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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Plasma Blast Cards

#10 - Suicune  

- Plasma Blast

Date Reviewed:
Aug 19, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.40
Limited: 4.41

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
Seniors
Champion

# 10 Suicune 

Hello and welcome to the week in which we start our top 10 countdown from Plasma Blast, right here on Pojo’s CotD. We kick off with Suicune, the only Legendary Dog not to get an EX. Maybe this will somewhat make up for that. 

Suicune is in fact very similar to a card we already have: Sigilyph DRX. Both have the Safeguard Ability that prevents all damage and effects done to them by Pokémon-EX. Considering how powerful and dominant EX attackers are right now, this is an extremely useful Ability to have, forcing opponents to run non-EX attackers or find some other way around it such as Garbodor DRX.  

Sigilyph has seen a fair bit of play at various times since it was released, even featuring in its own Quad deck, so are there really any reasons to favour Suicune over it? Well, yes, there is. Not massive reasons, but then marginal choices can often be the difference between winning and losing in Pokémon. For one thing, Suicune has slightly higher HP (100 as opposed to 90 for Sigilyph), and it arguably has a better attack as well, with Aurora Beam doing a solid 70 compared to Sigilyph’s 50 plus 10 more for each Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon, though there really isn’t that much in it. 

So, which Pokémon should you use in your EX counter deck then? Most likely the choice will come down to which Typing fits your deck better. If you are running Psychic or can make use of Blend GPRD, then Sigilyph is favourite; if you have Water or Blend WFLM, then Suicune will be the Safeguard Pokémon of choice. Maybe Suicune isn’t the most  necessary card in the format, but it’s always nice to have options. 

Rating 

Modified: 3.5 (solid piece of EX hate)

Limited: 3.5 (make someone regret their jammy EX pull at the prerelease)

virusyosh

Welcome back, Pojo readers! Today we are continuing our Top 12 Countdown of the best cards of Plasma Blast by looking at a Pokemon that could end up being an excellent support in Blastoise builds. Today's Card of the Day (and #10 on our countdown) is Suicune.

Suicune is a Basic Water Pokemon. As such, provided it can fill a role, Suicune should be able to fit into Blastoise decks. 100 HP is good for a non-evolving, non-EX Basic, and Suicune should hopefully be able to hold up against many of the main attackers in the metagame (mainly due to its Ability). Grass Weakness will be an issue against Virizion/Genesect builds (if they run a non-EX attacker), as the two main hitters in that deck won't be able to touch Suicune without help. Suicune also has no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of two, both values we might expect from this sort of Pokemon.

As previously mentioned, Suicune has an Ability and a single attack. Safeguard protects Suicune from all effects of attacks, including damage, done to Suicune by Pokemon-EX. Pokemon-EX are a driving force in the metagame today, being the main hitters in most decks (Genesect, Black Kyurem, Darkrai, Keldeo, Thundurus, Deoxys), and requiring your opponent to have a play to get around (or through) Suicune is important. If they are unable to do this, Suicune should be able to add damage to your opponent's field uninhibited, even if your opponent does have an answer for it. In the meantime, it can also buy you some time if necessary to make sure you have the proper pieces in place before coming in with a big swing using Black Kyurem-EX or Keldeo-EX.

Aurora Beam, Suicune's only form of offense, does 70 damage for a Water and two Colorless. This attack is about as average as you can get, but it pulls its weight nicely in combination with Suicune's Safeguard Ability.

Modified: 3/5 Suicune is an excellent supporting attacker that can take on Pokemon-EX with relative ease if your opponent doesn't have an answer for it. That being said, Suicune is somewhat squishy if it isn't up against an EX, and like most Ability-reliant Pokemon, has a real problem with Garbodor. Even still, Suicune should be good enough to justify itself as a one or two of in Blastoise decks.

Limited: 5/5 Suicune is a powerful big Basic that should pull its weight in Limited, even if you don't end up against an EX. Aurora Beam's flexible Energy requirements ensure that Suicune plays nicely with the rest of your Limited deck, too!


Otaku

We’ll make a splash and begin the week with our 10th place Promising Pick of Plasma Blast, Suicune (BW: Plasma Blast 20/101)!  It is almost surprising to see a Legendary Pokémon that isn’t a Pokémon-EX make the list.

