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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 BREAKpoint Cards

#3 - Garbodor

- XY BREAKpoint

Date Reviewed:
February 17, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.38
Expanded: 4.38
Limited: 4.90

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Wait just a second, this is just Garbodor again! We've already seen Garbodor enough, just move on from these reprints! 

...well, technically, this Garbodor isn't a reprint. 

Garbodor does host the same Ability of the one we know all about, Garbotoxin, so I don't have to explain about the whole "Tools are my power, and Abilities get shut down" with that, but his attack does change from a vanilla blend of Sludge Toss at 3-for-60 to a modestly improved 4-for-60 Offensive Bomb that Confuses and Poisons the opponent!...so that's a thing! 

Yeah, okay, his attack "technically" makes him better than the other Garbodor, but the short of it is he's a reprint for the same purpose you all would use Garbodor for anyway: Float Stone + Garbotoxin. 

...yeah, no, that's why he's #3. 


Standard: 4.5/5 (I mean, what else can be said about Garbotoxin?) 

Expanded: 4.5/5 (we know it works) 

Limited: 5/5 (...there's...really no surprise here) 

Arora Notealus:...Garbodor: the living dumpster that should've been Poison/Steel. 

Next Time: And now for the Tool to equip Garbodor with! Just kidding, we already know that's Float Stone. But seriously, have another Tool.


Our final Card of the Day this week is… what?  Oh, yeah: due to extenuating circumstances, the entire site (not just the Pokémon section) are going to have a four-day weekend.  Not so nice for you, but even though the reason for it didn’t involve us, I at least badly needed it.  Why?  Even though I’ve had errors or oversights on multiple Card of the Days recently, this top 10 list, I am just striking out.  Thankfully a corrected review went up for Max Elixir (missed the clause restricting it to the Bench) but even though I started to, in the Puzzle of Time CotD I left out how Pokémon like Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108) combo so nicely with it.  Now I apparently found out how I missed the Bench restriction on Max Elixir; I attached it to yesterday’s Garchomp (XY: BREAKpoint 70/122) write-up: its “Turbo Assault” can attach to itself or something on your Bench, as opposed to just the latter (though given the likelihood of an Active being KOed, most of the time one will favor the Bench anyway). 

You still here after all of that?  Well now I need to explain something that is not a mistake, but some people might think it is (or a deliberate “cheat” on our part).  Our Top 10 lists usually exclude reprints… but the Pokémon TCG has been known to reuse past effects on newer cards and this time, they were especially blatant about it as they took what was once arguably the most influential Pokémon in the format and all but re-released it, simply changing its attack (that didn’t matter on the original).  Who’s that Pokémon?  Today we look at Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122), the not-quite-reprint of Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113).  So even though it seems like it, this is not a reprint: the older Garbodor doesn’t become Standard legal even though this new one is nearly identical.  Just wanted to say that before we ran through the cards, because they are so similar. 

Garbodor is a Psychic-Type; this means it hits a good chunk of the Fighting-Type and Psychic-Type for double damage, but faces somewhat abundant Resistance as nearly all Darkness-Types and Metal-Types enjoy Psychic Resistance.  Good thing for Psychic-Type attackers that being the first or second most resisted Type that no Resistance at all is still by far the most abundant, and that -20 damage is an annoyance more than a serious obstacle.  There are no detrimental effects that specify Psychic-Type Pokémon as the target, but there also are only a few supporting cards that explicitly reference the Type as well, and the only one that is going to really matter is Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119), because Garbodor has an Ability but while Wobbuffet shuts off Abilities while it is Active, it doesn’t affect other Psychic-Types (so Garbodor is unaffected).  So being a Psychic-Type actually does benefit it, though as a pure Poison-Type in the video games, it isn’t like there were many other options.  As a Stage 1 Pokémon, you’ll have to lose a turn Evolving or else burn your Supporter on Wally; if you want to get technical there is at least one more trick (maybe more) but Wally is the only one that might be worth the effort, with manually Evolving being the norm.  Being a Stage 1 does allow you to benefit from certain effects/ignore some that can trouble Basic Pokémon, but it is pretty clearly inferior to being a Basic Pokémon while still being better than any other Stage.

