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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Lapras

- XY BREAKpoint

Date Reviewed:
April 11, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.00
Expanded: 1.65
Limited: 3.88

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

After a very busy weekend working on...stuff, we're back this week to review some more BREAKpoint cards! Like this Lapras card! 

...yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. 

So Lapras is...pretty okay. I mean, 120 HP is pretty nice for a non-evolving non-EX Basic. All that he needs you to do is keep him in play, and he can run your errands! Pick up your laundry, grab that mocha cappuccino you wanted, and nab you any Trainer card you want - all for the low low cost of 1 Water Energy!...and your attack for the turn. But hey, details! 

And if you're feeling frisky, Lapras does have a powerful Water Splash attack. For 3 Energy, you can deal 80 damage and flip a coin for potentially an extra 20. Nothing spectacular, and nothing to really warrant playing Lapras over some other card. Errand-Running is an interesting move though, but since we've got Skyla... 

Lapras may not see that much play all things considered. The attacks are only so good, but it's nice to see the Pokemon company aiming to push the boundaries of what their lower end Pokemon can have in terms of power. Maybe we'll see more of that sort of thing down the road as the power creep gradually pushes Pokemon HP and damage higher and higher. 

...except for Magikarp. He's fine as is. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (couple decent attacks that are just generally outclassed) 

Expanded: 1.5/5 (not much that Lapras can do about that) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (though getting a Trainer card here would always be nice) 

Arora Notealus: Ahhh, Lapras, you're a pretty cool guy! Don't worry, I'll claim you from that Silph Co. employee soon enough... 

Next Time: OH YEAH I ALMOST FORGOT THIS GUY WAS IN GENERATIONS TOO


Otaku

We begin this week with the four-one-one on Lapras (XY: BREAKpoint 28/122).  There are four other options and because they are a somewhat homogenous lot I’m just going to cover it all at once.  The others are BW: Next Destinies 25/99, BW: Next Destinies 26/99, BW: Plasma Blast 17/101, and XY 35/146.  The BW versions are only legal in Expanded. 

All Lapras in question are Water Types.  In terms of striking Weakness this means almost all Fire Types and a chunk of Fighting Types will take double damage.  Not great right now but not totally without merit.  In terms of slamming into Resistance Water Types only have to worry about most BW-era Grass Types.  Resistance is not that great and fortunately for Lapras neither are most cards with explicitly anti-Water Type effects, nor are they particularly numerous.  In terms of direct support for the Water Types we have some spiffy cards like Dive Ball that are good but seldom used because general support like Ultra Ball is just more important.  We also have some potent ones like Archie’s Ace in the Hole that aren’t as meaningful for Basic Pokémon.  Still have Rough Seas which might be relevant, though that also works for Lightning Types.  More important are the indirect support that favors Water Types like Keldeo-EX or Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101) which work with basic Water Energy and/or have a use in most decks. 

All Lapras are a Basic Pokémon and that is as good as it gets right now.  Game mechanics and card support are net positives for Basic Pokémon, even though there are both beneficial and detrimental card effects that apply to the Stage.  BW: Next Destinies 25/99 and BW: Plasma Blast 17/101 have 100 HP, BW: Next Destinies 26/99 has 90, XY 35/146 has 110 while today’s XY: BREAKpoint 28/122 tops them all with 120.  I don’t have hard statistics on this by my general impression is that 90 damage is pretty commonly hit but at least is not especially fragile; Seismitoad-EX with Hypnotoxic Laser, Virbank City Gym and Muscle Band still falls 10 shy of an effective OHKO.  Plus it is Level Ball legal.  Just 100 HP is just 10 more but oddly important because it was one the going rate for competitive decks and a lot of decks still hit it with comparative ease.  110 is slightly safer and 120 ups it another notch.  All are going to be OHKOs most of the time but these edge cases can really matter over the course of a tournament.  All but BW: Next Destinies 25/99 are Metal Weak which is comparatively safe in the current metagame, but BW: Next Destinies 25/99 itself is Lightning Weak which is dangerous because cards like Yveltal-EX are still strong enough to make exploiting Lightning Weakness worthwhile.  None are Resistant to we move onto Retreat Costs: all are [CC] which is low enough you can pay (and recover from having paid) it but you are better off if you can avoid it. 

