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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Breloom - Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 16, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.92
Expanded: 1.69
Limited: 3.43

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
Seniors
Champion

Breloom (Furious Fists) 

Well, this is the first Breloom we have seen in the TCG since Supreme Victors over five years ago, so I guess he deserves some attention. 

In the past, Breloom has often been printed as a Grass Type, but this time he has the good fortune to be a Fighting Pokémon. This means he has access to great support cards like Korinna and Strong Energy to make him searchable and boost damage output. Unfortunately, Breloom isn’t best placed to make use of them. 

With Muscle Band and Strong Energy you could turn Giga Drain into an attack which does 60-70 damage and heals 60-70 from Breloom, but that output is still below par, and healing doesn’t seem all that relevant on a 100 HP Stage 1 which is well within OHKO range for most attackers. Meanwhile, Sky Uppercut is an expensive way to do just 70 base damage. The ‘ignore resistance’ effect is nice, but I don’t think Yveltal EX will be too worried regardless. 

You can’t expect Stage 1s like this to impact on a format where the most popular Pokémon are Basics which are twice as strong and hit twice as hard. 

Rating 

Modified: 2 (tons of support, but Breloom isn’t the best use of it)

Expanded: 1.75 (see above)

Limited: 3.5 (Giga Drain only needs Colourless Energy, and healing is more viable in a lower damage environment)


aroramage

I'm willing to bet Breloom could make it into Pokkén Tournament whenever that comes out - not even as part Fighting-type, just cause he looks like he'd be an interesting fighting game character. Welcome to another Card of the Day where we take a look at another Fighting-type potential powerhouse in the form of Breloom!
 
While a 100 HP Stage 1 may not seem like much, Breloom does have a couple of attacks to make him capable. Like the classic Giga Drain, normally attached to Grass-types but mixed onto a Fighting-type because of in-game typing! What's interesting is that this attack costs 2 Colorless Energy, so hey, maybe you can run Breloom in something other than Fighting! How much does it do?
 
20.
 
But hey, at least he also heals 20! Which really isn't that much these days in terms of damage output; Muscle Band alone takes care of the recovery, never mind HTLBank or Strong Energy. In fact, you put some of those to work on Breloom, and that 20 becomes 60 damage - and heals 60! That's right, because of the wording on it, Breloom can recover the same amount of damage that was dealt to the Defending Pokemon with his attack. Not too shabby, eh?
 
Add a Fighting Energy on top of that - or rather replace a Colorless with 2 Fighting Energies - and you get SHORYUKEN-I mean, Sky Uppercut, a 3-for-70 Resistance-free punch! Tack on those extra points for damage, and you've got a lean mean fighting machine on your hands! Just imagine the power that this guy could possess! The dominance of Pokemon-EX is over! We've found the people's champion!!
 
...okay, maybe not, but he's better than most generic Stage 1 Pokemon with 2 attacks. Okay, so he's not gonna OHKO any Pokemon-EX above 160 HP, even WITH free Resistance, and while he can recover from hits on his own, 100 HP isn't that hard a number to reach (Lucario-EX does it with a Muscle Band and a Strong Energy with Corkscrew Smash). Still at the very least, Breloom shows us that Stage 1s without Abilities aren't always in the game, but you can't always count them out.
 
Rating
 
Standard: 2.5/5 (one of the better Fighting Stage 1s right now, even if its KO potential is pretty low)
 
Expanded: 2/5 (the monstrosities in here are too much even for delicate Breloom)
 
Limited: 3.5/5 (that recovery move may not seem like much, but again consider that the wording on it is "Heal the damage you dealt to the Defending Pokemon")
 
Arora Notealus: Personally, I think if Breloom had his own theme, it'd be like Guile's Theme.
 
Next Time: Weren't we just talking about Grass-types a moment ago?


Otaku

Breloom (XY: Furious Fists 50/111) is a Fighting-Type which is still great, enjoying the various support cards from its set and striking many Colorless- and most Darkness- and Lightning-Types for double damage, with just the extremely mild irritation of Resistance popping up more often than for most other Types (but still not being common).  Being a Stage 1 stings, but while it slows it down it isn’t impossible to work around.  The 100 HP is a serious concern; unless a deck is giving a poor performance or is a bit unusual in its strategy, this is a fairly probable OHKO.  The Psychic Weakness is part of the reason why; Mewtwo-EX just needs a Double Colorless Energy and a Muscle Band (or one or more Energy on Breloom itself) to take the OHKO.  The lack of Resistance is disappointing only in that as a Grass/Fighting hybrid in the video games, its damage halving Electric or Dark Resistance easily translate into Lightning or Darkness Resistance in the TCG: no Type conversion clashes.  With 100 HP, it wouldn’t do much good though.  The two Energy required to retreat is enough you won’t want to pay it, though it isn’t too terrible if you absolutely must; the metagame is such that you probably should have a decent amount of retreat alternatives or assist cards to make it more manageable anyway. 

