Let’s begin the week by taking a look at
Sawk (BW: Plasma Blast
The only pun I can think of wasn’t even
funny to me so… hurry up and move to on
to the Stats!
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
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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
It will OHKO any natural Fighting
Weak Team Plasma Pokémon that is not a
Snorlax (BW: Plasma Storm
101/135), or a Pokémon-EX.
To be fair,
Thundurus EX is the only naturally
Fighting Weak Pokémon-EX.
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.
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.
If I’ve got my cards right for rotation,
there is only one other
Sawk that will remain Modified
legal: BW: Dragons Exalted
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
Sawk is closely associated with
Throh, but no
Throh reference each other.
The best combo for this card is to run
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.
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
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”.
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).
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
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
Silver Mirror (which
Sawk almost needs).
If you get a Pokémon-EX worth building a
“+39” deck build with (where it is the
only Pokémon), skip
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
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
This actually snuck onto my Top
12 list in the number 12 slot mostly
because I likely underestimated a few