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
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.
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!
(Sun & Moon, 71/149) is a tanky 160 HP Fighting
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
Gigalith, you’ll do 200 damage.
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
you cannot discard it.
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
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
(Fates Collide, 51/124), and in the three matches
I won, Carbink
worked extremely well in facilitating the energy
Carbink Break’s attack,
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
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
I did not win any match where I failed to get
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
because it’s so slow, is especially vulnerable to dead
Standard: 2 out of 5
Carbink Break and Strong
Gigalith just doesn’t have what it takes to compete
in the current meta.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.