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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Sawk   

- Plasma Blast

Date Reviewed:
September 9, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.37
Limited: 4.00

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

Sawk (Plasma Blast) 

Hello, and welcome to another week of reviews here on Pojo’s CotD. We are continuing to look at some of the cards that just missed our ‘best of’ list for the set, and we kick off the week with Sawk. 

If Plasma Freeze and Plasma Storm established Team Plasma decks as a force to be reckoned with, Plasma Blast seems to be the set that provides the answers. Today’s Pokémon is intended to be a straight up pain in the neck for Plasma decks: it’s a 90 HP Fighting-Type Basic with one vanilla filler attack which we can safely ignore, and one which deserves closer attention. 

Kick of Righteousness (what?) costs just one Energy of any Colour (meaning Sawk will fit into more or less any deck) and has a puny base damage of 10. What makes it interesting though is that when the Defending Pokémon is Plasma, it does an extra 40 damage. Now 50 damage, even at that cost, won’t necessarily worry a Kyurem, Genesect, or Deoxys, but when you factor in Weakness, it will OHKO an Absol and two-shot a Thundurus-EX for a ridiculously low amount of Energy. As most Plasma decks play those cards, Sawk looks like it might be a worthwhile inclusion, if your area is swarming with Plasma. On the other hand, most decks will already be able to accomplish what Sawk does, even if they can’t do it as cheaply or as quickly.  

Sawk is a decent anti-Plasma card, but most players will likely overlook him in order to concentrate on their core strategy. If he could actually one-shot Thundurus, things would have been different, but as it stands, he’s maybe not quite good enough. 

Rating 

Modified: 2.75 (not the best Plasma counter in the set by a long way)

Limited: 3 (solid Basic, and there is a reasonable amount of Plasma in the set) 


Otaku

Let’s begin the week by taking a look at Sawk (BW: Plasma Blast 52/101)

 

The only pun I can think of wasn’t even funny to me so… hurry up and move to on to the Stats!

 

Stats

 

Type: Sawk is a Fighting-Type, making it very useful for striking Weakness; nearly all Lightning-Type, most Colorless-Type and most Darkness-Type Pokémon are Fighting Weak.  Unfortunately Fighting Resistance is also one of the more common forms of Resistance, and most of the Pokémon of the above Types that aren’t Fighting Weak are instead Fighting Resistant.  As Weakness doubles damage while Resistance merely drops damage by 20, Weakness benefits the attacking Type significantly more than Defense does the Defending Type.

 

We did just get one piece of Fighting-Type support, but unfortunately it is on a Stage 2 Pokémon.  Machamp (BW: Plasma Blast 49/101) has an Ability that allows your Fighting-Type Pokémon to bypass Resistance… which isn’t remotely worth running a Stage 2 Pokémon for and so doesn’t really matter.  Overall being a Fighting-Type is good, but that is due to the rules for Weakness being so unbalanced.

 

Stage: Sawk is a Basic Pokémon, the best Stage there is for Modified.  Unless you’re brand new to the game, you know the drill; Basic Pokémon take less space in the deck, are faster and easier to put into play, are required for your deck to be legal because only they can be played during set-up (and you have to begin the game with at least one Pokémon in play), naturally function better with cards that target Pokémon in the deck or discard (one and done), and also enjoy support specifically for them.

 

Hit Points: Sawk has 90 HP, which isn’t enough to make it a hard OHKO.  90 is the most it can have an still be a legal Level Ball target, and while it isn’t a hard OHKO at least it isn’t easy, either: a deck will usually need to be at least half set-up to do it, either because they require a combo (such as on the first turn) or require an attacker be fully powered-up.

 

Weakness: Normally, a low(ish) HP makes Weakness less relevant, but 90 HP puts Sawk in line for an easy OHKO by Mewtwo EX and Deoxys EX if Sawk has any Energy attached to it, though Deoxys EX will need a Plasma Energy to trigger its effect or another effect to boost it.  Unsurprisingly, if a Psychic Pokémon is actually meant to attack, it should hit for enough to OHKO or effectively OHKO Sawk.

