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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Galvantula #46

Black & White

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.08
Limited: 3.25

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

Galvantula #46/114 (Black and White) 

Galvantula evolves from the smallest (and cutest) Pokémon I the game – Joltik. Somehow it manages to retain a little bit of that cuteness despite being a 2 ft tall spider that weighs over 30 lbs. Yeah, try squishing that with a rolled up newspaper. 

Being a Stage 1 with only 80 HP and Fighting Weakness means that Galvantula does not seem especially playable at first glance. It does have a couple of interesting low cost attacks though. Electroweb only costs one Lightning Energy, does 20 damage, and stops the Defending Pokémon from retreating next turn. There is a possibility of creating some kind of lock there if you can get a non-attacking Pokémon active and maybe use Vileplume to prevent your opponent from using Switch (remember, I’m reviewing for HGSS-on, so no Warp Energy) but it doesn’t seem very practical to me. Eventually you will KO their Pokémon and they will just bring something up to one-shot Galvantula. Then you have the problem of finding a non-attacker to lock in the first place (Shuckle Promo? Reuniclus?) and dragging it active (Pokémon Reversal?). Really, Victreebel TM seems like a better bet for this strategy. Galvantula also comes with a cheap-but-fairly-useless healing attack. Leech Life only cost two energy of any Colour, but then it only does 40 damage. Yes you do get to remove the amount of damage that you did but since when was healing an 80 HP Pokémon a viable strategy in Modified? 

In Limited it’s a different story. Galvantula’s pathetic damage output isn’t so pathetic, and the minor irritation that its attacks cause in Modified can become seriously annoying here. It’s a good prerelease card, and there’s nothing wrong with having some of those in the set. Just don’t expect it to make the leap to more competitive play anytime soon. 


Modified (HGSS-on): 1.5 (slightly annoying at best)

Limited: 3.25 (easy to use and quite disruptive) 


Happy Thursday, Pojo! Today we continue our COTD week by reviewing a new Lightning-type: the EleSpider Pokemon, Galvantula.

Galvantula is a Stage 1 Lightning-type Pokemon. Lightning-types are rather common nowadays, with the omnipresence of Luxray GL Lv. X as well as Magnezone and the now-popular Zekrom. Does Galvantula have what it takes to compete with them? 80 HP isn't a great start, as this average value for a Stage 1 means that more often than not Galvantula will only be able to survive two hits at most, but most common attacks will OHKO. Fighting Weakness is to be expected on a Lightning-type, so Donphan Prime and Machamp Prime will still hurt quite a bit, as well as the still common Promo Toxicroak G. Sadly, Galvantula has no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 1 is thoroughly decent.

Galvantula's two attacks, Electroweb and Leech Life, are both fairly interesting, although a bit underpowered. Electroweb does 20 damage for a single Lightning Energy, but the Defending Pokemon can't retreat during the opponent's next turn. Attacks like this are great in a metagame where retreating is very common and happens almost every turn, but 20 damage isn't a whole lot in terms of offense, and your opponents will still have cards like Warp Point, Warp Energy, Super Scoop Up, and Poke Turn at their disposal. In Limited, this attack can be a great bother, especially if your opponent can't do much to Galvantula in return.

Leech Life deals 40 damage for two Colorless (or a Double Colorless), healing yourself as much damage as you dealt the Defending Pokemon. Not bad, but it doesn't do quite enough damage to be effective in Modified. It's surprisingly good (and splashable) in Limited, and the healing will really add to Galvantula's survivability (provided it doesn't get OHKO'd, of course).

Modified: 1.5/5 Electroweb has the potential to be decent, but Chatot generally does a better job in MD-On. Overall, low HP and underpowered attacks make Galvantula relatively unusable here.

Limited: 3/5 Low HP is still a concern, but both Electroweb and Leech Life are cheap for Limited, and Leech Life only takes Colorless Energy, making it splashable. Leech Life's healing can be quite nice here, too. Unfortunately, there are still quite a number of Pokemon that can take down Galvantula in one shot, so be careful to look out for those as well.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Galvantula (Black &White)

Today we have what looks to be a spider-like Poke'mon, or possibly a giant tick. Introducing Galvantula!

It's about time we got a properly dangerous spider in Poke'mon. Ariados never impressed me and Drapion, while both powerful and impressive, isn't so much a spider as a scorpion. I think Galvantula is more like a nightmare tick than a spider though, so there is still room for a properly evil arachnid in the 6th generation of games (don't tell me they won't make them either, we all know Poke'mon will be around forever).

The vital statistics: Galvantula is a Lightning type non-evolving Stage 1 with 80 HP, Fighting weakness, a retreat cost of 1 and two attacks.

The weakness to Fighting hurts and the HP is not nearly enough to give any kind of staying power (what I said for Liligant applies here also). The retreat cost is payable but there seems to be no reason for playing this card based on the stats.

The first attack is Electroweb, which for the cost of [l] deals 20 damage and prevents your opponent from retreating manually. This is great against Lightning weak Poke'mon as it lets you get in a good hit on the next turn, but it sucks against anything with Lightning resistance, especially as the vast majority of cards with said resistance will be Fighting types that won't care if they can't retreat as they will be too busy obliterating poor Galvantula.

