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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Galvantula
- Steam Siege

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 2, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.5
Expanded: 2.67
Limited: 3.75

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Geez, they just couldn't stop pairing up with that Grass-typing, huh? Guess that's what you get for having Grass and Bug Pokemon sorted into a single type. Could be worse though, at least they're not like Rock/Ground/Fighting into just Fighting-Type. But I digress. 

Galvantula actually has a little potential here, given that both of his attacks are only 1 Energy apiece. Unfortunately that potential is lost on their low power, but they're still interesting enough nevertheless. Double Thread is actually very curious, dealing out 30 damage to 2 of your opponent's Pokemon. The very curious part is that you actually do apply Weakness/Resistance on the Benched Pokemon, meaning you can hit for 60 damage minimum on anything weak to Electric or Grass. To give an idea, that's most every Water-Type Pokemon, a few Fighting Pokemon, and a few Colorless Pokemon. 

So I guess RIP Water Toolbox, huh? 

All kidding aside, Electroweb is hardly threatening. A 1-for-30 attack that prevents retreat isn't really a threat to anything at all, so I'm pretty sure Galvantula's still gonna have problems with whatever's Active. Really, I'd say he's better off spreading damage around with Double Thread, hitting Weakness when he can while avoiding Resistance to get the most benefit out of his attack. It's not much really, and the general lack of power will probably be what ultimately leads him into obscurity. 

So I guess RIP Galvantula. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (Double Thread's the only real potential threat here, but otherwise Galvantula doesn't hit hard enough to be threatening) 

Expanded: 2/5 (but by itself, even Double Thread's not that much of a threat if you're not weak to it) 

Limited: 3/5 (or at least have some bulkier Pokemon about like the EX) 

Arora Notealus: I wonder what other Dual Types they could hit up. We've seen M Steelix-EX with Fighting/Steel, Volcanion-EX with Fire/Water, these last three with Grass and Dark/Electric/Fire... 

Next Time: And now for something completely different!


Otaku

Today we look at Galvantula (XY: Steam Siege 42/114).  It is both Grass and Lightning Typed, which means it is a terror to the majority of Water Types in Expanded: currently Grass Weakness is typical of TCG Water Types which are not based on the video game Ice Type (those are usually Metal Weak), but prior to this it was likely for Water Types to be Grass or Lightning Weak (as opposed to Grass Weak).  Not sure why the change happened, or why a handful of cards in the XY-era which are Water Types (in the TCG or the video games) still received Lightning Weakness when it doesn’t match up to their other video game Type but whatever the reason, it is nice having all but one chunk of a Type take double damage from your attacks.  Speaking of chunks, many Colorless Types and as well as nearly all the other Types have cards which represent the video game Flying Type, and they have Lightning Weakness.  Grass Weakness is also found on a decent amount of the Fighting Type as well.  While Grass/Lightning isn’t hitting any Type 100% of the time, it still seems like a decent amount of potentially favorable match ups to me.  As for Resistance, nothing in the BW- or XY-era releases are Grass Resistant and only some Fighting Types from the BW-era enjoy Lightning Resistance, so while not perfect, that’s pretty close. 

What about Type counters or support?  No Type specific counters really stand out other than the incidental example I name so often: Parallel City.  If you’ve been skipping around or are new, Parallel City is a Stadium with two effects but only one of them applies to either player; which is determined by the direction the card faces.  One of these effects is that a player can have no more than three Pokémon on his or her Bench, and that is the effect that gets Parallel City run.  The other is that the damage done by Fire, Grass, or Water Type Pokémon is reduced by 20.  Rarely is a player running Parallel City to reduce the damage, but it might be an option for them.  The best support for Grass is based on Evolving from a Grass Type Pokémon, and we finally have a card that cannot lay claim to that so no Forest of Giant Plants.  Revitalizer isn’t bad (and in fact is fairly good with Battle Compressor in Expanded) but not major and the rest of what I can recall is less impressive or more deck specific.  Same for tricks based around Grass Energy (Virizion-EX just isn’t as important as it once was) or synergy with other Grass Type attackers or Bench-sitters.  If more than a token source of [G] Energy is being used, I guess I ought to site Virizion (XY: Ancient Origins 12/98) as a solid sweeper.  The Lightning Type also offers very little; though this is not entirely due to its absence but because most of it will be mitigated by the HP on Galvantula.  Most of the Lightning Energy based support will be unnecessary because its Energy acceleration and Galvantula won’t really need it.  There are some prominent Lightning Type attackers, but the ones popping into my head are either outdated, too specific, or too generic to be a real help to Galvantula. 

