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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Stoutland

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed:
January 25, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.38
Limited: 2.90

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

Stoutland (Boundaries Crossed) 

If yesterday’s card was dull and unpromising (which it was) at least you can’t accuse today’s of being anything like that. Of course that won’t guarantee playability, but it does at least give players something to think about and work with. 

The card in question in Stoutland: a Stage 2 with a decent 140 HP, big retreat cost of three, and an unfortunate Weakness to Fighting (unfortunate because Terrakion NVI and Landorus-EX are common sights). 

The big attraction here is the Sentinel Ability which blocks your opponent from playing any Supporter cards from their hand. In a format where virtually every deck (except maybe Empoleon DEX) is utterly reliant on Supporters for draw, this is a terrific Ability to have. Once your opponent has played out their Trainers they are relying on their one-card draw at the start of their turn to get everything else they need, and that is not a good position to be in. The downside? Stoutland has to be Active for the Ability to work, but that’s ok as he has a half-decent attack you can use. For three Colourless Energy, Wild Tackle will do 90 damage (enough to two-shot an EX), but there’s a coinflip chance of doing 20 points of recoil damage to itself. 

So, if you can get this set up early and lock your opponent it could be very effective and frustrating to play against. Even the self-damage is manageable with Victory Star Victini or Potion being an option. This being the case, you may be asking why this doesn’t see any tournament play at all. Well, there are two answers to this: Pokémon Catcher and Landorus-EX. Catcher is bad news for Stoutland because it can shift it from the active slot and give your opponent the chance to use their Supporter. Of course, if you can lock them down quickly enough, they may have to wait to draw into it, but the threat is always there. Landorus-EX, on the other hand, does not need much in the way of resources to seriously hurt a Stoutland deck: Lillipup may be adorable, but he is OHKO’d by Landorus for just a single Fighting Energy, meaning that the chances of setting up sufficiently against any deck running the card are not great. Given the popularity of Landy, this has put a lot of players off from even trying Stoutland. You could argue that Eelektrik suffers from the same issues, but then Stage 1s are so much easier to recover and set up. 

There are other threats too of course: Garbodor, with its Ability to shut off other Abilities has seen a recent spike in play, and the forthcoming Plasma Gale set will being us Bicycle (a draw card in Trainer form) and Escape Rope (another method of forcing Stoutland back to the Bench). All this means that Stoutland is likely to be even less of a wise choice in the medium term. 

Nevertheless, I can’t resist a sneaking feeling that Sentinel is good enough to be worthy of attention at some point, surely? Maybe when we eventually get the Trainer-disruption Supporter Ghetsis? I could be completely wrong about that of course: Stage 2s in the current format are relatively difficult to use effectively, and Stoutland right now is no exception. 

Rating 

Modified: 2.75 (Fantastic Ability that is hard to make the most of)

Limited: 1.75 (Abilities are less important here, but at least it’s a Colourless attacker)

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing a Colorless Stage 2 with a potentially interesting Ability. Today's Card of the Day is Stoutland.

Stoutland is a Stage 2 Colorless Pokemon. Colorless Pokemon are versatile because they can easily fit into any deck due to their relaxed Energy requirements, and tend to fit into decks as powerful support Pokemon. 140 HP is average for a Stage 2, meaning that Stoutland will be able to take at least one large unboosted hit before being Knocked Out. Fighting Weakness is a huge problem against Landorus-EX and Terrakion; no Resistance is to be expected; and a Retreat Cost of 3 is pretty huge, but does allow Stoutland to be searched out with Heavy Ball.

Stoutland has an Ability and an attack. Sentinel blocks both players from playing Supporters when Stoutland is active, which is potentially VERY powerful. Supporters really set the game into motion, and temporarily blocking them is an amazing ability. Unfortunately, Stoutland's Active requirement means that you will likely have to rely on Stoutland's attacking power (as opposed to a main attacker), and your opponent can easily get around the Ability with Pokemon Catcher. Speaking of Stoutland's attack, Wild Tackle does 90 damage for three Colorless Energy and can also deal 20 damage to itself if you flip tails. 90 damage for three Energy is pretty good for the cost, but may still not be quite enough in a format that is quickly becoming OHKO-oriented. Additionally, self-damage is a major problem, greatly hampering Stoutland's survivability and limiting Stoutland's Supporter-blocking potential.

Modified: 2/5 Stoutland is a very interesting choice for Modified, but the format is not currently kind to this Normal-type hound. Sentinel is a powerful, game changing ability, but Stoutland's other stats and attack are lackluster. Landorus-EX and Terrakion are major problems for the dog (as both easily OHKO), especially with Stoutland's potential for self-injury. If you want to try a more control-oriented style and block Supporters, Stoutland won't disappoint you; otherwise, you'll want to look for other support Pokemon elsewhere.

