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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Rotom  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
April 1, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2
Limited: 4

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

Rotom (Plasma Storm) 

Today we take a look at one of the strangest and most interesting Pokémon out there: Rotom. It’s not a Legendary, but the Legendary music plays when you catch it. It has more formes than any other Pokémon except Arceus (don’t really count Unown or Spinda), and it’s basically some kind of goofy ghost that likes to haunt . . . domestic appliances. The world of Pokémon gets a bit weird sometimes, doesn’t it? 

Anyhoo, as a TCG card, this Rotom is also pretty strange and interesting. It’s an unevolving Basic with just 60 HP and Fighting Weakness (which is absolutely horrible, as we shall see). The retreat cost of one is very manageable, but overall, the stats on this card do a pretty good job of putting you off running it.

Rotom has two attacks, the first of which is the somewhat awkwardly-named Electribonus. For one Energy of any Type you can discard a Lightning Energy from your hand to draw three cards. That seems as if it would be very good as a starter in an Eelektrik NVI-based deck as it gives you some nice early game draw and loads up the discard pile for future Dynamotor acceleration. However, there are a number of reasons why playing Rotom in an Eelektrik deck would be a bit mad. For a start, there’s the donk factor. You are already running four Tynamo, all of which are OHKO’d by Landorus-EX (among other things), so adding another Pokémon that can easily suffer the same fate doesn’t seem like a great idea. Secondly, in order to use Electribonus on the first turn, you would need an Energy to attach and a spare Lightning to discard, which isn’t always going to happen in a deck that only runs 8-9 Lightning. Finally, the focus in an Eelektrik deck should be on getting Eelektriks set up as fast as possible, and that is best achieved through Emolga DRX’s Call for Family than the random draw that Rotom offers. That, and the fact that it is a lot tougher to OHKO, means that anyone wanting to use a starter in an Eelektrik deck should choose Emolga over Rotom every time. 

Just in case we forget that Rotom is part Ghost-Type, it comes with a Poltergeist attack (just like Gengar SF). For one Lightining and one Colourless Energy, you get to look at your opponent’s hand (never a bad thing) and do 20 damage for each Trainer card they have there (note: this now includes Supporters and Stadiums as well as Items). Obviously the damage output from this attack is variable and can be controlled by the opponent (by playing/discarding most of their Trainers). With hand sizes averaging out at around 5-6 cards at the moment, I wouldn’t anticipate Poltergeist being able to hit for more than 40-60: it’s not like the days of Gengar when we had Vileplume UD to lock a hand full of Trainers. Nevertheless, Poltergeist is a better offensive attack than we usually see on starter Pokémon. 

Even so, it’s not enough to persuade me that Rotom is playable in Modified. His low HP and Weakness make him a real liability, and the only decks that run Lightning Energy have a much better starter option. Limited is a different story though. Here, Rotom can be used as a great early game draw engine in a format where any draw at all is more than welcome. 

Rating 

Modified: 2 (this isn’t really a format that favours starter Pokémon – especially not ones as frail as Rotom)

Limited: 4 (Poltergeist is unlikely to do much damage, but Elelctribonus is probably the best first turn attack this set has to offer)


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