If you are reading this, I forgot to
write an introduction.
Crustle starts of fairly strong by
being a Fighting-Type, allowing it to
hit most Colorless-, Darkness-, and
Electric-Type Pokémon for double damage.
Just remember that Fighting
Weakness is sees play through some
strong cards, and if we include some
lesser played cards, all three of those
Types normally Fighting Weak also could
instead sport Fighting Resistance.
Fighting-Types don’t have any true Type
Support, and the Energy support that
works for them can work with other
Indulging in a tangent, it is
interesting to note that as a
Bug/Rock-Type hybrid in the video games,
the other appropriate Type for
Crustle is Grass, a Type that
doesn’t see much play but would strike
the Weakness of a few significant cards.
Crustle is one of the cards begging
for the return of dual-Type cards to the
TCG; even with mediocre attacks it would
enjoy a great return!
Crustle is a Stage 1 Pokémon; in a
format dominated by Basic Pokémon, this
makes it slow.
It isn’t a lost cause; one turn
to Evolve and one extra card to reach
Crustle can work if
Crustle is very good, and/or we get
Dwebble from which to Evolve it.
I’ll cover the
Dwebble we do have in the
appropriate section later, as even if
none are worthwhile now, a future
release could help.
Crustle has 100 HP.
This is on the high end of
“average damage output” for most decks
that see play, at least once they are
properly set up.
Crustle can’t hit the field until a
player’s second turn at the earliest,
but the most aggressive decks (or simply
a lucky set-up) can still one-shot such
a score then.
Crustle is a unique case; the
Ability (discussed in its own section)
can prevent OHKOs, giving decent odds of
the opponent needing to 2HKO it.
This doesn’t really offset the HP
per se; the Ability isn’t guaranteed
protection and even if it was… it is an
Ability which means this card loses the
opportunity to have a second attack or a
That is before we consider if the
Ability might be why the HP is only 100
or may have resulted in a
The real irony is that the HP is either
20 to 30 points to low (for the format,
not for what you would expect of a
Crustle), or it is 10 points to
high; 90 HP would have made it a legal
Level Ball target, which given that
lower Stages seldom exceed the HP of a
higher Stage, would have been very
useful to this card.
light of the Ability, it was almost
certainly intentional to avoid such
Grass Weakness, as implied earlier, is
If you are hit by a Grass Weak
Pokémon, only the alluded to Ability
might save you (and Grass-Type Pokémon
are more likely to bypass it).
Still, this is far better than
several other Weakness options… in fact,
better than the three Types it is
actually Weak to in the video games (or
their TCG counterparts): Rock (a third
of Fighting), Steel (Metal), or Water
(half of the TCG Water-Type).
How odd, but it is to the benefit of
Perhaps my earlier implications
that the card was intentionally powered
down were wrong?
That or it is an odd oversight.
The lack of Resistance is justified
Bug/Rock-Type crosses are only
Resistant to two Types:
(half of Colorless) and Poison (a third
Much as I want Resistance to play
a larger role in the game, this is not
the card to push for it with.
Besides, it likely wouldn’t be a
significant advantage and the complete
lack of Resistance is so common it
Crustle at a true disadvantage.
Crustle has a massive Retreat score
You do not want to pay this, will
almost never be able to pay this without
destroying your in game set-up, and
actually being able to pay probably
means you could afford to attack.
Definitely make up your mind
whether to pack something to lower the
Retreat, something to bypass manually
retreating, something to enable the card
to “tank”, or (preferably) some
combination of at least two of the
The small bonus is that this makes the
card a legal
Heavy Ball target.
Unfortunately, as an Evolution
this is less useful because no
Dwebble has a similar Retreat.
Here is the reason I suggested we look
at this card; Sturdy is based on the
video game Ability of the same name, and
does an adequate job of representing it
in the TCG.
