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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Alomomola #39

Black & White

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.75
Limited: 3.25

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:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Alomomola #39/114 (Black and White)

After yesterday’s review, you are probably thinking ‘well, at least this Alomomola can’t be any worse’, and you’d be right about that. It is, you will be glad to hear, significantly better.

This version keeps the impressive 100 HP and the Lightning Weakness of the other version. One downside is that is does have a higher three Energy Retreat cost, but this Alomomola more than makes up for that by having much better attacks.

The first, Water Pulse, is nothing special: [W][C] for 20 damage and auto Sleep is something that you would only use to hopefully stall for a turn or two if you had nothing else you could do. Luckily, Hydro Pump, Alomomola’s second attack, is a significant improvement. For three Energy of any Colour, you get to do 40 damage. Yep, I know that sounds awful but the thing is that, for every Water Energy attached, it will do 10 more damage. Basically, it’s a weaker version of Samurott #32’s attack (also called Hydro Pump). You get less damage, but then Alomomola is a Basic, so what did you expect?

So, does this Pokémon have any use? Possibly. Because of its Colourless Energy requirements it could be a splashable (heh heh) anti-Donphan tech in a lot of decks. Much like the Swanna we reviewed on Wednesday, it’s not an ideal solution by any means, but it’s one of the best we have available in HGSS-BW. I could also see it finding a place in Samurott/Feraligatr decks, allowing for a decent quick hit with a Basic if Gatr’s Stage 2 partner isn’t ready.

Alomomola may be nothing special, but with our currently reduced cardpool, it’s good enough not to be overlooked completely. I’m sure that future cards will quickly make it obsolete though.

Rating

Modified (HGSS-on): 2.25 (could do a job while we wait for Beartic)

Limited: 3.5 (big Basic that can do some serious damage if it survives)

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo readers! We end our COTD week today by reviewing a new Water-type Basic that may have potential as a secondary attacker in a deck, and one that is decent in Limited. Today's Card of the Day is Alomomola #39 from Black and White.

Alomomola is a Basic Water-type Pokemon. Water-types will probably become more popular with the rise of Reshiram and Emboar in HGSS-on Modified, but right now Alomomola will fall prey to stronger threats like Luxray GL Lv. X or even Zekrom in MD-on Modified (although Zekrom will still be around for HGSS-on, too). 100 HP is great for an unevolving Basic, and although it's nowhere near the level of the dragons, this Caring Pokemon should still be able to take at least one powerful unboosted hit. Lightning Weakness really hurts due to the aforementioned Luxray and Zekrom, and both no Resistance and Retreat Cost of 3 are bad. If you wish to retreat Alomomola, be sure to use something like Switch or Warp Point.

Alomomola has two attacks. Water Pulse deals 20 damage for [WC], but automatically puts the Defending Pokemon to sleep. Not bad for Limited, but doesn't realistically do enough in Modified, where there are Pokemon that can do 100+ damage for that cost or less. Hydro Pump, however, is why Alomomola might see some play in Water decks in HGSS-on. The attack starts at 40 damage for three Colorless Energy, but increases by 10 for each Water Energy attached to Alomomola. Therefore, if you have three Water Energy attached to begin with to pay for the attack, it starts at a decent 70 damage, which is enough to get rid of a few prominent threats in HGSS-on because of their Water Weakness (Reshiram, Emboar, and Typhlosion come to mind). However, it is also important to realize that Samurott can do the same attack but with a higher damage output (it starts at 70 damage for the same cost), but Samurott is also a Stage 2, and will therefore be slower to get into play. Additionally, Zekrom will still destroy Alomomola, as will Reshiram if it hits first.

Modified: 2/5 This is for HGSS-on, and I'm being nice. Alomomola might be able to work as a secondary attacker in Water decks that need something that can hit relatively fast with Feraligatr Prime also present, although there may be better options.

Limited: 3.5/5 Alomomola is pretty good here. High HP for a basic, Colorless Energy requirements, and decent damage output make it a great choice. Just keep it out of the way of Lightning-types and you'll be good to go.

Combos With: Feraligatr Prime

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia
Alomomola 39/114 (Black & White)
 
This is the rare version of yesterday's uncommon card, so it will likely follow the same pattern as Maractus from 3 weeks back. I hope I'm wrong though as that is definitely a bad track to follow.
 
