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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 

Sharpedo  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
April 19, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.25
Limited: 3.00

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


Otaku

Sneaking in at the end of the week, we look at Sharpedo (BW: Plasma Storm 33/135)!

 

Stats

 

Miscellaneous: Sharpedo is a Team Plasma Pokémon, allowing it to tap into their support, which I will cover in the Card Family section.  It is a benefit, but I won’t bother referring to the card as Sharpedo [Plasma] for this article because it is currently the only Sharpedo that is Modified legal.

 

Type: Sharpedo is a Water-Type Pokémon, which is currently the universal Weakness for Modified legal Fire-Type Pokémon and for several Fighting-Type Pokémon… though out of all of those, very few have seen recent or currently see play.  It is useful when you encounter it, but outside of Landorus EX you won’t see much if any.  Grass-Type Pokémon also have a decent amount of Water-Type Resistance, though again few see competitive play.  There is no true Water-Type support, though the Energy-Type does enjoy some well known support, like Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149, BW: Plasma Storm 137/135).

 

In the video games, Sharpedo are Water/Dark-Type hybrids; while I really do want dual-Type TCG cards to return I can understand why that would have been tricky given the Plasma affiliation mechanic was also new and present on this card.  Being a Darkness-Type, at least if the card’s attack cost was altered to reflect this, could have been a huge bonus as it would have allowed the use of Dark Patch.

 

Stage: As a Stage 1, Sharpedo is unfortunately at a disadvantage as the format has been dominated by Basic Pokémon (especially Pokémon-EX).  It takes twice as many cards to get a single Sharpedo into play as an equivalent Basic Pokémon, as it must Evolve from Carvanha.  As it is a subject I see discussed regularly, I am going to editorialize a bit by pointing out the reason being a Stage 1 is so bad is not just the pace of the current game, but also about how poor most Evolving Pokémon perform.  They probably shouldn’t be worth running on their own, but they should be useful even before they Evolve.

 

Hit Points: Sharpedo has a mere 90 HP making is an easy OHKO for most decks, and still not challenging for the rest if they are of a competitive bent.  The only real benefit of being so small is being able to access Level Ball for additional search.  I can’t complain too much, however, as Sharpedo really do have low HP scores in the video games as well, at least for fully Evolved Pokémon.  Of course, if TCG HP better represented the capacity to absorb damage (handled by HP and either Defense or Special Defense in the video games), as well has having HP scores that weren’t so low in comparison.

 

Weakness: Lightning Weakness isn’t a good thing, but it isn’t too bad; though there has been a slight resurgence of Lightning-Type attackers, for the most part the major Lightning-Type decks rely on Pokémon belonging to other Types for the damage.  Additionally, with just 90 HP it isn’t like Weakness would be needed all that often for competitive attackers.

 

Checking out its video game counterparts, Sharpedo could easily have had Grass-Type Weakness instead as it is both (video game Type) Grass and Bug Weak, and it would have been as good (or better), at least right now.

 

Resistance: No Resistance is the worst Resistance, but it is also the most common so I don’t hold it against a card.  Still, I will point out that as Water/Dark-Type hybrids in the video games, Sharpedo are naturally Immune (takes no damage) from Psychic-Type attacks, and take only half damage from Ghost-, Steel-, Fire-, Water-, Ice-, and Dark-Type attacks.

 

With its low HP, no Resistance would make it “safe”, but any would be welcome nonetheless.  Psychic Resistance would be only a little off (video game Poison-Types are a part of TCG Psychic-Types), but two thirds of a match with the remaining third being neutral isn’t too bad.  Water Resistance would work as this card resists both Water- and Ice-Types, and would be an interesting novelty.

 

Fire matches perfectly and would be interesting, though as they insist on making all Fire-Types Water Weak (at least currently) I can understand the fear that it might be too powerful… well, maybe not for this Pokémon but in general.  Darkness Resistance could be handy by making Darkrai EX have to put for some effort for a OHKO, and Metal-Type Resistance could occasionally come in handy and even if not, still better than nothing.

 

Retreat: Perfect free Retreat; given the other Stats and having a good Speed Base Stat in the video games, this makes perfect sense as well!

 

Effects

 

Ability: Rough Skin places two damage counters on a Pokémon that attacks and damages Sharpedo, even if Sharpedo was KOed by the attack.  This is useful, but would be more effective on something that could survive a hit.  At least it is a good adaptation of the video game Ability of the same name, which is a signature for Sharpedo there; in fact two older Sharpedo have earlier versions of it: EX: Ruby/Sapphire 22/109 and DP: Secret Wonder 37/132.

 

This brings up an important comparison; the damage for Rough Skin in the TCG is almost always higher than in the video games.  In the video games (at least for later generations), it does 1/8 of the targets maximum HP.  So any Pokémon with 150 or less HP takes more damage than they would in the video games, 160 HP takes the same amount and only the handful with 170+ HP take a little less.

 

Damage (from attacks) versus HP never struck me as being so high in the video games, though I haven’t played anything from Gen V, let alone most side games.  Still, older versions of Rough Skin came out when almost nothing had more than 160 HP and the most a Basic Pokémon-ex could have was 120.  So while Rough Skin often does more damage in terms purely of numbers, it hasn’t kept up at all with power creep.

 

Attack: Hard Bite requires (WC) and does 40 points of damage, plus another 20 if you get “heads” on a coin flip.  This is sort of a “French Vanilla” attack; it isn’t completely plain so it isn’t pure “vanilla”, but it is as close as it can be.  The damage isn’t too good either; the 60 points of damage this attack hits as its max basically needs to be its minimum.

