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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Mandibuzz #69

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: Oct. 26, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.50
Limited: 2.90

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Mandibuzz 69/98 (Emerging Powers)

Today we take a look at the Vulture Pokémon Mandibuzz. Cute it is not.

Mandibuzz is a low (90) HP Stage 1 with an unfortunate Lightning Weakness which makes it a ridiculously easy KO for Magnezone and Zekrom . . . even a Pachirisu CL can come into play, use Self-Generation, and take a Prize from it. This is somewhat balanced by the Fighting Resistance though, which forces Donphan Prime to use a PlusPower just to take it down in two shots with Earthquake. The Retreat cost of one is pretty good these days: the people designing the BW block of cards just don’t seem to like handing out free retreat.

No Abilities to speak of here, so let’s move straight on to the attacks. Bone Rush is one of those very high risk moves that (in theory) can do infinite damage but in practice will get you 30 or maybe 60 if you are very lucky. For a single Dark Energy, you get to flip a coin until you get tails and do 30 for each heads. Of course you are also faced with the 50/50 possibility of doing nothing whatsoever . . . at least until Victory Star Victini comes out in the next set with the Ability that allows you to re-do the flip. Normally, I hate flippy attacks, but for one Energy (especially when the Fliptini is released), I think this is a pretty decent option while you wait for something better. I wouldn’t build a strategy around it, but I like the fact that it is there.

Mandibuzz’s second attack, Dark Pulse, is also cheap, costing just [C][C] – easily paid for with a Double Colourless (not that you would want to). The base damage of 20 is completely horrible, but it does do another 10 for each Dark Energy attached to all of your Pokémon. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get this attack to output any serious damage. Even with two Special Dark attached to Mandibuzz, you are only hitting for 60, and as Dark has no form of acceleration in the format right now, there isn’t a way to get enough of it on the Field to really power up Dark Pulse. There is a possible combo with the forthcoming Hydreigon (which turns all attached Energy into Dark) and Emboar BW (which accelerates Fire), but if you were using those cards you would almost certainly prefer to be attacking with Hydreigon anyway.

So . . . Mandibuzz falls into the category of ‘interesting’, and maybe even into the category of ‘fun’. Unfortunately, none of this makes it a tournament calibre card. It’s either too unreliable, or too underpowered.


Modified: 1.75 (just for the Victini combo)

Limited: 3 (lots of fun with Bone Rush)


Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we are reviewing another Darkness-type Pokemon from the Emerging Powers expansion. Today's Card of the Day is Mandibuzz.

Mandibuzz is a Stage 1 Darkness Pokemon. As stated yesterday, Zoroark BW is really the only Darkness Pokemon commonly seen in Modified, with occasional guest appearances by Tyranitar Prime and Mandibuzz BW. 90 HP is average for a Stage 1, so Mandibuzz will be able to take at least one weak hit before going down in both Modified or Limited. Lightning Weakness is particularly bad in Modified (Zekrom and Magnezone easily OHKO), and not so bad in Limited due to very few Lightning-types in the set. Fighting Resistance is good against Donphan Prime in Modified as well as Gigalith and Krookodile evolutions in Limited. Finally, Mandibuzz has a Retreat Cost of 1, easily paid.

Mandibuzz has two attacks, Bone Rush and Dark Pulse. Bone Rush is a somewhat standard flip attack, letting you flip a coin until you get tails, dealing 30 damage times the number of heads. One of the benefits of this attack is that you can end up doing obscene amounts of damage for a low Energy cost, but you have to be incredibly lucky. Attacks like these don't really work so well in Modified, but in Limited, it's not so bad as you wait to power up Dark Pulse. The second attack, Dark Pulse starts off at 20 damage for two Colorless Energy and deals 20 damage plus 10 damage for each Darkness Energy attached to each of your Pokemon. The fact that the attack counts all Darkness Energy attached to all of your Pokemon is excellent, and works very well with the Hydreigon that is coming out in Noble Victories. Hydreigon's Dark Aura makes all Energy attached to it the Darkness-type, potentially raising Mandibuzz's damage output. However, even still, this Mandibuzz might be a good one-of in a deck with Hydreigon and Mandibuzz BW as a potential secondary attacker.

Modified: 2/5 Not terrible by any means, but Mandibuzz BW is generally better. This version of the buzzard may have some potential with Hydreigon from Emerging Powers, but that still remains to be seen.

Limited: 3/5 Mandibuzz is a great attacker, but only if your main type is Darkness. Bone Rush is a fairly average flip attack, and should only be used if you are incredibly lucky or waiting to use Dark Pulse, which is only good if you have a lot of Darkness Energy in your deck. If you keep this in mind, Mandibuzz can serve you wel in Limited.

Combos With: Hydreigon NV

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Mandibuzz (Emerging Powers)

Hey Pojo readers, I hope it's a beautiful Wednesday wherever you are (or a Thursday, depending what side of the International Date Line you are on). Today we have another Dark card that has previously filled a small niche in dedicated Dark decks. For the second time, Mandibuzz takes the stage.

Mandibuzz is a Stage 1 Dark Type with 90 HP, Lightning weakness, Fighting resistance, a retreat cost of 1 and two attacks. Aside from the Fighting resistance which is a welcome sight in any deck the mostly runs Drak and Colourless Poke'mon, Mandibuzz doesn't have much to reccomend it as far as stats go. Except when you get it into play on the second turn, you can't expect Mandibuzz survive more than a single hit.

