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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Toxicroak #31/100
Majestic Dawn

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.25
Limited: 3.75

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

Toxicroak (Majestic Dawn)

Hello and welcome to Otaku’s ‘Pick Your Poison’ Week here on Pojo’s CotD, as we continue to mark time before the release of the Black and White set.

Right now, Poison (and indeed any Status Condition) doesn’t see much play in the TCG, outside of Skuntank G (thanks to its ability to KO Gengar SF without triggering Fainting Spell). Fact is, there is even a Pokémon that is capable of inflicting quadruple Poison for a single Energy (Crobat Prime), and that sees no play whatsoever. The reasons for this are clear: for one thing, there are just so many ways to work around Status effects (Poke Turn, Warp Point, Evolving, Retreating); and for another, this is a format ruled by speed and OHKOs: slow death by Poison just doesn’t cut it. Nevertheless, Otaku has chosen an interesting bunch of cards for us, so let’s get on with the reviews.

We start with a card that was a success back in the day. In fact, it was so successful it even won the World Championship in the Juniors Division. Admittedly, that was because it (together with Scizor MD) made a very effective counter to the dominant deck of the time (Gallade/Gardevoir). Nowadays, things don’t look quite so good for this card.

Being a 90 HP Stage 1 makes Toxicroak an easy OHKO for all the power decks of the format. His best attack, Paralyze Poison, is nice enough: one Psychic Energy for 20 damage, auto-Poison AND a flip for Paralysis is great value. Unfortunately it is only going to make a minor dent in a Pokémon like Donphan or Gengar and as for the SP Basics, well . . . they have PokeTurn. Things don’t get any better when you look at Slash, a vanilla 60 damage attack for [P][C][C]. Yes, Double Colourless makes it faster, but the damage output is just well below the standards that are currently acceptable as far as playability goes.

And that’s the problem with this Toxicroak really: it’s a card that has been around since 2008 and by now it is really showing its age. Since it was released, monster Stage 1s like Gyarados and Lightning fast decks like Luxchomp have come to dominate the metagame and the niche that this card once occupied as a rogue counter has long disappeared.

Still, unlike 99% of all other Pokémon cards, it did at least have a brief time to shine.

Rating

Modified: 1.75 (yes, the first attack is nice . . . but the card is obsolete)

conical

3/7/11: Toxicroak(Majestic Dawn)
 
This week's theme is...*spins imaginary wheel* Poison Pokemon week! Wait, who put that on there? Never mind. Of course, despite it being Poison week, all the cards this week will be Psychic-type, because that's what Poison types have been since they stopped being Grass-types. Will we ever see a specific Poison type!? Probably not, thankfully.
 
Anyways, we have a Toxicroak, all of which seem wonderfully consistent with each other. Relatively cheap attacks, that do status effects(like poison)? Absolutely! In this card's case, it has Paralyze Poison, which...poisons. And sometimes paralyzes. Which is pretty cool. It's not going to make any waves in Modified, but for poison week(or for Limited, for that matter), this guy is a winner. There's also its 2nd attack, Slash, but it is both a bad attack and does not poison, so it is not worth mentioning.
 
Modified: 2.5/5(.5 added for poisoning)
Limited: 3.75/5


Otaku

Well folks, this week we Pick Your Poison, as the theme for this week is simply Poison-Type Pokémon that we haven’t reviewed.

Except for today’s card, as it was reviewed all the way back on July 9th, 2008. I needed one more Pokémon for my Poison week, didn’t realize we had reviewed it (oops), and Brock has a Croagunk in the animé so I went with it. Let is see if the modern metagame is any friendlier to it.

Toxicroak Lv.32 is a Psychic-Type Pokémon. That is not a bad starting point: there are some good Psychic decks already in existence and even if there weren’t, Psychic Weakness is commonly seen in most decks thanks to Uxie/Uxie Lv.X. It is a Stage 1 Pokémon as you would expect, and unfortunately that does hurt right now: between powerful Basics, powerful Level Up forms for Basics and Evolution acceleration making Stage 2 Pokémon so fast, being a Stage 1 Pokémon becomes the least desirable option. Still, Broken Time Space can allow them to Evolve quickly and they do take less space than a Stage 2, so it isn’t a huge gap.

Toxicroak has 90 HP, which is about 10 points lower than what a Stage 1 hopes for in this format. It won’t be impossible to play, but at 90 HP a Pokémon needs its other stats and/or effects to compensate. Psychic Weakness +20 pretty much middle of the road: no Weakness is of course best and Psychic is the expected Weakness for a Poison or Fight-Type Pokémon (the video game types belonging to Toxicroak), but since this is an older card it is only taking an extra 20 points of damage. This means other Psychic Pokémon have to hit for base 70 damage to OHKO it, another important but simple point. Lack of Resistance feels like a missed opportunity: rarely will Resistance make or break a card, but if the rest of a card is decent, it can give it can provide a niche use. The single Energy Retreat Cost is nice and easy to pay, plus one could use an Unown Q to simply eliminate it.

Toxicroak has two attacks, Paralyze Poison and Slash. The first requires a single Psychic Energy to use, hits for 20 points of damage and guarantees Poison, and on top of that gives a coin toss to inflict Paralysis. So barring extra effects, you’ll clear three damage counters from using the attack, just enough to be annoying. If you get Paralysis, it will be a minor or a major annoyance, but probably not a threat. Most decks will have a way to deal with it. It isn’t supposed to win you the game; rather it’s supposed to force your opponent to use up resources early on or give you time to stall while inflicting a little damage. It succeeds at that, and rather well.

The second attack is Slash for (PCC). It hits for 60 points of damage but has no effects. If it had any sort of useful effect, this would be a much better card. This is not a bad attack but it clearly isn’t good enough to build a deck around. Notice that it can use Double Colorless Energy, so it is a solid attack. If Toxicroak had an even better first attack or a Poké-Body/Power we’d really have something to work with.

All hope is not lost. I can definitely see a very small niche use for the card. If you already have a deck packing Vileplume to shut down Trainers and running Psychic Energy and Double Colorless Energy, this Toxicroak is a solid opening/closing Pokémon. This is especially true if your opponent rushes ahead to avoid the Trainer lock and Evolves/Levels Up everything he or she can. You might take an early Prize just poking away Paralyze Poison. If they force Toxicroak to the Bench or try to snipe around it, they run the risk of you dropping a Double Colorless Energy and slamming them for 60 points of damage. It may not be as significant an amount of damage as it was in formats of yore, but it isn’t easily ignored.

It seems unlikely you’ll find many Limited Events using Majestic Dawn boosters, but if you do and then pull this and a Croagunk, make room for a few Psychic Energy and run it. 90 HP is good in Limited play. A solid 60 damage is great. Special Conditions are much more potent and an attack for a single Psychic Energy that auto-Poisons and has a 50% chance of inflicting Paralysis is great! Unless you honestly can’t fit all that in, run it.

Ratings

Modified: 2.5/5

Limited: 3.75/5

Please check out my eBay auctions here. Remember that Pojo is in no way responsible for any auctions, but is merely kind enough to let me link in my reviews. ;)


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