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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Watchog #113  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
April xx, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.50
Limited: 3.25

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

Watchog #113 (Plasma Storm) 

No, this isn’t the Watchog that you play in the lock deck with Monday’s Amoonguss – that’s the one that was released way back in Emerging Powers – today’s card is not nearly so interesting, I’m afraid. 

Nu-uh . . . what we have here is the pretty standard filler Stage 1 type of card. It’s Colourless, so that gives it the advantages of being both splashable and Double Colourless Energy compatible, but it will need a lot more than that to overcome the low 90 HP, unpleasant Fighting Weakness, and generally underwhelming attacks. 

What do I mean by underwhelming? Well, let’s take a look. Second Bite costs two Energy and does 20 damage plus 20 more for each damage counter on the Defending Pokémon. Sounds like a useful way to finish off a heavily-damaged Pokémon, until you realise that you might as well just keep using whatever inflicted the heavy damage in the first place and use that to take the two hit KO. Thus avoiding any need to waste DCEs on frail Stage 1 Pokémon. The second attack, Low kick is even more meh. Three Energy for a vanilla 60 damage? I don’t know what to say about that, other than to point out that pretty much any playable attacker does so much better. 

Reviewing card like this is always difficult. They’re not Arcanine SV levels of badness that you can make fun of . . . but they might as well be. When it comes down to it, this Watchog is as likely to see tournament play as that notoriously awful card. 


Modified: 1.5 (not much to recommend it)

Limited: 2.5 (Colourlessness is a big plus, but it’s still something you would only use if you had nothing better)


Happy May, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing a Pokemon that will be an effective secondary attacker in your Limited deck. Today's Card of the Day is Watchog (#113) from Plasma Storm.
Watchog is a Stage 1 Colorless Pokemon. Colorless-types can fit in well in any deck, as their relaxed Energy requirements make them good secondary attackers and support Pokemon. Watchog's 90 HP is pretty standard for a Stage 1, meaning it won't hold up too well in Modified, but should be fine in Limited. Fighting Weakness will give you further problems in Modified against the likes of Landorus or Terrakion; no Resistance is what we've come to expect; and a Retreat Cost of one is easy to pay for if you don't have a Switch or Escape Rope handy.
The Lookout Pokemon has two attacks. Second Bite starts off at 20 damage for two Colorless Energy (or a Double Colorless), while also doing 10 more damage for each damage counter on the Defending Pokemon. Obviously, this attack is great to use after the opponent is heavily damaged, but is fairly unimpressive at first. Overall, Second Bite also performs better in Limited when compared to Modified, as the heavy hitters in Modified are harder to take down, and most will OHKO Watchog anyway. Low Kick is the second attack, dealing a vanilla 60 damage for three Colorless Energy. This attack is slightly above the curve (though not by much) for Limited, but you're definitely better off with other attackers in Modified, as many of them can do upwards of 100 damage for the same Energy cost.
Modified: 1.5/5 Watchog is largely outclassed in Modified due to its very low HP, Stage 1 status, and relatively weak attacks for a heavy hitting format. If you're looking for a Colorless secondary attacker, you should probably use Tornadus-EX instead.
Limited: 4/5 On the other hand, the Lookout Pokemon is fantastic in Limited. While 90 HP still isn't great, both Second Bite and Low Kick are more than serviceable here. with Second Bite being especially notable as a good finisher. If you manage to pull a line of Watchog, it's definitely worth running alongside your main attackers in Plasma Storm Limited.


Time to look at Watchog (BW: Plasma Storm 113/135)… you know, the otherWatchog [Plasma]”.




Miscellaneous: Today’s card is going to mostly be referred to as… today’s card or Watchog (BW: Plasma Storm 113/135) if I need to single it out; calling it Watchog [Plasma] doesn’t work as there is another.  The good news (sort of) is that all versions of Watchog are so similar, so I’ll often be able to make a statement that applies equally to all of them; context is going to be key.


It is useful that this card can tap Team Plasma support, though how helpful it will be is questionable.


Type: Aspertia City Gym is the one noteworthy piece of Colorless-Type support, good for +20 HP.  Of course, many decks would prefer to run Virbank City Gym; that eat up your deck space for Stadiums, or you may find Aspertia City Gym makes a good counter stadium.  Otherwise in terms of Weakness and Resistance, Colorless-Types have been restored to a “neutral” Status; the good news is you never have to worry about Resistance; the bad news is that exploiting Weakness is an important part of this format.


Stage: Being a Stage 1 is less clunky than being a Stage 2 Pokémon, but Basic Pokémon dominate the format and can go on the offense the very first turn of the game, so ultimately all Watchog are going to prove slow and a bit unwieldy by comparison.


Hit Points: 90 HP is not safe from being KOed first turn and is an easy OHKO for most decks.  The only benefit is that it makes Watchog legal Level Ball targets.


Weakness: Being Weak to Fighting-Types is not a good thing; it enables Landorus EX to push for a OHKO using Hammerhead, Hypnotoxic Laser, and Virbank City Gym.  Thanks to the low HP, outside of similar combos the Weakness won’t end up being terribly dramatic, equivalent to a PlusPower or nothing at all as the Weakness damage bonus ends up being pure overkill.


Resistance: Watchog has no Resistance, which is technically the worst Resistance but also the most common and to be expected.  With its HP it wouldn’t have done a lot of good anyway, plus video game Watchog are “Normal-Types” anyway, and have no plain Resistance, just Immunity to Ghost-Types which doesn’t translate well: Immunity doesn’t exist in the TCG and the Ghost-Type is part of the TCG Psychic-Type, two-thirds of which should hit for normal damage.


Retreat: The single Energy Retreat Cost on Watchog is easy to pay, and on its own is good.  In fact, it is probably the best aspect of the card, which doesn’t bode well.




