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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Pangoro

- XY50 Promo

Date Reviewed:
May 28, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.55
Expanded: 2.55
Limited: N/A

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

Pangoro (Promo) 

There’s a lot to like about this Pangoro: not least the fact that he is a Fighting Type. This gives him access to all that lovely support, especially Korrina for search and Strong Energy and Fighting Stadium for damage boosting. 

I think the way that the Benevolent Boss Ability increases his relatively low HP too. With a conventional full Bench, he boasts more than Basic EXs with his 200 HP. Throw a Sky Field into the mix and he can have 260! Even Colourless Mega Rayquaza can’t OHKO that! As for that underwhelming 80 damage attack, that can be increased to a respectable level with the aforementioned damage boosting cards (and/or by getting him Poisoned or Burned). 

In theory, Pangoro could be a reasonably hard-hitting non-EX tank, and that would be a very nice thing to have. In practice, the three Energy cost of Crazy Knuckle makes him very difficult to use, as Fighting’s options for Energy acceleration are pretty poor. Then there is the problem Pangoro has with Ability lock cards: turn off Benevolent Boss with an Active Wobbuffet or Benched Garbodor LTR, and he will be KO’d if he has 10 or more damage counters on him.

I don’t think Pangoro is an especially competitive card, but at least they tried to make him fun and interesting, and you can’t often say that about Promos. 

Rating 

Modified: 2.5

Expanded: 2.5

Limited: N/A


aroramage

Ahhh yeah, my favorite brawling panda bear - Pangoro! And this one's a Fighting-type! Does this mean we get to have a great and powerful ally in everyone's favorite powerhouse panda? 

...what? It's a promo? Oh... 

Well, let's not get our hopes too high then. Even so, Pangoro's got some interesting kicks about him. His attack does cost 3, but Crazy Knuckle deals a solid 80 damage - just like Regirock's Stone Edge from yesterday, only cheaper! Coincidentally, it ALSO has the option to add 40 damage, only instead of a coin toss, it's whether or not Pangoro is affected by a Special Condition - aka Paralyzed, Poisoned, Burned, Confused, or Asleep. Two of those you can't even attack in, so that just leaves Poisoned/Burned/Confused. For a while, Poison has been a big part of the game, but given what the rotation's gonna take out, HTL may not be in the game outside of Expanded - which means this attack is going to become less reliable. 

That's okay though, since Pangoro's not that tough anyway. He's only got 100 HP...or does he? Curiously enough, Pangoro has an Ability that boosts his HP based on the total number of Benched Pokemon! With that in mind, Pangoro can have up to 200 HP in health - or rather 260 HP including Sky Field benefits! That's even more than Wailord-EX!! Combine that with some support from the Bench, and you've got a powerful Pokemon to lay the smack down! 

Only...there's a Pokemon out there, I don't know if you guys have heard about him, but he's called Garbodor, and he shuts down Abilities. Which would make Pangoro a mere 100 HP again with an okay attack...yikes. Maybe rotation will actually help Pangoro be better, but as of this time, he's just a little...well, less than what we'd hope for.  

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (his Ability combined with Sky Field makes him extremely bulky, but Garbodor just shuts it down easy) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (on the bright side, at least he's got a lot of Fighting support, so maybe he won't do too bad) 

Limited: N/A (again, promo, so not actually part of a set...hmm) 

Arora Notealus: Promo cards aren't used in Limited, and with rare exceptions they're not really used in Standard/Expanded. What about a format that strictly uses promos and any cards that could get you to use those promos, like running Pancham to evolve into Pangoro?...then again, the selection would be EXTREMELY limited, so you'd have to include some cards from outside the promos to make it work...that or you just need better promos. 

