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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Zebstrika

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed:
December 14, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.00
Limited: 2.25

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

Zebstrika (Boundaries Crossed)

 

I’ve been doing CotD here for a few years now, and one thing I’ve learned is that bad cards come in three flavours. The first and most common is the boring filler card which is just all round lacklustre and gives you no reason to play it. The second, and second most common, is the card that tries to do something but just doesn’t execute it well enough to be worth using (the Tangrowth from this week is an example). The third, and by far the rarest type is the card that is so spectacularly, self-sabotaging-ly bad that you can’t help asking yourself ‘just what were they thinking?’. Today’s review is all about one of these ‘special’ Pokémon.

 

Zebstrika is a Stage 1 with an ok-ish 100 HP and retreat cost of one. It’s Weak to Fighting, which is bad with all the Landorus-EX and Terrakion around but . . . eh? What did you expect from a Lightning Pokémon? So far, this card just seems to be mediocre . . . until we look at the attacks.

 

The first, Flame Charge, costs a Colourless Energy and lets you search your deck for a Fire Energy and attach it to Zebstrika. That’s right. A FIRE Energy. On a LIGHTNING Pokémon that has no Fire requirement in its attack costs. Why? Just why? So you can power up the horrible, self-damaging Thunder attack a turn earlier than you would if you couldn’t get a DCE? Ugh. Thanks, Pokémon card designers: now I have to run off-Type Energy in my Lightning deck so I can use an attack which hastens the demise of my terrible Pokémon (at least it puts it out of its misery). This is so bad, it’s almost funny.

 

Except that there is a real kick in the teeth that makes this card a whole lot less amusing. See, it’s a Holo Rare in the set. That’s right, the card slot in your Boundaries Crossed pack that should go to something nice is taken up by this utter trash. I like jokes as much as the next person, but not really when they are (literally) at my expense. I don’t often give a card the minimum score, but just because of that, today I will.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 1 (Poor, TPCI, poor)

Limited: 1.5 (Don’t even want to use it here)

 

Thank goodness we are reviewing the top 10 next week!

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing a new Lightning-type from Boundaries Crossed. Today's Card of the Day is Zebstrika.
 
Zebstrika is a Stage 1 Lightning Pokemon. Lightning Pokemon see a bit of play in today's Modified metagame, with Eelektrik NVI showing up in many decks, as well as the occasional Raikou-EX and even Zekrom-EX. 100 HP is good for a Stage 1, meaning that Zebstrika should be able to survive a medium to large hit before going down (for example, an undamaged Zebstrika can take a Night Spear from a Darkrai-EX, or a Shred from a Dragon Vault Rayquaza). Unfortunately, Zebstrika has a Fighting Weakness, which means that Terrakion and Landorus-EX will make quick work of the lightning zebra. Equally unfortunate is Zebstrika's lack of Resistance, but a Retreat Cost of 1 is pretty good, and absolutely payable if you need to.
 
Zebstrika has two attacks. Flame Charge allows you to search your deck for a Fire Energy and attach it to Zebstrika for the cost of a Colorless Energy, shuffling afterward. It's a shame that this attack doesn't do damage like its video game counterpart, but the addition of a Fire Energy is a great design touch (since Flame Charge is a Fire attack, after all). This attack probably won't see much use at all in Modified, but could be useful in Limited, where you're more likely to be running Lightning Pokemon and Fire Energy together (Rayquaza-EX-based decks notwithstanding).
 
Thunder is Zebstrika's form of offense, doing 90 damage for a Lightning and two Colorless Energy, and can also deal 30 damage to Zebstrika if you flip tails. 90 damage is going to really tear through a lot of Boundaries Crossed Limited, but self-damage is never good, as it greatly hampers Zebstrika's survivability, regardless of format.
 
Modified: 1/5 Neither of Zebstrika's attacks are very good in Modified. Flame Charge doesn't deal damage (and there are better forms of acceleration available here), and Thunder is both expensive and has the potential for self-damage. Generally, if you're looking to use Lightning Pokemon in Modified, you're better off with Raikou-EX or Zekrom-EX.
 
Limited: 3/5 Zebstrika is decent in Limited, but not much more than that. Flame Charge can provide a nice form of acceleration if you're working to power up the Thunderbolt Pokemon, and Thunder deals good damage for the cost. However, be sure to watch out for Thunder's self damage, as it can really prevent Zebstrika from being very effective against your opponents.


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