EX: Fire Red and Leaf Green
Draw a card.
(CC) Headbutt 
(CCC) One-Two Punch [30+]
Hurray! It’s a new Kangaskhan. How many Kangaskhan are there?
Hmm… four total that are named “Kangaskhan”, but two are
Japanese only. There is also a Blaine’s Kangaskhan. So this
card doesn’t have a whole lot of competition from itself, even
in Unlimited. Being a Basic Pokémon is as sweet as it gets: you
can just drop this AB3[i]
into play without any extra effort. As such, these cards tend
to be straight forward. You can’t make Basics too strong
without upsetting the game balance. Fortunately, TPC has
realized that you also can’t treat non-Evolving Basics the same
as Evolving Basics. This new Kangaskhan has a beefy 80 HP.
This is great for a basic, even one that doesn’t evolve. 80HP
means that it can two to three shots from most early game
attacks, except in the instance of massive combos or
luck-reliant attacks (either of which may be broken). This
Pokémon lacks a “Baby” form (almost oddly, since it carries a
baby Kangaskhan with it), so no bonuses for that. It is
Colorless, and does have all Colorless Energy costs as one would
expect, allowing it to slip into any deck, if you wish to run
it. It also benefits, I feel, from the incorporation of
Colorless as a “real” type. Originally Colorless Pokémon were
envisioned as a “neutral” type, but since Flying and Dragon
Pokémon were lumped together with Normal Pokémon to form the
group, it just doesn’t work. 13 Pokémon are now
Colorless-Weak. Only one, Gengar ex, is Colorless Resistant –
sounds good to me.[ii]
Moving to the bottom stats, we see a Fighting Weakness. This is
most appropriate, for a “Normal-Type” Colorless Pokémon like
Kangaskhan; two of the three videogame types that make up
Fighting Pokémon (Rock and Fighting) are a Weakness of Normal
Pokémon there. Keep in mind, this more or less makes it utterly
useless in Modified, and Magma decks are pretty popular now that
people have seen what they can do. No Resistance is a tad
disappointing. I think Psychic Resistance might be worth
bringing back, as more Psychic Pokémon seem to be worthwhile.
Still, I always go back and forth on the issue. It would really
be nice if they just would slowly start splitting the TCG types
into new types, a la Darkness and Metal Pokémon, since Psychic
Pokémon contain both Ghosts. Normal Pokémon and Ghost Pokémon
can’t touch each other in terms of attacks. Oh well. The final
attribute to look at is the retreat, which is two. This is low
enough not to be crippling, but high enough not to be easy to
pay: in short, average.
Kangaskhan gets a boost by receiving three attacks. It
maintains the first attack of its Jungle ancestor, Fetch. Fetch
is a solid attack, so long as it’s on something that is easy to
get out (a Basic) and something with good HP (a big Basic).
Headbutt is a fair, straight forward 20 for (CC). This would be
poor, on its own, but Kangaskhan got another attack. One-Two
Punch has a base damage of 30, for a fair (CCC). What makes
this odd is that there is a flip to gain another 20 damage!
This is a discount of (C). Normally, this kind of discount
would be foolish for a Basic. Why is it okay here? Kangaskhan
can’t Evolve into anything. Just as Pokémon that Evolve from
something should be given breaks to offset the difficulty of
getting them into play, Pokémon that are stuck “as is” should
also get a leg up. After all, Stage 1 Pokémon (when balanced)
get tricks Basics don’t get but aren’t as potent as Stage 2
This is a possible choice for an opening Pokémon in Modified.
Now that we have Great Ball, it might be possible to not use
Dunsparce. If you open with this, it will likely get you one
extra draw, possibly more. If it survives, One-Two Punch could
nab an early prize.
1.75/5-It’s not really a bad card, but there are better sources
of draw power, even in attack form (NG Cleffa), and better
attacking Pokémon (Tyrogue, who smashes this thing silly).
3.5/5-I don’t think it will replace Dunsparce… outside of
certain decks. Basically, you trade of Dunsparce’s building
potential for something that can really fight back.
4.5/5-Keep in mind this set has a lot of good picks, naturally.
I docked it for Fighting Weakness. Other than that, it might be
the best bang for your… er… buck?
It’s not a Pokémon-ex, which is what boosts it. Draw power. A
cheap hit. A solid hit. On an 80HP Colorless Basic!
It’s not going to affect Unlimited, but it could shake up early
game for Modified, and it’s great in Limited.
[i] “AB3”, pronounced like the name “Abe”,
stands for Big Bad Basic. In this case, “bad” is being used
in its slang meaning of “good” or “tough”. The abbreviation
for it is my own, but the actual term has been used on and
off throughout American Pokémon history.
[ii] Two downsides if you run it in
Unlimited: there is a Pokémon (Unown N) whose Pokémon Power
reduces damage to your Pokémon from Colorless Pokémon by 30,
and a Stadium that reduces damage done by all Colorless
Pokémon by 30. I only recall seeing them in areas where a
Colorless Pokémon is dominating the
metagame, or in some Base Set Chansey decks, so I
would not let that concern you.