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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Basculin #25

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: Sept. 28, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.25
Limited: 3.13

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Basculin 25/98 (Emerging Powers)

Basculin . . . useful Pokémon in the video game, where they make EV training for Speed easy as. They also rarely give up Deep Sea Tooth or Deep Sea Scale, which is great if you had a Clamperl that you wanted to evolve. In the TCG? Well, this is another Pokémon that we get two versions of in the set. One of them has been discussed as a possible anti-Donphan tech, but today’s card? No-one has ever mentioned it at all.

The 80 HP is reasonable enough for a non-evolving Basic, without being actually good (you only have to look at the Unova Dragons to see what standard is being set these days). The Lightning Weakness is nasty, making this card an easy OHKO for Pachirisu, never mind Zekrom. The Retreat cost of one seems fair and shouldn’t cause any problems.

It’s really the poor attacks that make this Basculin a bit of a waste of cardboard. They are so underpowered and uninteresting that they make writing a review a tough job. I mean, what can you say about Tackle? It costs a single Energy of any type, it does 10 points of effect-free damage, and we have seen it so many times before on Basic Pokémon. It isn’t any good and no-one wants to use it. Splatter is an improvement (30 damage to any opponent’s Pokémon for [W][C]), but you can do better elsewhere: Elekid snipes 20 for no Energy and can protect itself with Sweet Sleeping Face; Yanmega is just as fast despite being a Stage 1 (no Energy required) and snipes for 40. You also have to wonder just how useful sniping is at all in a format with Pokémon Catcher.

Low damage generic attacks on an 80 HP Lightning-Weak Basic? It’s hard to believe they ever intended this card to be used.


Modified: 1.25 (escapes the lowest mark because snipe is at least something)

Limited: 2.5 (relatively high HP for a Basic, and snipe is nice here as players will often retreat damaged Pokémon to deny Prizes)


Basculin (Emerging Powers)
Hello again, we're continuing with the judging of cards from Emerging Powers and today's lucky contestant is Basculin.
Aside from being a vicous carnivore with a Napoleon complex  (think Siamese Fighting Fish), Basculin has 80 HP, Lightning weakness, a retreat cost of 1 and two cheap attacks. Since it is a Basic it can take full advantage of Revive and Poke'mon Collector and it seems that Basculin has been designed to fight in a swarm, never letting your opponent get rid of it for long. Unfortunately, anyone playing Zekrom will see that as a source of easy Prizes instead of a problem.
The reason for that is that Basculin lacks anything resembling a powerful attack. Tackle is 10 damage for [c] which is worse than useless whilever Reshiram and Zekrom are around with Outrage to punish you for daring to damage them. Even if you aren't facing one of the Tao Dragons, 10 effect-free damage isn't going to upset your opponent in any way (even on a Baby Poke'mon you're looking at a pitiful 3HKO).
Splatter is slightly better as you can hit any of your opponent's Poke'mon with 30 damage for [w][c], but you won't be able to power this up in a single turn unless you have Feraligatr Prime in play. The main attraction of playing a horde of cheap Basic Poke'mon is the low cost in deck space and the speed advantage (watch Volbeat/Illumise TM and ZPS decks in action to see what I mean) so having to run a heavy Stage 2 support line just to attack is a deal breaker.
Despite being a lovely addition to your aquarium, Basculin is doomed to be ignored by anyone who is serious about playing. At least it makes decent filler in Limited with the cheap sniping.
Modified: 1.25 (if you run this card all you are doing is feeding Zekrom a large dose of Omega 3)
Limited: 4 (it's an uncommon with a cheap, relatively powerful snipe so if you have the room for 3 or so [w] energy then there is no reason not to run it)
Combos with: Stick it in the shoebox with the rest of the triples.


Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we'll be reviewing Basculin from the new Emerging Powers expansion.

Basculin is a Basic Water Pokemon. As a non-Evolving Basic, Basculin could easily fit into many decks if it does something special enough. Likewise, Water is a pretty good type to be right now, easily countering the likes of Reshiram, Typhlosion Prime, and Emboar. 80 HP is rather lackluster for a non-Evolving Basic, as many heavy hitters will easily OHKO with minimal investment (Reshiram, Emboar, Magnezone, Zekrom, Typhlosion and Yanmega with a PlusPower, Gothitelle with three Psychic Energy, the list goes on), and Lightning Weakness makes this even easier for Zekrom, Magnezone, and even Pachirisu. Basculin also has no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of 1.

Basculin has two attacks: Tackle and Splatter. Tackle is your basic 10 damage for a single Colorless attack, and it realistically will never be used outside of Limited, and even there it isn't that good. Splatter is slightly more interesting, sniping 30 damage for a Water and a Colorless. This can be decent for picking off your opponent's Babies or weakened Pokemon, but in Modified, it's simply easier to use Pokemon Catcher. In Limited, this attack can actually be pretty good, as things have lower HP here and your opponent will often have many bench sitters that can be taken out in a turn or two.

Modified: 1/5 Low HP, bad Weakness, and weaker attacks. Yanmega outclasses Splatter pretty badly, and Tackle is fairly useless. If you want a Water-type that spreads damage around, wait until Noble Victories comes out and use Kyurem.

Limited: 2.75/5 If you're running Water, Basculin is a good inclusion. Tackle isn't going to be winning games, but Splatter can be great for picking off weakened opponents or low HP Pokemon. That being said, Basculin still has a fairly low HP stat, and probably won't last very long, so its best role is that of a supporting Pokemon to pick off weakened opponents instead of being a main attacker.

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