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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Ribombee
- Sun & Moon

Date Reviewed:
March 29, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.92
Expanded: 1.25
Limited: 2.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

...oh yeah, Ribombee's a thing. 

You forgot about him too? No big deal, he's a Stage 1 with only 60 HP. His only attack is Fairy Wind, which is a vanilla 1-for-20. And the potential in his Ability, Curative Pollen, is immediately squandered when you realize it's a weaker Potion on every turn. Or a weaker Rough Seas for only 1 of your Pokemon. Or a 20-HP healing Stage 1 investment that has the absolute lowest HP on a Stage 1 in recent memory. 

But at least it's not all bad. At least you can only obtain him as a shiny Holo-Rare! 

... 

Rating 

Standard: 1/5 (even with the potential to be a Rough Seas of sorts) 

Expanded: 1/5 (the vulnerabilities that Ribombee has are too numerous to count) 

Limited: 2/5 (it's a shame too, but such is life as a Ribombee) 

Arora Notealus: Ribombee's a unique Bug/Fairy Pokemon, but he's gonna need a lot more than just some fairy dust to get him into a few decks. If only he had a really useful Ability...but hey, there have been Pokemon that have been in his shoes before...his cute tiny insect shoes. 

Next Time: It's a throwback to...something we know really well by now.


Otaku

Ribombee (Sun & Moon 93/149) has 60 HP; normally I address that after covering a few other aspects of the card, but it is going to affect pretty much everything else so we’re leading with it.  I’ve been saying we need HP scores across the board to rise because we are seeing the effect of what happens when it doesn’t; a game too fast paced for some of its core mechanics.  Like Evolving.  Ribombee is an almost guaranteed OHKO while Active and is even in trouble on your Bench (though more for 2HKOs than OHKOs).  This is a Fairy Type; if a Pokémon is about attacking, you enjoy a lack of Resistance, but you only hit XY-era (and later) Dragon Types for double damage.  Not the worst, but Ribombee isn’t a super great attacker (as we’ll see) and even if it was, it would have to be amazing because of that HP.  There are some great Fairy Type attackers available right now, but they need dedicated decks, so unless Ribombee fits into one of those, that doesn’t help.  There are some nice tricks involving the Fairy Energy Type, and while they can help Ribombee, it isn’t anything to make being a Fairy Type worthwhile.  Same for Fairy Pokémon Type specific tricks, unless I’m experiencing an epic brain failure right now.  I don’t recall any specific anti-Fairy effect, but if they are out there, they’re probably too Type specific to matter.  Metal Weakness is normally not too bad, but with 60 HP, you actually have to worry about those low damage, low Energy, supporting attacks.  Darkness Resistance would be handy except the HP means almost all Darkness Type attackers still take the OHKO.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is low and easy to pay… but a Stage 1 this small has to be amazing to be worth even that low effort. 

Ribombee has the Ability “Curative Pollen” allows you to select one of your Pokémon in play and heal 20 damage from it, once per turn before you attack.  The wording does not preclude multiple copies being used at once, so you can stack it e.g. if you’ve got two Ribombee with Curative Pollen in play, both can heal 20 from one of your Pokémon before you attack.  This isn’t even on par with Potion, at least post-errata, an issue as you can run one Ribombee or two Potion.  There are enough anti-Ability and anti-Trainer effects that I don’t see a real advantage to going one way or the other unless your specific deck makes it so.  Ribombee can use “Fairy Wind” for [Y] to do 30 damage.  This probably falls in that hazy area between “mediocre” to “adequate”; unless you were expecting this effect to make Ribombee an awesome attacker.  If Curative Pollen had been awesome, I’d just be annoyed it cost [Y] instead of [C].  Curative Pollen didn’t impress, so Fairy Wind isn’t really going to help with that.  How about Cutiefly (Sun & Moon 92/149)?  Only one version available, and it’s a 30 HP Fairy Type Basic Pokémon with Metal Weakness, Darkness Resistance, Retreat Cost [C] and the attack “Fly Around”.  This means all the problems of Ribombee, but worse as even on the Bench you have to worry about it being a OHKO.  Fly Around costs [Y], does 10 damage, and places an effect on Cutiefly itself that lasts until the end of your opponent’s next turn.  If your opponent uses an attack that would damage Cutiefly during that time, you flip a coin and if it is “heads”, you prevent all damage done to Cutiefly.  Not great, but it does help the overall Evolution line because it can keep Cutiefly alive long enough to Evolve. 

