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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Huntail

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
April 8, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.75
Expanded: 3.13
Limited: 3.88

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Huntail...actually hasn't had that many cards in the TCG. In fact, this is the only playable version of him currently, given the last one came out around 7 years ago. Yeah, you read that right, SEVEN YEARS AGO!! Huntail just doesn't get enough love for...whatever he is. 

Having finally been brought into a post-B/W EX world, Huntail has needed a hefty power boost, and he gets it...sorta. I mean, he does have 100 HP, which while that's low for our Stage 1s these days, that's the most Huntail's ever really had. The scary thing is, that's not the only thing that's gone higher by only so much. 

Crunch does 3-for-70 damage with a coin flip to discard an Energy - potentially useful with Head Ringer, but only really good with Muscle Band aiding him. Looking back, at least this Huntail has the luxury of hitting 70 consistently - the others can only get that high under specific conditions and probably some of their own Items from their time. Which is sad, cause that means of the Huntails in the world, this one really is the best. 

Oh, did I skip Powerful Storm? The 1 Energy attack that does 20 damage for every one of your Energies in play? That would be including any and all of your Benched Pokemon? You throw a Blastoise with Deluge down and empty your hand to the Bench, and you've got a cheap and hefty attack that does way more than it should. Even in late game, Huntail could surprise someone by coming into play and wiping up - keep in mind 9 Energy in play is all it takes to KO most EX, and that's before things like Muscle Band and Team Magma's Secret Base. 

Cheap powerful attacks will always warrant a second glance - why do you think Empoleon had a deck for a while? And no doubt there will be plenty of other Water decks that will be cheaper than Seismitoad-EX and Primal Kyogre-EX decks that will sweep through with Huntail, KOing at a rate of 2-for-1 on opposing EX that never saw it coming. Just imagine this with something like Bronzong or Landorus or Eelektrik, and that's either really crazy for what it can do or really crazy for how much is needed for it. 

Seriously...what's Huntail again? 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (a cheap powerful attack on a Stage 1? I'm sure he'll see play) 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (I could see him doing better here, though by how much I'm not sure) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (powering him up will take time, but you only need so much Energy to sweep with in this format) 

Arora Notealus: Huntail isn't really that powerful in the video games, to be honest. Just a really weird and interesting Pokemon. I mean, why does Clamperl evolve into this guy? Or into Gorebyss for that matter? What up with this branch of strange evolution?! 

Next Time: Diving in deep to continue the water theme, it's-


Otaku

Today we look at Huntail (XY: Primal Clash 50/160) a card that would have made sense to cover during our Water Week.  So why did we hold off?  Simply put, I had actually planned to do two Water Weeks in a row!  Besides not knowing we would be taking a week off and forgetting about XY: Double Crisis, I either forgot to count how many review days there actually were until we would be starting on XY: Roaring Skies, counted wrong or got the official release date incorrect!  So we would have looked at this and skipped something else had I realize we just didn’t have time for the thorough sifting I had planned. 

Huntail is a Stage 1; while slower and more space intensive than a Basic this is not as big of a hurdle as being a Stage 2 would be.  Being a Water-Type adds some nice support while also hitting some Fighting and almost all Fire-Types for double damage.  Resistance exists, but only on older Grass-Types (and not even all of them); “anti” Water-Type effects do exist but they aren’t very good and I haven’t heard of any successful, competitive play involving them.  There are also some great Pokémon that are Water-Types, though most can work in a variety of decks so a bit of a “con” within a “pro”.  Huntail has 100 HP, enough that I believe it is slightly more likely to survive a hit than to be OHKOed.  Weakness would guarantee a OHKO except its Grass and Grass-Types really only have a handful of proven attackers… two of which (Virizion-EX and Genesect-EX) share a deck (and Genesect-EX hits hard enough without any boosts to score a OHKO anyway).  Lack of Resistance is common so no demerits for that.  The single Energy Retreat Cost is nice; not perfect but its easy to pay without falling behind most of the time.  Huntail has two attacks: Powerful Storm and Crunch.  The first costs [W] and does 20 times the number of Energy you have in play while the latter does 70 with a coin flip to discard an Energy attached to the opponent’s Active.  Powerful Storm is why we are here as it can get big fast while keeping your Energy spread out, though Crunch is decent and is structured so that a Double Colorless Energy can jump from Powerful Storm to Crunch. 

