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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 XY: Evolutions Cards

#3 - Rattata & Raticate
- XY: Evolutions

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 16, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

See Below

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Why yes, a common field mouse does manage to hit our Top 3. If that's not surprising to you, I don't know what is...aside from maybe sand castle ghosts eating you alive on the beach-I'M EXCITED FOR SUN & MOON 

Anyways, Rattata and Raticate both make our list for being a noteworthy duo. ESPECIALLY compared to their previous iterations. Let's start with the little guy Rattata. Originally, all he had was that 1-for-20 vanilla Bite. That was it. Now the Bite's been weakened to 10 damage but he got an amazing Ability in Mischievous Fang. This Ability lets Rattata munch away at all the Pokemon Tools on your opponent's Active Pokemon when he comes into play. Played at the right time, Rattata can easily tip things into your favor. But then he's left pretty vulnerable at 40 HP. 

So that brings us to the card that made it onto my list at least, Raticate. The original was a 60 HP Stage 1 that held onto that 1-for-20 vanilla Bite but also had Super Fang, which at 3 Energy dealt damage equal to half the Defending Pokemon (aka the opponent's Active Pokemon)'s remaining HP. Really I wouldn't have been surprised to see Super Fang come back, it wasn't too bad an attack. Just unpopular on what could be OHKO'd by the commonly played Hitmonchan's Jab. 

But this Raticate? This one is very very different. First of all, Bite is upgraded to Crunch, which carries over the 1-for-10 Bite but adds on the neat little effect of discarding Energy from the Active Pokemon. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. That kind of effect normally has something like a coin flip attached, so even at low damage it's a potent effect that can absolutely destroy an unprepared opponent. That being said, there is another attack with an effect that WILL absolutely destroy an unprepared opponent, and that is the Shadowy Bite. 

Surprisingly, this attack only costs 1 Energy. Even more surprisingly, this attack does 60 damage for every type of a specific card in your opponent's discard. Even more surprising than that, it targets Special Energies. Now that combination of things may seem rather low, but consider that most people will usually be running at least 4 of a certain kind of Special Energy they want to be utilizing to its fullest potential. Strong Energy, DCE, Double Dragon, these are just a few small examples of what get used in various decks. And remember, Raticate's Shadowy Bite does 60 for each one for up to 240 if you only run 4. 

And he's got an attack that discards any Energy. 

That's synergy right there, folks. 


Standard: 3.5/5 (I expect Raticate decks will pop up to meddle with the natural order of things) 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (and all things considered, he's got the right attributes - quick Stage, cheap yet powerful attack) 

Limited: 2/5 (but he thrives where Special Energy thrives, and Rattata's a tech at best outside of a Raticate deck) 

Arora Notealus: Who would think that Rattata and Raticate would ever hit a Top 10 list, let alone be placed in the Top 3? It certainly says something about their capabilities compared to their former selves. Definitely an improvement overall, even without Raticate getting a huge HP boost. 

Next Time: Another Colorless Pokemon strikes the Top 3!


Welcome to our first twofer as third place goes to Rattata (XY: Evolutions 66/108) and Raticate (XY: Evolutions 67/108)! 


No I’m not kidding, the insanity is real.  It might seem a bit jumbled, but I’ll be reviewing the two together as they have so much in common.  I’ll also be shaking up the order a bit because some traits influence others a bit more than usual.  Rattata is a Basic Pokémon; this is the best Stage to be as its minimum space and time requirements to get the card into play, it has a natural synergy with certain effects (at least compared to other Stages), it can serve as your opener, and it can tape Basic Stage support.  The drawbacks are that you really do not want to open with Rattata and there are some potent Basic Stage counters with which it must deal.  Raticate takes an extra card and an extra turn (or no extra turns but two extra cards, one being Wally) to hit the field.  It can tap Evolution support (and there is even specific Stage 1 support) and it has to deal with Evolution counters. 

Rattata has 40 HP, just 10 above the minimum printed on actual Pokémon (as opposed to Trainers played as Pokémon) while Raticate only adds 20 to that for a meager 60; these are either going to be glass cannons, Bench-sitters, otherwise expendable, or we’ll need some potent protective effects.  Both are Fighting Weak, which is pretty dangerous, but the significance is diminished by the low HP; it still matters, but instead of massive swings it just means Fighting Types have an even more reliable OHKO since they just have to do 20 or 30 damage (respectively).  No Resistance is typical and with the low HP scores, probably wouldn’t have made a significant difference.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is low, easy both to pay and recover from having paid, but with cards like these, I tend to expect a free Retreat.  That doesn’t make it bad per se, but when past iterations have really benefitted from it, that means these two really need to bring it. 

