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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Cradily  

- Plasma Blast

Date Reviewed:
September 4, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.0
Limited: 2.25

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

Cradily (Plasma Blast) 

Cradily probably has even more combo potential than the Sigilyph we looked at yesterday. The key word here though is ‘potential’. It is entirely possible (even probable) that it will never be realized in a competitive setting. 

So, what do we get with this card? It’s a Restored Stage 1 Pokémon, but the pain of getting it into play is somewhat mitigated by the Prehistoric Call Ability of the Basic (which allows you to put it at the bottom of your deck if it’s in the discard pile) and the existence of Caitlin (which is another way to get Lileep to the bottom of the deck). Either of these methods makes the use of Root Fossil Lileep a little easier. 

The reason why you would want to get Cradily into play in the first place? Well, it’s not the worse-than-mediocre Spiral Drain attack, but the far more interesting Lifesplosion (seriously, where are they getting these names?). This costs a single Grass Energy, but then for each Energy attached, you can take a Stage 2 Pokémon from your deck and put it straight on to your Bench. This is slightly reminiscent of the old Garchomp LV X’s Restore attack and offers the same kind of strategy, aiming to fill the bench with powerful Stage 2 Pokémon without going through the hassle of having to evolve them and devote space to their Basics. 

Sounds great in theory (and there has been a lot of theory done involving Cradily), but in practice? To say I have doubts would be severely underselling my pessimism about this card. For one thing, even with Lileep and Caitlin, it’s still a pain to get Cradily into play and attach multiple Energy to it. For another, unlike Garchomp LV X, it offers no Energy acceleration so you are stuck with finding more room for that or using only Stage 2s with very cheap attacks. Finally (and this is the most important thing), the turns, effort, and resources you devote to getting Cradily on the Field would be much better spent on just evolving your Stage 2s the normal way. Piplup/Rare Candy/Empoleon (for example) is still easier to pull off than Caitlin/Ultra Ball plus Lileep/Root Fossil/Cradily will ever be. 

Cradily is the perfect example of the fancy play/combotastic card that promises much but isn’t going to be allowed to deliver by the many, many fast and powerful decks that dominate the format right now. You want something fun and flashy to play casually? Then you may have found your card. You want something to perform consistently in a competitive environment? Look elsewhere. 

Rating 

Modified: 2 (it’s not wrong to like this card, but please be realistic about its chances)

Limited: 2.5 (you need to pull really well to even get the combo pieces, but I guess it could work here)


Otaku

Cradily (BW: Plasma Blast 4/101) is a Grass-Type Stage 1 Pokémon.  The Grass-Type recently got some pseudo-support e.g. cards that behoove a Grass-Type deck or Grass-Type attackers but are not restricted to Grass-Type Pokémon, such as cards that reward (G) Type Energy.  Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135) and Keldeo EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 49/149, BW: Boundaries Crossed 142/149; BW Promo BW61) are still popular Grass Weak Pokémon and Resistance is non-existent.  Being an Evolution is a drawback right now, made extra bad as this Evolves from a Restored Pokémon, a non-Evolved Pokémon that can only be played with the effect of another card. 

120 HP for a Stage 1 isn’t bad except as I pointed out, this Evolves from a Restored Pokémon, causing it to function closer to a Stage 2 in many respects; so requiring two cards to get out something that is not an easy OHKO but definitely is an easy 2HKO is much less appealing than a Stage 1 that just requires Evolving from a Basic Pokémon.  The Fire Weakness is tolerable as Fire-Types don’t see a huge amount of play right now (though if it became necessary there are still options to work into deck) and the Water Resistance is handy but will just make Cradily harder to OHKO (as opposed to making it “hard” to OHKO).  Finishing off the “bottom stats” is the Retreat Cost of (CC); too expensive to easily afford for most decks, too low for Heavy Ball to target, but fortunately most decks should be packing a Retreat alternative or cost reducer. 

The first attack on Cradily is what catches my eye… so I am going to look at the second attack, Spiral Drain first; not to be contrary, but the nature of said first attack means that Spiral Drain needs to also be “good” as a means of effectively reducing the cost of the first attack (more on that next paragraph).  For (GCC) Spiral Drain only does 60 points of damage while healing 20 points of damage from Cradily.  This doesn’t allow Cradily to significantly slow down how quickly it is KOed or to maintain the standard pace of KOs against your opponent.  It is better than nothing or many “worse” attacks, but it isn’t a “good” attack in and of itself. 

Life Explosion requires (G) to use and allows you to search your deck for a Stage 2 Pokémon for each Energy attached to Cradily and play it to your Bench.  This attack is powerful, but you are paying a hefty price.  How so?  Even getting out a single Stage 2 Pokémon via this attack, you are using a total of five cards (Lileep, the card used to get Lileep into play, Cradily itself, a source of (G) Energy, and the Stage 2 Pokémon itself) as well as waiting a turn to Evolve Lileep into Cradily, an Energy attachment, and of course an attack.  Some of these costs can be partially mitigated, but as the Energy used for the attack is likely gone: Spiral Drain isn’t really worth using, moving Energy off of Cradily to another Pokémon will be difficult, and Cradily only has 120 HP.