There is negates OHKO moves while
also granting similar effects to
Focus Sash… which allows a Pokémon
to survive any attack with 1 HP,
provided it was at full health before
As the TCG doesn’t do single-point
increments, if this
Crustle has no damage counters on
it, an attack can only reduce it to 10
HP (and of course, attacks that hit for
less damage do their damage normally).
It also doesn’t offer protection
from effects of attacks that
automatically KO your Pokémon, which do
exist in the TCG but are rare; given
that it would have made the text longer
and not added much, I can see why it was
All in all, this is quite a useful
effect, though a clever opponent can and
will bypass it if you give them any room
to; spread damage (even single Bench
bonus sniping damage) completely
undermine Sturdy, and as
Crustle is a Stage 1 Pokémon your
opponent might simple OHKO or at least
Dwebble, making Sturdy useless.
Special Conditions (plus a few
Abilities) are going to be a problem as
well; a Poisoned or Burned
Crustle can be KOed between turns,
even if Sturdy saved it from being
Stone Edge is not a good attack.
It isn’t horrible, but it
requires (FFC) for a mere 70 points of
damage and a coin flip that inflicts an
extra 20 points if “heads”.
If the attack had simply hit for
a flat 90, this would have made the card
much more effective, able to reliably
OHKO anything Fighting Weak, barring
miscellaneous protective effects
(including HP boosts).
That coin flip means half the time you
won’t quite do it.
The Energy costs don’t help
either; it isn’t impossible to pay, but
without some form of acceleration even
Sturdy won’t keep
Crustle alive… er… prevent
Crustle from being KOed before it
The attack also lacks all but the
most basic synergy (at least it still
hits for a guaranteed 70) with Sturdy.
There are three
Dwebble and two other
Crustle to consider.
The choices for
Dwebble are BW: Noble Victories
7/101, BW: Dark Explorers 6/108,
and BW: Boundaries Crossed
The other options for
Crustle are BW: Noble Victories
8/101 and BW: Dark Explorers
Not a single member of the card
family has Resistance (see above), and
Dwebble have Retreat scores of two
while both other
Crustle share today’s Retreat of
BW: Noble Victories
7/101 and BW: Dark Explorers
6/108 are Basic, Grass-Type Pokémon with
60 HP, Fire Weakness, and two attacks.
The former can flip a coin to
avoid all damage done by an opponent’s
attacks next turn for (C) or hit for 20
points of damage at a cost of (GC).
The latter simply can attack for
10 at a cost of (G) or 30 at a cost of
BW: Boundaries Crossed
84/149 is a Basic, Fighting-Type Pokémon
with 70 HP, Grass-Type Resistance, and a
single attack (Flail) that does 10
points of damage per damage counter on
For alternative versions of
Crustle, both are Stage 1 Grass-Type
Pokémon with Fire Weakness and two
BW: Noble Victories 8/101
has 100 HP and for (GC) hits for a 20/70
split (based on a coin toss) or can hit
for 80 with 10 points of self damage at
a cost of (GCC).
BW: Dark Explorers 7/108
has 110 HP and hits for 30 points of
damage at a cost of (GC) or 70 (with 20
more to an opponent’s Benched Pokémon of
your choice) for (GCC).
Unfortunately, none of these cards are
I would not bother with
Dwebble BW: Dark Explorers
6/108 or either alternate
Crustle at all.
The latter is really a shame;
while today’s version doesn’t have the
most splashable attack, having a
Grass-Type version that did would have
greatly strengthened the duo, given that
together they would be able to hit at
least one important Pokémon in most
prominent decks for double damage.
(BW: Noble Victories 7/101) may
only have a 50% chance of blocking
damage, but that is important to today’s
Crustle, while BW: Boundaries
Crossed 84/149 is simply the best
due to its HP, Typing, and decent
It is hardly idea but it can
catch unwary opponents off guard and
gives me a deck idea.
Unfortunately, having a wide Bench of
support diminishes the return from
Crustle, because an opponent can
bypass Sturdy with less effort.