 

Stats

 

Type: Suicune is a Water-Type Pokémon; I can find one piece of Water-Type support - Cryogonal (BW: Plasma Freeze 30/116) – and to my understanding it didn’t catch on for serious play.  As far as Weakness and Resistance go, Water Weakness is seen on some notable cards (like Landorus EX) while Water Resistance while many Grass-Type Pokémon have Water-Type Resistance (with some of those amongst the hyped new cards).

 

Stage: Suicune is a Basic Pokémon; this is as good as it gets right now.  They enjoy the least amount of deck space per copy, the least amount of time to get into play, are required by the rules to be present in your deck, enjoy specific cards of support, and even benefit naturally more from many cards because (as an example) when you use a search card for a Basic Pokémon… you’ve got the whole thing.

 

Hit Points: 100 HP is solid; it is far from safe in the current format and can be OHKOed by most decks, but it isn’t an “easy” KO at least.  Most decks will need to pump up their main attack a little, or if you are fortunate dedicate a lot of resources in another way, such as meeting specific criteria or investing more mundane resources like Energy.

 

Weakness: Grass-Type Weakness is hard to evaluate right now as this is a new set and some of the much hyped cards are Grass-Types… and before now Grass-Types were seen as a non-threat.  The good news is that with attacks hitting so hard, big attacks would score a OHKO anyway, medium sized attacks just need a little less set-up, and small attacks don’t get that much bigger, even with doubling.  It is the attacks that fall in between that are the problem; 50 points of damage would become a OHKO!  The Ability (which will be discussed in the usual place) can make this completely meaningless; the shape of the metagame will be a huge factor.

 

Resistance: This card has no Resistance, which is functionally the worst Resistance, but is so common it is also the default and so it is more a missed opportunity than a serious flaw with the card.

 

Retreat: A Retreat Cost of (CC) is functionally average; you can often meet the cost but you won’t always be able to afford it as losing that much Energy would set you back too far to be worth it.  As long as tricks to lower Retreat Costs or bypass manually Retreating entirely are common (and I don’t see them going away), this is almost worst than having a Retreat Cost of (CCC), which would enable one to search Suicune out with Heavy Ball.

 

Effects

 

Ability: Safeguard prevents all effects of attacks, including damage, done to Suicune.  If you’re wondering, something such as “Discard a Special Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon” would be blocked because Pokémon TCG game mechanics don’t distinguish between a Pokémon and what is attached to it for these purposes, but it would not prevent the effect of an attack that states “This attack’s damage isn’t affected by any effects on the Defending Pokémon” even though it is an effect on said target Pokémon.  Despite that one blatant chink in the armor, this is a valuable Ability in a format dominated by Pokémon-EX.

 

Attack: Aurora Beam is a solid attack; for (WCC) it deals 70 points of damage.  This is towards the low end of what can be competitive, but it is aided by needing only one specific Energy Type with the remaining two requirements able to be met by multiple forms of Energy acceleration, including Double Colorless Energy.  You’ll need help, but you should be able to manage 2HKOs against most of the format (and without help, 3HKOs).

 

Synergy: Aurora Beam isn’t strong but it is adequate when paired with the defensive value of Safeguard.  This is not a Pokémon for all seasons, but for specific match-ups in specific decks, this is a strong combination.

 

External Factors

 

Card Family: There are no other Suicune in the format.  Interestingly enough, the other two members of its “Legendary Beast” Trio (as well as the other Legendary depicted as being in authority over them) are only available in this card pool as Pokémon-EX.

 

There is one other “Safeguard” Pokémon, though: Sigilyph (BW: Dragons Exalted 52/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 118/116) is the only Modified legal example.  There are also some similar effects Klinklang (BW: Plasma Storm 90/135) a.k.a. Klinklang [Plasma], which has an Ability that blocks damage done to Metal-Type Pokémon and Scizor (BW: Boundaries Crossed 94/149) has its “Steel Slash” attack that protects it from damage done by Pokémon-EX (which seems like a waste as it was a Metal-Type and would be able to tap Klinklang [Plasma] as of the next set).

