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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

Twofer Friday!

 

Garbodor #66  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
April 26, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.13
Limited: 4.13

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

 

Garbodor #67  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
April 26, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 4.00

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



Otaku

We close out the week with a special treat; a double review!  We will review Garbodor (BW: Plasma Storm 66/135) and Garbodor (BW: Plasma Storm 67/135).  After all… they are both Garbodor.

 

Stats

 

Miscellaneous: Both Garbodor are Team Plasma Pokémon, and as we have two unaffiliated Garbodor I’ll be referring to today’s cards as Garbodor [Plasma], at least when I can refer to both of them at the same time.  This also means they can tap Team Plasma Support, which I’ll address… later (I am sure you are shocked by that).

 

Type: Each Garbodor [Plasma] is a Psychic-Type Pokémon; the main claim to fame is being able to hit Mewtwo EX for double damage, and the main drawback is Darkrai EX and most Metal-Type Pokémon take 20 less points of damage from your attacks.  There are many other Pokémon that are Psychic Weak or Resistant, but those are the two you can expect to see and see a lot of at a tournament, where as the rest are actually more likely not to show.

 

There is also Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99; BW: Dark Explorers 109/108) for Type support; specifically when you have Psychic Energy (that is the basic Energy card version) attached to a Psychic-Type Pokémon, it provides (PP) instead of (P).  This had a brief flash of potential, doing well in at least one tournament, but I haven’t heard anything about it since BW: Plasma Storm hit.

 

Stage: Both Garbodor [Plasma] are Stage 1 Pokémon; simply put Evolutions are “slow” this format and it takes a lot for them to compete against the best big, Basic Pokémon… even the ones that aren’t Pokémon-EX are often a challenge.  You’ll need both more time and more slots in your deck for a Stage 1 as compared to a Basic.

 

Hit Points: 110 HP is a bit low in terms of functionality.  As far as Stage 1 Pokémon go, there are many that are lower but this is a fast, hard hitting format and so 110 is within at least pseudo-OHKO range of most if not all competitive decks.  Still, better to require the extra help of cards like Hypnotoxic Laser to be finished off from a single attack than be a true OHKO; it raises your odds of surviving just a little.

 

Weakness: Psychic Weakness isn’t as bad as it once was, but that is only because Mewtwo EX usage has dropped dramatically.  Not because Mewtwo EX became “bad”, but because each set has introduced enough Pokémon-EX that are as good or close to as good Mewtwo EX.  The Weakness is still a big concern, and the metagame can take it from bad to worse; if you ever manage to create a great Garbodor [Plasma] deck, everyone would just start running Mewtwo EX to help counter it.

 

Resistance: No Resistance; still the most common and still dissatisfying.

 

Retreat: Three is big; so big you shouldn’t pay it even if you can afford it unless you will lose for not doing it.  With the reliance on Hypnotoxic Laser, a deck running Garbodor [Plasma] (either version) will need a trick to lower Retreat scores or a means of bypassing manual retreating entirely.  As such, the Retreat Cost isn’t as bad as it might appear at a glance, plus the negative of being so expensive for the moments when you would have needed to manually retreat may even be compensated by either Garbodor [Plasma] being a legal Heavy Ball target.

 

Effects

 

Attack#1: BW: Plasma Storm 66/135 opens with “Biosmog”, an attack for just (C) making it very easy to pay.  It inflicts 20 points of damage and guaranteed Poison, which isn’t horrible for the Energy cost, and also gives a coin flip to discard an Energy from the Defending Pokémon.  In our current format, this could prove useful but probably can’t function as a primary attack unless the rest of the deck supported it.

 

BW: Plasma Storm 67/135 requires (CC) for its first attack, Ensnarl.  This does 20 points of damage times the number of (C) Energy requirements in the Defending Pokémon’s Retreat Cost.  This feels a bit overpriced seeing as how low Retreat costs are common, and it has been ruled that Darkrai EX or rather it’s Dark Cloak Ability, while in effect, does result in a free Retreat Cost and thus Ensnarl hitting for zero damage.  The same holds true for any similar effects.

