As I am writing this review with little
time to spare, I think I’ll try a more
We’ll see if that fails as badly
as in times past… but for now, I present
Kricketune (BW: Next Destinies
is a Stage 1 Grass-Type Pokémon with 90
I can easily combine all these
stats together because they are all
Being an Evolution at all is hard
this format and only the most potent
remain viable (generally Bench-sitters
that galvanize a gargantuan basic
Pokémon and/or Pokémon EX).
This is a fast, hard-hitting
format and within the apparent template
constraints on Evolutions, if they don’t
have killer effects (and preferably top
of the line stats), they can’t keep up
with basic Pokémon that would make for
better Evolutions than they are.
The Grass-Type has been
struggling, since what support there is
for it seems to work better in non-Grass
decks and the Types most likely to sport
Weakness to Grass (Fighting and Water)
are struggling as well.
The 90 HP would be a bit low for
a transitional Stage 1 (one that Evolves
into a Stage 2 Pokémon), so for the end
of the line it means either
Kricketune has to function
semi-protected on the Bench, or be a
one-hit wonder KOed by your opponent’s
The Fire Weakness is expected but
doesn’t help: Fire Weakness isn’t the
worst but there are multiple strong Fire
No Resistance is the worst
Resistance but also quite common; I
can’t really penalize the card much for
At least the single Energy
Retreat Cost is good; it should be easy
to pay most games without really setting
sports two attacks, so Bench-sitter
status is not an option.
The first attack is White Noise,
which costs (C) while doing 20 points of
damage and inflicting automatic Sleep.
Single Energy attacks have been
extremely potent the last several sets,
with drawbacks that are easily managed
if there are any real issues with said
attacks at all.
That being said White Noise isn’t
horrible, just a bit weak; you get a
little more than you paid for in terms
of Energy, and if this was a Basic
Pokémon, especially one meant to further
Evolve that’d be good.
As this is the final Stage of the
Pokémon, not so much.
The second attack is Draining Cut.
For the price of (GC) you score
two coin flips that result in 40 points
of damage per “heads” with the added
benefit of healing as much damage from
Kricketune as it inflicts on the
This is close to being adequate,
but there are too many strikes against
On its own it is a solid attack:
the coin flips make it unreliable, but
also allows it to threaten the opponent
more than if it did do reliable,
predictable damage; without the coin
flips we’d probably be looking at 40
points of damage.
Yes, one in four possible results
is a complete whiff, but that is
balanced by the solid chance of hitting
80 points of damage on a two Energy
The healing is equal to the
damage you do, so anything that jacks up
your damage output jacks up your
This is where the real problem lies: the
attack is on
If you get two heads and nothing
is reducing your damage, you could
completely heal a
Kricketune that was on its last 10
Kricketune has no built in
protection so it is going to be OHKOed
since it is a small Pokémon; simple as
What’s more this is the card’s
Now that Evolving first turn
isn’t possible and we have a format
built on Energy acceleration, having two
low-priced attacks doesn’t really work.
There is even some clashing
between the effects: if White Noise
keeps your opponent Asleep, you won’t be
as damaged and will thus need less
Technically that could also work
well together, but it is a matter of
fine-tuning that doesn’t happen here,
where the turns your opponent’s attacker
would theoretically spend Asleep would
give you time to heal.
Since he order is random and the
results all coin flip dependent, odds
are low that you will take a hit, make
them Sleep, and heal up.
Healing is meant for large Pokémon or
Pokémon that reduce the damage they take
Kricketune is neither.
I applaud that we aren’t being
forced to waste a lot of Energy for the
attacks, but given the circumstances I’d
say it is obvious that
Kricketune needed an Ability,
preferably one that dropped the damage
A “healing sponge” is wonderfully
frustrating for your opponent and can
make for great strategy, especially when
it does indeed do decent damage for the
You have two
Kricketot to choose from: HS:
Triumphant 65/102 and BW: Next
Both are Basic Grass-Type Pokémon
with Fire Weakness, no Resistance, and
single Energy Retreat Costs.
Sadly, both have poor attacks;
the former can do 30 for (GC), decent
for an Evolving Basic Pokémon but you
really shouldn’t ever have a chance to
use a two Energy attack on something
meant to Evolve.
The latter has two overpriced
attacks that are awful: (G) for 10 or
(GG) for 10 plus 10 more per “heads” on
two coin flips; (GG) should be worth 30
in and of itself.
