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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day
- S&M: Guardians Rising
July 11, 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
Alright, time for a quickie.
Alolan Sandslash is AWESOME as
Ice/Steel. Sure he's got a bunch of weaknesses, but he's
got a lot more resistances!
Smash Turn can get him out of the
Active spot, but at 3-for-50, it doesn't do much damage,
and it uses up your attack rather than you just
switching things around for ease.
Slush Rush is the Ability that
would get him noticed, as it lets you get a free draw
each turn. This can be useful, combined with other draw
cards, and if we lose powerful draw support like
Professor Sycamore, he may become the primary means of
getting cards faster, making Water decks in particular
the more consistent decks in the format. However, the
best thing about using this Ability is stacking it on
top of itself, as only drawing 1 extra card each turn
only goes so far.
Alolan Sandslash will see play.
Keep that in mind.
Standard: 3/5 (draw power is good)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (though the extra
Stage 1 cards for that extra draw each turn is
Limited: 4/5 (don't underestimate
the power of draw)
Arora Notealus: I LOVE ALOLAN
SANDSLASH HE'S SO COOL OH WHO AM I KIDDING ALOLAN
POKEMON ARE AWESOME
Next Time: ALOLAN SANDSLASH IS
FREAKING COOOOOOOOL...oh, hey, there's a tree in the
(Guardians Rising, 20/145) debuts in the game
from the Guardians Rising expansion set.
A 110 HP Stage 1 Water Pokemon,
has the rare ability to allow you to draw a card once
Immediately, this commands comparisons to the few other
Pokemon in the meta right now that have very similar
Octillery (Breakthrough, 33/162) and
& Moon, 113/149).
Here’s a little chart I came up with to kind of
identify the pros and cons of each Pokemon:
I had a column in there for
Level Ball (Ancient
Origins, 76/98) searchable, but as
will rotate out of Standard in a little more than a
month, I decided to remove that as a point of
I think most of us would agree that
will get the most number of cards.
For every card
Octillery by definition will draw two more than
although it will definitely draw you a card every turn,
almost certainly will not draw as many even as
many decks that play
many “insta-play” item cards, such as
Ultra Ball (Sun
& Moon, 135/149) or
Acro Bike (Primal
Clash, 122/160) that will keep their hand at a
minimal number so as to maximize the draw from
However, we must also compare the three Pokemon through
the prism of
Garbodor (Guardians Rising, 51/145) and its
Which of these three Pokemon will put the least number
of items in the discard pile in order to get their
abilities on line?
Octillery may generate you the maximum number of
cards, unless you’re using Item cards to help clear your
hand, you’re probably not going to be able to draw a
whole lot of cards through their abilities.
sensitive deck – one that runs minimal Item cards and
plays more Stadiums, Supporters, and even Pokemon to
offset the reduced usage of items – might benefit more
Sandslash, which will get you a card every turn
regardless of how many cards you are holding.
The downside remains, however, for all three Pokemon
that you can only put five Pokemon on your bench (Sky
Field (Roaring Skies, 89/108) also rotates
out at the end of August), and putting Pokemon on your
bench to generate card draws can limit your ability to
play other supporter Pokemon (Tapu
Lele GX (Guardians Rising, 60/145) being the
most prominent) or back up attackers.
Standard: 2 out of 5
So what’s the answer here?
Which of the three is the best?
I think it just comes down to what type of deck
If you’re playing a deck where you’re counting
your item cards,
Sandslash could very well be the best play.
If you’re playing the type of deck where you
don’t care how many item cards you play, you don’t care
one shots you,
Octillery probably is the way to go.
If you’re afraid of the late game
prevent your opponent from stealing a game away from you
when you only have a prize card or two remaining.
All three have their pros and cons, but since the
advent of Guardians Rising, we haven’t seen much
Since the Seattle Regionals, in the Masters
Oranguru has been played in 6 of the top 32 decks
(twice in Seattle, three times in Madison, and once at
Octillery was run in 4 of the top 32 decks (three in
Birmingham and one in Indy).
Sandslash has not been played in any top eight deck
in the Masters Division since it became Standard legal.