 

Attack#2: BW: Plasma Storm 66/135 follows up with Sludge Bomb; for (PPC) it does a flat 70 points of damage.  Simply put, that is overpriced but not the worst to grace a Garbodor card… and considering it is a Gen V Pokémon that only has two other versions, that is a bit depressing.

 

BW: Plasma Storm 67/135 may do a little better.  For (PCCC), Double Ducts has you flip two coins and score 80 points of damage for each “heads”; double “tails” whiffs completely (one in four results), double heads scores a magnificent 160 points of damage (one in four possible results), while one of each results in 80 points of damage (the remaining two of four results, and also the attack’s mean damage). 

 

Like most players I don’t like attacks where I might hit for zero damage, and the odds of that here are a bit too high for comfort.  Still, at least it has the capacity to hit hard, which is something I can’t say for the other attacks.  The real problem I suppose is the Energy required; for four Energy I usually want to hit 100 points of damage… meaning the attack does 20 less than I would like per “heads”.  It would be better still if the damage was further subdivided, so that it always hit for something, one “heads” hit for a solid amount, and two delivered the big damage.

 

Synergy: For each version of Garbodor [Plasma], the attacks have only fundamental synergy with each other (Biosmog with Sludge Bomb and Ensnarl with Double Ducts); the smaller attack can feed into the larger.  In the case of BW: Plasma Storm 67/135 there is arguably a little more synergy as Double Ducts can be used when Ensnarl would hit for no damage at all, and both attacks can make efficient use of most Energy acceleration.  For possible synergy between the attacks of BW: Plasma Storm 66/135 and BW: Plasma Storm 67/135, see the next section.

 

Usage

 

Card Family: There are five different versions of Trubbish available to Evolve from: BW: Noble Victories 48/101, BW: Dragons Exalted 53/124, BW: Plasma Storm 63/135, BW: Plasma Storm 64/135, and BW: Plasma Storm 65/135.  All are Basic, Psychic-Type Pokémon with Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, and no Abilities.  BW: Dragons Exalted 53/124 and BW: Plasma Storm 65/135 both have 70 HP and Retreat Costs of two, while the others have only 60 HP but single Energy Retreat Costs.  Considering all Garbodor are legal Heavy Ball targets, it is a shame no Trubbish qualify.

 

In an odd twist, the Trubbish have some good attacks, especially for Evolving Basic Pokémon.  BW: Noble Victories 48/101 can top deck a card from your discard pile for (C), though its second attack just hits for 20 points of damage at a cost of (PC).  BW: Dragons Exalted 53/124 is vanilla, but then again it also is one of the 70 HP versions, so 20 for (CC) or 30 with automatic Poison for (PCC) isn’t good, but is arguably better than most of the Garbodor attacks.

 

BW: Plasma Storm 63/135 has two attacks.  The first requires (P) and requires a successful coin toss, but “heads” does let you add an Item from deck to hand, quite useful with Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124).  Sludge Toss for (CC) does 20; unlikely to be useful, but at least not horribly priced.  BW: Plasma Storm 64/135 is the dud of the group: it is one of the 60 HP versions and it can only do 10 for (C) or 40 for (PPC).  BW: Plasma Storm 65/135 makes me wish Memory Berry would get reprinted; (PC) does 20 points of damage for each Pokémon Tool attached to a Pokémon in play (counts both players!).  So that would be from zero to 240 points of damage with the current card pool.

 

There are two other Garbodor, both of which are Modified legal.  BW: Noble Victories 49/101 was quite forgettable when it debuted, while Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124) is the well known version that has made a good showing as of late.  Each has the same Stats as Garbodor [Plasma] save for not being Team Plasma Pokémon and having only 100 HP.

