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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Samurott

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed:
January 24, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.45
Limited: 3.10

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

Samurott (Boundaries Crossed) 

Today’s card was originally released in the National Beginning Set in Japan. These starter sets typically contain very straightforward Pokémon cards, most likely intended for use by very young or very new players. As a result, they are less than impressive when stacked up against what you usually see played in Modified tournaments. 

Samurott BCR is no exception. A Stage 2 Water Type with the now-standard (but pretty good) 140 HP, it would need some spectacular attack and/or Ability to be playable. Ok, the Grass Weakness is somewhat of a help (we really do need some decent Grass attackers in this format), but the retreat cost of three won’t do anything to convince players to take a second look. 

Sadly, there is no Ability of any kind, so let’s take a look at the attacks. The first, Waterfall, is reasonably cheap at a cost of one Water and one Colourless Energy, but then it only does a puny 50 damage, which isn’t going to worry anything bar the handful of evolving Basics that see play at the moment (Tynamo, Deino, Squirtle if you have a PlusPower). Bump up the cost to a massive two Water, two Colourless and you get Destructive Whirlpool, which is nowhere near as devastating as the name implies. For that big cost, you get just 80 damage (won’t even two-hit KO a non-Weak EX), plus the admittedly nice bonus of discarding Energy from the Defending Pokémon. 

I suppose you could use Blastoise BCR to accelerate those attacks, but they are so underpowered that it really isn’t worth it: especially when you consider that it means setting up two Stage 2 Pokémon (not an easy feat these days). Save your mutant turtle for better things: namely Keldeo and Blastoise. To be honest, I don’t think they were really trying with this card – even the artwork is of the ‘Pokémon in standard pose’ variety. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.25 (Do new players a favour and steer them well away from this)

Limited: 1.75 (too slow and underpowered even here) 

virusyosh

Hello once again, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing a Stage 2 evolution of one of the Unova starter Pokemon. Today's Card of the Day is Samurott.

Samurott is a Stage 2 Water Pokemon. Water-types are very common in Modified right now, with Blastoise and Keldeo-EX running wild; as such, Samurott will have to be able to do something to justify seeing play when compared to those two. 140 HP is standard for a Stage 2 these days, allowing Samurott to take at least one good hit before going down (provided it isn't for Weakness). Grass Weakness isn't too bad right now, with only Shaymin-EX seeing a decent amount of play, no Resistance is unfortunate but what we've come to expect, and a Retreat Cost of 3 is very large and not easily paid on its own, but does allow this samurai otter to be searched out with Heavy Ball.

Samurott has two attacks. Waterfall does a vanilla 50 damage for a Water and a Colorless, which is good in Limited but not strong enough for Modified, as both Blastoise and Keldeo outclass it with sheer damage output despite this attack costing 1 fewer Energy. Destructive Whirlpool is Samurott's other maneuver, dealing 80 damage and discarding an Energy attached to the Defending Pokemon for two Water and two Colorless. 80 damage is decent and guaranteed Energy discard is great, but as it stands, this attack is too costly for Modified, where you're often better off just Knocking Out the Defending Pokemon instead of trying to get rid of its Energy.

Modified: 1.5/5 Samurott's Destructive Whirlpool is cool due to its guaranteed discard, but other than that, the card is nothing to write home about. Average HP and expensive attacks generally make Keldeo a better choice for a Water-type attacker in this format.

Limited: 4/5 Samurott is pretty good in Limited. Waterfall deals steady damage on the cheap, and Destructive Whirlpool is really powerful in a format where there is generally only one Energy attachment per turn. As with most Stage 2s in Limited, if you get it out, you'll probably win.

Jebulous Maryland Player

Samurott

Samurott is a Stage 2 Water Pokemon with 140 HP. It is weak to Grass and has a retreat of 3. It is searchable by Heavy Ball.

'Waterfall' costs 1 Water and 1 Colorless energy. It does 50 damage. This is gonna be a fun review...

'Destructive Whirlpool' costs 2 Water and 2 colorless energy. It does 80 damage and it discards and energy attached to the Defending Pokemon.

So first of all, this card is supposed to be used as an attacker, since it has no ability. Stage 2 Attackers are not easy to keep up (Empoleon and Hydreigon both have abilities that make them playable, and Garchomp has really cheap costing attacks). So to build this guy up and use 2 attachments to do 50 is just not worth it. Even if you hit for weakness it isn't really going to do anything.

