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Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 SM: Burning Shadows Cards

#7 - Golisopod-GX
- S&M: Burning Shadows
- #
BUS 17

Date Reviewed:
August 17, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.17
Expanded: 3.50
Limited: 4.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Arguably one of the most hyped Pokemon from the set, Golisopod-GX definitely has a lot going for it...well, aside from Forest of Giant Plants, since that's getting rotated and BANNED. 

Golisopod-GX starts with a doozy of an attack in First Impression. It's a 1-for-30 move that only increases in damage if Golisopod-GX moved to the Active slot from the Bench this turn, tacking on an additional 90 damage if that was the case. That makes it a great 1-for-120 move under the right circumstances! It might not be the most practical of big damage moves, but it can pack a wallop in its own way, and if you are able to pull off the Ability to switch stuff around freely, then Golisopod-GX can easily take advantage of it. Really, having a couple copies of Float Stone around immediately gives Golisopod-GX easy access to an attack that can 2HKO most Pokemon on its own! 


Armor Press is a 3-for-100 move that shrugs off 20 damage after Weakness and Resistance, which means that at least you'll shrug off some damage on your opponent's turn. You might even barely survive a Fire attack if your opponent's not careful. But most of the time, this is a good follow-up to First Impression if you don't have the resources to switch Golisopod-GX around. Not to mention that 20 damage prevention could push a 2HKO into a 3HKO, or keep your opponent from completely OHKO-ing Golisopod-GX (which unless they're hitting Weakness isn't an easy task, given he's got 210 HP). 

But perhaps the most notable attack in Golisopod-GX's arsenal is his GX attack, Crossing Cut GX. For the same cost as Armor Press, you now deal 150 damage and get a free switch with a Benched Pokemon and Golisopod-GX, not only dealing a LOT of damage (potentially even KOing an opponent with Choice Band) but also allowing for a perfect follow-up with First Impression for another 120 damage on your next turn! It's a win-win scenario! 

Of course there are workarounds to Golisopod-GX. In order for First Impression to work, Golisopod-GX has to be on the Bench and THEN become your Active Pokemon in the same turn - if a Pokemon gets KO'd and Golisopod-GX comes out to the Active slot then, First Impression won't deal 120 damage because it'll be happening during either your opponent's turn (with an attack) or in-between turns (like with Poison or Burn damage). There's also the fact that Crossing Cut GX, while a great GX attack for Golisopod-GX himself, isn't a great GX attack for anything outside of Golisopod-GX, thereby making it a good option to have but maybe not the ideal one. I would say though that Drampa-GX could make a great partner for Golisopod-GX as not only a big body to work with Switching around but also as an alternate attacker in case Golisopod-GX himself has some damage, being able to remove Special Energy threats or deal 150 damage on his own if Golisopod-GX has damage on him! 

Just stuff to keep in mind as we move forward through the Sun/Moon era, since I imagine Golisopod-GX will probably continue to get better with time. He may not have the benefit of Forest of Giant Plants to get out quickly or the power of APCA to reduce the damage even further, but he still has a lot of benefits to his attacks and could make a lasting impression. 

Also he's a powerful Bug Pokemon. When was the last time you heard of a powerful Bug Pokemon? 


Standard: 4/5 (I think Golisopod-GX is going to make a strong opening in the game) 

Expanded: 4/5 (and while he may not benefit from the loss of a banned card) 

Limited: 5/5 (he still has a LOT going for him) 

Arora Notealus: Admittedly, getting a Golisopod is difficult. You have to catch a Wimpod to evolve, and those guys are FREAKING FAST!! You have to be able to chase one down somehow, battle it, and catch it! On its own, Wimpod is pretty weak, but upon evolving, Golisopod becomes a powerful offensive force with a lot of bulk to back him up! As a BUG!!! 

Next Time: Let the flames of your heart BEAT!!


