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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Stunfisk

- XY BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
January 27, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.63
Expanded: 2.82
Limited: 4.08

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Man, Stunfisk is one weird Pokemon. He's a fish, but he's also Electric/Ground, but he's also derpy-looking, but he's also in a weird spot in the games - let's face it, everything about him is weird!! 

JUST LOOK AT THAT FACE!! IS IT A FACE?! I DON'T KNOW?!?! 

What I DO know is that he's got a couple of attacks that are...well, interesting. At least one of them is, Thunder Blast is just some Flamethrower knock-off that discards an Energy to use at 3-for-80. It's alright, I suppose, but I'm more interested in Revenge! 

...what? No, I don't have anything against my fellow writers! I just mean the attack called Revenge! 

At first glance, it's a 2-for-20 hit that's pitiful at best, but some folks may recall Revenge on another Pokemon - Druddigon from Flashfire! In fact, Stunfisk seems to share a few qualities with this Druddigon, and Revenge is one of them! There is one minor tweak though, and that would be the cost of Revenge; while on Druddigon it can be two Energy of any Type, on Stunfisk it's only good if you're running Electric Energy on one of those in some form. The trade-off for this tweak is that Stunfisk can actually do a little extra damage, adding on 80 damage instead of just Druddigon's 70 damage. 

So does that mean Stunfisk will see play? Maybe. The big appeal to Druddigon was the metagame being dominated by Dragons - or at least, having Rayquaza-EX be a prevalent part of the game. In fact, for the duration of about 4 months, Druddigon could be teched into decks as a means of dealing with Rayquaza-EX until it got rotated out in August 2014. Now though? 

Well, Rayquaza-EX technically is a major threat again, but he got an upgrade called M Rayquaza-EX. 

And that's Stunfisk's main problem right now. While dealing 100 damage is a fair hit for a Basic non-EX, it's still a far cry from dealing with some of the most dangerous stuff out there. Sure, it could OHKO a Pokemon-EX Basic that's weak to Electric, but Stunfisk may not be as highly teched as Druddigon was.

...at least, not right now. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (he's a bit more niche than Druddigon was, and while he does more damage, he's also outclassed by the overall higher HP scores of his new targets) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (here though, he's probably fair game to use) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (and I would never fault anyone for running him here) 

Arora Notealus: WHAT ARE YOU, STUNFISK?! WHAT ARE YOUUUUUUU?!?! 

Next Time: And now for something completely different.


Otaku

Stunfisk (XY: BREAKpoint 56/162) continues or trend of Lightning-Types for this week, so the same applies: useful for exploiting Weakness against some high profile targets, a little Resistance to worry about but only in Expanded, a single card with an effect that references Lightning-Types in a negative manner and only a few that explicitly affect Lightning-Types in a positive manner, though there are a few more that benefit them indirectly such as by accelerating [L] Energy.  Being a Basic is the best right now and has been for a while, 110 HP is 20 less than the max printed on Basics (sans Pokémon-EX) and enough to sometimes survive a regular hit, Fighting Weakness is dangerous, Metal Resistance isn’t a huge benefit is better than nothing especially on top of said 110 HP and a Retreat Cost of [CCC] is definitely too much to pay unless you are desperate, so pack some alternatives to paying it (and maybe if enough other cards can use it as well, you can take advantage of being Heavy Ball and/or Heavy Boots compatible). 

Stunfisk does not have an Ancient Trait, nor does it have an Ability: just two attacks.  The first (Revenge) is not new; in fact it has enough of a history (and present!) that we’ll need to go into detail for it.  First though we can focus on the attack requiring [LC] to hit for 20 damage, which is bad.  However the effect text contains a clause stating that if one of your Pokémon were KO’d by damage from the attack of one of your opponent’s Pokémon on his or her last turn, Revenge hits for an additional 80 damage, or 100 damage total.  20 for two is poor but at least it could possibly finish something off, while 100 for two is a great deal.  The condition for triggering the extra damage is just picky enough you will run into decks that scarcely will qualify: besides decks that just aren’t trying to damage your Pokémon (such as certain mill decks), decks place damage counters, decks that do damage but not through attacking and even decks that still do damage but don’t do it with an attack or during the correct turn.  Some of these are quite obscure, even found only in Unlimited but mill, damage counter placement (especially via Poison) are at best uncommon.  A savvy opponent has a serious chance of playing around this effect. 

