...where do we even begin with
Don't get me wrong, I love
Palossand cause of the sheer ridiculousness he and his
pre-evolution Sandygast share - it's a haunted sand
castle for crying out loud! Then you realize that they
eat the souls of whatever ends up inside their mouths
and...well gee, Pokemon, way to make me afraid of SAND
CASTLES. Because that's really what I needed, TO BE
AFRAID OF SAND CASTLES.
...well, sentient sand castles, but
So Palossand first has an Ability,
Wall of Sand, which reduces all the damage he takes from
attacks by 20 after Weakness and Resistance. Just
saying, these kinds of Abilities would be so much better
if they applied BEFORE Weakness and Resistance.
Especially given that he's weak to Grass? I mean really,
it'd be nice to reduce the potential damage by "40"
instead of just "10". But I digress - it's a way of
giving Palossand a pseudo-150 HP health, which is pretty
good for a Stage 1.
On top of that, he's got Absorb
Vitality, which is WAY too expensive as a 4-for-50, even
with the leeching "Heal from me as much as you did to
the opponent" clause. Looking at it just at face value,
it means Palossand can heal 50 damage while dealing 50
damage, and for 4 Energy, that's awful. But when you
reconsider that he's a Fighting-type Pokemon and can
benefit from things like Strong Energy, the attack gains
some potential. One Strong Energy turns it into a
4-for-70 that heals for 70 HP, which is half of his HP
already, giving anything that's not a Grass Pokemon a
hard time to get through him.
That may be where the good stuff
ends though. Powering him up will still take a while,
and you don't want him Active while you're powering him
up. Wall of Sand may reduce damage, but it's not going
to save Palossand from getting wiped out. It's just the
fate of a ghost who is also a sand castle.
...then again, Ghost types are
immune to Fighting-type kicks...
Standard: 1.5/5 (I can't really
recommend Palossand as much as I want to)
Expanded: 2/5 (if only because the
cost of his attack is SO high)
Limited: 2.5/5 (but damage
reduction is at least passable for an Ability)
Arora Notealus: I know they were
really just trying to emulate his Water Compaction
Ability from the games without being so limited - since
the Ability only boosts Defense if Palossand is hit by a
Water move...which is a weakness. It's a fun but
otherwise crippling Ability to possess, unlike something
like Justified where the Pokemon gets stronger by taking
something they resist. Such is the strangeness of
Pokemon design I suppose?
Next Time: Share with me your
experience from the past!
(Sun & Moon, 75/149) enters into the meta from
the February Sun & Moon expansion.
A Stage 1 Pokemon with 130 HP, its ability
Wall of Sand
the reduces damage from attacks upon it by twenty, and
its only attack, Absorb Vitality, does only 50 damage for a whopping four energy (1
Fighting, 3 Colorless).
Granted, it then heals the same amount of damage
that it did in its attack, but for four energy, fifty
damage is ridiculously low.
This has to be one of the most overpriced attacks
in the game.
I only played eight matches with
I played four matches with a version with hammers
and managed to beat a
Circuit deck, but
weakness to fighting made that victory possible.
Then I tried to pair
Carbink Break (Fates Collide, 51/124), but I only won one out
of four matches with that version as well (I beat a
Dragonair (Sun & Moon, 95/149) deck that completely donked
and had Dragonair
out as their only Pokemon.
All of the losses came against top tier decks,
and it was not remotely competitive in any of the
simply doesn’t do enough damage, and it’s way too hard
to get that attack powered up.
Standard: 1 out of 5
is simply not a competitive card.
It doesn’t do enough damage, and its only attack
is extremely overpriced.
I would call this one of the worst – if not the
worst – card in the set.
(Sun & Moon 75/149) is our second Stage 1 Pokémon
this week; as mentioned yesterday, that makes it a bit
slower and more resource intensive than Basic Pokémon,
but still manageable even without additional shortcuts.
Speaking of those, it has two; like all non-Pokémon-EX
Evolutions it may use Wally to hit the field in
one turn (still on top of its Basic form) or, as
a Fighting Type, it may use Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick
to be played directly to your Bench (no Basic Pokémon
required) from your discard. Both options eat up
your Supporter for the turn, and while the latter
includes drawing five cards, it also requires the
desired target be in your discard, an open space on your
Bench, and an empty hand. What else does being a
Fighting Type grant it? Many Colorless, most
Darkness, and most Lightning Types are Fighting Weak,
though exceptions like Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring
Skies 77/108, 106/108) and Yveltal-EX abound.
