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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Bunnelby

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
April 23, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.5
Expanded: 1.5
Limited: 2.5

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Another interesting take on the Omega Barrage power, Bunnelby here has the same sort of thing that Torchic from this set has - a powerful Trait with attacks that could do some work but ultimately fall short, given that he's an evolving Basic. That combined with Manaphy's "Oh I don't attack Pokemon, I'm just here to help you out in any way I can" attitude makes for a...well, it makes something. 

Bunnelby also has Manaphy and Torchic's beneficial "1-Energy gets all of my attacks" cheap access, so that's good, you're not having to heavily invest in him to make him worth it. It's just...I think they overestimated what Omega Barrage could do for this guy again. Burrow only buries the top card from your opponent's deck in the discard pile, and Rototiller retrieves stuff from your own discard pile. Still, Rototiller has its uses, and in a dedicated mill deck, Burrow can do a lot for you, but I'd rather play Bunnelby for Rototiller than Burrow myself. 

Spacing issues aside though, is it really worth snagging two cards from your discard pile back into your deck? Well, that depends on your deck more than anything. Not every deck needs to return cards back from the discard pile - a lot of them prefer not to, preferring to keep them stuffed away until they can user something like VS Seeker or Landorus/Bronzong to retrieve what's inside. You could try retrieving Pokemon with it, but you're probably better off putting those into your hand rather than shuffling them into your deck and hoping to draw them out again. 

Bunnelby pretty much has the same problem Torchic has - a fantastic trait and underwhelming attacks. At least Torchic has the benefit of accelerating draw power though.  

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (he's no powerhouse, but maybe there's something for Rototiller)

Expanded: 1.5/5 (can't see him doing much better here) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (I guess the milling would be a thought here. Get rid of some of your opponent's cards so they can't use them - just be wary of discarding something like a Water or Fighting type, cause Archie/Maxie will wreck you otherwise) 

Arora Notealus: I'm still not sure what prompted the designers to come up with a Pokemon that digs with its ears. That's like coming up with something that sees with its tongue or drinks with its tentacles, something just seems a little...strange about it. I mean, it's doable, but just...weird. 

Next Time: The regal dragon of the seas rises to the challenge!


Otaku

Though not obvious to someone reading these reviews for the first time, mine is going up late.  Extremely late; XY: Roaring Skies has already released but isn’t legal yet.  Honestly my score likely would have been biased in favor of upcoming support already (we had a pretty good idea what would be in the set based in its Japanese counterpart) but I’m not going to try and separate myself from it now… but I hate leaving cards I picked for review unreviewed and I just barely got to this one quick enough before completely giving up. 

Bunnelby (XY: Primal Clash 121/160) is not our typical review fare as it is an Evolving Basic Pokémon.  Being even an Evolving Basic is good; while it usually means lower HP and weaker attacks it doesn’t always have to.  Being Colorless just became pretty good with the release of additional Colorless-Type support; as already cards like Winona aren’t tournament legal yet but will be soon enough and since one doesn’t have to worry about Weakness or Resistance for Colorless-Types (even if one did this card doesn’t do damage anyway), that Supporter piece of support could be quite significant.  60 HP is not good; an easy OHKO but unfortunately the-powers-that-be have decided to stay faithful to the video games by making lower Stages have significantly less HP than their ultimate Evolutions, even though HP scores don’t line up properly with the video games (in multiple ways).  Marking this as just a tiny bit worse is that as we’ll see there is another Bunnelby with 70 HP, so even for this particular Pokémon it isn’t as good as it gets. 

Normally being small makes Weakness irrelevant but Fighting-Types specially in dealing damage quickly for small amounts of Energy, as well as in buffing their damage.  The end result is that even without tricks like Strong Energy their top attackers score a OHKO for one Energy and with a single buff any Fighting-Type that does damage does as well; I don’t recall a currently legal effect that increases damage applying after Weakness and Resistance or boosting damage by less than 20, though if there is then there are some exceptions to what I just said.  There is no Resistance; typical and it probably wouldn’t have done much good anyway.  Before we delve into card effects, last is the Retreat Cost of [CC]; you’ll often be able to afford to pay (and recover from) it and decks tend to be build in a manner so that you often won’t have to but for a 60 HP Basic I would have expected only [C]. 

Bunnelby bears and Ancient Trait and two attacks.  The Ancient Trait is Ω Barrage, allowing it to attack twice in a row at the end of the turn instead of once and experience shows that this Trait as such is almost totally dependent upon the rest of the card.  Good attacks won’t matter as much if the rest of the card isn’t while mediocre attacks can manage if the rest of the card is an adequate foundation.  The attacks are Burrow and Rototiller, both priced at just [C], which even if it turns out everything else falls flat is itself quite a nice feature in general.  You don’t expect overly strong attacks for a single Energy (well you shouldn’t and we shouldn’t get them but power creep has been stupidly fast the last several years): Burrow discards the top card from your opponent’s deck while Rototiller allows you to shuffle a card a card from your discard pile into your deck.  These effects are weak, though slightly better thanks to Ω Barrage.  Essentially it is like the card has a single attack that can either shuffle two cards from your own discard, discard two cards from your opponent’s deck or do one of each, making the Ancient Trait unnecessary unless you’re really worried about effects like Amnesia that care how many attacks a card has.  The big irony is that the one place I really think we need to see more potent attacks are non-damaging attacks like this on Evolving Pokémon, like this, so that Evolutions are more than stepping stones. 

