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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Crawdaunt

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
April 16, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.5
Expanded: 2.63
Limited: 3.90

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Man, the last time a Crawdaunt was seen swimming in these waters was back with Legends Awakened in 2008. I guess that just comes with having over 700 Pokemon in your arsenal. In any case, it's good to have him back again! Of Gen III's Pokemon, he's always been somewhat iconic, whether it be for Ash's Corphish in the anime to having a sweet design to just being Gen III's Kingler - which you may recall that Ash ALSO had one in the anime. 

But enough about that, LET'S GET TO SOME AMAZING-oh. There's...uh, there doesn't appear to be a "-EX" at the end of that name...ohhhhh nooooo, this isn't gonna be good is it? 

Well given the 90 HP and the vanilla 3-for-60 Crabhammer, it definitely doesn't look that way. Honestly, Crawdaunt's only saving grace this time around is his Ability, Unruly Claw. Like many other Evolution Abilities (as I like to think of them), when you evolve a Corphish into Crawdaunt, you get to have something happen - namely discard any Energy attached to your opponent's Active Pokemon. That's pretty good, to be honest, since it's not specifying Basic Energy, so you can detach DCE, Rainbow, Strong Energy, and so on and so forth. I could see him potentially getting tech'd as yet another crippler of Energies with Garbotoad - as if Head Ringer wouldn't be enough. 

But let's count those disadvantages, shall we? 

1) Stage 1 with only 90 HP
2) Vanilla Attack - just...vanilla attack!
3) Activates upon evolution - meaning it only happens once 

...sadly, this is no awakened legend. Suppose we'll have to wait a little longer for a great Crawdaunt. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (one decent Ability does not a good Pokemon make; you'd think they'd have learned that from the video games) 

Expanded: 2/5 (not even that much better) 

Limited: 3/5 (losing an Energy here can be crippling, but MAN, that low HP and bad BAD attack) 

Arora Notealus: Crawdaunt's not just an awesome Kingler-clone - he's an awesome Pokemon too! He's a brutish ruffian that's difficult to train, according to the Dex entries...kinda defeated by the fact that Pokemon Amie shows otherwise. Regardless, he's a tough dude that's basically the equivalent to Ash's Charizard...hm...I wonder how hard it would be to program those kinds of emotions onto Pokemon and vary them up in personality a bit. I mean, Dragon Warrior Monsters way back in the day managed to do it. AND NO, NATURE DOES NOT COUNT 

Next Time: So I heard you like meditating.


Otaku

Today we look at Crawdaunt (XY: Primal Clash 92/160).  We’ll dive right in due to time constraints that... are my own fault.  So this is a Darkness-Type and as mentioned earlier this week, a few years ago it was the best Type to be but a lot of its support has not only rotated out, but became obsolete or at least diminished so that even in Expanded, it is just a very good Type due to Dark Patch: in Standard its a good Type but not as good as if the card had been the Water-Type.  It might seem like a nitpick, but later on I’ll show you how this card might have been even better if it had been Dive Ball compliant.  It is a Stage 1, so it is slower than a Basic but much easier to use than a Stage 2; I’ll again take the optimistic outlook that this is at worst a mild obstacle (though at best being a Stage 1 is now “neutral” with being a Basic as an advantage and being a Stage 2 as a disadvantage). 

Crawdaunt has 90 HP, making it probable OHKO unless you’re opponent’s set-up is incomplete (foreshadowing!).  This isn’t a great score but if this is a bench-sitter (hint hint!) it’ll do, plus this means in Expanded one could use Level Ball to fetch it from the deck.  The Fighting Weakness all but guarantees a Fighting-Type will score a OHKO against it; most that see play can do 20 or 30 for [F], so once you add in a Muscle Band or Strong Energy (both for the slightly weaker attacks), Crawdaunt is a gonner thanks to the Weakness.  I want to emphasize, if the attack can do damage, Muscle Band plus Strong Energy will get it to OHKO range unless Weakness can be neutralized.  Crawdaunt does get to enjoy some Resistance, which is nice; -20 to the damage done by Psychic-Types may not make a huge difference but it is (for example) another Energy or the presence of Muscle Band for Mewtwo-EX to score the OHKO with X-Ball.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is… okay.  It is high enough you won’t want to pay it but low enough that it is still just a Double Colorless Energy away from retreating; fortunately most decks are likely to pack something to lower the cost or bypass manually retreating entirely. 

Crawdaunt enjoys and Ability alongside one attack.  The Ability is Unruly Claw; when you Evolve one of your in play Pokémon into Crawdaunt, you may discard an Energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokémon: in short this is the Ability version of Team Flare Grunt.  The card’s lone attack is Crabhammer for [DCC], hitting for 60 damage.  There isn’t a huge amount of synergy between the two other than how discarding an Energy on what you’re attacking might help buy time to build/keep your current Active alive an extra turn.  Unruly Claw has its uses, but in most (but not all) decks you are likely to be trying to OHKO or 2HKO the opponent’s Active, which makes discarding Energy from it unnecessary about half the time.  Throw in the number of low Energy attackers and the many other methods of discarding Energy and all in all, the Ability is decent: far better than nothing, but not something that makes me want to run the card… and yet Crabhammer is badly overpriced or underpowered; it isn’t totally worthless as at least with a Silver Bangle you can try to 2HKO a Pokémon-EX with 180 HP or less (or Darkness Weakness) but since Crawdaunt isn’t likely to survive being Active for a turn, you’ll need something else (even another Crawdaunt with the Energy and the Silver Bangle) to start or finish the deal. 

