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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.