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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Steam Siege Top 10

#9 - Clawitzer
& Clawitzer BREAK
- Steam Siege

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 9, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

See Below

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Next up is a new version of Clawitzer, and compared to his last printing in Furious Fists, this one is actually pretty good! For certain decks. 

Namely, it's his Ability, Mega Boost, that may draw attention to him. Once per turn, Clawitzer's able to push a Special Energy card from your hand onto one of your Mega Evolved Pokemon. Well that's...really specific on both ends of it, but the combinations themselves of what Pokemon you can put together with that? I can already think of a couple, like Double Dragon Energy to power up M Rayquaza-EX, or throw on Dangerous Energy for M Tyranitar-EX. Or even just something as simple as Strong Energy onto Primal Groudon-EX! I could go on, but the idea of boosting a powerful Mega Evolution with a powerful form of Energy is pretty good in my opinion - never mind that you still get your regular attachment. 

And then there's Crabhammer...3-for-60 vanilla...you really are only worth it for Mega Boost aren't you? 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (this is a pretty solid-) 

---- 

BREAK-ING NEWS!! 

Clawitzer's also got a BREAK Evolution! And he's a big boost to his HP score, but most importantly of all, he's got...Lock-on! Which takes a turn to set up and deal...even more damage! After applying Weakness and Resistance! And it keeps them from retreating! 

      

...all for 1 Energy! 

...this is good, right? 

Hint: the answer is no.  

It's an unimpressive BREAK Evolution, building off of Clawitzer's vanilla attack and making it..."better" by giving it a move that makes that first attack better. Really, the only reason Clawitzer's #9 is because he technically TIED with Yanmega and Yanmega BREAK. So no, don't play the BREAK Evolution with Clawitzer - if you play Clawitzer, it's for his Ability, not his chancy "maybe I'll hit for 180 after surviving two turns" strategy with Lock-On Crabhammer. 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (use only the first part, not the BREAK Evo) 

Expanded: 3/5 (he's good enough on his own to run) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (though I'd consider him a little less than Yanmega in review hindsight) 

Arora Notealus: Yes, I put Clawitzer at #10 on my list. Yes, this somehow made him worthy to tie him with Yanmega. No, I didn't include the BREAK Evolution, and now you know why. Frankly, otaku and I agreed that it was unimpressive enough to give a review on. Btw, the review on the BREAK Evo: 

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (nope) 

Expanded: 1.5/5 (nope) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (...meh) 

You're welcome. 

Next Time: Wait, you're not even out until the next generation?!


Otaku

Time for the ninth place finisher for our top 10 picks from XY: Steam Siege.  It is a single card but we are doing a twofer review anyway.  Why?  It seemed silly to look at Clawitzer (XY: Steam Siege 34/114; XY: Black Star Promos XY146) but not also cover Clawitzer BREAK (XY: Steam Siege 35/114).  Sometimes it does make sense to look at a Pokémon BREAK on its own but… well you’ll see as we review the cards.  First up is Clawitzer.  As a Water Type it has access to some seemingly strong support.  What tends to happen though is that a lot of it just won’t prove useful to Clawitzer due to extenuating circumstances. Similarly there are Water Pokémon with great attacks or Abilities that can either be the focus or the support for a deck, including their own toolbox deck.  Water Weakness is on nearly all Fire Type Pokémon and some Fighting Types, while Water Resistance is only found on BW-era Grass Types.  There isn’t a lot of mono- or mostly Fire decks to hose down, and the Fighting Types seeing competitive play are usually not the Water Weak ones, so this could be better.  Fortunately we are also nearing rotation and even before then, this set adds a lot to Fire.  Anti-Water effects aren’t particularly great; most just mimic the effects of Resistance without actually being (and in fact stacking with) Resistance.  The only one you’re likely to encounter is Parallel City, played for its other effect (shrinking the Bench), and which also drops the damage done by Grass and Fire Types at the same time it affects Water. 

As a Stage 1 Clawitzer isn’t too hard to put into play; not as good as a Basic but better than the rest.  Its 100 HP usually won’t survive a hit, but sometimes it will get lucky and hold on.  The Grass Weakness is another time when it isn’t the best nor the worst; there are a few Grass attackers that hit the sweet spot where doubling the damage makes a real difference, but for many (most?) it either ends up as overkill, or just a slight savings in resources.  The lack of Resistance is the worst but it’s also business as usual; an extra -20 against a single Type would not often have made a difference.  A Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can often pay for it up front, but high enough it tends to sting in the long run: pack some alternatives to manually retreating at full price.  Next is the card’s Ability “Mega Boost”, which allows you to attach a Special Energy from your hand to one of your Mega Evolutions once per turn (multiples do stack though).  The attack is unfortunately filler; “Crabhammer” requires [WWC] just to do 60 damage, about 30 points shy of being adequate filler.  Mega Evolutions already have Mega Turbo, but Mega Boost has some pretty clear potential. 

