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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

Marowak BREAK - XY BREAKthrough
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2016

Ratings: Standard: 2.75 - Expanded: 2.65 - Limited: 3.75
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.


aroramage

And now we finally come down to the first BREAK Evo revealed, Marowak BREAK! Was he really that great, or was he just a preview of things to come? 

,,,definitely the latter. 

Marowak BREAK, like every other BREAK Evo, is meant to go on top of a Marowak you control, and of course he inherits whatever that Marowak had aside from HP, which gets a nice increase to 140 HP. There's only the BREAKThrough version available in Standard, though Expanded does nab the copy from Dragons Exalted. But is it really worth it to BREAK Evolve to Marowak BREAK? 

It's certainly an interesting option, given that he gains the power of REVENGE!!...well, Bone Revenge. It's a 2-for-20 miserable attack, so it's already not that appealing, but it does have an effect that increases the damage. For each Prize card your opponent's taken, Marowak BREAK will get to deal an additional 40 damage to the Active Pokemon, so potentially you've got an additional 200 damage coming your way, enough to KO even a few M Pokemon-EX! Add on some Muscle Band and some Strong Energy, and you're ready to OHKO anything they've got! 

But there's a pretty big problem with that - your opponent needs to have taken most of their Prizes to really make that OHKO go off. It's much more useful as a late-game sweep maneuver, but early game it's going to be difficult to deal a lot of damage with Bone Revenge. You also wanna make sure you're not falling too far behind, cause even Marowak BREAK isn't the ultimate salvation to a deck on the losing end. So in some games, he's the guy that breaks the tie in your favor, but in a few others, he's just a spiteful striker so your opponent doesn't go 6-0. 

The other thing is that Marowak BREAK comes with all the weaknesses of running a full Stage 2 line-up without the benefits of a Stage 2 set-up, i.e. you've got to run Cubone and Marowak to run Marowak BREAK, which means the moment Cubone hits your Bench, your opponent will know exactly what you're up to...unless you're not using Marowak BREAK for some reason, but hey, I don't judge. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (that being said, he's got a niche appeal to him, similar to Misdreavus from yesterday) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (now that I think about it though, you might be able to pair the two together into a "give your opponent an advantage and then destroy them with your stuff" kind of deck) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (it's like the ultimately deck of revenge!) 

Arora Notealus: I really do wanna hear the reasoning for BREAK Evo. I mean, you think of past sets like the Delta Species sets where they explain why there's a certain mechanic introduced into the game. Wouldn't it be interesting to find out why BREAK Evolutions are occurring? Not to mention I'd like to see some more support on them to make them more...competitively viable. 

Next Time: A double tag team match up of the strongest Psychic Pokemon!


Otaku

Next up to bat is Marowak BREAK (XY: BREAKthrough 79/162).  It it wasn’t clear the card states that this is a BREAK Pokémon three times: in the name, in the Stage reference in the upper left corner, and then in the additional rules box under the HP and Type.  As the BREAK Evolution of a Stage 1, this card takes the effort of a Stage 2 Pokémon to get into play but without the inherent benefits since it doesn’t count as a Stage 2 for various card effects (or a Stage 1 for that matter).  So far no cards reference BREAK Evolutions (either for beneficial or detrimental effects), so other than generic references to being an Evolved Pokémon, the Stage isn’t too big of a deal in terms of combos.  Marowak BREAK does enjoy being a Fighting-Type: Strong Energy is probably the best of the Type-specific Special Energy cards, Korrina and Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick are great Supporters, Fighting Stadium is a very good Stadium, Focus Sash is a good Pokémon Tool, and on top of all of that we have some good, solid Fighting-Type attackers (and the occasional Bench-sitter) to take advantage of it all.  The Fighting-Type can elevate a mediocre card to good, a good card to very good, a very good card to great and a great card to “Should that be legal?”. 

Marowak BREAK has 140 HP, enough to soak the upper end of mid-level attacks.  Plenty of decks can still shoot for the OHKO, but this is still reasonably good, though you are paying for it when you consider time and cards invested.  Weakness, Resistance and Retreat Cost will be supplied by whatever Marowak you BREAK Evolve from so we’ll move onto the last thing the card offers, the attack “Bone Revenge”.  At a cost of [FC], it begins with a weak 20 damage, but the effect states that for each Prize your opponent has taken, Bone Revenge does an additional 40 damage.  One Prize means a decent 60 damage, two Prizes a good 100, three a very good 140, four a great 180, and five an amazing 220!  Yes, the odds of sneaking in the last one can be low if your deck is typical and includes quite a few Pokémon-EX, but at two Energy, two or more Prizes taken means you’re getting a good (or better) return.  Plus as a BREAK Evolution (again) you’ll have access to whatever is on the Marowak you BREAK Evolve supplies.  You don’t have to necessarily even have Marowak BREAK in play the entire time if regular Marowak can actually hold its own. 

