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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Gurdurr #59

Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed: July 18, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.10
Limited: 1.95

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

Gurdurr (Dark Explorers)

When you get an incomplete evolution line in a Pokémon set, you can be pretty sure that what you are dealing with are some filler cards from a Japanese theme deck. The track record on these cards being playable is not impressive, so it would probably be best to lower your expectations for today’s review.

The card we are looking at is Gurdurr, an evolving Stage 1 with a mediocre 90 HP, a painful Weakness to Mewtwo-EX Psychic, and an annoying Retreat cost of two – not enough for Heavy Ball, but enough to be a pain to pay. Gurdurr is a Fighting Type though, and that’s generally a good thing as it means hitting Darkrai-EX and Lightning Pokémon for Weakness. Of course, it would still need the attacks to make doing that worthwhile.

The first, Low Kick, does 20 damage for a single Colourless Energy. Ok, it can OHKO Tynamo, but seeing as you can also do that with Sawk BLW or Tyrogue GS (until it rotates), it’s pretty clear that this is an attack that is ok on a Basic, but really sub-par on a Stage 1. Steel Swing offers the chance of a bit more damage, but at the greater cost of [F][C][C]. It’s also completely flip dependent: you flip two coins and do 60 for each heads. Yes, you could increase the odds in your favour by running Victini but . . . why would you do that? Just for a weak Stage 1 that you only use when you don’t have the Rare Candy.

Until they actually go ahead and print a playable Conkledurr, there won’t be any need for Gurdurr anyway. If they do that, I hope we get an improved version of Gurdurr to go with it. None of the options we already have are particularly attractive.


Modified: 1.25 (only needed to evolve, which is just as well as Gurdurr doesn’t offer anything else)

Limited: 2 (at least it has a cheap attack, and flips can be fun)


Now it is time to find out if this Gurdurr builds Conkeldurr decks up or is going to just sit around drinking coffee while trying to look busy.


Being a Fighting-Type is a good thing right now; two Types (Darkness and Lightning) are often Fighting Weak, and said two Types are the basis of some strong decks… plus the Weakness is just reasonably common to begin with. Being a Stage 1 Pokémon is not so helpful, especially in a fast format where Rare Candy is an option; you may not have time to use Gurdurr. Its 80 HP doesn’t help; why are “beefy” Pokémon stuck with a score that would be bad even in most past formats? It’s a Stage 1 that Evolves into a Stage 2… you don’t have to top-load the HP score… in fact it would be better if it was the opposite, with your average 150 HP Stage 2 having a Stage 1 with around 100 HP and a Basic with around 70. My desires to rethink the game aside, again let me say 80 HP is bad in the current format and a probably OHKO most of the time.

Psychic Weakness is bad; even though I said this was a probable OHKO, I was implying against a deck that was already set-up and in motion. With Psychic Weakness, anyone can drop a Mewtwo EX, slap a Double Colorless Energy, and promote it to then X-Ball for 80+ points of damage and the KO. Nor does Gurdurr get any Resistance to offset this, but then again -20 only goes so far and Resistance isn’t all that common anyway. The two Energy Retreat Cost is also too small for Heavy Ball, but about “average” in terms of difficulty to pay; you’ll often be able to afford it, but it will set you back enough you really won’t want to.


Gurdurr has two attacks and neither help set-up for Conkeldurr outside of softening up the Defending Pokémon. Low Kick does 20 for (C) which would be good on a Basic, but even on an Evolving Stage 1 feels a little underpowered… especially when an attack with that cost would be better spent building your set-up or sabotaging your opponent’s. Steel Swing actually is a solid attack, at least for a transitional Stage 1 Pokémon. If you have to attack for damage with Gurdurr, it won’t be reliable, but for (FCC) you’ll average an acceptable 60 points of damage, with a 0/60/120 split. With what I said about Weakness earlier, this can threaten some really important Pokémon. Also, with most forms of Energy acceleration, by the time Timburr Evolves into Gurdurr, you likely can already use Steel Swing.


