It is a special double CotD today!
We’ll be looking at both
This article is for
Conkeldurr (BW Noble Victories
a Stage 2 Pokémon, which is
unfortunately a disadvantage right now:
you’ll need two other cards to get it
into play (Timburr
Rare Candy), and with the incredibly
aggressive nature of this format you
have to Bench multiple “targets” to have
a prayer of getting an Evolution up and
It can be spamming the basic you
want to Evolve, it can be your own
attacker that is already to go and that
your opponent can’t afford to ignore,
but it has to be something.
If it is your second turn or
later, you get the other option of
running a Trainer lock, but that takes
over your deck so it is pretty
Alas this seems to be the
struggle for TPC: either Basic Pokémon
dominate (like both now and when the
game first came out) or Evolutions
dominate (like most of the time in
is a Fighting-Type Pokémon with is both
a blessing and a curse.
The good news is Fighting
Weakness is everywhere right now!
Sure Resistance is popping up as
well, but mostly to cover that Weakness.
Plus, no other big Fighting deck
seems to be able to capitalize upon it.
The bad news is no other big
Fighting deck seems to be able to
capitalize upon it, including some that
were good until a few sets ago; this is
a very hostile format for Evolution
Conkeldurr will really need to be
something special not to go the same way
as other, well made Stage 2 Fighting
Pokémon that haven’t found a toehold.
Plus Fighting-Type Pokémon have
no real support worth mentioning; what I
can remember actually “supports”
Fighting-Type Energy and not the Pokémon
themselves, but either way it hurts.
has 140 HP, which should be good, but
As you should have read the card
for yourself by now, let alone the other
reviews, you know this isn’t the end of
the story for this card’s longevity.
Still for the stat itself, 140 HP
is in the middle of the expected range
for Stage 2 Pokémon (130 HP to 150 HP).
130 HP usually means a great
effects and/or Bench-sitter status (at
least if it wasn’t for
Pokémon Catcher it would be), with
anything lower possessing some truly
amazing effects (almost always an
Ability by this point since attacks
usually can’t offset significantly low
Something with 140 or 150 HP
should be big enough to get by on bulk
alone so long as the rest of the card
That is how it “should” be based on the
history of the game and seeming
intentions of the designers.
I could be wrong though.
is, on the other hand, is not open
We have Basic Pokémon with great
HP scores themselves, sometimes even
before factoring in that they are a
More importantly, these same
Basic Pokémon get
fantastic attacks, often enough to
OHKO Stage 2 Pokémon with a little help.
Finally street legal today are
Pokémon EX, so far all of which are
Basic Pokémon and worth two Prizes when
The most notable amongst them can
also OHKO Stage 2 Pokémon, but without
any help (other than the set-up almost
every Pokémon requires).
So 140 HP now means
Conkeldurr should survive one shot
if your opponent isn’t fully set-up,
hitting your Weakness, or seeking to win
through raw brute force.
Today is the official release
date for BW: Next Destinies,
Mewtwo EX is now legal for Modified
play and thus Psychic Weakness like that
Conkeldurr is the
worst Weakness in the format.
Fully powered a
Mewtwo EX will OHKO
Conkeldurr, and it has a nasty
Energy counting attack that will also
usually do the job.
Irritatingly, there is no
Resistance to help offset this even a
I really feel that diminishes the
game when they skimp on Resistance.
Last we come to the Retreat Cost
You don’t want to ever pay this:
pack an alternative like
Switch or prepare to “tank out”
Odds are you’ll want to plan on
has one attack (Top Down) and one
The Ability is pretty cool, and
while not something we’ve never seen
before, neither is it something we see
often: for each (F) Energy attached to
Conkeldurr gets +20 HP.
Just in case you’re new (or have
been around long enough to worry about
mistranslations), this means 20
additional HP on top of what is printed,
so with one
Fighting Energy attached an
Conkeldurr would have 160 HP.
Sadly I haven’t seen any official
rulings on this.
