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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day
- Sun & Moon
April 4, 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
Would you like a deterrent for your
opponent's like Bursting Balloon? Can't seem to find
anything that does damage and lasts longer than a single
turn? Maybe you want a status effect instead? Well then
Poison Barb might just be the tool for you!
Poison Barb is a simple Tool that
while equipped will inflict Poison onto any Pokemon that
does damage via attack on the Pokemon it's equipped to.
That's not too shabby, giving instant-Poison a whirl...buuuuut
it's also not that impactful either. The problem is that
this is more of a reactionary card, and if your opponent
can, they'll work to play around it.
Fortunately, there's not a
whole-lot that can be done about it at the moment. There
aren't very many Tool-discarding attacks in the game -
at least nothing particularly competitive - and Tool
Scrapper is relegated to Expanded formats, where it's
run in few decks as a tech. So the likelihood of the
Pokemon losing track of Poison Barb is a bit low.
That said, the damage dealt by
Poison Barb is still Poison damage, and while it may
help out against the likely 1 Pokemon you get with it,
that's about as far as it will likely go. Unless you aim
to be KOing whatever gets hit with Poison Barb while
retaining the Pokemon equipped with it, and thus be able
to capitalize on it, it may not end up the card that
wins you the game. 10 damage between each turn only goes
so far, and while Expanded does add Virbank, keep in
mind it also keeps the Tool Scrapper among other
And of course, Item Lock's a thing.
Standard: 2.5/5 (it's a decent card
in its own right, though it'll find a tough time with
Expanded: 2.5/5 (at least it's got
something going for it)
Limited: 3/5 (that's more than what
you can say about...well, a few cards)
Arora Notealus: I wonder why not
make it a discard-on-attack kind of Item? Maybe it
would've been too offensive and they wanted a more
defensive option? Who knows.
Next Time: Come enjoy the sunny
beach! And have a treat served by our...rat?
We look at the
Trainer - Item - Pokémon Tool Poison Barb (Sun
& Moon 124/149), which triggers when the Pokémon to
which it is attached (which must be Active) is
damaged by an attack from your opponent’s Pokémon.
Even if the damage KO’s the Pokémon with Poison Barb
equipped, the attacking Pokémon is now Poisoned.
This is a handy little effect, as your opponent gets
just a bit closer to being KO’d from doing what they
have to in most decks: attacking your Active for
damage. Being a Trainer carries a few perks, like
being a legal target for Trainers’ Mail or
Skyla, without many drawbacks because (thankfully)
general Trainer counters are not currently competitive.
Being an Item makes it quite easy to play and opens up a
few other bits of support but means Poison
Barb has to deal with Item lock (in both Expanded
and Standard play). Perhaps the most important of
all, being a Pokémon Tool means several things.
There is a bit of Tool support but several Tool
counters, though for now Standard only has mediocre
options with regard to the latter. There are a
lot of useful Tools in Standard and even more
in Expanded, so the competition is extra fierce, as most
Pokémon may only have one Tool attached at a time.
Tools usually have an effect while they are in play,
which is kind of nice, except even if your opponent
cannot discard it, KO’ing the Pokémon to which it is
attached usually disposes of the Tool.
I believe the
card’s biggest problem is that the Poison can’t do much
on its own. There are some combos that
definitely exploit a card like Poison Barb,
but you know things are bad when Rocky Helmet
matches your damage output. Rocky Helmet doesn’t
benefit from Virbank City Gym, but it also
doesn’t have to worry about the effects that prevent
Special Conditions (or just Poison) in the first place,
and Expanded is the format of Hypnotoxic Laser…
which brings us to how Poison doesn’t stack. Once
your opponent’s Active is Poisoned, further instances of
Poison only matter if your opponent changes out to a new
Active and/or removes the Poison so it can be
re-inflicted. For Standard play, the big
competition is probably Bursting Balloon, which
discards itself at the end of your opponent’s turn
but places six damage counters under the same
situation where Poison Barb just Poisons.
Then there are just some of the other fantastic Tools
like Fighting Fury Belt, Float Stone,
Spirit Link cards, etc. that you might (or even
need) to attach instead.
I’ve seen a few
decks that use this card well, but I don’t recall seeing
them top-cutting any recent events. Completely
possible I missed that, but I think the best example of
using Poison Barb well is having it as a backup
option in an Ariados (XY: Ancient Origins
6/98)/Raticate BREAK deck that packed a good
chunk of its own disruption as well. Poison Barb
isn’t worthless in most match-ups, in theory.
Poison and/or the damage counters it places between
turns only matter if they are triggering an effect, or
actually reducing how many turns it takes to score a KO.
There are enough close calls it may only be inadequate
for being the suboptimal play, and I will not be
surprised if there are decks with which I am unaware
that can leverage the Poison as well or better than
Raticate BREAK, but I still don’t think it overly
good for Standard play and expect it to be worse in
Expanded due to the many removal options and increased
competition. I’ll add that revealed, translated
Japanese cards mean it will soon have to deal with a
solid, Tool removing Item in Standard as well, so its
window for use may be quite small. Do enjoy it in
Limited play, where Special Conditions tend to be
nastier as they are often harder to remove or power
feels like a niche card without the niche. I keep
expecting more decks like the one with Raticate BREAK
to show up, but I haven’t heard about nor seen them.
With more competition and counters coming, I am worried
we never will.
(Sun & Moon, 124/149) – again, another brand new,
never before seen card coming out of Sun & Moon.
By attaching this tool to a Pokemon, if that
Pokemon is damaged from an attack, the attacker is now
imagine this card might be more effective in Expanded
than Standard, but you can still find a number of ways
to use this card.
Although I have personally only used it in one
particular deck (an experimental
Toxapex (Sun & Moon, 63/149) deck that pretty
much failed miserably), I could see a number of
potential places of value for this card:
M Tyrantitar EX
(Ancient Origins, 92/98)
(Ancient Origins, 84/98)
(Sun & Moon, 89/149)
Water Box decks with
Manaphy EX (Breakpoint,
especially when used with
(Steam Siege, 96/114)
I don’t know if those exactly
will work, but just taking some time to throw some darts
at the wall, that’s what I come up with.
Unfortunately, the meta
contains a wide variety of options when it comes to
moving cards out of the active position and back down on
to the bench, which will cause the effect of poison to
fall off of the affected Pokemon:
(Primal Clash, 127/160)
(Sun & Moon, 160/149)
Moreover, we also have cards
Center Lady (Flashfire, 93/106) and
Big Malasada (Sun
& Moon, 114/149) that will heal a poisoned Pokemon
and remove that condition from the Pokemon as well.
Finally, IMO – and I have no testing to support
this – I think that you’d get more mileage out of using
(Breakpoint, 97/122) than you would from
Balloon would do 60 damage if an opponent hits you.
It would take six turns for
Poison Barb to
equal that amount.
And here’s the big thing: if an opponent’s active
pokemon is attacking you and you haven’t KO’d it in
three or four tries, you’re probably not going to win
Barb has a
little bit of counter synergy to your overall attacking
You want to KO the opponent’s active Pokemon as quickly
You don’t want it (normally) hanging out in that active
position for four or five turns, hitting you for who
knows how much damage every turn.
Granted, the longer a poisoned Pokemon is in the
active, the more damage it will take; however, the
longer your opponent has the Pokemon in the active
position that he wants, the more likely he is to win the
Standard: 2 out of 5
I can’t say that it’s
completely worthless, but I can definitely say that I
have yet to find a place for
Poison Barb in
any even remotely competitive deck.
I would definitely choose
Balloons over Poison Barb
in almost every case I can think of.