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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Dec. 10, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.38
Expanded: 2.63
Limited: 3.38

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Feraligatr (Phantom Forces) 

I’ve always liked Feraligatr: my favourite starter Pokémon in my favourite Generation of games. Fun Fact: the reason for the truncated spelling of ‘gator’ is the ten character name limit in the G/S/C games. 

I kind of like this card too: Hyper Whirlpool is not quite a ‘hyper’ as the name suggests, even with the Energy removal flips. 60 damage for three Energy just isn’t very appealing. Second Strike is pretty cool though. 80 damage for four Energy is obviously terrible, but if the Defending Pokémon already has any damage counters on it you get to do an extra 80! That shifts Feraligatr to the point where he can OHKO most EX Pokémon unaided, and take care of all of them with a Muscle Band. There are a few ways to get those damage counters where you want them too: the Crobat PHF line is probably the best option, but there’s also Forretress FLF, or you can spread early game damage around with Dusknoir BCR’s Sinister Hand Ability. 

So yeah, Second Strike is a good, well-supported attack on a 150 HP Pokémon. Will it see competitive play? Not in the current environment it won’t. Thanks to the rotation of Tropical Beach and Level Ball, and the quick-and-easy Item lock offered by Seismitoad EX, running Stage 2s as a main attacker has become near-impossible, and that’s without considering the too-big Energy costs and Weakness to the popular Virizion/Genesect deck. 

This is another case of a Pokémon that would have ruled past formats not being viable in this one. 


Modified: 2.25 (nice attack . . . but Stage 2)

Expanded: 2.75 (yay! Tropical Beach!)

Limited: 3.25 (slow, but good)


Deep in the river lying in wait is the mighty predator. He sneaks up closely upon his prey, an innocent Deerling seeking water. While he moves very slowly, he can pick up speed at any time and catch the Deerling by surprise. And then just like that, BAM! The mighty Feraligatr emerges, ready to tear apart the competition!
Welcome back guys, today's card, featuring one of my favorite Pokemon of all time, and the proud bearer of the title "Lazer Gator," is Feraligatr! The last one we got a chance to see was from the HGSS over 4 years ago, so we've been overdo for a while on our Feraligatr quota! Sure, Krookodile's been making up for it in the meantime, but hey, you just can't beat that classic croc of the rock!...er, gator of the water!
Now Feraligatr have always had some kind of effect that can devastate, whether it's Neo Genesis' Berserk power or the combination of Downpour and Riptide, Unseen Forces' Pull Away attack that took cards from overburdened hands, Neo Destiny's Dark Feraligatr's Scare on Baby Pokemon and Crushing Blow for Energy, and even the ex version from Unseen Forces' Overpowering Fang! Needless to say, Feraligatr is not usually a kind-hearted Pokemon - he's ready to fight! So let's see what this new one's got to honor the Feraligatr tradition of ripping everything to shreds (except for actual cards)!
Hyper Whirlpool is a 3-for-60 attack that can flip for eternity (or at least until you get tails) and discard an Energy per heads flipped. Arguably, you'll be averaging about 1 Energy per strike, and that's a hefty amount against decks that don't rely on the discard pile for Energy. If you're lucky, you'll get rid of a lot of great Energy, and if you're not, well at least you're dealing 60 damage. Combine this Energy discard with cards like Enhanced Hammer and Xerosic though, and suddenly your opponent's gonna need more Energy! Maybe even using Lysandre's Trump Card to shuffle back all those discarded Energies - oooh! There's a thought!
Second Strike tacks on another Energy to deal 80, but if the Active Pokemon already has damage on it - and that's ANY damage on it, mind you - the attack does ANOTHER 80 damage, stacking up to 160!! That's already close enough to KO most Pokemon-EX cards outside of the Megas! You get some spread damage into this deck, and Feraligatr will practically go to town on these guys! Nothing can stand in your way!
...well, almost nothing. Feraligatr costs a LOT of Energy to use, and the fastest acceleration Water has at the moment is via Blastoise (PLB). That asks a lot to run a duo of Stage 2s, never mind if you want to throw spread damage around what else you'd be running. It'd be tough to ask to run Feraligatr without it though, since it's more likely to get KO'd before it gets going, and even after he gets going, he's got a lot of competition to get snacked on. It's a tricky field, and Feraligatr on his own is just too slow to keep up with it.
Feraligatr's not a bad Stage 2, but he's a bit out of his element in the current format. Still, combined with the right stuff, he could turn things against a Landorus-EX rather easily, what with that weakness and all. Maybe he could run as a second attacker in a Water deck revolving around Keldeo-EX or Seismitoad-EX? Or maybe that's just me being optimistic. If only he were an EX...
Standard: 2.5/5 (a solid Stage 2, but he's unfortunately slow for the format)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (maybe a little extra oomph from stuff like Kyurem hanging around)
Limited: 3.5/5 (I don't care how slow he actually is, I'd still play him in Limited - wreck them all, Feraligatr! Wreck them all!)
Arora Notealus: For pretty much every generation of Pokemon, I've always picked the Water starter (the only exception being Gen IV, where I picked Chimchar), and knowing Totodile evolves later to Croconaw to evolve fastest into Feraligatr, there's just no competition. Even Turtle Tank with Cannons can't top that! Kinda wonder what a Mega version of him would be...
Next Time: Sneaky electric lizard still dancing away!


