Today we look at our
number eight Promising Pick of Plasma
Absol (BW: Plasma Freeze
Will it be Absol-utely
great or abysmal?
something in between?
Absol is unsurprisingly a Team
Plasma Pokémon, but as it is the only
Absol currently legal I won’t bother
referring to it as
As usual, the actual benefits of
being able to access Team Plasma support
will be addressed in the Usage section.
Absol is a Darkness-Type Pokémon,
allowing it to tap potent Darkness-Type
support such as
Dark Claw and
You won’t enjoy hitting double
damage that often, as Weakness is quite
rare on competitive Pokémon.
In fact, the reason I am not
glossing over Darkness Weakness like
normal is that a lot of players seem to
be experimenting with
Drifblim (BW: Dragons Exalted
51/124) due to its Shadow Steal attack
and the expected spike in the number of
competitive decks relying on Special
Nothing is Darkness Resistant.
Absol is a Basic Pokémon, which is
good since this is the dominant Stage of
It is also important because of
the card’s Type and attacks, but more on
that in Usage.
100 HP is good but not great for a
Pokémon right now; this is low enough to
be a probable OHKO for most decks
(especially if they have any damage
boosting effects) but is forgivable as
this is a Basic Pokémon (as opposed to
an Evolution) and is not a Pokémon-EX
(and thus is only worth one Prize when
KOed under normal circumstances).
Yes, it is a bit strange to call
an HP score that isn’t likely to survive
a hit “good”, but then again this is a
strange format where 100 HP, just 30
below the maximum for a “plain” Basic
Pokémon, is so easy to OHKO.
Fighting Weakness is not a good thing,
though I don’t think I can meaningfully
call it one of the worst Weaknesses to
have right now; Darkness, Dragon,
Lightning, Psychic, and Water-type
Weakness is pretty painful right now.
The big difference here is that
the most prominent Fighting-Type
attacker in competitive play is
Landorus EX and its “big” thing is
abusing its first attack that will enjoy
the damage bump, but won’t end up
scoring a OHKO without a lot of help.
Then again, with just 100 HP in
the current format, most other common
attackers are going to score a OHKO
regardless of Weakness.
Absol actually has Resistance, which
is always nice to see.
In this case, it is the Psychic
Resistance that is common to most
Darkness-Type Pokémon, but with the most
common Resistance being “None”, it is
still nice to see.
Unlike the card’s Fighting
Weakness, the Psychic Resistance of
Absol is likely to matter when you
Mewtwo EX or perhaps
Deoxys EX (if the latter becomes as
popular as I expect) or even the
Drifblim that I cited earlier;
scoring 120 points of damage is still
depressingly easy this format, but this
Absol out of “probable” OHKO range
to “possible” OHKO range.
Absol has a Retreat Cost of just
one; this easy to pay for most decks and
can even be zeroed out with
Skyarrow Bridge or
Glaceon (BW: Plasma Freeze
23/116) or of course
Darkrai EX (Absol
does need a source of (D) Energy to
attack, after all).
Mind Jack requires (DC) and hits for 20
plus 20 more for each Pokémon on your
opponent’s Bench, giving it a base
damage range of 20 to 120.
The bad news is that most decks
in this format don’t have to have a
The good news is that with attack
capacity so high, many if not most decks
prefer to have a Bench on the full side,
so if your opponent doesn’t “set-up” for
Mind Jack then you are at least forcing
them to avoid the otherwise optimal
When the Bench is large, the
damage is simply great.
A few decks either can’t easily or just
won’t want to fill the Bench, though
this attack can at least hit for its
underwhelming 20 points of damage, which
is still better than nothing especially
given that this card has additional
damaging boosting options others are
The Energy cost is also easy
enough to meet in a single turn in decks
Colress Machine and/or
Dark Patch, another important
For (DCC) “Fearsome Shadow” hits for 60
points of damage and reveals your
This attack is disappointing as
it was just 10 points shy of being not
good, but “adequate”.
It will require a bit much to
boost the damage to something worthwhile
with it just starting at 60 points, and
while seeing your opponent’s hand is
nice, it isn’t worth this attack
requiring three Energy to use.
