We begin this week with
Amoonguss… well technically we begin
Amoonguss (BW: Plasma Storm
13/135) but as you would expect given
that I usually do it, I will be looking
Foongus options as well, and I
decided to go with the pathetic pun
(does that even qualify as a pun
proper?) of naming them off together
Did I mention I hate the double “s” at
the end of “Amoonguss”?
Just seems, excessive.
Amoonguss is a Team Plasma
affiliated Pokémon, so I’ll be referring
to it as
Amoonguss [Plasma] to help
distinguish it from the other versions
throughout the rest of the review.
As far as game mechanics go,
being a Team Plasma affiliated card is
still purely an advantage, though in
we have some cards that will punish you
for siding with Team Plasma.
Also… does its face remind anyone else
of Homer Simpson?
Amoonguss [Plasma] is a Grass-Type
Pokémon; there isn’t any useful
Grass-Type support available and the
lack of any truly successful Grass-Type
Pokémon might make you think that it was
a terrible Type.
Well, the irony is it is a Type
very much in demand due to its
Weakness/Resistance match-ups; mostly
the former because
Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed
31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135)
Keldeo EX are so popular, though it
is nice knowing that nothing that is
Modified legal is naturally Grass
In the video games, Amoonguss is one of
the oh-so-common Grass/Poison hybrids;
as such it might have been represented
as a Psychic-Type in the TCG.
Given that being a Psychic-Type
isn’t as useful as being a Grass-Type,
the design team made the right choice.
Amoonguss [Plasma] is a Stage 1; not
much you can really do about that
without undermining perhaps the most
defining mechanic of the entire Pokémon
franchise (Evolution) as that is its
Hopefully the card will prove to
have been designed with the kind of
forethought and insight that will allow
it to find at least a small niche that
only it can really fill, helping to
offset its slower pace and extra space
requirements over the Basic Pokémon that
dominate the format.
Wouldn’t hurt if the-powers-that-be
would release some good
Foongus for it to Evolve from.
Amoonguss [Plasma] has 90 HP; a
pretty easy OHKO for most decks once
they get going and even if you can get
Amoonguss [Plasma] out second turn,
it is still that vulnerable.
In fact, even if you could
somehow get it into play first turn, the
current Modified format has decks
capable of hitting that hard first turn.
That probably isn’t the best
design idea when your signature mechanic
for the franchise is… Evolution.
90 HP does make
Amoonguss [Plasma] a legal
Level Ball target, which is somewhat
useful and its HP would have to be at
least 120 to really be more useful than
being the maximum amount
Level Ball can target; 100 an 110
are hardly any safer right now,
especially for Stage 1 Pokémon as they
give the opponent a shot at OHKOing the
lower Stage before it Evolves, setting
up an easy 2HKO, or simply having the
time to set-up where those numbers are
an easy OHKO themselves.
I would complain about the HP being so
low when in the video games, the HP Base
Stat for Amoonguss is 114 (which results
in a range of 174 to 221), but it has a
slightly below average Special Defense
and below average Defense, and with
nothing else to express those stats in
the TCG but HP, it makes sense to have
it clock in a bit low.
Amoonguss [Plasma] takes double
damage from Fire-Types; this matches a
similar Weakness it possesses in the
video games and as Fire-Types aren’t
much used, it is to its benefit.
Once again, even when we consider
its state in the video games, it makes
sense to go with Fire because it
converts directly and any other Weakness
a Grass/Poison hybrid has shares a Type
(or two) with something it is Resistant
or Neutral towards.
Amoonguss [Plasma] is Water
Resistant, like most Grass-Type Pokémon
in the Black & White block of
sets that are also video game
I prefer a card have Resistance,
and while it usually won’t save
Amoonguss [Plasma] from our current
Water-Type attackers, maybe it will be
more useful in the future (and is
unlikely to hurt).
So I am quite torn when I have to point
out, this really doesn’t make much sense
from a translation point.
Yes, Grass-Type Pokémon can
collectively use the help, but the TCG
Water-Type is composed of the video game
Water-Type but also the video game
Ice-Type; video game Grass-Types take
half damage from attacks of the former
but double damage from attacks of the
Are there other Resistance options?
Well, Grass-Types are Resistant
to Electric-Type attacks in the video
games, and honestly, Lightning-Type
Resistance is about as useful right now
as Water Resistance, and after all is
said and done might even remain so in
Amoonguss [Plasma] has a Retreat
Cost of two and honestly, this is too
Yes, you read that correct; it
has an abysmal Speed in the video games,
it is a mobile version of a normally
immobile real world life form
(mushroom), and most import, in the
video games right now a Retreat Cost of
two is the worst.
It is high enough you won’t want
to pay it even though you often could
because of how much it would set you
back… and the format is crazy with
Special Conditions so you need to be
able to get out of the Active slot
So why make it higher?
Well the best options you have
are going to completely wipe out your
Retreat Cost anyway bypass it entirely,
so the card might as well be a legal
Heavy Ball target.
Again, some would argue that this
will change in the future but I’ll
address that in the appropriate section.
Astonish is a great attack… for
Unfortunately it is less useful
for a Stage 1 that is so small one
attack is likely all it will get.
For (C), Astonish gives you a
single coin toss that does nothing on
“tails” but lets you randomly select and
shuffle back into your opponent’s deck
three cards from his or her hand.
This would be a lot better if it was
three coin flips worth one card a piece,
though probably still not good enough to
be competitive on a 90 HP Stage 1 in
The only things going for it are
that it has what is currently the
easiest-to-pay cost in the game right
now; one of any Energy and it is ready
I’ll explain later why, like the
Retreat Cost, this wasn’t actually an
optimal design idea.
