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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 New Pokémon Cards of 2010

#9 - Jumpluff -
HGSS

Date Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.25
Limited: 3.50

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:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#9 Jumpluff (HeartGold SoulSilver)
 
I’m probably a bit biased when it comes to this card because I won my Nationals with it. That might have something to do with me placing it a little higher than #9 on my own Top 10 list.
 
Now that Claydol GE and Roseanne’s Research are gone from the format, Jumpluff is a shadow of its old self. These days, it only shows up occasionally, maybe partnered with another Stage 2 (usually Vileplume or Gengar), or in a deck trying to use Sunflora HGSS as a search engine, but it just isn’t that good anymore.
 
Because of this, it’s easy to forget just how awesome Jumpluff (with multiple Claydols and a ridiculously low Energy count) was for those months between its release and the September rotation. It won a ton of tournaments and was the deck used by Yuka Furusawa to take Worlds 2010 in the Junior Division.
 
Jumpluff’s ability to do massive damage for a single Grass Energy made other one-Energy attack specialists like Kingdra LA and Donphan Prime look bad. The deck was super fast, a breeze to set up, and loved to be teched out. What’s more, its ability to swarm Pluff after Pluff did a lot to compensate for its frighteningly low HP. When it came to a Prize-for-Prize trade off, there wasn’t much that could compete with a good Jumpluff list.
 
True, Jumpluff’s time as a top deck was fairly brief, and that’s probably what is keeping it from ranking more highly in this poll. Nevertheless, it was fun while it lasted, and it remains the most successful completely new archetype to emerge from the HGSS block.
 
Rating
 
Modified: 4 (I doubt we will ever again see a card that can hit that hard for so little cost)
Limited: 3.75 (Stage 2s are tough to use in limited, but this is one of the best)

conical

1/4/11: Jumpluff(HGSS)
 
The number 9 card on the Pojo list. I had him at around here as well, so let's take a look...
 
Jumpluff hasn't really been seen much in the MD-on format, due to Claydol's rotation. Every evolution deck was crippled to a degree by Claydol's departure, but Jumpluff was certainly one of the worst off post-rotation, along with maybe Kingdra.
 
Its impact in early 2010 should not be overstated, however. This little cottonball simply plowed through everything late last season. What made this particularly shocking was that it wasn't just that it was winning; it was winning, even though relatively few people were playing Jumpluff. Such was the power of Jumpluff, the grass Pokemon who had nothing to do with the rest of support Grass-types have to offer.
 
Now? Well, it could still be pretty solid combined with Sunflora HGSS. It remains a solid card, but likely nowhere near as incredible as it was with Claydol.
 
Modified: 3/5
Limited: 3.25/5
Combos With: Sunflora HGSS

virusyosh

Happy Tuesday, Pojo viewers! Today we continue our countdown of the Top 10 Cards of 2010 (HGSS-on) by reviewing a card that was the cornerstone of a deck that saw a lot of play when it first came out, but suddenly dropped off after the September rotation occurred. Today's Card of the Day is Jumpluff HGSS.

Jumpluff is a Stage 2 Grass Pokemon. Grass Pokemon are very, very rare in the metagame these days, as Jumpluff used to be the only dominant one in the format. 90 HP on a Stage 2 is absolutely horrible, and is probably this card's greatest shortcoming. Weakness to Fire could be much worse, but is still problematic if you run into a random Charizard deck or Blaziken FB tech. Fighting resistance helps against the likes of Machamp and Promo Toxicroak G. Finally, free retreat is amazing.

Jumpluff has two attacks, with one being much more usable than the other. Mass Attack was the reason Jumpluff was so playable, dealing 10 damage times the number of Pokemon in play (both yours and your opponent's) for a single Grass Energy. Since many times in competitive Pokemon both players will have their benches filled with techs like Uxie and Azelf, it is not uncommon to see both players having a full bench and therefore having Jumpluff swing for 120 damage for a single Energy. The drawback to this attack is that your opponent can play around it pretty easily by conservatively keeping Pokemon out of play, but this is unlikely to happen, as Jumpluff will still be swinging for 70+ a turn (ideally).

The second attack, Leaf Guard, deals 30 damage for a single Grass Energy and reduces any damage done to Jumpluff by attacks next turn by 30. It's a decent move if you wouldn't be doing a lot of damage with Mass Attack or if you want to tank with Jumpluff (Shaymin Lv. X and some Cherrim AR could work here), but most decks will be attacking with Mass Attack most of the time.