There is currently only one Corphish available: XY: Primal Clash 42/160 and it is a Basic, Water-Type with 60 HP, Grass Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ability, no Ancient Trait and two attacks.  For [C] it can use Vice Grip for 10 and for [CC] it can use Knock Off to discard a random card from your opponent’s hand.  While not a great foundation, it actually has some things going for it.  I mentioned earlier I wanted Crawdaunt to be a Water-Type and… it wasn’t just to combo with Corphish, but we’ll get to why in the next paragraph.  That vanilla 10 means at least it can do damage (while usually not useful, it is still better than nothing) but Knock Off actually has a small chance of keeping Corphish alive to Evolve if you can nail a card key to your opponent attacking next turn.  Again, this is a very small chance, but we are in a strange format where even though everything is fast and should be reliable, there are a lot of cards that can be “dead for the moment” where you have a hand full of the top cards in the game… but not quite what you needed to be able to attack.  Again this isn’t great or anything; like almost all Evolving Basic Pokémon, Corphish is a long ways away from where I think it ought to be, but that is a subject for another time. 

So if you weren’t already well aware of what I’ve been hinting at, this card I thought would be pretty terrible when I first saw it has one confirmed use; another dance partner for Seismitoad-EX.  Seismitoad-EX/Crawdaunt decks managed to make it to the Top 8 four times during State Championships, with two second place and two sixth place finishes at four separate tournaments.  Though it shows how I still can flub up evaluating cards, had we reviewed this sooner I’d have dismissed it as an obviously inferior option to the other Seismitoad-EX variants.  Head to head it still might be but I lack the information to know for sure.  What I do understand now is that Unruly Claw, like some other coming-into-play Abilities can be spammed mercilessly and that the method of doing so - Super Scoop Up - just so happens to double as amazing healing for Pokémon-EX.  This is plenty annoying when you’ve got something like Landorus-EX or Mewtwo-EX, bouncing back to hand while something that can get out of the way gets promoted, then being dropped back to the Bench with the single Energy attachment they need to start swinging away again.  With Seismitoad-EX it is extra painful as Item lock is likely leaving you with little to do but try and peck away at its HP. 

Now… why is discarding a single Energy worth it?  Seismitoad-EX decks aren’t often able to score 2HKOs, so instead of an entire Stage line discarding an Energy that might only stop one attack it might be stopping two or three, plus Seismitoad-EX also likes to run Head Ringer, forcing the opponent’s Pokémon-EX (well, at least the ones you can equip Head Ringer to and keep it on) to pay an extra [C] to attack.  So something that normally attacks for just one Energy will have to pay two, and that means constantly discarding from it may prevent it from attacking at all!  This isn’t a tactic unique to this Seismitoad-EX build; others just do it less or use Items (Crushing Hammer, Enhanced Hammer) or Team Flare Grunt.  This deck has the mixed blessing of only losing this one trick when Abilities go down and if Abilities aren’t being shut off, it can discard Energy against an opponent that is blocking Items or Supporters.  Its synergy with Seismitoad-EX is why I no longer lament Crawdaunt missing out on Dive Ball and having a clearly nerfed attack. 

For Expanded, I think Level Ball and the wider range of Special Energy cards makes this a little more effective.  Yes, it works on any Energy that is attached to the opponent’s Active, but Special Energy are harder to replace and generally only used because they make a deck work so much better… so if you’re discarding one it usually hurts a lot worse than taking out a basic Energy card.  Level Ball may not work on Seismitoad-EX, but it can snag Jirachi-EX (a useful card in many decks) plus Corphish and Crawdaunt itself.  For Limited play, only skip Crawdaunt if you can’t pull a single Corphish or if you are running a +39 built; you can run it solely for the Ability or run it as a decent filler attacker with a useful, one-shot Ability.  A weird tangent I want to point out; ignoring cards like Seismitoad-EX (because I think any big, Basic Pokémon that can hit for damage T2 is a problem, let alone a Pokémon-EX that can Item lock) Crawdaunt gives us an idea of what I think transitional Pokémon (those Basic and Stage 1 Pokémon that can Evolve) should try to be.  Of course Crawdaunt does not Evolve, but an Unruly Claw Ability would be nice on a Charmeleon (for example).  Again though there are a lot of cards that would make that a bad idea at the moment, like Seismitoad-EX. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 4.8/5 

Summary: While a bit more in depth than I expected, Crawdaunt turned out to be a card worth having if you plan on running Seismitoad-EX.  Most of what I believe goes into a Crawdaunt backed Seismitoad-EX build works in other Seismitoad-EX decks, so even if you prefer a different variant, it would be wise to have this on hand, whether because you change your mind at the last minute or (at a two day event) because you suspect based on Day 1 that it would be the better play.  At the same time, it is important to note that on its own… it just isn’t that great of a card; without a control deck it probably would make more sense focusing on upping your damage or improving your own set-up.  It also is metagame sensitive; it might become the top Seismitoad-EX variant, stay steady or fall off depending on what all gets released.


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