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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Carbink

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
July 15, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.25
Expanded: 1.25
Limited:2.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

I don't think there's much that needs to be said about Carbink here. Aside from the fact that he's the CUTEST LITTLE ROCK BUNNY OMG SO ADORABLE, he's pretty much ineffective for what he is. 

Here's the thing: he's got this Ability, Jewel Armor, which functions a lot like Squirtle's (BCR) Shell Shield. Effectively it keeps Carbink from taking any damage from your opponent's attacks while he's on the Bench. That's pretty nice if you want to keep stuff around for, say, M Rayquaza-EX, or you're worried about your opponent sniping Carbink or worse yet you dealing damage to anything on your Bench (wait why), so you make sure Carbink's around just in case. 

But why? His attack isn't that great. Spin Tackle is a 3-for-60 meh kind of attack that has a 50/50 chance of weakening Carbink by 20 HP - that is to say, he'd hit himself for 20 damage. There are so many better attacks that do more damage with far less risk, so I know you're not using Carbink for that. 

...wait a sec, is this a Japanese promo turned into a main set card? Sonuvagun, no wonder he's not that good! 

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (the only reason for the .5 is because, again, he's useful stable fodder for M Rayquaza-EX, and that's avoiding Switch cards) 

Expanded: 1.5/5 (about the same here) 

Limited: 2/5 (I mean...not getting hit on the Bench is nice, but I can only think of a few that would hit Carbink in the first place. Not many of those in the set, and never mind that his attack's only marginally better) 

Arora Notealus: I honestly like Carbink as a Pokemon! He's got an interesting design and interesting typing, but he's cursed with being a single staged Pokemon. It's funny too, cause I reviewed the only other Carbink card in existence - the one from Flashfire - just over a year ago! Sad thing is, it's better than this one. 

Next Time: Speaking of Fairies we've run into before!


Otaku

Our third Fairy-Type for the week is Carbink (XY: Roaring Skies 47/108).  Nothing has changed since our previous two reviews with regards to the Type: there is some good Fairy-Type support and for better or worse the best bits aren’t Fairy-Type Pokémon support but Fairy-Type Energy support or general support that happens to be on a Fairy-Type.  This means that while a Fairy-Type can enjoy some nice tricks, so can some non-Fairy-Types.  There also isn’t the level of support of say the Fighting-Type.  In terms of Weakness, the Fairy-Type falls short, only scoring double damage on XY-era Dragon-Types.  Right now, that isn’t an overly valuable Type to smack extra hard, nor is it numerous (be that in the metagame or in terms of raw card count).  No Fairy-Type Resistance is nice though… but Resistance is usually an annoyance so its just a small bonus, not a game maker.  Being a Basic is pretty sweet though; this is the Stage that requires the least effort to work into your deck and to get into play: just run the Pokémon and drop it when there is room.  This creates natural synergy with a lot of other cards as they will be more efficient when dealing with a Basic and there are even a few pieces of Basic support, as if it needed the help! 

70 HP isn’t the lowest we’ve seen on a non-Evolving Basic, but most of the time if it is smaller, it will Evolve.  Regardless, anything below 90 is fragile and real durability doesn’t seem to kick in until more like 120 or so; most decks can do 90 reliably and repeatedly and those not focused on effects seem to handle 120 with relative ease.  Metal Type Weakness is not happy; as the U.S. Nationals demonstrated, the Metal decks I had more or less given up on make a good showing, as well as some decks tapping Metal-Type support that was compatible with off-Type attackers.  Sometimes the low HP mitigates Weakness, but I don’t think that is the case here: something like Cobalion-EX just needs a Muscle Band to score the OHKO for a single Energy while other attackers can just use an unboosted version of their lower cost attacks.  Darkness Resistance is handy, but pretty easily overwhelmed due to the lower HP; Darkrai-EX used to be the Darkness-Type attacker whereas now it is run even in most Darkness-Type decks for its Ability… but its old and familiar Night Spear attack still punches through Resistance for a OHKO, even sans a Muscle Band or other buff.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] seems to be the functional average; low enough you’ll often have the Energy available to pay it but high enough you’d rather not.  For something this small, however it seems a little bit “worse”... good thing you’ll probably have Fairy Garden to zero it out. 