In fact I would much rather not
see my opponent’s hand and hit for 10
more points of damage let alone the
extra 30 it would need to match what
seems to be the minimum competitive
going rate of 90 for three.
Fortunately once again all is not lost;
the Energy requirements are very open to
The attack isn’t good enough to
justify including such acceleration, but
if a deck already runs
Double Colorless Energy,
Colress Machine, and/or
Dark Patch, you shouldn’t have too
hard a time powering up Fearsome Shadow
in a single turn even starting with no
Other more deck specific options
can also work assuming there is a reason
Absol and a source of (D) Energy
The attacks have better synergy than the
Energy costs normally indicate thanks to
being Plasma Pokémon and the first
attack being pretty good.
Normally I would be annoyed that
the (DC) to (DCC) structure makes it so
the first attack is superfluous, but for
a card that has so many options to meet
that (DC) Energy cost, Mind Jack looks
like a real winner.
Fearsome Shadow is a let down, but
because Mind Jack may be expected if
Absol usage catches on, being able
to dedicate what amounts to one extra
Energy for 60 points of damage will
periodically be worth it because your
opponent is counting on Mind Jack just
hitting for 20 or 40.
Absol can tap the Team Plasma card
pool for additional support; noteworthy
examples of this are
Deoxys EX (so Power Connect can up
Thundurus EX (Raiden Knuckle can
provide Energy acceleration), and
Hypnotoxic Laser (especially with
Virbank City Gym) can provide extra
This is on top of the already
Dark Patch, and
Dark Claw (not that the latter are
Team Plasma support).
There are no “magic combos” for
Absol, just applying what I have
An opponent that fills his or her
Bench could face an
Absol that was played from hand,
powered, and promoted to Active all in a
single turn and have it swing not just
for at least 120.
The card can tap
Dark Claw for an additional 20
points of damage, upwards of four copies
Deoxys EX (if a deck has reason to
run both) for an additional +40, and the
City Gym combo to place an
additional three damage counters between
Getting all that out together at
once against an opponent with a full
Bench is highly unlikely, but would
yield an effective 210 points of damage.
As usual, the important thing is what
this can mean for an “incomplete”
Dark Claw with
City Gym combo, something fairly
easy for a most
Darkrai EX decks to furnish, allows
Mind Jack to hit for at least 70 points
of damage; one Benched Pokémon then
jumps that to the magic 90 points of
damage that sets up for a
Darkrai EX follow up KO.
More Team Plasma support is coming, but
not as far as I am aware not a whole
more and what I’ve seen translations of
doesn’t show a lot of promise with
Additionally, specific counters
to Team Plasma Pokémon are coming, which
could hurt this card’s usage.
Absol isn’t useful until your
opponent has a big set-up and here that
means you probably have pretty much
Absol is a probable play for most
Darkrai EX decks; some love it, some
hate it, but it is hard to argue with
adding a Basic attacker that can hit
Sableye, possibly take a hit, and
doesn’t have to worry about the three
major “block all damage” protective
effects in the game (Safeguard, Plasma
Steel, and Bright Down), all of which
Might see some use elsewhere as
well since it isn’t too hard to
Absol will effectively be bigger and
hit harder due to the nature of this
Your opponent’s Bench size may be
pretty random, but now the 60 damage
from Fearsome Shadow is worth the effort
and seeing your opponent’s hand is more
useful when it isn’t easily altered (how
many players are likely to pull
The Energy costs are even
friendly to running in a two or three
The only reason to skip this is
because you pulled a Pokémon-EX that is
best run alone, or this was the only
Darkness-Type Pokémon you pulled and you
pulled enough other stuff you can’t
justify the space for
is a card
Darkrai EX decks have been waiting
for; a Basic Darkness-Type Pokémon with
at least one solid attack that isn’t
also a Pokémon-EX.
Of course, by now some are more
comfortable relying on the alternate
strategies that got them through until
now and if protective effects die down
it may not be worth the slot just to
have a better single-Prize attacker.
Absol was my number nine pick, so
not spot on, but pretty close.