Yes… I just covered the entire card in a single paragraph when normally I’d split it into two; its nice and straightforward without being overly simple or flat out vanilla.  Now let us look at the related cards; there are a lot considering they are all from this set.  In fact, this Evolution line hasn’t gotten any cards since DP: Great Encounters, which officially released in February of 2008 for North America!  We have just one Clamperl from which to Evolve (XY: Primal Clash 49/160); it is a Basic, Water-Type Pokémon with 50 HP, Grass Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat Cost of [CC], no Ability, no Ancient Trait and just one attack.  For [W] it can use Shell Protection, which allows Clamperl to soak damage from an attack during your opponent’s next turn, so long as said attack does 50 or less (more than 50 damage and all the damage goes through).  There are also two Gorebyss in this set that Clamperl can Evolve into (instead of Evolving into Huntail): XY: Primal Clash 51/160 and XY: Primal Clash 52/160.  Both are Stage 1 Water-Type Pokémon with Grass Weakness, no Resistance and no Abilities.  XY: Primal Clash 51/160 has just 80 HP but a free Retreat Cost, no Ability or Ancient Trait but two attacks.  For [C] it can use Captivate to switch the opponent’s Benched Pokémon of your choice with the opponent’s Active and for [WC] it can use Psychic to do 30 damage plus 10 more for each Energy attached to your opponent’s Active. 

The other option, XY: Primal Clash 52/160 has 90 HP and a single Energy Retreat Cost, no Ability but an Ancient Trait (α Growth) and attack (Psy Bolt).  For [WC] Psybolt does 30 damage plus a coin flip for Paralysis.  Though α Growth is nice and technically could combo with Huntail and its Powerful Storm, each Gorebyss is one less Huntail and even having just one Huntail and three Gorebyss (Ancient Trait version) it would take a few turns to really ramp up the damage.  So definitely focus on just using Huntail (at least from its own branching Evolution line).  You do want to use other cards with Huntail from other Evolution lines.  The deck I’ve encountered (and been reasonably impressed by) is an Expanded-only option because its focus is Huntail paired with Ho-Oh-EX.  Even a single successful Rebirth results in a Powerful Storm that can hit for 80 (assuming you get the three attachments for Rebirth).  Again assuming you have sufficient Energy, each Ho-Oh-EX can add another 60 damage.  Getting all four out is unlikely (each is a 50% chance) but if you do that’s (60*4)+20=260 damage!  So with an ideal open you’re quickly rocketing up to the point where you will be scoring OHKOs (outside of protective effects or massive HP buffs).  Even less one Ho-Oh-EX means 200 damage, with a Silver Bangle again meaning buffs (plus the few largest Pokémon-EX) and two result in a solid 140 that a Silver Bangle can up to 170… and unless you used Archie’s Ace in the Hole on your first turn (while going second) to get Huntail into play, you may have your first turn’s manual Energy attachment still in play for an additional 20 damage to handle most things in the competitive sphere. 

Unfortunately I’m not coming up with much else that is good.  Even the above has risks; if a Silent Lab hits the field or Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) has Garbotoxin going or Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119) is are doing their thing, Ho-Oh-EX can’t use Rebirth.  Even if it is doing its thing, its a 160 HP Pokémon-EX.  This isn’t super fragile but it does mean that an opponent that can force it up more than once might be able to lower your damage (...if Rebirth isn’t being blocked then you’d have a chance to revive it again) and for sure is taking two Prizes.  We are in a format where that HP score that is 20 lower than is common could be a major thing.  You could run it with Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101) or a variety of other Energy accelerating Pokémon but said decks are usually short on space already and have access to as good or better attackers that are Basic Pokémon. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.5/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 4.25/5 

Summary: Huntail has been absent from Standard for a while and this latest iteration has potential, but it doesn’t have anything blatant and successful at the moment, save perhaps for Expanded.  Something to snag and experiment with though unless you’re looking for an Expanded deck, not something to go out of your way in obtaining. 


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