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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Wailord #31/102

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Nov. 17, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.50
Limited: 3.70

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

Wailord (Triumphant)


Today’s CotD is Wailord – the Pokémon that always makes you go ‘HOW much??’ when you see both its HP and its Retreat cost!


Actually, compared to Wailord EX and the GE version, this one is a bit of a weakling, as it only has 180 HP. Still, that’s more than the likes of Regigigas and Steelix can even dream about. As past Wailords have shown us, though, you need a lot more than just massive HP to be playable.


So, what else does Wailord have to offer? It comes with two attacks that have good synergy (i.e: they work well together) for a start. Underwater Dive costs [C][C] and allows you to flip 2 coins and remove three damage counters for each heads. That’s a bit like having a mini Life Herb built-in and gives Wailord some chance of lasting long enough to get the most out of its second attack.


Swallow Up costs an outrageous [W][W][W][C] (Feraligatr Prime anyone?) and has a rubbish base damage of 50 . . . BUT if Wailord has more HP than the Defending Pokémon, the attack will do 100! That’s not bad . . . although it is short of the 110 needed to KO SP LV X and the 130+ required to take care of Stage 2s, you can (and should) be attaching Expert Belt to Wailord to help you reach these numbers. Triggering the effect shouldn’t be too hard either: an Expert Belted Wailord should have more HP than practically anything.


But . . . (and Wailord has a huge but . . .) I haven’t mentioned Wailord’s catastrophic Weakness yet.


Being x2 Weak to Lightining while Luxray GL LV X is all over the format may well be enough all by itself to make this card unplayable. True, Luxray can’t OHKO this beast, but smacking it for 120-140 damage is more than enough to ensure that Swallow Up’s effect won’t trigger the following turn unless you can use some massive healing on it (two Poke Healer + maybe?). Even if you can, it won’t save you for more than a turn, until the next Luxray sends your monster, and all of its Energy, to the discard pile. Even decks that can’t hit for Weakness will likely wear down its HP sufficiently while you try and get it powered up (or build Gatr on the Bench), unless you get very lucky with Underwater Dive.


Wailord probably isn’t as bad as people say it is, but that Weakness, together with a huge Energy cost, is fatal to its chances in today’s format. All the while Luxray rules the metagame, if you want a huge tank that can hit for 100 per turn, stick with Steelix Prime.




Modified: 2.25 (interesting card, but very difficult to run at the moment)

Limited: 3.5 (Electivire mullers it, but if you play smart and know when to heal and when to attack, it can be an unstoppable wall)


11/17/10: Wailord (Triumphant)
Traditionally, Wailord has been known for having massive HP and naught else. And hey, what do you know, this Wailord has massive HP and some expensive attacks. What a surprise!
Really, nothing about the Wailord's stats really stand out from previous Wailords. The healing is nice, but all Wailords have had healing, and almost none of them have been played. One thing that is nice about this new Wailord is its second attack, Swallow Up, which does 100 damage if Wailord has higher HP than the Defending Pokemon. It's nice to see a Wailord finally use its HP in a way besides living for an extra turn. Yeah, it's 1WWW, but Feraligatr Prime makes the cost less demanding.
Regardless, Wailord still shouldn't be played, but it's far from useless. In fact, it's probably the best Wailord printed in a while. That's not saying much, however.
Modified: 2.25/5
Combos With: Feraligatr Prime


Today we look at a Pokémon infamous for pushing the HP scores to new heights, Wailord.  Years ago Wailord ex set the current record for a Pokémon’s HP score at 200, and was worth two Prizes when KO’d.  Wailord of HS – Triumphant is a Stage 1 Water Pokémon that clocks in at only 20 points less (180 HP), and is only worth a single Prize when KO’d (barring the effects of other cards).  This is the biggest base HP score available for Modified play, and second biggest available for Unlimited.  This would be great on a Stage 2 Pokémon, so it is phenomenal on a Stage 1!  Being a Water Pokémon is okay: you won’t get a lot of benefit from type matching, but Fire decks never seem to disappear entirely, and are often the hot deck sometime in the format (pardon the pun).  This is a great start for a Stage 1 Pokémon, whose chief asset is being faster and easier to run than a Stage 2 Pokémon while having more power than a Basic: we have some very fast Stage 2 Pokémon in this format and some brutes of Basics.


Alas, the Weakness nearly beaches this whale.  Lightning Weakness is considered by many players to be the worst.  I think it might not be the absolute worst but it certainly is up there thanks to powerhouses like Luxray GL Lv.X.  For that matter, Lightning-Type Pokémon in general will fry this thing up like it was inspired by a fish and not a mammal, completely nullifying the HP advantage.  The lack of Resistance is extra painful with such a great HP score and lousy Weakness: it would have provided a balance to the near shut out caused by the Weakness.  The four Energy required to retreat is expected on such a large Pokémon but it also means you must dedicate several slots to cards to get Wailord out of the Active slot, cards to heal it or a combination of both.


