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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Top 10 Pokemon Cards of 2008

#1 - Claydol Lv. 45
Great Encounters

Date Reviewed: 01.16.09

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 5.00
Limited: 5.00

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


All Hail the Number 1 card of 2008: Claydol! I am pretty sure that everyone who has ever played this game voted this guy #1. It put an end to the short reign of Absol, and virtually every good deck still has it in it. It is rare that you can find a great deck lacking this guy right now.

Name: Claydol Lv. 45
Set: Great Encounters
Rarity: Rare

HP: (80) - Not great for a stage one, and is certainly one of its weaknesses.

Weakness/Resistance: (Grass+20/none) - Grass has become more popular recently, but my advice is not to use this to attack.

Retreat Cost: (2) - Warp Point/Switch!

Poke-POWER (Cosmic Power) - Quite simply, this is probably the best power ever made. Claydol helped to make games go faster and has made it so much easier to set up.

Attack #1: (FC - Spinning Attack) - Um yeah. I have never actually used this attack.

Final Analysis: Please, there should be at least 2 in EVERY deck.

Modified: See final analysis. (5/5)

Limited: This could easily put a limited game in your favor. (5/5)
Jigglypuff13 1/16 Claydol Lv.45 (GE) 1st place

So, Friday, and the eagerly awaited unveiling of the best card released in 2008 according to us reviewers here. And the card is *drum roll* ... well, just guess or look at the picture in the space above all of the reviews today. Yes, there was only ever going to be one card to be called the best card of 2008, the most widely played card since it's release, and one of few cards on this list that managed to prove itself in both of last years formats, it's Claydol! It was always going to be Claydol for all of the reasons that everyone had said a thousand times last year. However, I'm to explain everything in detail, hopefully in my standard way. Whether that's a good thing or not, that's up to you readers to decide.

Anyway, intro done, onto the basics of the card. First of all, it's a Stage 1 with 80 HP. That's kind of low, even for a Stage 1. Because it doesn't evolve again, it would be better if it had even 10 HP more, so it would actually have what is (probably) the average HP for a non-evolving Stage 1 at the moment. Still, this card isn't really meant to be the active spot at all, so the HP isn't generally much of a problem, but more on that later. +20 Grass Weakness, well, it's not too bad. Grass isn't widely played, with Scizor (SF) decks and Torterra/Sceptile variants being the main ones at the moment, and even then, they don't see much play. Leafeon Lv.X (MD) is another main Grass Pokémon, but even that isn't very widely used at the moment (as explained a few days ago when Leafeon Lv.X was reviewed as the 4th place card of 2008). Most Grass types should be only a Plus Power/Buck's Training or 2 to reach the required 60 damage needed, but even that isn't very likely (since most should hit the 60 mark on their own). No Resistance, well, not many Pokémon have one, so we can gloss over that. 2 Retreat Cost is very harsh, so if you run this card, make sure you run at least a couple of Switches/Warp Points, otherwise if it does find itself active, you will regret not putting any in.

Abilities, and I'll go with the attack first, because no one cards about it. FC for 40 from Spinning Attack is quite frankly useless really. it's about average really, but when there are so many better attacks out there, no one is going to give this attack a second glance. Don't use this attack unless you really have to (or it produces a hilarious result in a friendly, such as KOing a Tyranitar (SF) or something similar).
So, why is it used then? If you have to ask that question, then you must be quite new to the game, so I will happily explain why. The reason is for Cosmic Power. This is a fantastic Poké-Power. What it does is it first makes you put 1 or 2 cards from your hand onto the bottom of you deck. Not a good start, but if you have something in your hand that's useless there and then, it's better than discarding it, so you have the option of using it later on in the game. Anyway, after you've done that, you draw cards until you have 6 cards in your hand. A 6 card hand doesn't sound too exciting, but think of it like this; you can use this every turn, and use it for each Claydol (GE) you have in play (unlike Uxie Lv.X (LA), reviewed last week, whose Trade Off Poké-Power can only ever by used once per turn, no matter how many you get on the field). Because of this, it is the best hand refresher and best draw engine in the game right now. with Cosmic Power, you should be able to draw at least a couple of cards every turn, though if you are smart, it will be more. A lot more probably. Get 2 Claydols out, and the rate at which you will draw cards every turn will be unbelievable. While it will be hard to get over a +2 card advantage gain from each Claydol every turn (pop 2 on the bottom of your deck, draw a few, but unless you really have used everything, won't be more than 3 or 4 probably). However, that's +2 every turn. I have to say this again, every turn. EVERY TURN. That's the big thing about Claydol. You may not draw a lot of cards every turn, but you will draw cards every turn, meaning it has an advantage against the other engines at the moment. Uxie (LA) is nice, drawing up to 7 cards, but that's one use only, and Uxie Lv.X and Trade Off will only ever net you +1 every turn. Dusknoir (SF) will get you +2, but then you lose cards by discarding cards if you have 7 or more cards in you hand after drawing, and damages itself (yes, it's works with it's attack, but that isn't the point). Bronzong (MT) will only ever net you 2 cards maximum. Basically, every other card that could be a draw engine in the format do not match the brilliant draw power of Claydol. Not many old ones can either. In the last 5 years or so, the only one I can really think of that might give Claydol a run for it's money would be Pidgeot (RG), and it's a tough choice to decide which is better. Thankfully, at the moment at least, that isn't my job, so I can get back to reviewing this wonderful Claydol by itself. Also, Cosmic Power is very useful for stopping yourself decking out when nearing the end of the game and when you have few cards left in your deck. Place cards on the bottom of the , and make sure that you won't be able to draw as many as you put on the bottom of your deck. Brilliant.

