Murkrow was a pretty interesting
Pokemon way back in Gen II, and when Gen IV evos came
around, he was lucky enough to receive one in the form
of Honchkrow. Honestly, that's really awesome! I think
Honchkrow's one of the better looking Gen IV evos that
came out (others including Electivire, Tangrowth,
Magmortar, and Lickilicky), so it's good to see the old
Don back in business.
Honchkrow in the TCG has been
notable for being a strong supportive attacker, usually
equipped with attacks that can get you the cards that
you need or, in the case of the first Honchkrow from
Mysterious Treasures, fueling your flock of Murkrow with
a decent attack so long as he's got the Energy for it!
Nowadays, you've got the Dragons Exalted Honchkrow in
Expanded that isn't that fantastic, and now you've got
today's card for Standard! Which isn't fantastic either,
but it's somewhat better than his DEX counterpart.
To start, all you need is a
Darkness Energy, and Honchkrow can use his Hypnoblast
attack. It only does 20 damage, but it also puts the
opponent to Sleep, which while not the best condition
isn't all that bad if your opponent's unlucky enough to
flip Tails twice in a row and not have some manner of
switching out. Provided all that works in your favor,
Honchkrow only needs a DCE to go straight to Nightmare
Mambo, which does 60 damage normally plus 60 more damage
if the Defending Pokemon's Asleep - like with what you
used Hypnoblast for!
Perhaps a better way of going about
it though is using HTL to Poison AND put to Sleep your
opponent's Pokemon before striking with Nightmare Mambo
- then you've dealt 120 damage AND get an extra 10-30
(depending on the presence of Virbank) from Poison. Tack
on some Muscle Band, and you've got yourself a 150-170
damage dealing attack, which can OHKO most Pokemon!
Honchkrow works a bit faster than
most Stage 2s at least, being only a Stage 1, but he
himself is about as vulnerable to being KO'd with only
100 HP to his name. Never mind that HTL is a coin toss
or that waiting for two coin flips (between turns) to
make sure Nightmare Mambo works is extremely inefficient
and unlikely to happen. Or that Virizion-EX, Steel
Shelter, and Sparkling Robes all exist in some manner or
other, or more importantly Keldeo-EX and Switch are
Honchkrow does have a nice combo,
but seeing how unreliable it is, it's better to stick to
some other options in terms of offensive power. And
knowing Dark decks, they've got a few.
Standard: 2.5/5 (not bad combo,
Expanded: 2.5/5 (better than his
Limited: 2/5 (I'm not terribly
optimistic about his combo working out better here, and
you lose a lot of what could make it work)
Arora Notealus: I kinda want the
designers to go back to using Honchkrow with his flock
of Murkrows like they started with. It'd be really cool!
You just get him to have certain powers based on the
number of Murkrow in play - like an attack that deals 60
damage per Murkrow would be perfect!
Next Time: Now where'd I put those