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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Cloyster

- XY BREAKpoint

Date Reviewed:
March 25, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.50
Expanded: 1.20
Limited: 3.13

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, what can be said about Cloyster? He hasn't had too many cards, but there has been a big common thread between most of them: Paralysis. Somehow, most every Cloyster card is guaranteed to have either damage reduction of some kind, coin flip attacks for days, or a move that invokes Paralysis, and this Cloyster is no different! 

...well, except in the way he does it. Most Cloyster tend to use coin flips for the Paralysis, but this one doesn't for whatever reason. Actually, there is one reason, and that was to give it a gimmick that made him great on one turn and completely useless afterwards. Cloyster's gimmick is called Sudden Grip, a 1-for-10 attack that says if Cloyster evolved from a Shellder this turn, Sudden Grip gets to Paralyze the opponent's Active Pokemon. Sure, the damage could have been higher so it could be used on later turns, but arguing against Paralysis is a tough case. I just wish they didn't keep it so restrictive. 

I mean, evolving Shellder won't be too hard. Since Cloyster's a Stage 1, Evosoda and even Wally will do wonders for him, but once the turn's over, Sudden Grip is pretty useless. And don't even get me started on Surf, a 3-for-70 vanilla strike. Once Sudden Grip is done and used, Cloyster's expendable at that point, which really begs the question: why would you run him in the first place? 

A Stage 1 line-up for a single attack that does pitiful amounts of damage and really only stalls out for one turn isn't a good investment, competitively or otherwise. If Cloyster had a better secondary attack to lead up into, he might have seen play, but as is? Don't bother with him. He can't even be used alongside Archie's, which is pretty much a deal breaker for any Water Pokemon these days.

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (there's almost no reason to even run Cloyster, and that's a shame) 

Expanded: 1/5 (the only reason TO run him isn't even enough to make things work; unless you're stalling for a turn that you'd need, then maybe you could run him) 

Limited: 3/5 (course, Devolution Spray might actually help out the strategy, but at what cost?) 

Arora Notealus: You know, I can imagine Cloyster making for a good EX card. I mean, doesn't he just feel like he should have a Cloyster-EX? Admit it, you'd wanna see that! 

Weekend Thought: What are your thoughts on this week's collection of Pokemon? Do you think there are Pokemon deserving of the BREAK Evolution or the EX treatment more than others? You think BREAK Evos need a lot more support? I know I do. Seriously, we need better stuff for them than just, "Oh hey, a new Evolution to put down on top of this guy!"


Otaku

We finish the week with Cloyster (XY: BREAKpoint 24/122).  This is a Water-Type again; so enjoy hitting nearly all Fire-Types and some Fighting-Types for double damage thanks to Weakness while only having to deal with Water Resistance on most BW-era Grass-Types.  There are some anti-Water-Type cards but none are particularly relevant to competitive play, while the Water-Type has some brilliant support, be it Type specific like Archie’s Ace in the Hole, basic Synergy with other Water-Types like Keldeo-EX, or oddballs like Rough Seas that are specific but to more than one Type.  Being a Stage 1 isn’t easy, but it isn’t bad either; being a Basic is the best but one extra card and one turn of waiting (barring Wally or Archie’s Ace in the Hole) is something many decks have managed to make work.  The 100 HP is low enough that a OHKO is most likely but not guaranteed.  Grass-Types are all but guaranteed a OHKO though thanks to Weakness.  There is no Resistance, and that is the most common option so we’ll just move onto the Retreat Cost of [CC]; not bad for a bivalve as while you’ll want a way to avoid paying it (either at all or at least the full price), it is low enough you will likely be able to afford it those times when you must pay it. 

Cloyster has two attacks and they have a nice, staggered cost - [W] for the first and [WCC] for the second - means two turns powers it up completely with two manual Energy attachments (one being a Double Colorless Energy) or in a single turn with something like a Double Colorless Energy and a Max Elixir.  Up first is “Sudden Grip”, which only does 10 damage but if Cloyster Evolved from Shellder the same turn you use the attack, it Paralyzes the opponent’s Active automatically.  Automatic Paralysis can be pretty nasty, though the low damage and various means of ditching Special Conditions keeps it from looking too effective.  The second attack is “Surf” and it does a vanilla 70 damage.  A small boost puts most of the metagame into 2HKO range, so it isn’t completely worthless, but it is not something around which you build an entire deck.  That first attack might be, though. 

Before that we should consider Shellder options as well other Cloyster.  Surprisingly, this Evolution line took a break in the BW sets so all of these are Standard and Expanded legal.  For Shellder we can pick between XY 31/146 (reprinted as Generations 19/83), XY: BREAKpoint 22/122, and XY: BREAKpoint 23/122.  Yes, two in this set, which is a solid bonus for Limited play.  All Shellder are Basic Water-Type Pokémon with 60 HP, Grass Weakness, no Resistance, no Ancient Trait, no Ability and a single attack.  XY 31/146 has a Retreat Cost of [C] and at a cost of [WC] it can use “Rain Splash” to hit for 20 damage.  XY: BREAKpoint 22/122 has a Retreat Cost of [CC] and at a cost of [W] it can use “Razor Shell” to do 10 damage plus flip a coin; if “heads” the attack does 10+10 damage, on “tails” just the base 10 damage.  XY: BREAKpoint 23/122 has a Retreat Cost of [C] and at a cost of [WC] it can use “Clamp” to do 30 and Paralyze the opponent’s Active but only on “heads”; “tails” means the attack does nothing.  Only one other Cloyster (XY 32/146; Generations 20/83) is available, unless you’re playing Unlimited.  It has the same attributes as today’s version except for a Retreat Cost of [CCC] with its own two attacks: “Clamp Crush” and “Spike Cannon”.  The former costs [WC] and does 30 damage plus has you flip a coin: “heads” means you discard an Energy from and Paralyze the opponent’s Active, “tails” just does the base damage.  Spike Cannon has you flip five coins, good for 30 per “heads”.  It was reviewed here and… yeah, not good.  

So which should you use for serious play?  Probably neither.  If you insist or if you just want to mess with Cloyster for fun, I optimizing what can be done with either Cloyster requires focusing upon it, but you might include a single copy of the other version when running four total Cloyster, as a fallback option.  They do both have one thing in common; you’ll want to shut down either Trainers or Abilities because Cloyster because the “big” attacks don’t hit reliably hard enough to be worth running as your main attacker.  Focusing on today’s Cloyster, you could use cards like AZ or Super Scoop Up or Devolution Spray to repeatedly use Sudden Grip to very, very, very slowly take Prizes while hoping your opponent doesn’t eventually draw into a counter for this tactic.  Unless you get incredibly complicated and also run Dusknoir (BW: Boundaries Crossed 63/149; BW: Plasma Blast 104/101) or slightly less complicated but a little more lucky by spamming Energy removing cards or timing Poison effects, your opponent eventually gets a shot in anyway.  With 100 HP on Cloyster or a complicated set-up, one attack may be all it takes.  Cloyster on the other hand is a good pull for Limited play; Paralysis is likely to stick while the HP, damage output and attack costs friendly to multiple Energy Types are more valuable.  Multiple Shellder in the set also make it easier to get a more robust Evolution line. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.5/5 

Expanded: 1.4/5 

Limited: 3.25/5 

Summary: Enjoy Cloyster in Limited, but it barring some clever combo I completely missed, Cloyster doesn’t do enough to justify it for competitive play.


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