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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Grumpig

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
May 26, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.38
Expanded: 1.33
Limited: 2.75

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Sorry about missing yesterday! No big deal though, Kingdra-EX is basically another Dragon-typed heavy-duty Energy-wielding Ba'al-busting Pokemon! 

...maybe I've been playing too much Bravely Second. 

Oh well, onto Grumpig! 

Now Grumpig isn't particularly notable for anything special. 100 HP, Stage 1, Psychic Type, but neither of his attacks can take advantage of Dimension Valley. That's a real shame, since they could've been potentially better with it than without. Not that Knock Back is going to have the opponent trembling in their boots, being a 2-for-50 that forces a Switch on your opponent's Active. It's just not that good. 

So what about Head Walking? Well for 1 Energy, you get to call out a Pokemon to your opponent's Bench and put 3 damage counters on it. Normally, that's an extremely bad effect - even with an extra 30 damage on it, most Pokemon aren't any less threatening for it. Sure, it combos well with Alakazam-EX and M Alakazam-EX, but you're still running a Stage 1 to bring stuff back so that the bigger attacker, which could put counters down anyway, can get rid of it. 

So why the hype? Well, Grumpig's Head Walking can do damage against one particular deck: Night March. Its main attackers include Joltik, a 30 HP Basic, and more recently Mew, who only has 50 HP to begin with. The obvious maneuver is to bring back a discarded Joltik onto the Bench and immediately KO it with Grumpig for 1 Prize - pretty easy for 1 Energy, and not many decks can say they can do that! But that's a particularly niche usage for Grumpig that's only really relevant because of where the meta is at, and even then Grumpig is unlikely to see play because of it due to the Energy restrictions alongside running it as a Stage 1 Evolutionary line. 

If anything, Night March just benefits in mirror matches for it, and they'd rather just be powering up Night March. So off to the binder with you, you silly dancing pig. 

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (Grumpig has one relative niche use, and that's about it) 

Expanded:1.5/5 (there are so few Pokemon that get KO'd at 30 HP nowadays, and even fewer competitive Pokemon that get taken advantage of) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (could Grumpig become more relevant though? possibly, if there are M Alakazam-EX variants successfully running it, but that's about the most I'd expect) 

Arora Notealus: Grumpig is still a quirky Pokemon. I honestly had forgotten about him in a period of time - come on, now, there's only 700 Pokemon soon to be over 800 - and remembered him a few months back as this strange enigma of sorts. Maybe there'll be something in the next generation to give him relevance again...either that, or at least he'll be related to Spoink, the perpetually bouncing lest he dies Pokemon. 

Next Time: Back to the Basics and giving new form to old Pokemon!...well, not really old Pokemon, it's really relatively new-eh, whatever...


Otaku

Today we take a look at Grumpig (XY: Fates Collide 31/124).  To begin with, I love the art; a Grumpig dancing around on stage, two Exploud either singing or acting as speakers, and an audience of both people and Pokémon, raising spoons to reflect the stage lights (instead of lighters) to cheer on Grumpig.  I can’t tell you much from a technical standpoint except - ignoring the fun of the image - it still looks like a good quality illustration to me.  Hopefully this isn’t the highlight of the card, but then again it does set the bar high in that one area.  Being a Psychic Type means Grumpig can exploit Weakness typically found on a large chunk of the Fighting and Psychic Types, but also has to deal with Resistance on nearly all Darkness and Metal Type Pokémon.  Filtering that through the competitive (and not just the actual) card pool you’re not running into either as much as you might expect, and then we have to consider that Weakness is far more damaging than Resistance is protective.  I am unaware of any explicit Psychic Type counters beyond trying to exploit Weakness against any specific Psychic Types giving you problems, but as that does seem to be working reasonably well and those Type specific counters tend to be trivial for other Types, that isn’t a problem.  There are a few key pieces of exclusive Psychic Type support, with most of them mattering at least a little to the general Type.  Peeking ahead though it won’t do Grumpig much good apart from Mystery Energy. 

Being a Stage 1 means Grumpig takes a little added effort to hit the field; enough that it is at an obvious disadvantage head-to-head against Basic Pokémon but not so much as to make it impossible or even especially difficult to run.  It also puts its 100 HP into perspective; still low even for a Basic, for a minimum two card investment it really hurts to be a OHKO for so many decks, sometimes even ones that normally cannot score a OHKO which brings us to Weakness.  Hitting Psychic Weakness isn’t that impressive, but having it is actually pretty dangerous due to things like Night March, Mew-EX in general, and the original Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW: Black Star Promos BW45; BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113), but with the low HP you might think it would not matter.  Then you get to the various Psychic Types like Trevenant BREAK, usually BREAK Evolved from Trevenant (XY 55/146); the “Tree Slam” attack provided by the regular Trevenant suddenly scores OHKOs while still smacking the Bench.  The lack of Resistance is typical and given the 100 HP even if some had been present, would not have mattered much.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you likely can pay it if you must, but high enough you really want to avoid doing just that; pack some alternatives to retreating, either at full price or entirely. 

