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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Sun & Moon

#7 - Passimian
- Sun & Moon

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 9, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.65
Expanded: 3.85
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

Hitting our next spot on the list is...Passimian? Alright, well, it's a decent enough card I suppose. Let's take a look at it. 

Fling does 1-for-30 to a Benched Pokemon...alright, moving on. 

Team Play's the appealing aspect of this card, as while it starts out at 2-for-10, it adds on 30 more damage for each Benched Passimian you have. Initially that's an okay start, as you can get up to 100 damage for just 2 Energy. On top of that, it's easy to bring them out with Nest Ball now, and don't forget that he's got access to Strong Energy thanks to the reprint back in Fates Collide. So it won't be surprising if a deck comes out focusing on this. 

My main problem with such a deck, then, isn't about amassing your Passimian onto the field to trample over your opponent's Pokemon - which at 100 damage a hit can 2HKO a lot of Pokemon just shy of Mega-EX and some Pokemon-GX. No, my problem is with keeping them on the field. At 110 HP, Passimian isn't going to get too easily trampled, but he does run shy of what I consider to be the magic number of 120 - which is when most Pokemon will get 2HKO'd, although that might climb up to 130, which doesn't make it any easier for our simian friend. On top of that, he does have Psychic Weakness, a popular pick since M Mewtwo-EX is still hanging around the format with the likes of Trevenant BREAK.

Still, credit where credit's due - you get out your field of Passimian quick enough, and you can rush down a lot of decks that are still working to set-up. Combined with Strong Energy and a full field, you can hit a lot of Pokemon for 120-140 damage easily for just 2 Energy in total. Passimian is gonna want to go fast - so be prepared to see that aggro deck. 

Rating 

Standard: 3.5/5 (Passimian wants to go fast, and if you build your deck right, he'll go faster than anything) 

Expanded: 4/5 (heck, in Expanded, he'll have access to a lot of Fighting support to really rack up the damage) 

Limited: 4/5 (the loss of that support makes him okay, but in a format like this alongside Nest Ball, he ought to do well) 

Arora Notealus: Passimian is the first example of a rush-based strategy here in the Sun&Moon format, and hopefully we'll be able to see bigger and better ones along the way. Will they revolve around non-evolving Basics that aren't GX? Will they beat out the EX and GX forces? Or will they be a phase? Who knows? Only time will tell... 

Next Time: Out from the sky, the moon shines bright on this Pokemon.


Otaku

Our seventh place finisher is Passimian (SM: Black Star Promos SM12; Sun & Moon 73/149), another new Gen VII Pokémon.  It is a Fighting Type, which means it can tap some excellent support, though as is usually the case, much of it is Expanded only now.  Looking ahead, some of what remains may not be worth using alongside Passimian so no sense going into details we may not need.  Similarly, the Fighting Type has a few Energy based tricks and some supporting Pokémon (that aren’t Type exclusive) that further bulk up the Type support, but Passimian may not be making use of them for reasons I’ll explain later.  Fighting Type counters exist in both Standard and Expanded play, but don’t see a lot of use because, like most Type-specific counters, their focus is too narrow to be practical.  Fighting Resistance is one of the most common, but a total lack of Resistance outstrips it, and dealing with Resistance is as simple as shifting to an alternate attacker, or stacking an extra 20 damage onto your attack.  It can still mess you up, but it isn’t a huge problem.  Good for Passimian is that Fighting Weakness can be a huge problem; many Colorless Pokémon, most Darkness, and most Lightning Types are Fighting Weak, though the exceptions to these patterns are more prominent than the norm in the competitive sphere.  The Fighting Type may only just be hanging in there in terms of competitive play, but it may be the Type that actually has the most going for it; we’ll see if Passimian can cash in on any of this. 

Passimian is a Basic Pokémon; that means minimum deck space required, minimum time to hit the field, can be your opening Active, often naturally better with various effects than Evolutions, and there is even some fantastic Stage support for them.  The only drawbacks to being a Basic Pokémon are externally imposed; there are multiple counters that apply only to them.  Passimian has 110 HP, low enough that your typical deck will OHKO it, provided that deck has its main strategy up and running.  It isn’t so low as to be an easy OHKO, Passimian just doesn’t have enough HP to be likely to avoid going down in one hit; at least it is large enough that Fighting Fury Belt should make a noticeable difference.  Psychic Weakness is dangerous, though perhaps not as bad as it seems.  Those Psychic Types already going for brute force likely already OHKO the 110 HP, so what really matters is helping them out when they’ve had a bad start, or when you are dealing with the more technical Psychic Type attacks not focused on damage (but still doing some).  Passimian lacks Resistance, which is typical and only a minor missed opportunity, so we’ll move onto the Retreat Cost of [C]; easy to pay both upfront and later in the game, at least usually.  With the other stats and the attacks, I don’t think it is likely you’ll be retreating all that often. 