 

Besides these, there are actually a few other “anti-Pokémon-EX” cards: Jolteon (BW: Plasma Freeze 34/116) a.k.a. Jolteon [Plasma] can use its Electri-Defuse attack to block a Pokémon-EX it hits with said attack from being able to attack.  Bouffalant (BW: Dragons Exalted 110/124), Vaporeon (BW: Plasma Freeze 20/116) a.k.a. Vaporeon [Plasma], and Victini EX all hit harder with at least one attack against Pokémon-EX.  We also just received Silver Bangle, a Pokémon Tool that (except when attached to a Pokémon-EX) increases the damage of the equipped Pokémon’s attacks by 30 before Weakness and Resistance!

 

Usage: Silver Mirror blocks damage and effects from attacks by Team Plasma Pokémon to a Pokémon that has Silver Mirror attached (unless that Pokémon is a Pokémon-EX).  As such, a significant amount of Pokémon would be unable to affect Suicune if it had one equipped; few Pokémon used for attacking are neither (or possess one of the effects to bypass these cards).    Eviolite is another option; while you can’t equip both to Suicune; Eviolite gives you protection against everything that doesn’t bypass effects that reduce damage on the Defending Pokémon. Of course both of those are vulnerable to Tool Scrapper.

 

Though I have not heard it held to incredibly high standards, a deck built around the likes of Suicune, Pokémon Tools, and some of the anti-Pokémon-EX cards listed earlier has been thrown around.  Sigilyph has similarly open Energy requirements, and attack useful for punishing Energy-heavy attackers, and allows you to Type match both offensively (hitting Psychic Weakness, avoiding Water Resistance) and Defensively (confronting Grass-Types instead of Suicune).  Bouffalant can also make solid use of Double Colorless Energy, provides yet another “alternate Defense” with its Ability, and hits Pokémon-EX quite hard. 

 

Due to the high usage of Pokémon Tools, Sigilyph (BW: Plasma Blast 41/101) is also possible (likely leading to a Sigilyph split).  While it only does 70 for (PCC) with its attack, it can equip up to four Pokémon Tools thanks to its Ability and has 90 HP.  With a split between offensive (Silver Bangle) and defensive (Eviolite, Silver Mirror) Pokémon Tools, it can become very impressive.

 

For those wanting a more “down to earth” use, consider adding one to Deluge decks; being able to wall right away may buy some time to get Blastoise out… and if the walling is successful, you may be fine just powering Suicune up manually!  It isn’t something you’ll need every match, but it can improve some match-ups.  Though it is adding yet another Grass Weak Pokémon to the deck, the Grass-Type Pokémon I would most fear are Pokémon-EX (Genesect EX and Virizion EX) and thus can’t hurt Suicune with their own attacks while Safeguard is in effect.  Genesect EX can get around Safeguard with G Booster, but that is its Ace Spec and already OHKOs almost everything in the game, so I see no reason to count that against Suicune usage.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: If you are not shooting for a deck that wins/locks the opponent down first turn, but are instead into “raw power” territory, heavy Energy acceleration decks like Rain Dance or Deluge are a decent choice and this gives them an answer to Pokémon-EX, another likely choice for this format (as aren’t as vulnerable to one of the more prominent FTW decks). 2/5

 

Modified: Though space is tight, it seems useful for Deluge decks, and it might have a place in some half-new deck ideas as well, as described above.  At this point, I am not assuming widespread play of Pokémon like Tropius (BW: Plasma Blast 5/101) and Genesect (BW: Plasma Blast 10/101) 3.5/5

 

Limited: Unless you pull a single, big Basic Pokémon worth building your entire deck around, this is a must run.  Yes, we have covered many of these, but generally one is desperate to get a full 40 cards (less basic Energy) worth running in this format (which is why Big Basic + 39 decks exist).  As it only needs a single source of Water Energy to attack and the set has quite a few other Pokémon that can use that Energy as well, odds are good you can attack with it… and even if you can’t attack, you can always throw it up as an “emergency wall” against a Pokémon-EX + 39 deck. 4.95/5

 

Summary

Suicune is a solid addition to a card pool that favors Basic Pokémon and metagame largely built around Pokémon-EX.  I believe it will become a one-of for Deluge decks or at least one of several one-of-cards vying for limited deck space, and it may even help a sort-of-new deck emerge.  I had Suicune as my 9th place pick, making me wonder if I am the only one who voted for it.


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