Your other options for Bunnelby are XY Kalos Starter Set 30/39, XY Trainer Kit: Noivern Half Deck 4/30, McDonald’s Collection 2014 10/12, XY 111/146, XY: Phantom Forces 87/119 and XY: Primal Clash 120/160; the first three however are alternate versions of the same card (and from promotional releases that can be a bit odd to label).  All other Bunnelby are Colorless, Basic Pokémon with at least 60 HP, Fighting Weakness, no Resistance, at least a Retreat Cost of [C], no Abilities, no Ancient Traits and at least one attack.  XY Kalos Starter Set 30/39 and its other releases have one attack - Tackle - for [CC] that hits for 20.  XY 111/146 also has one attack for [CC] but this time it is Dig for 10 damage, and with the effect that you flip a coin and if it is “heads”, all damage and effects of attacks done to itself during your opponent’s next turn are prevented.  XY: Phantom Forces 87/119 finally gets two attacks; [C] buys Tackle for 10 while [CCC] yields Mud Shot for [30].  XY: Primal Clash 120/160 has 70 HP but also a Retreat Cost of [CC]; its attack Trip Over costs [CC] and does 10, plus 30 if you get “heads” on the coin flip.  The job of an Evolving Pokémon is usually to Evolve, but this time might be an exception; if that is the case then today’s version has a serious edge.  Otherwise I am torn between XY 111/146 as if you have to attack you might protect it long enough to Evolve and XY: Primal Clash 120/160 because 10 more HP and if you were going for damage, it it is better than the others, with the slightly higher Retreat Cost weighing it down. 

There are three versions of Diggersby to pick from: XY 112/146, XY: Phantom Forces 88/119 and XY: Primal Clash 90/160.  All three are Stage 1 Pokémon with at least 100 HP, no Resistance, at least a Retreat Cost of [CC], no Abilities, no Ancient Traits and two attacks.  XY 112/146 is Fighting Weak Colorless-Type, and can use Pick Up for [CC] to add two Items to its hand or for [CCC] can use a version of Dig that does 50 damage with the same protective effect from earlier.  XY: Phantom Forces 88/119 is also Fighting Weak Colorless-Type and for [CC] it gains access to Smithereen Smash for 30 damage with a coin flip to discard an Energy attached to the opponent’s Active while [CCC] enables it to attack with Earthquake for 80 damage to the opponent’s Active and 10 to each of your own Benched Pokémon.  XY: Primal Clash 90/160 changes things up a bit by being a Fighting-Type with 110 HP, Grass Weakness and Retreat cost of [CCC].  Its first attack requires [F] and is called Ear Dig; this allows it to flip a coin until it gets “tails”, discarding a card from the opponent’s deck for each “heads” flipped.  For [CCC] it can use Hammer In for 70.  None of these strike me as being worth the effort; it is nice they aren’t totally vanilla but what they do, they don’t do well enough for competitive play. 

Back to today’s card, Bunnelby (XY: Primal Clash 121/160); it might have some use as part of a discard deck that you couldn’t really build until we got XY: Roaring Skies and that we won’t know the true strength of for several weeks, but even at the start it looks like more of a “fun” deck than a “rogue” deck.  The cause is the same reason I find the attacks disappointing; Lysandre’s Trump Card.  To be fair I might still find the attacks disappointing without this particular Supporter in the format; Pokémon has rarely lacked effects to replenish one’s own deck from the discard pile so one card here or there only works well as part of a massive combo or as a “bonus” on top of something else (like an attack).  Even then there are some decks that have cards they want in the discard pile and in general while you might always discard something “good”, you can help the opponent out by discarding something “bad”.  So for a discard deck to work it must operate in one of two ways: 

  • Discard Lysandre’s Trump Card and all means of reclaiming it from the discard pile
  • Discard enough or at a time so your opponent is caught off guard and can’t use such effects to save his or herself

 

The latter however doesn’t require an entire “deck out” deck; a single Bunnelby could do the job so long as the timing we right.  This is however highly, highly unlikely.  As such mostly just enjoy this card in Limited, where both milling and shuffling your own cards back into your deck via its effect are amazingly valuable; only leave it out of +39 builds!

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.8/5 

Limited: 4.9/5 

Summary: Outside of Limited play, I don’t think this card does enough to really warrant running it, though at least it isn’t boring.  I suppose if you can get your hands on what you need easily, you might as well see if you can use Bunnelby with some other cards to build a deck focused on milling your opponent into a loss.


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