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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Golduck #34

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed:
January 17, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.0
Limited: 1.9

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

Golduck #34 (Boundaries Crossed) 

We already reviewed a Golduck from this set and found it to be somewhat short of being tournament-worthy. As you know, whenever two cards featuring the same Pokémon appear, one is always considerably better than the other. The bad news is that the previous Golduck was the ‘good’ one. 

Today’s offering is a Stage 1 with a low, low 80 HP. The Lightning Weakness isn’t much of an issue right now (though with that HP it hardly matters). The free Retreat is of course excellent and by far the best thing about this card. 

When it comes to the attacks I had to do a double take on this card. It seems like they really belong on a Basic rather than something that you have taken the trouble to evolve. The first, Confuse Ray, inflicts Confusion. That’s it. No damage, but then it only costs a single Colourless Energy. Now Confusion is nice enough as it will likely force an opponent to Retreat, but it’s not really worth setting up a Stage 1 just to attempt an easily-thwarted lock. This would only make sense as something to do while waiting for a super powerful second attack. 

But we don’t get that. In fact we get quite the opposite. Water Gun needs one Water and one Colourless Energy to use, but why would you ever want to use it? All you get is a mere 30 points of vanilla damage. Honestly, if these attacks were on a Psyduck it wouldn’t be terribly impressive, but to see them on a Stage 1? The designers weren’t even trying to make this a decent card. 


Modified: 1 (mediocre Basic . . . oh, wait . . . )

Limited: 1.75 (eh, Confusion is ok, but you would only play this out of desperation)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Golduck is a Stage 1 Water Pokemon with 80 HP.  It is weak to Lightning and has free retreat.  It is searchable by Level Ball.
'Confuse Ray' costs 1 colorless energy and confuses the Defending Pokemon.  Really now.  Even Sableye does 10 damage.  They could have at least made this attack do some damage (and I don't think auto confusion is a fair trade for damage).
'Water Gun' costs 1 Water and 1 colorless energy.  It does 30 damage.  Really not that great.
So this is a bad card.  Both attacks aren't worth using and the HP is low (the card must be worth it to run a low HP Pokemon competitively).  The best thing about this card is the free retreat, though you'll only use it like you would Emolga (promote it when something else is Knocked out).  So why not just run Emolga?
It's a decent card, but still not competitive.
Modified: 1/5
Limited: 1/5
Combos With:  ...
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


Hello once again, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing an Uncommon from Boundaries Crossed that could end up being decent in Limited. Today's Card of the Day is Golduck.
Golduck is a Stage 1 Water Pokemon. Blastoise and Keldeo-EX dominate the Water-type presence in Modified right now, so Golduck is really going to have to do something to distinguish itself from those two Pokemon in the competitive scene. 80 HP is just about average for a Stage 1, and is unfortunately quite low, meaning that most commonly played Modified attackers will sadly OHKO. Lightning Weakness is a problem against the likes of Zekrom-EX and Thundurus, but Lightning doesn't see much play anymore. Golduck additionally has no Resistance, as well as no Retreat, meaning you can freely switch Golduck from your Active spot without having to burn Energy or a Switch.
Golduck has two attacks. Confuse Ray confuses the Defending Pokemon for a single Colorless Energy, which is potentially great in Limited but doesn't do nearly enough in Modified. Water Gun is Golduck's form of offense, dealing 30 damage for a Water and a Colorless. 30 damage is definitely not enough to compete in Modified, but once again can be decent in Limited, as the attack deals solid (if not unspectacular) damage for its cost.
Modified: 1/5 Golduck is greatly outclassed here by many other attackers, so you should look into using some of them instead. Free retreat is nice, but not enough to make up for Golduck's weak attacking prowess and terrible HP.
Limited: 3/5 Golduck is decent in Limited. Free retreat is always great in this format, and while unspectacular, both attacks can be useful. Confuse Ray's automatic Confusion can swing games, and although Water Gun is somewhat weak, it can be used in a pinch. Overall, Golduck can be a solid secondary attacker in your Limited deck if you are running Water.