Garbodor has 100 HP; this isn’t horrible, but it is low enough that most decks will score a OHKO without more than their standard level of effort.  It might actually be better if it had 10 less HP; while just a hair easier to KO it would become a Level Ball legal target, though as most decks favor Ultra Ball since that can also snag any other Pokémon, including the oh-so-important Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108), working with Level Ball is no longer the bonus it once was.  The Psychic Weakness is dangerous: you’ve got Pumpkaboo (XY: Phantom Forces 44/119) in Night March, Mew-EX which shows up in a few decks but mostly Night March, and all versions of Mewtwo-EX that are going to reach OHKO levels of damage if they can attack at all, barring some very bad luck in setup (technically, each has a narrow range where they might whiff on the OHKO).  Speaking of range, most of the examples have damage outputs that scale or increase and as such the Weakness isn’t as bad as it first seems; something that would probably score a OHKO anyway now just does it with a little less effort.  It is still dangerous, though.  The lack of Resistance is typical and while it might have been helpful to Garbodor, wouldn’t have likely made a huge difference anyway.  What will make a difference is the Retreat Cost of [CCC].  Bulky enough that Mystery Energy can’t wipe it out completely, you’ll definitely want to include something to lower that cost or bypass paying it.  Not sure if it will matter, but it does have the small upside of allowing you to use Heavy Ball and/or Heavy Boots with Garbodor. 

Garbodor has the Ability “Garbotoxin” and it works just like its predecessor; I didn’t even see any difference in sentence structure or punctuation.  So once again, Garbodor can use it to shut down all Abilities on Pokémon on the field, in the hand or in the discard pile, so long as it has a Pokémon Tool attached to itself.  This applies to both players, and the fact that it doesn’t apply to Pokémon in your deck just means they still have no plans for an Ability that activates there (not a surprise, that would be rather awkward to implement).  We know from experience that this Ability is very potent, though its exact usefulness is likely to fluctuate as people run fewer Abilities as Garbotoxin becomes more common, but that in turn leads to fewer people using Garbotoxin and then Abilities start to see more play again until Garbotoxin usage spikes and the whole thing repeats.  The one new aspect of this card (besides inconsequential matters like card art) is the card’s attack: “Offensive Bomb” requires a hefty [PCCC] to use, does 60 damage, and leaves the opponent’s Active both Confused and Poisoned.  The damage is quite low for the Energy involved, though the dual Special Conditions are solid.  Not something you’ll often use, but at least it is there on the rare occasion you could make use of it.

Garbodor must Evolve from Trubbish and we’ve got six options: BW: Noble Victories 48/101, BW: Dragons Exalted 53/124 (reprinted with new art as BW: Legendary Treasures 67/113), BW: Plasma Storm 63/135, BW: Plasma Storm 64/135, BW: Plasma Storm 65/135 (yes, three different cards in the same set) and XY: BREAKpoint 56/122.  All are Basic Psychic-Type Pokémon with Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, no Ancient Trait and no Ability, while only XY: BREAKpoint 56/122 is Standard legal.  BW: Noble Victories 48/101 has 60 HP with a Retreat Cost of [C] and two attacks: “Garbage Collection” costs [C] to allow you to put a discard pile from your discard pile on top of your deck, while “Sludge Bomb” costs [PC] and hits for 20.  BW: Dragons Exalted 53/124 has 70 HP with a Retreat Cost of [CC]: it can use “Pound” to do 20 damage for [CC] or for [PCC] it can use “Poison Gas” to do 30 damage while afflicting the opponent’s Active with Poison.  BW: Plasma Storm 63/135 has 60 HP and a Retreat Cost of [C]: it can use “Pile Up” at a cost of [P], allowing you to flip a coin and (if “heads”) search your deck for a Pokémon Tool to add to your hand (“tails” does nothing), while for [CC] it can use “Sludge Toss” to do 20 damage.  BW: Plasma Storm 64/135 also has 60 HP and a Retreat Cost of [C] with two attacks seen on previous versions but with altered costs and damage: Pound returns to do 10 for [C] this time while Sludge Bomb now costs [PPC] but does 40 damage.  BW: Plasma Storm 65/135 is well known; it has 70 HP with a Retreat Cost of two and just one attack - Tool Drop - that costs [PC] but does 20 damage per Pokémon Tool in play (both sides of the field).  Finally we have the new XY: BREAKpoint 56/122, which also repeats by having 70 HP and a Retreat Cost of [CC].  For [P] it can use “Acid Spray” to do 10 damage and flip a coin; “tails” means you just do the 10 damage while “heads” has you discard an Energy from our opponent’s Active. 

