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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Gigalith
- Sun & Moon

Date Reviewed:
March 27, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.0
Expanded: 2.5
Limited: 3.0

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Continuing on with our reviews of Sun & Moon, we come across a rocky Gen 5-er! Gigalith, Unova's version of Golem, comes back once again to tear things up in Standard! 

...at least, as much as any Gigalith has. 

He's got a couple of pretty nice attacks too. Rock Artillery costs 2 Energy and lets you discard any number of Fighting Energy on any of your Pokemon to deal 50 damage apiece. At 4 Energy, you KO most Stage 2s and Basic-EX, and at 5 Energy, you're knocking out anything in the game. Naturally tied with the 2 Energy you're using on Gigalith, and assuming you don't discard those for the attack as well, it's a bit costly, and Fighting's only really got Carbink BREAK for Energy acceleration right now, so if you do build around Gigalith, keep that in mind. 

The alternative is Rock Tumble, which does 4-for-120 and isn't affected by Resistance, thus guaranteeing at least a 2HKO on most anything. It's the safer and less risky option, but 4 Energy might be considered too much of an investment for 120. Considering that there are attacks that can hit that number for less Energy, that's really all up to you. 

Gigalith isn't a bad card necessarily, but he does suffer from a few fundamental problems. He's a Stage 2 Pokemon, though he does have 160 HP, his Retreat Cost is a wildly high 4 Energy, and his attacks, while good in their own right, require a lot of investment to make work. At least he's good for casual decks, just like his other Gigalith friends. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (I imagine the Gigalith/Carbink-BREAK deck to be rather clunky)

Expanded: 2.5/5 (and while Expanded has better ways of getting to their plays, Gigalith is still a lot of work himself) 

Limited: 3/5 (such is the nature of a Stage 2) 

Arora Notealus: One of these days, Gigalith's gonna get a card that is gonna tear up the scene, and it is going to be a sad day for all pandas...why pandas specifically? Because they're cute and cuddly. Why not puppies? Stop asking me questions, just go with the metaphor!


21times

Gigalith (Sun & Moon, 71/149) is a tanky 160 HP Fighting type Pokemon.  It has two attacks, Rock Artillery and Rock Tumble.  Rock Artillery has the potential to hit for more than 200 damage.  For every Fighting energy card discarded, the attack does 50 damage.  That means that if you discard four Fighting energy from Gigalith, you’ll do 200 damage.  This includes Strong Energy as well – if you discard the Strong Energy, you will not get the plus 20 damage benefit.  In order to get the plus 20 damage benefit from Strong Energy, you cannot discard it.  Rock Artillery is an ok attack, it can easily be boosted to 140 or 160 with the aforementioned Strong Energy, but it has a heavy four energy attack cost.

In eleven matches with Gigalith, I went three and eight.  As with most other Stage 2’s right now, they struggle to get set up quickly enough to compete with these high octane, big basic and Forest of Giant Plants (Ancient Origins, 74/98) aided Grass decks.  I paired Gigalith  with Carbink Break (Fates Collide, 51/124), and in the three matches I won, Carbink worked extremely well in facilitating the energy attachments onto Gigalith.  Remember, Carbink Break’s attack, Diamond Gift, can attach two of any energy card, basic and special.  With Diamond Gift, you can get a Gigalith completely powered up in a single turn: one energy from your current turn energy attachment, an energy of any type with Diamond Gift as well as a Double Colorless Energy mean that Gigalith can strike with Rock Tumble in the next turn.

And in the three games I won, this synergy happened frequently and worked well.  However, in the majority of games, it simply took too long to get Gigalith going.  I did not win any match where I failed to get Carbink Break out early, and  my opponent donked me a couple of times when I failed to get good draw support and more than a couple of Pokemon out early in the game (but, in fairness, that can happen to most every deck, it’s just that Gigalith, because it’s so slow, is especially vulnerable to dead drawing).

Rating

Standard: 2 out of 5

Summary

Even with Carbink Break and Strong Energy, Gigalith just doesn’t have what it takes to compete in the current meta.  It  might fare better in Expanded where Fighting decks have quite a few additional resources that are not available in Standard, but it’s still just a Stage 2 Pokemon that just can’t compete with all these EX’s and GX’s.


Otaku

We begin this week with Gigalith (Sun & Moon 71/149), the Compressed Pokémon.  It is a Fighting Type, allowing it to exploit the Fighting Weakness found on many Colorless, most Lightning, and most Darkness Type Pokémon.  Fighting Resistance is one of the most common, and just to deviate from expectations, not only is it sprinkled throughout all the Types, but the Colorless, Lightning, and Darkness Types each have prominent attackers with Fighting Resistance.  The net result is still well in the favor of the Fighting Type, as the damage doubling of Weakness is far more significant than the -20 from Resistance, but both can show up pretty frequently, so mind your math.  There are anti-Fighting Type effects, and the usual problem with Type specific counters apply; targeting one Type means too narrow a focus to be worthwhile for competitive play.  In terms of Type support, the Fighting Type not only has several notable attackers but a focus on stacking small damage bonuses.  Some of this is simply taking advantage of more general support, and most don’t add more than an extra 10 or 20 damage.  As an example, +20 damage isn’t going to make a huge difference; it can mitigate Resistance, help a near KO become a KO, or a slightly near KO if you are hitting Weakness.  What makes the Fighting Type so special is it tends to stack multiple bonuses, so that a single Energy attack can score a 2HKO (or OHKO against Weakness), and allows most larger attacks to go for the OHKO (regardless of Weakness and sometimes even Resistance).  There isn’t much specific to the Fighting Energy Type, but everywhere else this Type is impressive… it just is easy to forget when specific members of other Types are as or more impressive, and the Fighting Type isn’t on top (like now).  They also have more options in Expanded play than in Standard. 

