Today we look at
Druddigon (Dragon Vault
17/20); will it be as rough as its
is a Basic Dragon-Type Pokémon, enjoying
all the perks of being a Basic Pokémon
(speed, minimal deck slots, Stage
support) plus all the perks of being a
Dragon-Type; hitting its own, popular
Type for Weakness while never worrying
about Resistance and having at least
some potential Type support.
110 HP is very good, only 20 below the
maximum printed on Basic Pokémon
(barring special mechanics like being a
Druddigon is hit for Weakness, it
will probably be able to take a hit and
keep on standing;
Eviolite is perhaps more important
than normal as 110 is just below what I
consider the current threshold for “big”
It may seem a bit arbitrary, but
so many decks can hit for a good 80 to
100 in a turn that I prefer to be out of
the range of both
PlusPower enhanced strikes and
spread damage setting up for a KO the
The Dragon-Type Weakness may is… odd due
to the HP; for the hardest hitting
Dragon-Type Pokémon, it is usually
saving resources (like requiring less
Energy or voiding the need for a combo)
to score the OHKO.
That is to your opponent’s
benefit, but it isn’t huge.
It will matter more when cards
that don’t normally attack do attack and
get an unexpected KO, but that often
entails taking a risk on the opponent’s
A lot of lower Stages still fail
to score a OHKO, so while taking double
damage from them is not good, you’re
going to have a return shot at them.
The lack of Resistance is common to all
Dragons (and indeed most Pokémon), so I
won’t consider it damaging so much as a
missed opportunity; while Resistance
hasn’t kept pace with the increased
damage, HP, and speed of the game over
the years, it still is nice to have for
the odd times when it does matter.
That leaves just Retreat for the
stats; two is too low for
Sky Arrow Bridge to completely
cancel out, but dropping to one could
still be handy.
has two attacks, Tight Jaw and Dragon
The former requires just (CC),
making it easy to pay in most decks,
which is good because it just does 20
with a chance of Paralysis.
Since this is a non-Evolving
Basic Pokémon I really expect a little
more; maybe it would have been better
off with a specific Energy requirement
in there so this couldn’t become an easy
splash to counter other, Evolving
Dragon-Types; just 10 more points of
damage would have allowed the card
(otherwise as is) to be splashed around
to harass a lot of Dragon-using decks.
Dragon Tail, the second attack requires
two coin flips and scores 80 points of
damage per “heads”.
If the Energy cost wasn’t (RWC),
this wouldn’t be bad; not sure if I
could bring myself to call it good, but
it could have been adequate. Like a lot
of players, I am leery of counting on an
attack where one in four of the possible
results will be that I wasted my attack
for the turn.
Still, half the time (two of four
possible results) Dragon Tail provides a
decent 80 points of damage, and
attempting to balance out the “double
tails” results, the last outcome that is
also one of four possible results is the
“double heads” that scores a fantastic
160 points of damage.
Even before thinking about
combos, that’s solid damage, taking down
anything that isn’t
Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted
Giant Cape, “protected”, or most
Factoring in that all Dragon-Type
Pokémon are also Dragon Weak, Dragon
Tail threatens all of them on a result
of “double heads”, and only the
Dragon-Types that are Pokémon-EX can
withstand even a single result of heads.
What keeps this card from being
an obvious choice for most decks will be
the pesky combination of both a Water
and a Fire Energy requirement in the
attack; they don’t share a common
Blend Energy so it will have to be a
Prism Energy or the actual basic
Energy meeting the need.
With the just-barely-too-low damage of
Tight Jaw, fact that a
Double Colorless Energy is great for
Tight Jaw but just left to fill a lone
(C) requirement in Dragon Tail, and
painful “opposing” Energy-Types in the
requirements for Dragon Tail, this card
feels like it was… nerfed.
Still, it might have some use.
There is only one other
Druddigon available, BW: Noble
Victories 89/101; it would have been
awesome as a Dragon-Type, but it came
out before they were ready for that
mechanic so it is a Colorless-Type
As a 100 HP Basic it is just a
little more vulnerable to being OHKOed,
but it also has no Weakness. It has no
Resistance either and the same two
Energy requirement to Retreat, but
overall these are decent stats.
Had it been a Dragon-Type, the Ability
and attack would have been pretty good,
instead of near misses.
Rough Skin places two damage
counters if it is damaged while Active
by an attack from your opponent’s
Pokémon, and for (CCC) it can use
Clutch; hitting for 60 points of damage
while preventing the Defending Pokémon
Like I said, as a Dragon-Type it
would have been useful since a lot of
Dragon-Type Pokémon, if they survived
Clutch, would end up KOing themselves if
they attacked into Rough Skin.
It isn’t a Dragon-Type, though, so no
worries; it only sees plays in decks
built around Rough Skin (possibly fun,
but so far not overly effective) and
will almost never be competing with
today’s version for space in a deck.
Instead, we get the almost
awkwardness of either coming in just shy
of critical damage levels with Tight Jaw
as an off Energy Dragon-Type splash or
with some actual support geared towards
it, a “flippy” attacker who is just a
bit small to warrant such an investment.
I really want to find a good use for
this card in Modified, but Tight Jaw
doesn’t hit hard enough to really
threaten most Dragons, and the combos I
can think of to make it hit hard enough
are better spent on other Pokémon.
I guess one could try to build a
Water/Fire deck that was flip heavy and
back it up with
Victini (BW: Noble Victories
14/101, 98/101) so that you’re hitting
three different forms of Weakness.
For Unlimited, you know the routine; the
format favors decks that win first turn
or at least form some sort of lock, and
even when you resort to more traditional
strategies, you’ve got access to the
great from the whole history of the
game. Since this is a mini-set, it
really isn’t meant for Limited play, but
if this were re-released in another set,
Druddigon would be a great pick; you
might be able to put it into a deck that
can reasonably meet the costs of Dragon
Tail, but if not, its HP and capacity to
use any Energy for Tight Jaw would make
it a welcome pull for any deck.
legitimately feels like a calculated
attempt at a near miss; it is hard to
believe the design team intended for it
to be anything but a tease, but since
this is a mini-set I can almost
I am grateful that at least it
does look like it almost could have been
useful; besides showing some effort, it
may simply be that a later card could
give it new life.