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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Amoonguss #9

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed: Feb. 29, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.00
Limited: 2.75

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

Amoonguss

Today we look at another Pokémon that made one of the reviewer top 10s, but failed to make it to the final list. That card is Amoonguss, and features a Pokémon which seems to bring out the worst puns from the translators (and that isn’t meant to be a criticism).

Amoonguss is a 90 HP Stage 1 with Fire Weakness, Water Resistance, and a Retreat cost of two. That’s all really bad (except for the currently almost useless Resistance I guess). The attack is terrible too: Rising Lunge does 20 for [G][C] with a coinflip for an extra 30 damage. Even with luck on your side, this is not an attack you would ever really want to use, much less invest two Energy in.

So, assuming that a member of the reviewing team hasn’t actually gone completely mental (always a possibility, believe me), there must be something else going for Amoonguss, right? Well yes there is. A pretty useful Ability and the awful pun I promised earlier: Sporprise.

Sporprise is one of those coming-into-play Abilities that activate when you evolve your Foongus by playing down this card. When you do so, the Defending Pokémon becomes Confused and Poisoned. Is this good? Well, it’s nice for sure: inflicting Status Conditions without an attack will put your opponent in a position where they are taking extra damage and really need to Retreat their active Pokémon, so it’s a good disruption card right there. Leafeon UD/CL makes for a blindingly obvious combo too: use Sporprise and follow it up a Miasma Wind attack to do 100 damage for a single Energy.

Good enough to be worth playing? Ehhhhh . . . I’ll be honest and say I seriously doubt it. With fast Basic decks playing Skyarrow Bridge and everything else running multiple copies of Switch, Retreating without discarding Energy seems like it wouldn’t cause most decks too much of a problem. This leaves you with a pretty vulnerable and useless low HP Stage 1 sitting on the Bench, just waiting for an opponent to take an easy Prize from it at their leisure. It could be used with Vileplume UD, but then Bench space becomes even tighter, set up even slower, and at the end of the day you are trying to combat huge Basics with puny Stage 1 Pokémon like the Leafeon I mentioned earlier.

Unless something really combotastic comes along in future, I see Amoonguss being more of a candidate for fun League decks than the top tables at tournaments.

Rating

Modified: 2.25 (I think I still prefer Roserade UL)

Limited: 3.75 (Foongus is a good starter here, and Amoonguss can be a nasty surprise for an opponent)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Amoonguss (Next Destinies)
 
Today we have another print of a strong competitor for the 'Weirdest Poke'mon Ever' award. It's the amusingly named Amoongus!
 
Amoonguss is a terminal Stage 1 (another phrase shamelessly stolen from my colleagues) Grass type with 90 HP, Fire Weakness, Water Resistance, a retreat cost of 2, an Ability and an attack. As you can guess from all of the obsessing over massive HP that has gripped the game, Amoongus is only good for one turn before it is destroyed, so that Ability and attack had better be worth a Prize. At least the Weakness  and retreat cost can be fixed easily enough, but if Amoonguss is Active it's already too late.
 
Still, being a small mushroom means that we expected nothing else. The attack is terrible too, since Rising Lunge is a [g][c] attack for 20 damage with 30 more on a coin flip. That leaves the Ability to justify Amoonguss' existence, which it may actually succeed in doing.
 
Sporprise is a great name for the Ability, which is a coming-into-play trick that Poisons and Confuses the opposing player's Active Poke'mon (that may seem obvious, but I live for the day when we see the return of the Char counter and other conditions that never went away!). If you happen to have an Item-locking strategy in effect (like Vileplume UD) then you can hamstring even the largest Poke'mon with damage over time and restricted attacks. Of course, this all assumes that your opponent cannot simply retreat the affected monster manually, which with the recent release of cards like Skyarrow Bridge and Vanniluxe has become much easier to do.
 
I want to like Amoonguss, and I do have to give points for staying on theme, but I don't see this fitting into any deck outside of a League deck featuring Leafeon UD. Still, it ought to be good for a few laughs there!


Otaku

Today we look at Amoongus (BW: Next Destinies 9/99). As a Pokémon, it just looks so familiar, like what if Homer Simpson was a Pokémon, or perhaps a Raving Rabbid that was cosplaying a mushroom. I don’t much care for mushrooms, but maybe they make better Pokémon than food.

