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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Ludicolo #37

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
March 16, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 2.25
Limited: 3.74

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Seems somebody better use that taxi, cause it looks like somebody CALLED IT!! YEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! 

Thanks, Ludicolo, for giving support on that joke! And thanks of course to you guys for your hanging around for Water Week! As you can see, we've got Ludicolo once again to show off his moves and reintroduce himself as a Water-type - in the same set as his Grass version, no less! Crazy! 

Typing aside, what makes this Ludicolo different from his partner is that Alpha Recovery, which doubles the amount of healing he receives. Notably, he can recover 60 damage off of Rough Seas each turn he's around, since he's a Water-type after all. This can make for a pretty decent stall option - I know in the past I've berated healing for being a "band-aid" rather than a "knee pad," if you catch my drift, but when that band-aid can keep a deep wound from getting worse, that's pretty good in my book. Minimally, 70 damage will still take a few turns to KO Ludicolo (though 130 WILL KO him regardless). 

That being said, let's see why you'd want this Ludicolo around. First is the simple Astonish that does 1-for-30 and shuffles a card in the opponent's hand into their deck. Slightly disruptive and a temporary fix to an upcoming problem but not the best thing for a Stage 2 to hang around with. Splash Dance on the other hand has a little potential. It does 3-for-60 damage on the first turn, and then if you use it again on your next turn, it does 120 damage instead. Notice those numbers? Yep, Ludicolo can 2HKO most Pokemon-EX if he sticks around. 

And with a Trait like Alpha Recovery, he might actually stick around for a good while! I wouldn't say he's a competitive counter to these guys, but he does put forth a good effort to be sure. If you're weird, you could even use him with the other Ludicolo to try and switch around Pokemon such that Splash Dance's 120 hits something that could fall easily in one go! Keeping in mind I haven't even mentioned Muscle Band or HTLBank. 

If nothing more than a dark horse of sorts, Ludicolo will at least live on in our hearts with song and dance. Celebrate good times, you crazy platypus pineapple thing. Good times. 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (I'd say a fairly decent option - not gonna blow things out of the water, but could survive long enough to be threatening if he's not taken care of immediately) 

Expanded: 3/5 (about the same here) 

Limited: 4/5 (you get that Rough Seas a blowing and that Splash Dance a flowing, then your opponents will be a-rolling) 

Arora Notealus: Just look at that face! That's totally a Fonzie "Eyyyyyyyy" face! Just imagine him going, "Eyyyyyyyyyy~" Go on. I'll wait for the guffaws and chuckles to ensue. 

Next Time: BEHOLD THE BIGGEST ANYTHING EVER


Otaku

If you paid attention to last week, you already knew what to expect for this week; its XY: Primal Clash Water Week here on Pojo.  First up is the counterpart to a Grass-Type we reviewed during the Grass Week; today we look at Ludicolo (XY: Primal Clash 37/160)!  Unfortunately I’m running behind so I’m going to have to extensively reference our review of its set-mate, Ludicolo (XY: Primal Clash 12/160); here’s a link.  Then again since I’d be largely repeating myself anyone, some might prefer the “abridged” version of my usual review approach.

Right now its pretty good to be blue.  Water-Types don’t have the kind of support the Fighting-Type enjoys, but they have some nifty tricks like Dive Ball and Rough Seas (FYI I didn’t realize how many typos were in my review for that card until now) and some impressive Pokémon though most are like Keldeo-EX and Seismitoad-EX; even if they can do more with an actual Water deck behind them, they work quite well off-Type or in mixed company.  In terms of exploiting Weakness (since that remains an important part of the game), Water Weakness is mostly valuable for hitting Landorus-EX at the moment, though there are plenty of cards that don’t see as much play with the same Weakness (nearly all Fire-Types and a good chunk of Fighting).  Again it isn’t as advantageous as the exploiting Weakness if for Fighting-Types, but overall its good.  Water Resistance is almost gone from the game; it remains due to older Grass-Types from the BW-era.  There are some cards that are “anti-Water”, such as Hariyama (XY: Furious Fists 52/111); its Thick Fat Ability reduces the damage taken from Water-Types (and Fire-Types, though that doesn’t matter for this review) by 30, the same as “old-school” Resistance used to block.  Yeah, damage output and HP scores go up as this game gets older, but Resistance amounts decrease: I don’t really get it either.  Fortunately for Water-Types, “anti-Water” cards just aren’t that good.   