Though the damage done and the Energy costs were different, Revenge has a substantial history in this game.  If we focus on the effect and not the name, it includes even more cards, but I don’t have the time to do that thorough of a search.  I did manage to find Machamp (Diamond & Pearl 31/130) though, possibly the first card to sport this kind of attack under the name “Revenge” and it is over eight years old!  Focusing on more recent cards, of note are Terrakion (BW: Noble Victories 73/101, 99/101; BW: Boundaries Crossed 151/149; BW: Legendary Treasures 84/113), which has Revenge-by-another-name (Retaliate).  There was a time when it was a major force in competitive play, and we have reviewed it three different times.  Another recent example is Bouffalant (BW: Legendary Treasures 107/113), though it never got a review and never made a big splash.  The most recent example is Druddigon (XY: Flashfire 70/106), which also was our fourth place pick for the Top 10 cards of its set.  It did make a big splash in competitive play (pun intended) as at the time we desperately needed something that could exploit the Dragon-Type Weakness on potent BW-era Dragon-Types, but now it sees just a little successful competitive play.  All three are Basics.  Terrakion and Druddigon were at their best when they were able to exploit Weakness at critical moments in the format, which is the big difference between them and Bouffalant.  Terrakion has the full 130 HP and was on top when that was more likely to survive an attack than be KOed, but also has the somewhat awkward [FC] to its attack cost, while Druddigon has a little less going for it except its Revenge attack costs [CC], so powering it up in one turn is as easy as a Double Colorless Energy. 

So what does all that mean?  Well Stunfisk has the clunkier cost of Terrakion but also the Type-matching of Terrakion (Druddigon was a Dragon-Type, which is so specialized it doesn’t really compare).  Stunfisk also hits harder than any of the past examples when its condition is met.  The increase is not enough to take out a lot of extra targets in one hit, but sometimes it will.  More useful is that with a Muscle Band or Silver Bangle, it threatens even Mega Evolutions (Lightning Weak ones with a OHKO, everything else with a 2HKO).  So what about after that?  Enter the second attack, “Thunder Blast”, which costs [LLC], states you must discard an Energy from “this Pokémon”, and does… 80 damage.  Three Energy and a discard only doing 80 is poor, but not useless.  If your opponent doesn’t OHKO Stunfisk or tries to “dodge” the effect of Revenge, you are one more Energy away from a solid blow.  I’d be happier if it did more damage, but it is more useful than it might first appear once you factor in the rest of the card.  The biggest concerns are the Energy costs: [CC] and [LCC] for the attacks would have been impressive, giving Stunfisk the best of all its predecessors, but at least with [LC] and [LLC] it is still staggered in a useful manner. 

So what about the other Stunfisk?  There are four other versions available, all Basic Pokémon with no Ancient Traits, no Abilities but two attacks.  All are also Expanded onlys: BW: Noble Victories 42/101, BW: Noble Victories 68/101, BW: Dragons Exalted 70/124 (also available as BW: Legendary Treasures 83/113) and BW: Legendary Treasures  RC12/RC25.  Stunfisk is a dual-Type Pokémon in the video games: Ground/Electric.  In the TCG this means it is either a Fighting-Type or a Lightning-Type, and BW: Noble Victories 42/101 is the only other example of a Lightning-Type and it even managed to get a review.  With 90 HP, Fighting Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of [CC], it lacks a lot of the benefits of today’s card, though it does gain being Level Ball legal (should that matter).  It won’t though because of the attacks; while I said I wanted [CC] and [LCC] for costs it was with the attacks of today’s version, but this one instead just has “Mud Shot” for a vanilla 20 and “Thunder” for 60 with a coin flip where “tails” means 30 damage to itself (“heads” just does the base 60).  No thanks.  The remaining three are all Fighting-Types with Water Weakness and Lightning Resistance.  BW: Noble Victories 68/101 was reviewed here and it too has only 90 HP, but this time with a Retreat Cost of [C] (the lowest of any Stunfisk).  Its claim to fame is that while it is a Fighting-Type, its attacks cost [LC] and [LLC], like today’s Stunfisk.  The first is attack “Trickle” which gives you two coin flips good for 30 damage per “heads”.  The second is “Thundershock”, a familiar attack that does 50 damage with a coin flip to inflict Paralysis.  Another one to skip. 