Let’s dig in!

Stats

Being a Stage 1 Pokémon this format seems to hurt. The ones we had from the previous format that were actually played back then and become quite strong post rotation have become scarce. This is because this is a format where Basic Pokémon not only enjoy their normal benefits this format (one slot=one copy and just needing an open bench slot to put into play), but have lately been receiving stats and effects that rival Stage 1 (and some Stage 2) Pokémon, direct supporting cards in a variety of areas, and generally benefiting from recent changes to the rules and card errata (if Rare Candy functioned as it did for so many years, Stage 2 Pokémon would be ridiculously dominating the format – no I don’t want Rare Candy restored to its old functions). Amoongus is going to need to be quite special to keep up with the Basics that dominate the game and the handful of powerhouse Stage 1 and 2 Pokémon that seem to accompany them.

Being a Grass-Type is not a promising start: most Grass-Type support has fallen flat, the Types that have succeeded aren’t usually Grass Weak, and the Grass-Type Pokémon that do succeed seem to only do so in off-type decks. 90 HP does not help it, as even if we cut out the top level of decks just for the sake of simulating a “casual” format like you might find at Pokémon League, 90 HP still falls quickly to the next two levels of aggressive decks, as they can ramp up to a OHKO in just a turn or two. There is a silver-lining: Amoongus is small enough for Level Ball to pluck it from your deck, and since it is not a Basic Pokémon that ends up being a good bargain. Well as long as either Amoongus proves to be deck worthy and something else that we’d run with Amoongus is also a legal target, and isn’t a Basic Pokémon (we’ve established they have their own Support, and it includes two great search options).

Amoongus has the common Weakness among Grass-Type Pokémon, Fire, and Fire-Type Pokémon have done quite well this format. Conversely, while Amoongus is fortunate enough to possess Water Resistance, Water-Types are not fortunate enough to have their decks do all that well. At least there is Resistance, but perhaps that shows us even the developers think Grass-Type Pokémon are inherently weaker. The two Energy Retreat Cost that finishes off the bottom stats is approximately average, at least it terms of usefulness. It is low enough you’ll often be able to pay it (even if it takes a Double Colorless Energy), but high enough you really won’t want to. I almost wish it was a bit higher to justify a little more HP and make it a legal Heavy Ball target.

Effects

Amoongus has a single Ability and a single attack. I am really missing the old “Poké-Power/Poké-Body/Two attack” formula they had finally gotten to before the game revamped for Black & White. Hopefully it will return: when you only have two “slots” for effects it seems to put too much demand on them, and we end up with a lot of misses, including perhaps the worst, overpowered Pokémon.

Getting off my soapbox and back to Amoongus, its Ability is Sporprise, and it had better be good because it triggers only when you Evolve (from hand) a Pokémon in play into Amoongus. I think it comes close: your opponent’s Active Pokémon becomes Confused and Poisoned! Unfortunately, this leads to another soapbox moment (is this number three?): Special Conditions are badly in need of overall improvement. They’ve generally been pretty weak the entire run of the game, except in Limited play. There have been some exceptions, but I think the fundamental rules governing them need to change (as opposed to just “upping” what they do). Still, this combination does provide a form of protection (Confusion can cause an opponent’s attacks to fail), guaranteed damage counter placement (Poison), and possibly more damage counter placement (when Confusion causes an attack to fail it also makes said Pokémon place three damage counters upon itself).

Now the logical attack to give Amoongus would be Miasma Wind or Pester, since those attacks reward you for Special Conditions, and Miasma Wind is usually really inexpensive to boot. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Instead we get Rising Lunge for (GC), with base damage of 20 points and an extra 30 if you get “heads” on a coin toss. Averaging 25 points for that much Energy is fine… if you’re a Basic Pokémon that doesn’t Evolve. For a Stage 1 that can’t Evolve further, it’s poor. I guess Sporprise is supposed to be really powerful, or we’ll find a great combo for it.