Golisopod GX’s (Burning Shadows, 17/147) inception into the game comes in the Burning Shadows expansion set.  Golisopod has three attacks.  First Impression does thirty damage unless the attacking Golisopod came into the Active position during this turn in which case it does 120 … for a single energy!  Please note: if your opponent KO’s one of your Pokemon and you then move Golisopod into the Active position, this does not count as moving your Golisopod during this turn.  You need to put something else in the active and then retreat that into Golisopod.  Apparently, when you move your Pokemon into the Active position after a Pokemon gets KO’d, this happens either during the very end of your opponent’s turn or in some quasi mysterious unassigned time between turns, but it definitely does not happen during your turn.

Armor Press, for a Grass and two Colorless energies, does 100 damage but reduces the amount of your opponent’s attack by twenty during your opponent’s next turn.  Finally, Crossing Cut-GX does 150 damage and forces you to switch your Active Pokemon with a benched one, but I used that to my advantage by switching into a Pokemon (usually Tapu Koko (SM Promo 31)) that could retreat and allow me to use First Impression again in the following turn.

Golisopod GX has had a number of partners during its initial wave of exploratory testing.  I’ve seen it with Decidueye GX (Sun & Moon, 12/149), Vileplume (Ancient Origins, 3/98), Lurantis GX (Sun & Moon, 15/149), and others.  I chose to pair it with Zoroark (Breakthrough, 91/162), and I had TREMENDOUS success with this pairing.  I went 24W 9 L – the decklist is posted here:


I played most of these matches on the PTCGO ladder which means that many of the decks I faced used pre-rotation cards that I did not have available as this list is post-rotation.  I will say that my opponent had the advantage in only seven of the 33 matches, I had the advantage in eleven matches, and neither of us had the advantage in thirteen matches (two matches were not on the ladder).  In games where I had the advantage, I went 10 W 1 L.  I was 4 W 3 L when my opponent had the advantage and 8 W 5 L when neither of us had the advantage.  I played fourteen of the 33 matches against “meta” decks, going 8 W 6 L in those matches.

The second to last match I played defined this deck for me.  I played a Volcanion (Steam Siege, 25/114), Volcanion EX (Steam Siege, 107/114), Turtonator GX (Guardians Rising, 131/145), Ho-Oh GX (Burning Shadows, 21/147) deck and almost beat it.  I had a major misplay in the match where I grabbed a Golisopod GX instead of Tapu Lele GX (Guardians Rising, 60/145).  Had I grabbed the Lele I would have been able to get a Professor Sycamore (Steam Siege, 114/114) and given myself seven additional cards.  Had I not selected the wrong Pokemon, I’m pretty certain I would have won a match where my opponent had card rotation and weakness advantage over me.


Standard: 4.5 out of 5


Golisopod is a VERY good deck. It will win you a lot of matches.  It’s a little surprising to me, I’m not exactly sure why because the majority of the time it’s only hitting for 120, which is on the low end for the meta right now (and even post rotation).  It’s not the BDIF – I lost the only match I played against Gardevoir GX (Burning Shadows, 93/147) although it does give Gardy some trouble because Golisopod can easily continually attack for just a single energy.  I never had a problem using First Impression for the full 120 damage.  I would highly recommend trying this deck, and I definitely feel confident in my ranking of Golisopod GX as number four overall and the second best Pokemon coming out of Burning Shadows.


Today’s 7th place pick is Golisopod-GX. I figured if Guzma is in this set, he’s got to bring his partner with him, usually sent out first at the start of the battle. Non-GX Golisopod had a good ability to tank hits as well as bringing hate to EX/GXs. What does this GX had to offer?

It has 3 attacks. First Impression costs G for 30 plus 90 more if this Pokemon was on the bench and then become the active. Armor Press costs GCC and does 100 damage while taking 20 less damage from your opponent’s Pokemon. Crossing Cut also costs GCC and does 150 damage while switching this Pokemon with another Pokemon from your Bench.

