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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Slaking

- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 15, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.93
Expanded: 2.05
Limited: 3.17

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

Slaking (Furious Fists) 

This printing of Slaking comes with the always-interesting Amnesia attack (sometimes it appears on cards as Torment) which lets you choose one of the Defending Pokémon’s attacks and stop them from using it next turn. 

Attacks like Amnesia are sometimes considered by players as having the potential to disrupt some of the most powerful Pokémon in a format. Some will only have a single attack (Lugia EX, Darkrai EX, any of the Mega Pokémon), and many others will only have one that players want to use: Seismitoad EX becomes a lot less dangerous when it can’t Quaking Punch, and many decks don’t even run the Energy to use Mewtwo EX’s Psydrive. Of course, cards like Yveltal EX, which have two good attacks don’t mind so much. 

That’s one of the problems with Slaking, but it’s not the only one. A mediocre second attack (Knuckle Sandwich) and a massive retreat cost don’t help, but the real reason the card won’t cut it is that it is a Stage 2, which have become all but unplayable in today’s environment. Want to use this as a Seismitoad counter? Yeah, good luck getting it out without Rare Candy to evolve quickly, or Ultra Ball to search out the Pokémon for manual evolution. Factor in the high attack costs and Fighting Weakness, and it’s easy to see why Slaking won’t be making much of an impact at tournaments. 

Rating 

Modified: 2 (not in a Seismitoad format)

Expanded: 1.75 (even more enemies here)

Limited: 3 (Stage 2s aren’t easy to use, but Colourless costs help. Just beware all the Fighting Pokémon in the set)


aroramage

Carl Denham never thought that when he went and visited Skull Island that he'd be coming back to Manhatten with the Eighth Wonder of the World, King Kong. Kong is known famously as a giant ape that climbs to the top of a skyscraper and fights off a fleet of airplanes while clutching onto a young woman! And let's face it, today's Pokemon is pretty much the King Kong of Pokemon, Slaking!
 
In the games, though, Slaking is far from a huge threat. Despite having a monstrous 160 Base Attack stat and a Base Stat Total of 670 - the only non-legendary non-Mega to have such a  total - Slaking ultimately falls short due to its Ability, Truant, which forces it to only attack every other turn. Course that usually won't prevent the behemoth from KOing something in kind before getting sent off to the showers, and truth be told, he's probably one of my personal favorite Gen III Pokemon. Who knows, maybe he'll get a Mega Evo too - it happened to Beedrill, Audino, and Pidgeot!
 
On the TCG side, Slaking has been anywhere from decent to...less so, having had attacks and abilities that worked flavorfully; that is to say, they complimented the lazy nature of Slaking's Truant ability from the games. From attacks like the original Slaking from Ruby & Sapphire's Critical Move which either dealt 100 damage and discarded an energy or else did nothing and prevented Slaking from attacking the next turn regardless of the result, to the Mysterious Treasure's Slaking's Energetic Impulse ability that could boost its damage to almost OHKO range or else prevent Slaking from doing anything, to the most recent print in Dragons Exalted - the most self-destructive Slaking there has ever been - with the Ability Unobservant which prevented it from striking at Basic Pokemon, an Ability looked at none too fondly in a format filled with Basic Pokemon-EX.
 
This is probably the best printed Slaking card there is. There's no self-inflicted negative effects, nothing that would prevent Slaking from attacking on the next turn - even the Slaking on the artwork is raising his fist against his nature, striking out to show that he's ready for the fight! But can he really bring out the power in a set devoted to his greatest weakness: the Fighting-type?
 
Slaking's first attack, Amnesia, has been seen on him before, though now it's a 3-for-50 strike. It still allows you to pick out an attack that the opponent can't use on their next turn, which can hopefully stall out an attacker for a turn or at least prevent them from hitting you with their best shot. Sadly, that may not be what they need to hit you with to KO Slaking; Lucario-EX only needs 2 Energy for Corkscrew Smash to do 120 damage, and that only takes a Strong Energy to boost it to 160 (it adds the damage PRIOR to Weakness/Resistance, by the way) and wipe out the king of the jungle.
 
That's where Slaking's second attack comes in; for an extra Energy, he gets the mighty Knuckle Sandwich, delivering 120 points of damage and discarding an Energy from the Active Pokemon...named Slaking. Yeah, remember when I said there weren't any self-inflicted negative effects? There is this one. If this could've been against the Defending Pokemon, that could at least have maybe been enough to keep him around a turn or two, but no, Slaking exerts so much Energy that he has to lose one from his big beefy attack. Still, at least it doesn't prevent him from attacking - it just prevents you from serving up your opponents a Knuckle Sandwich so long as you provide the side of Energy that he needs to compliment his dish every turn.
 
Just like in the games, Slaking demands a lot to make him work well. In Expanded, you could probably fuel him with Eelektrik to prevent him from wasting Knuckle Sandwich's discard (I can already think of another couple of cards coming in the future that could really help him out in a similar manner). That way he can keep landing blows against opponents with a flurry of fists, and all you gotta do is pump him up with Muscle Band and a little HTL-Bank to keep him pounding! He's a casual deck at best though, but of the Slakings that have come and gone, he's definitely the King of the Hill.
 