Carbink sports one Ability and one attack.  The former (Jewel Armor) is pretty simple: Carbink doesn’t take damage from attacks while it is on the Bench.  This isn’t a phenomenal Ability but it can be nice, especially if there is an attacker you can combo with it that has recoil damage that hits your Bench instead of itself.  Remember that damage counters are placed when damage is done or when an effect specifically states they are placed - so an attack that places damage counters directly (instead of doing damage) will still work on Carbink and whether doing damage or placing damage counters, Abilities and Ancient Traits would also get through.  The attack (Spin Tackle) requires [YCC] to do 60 damage… but wait it gets worse!  There is a coin flip to see if Carbink does 20 damage to itself.  This is pretty bad - not worse than having nothing but not too far off.  You’re paying for more like 90-100 vanilla damage and with self-damage, you should be looking at 100 to 120 easy.  In fact I’d rather it hit itself a bit harder (it has so little chance of surviving anyway) that as long as it doesn’t self-KO it won’t make much of a difference… but more self-damage should then justify more damage on the attack itself (...ignore that if the designers disagree). 

There is one other Carbink to consider, XY: Flashfire 68/106.  It is very similar to XY: Roaring Skies 47/108; in game relevant terms it just two attacks and no Ability.  The first attack is Crystal Barrier for [Y]; you flip a coin and if “heads” all effects of attacks done to it, including damage are prevented during your opponent’s next turn.  Not brilliant, but a decent way to buy time.  The second attack is “Wonder Blast” which requires [CCC] and does 40 plus another 20 per [Y] Energy attached to itself.  Either the base damage or the damage per Energy could be a bit higher, but overall it was a decent option for a final attack by Fairy-Types… but its niche merely had it as “decent” and M Gardevoir-EX eventually came out and even as a Mega Evolution does it better.  So does it clash or compliment today’s version?  Honestly it feels like they took what would have been one “okay” card that should have had Jewel Armor alongside Wonder Blast and made two much less impressive cards.  If you insist on running a Carbink, go with XY: Flashfire 68/106.  The only place to run XY: Roaring Skies 47/108 is Limited; if you want a Fairy-Type in your deck there aren’t a lot of other options and having something that can hit the Dragon-Types in this set is pretty tempting; as we know from our two Dragon-Type weeks there were some solid choices that became downright scary in Limited.  You’ll need a few Fairy Energy but the bulk of the attack cost is Colorless. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.25/5 

Expanded: 1.25/5 

Limited: 3/5 

Summary: Carbink has an Ability which was enough for me to consider it.  After considering it, I know that being protected on the Bench is not enough to justify running something so small with such a poor attack… unless we get some future combo piece that does a massive amount of Bench recoil damage to a single target while also proving competitive.  Not without its use in Limited though.


Emma Starr

            An interesting tidbit of trivia before today’s review starts – this was actually a Promo card in Japan. Was it worth that status? Let’s find out.

            The weakness to Steel is nice, since Steel types don’t seem to get played very often, though I think they’re very underrated. However, the atrocious 70 HP seems to foretell doom already. It’s ability, Jewel Armor, protects it from all damage as long as it’s on the bench. I have good news and bad news about this – the good news is that Carbink is safe from snipers such as Mega Latios EX, and a few other Pokémon we’ve discussed lately. The bad news is that this is Carbink’s mist useful attribute, since it’s attack is as useless as they come.

            For one Fairy and two Colorless Energies, Spin Tackle does 60, and you have to flip a coin. If it’s tails, you do 20 damage to yourself, possibly lowering yourself to 50 HP if you’re lucky, or knocking yourself out if you’re not (but who would even have this Pokémon active in the first place?). Obviously Trick Coin can help Carbink, but really…it’s an expensive-ish attack that will hardly do you any good. I personally think the English name for this attack should have been the original Japanese version’s name: Small and Round Thing Rolling Tackle. It gets the point across that the attack is as non-threatening as it gets.         

Standard: 1/5

Expanded: 1/5

Limited: 1/5


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