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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Lapras #25

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.87
Limited: 4.00

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

Lapras #25 (Next Destinies)

I’ve always liked Lapras as a Pokémon. He’s big, but he’s also gentle and helpful. Plus he’s one of the original 151, which is always good. He was a pretty solid Pokémon card in Fossil, but since then has fared less well at the hands of the card designers, with Lapras-ex notorious for being one of the worst –ex cards ever printed. Let’s see if this latest version has anything to offer.

Lapras is a Basic with a respectable 100 HP (well, respectable for a non-Legendary). His Lightning Weakness severely reduces his durability however, with Lighting being by far the most popular Type in the format. Also bad is the Retreat cost of two: in fact it’s so bad that it may well be the thing that stops this card ever seeing play . . .

Lapras’ first attack is something we have seen before many, many times. Yes, it’s Call for Family (CFF) and in this version it lets you search for and Bench two Basic Pokémon. The viability of CFF-style attacks has varied over the years. At times it has been a valuable set up tool in slower formats (see Pachirisu GE and, best of all, Dunsparce SS), but in super fast formats like the one we are in at the moment, it is not often worth it (though slow decks like The Truth and Vanilluxe will still use Pichu GS). That said, people are looking to the future and anticipating a Rotation that will take Pokémon Collector, and maybe even Dual Ball, out of the game, leaving us with nothing that can search out multiple Basics. In an environment like this, CFF attacks become very attractive, so could Lapras possibly be a contender?

Sadly, no. Firstly there is that problem of the Retreat cost I mentioned earlier. When a CFF Pokémon has done its job, he needs to go to the Bench, and he needs to do it quickly and efficiently. Because Lapras needs two Energy to Retreat (or a Switch, or one Energy plus Skyarrow Bridge), he is straight away less appealing that cards with similar attacks that Retreat for a single Energy (Stantler UL, Elgyem NV). Secondly, there is the cost of CFF. With Stantler and Elgyem, the cost is Colourless, so they can be splashed into any deck. Lapras, on the other hand, needs Water Energy, so is limited to Water decks. I guess decks that run Prism could also use Lapras, but who would want to waste a valuable Special Energy on him?

Lapras does have another attack, but it’s not really very good: reckless charge does 40 for two Colourless Energy (oh so NOW it uses Colourless!), but also self-damages Lapras for 20. It isn’t something you would want to use unless you were desperate, and doesn’t really do anything to make the card more appealing to players. In the current format, Lapras really doesn’t have a place; in a maybe-future one, he’s already outclassed.


Modified: 1.75 (Call for Family might be good next format . . . but we won’t be using Lapras to do it)

Limited: 4 (CFF is absolutely brilliant here, and being a durable Basic is a big plus too)


Hello, hello, Pojo readers! Today we're going to review a Rare from Next Destinies that could see some play after Pokemon Collector rotates. Today's Card of the Day is Lapras (#25) from Next Destinies.
Lapras is a Basic Water Pokemon. Water isn't so common right now, but as I've stated before, this card could potentially see some play if the conditions are right. 100 HP is great for a Basic, although it still sadly falls below the accepted standards for taking hits from prominent metagame threats, although Lapras will tend to be an early-game Pokemon if it sees any Modified play at all. Lightning Weakness is a problem against Zekrom, Zebstrika, and Zapdos; no Resistance is to be expected; and a Retreat Cost of 2 is payable if you're in a bind, though you'll likely be better off using something like Switch.
This Transport Pokemon has two attacks. Call for Family allows you to search for 2 Basic Pokemon and put them onto your Bench, shuffling your deck afterward for a single Water Energy. This attack has the potential to be great in a format without Pokemon Collector, where setting up quickly is still key, even without the help of the fantastic Supporter (it's excellent in Next Destinies Limited, for example). However, the single Water Energy cost could be a problem with the relative lack of Water-types that see play, therefore restricting Lapras use to Water decks or decks that run Rainbow or Prism Energy. Reckless Charge, Lapras' form of offense, deals 40 damage for two Colorless Energy, while dealing 20 damage to itself. Self-damage effects are never great, although the Colorless Energy requirements make the attack at least usable in Limited. Overall, Lapras is a fantastic supporter for Limited, but may get a chance to shine in Modified if the format can be kind to it.
Modified: 2/5 Lapras may see play in the future, but probably won't right now. While Call for Family is an excellent setup option, most decks will simply run Pokemon Collector or Dual Ball instead (and rightfully so). Lightning Weakness and a not-so-useful offensive move also hurt Lapras' viability, as well as being somewhat of a useless bench sitter in the late game. Overall, you're probably better off not using Lapras here, as there are many other better options.
Limited: 4/5 Lapras is an excellent setup Pokemon for Limited...if you run Water Energy. Call for Family's Energy requirements are sadly restrictive, so if you want to use Lapras, you'll have to at least throw a few Water Energy into your deck for this reason. Reckless Charge isn't great, but does serviceable damage for a Colorless cost, even if it does cut into Lapras' great HP score. Chances are if you run Lapras here, you won't be disappointed.

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