So with all that out of the way for Typing, we’ll tackle the Stage; being a Stage 1 means requiring an extra card and an extra turn over being just a Basic, and being a Basic is still the best.  A Stage 1 can match a Basic in speed if you don’t mind burning your Supporter for the turn on Wally, but that is usually only a good idea in select decks.  90 HP is low enough to be a fairly easy KO, though early game or against decks not focused upon damage, it might be able to just survive a hit.  Slight bonus is that if the deck has room for Level Ball, Galvantula is a legal target.  Fighting Weakness is dangerous as the Type specializes in hitting hard and fast, stacking damage bonuses.  A few heavy hitters will just be in overkill territory which doesn’t matter or may even be turned against the opponent, but most will just be even more reliable about scoring a OHKO for a single Energy.  Metal Resistance won’t mean much with 90 HP, but sometimes that extra -20 will come in handy, so enjoy it.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is easy to pay and to recover from having paid most of the time, though with this card’s size and my experience using and facing it, I cannot tell if it would have been broken or just right with a free Retreat Cost instead.

Galvantula has two attacks: Double Thread and Electroweb.  For [C] the former allows you to hit two of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon for 30 damage, while for [L] the latter does 30 while preventing the Defending Pokémon from retreating during your opponent’s next turn.  It is important to note that the first attack has been errata’d because it cannot hit your opponent’s Active, and to note that it applies Weakness and Resistance when hitting the Bench.  That isn’t just important because it is unusual, but because Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) is a very common Lighting Weak Benched target!  Best of all Double Thread is the Colorless attack, so it works with any Energy.  Electroweb can be useful as well, but it’s the double Bench hit that applies Weakness that gives Galvantula potential.  Actually, the card is already being used with some success in Xerneas (XY: BREAKthrough 107/162) decks.  It provides both a [L] and [G] Pokémon for a single Bench slot, behind a reasonably big, Basic non-Pokémon-EX attacker, adding 60 damage to the yield of “Rainbow Force”.  Joltik (XY: Steam Siege 41/114) has been surprisingly useful to Galvantula as well; though only a 30 HP Lightning Type Basic with a forgettable attack (and other stats), it has a free Retreat Cost. 

Due to time constraints, I’m not going to compare and contrast it with the other Galvantula (or the other Joltik).  I know some folks are testing out Vileplume (BW: Boundaries Crossed 3/149) decks, and while it might be meaningless message board Theorymon, Galvantula has been floated around as an attacker for such a deck.  After all, with the Ability on Vileplume (“Allergy Panic”) increasing Weakness to x4, Galvantula doesn’t set up an unreliable double 2HKO, but a guaranteed OHKO (or double OHKO) of opposing Shaymin-EX.  With Muscle Band and a source of [L] Energy, it could also still do 50 damage which becomes 200 against Active Lighting Weak attackers.  So if you want to run a Rainbow Road deck or just experiment, give this card a try.  Should be quite nice in Limited play, where hitting the Bench is a much stronger tactic. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 

Summary: As you can tell, I had to truncate my usual review pattern, but didn’t have time to rewrite the first half to avoid it being as detailed as usual.  Being a Dual Type favors Galvantula because of the Weaknesses it can exploit, namely hitting Shaymin-EX (preferably two) which are on your opponent’s Bench.  Not something to build a deck around, but something which fits into one existing deck (Rainbow Road) and possibly one hasbeen that actually neverwas, the “Allergy Panic Deck”.  For what is easily dismissed as a novelty, that is pretty impressive.


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