We begin our shortened post-Labor Day
week with… Yoda?
Oh, one of the newer Pokémon I am
still unfamiliar with,
is a Stage 1 Grass-Type Pokémon.
In terms of Weakness/Resistance
that isn’t really a good or bad thing:
we don’t see a lot with either being
In terms of actual Pokémon-Type
support, Grass has access to one or two
things but neither has proven especially
Fortunately most types lack any
Support actually based on Pokémon (and
not Energy) Type so that isn’t really a
disadvantage right now.
Swadloon is not only a Stage 1
Pokémon, but a transitional Stage 1,
bridging the gap between a Basic and
Stage 2 Pokémon.
At first this would seem to be
Swadloon is good in and of itself it
could still be played even if the other
two Pokémon were bad, and if they are
Swadloon isn’t then the burden of
earning play time can be passed onto
Rare Candy however can easily
Swadloon and while it makes you
vulnerable to being de-Evolved, it does
mean your Stage 2 Pokémon enters play a
In fact, it is only the threat of
Trainer lock that keeps most such Stage
1 Pokémon seeing play.
has 80 HP, which even for a transitional
Stage 1 Pokémon is too low.
I realize that even with HP
scores still hitting record (for “plain”
Pokémon) highs there is still a limit to
how much this kind of Pokémon should
have, but there is still a lot more room
to work with.
Too often Stage 1 Pokémon in
general seem to be stuck with lower HP
scores to make the already impressive
Stage 2 scores stand out even more, and
this is not needed.
Basic Pokémon may have as little
as 30 HP, but now we have 70 HP on Basic
Pokémon that Evolve twice more and 130
HP on Basic Pokémon that don’t Evolve at
all, so “saving” all the HP boosting for
the final Evolution Stage just annoys
me; the Stage 2 forms (when properly
designed) are already good for having
the best effects, so when a Basic is at
50 HP and a Stage 2 is at 130, we push
the Stage 1 closer to the Stage 2 score.
In the current format 80 HP is a
OHKO for most competitive decks, and an
easy OHKO for several.
The ease of OHKOing something with 80 HP
has the bittersweet effect of making the
Weakness less of a problem: most
Fire-Type Pokémon attacking you will
already be scoring a OHKO!
Still it is a disadvantage since
it will allow weaker attacks or cards
not played for their attacks to still
Swadloon down in a single blow.
No Resistance is disappointing
since anything to help this card survive
would be appreciated, though at the same
time with its HP it might not have
mattered and having no Resistance is
The single Energy Retreat Cost is
at least good: a free Retreat is of
course better but as the second best
option it still results in something
easy to pay.
has two attacks: Gnaw and Double Razor
Gnaw requires (C) and does 20
Not the greatest, but not really
bad as even for a non-Evolving Stage 1
Pokémon you only should be able to do so
much for (C).
If you couldn’t invest Energy
before Evolving then at least you can
Sewaddle that has no Energy, then
drop any Energy card onto it and still
be able to attack.
The second attack requires (GCC)
and lets you flip two coins, scoring 50
points of damage per heads.
So a 0/50/100 split with 50 being
the most likely result (half the
possible outcomes) and zero and 100 are
both equally likely (each one of four
Given the Energy investment and
fact that all the damage is being
“wagered” on coin tosses this seems like
a solid attack: you get just a little
bit more than you paid for but not by
The good news is that the attack
structure is such that you can power up
the second attack quite rapidly with
Double Colorless Energy.
It won’t be a single turn drop,
but if you opened with a
Sewaddle and used your Energy
attachment on it, you could then Evolve
on your second turn, attach a
Double Colorless Energy, and go
straight into attacking with Double
Second turn, such a
luck-dependant attack can still prove
useful because of the threat value: your
opponent will be leery of committing
anything to the field that could be
forced Active and then OHKOed, even if
there is only a 25% chance of the attack
For a Stage 1, this isn’t too bad
Most of my problem comes with how
Gnaw feels a little wasteful.
The first attack could easily
have required (G) or (CC) and done more,
something really worth having, and the
card would barely have been any harder
As is, you’re apt to rarely ever
use Gnaw since a competent deck build
Swadloon (even if oddly being run as
an attacker) powered up reliably enough
to go straight into Double Razor Leaf a
significant majority of the time.
(G) or (CC) can get quite a bit
The two currently legal
from BW: Emerging Powers,
specifically 03/98 and 04/98.
Both Basic Pokémon have the same
Type, Weakness, Resistance, and Retreat
03/98 has 40 HP and can Tackle
for 10 damage at a cost of (C) or use
String Shot for no damage and a 50%
chance of inflicting Paralysis for (G).
String Shot is definitely
overpriced, but at least that would help
it to survive.
04/98 can Gnaw for 10 damage,
costing (C), or perform Razor Leaf at a
cost of (GC) and doing 20 points of
The latter attack is again
04/98 does enjoy 50 HP, so while
pure vanilla filler I am inclined to
choose it: ideally you’d never attack
with either so 10 more HP is more
conducive to survival than an overpriced
chance at Paralysis you never want to
have been in a position to have used!
There is also a second
Sewaddle to consider, but we are
reviewing it later this week, so I am
loathe to comment to extensively on it:
I will simply say that I prefer this
Similarly, we are to review
Leavanny later this week as well, so
again I don’t want to go into detail on
it: I will merely stat that
Swadloon will not make
Leavanny any better of a pick than
it would merit on its own.
If that comment seems odd,
remember that it is at least feasible
that a Stage 1 Pokémon could be good
enough to run on its own (possibly
including the Stage 2 just for the
option) or with both Stage 1 and Stage 2
forms being equally useful.
unfortunately appears to be a fairly
average Stage 1 Pokémon that Evolves,
and that means in Modified its only
going to see some play with
Leavanny sees play).
In Unlimited it is far outclassed
by many other cards and it should come
as no surprise that I don’t expect
Leavanny to see play except as an
intentionally challenging deck some
players like to ‘test’ themselves with.
In Limited, though, the card
finally has a reason to see at least
While there are only six Grass
Weak Pokémon in the set (and all are
members of the same Evolution line which
has two copies of each Stage), I found
no Resistance at all (the Metal-Types
all Resist Psychic Pokémon).
Given the ease of splashing
Swadloon (and at least the one
Leavanny) into multi-Type decks,
this is actually a solid pull for
Additionally the redundant nature
of the line in the set (two of each
Stage) makes pulling a fleshed out line
easier, and this format as usual makes
all the stats and effects of the entire
needs just a bit more HP and it would
have been a solid Stage 1 Pokémon, still
not worth playing on its own but a boon
The stats it has, even being a
transitory Stage 1 Pokémon, require
being a good Basic or a great,
non-Evolving Stage 1 Pokémon to justify
use in competitive play, and it doesn’t
look “fun” enough to be worth using in
casual play, either.
I am selling my various toys, trinkets,
games, and collectibles on eBay
Right now I am about halfway
through selling my Transformers:
Currently on the block are
Optimus Prime (Voyager),
Grimlock (Deluxe), and all
the Mini-Con three figure sets released
as a part of the line.
Feel free to help an Otaku out
and give them a look. :)