Next Time: Maybe this guy can tell me if the set after this is going to bring disaster. *kracka-thoom*


Emma Starr

Today’s card is Pangoro, is the evolution of the once teddy-like Pancham. As such, being a Stage 1 is never ideal, especially when you carry a frail 100 HP. Psychic weakness isn’t too bad, though with Gallade EX popping up now, he could have some more threats to worry about. Not that he’d survive too long otherwise, anyway. Unless, however, you make use of his ability.

                So his Ability to be Bossy gives him 20 HP for each of your benched Pokémon, which COULD give him a max of 100 more HP, capping him at an actually very nice 200 HP! But wait! Sky Field exists! If you happen to have 8 Pokémon on your bench, you can boost this guy to a ridiculous 260 HP!! This can even surpass Wailord EX! And he can’t have a worse attack then Wailord EX, can he? You’re correct! But it’s still pretty average.

                Crazy Knuckle does 80 for two Fighting Energy, and one colorless. If it’s affected by a special condition though, it gets boosted to 120. Not too crazy, but with the possible amount of HP you can give him, he can probably use it quite a few times. Although this affect might make your opponent think twice before afflicting it with a Status, you can still definitely do a reliable 80, which you can bump up to 100 if you attach a Strong Energy to it, along with bumping him up 120 if you attach two, and so on. With Sky Stadium, I think you could possibly make this guy work, but be prepared to do some serious setting up first.

                Standard: 2.65/5 (With Sky Field, they couldn’t have picked a better time to release this card. But to make him work to his fullest potential, you’ll have to get Sky Stadium in play, evolve Pancham, get a whole bunch of basics in your bench, etc.)

                Expanded: 2.65/5

                Limited: nope.jpg


Otaku

Today we’ll be looking at another promo available by purchasing the the three-booster-pack blister for XY: Roaring Skies: Pangoro (XY Black Star Promos XY50).  It is a Fighting-Type, allowing it to tap the most excellent Fighting-Type support and a Stage 1, making it harder to use than a Basic but still manageable.  Pangoro has 100 HP, which is low and within OHKO range for a lot of decks, but we’ll see why that is a bit deceiving later on.  Psychic Weakness is dangerous; you’ve got Mewtwo-EX, Night March decks, and a few others that will simply wreck Pangoro thanks to that Weakness.  No Resistance is the worst but it is also the norm, so I don’t consider it a detriment to the card.  The Retreat Cost of [CCC] is a drawback, but not too major; this format already provides incentive to include the means to change out your Active with ease, either by lowering Retreat Costs, bypassing manually retreating or some combination of the two.  It does make the card a legal Heavy Ball target in Expanded.  Pangoro has an Ability and an attack.  The Ability is Benevolent Boss, which grants it +20 HP per Pokémon on your Bench, but only while Pangoro is Active.  Its attack is Crazy Knuckle, which requires [FFC] and hits for 80, plus another 40 if Pangoro is affected by a Special Condition. 

Benevolent Boss creates an almost paradoxical situation; a “glass tank”.  That doesn’t make sense of course; a “glass cannon” (when used in the context of this game) is something that hits really hard but is easy to KO.  Pangoro doesn’t hit overly hard, but instead while conditions are right can reach staggeringly high amounts of HP, but if Abilities go down or it is forced to the Bench, its HP drops to normal… which can result in it suddenly being KOed if it had more damage counters on it than its printed maximum HP.  Normally Pangoro would top out at 200 HP (100 over what is printed), but with Sky Field in play you can have an 8 Pokémon Bench instead of the usual five, propelling it upwards of 260 HP, more than even Wailord-EX has… at least printed.  Crazy Knuckle has a tempting clause to Activate in that hitting for 120 for three is actually good, the possible foundation for a OHKO and a good 2HKO.  Unfortunately out of the five Special Conditions, two (Paralysis and Sleep) will keep Pangoro from attacking at all, one (Confusion) forces you to flip a coin to see if your attack works as normal or if instead it places three damage counters on the attacker while the last two (Burn and Poison) are going to slowly damage Pangoro (unless he gets very lucky with the flips for Burn). 

