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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day
March 22, 2012
& Reviews Summary
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
Today we catch up with a card we missed
from NV: it’s the bizarre hermit crab
For some reason, the card designers
don’t seem to have much love for crab
Pokémon. Poor old
Kingler hasn’t had a card since
Great Encounters in 2008! I bet there
are people reading this who have never
even played in a format where
is a Grass Type Stage 1 with a
decidedly-not-special 100 HP. It also
has a Weakness to fire which, while not
as bad as it used to be, is still not
fun if you run into a
even a Typhlosion.
Don’t think it’s going to be easy to
Retreat it out of harm’s way either:
thanks to a monumental Retreat cost of
three, you are going to need a Switch.
What you do get from
two attacks. The first, X-Scissor, costs
one Grass and one
Energy of any Colour. For that
you get a pathetic base damage of 20,
but it comes with the coin flip chance
for an extra 50. Now a possible 70 for
two doesn’t sound too bad, and
historically it wasn’t, but we are now
playing in a format where Basics have
180 HP and attacks that do 120+ damage
are routine. This leaves
severely underpowered, even if you get
lucky with the coin. The second attack,
Reckless Charge, doesn’t do a whole lot
to improve the situation either: for [G][C][C]
it will net
you a guaranteed 80 at the cost of 10
points of self-damage. That self-damage
is unlikely to matter much, but the
relatively low damage output on a Stage
1 does. When you consider that we have
more durable Basics that can hit 80 for
the same Energy cost (I’m thinking of
the Weather Genies here), it puts what
So, what are you left with? Unplayable
set filler I’m afraid. Too slow, too
weak and not damaging enough to make any
kind of impact.
Modified: 1.5 (nope, still no love for
Limited: 3 (nothing special, but a
moderately efficient attack if flips go
Hello once again, Pojo readers! Today we're going
back a set to review a card that we previously missed
from Noble Victories. Today's Card of the Day is Crustle.
Crustle is a Stage 1 Grass Pokemon. Grass-types don't
see a whole lot of play right now, with only Celebi
Prime and the rare Virizion seeing much use; however,
given the emergence of Terrakion in Modified, I wouldn't
be surprised if a Grass-type eventually sees play in a
deck at least as a tech. 100 HP is better than the
benchmark 90 that most Stage 1s currently have, but it
is still unfortunately too low to stand up against heavy
hitters like the dragons and Pokemon-EX. Fire Weakness
isn't too bad right now given that Reshiphlosion's
popularity has plummeted, but the deck still pops up on
occasion, so be sure to watch out for it. Crustle also
has no Resistance, and a huge Retreat Cost of 3. Make
sure to use Switch if you want to move Crustle from the
Crustle has two attacks: X-scissor and Reckless Charge.
X-scissor starts at 20 damage for a Grass and a
Colorless, but does 50 more if you flip heads. 70 damage
is very good for two Energy, and at the very least makes
Crustle playable in Limited. Unfortunately the attack is
a bit too weak and inconsistent to be used in Modified,
where something like Virizion would be a better choice.
Reckless Charge does 80 damage for a Grass and two
Colorless, with Crustle doing 10 damage to itself.
Reckless Charge isn't bad for the cost, but the recoil
damage is unfortunate, simply because with Crustle's
relatively low HP value, it won't survive very long in
the first place.
Modified: 2.5/5 Crustle is just about average in every
respect. The Stone Home Pokemon has two attacks with
respectable damage output for their costs, but both are
either unreliable or have a drawback. Also, 100 HP is
good for a Stage 1, but not quite good enough for
competitive play. Overall, Crustle is a Pokemon that
might be playable if it had more HP or a slightly higher
damage output, but as it stands, it doesn't quite have
what it takes to play with the big boys in Modified.
Limited: 4/5 Crustle is excellent in Limited. 100 HP is
fairly good for this format, and both attacks are very
usable, even with their drawbacks. Fortunately, Crustle
has many Colorless Energy requirements making it fit
easily into any deck, and it will work especially well
in your Grass-based deck. In summary, Crustle is an
excellent Pokemon for Limited, and should be able to
stand up to almost anything aside from some of the
musketeers or random Fire-types (watch out for V-create
Professor Bathurst League Australia
Crustle (Noble victories)
Hello folks, today is a Noble Victories Uncommon card by
the name of Crustle. Let's take a look at what this bug
Crustle is a non-evolving Stage 1 Grass type with 100
HP, Fire Weakness, a retreat cost of 3 and two attacks.