That is right, “attacks”: Passimian has no Abilities but does have two attacks.  The first is “Fling”, which costs [F] and does 30 damage to the opposing Benched Pokémon of your choice.  The damage return is decent for the Energy, and sometimes hitting the Bench is amazing, but Passimian is hurt by the attack being unable to hit something in the opponent’s Active slot.  An adequate attack, I would say.  The second attack is “Team Play”, which does 10 damage plus 30 per Passimian on your Bench, so 10, 40, 70, or 100 damage.  While not a massive amount of damage, the cost is just [CC]; it is only truly bad when Passimian is on its own (the 10 damage), though to use well you’ll want to have two or three Passimian on your Bench.  Therein lies the rub, I think; if you have any Passimian in your Prizes, your damage output drops.  Obviously, if all three are stuck there, you better hope you have an alternate attacker or that Fling will prove surprisingly useful.  Even just one drops you down to a max base damage of 70 for Team Play, though, while two is almost as hopeless as having just one.

So we have a small Basic Pokémon attacker that likes to swarm but is vulnerable to copies of itself being Prized.  How did it make any personal top 10 lists, then, let alone the final overall countdown?  Passimian already has a budget deck that has proven competitive.  Not “New best deck in the game!” competitive, but good for a deck mostly build around Uncommons and Commons.  The deck usually relies upon Double Colorless Energy to fuel your attack needs; sure an opponent can discard them easily, but most decks discard the Double Colorless Energy by simply KOing the Passimian to which it is attached.  Max Elixir may also be used if you prefer relying more on basic Energy.  Nest Ball and Revive are big helps to field your initial Passimian team and reclaiming the fallen.  The first big “combo”, however, is using Mew (XY: Fates Collide 29/124).  Yes, this is a holo rare, which does not seem like a budget card.  Unless you run this with Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108), then Mew will be the rarest card in the deck.  So what does Mew do?  While it is an even easier OHKO, it allows you to 

  • Exploit Psychic Weakness
  • Attack with up to four Passimian on the Bench

So if nothing is Prized and you get all your Passimian into play, Mew can do 130 with Team Play, and all those times you can only manage three total Passimian in play, Mew is still doing 100 for [CC].  In Expanded play, you might even use Dimension Valley to allow it to attack for just [C], but I’ve never seen anyone do that. 

I said that Shaymin-EX wasn’t required for the deck; you can run it if you have it, and that might be the best way, but Oranguru (SM: Black Star Promos SM13; Sun & Moon 113) can work well here.  The deck tends to avoid a lot of cards that can clutter up your hand; it does still happen, but this is a deck where you have a better chance of getting down to under three cards, allowing you to make use of the “Instruct” Ability on Oranguru.  Instruct may be used once per turn before you attack, so even though each use can draw three cards at most, and probably just one or two, it adds up over the course of the game.  Oranguru is also a decent attacker, having “Psychic” for [CCC], which does 60 damage plus 20 per Energy attached to the opponent’s Active.  It cannot exploit Weakness, but Mew can; this also makes Dimension Valley a little more appealing as an Expanded Format Stadium choice, but I haven’t been playing much Expanded lately so, again, I haven’t seen it done.  Two other cards worth mentioning are Town Map and Rotom Dex, the latter being another card from this set.  These just make it easier to deal with Passimian stuck in your Prizes. 

Passimian is unlikely to pull off OHKOs, but it looks like it could be effective at the 2HKO strategy, with OHKO’s when Weakness cooperates.  Its relative simplicity, speed, and capacity to get by without some of the more expensive cards in the format make me think that it will be around for at least a little while.  Meet the new aggressive budget deck for Standard play, maybe for Expanded play as well.  It begs for experimentation I think: I haven’t heard of anyone partnering it with Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98), but simple partnerships like that could take Passimian far.  Even a single Passimian can be handy in Limited Play, due to the Bench snipe (assuming you can run a source of [F] Energy for it).  Limited play does not have the four-per-deck rule; as long as a card doesn’t specify an amount (like Ace Spec cards did), you may run as many as you pull, so long as your Limited Format deck contains exactly 40 cards.  So one Passimian is still nice, 4+ is insane… what about 2-3?  Still good; what I said about Fling still applies, and though the hits won’t be massive, most attackers don’t hit as hard in Limited play.  You can get a taste of that in the Theme Deck Format found on the PTCGO: the Theme Deck “Roaring Heat” includes two Passimian. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.8/5 

Expanded: 3.7/5 

Limited: 3.9/5 

Theme: 3.5/5 

Summary: I cannot quite bring myself to give Passimian a four-out-of-five in any format, but is approaching that level of play.  If Prize cards weren’t there to threaten your setup, this might become the new go-to 2HKO deck. 

Passimian earned 10 voting points, tying with tomorrow’s sixth place finisher.  On my own list, I had Passimian in 6th place, but seventh may be more accurate.  Just one less point, and we would have ended up with a four-way tie for 7th through 10th place (instead of the actual three-way tie), while one more point and it would have been a tie between 5th and 6th instead of 6th and 7th.


Zach Carmichael
Had this at #7 on his list. 


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