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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Stunfisk #70

Dragons Exalted

Date Reviewed: Sept. 14, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.90
Limited: 3.90

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Stunfisk (Dragons Exalted)

Derpy old Stunfisk . . . he really doesn’t seem the type of Pokémon to be given a very playable card, does he? But when this version started turning up a lot in Japanese lists, players begun to take notice and had a close look at what this card has to offer. I think we should do the same.

Stunfisk is an unevolving Basic with a very nice 100 HP, making him near-invulnerable to a first turn KO. His Weakness to Water isn’t really an issue at the moment (though I fully expect that to change in future), but his Resistance to Lightning is about as good as it gets, with Eelektrik-based decks still probably the most popular tournament choice right now. The Retreat cost of 3 is something you won’t ever want to pay, but it does make him searchable with Heavy Ball, which is handy.

Cheap attacks are what you want from a Pokémon like this and Stunfisk pretty much delivers. For a single Fighting Energy, Muddy Water does 20 damage to the active, plus 20 to a Benched Pokémon. 40 for one is already more than decent, and the fact that it includes a snipe can be very useful in setting up KOs later on. As it is, Muddy Water will one-shot any Tynamo and that fact alone makes him a very attractive proposition in an Eels-infested metagame. Add another Energy of any colour to the cost and Rumble will do 40 damage and prevent the Defending Pokémon from retreating next turn. The damage might be mediocre, but the trapping effect can be extremely useful in certain situations – if your opponent doesn’t have a Switch, you are free to Catcher out a target and lock it place while you slowly KO it with Rumble and buy yourself some time. This can be an effective strategy against non-attacking Bench-sitters like Garbodor DRX or Pokémon that require a lot of Energy to attack.

So, Stunfisk isn’t ever going to be the centrepiece of a deck, but he offers enough at a low cost to make him worth considering as a tech in any deck that runs either Fighting or the appropriate Blend Energy. As long as Eelektrik decks continue to be popular, expect to see the derpy fish hanging around, giving players who start with a lone Tynamo their worst nightmare.

Rating

Modified: 3.25 (a good tech for the format)

Limited: 3.75 (High HP Basic with good, cheap attacks)

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo readers! Today we're ending our COTD week with a new version of a Pokemon that's a major fan favorite in Japan, with this particular iteration being playable in the right deck. Today's Card of the Day is Stunfisk.
 
Stunfisk is a Basic Fighting Pokemon. Terrakion and Terrakion-EX are the only commonly seen Fighting Pokemon in Modified, but given that quite a few popular Pokemon seeing play in Modified have a Fighting Weakness (many Lightning-types like Zekrom and Eelektrik, Darkrai-EX, etc.), a good Fighting deck could probably make a decent showing. 100 HP is great for a non-evolving, non-Pokemon-EX Basic, as Stunfisk should be able to easily take a middling hit from an attacker, though it will probably fall to major assaults. Water Weakness is largely irrelevant right now, but could make a difference later on; Lightning Resistance is great against the likes of Zekrom; and a Retreat Cost of 3 is rather large, so don't pay it unless you absolutely have to.
 
Stunfisk has two attacks. Muddy Water does 20 damage to the Defending Pokemon and 20 damage to one of your opponent's Benched Pokemon for a single Fighting Energy. This attack is excellent in both Modified and Limited, as spreading 40 damage across two Pokemon starting on turn one is great. This attack has special relevance in Modified as it takes out Tynamo, which can definitely start the game off in your favor and putting the Eels player at a major disadvantage. Rumble does a middling 40 damage for a Fighting and a Colorless, while also preventing the Defending Pokemon from retreating during your opponent's next turn. While nothing spectacular, Rumble and trap an opposing Eelektrik and allow you to Knock it Out next turn, provided your opponent doesn't have a Switch handy. That being said, the attack is otherwise of limited use in Modified. In Limited, 40 damage for two Energy is excellent, and the retreat prevention simply adds to the attack's effectiveness.
 
Modified: 3/5 Stunfisk is an excellent Eels counter, but has limited use aside of that. If Eels are very common in your area and you can slip a few Fighting (or Blend WLFM) into your deck, you may want to consider giving Stunfisk a try. Otherwise, there are usually better options.
 
Limited: 4/5 Stunfisk is an efficient beater with decent HP, making it an excellent choice for this format. Muddy Water is amazing for its cost, and Rumble deal decent damage while disrupting your opponent's ability to retreat. If you're running Fighting, Stunfisk is definitely a Pokemon to consider.

Jebulous Maryland Player

Stunfisk
 
Stunfisk is a Basic Fighting Pokemon with 100 HP.  It has a weakness to Water, resistance to Lightning, and a retreat cost of 3.  It is searchable by Heavy Ball.
 
'Muddy Water'  cost 1 Fighting energy and does 20 damage.  It also lets you do 20 damage to another of your opponent's Pokemon.  The damage output is pretty decent, allowing for quick damage spreading (more damage on the board in the same time to manually build up Registeel EX).
 
'Rumble' costs 1 Fighting and 1 Colorless energy.  It does 40 damage and the Defending Pokemon can not retreat.  It's an okay move, but I would expect at least 10 more damage.  It does not Knock Out Eelektriks, just short by 10 HP.  In all honesty, I think attacks like this should do low damage, apply the no retreat condition, and discard an energy.  With the extra condition, it adds a sense of emergency (it’s harder for me to do anything because I’m losing energy and I’m stuck here).  Without it, they can just build up the Pokemon to Knock Out Stunfisk.  That's just my opinion, one which will never see a realization (I'm not too attached to it, so no worries).
 