In fact, they are Fighting Resistant, which is usually
found on cards representing Pokémon that are the video
game Flying-Type. Most end up as Colorless Types,
but they are spread out through nearly all other Types.
Fighting Resistance is one of the most abundant forms of
Resistance, though “No Resistance” is still easily the
most common. There are some anti-FIghting effects,
but they aren’t worth running, so I’d say this is a good
Type to be.
allows Palossand to utilize Fighting Type
specific support, which includes Strong Energy
and several other tricks currently only legal in
Expanded play. I don’t recall any Fighting Energy
exclusive tricks that have proven worthwhile, but the
Fighting Type has an excellent stable of contenders for
your deck space, many able to perform devastating
attacks for just one or two Energy. Palossand
has 130 HP, around the point a card seems more likely to
survive a hit than not, even against an opponent that
already has a solid field presence. Palossand is
Grass Weak, which can be pretty dangerous. Peeking
ahead, we’ll see that “tanking” is kind of this card’s
thing, but Grass Types are likely to get a OHKO.
Lack of Resistance is typical, but more disappointing
here because the HP and effects of this card (again)
make it appropriate for tanking strategies. The
Retreat Cost of [CCCC] is clunky and difficult to pay;
either build your deck so an Active Palossand can
stay up front or include multiple options to get it back
to the Bench. You might even want to include both.
The Retreat Cost does make it a legal target for
Heavy Ball and/or Heavy Boots.
has the Ability “Wall of Sand”, which reduces the damage
it takes from attacks by 20 after you have
already applied Weakness and/or Resistance. Not
brilliant, but handy if this card finds itself surviving
on the margin. [FCCC] pays for “Absorb Vitality”, an
attack that does 50 damage to the opponent’s Active
while healing Palossand (“this Pokémon”) for an
amount equal to the damage done. This is a small
but important distinction from just healing a flat 50
damage; damage buffs (something the Fighting Type is
known for) increase not only damage output but healing
as well. Four Energy is pretty massive for
the current environment, even with tricks like Double
Colorless Energy and Carbink BREAK to speed
things up. 50 damage is a pretty awful return for four
Energy on its own, and even with the healing, seems
underpowered. Other tanking strategies that have
worked in the past tend to have a stronger protective
effect or rely on something like Max Potion
to flush away all damage from the afflicted Pokémon
while a low attack cost or other combo powers it back
up. The entire package, though, seems to have some
merit. If you can keep Palossand from
being OHKO’d, you can hit your opponent back while
healing up, and this isn’t super easy to OHKO.
doesn’t have any alternate versions yet, nor any related
cards save Sandygast. There is only one
version of that available - Sun & Moon 74/149 -
and it is a Basic, Fighting Type Pokémon with 80 HP,
Grass Weakness, lack of Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCC]
and two attacks. For [C] it may use “Shore Up” to
attach a [F] Energy from the discard pile to itself,
while “Sand Tomb” costs [FCC] and prevents the
opponent’s Active from retreating until the end of your
opponent’s next turn. Underwhelming as usual, at
least this shows some effort at being more than
an idle stepping stone. I wouldn’t recommend it,
but you can attack with Sandygast to build
Palossand more quickly. With 80 HP and the
current pacing of the game, you’re mostly just giving up
an Energy attachment and attack to be KO’d the next
turn. So what to run with Palossand?
The best I can come up with is Carbink (XY:
Fates Collide 50/124) and Carbink BREAK might
be a good partner. Unfortunately, as a non-Basic
Pokémon, you cannot protect your Energy from being
discarded with Carbink (XY: Fates Collide
49/124), and even the “Safeguard” Ability of its
set-mate only goes so far in a format where Pokémon-GX
have already made their presence known. All the
hard(der?) hitting decks threaten to overwhelm the
tactic anyway; I guess you could try Vileplume (XY:
Ancient Origins 3/98) to mostly protect your Items
and slow down your opponent; if you use get tricky, you
could still lock down Items most of the time,
periodically restoring them on just your turn so that
you can use Focus Sash to deal with OHKOs.
Until SM: Guardians Rising is official, you could
use Heavy Boots for some extra HP in Standard,
but you might want to offset your low damage output with
Bursting Balloon or Poison Barb instead.
Some disruption of your own might also prolong the
lifespan of your Palossand.
In the end, I can
see some potential here, but I don’t expect Palossand
to be heating up Standard or Expanded anytime soon.
Enjoy it in Limited and Theme deck play, though, where
the lower damage output of everything means its
tactic goes from being kind of rocky to quite