Rating
 
Standard: 2/5 (not the most powerful or most useful of Stage 2s, but he's got a lot of power in his punch)
 
Expanded: 2.5/5 (the Eelektrik combo will help him out with the addition of Muscle Band and HTL-Bank for extra damage output)
 
Limited: 3/5 (honestly, the discard's not that big of a deal, and preventing an attack to stall out the opponent before smashing them with Knuckle Sandwich could nab you a victory or two! As long as it's not Lucario-EX...)
 
Arora Notealus: Now that I'm thinking about it, Slaking would be terrifying if it weren't for Truant. Just imagine what a Mega of it would be like!...they'd still give it Truant to mock us.
 
Next Time: SHORYUKEN!!!


Otaku

Slaking is one of my favorite Pokémon of its generation and it ranks fairly high up on my list… though now that there are so many I don’t remember exactly how high!  Let us see if the latest version is worth using. 

Slaking (XY: Furious Fists 83/111) is a Colorless-Type as you would expect for a Normal-Type; unless you’re playing in Unlimited, you won’t be able to enjoy Weakness or have to worry about Resistance, but that’s not too good of a deal as the exploiting the former is far more important than avoiding the latter.  There is at least one piece of well known, somewhat useful Colorless-Type support: Aspertia City Gym gives Colorless-Types +20 HP while it is in play.  Slaking is a Stage 2, Evolving from Vigoroth which in turn Evolves from Slakoth (more on those two later).  This has again become a significant hurdle; not only did the rotation cost them Tropical Beach, a card useful to slower decks (like Stage 2 decks) but Seismitoad-EX usage (and its Quaking Punch attack) have made it even harder to Evolve as blocking Items stops Evosoda, Rare Candy and even Ultra Ball.  To get a Stage 2 out under Quaking Punch locking down Items requires manually drawing into an Evolving the Basic to Stage 1 to Stage 2. 

Slaking sports a 150 HP; when not being hit for Weakness, this is enough you’ll often survive a turn.  It isn’t a guarantee however, as many decks can (and do) score OHKOs on 170 and 180 HP Pokémon-EX.  Learning to read your opponent’s resources will often prove valuable, as it can at least give you an idea of how likely he or she is to have the cards on hand to push for at least an effective 150 points worth of damage.  When dealing with Weakness, 80 or more damage scores a OHKO; that is a pretty likely amount but at least its more than you’d see from - as an example of a common play - Landorus-EX with a Muscle Band and Strong Energy attached.  The lack of Resistance doesn’t help the card, but as lacking Resistance is so common, it doesn’t hurt it much either (plus Normal-Types don’t Resist anything that can be represented without clashing in the TCG).  The massive four Energy Retreat Cost is a huge problem; besides giving Beartic (XY: Furious Fists 22/111) +80 to the base 20 damage of Igloo Hold, its way too much to pay without devastating your set-up, and you should only pay it if not doing so will cost you the game (and even then you just might not have the Energy available).  The good news is that you probably wanted to run a Retreat Cost lowering card or alternative to manually retreating anyway, and in Expanded it makes the card a legal Heavy Ball target. 

Slaking has two attacks; for [CCC] it has Amnesia, dealing 50 points of damage and requiring you select one of the Defending Pokémon’s attacks.  The Defending Pokémon can’t use the selected attack next turn making it a fairly decent stall trick; the main concern is that as I just stated when talking about Retreat Costs, most decks have a means of easily changing out their Active; against many decks it will only make a small difference, though at least the damage is nearly to the point where it only needs to make a small difference.  For three you really need to be able to score 90 points of damage without too much hassle; the effect really is useful and Silver Bangle can help you nearly score that damage against Pokémon-EX while Muscle Band can nearly help you score that damage against anything else; base damage of 60 or 70 might have made this honestly work… that or if it had been released about a year ago. 

Knuckle Sandwich, a fun but not overly zany name delivers 120 points of damage for [CCCC] and the discarding of one attached Energy.  This is actually a solid return in abstract, but in practice you really need a OHKO as getting four Energy on this card requires a lot of time, a lot of effort or both, and Slaking would be fortunate to survive using said attack.  150 was probably necessary.  Looking at the attacks together, both are quite pricey; the card really could have used an attack for [CC] so that a single Double Colorless Energy could have got it going on its own… or simply a useful Ability. 

