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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Dewgong

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
June 14, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.0
Expanded: 1.7
Limited: 3.75

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Ahhhh, Dewgong. You're truly a majestic aquatic mammal from the northern arctic circles. Home no doubt to the happy life of a Water/Ice type like yourself. In any case, let's see what the new Dewgong card can do for us. 

First of all, no. Bad Aurora Beam. Stop being vanilla in the TCG! And don't you EVER be worth 4 Energy again, I don't care that you do 100 damage! YOU'RE BETTER THAN THIS, AURORA BEAM!! YOU'RE GIVING ME A BAD NAME!! 

Anywho, Freezing Breath is a 1-for-20 strike that has a neat effect. It's one of those rare attacks that flips a coin and ends up with a bad result for your opponent either way. On Heads, the Pokemon is Paralyzed, and if it's Tails, they'll be put to Sleep instead. Obviously, that's a 50/50 shot at getting the best Status effect in the game, and while Sleep isn't terrific, being reliant on your opponent to flip a coin in order for them to attack is a 50/50 risk anyway. Ultimately, the probability of your opponent being able to do nothing is a strong 75% (you flip Heads or you and your opponent both flip Tails), which is much more in your favor than your opponent's. 

But does that make Dewgong good enough to use as an attacker? Well, provided you can stall out your opponent for long enough with Freezing Breath, there is a chance to use Aurora Beam to snatch the KO, but even having that 25% chance that they'll be able to do something is risky in its own right. Not to mention the numerous ways to get out of Status Conditions. Putting Dewgong forward, then, is a risky measure, as it's going to take time to build up 4 Energy, and I don't think your opponent's gonna wait around long enough for it to happen. 

Now as an alternative attacker to stall out the opponent while you power your main attacker up? Dewgong might have some potential there... 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (Dewgong is built to stall out more than attack or survive) 

Expanded: 2/5 (but if you can successfully work with that in mind, he could add a niche balance to one's deck) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (just keep in mind that either Dewgong's not always going to be safe attacking or that the attack will be ultimately successful in stalling) 

Arora Notealus: Dewgong is probably one of the simplest designs from the first generation, but it's always been a neat one. Even Lorelei used a Dewgong on her team, going to show how powerful this Pokemon could be. Not that Dewgong's anything much in competitive play these days, but it still had some stuff going for it back in the day. 

Next Time: WE'VE GOTTA CATCH THEM MEGAS!!


Otaku

What a beautiful Duwang!*  Wait, that doesn’t sound quite right… 

...so now that I have begun with obvious joke that is obvious (and painful!), let us really review Dewgong (XY: Fates Collide 16/124).  This is a Water Type, so most Fire Type and a chunk of the Fighting Type are Weak to it while the bulk of BW-era Grass Types are Resistant (which means nothing is Resistant to it in Standard).  There are some anti-Water Type effects, but most just mimic the effects of Resistance and only a concern for Water Type attackers that do extremely low amounts of damage, like Seismitoad-EX as it is typically used.  None are likely to be run to counter Water TYpe, instead being incidental, like when a player is running Parallel City to shrink the opponent’s Bench but the other side of that Stadium reduces the damage of Fire Type, Grass Type, and Water Type Pokémon by 20.  The Water Type offers some a lot of support, but the best stuff tends to favor certain strategies or deck builds more than others, so we’ll have to see if Dewgong can take advantage of all, some or none of it.  A solid start at least. 

As a Stage 1 Dewgong has to either Evolve from its Basic Stage (Seel) or be put directly into play via Archie’s Ace in the Hole.  Typically, the latter is reserved for Stage 2 Pokémon or other cards that require a great investment; Stage 1 cards usually are usually better to manually Evolve.  You do have the option of Wally to speed things up; giving up an additional card and your Supporter use for the turn in order to avoid the turn delay needed to Evolve.  It has 120 HP, in that gray area where you might survive a hit or you might not, which is better than being a guaranteed OHKO but still not all that good.  Either Dewgong will need a way to protect itself or it will have to hit hard and be easy to set up over and over again.  Metal Weakness isn’t safe, but isn’t one of the more dangerous ones to have at the moment.  No Resistance is typical; it probably would have helped Dewgong a little but not been critical.  The Retreat Cost of [CCC] is at the point where paying it will most likely be difficult; make sure you pack alternatives. 