Tearing into the middle of our week is Feraligatr (XY: Phantom Forces 12/119)!  It is a Water-Type which is good for hitting most Fire-Types for double damage and even better for hitting some popular, potent Fighting-Types for double damage.  Not much in the way of worthwhile direct support, but indirectly it enjoys some nice tricks like Keldeo-EX (granted, Keldeo-EX is so indirect almost any deck can put it to good use).  Mind the occasional Resistance; I think we haven’t seen any new Water Resistance Pokémon in the XY sets, but some good cards like Virizion-EX still sport it. 

Being a Stage 2, as you know if you’ve read at least the last two reviews, is rough right now.  Basic Pokémon enjoy the need for less deck space, which isn’t actually a problem if the ones that Evolve and the ones that don’t are designed properly but… they aren’t.  They are designed in a manner that allows non-Evolving Basics to leverage this trait for significant Advantage, often dealing powerful blows before anything can Evolve.  Draw power is most potent in Supporter form, and the two (technically three) best make it hard to build your hand steadily: Professor Juniper (and Professor Sycamore) force you to discard your hand before you draw while N shuffles your hand away.  N wouldn’t be too bad but since it affects both players, it means your hand is incredibly unstable.  The best Item based draw power (Bicycle) requires a small hand, also hard for Evolutions.  Most search is Item based because you need your turn’s Supporter usage for raw draw power (to get both Pokémon, search Items and everything else), as is the commonly played Evolution acceleration that is Rare Candy, and all Items are shut down easily right now by Seismitoad-EX.  Again, this is extremely hostile to Evolutions, arguably worse than when they had to deal with pre-erratum Pokémon Catcher and the ability to attack Turn 1. 

150 HP is a good score for something that isn’t a Pokémon-EX.  It is by no means “safe”, but nothing is in Pokémon: even Mega Evolutions can be OHKOed, by raw damage or effects of attacks (both often very combo reliant).  Most of the time, Feraligatr should just barely hang on, or at least for your opponent to use more than a “minimal” attack to take it down quickly.  Its Grass-Type Weakness will make VirGen match-ups incredibly painful, but at least only Genesect-EX enjoys an easy OHKO while Virizion-EX needs a Muscle Band and Hypnotoxic Laser.  Grass isn’t commonly splashed into other decks and even if one wants to, worthwhile attackers are either Stage 1 or dependent on specific Energy requirements (usually a source of [G] Energy).  There is no Resistance to balance this out, but no current Resistance could as the Weakness mechanic is horrible unbalanced: so instead of this being a serious problem lack of Resistance is the norm and no worse than a missed bonus, as most decks will have attackers of at least two different Types or have the capacity to overwhelm the -20 to damage Resistance applies.  The Retreat Cost of [CCC] is significant, at least to a degree: all decks need some form of Retreat assistance, either to lower the cost to free (or nearly free) or to change out your Active without manually retreating, so this card needing it more than something with a two Energy Retreat Cost and much more than something that retreats for [C] or for free isn’t crippling.  In fact in Expanded its a mild bonus as it allows you to use Heavy Ball for search. 

Feraligatr has two attacks, so it will almost assuredly need to be the focus of a deck running it.  The first attack - Hyper Whirlpool -  requires [WCC] to do 60 points of damage.  It also has you flip until you get tails, discarding an Energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokémon for each “heads”.  The second attack is Second Strike and requires [WWCC], but it hits for 80 points of damage plus another 80 if the Defending Pokémon was already damaged.  The Energy costs are big, which is an issue as - even though you’ll need time to Evolve anyway - there is little hope of manually powering up in time.  The good news is that other than that, the costs are well structured; both attacks have a [CC] cost, meaning a simple Double Colorless Energy can speed things up by a turn plus it won’t go to waste jumping from the first attack to the second. 