First Impression is probably the redeeming quality for Golisopod because the other two attacks are mediocre. To capitalize the effect of First Impression, you need to run plenty of switching cards. Guzma seems like an oblivious partner since you get both the “Gust of Wind” and “Switch” effect. Solgaleo-GX’s Ultra Road, Keldeo’s Rush In, or Zoroark’s Stand In can enable you to switch more than once (ability and manual retreat) and continuously swing for 120. Due to switching, it will shrug off special conditions and effects affecting the Pokemon (Poison and Burn residual damage in between turns will still hurt).


Standard (pre-rotation): 4/5

Standard (post-rotation): 3/5

Expanded: 3/5

Limited: 4/5

Notes: Had this card on 5th place in my personal top 10 list.


Our seventh place finish is another Pokémon-GX, Golisopod-GX (SM: Burning Shadows 17/147, 129/147, 148/147).  As we have Golisopod (SM: Guardians Rising 9/145) from just a single set ago and there are only two versions of Wimpod available - SM: Guardians Rising 8/145 and SM: Burning Shadows 16/147 - we’ll just include them as we go through the entire Evolution line and card family, because a lot is the same.  Golisopod-GX is the only Pokémon-GX: worth an extra Prize when KO’d, has to deal with anti-Pokémon-GX effects, enjoys better stats (in this case, +80 HP), has three effects (one of which is a GX-attack), and has access to Pokémon-GX support.  Note that when I went to look for effects that exclude Pokémon-GX, I was only able to find beneficial instances of it (Lunala-GX and its “Lunar Fall-GX” attack being unable to affect Basic Pokémon-GX).  All of these Pokémon are Grass-Types, allowing them some nice benefits like Revitalizer and Lurantis (SM: Black Star Promos SM25).  Thanks to the Wimpod the line enjoys Forest of Giant Plants adding extra speed.  There are some anti-Grass-Type effects, but odds are you won’t run into any outside of Parallel City (usually run for shrinking Benches).  Grass-Types can hit many Water-Types and a chunk of the Fighting-Types for double damage due to Weakness, and as we don’t worry about the Unlimited Format they won’t have to worry about Grass Resistance.  The Grass-Type has some nice Bench-sitters like Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98), and even other attackers, which may enjoy a synergy bonus with Golisopod-GX and company. 

The Wimpod are Basic Pokémon, which are the best; fast to the field, one slot in your deck means one copy of the Pokémon, natural synergy with various card effects, can function as your opening Active, and there are even cards that specifically support Basic Pokémon usage.  The only drawback is from anti-Basic effects.  As we intend to Evolve Wimpod, those won’t apply but neither will some of those benefits.  Stage 1 Pokémon are better than the other non-Basic Stages of Evolution and even enjoy a few pieces of support that only apply to their own Stage, like Flareon (XY: Ancient Origins 13/98), Jolteon (XY: Ancient Origins 26/98), and Vaporeon (XY: Ancient Origins 22/98).  Each of those Pokémon have an Ability that allow your Stage 1 Pokémon to count as their original Type(s) plus the Type of that Eeveelution.  With Forest of Giant Plants, Golisopod-GX and Golisopod don’t require an additional turn to Evolve, though you are still sacrificing deck space for it all.  Both Wimpod have 70 HP; most Evolving Basics have too little HP (based on what they need), but at least 70 is on the higher end of what is typical.  Plus, at least while we have Forest of Giant Plants, you’re rarely going to be stuck with it anyway.  Golisopod-GX has a hearty 210 HP, difficult to OHKO rapidly, reliably, and repeatedly without exploiting Weakness or that being your deck’s entire focus (which usually comes with other drawbacks).  This is 80 more than the 130 enjoyed by the regular Golisopod, with 130 HP still being a solid amount with a decent chance of surviving a hit, especially when factoring in the Ability (more on that in a moment). 