This version of Alomomola comes with the same stats as yesterday's card, except that the retreat cost has been jacked up a notch. I have no idea why the design team felt the penalty was necessary but at least this version has better attacks. Then again, having worse attacks would be an achievement in itself!
 
So, Alomola has 2 attacks, the first being Water Pulse, which inflicts auto-Sleep and 20 damage for [w][c] (which is weird, as Water Pulse always cause Sleep in the TCG but cause Confusion in the video games instead). This is a fair attack for the cost cost and makes this version of Alomomola a better wall than yesterday's card, but Sleep is usually pretty worthless with only a 50% chance of actually helping you (before considering any tricks your opponent might have up their sleeve) so the second attack had better be worth the investment if Alomomola wants to avoid the binder.
 
Surprisingly enough, Hydro Pump is actually worth a look despite the terrible numbers involved. The base cost is [c][c][c] and the base damage is 40 (add 10 more for each [w] energy attached), which is completely lame next to all of the other attackers available... except that Alomomola is a Basic.
 
The significance of that fact is that when your main attacker gets KOed, you can drop Alomomola, fuel it with energy courtesy of Feraligatr Prime and switch out the other card you sent up to deal an immediate counter punch to keep you in the game (add Pluspower and Black Belt to reach the high damage you are going to need). If you use a different backup attacker then you have to deal with the twin problems of searching out extra cards and the slower evolution speed of the HGSS-on format (no Spiritomb PA, no Broken Time Space and Rare Candy gets a rewrite) which translates to a higher chance of being unable to build your backup quickly enough to save yourself.
 
The other major advantage is the amount of deck space you save. Running single copy of a Basic is a lot easier than running another evolution line and you won't find it trapped in the Prizes too often, but the same is not true of a Stage 1 or Stage 2 line (too thin and it is easily ruined by a discard or having a piece in your Prizes while thicker lines are hard to fit in a deck). With Alomomola as your backup attacker (even if you run multiple copies) you can afford to run heavier lines of Feraligatr Prime and your chosen attacker (Samurott BW and Lanturn Prime could both work well with Alomomola since their attacks work the same way).
 
Alomomola might have a space and speed advantage over other Water type attackers (at the cost of lower damage and being intensely energy hungry) but why wouldn't you just use Feraligatr Prime as the backup attacker instead?
 
The reason is beacause Feraligatr only brings the big guns when hitting a Poke'mon that is already slightly hurt. If you need to hit a healthy attacker then Hydro Crunch isn't going to help you since the base damage is 60 while Alomomola can hit 80 damage for the same energy cost.
 
As a single copy of Alomomola can be used to cover contingency situations, or you can run multiple copies for use as early walls and sacrifices to make you eligible for Twins (a big advantage) and Black Belt (which is a big boost to damage). Or if you manage to Rare Candy a Feraligatr on Turn 2 you can go on an early offensive!
 
The energy-hungry nature of Alomomola is less of a problem if you use Engineer's Adjustments for draw power (it works best in an energy heavy deck) or you could run heavy lines of Feraligatr and your chosen attacker so that you can use Professor Juniper for draw power (since with your heavy evolution lines you don't have to be afraid of discarding an evolving Basic or Stage 1 that you can't replace).
 
Up to this point I have been pointing out all of the good parts of Alomomola, but there are significant downsides. The lower base damage is a major problem that needs a lot of testing to overcome and all of the abovementioned cards that work well with Alomomola are Supporters so jamming your hand is also a risk. The retreat cost also leaves you vulnerable to a soft lock if your opponent plays Poke'mon Reversal as you won't get out of the Active slot easily.
 
Finally, the biggest problem is the weakness. Magnezone Prime will only have to Lost Zone a single energy to get the KO and Zekrom will only need 3 damage counters for Outrage to deal the death blow. Both Reshiram and Zekrom can build their second attack as quickly as Alomomola can which will aslo result in a KO for your opponent. To be truthful, if you use Alomomola then you will usually be trading KOs as opposed to gaining an a lead so you had best focus on getting the first hit. At least you hit Fire and Donphan for weakness.
 
To conclude this review, I am more fond of Alomomola now than I was when I started writing and I expect that the weird little fishy will probably be paired with Armourott (my new nickname for Samurott BW 29/114) in a few Rain Dance builds that aren't afraid of discards. Alomomola may not be main attacker material but it plays the same role that Jirachi ex played in Gardevoir decks back in 2007 and I would be very afraid to see this card in the hands of someone who understands the value of a sacrfice (for instance, anyone who has dominated with Gyarados SF or Regigigas lv X in the past year).
 