Usage

Before we look for combos with other cards, let’s check out the Foongus we need to Evolve Amoongus from and the other versions we have of Amoongus. Both versions of Foongus are Basic Grass-Type Pokémon with Fire Weakness, Water Resistance, single Energy Retreat Costs, and dangerously low 40 HP scores. BW: Noble Victories 9/101 Foongus can do 20 for (G), which might be tempting if you ran PlusPower and still face a lot of the HeartGold/SoulSilver block “baby” Pokémon, but probably not since it only has 40 HP. BW: Next Destinies 8/99 barely ekes it out by having Find A Friend for (C); if you get “heads” on a mandatory coin flip you can search your deck for a Basic and add it to your hand. If you actually were desperate and invested (GC) you get a smaller version of Lunge, with base damage 10 and only an extra 20 points of damage if you get “heads” on the coin toss. Honestly, every Foongus has poor attacks: BW: Noble Victories has a solid offensive move, but it’s the only attack it knows and it isn’t worth the almost guaranteed follow-up KO it invites. On the BW: Next Destinies version, like I said the Rising Lunge Amoongus has was priced for an Evolving Basic Pokémon, ergo you know I consider this version to be quite underpowered. Find A Friend shouldn’t require a flip, but since it doesn’t specify what kind of Pokémon it is okay that it adds it to the hand (you can get non-Basic Pokémon!) and I’d rather have a shot at getting the Amoongus I desperately need to Evolve Foongus into, a replacement Foongus, or just another Pokémon entirely.

It is much easier to explain Amoongus (BW: Noble Victories 10/101): same stats as today’s version with two attacks. For (G) it can use Toxic for no damage, but the classic “double Poison” that places two damage counters on the afflicted Pokémon between turns. Body Slam is almost vanilla, doing 30 for (CC) and giving you Paralysis on a successful coin toss. Without something protecting them or exacerbating the Special Conditions, these two solid attacks aren’t enough for the poor stats. It doesn’t matter too much since today’s version would clash with this older Amoongus: Poison conditions replace each other, and Paralysis and Confusion replace each other. This would make it too awkward running them in the same deck. Obviously double Poison is greater than single Poison, but while Paralysis is better short term, it is only short term (it cures itself at the end of your opponent’s next turn) while Confusion isn’t reliable but it sticks around.

I can actually think of one use for Amoongus, though how potent it will be is questionable. There’s even an alternative Stage 1 that may be easier for some decks to use. So what is it? Eeveelutions backed by Vileplume (HS: Undaunted 24/90). Shutting off Items is handy, and of course makes shaking the Special Conditions harder for a Basic Pokémon, so that is kind of obvious. So is running Leafeon (HS: Undaunted 17/90, Call of Legends 13/95): it is another Stage 1 and you’ll be tight on space, but it will easily score 100 points of damage for a single Energy with this combo, plus another damage counter before your opponent’s turn even begins to threaten an effective OHKO against anything with even 110 HP. 120 isn’t much safer; if your opponent doesn’t Retreat they’ve got to not attack, attack successfully through Confusion, and in the end they still are KOed by the next damage counter. Even something like Reshiram (multiple printings) and Zekrom (multiple printings) are going to have a tough time when this is all backed up by Vileplume; no Switch and maybe only one or two Eviolite that sneak into play before Vileplume hits the field. Even with its 130 HP protected by Eviolite, the Dragons are in trouble after one hit: they’ll be down to 40 HP and if they attack and fail their Confusion check, they’ll be KOed by Poison before your next turn begins.

So what about when Mewtwo EX comes to easily overpowered you? Well, the Brightside is Leafeon needs just one Energy for either attack, so your standard Double Colorless Energy fueled X-Ball only hits Leafeon for 60 points of damage. Mewtwo EX will have to get two extra Energy attached (for a total of four) in order for X-Ball to deliver the OHKO. Plus, this combination provides an unusual counter to Mewtwo EX: Espeon (HS: Undaunted 81/90) “Prime”. Espeon Prime has that handy Evolution Memories Poké-Body that allows it to tap the moves of any Eeveelution in play, so a Benched Leafeon allows it access to Miasma Wind. Sporprise plus Miasma Wind = 100 points of damage for one Energy, and when used by Espeon Prime that hits Mewtwo EX for Weakness: 200 points for a OHKO. Unfortunately the rest of the Eeveelutions are less useful; maybe the other Espeon (HS: Undaunted 2/90, Call of Legends 4/95) for a semi-desperate sniper (if your opponent is able to hide stuff on the Bench) or if you can afford to run Water Energy (just Rainbow Energy sadly isn’t enough) Vaporeon (HS: Undaunted 41/90, Call of Legends 52/95); it is pricey but probably the better sniper.