Otaku Today we are looking at Golduck (BW: Boundaries Crossed 34/149).  I have very little time to write this review, so I’ll try to do what so many have requested of me, and be concise.Stats

Golduck is a Stage 1 Water-Type Pokémon; which is not that good.  Being an Evolution is slow and cumbersome this format and nothing about this card changes that.  The Water-Typing is nice for hitting some key Pokémon for Weakness, and most things that are Resistant just don’t see play.  There isn’t any true Pokémon-Type support for water, though as an Energy-Type is enjoys the support of Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149).

80 HP is bad; this is within OHKO range for almost every major attacker in the game right now, though at least it will usually require their “big” attack so it isn’t abysmal.  In fact, it makes the Lightning-Type Weakness almost negligible; other than perhaps a marauding Emolga (BW: Dragons Exalted 45/124) potentially scoring an embarrassing 2HKO, every other serious Lightning-Type attacker was already taking Golduck down in one hit.

The lack of Resistance is irritating, but no worse; Resistance is uncommon in the TCG and seems to be more of a “bonus” than a requirement.  To be fair, the nature of the game (being a simplified adaptation of the video games) skews Type relationships making it fairly difficult to find one that doesn’t “clash” (that is, forces the card to also Resist something it is neutral or even should even have as a Weakness).

So we come to the last Stat, a perfect free Retreat; you can send Golduck back to the Bench as the cost of your Retreat for the turn and no more.  Sadly, this is possibly the best Stat, rivaled only by its Typing.


Golduck has two attacks.  For (C) it can use Confuse Ray, afflicting the Defending Pokémon with Confusion on a successful coin toss.  This would be bad for a Basic Pokémon capable of Evolving, so it is especially disappointing on something fully Evolved.  Ever since the (now quite old) rules revision that altered Confusion to its current state, it has become pretty much the weakest Special Condition.  At the very least, the attack should automatically succeed instead of requiring a flip.

The second attack is Water Gun, which for (WC) does a flat 30 points of damage.  Historically, Water Gun has had a clause that increased the damage it did according to how many Water Energy were attached to the Pokémon in question, with a cap on how much extra damage could be added.  Recently, it has become a “vanilla” attack with no effect.  This would be poor as the supporting attack for this card, but as the apparent main attack?  Again, it is abysmal.


This is one of the many Pokémon shoehorned into BW: Boundaries Crossed that was from the Japanese National Pokédex Beginning Set, according to Bulbapedia.  It apparently is meant as an introduction to the TCG, but if that is the case, cards like this are a pretty bad way to get started.

Simple does not have to be “bad” in the Pokémon TCG.  In fact, strong, simple cards have often done quite well in the game’s past, and only in recent years have we had the questionable decision to allow “complex” cards the “benefits” normally reserved for the “plain” cards (top Stats and reliable damage output).

When it comes to creating stuff for “new” players, I have a lot of concerns like “What if really simple?” and “If you don’t want to put the effort into new cards, why not just release a special version of pre-existing cards that are suitable for new players?”  The latter would also benefit those who don’t receive that kind of product, since in short, our set got filler at all rarity levels due to the need to release something
Japan had received but that we didn’t have a separate market for.

In this particular case, simple doesn’t just equal “bad” it equals “awful”.  Avoid this card for Modified and for Unlimited, and only run it in Limited if you have room, pulled (and are running) multiple Psyduck, and legitimately have nothing better.  Limited makes the Stats less sad (and the free Retreat even more important), but the attacks are only marginally better.  This also assumes you are already running some basic Water Energy.


Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 1/5

Limited: 1.75/5


The Stats and Effects of Golduck, if placed on a Basic Pokémon that Evolved once or twice more, would be adequate (though only just), unless all other versions had the HP.  I mean, a free Retreat on such a card is rare and useful, and Confuse Ray might buy it time to Evolve.  On an Evolving Stage 1, it would be pretty bad.  As a Stage 1 that does not further Evolve, this card is simply a “no”.

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