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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Squirtle #29

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed: Nov. 19, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.50
Limited: 2.67

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

Squirtle (Boundaries Crossed)

Hello and welcome to a short week of reviews here on Pojo’s CotD. It’s short because of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend in the US. As far as I can make out, this is a holiday devoted to turkey and discount shopping, so I wish all American readers success with both of those things. As usual following our top 10 countdown, we move on to look at those cards which made some of the reviewer lists, but didn’t get enough traction to make the actual top 10. The first of these is a really quirky yet interesting choice as it is an evolving Basic.

Squirtle from Boundaries crossed is guaranteed to see play as it is the Basic of Blastoise, the #3 card on our list, and the engine that will power a lot of Keldeo decks. In fact, if you wanted to play Blastoise, you would (at the moment) have no choice, as this is the only legal Squirtle in the format. At first glance it seems pretty average for an evolving Basic. The 60 HP and retreat cost of one are ok and the Grass Weakness is difficult to exploit with our current card pool. On the other hand, Water Splash is a pretty poor excuse for an attack: one Water and one Colourless Energy for 10 damage, with a coin flip for a further 20. You are not going to waste Energy on that.

But Squirtle does come with a pretty handy Ability. Shell Shield protects Squirtle from any damage as long as he is on the Bench. This means that he can’t be sniped by Darkrai-EX or Landorus-EX, takes no spread damage from the likes of Kyurem NVI, and doesn’t suffer from ‘recoil’ damage inflicted by your own Pokémon’s attacks (eg: Landorus NVI). Note that it still affected by Abilities that do damage (Flygon BCR) and by the effects of attacks (it can still be switched active by Lampent NVI’s Luring Light, for example). Obviously, it does nothing to combat the ever-popular strategy of using Pokémon Catcher to drag out and KO Basics while they are still easy targets. Nevertheless, Shell Shield can increase Squirtle’s chances of doing what it is supposed to do: surviving long enough to evolve.

It’s quite hard to decide how to rate Squirtle. Blastoise benefits from having something that is a bit better than the usual generic Basic, but would certainly be played anyway, meanwhile Squirtle doesn’t really have anything to contribute to a Blastoise deck other than its ability to evolve into the more powerful Pokémon. I normally rate generic Basics at around 1.5. I guess this deserves an extra point for its potentially enhanced durability.


Modified: 2.5 (at least you force Darkrai and Landorus players to use a Catcher)

Limited: 1.5 (I don’t even think Blastoise is especially good here unless you get super lucky pulls)


Welcome back, Pojo readers! We are continuing our reviews of Boundaries Crossed in this short week, specifically looking at cards that didn't quite make the cut for our Top 10 List. We'll kick things off today with a very good common that will likely see quite a bit of play in certain decks. Today's Card of the Day is Squirtle.

Squirtle is a Basic Water Pokemon. Blastoise/Keldeo is the prominent Water deck of Modified right now, and as such, Squirtle will see tons of play. 60 HP is about what we'd expect for an evolving Basic, and gives Squirtle enough HP to not get OHKO'd by the likes of Rayquaza and other fast attackers. Grass Weakness is great (as there are no prominent Grass threats in the format), no Resistance is sad but expected, and a single Retreat is quite payable.

Squirtle has an Ability and an attack. Shell Shield is the main reason behind Squirtle's being so good, as it prevents all damage done to Squirtle by attacks when it's on the Bench. This has many Modified implications, as Darkrai-EX's Night Spear and Landorus-EX's Hammerhead can't snipe the Tinyturtle Pokemon when Benched, allowing you to set up a Blastoise (relatively) safely.

Water Splash is Squirtle's attack, starting off at 10 damage for a terrible Water and a Colorless, with the possibility of doing 20 more if you get heads on a coin flip. You'll rarely want Squirtle active unless you're in a huge bind, so this attack will likely never get used. It's decent (but not great) for Limited, though.

Modified: 4/5 While Squirtle isn't all that powerful on its own, it fulfills a unique niche in making Blastoise decks very strong. Shell Shield prevents your opponents from simply using attacks like Night Spear, Hammerhead, or even Volt Bolt to pick up easy KOs on the Basic, or forcing them to use Pokemon Catchers in the process. This Ability is also part of the reason why some Blastoise builds have stopped running Wartortle altogether, as Shell Shield's protection is that good.

Limited: 2.5/5 Squirtle is only really good here if you end up pulling a Blastoise, as Shell Shield isn't quite as relevant here and Water Splash is below average in terms of damage for cost. Therefore, you should probably only run Squirtle if you get a Blastoise.

Jebulous Maryland Player


Squirtle is a Basic Water Pokemon with 60 HP. It is weak to Grass and has a retreat cost of 1.

'Shell Shield' is an ability that prevents any damage to Squirtle while it is on the bench. This just adds to the things that make Blastoise/Keldeo good. Since Darkrai EX exists (and now Landorus EX) and is big, there has been spread damage to worry about. That 30 damage it does softens a lot of things up. In this cases Squirtle could have been knocked out by spread damage of 2 'Night Spears'. With this ability, it can't, so people will have to Catcher it up to take the knock out or try to prevent Blastoise from appearing.

'Water Splash' costs 1 Water and 1 Colorless. It does 10 and if heads it does 30. It won't be seeing much use since Squirtles main goal is to evolve to Blastoise. Energy shouldn't be put on Blastoise unless it it to knock out a Sigilyph or for some other reason I can't think of.

Anyway, Squirtle is a great Basic since it's whole evolution line is meant to sit on the Bench. The ability only helps it do that.

Modified: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Combos With: ...

Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com

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