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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Swardloon #6

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: Sept. 8, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.00
Limited: 1.37

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

Swadloon 6/98 (Emerging Powers)

It’s a long way from yesterday’s review of the iconic Base Set Charizard to what we have for you today. Look at Swadloon’s ‘Son I am Disappoint’ face on the card’s artwork: even he knows that he’s not up to par.

Fact is, he’s not even as good as the Swadloon we reviewed on Tuesday. Less HP and bigger retreat cost means that he is slightly less good at fulfilling his primary function, which is of course evolving into Leavanny. The fact that he has Grass Cocoon, an attack which heals 40 damage for a single Grass Energy is pretty irrelevant really: if he isn’t OHKOd before he gets a chance to use it, he almost certainly will be the turn after.

Swadloon’s second attack is so poor it actually makes Grass Cocoon look useful though. Razor Leaf costs [G][C] and does a pitiful 20 points of effect-free damage. Ewwww . . . why even bother?

It’s not often I give cards the lowest possible score, but when you have a card that is outclassed by something as poor as the alternative Swadloon from the same set . . . well, then it’s time to get harsh with the ratings.

Rating

Modified: 1 (even worse than the other one)

Limited: 1.25 (eh, it could stall early game I suppose)


Otaku

Time look took at the other Yoda Swadloon!

Stats

Swadloon is a Stage 1 Grass-Type Pokémon, just like the other one. So again, currently you don’t really encounter Grass Weakness or Resistance in the top decks, save perhaps people still trying to make Feraligatr Prime work. The few cards of direct support for Grass-Types aren’t worth playing most of the time due to the current metagame, and even the secondary support focused on Grass Energy hasn’t “wowed” me either. Swadloon is still a transitional Stage 1, bridging the gap between Sewaddle and Leavanny. This means its main rival is Rare Candy unless it actually contributes something significant to a Leavanny deck, assuming Leavanny is worth playing (more on that come Friday).

This Swadloon has 70 HP, worse than its counterpart and frankly annoying. Again, I’d rather the HP boost be more prevalent for the Stage 1 form that needs it to be playable, let alone competitive, and then have the Stage 2 form (still at whatever final max HP score is appropriate) just be 20 to 30 points larger than the Stage 1. If 80 HP was an easy OHKO (as indicated when we reviewed the other Swadloon), then of course 70 HP is just that much easier, since currently we have no unusual cards that have altered that fact in the past. The Weakness technically isn’t any worse, since it the Pokémon TCG always does damage in increments of 10 and thus it still takes a Fire-Type Pokémon hitting for 40 points of base damage being doubled by Weakness to score a OHKO. Of course, since this was bad for the other version, it is still bad for this version, though with the irony that most of the time it doesn’t matter since it’s already puny! No Resistance is disappointing as usual but probably wouldn’t have saved the card and oddly this version has a two Energy Retreat Cost, which is poor given the other stats though only slightly chunky for a Stage 1 Pokémon. This is high enough that a significant amount of the time you’ll either lack the Energy needed to manually retreat or else desperately need to keep that Energy in play.

Effects

This Swadloon also has two attacks, this time Grass Cocooning and Razor Leaf. Grass Cocooning demonstrates the problem of most healing attacks: any turn you heal yourself, you aren’t attacking your opponent. If you aren’t attacking your opponent, how are you scoring a win? If you play purely defense, your only hope of winning is by deck out, and that’s fails due to time limits and the fact that Pokémon formats rarely lack a generic form of recursion to replenish the deck. Now since this card’s primary job is to survive and Evolve into Leavanny is there some wiggle room? Yes, but the stats still make the basic idea of a healing attack impractical. If Swadloon survived through an attack, a good deck will Evolve it instead of using a healing attack! Healing attacks have to provide inexpensive, mass healing to be good even in slower formats and/or be on a massive Pokémon that is hard to KO already. This clearly should have been something like a once-per-turn Ability, in which case you could use it right before Evolving into Leavanny.

Razor leaf is vanilla damage doing 20 for (GC). This is pricey on a Basic (though quite common) and seems almost “mean” to force onto a card that the designers already made sub-par. It’s just a bad attack: basic Energy investment means you should be doing at least 25 points of damage (yeah, the extra damage would have to be converted into an effect). Since the first attack is almost worthless and Swadloon is a Stage 1 Pokémon (even one that further Evolves), it should have hit for at least 30 and probably 40 points of damage. Factoring in the poor stats it needs to hit even harder than that to be worth running. Making Swadloon this poor makes no sense even as a balancing mechanism, since we still have Rare Candy and another version.

Usage

Not to cop out, but you can see the other Swadloon review for details on my preferred Sewaddle (hint: it’s the version with more HP) and you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for details on Leavanny, but suffice to say if you need to run a Swadloon, you should use the other version and ultimately for Leavanny, rely mostly on Rare Candy with Swadloon just along in case of Trainer lock.

The only place where you should use this is Limited, and even then it is because you need it: either you’re desperately low on Pokémon and able to run Grass Energy, or you’ve got the other version and have room, or you’ve got Leavanny. The healing is almost useful to stall here, because the HP isn’t as pitiful by comparison and the damage output is lower, so Swadloon can survive many attacks and heal most of the damage it would take. That only holds true so long, since you’re not hurting your opponent’s set-up and thus eventually they’d power through the stall.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 1/5

Limited: 1.5/5

Summary

Swadloon has one redeeming feature, and that is hilarious art. I won’t spout all the annoying clichés it works with, but simply put if you need to tell someone “no” or that you disapprove, are upset, etc. just show them this card. It even might work for intimidation and confusion if you want to go the “crazy-TCG-player-wearing-a-card-as-a-locket” route. Seriously folks, I am trying!

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