Geez, they just couldn't stop
pairing up with that Grass-typing, huh? Guess that's
what you get for having Grass and Bug Pokemon sorted
into a single type. Could be worse though, at least
they're not like Rock/Ground/Fighting into just
Fighting-Type. But I digress.
Galvantula actually has a little
potential here, given that both of his attacks are only
1 Energy apiece. Unfortunately that potential is lost on
their low power, but they're still interesting enough
nevertheless. Double Thread is actually very curious,
dealing out 30 damage to 2 of your opponent's Pokemon.
The very curious part is that you actually do apply
Weakness/Resistance on the Benched Pokemon, meaning you
can hit for 60 damage minimum on anything weak to
Electric or Grass. To give an idea, that's most every
Water-Type Pokemon, a few Fighting Pokemon, and a few
So I guess RIP Water Toolbox, huh?
All kidding aside, Electroweb is
hardly threatening. A 1-for-30 attack that prevents
retreat isn't really a threat to anything at all, so I'm
pretty sure Galvantula's still gonna have problems with
whatever's Active. Really, I'd say he's better off
spreading damage around with Double Thread, hitting
Weakness when he can while avoiding Resistance to get
the most benefit out of his attack. It's not much
really, and the general lack of power will probably be
what ultimately leads him into obscurity.
So I guess RIP Galvantula.
Standard: 2/5 (Double Thread's the
only real potential threat here, but otherwise
Galvantula doesn't hit hard enough to be threatening)
Expanded: 2/5 (but by itself, even
Double Thread's not that much of a threat if you're not
weak to it)
Limited: 3/5 (or at least have some
bulkier Pokemon about like the EX)
Arora Notealus: I wonder what other
Dual Types they could hit up. We've seen M Steelix-EX
with Fighting/Steel, Volcanion-EX with Fire/Water, these
last three with Grass and Dark/Electric/Fire...
Next Time: And now for something
Today we look at
Galvantula (XY: Steam Siege 42/114). It
is both Grass and Lightning Typed, which means it is a
terror to the majority of Water Types in Expanded:
currently Grass Weakness is typical of TCG Water Types
which are not based on the video game Ice Type
(those are usually Metal Weak), but prior to this it was
likely for Water Types to be Grass or Lightning Weak (as
opposed to Grass Weak). Not sure why the change
happened, or why a handful of cards in the XY-era which
are Water Types (in the TCG or the video games) still
received Lightning Weakness when it doesn’t match up to
their other video game Type but whatever the reason, it
is nice having all but one chunk of a Type take double
damage from your attacks. Speaking of chunks, many
Colorless Types and as well as nearly all the other
Types have cards which represent the video game Flying
Type, and they have Lightning Weakness. Grass
Weakness is also found on a decent amount of the
Fighting Type as well. While Grass/Lightning isn’t
hitting any Type 100% of the time, it still seems like a
decent amount of potentially favorable match ups to me.
As for Resistance, nothing in the BW- or XY-era releases
are Grass Resistant and only some Fighting Types from
the BW-era enjoy Lightning Resistance, so while not
perfect, that’s pretty close.
What about Type
counters or support? No Type specific counters
really stand out other than the incidental example I
name so often: Parallel City. If you’ve
been skipping around or are new, Parallel City is
a Stadium with two effects but only one of them applies
to either player; which is determined by the direction
the card faces. One of these effects is that a
player can have no more than three Pokémon on his or her
Bench, and that is the effect that gets Parallel City
run. The other is that the damage done by Fire,
Grass, or Water Type Pokémon is reduced by 20.
Rarely is a player running Parallel City to
reduce the damage, but it might be an option for them.
The best support for Grass is based on Evolving from a
Grass Type Pokémon, and we finally have a card that
cannot lay claim to that so no Forest of Giant
Plants. Revitalizer isn’t bad (and in fact
is fairly good with Battle Compressor in
Expanded) but not major and the rest of what I can
recall is less impressive or more deck specific.