Dewgong has two attacks, with the first requiring [W] and the second requiring [WCCC].  Said first is “Freezing Breath” and it lives up to its name pretty well; you only do 20 damage but you flip a coin with “heads” Paralyzing the opponent’s Active like “tails” leaves it Asleep.  Before other effects, your opponent will only have a one-in-four chance of being unimpeded by a Special Condition.  Seems pretty good to me.  The second is “Aurora Beam” and it just does a flat 100 damage for [WCCC].  100 for four is about as low as a vanilla attack can do while still having some use.  The Energy requirements being mostly Colorless should allow Dewgong more flexibility.  It is impractical to try and buff this attack to OHKO range for typical 170-180 HP Pokémon-EX, but at least on its own it 2HKOs most of them with a Muscle Band allowing it to 2HKO most things in the game that lack some form of protection, or OHKO them if they are on the smaller side of things. 

Dewgong Evolves from Seel and the only Expanded or Standard legal option is XY: Fates Collide 15/124.  It is a Basic Water Type with 80 HP, Metal Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], and just the attack “Icy SNow” which does 10 damage for [W].  It is a vanilla bit of filler, but at least it does have 80 HP.  There aren’t any other Dewgong either, so this is what we have to work with for the entire line.  Powering up Aurora Beam quickly and slapping on multiple buffs isn’t going to be too impressive, so I guess if you wish to use this card, you should focus on Freezing Breath.  Victini (BW: Noble Victories 14/101, 98/101; BW: Black Star Promos BW32; BW: Legendary Treasures 23/113) or Trick Coin will allow you to flip for Freezing Breath again, but the attack already has pretty good odds already of disrupting your opponent, guaranteed to hit them with either Paralysis or Sleep; not sure if it is worth the space to improve the odds of getting Paralysis instead of Sleep.  What you probably need to do is make sure your opponent is inconvenienced in other ways.  Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) to block Items so that your opponent can’t just drop a card like Switch to shake Special Conditions by bringing up a new Active, maybe something to shut down Abilities because you’ve got cards like Keldeo-EX that can also bypass locks.  You might also try running it with Slowking (XY: BREAKpoint 21/122) in order to mess up the opponent’s Energy attachments, or perhaps Crawdaunt (XY: Primal Clash 92/160) to just discard the Energy.  Something like Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119) and Golbat (XY: Phantom Forces 32/119; Generations 31/83) might help with the damage output. 

Some of these ideas could be mixed and matched, but none of them sound very competitive and indeed, sound rather slow and annoying to face (perhaps even to play).  As such I’m not too thrilled about this card for Expanded or Standard, but it is a beast in Limited.  Freezing Breath should often buy you enough time to build to Aurora Beam, as well as ensuring Aurora Beam finishes off whatever was up front.  With the lower average HP scores and damage output of this format, Aurora Beam may even score a run of OHKOs once it gets going.  The other big thing is that the mostly Colorless Energy costs become important here as it should allow you to run Dewgong in a deck with nearly any other Energy; just include a few Water Energy as well.  I’d only avoid Dewgong if you pulled a big, Basic Pokémon-EX and were building a deck entirely around it (as in no other Basic Pokémon in the deck). 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.45/5 

Expanded: 1.25/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: Dewgong is a card to enjoy in Limited where it is very strong, but its Special Conditions are easy enough to shake and its damage output too low for Expanded or Standard, unless you try for a lock that can be tedious to both players.  The big thing to remember is even if you get it working, you can take the same resources and use it with something else to better effect. 

*Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable reference, based on a faulty fan translation from years ago for the name of the town “Morioh”.


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