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...
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
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
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
Medicham? More like Medichump.
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.
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.
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
You can stack so many
bonuses onto Smack it can actually hit
kind of hard.
There is an existing deck
for this Medicham and it runs
Fighting Stadium but also Shrine
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
XY: Black Star
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
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
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!