As a Stage 2, Gigalith has to either manually Evolve from Basic to Stage 1 to Stage 2, which means two additional cards and turns of investment over being a Basic.  You can shave off a turn by replacing Boldore (its Stage 1 form) with Rare Candy, or add a card but shave off a turn by using Wally, or (as a Fighting Type) you can attempt to put it into play directly, in a single turn, with Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick.  Rare Candy can be an issue not only because of Item lock but the difficulty of getting both it and Gigalith in hand at the same time: most major draw power does not lend itself to keeping cards in hand while also showing a large return.  Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick can be pretty effective in Expanded play, but not as much in Standard, as to get it to work means having Gigalith in your discard pile and getting your hand down to just Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick while also not having used your Supporter for the turn.  It also makes the 160 HP less impressive; while 160 HP is the most we’ve seen printed on a Stage 2 (sans Pokémon-GX), the card and time investment means it hurts more losing Gigalith than something that requires less (yes, sometimes even when that something is worth two Prizes!).  Grass Weakness is more and less dangerous than it seems.  With the popularity of cards like Decidueye-GX, Lurantis-GX, and Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98), it can be a real factor; that 160 HP acts like a mere 80 in the face of Weakness.  I don’t consider it the worst, though, because we don’t have the craziness we face with some of the other forms of Weakness, where it is even easier to splash into another deck or while on Type, or where on Type it scores ridiculously easy, reliable OHKOs.  So pretty dangerous, just not the most dangerous.  Lack of Resistance is typical; it would have been nice, but lacking it doesn’t ruin the card.  The Retreat Cost of [CCCC] probably won’t ruin Gigalith either, but you will need to build your deck to accommodate it.  Possibly, compliance Heavy Ball and Heavy Boots could be a small pro within this con. 

Gigalith has two attacks, so let us get right to them, both requiring the same Types of Energy but in different enough quantities they can be staggered (assuming both are worthwhile).  “Rock Artillery” requires [FC], so it isn’t particularly fast, but neither is it slow.  Its effect allows you to discard any amount of [F] Energy from your Pokémon in play; it is important to note you are not limited to Gigalith itself, but you can still discard from it (such as if you don’t expect to survive the next turn).  Each Energy discarded this way means Rock Artillery does 50 damage.  Unless you have a good method of accelerating [F] Energy, that isn’t good.  The cost is enough to justify about 60 damage on its own, but you’ll need to discard both (or two other [F] Energy) to score a good (but not great) 100.  You’ll need to discard four or five Energy with each attack to hit competitive amounts.  [FFCC] pay for “Rock Tumble”, which does 120 damage plus ignores Resistance.  This would be more impressive if you weren’t paying enough to justify hitting for about 140 damage (which still means 120 damage against Resistance). 

Things are looking bad for Gigalith, and it gets worse: I just don’t have time for my super-detailed-review!  It is stupid, but I hurt my back and that makes it really hard to sit and type for long times.  Actually, I’m behind in many things thanks to this, and the sad part is I am talking a minor case of a strained muscle.  I was, however, thinking I’d have to cut back anyway; I just can’t afford to dedicate the time for the detail I put into these reviews.  The upside is I can avoid burying useful information, such as with today’s review.  What do I mean?  Instead of 2-3 paragraphs about Roggenrola, Boldore, and other Gigalith, I can focus on the combo that just barely makes Gigalith something to consider.  Team Magma’s Camerupt (Double Crisis 2/34) has an Ability that allows it to attach basic Fighting Energy or Fire Energy from your discard pile to itself, once per turn per copy.  A Stage 2 backed by multiple Stage 1 Pokémon isn’t super friendly to the current pacing demands, but it isn’t entirely out of line.  With even two on the Bench, you could keep up a sustained 100 damage per turn and still have your manual Energy attachment to invest in your next attacker.  A full four means a magnificent 200 per turn (250 if you use that turn’s Energy attachment), a force to be reckoned with, but vulnerable to Ability denial and Grass Types.  The former we don’t have a good answer to, but I think we might have a risky but rewarding option. 

Camerupt-EX failed to become a coherent deck with Team Magma’s Camerupt before and… honestly, the odds aren’t good sticking it with a Stage 2 that requires a different Energy Type, and yet I am still intrigued.  It is plausible you can make the pairing work.  While you have to include two Types of Basic Energy, it might just barely be possible to squeeze enough of each to make both attackers plausible.  Your attacker can cover its [C] requirements with an Energy of the off-Type. Camerupt-EX can be a big, Basic opener while prepping Gigalith, but with its first attack to annoy the opponent, as you won’t have a good way to attach extra Energy directly to it.  As is, you may want to try and squeeze some Energy Switch into the deck so Team Magma’s Camerupt can help fuel the others as well.  Heavy Ball can target anything in the deck (or at least, that we’ve discussed so far), and Heavy Boots can boost HP.  In Expanded, you could use Blacksmith to prep Camerupt-EX, but I don’t think the odds are good since if they were, we would probably already have a Camerupt-EX/Team Magma’s Camerupt deck.  In Limited play, Rock Artillery is best saved for a final assault, but the solid HP on Gigalith and reliable damage output of Rock Tumble are a lot better here, and the [C] requirements make it just barely splashable, which is important for Limited play. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 1.75/5 

Limited: 3.25/5 

Summary 

Gigalith isn’t the new big deck on the block, but it at least might be the Gigalith with the best chance.  I didn’t have the chance to test this deck out, but I am hoping to sometime, if only for some fun.  Who knows, maybe someone more skilled can figure out how to cram all that a Camerupt-EX/Gigalith/Team Magma’s Camerupt deck needs in while making it all flow… or some similar deck concept.


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