Both are Colorless Types; we aren’t dealing with Unlimited play so nothing is Colorless Weak or Resistant.  The Type does have its own bit of support in the form of cards like Altaria (XY: Roaring Skies 74/108, XY: Black Star Promos XY46), Aspertia City Gym, and Winona and actual hard counters in the form of Exeggcutor (XY: Roaring Skies 2/108) and Haxorus (BW: Dragon Vault 16/20).  Why cover Type now after HP?  I just mentioned how the low HP means Weakness is just mades a bad situation a tiny bit worse, and how without a massive bit of protection, the HP scores are so low: Altaria and Aspertia City Gym are going to go to waste unless you can stack massive HP bonuses, damage reduction, etc. on top of them.  The good news is that Exeggcutor and Haxorus weren’t seeing competitive play even when there was a strong Colorless presence dominating the metagame; I mean even with M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108) up front in many decks and Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) on almost every Bench!  Only Winona might matter for explicit Type support… which brings us to implicit Type support: most Colorless Pokémon enjoy Winona (just aren’t abundant enough in a deck to justify her inclusion) as three-for-one with only Type restriction is a solid deal for a Supporter, and while many Pokémon have [C] Energy requirements (and not just most Colorless Types), we have enough Special Energy like Double Colorless Energy to consider that a benefit as well. 

Rattata has an Ability and an attack. When you Bench Raticate from hand, its “Mischievous Fang” Ability triggers and you’ve got the opportunity to discard all Pokémon Tools from your opponent’s Active.  This is a good, solid Ability; not great as it only affects the Active and obviously Ability lock still blocks it, but on the rare instance you face something with multiple Tools attached it nails all of them, and in general it should be handy for pitching your opponent’s Fighting Fury Belt.  Regrettably, the attack is pure filler - “Bite” for [C] doing 10 damage - but at least it isn’t too badly overpriced and can at least finish off something that has nearly been KO’d.  I’d prefer a useful effect instead, but again we work with what we have… so what about Raticate?  Two attacks, both for [C].  First is “Crunch” which does 10 and allows you to discard an Energy attached to the opponent’s Active while the next is “Shadowy Bite” which does 60 damage times the number of Special Energy cards in your opponent’s discard pile.  It sounds like nitpicking, but I’d really like Crunch to have hit for 20 or 30 damage, but it still seems like a solid enough attack, especially when it helps set up for Shadowy Bite.  Shadowy Bite is the main attraction, as with just three Special Energy in your opponent’s discard pile, its scoring a OHKO against most of the card pool.  Rattata and Raticate even have some natural synergy as discarding Fighting Fury Belt can bring something into OHKO range of Shadowy Bite, while discarding a Spirit Link can prevent something from easily Mega Evolving the next turn out of the range of said attack. 

So what about the other Rattata and Raticate?  Raticate BREAK?  All are Colorless Pokémon with no Ancient Trait, and everything but Raticate BREAK - as it uses the bottom stats of the Raticate from which it BREAK Evolved - are Fighting Weak with no Resistance, just like today’s Rattata and Raticate.  Specifically we have BW: Boundaries Crossed 104/149, BW: Plasma Freeze 87/116, and  XY: BREAKpoint 87/122 for Rattata while we have BW: Boundaries Crossed 105/149, BW: Plasma Freeze 88/116, and  XY: BREAKpoint 88/122.  There is only one Raticate BREAK, XY: BREAKpoint 88/122.  All three Rattata have Retreat Cost [C], no Ability, and just one attack.  Rattata (BW: Boundaries Crossed 104/149) is an Expanded-only option, has 30 HP, and the attack “Paralyzing Gaze” for [C] which has you flip a coin to Paralyze the opponent’s Active.  Rattata (BW: Plasma Freeze 87/116) is also an Expanded-only option, but has 40 HP with the attack “Lunge” requiring [CC] and doing 30 damage on a successful coin flip (“tails” does nothing).  Rattata (XY: BREAKpoint 87/122) is Standard or Expanded legal, has 30 HP, and the attack “Dangerous Suspicion” for [C] which allows you to draw a card and then switch Rattata with one of your Benched Pokémon.  None of these have been reviewed before, and you can see why; highlights are (in order) the chance of Paralysis giving it a better chance of surviving to Evolve, +10 HP over the others (but tied with today) giving it a better chance to survive, and an attack that draws then hides it on your chance giving it a better chance of surviving while helping general setup.  Go with today’s Rattata (XY: Evolutions 66/108. 

