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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Skuntank

- Flashfire

Date Reviewed:
July 15, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.88
Limited: 3.25

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Skuntank (Flashfire) 

Skuntank is one of those relatively obscure Pokémon that still seems to get its fair share of cards printed. Sadly, none of them have ever been any good, with the single exception of Skuntank G from the SP era. 

Like most versions, this Skuntank is just a very average Stage 1 card, and that’s not a good thing to be in a format swarming with uber-powerful Basics and even a few solid Stage 2 Pokémon.  Yes, he’s got a couple of nice attack effects - the forced switch of Push Down, and the coin-flip Energy removal of Acid Spray – but neither is especially cheap to pay for, and the damage output (30 and 70, respectively) just isn’t going to get the job done against the 170+ HP monster which dominate the game. 

Basically, Skuntank is mediocre set-filler, and that is never going to earn him a place in any deck. There isn’t even a just-for-fun reason to use him. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.5 (there are 437 better Pokémon cards you could use)

Limited: 2.25 (kind of meh, even for limited)


aroramage

Hello again! Good to see you! How've you been? Great! We're here to take a look at a Gen IV Pokemon! Good thing he's just a card and not a real Pokemon, cause otherwise he'd...smell really bad. It's Skuntank, the Flamethrower-spewing Poison/Dark skunk Pokemon!

Although here in the TCG he's just a Dark-type, but that's been a strong type to be apart of since Dark Explorers. Can Skuntank live up to the power they've provided? Maybe, maybe not. His first attack, Push Down, does an okay 30 damage and forces the opponent to switch out their Active Pokemon. It's an interesting attack that can bring out a Bench sitter who doesn't normally attack and simultaneously set-up another Pokemon for later, provided nothing takes those 3 damage counters off till later.

Acid Spray does a bit more damage with a 50% chance to do more stuff. With 70 damage landing solidly, Skuntank can then potentially discard an Energy card attached to the active Pokemon. This can combo well with Push Down if the right Pokemon is brought out; all one has to do is Push Down to bring out a Bench sitter and then keep it in play with Acid Spray neutralizing any Energy the opponent might attach to it.

Now is this a good strategy? Well depends on the Bench sitter. This is great against Mr. Mime (PLF), since Acid Spray does enough to KO him regardless of Weakness and Resistance (though this Mr. Mime is Weak to Psychic anyway). Blastoise (BCR) and Emboar (LTR) both have large expensive attacks and retreat costs, but the opponent could just power them up for the attack using their Ability, use the energy to retreat (pfffft, yeah right, Float Stone (PLF) is so much better), or use a card like Keldeo-EX or Switch to bring out their other Pokemon that Skuntank just Pushed Down.

Skuntank has a better early game presence than a late game presence. If you can get him out and apply pressure to the opponent, Skuntank should be able to at least take out one Pokemon before going down. But remember, the later the game goes, the more likely Skuntank is just going to be OHKO'd.

Rating

Modified: 2.5/5 (great early game, but gets progressively weaker later on, making him less valuable)

Limited: 3.5/5 (being able to manipulate what's in the Active slot freely and potentially discard an Energy makes Skuntank a solid choice here)

Arora Notealus: Apparently he can spray up to 160 feet. That's a lot of stink!
FUN FACT: There is only 1 non-Dark Skuntank in the TCG, being Skuntank G from the Platinum set

Next time: I wear my sunglasses all day...THEY ARE MY EYES.


Otaku

So for my second attempt at reviewing a bit more concisely… well actually its my fourth attempt; I started with Friday’s card and am working backwards.  Today we’ll look at Skuntank (XY: Flashfire 55/106).  Its a Darkness-Type, meaning it will never face Resistance but only seldom enjoy hitting for Weakness and if it is worth using at all, will probably find itself in a deck that enjoys Darkness-Type support (which mostly means Dark Patch) and pseudo-Darkness-Type support like Darkrai-EX and its Dark Cloak (an Ability that works for anything with a source of Darkness Energy attached) and the basic synergy provided by many strong Darkness-Type attackers… though that latter bit may bite Skuntank in its presumably pungent posterior* if its only good at attacking. 