Aside from the HP I'm not seeing anything I like in the
stats, but given that this is a half-Bug that isn't
particularly surprising. If you play this critter then
it will have to go down fighting, but what can it
X-scissor is a lacklustre effort, dealing 20 damage for
[g][c]. On a successful coin flip, you deal an extra 50
damage with X-scissor, but that still doesn't make this
attack particularly powerful, still leaving you
painfully short of dealing sunstantial damage to your
Reckless charge is no better, costing [g][c][c] and 10
self damage to deal 80 damage to the Defending Poke'mon.
That may be a 2HKO on most targets, but considering that
the baseline for effective main attacks at the moment is
120 before Pluspowers are added you probably won't get a
Crustle is a bug that dares to stand against giants and
subsequently gets crushed to a pulp. If there was some
sort of 'strength in numbers' attack like Round or Mass
Attack then then Crustle would be a solid card that you
may have tried out at the local playgroup but as is,
Crustle will never leave the shoebox.
Modified: 1.5 (unnecessary drawbacks are added to
straight damage attacks on a creature that sits far
below the curve resulting in Crustle getting the boot)
Limited: 3 (Crustle is much better here with only the
one [g] energy necessary to use both attacks making it
an easy splash and the 100 HP will last quite some time)
Combos with: Crustle is filler with its only redeeming
feature being the surprised look on its face in the
artwork. If I had to guess, Crustle is making that face
because it just became the latest contestant in Reality
Frogger and is now reaching the road crossing.
I hardly knew you… until I decided to
see what cards we’d skipped over from
the last four sets.
Now do I wish I still didn’t know
Being an Evolution is incredibly
difficult right now; Basic Pokémon are
very powerful (too powerful, in my
opinion), so an Evolution has to really
step up to compensate.
Being a Grass-Type doesn’t help
it: the Grass-Type Pokémon that have
proven useful during the current format
have also proven flexible enough to be
used in off-Type decks.
The good news is that means there
is a definite niche available: Grass
Weakness is only seen on a few Pokémon,
but some of them (like
Terrakion) are high profile enough
Of course, since this is a
Rock/Bug hybrid in the video games…
being a Fighting-Type would have been
appropriate and probably much, much more
useful in a format full of Fighting Weak
Pokémon, with more on the way.
100 HP is about as small as I like to
see on a Stage 1… or it would be if we
didn’t have Basic Pokémon that could
reasonably hit for 120 points of damage
and possessed 130 HP themselves (hello
Even if those two lacked their
trademark Energy acceleration, Outrage
would still have been a decent enough
opening play (especially in a
hypothetical slower format) that I
expect they still would have been a
Then of course we have
Mewtwo EX, keeping things humming
along in a "OHKO or be OHKOed format."
So 100 HP should be adequate, but it
Based on source material, I think
another 10 or 20 points would be
Crustle in the video games have
below average HP and Special Defense,
but a significantly good Defense score…
which I would think would result in a
slightly above average HP for a Stage 1.
Based on need, 130 HP would be
required, just so our most common
non-Pokémon EX beatsticks need a little
extra effort for the OHKO.
Fire Weakness is not good, and more
important it is wrong!
Crustle aren’t Fire Weak in the
video games, and Fire is one of the few
Types that are the same in video games
and the TCG!
Crustle in the video games are Weak
to Rock-Type, Steel-Type, and Water-Type
Since two of those three don’t
translate directly to the TCG, I’d think
a Metal-Type Weakness would have been
both interesting and potentially useful
for a Grass-Type Pokémon.
At least the lack of Resistance
is almost understandable this time: in
the video games the Bug/Rock hybrid only
Resists Normal-Types and Poison-Types…
which are both a little awkward to do in
the TCG, given that they are both part
of different “combined” TCG Types
(Colorless and Psychic, respectively).
At least the three Energy needed
Crustle makes sense: it has a
horrible Speed in the TCG, almost half
of what is average for Evolved Pokémon.
That doesn’t make it good, but it
makes it justified.
Pack some form of retreat aid if
Crustle or expect to leave it Active
no matter what: three Energy is very
hard to recover from, though at least it
will allow you to search
Crustle from your deck via
has two attacks.
