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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
March 18, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary


Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


Hello and welcome to the Fisherman's Corner! Today we take a look at the magnificent haul that is this Whiscash! Gotta say, I'm glad we brought up the Ancient Trait version, cause the other one just isn't that impressive. But does that mean this one's the Catch of the Day, or is it something we should just toss back? 

Fishing metaphors aside, this Whiscash is an interesting one. Its Ancient Trait is the Alpha Growth one, which if you recall from Primal Kyogre-EX is the one that lets you attach 2 Energies from your hand to the Pokemon during your turn. It's appropriate, then, that Whiscash's attacks are a little more on the heavy side, since Alpha Growth can compensate to some degree; what would normally take 3-4 turns to charge now only takes at least 2 turns, so this can work in Whiscash's favor. 

Thing is, it isn't that much. At 3 Energy, you get Water Gun, which does a vanilla 40 damage. SNORE!! At 4 Energy, you get Earthquake, which deals 120 damage and hits your Bench for 20 damage a piece. Now if you've got something like Mountain Ring or Mr. Mime, you can nullify that damage entirely so you're just hitting the opponent for 120 - which is enough to 2HKO most things in the format. But given that low score of 110 HP, it's probably not gonna stick around for too long. 

Whiscash isn't bad, but it's not great either. He's a good example of how the Alpha Growth trait is used though, and early on he was the first to be shown in previews as to how it works. He's not the best user of it, though (that belongs to Primal Kyogre-EX), but he can be a decent Stage 1 attacker for your casual playing experience. 

At least the artwork is pretty cool. 


Standard: 2/5 (a good Trait, but only okay attacks) 

Expanded: 2/5 (it's decent here, I'm sure) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (a pretty good option here at least, just be wary of those Grass-types) 

Arora Notealus: "It will eat anything - it is alive, Whiscash will eat it." ...oh dear. 

Next Time: Going from devourer of everything living to beautiful and gorgeous confusing evolution!


Our third XY: Primal Clash Water Week subject is… Whiscash (XY: Primal Clash 41/160).  As has already been hammered home, being a Water-Type is fairly good; it isn’t amazing for exploiting Weakness but it hits at least one major player (Landorus-EX).  Resistance exists but it hasn’t shown up on any XY-era cards and Resistance is mostly an irritant anyway.  There are some anti-Water cards but they are pretty obscure and not very good (the latter being the reason for the former).  The Water-Type has pretty good support - enough it can be easy to forget all it has going for it.  They have their own Supporter in the form of Archie’s Ace in the Hole, they have their own search Item (Dive Ball) and they have their own (shared with Lightning-Types) Stadium (Rough Seas).  The direct support is a bit weak Pokémon-wise but indirectly its great with Seismitoad-EX, Keldeo-EX, Suicune as solid technical Pokémon with Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101) providing massive Energy acceleration.  Still it is a bit bittersweet; Whiscash in the video games are Water/Ground hybrids, so this Pokémon could have been a Fighting-Type which likely would have been a bit better.  Whiscash is a Stage 1; obviously worse than being a Basic but not as hamstringing as being a Stage 2.  In fact if the Stage 1 form is good and its Basic form is good, the whole thing can compete directly with many Basics (just not the really obscene ones). 