Since Dark Poke'mon don't currently have any energy acceleration, this means that Mandibuzz has to have cheap and useful attacks, rather than the expensive and devastating variety possessed by powerhouses like Tyranitar Prime. The design team seems to agree with me as this card might just find a home alongside it's last release.

The first attack is Bone Rush, which costs a single [d] energy to flip a coin until you get Tails, dealing 30 damage per Heads. While this is completely unreliable with a 50% of doing absolutely nothing (and more than likely sealing your fate into the bargain), it is also potentially devastating if you have an obscene amount of luck for a single turn.

Imagine for a moment that you have a Voluby sitting quietly on the Bench and your opponent has just removed whatever expensive attacker you had Active. You promote the harmless Voluby, attach an energy and evolve before offering a prayer and flipping that coin. Once in a while, you'll get lucky and find yourself back in the game with a surprise Knock Out and breathe a sigh of relief while your opponent looks on in stunned disbelief.

I know that the above scenario won't work out well very often and you can't rely on Bone Rush to either save you or give you an early edge because of the flippiness, but it is better than most first attacks we see and fits the theme of the Vulture Poke'mon well.

Dark Pulse is the other attack and it also starts out poorly, dealing a measly 20 damage for [c][c], but it deals an extra 10 damage for each [d] energy in play on your side of the field. Yes, the math works out terribly with you needing a whopping 11 Dark energy just to KO one of the Dragons but I can see a possible way around that (bear with me, this explanation is lenthgy and involves a lot of 'what-ifs').

The Hydreigon card being released in Noble Victories has an Ability that turns all energy atttached to it into Dark energy, and an attack that deals 60 damage to the Defending Poke'mon as well as 40 damage to 2 other Benched Poke'mon of your choice. Most importantly, it has 150 HP so it is a tough KO even with Fighting Weakness. With FanBoar around to drop lots of Fire energy onto any Poke'mon you want, the potential exists to get a lot of Dark energy into play very quickly!

Sure, getting a Stage 1, two Stage 2's and 11 energy into play without your opponent interfering is next to impossible and you'd be crazy to try (not that I'm trying to discourage you, I love rogue builds!). The more likely scenario is that you've managed to get Emboar, Hydreigon and a Voluby into play quickly enough to get off a single attack to soften up your opponent's side of the field. More than likely Hydreigon will take a not-quite-fatal beating when your opponent returns fire with one of the Unova Dragons or a Donphan Prime (even with Weakness, 150 HP is tough to KO on a single hit). Next turn y ou'll be forced to drop a Switch to get your heavily damaged Hydreigon out of harm's way, at which point you promote the Voluby and evolve to Mandibuzz EP. Drop a couple more energy with FanBoar and/or move them around with a Shaymin UL (that little blighter is great for moving Special Dark energy to where you need it most!) and you should be able to reach the required amount of damage to get rid of the attacker that is giving you trouble

This may or may not work, depending on how much damage Hydreigon did, and whether or not the attacker did some self damage (as Reshiram tends to do when paired with Typhlosion Prime and as Zekrom does with Bolt Strike). Donphan Prime will prove the most difficult to destroy due to its Exoskeleton Poke-body, but Mandibuzz's Fighting Resistance will give you a second shot.

If a Hydreigon/Emboar deck does emerge after the release of Noble Victories then both of the Mandibuzz cards will make good choices to cover the Fighting Weakness in the deck, with the BW version adding to the sniping capabilities and this version providing the "In-case-of-emergency-break-glass" countermeasure. Also, if we see another way to accelerate Dark Energy printed before it rotates out then this card would become almost a staple in Dark decks, at least as a single copy.

I can't help rooting for this card. Sure, my entire review is based on the assumption that you can get two Stage 2 Poke'mon into play and keep them there (the massive HP of both Emboar and Hydreigon helps a lot) and I'm also assuming that intentionally falling back with a damaged Hydreigon is a smart move in this era of snipe-happy Yanmega Prime players. I go even further out on a limb by further assuming that your opponent won't simply heal the spread damage from Hydreigon's attack before you can do anything with it. Worst of all, I'm assuming that your opponent won't see this coming because Mandibuzz EP is a reactive card which means your moves are dictated by what your opponent does (usually a recipe for disaster). But even with all of these negative points, I still can't escape the feeling that this vulture is just waiting to rock the tables. So, if you like big combos and think that the idea of a vulture picking over the bones of a weakened Poke'mon is awesome foresight by the designers, grab a copy and go rogue!

Modified: 3 (I'm probably being overly optimistic and it is absolutely uesless without the energy acceleration, but it does have a useful niche due to that Fighting Resistance and in the end it is easier to replace Mandibuzz in a Prize exchange than having to replace your Hygreigon each time your opponent swings hard)

Limited: 2.5 (if you feel like gambling then Bone Rush will look good to you, but in general the necessity of having a specific energy just to flip coins and the usually weak damage output of Dark Pulse will make you feel cheated)

Combos with: a Hydreigon/Emboar deck using a Shuckle HGSS Promo to draw lots of cards (you draw a card each time you attach an energy to the Shuckle with FanBoar) before dropping Seeker or Shaymin UL to move the energy to its intended home. If I can get the cards together, I'm going to give it a whirl because it should be fun at League even if it never covers itself in glory at competitive events

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