to a lot of draw engines, most notably Uxie, Ninetales HGSS, and Magnezone Prime. Even if there were no draw engines printed after this set, and if the format was set to CL-on, this still wouldn't see play, considering that Ninetales got reprinted in this set.
 
Still, it's pretty handy in Limited, given that it is draw, and a common. It'd be risky to use this attack too many times, as this set actually has the legitimate threat of milling out, thanks to Mime Jr.(and if you're running Magmortar too, then...), not to mention accidentally Lost Zoning a couple of Pokemon may lead to losing via Lost World as well. Thankfully, its second attack, Granite Head, is also pretty good in Limited. It has low damage, but the damage reduction afterwards makes this worthwhile.
 
Modified: 1.75/5
Limited: 3.75/5
Combos With: Your desire to gain card advantage over your opponent.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Relicanth (Call of Legends)
 
Hey Pojo readers! To end our week, we have a card that will see a fair bit of play at the draft events for Call of Legends, and then disappear back into the depths.
 
Relicanth rarely gets any love, and this card is not going to earn it any new fans. Now I will reiterate the stats.
 
Relicanth is a non-evolving Water type (yeah, I've learned it's just easier use the same words everyone else does) Basic with 80 HP, Grass weakness, a retreat cost of 1 and 2 attacks. Obviously, despite the lack of Grass Pokemon in Modified at this time Relicanth isn't going to survive longer than the first 2 turns, so the attacks had better be useful.
 
Sadly, they aren't. Granite Head is the terrible second attack that costs [w][c][c] and deals a measly 30 damage with a 30 damage reduction on Relicanth during your opponent's next turn (subject to the usual loopholes such as forcing a switch, placing damage counters and other tricks of the trade). You will never get enough energy on to Relicanth to use this attack in a normal game, and you probably won't do it in a Limited match either, because you'll be focused on building a benched attacker.
 
Prehistoric Wisdom is a nice reference to Relicanth's ancient origins as a bony fish, and is also nice nice attack for drawing cards. Usually attacking to draw cards usually isn't a good idea, but at a Limited event you can't be picky about where you get your cards so it is worth a look. The effect is that, for the cost of [c] and sacrificing one card from your hand to the Lost Zone, you get to draw 3 cards. In a Limited event this means you are drawing 10% of your deck each turn (if you include the draw at the start of your turn) which gives a big boost to the consistency of whatever deck you happen to be running.
 
Obviously, in Modified you want to be using your attack for something better than a sacrifice-and-draw effect unless the sacrifice also helps you set up, but losing a card to the Lost Zone is nothing short of terrible due to the no-retrieval clause in the rulings about the Lost Zone. As such, Prehistoric Wisdom gets the gong but in Limited you have plenty of fodder you can waste for a chance at a quicker setup, especially as you have very few alternatives for draw. Just don't sacrifice too many Pokemon or Lost World could become a major problem.
 
Relicanth is great for the prerelease and such Limited fodder cards are necessary in every set, so I'm not going to rant about this card being a useless piece of set-filler and instead I will say that Wataru Kawahara has made this unattractive fish look quite impressive with the emerging wormholes in the water. I really like the way the ripples were drawn and it looks like Relicanth is swimming for its life with fear on its fishy face. That is a major feat since Relicanth doesn't even have its eyes open, or variable facial expressions, so full marks!
 
Modified: 2 (if there are future playable Pokemon cards printed that get damage bonuses for Energy or Trainer cards being in the Lost Zone, then this could become a viable starter Pokemon. Until that day, it will just look pretty in the binder like so many other cards from Call of Legends)
Limited: 4 (any boost to consistency in Limited games leads to victory, so go for it)
 
Combos with: Nothing I can think of, but only time will tell what the Lost Zone will mean for the Pokemon Trading Card Game

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo readers! I hope that all of you had good weeks. Today we end our Card of the Day week with yet another new card from the Call of Legends expansion. Today's Card of the Day is Relicanth.

Relicanth is a Basic Water Pokemon. Water types are rather common in the metagame, with Gyarados and Kingdra seeing a fair amount of play. However, there is a bit of a deterrent, as most Water types are weak to Lightning, making them easy prey for the likes of Luxray GL Lv. X and Magnezone. However, Relicanth is lucky in this regard, being weak to the very uncommon Grass type instead. Unfortunately, Relicanth still has a slightly low 80 HP for a non-evolving Basic (it's in Dragon Rush range), no Resistance, and a rather hefty Retreat cost of 2.