The bad news is that while the attacks would be amazing in formats past, right now they aren’t so hot.  Hyper Whirlpool will just do 60 for three half the time without any help; that’s a bad starting point.  The other half it will discard at least one Energy, but that only matters if your opponent doesn’t have an attachment to spare and you put them below where they can attack effectively.  As the “fastest” attack on the card and requiring three Energy, more damage would help but what it really needs is a better effect.  Spread would help with the second attack more than a small hit that “might” keep Feraligatr alive another turn; if we are going to disrupt the opponent, at this cost it needs to be significant like a guaranteed discard of at least one (probably more) Energy.  This is a format where most big, Basic Pokémon can (unfortunately) hit amazingly hard for low Energy.  Second Strike is actually pretty good; you overpay against anything that isn’t damaged, but only the largest Pokémon-EX can survive if they have even one damage counter on them… and if they have at least two, out of the current card pool it is just Mega Evolutions that aren’t taken out.

Feraligatr has to Evolve either directly from Totodile via Rare Candy or from Totodile to Croconaw and then Feraligatr if we are doing it the slow (but not as vulnerable to Item lock) method.  Whether it is Standard or Expanded, there is currently a single option for either of them: Totodile (XY: Phantom Forces 15/119) and Croconaw (XY: Phantom Forces 16/119).  Totodile is a 60 HP Basic, Water-Type Pokémon with Grass Weakness, no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of [C].  It has one attack - Fury Strikes - which requires [W] to use and gives you three coin flips, worth 10 damage per “heads”.  Croconaw is of course a Stage 1 Water-Type Pokémon and has the same Grass Weakness and lack of Resistance.  It requires [CC] to Retreat and sports two attacks.  For [WC] it can use Wave Splash for 30 damage while for [WCC] it can use Crunch for 40 damage and a coin flip to discard an Energy attached to the opponent’s Active Pokémon.  Both strike me as deserving more HP.  I wish they offered more support for Feraligatr, but its this or nothing (well, Rare Candy in the case of Croconaw). 

I believe this Feraligatr could be… well not overly competitive because the format seems too stacked against it, but at least functional with the right support.  I haven’t been able to do any testing, but I could see trying this in a deck with either Forretress (XY: Flashfire 60/106), Glaceon (XY: Furious Fists 19/111) or Kyurem (BW: Noble Victories 34/101; BW: Legendary Treasures 43/113; BW Promos BW44).  Kyurem (BW: Plasma Freeze 31/116) a.k.a. Kyurem [Plasma] may also be a candidate.  These are all options that seem reasonable (if only just) for spreading damage, helping to set-up for Second Strike.  I would also probably include Milotic (XY: Flashfire 23/106) for Energy acceleration; you’ll have to give up a Prize, but you can completely power-up Feraligatr or plain Kyurem in a single turn (the former also needing your manual Energy attachment for the turn).  The hard part (besides coping with Item denial or Abilities being shut down) is getting something powered up and spreading while also building up Feraligatr in a reasonable time frame.  Again I haven’t tested or even seen any of these ideas tried, but on paper they look at least slightly plausible.  Expanded adds back Heavy Ball, Level Ball and Tropical Beach which should at least be a small help.  In Limited play, Feraligatr is a great pull so long as you get the rest of the line and can make room for it (and Water Energy) in your deck.  If you only pull a 1-1-1 line and nothing else that can make much (or any) use of Water Energy, or a big, Basic Pokémon worth building a +39 deck around, you actually should skip it.  Otherwise, even with low odds of getting it out, it would be amazing once it got going.



Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 2/5  

Limited: 3.5/5 

Summary: I like this card, but unfortunately I just don’t think it will be able to cut it when Stage 2 Pokémon that are already known, easier to run and seemingly more potent aren’t making the cut.  If you love Feraligatr go ahead and get it and try to run it.  If you love experimenting, same deal.  If you just want to stick to competitive decks and cards, don’t worry about it unless you find a good deal on it.  It is - after all - hard to think of what we might get next and it really is the metagame and card pool that make a would be powerhouse into fun deck fodder. 

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