Modified: 2/5 This is a rating for now, not for the old DP-on format. The rotation brought about the loss of Claydol GE, which has really hurt Jumpluff's ability to survive in the current Modified metagame. 90 HP on a Stage 2 is way too frail, and without consistent card draw, the Jumpluff build falls prey to the speed of SP decks. However, when the SP sets rotate, there is a chance that Jumpluff could come back, although with only 90 HP, it will probably get taken out really fast. One could use Shaymin Lv. X (Land) to increase Jumpluff's HP, but getting that out could be a problem.

Limited: 4/5 Jumpluff is a monster in Limited. Both benches are generally full in Limited, which means that Jumpluff will be doing huge amounts of damage easily. However, it is a Stage 2 with very low HP, which makes getting rid of it a real possibility.

Combos With: There were many things that people used to pair Jumpluff with back when the deck was popular. Shaymin Lv. X (Land), Cherrim SF, and Cherrim AR were all used to increase Jumpluff's HP and either make it deal even more damage or increase its tanking potential.


Otaku

Card #9 on our Top 10 Pokémon Cards of 2010 is Jumpluff from HeartGold & SoulSilver.  On my own personal list, Jumpluff just missed making it.  Why?  Because it is a good, solid deck right now but it was great when I wasn’t looking.  Yes, it really is that simple: this was a card that was at its height in the twilight of the previous format, and lost access to the support that defined that format like Claydol and Roseanne’s Research.  I’ll be honest, my own top 10 focused as much on important changes to the game as it did actual card success, so I suspect there will be quite a few more “near misses” for me to review as we progress.

 

Jumpluff is a Grass-Type Pokémon, which normally bodes ill.  Since it made the list that tells you this is the exception and not the rule.  Jumpluff can actually make fair use of the existing Grass Support like Shaymin Lv.X (Platinum, 126/127) to shore up its HP.  It really could use the boost, because its HP is only 90!  That is intentionally low for a Stage 2, and used when TPC tries to make the rest of the card quite potent: it’s like you already got hit with a 30 or 40 point attack!  The low HP exacerbates the danger of its Fire Weakness.  Fire isn’t especially common right now, but there are a few Fire decks kicking around out there.  The Weakness allows them to easily OHKO Jumpluff quite quickly: most that see play either have Energy acceleration or damage boosting tricks for their low Energy attacks.  As such, running another piece of Grass Support, Metapod from HeartGold & SoulSilver may be required to eliminate that Weakness.

 

Jumpluff at least enjoys Fighting Resistance -20, and it is very important that it has it, as that makes it almost impossible for a fast Fighting deck like Donphan Prime to OHKO it early game.  A few turns in and it will be quite possible for it to OHKO you regardless, either powering up its second attack or by relying on a partner like Machamp Prime.  Jumpluff also enjoys a free Retreat Cost, allowing it to flit from the Active position to the Bench as long as it isn’t affected by a Special Condition or other in game effect that would deny it.

 

Further hampering Jumpluff is its Evolutionary Line.  The only legal Hoppip (and its set-mate) has a mere 30 HP.  It is also still weak to Fire with Fighting Resistance -20, but those don’t matter too much when a Pokémon is that small.  The one bottom stat that really does still matter is the Retreat Cost, and it actually has one.  It is just a single Energy to Retreat, but that’s a lot for a little fellow like this (where as on a larger Pokémon it’d be fairly good).  You even need an actual Grass Energy to attack, although you do get an attack that does 10 points of damage while allowing you to change Hoppip out with one of your Benched Pokémon.  The attack would be junk if you had a free Retreat Cost, but since it’s the same amount of Energy invested, many times you might as well use the attack to Retreat so you don’t waste Energy.  The only Modified Legal Skiploom is again from HeartGold & SoulSilver, and it too has the Fire Weakness x 2 and Fighting Resistance -20, but at least it also snags the free Retreat Cost of Jumpluff.  This is important because it only has 60 HP, which would be okay… for a Basic Pokémon.  For a Stage 1 it is again 30 or 40 points below the minimum playable amount, and an intentional handicap.  Just like Hoppip, Skiploom has an attack for just (G), but it technically is worse: 20 with an extra 10 points of damage on a successful coin toss.  It in no ways protects the vulnerable Skiploom, unless by some miracle that is enough damage to take out your opponent’s only attacking Pokémon or somehow win the game.  With these two looked at, we see that Jumpluff is indeed facing an uphill battle.  It needs a fantastic attack and/or other ability to offset the deficit it faces.