Same for tricks based around Grass Energy (Virizion-EX
just isn’t as important as it once was) or synergy with
other Grass Type attackers or Bench-sitters. If
more than a token source of [G] Energy is being used, I
guess I ought to site Virizion (XY: Ancient
Origins 12/98) as a solid sweeper. The
Lightning Type also offers very little; though this is
not entirely due to its absence but because most of it
will be mitigated by the HP on Galvantula.
Most of the Lightning Energy based support will be
unnecessary because its Energy acceleration and
Galvantula won’t really need it. There are
some prominent Lightning Type attackers, but the ones
popping into my head are either outdated, too specific,
or too generic to be a real help to Galvantula.
So with all that
out of the way for Typing, we’ll tackle the Stage; being
a Stage 1 means requiring an extra card and an extra
turn over being just a Basic, and being a Basic is still
the best. A Stage 1 can match a Basic in speed if
you don’t mind burning your Supporter for the turn on
Wally, but that is usually only a good idea in
select decks. 90 HP is low enough to be a fairly easy
KO, though early game or against decks not focused upon
damage, it might be able to just survive a hit.
Slight bonus is that if the deck has room for Level
Ball, Galvantula is a legal target.
Fighting Weakness is dangerous as the Type specializes
in hitting hard and fast, stacking damage bonuses.
A few heavy hitters will just be in overkill territory
which doesn’t matter or may even be turned against the
opponent, but most will just be even more reliable about
scoring a OHKO for a single Energy. Metal
Resistance won’t mean much with 90 HP, but sometimes
that extra -20 will come in handy, so enjoy it.
The Retreat Cost of [C] is easy to pay and to recover
from having paid most of the time, though with this
card’s size and my experience using and facing it, I
cannot tell if it would have been broken or just right
with a free Retreat Cost instead.
has two attacks: Double Thread and Electroweb. For
[C] the former allows you to hit two of your opponent’s
Benched Pokémon for 30 damage, while for [L] the latter
does 30 while preventing the Defending Pokémon from
retreating during your opponent’s next turn. It is
important to note that the first attack has been
errata’d because it cannot hit your opponent’s
Active, and to note that it applies Weakness and
Resistance when hitting the Bench. That isn’t
just important because it is unusual, but because
Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108,
106/108) is a very common Lighting Weak Benched target!
Best of all Double Thread is the Colorless attack, so it
works with any Energy. Electroweb can be useful as
well, but it’s the double Bench hit that applies
Weakness that gives Galvantula potential.
Actually, the card is already being used with some
success in Xerneas (XY: BREAKthrough
107/162) decks. It provides both a [L] and [G]
Pokémon for a single Bench slot, behind a reasonably
big, Basic non-Pokémon-EX attacker, adding 60 damage to
the yield of “Rainbow Force”. Joltik (XY:
Steam Siege 41/114) has been surprisingly useful to
Galvantula as well; though only a 30 HP Lightning
Type Basic with a forgettable attack (and other stats),
it has a free Retreat Cost.
Due to time
constraints, I’m not going to compare and contrast it
with the other Galvantula (or the other Joltik).
I know some folks are testing out Vileplume (BW:
Boundaries Crossed 3/149) decks, and while it might
be meaningless message board Theorymon, Galvantula
has been floated around as an attacker for such a deck.
After all, with the Ability on Vileplume
(“Allergy Panic”) increasing Weakness to x4,
Galvantula doesn’t set up an unreliable double 2HKO,
but a guaranteed OHKO (or double OHKO) of opposing
Shaymin-EX. With Muscle Band and a
source of [L] Energy, it could also still do 50 damage
which becomes 200 against Active Lighting Weak
attackers. So if you want to run a Rainbow Road
deck or just experiment, give this card a try.
Should be quite nice in Limited play, where hitting the
Bench is a much stronger tactic.
As you can tell, I had to truncate my usual review
pattern, but didn’t have time to rewrite the first half
to avoid it being as detailed as usual. Being a
Dual Type favors Galvantula because of the
Weaknesses it can exploit, namely hitting Shaymin-EX
(preferably two) which are on your opponent’s Bench.
Not something to build a deck around, but something
which fits into one existing deck (Rainbow Road) and
possibly one hasbeen that actually neverwas, the
“Allergy Panic Deck”. For what is easily dismissed
as a novelty, that is pretty impressive.