Limited: 4/5 Stoutland is a great choice for Limited. Colorless typing is great for a slow, diverse format, and both Sentinel and Wild Tackle are good here. While Supporters aren't all that common, being able to slow your Pokemon down a bit more is always a plus, and Wild Tackle deals great damage even if you manage to damage yourself. While Stoutland isn't the best primary attacker on its own, it can be a great addition to your Limited deck as a secondary attacker and a supporting cast member.

Otaku

Stats

Type: Stoutland is a Colorless Pokémon; nothing in Modified is naturally Weak or Resistant to Colorless-Types and they even have some support in the form of Aspertia City Gym, giving them +20 HP.

Stage: Stoutland is a Stage 2, meaning you’ll either be required to manually Evolve from Lillipup to Herdier to Stoutland (three cards, three turns) or skip Herdier via Rare Candy (two cards, two turns).  That is a big burden, especially in a format where not only are Basic Pokémon dominant, but they even have specialized support!

HP: 140 HP is high enough to survive one hit most of the time, but seldom two.  Even before Weakness is factored in, most decks will have something that can OHKO it, it is just usually something they prefer to not attack with or that requires heavier than normal resource commitment to hit that hard.  In short, you can’t even count on one turn even when you have no damage, but you will probably get it.

Weakness: Many Colorless Pokémon that are “Normal-Types” in the video games end up with Fighting-Type Weakness, and Stoutland is no exception.  This is not a good Weakness to have right now, and may even be the worst.  First and foremost, it is a Weakness commonly found on Darkness-Type and Lightning-Type Pokémon, both of which see a lot of play right now as both attackers and in a supporting role.

Besides strong attackers being a hallmark of Fighting-Types, they have become super effective this format due to how they go about it: Landorus EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 89/149, 144/149) is a all around good but noted for its opening prowess, Terrakion (BW: Noble Victories 73/101, 99/101) is useful for a quick, retaliatory whack that regularly results in a KO, and Terrakion EX (BW: Dragons Exalted 71/124, 121/124) was already played for being a big, strong attacker that simultaneously could power up the Bench.  Weakness amps most of these into OHKOs.

Resistance: No Resistance for this card; at least here it makes sense to skip it as Normal-Type Pokémon in the video games are not just Resistant to Ghost-Type attacks, but actually take no damage from them whatsoever.  In the TCG Ghost-Types are combined with Psychic-Types, which just makes things a bit complicated.

Retreat: Stoutland has a hefty Retreat requirement of three; this is quite big and even if you could can actually pay it, the loss will set you back too much to be practical.  This means a deck using Stoutland needs to either plan on leaving it up front or run cards (plural - a single TecH Switch isn’t enough) to aid or bypass manually retreating.  This does make it a legal target for Heavy Ball, but none of its lower Stages qualify.

 

Effects 

Stoutland posses one Ability (Sentinel) and one attack (Wild Tackle).  The former is quite impressive, and simply the only reason to consider running this card outside of Limited: Sentinel blocks your opponent from playing Supporters from his or her hand while Stoutland is Active.  This is one of those effects that is both strong and weak: shutting down your opponent’s Supporter for the turn can make them very easy prey and is often devastating, but keeping Stoutland Active will require no Bench (or no Bench but other Stoutland) due to the prominence of Pokémon Catcher.

Wild Tackle is a bit disappointing, and likely was designed to with the expectation that Sentinel needed something else to balance it out.  The good news is that it does indeed meet my normal threshold: for (CCC) it hits for 90, enough to nearly always 2HKO anything in the game.  Unfortunately, it has a drawback; you always flip a coin, and if the result is “tails” Stoutland hits itself for 20 points of damage.  Unlike Basic Pokémon, you don’t have an option like Eviolite to soak it and even each “tails” puts Stoutland into OHKO range for the next lower level of attacks.

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).  There are four possible Lillipup: Black & White 80/114, Black & White 81/114, BW: Dark Explorers 86/108, and BW: Boundaries Crossed 120/149.  All are Colorless Basic Pokémon with two attacks, Fighting Weakness, no Resistance, and requiring one Energy to retreat.  Black & White 81/114 and BW: Boundaries Crossed 120/149 have 60 HP while the other two have 50.

