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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Maractus #11

Black & White

Date Reviewed: May 16, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.50
Limited: 2.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Maractus #11/114 (Black and White)

Hello and welcome to another week of reviews here on Pojo’s Cotd. We still have plenty of Black and White cards to do, so let’s get on with it.

We kick off with the first of two Maractus cards from the most recent set. It’s a non-evolving Basic with a decent 80 HP, a Water Resistance that might possibly be useful if Zekrom doesn’t scare every Water Pokémon from the format, and a Fire Weakness. I’m tired of saying this already, but Fire Weakness is unlikely to make any difference to a card like Maractus with the playable Fire Pokémon capable of a OHKO regardless.

Maractus’ first attack, Mega Drain, isn’t really all that mega. I suppose calling it ‘Cheap but Ineffective Drain’ wasn’t an option. It represents good value for what it is (one Grass Energy for 20 damage and 20 Healing), but in Modified that won’t take you any Prizes or save your Pokémon from a KO very often. Still, at least it’s better than Pin Missile: a massively over-priced attack that gives you four coin flips for 20 damage at a cost of [G][G][C]. Three turns of attachments on an 80 HP basic just isn’t going to happen, and even if you did pull it off you would need to hit all four heads to get even a mediocre return on your Energy investment.

Not for Modified, then. In Limited it’s half-decent thanks to Mega Drain’s ability to stall for a bit unless you run into a Fire Pokémon.

Rating

Modified (HGSS-on): 1.5 (useless underpowered, unevolving Basic)

Limited: 2 (reasonably annoying if your opponent has no Fire Pokémon)

virusyosh

Welcome back, Pojo readers! This week we are continuing our Black and White reviews by first reviewing a new Basic Grass-type. Today's Card of the Day is Maractus.

Maractus is a Basic Grass Pokemon. Grass-types aren't very common in MD-on with the exception of the random Roserade GL tech or Jumpluff, but Jumpluff and Serperior are both going to rise in popularity. 80 HP is decent for a Basic, although it is overshadowed by gargantuan Basics such as Reshiram, Zekrom, or even Alomomola. Fire Weakness is bad in a format populated with Reshiram and Emboar (and perhaps Charizard, Typhlosion, and Blaziken FB), Water Weakness is great against Gyarados, Kingdra, and the random Samurott, and a Retreat Cost of 2 is rather bad for a Pokemon with such low HP, so be sure to use Switch, Warp Point, or Warp Energy to get Maractus out of the active position.

Maractus's two attacks, Mega Drain and Pin Missile, are relatively standard fare for what we'd expect on a Grass-type. Mega Drain deals 20 damage for a single Grass Energy, with Maractus healing itself by 20. In Modified this attack won't do enough (damage or healing) to be effective, but this can be excellent in Limited, since it gives Maractus a nice early-game ability to tank for a cheap cost. Pin Missile is a pretty standard flip attack, having you flip 4 coins, dealing 20 damage times the number of heads for [GGC]. Since you will generally average 40 damage using this attack, it is both expensive and flippy for both Modified and Limited.

Modified: 1/5 Maractus doesn't do anything special enough to be used here, even in the new HGSS-on. Fire Weakness and low HP especially don't help its case.

Limited: 2.5/5 The Cactus Pokemon is pretty good here. 80 HP is good for a Basic in Limited, and will allow you to probably survive a few hits. Mega Drain can also work wonders in the early game, allowing Maractus to sponge weak hits fairly well while also dealing consistent damage. Pin Missile isn't such a great idea, but if you're feeling lucky or have no other options, it can be used.

conical
Deck Garage

5/16/11: Maractus(Black & White)
 
This Maractus is the first of two Maracti released in this set, which if you didn't know, is Black & White, and is also the first set of the 5th generation of Pokemon. Yeah.
 
This Maractus, seeing how other healing Pokemon with below-average HP, like Galvantula and Lilligant, were doing, decided that he wanted to get in on the business. And like the examples mentioned above, he has no place in a competitive environment, because he cannot stay active long enough to employ a tanking strategy. And Pin Missile is equally ineffective; at three energy on an 80 HP Basic, you'd hope to get a bit more than coin flips for damage.
 
The good thing is, he's pretty decent in Limited, and he seems like a jolly little guy, so I'll give him that.
 
Modified: 2/5
Limited: 3/5


Otaku

It is a maraca-cactus-bunny? If Jesse and/or James are still in the show, please let them snag this!

Maractus has some solid stats. It is a Basic Pokémon, so minimal deck slots and maximum search potential. It doesn’t Evolve, so it is going to need a little extra when compared to Basic Pokémon that do. Grass has some great tricks, but will be losing some of them come the rotation. 80 HP is reasonable for a Basic that doesn’t Evolve, just within OHKO range for most big attacks or its Weakness, but not for a lot of supporting attacks that aren’t said Weakness. Fire Weakness is expected on a Grass Pokémon and it will make this an easy target for several anticipated decks this format and a few “early adopters” of the new Fire Pokémon from this set, enjoying some combos that will lose pieces in the rotation. We do get to enjoy Water Resistance, though, which is some compensation and should occasionally come in handy. Even if it didn’t, it is just nice to see some Resistance! The two Energy needed to Retreat seems a bit high to me, just because 80 HP isn’t all that big (especially compared to the HP scores of several other cards in this set): you don’t want to have to pay it but if you’re desperate you probably will be able.