Both of these fail pretty bad
from a design standpoint: given the
Pokémon’s status and theme, how about
something to help Evolve or put the
Defending Pokémon to Sleep!
Either would have improved odds
for survival. Despite having even worse
attacks, go with the newer BW: Next
Destinies version, it has 10 more HP
than the other, ever-so-slightly
increasing the chances of survival.
The only other Modified legal
Kricketune has 10 less HP than
today’s CotD, but all other stats are
Its “cheap” attack is (GC), doing
30 and giving a chance at Confusion;
overpriced for a Stage 1, especially one
that can’t Evolve again.
The big attack (Fury Cutter) is
“flippy”, requiring 3 coin flips.
At least even if all three are
“Tails”, you’ll still score 20 points of
damage, but “better than nothing” is not
a good selling point.
Even one “heads” only bumps it up
to 40 points of damage, at beast half of
what the attack needs to do.
I mentioned Fury Cutter’s name
because it isn’t a new attack, and has
been reasonably useful on certain older
The different was those cards
usually did only slightly sub-par damage
on one heads usually put it at the
A result of two “heads” doesn’t
even do that, only scoring 60 points of
Only if all three coin flips
result in “heads” do you get a good
(actually a great) return of 120 points
When that is only one of eight
possible results, and especially when
all other results are a rip off, it
makes for a bad card.
Clearly today’s card gets no help
(or competition) here.
If you insist on using
Kricketune, back it with
Vileplume (HS: Undaunted
24/90) just because that’s about the
only way to slow your opponent down
enough for the healing to matter; most
of the time your opponent will still be
able to build a big basic attacker and
run roughshod over multiple copies of
You could alternatively accept
that it is a OHKO and just focus on
building them all up and using
Exp. Share to keep your basic
Grass Energy in play, but again
you’re fighting a losing battle.
Either might risk some other
back-up Stage 1, preferably something
that causes a debilitating Special
Condition to your opponent’s Pokémon to
Kricketune, but without
Vileplume such Special Conditions
are easy to shake.
No matter what, I think you’re
only playing this because you are a fan
of the Pokémon.
Unlimited is pretty much the same as
Modified, but with first turn win/donk/lock
You can plug
Kricketune into a deck full of
staples/loose staples and have something
functional, but far inferior to so many
I actually think it functions
better in this format than in Modified,
but the cruel irony is that the brutal
decks of Modified, even enhanced with
older cards, aren’t the top decks of
Unlimited; the bar is just that much
Kricketune actually combos with
Focus Band; if you survive, you can
try and heal yourself via your attack!
You can use
Double Rainbow Energy to power it up
in a single go; yes you’ll drop your
damage done (and thus healed) by 10
points, but Unlimited HP scores have
such range that quite a few Pokémon will
still be within OHKO range of Draining
Cut; even the older Neo and e-Card era
“Baby” Pokémon only require one “heads”
on Draining Cut (every attack requires a
“heads” when checking against “the Baby
Rule” so that doesn’t count against it).
Kricketune can even tap some older,
semi-potent Grass-Type support like
Shaymin LV.X DP: Platinum
I said the card needed more HP
Shaymin LV.X grants Grass-Type
Pokémon +40 HP.
Add some Trainer denial and
you’ve got a functional deck…
…except this isn’t the best Grass-Type
Pokémon for the build; it isn’t even the
That leaves Limited, and yes
things are finally looking better, if
not good for
Kricketot isn’t any good, but you’re
stuck running it anyway.
The nature of Limited play means
the HP and damage output on
Kricketune jumps from “bad” to
The effects of the attacks go
from “trivial” to “effective”: when your
opponent is probably only doing 30 to 50
a turn, Draining Cut hitting for and
healing at least 40 points of damage as
three of four possible outcomes gives it
I wouldn’t run it just for White
Noise, but if you can fit at least some
Grass Energy cards into the deck,
Kricketune is a good attacker.
Pinsir, is a bug waiting to be
It doesn’t have enough HP to take
a hit, lacks an Ability (let alone a
“good” Ability), and doesn’t OHKO what
I can’t even recommend it for a
fun, casual deck, as it will more than
likely prove frustrating instead, making
other fun decks look like champs.
If you pull it at a Pre-Release,
enjoy it in Limited and then trade it or
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