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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Omastar

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
June 8, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 2.25
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

Alongside the mighty Kabutops, we find the greater power in the world, the one that we consult to in our most dire and pressing needs, the one that we turn to and whose values we uphold to this day. For it is by the spiraling helix that we live, and it is the swirling descension into madness that we...wait, his attack is vanilla? 

...anywho, here's Omastar. 

Omastar has a noticeably lower HP score than Kabutops at only 120 HP, and being the Evolution of a Restored Pokemon doesn't make him any easier to get out. Not that he'd even be worth getting out in the first place with an attack like...Spinning...Attack...it's 2-for-60 vanilla, it's not gonna be what you're using in the long run with Omastar. 

But there are two big reasons to use Omastar, and that's why he's on the list today. You see that Ability of his? Restoring Beam? Well, have you ever wondered how great Restored Pokemon could be if you were able to play them like regular Pokemon? Now you've got something that can do that! With the Beam, Omastar can grab out any Restored Pokemon from your deck and put it onto your Bench for free! That's a lot less to worry about, now that you can grab things with ease. 

Unfortunately, this doesn't ultimately help the Restored deck. Sure, it makes it far more consistent, but you have to get Omastar into play first, and that's not easy to do with the deck because Omastar himself comes from a Restored Pokemon. Course you could just use Archie's on him, and that would probably solve the whole problem, but then you've got to get Omastar into the discard somehow-BATTLE COMPRESSOR, YOU'RE THE BEST ITEM FOR EVERYTHING!! 

So it's possible a Restored deck could work out, but it's far from Omastar's most dangerous usage... 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (for Restored decks, this is as good as it gets...not that I know of anyone playing a full Restored deck) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (I mean technically speaking you can't, since the Pokemon have to be played by Items, and you wouldn't have a Basic to play down for a Turn 1 scenario) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (...man, we had it good back in the day) 

Arora Notealus: I'm just saying, at least you could play Mysterious Fossil if you needed to. Sure, it only had 10 HP, but it didn't give your opponent a Prize and made things really easy for your Fossil Pokemon! Worst case...you stall out till your opponent can't do anything to you? 

Next Time: And as for that second reason to try Omastar...


Otaku

Omastar (XY: Fates Collide 18/124) is our second Evolution of a Restored Pokémon we are looking at this week.  It is a Water Type, which is a good Type, though not the greatest.  The main reason is for the support; it isn’t as nice as what the Fighting Type enjoys, but you’ll get some nifty tricks including what may be the most important - Archie’s Ace in the Hole - to avoid the hassles that normally go with running the Evolution of a Restored Pokémon.  It isn’t the greatest for hitting Weakness, but that is a matter of the current competitive metagame: nearly all Fire Types and a chunk of the Fighting Type are Water Weak, but they aren’t a significant presence in recent tournament top cuts.  Water Resistance is a common but only on BW-era Grass Types; I know of nothing with it in the XY-era.  Anti-Water Type effects exist, but mostly seem to mimic Resistance and haven’t been significant (or have been but for a totally different effect, like Parallel City). 

As stated, Omastar Evolves from a Restored Pokémon so it is a Stage 1.  I do wish that - having gone to the trouble of created this new Stage and mechanic that is “Restored Pokémon” - the designers had also distinguished between their Stage 1 forms and those of regular Stage 1 cards.  If they were classified as “Restored Basic” and “Restored Stage 1” Pokémon, for example, it would be easier for support to work for both without also working for regular Stage 1 Pokémon.  So that is why even though being a Stage 1 is normally adequate (not as good as being a Basic but better than everything else), it isn’t for Omastar  This is important to remember when looking at the rest of the card, like its 120 HP.  This amount isn’t so low as to be an easy KO but not high enough to be likely to survive; it is on the lower end of ambiguous survivability (…am I the only one that thinks “ambiguous survivability” makes for a decent band name?).  I have stated more than once final Stages of Evolution (be they Basic, Stage 1, Stage 2, Restored, or now BREAK) ought to actually be on even footing with each other, with the time it takes to hit the field only being relevant because some effects (like attacks that can score KOs) are a problem if they hit the field too soon.  That is the direction I want to see the game go, but for these reviews the focus is on what they can do here and now.  120 Still isn’t bad for a Stage, until we include the hassle of being a Restored Pokémon.  Now it definitely feels low. 

Coupled with the HP, the Grass Weakness all but ensures any remotely serious Grass Type attacker scores a OHKO.  Serious attackers were already were only going to whiff on taking out Omastar in a single hit if something went horribly wrong for your opponent and his or her setup.  With 120 HP, now supporting Grass Type attackers such as Virizion-EX just need a Fighting Fury Belt attached (or various other buffs) to score a OHKO.  Run into the odd Sceptile-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 7/98, 84/98) deck?  Its “Unseen Claw” attack won’t need a Special Condition to trigger its bonus damage, or if the deck also uses M Sceptile-EX, its “Jagged Saber” will easily score the KO.  I am starting to wonder if I should go back to flat out criticizing a lack of Resistance; barring other effects that specifically respond to HP or Resistance itself, Resistance will only matter if it alters how you approach the situation.  If Resistance isn’t going to affect how many turns it takes to score a KO, then it probably isn’t going to affect how you treat the matchup, is it?  So with 120 HP and only -20 to damage from a specific Type, that means it probably won’t matter.  At the same time, you get cards like Omastar that need all the help they can get, even if it would be a rare, slightly improved matchup.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is functionally (not mathematically) average, low enough you probably will be able to afford to pay it (maybe even recover from having paid it) but high enough it behooves you to plan ahead to work around it, be that lowering the cost or bypassing it entirely. 