The first attack is Mega Drain, which for a single (G) Energy requirement does 20 points of damage while healing 20 points of damage from Maractus. This isn’t going to buy you a lot of time, but at least it should score some early damage while forcing your opponent to KO something that is at least mostly healthy and intact. The second attack is Pin Missile, and it is horribly overpriced for the damage it gives: (GGC) was reliably worth a good 40 points of damage back in the late days of WotC and early days of Nintendo. With a flip based attack like this, you can consider yourself to be “wagering” 10 points of damage on each coin toss. Each heads is worth 20 points, which is your original 10 point wager and 10 points in “winnings”. While cards are doing less damage in Black & White than the craziness we saw (and want to be done with) of the sets we’ll be losing in the rotation, this is overkill. Even using those old guidelines it would fall flat since this Basic can’t Evolve and thus either one of its attacks needs to be brilliant or both need to be a little above average. Without turning this into a Create-A-Card Entry, it just needs to do more, or better yet cost less. This card can’t use Double Colorless Energy, and that just hurts in the modern format since it provides a hard to sabotage method for speeding up the card.


You might see this in a few Grass decks as an opening Basic Pokémon, but just for the first attack and solid stats. In Limited play I can definitely see running this, though again just for the solid stats and first attack, though the second becomes adequate here. Still, you’ll need to run at least a little Grass Energy to meet requirements and you might not be able to spare the space for it.

Ratings

Modified (MD-On): 1.75/5 – This format has a lot of decks that will shred it, but also a lot of great Grass support I can’t ignore. I believe it would fall into the “functional but inferior” category, because included in that Grass support are a lot of great Grass Basic Pokémon.

Modified (HGSS-On): 2/5 – Rotation removes some of the best support it had and sees a rise in Fire decks, but also removes a sizable portion of the competition. Still “functional but inferior”, though the gap is smaller.

Limited: 3/5 – A good solid card to include so long as you have something more to justify the inclusion of ­Grass Energy, or at least the room to include Grass Energy just for it.

Summary

I like what they were trying for with this card, and I believe it almost succeeds at being a solid, opening Basic to harass the opponent while healing its own damage. The problem is that it needs a good, large attack it can power-up quickly with little effort, and instead it got Pin Missile. Tomorrow we’ll be looking at the other Maractus, and I have to say it is better than today’s, but we’ll see if it is by a large or small margin then!

My eBay auctions: give it a click and a glance and see if there is anything you’d like. Just remember Pojo is merely letting me link in my articles and is in no way responsible for any transactions.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia
ey Bill, here are the reviews for all of last week, Monady and Tuesday. Good luck with the move and enjoy the long weekend!
 
Maractus 11/114 (Black & White)
 
Today we have one of the weirder Poke'mon which appeared in the 5th generation games. It's a cactus with maraccas, cleverly named Maractus.
 
There have been 2 cards for Maractus printed in this set, and today's card is the uncommon version, which is great because this would be a really bad pull if it was a rare.
 
Maractus is a Grass type non-evolving Basic with 80 HP, Fire weakness, Water resistance, a retreat cost of 2 and two attacks.
 
The HP is a bit below what you would hope for, but with the resistance you can probably take a few early hits before going down. The retreat cost is more than I would be willing to pay, so prepare for Maractus to go down fighting. Finally, cactus burns, so avoid Fire types if you can help it.
 
The first attack is Mega Drain, which does more or less the same thing it does in the video game. For a single [g] energy you deal 20 damage and heal 20 damage from yourself, which is great for soaking up those early weak hits. But Maractus isn't going to last against an evolved Poke'mon, so the second attack needs to be spectacular.
 
Sadly, Pin Missile is barely even mediocre. For the cost of [g][g][c], you flip 4 coins and deal 20 damage per heads. An average of 40 damage just isn't enough, and even when you succesfully take that 1 in 16 shot 80 damage isn't enough to get one hit knock outs on anything except starters, evolving Basics and weak Stage 1 Poke'mon.
 
If Pin Missile had been replaced with a 2 energy setup attack (maybe searching out multiple evolutions, or evolving 2 benched Basics) then Maractus would be worth a look, but the way it has been printed leaves it no place but in the binder.
 
Modified: 2 (early game tanking is good, but only if you can add more energy for a powerful attack instead of this coin flipping rubbish)
 
Limited: 3 (tanking is even better here but there are plenty of Fire Poke'mon to ruin your day, especially Reshiram)
 
Combos with: the binder. Or if you already have a couple in there, use them for building card castles.


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