For (C) Black & White 80/114 has two different attacks; one adds an Item to your hand from your discard pile while the other just does 10 points of damage.  Black & White 81/114 can draw a card for (C) with its first attack or  hit for 20 for (CC).  BW: Dark Explorers 86/108 can do 10 for (C) or 30 for (CC) with 10 points of damage to itself.  Finally BW: Boundaries Crossed 120/149 first attack for (C) forces your opponent to change out their Defending Pokémon while for (CC) it can hit for 20.I think for Lillipup I would stick with Black & White 81/114 as it has 60 HP and drawing a card is better than meager damage, though Black & White 80/114 is also a good choice; 10 less HP is bad, but both are likely OHKOs and retrieving an Item from the discard pile could really aid in set up.

Herdier has three options: Black & White 82/114, BW: Dark Explorers 87/106, and BW: Boundaries Crossed 121/149.  All are Colorless Stage 1 Pokémon with 80 HP, Fighting Weakness, no Resistance, and two attacks.  BW: Dark Explorers 87/108 requires two Energy to Retreat, while the other versions only require one.  80 HP is far too low, so we are really just looking at what one clutch copy of Herdier you might run due to the concerns raised by running purely Rare Candy.

For (CC) Black & White 82/114 can draw three cards and for (CCC) it can hit for a flat 50.  BW: Dark Explorers 87/108 can force your opponent to change out their Active Pokémon for (C) and hit for 30 for (CC).  BW: Boundaries Crossed 121/149 can hit for 20 for (C) or 60 for (CCC) but also 10 points of self damage.  None of these are worth the hassle, and I would favor Black & White 82/114 because none of the damaging attacks are worth it and BW: Dark Explorers 87/108 has that annoying Retreat cost.

Lastly for this family of cards, we have two other Stoutland: Black & White 83/114 and BW: Dark Explorers 88/108.  Both are Stage 2 Colorless Pokémon with Fighting Weakness, no Resistance, and Retreat scores of three.  The former has 140 HP and the latter only 130.  Black & White 83/114 has bad attacks; for (CC) you can flip three coins and for each “heads” add a card from your discard pile to your hand.  For (CCCC) it can only hit for 90 and also can’t attack the next turn.  The smaller BW: Dark Explorers 88/108 also has dud attacks: (CCC) does just 40 unless the Defending Pokémon has a Special Energy attached, in which case it hits for 80.  The second attack for (CCCC) only hits for 60, while reducing the damage it takes the next turn by 30.  You can skip both of these.

 

In A Deck: I think this could have a legitimate, competitive deck built around it.  The biggest hurdle?  The tendency for people to search out One Deck To Rule Them All and run it... and that while the format has begun diversifying, a lot of that diversity is playing the same cards different ways.  Seeing so many potent cards that are bad not because of the top cards in the format... but because it is too risky to run something else.  If the format were more diverse, there would be lower odds of a card like this encountering most of what dooms it.

At least, that is a current hypothesis of mine; feel free to disregard it, in which case several things hamper the effectiveness of this card; Pokémon Catcher makes it impossible to have a Bench without providing an easy answer to shutting of Sentinel; Fighting Weakness is quite crippling, and the decks we have hit so very hard so very fast that focusing on a Stage 2 as your Active is pretty daunting.

I still think it worth experimenting with; like Golurk, if you make this work, if you discover what the rest of us are missing (assuming it exists), then you would have one of the most terrifying decks in the format.  My suggestion is to  tank Stoutland, backing it with disruptive Items and healing (plus Giant Cape and Aspertia City Gym) while backing it with Tornadus EX (Dark Explorers 90/108, 108/108).  Tornadus EX cannot and should not hit the field until one is ready to break the lock... like when you are starting down strong Fighting-Type Pokémon.

 

Other Formats

Unlimited: You could use it for a hard to set up but hard to escape lockdown deck backing it with some of the Pokémon that block Items from the Bench.  Thanks to cards like Broken Time Space, if you aren’t taken out by a rival lock or a first turn win deck, it could work... but this format doesn’t rely heavily on Supporters and you have simpler alternatives if you don’t mind locking down your own Trainers or relying on coin flips.

Limited: Here the Ability isn’t a big deal as decks have few Supporters, often none or just one, so you’re relying on its HP and attack power, which are functionally better because most Evolutions pulled can’t be run and its capacity to run on any Energy.  Just be wary of its Fighting-Type Weakness, and low odds of getting it out unless you pull a fleshed out line.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1.75/5 

Modified: 2.25/5 

Limited: 3.25/5 

Summary

Stoutland has a fantastic Ability but seems to lack the durability or attack to go with it.  All bark and no bite you might say... fortunately I won’t end the review on that; this card should be looked at again with future releases, as we get an anti-Item Supporter, Item based Energy acceleration, and more Item based disruption/damage boosting.  Of course, all these cards are also effective against Stoutland, and several coming cards will hurt it as well.


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