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Pojo's Toy Box
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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day
- Sun & Moon
April 25, 2017
& Reviews Summary
Ratings are based
on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.
3 ... average. 5 is awesome.
Back to the main COTD
SPLIT SPIRAL PUNCH!!
...sorry, I just like the name of
the move. Poliwrath probably won't end up on anyone's
top Stage 2 list for the Sun & Moon era, but he's at
least decent I suppose. His first attack, the
aforementioned move, is a 1-for-30 hit that guarantees
Confusion on the opponent, which just means when they
attack and flip Tails on a coin toss, they'll instead
take 20 damage. Unfortunately, Confusion isn't what it
used to be back in the days of Base Set, when it
would've also required the flip to the Bench, so for
better or worse, Confusion got nerfed a few years back
to the point that it's now the worst Status Condition to
give a Pokemon. At least, if your goal was to do damage
or stun the opposing Pokemon.
Wake-Up Slap is the other move, and
you can see it's meant to combo with SPLIT SPIRAL
PUNCH!! Though it's a 3-for-80 move normally, if your
opponent's Pokemon is affected by a Special Condition,
Wake-Up Slap does 80 more damage and then removes the
condition. This can make something like Confusion on the
opposing Pokemon into more of a winning condition, as if
it remains from your previous turn, your opponent not
only may have taken an additional 20 damage from the
Confusion, they'll definitely take 160 damage from
Wake-Up Slap. Between the two moves, that's a possible
Unfortunately, that's where all the
goodness stops. Keeping in mind you need at least a DCE
to get Poliwrath straight from SPLIT SPIRAL PUNCH to
Wake-Up Slap, and that the combo takes 2 turns to enact
from a Stage 2 with 150 HP, it might be difficult for
Poliwrath to pull off. Never mind that he has to compete
with Pokemon-EX and Pokemon-GX currently, or that his
current Weakness still has access to the powerful Forest
of Giant Plants Stadium card.
His chances might improve once the
card rotates out, but even then, I doubt people will put
their eggs all in the Poliwrath basket.
Standard: 2/5 (he's pretty good for
what he's worth, but he's not top-tier competition)
Expanded: 2/5 (not that that's any
fault of his own, it's just that his competition...is
Limited: 3.5/5 (not to mention that
he doesn't have much of a speedy access to his form
aside from Rare Candy)
Arora Notealus: Poliwrath is still
an old favorite, but he's probably gonna need that GX
treatment if he wants to at least be considered
competitive. Nothing to be done with that, it's just the
times we live in now. Hey at least Evolution's relevant
Next Time: Poison the sea! Poison
the sea~ When you're getting pricked by this guy who's
ticked, you'll want to beeeeeeee~ Not dealing with it.
...seriously, you don't want to be
dealing with that.
(Sun & Moon, 32/149) spins its way to us via the
Sun & Moon base set.
A Stage 2 Pokemon with 150 HP, it has two
Spiral Punch and
Wake Up Slap.
Spiral Punch does 30 damage and leaves the
opponent’s active Pokemon confused, and
Wake Up Slap
does 80 base damage and 80 more if the opponent’s active
Pokemon is affected by a special condition.
Poliwrath falls into the same category as several of
the other Stage 2 Pokemon from Sun & Moon.
It doesn’t hit for enough damage, it takes too
long to evolve and get powered up, and it doesn’t have
enough HP to compete with the EX and GX Pokemon that
dominate the game right now.
In five matches, I don’t think I would say that
any of those games were competitive.
It’s almost as if right now there should be two
standard formats: one for the EX’s and GX’s, and one for
I’ve seen postings online where they have decks
classified into four or five different tiers.
Right now, it seems like there are only two
there were a format where Stage 2’s could compete
against each other, then
Poliwrath and Krookadile (Sun
& Moon, 85/149) and
& Moon, 108/149) and many other Stage 2’s out of
this most recent Sun & Moon set would probably
have competitive, fun matches against each other.
Right now, it’s just really hard to play with
these Stage 2’s.
You really have to tell yourself not to get
frustrated and wrapped up in losing.
The main Pokemon in the meta right now just have
too much of an advantage over these lesser Pokemon.