The other Stunfisk was better, in my opinion, due to the energy acceleration of Lightning.  Also, its second attack does 50, enough to OHKO Eelektriks.  Either way, Stunfisk doesn't do too much, except make Zekrom very angry and violent.
 
Modified: 2/5
Limited:3/5
Combo's With:  ...
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com

Otaku

Intro

Stats

Stunfisk is a Basic Pokémon, and right now being a Basic Pokémon is the best: fastest and easiest to get into play while taking just a single deck slot per copy you are running. They even have a handful of support which ranges from near useless for Stunfisk to most excellent. Being a Fighting-Type remains pretty great right now; the Type has no overarching support (e.g. beneficial cards that apply only to the Type), no noteworthy counters, and while Resistance to it is one of the most common, so to is Weakness to Fighting… including showing up on most popular Darkness- and Lightning-Type Pokémon.

Stunfisk posses a solid 90 HP; this is a relative evaluation as 90 is still within the bounds of OHKOs for many, many commonly played attackers, but Pokémon with more HP tend to be extremely hard to get in the video games (i.e. “Legendary” Pokémon, or at least event Pokémon). So for what it is, it is an adequate score.

90 HP also means you can snag Stunfisk with Level Ball, and Eviolite will force similar extra efforts on your opponent to score a OHKO, unless your opponent is a Water-Type as Stunfisk is Weak to them. Double damage from Water-Types isn’t a huge concern right now, but the change to BW-On gave the Type one or two solid decks, approximately Tier 2 in terms of popularity and/or power.

If it isn’t obvious, this is a challenging time to evaluate Weakness since most established decks still seem quite viable while so many new(er) decks have yet to establish real success or failure. So I’ll wrap up Weakness by pointing out that as it so often does, Water has promising, potential top tier decks coming in the next set or two… yes, it is hard to take such a warning seriously given how often I’ve given it and how often it’s rung hollow.

Lightning Weakness is still quite, quite useful and a Lightning-Type deck unprepared to handle it will find that 90 HP feels larger; -20 from Resistance is bad enough but since this is a Basic Pokémon we can use Eviolite to soak a full 40 points of damage from Lightning-Types! Plus, having Resistance at all is quite the treat right now.

I can’t be quite so positive about the Retreat: three Energy is pretty chunky, and I’ll tell you now that this card has already been shown to be more an “opening” Pokémon than anything else. That means you’ll have to let it go down swinging or pack something else to get it out of the way, to your Bench. At least this means it is Heavy Ball compliant, making it a legal target for both Ultra Ball alternatives!

Effects

Stunfisk has two attacks. The opening attack is Muddy Water, delivering not only a solid 20 points of damage for (F), but also striking a Benched Pokémon for 20. Totaling 40 damage for one is great, and while splitting it between two Pokémon robs you of an easier OHKO, it provides an awful lot of strategic use; you can simultaneously hit an Active Fighting Weak Pokémon for 40 and hit a Benched Fighting Resistant Pokémon for 20!

Rumble is rather mixed. 40 for (FC) is a bit low, but decks are running so tight on space (and a few players still adjusting to the lack of Junk Arm) and/or relying on a free Retreat cost (whether naturally or via another card’s effect) that Rumble blocking a Pokémon’s Retreat can be amazingly disruptive.

Together, we have a very serviceable first attack with an easy to power up, niche use not-so-big “big” attack, and that’s still pretty good. Just remember that most cards right now have great attacks.

Usage

Stunfisk is a solid opening Pokémon, paradoxically for either extremely aggressive or slower, strategic decks. Middle of the road decks are the ones that can take or leave it, or decks so aggressive they are built around one narrow attacker and can’t spare the resources to exploit Stunfisk.

Blend Energy WLFM and Prism Energy help Stunfisk work its way into a variety of decks, besides easily working into something else already focused on Fighting-Type Pokémon. Fast decks will count on exploiting Weakness and/or setting up two Pokémon for rapid fire 2HKOs or 3HKOs… which becomes a benefit because usually the follow up attacker is a Pokémon EX that remained untouched while your opponent was stuck slugging it out with Stunfisk itself.

Strategic decks that still focus on doing damage actually will be somewhat similar, except Stunfisk is there for easy, early spread; the main attackers will hit harder and/or wider (mostly “and”), but it is enough. With healing via Max Potion such a popular strategy, you don’t want an early game opposing Stunfisk hitting your big Pokémon EX and Stage 2 Pokémon for 20-40 damage and putting them into OHKO range for the aggressive decks and setting up an easier multi-KO shot for strategic decks.

For Unlimited, this isn’t overly conducive to first turn win/lock decks that I am aware of, but with the anticipated shake-up Unlimited will likely be getting after the next set or two, it could be worth coming back to; it really depends on if we see low HP Pokémon (like classical “Baby” Pokémon) coming back. There are plenty of alternative strategies to exploit such a thing, however.

Stunfisk shines brightest in Limited play. The Weakness isn’t fun but can be dealt with. The Resistance can be amazing when if you are in the right match. Fighting Weakness is still pretty common in the set though Resistance is present as well… but the lower average HP scores and damage output makes the attacks and stats phenomenal. Needing just one source of Fighting Energy makes it fairly easy to run in the majority of decks, and both hitting the Bench and blocking Retreat are several times more important in Limited.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1.5/5

Modified: 3.25/5

Limited: 4.75/5

Summary

Stunfisk is a good but not great card… but not every card needs to be great. It serves a purpose and it isn’t even an obscure one, being a solid opening Pokémon that exploits popular Fighting Weakness while also hitting the Bench. Make sure you’ve got a play set handy, as we have already seen some winning decks in and outside of Japan put it to good use.

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