'Destructive Whirlpool' is a little better, but not really. You still need a 3rd or 4th energy attachment to use it. Then when it hits for weakness, it only does 160, which I guess is good against everything but EXs. The energy discard is good, but only against decks that can't get the energy back from the discard (Garchomp is good because it discards a Special Energy for 1 and they can never get that energy back). Plus, 4 energy for 80 is not good, especially when EXs can do so much more for just 3 energy.

Modified: 1.5/5
Limited: 3.5/5
Combos With: ...

Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com

Otaku

This Thursday we look at Samurott (BW: Boundaries Crossed 41/149), which is not a reprint or Secret Rare (a first for this week).

 

Card Breakdown

 

Stats: Samurott is a Water-Type Pokémon.  The Water Pokémon-Type doesn’t have any support, but the Water-Energy Type enjoys access to Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149) for massive acceleration.  In terms of Weakness and Resistance, Weakness shows up on most Fire-Type Pokémon and some Fighting-Type Pokémon, and while Fire-Type Pokémon aren’t heavily played right now we some of the Water Weak Fighting-Types are prominent.  Resistance is found on Grass-Types… but almost none see play and when they do, not in actual “Grass” decks.

 

As a Stage 2 Pokémon, Samurott is hard to get into play successfully, requiring you play the Basic form (Oshawott) the turn before, and then either Evolve into Stage 1 form (Dewott) and wait another turn or run Rare Candy to Evolve straight from Oshawott to Samurott.  Either way, it is slower than running a similarly powerful Basic Pokémon and takes more space than either a Basic or a Stage 1 Pokémon.

 

140 HP is about average for a Stage 2 Pokémon, and will allow Samurott to survive one shot most of the time; the attacks that can OHKO it are either part of a significant combo (e.g. more than just dropping a PlusPower) and/or have large investments required of them… unless they are from Grass-Type Pokémon, as Samurott is Weak to them.  This is actually one of the “safer” Weaknesses to have right now, as few Grass-Type Pokémon see play.

 

The lack of Resistance is a bit disappointing, but is common enough that it doesn’t really detract from the card; a missed opportunity more than anything else.  The chunky Retreat score of three does hurt the card a little; you’ll need an alternative to manually retreating, be it something that lowers the cost or that bypasses retreating entirely.  There is some small benefit in that it makes the card a legal target for Heavy Ball, but neither of its lower Stages qualify so that is unlikely to be much actual help.

 

Effects: Samurott has two attacks, meaning if it is to see play it will be as a big beatstick.  The first attack is “Waterfall”, which simply hits for 50 points of damage at a cost of (WC).  This seems just a little below adequate, as it requires two turns of work (or else somewhat complex combos) to pull off on a single turn, and as a Stage 2 it wouldn’t have been out of line to price the attack at (W).

 

“Destructive Whirlpool” is the second attack; for the hefty price of (WWCC) it hits for 80 points of damage and allows you to discard an Energy from the Defending Pokémon.  This would have been good several years (and formats) ago, but is definitely overpriced now.  When attacks begin hitting past a certain level of damage, adding in an adverse effect on the Defending Pokémon becomes less useful since you are hopefully nearing 2HKO or even OHKO range.

 

Destructive Whirlpool discarding an Energy is nice, but in a format such as the current one most Pokémon either are using very little Energy (so they are easy enough to re-power) or have acceleration behind them (again, making it easy to replace the lost Energy).  For the amount of Energy invested, I also expect triple digit damage; four Energy required should provide at least 100 points of damage for any recently released card.

 

The attacks don’t have good synergy.  Without any acceleration, Waterfall is better than nothing, but you’ll be stuck using it twice before Destructive Whirlpool is an option… and the latter can’t 2HKO most Pokémon-EX.  Yes, that means an extra turn of discarding from them, but unless that is keeping them from attacking at all, this is not a format where that is a valid tactic given the investment.

 

The actual Energy costs aren’t horrible with each other, but aren’t great either.  If you’re using something like Double Colorless Energy, you still need two attachments to use the first attack and three to use the second.  Better than needing two and four, but not by much.  If I wanted to make minimal changes so that the attacks were satisfactory, I would put the discarding effect on Waterfall (even if it meant a name change) and just have Destructive Whirlpool hit for 100 points of damage.

