This Thursday we look at
Samurott (BW: Boundaries Crossed
41/149), which is not a reprint or
Secret Rare (a first for this week).
is a Water-Type Pokémon.
The Water Pokémon-Type doesn’t
have any support, but the Water-Energy
Type enjoys access to
Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed
31/149) for massive acceleration.
In terms of Weakness and
Resistance, Weakness shows up on most
Fire-Type Pokémon and some Fighting-Type
Pokémon, and while Fire-Type Pokémon
aren’t heavily played right now we some
of the Water Weak Fighting-Types are
Resistance is found on
Grass-Types… but almost none see play
and when they do, not in actual “Grass”
As a Stage 2 Pokémon,
Samurott is hard to get into play
successfully, requiring you play the
Basic form (Oshawott)
the turn before, and then either Evolve
into Stage 1 form (Dewott)
and wait another turn or run
Rare Candy to Evolve straight from
Either way, it is slower than
running a similarly powerful Basic
Pokémon and takes more space than either
a Basic or a Stage 1 Pokémon.
140 HP is about average for a Stage 2
Pokémon, and will allow
Samurott to survive one shot most of
the time; the attacks that can OHKO it
are either part of a significant combo
(e.g. more than just dropping a
PlusPower) and/or have large
investments required of them… unless
they are from Grass-Type Pokémon, as
Samurott is Weak to them.
This is actually one of the
“safer” Weaknesses to have right now, as
few Grass-Type Pokémon see play.
The lack of Resistance is a bit
disappointing, but is common enough that
it doesn’t really detract from the card;
a missed opportunity more than anything
The chunky Retreat score of three
does hurt the card a little; you’ll need
an alternative to manually retreating,
be it something that lowers the cost or
that bypasses retreating entirely.
There is some small benefit in
that it makes the card a legal target
Heavy Ball, but neither of its lower
Stages qualify so that is unlikely to be
much actual help.
Samurott has two attacks, meaning if
it is to see play it will be as a big
The first attack is “Waterfall”,
which simply hits for 50 points of
damage at a cost of (WC).
This seems just a little below
adequate, as it requires two turns of
work (or else somewhat complex combos)
to pull off on a single turn, and as a
Stage 2 it wouldn’t have been out of
line to price the attack at (W).
“Destructive Whirlpool” is the second
attack; for the hefty price of (WWCC) it
hits for 80 points of damage and allows
you to discard an Energy from the
This would have been good several
years (and formats) ago, but is
definitely overpriced now.
When attacks begin hitting past a
certain level of damage, adding in an
adverse effect on the Defending Pokémon
becomes less useful since you are
hopefully nearing 2HKO or even OHKO
Destructive Whirlpool discarding an
Energy is nice, but in a format such as
the current one most Pokémon either are
using very little Energy (so they are
easy enough to re-power) or have
acceleration behind them (again, making
it easy to replace the lost Energy).
For the amount of Energy
invested, I also expect triple digit
damage; four Energy required should
provide at least 100 points of damage
for any recently released card.
The attacks don’t have good synergy.
Without any acceleration,
Waterfall is better than nothing, but
you’ll be stuck using it twice before
Destructive Whirlpool is an option… and
the latter can’t 2HKO most Pokémon-EX.
Yes, that means an extra turn of
discarding from them, but unless that is
keeping them from attacking at all, this
is not a format where that is a valid
tactic given the investment.
The actual Energy costs aren’t horrible
with each other, but aren’t great
If you’re using something like
Double Colorless Energy, you still
need two attachments to use the first
attack and three to use the second.
than needing two and four, but not by
If I wanted to make minimal
changes so that the attacks were
satisfactory, I would put the discarding
effect on Waterfall (even if it meant a
name change) and just have Destructive
Whirlpool hit for 100 points of damage.
As an Evolution, we should address the
lower Stages you are required to use in
order to run the card (even if the Stage
1 is likely to be ignored in favor of
as a “starter” in the Black& White
games, has seen six releases by my
count: Black & White 27/114,
Black & White 28/114, BW:
Boundaries Crossed 39/149, BW
Promo BW03, BW Promo BW08,
and McDonald’s 2011 04/12.