That Fire Weakness is scary as Volcanion-EX decks are still very much a high-level competitive thing, other competitive decks like Decidueye-GX/Vileplume or Metagross-GX already giving folks a reason to try and exploit it.  More of an issue for Golisopod-GX given its improved durability while less likely to matter for the Wimpod due to their size and the likelihood you’ll Evolve them immediately,  No Resistance is the worst, but it isn’t a surprise, so let’s move onto the Retreat Costs.  Wimpod (SM: Guardians Rising 8/145) and Golisopod have Retreat Costs of [CC]; low enough you can technically afford them but high enough it’ll usually cost you too much in the long run, and may actually be too expensive at times even in the short run.  Wimpod (SM: Burning Shadows 16/147) and Golisopod-GX have a chunkier Retreat Cost of [CCC], which you’ll rarely be able to afford and will suffer for it in the long run if you do manage it, but most decks already run at least a few cards to help deal with such things, so it running a few more isn’t a big burden.  It also could make Heavy Ball a legitimate search option (and based on what I’ve faced, it isn’t just my Theorymon this time). 

Both Wimpod avoid being pure filler but aren’t particularly good.  Wimpod (SM: Guardians Rising 8/145) can use “Scamper Away” to shuffle itself and all cards attached back into your deck (you lose if you don’t have another Pokémon in play!) or “Ram” to do 10 damage for [G].  Scamper Away just barely avoids being pointless because of Expanded-Only and future support that allow an Evolution to use attacks from its lower Stages; this might be a nice option for a heavily damaged Golisopod-GX.  Wimpod (SM: Burning Shadows 16/147) has the Ability “Wimp Out” that zeroes out its Retreat Cost on your first turn and the attack “Gnaw” for [GCC], doing 30 damage.  Wimp Out is better than nothing… but not as good as various past Abilities that simply offer a free Retreat Cost, or free Retreat while the card has no Energy, or an actual free Retreat Cost, etc.  The one time Wimp Out is better than a natural free Retreat Cost is when something is artificially raising Retreat Costs.  I haven’t mentioned Ram or Gnaw because those?  Those are pure filler.  I’m not thrilled with it, but SM: Burning Shadows 16/147 seems to be the better Wimpod.  Golisopod was already reviewed here.  Its “Armor” Ability reduces the damage it takes by 30, and that often is better than a higher Retreat Cost; while you have to worry about Abilities being shut off by cards like Hex Maniac, while it is working Armor can reduce damage taken over multiple turns, while HP is only useful for absorbing damage once.  Its “Resolute Claws” are mediocre to adequate against most Pokémon but brutal when used against Pokémon-EX and Pokémon-GX.  Under those circumstances, its 80 damage for [GCC] becomes 150, with various common buffs allowing it to OHKO most Basic Pokémon-EX and Pokémon-GX.  I’m still kind of surprised we haven’t really seen it succeed in competitive play. 

Golisopod-GX doesn’t have an Ability, which means it has three attacks.  For [G] it can use “First Impression” to do an “okay” 30 damage but wait, there’s more!  The effect text of the attack states it does an extra 90 damage (meaning 120 total) if the Pokémon using First Impression went from your Bench to your Active spot during your turn.  Note this means you cannot gain the bonus by

  • Promoting a Benched Golisopod-GX during your opponent’s turn, such as when most attacks would KO your (now former) Active Pokémon.
  • Promoting a Benched Golisopod-GX between turns, the time when Burned and/or Poison can KO something.
  • Promoting a Benched Golisopod-GX during your previous turn for any reason, even if it was a self-KO through Confusion (I doubt anyone needed to be told this one…).
  • Promoting a Benched Wimpod during your own turn then Evolving it while it is Active; Evolving resets most effects, and that includes Wimpod/Golisopod-GX “remembering” it moved to the Active position!
  • Promoting an opponent’s Benched Golisopod-GX during your turn, whether yours is attacking or you’re using something like Zoroark BREAK and its “Foul Play” to copy First Impression.

So while you have to mind the specifics, 120 for one Energy is fabulous!  This is the attack that makes people care about Golisopod-GX, though the rest helps.