Dragons Exalted 70/124 actually saw some competitive play, acting as a smaller version of Landorus-EX.  You can see the old review here.  It has 100 HP and Retreat Cost of [CCC], with its first attack requiring [F] and second requiring [FC].  The former is “Muddy Water”, which does 20 to the opponent’s Active and 20 to one of the opponent’s Benched Pokémon (your choice).  The second attack is “Rumble” and does 40 damage, while also preventing the Defending Pokémon from retreating the next turn.  I don’t think anyone uses it now but it at least would have a small prayer of it, taking advantage of all the damage boosts provided to Fighting-Types on top of its useful effects.  If you have a good way to supply both [F] and [L] Energy in the same deck, this one actually could be used alongside today’s.  Finally there is BW: Legendary Treasures RC12/RC25, which has hilarious art, 90 HP, Retreat Cost [CCC] a [F] Energy attack (Attract) and a [FFC] attack (Mud-Slap).  Attract forces the Defending Pokémon to flip a coin if it wants to attack Stunfisk the next turn, but I think benching/bouncing/etc. either Pokémon resets the effect, while Mud-Slap just does 70 damage.  Sadly, not a Stunfisk you ought to be running. 

So the other Stunfisk are pretty much a bust.  Has anyone been using this card?  Yes.  I expected it in Magnezone (XY: BREAKthrough 54/162) decks but I’ve no proof that they are using it: it isn’t really a main attacker so I didn’t expect it to show up in general descriptions for any deck that might use it.  Fortunately someone must have really felt like being detailed, so over on The Charizard Lounge the list of Masters Top Eight finishers (note the charts that total said finishes only cover the Top Four) did include single Top 8 finish with Stunfisk so… good enough for me to justify reviewing it.  Interestingly, Justin Bokhari ran a Yveltal EX deck that included strategic back-up attackers in the form of Regirock (XY: Ancient Origins 40/98) and today’s Stunfisk, plus Smeargle (XY: BREAKthrough 123/162) to help with the three different Energy-Types.  At first I was surprised, but it occurred to me this allows the deck to strike three different kinds of Weakness (Darkness, Fighting and Lightning) with one attacker that hits harder based on the Energy attached to both Active Pokémon (Yveltal-EX) or hits for a solid 90 while moving an Energy from itself to something on the Bench, another that clobbers Pokémon-EX harder (Regirock) and finally the last one (Stunfisk) with its Revenge attack for a surprise hit after something of yours is KO’d (in the appropriate manner). 

So for Standard and perhaps Expanded, Stunfisk has some reason to be considered.  For Limited it’s a great pull; don’t try a +39 deck with it but if you can make room for a handful of Lightning Energy cards, enjoy a Revenge attack, maybe followed by a few KOs from Thunder Blast. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3.15/5 

Limited: 4.65/5 

Summary: Stunfisk shows some power creep for the Revenge-style attackers, but that isn’t enough to make it the new backup hitter for most decks.  It is enough for it to find a place in certain decks, and that is good enough.  This made it good enough to include as my 13th place pick for the Top 15 of XY: BREAKthrough, and had our Top 10 list been a Top 15, it would have just missed out since it only managed a 16th place finish.


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