Today’s attempt at an abridged review is Alolan
Sandslash (SM: Black Star Promos SM18; SM:
Guardians Rising 20/145), a Stage 1 Water-Type with
110 HP, Metal Weakness, lack of Resistance, Retreat Cost
[CC], an Ability, and an attack. The Ability is
“Slush Rush”, which allows you to draw a card once per
turn before you attack. The attack is “Smash Turn”
which costs [WCC], does 50 damage, and then switches
itself with one of your Benched Pokémon. Its only
Evolution option is Alolan Sandshrew (SM:
Guardians Rising 19/145), a Basic, Water-Type
Pokémon with 60 HP, Metal Weakness, no Resistance,
Retreat Cost [C], and two attacks. The first is
“Defense Curl” for , which has you flip a coin and
(if heads) prevents all damage done to Alolan
Sandshrew by attacks during your opponent’s next
turn. For [WCC] Alolan Sandshrew can use
“Ice Ball” to do 30 damage. The powers-that-be
keep pumping out more Water Type support and useful
Pokémon plus hitting Water Weakness is still
competitively relevant thanks to Volcanion-EX and
a few others. Being a Stage 1 is still “fast
enough” that it isn’t a serious drawback. 110 HP (and
60 on the Basic form) might be adequate due to the card
effects but otherwise are (at best) mediocre. The
HP might mean the Metal Weakness won’t matter; current
favorites like Metagross-GX don’t need it to
score a OHKO. Lack of Resistance is a pet peeve,
but had it been here it probably wouldn’t have mattered.
The Retreat Cost on Alolan Sandslash is just
barely high enough it might become a problem.
Extra draw power is usually a good thing; a
single card isn’t too likely to help on its own.
Good thing most decks pack plenty of draw power and
if you can afford the deck/Bench space, Slush Rush does
stack; an extra two to four cards does sound
handy. Smash Turn is overpriced or underpowered,
but at least it only needs one Energy of a specific
Type, so maybe you could use this to splash in a
Water-Type attacker. Remember manually retreating
is less expensive, if only just. Ice Ball
is filler and also needs to cost less while doing a bit
more, but if Alolan Sandshrew is stuck up front,
I’m mostly concerned with it surviving to Evolve;
Defense Curl isn’t reliable enough for me to call it
“adequate”, but it is better than the usual filler.
The free cost to use it allows you to build a different
attacker, which is good as I’ve already said Alolan
Sandslash is not worth the Energy for attacking in
most circumstances. The big problem here is
competition, though that may be addressed with rotation.
Besides big names like Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring
Skies 77/108, 106/108), Octillery (XY:
BREAKthrough 33/162) is a better deal unless your
deck both can and needs to build up and maintain
a large hand size. Check out the details on it
but the short version is that it tends to match or
surpass Alolan Sandslash in all areas currently
relevant to play, including some odd things like how its
90 HP might actually be better than the higher
110 of Alolan Sandslash due to Level Ball
usage when running one of these Pokémon off-Type.
Expanded play adds more competition for this
role, while this is almost a must-run for Limited Format
It is probably best to look and think ahead with
Alolan Sandslash; it seems like a miss or near miss
in most categories, but I can’t help but think of
similar past cards like Slurpuff (XY: Phantom
Forces 69/119) and Donphan (BW: Plasma
Storm 72/135), both of which seemed like duds at
first but became part of strong decks after the right
partners and/or future support released: Seismitoad-EX
for Slurpuff and Strong Energy for
Donphan, though that is oversimplifying. I
also realize Slurpuff only had a small window
before Shaymin-EX replaced it, so one should
still temper one’s expectations. Which is why the
Standard score ends up being a three out of five;
Alolan Sandslash could go either way in the future.
Today we’re looking at Alolan Sandslash, which is a
water type in the TCG instead of the usual fighting
type. It’s an interesting card, as it has
something that we’ve haven’t seen in quite a long while.
Alolan Sandslash has an ability and an attack.
Smash Turn costs WCC for 50 damage and it switches this
Pokemon with one of your benched Pokemon. Useful
to keep Alolan Sandslash from being up front waiting to
be KOed. But is there a reason to keep Alolan
Sandslash alive to contribute anything? Actually,
there is! It’s ability, Slush Rush, lets you draw
a card once per turn. It stacks, so if you have
four of them, you get to draw four cards! We’ve
have seen such an effect before such as Noctowl’s Night
Sight Poke Power (HGSS) and Crobat Plasma, but haven’t
seen as much play. Maybe it’s because drawing one
card won’t get as far as player hoped it to be, or
Crobat being a Stage 2 needs deck space just to draw a
card. Decks seem to use mass draw power from other
cards such as dump your hand and draw seven in order to
quickly get the cards they need to perform strategies on
Despite the environment having everything against this
card, Slush Rush still provides a nice bonus of little
draw power (better than nothing), and that will make
Alolan Sandslash see some play.
Standard: 3/5 (Does a good job here)
Expanded: 3/5 (Stage 2 ability on a Stage 1? Yes
Limited: 4/5 (draw power is welcomed here!)
Coming up: What’s blocking my way?!