Darkrai EX (BW: Dark Explorers
63/108, 107/108; BW Promo BW46)
will prove frustrating if it dings a
Dwebble on the Bench, forcing you to
heal 30 or miss out on Sturdy.
So is there any way to play this card?
Hypnotoxic Laser (BW: Plasma
Storm 123/135) will more or less
completely nerf this strategy, and it
should be street legal
February 6th, 2013
(eight days from when this review is
scheduled to go up).
Still, if you want a fun deck
before it hits that can shock certain
competitive decks, here’s how.
Dwebble (BW: Boundaries Crossed
As stated, this card has “Flail”
in addition to 70 HP.
The goal is to wait until you
Crustle with 10 HP left, then drop a
Celebi EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed
9/149, 141/149) to the Bench (and
Double Colorless Energy onto
Crustle) for a quick 90 point whack
(possibly 110 if your opponent hits hard
enough and you are packing
You will also want
Celebi EX, and even some
Grass Energy cards, because you’ll
need it to attack at some points.
Max Potion and
PlusPower are also strongly
Your opponent will be tempted to
go for a OHKO against
Celebi, but for many decks this will
be dangerous; your opponent takes a
quick two Prizes, but if they have
Fighting Weakness especially, dropping a
second copy allows for another 90 point
You have to constantly be exploiting
Weakness, but if you do you have an
actual chance at winning.
Odds are poor if you aren’t
hitting for Weakness, of course… but for
the many matches where you are you
really do have a shot.
Either breaking even or getting
ahead in Prizes and Energy.
Hypnotoxic Laser shuts this deck
down, however, which is a pity as
Ether (BW: Plasma Storm
Pokédex might have made it more than
just a fun deck… and
Ether was originally expected in
BW: Boundaries Crossed.
This will seem a bit bizarre, but you
can build a competent deck here.
“Competent” means you are
accepting that first turn win decks and
serious lock decks will do what they are
meant to do; auto win (barring player
error or improbably bad luck) if they go
Once you get past that, you can
enjoy dropping cards like
Broken Time-Space to Evolve in a
single turn first turn (well, I think
they didn’t reverse the rulings for
that), several Pokémon Tools that can
Crustle in a variety of ways (and
cover several vulnerabilities), and a
Bench consisting of (ideally) four
Slowking (Neo Genesis 14/114)
You even have cards like
Double Rainbow Energy and
Scramble Energy to help with using
the normal attack.
All of that is still merely
“competent” in Unlimited.
It can’t compare to running
Landorus EX (BW: Boundaries
Crossed 89/149, 144/149) and 39
Fighting Energy, but
Dwebble from this set are good and
great pulls for Limited, respectively.
Hitting Fighting Weakness is
useful, though you will need to mind
Fighting Resistance and Grass Weakness.
Dwebble can fit into any deck, a
unless your opponent is running a
Grass-Type or otherwise has a serious
attack ready to go, Flail should serve
you well in any deck.
will require the deck run nearly a third
to half of its Energy as
Fighting Energy, but the return is
there if the rest of what you pull isn’t
overly specific-Energy-Type hungry.
Sturdy won’t kick in often, but
everything else about the card (other
than Weakness) becomes better here.
BW: Boundaries Crossed
was so weakened by the cards cut
expected to be in it but were instead
moved to BW: Plasma Storm, that
Crustle nearly made my Top 10; not
because I thought it to be so good, but
because we had a handful of great cards,
a few good cards, and everything else
seemed so wanting.
I do wish I had pushed to review
this sooner; I didn’t recognize a fun
deck (that might have made for a
long-shot rogue deck) until I sat down
to review this card.
Crustle has will be dashed by
If it had just a little bit
better of an attack, instead of mourning
what might have been, it would just be
the passing of a single deck… and even
that isn’t certain; long time players
Lum Berry and
Miracle Berry; Pokémon Tools that
removed Special Conditions Between
Once I was reminded of their
existence, I was a bit surprised we
didn’t get them back in this set-block.
I wonder if they might show up in
a few sets.