Modified: 3.5 (Zekrom BW, Reshiram BW and Donphan Prime will all keep Alomomola down and you won't get far without Feraligatr Prime since the HP won't last long enough for manual energy attachment, but I will be using this card in my Rain Dance deck next season to see just how well I can make it work)
 
Limited: 2.5 (since you have to attach the energy manually your speed advantage is gone but the HP may balance that out. zekrom and Reshiram still own you though)

Otaku

Alomomola (Black & White 39/114) is still a fairly beefy Basic Water-Type Pokémon, making it easy to work into a deck and get into play. Its 100 HP means that outside of its Weakness it requires effort to OHKO, and some decks just might not be able to do it. The aforementioned Weakness can be problematic with the current format and the next already having multiple, solid-to-great Lightning-Type decks. No Resistance is disappointing as always, but since it is so common it isn't going to wreck this card. The three Energy needed to retreat does hurt, and you'll be feeling it if you have to manually retreat.

Water Pulse is like the Resistance: a bit disappointing but all too common a filler attack. It isn't totally vanilla, possessing an automatic Sleep inducing effect but given how relatively weak such an effect is, TPC probably could have left it with a (CC) or even a (W) Energy cost with the 20 damage. Fortunately the second attack - Hydro Pump - can get this into the right deck. Three of any Energy will let you hit the opponent for 40 points of damage, and that is... actually a fairly weak by modern standards. Of course, like all versions of Hydro Pump, that is because you get more damage from using Water Energy. There are no annoying restrictions like "up to X Energy" or "not used to pay for the attack", so if you have three Water Energy on this Pokémon, then it hits for 70. While still not the greatest, I’d call it functional.

There is a pretty obvious use for this card: opener/closer for a Feraligatr Prime Rain Dance deck. As a Basic Pokémon, there are multiple cards to get this to the hand/field easily in both formats, and while the return isn't stupendous, in a deck that can easily drop between three and five Water Energy on it, it'll be enough to take down. With some forethought, it can take out almost anything (barring various effects), and since it is a Basic Pokémon you'll have room for the various supporting cards you'll need, like Energy recycling and search cards. In a Rain Dance deck it is okay if this gets OHKO'd, even while loaded with Energy, because you should have enough Energy in your deck to load up the next Pokémon while playing cards to draw into what is left and/or recycle what was lost.

In Limited play, you can use it as an okay Water splash (pardon the pun) in a non-Water deck to put out Fire Pokémon... yes, the last pun was intentional. Since the set has a decent amount of Fire Pokémon, that could be pretty important. If you have enough Water Pokémon (or a lack of anything else especially good needing specific Energy) then this becomes an even better pull, as both attacks are much improved in this format. Even just one or two Water Energy will make Hydro Pump worthwhile against any Pokémon and not just those Weak to Water.

Unlimited might be where it is best, though. Given its better stats, I’d assume Feraligatr Prime based Rain Dance decks are supplanting the old Base Set Blastoise based variety. That means you can and should add a copy of the Neo Genesis Feraligatr with Downpour/Riptide to the deck, and that provides an easy and painful way to recycle your Water Energy from the discard while attacking your opponent. It also means you can replace an older big, Basic, beatstick like Suicune ex with Alomomola. You’ll enjoy a 100 HP on a Basic without giving up two Prizes for being KO’d but the common healing tricks used for Suicune ex will end up wasting more Energy. The latter is okay, though, because you’ve got Feraligatr and barring the usual (bad luck, bad build, bad plays, etc.) shouldn’t ever run out of Energy.

Ratings

Unlimited: 3.75/5 – Decent opener/closer for Rain Dance decks, especially ones using Feraligatr Prime.


Modified (MD-On): 3/5 - Rain Dance only

Modified (HGSS-On): 3.25/5 - Rain Dance only. Slight boost due to less competition and more (anticipated) use of Fire Pokémon.

Limited: 3.5/5 – Still a big Basic Pokémon, so even running it off type just to thump for 40 points of damage works in most decks. Much better with actual Water Energy.

Summary

A good Basic beatstick for Rain Dance, but most likely to matter in a format few people will think to run it in, Unlimited.

As usual, I’ll remind you to check out my eBay auctions. Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions and merely kind enough to let me link in my articles.


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