Being a Stage 2 hasn’t changed since last week and spoiler alert, when we cover this card’s lower Stages they won’t be good enough to help offset the increased card and time requirement of being an Evolution.  130 HP could have been adequate but peeking ahead you know this card isn’t meant as a Bench-sitter.  Hitting for 130 in one turn still isn’t easy, but it is not longer as tricky as it was even a few sets ago; remember that it doesn’t have to come from a single attack against a lot of popular decks.  The Grass-Type Weakness isn’t the worst to have.  In fact the main reason it worries me is because of other, established Pokémon like Seismitoad-EX are also Grass Weak and thus provide an incentive to try and find more, good Grass-Type attackers.  So far though the only really strong Grass-Type deck is VirGen and there aren’t a lot of good, Grass-Type attackers that are easy, general fits for decks at large.  Against VirGen decks Weakness will matter; a Virizion-EX with a Muscle Band can Emerald Slash for a OHKO, while Genesect-EX will need no aid to perform the same feat.  No Resistance is still common so no penalty for that.  A Retreat Cost of two is both common, about the functional norm and easily dealt with when it is an issue so it is neither going to help nor really hurt this card. 

We finally get to what this Ludicolo can do; first it has an Ancient Trait.  α Recovery doubles the amount of healing this cards receives; a small benefit but not as good as most other Ancient Traits.  Healing has often been a weak tactic - the one recent, successful healing card is Max Potion and as that heals all damage, no point in doubling it.  Still this does make other forms of healing a lot more effective as Potion becomes Super Potion without any drawbacks, Super Potion functionally becomes Max Potion without as large of a drawback (without HP boosting tricks, you are only ever going to need to heal 120 damage from Ludicolo) and what might actually matter, Rough Seas heals an impressive 60 instead of its already handy 30.  Still this Ancient Trait would be much better on something with more HP; as stated earlier 130 doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room so most decks will either still get the OHKO or 2HKO.  Ludicolo then as two attacks; the first is Astonish for [C], which does 30 damage and allows you to randomly shuffle a card from your opponent’s hand into his or her deck (you also get to see that card before it is shuffled away).  Again not great but for the Energy involved its decent.  In fact if this were a Basic Pokémon it might even be somewhat good.  The second attack is Splash Dance for [WCC]; it does 60 damage and places an effect on Ludicolo so that if it uses Splash Dance again next turn, the attack does another 60 (so 120).  If Ludicolo is Benched (let alone KOed) this effect is reset, so its pretty hard to get that bonus damage.  Even if that wasn’t the case, three for 60 is bad while three for 120 is good but not great; you’d have to get two 120 hits from Splash Dance for every 60 to be a more or less “average” deck. 

So… now for where I can just reference the older review.  The short version is that no version of the lower Stages are particular good.  Neither are any of the other Ludicolo currently available especially good.  Ludicolo (XY: Primal Clash 12/160) has a nifty Ability but it isn’t so strong as to justify the Stage 2 line on its own.  If we had some other as good-or-better Ludicolo, they might manage a deck together.  This version currently is only useful for being the slightly-easier-to-attack-with-Water-Type-Ludicolo if you were running the two in a deck.  If you love Ludicolo go ahead and do what you can; I guess with Auroros (XY: Furious Fists 26/111) and Rough Seas (perhaps some regular Potion as well) backing it, you could make a weird, non-competitive-but-fun tank deck.  Getting multiples of a Stage 1 that Evolves from a Restored Pokémon plus a Stage 2 into play is a lot of work, though and if Abilities go down, well basically the whole deck goes down.  You also can enjoy this in Limited, aided by there being an additional Ludicolo in the set (slightly easier to get a more robust Evolution line that way) and there actually being two healing cards that aren’t super rare in the set either: Rough Seas and Fresh Water Set.  This is even the set with Dive Ball.

Ratings 

Standard: 1.5/5 

Expanded: 1.5/5 

Limited: 3.5/5 

Summary: While not completely bland, Ludicolo combines a lot of things that don’t work very well for a final product that doesn’t really work at all.  I actually ended up being impressed by it because I couldn’t even think of a crazy-fun-deck for it but then I realized something in the end… so the above scores might be a bit high.


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