 

Garbodor (BW: Noble Victories 49/101) has two attacks: for (PC) Gentle Wrap does 30 points of damage and prevents the Defending Pokémon from retreating, and for (PPC) Gunk Shot does 60 points of damage with automatic Poison.  This is actually just a bit better now than it was when it debuted, as now it could tap Hypnotoxic Laser and/or Virbank City Gym for a little extra damage.

 

Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124) sees play due to its Ability, Garbotoxin; in a format where several key decks rely on Abilities, shutting them down is very potent.  Yes, even when it is on a Stage 1 that requires a Pokémon Tool to do it.  It has what I consider to be the overall worse attack of the bunch, however: Sludge Toss at a cost of (PPC) but hitting for only 60 points of damage!

 

There is decent synergy between most Trubbish and Garbodor; both older copies and Garbodor [Plasma]; this is in part because the Garbodor honestly compliment each other.  BW: Noble Victories 49/101 is still not a good card, and as all four Garbodor fight with each other for deck space it is not worth including… but if you are shutting down Abilities with BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124, have Virbank City Gym in play and a Hypnotoxic Laser in hand, it would take Switch or Escape Rope to get them out of a soft lock… and so many decks rely on Darkrai EX (Dark Cloak) and or Keldeo EX (Rush In) instead.

 

BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124 itself does see play.  That makes it very beneficial to try and combo either Garbodor [Plasma] with it.  BW: Plasma Storm 66/135 also enjoys Dark Cloak/Rush In being shut down, and several Items useful for triggering Garbotoxin prove helpful here.  BW: Plasma Storm 67/135 repeats the story; Ensnarl does nothing if Dark Cloak is in effect, while Double Ducts is the only attack likely to ever hit hard if Garbodor are your only attackers.

 

After all that, we aren’t quite done.  As Team Plasma Pokémon, both Garbodor [Plasma] can tap their support, but unfortunately of the available support the only one likely to matter is the usual Colress Machine/Plasma Energy combo, which speeds up the attacks.

 

Combos: With a Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124) on the Bench, either Garbodor [Plasma] will find their attacks a little more effective.  For BW: Plasma Storm 66/135, you could hope that your 110 HP does just avoid getting OHKOed (Giant Cape can help with that) and then as your attack cost is so low, Max Potion any damage away.  With a Virbank City Gym in play, Biosmog will effectively hit for 50, and as you are also stripping Energy away on a lucky coin toss, it actually might be enough… but probably not.

 

If Tool Scrapper isn’t being run heavily, I would be tempted to use Trubbish BW: Plasma Storm 65/135 and try for surprise “big” hits.  Compared to the damage output of the other attacks, if you can get five or six Pokémon Tools out (less if your opponent has some in play), you can get an amazing hit.  Of course, that is a completely untested idea that occurred to me while writing late at night; probably not the best horse to bet on.

 

If you are running multiple Garbodor of different versions, Devolution Spray may prove useful, but probably not as it would require Garbodor not only avoiding a OHKO, but having enough HP left to survive Devolving.  Lastly, if you really want to try BW: Plasma Storm 67/135, consider a “fun” deck pairing it with Jellicent (BW: Boundaries Crossed 45/149).  If you can get a full four count out and your opponent doesn’t have Dark Cloak zeroing out Retreat costs, Ensnarl hits for 80+ damage.

 

Unlimited: Simply put… no.  Neither helps against first turn win decks or stands up well against anything else likely to be played competitively.  If you insist on trying, at least take advantage of the unintentional old/new card combos, and focus on BW: Plasma Storm 67/135 and the older (and current) cards that can help bump up Retreat Costs.

 

Modified: Both Garbodor [Plasma] can at least do “something”, but not well enough to really warrant play.  Perhaps consider a single copy of one of them in a Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124); given that the usual build would contain the support suggested for it, I could see BW: Plasma Storm 66/135 functioning in this role.

 

Limited: Garbodor [Plasma] (again, both versions) enjoy much about Limited.  The fact that there are three Trubbish (two Common, one Uncommon) and two Garbodor [Plasma] (even if one is a Rare and the other a Holo-Rare) give better odds of pulling a fleshed out line.  Most need a source of (P) to attack, but they aren’t so Energy hungry that you couldn’t work them into a dual Energy deck.

