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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Dustox #8

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
June 3, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.13
Expanded: 2.00
Limited: 2.30

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Dustox #8 (Roaring Skies) 

Another Grass Stage 2, another interesting Pokémon. Interesting primarily because it has the Δ Plus Ancient Trait, meaning that Dustox takes an extra Prize if it KOs a Pokémon with damage from its attack. Yep, if you can take down two EX Pokémon with this thing, you win the game. 

There are a few Pokémon with this Trait and, as you would expect, the designers have taken steps to balance out its power. Dragonite ROS, for example, requires monstrous amounts of Energy, while Natu and Swellow have poor damage output. The latter drawback is shared by Dustox whose two attacks are Flap, which hits the active for an effect-free 20, and Wind Shard, which can do 50 to any one of your opponent’s Pokémon. 

As you would expect, it requires an awful lot of work to try and exploit Δ Plus. You need a Stage 2, and you need to get your target Pokémon in KO range of a relatively weak attack. This in itself takes turns and erodes the speed advantage that Δ Plus appears to provide. Ultimately, there are more efficient and effective ways of taking Prizes in this game, and that puts Dustox in the ‘somewhat gimmicky’ category. It has a cool trick which you might pull off in a casual game, but competitive decks will overwhelm your set up long before you get this to work. Even with the forthcoming Grass Support, I think we will have better cards to use than Dustox. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.75

Expanded: 1.5

Limited: 2.75


Emma Starr

If you thought Absol was a good sniper, wait until you get a load of Dustox, who somehow does a better job, just by being a butterfly. However, there are downsides to being a butterfly. Unfortunately, to be a butterfly, you must first be a caterpillar. Then, you have to be a cocoon. Then you can finally be a butterfly. While this can be good advice for life, it’s never too appealing to be a Stage 2 Pokémon these days.

With 130 HP and a weakness to Fire, she’s in the same spot as Beautifly was yesterday, though Dustox might not be the underdog that Beautifly has the possibility of becoming. Although she has a Reatreat Cost of 1, she has the Ancient Trait Alpha Plus, which gives her the ability to take 2 Prizes for a KO instead of just 1. As one could see when Lugia EX ran rampant, this ability can be devastating when a capable Pokémon can run it. In fact, Dustox has an edge over Lugia EX, as it doesn’t even  need the Pokémon it’s targeting to be active (and Dustox dosen’t require a Special Energy for this effect either).

To do accomplish her over-zealous prize collecting, she has two attacks. Her first, which is Gust, simply does 1-for-20. It’s junk. Moving on, we have Wind Shard, which is a 3-for-50 attack, however, this attack can hit ANY of your opponent’s benched Pokémon! She’s like a Grass-type Absol with a Muscle Band attached, but with an amazing Ancient Trait (and, you know, being a Stage 2 as well)!

Now, although Dustox can be frail, she actually COULD be very well worth the risk. Let’s say that your opponent switched out their EX, who happens to be within Wind Shard’s range of being KOed. Just switch out to Dustox, and boom! You’ll get 3 prizes instantly! Of course, that’s pretty situational, and unless you switch out Dustox, she’ll probably get knocked out, or at least close to it, in the next turn, giving your opponent a prize. However, that trade-off can certainly be in your favor if you time things go right, and the attack can really live up to its Japanese name: Throwing Stones of Wind.

Standard: 2.5/5 (once again, being Stage 2 sucks, but like Beutifly, if played right, she can be more than worth your time.)

Expanded: 2.5/5

Limited: 1.8/5 (again, lack of Rare Candy sucks, but you still have Wally! Did a lot of damage to an EX that got switched out, but still needed that bit of damage more? Dustox is there to have your back.)


Otaku

Time for our second Stage 2 in a row this week: Dustox (XY: Roaring Skies 8/108)!  The format is built around the faster, more space efficient Basic Pokémon, though some Evolutions do see successful competitive play; in the end though it means those Evolutions have to do some pretty great things to justify the added hassle.  Being a Grass-Type is a solid start; the Type is somewhat in demand because it can hit potent, popular Pokémon like Seismitoad-EX and Primal Groudon-EX for double damage… assuming it has attacks up to the task.  130 HP seems a bit low for a Stage 2; this is enough to take a hit but not reliably; I’d guesstimate that a little under half the time it won’t survive, while the times it does are bolstered by opponent’s with incomplete set-ups as well as decks that just don’t focus on big damage (like Seismitoad-EX using Quaking Punch for Item Lock).  The Fire Weakness on Dustox isn’t too bad - the only Fire-Type easily spotted in the competitive scene is Flareon (XY: Plasma Freeze 12/116), used in a manner where it likely would be strong enough to score a OHKO without Weakness.  While I can’t call it good, it certainly is safer than many other Weaknesses in the current metagame.  The lack of Resistance is a bit of a bummer but it is the norm so I won’t dock the card for it; think of it more like a missed opportunity.  The single Energy Retreat Cost is very good; it isn’t a perfect free Retreat Cost but it is low enough it’ll usually be easy to pay and from which to recover. 

