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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Dusknoir #63

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed: Nov. 20, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.15
Limited: 3.15

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

Dusknoir (Boundaries Crossed)

Today we look at another card that just failed to make it on to the top 10 list. I didn’t vote for it myself, but I wouldn’t have objected if it had somehow sneaked in. Dusknoir is a Pokémon that usually gets some nasty (and very good) Power (or Ability), Dusknoir DP being the best example, so let’s see if this one can follow suit.

Quite honestly, it better have a good Ability because everything else about the card is pretty horrible. For a start, it’s a Stage 2, so it will be somewhat slow to set up and take up a lot of deckspace (you’re going to need Rare Candy as well). The HP of 130 is ok (though not spectacular), and the retreat cost of three forces you to play Switch (though at least it is searchable with Heavy Ball), but what really hurts is the catastrophic Weakness to Dark. Darkrai is everywhere in this format and absolutely destroys Dusknoir . . . but it doesn’t end there: even the Basic Duskull is a OHKO for a Sableye with Dark Claw attached. The attack is awful too: four Energy for 60 damage (even if it isn’t affected by Resistance) is just . . . something you need to avoid.

So . . . is there a reason to play this besides giving half of your opponents an easy Prize? That all depends on the Ability. Sinister Hand is a kind of reverse world version of Reuniclus BLW’s Damage Swap where, during your turn, you can move around the damage counters on your opponent’s Pokémon as much as you like. How is this useful? Well, you can combine it with Pokémon that spread damage (like Kyurem NVI and Flygon BCR) and then manipulate the accumulated damage for multiple KOs. Or you could simply use it as a way of countering an opponent who rotates their damaged Pokémon as a Prize denial strategy. The potential to play some powerful and game-winning tricks is definitely there with this card.

But right now, ‘potential’ is exactly what Dusknoir has, as opposed to ‘immediate impact’. A Stage 2 that is weak to Darkrai-EX, in a format where Pokémon Catcher makes any Bench-sitter vulnerable just doesn’t strike me as a viable proposition right now. Sure, you can make fancy combo decks with Flygon, but they are incredibly frail and slow when facing the inevitable onslaught of Big Basic EX Pokémon. Maybe the card will get a chance to shine before it is rotated out; maybe some combo exists that I am missing. To the best of my knowledge though, Dusknoir is the right card in the wrong place as far as the current format is concerned.


Modified: 3 (great Ability . . . will anyone be able to make it viable?)

Limited: 2 (Stage 2s in limited are hard. This one doesn’t even do any decent damage)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Dusknoir is a Stage 2 Psychic Pokemon with 130 HP.  It is weak to Dark and has a retreat cost of 3.  It is searchable by Heavy Ball.
'Sinister Hand' is an ability that allows you to move around the damage counters on your opponent's side of the field.  This is definitely an ability that people want to use.  The only problem is that you have to set up a Stage 2 that's weak to a type that is seeing a lot of play.
'Shadow Punch' costs 1 Psychic and 3 colorless energy.  It does 60 and isn't affected by resistance.  This attack isn't that great for the cost.  The effect is good (great if it could bypass Eviolites and abilities), but the damage output is too low.  Dusknoir will not be attacking most of the time anyway.
So the question is how do we make a deck with this guy and have it be top tier?  Well, first of all it needs to be paired with energy acceleration to feed the attackers.  So that means Lightning, Dark, or Water at the moment.  Now, you don't have to pair it with energy acceleration, but if you go that route, you need cheap attackers.  The point of the deck should be to get as much total damage on the field as possible.  This means attackers that can put up big numbers (like Darkrai, who puts 120 on the board total).  You could also go the spread route, but it boils down to the same thing, put a lot of damage on the board.
The reasoning is that the more damage on their side, the more you can manipulate.  You want to be able to knock out Pokemon on your turn with Dusknoir's ability, then hopefully attack for a knock out as well.  Unfortunately there are a lot of high HP basics being played, so it's not that easy (especially if they have fast decks).  So maybe the deck would do well with fast cheap attackers and Dusknoir.  Landorus EX puts 60 on the field for 1 Fighting, so if you can stream him then you might be able to get the strategy going.  I don't know, it's something I spent a whole 5 minutes thinking about, and probably not a deck I will ever make (at least not in the foreseeable future).
Modified: 3.5/5
Limited: 3.5/5
Combos With:  ...
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


Good morning, Pojo readers! Today we're continuing our Boundaries Crossed reviews by reviewing a Stage 2 that's turning a few heads due to its potential ability to be a combo piece. Today's Card of the Day is Dusknoir.
Dusknoir is a Stage 2 Psychic Pokemon. Mewtwo-EX is the most commonly played Psychic-type these days, showing up in many aggressive decks that can accelerate Energy. Dusknoir, however, fulfills a slower, more control-oriented role. 130 HP is average for a Stage 2, meaning that the Gripper Pokemon can take at least one medium-sized hit and live to tell the tale; it will, however, still be taken down by really big hits and hits for Weakness. Darkness Weakness means that Darkrai-EX OHKOs with Night Spear, which is problematic if you want to use Dusknoir in Modified. Sadly, Dusknoir has no Resistance, but it does have a rather large Retreat Cost of 3, so you'll probably want to use Switch.
Dusknoir, like many modern Pokemon, has an Ability and a single attack. Sinister Hand allows you to move your opponent's damage counters around as often as you'd like during your turn, allowing you to manipulate spread damage into KOs effectively. This is a fairly common effect that we've seen over the history of the Pokemon TCG, and usually finds some use in any format.
Shadow Punch is an expensive 60 damage for a Psychic and three Colorless, while ignoring the effects of Resistance. Shadow Punch's damage is much lower than its cost should indicate, and ignoring Resistance is only really handy against Darkrai, which will OHKO Dusknoir anyway. Therefore, you should stick to attacking with another Pokemon and leave Dusknoir on the Bench.
Modified: 2.75/5 Dusknoir is interesting, but doesn't really have a place in the current Modified format. It's hard for a control-oriented strategy to gain much footing in a very fast, aggressive format, and there aren't many other Pokemon that combo exceedingly well with Dusknoir right now. That may change in the future, but right now, Dusknoir probably won't make the cut.
Limited: 4/5 On the other hand, Dusknoir is quite nice in Limited. Sinister Hand's damage manipulation will often result in a KO or two, and Shadow Punch is very usable here despite its huge (though Colorless-friendly) cost. Dusknoir isn't a game-changing bomb like many other Pokemon in Limited, but it's still a very powerful force when you get it out and powered up.

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