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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Ludicolo #12

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
March 5, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 2.25
Limited: 4.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

What do you get when you cross a platypus with a pineapple and a Mexican stereotype? Heck if I know, but today we're looking at Ludicolo, a Pokemon powered by the ramba of samba, the dance of your pants, and the music of the night! I know that last one didn't rhyme, but I thought it was appropriate.

Especially cause Ludicolo's got this Captivating Rhythm Ability that acts like Pokemon Catcher without the Item slot - that's a nice way of getting around that nasty Seismitoad-EX and snatching up one of your opponent's Bench-sitters to get a good KO in! Flip a coin, and if you land on heads, you can switch the Active with a Benched Pokemon, really straight forward stuff. Of course, it's about as successful as Pokemon Catcher, but given how useful that can be, it'll prolly be worth it. 

Other than that, not much to sell on Ludicolo. His Solar Ray attack is only a 3-for-80 (come on, you're a Stage 2, at LEAST hit for 90!) and heals off 20...I mean, combined with Sceptile (8), it could be useful, but would I rather be healing off 50 damage on my turn (which by the way, GREAT stalling overall) or dealing 50 more damage on that attack? Who knows, Ludicolo's no fighter, HE'S A LOVER!! 

So there may be some usage in Captivating Rhythm, but is it worth running a Stage 2 to get a constant Pokemon Catcher effect every turn? Arguably so, but it's going to take a lot of work and convincing. VirGen decks are the most likely to run him, and they've already got Genesect-EX's Red Signal, so unless you're worried about Silent Lab nullifying that Ability, Ludicolo's a hefty investment to work in. 

Or maybe you'd rather just let Ludicolo dance the night away-ZING!! 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (a constant Pokemon Catcher is only as good as its offensive partner) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (it's not too bad here either, probably better for targeting those pesky Eelektrik) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (if your opponent has Benched Pokemon, then this guy is pretty useful, but other than that ehhhhhhhhh) 

Arora Notealus: You know what's a fun musical instrument? Maracas. Just shake em around or give them to your favorite Ludicolo, and WATCH AS HIS POWER LEVEL REACHES BEYOND THE WILDEST DREAMS OF MEGA-MEWTWO AND ARCEUS, OH HOW MEGA-RAYQUAZA TREMBLES AT THE POWER OF THE FUNK (Ludicolo for Ludicolo tier) 

Next Time: And now that EX you've all been waiting for!


Otaku

Time for the next-to-last entry of our XY: Primal Clash Grass Week.  For those late to the party, I was given the chance to select cards for this week, so I decided to keep it simple by taking the very first Type of the set (Grass) and picking the five remaining that had the most potential or (as sadly some haven’t had much potential at all) seemed more interesting than their peers I left out.

So today we are looking at Ludicolo (XY: Primal Clash 12/160).  Being a Grass-Type means it enjoys hitting some key cards for Weakness (like Seismitoad-EX), never has to deal with Weakness, and has some support but most of what has already proven worthwhile already works for more than just Grass-Types (like Virizion-EX).  This is our fourth Stage 2 this week, but as I like to be thorough I’ll reiterate: at least one turn of delay (two if you don’t use acceleration), two additional cards of investment (over a Basic Pokémon) and unless the lower Stages pick up some of the slack (something that would really help the game overall) then the entire burden for justifying the line falls onto the Stage 2, creating that awkward situation of making a Stage 2 “superior” to or at least offering something that no Basic (Pokémon-EX or otherwise) or Stage 1 or Mega Evolution offers without then tilting things too far the other direction. 

Ludicolo has 130 HP, a score we’ve seen a few times this week.  It is large enough that Ludicolo won’t be an overly easy OHKO, but neither is it overly secure.  I think it leans more “safe” than “unsafe”, but the margin isn’t as comfortable as it was a year ago or the beginning of this year or even as of last set.  Fire Weakness has also been a common sight this week; as I keep pointing out most of the Fire-Types (at least that I have seen used well competitively) don’t or only just barely need the boost.  Instead of making impossible KOs, it will mostly allow a Fire-Type to use its attack (sometimes primary, sometimes secondary, sometimes both) for a OHKO with less effort than would have otherwise been required.  In a few cases its quite significant but most will just be a mild bonus for the attacker… which means Fire Weakness isn’t good but it isn’t as bad as some other possibilities.  The lack of Resistance is the worst possible, but its also the norm so I won’t hold it against the card.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is also pretty much average as its high enough you’ll want to avoid it but low enough you’ll often be able to both provide the Energy and recover from the loss.  Plus even if it was higher, most decks currently pack multiple alternatives to manually retreating at full price, featuring either switching cards or those that simply lower Retreat Costs. 