Whiscash sports 110 HP; ignoring the infamous outliers that are Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted 26/124) and some that Evolve from Restored Pokémon, that is only 20 below the max printed for Stage 1 cards.  Functionally though this is enough to make it a little more likely to survive a hit than not, but the margin is uncomfortably close.  Grass Weakness isn’t good (no Weakness is the best Weakness), but it might be becoming one of the safer ones to possess.  Working a Grass-Type attacker into a deck is hard; the best options are Leafeon (BW: Plasma Freeze 11/116) and Tropius (BW: Plasma Blast 5/101) that I have seen and both have some issues with general play.  Even the once amazing VirGen deck seems to be struggling as of late, though even if it is on the way out that won’t eliminate it from the metagame so it is quite relevant that Genesect-EX easily dispatches Whiscash while Virizion-EX just needs a Muscle Band.  No Resistance is the norm so technically it isn’t a drawback, but again this is a Water/Ground hybrid in the video games, granting it Immunity to Electric Attacks and Resistance (at the damage halving level) to Poison, Rock, Steel and Fire Types.  So TCG Lightning, Metal and Fire Resistance wouldn’t cause any erroneous Type matching and while Fire Resistance currently isn’t a thing and the designers seem to like Metal being a potential Water Weakness and not Resistance, that Lightning Resistance would have been handy (and the designers aren’t using Lightning Weakness for Water-Types anymore).  Finishing off the bottom of the card, the Retreat Cost is [CCCC]; painful but fortunately S.O.P. for decks is to include something to zero out Retreat Costs or bypass manually retreating entirely, sometimes in a reusable fashion and of course I love being Heavy Ball compliant, even when it only matters for Expanded. 

This Whiscash sports an Ancient Trait and it is… α Growth!  In case there are still some misconceptions, α Growth is meant to only affect your manual Energy attachment for the turn (hence the list of things in the text that won’t trigger it) and is meant to replace attaching a single Energy card with attaching two and you can’t split the attachment between Pokémon as it only works for that Pokémon with α Growth that would have had just one Energy attached.  Whiscash also has two attacks; Water Gun for [WCC] which hits for 40 and Earthquake for [WWCC] which hits for 120 but also does 20 to each of your own Benched Pokémon.  Water Gun is bad but Earthquake seems adequate; I am not sure if it is the best strategy but you could indeed boost that damage to the 180 mark with Silver Bangle, Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym.  Water Gun is kind of a dud, save it gets you attacking a turn sooner than without it. 

There is only one option for Barboach (even in Expanded): XY: Primal Clash 39/160).  Sadly it is pretty much filler; a Basic Water-Type with 50 HP, Grass Weakness, no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of [CC].  There is another Whiscash though: XY: Primal Clash 40/160 and no, we are not looking at it tomorrow.  It is also a Stage 1 Water-Type with Grass Weakness and no Resistance, though with 10 less HP, one less in the Retreat Cost, no Ability, no Ancient Trait and two attacks.  For [C] it has Amnesia to do 20 damage and allow you to select one of attacks on your opponent’s Active to prevent said Pokémon from using that attack on your opponent’s next turn.  That actually is a decent attack.  Its second attack is Rising Lunge which requires [WCC] to hit for 60 with a coin flip for an extra 30, which is still underpowered for the cost but no where near as bad as Water Gun… but if that sounds like a lot of praise notice how it lacks an Ancient Trait or a good “big” attack; it has one good small attack and a big attack that is “less bad” than the “small” attack on today’s version, hence why it isn’t getting its own review during Water Week. 

So, is Whiscash (XY: Primal Clash 41/160) worth running?  Probably not, but it isn’t as far out as it might seem.  You can use Double Colorless Energy with α Growth, so if you are able to attach a Water Energy to Barboach the turn before, after Evolving you can then drop a second Water Energy alongside Double Colorless Energy and score a good hit.  Mr. Mime (XY: Plasma Freeze 47/116) or Mountain Ring can cancel out the Bench damage drawback of Earthquake, or you might run stuff with built in damage protection or with Outrage style attacks to make the damage work (a little bit) for you.  As mentioned earlier you might include some buffs to get the damage output to OHKO level for most Basic Pokémon-EX, but its probably just better finding a way to help Whiscash improve its odds of surviving so you can get off two hits with one (and build up your next one).  Enjoy it in Limited, where is is a nice pull. 


Standard: 2.25/5 

Expanded: 2.35/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 

Summary: In many ways, Whiscash is a scaled down version of Primal Kyogre-EX, an idea I find somewhat appealing just because it is a bit different, but unfortunately not because I think it is especially competitive.  Still for a “dud”, at least its relatively decent. 

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