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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Mandibuzz

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
June 1, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.5
Expanded: 1.5
Limited: 3.5

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

...welp...it's uh...it's Mandibuzz!...in case you're wondering, I'm not enthusiastic about her either. 

Now I know what you're thinking - 3 Energy for a vanilla 80 damage? No way would I play a Stage 1 for that! Well, that's where Mandibuzz offers another attack to hopefully change your mind, especially since Cutting Wind doesn't...cut it...EYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY 

Bone Drop is actually pretty good for what it does. It's a bit limited, but it's effectively a 1-for-60 hit, and that's really good just for 1 Energy! What's the restriction then? You need to hit a Pokemon with an Ability. Course, you've still got a fair amount of Pokemon with Abilities to choose from, but I can't think of many that have 60 and under in terms of HP. The new Mew comes to mind, being a 50 HP Basic, as does Alakazam-EX, and that's just in the new stuff. Keep in mind that Weakness and Resistance doesn't affect the attack for Bench-sitters, but if they've got whatever you're aiming for Active and it's weak to Darkness, I believe that's a 1-for-120 power play. 

That being said, is Bone Drop alone enough to make Mandibuzz playable? Probably not. There may be some who tech a line-up in against any Night March builds with Mew in them, but aside from that, there's not too much of a reason to run something that can only really do 60 damage...well, 80 damage for 3 Energy, but why would you run Mandibuzz for that? 

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (really niche usage will lead to teching her in) 

Expanded: 1.5/5 (but that's about the best we can expect) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (on the other hand, Limited respects Mandibuzz's need to do lots of damage) 

Arora Notealus: Mandibuzz...should she get an EX treatment? Let's figure that out together! What would it be...Bone Drop with some additional Whirlwind power? Or like Darkness Wing? Or Air Cutter? Or Divebomb? 

Next Time: The power of the EX blesses the last Eeveelution!


Otaku

Our second pick this week is Mandibuzz (XY: Fates Collide 58/124), and it keeps up the theme of being a Darkness Type.  Said Darkness Type only enjoys Weakness against certain Psychic Types, though this is better than it sounds thanks to two of the top decks (those based on Night March or Trevenant BREAK) fall into this category.  Darkness Weakness is almost totally universal on the Fairy Type, but mono- or mostly Fairy Type decks aren’t strong right now so it isn’t a major concern.  Likewise there are anti-Darkness-Type effects, but none have made good in the past so likely it won’t be a serious problem right now, if it shows up at all.  Dark Patch is still good in Expanded, but especially in Standard the potency of Darkness Types come from their stable of Pokémon for their attacks and/or Abilities.  One of the reasons I have to be careful with this breakdown; if I rush through it sounds like the Type is a bit weak but in the end the Darkness Type is among the better ones. 

Mandibuzz is a Stage 1 Pokémon, so it is slower and less space efficient than a Basic but still faster and less costly than all other Stages save the BREAK Evolutions of Basic Pokémon.  Its 110 HP is not great, just a hair better than the easily OHKO’d 100; most decks will manage a OHKO but the question is how rapidly, reliably, and (assuming you run multiples) repeatedly.  I believe the answer is that most competitive decks will manage two of the three, with only decks not focused on doling out damage failing to manage at least one of those three.  Lightning Type attackers will find it even easier thanks to Weakness; thanks to the damage doubling they need only do 60 up front.  Resistance is a welcome sight; even though the Fighting Type has more than one attacker which ignores Resistance and beyond that specializes in enough modest damage bonuses to overwhelm Resistance for the rest of them, it still should improve the odds of survival.  An effective 130 is not massive, but it does seem to be around the point where a Pokémon is a bit more likely to survive a hit than be OHKO’d.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is low and easy to pay should you be unable to reduce it to nothing. 

Mandibuzz has two attacks, the first being “Bone Drop” for [C].  This is a nice, easy cost to pay but the attack may or may not be easy to use; that is because it does 60 damage to one of your opponent’s Pokémon but the target must have an Ability.  If nothing has an Ability, Mandibuzz can’t use this attack.  60-for-one is great, being able to also hit the Bench is better still, but some juicy, smaller targets like Joltik (XY: Phantom Forces 26/119) and Pumpkaboo (XY: Phantom Forces 44/119) are off limits.  The second attack is “Cutting Wind”, which is a vanilla 80 for [DCC].  If the card had something else going for it, this would be decent; after all with a Muscle Band you can manage to 2HKO just about anything with 200 or less HP, and with Dark Patch (and possibly Double Colorless Energy) you could go from “zero” to “attacking” right away.  Unfortunately for this card the Darkness Type has several Stage 1 cards that are already potent attackers that are as or more affordable.  Still all hope is not lost, let us see what its lower Stage and alternate versions can do. 