Next is what catches the eye the most, or rather what that indicates: this is an “extended art” card (no, I’m not calling it a “half art” because the art covers a lot more than half the card!).  Extended Art cards have Ancient Traits and in this case it is Δ Plus.  What does that mean?  It means when Dustox KOs an opponent’s Pokémon via damage from one of its attacks, you get to take an extra Prize.  That could be incredibly potent so long as Dustox isn’t so bad at scoring KOs that the extra Prize taken struggles to keep up with the next best option taking Prizes by KO even without the Ancient Trait.  If, for example, it takes too attacks to score a OHKO against a non-Pokémon-EX (two Prizes taken thanks to the Ancient Trait) but if something else equally suited to your set-up (or even an alternate deck choice) is going to be just as reliable, have just as good of match-ups and KOs a Pokémon-EX with two similarly costly attacks, you’re just breaking even. The first attack (Flap) requires [G] to hit for 20.  This isn’t scoring many OHKOs, even after being boosted.  For [GCC] the second attack (Wind Shard) does 50 damage to the opponent’s Pokémon of your choice (as usual skipping Weakness/Resistance for Benched targets).  These attacks do about half the damage they would need to in order to keep pace with most competitive attackers: I can understand nerfing the card a little ahead of time to avoid something obviously broken, but this pretty much means Dustox has to hope and pray the opponent is forced to Bench something with 50 HP or less just so it can keep pace with the top decks. 

Dustox has to come from somewhere and we already have a good start on this from yesterday’s CotD as Dustox and Beautifly share the same Basic Stage, Wurmple.  This will be one of the rare occasions where I’ll just let you refer to that review and state XY: Roaring Skies 3/108 seemed like the better option and that Beautifly (XY: Roaring Skies 5/108) could be a nice piece of TecH for a deck focused on Dustox (use Rare Candy to avoid needing Silcoon; you should be running a few anyway to supplement your Cascoon).  Cascoon is the Stage 1 that leads to Dustox; in Expanded you have two options in the forms of BW: Dragons Exalted 9/124 and XY: Roaring Skies 6/108 with the latter being the only Standard legal option.  Both are Stage 1 Grass-Type Pokémon with 80 HP, Fire Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat Cost of [CCC], no Ancient Traits, no Abilities and two attacks.   BW: Dragons Exalted 9/124 allows you to force one of the opponent’s Benched Pokémon into the Active spot (Tangle Drag) for [C] while for [CC] it hits for 20 damage while healing 20 damage off of itself.  For [G] XY: Roaring Skies 6/108 can Poison the opponent’s Active Pokémon (Poison Sting) while for [CC] it allows you to flip a coin and if the result is “heads” it blocks all damage done to Cascoon by attacks from the opponent’s Pokémon until the end of your opponent’s next turn (Iron Defense).  I’d go with XY: Roaring Skies 6/108, but only just as a flippy defense isn’t much better than Bench disruption. 

There are two other Dustox to consider: BW: Dragons Exalted 47/124 and XY: Roaring Skies 7/108.  Both are Stage 2 Pokémon with no Resistance, no Abilities, no Ancient Traits and two attacks.  Things get shaken up a bit this time as BW: Dragons Exalted 47/124 is a Poison-Type with 130 HP and Psychic Weakness that for [P] attacks to leave the opponent’s Active Asleep, Burned and Poisoned (Hazardous Scales) while for [PCC] hits for 50 (plus another 30 on a successful coin flip) with its second attack (Aerial Ace).  The latter is weak as it should hit as hard as it does without the coin flip, maybe a little harder and the first attack is simply “okay”: ever since Confusion became something you could normally retreat out of it hasn’t been much good, while unconditional, guaranteed Paralysis is broken so Sleep is the only real choice.  Burn and Poison are the only two Special Conditions that can coexist with any others so the attack does about all you would or really should expect… but there isn’t a lot of use for it either. 

Roaring Skies 7/108 has 10 more HP (so 140) and one more in the Retreat Cost (so [CC]) than today’s version but is otherwise the same except for the lack of an Ancient Trait.  For [CC] it hits for 30 while Confusing the opponent’s Active (Psybeam) while for [GGCC] it hits for 80 while leaving the opponent’s Active both Asleep and Poisoned (Twilight Poison).  Both attacks are just a bit too costly, underpowered or perhaps a little of both to be competitive, especially on a Stage 2.  As such, I don’t recommend running either of these with today’s Dustox. 

Instead, the main use for it is the reverse of what I suggested when I talked about Beautifly (XY: Roaring Skies 6/108): if you decide to run it (a dicey proposition) then a single copy of this makes sense should you be fortunate enough that your opponent has some very small Pokémon you could potentially snipe for a bonus Prize.  If you do insist on running Dustox, you’ll probably need to back it with massive amounts of spread damage to soften targets up so that you can hit them that same turn for a KO, possibly while also attempting to make use of Target Whistle if there is something small enough to be an easier OHKO.  Expanded means more competition but actually has a solid deck that provides tempting targets thanks to Tynamo being so small while Eelektrik 40/101) is so useful. 

If you get at least a 1-1-1 line of this for Limited play, run it.  I guess if you also pull a Pokémon-EX worth building a +39 deck around, that would also be an exception (since by its nature that could only have said Pokémon-EX in it for Basics).  While the attacks still aren’t that thrilling, at least their Energy costs makes them not too painful for work into a multi-Type deck and your opponent will likely have some small enough targets on their Bench, including stuff they are trying to otherwise build in safety that you can smack around with Wind Shard… while taking an extra Prize.  The icing on the cake is that in many (most?) forms of Limited play, you’ll be doing something like a booster draft which means a 40 card deck as well as each player only having four Prizes to begin the game instead of six… so two hits from Wind Shard might win the game. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.9/5 

Expanded: 1.9/5 

Limited: 4.8/5 

Summary: Enjoy Dustox in Limited play if you can, or else probably as a “fun” deck; while there are a decent number of small targets for it to OHKO in Standard and Limited, there simply aren’t enough in all decks to make it a worthwhile focus for a deck.


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