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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Maractus  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
April 30, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.17
Limited: 3.50

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

Maractus (Plasma Storm) 

If there’s one thing that the past has taught us, it is that Maractus is pretty much useless when it comes to tournament play, but really quite good to use in Limited. There’s nothing wrong with that: not every card can be a format-breaking monster in modified, and it’s nice that we get some things that have their chance to shine at the prerelease. Will this Maractus continue the trend? 

Well, it’s pretty clear from the outset that this card is not going to be making any sort of impact on the tournament scene. It’s a 90 HP non-evolving Basic and although its Fire Weakness and Water Resistance are technically good right now, that low HP makes them pretty much worthless . . . as if Keldeo-EX is going to struggle to deal with this! The retreat cost of one is nice enough, but it’s not exactly selling the card is it now? 

But it’s the attack which really doom this card in modified. With Dazzle Dance offering just 10 damage and Confusion for a single Grass Energy, and Ambush costing another Energy for just 20 with a coin flip for an extra 30, it’s clear that Maractus just simply can’t do enough damage, or cause enough disruption, or simply do something useful (like Junk Hunt or Call for Family) that would make it worthwhile using in a format dominated by 180 HP Basics that think nothing of doing 90+ damage per turn. 

How about Limited then? Well, here’s where Maractus comes up trumps (sort of). In this format, it’s a high-ish HP Basic with cheap attacks that can start doing damage from turn one, while your opponent is still trying to set up their Pokémon. Even the Confusion is a good bonus here as it will force your opponent to risk an attack, or pay a retreat cost (unless they are holding Escape Rope). All things considered, it’s a solid little card that makes for a useful opener. 

But that is really where it should stay. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.5 (too weak to be any good)

Limited: 3 (effective early game attacker)

virusyosh

Hello once again, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing a Basic Grass-type that you may have run into in your playthroughs of Pokemon Black 2 and White 2. Today's Card of the Day is Maractus.

Maractus is a Basic Grass Pokemon. Grass-types don't see too much play right now, but that may change in the future due to upcoming set releases (namely, the Japanese Megalo-Cannon set). Therefore, if Maractus can do something impressive, it may be able to find a deck slot due to its being a Basic and decent (though not stellar) typing. 90 HP is average for a non-Pokemon-EX Basic, and Maractus should be able to take weak hits in Modified, but will still fall to common heavy hitters like Darkrai-EX, Tornadus-EX, and Mewtwo-EX. Fire Weakness isn't a huge deal right now, as there isn't much Fire being played anymore; Water Resistance is always a good thing against Keldeo; and a Retreat Cost of one is easily paid for, even if you don't have a Switch or Escape Rope handy.

This Cactus Pokemon has two attacks. Dazzle Dance does 10 damage and Confuses the Defending Pokemon for a Grass Energy, which isn't up to standard in Modified but will easily be useful in Limited, as Confusion is quite powerful in the slower format. Ambush is the second attack, starting off at 20 damage for a Grass and a Colorless, but dealing 30 more damage if you manage to flip a heads. 50 damage for two Energy is pretty decent in Limited, but once again, won't be seeing play in Modified any time soon. Overall, Maractus can be a decent secondary attacker (and medium-sized Basic) in your Limited deck, but it should stay away from any Modified build you're planning.

Modified: 1/5 Low HP, unimpressive attacks, and lackluster typing all hurt Maractus here. Look elsewhere for other options.

Limited: 3.5/5 As previously stated, Maractus makes for a decent secondary attacker in Limited. Dazzle Dance is a great opening move that will certainly annoy your opponents to no end, and the possibility for 50 damage the next turn is also pretty good. Of course, if you're rather unlucky with flips, Maractus quickly becomes pretty average, but even still, if you're running Grass, Maractus can certainly help out if you keep it away from Fire.


Otaku

Today we are looking at Maractus (BW: Plasma Storm 11/135).  It should be interesting because I got distracted and ended up writing this quickly and kind of late at night!

 

Stats

 

Type: Maractus is a Grass-Type Pokémon; hitting Grass Weakness is in high demand and in the current card pool, there is no longer any form of natural Grass Resistance to worry about.  Unfortunately, neither is there any worthwhile Grass-Type support or truly successful Grass-Type decks or attackers.

 

Stage: Maractus is a Basic Pokémon, which is not bad since this is a format dominated by Basic Pokémon.  I don’t really want to call that “good”, since unfortunately it is practically a requirement; not advantage but avoiding potential disadvantage.

 

Hit Points: 90 HP isn’t safe even first turn anymore, but it isn’t completely abysmal; first turn it will take a good solid combo to take you out.  Past that, most decks should manage to OHKO Maractus, I am afraid.  It is a legal Level Ball target, and as it doesn’t have the greatest HP, Defense, or Special Defense in the video game, it is probably doing good to have even 90 HP in the TCG.