As a Stage 1, its going to take extra time and resources to get into play, at least when compared with the Basic Pokémon that still dominate the format (though by a significantly smaller margin than they used to).  On the bright side this means it gets around Intimidating Mane on Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106), which has become a definite boon after it proved itself (again) at the U.S. Nationals.  It isn’t a big Stage 1, with just 100 HP; 10 too much for Level Ball and 20 or 30 points to low to avoid being a probable OHKO for most decks that have set-up.  FIghting Weakness just makes it worse as they tend to hit hard relative to the Energy invested, and reliably, at least the ones that see play.  Even the small-but-useful Hammerhead attack on Landorus-EX is just a Muscle Band away from a OHKO, and after XY: Furious Fists Fighting-Types will just have even more support.  At least we get to see some Resistance, normally a rare sight: Psychic Resistance will only affect a few commonly played attackers and not by much, but its better than nothing.  The two Energy Retreat Cost will also rarely matter; most decks (not just Darkness-Type ones) will have something to lower the cost of or bypass manually retreating, though if you have to it falls into that odd area of being a noticeable but not severe setback. 

Its first attack - Pushback - requires (DC) while its second - Acid Spray - requires just one more Energy at (DCC).  In the typical Darkness-Type deck, these aren’t too hard to pay, even in a single turn.  Between Dark Patch and either Energy Switch or using Dark Cloak to retreat an Active out of the way for free (requires said Active has a source of Darkness Energy attached, of course), and possibly a Double Colorless Energy for Acid Spray (a more common play now due to Yveltal-EX), I wouldn’t call it easy but “manageable”.  Unfortunately Pushback just does 30 damage while forcing the opponent to change out his or her Active (you don’t chose what comes up) while Acid Spray just does 70 points of damage with a coin flip to discard an Energy from the Defending Pokémon.  The damage is low for either of them, and due to your opponent’s choice and the coin flip (respectively), the effects are unreliable and may ultimately make no difference.  You even might KO something in which case neither effect matters even when they technically “worked”!

Zoroark (BW: Dark Explorers 71/108; BW: Legendary Treasures 90/113) is a better and already established Stage 1 Darkness-Type attacker… but we don’t even have to go to it to find something better; there is Skuntank (BW: Dragons Exalted 77/124).  The differences between today’s version and the only other Standard legal Skuntank are that it has 10 less HP (actually an advantage while Level Ball remains legal), one less Retreat Cost (occasionally matters) and of course two different attacks.  The second is superior if you can’t use Double Colorless Energy; it costs (DDC) but without that shortcut I’ll take a guaranteed 10 more damage over a mere chance at discarding an Energy, though again not much of a difference.  The first attack though is Smogscreen, an attack we’ve seen multiple times before.  For just (D) you get 20 points of damage, Poison, and force the Pokémon you just attacked to flip a coin if it attacks you next turn (assuming nothing resets the effect). 

While that pales in comparison to the aforementioned Zoroark, its not without merit.  If you’re either on a budget or just wanting to mess around with less conventional cards, you could even build a deck around that, Virbank City Gym, and Dragalge (XY: Flashfire 71/106, XY Promo XY10), though Keldeo-EX, Switch, Escape Rope, and Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) or just an opponent that is really good at the Smogscreen flip will spoil it.  Still while running my own “budget” Darkness-Type deck on the PTCGO, I had to use Stunky (XY: Flashfire 53/106) as a “filler” Darkness-Type and it worked a lot better than expected; its Smokescreen attack is a no damage, no Poison version of Smogscreen.  It wasn’t good enough to keep in, but thanks to all the Items I was spamming, it sometimes could buy time for me to finish my own/disrupt my opponent’s set-up.  Needless to say, that’s the Stunky I recommend using with either Skuntank.

Ratings

 

Standard: 1.75/5 - At least it does “try” to do things, and with Darkness-Type support can do them relatively quickly, for an Evolution, but its significantly outclasses by other candidates… even ones that also weren’t quite good enough to warrant play. 

Limited: 4/5 - It might seem like a high score, but remember I am focused as much on how well it could do with how strongly I recommend you include it.  If you manage at least a 1-1 line, you need to somehow have no room for at least a few basic Darkness Energy and/or two more Pokémon, including running one big, Basic Pokémon plus 39 non Basic Pokémon cards.  Everything about this card is better in Limited, and even the preferred Stunky is part of this set. 

Casual: 2.5/5 - When your options are restricted due to your circumstances and not a true format and your opponent’s likely aren’t running the best of decks either, this isn’t a terrible choice, but it still seems wanting.  There are quite a few Darkness-Type Stage 1 Pokémon, including ones that aren’t still new and are of lower or equal Rarities. 

Summary: Another Stage 1 that isn’t worth running except out of desperation, but at least it isn’t as far as away as some examples, and both attacks have an effects and damage that are just a bit off of where they need to be.  Don’t sweat this one; it is highly unlikely we’ll get something that will make it “good” in the future. 

*I am aware that the very flavor text of this card states that Skuntank “fire” from the tip of their tail, and that even with their tails seemingly fused with their bodies, that probably means the section near the top of their head, the anterior.  I just like alliteration, and of course real skunks “fire” from that region.


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