The first is X-Scissor, notable
as one of the few aggressive Bug-Type
moves in the video games.
The TCG version is a let down:
for (GC) it does 20 points of damage,
plus 50 if you get a lucky coin toss.
For that much Energy, those
numbers need to be reversed.
The second attack is Reckless
Charge, and for (GCC) it does 80 to the
Defending Pokémon and 10 to itself; this
won’t do for a Stage 1 Pokémon that is
For a transitional Stage 1 or
fully Evolved Basic this would be a
solid attack, and on an Evolving Basic
it’d be great, but as the ultimate point
Crustle line, it fails.
has no Ability, and both attacks would
only be adequate if the card had an
Ability or a phenomenal attack.
The good news is that Reckless
Charge can use
Double Colorless Energy (and any
other form of Energy acceleration that
isn’t Type dependent) to get it off in a
single turn, but that also means that
the first attack is pretty much a
desperation move for when you can’t get
that Energy acceleration: you should
jump from having a
Dwebble with hopefully a
Grass Energy attached to
Crustle then drop a
Double Colorless Energy!
I suppose there is one other odd
bit of synergy, between Reckless Charge
and the HP score: since 100 HP is still
a OHKO, knocking off 10 of your own HP
in recoil isn’t an issue.
Crustle, you’ll need to go through
Dwebble (BW: Noble Victories
It is a Basic, Grass-Type Pokémon
(oh that it were Fighting) with 60 HP.
Technically that is about
average, and I know 10 more HP wouldn’t
make a world of difference, but I’d
really like some less severe HP spread,
especially with the direction the game
has been going.
A Basic that can only Evolve into
a Stage 1 could really use a little more
HP right away; it shouldn’t be
unbalancing since the Basic that doesn’t
Evolve should also have its full HP and
the Basic that Evolves twice to
eventually become a Stage 2 can just use
Rare Candy (and will be that much
more potent when fully Evolved).
has the same inappropriate Fire Weakness
plus expected lack of Resistance and two
Energy Retreat Cost.
While expected (since it isn’t a
fast Pokémon), that is still a chunky
Retreat Cost for a Basic Pokémon, and
makes it easy to get a
Dwebble stuck Active (though odds
are your opponent won’t leave it Active
Though the Stats on
Dwebble are disappointing, it has
one attack that actually makes sense,
both from a flavor and a TCG design
For (C) you may flip a coin, and
if heads prevent all damage done to
Dwebble by your attacks from your
opponent’s Pokémon during your next
This gives it decent shot at
surviving to Evolve.
It also can use Slash for (GC),
but that only does 20 points of damage
(which is just a bit low, but not much
given that it is an Evolving Basic
So forget Slash and pray for
So… is there a use for this card.
Yes… in Limited.
In Limited this is a Grass-Type
Pokémon that only needs one Energy
actually provide (G) in order to use its
You can’t run it completely
off-Type, but you can run Grass as your
secondary or tertiary Type and do quite
The lower average HP and damage
output, and difficulty in your opponent
Dwebble Active (or to the Bench
after a successful Withdraw) make the
line a good attacker.
For Modified and Unlimited, you have
Virizion from this very set to
function as a better splashed in
Grass-Type attacker, and on top of that
it is only a Basic Pokémon.
Being able to function off-Type
(though a small source of Grass Energy)
is about the only redeeming feature
Crustle has, and a big, Basic
Pokémon does it significantly better.
If you insisted on building a
deck around it, you’re pretty much
wasting your time, but I suppose a Grass
focused deck using the best they have to
Celebi Prime) would be low level
functional; fun for Pokémon League but
frustrating at a tournament.
Actually, a bit frustrating at
Pokémon League too I’d wager;
Crustle was designed as a supporting
attacker, so you’d still need something
else in the deck.
is another Pokémon worth reviewing
mostly to warn you away from it and give
me an excuse to point to some areas of
concern I have about the game.
Unfortunately it seems to be a
great example of “phoning it in”; the
designers threw together stuff they knew
wouldn’t be broken and were expected of
Grass-Type Pokémon, ignoring its video
game roots and what could have been an
interesting, even useful card!
A good Grass/Fighting deck could
have some real fun in this format, maybe
even be competitive.
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