Our final card for the week is by far the best, though
that isn’t saying an awful lot. It does have some combo
potential though, and may find a place in some casual
decks and strategies, which is more than you could ever
say for the likes of Scrafty
is a Stage 1 with barely moderate HP. Its Iron Crash
attack is cheap-ish (Double
Colourless), and could do reasonable damage to cards
with very high retreat such as
Garbodor DRX. That’s not why you would play it
though . . . all the interest lies in its Thorn Tempest
Thorn Tempest places a damage counter on each of your
opponent’s Pokémon when you evolve
Forretress from the hand (so it won’t work if you
use Evosoda). Doing damage
without having to use an attack is a good thing, doing
it to all your opponent’s Pokémon is even better . . .
you could certainly try and build some kind of spread
deck with Forretress and
Dusknoir BCR to manipulate
the damage. But would such a deck be competitive? I
doubt it. Spread decks haven’t been viable for a long
time now (unless you count Accelgor
DEX/Flygon BCR, which is
hardly an out-and-out spread deck), and it’s not hard to
see why. With the massive HP of today’s Pokémon and a
game which deals in one and two-hit knock outs, they are
simply too slow for the format. If
we lose Devolution Spray in the upcoming rotation (which
seems likely), then Forretress
will have even less going for it.
If you want to try something that’s a bit different from
the simple beatdown
strategies which have dominated the game for the last
few years, then you could probably get something usable
out of Forretress. I
wouldn’t put a whole lot of faith in it succeeding
Modified: 2.5 (the format makes it bad)
Limited: 3 (useable attack
and nice bonus damage)
Hey guys! We're concluding the end of the week here
with a Gen II favorite! This guy was a Bug/Steel before
it was cool, and his prowess has been demonstrated as
far up as the Elite Four! Ladies and gents, presenting
the Bagworm Pokemon Forretress!
Now unlike the other Stage 1s we've reviewed over
this past week, Forretress has a lot going for him and
can help support the right deck built with him in mind.
No, I'm definitely not referring to his 2-Energy attack
Iron Crash, which does more damage the higher the
Retreat Cost for the opposing Pokemon is (although it
does get props for being completely colorless). I'm
naturally referring to his Ability, Thorn Tempest.
Now there was a card that came out in Dragons Exalted
called Devolution Spray. It was an interesting reprint
of the card of the same name all the way back from Base
Set (funny how we're seeing a lot of that lately, eh?).
Around the same time, though, we got a group of Pokemon
with Abilities that triggered when the Pokemon was
played from one's hand. This ranged from Aggron (DRX)'s
Toppling Wind to Roserade's Le Parfum to Ninjask's
Cast-off Shell. Some were good, some were bad, all of
them could be comboed with Devolution Spray.
And here we have another Ability to combo with it!
Forretress' Thorn Tempest activates when he's played
from the hand, hitting all of your opponent's Pokemon
for a whopping 10 damage! No, you did not read that
wrong. It's only 10 damage. This unfortunately small
amount is what cripples Forretress' Ability. Is it
really worth running 4 Devolution Spray to combine with
Forretress in order to do up to 40 damage on each
opposing Pokemon over the course of 4 turns?
Well, sometimes we take 10 points of damage for
granted. It is the smallest possible amount of damage
one can inflict on a Pokemon, but often it gets
overshadowed by attacks that do upwards of 60, 90, even
120 damage (or in some Pokemon's cases, 300)! Yet all it
takes is that extra 10 damage to defeat a Pokemon-EX.
Never mind that this card comboes well with Meowstic
from earlier in the week (though not exceptionally well,
given that only up to 6 damage counters will get placed)
or that this gets by Mr. Mime (PLF)'s Ability (since the
Ability prevents damage from attacks and not Abilities)
- just think of all the times you could have used that
extra 10 damage just to KO a Pokemon-EX!
And that's where Forretress' Ability's real potential
lies: getting that extra 10 damage you need for the KO.
Sure, running it would be tedious and throw off the
balance of a deck depending on how many you evolution
lines you set up, and sure you can't combine it with
Evosoda to make for a surprise Thorn Tempest KO when
Forretress isn't in your hand (since that's the only
place the Ability works). But if you're able to run a
Forretress and Devolution Spray to unless a little extra
devastation alongside a heavy hitter, Muscle Band, and
Hypnotoxic Laser, you could surprise someone with a
Hey, let's face it, Forretress may be splashable, but
he's not gonna wreck tournaments.
Modified: 2.5/5 (finding that niche deck will be
tricky, but hey, who knows what could happen?)
Limited: 3/5 (the Ability is much more devastating
here, though you don't have Devolution Spray to
constantly abuse it)
Arora Notealus: "Its peering eyes are all that can be
seen of its mysterious innards." *shudders* Something
about that sentence doesn't sound right.
Weekend Thought: If you could improve upon a card
from this week, which card would it be? What would you
do with it, and why?
We finish the week with Forretress (XY:
Flashfire 60/106). Thanks to the intense popularity
of Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) decks,
being an Evolution is still a bad thing, but some decks
are forced to work them in to deal with Intimidating
Mane. The only Pineco are is an easy OHKO that
can do 20 for (CC) and that doesn’t help, though
depressingly isn’t the worst Evolving Basic I’ve seen,
even excluding the “intentionally” bad like most
Magikarp and Feebas.