 

After that, all the usual benefits apply; fewer Evolutions can be played and Pokémon-EX are rare pulls, so average HP scores and damage output plummets.  If you don’t pull Escape Rope, you have to manually Retreat out of attack effects and Special Conditions, making BW: Plasma Storm 66/135’s attacks more effective, while the total lack of Darkrai EX and Dark Cloak make Ensnarl a lot better.

 

Future: The future doesn’t look bright, but there is some upcoming cards worth mentioning that could help (directly or indirectly) either Garbodor [Plasma].  The first is more Team Plasma support; Team Plasma Ball can fetch it without breaking a sweat, though Heavy Ball might remain superior since I can’t see not running Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124).  Team Plasma Badge can allow that Garbodor to tap Team Plasma support while activating Garbotoxin, assuming that would be useful.

 

We don’t know exactly when, but Elesa is out in Japan, and allows you to search your deck for up to three Pokémon Tools and add them to your hand; this again helps Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124) but also Trubbish (BW: Plasma Storm 65/135).  Team Plasma Badge would allow you to manually attach a source of (P) Energy while covering the (C) portion of the attack cost with Colress Machine/Plasma Energy so it could attack the turn it was dropped… well I think I’ve at least figured out my future “fun” deck at this rate.

 

Ratings (BW: Plasma Storm 66/135)

 

Unlimited: 1/5

 

Modified: 3/5

 

Limited: 4.25/5

 

Ratings (BW: Plasma Storm 67/135)

 

Unlimited: 1/5

 

Modified: 1.75/5

 

Limited: 4/5

 

Summary

I hope you enjoyed a double review for Friday; Garbodor (BW: Plasma Storm 66/135) shows just a tiny bit of promise as a surprise attacker for a Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124) deck, while Garbodor (BW: Plasma Storm 67/135) might make for a fun League deck, but unless I missed something, neither are likely to be dominating the format.

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Garbodor #66 (Plasma Storm)

 

What happens when the Pokémon designers decide that Muk just isn’t gross enough any more? You get Garbodor: a Pokémon whose appearance is so unappealing that only hipsters pretend to like him. In the TCG, it’s a different matter: Garbodor DRX has proved itself a powerful Pokémon in a format where Abilities are so vital to such a large number of decks. The question is, can today’s Garbodor be a worthy inclusion in a deck that is already running the Ability-locking bag of rubbish?

 

Hmm . . . maybe . . . just maybe. See this Garbodor has something going for it as well, something that makes it work quite nicely with its better-known version. It’s not the ok-ish 110 HP, or the Psychic Typing and Weakness. It certainly isn’t the retreat cost of three either . . . so I guess we need to look at the attacks.

 

Yep, here’s something. For just a single Energy of any Colour, Garbodor has Biosmog, which does 20 damage, Poisons the Defending Pokémon and gives you a coin flip to discard an Energy attached to that Pokémon. That’s quite the good deal for such a minimal cost: the damage isn’t great but better than nothing, the Energy disruption a really useful bonus if you hit the flip, but the real star is the Poison. With Garbodor DRX shutting off escape routes like Keldeo-EX’s Rush In and Darkrai-EX’s Dark Cloak, you stand a good chance of trapping a Pokémon and inflicting considerable damage, especially if the coin flips heads and you can deny them the Energy to strike back or retreat manually if they don’t have a Switch.

 

Garbodor’s second attack is disappointingly vanilla and very mediocre (Sludge Bomb, doing 70 for three Energy), but Biosmog is good enough to at least make you consider running this Garbodor in a deck where you are already using the one from DRX. If you have a free space (who am I kidding? Lists are so tight these days), why not give it a try?

 

Rating

 

Modified: 2.5 (Not great by itself, but useful enough if you already run a Garbodor line)

Limited: 4 (Biosmog is fantastic here)

 

 


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