 

Usage

 

Card Family: As an Evolution, we should address the lower Stages you are required to use in order to run the card (even if the Stage 1 is likely to be ignored in favor of Rare Candy).

 

Oshawott, as a “starter” in the Black& White games, has seen six releases by my count: Black & White 27/114, Black & White 28/114, BW: Boundaries Crossed 39/149, BW Promo BW03, BW Promo BW08, and McDonald’s 2011 04/12.  BW Promo 03 and McDonald’s 2011 04/12 have the same Stats and Effects, so really it is only five choices.  All are Water-Type Basic Pokémon with 60 HP, no Resistance, with a Retreat score of one.

 

BW: Boundaries Crossed 39/149 has Grass Weakness while the others are Lightning Weak, with the former being preferable but the latter not being a deal breaker.  None have attacks that help it Evolve directly, otherwise aid in set-up, disrupt the opponent, or do more than token amounts of damage.  A few have attacks that can inflict Sleep, which can help it survive in those desperate situations where it is attacking, and BW Promo BW08 is the only version that can do so for one Energy, making it my choice.  A caution though; it will require a successful coin toss.

 

Dewott only has three releases so far, but at least they are all unique.  All three are Stage 1 Water-Type Pokémon with no Resistance, requiring one Energy to retreat, and no Abilities.  None have attacks that wow me, and you probably want to use Rare Candy anyway.  I suggest using BW: Boundaries Crossed 40/149 due to its less common Grass Weakness and 90 HP, better than or equal to your other options.

 

There are three other releases of Samurott: Black & White 31/114, Black & White 32/114, and BW Promo BW22.  The last two are alternate art versions of the same card.  Each is a Water-Type with 140 HP, Lightning-Type Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat of two.  Black & White 31/114 has two attacks, the first of which does 30 to both the Defending Pokémon and one opposing Benched Pokémon of your choice for (CC), and the second of which does 80 for (WWC).  The spread isn’t strong enough for a Stage 2, so you can skip this version pretty easily.

 

So Black & White 32/114 (and BW Promo BW22) has an Ability that drops the damage it takes by 20 after Weakness and Resistance, and for (CCC) does 70 points of damage plus 10 per (W) attached.  This isn’t especially good, since at the moment the only real worthwhile Energy acceleration we have for it is the aforementioned Blastoise that is also a Stage 2 Pokémon, though lessening damage taken is nice.

 

In A Deck: I wouldn’t want to use any version of Samurott in a competitive deck.  The return for the investment just isn’t there.  If we get a compatible form of Energy acceleration (applies to (W) Energy and can fit in a deck that already has a Stage 2 Pokémon), such as Ether, you might be able to build a deck around the Ability Samurott to try and tank it.

 

If you absolutely insist on using today’s version, you’ll get a “fun deck” that isn’t much fun for other people to face; you’ll need to focus on the Energy removal aspect of the card which means relying mostly on strong cards using in several other decks; Crushing Hammer and Enhanced Hammer.  It may not even be that effective, but if it is, it may miss the point of being a “fun” deck.

 

Other Formats

Nothing about this card makes it particularly appealing for Unlimited play; as usual ignoring the prevalence and dominance of first turn win or lock decks, you can still do better for a Stage 2, Water-Type attacker or for Energy removing tricks.  For Limited, if you pull the complete line it is a solid pick; mind the Grass-Type Weakness as they have a solid presence including Scyther (BW: Boundaries Crossed 7/149), a good “filler” or off-Type splash pull for Limited.

 

There is a decent enough amount of Water Weakness and as usual, the lower average HP scores and damage outputs of the format improve performance for Samurott (and its lower Stages), plus discarding Energy will end up being a little more effective as well.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1/5

 

Modified: 1.5/5

 

Limited: 3/5

 

 

Summary

Samurott has okay Stats with both attacks being a little weak and perhaps questionably designed (hitting hard usually doesn’t care about removing a single Energy).  This was another card from the National Pokédex Beginning Set, and amongst its pseudo-set mates it might be adequately equipped… but I always feel like making “beginner” sets weak instead of simple is a bait-and-switch approach to marketing and should be discouraged.

 

Why make good cards and then select the most beginner friendly to release in such sets after the fact?  Beginners won’t care if they were already released sets they never bought a few months ago?


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