Ribombee is looking for an attacker that needs repeated healing in small doses and is so important, your opponent is helping you out if he or she wastes a Lysandre or similar effect to force Ribombee into the Active spot for an easy OHKO.  I wish I had something like that to present as at least a hypothetical deck, but I don’t.  As such, I cannot recommend this card for Standard or Expanded play, but and the low HP makes me scared to even recommend it for Limited play.  What am I saying… that 30 HP Cutiefly could pretty easily cost you the game as well, even in the Constructed Formats. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.5/5 

Limited: 2/5 

Summary 

There have been times when healing effects (especially ones that work similar to Abilities) have been part of format-defining decks, but I’m just not seeing it here.  The space spent on a 1-1 Ribombee line still allows two healing Trainers.  The space for a 2-2 allows four or a proven Stage 1 backer.  The only thing gives me pause is that we might be moving to a format where healing 20 per turn is enough to throw KO’s off by a turn, and that really might be worth such a fragile Stage 1.


21times

Ribombee (Sun & Moon, 93/149) makes its debut as a brand new Pokemon.  At 60 HP, it ranks as the second lowest for Stage 1 Pokemon.  Only Shedinja (Roaring Skies, 11/108) has less HP (30), and it shares the second lowest rung of 60 HP solely with Raticate (Evolutions, 67/108).   

Ribombee has a very useful ability, however.  Curative Pollen allows you to heal twenty damage from any of your Pokemon once per turn.  This ability does stack – I don’t know that I’ve ever had the good fortune of having four Ribombee on the bench all at the same time, but theoretically you could potentially heal eighty damage every turn.  Combine this with Fairy Drop (Fates Collide, 99/124), and you’ve got the potential to wipe away most, if not all, of the damage your opponent does to you in any given turn. 

I’ve actually played this in a Diancie EX (Fates Collide, 72/124) deck twenty times and gone 12 and 8 with it (60% win percentage).  It’s a good deck – it’s especially fun against dark decks:

##Pokémon - 12 

* 4 Cutiefly SUM 92
* 4 Ribombee SUM 93
* 4 Diancie-EX FAC 72

##Trainer Cards - 38

* 4 Nest Ball SUM 123
* 4 Level Ball AOR 76
* 1 Energy Retrieval SUM 116
* 3 Professor Sycamore STS 114
* 1 Professor Sycamore BKP 107
* 4 Lillie SUM 147
* 4 VS Seeker PHF 109
* 4 Fairy Drop FAC 99
* 4 Fairy Garden XY 117
* 4 Puzzle of Time BKP 109
* 3 Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99
* 1 Special Charge STS 105
* 1 Pokemon Center Lady FLF 105

##Energy - 10

* 6 Fairy Energy EVO 99
* 4 Double Colorless Energy EVO 90

Maybe the most important feature of this deck is Diancie’s ability Sparkle Veil.  This ability reduces the damage done from an opponent’s attack by 30 – and this includes bench sniping!  Sorry Umbreon GX (Sun & Moon, 80/149), Passimian (Sun & Moon, 73/149), Galvantula (Steam Siege, 42/114), and all you other bench snipers.  Your snipe does zero if it’s 30 or less.  As mentioned above, because of Ribombee’s extreme frailty, this protection frequently comes in very handy. 

I mentioned already that using Fairy Drop can help out quite a bit, and as you can see I run Puzzle of Time (Breakpoint, 109/122) to allow you the opportunity to pull the Fairy Drops back out of your discard and use them again.  Fairy Garden (Fates Collide, 100/124) also provides a huge tactical advantage in that you can retreat a damaged Diancie back onto your bench and promote a healthy one up.  Then you can use Ribombee heal the damaged Diancie and then put that one back up into the active when the one that replaced it gets damaged.  It’s a vicious cycle for your opponent and often leaves them feeling like they’re going nowhere fast or somewhere real slow.  Finally, I also play one Pokemon Center Lady (Flashfire, 105/106) just to add insult to injury and an additional level of healing.  I find I don’t use this too often, however.  Early in the game, I don’t use it because I need the draw support.  Later in the game, I sometimes have difficulty getting a Versus Seeker (Phantom Forces, 110/108) in my hand when I really need it.  I do use it, though, every opportunity I can.  It’s just that those opportunities are not as often as I’d like them to be.

Rating

Standard: 3 out of 5

Summary

Especially against dark decks, to which it has -20 resistance, to quote one player I surprised with Diancie Ribombee: “This deck is sneaky good.”  If you play in a local club that’s infested (ok maybe not the right word choice) populated with Darkrai players, you could win a lot of matches (although maybe lose as many friends) by springing this deck on them.  Is it practical to think you can get all four Ribombee on your bench? No, but I have no problem getting out two, and I would say that I can usually put three on the bench.  Look at it this way: I never put four Diancie on the bench because I know that I want that last slot to have a Ribombee in it.   


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