Breloom has two attacks, which means it had better fit at least one of two categories to see competitive play: the glass cannon the “trigger” support Pokémon.  Tuesday’s Electivire (XY: Furious Fists 30/111) was nearly both though ultimately just the latter (click here if you need a refresher).  I don’t recall it, its Attributes or one of its attacks being cited elsewhere, so it isn’t a trigger.  Lets see if it works out as a glass cannon.  For [CC] its Giga Drain hits for 20 points of damage and the attack heals an amount from Breloom equal to what you did to the Defending Pokémon.  So without any other effects, its just 20 damage and 20 healed… on a Pokémon that is unlikely to survive a single hit.  I am glad there wasn’t a flat amount healed (I’ll take the slight risk of whiffing against Resistance) but this is an attack for a bigger card, even though Giga Drain and its ilk rarely show up on such Pokémon.  Even then, let the attack do at least 10 or 20 more points of initial damage (even with more HP healing isn’t all that strong). 

For [FFC] Sky Uppercut hits for 70 points of damage while ignoring Resistance.  We’ve been over this before; ignoring Resistance is usually a total waste.  The same time Resistance was locked in at -20 to the affected Type was about the same time this run of power creep began, give or take a few sets.  What this means is that not only is this effect only useful for select match-ups, but having no effect while doing 20 more points of damage creates the same occurrence for said match-ups while giving you universally better results all around.  So… while technically this is better than no effect at all, I am sorely tempted to view it as an intentional nerf: instead of the attack hitting for another 20 damage all the time it only applies versus Resistance. 

These two attacks don’t complement each other; hitting the opponent with one and then the other merely results in the 90 damage in one hit that something sturdy enough to score a 2HKO needs to strive to reach for a shot in competitive play.  For a glass cannon, that means it isn’t even hitting half as hard as it probably should!  The Energy costs don’t complement each other either; Giga Drain is Double Colorless Energy compliant but Sky Uppercut is not, and you’re going to be lucky to get two attachments onto this card.  It almost seems like someone on the design team does not like Breloom; this tiny bit of attack synergy such a thing would add wouldn’t have made this card, but at least it would have looked like it was trying a little. 

Wait… maybe Shroomish can save this card!  The choice rarely made but sorely needed to improve the balance between Stages of Evolution is to make the Evolving Pokémon more than mere stepping stones, after all.  The one legal Shroomish (for Standard and Expanded) is XY: Furious Fists 6/111.  It is a 60 HP Grass-Type Basic Pokémon with Fire Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat Cost of [C] and one single attack that does 10 points of damage for one of any Energy.  This is a vanilla stepping stone, unless you really fancy how a Grass-Type becomes a Fighting-Type (which also means Shroomish can’t have Strong Energy attached, be searched out via Korrina, etc.). 

I am sorry to say that I am not getting any good ideas for how to use this card; I admit I am not exactly straining my brain in trying to force something, but usually after running some basic scenarios I can come up with at least some farfetched deck that can take advantage of something.  It is quite a pity that the dumbing down of the game means a card that should have been able to exploit its Dual-Type nature is not only a mono-Type card, but doesn’t even have some interesting off-Type attacks or else have both attacks be purely Colorless.

Ratings 

Standard: 1.25/5 - It doesn’t do everything wrong, just most of it. 

Expanded: 1.3/5 - I’ll give it a twentieth of a point more since Level Ball can fetch Shroomish here; ironically Breloom itself is too big in this one instance.

Limited: 3.25/5 - It is a serviceable Stage 1 Pokémon, able to work completely off-Type though not very well.  Most of its score comes from the usual benefits of being a Stage 1 in a format where you may very well be staring down Evolving Basics that your opponent just can’t Evolve and had to run as filler.  In short it isn’t bad but it isn’t truly good, though the healing may also prove a touch better here; your opponent can’t wear it down with a weenie rush.  If you aren’t running any Fighting Energy at all I’d be tempted to skip it, and obviously don’t compromise a mono-Basic Pokémon build for this card. 

Summary: Breloom is back in the format, but sadly as filler.  The card doesn’t get everything completely wrong, but it underperforms across the board and whether it was in the name of keeping it “simple” or quickly getting a Breloom into a set without testing but with no worry of it being overpowered, it still is so disappointing that it probably wasn’t worth it. 


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