For other Garbodor we have BW: Noble Victories 49/101, BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124 (reprinted with alternate art as BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116 and BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113), BW: Plasma Storm 66/135 and BW: Plasma Storm 67/135.  All have the same attributes as today’s Garbodor except BW: Plasma Storm 66/135 and BW: Plasma Storm 67/135 each have 110 HP (instead of just 100) and are Team Plasma Pokémon and none are Standard legal.  BW: Noble Victories 49/101 has two attacks, “Gentle Wrap” for [PC] which does 30 damage and prevents the Defending Pokémon from retreating during your opponent’s next turn as well as “Gunk Shot” for [PPC] which does 60 plus Poison.  It was reviewed when it first came out here; I don’t have a review but the only issue with the ones there is that power creep has left this Garbodor even more outclassed.  BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124 and its reprints also have Garbotoxin which made it an important card most of the time; its “Sludge Toss” attack costs [PPC] and does only 60 damage, which is poor.  It was first reviewed here, then here, and finally here; the general consensus is that it is a very good card, with later reviews treating it as more of a great card and I haven’t changed my mind about it.  All that has changed is I finally realize its cyclical nature, that it (and general Ability usage) waxes and wanes in potency, but is never particularly bad.  I’d call it obsolete now, except neither it nor today’s version have relevant attacks, so the only real strike against it is that it is Expanded only. 

BW: Plasma Storm 66/135 can use its “Bio Smog” attack for [C], which does 20 damage, Poisons the opponent’s Active and (on a coin flip) discards an Energy attached to said Active (“tails” still does the damage and Poison).  Sludge Bomb once again returns, this time doing 70 damage for [PPC].  BW: Plasma Storm 67/135 also has two attacks: for [CC] it can use Ensnarl to do 20 damage times the number of [C] in the Retreat Cost of the Defending Pokémon.  Seems okay except Darkrai-EX and Float Stone predate it and have always been legal alongside it.  For [PCCC], the same cost as Offensive Bomb on today’s Garbodor, it may also use “Double Ducts” to flip two coins good for 80 damage per “heads” (“tails” are worth no damage).  This is actually better than Offensive Bomb I think, though neither attack is good.  We reviewed the two together here, I overrated the one as neither proved worthwhile, even TecHed into a Garbotoxin deck.  Nothing has changed with regards to Garbodor; use a version with Garbotoxin or don’t bother with them at all.  For Trubbish, you have no choice but to use the newest version in Standard, but in Expanded BW: Noble Victories 48/101 is a decent pick because it can get cards back from the discard, BW: Dragons Exalted 53/124 can use Pound with just a Double Colorless Energy (or any attachable Energy card if Dimension Valley is in play), BW: Plasma Storm 65/135 can be the basis of a deck so as long as you can meet the cost of Tool Drop it can be a surprise attacker in other decks while XY: BREAKpoint 56/122 is still tempting because Acid can discard Energy, helping you possibly survive being stuck Active.  The last three also have 70 HP instead of 60. 

Using Garbodor… probably hasn’t changed compared to its predecessor.  Use it if you aren’t especially dependent upon Abilities and if your deck can accommodate a Stage 1 Pokémon and extra Pokémon Tools, with Float Stone still being the obvious choice.  A 1-1 or 2-2 line is possible, if it is there mostly to sabotage a specific match-up and not for its general usage.  As Garbotoxin wasn’t already available in Standard, it is a pretty big deal that it can show up now, while it doesn’t matter much for Expanded.  In Limited play it may be harder to get a Pokémon Tool to trigger Garbotoxin, but remember that Spirit Link cards still work for that.  The splashable nature of the attack combined with lower average damage outputs and HP scores, further aided by decks having less readily available options to ditch Special Conditions, makes it a desirable pull even when you aren’t shutting down Abilities with Garbotoxin. 


Standard: 4.25/5 

Expanded: 4.25/5 

Limited: 4.8/5


Summary: Garbodor makes no real difference to Expanded but will likely be a serious force in Standard until Garbotoxin again rotates out.  I had this as my ninth place pick because again, this will barely affect Expanded even if it is so significant to Standard play.  I actually had it higher until I remembered to try and factor in both formats, and I probably should have rated it a little higher than I did even considering both formats equally.  Still it managed to take third place with 22 voting points, just missing a tie with our next CotD by one.

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