Grumpig has two attacks called “Head Walking” and “Knock Back” that cost [P] and [PP] respectively.  Head Walking has the unusual effect of taking a Basic Pokémon from your opponent’s discard pile and putting it onto your opponent’s Bench with three damage counters on it.  30 HP Pokémon can be revived for a quick Prize, slightly larger ones could be left as potential targets for damage/damage counter spread the next turn, and anything not immediately Knocked Out by the damage counters can take up valuable Bench space.  Not bad for a single Energy attack, but not inherently great either.  Knock Back does 50 damage and then forces your opponent to switch his or her Active with one of his or her Benched Pokémon.  This is underwhelming for [PP]; it isn’t a [CC] cost or [PC] or even [XX] where [X] is a specific Energy Type that has easy Energy acceleration for that Pokémon Type or Stage.  Either the effect or the damage output needs to be better, though I can see that this was an attempt at creating a combo between the two attacks; revive things for a bit, then start bouncing them around until you build up to KOs.  It is just far too slow for competitive play. 

Maybe there is something in the related cards.  Grumpig must Evolve from Spoink, and we have BW: Boundaries Crossed 59/149; XY 49/146 (also released as XY: Trainer Kit Noivern Half Deck 1/30), and XY: Fates Collide 30/124.  All are Basic, Psychic Type Pokémon with Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ancient Trait, no Ability, and only one attack for [P].  All but BW: Boundaries Crossed 59/149 are both Standard and Expanded legal with 60 HP.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 59/149 has just 50 HP and can only be used in Expanded play; its attack is “Flail Around” and it has you flip three coins good for 10 damage per “heads” (nothing for each “tails”).  XY 49/146 can use “Splash” to do 10 damage.  XY: Fates Collide 30/124 has “Rocket Jump” to do 30, but it is a “tails fails” attack; still this is the best version to run.  How about the other Grumpig?  There is BW: Boundaries Crossed 60/149 and XY 50/146, which are very similar to today’s Grumpig; so similar I’ll only be commenting on the differences (apart from art, lore, etc.).  BW: Boundaries Crossed 60/149 has 10 more HP, with its first attack being “Psybeam” for [PC] to do 30 and flip a coin.  If “heads” the opponent’s Active is Confused, if “tails” the attack still does 30 but nothing else.  For [PCC] it can use “Extrasensory” to do 60 damage, and if you and the other player have the same amount of cards in hand, an additional 60 (so 120 total).  It is only legal in Expanded but it isn’t worth playing there either. 

XY 50/146 can use “Tricky Steps” for [PC] do 30 damage while moving an Energy attached to the opponent’s Active to one of his or her Benched Pokémon.  For [PPC] it has a beefier Psybeam, doing 60 with the same coin flip for Confusion.  It was reviewed here and found rather wanting; both attacks are too expensive for what they do though Tricky Steps would almost be decent with Dimension Valley.  Looks like today’s Grumpig isn’t getting any help from its lower Stage or other versions.  Is there any reason to play XY: Fates Collide 31/124)?  Only if you really want to punish 30 HP Pokémon or insist on playing a Grumpig, as it is probably the best of the three.  Joltik (XY: Phantom Forces 26/119) and Exeggcute (BW: Plasma Freeze 4/116; BW: Plasma Blast 102/101) provide easy OHKOs for it, and it causes issues for decks relying on Ho-Oh-EX (BW: Dragons Exalted 22/124, 119/124), but Grumpig is an easy OHKO back for any serious deck.  Forcibly reviving something whose presence in the discard pile isn’t vital isn’t going to cut it, especially against Night March.  Using it against small, supporting (and often played) Pokémon-EX like Jirachi-EX or Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) is tempting, but the effort involved means a player may as well just run Target Whistle and and other means of damaging the Bench.  In fact, that would go for the other cards I listed; Head Walking is an attack already, so Target Whistle and Landorus-EX with its “Hammerhead” attack or Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119) and its “Surprise Bite” Ability.  Grumpig looks solid (but still not great) for Limited play, mostly due to reduced competition. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.25/5 

Expanded: 1.15/5 

Limited: 3/5 

Summary: Grumpig has an interesting attack but we have an Item to revive and plenty of aggressive attackers that could then use Bench hits, spread, or Abilities to secure a KO, and those aren’t already seeing a lot of play.  Generally speaking, doing something with an Item, even as part of a combo, tends to be more effective than doing it with an attack alone.


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