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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Raticate

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed:
December 13, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.38
Limited: 2.87

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Raticate (Boundaries Crossed)

 

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 TCG.

 

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 Regigigas-EX with Eviolite and 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.

 

The Raticate-Amoonguss/PHB 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 extremely 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 play.

 

Rating

 

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
 
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. 
 
Modified: 2/5
Limited: 2/5
Combos With:  Amoongus


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