 

Weakness: Fire Weakness is the usual for Grass-Types, and at least for now it is pretty safe as we lack any prominent Fire-Types, let alone Fire-Type decks.

 

Resistance: Water Resistance isn’t likely to save Maractus from the most likely Water-Type attacker (Keldeo EX), but it is far better than nothing.  Granted, it seems an odd choice considering the TCG Water-Type is made of video game Water-Types and Ice-Types, and in the video games Ice-Type attacks hit Grass-Types for double damage.  Lightning Resistance could work without any similar contradiction, but obviously they didn’t go with that.

 

Retreat: The single Energy required to retreat is easy to pay and can be wiped out completely with Skyarrow Bridge; possibly this card’s best feature so far.  It is even more appreciated factoring in this is a Pokémon modeled after plant life and possessing a poor Speed Stat in the video games.

 

Effects

 

Attack#1: For (G) Dazzle Dance does 10 points of damage plus automatically Confuses the Defending Pokémon; this isn’t brilliant but it is a decent stall tactic.  Confusion was severely weakened years ago when they altered its rules: it used to do damage instead of placing damage counters, and retreating out of it used to require a Confusion check flip.  Overall, it is slightly weak but serviceable.

 

Attack: For (GC), Ambush does 20 points of damage and gives you a flip to score another 30.  20 for two is pretty pathetic right now, especially for a card’s “big” attack, and even when you hit for the full 50, by modern rates that a weak return.  Ambush really lets this card down.

 

Synergy: Besides the basic synergy of the smaller attack being there to buy time to build to the larger attack, the Confusion from Dazzle Dance can provide both protection and additional damage if you are not only lucky enough that your opponent flips “tails” while attacking, but that they can’t shed Confusion to begin with.

 

Usage

 

Card Family: There are four other versions of Maractus, though Black& White 11/114 and McDonald’s 2011 2/12 are the same card, save for the latter getting a special holographic treatment.  All versions are Basic, Grass-Type Pokémon with Fire Weakness, Water Resistance, and two attacks.  The two just mentioned have 80 HP and Retreat Costs of two.  For (G) each can hit for 20 while healing 20 points of damage from itself, while for (GGC) it allows you to flip four coins and do 20 points of damage per “heads”.  Not a version worth playing.

 

Black & White 12/114 does a little better, with 90 HP but still having that two Energy Retreat Cost.  For (G) it allows you to flip three coins; no “heads” does nothing, one does 10 points of damage, two does 30 points of damage, and three does 60 points of damage.  For (GGG) it hits for 50 points of damage and heals itself by however much damage the attack does in the end: f used on something Grass Weak, the attack would ultimately hit for 100 points of damage and heal that same amount from that particular Maractus.  Sadly still not worth playing.

 

BW: Dragons Exalted 16/124 can hit for 20 points of damage plus gets to flip for a shot at Confusion at the price of (GC).  For (GCC), it can hit for 40 points of damage and if it has a Pokémon Tool attached, the attack’s effect adds another 40 points of damage to that amount (totaling 80).  Unfortunately, this version is still not worth using.  Looks like Maractus is on its own.

 

Combos: There are no worthwhile combos for Maractus; there are things you could do with it, such as backing it with Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124) as without Abilities, many decks will have a more difficult time retreating out of Confusion but that is hardly an optimal build.

 

Unlimited: Skip it; doesn’t win first turn, doesn’t lock things down first turn, doesn’t even work as an aggressive first turn attacker when considering only Basic, Grass-Type Pokémon.

 

Modified: Skip it; we may not have better Grass-Type attackers but we have other better Basic attackers that do a better job than Maractus could even if the Defending Pokémon was Grass Weak.

 

Limited: Being a fully Evolved Basic Pokémon, Maractus is a great pick here; the only downside is your deck needs to run at least a few (three to five) Grass Energy (assuming that isn’t a major thing for your deck already).  The 90 HP is pretty big in Limited as is the damage from Ambush considering there aren’t that many big, Basic Pokémon in the set and most Evolutions can’t be played because they are pulled without their lower Stages.  Dazzling Dance is also better because Special Conditions are hard to get rid of here, and even forcing the opponent to Retreat their current Active can generate advantage.

 

Future: Nothing pending will make this card better, though some could make it worse if they catch on (namely anything that is a Fire-Type).

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1/5

 

Modified: 1/5

 

Limited: 4/5

 

Summary

Maractus is best enjoyed in Limited, or if you want a pretty straight forward review and don’t mind it being a bit depressing.  Maractus would make an okay Evolving Pokémon, but unfortunately the designers thing this passes for a fully Evolved Basic Pokémon.


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