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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Kabutops

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
June 7, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 2.00
Limited: 2.25

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Perhaps one of the most powerful Stage 1 Pokemon in existence, Kabutops has a sleek design that suggests it used to swim in the water before pursuing its prey on land. It brandishes two extremely sharp claws that act like scythes as its main means of tearing its prey apart - and now that ferocity returns with this set! 

At 150 HP, Kabutops is certainly no joke, as most anything that doesn't hit his Grass-type Weakness is only going to 2HKO him at best, with a few exceptions. This means he's a tough nut to crack, but his bulk alone isn't the only thing people need to worry about. With Cling, he can use 2 Energy to deal 50 damage and then heal off the same amount that he did to the opposing Pokemon - a dangerous phrase, as that means if he hits for Weakness, he's getting back 100 HP!! Never mind what boosts from Muscle Band or Fighting Fury Belt will lend him. And that's not even talking about X-Scissor, which for 3 Energy does an impressive 80 damage and gives you a 50/50 shot of flipping for 60 more! Combined with the Cling from before, he could be 2HKO-ing EXs left and right! 

Unfortunately though, that's about all the good that can come from Kabutops. Due to the nature of his Evolutionary line, he's tough to get out in the first place, and the fastest way other than going up through the Fossils is with a card like Maxie's. And even then, Kabutops only does so much. At the very least, he gets a lot of Fighting support like Strong Energy and Fighting Stadium, which in turn means stuff like Cling and X-Scissor can deal more damage, but outside of that, he's a lost cause. 

Try him out if you'd like, but don't overestimate his abilities...or underestimate them, for that matter. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (he's pretty hard to get out, but once he's all powered up, he's a reasonable force to be reckoned with) 

Expanded: 2/5 (I wouldn't expect him to annihilate games or anything, but at the very least, he's gonna do his fair share of damage) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (...did I mention he was hard to get out?) 

Arora Notealus: Of the two original Fossil Pokemon, I did prefer Kabutops to Omastar and would usually pick the Dome Fossil. Nothing really against Omastar though, I just liked Kabutops more. That being said, though, he is the avatar of evil now according to TPP, sooo... 

Next Time: HELIX BE PRAISED!!


Otaku

Our first actual Pokémon for the week is Kabutops (XY: Fates Collide 39/124).  As a Fighting Type Kabutops can tap a collection of support that is both abundant and potent, as well as striking many Colorless and most Fighting and Lightning Types for double damage (via Weakness).  After “No Resistance”, Fighting Resistance is the most common, but that is mostly a concern in edge cases: -20 means a lot less to damage calculations that x2, at least in most cases.  There are some anti-Fighting-Type effects, but they haven’t proven competitive yet and show no signs of changing.  All in all, it is good to be a Fighting Type.  What is less good is the card’s Stage.  Normally being a Stage 1 is solid; it isn’t great like being a Basic but it is the next easiest to run Stage, however this is a Stage 1 that Evolves from a Restored Pokémon.  That tends to be a problem, though as a Fighting Type we have a potential work around in Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick: Kabutops just needs to prove itself worth the effort.  The Typing is a good start and the HP also seems persuasive: at 150 Kabutops has a good chance of soaking a hit; it isn’t as durable as the 170 or 180 HP Basic Pokémon-EX, but especially considering the effects that hit Pokémon-EX a bit harder like old school favorite Silver Bangle, it is reasonably close.  The Grass Weakness can be dangerous, but mostly just because it allows Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) to reach OHKO levels more quickly and reliably.  The lack of Resistance feels like a missed opportunity with its HP but again, Resistance tends to only matters in select circumstances, so let us move onto the Retreat Cost: [CC] is low enough you can pay it if you must but high enough you really want to lower or bypass it entirely. 

Kabutops has no Ability or Ancient Trait.  Yes, that last one was unlikely as the mechanic seems retired, but it seems like it ought to have been saved for Restored Pokémon and their Evolutions, plus select Legendary Pokémon.  Nitpick, I know, so onto the first attack “Cling” which requires [CC] to do 50 damage while healing Kabutops by that same amount.  The second attack is “X-Scissor” for [FCC] that does 80 damage plus has you flip a coin; “heads” means an extra 60 damage, but “tails” still does that promised 80.  Double Colorless Energy (as well as any non-Type or Stage exclusive Energy acceleration) can help you ready Cling in a single turn, and combined with that 150 HP and potential damage bonuses, it looks like it might be one of those healing attacks that actually work.  Just another attachment of a source of [F] Energy enables X-Scissor, which is a good pricing structure.  80-for-three isn’t great, but it isn’t bad while 140 for three is; the two average out decently and keep Kabutops a threat to larger Pokémon because again, the Fighting Type is good for damage bonuses. 