Unless you want to put it into play via Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, then you’ll need a Pancham.  Your options are XY: Furious Fists 59/111 and XY: Furious Fists 60/111.  Both are Basic Fighting-Types with Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, no Abilities and no Ancient Traits.  XY: Furious Fists 59/111 has 60 HP, a Retreat Cost of [C] and two attacks: for [C] Bad-Influence Evolution allows you to search for a card that Evolves from Pancham and Evolve into it, but only if you have a Darkness-Type Pokémon in play as well.  For [FCC] it has Confront for 30 damage.  XY: Furious Fists 60/111 has 70 HP with a Retreat Cost of [CC] and just one attack.  For [CC] it can use Comet Punch for four coin flips, each good for 10 points of damage per “heads”.  Neither of these is thrilling, though XY: Furious Fists 59/111 is trying since it can speed up Evolution.  Unfortunately for it, we are Evolving into a Fighting-Type so unless someone comes up with a deck that runs other Darkness-Types alongside this Pangoro, we’ll go with XY: Furious Fists 60/111 for the 10 more HP.  There is just one other Pangoro: XY: Furious Fists 68/111; it is a Darkness-Type Stage 1 with 120 HP, Fighting Weakness, Psychic Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCC], no Abilities, no Ancient Traits and two attacks.  For [DC] Clobber lets you hit for 30, plus another 40 if you discard an Item from your hand.  [DCC] allows Hammer Arm for 80 damage plus discarding the top card of your opponent’s deck.  We’ve looked at this card before, where it seemed wanting though not totally without hope… but it doesn’t look like it really would fit in here. 

The reason being is that you need a Bench that helps Pangoro stay bulked up, and its counterpart doesn’t do that.  So what does?  Pokémon with Ω Omega Barrier.   Thanks to yesterday’s card, we now have two different Fighting-Types with the trait: Regirock (XY Black Star Promo XY49) and Primal Groudon-EX.  Electrike (XY: Primal Clash 60/160) could provide another if you wanted to make sure you had a fall back for some being Prized.  These Pokémon can only be forced up via Escape Rope (that force the Active to the Bench instead of forcing something on the Bench into the Active spot), attacks and Abilities.  Sounds like a lot of potential counters, but none are universally played (though if a Pangoro deck ended up performing well enough, Escape Rope could be).  Unfortunately it is a lot to work into a deck (even just sticking to the Fighting-Types.  Alternatively, and this is getting “out there”, you could use Umbreon (BW: Plasma Freeze 64/116) and Team Plasma Badge.  Yeah, this strategy so far has to my knowledge always proven to be a dud and with Item lock so potent I wouldn’t want to rely on it, but Umbreon [Plasma] would not only allow your maximum HP to reach a staggering 340 but it means upwards of +80 that won’t go away when Benched.  It also means you could tap additional Team Plasma support as well… but anything that shuts off Abilities still cancels out all the extra HP, with Item lock preventing the combo and Item discarding effects also shutting it down. 

So while there are things you can do with this in Standard and Expanded, it is unlikely to reach the level of “competitive” deck.  Fun deck, yes, but not competitive.  This would be a good card for Limited play… except as a promo it isn’t in a set.  In Limited play most of the things that make it hard to keep the Ability working aren’t reliably available.  Neither are the cards that would make it “too” good either. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 2.05/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary: For Standard and Expanded play, Pangoro is just a little too vulnerable.  It gets a very slight boost from Heavy Ball in Expanded, hence the slight boost to the score.  It does serve as a useful, textbook example of why having incredibly powerful cards supposedly keep each other in check doesn’t work: collateral damage.  Pretty much everything I listed above has defenders explaining that they are “necessary” to balance out other top cards… but those still see ample play while things like this go from potential stars to “fun deck” status.  Still even with all of this, it could be a functional fun deck, the one that will stomp you if you don’t remember how to handle it (or just get a bad opening hand) during the first few rounds of a tournament.


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