Speaking of the rest, the second attack is “Armor Press” for [GCC], which does 100 damage while reducing the damage Golisopod-GX takes by 20.  100 for three Energy is decent, and the requirements allow Double Colorless Energy to shave a turn off of the build time.  Soaking 20 damage isn’t much, but it might matter given the 210 HP.  Don’t focus on this attack, but you might want to find room for a Double Colorless Energy to help you use it, even if the deck is focused on First Impression.  The GX-attack “Crossing Cut-GX” also costs [GCC], so it shares the same benefits, this allows Golisopod-GX to swing for 150 damage while Benching itself afterward, handy for delivering a big hit while denying an opponent a follow-up KO or setting up for First Impression (by bringing up something that can survive then easily retreat).  Not a deck focus since it is a one-and-done thing, but still good as a one-time-trick. 

I don’t have to delve into much Theorymon with Golisopod-GX as I’ve already encountered it a few times, and it is a beast.  The 210 HP makes it durable and your opponent may be able to force you to delay 2HKO’s as the deck constantly tries to switch out its Active Golisopod-GX to take advantage of First Impression.  Acerola, Max Potion, and Super Scoop Up are possible combo partners, and I recall seeing Acerola; the first and last get your Active Golisopod-GX out of the way so the next one can attack while ditching damage as well, while Max Potion only accomplishes the latter.  Guzma has nice synergy, with the card, appropriate given the video games (if I read things correctly); pick the desired opposing Active while satisfying the conditions for First Impression.  I don’t recall if I actually saw Lurantis (SM: Black Star Promos SM25) used, but it seems tempting as two of it allow a single Choice Band or Professor Kukui to KO key numbers; even one would help a little.  I did not notice Golisopod (SM: Guardians Rising 9/145) being used with it, but I still think it is another tempting option unless you really are focusing just on First Impression and have no easy way of fueling Resolute Claws.  I am embarrassed to say, but as I rush to finish this late review, I also cannot remember what partners (beyond Tapu Lele-GX) were used in the builds I faced, but Zoroark (XY: BREAKthrough 91/162) seems likely for its “Stand In” Ability; combo in a Float Stone and you can easily trigger the damage bonus of First Impression over and over again.  Vileplume might be nice to lock down Items instead, especially if you’re able to shift to the other attacks at least some of the time.  The earlier mentioned Eeveelutions can improve your chances of hitting even harder, but if you’re not relying on Abilities then Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122) is another option. 

I think most of the preceding applies to Expanded as well as Standard, at least prior to September 1st.  After that, the deck takes a hit losing Forest of Giant Plants but I think it will endure.  Remember, Expanded loses Forest of Giant Plants as well due to it being Banned.  A strong pull for Limited Format play, but you’ll be relying more on Armor Press unless you are fortunate enough to get a good free-retreating Pokémon or two (and assemble it all in play). 


Standard: Pre-Rotation - 4.25/5, Post Rotation - 4/5 

Expanded: Pre-Rotation - 4.25/5, Post Rotation - 4/5 

Limited: 4/5 


Golisopod-GX has a single-Energy attack that pretty easily scores a 2HKO and with some effort, can even shoot for a OHKO.  This is on a frame that looks hard to OHKO back, and with some effort, can prove hard to 2HKO.  Its other two attacks are decent, if not kind-of good.  Get used to seeing this card unless Fire decks prove too hot for it to handle. 


Golisopod-GX secured seventh place with 21 voting points and appearances on all five individual lists… but it also tied with tomorrow’s sixth place finisher.  In the end, broke the tie by rolling three six-sided dice (3d6) and awarding it to the card that rolled higher.  Golispod-GX only got an “11” while its competition got a 13.  It shouldn’t have been necessary, though; Golisopod-GX ranked 10th on my list, mostly because I hadn’t seen it in action.  Yes, that means I had it below Noivern-GX; even if all other cards remained the same, I’d switch those two on a rewrite.  Which would mean one more voting point for Golisopod-GX, breaking said tie.  Of course, by the end of this countdown and after worlds, I wouldn’t be surprised if several of us had at least one card we wished we’d ranked differently… so the only point of this bit of rambling is to explain how close things really were!

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