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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Crustle

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed:
January 29, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.67
Limited: 2.05

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Crustle (Boundaries Crossed) 

In the video games, Crustle is a Bug/Rock Type Pokémon. In the TCG, it seems as if they can’t decide whether this should translate to him being a Grass or a Fighting Type.

This version is a Fighting Type Stage 1 with a mediocre 100 HP. The Typing is actually nice here as Fighting can hit some key cards for Weakness (Darkrai-EX, most notably), and the Grass Weakness is almost as good as having no Weakness at all. Retreat cost of three can be a pain, but at least it means that Crustle is searchable with Heavy Ball. 

The main attraction with this card is the Sturdy Ability. This states that if Crustle has no damage counters on it, it can’t be OHKO’d by an attack, but is left with 10 HP instead. This Ability can be ridiculously annoying in the video game as it prevents you from just blitzing through all those Geodude and Boldore you meet in caves, but in the TCG? Well it can perform the same function of keeping Crustle around for another turn but this is likely to be a source of irritation for your opponent rather than a winning strategy. 

The reason for this is that even if you keep Crustle on the Field, it really doesn’t pose much of a threat. It’s only attack, Stone Edge, is somewhat expensive (two Fighting and one Colourless Energy) and only does 70 damage with a coin flip chance of 20 more. So, if you want it to take down an EX, it needs successful flips on consecutive turns. That is, of course if it can use its Ability to survive, which it won’t be able to do if the opponent plays Hypnotoxic Laser and finishes it off with Poison damage. Even if it does take two turns to KO, the attack cost is far too high to keep putting up a fresh Crustle every two turns, making it an easy card to just overwhelm. 

The other option would be to continuously restore Crustle to full health, but this isn’t very practical. Gold Potion is an ACE SPEC so you only get one use of it (unless you want to chance Recycle), Potion would require you to use three at once, Max Potion would discard Energy and leave Crustle unable to attack. The only other option I can think of is to have four Royal Heal Serperior on the Field and  . . . yeah . . . not going to happen. For Sturdy to be of use in the TCG it would need to be on a much faster Pokémon. Sadly, Crustle lacks the necessary attack to make it a worthwhile competitive choice in Modified. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.75 (gimmick only, I’m afraid)

Limited: 2.25 (ironically, OHKOs are less likely here so Sturdy won’t often activate)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Crustle
 
Crustle is a Stage 1 Fighting Pokemon with 100 HP.  It is weak to Grass and has a retreat cost of 3.  It is searchable by Heavy Ball.
 
'Sturdy' is an ability where if Crustle has full HP and gets Knocked out, it instead remains with 10 HP.  Unfotrunately this ability isn't good at all in the current format.  With splash damage running rampant (Darkrai and Landorus), 30 will easily find its way onto Crustle, effectively negating its ability.  Also, this being a numbers game, 100 HP is in that weird spot where most attacks won't OHKO it.  Sticking with those two as examples, they do 90 and 80 damage with their attacks.  Once again, Crustle's ability is voided.  There are a few cases, like Hydreigon and and all Water Keldeo, where Crustle can use its ability.  However, those decks have other Pokemon that can get around the ability.  Even if the ability is used, you can't use it again unless you heal 90 HP off of it...
 
'Stone Edge' costs 2 Fighting and 1 Colorless energy.  It does 70, and if heads, 90 damage.  Not a great attack, but a heads can OHKO Darkrai.  It also OHKOs Bouffalant no matter what you flip.  I'd much rather it just do 90 and have no effect.
 
I don't see a reason to run this.  Why would I want to keep Crustle alive when it has such a mediocre attack?  Maybe if it had Flail, then it'd be somewhat better.  When thinking about this ability, I was considering ways to get around it.  Hypnotoxic Laser.  This also nulls Crustle's ability.  Play it, then attack for 100+.  Crustle goes to 10 HP, Poison kicks in, it gets Knocked out.  The end.
 
Modified: 1/5
Limited: 2/5
Combos With:  ...
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


Otaku

If you are reading this, I forgot to write an introduction.

 

Stats

 

Type: 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 Types.  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!

 

Stage: 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 a good 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.

 

Hit Points: 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.

 

However 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 different Ability.  That is before we consider if the Ability might be why the HP is only 100 or may have resulted in a less-than-optimal attack.

 

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.  In light of the Ability, it was almost certainly intentional to avoid such convenience.

 

Weakness: Grass Weakness, as implied earlier, is largely safe.  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 Crustle.  Perhaps my earlier implications that the card was intentionally powered down were wrong?  That or it is an odd oversight.

 

Resistance: The lack of Resistance is justified here.  Bug/Rock-Type crosses are only Resistant to two Types: Normal (half of Colorless) and Poison (a third of Psychic).  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 doesn’t put Crustle at a true disadvantage.

 

Retreat: Crustle has a massive Retreat score of three.  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 preceding.

 

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.

 

Effects

 

Ability: 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 the attack.

 

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 left out.

 

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 damage 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 technically OHKOed.

 

Attack: 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 can attack.  The attack also lacks all but the most basic synergy (at least it still hits for a guaranteed 70) with Sturdy.

 

Usage

 

Card Family: 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 84/149.  The other options for Crustle are BW: Noble Victories 8/101 and BW: Dark Explorers 7/108.  Not a single member of the card family has Resistance (see above), and all three Dwebble have Retreat scores of two while both other Crustle share today’s Retreat of three.

 

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 (GCC).  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 itself.

 

For alternative versions of Crustle, both are Stage 1 Grass-Type Pokémon with Fire Weakness and two attacks.  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 overly impressive.  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.

 

Dwebble (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 attack.  It is hardly idea but it can catch unwary opponents off guard and gives me a deck idea.

 

Modified: Unfortunately, having a wide Bench of support diminishes the return from Crustle, because an opponent can bypass Sturdy with less effort.  Something like 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?  Yes… but 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.

 

Combine Crustle with Dwebble (BW: Boundaries Crossed 84/149).  As stated, this card has “Flail” in addition to 70 HP.  The goal is to wait until you have a Crustle with 10 HP left, then drop a Celebi EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 9/149, 141/149) to the Bench (and probably a Double Colorless Energy onto Crustle) for a quick 90 point whack (possibly 110 if your opponent hits hard enough and you are packing Giant Cape).

 

You will also want Eviolite for 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 recommended.  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 whack.

 

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 121/135) and Pokédex might have made it more than just a fun deck… and Ether was originally expected in BW: Boundaries Crossed.

 

Unlimited: 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 first.  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 beef up Crustle in a variety of ways (and cover several vulnerabilities), and a Bench consisting of (ideally) four Slowking (Neo Genesis 14/114) and one Celebi EX.

 

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.

 

Limited: It can’t compare to running Landorus EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 89/149, 144/149) and 39 Fighting Energy, but Crustle and 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.

 

Crustle 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.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 2/5

 

Modified: 1.8/5

 

Limited: 4/5

 

 

Summary

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.

 

Whatever potential Crustle has will be dashed by Hypnotoxic Laser.  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 will remember Lum Berry and Miracle Berry; Pokémon Tools that removed Special Conditions Between turns.  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.


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