 

The first attack is just such a thing, so I’ll save it for last.  The second attack is slightly better than filler: 30 points of damage for a single Grass Energy while soaking 30 points of damage from any attacks Jumpluff is hit with next turn, after Weakness and Resistance.  Because of the variable nature of the first attack’s damage, you may actually find yourself using this attack.  If you do, it is annoying the damage reduction occurs after Weakness, since if it occurred before it would effectively block twice as much damage against larger attacks.  Something I’ll mention as an interesting note that may matter more at a future time, all attacks your opponent makes during their next turn have their damage reduced by 30.  Currently I know of only one Pokémon that can attack twice in the same turn (Raichu Lv.X) and odds are even with damage being reduced by 30, enough damage would be done by the two combined attacks to KO Jumpluff, or they’d just nail your unprotected Bench.

 

At last, I’ll cover what gets this card played, Mass Attack.  Again, for a single (G) Energy, Jumpluff hits for 10 points of damage times the number of Pokémon in play.  That means that the least it could do (before other effects) is 20 points of damage (10 for both Active Pokémon).  The maximum “base” damage it could have is a monstrous 120.  This is actually on par with what it takes to run the little fellow.  Since every other attack on this entire Evolutionary Line needs just a single Grass Energy for any attack, providing some synergy.  I also like that it forces a painful choice on your opponent.  Clearly you’re going to fill your own Bench in a Jumpluff deck: it is enhanced by a lot of support.  That means you should still be looking at a great 70 points of damage even if your opponent refuses to put anything on their own Bench.  70 points is enough to threaten most Basic Pokémon and many Stage 1 Pokémon with being OHKO’d, at least once you add in some PlusPower or an Expert Belt.  The more they build their own Bench, the more damage Jumpluff will do.  Quite an impressive attack indeed and I’d say one worthy of all the other handicaps inflicted on the card.

 

Using Jumpluff focuses on filling both players Bench in the builds I have seen, and this is probably what keeps the deck fairly balanced.  The card I have heard of being used to do this is Pichu (HeartGold & SoulSilver), but it doesn’t force your opponent to fill their Bench.  It just gives both players the option when you use its “Playground” attack, then puts Pichu to Sleep (so that its Poké-Body Sweet Sleeping Face has a chance at protecting it).  This is a solid idea for Jumpluff since this would allow a potent Supporting Bench set up pretty fast, but it has some serious draw backs.  First and foremost, your opponent is getting that same edge.  Yes, it means all their own Basic fetching tricks are now dead cards, but for the worst reason (you already gave them the needed Basic Pokémon).  If your opponent chooses not to search for any odds are their deck is already set up to get the needed Basic Pokémon into play on their own turn.  This means you won’t get the damage boost as soon and that can be all an opposing deck needs to take down the very vulnerable Jumpluff.  Pichu is off-type for Support and filling your Bench this way won’t let you tap into useful Poké-Powers (Uxie, anyone?), and worst of all is a 30 HP Basic.  Between it and Hoppip you are very vulnerable to early KOs, and even FTKOs for game.  It makes me wonder if there isn’t a better way I have just missed.

 

In Limited play this is very tempting, but also very risky.  The good news is that it is in a set (HeartGold & SoulSilver) has a lot of draw and search power, so it is possible you’ll have a lot of options to get Hoppip Evolved quite quickly.  Still, a 30 HP Basic in this format is a huge risk and you will need to work in a decent amount of Grass Energy: the entire line only needs one, but it has to have one, and without it the entire line is a Prize.  A 60 HP Stage 1 isn’t much better, and neither Hoppip nor Skiploom are worth running without Jumpluff, even here.

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 3.75/5

 

Limited: 3.25/5

 

Summary

Jumpluff is a fast, hard hitting Pokémon but it pays for it by being quite vulnerable and needing your opponent to have at least a marginally good set-up to reach maximum damage.  This makes it ultimately a good, balanced deck but one with many places for a player to go wrong.  I’ve never run it so perhaps I just haven’t seen a good, modern list.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia
Jumpluff (HeartGold/SoulSilver)
 
This ball of destructive fluff wasn’t on my own list, probably because I never played it or, more importantly, had to play against it. It isn’t a bad card or undeserving of a slot, it just didn’t flash into my mind when I was writing my list.
 
So what is all the fuss about? Read on…
 
Jumpluff is a Grass type Stage 2 with 90 HP (EXPLETIVE! MORE EXPLETIVES! HOLY EXPLETIVE THAT IS LOW!), Lightning weakness, Fighting resistance, a free retreat cost and 2 attacks. This card is an extremely fragile attacker, which would usually earn the gong rather than the drumroll but the astonishing speed and brutality of the attacks made Jumpluff a monster to be feared. Also there is plenty of support for Grass types, which for once is actually useful rather than clunky. On the downside Luxray GL is a nightmare, especially if you used an Expert Belt to boost Jumpluff (an OHKO for 1 energy and 2 prizes? Just concede and end the torment) and even more so if your opponent uses Dialga G (a favourite partner along with Garchomp C) to shut off your supporting Poke-bodies. At least Machamp and Donphan lose out against Jumpluff early on, so it isn’t all bad news. And the retreat lets you get out of trouble, provided Jumpluff isn’t KOed outright, an all too common occurrence.
 