Cradily Evolves from Lileep which can only be put into play by either Root Fossil Lileep or Twist Mountain.  Only Lileep (BW: Plasma Blast 3/101), a Restored Grass-Type Pokémon with 80 HP, an Ability, and an attack.  The Ability is useful as it allows you to put Lileep on the bottom of your deck if it is in your discard pile.  It has a weaker Spiral Drain for (GC) that does 20 points of damage while healing 10, which is even worse than the version Cradily has.  It has the same bottom stats as Cradily, with similar results (though I consider the Retreat Cost even worse for smaller Pokémon).  Root Fossil Lileep is an Item that allows you to look at the bottom seven cards of your deck and play one Lileep you find there (if you find one) to your Bench (it hasn’t proven very effective).  Twist Mountain allows you to Bench a Restored Pokémon to your Bench on a successful coin toss once per turn, and is better but not by much. 

So putting it all together means you have a very expensive and unreliable “combo” just to get a Stage 2 Pokémon into without using the normal means of Evolution.  This isn’t a savings of time if you count Cradily having to Evolve into Cradily itself (though you wouldn’t have to risk lower HP Basic Pokémon this way, just Lileep) and with how much you are investing you have to be getting multiple Stage 2 Pokémon into play in order to come out ahead in speed and advantage… and now we run into the problem that so far, a deck using this combo has no Basic Pokémon!  Unlike many TCGs, Pokémon neither has you start with your required “creature” in play nor are you allowed to have no “creatures” in play. 

Ratings 

Unlimited: While this would enable some spectacular combos and some of its drawbacks would be addressed, ultimately it isn’t worth the hassle when making any serious attempt at competitive play. 1/5 

Modified: While this would enable some spectacular combos, the cost is too steep so it isn’t worth the hassle when making any serious attempt at competitive play. 1/5 

Limited: How bizarre is it that this is the card’s best format?  The slower pacing means you just need to get some decent Stage 2 Pokémon (which are often dead cards but powerful) and of course successfully get Lileep and Cradily out (if that is even possible).  So if you get what you need (and remember, you’ll still need some Basic Pokémon to buy you time and make the deck legal), this can give you a powerful but fragile deck. 2/5 

Summary

The good news is that the-powers-that-be within the game have learned that accelerating Evolution is problematic; Cradily isn’t the new Broken-Time Space.  The bad news is that instead of ditching or fixing the problematic Restored Pokémon mechanic (how about we stop making this “distinction” at all because Fossil cards weren’t really any better?), we got a bad attempt at “helping” Evolutions.  Yes, the idea sounds like crazy fun at first, but if this had been successful… is there anyway it wouldn’t have been broken, given the games current power level?


Jason Klaczynski
"Ness"
Three-Time World Champion

Had this at #10 on this Top 10 List for Plasma Blast.

Cradily

Instantly putting Stage 2s on to your bench will allow for some insanely powerful combos!

virusyosh

Happy midweek, Pojo readers! We're reviewing some good/hyped cards from Plasma Blast that didn't quite make our Top 10 countdown lists over the next two weeks, and today's Card is a Pokemon with interesting abilities, but no real place in the metagame...yet. Today's Card of the Day is Cradily.
 
Cradily is a Stage 1 Grass Pokemon. Grass-types got a major boost in Plasma Blast with the release of Virizion-EX and Genesect-EX; however, Cradily will often be operating in its own deck. 120 HP is good on a Stage 1, though it's important to note that Cradily's lower form, Lileep, starts off as a Fossil, so there is some degree of difficulty in getting Cradily out. Fire Weakness isn't too big of a problem right now (but could be in the future), Water Resistance is good against Blastoise, Kyurem, and Keldeo; and a Retreat Cost of two is about what we'd expect here: not too expensive to pay, but you'll still probably want something like Switch or Float Stone.
 
Cradily has two attacks. Lifesplosion is what makes Cradily interesting: for the cost of a single Grass Energy, you may search your deck for a Stage 2 Pokemon and put it onto your Bench for each Energy attached to Cradily, shuffling afterward. Note that the Stage 2s are still considered Stage 2s (not Basics), so effects that would normally affect Basic Pokemon will not work on them. However, this is an awesome way to cheat out multiple Stage 2s at a time, and many people will undoubtedly try to break this by making a Cradily/Stage 2 toolbox deck. Unfortunately, there aren't many good Stage 2 attacks right now in Modified, so time will tell to see if this sort of deck is viable.
 
The second attack, Spiral Drain, does 60 damage while healing 20 from Cradily for a Grass and two Colorless. Nothing impressive by any means, but since you'll be using Cradily primarily for Lifesplosion, it doesn't have to be anything too impressive.
 
Modified: 3/5 This rating is mostly based on potential, as there are many good utility Pokemon but very few good attacking Stage 2s in Modified right now. Lifesplosion is somewhat hard to activate given the difficulty in getting Cradily out, powering up the attack, and then filling the Bench, but the potential is definitely there, especially if we get some better Stage 2s in the X&Y sets. That being said, given how fast most Basic-based decks are these days, Cradily may be too slow in general to set up and compete in a fast, hard-hitting metagame.
 
Limited: 3.5/5 Being a Fossil really hurts Cradily in Limited, as getting them out without dedicated support is difficult. Additionally, Lifesplosion probably won't be quite as useful as it would be otherwise, since you won't have that many Stage 2s in your deck anyway. Finally, Spiral Drain is definitely usable here, as the healing definitely gives Cradily a bit of bulk. If you're running Grass and get a few interesting Stage 2s, you should probably give Cradily a try.


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