Now, that was a massive paragraph, but I cannot over state how great Cosmic Power is. So, what decks does it fit well in? 99% of all decks being played right now can and should use Claydol. Scizor (SF) variants shouldn't, but that's so it can get the increased attack power for not having a Poké-Power in play. AMU probably shouldn't because Uxie and the Lv.X is enough already, and starts to clog up the bench slightly. T2 decks can use Claydol, but whether or not it's a good idea is up to the person who's building the deck. Every other deck, though, should be running this card. Even a 1-1 line helps. In fact, a lot of people have taken to using Claydol and Uxie in the same deck for the largest amount of draw power possible. Uxie is for emergency Set Ups early game, while Claydol is the standard draw engine to be used from when they get it out. Preferably second turn.

Of course, the card has flaws. It's easy bait for anyone playing Poké Healer + or Palkia Lv.X (GE), bringing up a vulnerable Claydol and ready to either smite it with all their power or start disrupting the bench and leaving you either to need a Switch/Warp Point or 2 energies to waste on retreating it. With only 80 HP, some snipers have a field day KOing it, like Raichu Lv.X (SF) or Dusknoir (SF Holo). It uses up a bench space and you need to keep it there for maximum effect. While many decks work around this, Dusknoir (DP) likes it as well, so will shuffle something in if you have 4 or more bench, and thus you may regret having that Claydol on the bench. Baltoy (GE) isn't that bad as a starter, but it's never ideal and sometimes completely rubbish, so adding a Claydol line can sometimes hamper consistency. However, none of this matters because what it does, which is draw cards like there's no tomorrow, it does brilliantly, and so well, that no other card in the last 2 formats have been able to replace it. Last format, any deck that wanted to win apart from T2 decks (like Blissey (MT)) used Claydol because it was so consistent and brilliant. Even GG decks (which basically became Plox because of this card) used it as a main draw engine, and their draw/search card (Gardevoir (SW)), left in the supporting role. Even Psychic Lock from Claydol, or the fear of the ever present Dusknoir (DP) tech didn't stop it last format. With much more to hamper it's effectiveness this format (more powerful snipers, more ways of bringing it active, more ways of getting a Power lock), it's popularity and it's usefulness still haven't gone done. That is the mark of a truly brilliant card, one that can withstand the shift in formats well, and take everything hurled at and still be useful, and everything you have just read shows exactly why it's the card of the year.


Modified: Read the above really. Cosmic Power is so useful, it's hard to think of a deck that I wouldn't at least consider using it in apart from those exceptions I said about earlier (even Regigigas Lv.X (SF) decks, I would consider Claydol a bit) because of that Power. I couldn't care less that it's attack is about as useful as Splash is in the Pokémon Video Games. I couldn't cares less that there is a lot out there that could easily destroy, stop, or just generally annoy Claydols out there. It's just a brilliant card. It's not perfect, but it still deserves a perfect score for everything it has done and for all of it's achievements. 5/5

Limited: Here, Cosmic Power is still massively useful, probably drawing you cards like there's no tomorrow. Spinning Attack is still useless, and the weakness is probably a little harsher than in Modified, but 80 HP might not be too bad here actually (though watch out for Blaziken). It's still a bench sitter, but with less threats to worry about (I mean, who is actually going to be able to run Palkia Lv.X and use it to any real success?), it's still as useful as ever. However, you just need to make sure you also get a Baltoy. 5/5

So, those are the best cards of 2008. I wonder what brilliant cards 2009 and will have in stall for us all to enjoy. I suppose we'll find out in a years time.

OK, here we go. The final piece to the puzzle. Voted as the #1 card for 2008.

Claydol GE.

An 80 HP Fighting stage 1 monster with an attack that does 2 for 40, and a 2 retreat cost, which may be the ONLY problem of this card!

It has a power (really, is that the excitement) that lets you on EVERY turn put 1 or 2 cards on the bottom of your deck, and then draw until you have 6 cards in your hand.

EVERY TURN. And if you have 2 Claydols, you can do it twice! WOW.

Not since FRLG Pidgeot have we seen a card used SOOO much.

The recent addition of Palkia Level X to some decks has made the 2 retreat cost a bit of an issue, but, still, you HAVE to love that power!

Requires a small hand size, yeah, but SO WHAT? You play your cards, and then Claydol your way out!

If you play Team Galactic’s Wager, you know, no matter WHAT happens, either you get 3 cards, then Claydol to 6, or get 6 cards, then get to use them, and Claydol up to 6 again!

Just a good, good card that should be used in almost every deck.

Heard it on Saturday…man, this was tough, did you notice that ALL of the decks in the top 4 all played Claydol?

Yep yep yep.

Modified 5/5 Even the problems do not detract from this card.

Limited 5/5..If you can get it out, you win!

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