None of these have Ancient Traits or Abilities but at least all of them have two attacks.  BW: Next Destinies 25/99 has “Call for Family” at a cost of [W] to search your deck for and Bench two Basic Pokémon; a decent setup attack.  Speaking of “setup”, for [CC] it can use “Reckless Charge” to do 40 damage to the opponent’s Active and 20 to itself; poor but functional enough to either setup for a KO by your real attacker or finish something off that barely survived.  This version was reviewed here by some of the other members of the CotD crew who were just a bit harsh, but only a bit.  Set-mate BW: Next Destinies 26/99 can use “Water Arrow” for [WC] to hit any one of your opponent’s Pokémon for 20 damage (don’t apply Weakness or Resistance for Benched targets) while for [WWC] it can use “Surf” for 60.  Or not as hitting the Bench for so little is just not worth it now and as its CotD review points out neither was it back when the card was new.  BW: Plasma Blast 17/101 could heal 30 damage from itself for [WC] with its “Cleanse Away” attack or use its own version of Surf that costs [WCCC] to do 70 damage.  You can read what baby_mario said about it here but the short version is “pure filler” and that was when it had less competition. 

XY 35/146 can use “Seafaring” for [W] which allows you to flip three coins.  For each “heads” you can attach a [W] Energy from your discard pile to one of your Benched Pokémon.  This is actually a solid attack.  There are eight possible outcomes: one is triple “heads”, three are double “heads”, three are a single “heads”, and one is zero “heads”.  Now assuming you need something up front to take a hit (whether or not it survives) and have three basic Water Energy in the discard pile when you use Seafaring, this means you can attach an Energy to Lapras and only one in eight outcomes have you not at least breaking even in terms of Energy with half of them having you come out ahead.  The second attack is “Hydro Pump” for [CC], which does 10 damage plus 20 more for each [W] Energy attached to Lapras.  This is also a solid attack; if for some reason you are using Lapras off Type the attack can still at least work, even if 20 is not much.  Assuming you are on top like you ought to be, [WW] buys 50 damage and you have the option of loading up to hit harder.  I wouldn’t unless the KO is important as so many other attackers will punish something this small for having so much Energy attached, but options are usually a good thing to have.  Fourth one of these I was not around to review and so far this has been the best one.  It might be a bit better now as Standard seems more friendly to its tactics. 

So what about today’s card, XY: BREAKpoint 28/122?  For [W] it can use “Errand Running” to search your deck for a Trainer and add it to hand.  This is a decent attack until N usage picks up again.  I think it will though exactly how much is uncertain.  N has been reprinted in Japan and so like Skyla it should be coming back to Standard.  Having one of the main draw cards also shuffle the opponent’s hand makes it potentially pointless to add something to it for the next turn.  For [WWC] this Lapras can also use “Water Splash” to do 80 damage and flip a coin: “heads” means an extra 20 damage while “tails” just means the attack does the base 80.  A little below average, but likely adequate.  Looking at all three, this is probably the second best version, with XY 35/146 being the best.  While likely a fool’s errand, I have been wondering if I ought to be toying around with some Standard Format Water decks that use Lapras, Battle Compressor and Seafaring (also debating Trick Coin) as an opener.  An opener for what I am uncertain, either something that can use basic Water Energy and doesn’t have better Energy acceleration available to it like perhaps Articuno (XY: Roaring Skies 17/108) or to supplement additional Energy acceleration.  In the case of the latter it would either be the stuff that is not easily reused like (Max Elixir, Mega Turbo, etc.) or as an emergency backup which would even be something for Expanded.  Gives Deluge decks an option when you can’t quite pull off Archie’s Ace in the Hole and your hand won’t empty out, or when either Abilities or Items are offline.  If it isn’t obvious, the only reason you don’t run this in Limited is because you pulled a something like a Basic Pokémon-EX which are you running as your only Basic Pokémon: Trainer Search, solid attack and 120 HP are wonderful here. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 1.8/5 

Limited: 4.25/5 

Summary: Enjoy this Lapras in Limited.  It isn’t all bad in Standard or Expanded; if you already are running a decent amount of basic Water Energy it will just be a subpar opening Pokémon.  In a more forgiving format it may even score a bit higher but the format is not that forgiving and soon will be even less agreeable.


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