In the video games (if I remember rightly)
Raticate is a pretty weak
Pokémon that is capable of doing spectacular amounts of
damage with Hyper Fang against opponents that it has no
business causing so much trouble to. It seems that with
this card, they tried to transition that ability into
The card art for Raticate
certainly makes him look intimidating enough to pull off
such an attack, but that doesn’t disguise the fact that
this is a Stage 1 with just 60 HP, and as such an easy
Prize for . . . ummm . . .
just about every attacker you’ll see in a competitive
deck. Sure he has free retreat (and I’ll never turn my
nose up at that), but the odds on him surviving long
enough to use it are not good. That’s not necessarily
the issue here though, as we shall see.
We can gloss over Raticate’s
first attack: Gnaw Through costs one
Energy of any Colour and allows you to discard a
Tool from the Defending Pokémon. The uses for this are
marginal and never worth an attack, which is why we have
Tool Scrapper. With Super Fang though, things get a bit
more interesting . . . three
Colourless Energy and you put damage counters on
the opposing Pokémon until it has just 10 HP left.
That’s right, use this attack
and everything from the tankiest
Aspertia City Gym, to the
lowliest Solosis, is just 10
HP away from a KO.
Sounds great, but that does leave a problem: you will
never actually be able to knock anything out with
Raticate, just leave it
severely damaged. What you need is a way to finish the
job, preferably on the same turn. At the moment, your
options are basically limited to
Amoonguss NEX, which can use its
Sporprise Ability to inflict
Poison when you evolve into it on the Bench. This would
get you the KO, but it does involve using another weak
Stage 1, so it’s less than ideal. However there is a
Trainer-Item in Japan (Poison Hypnotic Beam, or PHB for
short) that may be released in the near future which
will also Poison the Defending Pokémon and this seems
like a much more workable way of doing things.
combo has received a little bit of hype and certainly
appeals to players who want to be able to compete with
the big, expensive EX Pokémon on a budget. Sadly though,
there is one thing that is going to hold
Raticate back as a deck, and
that is its Basic form, Rattata.
You see Rattata only has 30
HP (and like Raticate
is Weak to Fighting). This
means that a) you are really risking a first turn loss
if you start with it (and against
Landorus-EX you risk losing even if you start
with two) and b) you are going to find it tough to keep
swarming Raticate as it
needs a minimum of
two Energy attachments, even with Double
Colourless). What’s more, Darkrai-EX
will be able to KO the active
and take a
Prize off a benched Rattata
that is waiting to evolve, thanks to the 30 snipe of
Night Spear. With two of the most popular Pokémon in the
format being very strong against a
Raticate deck, it becomes an
risky choice for tournament play.
At the moment, I don’t think
Amoonguss is good enough to make this work. When
we get Poison Hypnotic Beam, things may get a little
more interesting, though I suggest that only the very
brave use this for anything other than League/casual
Modified: 2.75 (Super Fang is pretty scary, but
Raticate and its Basic are
so frail that the deck can be easily taken apart before
it can win)
Limited: 3.75 (Good here, and much more straightforward.
Super Fang, then free retreat to something that will
finish the job)
Jebulous Maryland Player
Raticate is a Stage 1 Colorless Pokemon with 60 HP... 60
HP. It is weak to Fighting and has free retreat. It is
searchable by Level Ball.
'Gnaw Through' costs 1 energy and discards a Tool
attached to the defending Pokemon. I think it's a good
effect, only it's on a Pokemon that can't take advantage
of it. I would like for it to do damage, at least 10.
'Super Fang' costs 3 energy and puts damage on the
Defending Pokemon until they have 10 HP remaining. It
brings me back to when I played Sabrina's Kadabra. It's
a great attack, you just need a way to deal that last 10
damage. The biggest problem is the cost. Dedicating 3
energy to a 60 HP is a big problem.
So Raticate is a card that screams 'Play me!' The first
attack is a helpful Tool Scrapper that can rid yourself
of having to face a *insert beefy Pokemon name* with an
Eviolite. Sure you have to give up an attack, but it's
helpful during the build up process. Who am I kidding,
you aren't going to put Raticate up to use this attack.
Doing so invites your opponent to knock it out before
you get a chance to 'Super Fang'.
'Super Fang' is what makes this card. 'How can I take
advantage of this attack?' is what pretty much everyone
has thought. Well, right now Amoongus is the only way
to knock out a Pokemon hit by 'Super Fang'. Evolve to
Amoongus, attack with 'Super Fang', instant KO. That
takes down anything (unless it has an effect about not
being effected by status conditions). So all those 180
HP EX Pokemon... peanuts. At some point we are getting
a Trainer card that Poisons the Defending Pokemon, so
you know what kind of deck is going to appear.
Now, why don't we see a hint of Raticate out there?
Well, it has the worst possible stats for the current
meta. 60 HP is nothing. Any EX Pokemon should be able
to take this thing out without blinking. Darkrai EX has
a field day with the residual 'Night Spear' damage. Mewtwo
EX laughs at any attempt Raticate makes at building
energy. Landorus EX welcomes Raticate to the active
spot. Plus the Fighting Weakness isn't good at all
seeing how Dark is also weak to Fighting, and everyone
either plays Dark or Fighting (minus Keldeo and the
other random floating decks).
So, Raticate needs more HP. At least that way it can
actually stay on the field long enough to do want it's
suppose to do. But the temptation to run it is really
high, I mean come on, taking an EX out in one shot? I
know I've splashed a 1-1 line in my Ninetales/Amoongus
deck to see what would happen. That mixed with Ditto
definitely surprises people.
Combos With: Amoongus