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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 19, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.25
Expanded: 3.17
Limited: 3.60

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


You ever wanted a version of Garbodor that was easier to get out, didn't require a Tool, and could go in the Active slot? Congratulations, you now have a shiny new Wobbuffet! Isn't that wonderful?
Wobbuffet's Bide Barricade is probably the most interesting part of him, since all Psychic Assault does is deal 10 damage plus another damage counter for every damage counter already on the Active Pokemon (read: 10 damage more for every 10 damage on). It costs 2, though with Dimension Valley that cost can go down to just 1 Psychic Energy, so that's notable.
But with such a weak attack, why would you want Wobbuffet in the Active Slot? Probably because his Ability shuts down everything, and I mean everything! All Pokemon in play lose their Abilities, all Pokemon in each player's hand lose their Abilities, even Pokemon in the discard pile lose their Abilities (the noteworthy example being Exeggcute). There are only two parts that make this noteworthy:
1) this Ability is only Active as long as Wobbuffet is the Active Pokemon
2) this does NOT affect Psychic Pokemon
From this set along, that includes Chandelure (who has a 50/50 of KOing anyone who KOs him), Gourgeist (who gets an extra 100 HP if he's got Grass Energy attached) and Crobat (who can deal 30 damage to any Pokemon when he gets put in play). On top of that, a great noteworthy Ability is Dusknoir's Sinister Hand, which can move the damage counters around on your opponent's Pokemon as you please, which can set-up Wobbuffet's Psychic Assault rather nicely!
You'd think with such an all-encompassing Ability that Wobbuffet would be a terrifying threat - and to be honest, against most decks he is! But there's a particularly popular Pokemon that deals with Abilities quite readily, and he happens to be a Psychic Pokemon: Garbodor. Even though Wobbuffet negates most of the Abilities around, an opposing Garbodor will remain unaffected simply because of Wobbuffet's exception, which in turn makes Wobbuffet useless. An allied Garbodor isn't much better, since you're effectively just running another Wobbuffet that covers your bases - and that's probably where it all comes down.
Wobbuffet does a LOT for a Basic Pokemon, but Garbodor will usually do the job better. Each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses, but while Wobbuffet has to be Active to make things work, Garbodor can sit anywhere so long as he's got a Tool. Be wary though, cause you might see folks tech a Wobbuffet in as they set-up for their Garbodors - and that could make or break the game!
Standard: 3/5 (a powerful Ability that early-game will be trouble, but you might as well play Garbodor for late-game)
Expanded: 3/5 (same here)
Limited: 3.5/5 (Aegislash-EX is probably the most noteworthy Ability to watch out for, but it wouldn't hurt to have a nice starter nullifying Abilities)
Arora Notealus: Wobbuffet's a strange Pokemon, taking all these units in order to use their power against an opponent. Combined with Shadow Tag, he's pretty hard to beat! The TCG folks have tried capitalizing on different aspects of Wobbuffet, using Abilities to increase Retreat Costs and attacks like Counter, Countercharge, and Double Return that all deal damage back to the opponent in some manner. Guess it'd be a bit much if Wobbuffet had an Ability that dealt double damage, am I right?


This week we are covering the cards that made at least one individual reviewer’s Top 10 list but not the shared Pojo Top 10 list: in short its “Runners Up” Week.  The cards are not being reviewed in the order in which they placed but in the order that seemed best for review purposes. 

Today we cover Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119).  It is a Psychic-Type, allowing it to access Type support like Dimension Valley and exploit Weakness on many Psychic-Types and Fighting-Types, though you will have to deal with Resistance on nearly all Metal-Types and Darkness-Types.  Being a Basic is still the best… and I know that seems pretty obvious but long before many of you likely played, being a non-Evolving Basic was actually the weakest (though before that it was also still the best - go figure).  Anyway, easiest Stage to get into play, takes the least space, many things are just more effective for them (like scoop-up effects),  and they even has additional support in Expanded with the only real counter being Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) and its Intimidating Mane (though that is both Standard and Expanded legal). 

Wobbuffet sports a very solid 110 HP.  This isn’t outside of OHKO territory; I’d say it is still fairly probable with survival mostly owing to an opponent with an incomplete set-up… but you’re only out a Basic Pokémon and a single Prize (plus whatever is attached to Wobbuffet).  It does suffer from Psychic Weakness as one would expect (well, ignoring how things work in the video games): this is dangerous because Mewtwo-EX is Mewtwo-EX; still a fairly common back-up attacker.  The lack of Resistance is pretty common, and reducing the damage you take from one Type by 20 is a small bonus compared to how crippling Weakness can be.  The two Energy Retreat Cost is high enough you won’t want to pay it but low enough you often can and as usual, decks are likely to include an alternative to manually retreating at full price. 

Next we come to the main thing about Wobbuffet that impresses people: its Ability, Bide Barricade.  This Ability turns off other Abilities when Wobbuffet is Active except on Psychic-Type Pokémon.  This is quite intriguing, because it gives you the possibility of shutting off some Abilities but not all of them.  Keep in mind that Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) it itself a Psychic-Type: Garbotoxin completely trumps Bide Barricade.  Also, Wobbuffet needs to be Active, some Abilities only really matter while the Pokémon bearing them is itself Active, either not functioning at all on the Bench or with diminished or next to no purpose on Benched Pokémon (though again, Psychic-Types don’t have to worry at all).  