The Basic Pokémon of the line - Vullaby - has five options: Black & White 72/114, BW: Emerging Powers 68/98, BW: Dark Explorers 73/108, BW: Boundaries Crossed 92/149, and XY: Fates Collide 57/124.  As for other Mandibuzz, there are three more options (all Stage 1): Black & White 73/114, BW: Emerging Powers 66/98, and BW: Boundaries Crossed 93/149.  All are Darkness Type Pokémon with Lightning Weakness, Fighting Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ancient Trait, and no Ability.  Black & White 72/114 has 60 HP and “Surprise Attack” for [D], doing 20 but requiring a coin flip and instead doing nothing on “tails”.  BW: Emerging Powers 68/98 has 50 HP; for [D] it can use “Rear Guard” to soak 30 damage from attacks or it can do 20 damage for [DC] with “Gust”.  BW: Dark Explorers 73/108 is back up to 60 HP but goes down to just one attack - Whirlwind - for [D] that does 10 while forcing the opponent to send his or her Active to the Bench.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 92/149 has 50 HP with two attacks; it can use “Gust” for just [D] but the damage is only 10 while its “Razor Wing” needs [DC] and does 20.  XY: Fates Collide 57/124 is the only Standard legal option as well as the only one with both 60 HP and two attacks.  For [C] it can use “Leer”; “heads” means the opponent’s Active is Paralyzed but “tails” does nothing.  [DCC] buys it Cutting Wind like its Evolved form, but this time the attack only does 40 damage.  None of the Vullaby are great, but go with XY: Fates Collide 57/124 since it has the HP and an attack that can help it stay alive with any color Energy. 

Getting back to the other Mandibuzz, all the other options are Expanded-only with 90 HP and two attacks.  Black & White 73/114 can use “Blindside” for [D] to do 50 damage to one of your opponent’s Pokémon, but the target must already have at least one damage counter on it.  For [DCC] it can use “Punishment” to do 40, or 40+60 if attacking a Stage 2.  Blindside isn’t too bad but “Punishment” describes the attack for you, not the opponent; I think Stage 2 Pokémon were about as often played when this card released as they are now, and that isn’t much so doing just 40 to the vast majority of targets is awful.  You aren’t even likely to OHKO a Stage 2 when you do attack it.  This got to be our 1950th CotD about five years ago, and the astonishing thing is that it scored fairly well.  We all badly overrated it.  BW: Emerging Powers 66/98 has “Bone Rush” for [D]; you flip until you get “tails” and the attack does 30 damage per “heads”.  For [CC] it has “Dark Pulse” to do 20 plus 10 damage for each Energy attached to all of your Pokémon.  As a reminder this was released three sets before Dark Patch and was outclassed after it was available, so it also saw little to no successful competitive play.  It is significantly better though; you can read the somewhat optimistic reviews here, with Baby Mario basically getting it just right.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 93/149 brings back Gust (yet again) doing 30 for [DC], while for [DCCC] its “Dual Cut” had you flip two coins good for 80 damage per “heads”; this was four sets into the Pokémon-EX era and while Dark Claw (also available by this point) would give you a one-in-four chance of OHKOing a Basic Pokémon-EX, for the investment that actually is a bit underpowered.  We didn’t review this one, and you can guess why. 

So it looks like Mandibuzz (XY: Fates Collide 58/124) is simply one of the better versions of a line that consistently underperforms.  Only play it for fun in Standard or Expanded play, though it is a great pull for Limited.  Just to threaten Pokémon with Abilities either Active or on the Bench with Bone Drop is enough, though you should be able to work in a few basic Darkness Energy cards so Mandibuzz can also use Cutting Wind. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.35/5 

Expanded: 1.25/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 

Summary: Whoever keeps designing Mandibuzz cards hasn’t learned from the shortcomings of the BW-era versions.  This one is only good for Limited play, though at least it is pretty good there.


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