Standard: 1 out of 5
just doesn’t have what it takes to be competitive in
Again, in a world without EX and GX Pokemon, it
would undoubtedly compete more than in today’s meta, but
right now I cannot even begin to advise anyone to play
We begin this week with Poliwrath (Sun & Moon
32/149), and I’m still trying to get my “abridged”
review style down. I prefer to explain why
things are as they are but unless you’re new, you
probably don’t need me to go into exacting detail why
being a Water Type is reasonably good or why being a
Stage 2 is not. If some of you reading this think
I do need to go back to that approach, let me
know. So moving on, 150 is good but not great,
Grass Weakness is a little worse than normal right now,
lack of Resistance is typical, and Retreat Cost [CCC] is
chunky enough to demand extra deck space to deal with
it. Its first attack is “Split Spiral Punch” for
[W], which does 30 damage and Confuses the opponent’s
Active. Its second attack is “Wake-Up Slap” for
[WCC], which does 80 damage, plus another 80 damage (for
160 total) if the opponent’s Active is affected by a
Special Condition. Then it removes all
Special Conditions from the opponent’s Active. The
Energy costs seem appropriately staggered; a manual
Energy attachment from hand takes a Poliwrath
from being able to do nothing to using Split Spiral
Punch, and then (next turn) a Double Colorless Energy
from hand readies Wake-Up Slap. Individually, the
attacks are mediocre; not bad but definitely not enough
to justify the running a Stage 2. Together, they
are… still mediocre.
Let me explain; let us assume an ideal situation.
You get Poliwrath up and running by your second
turn, attack to do 30 damage and Confuse your opponent’s
Active, and they can’t remove that Confusion. Your
opponent even flips “tails” when his or her Active
Pokémon tries to attack while Confused, so Poliwrath
takes no damage and your opponent places three
damage counters on his or her Active again. For
best case scenario results, either that is a self-KO of
something with 60 or less HP or something worth
two Prizes has six damage counters on itself. If
the former, you hope Split Spiral Punch keeps it up
because you use it again. If the latter, you
attach that Double Colorless Energy and use
Wake-Up Slap to do 160 damage for a 2HKO of a Pokémon-EX
or Pokémon-GX. I said an ideal situation, so now
your opponent can’t do much to Poliwrath because
he or she had invested in whatever it was you just KO’d.
This is highly unlikely. Your opponent
will have a turn to attack before you can with
Poliwrath, and an aggressive deck will probably
score a OHKO. Even if your opponent attacks while
Confused, there is a 50% chance the attack will work.
Retreating, Evolving, using a Switch, etc. can
all deal with Confusion, so your opponent may not even
have to flip. You can avoid your opponent getting
a free hit if you can pull off Archie’s Ace in
the Hole, have some means of promoting Poliwrath
from your Bench, and you are going second.
This is difficult, and in Expanded, you could use this
to set up some much better attackers (or support Pokémon
to enable better attackers).
What if we only save Split Spiral Punch for emergencies,
and inflict Special Conditions through other card
effects? The more we add, the more easily
countered Poliwrath becomes because there are
competitive counters for Abilities, large Benches,
Evolutions, and Items. So we can do this,
but I don’t know if it will truly be worth it; 160
damage for three Energy is appealing, but it is still
coming from a Stage 2. Even future releases seem
unlikely to solve this problem, but I may be mistaken.
A possible ray of hope comes from a card already
released: Politoed (XY: Furious Fists
18/111). An alternate Evolution for Poliwhirl,
it has the Ability “King’s Song” which lets you ignore
the [C] requirements in the attack costs of Poliwag,
Poliwhirl, and Poliwrath cards. This
would make Wake-Up Slap cost only [W], and 160 for one
Energy is very tempting. This is two Stage
2 Pokémon, plus you’re going to have to use something
like Ariados (XY: Ancient Origins 6/98) or
Hypnotoxic Laser (we are talking Expanded, here)
to supply a Special Condition. You’re not going to
get the Poison bonus damage, and what I just said still
applies; there are so many ways for your opponent
to shut this down and better decks with similarly
complicated set-ups. Limited is the only place to
give Poliwrath a whirl.
is high-quality filler; it takes a strategy that might
have worked a decade ago but is far too slow for the
rapid pace of the competitive metagame, but at least it
looks like some thought went into crafting it.