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Megaman



Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Medicham

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
April 17, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.13
Expanded: 2.40
Limited: 3.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Remember Nidoqueen? From last Friday? Remember how I said that was a good example of Omega Barrage done right? How it had powerful and thoughtful attacks that made using it more strategic than just brute force it? And how it was probably one of the better designed cards in the set? 

Medicham is an example of how Omega Barrage does NOT fix a bad Pokemon. 

Let's take a look at his attacks first, shall we? Calm Mind, for 1 Energy, heals 30 damage...okayyyyyy. On a Pokemon with 90 HP, you're not going to be around to heal 30, much less the intended 60 damage you could heal. I mean, have you SEEN how much damage these guys can throw around? For ONE Energy?! Alright, maybe Yoga Kick is better... 

2-for-30. 

But hey! It's not affected by Resistance!...or Weakness...at least it can deal 60 with Barrage? You know what else does 2-for-60 in effect? NIDOQUEEN. AND YOU KNOW WHAT, SHE ALSO POISONS THE OTHER POKEMON!! 

I'm sorry, did I say that wrong? Lemme try again: NIDOQUEEN DOES THE SAME DAMAGE AS MEDICHAM, POISONS THE POKEMON, ALL AT THE PRICE OF ONE ENERGY. 

Medicham is the perfect example of how VASTLY overestimated the designers believed Omega Barrage can be. Don't get me wrong, attacking twice in a single turn is POWERFUL - dangerous even! But Medicham can only do that with investment. Think Muscle Band and Strong Energy - in fact, just USE Muscle Band and Strong Energy, and Medicham's Yoga Kick suddenly does 2-for-180. Keep in mind, that's using ONLY Strong Energies to fuel it. Have I mentioned you only get 4 of those in your deck? 

Look, the numbers are impressive, and Medicham could totally be a dark horse of sorts, but if he's your main attacker, you need to reconsider your Fighting deck. Omega Barrage is a powerful trait, and Medicham (with the right support) can be equally powerful - and dangerous! But he's not a main attacker. He's not the Pokemon you'd attach Strong Energy to. You'd rather attach it to Landorus-EX, who deals 50 damage with Strong Energy to the Active AND sets up another 30 on a Bench-sitter, ready to be blown away. That's 70 damage with Muscle Band as well - for ONE ENERGY!! 

Medicham? More like Medichump. 

Rating 

Standard: 1/5 (that once in a while opportunity to get Yoga Kick to deal 180 and KO an EX? That's a moment MasterCard can't buy, but for everything else, USE SOMETHING ELSE) 

Expanded: 1/5 (NOPE) 

Limited: 3/5 (alright, HERE'S where Medicham can shine. His low HP is okay, but with Calm Mind, he can effectively shrug off most of the damage that others will pour on him, and Yoga Kick can be decent in its own right. He's no Primal Kyogre-EX, but hey, he's...well, okay) 

Arora Notealus: Well...at least his artwork is nice. 

Weekend Thought: What Pokemon from this week show the most potential? You think there were some judged unfairly? Maybe we've overestimated some? Who knows what kinds of crazy strategies people will come up with.


Otaku

Welcome to a fast Friday review.  Why fast?  Because Otaku is running late on just about everything.  Again.  We look at Medicham (XY: Primal Clash 81/160), one of two this set but easily recognized as this is the version that gets the “not quite Full Art” treatment.  It represents its Fighting-Type half in the TCG, which is probably for the best; though the Psychic-Type was beefed up by XY: Phantom Forces, the Fighting-Type got even more love from XY; Furious Fists like Fighting Stadium, Korrina, Strong Energy, etc.  It is a Stage 1, which is a bit of a drag compared to being a Basic but a vast improvement of being a Stage 2 right now; let us call it the “happy medium” with the understanding that’s the positive way to view it.  90 HP is definitely low; it isn’t the lowest you’ll see on a Stage 1 (sometimes even one that sees successful competitive play) but it means this isn’t going to be a run-of-the-mill attacker because if it was… it’d be KOed (usually OHKOed) too quickly to amount to much.  Slightly upside in Expanded where it is Level Ball compliant, but we’ll talk about whether that is significant or not later.  The Psychic Weakness is dangerous; sometimes lower HP makes the doubling pointless but not here, where Mewtwo-EX, some Night March attackers, etc. all go from probable to all-but-guaranteed-OHKOs, as well as some supporting Pokémon that don’t often attack suddenly having a reason to go on offense.  The lack of Resistance is common so no docking for that and we’ll move onto the Retreat Cost of [C], which is pretty good though obviously not as useful as “free”; you still will want a Switch or the like to get out of things like Paralysis or Retreat lock but manually retreating shouldn’t be an issue except under such extenuating circumstances. 

Medicham is rocking an Ancient Trait and its a pretty good one - Ω Barrage - which allows it to attack twice.  So what are the two attacks it can use?  Calm Mind for [C] to heal 30 damage from itself and Yoga Kick for [FF] to hit for 30 but not apply Weakness or Resistance.  These attacks are not good.  In fact on their own they are pretty bad.  Healing isn’t often useful on something this small (or in general) and just 30 is pretty weak, even for [C].  “Weak” is almost an understatement for Yoga Kick seeing as how for two Energy, competitive attackers hit about twice as hard or with a useful effect, and some enjoy the coveted [CC] Energy cost on top of that (for Double Colorless Energy fun).  Bypassing Resistance has rarely been worth skipping Weakness, and this is no exception.  So is this going to be a “Feeble Friday” review?  Actually now, and I’m going to begin to explain why. 

