Welcome to a new week of Card of the Days, dear readers!
We begin the week with a secret… well a Secret
Golurk (BW: Boundaries Crossed 150/149).
We first reviewed the card
Maybe it is pure optimism, but I always feel like
“Secret Rares” are the designers wanting us to take a
look at certain cards again (especially if those cards
aren’t already heavily played).
Have things changed for
Golurk in a
I’ll go ahead and give the card my usual,
thorough treatment, but for those familiar with the
card, you can probably skip to the Ratings and Summary,
as I’ll naturally summarize what has changed since the
is a Stage 1 Psychic-Type Pokémon.
Psychic Resistance is still fairly common, though
almost exclusively due to
Darkrai EX (BW:
Dark Explorers 63/108, 107/108; BW Promo
BW46) being heavily played and not a variety of Pokémon
In a format full of damaging boosting, damage
reducing, spread, and strategic healing, running into
could be bad (and yes, if you skip ahead to Weakness of
know it becomes even worse).
Back to being a Psychic-Type, Weakness to Psychic
Pokémon isn’t universal at a deck level, but comes
fairly close; however this is again due to a single
card, Mewtwo EX
(BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW Promo
Psychic-Type has one single piece of support, which also
requires the usage of basic Psychic-Type Energy, in the
Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99; BW:
Dark Explorers 109/108).
As I don’t know of any
decks that have made good showings in the competitive
sphere, this is a mixed start for the Stats.
The Stage is a similarly mixed bag; Basic Pokémon
dominate right now, with Evolutions suffering for being
slower and requiring more cards.
is a Stage 1, so while it is a turn slower and needs
twice the cards, this still much more manageable than a
Stage 2, and a few of those do see play.
has 130 HP, allowing it can take a hit from all but the
biggest attacks, unless hit by its Weakness,
As already stated (and frankly hard to miss),
still popular and potent, but at least it isn’t run
purely as an attacker and some decks utilizing it for
its Ability won’t easily switch it to the offensive.
lacks Resistance, which is unfortunate as it could have
really helped the card out, but it is also common so it
more missed opportunity than a failing.
We finish this section with the Retreat: for
Golurk it is
is so high you’ll rarely be able to pay it and shouldn’t
even if you could unless the game was on the line; make
sure your deck is built so that it can handle being the
Active and so that you have an alternative to manually
retreating, such as
There is the bonus that this card is
and this is one of the Pokémon where that also applies
to its Basic form (Golett)
has two attacks.
The bad news is the “fast” attack, Devolution
Punch still requires three Energy to use: specifically
This cost isn’t impossibly high and a good deck should
have a reasonable chance of pulling it off T2, but it
will need to be the focus of the deck.
The attack only does 60 points of damage, which
is about 20 below where a three Energy attack needs to
hit right now, but it comes with an effect; you get to
return the highest Evolution card attached to the
Pokémon back to your opponent’s hand.
If you’re fast at setting up, odds are any Stage 2
Pokémon you encounter used
meaning your opponent may not be able to easily
re-Evolve the next turn while also being small enough
that particular Pokémon is KOed; that is a win-win
Some Pokémon will have enough HP to survive Devolving,
especially if you aren’t hitting a Stage 2 that used
and on the whole Evolutions are still a minority in
competitive decks, used mostly for Abilities while
hiding out on the Bench.
Ghost Hammer is the big attack clocking in at (PPCC).
Four Energy, even with all the acceleration in
the format, is pretty significant; at this price I
generally want to see at least triple digit damage, and
we don’t get that here.
Instead Ghost Hammer does 90 while negating the
Certainly useful when facing down a
(it would allow you to survive one hit), but also only
applicable to that scenario and capable of being worked
around, plus you aren’t hitting hard enough to take out
before it takes out
if both Pokémon start out uninjured but
can evolve from
Golett, and there are two versions: BW: Noble
Victories 71/101 and BW: Dragons Exalted
The former is a Fighting-Type Basic Pokémon with 80 HP,
Water Weakness, Lightning Resistance, and a Retreat of
has a single attack for (FC) that does 20 points of
damage plus (if you get “heads” on a mandatory coin
toss) another 20 with Confusion to the Defending Pokémon
(so total 40).
If you get “tails”, it still does 20.
The latter is a Psychic-Type Basic Pokémon that
has 90 HP, Darkness Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat
of three and two attacks.
The first attack requires (CC) and heals 40 from
the second requires (PCC) and does 40 damage to the
have pros and cons; most important of all, both have
poor Weaknesses for this format.
A split may be in order, or else favor BW:
Dragons Exalted 58/124;
would OHKO it before the Weakness anyway, while a
Keldeo EX (BW:
Boundaries Crossed 49/149, 142/149) doesn’t need any
actual (W) attached to OHKO BW: Noble Victories
There is also one other version of
BW: Noble Victories 72/101.
It is a Fighting-Type with Water Weakness and
poor attacks so don’t bother with it.
So has anything changed that would make it worth running
Boundaries Crossed 31/149) seems to be heavily
played, rarely Evolves from
Boundaries Crossed 30/149), but instead uses
to Evolve directly from
Boundaries Crossed 29/149).
has just 60 HP.
We also still see
Noble Victories 40/101) backed decks and
Dragons Exalted 97/124) decks.
In all cases, this provides you with an important
Evolution that Devolution Punch either will or almost
certainly will score a OHKO against.
However the rest of the format is built around decks
using only Basic Pokémon and the above exceptions don’t
attack with or only sparingly attack with the Evolved
Pokémon; so you’re always going to need something else
in the deck to deal with the Basic Pokémon.
I’ve experimented a little, and I have to say,
probably would have been one of the cards that benefited
being released as we expected in BW: Boundaries
It might have been bad for the format, but the
combination probably would have made it fast enough that
just throwing in
Mewtwo EX would have pretty much given you a deck.
I am already assuming
Energy as well, so
Dragons Exalted 52/124) would have fit as well, and
the deck would have covered its bases.
Ether, I don’t know if it has the necessary speed,
and my other attempts to use it didn’t show much promise
(though testing was so scant I can’t even call it
For Unlimited, even ignoring the “lock” and decks that
flat out win first turn, we have
Technical Machine [Rock] (EX: Hidden Legends
(85/101); simply the better Devolution option.
Limited is where this card shines… with the
original release: Darkness Weakness isn’t as painful,
Ghost Hammer is better protection, and Devolution Punch
becomes amazing except against those annoying
“Pokémon-EX plus 39 Energy” decks.
It even was friendly to being run in a mostly
If you pull it with just BW: Boundaries
Crossed, you can’t run it at all.
N/A; 3.75/5 for previous release.
makes me think I have to be missing something… possibly
something other than
If it was just a little faster/more reliable, it
might fit into a potential rogue deck, though all the
matches that lack Evolutions or opposing Psychic-Weak
Pokémon would have you discarding it for
or the like as it would be dead weight.
It looks so good on paper even without
humbly ask you see what you can do with it.
While it probably won’t pan out, at least it
isn’t a major investment; the deck idea I suggested uses
cards you should already have/want, and it isn’t that
pricey a Secret Rare… plus you can even get the older
version in the DragonSnarl starter deck.