This Ludicolo sports one Ability and one attack.  The Ability is Captivating Rhythm, which once-per-turn (per copy of this Ability) you can flip a coin and if “heads”, select an opponent’s Benched Pokémon and switch it with his or her Active; so a free (beyond getting Ludicolo into play) Pokémon Catcher per turn.  Years ago Metagross (DP: Legends Awakened 10/146) had a functionally identical effect, save it was a Poké-Power (one of the predecessors to Abilities) and named Magnetic Reversal.  My memory is hazy but I seem to recall it had some success.  That was a different format though; for now this is a nice Ability but alone isn’t enough to justify running a Stage 2 in the current metagame, in part because you need two or three as they each individually have “even” odds of success or failure.  So let us take a look at the attack: Solar Ray starts out promising as it has a cost of [GCC], allowing Double Colorless Energy to mitigate some of the difficulty of powering up Ludicolo.  The output is disappointing though not horrid; 80 damage means it just takes a Muscle Band to put most things into 2HKO range and 20 healing isn’t bad, just largely useless as most attackers that don’t take the OHKO will still easily score a 2HKO the next turn regardless of such a small amount of healing. 

Let’s check the rest of the Evolution line.  There are two options for Lotad: BW: Plasma Storm 29/135 and XY: Primal Clash 10/160.  Both are Basic Pokémon with 60 HP, no Resistance, Retreat Cost of [C], no Ability, no Ancient Trait and one attack.  Plasma Storm 29/135 is a Water-Type with Lightning Weakness and for [WC] it hits for 20 with a coin flip to inflict Paralysis.   XY: Primal Clash 10/160 is a Grass-Type with Fire Weakness and for [CC] it can hit for 20.  Neither attack significantly contributes to keeping Lotad alive long enough to Evolve and neither Type/Weakness combo strikes me as better than the other.  Plasma Storm 29/135 might be able to Paralyze but the Energy cost of its attack makes it unlikely to be a good deal, so I think I’d go with XY: Primal Clash 10/160 just because if you actually had to attack with it, this Lotad can use a Double Colorless Energy to get in a quick, desperate hit.  Unless you have a reason to run Dive Ball in the deck, in which case go with Plasma Storm 29/135 since it is a legal target.  There are also two options for Lombre: Plasma Storm 30/135 and XY: Primal Clash 11/160.  Both are Stage 1 Pokémon with 80 HP, no Resistance, Retreat Costs of [CC], no Abilities, no Ancient Traits and two attacks.  Plasma Storm 30/135 is a Water-Type with Lightning Weakness and for [CC] it can attack for 20 damage (+20 if you get “heads” on the required coin flip) or for [WCC] it can hit for a flat 50.  XY: Primal Clash 11/160 can do 20 for [G] or 30 for [CC].  Even without Dive Ball being in the deck (which is a possibility), it might be good to have Lombre shift Types since it can hit without any [W] Energy; altering your Weakness could be useful as well.  Still not enough to really warrant running one over the other unless you specifically need to work with Dive Ball or do need to avoid Lightning Weakness, etc. 

There are two other options for Ludicolo itself: Plasma Storm 31/135 and XY: Primal Clash 37/160.  Both are Stage 2 Water-Type Pokémon with 130 HP and no Resistance.  Plasma Storm 31/135 is Lightning Weak with a heftier Retreat Cost of three, the Ability Rain Dish (heals 20 damage from itself between turns) and the attack Groovy Dance (requires [WWC] for 70 damage, optional discard to Confuse the opponent’s Active).  The healing will occasionally come in handy but the attack is pretty disappointing; hits to soft and the bonus effect will rarely be worth an Energy discard.  Primal Clash 37/160 has a Retreat Cost of [CC] and Grass Weakness, an Ancient Trait and two attacks.  Its Ancient Trait is α Recovery, which doubles the amount of healing that healing effects provide for Ludicolo; it can be useful but this isn’t a huge tank so its mostly a small benefit.  For [C] it can use Astonish to hit for 30 while letting you shuffle a random card from your opponent’s hand back into his or her deck (after revealing that card).  Not great, but a decent “lesser” attack.  The card’s “big” attack is Splash Dance for [WCC]; this does 60 damage and during your next turn ups the damage of Splash dance to 120.  Splash Dance is pretty disappointing as we learned a while ago that attacks like this are too easy to disrupt, so you’ll often just get 60 for three.  Still Astonish and the Type difference still makes this worth considering if you are running today’s version. 

Should you run today’s version?  Again, only for fun.  I am not denying that Captivating Rhythm is useful, just that it isn’t worth the hassle that comes with Ludicolo.  Splitting the line would allow you to hit two of the reasonably in demand Weaknesses, Water (usually for Landorus-EX) and Grass (usually for Seismitoad-EX) but I’m don’t think they bring enough on top of that to be remotely competitive.  If Bench disruption suddenly demands a premium though, you might want to revisit this option. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 

Summary: For now, Ludicolo will be lucky to enjoy some “fun deck” play, though it looks quite nice for Limited play.  Again if we get a format where it suddenly becomes really important to mess with the Bench, this Stage 2 will be worth revisiting, but again its something to get when the price is right, not to make a major effort in tracking it down.


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