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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Great Encounters

Date Reviewed:
January 30, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.75
Limited: 3.00

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

Intro to
Unlimited 150

Huntail (Great Encounters)

Continuing the theme of Pokémon that haven’t been printed on cards for 6 years is Huntail!

I don’t remember this card seeing any play in Modified but its sister, Gorebyss from the same set did somewhat, mainly as a secondary attacker with Banette ex able to “Pokémon Catcher” with a free attack.
Huntail’s free attack just doesn’t compare, having to rely on a coin flip for a poor version of Paralysis. The second attack isn’t bad though. For a Water and a Dark Energy you could do 50 and discard a Special Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon. Double Rainbow was seeing a lot of play at the time so it would be handy to possibly mess with a Gallade for a turn or 2. You could combine with Energy Removal 2 and attempt an energy denial deck.

The Clamperl pair were both decent in this set’s Limited format as 2 Uncommons that could deal out decent damage for just 2 Energy or stall with their free attacks until you got your real threats online.

Unlimited 150:
Unfortunately for Huntail, 1 of its 3 cards focuses on the very niche React Energy gimmick, which was like Plasma Energy but with less uses and support. The remaining 2 both have an effect relating to the Darkness Type meaning you’d probably play them as techs in a Darkness deck that wants to deal with Fire decks in your local meta. If you want to play them with Gorebyss you’ll probably have to think which 3 of the 6 you’d want to cut as there’s only 3 Clamperl available to evolve from.

Modified: 2.5
Limited: 3
Unlimited 150: 2

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Huntail (Great Encounters)
We end the week with a look at the two most obscure Pokémon in the whole franchise. These Generation III creatures have only ever had three cards each in the TCG, but it doesn’t end there: appearances in the anime have also been fairly limited, and as for the video game? Well let’s just say they are a pain in the backside to catch (trading plus hard-to-find item), and completely fail to repay your effort because they just aren’t much good. I could honestly forgive newcomers to the world of Pokémon for not knowing that Huntail and Gorebyss even existed – that’s how obscure they are.
With only three cards to choose from, it’s hard to pick a good Huntail. The Legend Maker one is interesting, but the React Energy mechanic is so old and forgotten that it didn’t seem worthwhile to try and explain it. In the end I went for the Great Encounters version because it has a decent defensive move, Scary Face, which costs no Energy to use and stops the defending Pokémon from attacking or retreating on the next turn. Of course, you need a coin flip to go your way to make it work, but it’s nice to have one of these attacks that an opponent can’t simply retreat out of. As far as offence goes, Huntail’s Threaten and Drop is clearly designed for the niche job of dealing with Pokémon that used Special Energy. There were a lot of these around at the time: the amazingly good Double Rainbow and Scramble were still legal, as were Special Metal and Dark. Call Energy would appear in the next set too, and become a virtual staple card in everything.
So, was Huntail a good answer to these fantastic cards? Not really. It was a niche Stage 1 with odd Energy requirements and it appeared in the same set as Unown G, which became an extremely popular way of negating attack effects. Besides, we also had the Crystal Beach Stadium which was a much more effective way of countering DRE and Scramble. If I remember correctly, a few people tried with Huntail without much success.
But hey, at least they tried. That’s more than the card designers have done for the last six years.
Nostalgia Rating
He’s a deeply ugly Pokémon, but I will always feel sorry for him: 3
P.S. If you’re also missing Huntail, take a close look at Piplup #33 from Legendary Treasures for a nice surprise!

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