 

While we’ll see in the Usage section this attack isn’t as bad as it looks right now, without outside help it is pretty pathetic; as an opening attack on something else it would be “okay”, but as the only attack on a small Stage 1 it is pretty bad.

 

Synergy: Bare minimum; Rough Skin means you might get an effective extra 20 points of damage… and even that isn’t guaranteed.  Given its small stature, a really good Agility-style attack would have been better (though still not especially good, given the format).  Another interesting idea would have been to give this Super Fang, as seen on Raticate (BW: Boundaries Crossed 105/149).

 

Usage

 

Card Family: Sharpedo Evolves from Carvanha.  The only current Carvanha (BW: Plasma Storm 32/135) is a Basic Water-Type Pokémon with 60 HP, Lightning Weakness, no Resistance, and a single attack doing 20 points of damage for (WC).  The attack is overpriced, and it might have been interesting if this was a Darkness-Type (it is also Water/Dark in the video games) since that could still benefit Sharpedo: Dark Patch before Evolving.  The attack isn’t useful as it needs two Energy attachments so without a lot of work, it can’t hit with the turn it is played (and you should be Evolving as soon as possible).  Plus, as something so small, hitting for damage isn’t a big priority; surviving and Evolving is.  I will give it some credit for having 60 HP.

 

There aren’t any other versions of Sharpedo or Carvanha to consider, so now we’ll address the Team Plasma cards.  Colress Machine (and a Plasma Energy in deck) allows you to completely power up a Sharpedo in one turn.  Not a lot of combo potential with the rest, beyond the usual, and even Colress Machine was only worth highlighting since the speed boost is so important.

 

Combos: Colress Machine and Plasma Energy really are about it.  You might consider Giant Cape for a little more HP or Rocky Helmet so that an opponent places four damage counters when attacking.  I suppose you even might consider Exp. Share to salvage a Water Energy from the previous Sharpedo.  Considering how vulnerable Pokémon Tools are when Tool Scraper usage waxes, again these are pretty week.

 

The only somewhat specific thing I can think of is you could use this as part of a Team Plasma Water deck.  Articuno EX, Jellicent (BW: Plasma Storm 39/135), and Beartic (BW: Plasma Storm 41/135) are all Water-Type Team Plasma Pokémon, so Water Energy and Team Plasma support mutually strengthen all.  Unfortunately, there isn’t especially good synergy between them and Sharpedo.

 

Unlimited: Skip it; even though something like Focus Band makes it “better”, the improvement is so marginal it pales in comparison to anything you would consider running in its stead.

 

Modified: Skip it; it doesn’t hit hard enough with Ability or attack, and that is before considering the increased difficulty of running a Stage 1 Pokémon.

 

Limited: As is often the case, it becomes a solid pull here.  The HP is low but not “as low”, the damage output is similarly boosted to “low average” instead of just “low”, and the Ability becomes more useful as Sharpedo should last a bit longer.  Any Team Plasma support you pull will be more important, and being friendly to running in a deck with multiple Energy Types (as is often the case) is more useful here.

 

Future: Team Plasma Ball would make it a lot easier to run Sharpedo, especially with other Team Plasma Pokémon.  Just about everything else will overshadow it, and Thundurus EX (BW: Plasma Freeze 38/116, 110/116) will likely become a prominent, Lightning-Type attacker in a deck full of “boosting” tricks to enable easy OHKOs of Sharpedo.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1/5

 

Modified: 1.25/5

 

Limited: 3/5

 

Summary

Sharpedo is somewhat faithful to its video game roots, but that is about the only noteworthy part of it.  I am not sure if being a Team Plasma Pokémon is more significant, as there actually are better options for Stage 1, Water-Type, and even Stage 1 Water-Type Pokémon even in the Team Plasma card pool.  Other than Rough Skin (admittedly a recycled Ability), other than the affiliation, this card is about as plain as it could be.

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Sharpedo (Plasma Storm) 

It’s a shame that when a Pokémon is a cool as Sharpedo, that it never seems to get a good card. The last one with the Strip Bare (*ahem*) attack was fun, but only really playable to those people who don’t mind taking very silly risks in order to try and win some games. This version has some nice underwater art, courtesy of 5ban Graphics, so let’s hope it can be decent. 

Actually, it needs to be a lot more than decent, seeing as it is a Stage 1 with just 90 HP. There isn’t much out there that can’t easily KO this in one hit, especially with Hypnotoxic Laser to lend a hand. On the plus side, Lightning Weakness is ok (until the next set anyway), and free retreat is always fantastic, and more useful than ever now that Poison is a factor in the game. 

Sharpedo’s Rough Skin Ability is something we have seen before (on Druddigon NVI). It’s basically like a free Rocky Helmet, forcing your opponent’s attacker to take 20 damage if they do attack damage to an active Sharpedo. As a bonus, it’s very nice, but it is tough to make this work as part of a strategy: it’s not as if Sharpedo can tank and heal for multiple turns (or at all), and it’s not as if you can combine it with the attack to hit some magic numbers either. 

To be honest, it’s the attack that really lets the card down totally. Everything about it just comes across as a bit lazy . . . from the name (‘Hard Bite’- could it be any more literal?) to the unattractively low 40 damage (for two Energy!). Oh, and just to make things worse you get a coin flip for an extra 20 damage . . . because Sharpedo would be totally broken if it did 60 for two, right? 

I think that the illustrator was the only person who was really trying with this card. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.5 (nice looking card, shame about the generic, unoriginal rubbish they put on it)

Limited: 2.5 (Rough Skin is decent by itself, and the attack is just about usable)


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