Clawitzer Evolves from Clauncher, and we have three from which to pick for either Standard or Expanded play: XY: Kalos Starter Set 15/39, XY: Furious Fists 23/111, and XY: Steam Siege 33/114.  All are Basic Water Types with no Ability, Grass Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of [C].  XY: Kalos Starter Set 15/39 has 70 HP and a single attack (Water Gun) that does 20 for [WC].  XY: Furious Fists 23/111 has 60 HP and two attacks; the first is “Bubble” for [W] which has you flip a coin to try and Paralyze the opponent’s Active, while the second attack is just Crabhammer again, this time doing 30 for [WCC].  Last up is XY: Steam Siege 33/114, and it has 60 HP with one attack (Double Pincers) which costs [W] and has you flip two coins, good for 10 damage per “heads”.  None of these are good but I’d go with XY: Kalos Starter Set 15/39 for its HP or XY: Furious Fists 23/111 for Bubble, as both might help a Clauncher survive to Evolve.  There is one other Clawitzer as well, XY: Furious Fists 24/111: it has the same stats as today’s version but with two attacks.  First is “Reverse Thrust” for [W], which does 30 while making you switch Clawitzer with one of your Benched Pokémon, while the second is “Splash Cannon” which does 50 plus 20 per [W] Energy attached to Clawitzer itself.  The attacks aren’t bad; in fact Splash Cannon is just a renamed “Secret Sword” from Keldeo-EX, and that attack proved quite good there.  Here the rest of the package is less impressive, though, so you should stick to today’s Clawitzer if you want to use one. 

At last we come to Clawitzer BREAK: unsurprisingly it remains a Water Type, and as a BREAK Evolution it will gain the Ability, attack(s), Weakness, Resistance, and Retreat Cost of the Clawitzer from which it BREAK Evolves.  It has 130 HP, I think just barely the point where surviving a OHKO becomes a little more likely than not, but that isn’t as impressive for a pseudo-Stage 2.  I refer to it as a pseudo-Stage 2 since you have to Evolve twice (like a Stage 2) but can’t take advantage of Stage 2 support like Rare Candy or Miltank (XY: Flashfire 83/106).  I think there might be some anti-Stage 2 cards in Expanded, but they aren’t remotely good enough to bother verifying.  Clawitzer BREAK also brings an attack called “Lock-On” which keeps the Defending Pokémon from retreating while also placing a status effect upon it which increases the damage it takes from attacks during your next turn.  I believe said effects rests on the Defending Pokémon and it applies when anything attacks it on your next turn (not just Clawitzer BREAK), but even without being able to manually retreat a change out effect like Switch can remove it.  So would Evolution.  Even for just [C], that simply isn’t good enough, though at least it might allow Crabhammer to 2HKO your typical Basic Pokémon-EX. 

So we won’t be using Clawitzer BREAK (not even just for the HP) but Clawitzer (XY: Steam Siege 34/114; XY: Black Star Promos XY146) has a chance in Standard and Expanded.  You just need to find a Mega Evolution that needs Energy acceleration from the hand, would prefer (or at least accept) it be restricted to Special Energy cards, and can’t get by on existing options like Mega Turbo.  This probably means looking through stuff not currently worth running, which may be why I am at a loss for good examples.  Soon we will undergo set rotation, and we lose Battle Compressor.  Battle Compressor is pretty huge for enabling Mega Turbo.  We also lose popular Energy accelerator Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119) leaving as well, and while it only attached [M] Energy cards from the discard pile, several prominent attackers used this to meet [C] Energy costs.  At this point the only knock against Clawitzer is that we are also losing Xerosic and Startling Megaphone, so without a replacement method for easily discarding Pokémon Tools, Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122) is expected to significantly increase in usage.  Though it has more competition in Expanded, it has more options as well like Blend Energy GRPD and Blend Energy WLFM to work with, so I think it evens out.  In Limited play it is mostly just there as a filler Stage 1; no Special Energy this set.  Clawitzer BREAK lets it be a decent filler Stage 2 (ish) Pokémon.  In both cases, you’ll need to run basic Water Energy as well. 

Ratings 

Clawitzer 

Standard: 3.4/5 

Expanded: 3.4/5 

Limited: 2/5 

Clawitzer BREAK 

Standard: 1/5 

Expanded: 1/5 

Limited: 2.75/5 

Summary: Clawitzer is quite specialized, but Mega Evolutions are used widely enough that it might not be that specialized when one thinks about it.  See if it can add needed speed to various cards, both now and post rotation when current options are off the table.  Clawitzer BREAK should be ignored unless you can build a decent deck with it in Limited. 

Clawitzer earned four voting points; I had it as my eighth place pick, but as you can tell even I’m not overly ecstatic about it (yet).  Clawitzer BREAK was either going to be skipped entirely or become a filler review down the road; figured we should just cover it now as the only real use I can see for it is to bolster the HP on Clawitzer.


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