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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Ludicolo  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
April 1, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 3.67

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Ludicolo (Plasma Storm) 

Apparently this is the first time in five years that we’ve reviewed a Ludicolo. That’s a pity because he’s one of my favourite Pokémon. He’s like a cross between a duck and a giant sombrero-wearing pineapple (yes, I do tend to like ridiculous Pokémon designs), and he’s so perma-happy that you can’t help but smile when you see him on a card. Actually, in terms of the TCG, Ludicolo hasn’t been any good since 2005 when the Ludicolo from the Deoxys set made top four in the Junior Division at Worlds. 

Ludicolo is a Stage 2 Water Pokémon with 130 HP (slightly on the low side of average), a Weakness to Lightning which doesn’t matter too much right at this moment (though that will probably change), and a horrid retreat cost of three (which means you will need Switch). So far, so average, but it will take a lot of convincing before anyone breaks out the Rare Candies to run a Stage 2. 

Like a lot of Ludicolo, this one is given Rain Dish (this time in the form of an Ability). In this version, it heals 20 damage between turns. That’s pretty nice actually, as it means Ludicolo will heal off a total of 40 before your opponent gets to attack it again, turning an unboosted Night Spear from a Darkrai-EX (for example) into a three-hit KO. The key word there however is ‘unboosted’. With so many decks running Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym to do an extra 30 per turn, Rain Dish is a lot less effective that it might be, and that’s even before we take into consideration those Pokémon that can OHKO Ludicolo regardless (Black Kyurem-EX, Rayquaza-EX). Nevertheless, if your opponent doesn’t have access to any of those things and isn’t running Garbodor DRX to shut off the Ability, Rain Dish can be somewhat annoying for them. 

The same could be said of Ludicolo’s attack. Groovy Dance is expensive (two Water and a Colourless Energy) and very underpowered (just 70 damage), but it does have a bonus effect that allows you to discard an Energy attached to Ludicolo and Confuse the Defending Pokémon. Confusion may not be as powerful as it was back in the day (now you can just retreat out of it), but it is nicely disruptive and can force an opponent to burn Switches and discard Energy. It does at least give Ludicolo some way of maybe staying on the Field a bit longer to heal itself with Rain Dish, but it’s a shame that the damage output is so low. If Groovy Dance did 90 and could two-hit an EX, I might like it a bit more. 

There are things to like about Ludicolo besides the endearingly goofy design: Rain Dish can be quite effective, and Groovy Dance an irritation for the opponent, but in the end, the card doesn’t really offer enough of a reward for going to all the trouble of setting up a Stage 2. The HP is just a bit too low and the attack just a bit too slow and underpowered to seriously trouble an opponent. 

Rating 

Modified: 2 (not the worst Stage 2 around, but still not good enough)

Limited: 3.25 (if you can get him set up, he could pose problems for an opponent)

virusyosh

Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing a Pokemon that we haven't reviewed for the past five or six years! Today's Card of the Day is Ludicolo from Plasma Storm.
 
Ludicolo is a Stage 2 Water Pokemon. Water-types are fairly common in Modified these days, with Blastoise/Keldeo decks seeing quite a bit of play; of course, this also means that Ludicolo will have to do something really special to fill a niche and see play. 130 HP is standard for a Stage 2, and unfortunately Ludicolo will only be able to take some medium-sized hits in our now very powerful, EX-dominated Modified; of course, it will fare better in Limited. Lightning Weakness is a problem against the somewhat rare Zekrom-EX and Thundurus, but the pineapple duck will have to take care for Thundurus-EX, which comes out in the next set. No Resistance is still a very unfortunate thing, as is a Retreat Cost of 3, which is pretty large and shouldn't be paid unless you're in dire circumstances.
 
Ludicolo has an Ability and a single attack. Rain Dish heals 20 damage from Ludicolo any time between turns, which is great. Note that it works in between both players turns, so Ludicolo will heal a total of 40 damage from when you attack with it until the beginning of your next turn. This Ability is a lot more useful in Limited than it is in Modified, as the Modified metagame will likely OHKO Ludicolo anyway. Groovy Dance is Ludicolo's attack, dealing 70 damage with the option to Confuse (by discarding an Energy) for two Water and a Colorless. 70 damage for three Energy is the bare minimum you'll want to be doing in Modified for that Energy cost, and the optional Confusion will only sometimes be useful. However, in Limited, 70 damage is great and will 2HKO most things, and Confusion offers some much needed disruption. As one might expect, Ludicolo's healing Ability isn't quite good enough to overcome the big hitters of Modified, so it's mostly relegated to use in the Limited format.
 
Modified: 1.5/5 Rain Dish is a fairly decent Ability, but Groovy Dance doesn't do enough. Coupled with Ludicolo's somewhat low HP and being a Stage 2, it's not likely that the pineapple duck will see much play in this format anytime soon.
 
Limited: 4/5 Rain Dish is fantastic in Limited, and Groovy Dance will easily annoy the opponent between its steady damage output and Confusion. Like many Stage 2s in Limited, if you are able to get Ludicolo out, you should be able to win the game.


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