There are two other Gurdurr. All three have identical stats except for Retreat Costs; BW: Noble Victories 63/101 has a three Energy Retreat Cost, which while worse would make it a legal target for Heavy Ball. If the deck is using those, run that version, but I warn you its attacks are poor. I like the attacks best on today’s, though: since this card is being run ultimately just to Evolve, and thus you’re probably going to only attack once, Black & White 60/114 likely won’t enjoy the additional effect of it’s identically priced and damaging attack, Bulk Up. Plus its big attack requires (FFC) and only hits for a flat 60.

Gurdurr has to come from somewhere since it is a Stage 1, and that would be Timburr. Four versions, and to keep things simple I’ll just state all have mediocre attacks; not useless but nothing to really help the Evolution line (or threaten the Defending Pokémon unless it is Fighting Weak and very small). So it comes down to stats, and I’ll take bulk; Black & White 58/114 has 70 HP, while the other three each have just 60.

Now for the real clincher… do we have a Conkeldurr that can support a deck? The short answer is… no. Both have been reviewed by the CotD crew, including myself. I might not score them quite as harshly as I did: the reviews went up the day BW: Next Destinies was officially released (and thus tournament legal), and I already knew how bad Psychic Weakness was going to be thanks to Mewtwo EX. Now while the format is currently seeing a few Evolutions (mostly in supporting roles) do quite well, the Conkeldurr are meant to be Active. Likewise, the abundant Fighting Weakness can only do so much. Now, once we get to BW-On, since we will also then get a new set with a card that can help set-up Conkeldurr BW: Noble Victories 64/101, Gurdurr might qualify as a one-of or two-of in a mostly fun deck… though I wouldn’t mind being wrong and it doing better. Unless you’re running Heavy Ball, then use the version with the higher Retreat Cost instead.

In Unlimited, as usual once we get past things like first turn win decks or lock decks, we have things like Broken Time Space making Gurdurr little more than a placeholder… in which case it all depends on if you’re bothering with Heavy Ball. If so, again use the version that Heavy Ball can target. Otherwise use this one. Still, I get the feeling this would be purely a “for fun” deck, and not an overly strong one with all the help it would require. At least in Limited, it finally gets to be a good pull. Both it and the Timburr in the set are easy to work into a multi-Type deck, though at least a little Fighting Energy is recommended so you can use the bigger attacks on the cards. The usual reasons make Gurdurr better: lower average HP scores and damage output.


Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 1.75/5

Limited: 3.5/5


I didn’t scoring the current and coming Modified formats separately, because as a transitional form for a Pokémon that at best will be a fun deck next format, I didn’t find it necessary, and I’ll say it again for people skimming: if you’re using Heavy Ball play the Gurdurr it can target, not this one. Otherwise if you’re stuck attacking out of desperation, you could threaten some medium-sized and/or Fighting Weak Pokémon with the card’s big attack.

Please check out my eBay sales by clicking here. It’s me whittling away at about two decades worth of attempted collecting, spanning action figures, comic books, TCGs, and video games. Exactly what is up is a bit random. Pojo.com is in no way responsible for any transactions; Pojo is merely doing me a favor by letting me link at the end of my reviews.

Jebulous Maryland Player

Gurdurr is a Stage 1 Fighting Pokemon with 80 HP, weakness to Psychic, and 2 retreat cost.  The low HP allows it to be searched with Level Ball.  The weakness to Psychic and 80 HP means Mewtwo EX will eat it alive with a DCE.
'Low Kick' costs 1 energy of any type and does 20 damage.  That's all.
'Steel Swing' costs 1 Fighting and 2 of any energy.  The cost is ok since you can just throw a DCE on it.  Flip 2 coins and it does 60x the number of heads. No heads means nothing. One heads means 60 (120 for weakness) is not very competitive.  It won’t take out Zekrom, but it will take out Eelektrik.  Two heads means 120 (240) which will OHKO any weak to it.
You can combo it with Fliptini to increase your odds...
I don't like this card.  The first attack is something you would find on a basic Pokemon.  The second requires flips, which I don't like.
Since it's a Stage 1, I wouldn't really car because I know there is a Stage 2 to this guy.  If I recall correctly, the Stage 2 isn't that spectacular.
Coin flips and low HP means I'm staying away from this card (and I have no attachment to the Pokemon itself, but that's because I don't know anything about it).
Modified: 1/5
Limited: 2/5
Combo's With: ...
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com

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