Wobbuffet has just one attack - Psychic Assault - which does 10 points of damage plus another 10 for each damage counter on the Active Pokémon.  It requires [PC] to use.  Two Energy for this effect is kind of steep; attacks like this are designed to be exploits; you drop a (relatively disposable) Basic Pokémon and attack to take a Prize, either because you made a favorable trade or you’re desperate enough that its still better than the alternative. 

The attack has an odd sort of synergy with the Ability in that they almost have no connection… but that also means they prove useful under different circumstances.  Facing a deck with no Abilities?  Psychic Assault can still be helpful.  Facing a matchup where you have to score OHKOs (either because of healing shenanigans or simply because your deck is able to take them easily)?  You still might benefit from shutting down Abilities.  Of course sometimes they will have overlapping usage and sometimes neither will be beneficial.  There are no Standard or Expanded legal Wynaut to cover, and since they didn’t take the gap between TCG eras to reset start releasing Wobbuffet as a Stage 1, who knows when they’ll release one and how it will or won’t interact with Wobbuffet.  There is one other option for Wobbuffet though: BW: Boundaries Crossed 58/149).  The differences between the two are pretty easy to spot; 20 less HP and just a single attack - Headbutt Bounce - that costs [PPC] and only does 60 points of damage, so skip it. 

So how should we use this card?  If it made at least one list and was selected as a Runner-Up, there has to be something, right?  Indeed; just about any deck can consider it in theory as you can toss it up front and disable the Abilities on all non-Psychic-Type Pokémon.  It would likely be a stalling tactic as without a means of damaging the Defending Pokémon (preferable to whatever is needed for a Psychic Assault KO) the offensive prospects are bleak.  Still it would be useful sometimes, particularly when something of your own is KOed between turns going into your own turn and you’ll be shutting off opposing Abilities of at least some importance.  This leads to the more obvious use I think; combo this with porter style attackers, like Donphan (BW: Plasma Storm 72/135).  Yes such decks already have multiple options, but this one is certainly another worth considering.  I think there is one final, major use for it: decks that use Dimension Valley.  Second Strike becomes a lot more useful when it costs only [P]: you might not pull ahead in Prizes very easily, but its good for “damage control” (only risk one additional Prize and Energy instead of even more) and of course, clever play can make sure you win “trades”, at least in the correct deck.


Standard: 3.5/5 - A composite score; in certain decks it very valuable, but for general its probably a little below average… and in most cases you only need one or two copies. 

Expanded: 3.5/5 - I can think of no reason why it should fare worse here, though neither can I think of a good reason to rate it higher.  Of course I am still learning this format so if porter and/or Dimension Valley decks just don’t work as well here, I have overrated the card. 

Limited: 4.8/5 - Another card that you need a good reason to not run.  Obviously, leave it out of decks built around a single, bit Basic Pokémon (its not strong enough for its own +39 build).  There are not a lot of Abilities to shut off but there are a few, Psychic Assault is more valuable (and most decks should be able to make room for a few Psychic Energy even if this is the only Pokémon that needs it) and 110 HP Basic you can “sacrifice” is also a useful trick here.  Even if your own deck has an Ability that will get shut off, this is often a format where you need to make such trade offs. 

Summary: Wobbuffet is an interesting card with actual competitive merit, though its general prospects are poor.  Porter decks with their hit-and-run style tactics or decks that can pay for Psychic Assault with ease are likely to include it as a single and possibly a double. 

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Wobbuffet (Phantom Forces) 

In the video game, Wobbuffet’s job is to be a very annoying wall. That concept has found its way into the TCG . . . somewhat, anyway. 

Wobbuffet has just-about-decent 110 HP and his Psychic Assault attack could be usable in certain situations when facing a heavily-damaged Defending Pokémon, but the main reason you would push him into the Active slot is his Bide Barricade Ability. When he is Active, this blocks the Abilities of all non-Psychic Pokémon. 

Now there is a fair amount of good stuff that Wobbuffet doesn’t shut down: Trevenant XY, Mew EX, Deoxys EX, Dusknoir PLB . . . as well as some obscure Pokémon like Cofagrigus PLF and Cresselia EX that you don’t see much anyway. However, there is still a fair amount of work it can do against the likes of Bronzong PHF, Darkrai EX, and Jirachi EX to name but a few. Clearly, shutting down Abilities is good news against some decks, but why would you opt to use Wobbuffet in the Active position, when you can get a much more coverage by Benching a Garbodor LTR? 

Well, in general, you wouldn’t. Garbodor may take up a lot more space with the Stage 1 line and a bunch of Tools, but on the whole he does a much better job and frees you up to use much better attacks than Psychic Assault. The exception to this is in decks that use punch-and-run attackers like Donphan PLS or Gengar EX. For these decks, Wobbuffet acts as one of a number of disruptive place-holders alongside Safeguard Sigilyph and Robo Substitute which can be used as the situation demands. Being able to shut down your opponent’s Abilities on their turn might be a very nice option to have against a Metal/Bronzong deck, for example. 

I guess Wobbuffet could also be used for general stalling/disruption, but the two Energy Retreat cost and mediocre HP and attack count against him. Still, he can be a nice option in the right deck. 


Modified: 3.25 (a bit limited, but some decks will like him more than the big trash bag)

Expanded: 3 (maybe another option for Accelgor DEX to use?)

Limited: 2.5 (Abilities aren’t huge here, but you could get some use out of the attack and HP) 

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