Omastar has the Ability “Restoration Beam” and the attack - er - “Spinning Attack”.  The former allows the player running this Omastar to search his or her deck for a Restored Pokémon and play it to his or her Bench, once per turn before attacking.  This is worded so that if you have multiple copies, each is “once per turn”; three Omastar would allow each one a use of Restoration Beam, for three total uses.  This will sound like it should be a nitpick, but I am honestly a bit worried by it searching and playing a Restored Pokémon from your deck to the Bench.  Normally this would be great, but the default way of playing a Restored Pokémon is supposed to be using the correct corresponding Item card (such as Helix Fossil Omanyte for Omanyte) to play it from the bottom seven cards of your deck to the Bench.  So should a Restored Pokémon already be in hand, it is a dead target.  In the case of Water Types, adding something to hand is even easier than for Pokémon in general.  I do not believe it is asking too much for Restoration Beam to have the option of also working from hand, or perhaps better yet, have it work from the discard pile.  Spinning Attack doesn’t just have an uncreative name, but the attack only does 60 damage (nothing else) for [WC]; a filler attack that isn’t awful but isn’t quite adequate either.  Just 10 more damage would have allowed a Muscle Band to buff it into 2HKO levels against most Basic Pokémon-EX.  Perhaps a bit much for [WC], but 70 for [WCC] is something we’ve seen before. 

Helix Fossil Omanyte is one way to get Omanyte into play.  It isn’t what I recommend, but much like the generic way of getting a Stage 2 into play is to Evolve it from the Stage 1 form that in turn Evolved from the Basic of that Evolution line, this is what we do before we consider better, more useful card effects like Rare Candy or Wally to speed things along.  Helix Fossil Omanyte just looks at the bottom seven cards of your deck and allows you to play one (and only one for some annoying reason) Omanyte you might find there.  Omanyte (XY: Fates Collide 17/124) is your only option: it is a Water Type Restored Pokémon with 80 HP, Grass Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], and just one attack - “Water Gun” - which does 30 damage for [W].  This is just the name/Type/theme adjusted version of Kabuto, which came up yesterday as we were reviewing Kabutops.  Kabuto had some potential because it could tap the damage buffs of the Fighting Type; Omanyte is just better than the usual filler for something to Evolve from, but overall disappointing.  Omastar does have something Kabutops lacked: a BREAK Evolution!  Omastar BREAK will be covered tomorrow, as I am sure you already expected.  It will provide Omastar a small HP boost and a new Ability, but not a new attack, and this is one of those times when a better attack was probably what was most needed.  We’ll discuss it in detail tomorrow. 

So should you run Omastar?  Probably not as we get to that big problem with Restored Pokémon; you fill in the slots you’d normally assign to Pokémon, but they aren’t with Basics and thus even though you’re not running as many Trainers or Energy cards as you might like, you aren’t getting a more reliable open like you would with more Basics.  In fact, you must include some Basic wholly unrelated to the line in order to have a legal deck.  Whether slogging through Helix Fossil Omanyte, trying your luck with Twisted Mountain, or using Archie’s Ace in the Hole to proceed directly to Omastar, you won’t have room for the various other Restored Pokémon and their Stage 1 Evolutions.  What you might have room for is just the Restored Pokémon and one of them doesn’t Evolve: Aerodactyl (XY: Fates Collide 76/124).  Yes, that will be our Friday review so again, I won’t get into details, other than Aerodactyl has decent attributes and attacks, so it might be worthwhile.  If Omastar BREAK seems good, that too might justify trying to squeeze Archie’s Ace in the Hole, Omanyte, and Omastar BREAK into a deck but… probably not.  Aerodactyl and Omastar BREAK might belong in the same deck though; just remember to have something worth acting as your opening Pokémon!  Even for Limited play, Omastar just isn’t that great; hard to get into play and if you draw your other Restored Pokémon before then, they become pure deadweight. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 2/5 

Summary: Putting a shortcut for Restored Pokémon that does not require a coin flip and works with any (not just certain) Restored Pokémon on a Stage 1 card which Evolves from a Restored Pokémon must have seemed like a good idea to someone, but I think I just explained why it is almost self-defeating as you have to dedicate so much space to getting Omastar out that having room for other Restored Pokémon (let alone their Evolutions) is painful.  Might have a shot of Omastar BREAK and/or Aerodactyl prove good enough, but seems unlikely. 

Omastar itself actually made it into our extended Top 10 list.  Not mine, but someone like it enough that it earned three voting points.  Given how this set turned out, I actually understand the decision as there were a lot of cards that looked like they probably wouldn’t work out but had an outside chance, and that is what usually ends up in those lower ranks.  Three Top 15 lists became one Top 27, so Omastar actually did pretty well, beating out four other cards.  Yes, I am probably being nicer about this because one of my own picks is coming up soon, and after nominating it I realized I was wrong. ;)


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