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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Kangaskhan

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
June 30, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.65
Expanded: 1.50
Limited: 3.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

...wait...we're...we're actually looking at this? 

...what deck is using this right now? Did I miss something? 

...I smell something fishy here... 

Kangaskhan is a 120 HP Basic non-evolving non-EX Pokemon with a 2-for-40 vanilla Tiny Punch and a 4-for-100 vanilla Mega Punch. 

...I mean...it's got...good colorless costs? Its Retreat Cost is...heavy? It's weak to Fighting...why are we reviewing this again? 

Rating 

Standard: 1/5 (...no) 

Expanded: 1/5 (I don't care that you can instantly "Tiny Punch" with 1 DCE) 

Limited: 3/5 (or that you can Mega Punch with 2!! There's no use running this in anything outside Limited!) 

Arora Notealus:...did you at least get my mother pun? Cause Kangaskhan is-yeah okay. 

Next Time: A steely bug!


Otaku

Kangaskhan (XY: Fates Collide 75/124) is a Colorless Pokémon; no Weakness or Resistance to deal with, only two obscure counters, and a few pieces of Type specific support.  Colorless Types are generally good for splashing into other decks as most (but not all) will have Colorless Energy costs for attacks.  It is a Basic Pokémon which is the best.  One copy in your deck is one copy to play and there is no time waiting to Evolve.  More Basics in your deck also reduce your chance of mulligans and several mechanics actually favor them because again, one copy is one card.  There are anti-Basic effects but also Basic support and in the end it all ends up heavily in the favor of Basic Pokémon.  Kangaskhan has 120 HP which is 20 less than the max printed on a Basic Pokémon that lacks a gimmick such a being a Pokémon-EX; this is pretty good though it isn’t quite to the point where it is more likely than not to survive a hit.  Fighting Weakness means that Type can still wreck things in one shot, though at least it will require the typical Fighting Type have two damage buffs instead of just one.  No Resistance is typical though a bit unfortunate as it would have given one matchup where Kangaskhan was just barely more likely to survive an attack than be OHKO’d.  The Retreat Cost of [CCC] is chunky and you’ll need to include cards to either lower it, bypass it entirely, tank while active, or some combination of the three. 

Kangaskhan keeps it simple as it just has two vanilla attacks; no effects, just damage.  The first is “Tiny Punch” which does 40 for [CC].  This isn’t brilliant but it is a decent return for the Energy.  For [CCCC] you can use “Mega Punch” to do 100 damage; that is the minimum I want to see for four Energy (for better or worse).  The attacks are priced so that any Energy acceleration that isn’t Type restricted can benefit them, which is good because you’ll need it to avoid a dead turn.  It is staggered appropriately so that something as simple as a Double Colorless Energy can get you ready to Tiny Punch on the first turn you can attack while a second allows you to Mega Punch.  If you can work a little additional acceleration you even have a chance of opening with Mega Punch.  Probably not as it would require something like two (successful) Max Elixir, a Double Colorless Energy, and a way to promote Kangaskhan.  Still in decks that have easier Energy acceleration (even if it takes setting up a Stage 2 or the like), Kangaskhan can go from zero to 100 in one turn.  Add in something like a Muscle Band or Silver Bangle to threaten almost everything in the game with either a OHKO or 2HKO, or Fighting Fury Belt to still threaten most things with OHKOs or 2HKOs but push Kangaskhan into an HP range that should survive a hit. 

The other Kangaskhan to consider the Expanded Only option BW: Plasma Blast 71/101.  Still a Colorless Type Basic Pokémon with Fighting Weakness, no Resistance and two attacks, but this version has a 100 HP and Retreat Cost of [CC]; less durable and just a little easier to get out of the Active slot, but not by much.  Its first attack is “Call for Family” which requires [C] to use and allows you to search your deck for up to two Basic Pokémon and then Bench them.  The second attack is “Comet Punch” which requires [CC] to use.  It has you flip four coins and does 20 damage per “heads”.  Both attacks are easy to afford and any Energy acceleration that works with this Kangaskhan gets Comet Punch ready in one turn.  Baby Mario took a look at it with a CotD here and nailed it, though the shifting metagame and a few rules revisions/errata mean this Kangaskhan is just a bit better today.  It favors a deck with a slower setup while today’s is there to be an early attacker.  Neither do the job especially well, but they do do the job. 

Today’s Kangaskhan looks like a good teaching card; it avoids the pitfall of many of them by not being nerfed to the point the damage is blatantly substandard or containing coin flips (they may be fun but they undermine lessons on reliability).  I don’t think it will likely ever be needed by a deck in Standard or Expanded, but at least it isn’t laughably far from qualifying.  It is a great pull for Limited where its size and relative speed and if you’re using Theme Decks then the Sky Guardian Theme Deck contains two!  Its HP and damage output go from “maybe adequate” to “great” here.  In Limited (but not in the Theme Deck) you have a chance of getting Double Colorless Energy as it was reprinted in XY: Fates Collide.  The big concern here is that this set has a lot of good Fighting Types (even more in Limited play) and also Strong Energy.  If the contents for the Evolution Packs I saw are correct, it looks like two out of three contain Fighting Types while the other Theme Deck for this set (Battle Ruler) has a Fighting focus. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.25/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Theme: 4/5 

Summary: Kangaskhan comes close to being what I have wanted to see in more theme decks and the like; a vanilla beatstick that is almost competitive.  The difference is I want it to actually be competitive.  That being said I am not sure if it can get better without a risk of being too strong in Limited or Theme Deck play.  So it probably is what I have been wanting, it is just that the game needs to dial things back; all the places where you might want to use it, there are already more specialized cards that have secured the niche.


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