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Yu Yu Hakusho
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Vs. System

Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Sawk #62

Black & White

Date Reviewed: June 17, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 3.10

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

Sawk #62/114 (Black and White)

Time for our second martial arts Pokémon of the week. This is the Karate Pokémon, and Karate being based on strikes they saw fit to name it ‘Sawk’. What is this? I don’t even . . .

Anyway, while yesterday’s Throh was a decent unevolving Basic, this Sawk is worse in just about every department, with the exception of its much better Retreat cost. That aside it has lower HP and definitely inferior attacks.

At least Low Sweep is cheap. One Fighting Energy for vanilla 20 damage. Won’t even KO a waking Cleffa without PlusPower (you would use Tyrogue for that anyway). Double the amount of Energy on this card and you get precisely double the attack: Beatdown is an effect-free 40 damage for two Fighting Energy. I doubt that an attack like that has been worth a second look since Base set.

Ok, the HP is still solid, and you do have that single Energy attack which Basic Pokémon really need to be playable, but the very low damage cap really sucks and makes this Pokémon one that you will certainly not want to play.


Modified (HGSS-on): 1.25 (avoid the lowest score because the HP is decent)

Limited: 1.75 (even here, the low damage makes it not worth playing unless you really have nothing better)


Happy Friday, Pojo viewers! I hope that all of you have had good weeks. Today we end our COTD week by reviewing a new Basic from Black and White. Today's Card of the Day is Sawk.

Sawk is a Basic Fighting Pokémon. Fighting types are becoming fairly common in Modified with the emergence of Magnezone as a dominant deck, with people using Donphan and Machamp as counters. 90 HP is good for a non-evolving Basic, meaning that Sawk should survive at least one hit, especially in Limited. Psychic Weakness is to be expected, but isn't a huge problem at the moment. Unfortunately, Sawk also has no Resistance, and a Retreat Coat of one is decent.

Sawk's two attacks, Low Sweep and Beatdown, deal 20 and 40 damage for one or two Fighting Energy, respectively. While these vanilla attacks won't get you far in Modified, Sawk is a master of cheap attacks with high damage output in Limited, so Sawk is best used in this format.

Modified: 1.5/5 Sawk is purely vanilla, and doesn't evolve or have any special abilities in a format where you need these things. It is a nice throwback to Base Set Hitmonchan, though.

Limited: 3.5/5 Sawk is a star here. 20 damage for a single Energy is decent, but 40 for 2 in this format is amazing. Sawk makes an excellent early-game beater, and with 90 HP, should be able to take a hit as well.


Today we look at Sawk, who seems to be the successor of Base Set Hitmonchan and rival to set-mate Throh. The comparison is quite natural: Sawk is also a Basic Fighting Pokémon that doesn't Evolve as are Throh and Hitmonchan. Hitmonchan does have a "pre-Evolution" in the form of Tyrogue, but didn't when first released: what you saw was what you got. Sawk one-ups Base Set Hitmonchan by having 20 more HP, clocking in at an impressive 90. Throh has them both beat with 100 HP, though. All three cards are weak to Psychic Pokémon, taking double damage from them. None of them have any Resistance, which irks me but is so common it doesn’t really put them at a disadvantage. Finishing off the stats, Sawk again scores the advantage by having a single Energy Retreat Cost compared to Hitmonchan needing two Energy, and this time Throh fares worse needing three Energy to Retreat.

Moving on, we see all have two attacks and nothing else. Sawk and Hitmonchan tie, each being able to do 20 points of damage for (F). Throh, as one would expect given my review yesterday, falls short because his first attack is just too expensive, requiring another Energy and thus another turn. That means Sawk (and Hitmonchan for that matter) can attack twice by the time Throh attacks once, unless your deck has Energy acceleration, a Technical Machine, etc. Plus even if a deck does have those things, they’d still enhance Sawk as well. For the second attack, Sawk does a solid 40 points of damage for (FF). Both Base Set Hitmonchan and Throh need a Colorless Energy on top of that for their big attacks. Base Set Hitmonchan shows his age again since he only swings for 40 points of damage, even with all that Energy attached. Throh can do a massive 80 points of damage and ignore Weakness, but again we had to invest another Energy in order to do that. It is pretty clear that the old Base Set Hitmonchan has been outclassed by Sawk, and since that Hitmonchan was re-released in Platinum; I felt it worth drawing the comparison. What about Throh?

I wasted far, far too much time carefully crafting a long argument before realizing it shouldn't be needed. Anyone who disagrees values the limited Bench disruption or big damage/ability to ignore Resistance of Throh far more than I do. I can see it being useful, but not more useful than quick, cheap damage on a solid body. In either case, I would point out that Sudowoodo, who will still be legal after the rotation, has them both beat. It is another big Fighting Pokémon, whose first attack does 20 damage per Energy attached, allowing that first attack to match both attacks of Sawk. Unless you can build a deck that can keep a big, basic Fighting Pokémon alive and can't afford to have it change out to something else for big attacks, Sawk beats Throh, and Sudowoodo beats them both for Modified (unless its Water Weakness becomes an issue).

You might toy with Sawk for Unlimited play: even though it must have something providing Fighting Energy on it for both attacks, that (FF) isn’t extremely hard to meet in a multicolor deck. If Neo Discovery Tyrogue is just too flip dependant, Sawk might be the Pokémon for the job as your opponent has to deal with its solid stats and quick damage.

Sawk is great for Limited play as long as you can afford to run Fighting Energy: you wouldn't need a lot but since it can't use any other type even a single Sawk would need you to run about five or risk it being dead weight too often. Note that if you are running multiple copies of it or just several Fighting-Type Pokémon and need to make Fighting Energy your primary or at least major secondary Energy type, then that not only doesn't matter but it ends up being Energy efficient.


Unlimited: 2.5/5

Modified (MD-On): 2.75/5

Modified (HGSS-On): 3/5

Limited: 4/5


Sawk is largely re-inventing the wheel for TPC, but they did a solid job, giving us an improved Base Set Hitmonchan for a new era that should be solid but not easy to abuse.

Check out my auctions on eBay here. Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions, and merely lets me link to the auction in my reviews.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia
Sawk (Black & White)
Here is the rock punching counterpart of Throh. Today's card is Sawk.
Sawk is a Fighting type non-evolving Basic with 90 HP, Psychic weakness, a retreat cost of 1 and two attacks.
The HP is good enough to survive a single hit from most of the 1-and-2-energy attacks currently available and the weakness shouldn't matter much with a serious lack of Psychic power in the HGSS-on format. The retreat cost is cheap compared to most of its set mates so Sawk can be easily played early in a game.
The problem is that Sawk has absolutely no flair in its attacks to make it worth playing. Low Sweep deals 20 damage for [f] while Beatdown deals 40 damage for [f][f], which shows a complete lack of imagination and isn't very powerful for the investment.
Effect-free damage is great when the numbers work out (hence the popularity of Donphan Prime, Zekrom and Reshiram) but Sawk doesn't give you a lot for your energy, so it is going to sit at the bottom of your collection until dry rot sets in.
Modified: 1 (attacks that don't do anything except hit hard are fine by me, but Sawk has the power equivalent of a pair of bunny slippers)
Limited: 2.5 (needing specific energy is a problem, but Sawk can bring the hurt in a mono Fighting deck in Limited)

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