Raticate (BW: Boundaries Crossed 105/149) has 60 HP, a free Retreat Cost, and two attacks.  The first is “Gnaw Through” which costs [C] and discards a Tool from your opponent’s Active, while the second is “Super Fang” for [CCC] which places damage counters on the Defending Pokémon until it has just 10 HP remaining.  The CotD crew looked at it here and got it about right; people made decks around it, but those decks weren’t truly competitive.  While Gnaw Through was a poor and attack and is even worse now, Super Fang had a decent enough combo with Hypnotoxic Laser for a OHKO provided nothing was being negated.  The Energy cost and Evolution cost just proved to be too much though.  Raticate (BW: Plasma Freeze 88/116) is a Team Plasma Pokémon with 70 HP, and against a free Retreat Cost with two attacks.  For [C] it can use “Transfer Junk” to add a Team Plasma Pokémon, Team Plasma Trainer card, and Team Plasma Energy card from your discard pile to your hand.  For [CC] it can use Bite to do 30 damage.  Even having the most HP of any contemporary Raticate, a perfect Retreat Cost, and being a piece of Team Plasma support which could take advantage of other Team Plasma support wasn’t enough to get this card played, though the crew still reviewed it here.  Both are still legal in Expanded.

Raticate (XY: BREAKpoint 88/122) also has 70 HP and that beautiful free Retreat Cost, but this time it has an Ability and an attack.  The Ability is “Antibodies”, which protects this Raticate from being affected by Special Conditions.  It also removes them, not because you need to intentionally use this Ability but in case Raticate was affected by a Special Condition while Antibodies was shut down by another effect, but then turns back “on”.  The attack is “Dirty Shock” costs [C], Poisons the opponent’s Active, and then discards all Tools attached to it.  Both of these are good traits to have, but seem odd on Raticate… until you see Raticate BREAK.  It has 110 HP, which is low considering its a pseudo-Stage 2.  Its attack is Super Fang again, but this time for just [CC] allowing it to be completely fueled by Double Colorless Energy.  It still places damage counters on the opponent’s Active until it has only 10 HP remaining.  This meant the two together could setup for a 2HKO of anything, provided attack effects weren’t blocked and the damage counters placed or Poison weren’t removed before during that time.  Oh, and of course assuming your opponent didn’t just change his or her Active.  Ariados (XY: Ancient Origins 6/98) was used with these two to form a deck; instead of two turns, you rushed out your Raticate BREAK, used the Ability on Ariados to Poison the opponent’s Active (assuming it wasn’t a Grass Type) without Poisoning your own Raticate BREAK (because of Antibodies on the underlying Raticate).  We looked at Raticate BREAK here and I think we got it right; it creates a functional deck but not one that has a history of winning.

So… should you use any other Raticate or Raticate BREAK with today’s Rattata and Raticate?  Raticate (XY: BREAKpoint 88/122) with Raticate BREAK or just Raticate BREAK seem plausible.  The idea is that Rattata is just handy in general while today’s Raticate punishes decks that use more than a few Special Energy and/or can’t get their Special Energy out of the discard pile quickly enough, and Raticate BREAK provides an alternate strategy for the decks that do eschew Special Energy or rarely leave it long in the discard pile.   Raticate (XY: BREAKpoint 88/122) is probably optional.  If you want to focus more on Super Fang, you probably have Ariados, but with just 70 or 110 HP, Antibodies is niche protection (you’ll be KO’d regardless of Special Conditions).  You include one, maybe two for the free Retreat Cost and in case Special Energy in the opponent’s discard pile is scarce and Abilities are down so it’s the 2HKO or no KO.  The one that really ought to see play however is just Rattata (XY: Evolutions 66/108).  Include a TecH copy and just use it to delay that key Mega Evolution, get rid of Fighting Fury Belt for the KO, mess up Exp. Share shenanigans, etc.  Raticate (XY: Evolutions 67/108) is then the TecH attacker so you can exploit Special Energy heavy decks, space and need permitting.

Decks with Ninja Boy will be able to better use Rattata, as it is so vulnerable even on the Bench; at least it will usually take two Bench hits and not one.  Decks that want to fill their Bench like M Gardevoir-EX (XY: Steam Siege 79/114, 112/114) and M Rayquaza-EX builds will have a place for it as well.  At least in Standard play; Expanded brings useful tricks to help Rattata but clearly superior competition in the form of Startling Megaphone, Tool Scrapper, and Xerosic.  Oh and remember, this is not a proper Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122); you’d have to tag a Trubbish you forced Active before it Evolves… and you should just be scoring a OHKO against that with your deck’s main attacker instead.  For Limited play, the set has Double Colorless Energy and multiple Spirit Link cards, which is just enough for me to enjoy having a Rattata and Raticate along for the ride. 