In Standard there is only one Slakoth to select from: XY: Furious Fists 81/111.  It sports a most underwhelming 60 HP Colorless Basic Pokémon with Fighting Weakness, no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of two.  It even has just one attack, which puts itself and the opponent’s Active Pokémon to Sleep, but at an overpriced [CC].  In Expanded you could also use BW: Dragons Exalted 101/124; however as the only difference between the two is in the attack and it just does 10 for [C] while putting itself (and only itself) to Sleep, you shouldn’t use it; at least the newer one might buy you some time with a lot of luck.  Vigoroth (XY: Furious Fists 82/111) almost makes for a useful opening attacker.  Well, not really but at least it can do 20 for [C] or 70 for [CCC], though it must flip a coin for that second attack and on tails, it also does 20 to itself.  BW: Dragons Exalted 102/124 rivals it in terms of attack; it only has one for [CC], but it does a flat 20 with a chance for +40 (“heads” on a coin toss), which isn’t good but at least is mildly threatening without lowering its own odds of surviving an attack.  However in the end XY: Furious Fists 82/111 wins out; both are Stage 1, Colorless-Type Pokémon with Fighting Weakness, no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of two but the newer version has 90 HP while the older version from BW: Dragons Exalted has just 80.  I’d prefer more HP in general, but at least (for Expanded) all four of these cards are legal Level Ball targets. 

There is one other Slaking available, but only in Expanded: BW: Dragons Exalted 103/124.  Its Attributes are identical to today’s version but it has one Ability and one attack.  The attack requires [CCCC]. making it even slower on the offensive than today’s version, and it only hits for 100 points of damage but it makes the Defending Pokémon discard an Energy instead of itself, ever so slightly increases the odds of it scoring a 2HKO against something like a Pokémon-EX.  So why did I skip the Ability?  Because its Unobservant, which states that Slaking cannot attack Basic Pokémon, the dominant Stage of this format.  With this kind of drawback, the attack needs to do pretty much be OHKO worthy, as you’re only using this with Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113), which clashes to one degree or another with worthwhile Energy acceleration apart from Double Colorless Energy. 

Neither Slaking is especially good, and unfortunately there isn’t really any good Energy acceleration for either except - wait for it - Double Colorless Energy.  It is times like this when I really miss Boost Energy, a Special Energy card that provided [CCC] but couldn’t be attached to anything that wasn’t an Evolved Pokémon, discarded itself if you did managed to get it onto a non-Evolution, couldn’t be used to retreat and discarded itself at the end of the turn.  Notice how for our purposes right now, only the “no paying to retreat” clause really matters (you kind of expect Slaking not to last too long anyway).  Still, living in the present and not the past… this card isn’t completely hopeless. 

It is nearly hopeless; it is slow and probably going to struggle to win but here is what it has going for it.  Since the new one doesn’t have an Ability and the old one has an Ability you want to shut down, both can work with Garbodor.  The new one can try to set-up for a 2HKO by using Amnesia and targeting what is hopefully the opponent’s only worthwhile attack and if Garbotoxin is in effect, the various Abilities that can mess this up are knocked out.  If this works and you survive, Knuckle Sandwich delivers the 120 that yields a OHKO against even a 180 HP Pokémon-EX, assuming it hasn’t somehow mitigated any of the damage.  The older Slaking isn’t entirely different, save its counting on Energy discards and no Abilities (plus just one massive attack) to try the same thing. 

This is too slow, but early game you can use the usual generic, Energy efficient attacks and/or Miltank (XY: Flashfire 83/106) and its infamous Powerful Friends attack for a solid 80 points of damage for just one Energy.  Now for the potentially clever bits; while the deck could try and go the OHKO route, it probably shouldn’t.  Though this carries some risk, if it isn’t then you can use your Items for things like Sparkling Robe (to protect against Special Conditions), Hard Charm (to try and stay alive longer) or anything else that seems worthwhile.  The last ingredients are a split of Aspertia City Gym and Training Center (good for +30 damage for Evolutions).  You can’t boost all of your Pokémon all of the time, but you can alternate as needed; Aspertia City when Miltank is attacking, Training Center when it isn’t… adjusted according to what you’re attacking.  Do I think this is competitive?  No, but it might barely be functional, though you’ll have to “cheat” and likely also add in a big ol’ Pokémon-EX that counters your Fighting-Type Weakness.  Speaking of functional, while the Fighting Weakness is risky, Vigoroth and Slaking from XY: Furious fists are good pulls for Limited: they can work with any Energy Type (though not the Special Energy cards in this set) and their HP and damage yield go from “meh” to “amazing” in Limited (thanks to lower average damage output and HP scores).  Unless you’re building a deck around a single Pokémon, try to work it in even if you only get a 1-1-1 line. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 - I really wanted this to be good but being Energy intensive without good enough Energy acceleration is strike one, being a Stage 2 when Seismitoad-EX is making that situation worse than it has been in a little while is strike two, and strike three is being Fighting Weak in a set that amped up the Fighting-Type! 

Expanded: 1.9/5 - As above, but getting a few useful pieces of older support is more likely to help, though probably not much. 

Limited: 3.5/5 - Unless you’re running a +39 deck, it should be included.  The score actually reflects the low odds of getting Slaking out in a timely manner and the unfortunately high odds of running into opposing Fighting-Types. 

Summary: Sadly another Slaking that doesn’t quite bring it.  It actually seems a bit better than I thought it would be, at least on paper, but this is not the format to be a Fighting Weak, Energy intensive Stage 2, especially one that isn’t scoring OHKOs.


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