All of this sounds quite fun, but it also sounds clunky. I’m afraid it is, especially because in order to re-use Amoongus you’re going to have to both run several copies, and send them up periodically to attack (and be KOed), and probably use Seeker. Seeker is great if you scored a OHKO with Miasma Wind; if you didn’t, it backfires: your opponent knows for certain after the first one that Retreating something nearly KOed is worthwhile, hence the need for a follow up sniper. Which brings us to the alternative to Amoongus in this crazy deck, but it too has failed because of its Energy intensive needs: Roserade (HS: Unleashed 23/95). If we had the right kind of Energy acceleration for Grass, Roserade could use Energy signal turn after turn to Confuse and Poison the Defending Pokémon. The catch is that you then need to get that Energy onto where it is needed more and Energy signal only works with attachments from the hand. This is why trying to repeatedly Evolve Amoongus actually has a better chance. Now you may be thinking “We actually have everything you said we need for Roserade to work”, and you’d be right, except while we have it, it won’t all fit into the same deck both due to space requirements and clashing effects. Plus to get two Special Conditions at once, we’d have to attach two Energy from hand, still need a third (or something to move it) to get Leafeon powered in a single turn, or two Energy and the one attached to Roserade needs to be a Rainbow Energy.

So after all that, there probably isn’t any true use for Modified. Unlimited fairs no better: there are easier “donks” than trying to spam Special Conditions for Miasma Wind. I’ll give it some credit, here it has the support that a 1-1 line could actually be spammed several turns in a row: too bad matches aren’t likely to last long enough for it to matter, even backed up by superior Trainer denial. As part of a fun deck built around Miasma Wind (now with superior support it lacked in Modified), I guess it at least could function. Still if you’re going to the effort of spamming a “coming into play” effect, this format has some much better ones. It is a very specific fun deck we are talking about. In Limited play, Amoongus is not surprisingly a good pull. Foongus has a shot at surviving one hit if you have it Active at the right time (namely opening turn), and suddenly Find A Friend is amazing, even with the even odds of failing. Getting Amoongus itself out shows us what happens when Special Conditions are a pain to ditch, and the low HP and damage output are at least average here, maybe just a bit above. Amazing how much better your poor Stage 1 stats are when you’re mostly facing filler Basic Pokémon, eh? Plus, most decks can afford to run even a few copies of Grass Energy so that it can actually attack.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1.75/5

Modified: 1.75/5

Limited: 4/5

Summary

Another Pokémon that will only shine in Limited, Amoongus actually has a solid Ability, even restricted to “coming-into-play” status. It just needs too much support to turn that into a deck. If it had Miasma Wind or Pester, that would have been a huge help. If we get Retro Energy reprinted, it might help. At least we know what kind of effect to look for. This didn’t make my honorable mentions, let alone my list, but it did catch my eye when I was searching for my Top 10.

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conical 2/29/12: Amoonguss(Next Destinies)
 
I put this on my Top 10 list, mostly because I liked the effect more than anything else. Plus, I think I'm the only one who likes Amoonguss as a design.
 
The HP is bad, the retreat cost is bad, the attack is mediocre, the resistance is OK, and the weakness is pretty bad, although given that most Fire-types would just one-shot an Amoonguss even it wasn't weak to it, I question just how bad it is. However, it does have Sporprise, which apart from the awesome name has a pretty cool effect. Applying status effects as an ability is pretty solid, especially with something like Leafeon UD in the format, and especially with Pokemon Catcher around to drag up high-retreat cards on the bench to Sporprise. Apart from that, though, as mentioned, the bottom stats are pretty bad, and the fact that the basic Foonguss all have 40 HP isn't good either. But I think this could work someday.
 
Modified: 3/5
Limited: 2.5/5
Combos With: Leafeon UD


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