I will give a little credit for at least
choosing something Amoonguss learns in
the video games (though of course there
it functions in a totally different
Miracle Powder requires (GC), which
isn’t too bad to pay (Colress
Energy makes it a single turn
You only get 30 points of damage
and the chance to flip a coin; if
“heads” you pick a Special Condition to
afflict the Defending Pokémon with,
which is a poor return this format.
This would be underpowered
without the flip.
I’ll keep it simple; if an attack’s
focus is in its effect, make the effect
spectacular or make the attack as
inexpensive as possible.
This is a fully Evolved Pokémon,
not an Evolving Basic Pokémon, so if the
attack isn’t doing a big chunk of damage
(to the point that the Special Condition
is almost purely a “bonus”), then just
make it so inexpensive it is a useful
fall back measure.
In this case, either solid damage
would be more useful (remember those
Keldeo EX we want to KO), or we need
more than just “Special Conditions”,
because the TCG makes them too easy to
get rid off.
So, we have that fundamental synergy of
a weaker attack that leads into a
smaller attack, right?
If you are running
Amoonguss [Plasma] with no Team
Plasma supporting cards, okay then you
Otherwise, the aforementioned
Energy combo allows you to instantly
jump to Miracle Powder.
There are currently four
Foongus: all are Basic, Grass-Type
Pokémon with 40 HP, Fire Weakness, Water
Resistance, and Retreat Costs of just
BW: Noble Victories 9/101
has one attack that for (G) hits for 20
points of damage; if you really think
you’ll be lucky enough to open with
Hypnotoxic Laser and
Virbank City Gym as well, I suppose
you could try for donks with it, but
that 40 HP means
Foongus is probably the one getting
BW: Next Destinies
8/99 has two attacks.
first requires (C) and a coin flip and
on “tails” does nothing while on “heads”
allows you to search your deck for a
Pokémon and add it to your hand.
The second attack requires (GC)
and does 10 points of damage and again
includes a coin toss; this time “heads”
results in +20 points of damage (for a
total of 30) while “tails” results in
just the base 10.
This one is unreliable, but at
least the first attack aids in your
BW: Dragons Exalted
17/124 has just one attack: for (C) you
flip two coins and do 10 points of
damage times the number of “heads”.
This is a pretty obvious “skip”.
The last is BW: Plasma Storm
It too has only one attack, a
weaker version of Astonish.
It still costs (C); not like they
could lower that and keep it an attack
since they abandoned zero-Energy
Unfortunately, they do lower its
effectiveness; even on “heads” this
version only shuffles away one randomly
I say go with BW: Next Destinies
8/99, as helps you set-up.
Now for the other
Amoonguss; there only two and other
not being Team Plasma Pokémon, they
have the same Stats as today’s card.
BW: Noble Victories 10/101
has two attacks; for (G) it can use
Toxic to “double Poison” the Defending
Pokémon (placing two counts between
turns instead of just one) and for (CC)
it can Body Slam for 30 points of damage
and a coin toss to score Paralysis.
Virbank City Gym would bump the
Toxic damage up to four counters between
turns, but that still isn’t enough to be
BW: Next Destinies
9/99 is the
Amoonguss that is best known; its
Sporprise Ability triggers only when you
Evolve one of your Pokémon into it and
automatically Poisons and Confuses your
opponent’s Active Pokémon.
It’s attack is unfortunately
quite forgettable; (GC) pays for Rising
Lunge which is only good for 20 points
of damage plus a coin flip where “heads”
means another 30 (total of 50) while
“tails” means just the basic 20.
Honestly, I don’t think either
Amoonguss is going to help
Amoonguss [Plasma] see play, or vice
The Team Plasma support is really its
only hope; besides the
Energy trick I’ve mentioned twice
already, you… really don’t have much
until BW: Plasma Freeze becomes
You could add in
Victini (BW: Noble Victories
14/101; 98/101) to improve your odds of
flipping “heads”, but that is really it.
If you want a Team Plasma
Grass-Type deck, you don’t have enough
other choices to skip
Amoonguss [Plasma], but the question
then becomes why would you want such a
Skip it; better hand disruption, better
Special Condition options, and that is
after ignoring the first turn win decks
or traditional control or even donk
decks you could be using instead.
Skip it; there are better Stage 1
options and probably better hand
disruption options as well.
Even if not, hand disruption is
almost totally useless in Pokémon
without something to block Supporters,
given how a single one will often
totally refresh a player’s hand.
Overall a solid pick; not overly good,
Amoonguss [Plasma] has its uses.
Yes, it won’t be much good
against a good Pokémon-EX pull or
Heatmor (BW: Plasma Storm
23/135), but against everything else,
the scarcity of big, Basic Pokémon and
Evolutions that can be run well in
Limited means the HP and the damage will
be better, and without the usual
draw/search support even flippy
disruption is scary.
Lastly, without the tricks to
shake Special Conditions, those become
This weekend we saw the first
Pre-Release events for BW: Plasma
Nothing I saw will truly help
Amoonguss [Plasma]; it benefits from
new support like
Team Plasma Ball, but that is
unlikely to help it see play.
[Plasma] tries to do things, but it
doesn’t do them well.
It doesn’t require a lot of
Energy but as a Stage 1 with just 90 HP,
it is unlikely to survive attacking.
Run it only if you want to
challenge yourself in finding a good use