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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Basculin #35

Black & White

Date Reviewed: April 3, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.37
Limited: 2.67

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

Basculin (Black and White)

So . . . our mission to review so far unreviewed cards takes us all the way back to the Black and White set today. Actually it was less than a year ago that this was released, but a year is a long time in Pokémon.

Actually, the Basculin we are looking at wasn’t in the main Japanese Black and White sets, it came in the ‘Beginning Set’ – a special collection of half decks that came in two different sets – one for boys and one for girls (the girl one had cuter Pokémon). This should give you a pretty big clue as to how good today’s card is: non-set Japanese releases tend to contain very inferior versions of the set cards.

Basculin is an unevolving Basic Pokémon with just 70 HP and a Lightning Weakness. Normally you would say that Lightning Weakness was a bad thing but . . . it’s not like anything needs to hit for Weakness to OHKO a 70 HP Pokémon is it? Similarly, you would think that being a Water Type would make him useful against Fire or Donphan decks only, as we shall see, he can’t hit hard or fast enough to cause them any trouble. The Retreat cost of one is about the only thing on the card I can’t complain about.

This card has just the one attack: Crunch. This costs two Water Energy and does just 30 damage. Needing a specific Energy Type just to hit for 30 is just crazy these days. Yes you do get a coin flip chance to discard an Energy attacked to the Defending Pokémon, but that in no way makes up for the absurd cost and pitiful damage output of the attack. Obviously, this card has no place in Modified and even in Limited it’s a poor choice. I can’t think of many random Basics that are much worse than this.

I think we can now all go back to forgetting that this card ever existed.

Rating

Modified: 1.25 (I only give 1 if I actually hate the Pokémon as well as the card)

Limited: 1.5 (not even good here . . . early game wall if you’re desperate I suppose)

virusyosh

Greetings, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing a Basic Pokemon all the way back from Black and White, although we've reviewed other iterations of this card before. Is this particular version playable? Today's Card of the Day is Basculin BW #35.
 
Basculin is a Basic Water Pokemon. Water-types are fairly rare in Modified these days, with only Kyurem and Kyurem-EX seeing limited play. However, if Reshiram or other threats with a Water Weakness become dominant again, there is a chance that the type will return to the tournament scene. 70 HP is just about average for a non-evolving, non-Legendary Basic, and Basculin should be able to survive a somewhat weak hit. Unfortunately, this value also means that the piranha loses out to most of the hitters that are common in Modified, so it has to do something incredibly well or be relegated to Limited. Lightning Weakness is a bad start, as Zekrom-EX will easily OHKO, as will other Lightning-type threats like Zapdos, Zebstrika, and Thundurus. No Resistance and a decent Retreat Cost of 1 are also expected.
 
Basculin, unlike many other cards we review, has only one attack and no other abilities. Therefore, this single attack has to be incredibly good for the fish to see play. Crunch deals 30 damage for two Water Energy, discarding an Energy from the Defending Pokemon if you get heads on a coin flip. The damage output for this attack is disappointingly low in Modified, but it can work in Limited, provided you have enough Water Energy. In terms of the Energy-discarding effect, there are generally better options in Modified, including Crushing Hammer, Lost Remover, or even Krookodile EP.
 
Modified: 1.5/5 Basculin is totally outclassed here. If you want to discard Energy from the opponent, use something like Crushing Hammer instead.
 
Limited: 3.25/5 Basculin is fairly good in Limited if you can provide the Water Energy to support it. Crunch is decent in Limited, as discarding an Energy from the Defending Pokemon can help you stall them out, as well as waiting until you build up another attacker. Unfortunately Basculin's HP, Energy requirements, and attack damage aren't the greatest, but the card is definitely usable in this format provided you have adequate Water support.


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