It is a special double CotD today!
We’ll be looking at both
This article is for
Conkeldurr (BW: Noble Victories
If you’ve read the CotD for the
other version, you’ll notice the shared
text: I simply do not have time to come
up with a new way to describe the shared
characteristics of the cards.
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
This 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
This is better than the other
Conkeldurr (BW: Noble Victories
64/101), but not by enough.
You still 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 two attacks.
The first is Chip Away for (F).
It does 40 points of damage and
gets to ignore effects on the Defending
Note that Weakness and Resistance are
not considered “effects” on the
This is a good attack: while
getting blocked by Resistance can still
be a problem, Fighting Weak Pokémon
can’t hide behind defensive effects that
reside on them.
Of course, only a few that do are
worth playing anyway.
You can also still layer effects
Conkeldurr to boost the damage of
this attack, like
The big attack on this card is Swing
Around for (FFC).
It does 60 points of damage no
matter what, plus it lets you flip two
coins to get another 30 points of damage
I think I’d rather just average
the 90 points of damage, but either way
this isn’t going to cut it unless you’re
exploiting Weakness (and sometimes not
If the Energy cost was (FCC) at
least you could use
Double Colorless Energy, but even
then this kind of attack shouldn’t be
the “big” attack on a Stage 2 Pokémon.
Swing Around is just too slow and
weak given the rest of the format, and
what is required to get it going.
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 this over the
Conkeldurr (BW: Noble Victories
If you also plan on running
Shaymin (HS: Unleashed
8/95)to move Energy around en masse,
might consider running a single copy of
this, the no Ability
Conkeldurr, since it can hit faster
than the other version (barring combos)
and possibly harder if you are lucky
with some coin tosses.
Shaymin to move Energy around,
though, and no more than one copy.
See that review for a more
details on running the other
Despite a good “small” attack,
the big attack just doesn’t justify the
With Psychic Weakness being so
nasty right now, I don’t see why you
Donphan Prime (HeartGold &
SoulSilver 107/123) if you just want
a fast, hard-hitting Fighting line.
The fact that
Donphan Prime usage seems to have
plummeted is an excellent indicator that
Conkeldurr isn’t going to cut it
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, but is shown up by too many past
Chip Away won’t ignore the Baby
Rule (it is a rule, not an “effect”), so
even if I wanted a Stage 2 Fighting-Type
Pokémon with a nasty first attack, I’d
have access to greats like
Machamp (EX: Hidden Legends
9/101), which for (FC) has an attack
similar to Chip Away and more
importantly, a Poké-Body that increases
Machamp does when an opponent has a
Pokémon ex in play (the old Pokémon ex,
which are still a reasonably common site
in Unlimited when not facing FTW decks).
Machamp (DP: Stormfront
20/100) also has a great attack for (F)
that allows it to automatically KO a
non-Evolved Pokémon, two better
follow-up attacks, better Weakness, and
better Retreat Cost.
The only drawback is 10 less HP.
Since these are both
Machamp, nothing stops a player from
Conkeldurr doesn’t really stand a
chance, since I wouldn’t even bother
adding a single copy to a deck using the
Conkeldurr (Unlimited provides more
Conkeldurr in the set makes just a
little easier to pull a fleshed out
The lower average damage output
and HP scores means your HP should last
longer, especially the lower average HP
your attacks are encountering increases
Conkeldurr is scoring OHKOs.
Many attack effects are heavily
relied on here, which makes Chip Away
more useful as well.
feels like filler thanks to the second
Actually, it feels like a so-so
Basic Pokémon got an extra 20 to 40 HP
and was called a Stage 2.
For the record, such a Basic
Pokémon probably wouldn’t have been all
that good either, but it wouldn’t have
been as comparatively bad.
Cards like this make me really
think the old “Poké-Power/Poké-Body with
two attacks” formula needs to return: in
this kind of format Stage 2 Pokémon need
a fast attack and a big attack, really
restricting design choices.