Attack#1: Second Bite requires (CC) and hits for 20 points of damage plus 10 more per damage counter already on the Defending Pokémon.  This attack is as good as how much set-up occurs before it.  Used completely on its own, it is poor; you’ll just hit for 20 points of damage and then get OHKOed in most match-ups.  If the Defending Pokémon has at least 40 points of damage already on it, you’ll get a solid return.  If following up a competent attacker, Second Bite will often be able to score a follow-up KO.


Attack#2: Low Kick requires (CCC) to hit for 60 points of damage; for this price competitive attacks need to hit for about 90 points of damage, with some leeway when (like on this card) the Energy costs are purely Colorless.  Low Kick isn’t something you should use unless it will translate into a KO or some other major strategic advantage.


Synergy: The attacks have Basic Synergy; Second Bite is just a little easier to power up than Low Kick, and if your opponent has less than four damage counters on it, Low Kick will hit harder than Second Bite.




Card Family: Watchog (today’s version and its set-mate BW: Plasma Storm 112/135), due to their completely Colorless Energy requirements, can fit into any hypothetical Team Plasma deck.  This card can’t just tap Team Plasma support, but is a form of it.  Colress Machine and Plasma Energy, as is unfortunately too often the case, are the only Team Plasma support really worth using… excluding cards not technically legal yet that are being released in BW: Plasma Freeze.


As for the Evolution line, you have six options for Patrat: Black & White 77/114, Black & White 78/114, BW: Emerging Powers 78/98, BW: Boundaries Crossed 118/149, BW: Plasma Storm 110/135, and BW: Plasma Storm 111/135.  The other Watchog options total four: Black& White 79/114, BW: Emerging Powers 79/98, BW: Boundaries Crossed 119/149, and BW: Plasma Storm 113/135.  Yes, I am just including the text from my previous review because nothing has changed.


All Patrat are Basic, Colorless-Type Pokémon with Fighting Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat score of one and no Abilities.  Black& White 77/114 has 50 HP and can do 10 points of damage for (C) or 20 for (CC).  Black & White 78/114 has 60 HP and for (C) can hit for 30, but requires a coin flip and on “tails” the attack does nothing at all.  BW: Emerging Powers 78/98 is Black & White 78/114 with alternate art.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 118/149 has 60 HP and for (C) lets you look at and rearrange the top three cards of your deck how you wish.  BW: Plasma Storm 110/135 has 50 HP and can attack for 20 with just (C), but does 10 points of damage to itself.  BW: Plasma Storm 111/135 has 50 HP, can draw a card for (C) or for (CC) lets you flip two coins at 20 points of damage per “heads”.


As usual, all of these are bad and you’ll only run them if you want to run a Watchog.  I would pick one of the 60 HP versions; 10 more HP might barely save you from a donk, and the two that do damage (while unreliable) could themselves donk something if your deck also runs the Virbank City Gym/Hypnotoxic Laser combo (and odds are decent of that).  The non-damaging 60 HP Patrat can hopefully improve your next draw and give you a heads up on whether to try and use a “shuffling” effect before playing anything based on whatever is on top of your deck… like draw cards.


The Watchog all have the same Stats as today’s version, save only BW: Plasma Storm 112/135 is a Team Plasma Pokémon; they all even have two attacks!  For (CC), Black & White 79/114 can automatically confuse the Defending Pokémon or flip to do 60 points of damage; two attacks that might as well have been one to make room for an Ability or actually useful attack.  BW: Emerging Powers 79/98 lets you look at the top five cards of your opponent’s deck and rearrange them how you like; might have been a good Ability but would only be a good attack on a Basic Pokémon (and even then as an Evolving Basic).  It does have a slightly better attack for (CC); you can do a flat 20 points of damage or you can flip a coin and do zero (tails) or 80 (heads).


BW: Boundaries Crossed 119/149 can do 20 points of damage but with guaranteed Sleep (annoying but not overly effective) for (C), or for (CC) do 30 with an effect that makes the attack 30 more points of damage the next turn; interesting but not really effective since you’ll probably be OHKOed or something more important forced up via Pokémon Catcher (and Benching resets the effect).  Lastly comes BW: Plasma Storm 112/135; for (C) it can discard a random card form your opponent’s hand, while for (CC) it hits for 30 (on “tails”) or 50 (on “heads”) points of damage.  I am no where near impressed enough with discarding a single random card to recommend it.


Combos: Besides Colress Machine/Plasma Energy and Aspertia City Gym, Double Colorless Energy is a natural choice and really, and any trick to get damage on the Defending Pokémon before you attack can allow Second Bite to get in a solid shot.


Unlimited: Horribly outclassed here; don’t bother.


Modified: Horribly outclassed here; don’t bother.


Limited: As usual, Limited is where this card has a chance to do something.  There are two versions of Patrat (both “Common”) and two Watchog [Plasma], one Uncommon (BW: Plasma Storm 112/135) and “normal” Rare (Black& White 113/114).  This gives strong odds of pulling a more fleshed out Evolution line and the benefit of tapping the sets Team Plasma support.  Its low HP, while still not good, isn’t as bad here and the attacks are much, much better (for all four cards) because of less competition and the increased importance of working well in a deck using multiple basic Energy Types.


Future: While some of the new Team Plasma support in BW: Plasma Freeze would help today’s card’s performance enough to put it over other, superior choices.




Unlimited: 1/5


Modified: 1.5/5


Limited: 4/5




The only place where you should use this Watchog is in Limited, it could have made for an interesting non-Evolving Basic, used to finish off the opponent’s injured attacker, but as a Stage 1 it just isn’t worth the hassle.  This is the better Watchog [Plasma], but that is about as meaningful as being an internet celebrity.

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