The first attack, Submerge, is very disappointing.  The good news is that it can be powered in a single turn with a Double Colorless Energy.  The bad news is that it is Moomoo Milk.  Flip two coins; remove up to three damage counters for each “heads”.  That isn’t worth two Energy: a healing effect needs to do a lot more to matter in most formats.  The second attack is Swallow Up.  This familiar attack has you check the remaining HP of the Defending Pokémon and Wailord.  If Wailord has more HP left, you score a total of 100 points of damage (50+50).  If Wailord ties or is smaller, only the base damage of 50 points is done.  It requires a daunting investment of (WWWC).  When you get the bonus damage it’s a solid attack and without it, it painfully slow and underpowered.  It hurts that this attack cannot use Double Colorless Energy which makes using it for the first attack a bad idea, besides dropping the turns needed to power up by one.


Fortunately there are combos, but first I’ll touch upon the related cards.  All Modified Legal versions of Wailmer have bad attacks, but the Supreme Victors version has a better Weakness.  Even at 80 HP (10 points less than the HS – Triumphant version) it is much better to add 20 to a Lightning Pokémon’s attack than to double the damage.  The other Wailord is pretty forgettable; same HP, Weakness, (lack of) Resistance and Retreat, but with worse attacks.  I wasn’t thrilled with what this Wailord brings, so that comment should be quite telling.  What can save such a slow Pokémon that needs to be fast?


Feraligatr Prime.


With that card’s Rain Dance, you can use evolution acceleration (Broken Time Space and/or Rare Candy) to get both Evolutions into play fast, easy and fully powered second/third turn, though that is resource intensive.  By getting them out that early, you should easily be able to beat out the Defending Pokémon in HP and score 100 points of damage that first turn, and at least 50 the next.  What is more, you can then run the supporting Trainers and Supporters needed to maximize Wailord.  It will cost your Supporter usage for the turn, but Seeker will let you bounce a Benched Pokémon and all cards attached to it back to your hand, plus force your opponent to do the same.  Just remember you’ll want an easy way to Bench Wailord, but you needed to run those anyway.  Since you should have plenty of Energy attachments, I’d go with Warp Energy: you’d give up your (probably unneeded) manual Energy attachment and recycle it when you bounce Wailord.  If you feel lucky, you could also use the Trainer Super Scoop-Up, but as we all know that requires a successful coin flip and won’t do anything to your opponent.  This also makes Uxie into a more efficient draw engine.  With Vs Seeker you can recycle the Supporter Seeker, allowing you to run less or use it long enough to seriously frustrate your opponent.  If Lightning-Type Pokémon are everywhere, consider running Exploud in the deck as well: it might be a tight fit but it when you mix it with Feraligatr; you remove all the downsides of Wailord.  Top everything off with an Expert Belt for good measure and you’ll have a 200 HP powerhouse that opens at 120 points of damage and at worst drops down to 70.  The Prize penalty shouldn’t matter because a Wailord within KO range should be Benched and bounced back to hand.


In Limited play, Wailord is great.  Submerge is actually worth using, as the average attack isn’t as potent and at least sometimes, you’ll KO your opponent’s only ready attacker and will just get to enjoy a turn or two of said opponent powering up.  Even if you are forced into an awkward situation where Wailord is stuck up front early and isn’t worth finishing powering up all the way, using Submerge for a few turns will turn a card your opponent needed two or three turns to KO into something that lasts four or five turns.  As long as you can build Wailmer/Wailord on the Bench and avoid taking damage, about two-thirds of the Pokémon in this set are in OHKO range.  Even trading blows with Stage 1 or 2 Pokémon with the same Energy, if you go first you should at least be able to “trade Prizes”.  While there are Lightning Pokémon in the set and you should expect to meet them, most of the Common/Uncommon Lightning-Types aren’t that great.  The rest of your deck will have to cover Weakness.  Without facing its Weakness and with the normal pacing of Limited play, Wailord should do quite well.




Modified: 3/5 – A solid Rain Dance partner whose sub-archetype is hurt by Weakness, Poké-Power denial, and rivals crowding it out of the deck.  Bondiborg had to remind me about that last point, so “Thanks Bondi.”


Limited: 3.75/5 – If you don’t get enough Water Pokémon (or multiples of itself) to justify running Water Energy, you might have to pass on this.  Otherwise, go kill and eat!


I am still selling my former collectables on eBay.  I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various times I’ll have comic books, manga, action figures, and video games on the auction block.  You can take a look at what’s up for bids here.  Just a reminder, Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions and was merely kind enough to let me mention the auctions here. ;) 

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