 

Resistance: No Resistance is the worst Resistance, and since the Darkness-Type is purely made up of video game Dark-Type Pokémon (which the video game Fighting-Type is Resistant to) there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for this.

 

Retreat: A single Energy Retreat Cost is good; it is easy to pay and without setting you back a lot; plus anything that reduces its will have to zero it out.

 

Effects

 

Attack#1: Kick of Righteousness requires (C) and does just 10 points of damage… unless you are attacking a Team Plasma Pokémon with it, in which case it does 10+40, and before Weakness.  An effective 50 for (C) is good, even if it is only against a key match-up.  It will OHKO any natural Fighting Weak Team Plasma Pokémon that is not a Stage 2, Snorlax (BW: Plasma Storm 101/135), or a Pokémon-EX.  To be fair, Thundurus EX is the only naturally Fighting Weak Pokémon-EX.

 

Attack#2: For (FCC) Sawk can attack with Low Sweep which does 60 points of damage, which is very poor for that price.  For three Energy normally one needs to hit for 70 and have a decent effect, but this is just a flat 60 and is somewhat higher quality filler attack, as at least it only requires one specific Type of Energy and the remaining two costs can be covered by several forms of Energy acceleration.

 

Synergy: These attacks work together a little but, but not enough; Low Sweep can let you hit anything for 60, but it really needed to be priced at more like (CC) so that a single Energy was enough, because you’ll have to power it up in a single turn or have something more valuable for your opponent to KO to warrant investing that heavily on this Pokémon.

 

Usage

 

Card Family: If I’ve got my cards right for rotation, there is only one other Sawk that will remain Modified legal: BW: Dragons Exalted 69/124.  It is exactly the same as today’s CotD except for the damage and effects of its attacks.  For (C) it can use Defensive Stance, healing 30 points of damage off of itself and allowing you to Bench it.  For (FCC) it can hit for 70 less 10 points of damage for every damage counter on it.  In short, it is a pretty bad card.  Sawk is closely associated with Throh, but no Sawk or Throh reference each other.

 

Combos: The best combo for this card is to run it with Silver Bangle or Silver Mirror… yes, again!  Silver Bangle allows Sawk to nearly OHKO a Thundurus EX, which isn’t overly impressive but isn’t bad, and harass the other Fighting Weak Pokémon-EX; 40 x 2 = 80, after all.  With a Silver Mirror, though, Sawk is terrifying to any Team Plasma Pokémon… but then again so is pretty much anything else.  So are these real combos?

 

Yes, but only if you already run Silver Mirror or Silver Bangle and then really want to hit Team Plasma Pokémon/Fighting Weakness.  That isn’t going to be a common thing, but it is a thing.  The key is one Basic Pokémon, one of the above Pokémon Tools, and one Energy/attachment to do “something”.  Even an Sawk without boosting is irritating to a Team Plasma Pokémon, delivering a solid hit for one Energy, enough to set-up/finish off a KO (and even more so when exploiting Weakness).

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: Unneeded here; most decks either use a combo to win or lock the opponent down first turn, or hit so hard that the only reason it isn’t purely OHKOs are checks against older protective effects and cards like “the Baby Rule” printed on the Neo and e-Card block “Baby” Pokémon or Focus Band. 1/5

  

Modified: Sawk might work its way into key decks, but odds aren’t good as there are a lot more important cards to pop in before it, including another Team Plasma Counter, Silver Mirror (which Sawk almost needs). 2/5

 

Limited: If you get a Pokémon-EX worth building a “+39” deck build with (where it is the only Pokémon), skip Sawk.  Otherwise run it; 90 HP is “big” here, the set has a decent amount of Team Plasma Pokémon, Righteous Edge works with any Energy-Type, and most builds should be able to afford the three or four Fighting Energy you’ll need to use Low Sweep (which is also better performing here). 4.9/5

 

Summary

Sawk wishes it were released in BW: Plasma Storm or BW: Plasma Freeze so that it had a time to be a Team Plasma counter before we got Silver Mirror.  This actually snuck onto my Top 12 list in the number 12 slot mostly because I likely underestimated a few other cards.


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