Leech Life is an old standard in the Poke'mon TCG which is usually pretty terrible, but this version is actually pretty good (in comparison anyway). For the low cost of [c][c] you deal 40 damage and heal damage equal to what you dealt to the Defending Poke'mon. So again, this attack sucks against Lightning resistance and is great when hitting weakness (a full heal every time you do!) and when dealing normal damage it is decent for keeping Galvantula alive, provided you aren't suffering from OHKOs (which, with a maximum HP of 80, you almost certainly are).

There isn't enough staying power or raw damage to make Galvantula playable in Modified, but considering that you get 2 of them in the Samurott theme deck you can expect to see it played at League by the newbies. Also, provided your opponent isn't using Krookodile, Gurdurr or one of the dragons this thing rocks in Limited as you will be close to impossible to knock out with the (relatively) massive self healing from such a cheap attack (no specific energy is always awesome!), especially if you pulled a few Potion cards.

Modified: 3 (the newbies should have fun with this shocking little bloodsucker and Lightning weakness is pretty much a staple for Water types as well as almost anything that flies, both of which are common enough in the decks of newbies and veterans alike)

Limited: 4 (a fully built attacker will just go for the OHKO, but if you get Galvantula out before your opponent gets that far then you should pull ahead nicely. And Lightning Poke'mon are great in this set if you pulled Zekrom as well)

Combos with: funny vampire accents ("I vant to suck your blood!") and the teaching process for all the newbies you run across at League (gotta love 'em, don't you? They are the future, after all!)

Deck Garage

5/12/11: Galvantula(Black & White)

I'm not really sure what to think of the Pokemon in today's card. It's like an electric...spider? OK...

I'm not sure what to think of the card, either. Electroweb is pretty interesting, and there's occasionally a use for Pokemon who can keep people from retreating. Then there's Leech Life, an attack that can also be useful, especially when the Pokemon using it has enough HP for the healing to matter. Galvantula has 80 HP. This will be a problem.
This card could have its uses, but the HP makes it less useful-like. But who knows, it could be decent, if the format would switch to something that needs a card like this. I have no idea what would need to happen though. (Maybe Pokemon Catcher?)

Modified: 2.25/5
Limited: 2.5/5


Galvantula is a Stage 1 Lightning-Type Pokémon. Being a Stage 1 means it takes less deck space than a Stage 2 but won’t be as fast as a Basic. In both this format and the next, Lightning-Type Pokémon have some solid support, and indeed there are already some promising builds for Lightning-Type decks for HGSS-On. What isn’t promising is the miniscule 80 HP. While it is still possible for an 80 HP Stage 1 Pokémon to be good, it usually requires Bench-sitting and/or a good Ability. Fighting Weakness sadly still matters because opening attacks and transitory Stages (Basic and Stage 1 Pokémon played only to Evolve) might still get a OHKO. Otherwise a deck’s main attacker should do it no problem, regardless of HP. No Resistance just adds insult to injury, and while a single Energy Retreat Cost is low and easy to pay, it too feels like overkill against a card that already has so little going for it.

Its first attack is Electroweb, doing 20 points of damage for a single (L) requirement. As a bonus, the Defending Pokémon can’t Retreat during your opponent’s next turn. Not bad, but not good, especially given the rest of the card we’ve already covered. Automatic Paralysis would be asking for too much, but a bit higher damage and a chance at it? Would have been much more useful for this card, and what makes it worse is the second attack, on its own, is pretty good! Leech Life for (CC) means that if you ignore the underwhelming first attack and use a Double Colorless Energy to jump right to Leech Life. You do a solid base damage of 40, and then heal the same amount of damage from Galvantula as the attack did to the Defending Pokémon. You can see the designers wanted to make something of a combo, but the problem is said combo needed to do more, or be on a less fragile Pokémon. You can use a different card to force something Active and then hope to hold it long enough to get off Leech Life, but that is two turns for a combined base damage of 60 points and healing 40 off yourself. Without support, you can’t even do that, having to hope to “catch” something Active. The first attack could have been an Ability and the card would be better but still too week. You need more HP or a defensive Ability behind a self-healing attack like this.

Consider using it in Limited, but definitely use it there. Here the HP isn’t quite as bad, the attacks are better, and there’s a decent chance your opponent will be using Lightning Weak Pokémon. You don’t need any Lightning Energy, so it is easy to splash into any deck. The only problem is that it Evolves from the tiny (30 or 40 HP versions in this set) Joltik, who’s attacks aren’t that great, either.


Modified (MD-On): 1.25/5

Modified (HGSS-On): 1.5/5

Limited: 4/53.25/5


Another card that is going to mostly see play in Limited tournaments, it sadly tries to be a supporting Lightning-Type Pokémon when we already have several, many of which do a better job.

Yes, I am going to link to my eBay auctions here: I still need money and have stuff to sell! Please give them a look, and remember that Pojo is not responsible for any transactions.

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