Relicanth, much like most of the other cards from this week, is a non-evolving Basic. This means that in order for it to see play, it should have either a great attack or act as a good support Pokemon. Relicanth's two attacks give it a decent support option. The first, Primal Wisdom, allows you to remove a card from your hand to the Lost Zone in order to draw 3 cards. This provides for some very good draw power in Limited, but it isn't so good in Modified. Why? In Modified, attacks that draw cards tend to be too slow, as it will likely be the case that Relicanth will just get Knocked Out on your next turn anyway. Another possible reason this card probably won't see much play is because of the Lost Zone requirement: any card you remove isn't coming back. In Limited, this is a great source of draw power, even if it is just for a few turns. Just make sure that you don't put something in the Lost Zone you'll need later!

The second attack, Granite Head, deals a rather subpar 30 damage for the massive cost of [WCC], but it also reduces any damage done to Relicanth during your opponent's next turn by attacks by 30. This attack is too expensive for the damage output in Modified, but in Limited, it can be decent.

Modified: 1.5/5 I don't see Relicanth making a splash here anytime soon. The attacks are too slow and its HP is just a bit too low. Maybe next format, but even then, probably not.

Limited: 3/5 Relicanth is a solid draw in engine in the slow Limited format. In addition, if you draft a Lucario, Relicanth makes a great partner for Lucario in Limited, although you still should look out for Lost World.

Combos With: Lucario (in Limited, not recommended in Modified with Lostgar).


Otaku

Fishy ending!

We end the week with a Relicanth. This is a Basic Pokémon, of course, and as I keep saying this is a great format to be a Basic Pokémon in: even if you’re not one of the crazy powerful and/or support Pokémon SP cards, their existence keeps many of the Evolutions that would crush other Basic Pokémon from seeing the kind of play they theoretically should. It is not unlike how an antibiotic kills off the common, most overall fit form of a bacterium while allowing a resistant strain that is technically unfit (because it can’t out compete the normal strain) to thrive by removing that competitor for food, living space, etc.

There, I’ve worked in something mildly educational and realized I’d littered this review with needless exposition, so its time to make things a bit more concise: 80 HP is nice and solid for a Basic Pokémon while Grass Weakness is one of the less problematic Weaknesses to possess. The lack of Resistance is similar; frustratingly common but as such not having much impact on the game. The Retreat Cost of two Energy is tolerable: you really won’t want to have to pay it, but you can if you must. Sadly this means it can’t use the common trick of Unown Q to Bench itself easily like some other current, popular Basic Pokémon.

The meat of this card is its first attack. Prehistoric Wisdom requires just one of any Energy and it allows you to choose a card from your hand and send it to the Lost Zone, then draw three cards. This attack isn’t especially good on its own, sets up an important combo when partnered with Mew Prime. This allows the deck to have up to eight useful “opening” Pokémon between Relicanth and Mew Prime itself. I don’t think you’d want to run a full count of Relicanth, but at least it is an option. If you’re not familiar with the deck that utilizes this, it is a Lost World variant: use Prehistoric Wisdom or Mew Prime’s first attack to send a Gengar with the Hurl Into Darkness attack to your Lost Zone. Now Mew Prime’s Poké-Body will allow it to use Hurl Into Darkness to look at your opponent’s hand and send a number of Pokémon you find there to the Lost Zone, up to the number of Psychic Energy attached to Mew Prime. None of the Pokémon in the deck are huge, but that’s okay: the speed with which you should be sending your opponent’s Pokémon to the Lost Zone should allow you to play Lost World long before your opponent takes his or her sixth Prize.

That is how you should use the card, as the second attack, Granite Head, is nearly worthless in Modified: you pay (WCC) and only hit for 30 points of damage, and if your opponent doesn’t use one of the common tricks to get around attack effects, you’ll reduce the damage they do by 30 points after applying Weakness and Resistance. This is only important if you already had something on it to provide Water Energy and can drop a Double Colorless Energy to attack for a quick Prize. Given that this is a card that should be played in an off-type deck that should be quite a rare occurrence.

Most other constructed decks are not going to want to use this card, since a card sent to the Lost Zone is just that: lost. It isn’t like your discard pile where they are easy to recycle back to hand or deck. In Limited play, any draw power is useful, and having a large, easy to splash Basic Pokémon is great. As always, Limited has lower HP scores and damage output so that 80 HP lasts longer and Granite Head’s secondary effects become much more useful, possibly blocking all damage your opponent can dish out if their set up is weak.

Ratings

Modified: 3.5 – This is a deck specific rating, only applicable to Mew Prime/Lost World decks. For general usage, it would only be about a 1.75/5.

Limited: 4/5 – Just be careful not to set up for an opponent to win with Lost World. You should be able to avoid removing Pokémon until it is obvious whether this is a concern.

Enjoy your weekend, and feel free to check out my eBay auctions here. Right now I am focusing on selling off my collection of Transformers accumulated over most of my life. Just remember that Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions and are merely kind enough to let me link to my auctions.


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