Okay, just what are these brilliant attacks that took Jumpluff to victory in the Junior division of World’s last September? I’ll start with Leaf Guard. For [g], you deal 30 damage and receive 30 less damage from your opponent’s attacks during your opponent’s next turn. Cheap and effective, it takes a little of the sting out of the abysmal HP and make keep Jumpluff in the fight a little longer, but 30 damage is nowhere near enough damage. Even with 4 Cherrim SF and an Expert Belt to boost the damage, you are dealing 90 damage (a 2HKO most of the time) with a minor tanking effect that can be worked around and Jumpluff is too weak to tank anyway. This is just a secondary attack for when the first attack isn’t feasible.
 
No, the real draw is Mass Attack, which deals 10 damage per Pokémon in play (both yours and your opponent’s) for [g]. Essentially, this means damage varying from 20 damage (terrible) to 120 damage (completely broken!) for a single energy. Obviously, you want to fill you own Bench (which takes the minimum damage to 70 for your own full Bench and both Active Pokémon) and convince your opponent to do the same, although just filling your own bench while denying your opponent his bench techs for fear of increasing your damage is also a win for you. 70 damage is enough to donk all starters and most evolving Basics , while adding Expert Belt will put most non-evolving Basics into donk range (‘donk’ means an early OHKO, usually on your first turn [sometimes second] of play).
 
Still, it is the combo partners that made Jumpluff change from a glass cannon that a few people might try into the raging beast that took out the Junior World’s title. Shaymin Ground Form Lv X gave a much needed HP boost that puts Jumpluff up to 130 (much better) and Expert Belt boosted both the damage and the HP (a calculated risk, but worth the reward) and running Luxray GL was a snap thanks to Jumpluff’s low energy requirements. In fact, Jumpluff was one of the only archetypes to successfully run more than one SP Pokémon without major consistency issues and so could rightfully call itself a hybrid deck (Crobat G worked well in this deck as well).
 
Furthermore this is the only archetype where Pichu HGSS was a viable choice for a starter with its Playground attack that allowed each player to search their deck for as many Basic Pokémon as they wanted, then place them onto their bench. This came with the added benefit or curse (it’s highly situational) of sending Pichu to sleep so that Sweet Sleeping Face (Pichu’s defensive Poke-body, common to all HGSS Baby Pokémon) would prevent attack damage to Pichu (pretty easy to work around it though). Also, for those who had the space in their deck and on their bench, using Broken Time Space with Cherrim SF gave a further boost to damage through the Sunny Day Poke-body.
 
You may wonder why I used the past tense above. It is because, while the above cards are still legal, Roseanne’s Research and Claydol GE were what provided the speed to keep Jumpluff alive and they have been rotated out. After the rotation, people have stopped playing Jumpluff because they can’t quite make the deck work. And while we still have Uxie and Pokémon Collector to fill the void with some new cards that might make Jumpluff viable again, the other thing that killed Jumpluff is Trainer Lock (Jumpluff lived for Rare Candy and Expert Belt is a must) which is not going away until the next rotation at the earliest (when, unfortunately, Jumpluff will whimper out of existence because Shaymin will be gone).
 
Some of the new cards that might revive Jumpluff are Twins and Black Belt, because then you can turn the likely loss of a Pichu or Hoppip (both cards have 30 HP) into an advantage with better setup or a heavy damage boost to take out something important (especially with the help of Luxray GL). It also takes a little of the sting out of Trainer lock (since both are Supporters), but I still don’t know if anyone can pull it off in a competitive environment. It might be good as a surprise upset deck but I wouldn’t think so because Jumpluff has been seen before.
 
Still, Jumpluff was feared from its release until September last year and for good reason. Maybe Jumpluff was just a flash in the pan, but it was a big flash!
 
Modified: 3.75 (above average, but its second tier and should be marked “FRAGILE: Handle with Care”)
Limited: 3 (it’s a pitifully weak Stage 2 but that attack damage is tempting and you probably won’t have much in the way of options… plus free retreat!)
 
Combos with: Shaymin Ground Forme Lv X, Pichu HGSS, Twins, Black Belt
 


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