Now I already am leaning towards saying this out to just be played via Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, but we should officially look at Kabuto and Dome Fossil Kabuto to make it official.  Kabuto is a vanilla Restored Pokémon; if its Stage didn’t require you use another card effect to put it into play, it would almost be boring.  Still, it almost does “vanilla” well.  Almost, but not quite as it is a Restored Fighting Type with 80 HP, Grass Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ability or Ancient Trait, and a single attack.  That single attack is “Mud Shot” for [F], doing 30 damage.  While I much prefer effects that improve setup, for a quick bit of damage that is better than I would have expected.  If it had a bit more HP and wasn’t so hard to put into play, it may have been worth the hassle.  That isn’t the case though; not only are you stuck with the HP, but to put it into play you either need to use Dome Fossil Kabuto or some of the alternatives.  Dome Fossil Kabuto just allows you to look at the bottom seven cards of your deck and play Kabuto (only one if there are multiples) should you find any there.  You can use Twist Mountain to try and play one from hand, but not only is that using your Stadium slot, but it only works on a coin flip and is a “once per turn” effect.  They make a Stadium so Grass Types can be Evolved the turn they hit the field and the same Pokémon more than once with no other costs or drawbacks, but to Bench a Restored Pokémon requires a coin flip (though to be fair, Twist Mountain released before Forest of Giant Plants).  The other option is Omastar (XY: Fates Collide 18/124).  Probably should have schedule it for review first instead of having us review it tomorrow, but playing the Stage 1 of yet another Restored Pokémon means I’d rather use Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick or not run Kabutops at all. 

So should we run Kabutops?  Probably not; it just isn’t worth suffering through the Restored Pokémon mechanic, and once we go the Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick route, we bring in all sorts of competition.  For example there is Gallade (XY: BREAKthrough 84/162), who provides a better attack for [CC] along with a great Ability.  You could also include Garchomp (XY: BREAKpoint 70/122) if the deck has a source of [F] Energy, allowing you to do decent damage while attaching an Energy from the discard pile to something on your Bench, or for the low price of [FF] do 80 damage that gets an extra +80 against Pokémon-EX to become 160!  If you insist on Kabutops, Focus Sash is probably your friend, as it will allow it to survive a hit and either go for Cling or X-Scissor, depending on what is more suited (unless you can only afford Cling).  If you can boost the damage of Cling by 20, then against a Fighting Weak target you’ll do enough damage to heal all damage off of Kabutops, so that approach isn’t without merit either.  With Fighting being what it is, against neutral Pokémon (though neither Weak nor Resistant) you theoretically could even try to boost Cling damage enough to pull the same trick.  Actually, the Fighting Type is so crazy you can do it against Resistant Pokémon as well, but +120 is going to require almost every trick the investment is quite high for something that may not matter; Focus Sash can be discarded or otherwise compromised so it ultimately won’t save you, and if you can do that much raw damage with Kabutops, there are quite a few other Fighting Types to consider in its stead. 

In Limited, it would be amazing except it Evolves from a Restored Pokémon (noticing a theme?).  Your only options to put it into play are Dome Fossil Kabuto the Ability on Omastar, which just removes the problem by a step because Omastar has to Evolve from Omanyte which has to be put into play by Helix Fossil Omanyte.  All of this means hoping you not only draw the correct Fossil Item but use it when the correct target is in the bottom seven cards of your deck.  A small deck means that seven cards covers a larger percentage of your deck, but also makes it more likely you’ll have already drawn the Restored Pokémon in question.  It is still tempting to run because it will be amazing if you can get it out. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 2/5 

Summary: A great card sabotaged by being too difficult to get into play; Kabutops can hit the field via alternative methods but if you use Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, now it has to compete with several other great cards.  Against those, Kabutops comes up short.


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