First let’s cover the options for Meditite and other Medicham; while you could jump directly to Medicham with Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, you don’t want to rely on that and even if you do run them together there may be something else you’d prefer to target in a deck running Medicham (hint hint).  So for Meditite we have just one version, even in Expanded, and it is XY: Primal Clash 79/160.  It is a Basic Fighting-Type with 50 HP Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat Cost of [C], no Ability, no Ancient Trait and a single attack (Smack) for [F] that does 20 damage.  What might surprise you is that while normally these things wouldn’t matter or would be bad… they come in handy for Medicham.  It should come as no surprise we’ll be exploiting Fighting-Type support which means being a Fighting-Type as well (instead of a Psychic-Type) is good.  50 HP isn’t but at least it isn’t lower.  Weakness is still bad, the lack of Resistance still insignificant and the Retreat Cost still good (free retreat on Basics is kind of rare).  That single attack does decent damage for the Energy involved and while I normally would point out how you need to focus on Evolving and not damage (as a Basic Pokémon), there are two reasons it doesn’t hold as true here: 

  1. You can stack so many bonuses onto Smack it can actually hit kind of hard.
  2. There is an existing deck for this Medicham and it runs Fighting Stadium but also Shrine of Memories.

 
and so it starts to come together; not only might you actually dare to attack with a Meditite (though that is uncommon), sometimes you’re going to Smack twice in a row via Medicham, Shrine of Memories and Ω Barrage (basically anytime you can only get a single Energy onto Medicham or when you can exploit Weakness). 

So what about the other Medicham, XY: Primal Clash 80/160?  It wishes it also had Ω Barrage, but it doesn’t.  It has 10 more HP than today’s version, an extra [C] in its Retreat Cost and two different attacks.  The first is Pure Power, allowing you to place four damage counters on your opponent’s Pokémon in anyway you like for [F] and the second is Windmill Kick, which requires [FC] and does 60 damage as well as Confusing the Defending Pokémon.  Doubled up these could be pretty sick but as is, a single copy might have limited sniping or pseudo-spread applications in a deck built around today’s Medicham, but probably not even there. 

So… how do you run today’s Medicham?  From what I’ve seen, you stack on the bonuses until Ω Omega Barrage scores a 2HKO in a single turn.  Fighting Stadium, Muscle Band, Strong Energy, Silver Bangle, etc. all effectively provide double the bonus.  Some builds are designed to get a Machamp (XY: Furious Fists 46/111, XY: Black Star Promos XY13) into play ASAP via Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, possibly even in multiples because again, each provides an effective +40 to damage (+20 for each attack).  When things go well, you even can score two different OHKOs for up to four Prizes in one turn!  Normally though, it’ll feel a bit like Night March where you have to nail your set-up and go on the offensive quickly but if you do, you can race to the win.  There are blatant differences between the two decks though, with each having different strengths and weaknesses.  Medicham doesn’t have to work alone, either; Hawlucha, Landorus(XY: Furious Fists 58/111), Landorus-EX and Lucario-EX again are potential candidates to lend their strength (and tricks) to the deck. 

So does it work?  Based on the data… maybe.  It didn’t win a single State Championship of the 47 with recorded results over at The Charizard Lounge but it did manage two Top 4 and one Top 8 finish.  Probably the main thing holding it back is something that constrains a lot of the format: Seismitoad-EX.  This is a deck that uses a lot of Items plus as most Seismitoad-EX decks are embracing the control angle, Medicham suffers for having so many moving parts to sabotage; without your full deck behind it, it will be hard to get the Stadium, Special Energy, etc. into play and even if you do get them, keeping them there can be all but impossible.  I am especially focused on the two Energy attack cost here.  Still, while I wouldn’t call this a top deck for Standard, it is a competitive deck that will wreck you if you let it… and sometimes even if you don’t.  For Expanded, you gain access to Level Ball to compliment Korrina though that may not matter as much if you’re using a build that wants to discard (regular Landorus for attaching Fighting Energy from the discard or to set-up for Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick).  You do gain a “fun” foe in the Eelektrik (BW: Noble Victories 40/101) variants; pop an Eelektrik up front, take a OHKO and half-KO or OHKO whatever they sent up next.  In Limited play you likely will have none of the support but because it is Limited play, the attacks don’t need to be as impressive, plus you’ve potentially got the other Medicham; I think that makes for a good pull. 

Ratings

Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3.4/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: When I first saw this card, I tried to talk people out of it.  Some were overhyping it, but some realized that with all the bonuses you can stack being effectively doubled by Ω Barrage, Medicham has real potential.  Definitely not a top deck, but its one of the many just on the happy side of the “competitive vs. noncompetitive” borderline and it will slap you silly if you aren’t prepared for it.  So prepare for it; as far as I can tell it isn’t too expensive of a deck to build with most of the cost coming from the supporting cards that you can use in multiple other decks… which means you might as well not only practice against it, but practice with it.  You might even find it worth using for more than just practice!


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