Sneaking in at the end of the week, we
Sharpedo (BW: Plasma Storm
Sharpedo is a Team Plasma Pokémon,
allowing it to tap into their support,
which I will cover in the Card Family
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.
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
It is useful when you encounter
it, but outside of
Landorus EX you won’t see much if
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
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
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
As a Stage 1,
Sharpedo is unfortunately at a
disadvantage as the format has been
dominated by Basic Pokémon (especially
It takes twice as many cards to
get a single
Sharpedo into play as an equivalent
Basic Pokémon, as it must Evolve from
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
They probably shouldn’t be worth
running on their own, but they should be
useful even before they Evolve.
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,
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.
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
Additionally, with just 90 HP it
isn’t like Weakness would be needed all
that often for competitive attackers.
Checking out its video game
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.
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
With its low HP, no Resistance would
make it “safe”, but any would be welcome
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
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
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
Perfect free Retreat; given the other
Stats and having a good Speed Base Stat
in the video games, this makes perfect
sense as well!
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
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
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
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.
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
Raticate (BW: Boundaries Crossed
Sharpedo Evolves from
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
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
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
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
Colress Machine and
Plasma Energy really are about it.
You might consider
for a little more HP or
Rocky Helmet so that an opponent
places four damage counters when
I suppose you even might consider
Exp. Share to salvage a
Water Energy from the previous
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.
Jellicent (BW: Plasma Storm
Beartic (BW: Plasma Storm
41/135) are all Water-Type Team Plasma
Water Energy and Team Plasma support
mutually strengthen all.
Unfortunately, there isn’t
especially good synergy between them and
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.
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.
As is often the case, it becomes a solid
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.
Team Plasma Ball would make it a lot
easier to run
Sharpedo, especially with other Team
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
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.