Being a Metal-Type gives access to Plasma Steel, the
Ability on Klinklang (BW: Plasma Storm
90/135) a.k.a. Klinklang [Plasma] and allows you
to hit certain Water-Types for double damage, but
neither are significant advantages at the moment. The
100 HP is well within OHKO range for most competitive
decks (and 10 HP over what Level Ball can snag),
especially after a turn or two of set-up, and the Fire
Weakness is an issue with Fire-Types still being… hot.
Any Resistance is a welcome sight; Psychic Resistance
won’t come in handy often, but is certainly better than
no Resistance at all. The chunky three Energy Retreat
Cost could be an issue, but most decks should have a
retreat alternative or aid available most of the time,
and Heavy Ball can target it.
Thorn Tempest and Iron Crash are mediocre; they aren’t
truly bad but they fall on the unhappy side of
“average”. Thorn Tempest requires too much work to use
repeatedly (and thus generate significant damage on its
own) and it is only a slight bonus as a “one and done”
trick. There are combos to make use of the damage
counters and to spam it, but more on that later. Iron
Crash isn’t good enough to be main attack without an
easily thwarted: we have Fairy Garden, Dark Cloak
(Darkrai-EX) and Float Stone to zero out
Retreat Costs on the competitive cards that do have
larger Retreat Costs, plus plenty of Pokémon with
naturally low Retreat Costs.
Thorn Tempest is more or less the same thing we saw as
Evolutionary Thunder on Jolteon ex years ago,
except as an Ability and not a Poké-Power. Jolteon
ex proved good enough to be a significant part of
the winning deck of the Worlds 2007 Championship Junior
Age division and enjoyed its time in the sun… but
Forretress won’t be that lucky. If you research
both the actual “Flyvees”, Jolteon ex had so much
going for it that Forretress doesn’t: Typing,
alternate useful Stage 1, “old-school” Rare Candy,
the “Holon Engine”, Flygon δ accelerating
Energy to Pokémon δ (including Eevee δ), while
Flygon ex δ placed damage counters on the opponent’s
Bench via both its attack and its Poké-Body (a
predecessor to Abilities).
can’t go off on the overall first or second turn of the
game, and lacks as effective of partners. Even the
damage counter manipulation of Dusknoir (BW:
Boundaries Crossed 63/149; BW: Plasma Blast
104/101) requires your opponent has to quickly fill his
or her Bench (preferably with low HP Pokémon) for those
counters to quickly add up, so why not stick with
hitting the Active as hard as you can (a much simpler
task)? Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers
62/108) to recycle Devolution Spray (useful for
“spamming” Thorn Tempest) is a tempting attacker but
likely leads to insufficient damage and will almost
always be a OHKO. Any worthwhile “spread” attacker of
which I can think - like Gourgeist (XY
57/146) - would likely prefer additional support
directly reinforcing it or a different supporting
Evolution line… like Dusknoir.
1.75/5 - Two mediocre (at worst) or “okay” (at best)
effects on a Stage 1 are a pass unless we find an
already “good” to “great” deck that is enhanced by it…
and I obviously don’t know of one.
4/5 - Both Forretress and Pineco have
attacks for (CC), and those attacks are better here. So
is the Ability, thus even a 1-1 line goes into any deck
that isn’t an awesome Basic Pokémon backed by 39
non-Basic Pokémon cards.
Summary:Forretress incompletely mimics a past successful
strategy, but as not only the metagame but the rules and
past cards still with us have since been revised on top
of stat inflation, said strategy likely no longer
stands. I will of course be happy to be wrong should
something of which I either didn’t think or didn’t think
much of surprises us and uses this well.
"Hello everyone, just a brief introduction. Formerly
"Mariodabrokescrub", I've been away from playing the
card game for about 5 years but I still do my best to
keep up with the meta-game ever since I took my break
due to school and working. I will be playing again
full-time in time for next season. So bear with me for
the time being if I'm not too up to date on everything,
lol. So here we go... FORRETRESS!!
When I first laid my eyes on this card, I thought it was
a very interesting card. To maximize its potential, it
would have to be the focus of its own deck revolving
around cards such as Devolution Spray, Sableye, and
Dusknoir (Sinister Hand) to reuse the ability Thorn
Tempest over and over attempting to rearrange the spread
out damage. Pooka from "The Top Cut" had a deck that ran
around this strategy in his Bad Deck Monday video.
But with Forretress, the cons heavily outweigh the pros.
It has a very heavy retreat cost for a stage one Pokemon.
The standard psychic resistance doesn't do too much
except defending against Mewtwo EX. The fire weakness
lets popular cards such as Pyroar and Charizard EX OHKO
with ease. The attack Iron Crash is a sub-par attack
that would normally only hit for 60 against most cards
in the current format since the most played cards have a
retreat cost of 2. What would make matters worse is that
if you do try to make Forretress an attacker, cards such
as Fairy Garden, Float Stone and Darkrai EX would only
allow you to do the base damage of 20. Last but
definitely not least, Garbotoxin shuts the Ability down
for Forretress. To run the card effectively, you would
have to run a lot of counter cards instead of cards that
actually focus on the card's ability.
Forecasting the next format most likely being PL-on, the
deck itself losses all little power that the card had in
the first place with the main cards such as Sableye and
devolution spray rotating out in the standard format. I
can't even see this card even having its own tech line
in a competitive deck. This card as the focus of its own
deck would be a fun deck at best to be honest.
Til next time.
Modified: 1.5/5 (The card is just not that playable
unless you want to just want to use it in a fun deck.)
Sealed: 2.5/5 (Still pretty sub-par here but a lot of
the negatives I talked about earlier don't affect it so
it could pose a threat here.)