I am assuming that, as the text
doesn’t specify basic Energy or Energy
“card”, that Special Energy that provide
Fighting Energy will count towards the
effect and if we ever get (or get back)
something that provided multiple
Fighting Energy, it too will add +20 HP
per Fighting Energy provided.
Past rulings for other cards makes it
clear that if Craftsmanship is somehow
shut off or the Energy fueling it is
Conkeldurr, the extra HP is
immediately lost but none of the damage.
This may sound obvious, but I
know in the past players have tried to
argue that the extra HP from the effect
is somehow lost “first”; so if
Conkeldurr had four
Fighting Energy attached and 80
damage on it and then Retreated to the
Bench and discarded that Energy, that
the damage counters represented the
injury to the “extra” HP and should also
Not a chance!
This is most important if
Conkeldurr is only avoiding being
Knocked Out because of the HP boost from
Craftsmanship; if Craftsmanship is shut
off or some of the Fighting Energy is
removed, calculate the new, current
maximum HP for
Conkeldurr, subtract the amount of
damage from the current maximum HP and
Conkeldurr doesn’t have at least 10
HP left it is KOed.
Despite requiring a lot of math, extra
HP is always useful.
So what about the attack?
Top Down requires (FCCC) to use
and does 80 points of damage with a
bonus effect; flip a coin until you get
tails and discard that many cards from
the top of your opponent’s deck.
At a glance this seems pretty
In terms of Energy, you’re only
paying for about 50 points of damage, so
for being a Stage 2 you’re getting an
extra 30 points of damage plus an
There is even some basic synergy,
since Craftsmanship should allow
Conkeldurr to “tank”.
This would allow you more time to
power it up and/or to get off more
attacks once it is powered up, and this
increases the chances you’ll have to get
a streak of heads and discard a lot of
cards from your opponent’s deck.
Look deeper and think about it longer.
This card has no other attacks
and I’ve already reminded you that
Fighting-Types don’t have their own form
of Energy acceleration.
Without any Energy acceleration
Conkeldurr can’t attack until it has
four Energy cards manually attached:
Even if we Evolve
Gurdurr, that’s one more turn after
Conkeldurr hits the field, and two
more after if we used
Rare Candy to skip
If we use Energy acceleration, we
encounter different issues.
Double Colorless Energy is the least
intrusive, but it only speeds things up
by one turn (since you still need at
least one card providing (F) Energy).
Other forms of acceleration have
their own drawbacks, but all require
running several cards (be it a combo of
basic Pokémon and/or Trainers or another
Plus anything that remains in
play through the end of the turn becomes
a target for sniping or
Pokémon Catcher, preventing
Conkeldurr from performing the role
of being “the tank”.
Who cares if it has over 200 HP
if your opponent just scores six Prizes
KOing your supporting Pokémon?
This card really needed a less expensive
attack or a more expensive attack.
The former statement probably
makes sense, even if the attack did less
than this one, by virtue of being more
affordable you could rush to
Conkeldurr sooner without
needing the Energy acceleration.
So why do I say the attack should
Well, this assumes that the
greater cost would have been
appropriately compensated for and that
you aren’t ignoring Craftsmanship.
If you want to load this card up
with Fighting Energy anyway, the attack
might as well cost at least (FFCC) –
which would still allow for one turn of
Double Colorless Energy – or (FFFF)
so that you got an appropriate return
for the Energy investment you’re going
to make anyway.
Once you factor all that in, you see
this card has a “good” ability and an
“adequate” attack, but they clash which
hurts the overall package.
Now onto actual usage and what
this faces in the metagame!
Covering the basics, what
Gurdurr should you use?
If you read yesterday’s
Gurdurr CotD, you’d know that I
Timburr (Black & White
59/114) because none of the versions we
Timburr have useful attacks, so we
might as well enjoy the 70 HP this
version has (the other two only have 60
Gurdurr (Black & White
60/114) requires one less Energy to
Retreat and has a little bit better
attacks than the most recent version
released, so I recommend it, though only
because I dislike relying entirely upon
Rare Candy to Evolve.