BW Promo 03 and
McDonald’s 2011 04/12 have the same
Stats and Effects, so really it is only
All are Water-Type Basic Pokémon
with 60 HP, no Resistance, with a
Retreat score of one.
BW: Boundaries Crossed
39/149 has Grass Weakness while the
others are Lightning Weak, with the
former being preferable but the latter
not being a deal breaker.
None have attacks that help it
Evolve directly, otherwise aid in
set-up, disrupt the opponent, or do more
than token amounts of damage.
A few have attacks that can
inflict Sleep, which can help it survive
in those desperate situations where it
is attacking, and BW Promo BW08
is the only version that can do so for
one Energy, making it my choice.
A caution though; it will require
a successful coin toss.
only has three releases so far, but at
least they are all unique.
All three are Stage 1 Water-Type
Pokémon with no Resistance, requiring
one Energy to retreat, and no Abilities.
None have attacks that wow me,
and you probably want to use
Rare Candy anyway.
I suggest using BW: Boundaries
Crossed 40/149 due to its less
common Grass Weakness and 90 HP, better
than or equal to your other options.
There are three other releases of
Samurott: Black & White
31/114, Black & White 32/114, and
BW Promo BW22.
The last two are alternate art
versions of the same card.
Each is a Water-Type with 140 HP,
Lightning-Type Weakness, no Resistance,
and a Retreat of two.
Black & White 31/114 has
two attacks, the first of which does 30
to both the Defending Pokémon and one
opposing Benched Pokémon of your choice
for (CC), and the second of which does
80 for (WWC).
The spread isn’t strong enough
for a Stage 2, so you can skip this
version pretty easily.
So Black & White 32/114 (and
BW Promo BW22) has an Ability that
drops the damage it takes by 20 after
Weakness and Resistance, and for (CCC)
does 70 points of damage plus 10 per (W)
isn’t especially good, since at the
moment the only real worthwhile Energy
acceleration we have for it is the
Blastoise that is also a Stage 2
Pokémon, though lessening damage taken
In A Deck:
I wouldn’t want to use any version of
Samurott in a competitive deck.
The return for the investment
just isn’t there.
If we get a compatible form of
Energy acceleration (applies to (W)
Energy and can fit in a deck that
already has a Stage 2 Pokémon), such as
Ether, you might be able to build a
deck around the Ability
Samurott to try and tank it.
If you absolutely insist on using
today’s version, you’ll get a “fun deck”
that isn’t much fun for other people to
face; you’ll need to focus on the Energy
removal aspect of the card which means
relying mostly on strong cards using in
several other decks;
Crushing Hammer and
It may not even be that
effective, but if it is, it may miss the
point of being a “fun” deck.
Nothing about this card makes it
particularly appealing for Unlimited
play; as usual ignoring the prevalence
and dominance of first turn win or lock
decks, you can still do better for a
Stage 2, Water-Type attacker or for
Energy removing tricks.
For Limited, if you pull the
complete line it is a solid pick; mind
the Grass-Type Weakness as they have a
solid presence including
Scyther (BW: Boundaries Crossed
7/149), a good “filler” or off-Type
splash pull for Limited.
There is a decent enough amount of Water
Weakness and as usual, the lower average
HP scores and damage outputs of the
format improve performance for
Samurott (and its lower Stages),
plus discarding Energy will end up being
a little more effective as well.
has okay Stats with both attacks being a
little weak and perhaps questionably
designed (hitting hard usually doesn’t
care about removing a single Energy).
This was another card from the
National Pokédex Beginning Set, and
amongst its pseudo-set mates it might be
adequately equipped… but I always feel
like making “beginner” sets weak instead
of simple is a bait-and-switch approach
to marketing and should be discouraged.
Why make good cards and then select the
most beginner friendly to release in
such sets after the fact?
Beginners won’t care if they were
already released sets they never bought
a few months ago?