A quick history lesson… this Rattata is loosely based on Rattata (Base Set 61/102; Base Set 2 89/130, Legendary Collection 89/110), with multiple other Rattata since resembling it.  The original was a Colorless Basic Pokémon with 30 HP, Fighting Weakness x2, Psychic Resistance -30, a free Retreat Cost, and for [C] could use Bite to do 20 damage.  Even though it was so fragile at the time, the combination of a free Retreat Cost and doing 20 for one of any Energy actually proved useful.  Not for long, mind you, but when it first released and perhaps a short time after its final re-release.  Oh and some used it to counter Ditto (Fossil 3/62, 18/62).  It is great they added an Ability, but why nerf the Retreat Cost?  I understand not upping the HP by enough to really scale, losing the Resistance, and dropping the damage, but oh would a free Retreat Cost be handy.  Amazingly, the original Rattata has a review!  Today’s Raticate has a similar ancestor, Raticate (Base Set 62/102; Base Set 2 90/130, Legendary Collection 90/110).  A Stage 1 Colorless Type with 60 HP, Fighting Weakness x2, Psychic Resistance -30, Retreat Cost [C], Bite for [C] doing 20, and Super Fang for [CCC] but the original did damage equal to half the Defending Pokémon’s remaining HP (rounded up).  While that meant Super Fang could eventually score an out and out KO, it never paid off back in the day, at least when facing competitive decks.  Happy to get the two sort-of-new attacks (other Pokémon have similar attacks), again understand losing Resistance, but leaving the HP and Retreat Cost alone is disappointing. 



Standard: 3.5/5 

Expanded: 2.5/5 

Limited: 3/5 


Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 3/5 

Summary: Rattata is a solid general use card that also has some specific usage elevating its score; do not think it is a 3.5/5 in all Standard decks but instead it’s handy in most and vital to some (admittedly unproven) builds.  In Expanded it remains the best Rattata but it’s outperformed by Trainer cards for general usage.  Raticate is in a similar boat, but with less of a general application.  In Standard it rides on the coattails of Rattata as a 1-1 line to discard a problem Tool and punish Special Energy heavy decks isn’t too demanding.  What keeps its score the same in Expanded is that it there is because I believe the format has a more favorable place for it, even though Rattata isn’t so hot here. 

As a duo, Rattata and Raticate managed 15 voting points, four ahead of yesterday’s fourth place finisher but three behind our second place pick.  The pair was my fourth place pick, where they received nearly half of those points, so no qualms about it taking third relative to our options from this set.  Compared to sets I would consider at least “average”, however, these two probably ought to be much lower, maybe even missing out on the top 10.  So it is up to either first or second place to finally wow us.

Zach Carmichael

Closing in on our list of top 10 cards from Evolutions, today we are looking a pair of cards: Rattata and Raticate. Like other cards in the set, both feature Base Set artwork and similar stats, but, interestingly enough, Pokémon decided to make both somewhat playable, even by the standard of today’s meta-game. Providing a means to counter Tool and Special Energy cards, respectively, Rattata and Raticate certainly have potential in the format. 

Rattata’s attack and HP are underwhelming, but the Ability makes it worth a look. Its “Mischievous Fang” lets you discard all Pokémon Tool cards attached to the opponent’s Active when you play it to the Bench. This lets you get rid of a lot of annoying cards like Fighting Fury Belt and Bursting Balloon. However, keep in mind that it’s only getting rid of a single tool, despite the funky wording of the text. I’m not sure why they specified all Tools besides a handful of Pokémon having the Theta Double Ancient Trait. The biggest letdown about Rattata is that “Mischievous Fang” is an Ability, so it doesn’t exactly deal with the primary threat that is Garbodor. Players can often deal with Fighting Fury Belt or other Tools, but slapping a Float Stone on Garbodor can essentially shut down decks entirely as early as turn two. I can see Rattata being a one-of in some decks that are shy of KO’ing things that use Fighting Fury Belt, but it’s hard to say how else players will use it. 

Raticate is one of my favorite cards from Evolutions. Similarly to Drifblim from Dragons Exalted, its Shadowy Bite can really make an impact against decks that use Special Energy. The attack does 60 damages times the number of Special Energy cards in the opponent’s discard pile. Early game this might not amount to much, but later on you could easily do 180 or even 240 damage depending on how many Energy they have discarded! What’s more is that its first attack, Crunch, discards an Energy and has a low cost. With 60 HP, though, it will get quickly KO’d. This means that Raticate is best suited as a tech more so than a primary attacker. I can see a 1-1 or 2-2 line in decks that can squeeze it in.


Standard: 3.5/5

Expanded: 2.5/5

Limited: 3/5 

Summary: While they are not groundbreaking, Rattata and Raticate will likely find their places in a format dominated by Tool cards and Special Energy. Both are somewhat useful – especially Raticate – and will be good tech cards in decks that are often short of getting KOs or can’t deal with attackers that can hit quickly thanks to cards like Double Colorless Energy.

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