Before we cover the Marowak from which to BREAK Evolve, it all begins with Cubone.  Unless you use Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, which can put Marowak into play directly, but not Marowak BREAK as it would be an incomplete card.  Still, we’re covering Cubone: BW: Dragons Exalted 60/124 is available in Expanded, while XY: BREAKthrough 77/162 is available in either constructed format.  Both are Basic Fighting-Types with 70 HP, no Ancient Trait and no Ability.  BW: Dragons Exalted 60/124 has Water Weakness, Lightning Resistance, Retreat Cost [C] and two attacks: “Headbutt” for [C] to hit for 10 and “Beat” for [CC] to hit for 20.  XY: BREAKthrough 77/162 has Grass Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC] and just one attack (Whimsy Tackle) that hits for 50 damage but requires a coin flip and “tails fails”.  You’ve got no choice in the matter for Standard, but in Expanded I might go with BW: Dragons Exalted 60/124 for the lower Retreat and (if desperate) the weak but reliably damage at a relatively low cost. 

Marowak has two options as well: BW: Dragons Exalted 61/124 in Expanded and XY: BREAKthrough 78/162 for either.  Both are Stage 1 Fighting-Types with 100 HP, no Ancient Trait, no Ability but two attacks.  BW: Dragons Exalted 61/124 has Water Weakness, Lightning Resistance, and Retreat Cost [C].  Its first attack is “Bone Lock” for [F], which does 30 damage and prevents the Defending Pokémon from retreating during your opponent’s next turn.  Its second attack is “Vortex Chop” for [FCC] to hit for 60, plus 30 if the opponent’s Active has any Resistance.  The first attack isn’t bad but the second should be hitting 90 before the effect, not after.  XY: BREAKthrough 78/162 has Grass Weakness, no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of [CC].  Its first attack is “Sharpshooting” for [F], which allows you to select one of your opponent’s Pokémon and hit it for 30 damage (no Weakness or Resistance for Benched targets).  Its second attack is “Bone Windmill” at a cost of [FC], hitting for 60 damage and if the opponent’s Active is a Pokémon-EX, you can switch it (Marowak) with one of your Benched Pokémon.  These aren’t brilliant, but they are at least adequate, maybe even good (but not great) attacks.  So can these be built up into a functional, perhaps even formidable deck? 

Maybe.  I’m not seeing any Marowak BREAK in the Top 4 finishers from Cities for the Masters Division (according to The Charizard Lounge), but there are two Marowak BREAK decks that finished in the Top 8 and a third Marowak (XY: BREAKthrough 78/162).  While I don’t have lists, I did get my stomped by a deck using that Marowak, with Marowak BREAK as a cleaner.  The trick was using damage buffs and Bone Windmill strategically.  Unless I could afford to burn a Lysandre I couldn’t touch a Marowak/Marowak BREAK, give or take attacking with a non-Pokémon-EX to prevent switching out.  Splitting resources like Strong Energy and Muscle Band between two or even three Marowak/Marowak BREAK results in just enough damage from Bone Windmill to really add up, so that most fall into 2HKO or 3HKO range.  Marowak BREAK and its Bone Revenge and 140 HP are there to smack back an opponent that does start taking Prizes.  This could be the next Donphan (BW: Plasma Storm 72/135)... but if it is, then just like that card it isn’t performing as impressively shortly after release.  In Limited play, this seems like a great pull because it isn’t too hard to splash into decks and Fighting Weakness is abundant.  Bone Revenge is weaker here because there aren’t as many Prizes to take, but as per usual average HP and damage output is lower so it still comes out ahead. 

But wait there’s more!  We aren’t sure when or if we are getting it, but in Japan there is a promo Marowak, which has the same attributes as XY: BREAKthrough 78/162 but with an Ability and single attack.  The attack (Bonemerang) is only so-so: [FC] to flip two coins for 60 damage per “heads”.  The Ability (Bodyguard) appears to protect you and your hand from the effects of attacks, which I believe should allow you to ignore an opponent’s Seismitoad-EX supplied “Quaking Punch” and its Item lock.  Hard to say what Seismitoad-EX will be doing by then, but if something is riding high by messing with players/their hands via attack effects, this Marowak tag teams with XY: BREAKthrough 78/162 and Marowak BREAK for a deck that will bring it low, and earn itself a spot at the table.  Well, that is my (optimistic?) guess, and if we never even get it, then obviously it will prove false! 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 2.8/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: Marowak BREAK caught me by surprise, as it isn’t incredibly potent in its own right and neither does it have an already strong Stage 1 to BREAK Evolve from, but it has a lot of little things going for it that allows it to be on the happy side of average.  Future releases might make it something great, but for now it managed a few decent finishes and that is enough to make it still worth testing out in my eyes.  Guess I’ll have to get a few copies.


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