Conkeldurr player run the other
Conkeldurr (BW: Noble Victories
Maybe a single copy if you also plan
Shaymin (HS: Unleashed
8/95)to move Energy around en masse,
since it can hit faster than this
version (barring combos) and possibly
harder if you are lucky with some coin
Shaymin to move Energy around,
though, and no more than one copy.
See that review for a more
For Energy acceleration, I’d say take
the risk and use
Electrode “Prime” (HS: Triumphant
Conkeldurr will last long enough to
make-up for the lost Prize (from using
Energymite) and you won’t lose too many
good cards while also hitting enough
Fighting Energy to matter.
Landorus as an alternate opener,
just because it is pretty effective on
If you can make room for
Shaymin, you also might be able to
load up a single
Conkeldurr with a massive amount of
Energy by the endgame.
You’ll also want room for some
form of healing if at all possible,
unless you do plan on constantly
Conkeldurr who are loaded with
damage counters and Energy via
Shaymin transferring that Energy to
The problem is that all of this would
probably be for naught.
I already brought up
Mewtwo EX, without going into a lot
of detail (this CotD is long enough),
its first attack does more damage for
each Energy attached to itself and the
Defending Pokémon, and the second just
hits really hard.
Between the two,
Mewtwo EX will be able to OHKO
Besides that, there is still
Drifblim (HS: Undaunted
Conkeldurr did somehow become a
threat, most established decks could run
a 1-1 or 2-2 line of
Drifblim and shuffle away a
Conkeldurr that was loaded with
Energy, no matter how much HP it had.
There is also
Jirachi (HS: Unleashed 1/95,
Call of Legends 11/95) that can
Devolve an opponent’s Pokémon, also an
easy semi-generic counter to work into
decks and that completely undermines
Even without specific counters, you
can’t have a Bench for
Conkeldurr unless you also have
The only candidate is
Vileplume (HS: Undaunted
24/90), another Stage 2 line, and it
shuts off your own Items.
Having a massive HP score isn’t
much good if you can’t use Items to heal
and maintain that score.
If you aren’t using Items, that
means effects of Pokémon, and the best
option there is yet another Stage 2
Serperior (Black & White
Trying to run a
deck seems like a lot of effort for a
What of Unlimited?
The usual reminder: Unlimited not
only has access to the best decks (and
cards) ever released, but horrific
combos that allow a player to win the
first turn of the game, or strip an
opponent’s hand away so that they are
top decking, etc.
Conkeldurr isn’t completely useless
here: with access to all this support,
it would have options.
The catch is that specific
counters to this kind of strategy do
exist, and the effort involved would
again yield better returns elsewhere.
Conkeldurr backed by
Slowking (Neo Genesis 14/111)
to block opposing Trainers while
allowing your own, coupled with the
right Trainer/Energy mix should at least
be fun to play, if not effective.
Conkeldurr in the set makes just a
little easier to pull a fleshed out
The lower average damage output
and HP scores means your beefed up HP
should last longer, especially since Top
Down is likely scoring OHKOs.
With the smaller deck size of
Limited (40 instead of 60), every card
discarded by Top Down is even more vital
to your opponent, and brings them closer
to decking out even faster.
Craftsmanship becomes the icing
on the cake at this point: if you pulled
the right cards to get by with pure or
Fighting Energy, it can be quite
sick, but if you are running multiple
Energy types the 20 or 40 HP you’ll
probably get from it should still buy
another turn and thus another attack and
is another card that feels like it was
released too late.
Even if it had debuted in
Black & White, it might have enjoyed
a little time in the spotlight.
Releasing it now when the most
hyped card of the next set will soon be
everywhere and acting as a natural
counter and not optimizing the design of
the card mean it won’t be able to hang
with most competitive decks this format.
Its stats are solid, as are its
effects, but that doesn’t work in a
format where stats and effects are often