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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


- S&M: Guardians Rising - #
GRI 38

Date Reviewed:
July 14, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.43
Expanded: 2.00
Limited: 3.92

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Okay, I've been waiting to review this guy for a while. 

Remember when I jokingly made a comment about the Sun&Moon Wishiwashi and how the Wishiwashi-GX that comes out will be the bane of us all? Well, Wishiwashi-GX came out...and it is definitely not the bane of us all. 

To really appreciate Wishiwashi-GX, let's take a quick look at the Wishiwashi of this set. It's only got 30 HP, like the last one, and its one attack Sharpshooting only does 10 damage to one Pokemon. LAAAAAAAAAME!! But then there's his Ability, Schooling, which during your turn allows you to swap out Wishiwashi for a Wishiwashi-GX in your hand, putting all the stuff that was affecting Wishiwashi like Statuses, Energy, and other effects onto the new Wishiwashi-GX. Oh, and damage, but that's not gonna be a whole lot - either your opponent has KO'd this Wishiwashi or they've done a terrible disservice to themselves by letting you keep it. 

...but then why would you run the little guy when you've got the big guy as a Basic? 

Yeah, Wishiwashi-GX is, of course, a Basic, and that already subverts the idea that you need the small Wishiwashi...cause you can just put him down onto your Bench and get a lot more out of him immediately. At the very least, though, it's a nice shout-out to the in-game Ability that Wishiwashi has normally, so I suppose props for creativity there. So now that we've established that the other guy is...well, unnecessary, let's take a look at Wishiwashi-GX himself and see how much more powerful he is! 

...spoilers, he's more powerful but not that great. 

Let's start with Water Gun, a 1-for-20 vanilla move. Question: why this attack? Sure, it's to keep consistency with the original Wishiwashi in this set, such that when you swap he'll have at least 1 Energy...but since you're not running the original, this attack is severely underpowered, even as a GX. But WAIT!! There's more!! In fact, two more attacks, to no one's surprise - and they are both REALLY WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!! 

If Water Gun is underpowered, Torrential Vortex is overcosted. At a tremendous 5 Energy, the attack only deals 120 damage and discards a Special Energy from the opponent's Active. Don't get me wrong, that is really useful, but without any form of acceleration, this move is dead in the water for 4 turns AFTER Water Gun. That means you're poking at your opponent with a 1-for-20 move over the course of 4 turns to eventually get to this move, that only deals 120 damage. The Special Energy discard is good, and it's probably the best part of this guy, but on an attack that's 5 Energy? Nuh-uh, at its worst it should have 4 Energy, and at its best it ought to have been 3. 

And then we come to the last move, the mighty Blue Surge GX. Once again at 5 Energy, THIS attack does a whopping 220 damage - NOW THAT'S IMPRESSIVE!! But for a once per game move? Hmmmm, maybe not that great. And it doesn't get much better with the effect - you are required, upon using this move, to throw all of Wishiwashi-GX's Energy onto your Benched Pokemon. As you see fit.

...this move is bad. 

Frankly, I find Wishiwashi-GX to be a major disappointment. There was an opportunity to make him at least powerful and usable, but for some reason the developers thought that maybe he'd be juuuuuuuust a little too powerful, so they NERFED the HECK outta him. Water Gun and Torrential Vortex are underpowered moves, and Blue Surge GX is hardly worth the once per game GX slot. You'd be better off with attacks like Primarina-GX and Incineroar-GX - at least they have their uses! Sure, you'll power up your Bench, but then Wishiwashi-GX is stuck with his little Water Gun move! 

Fun fact: it'll take Wishiwashi-GX, with his Water Gun and a Choice Band, at least 4 turns to KO a Basic EX or GX in most cases. 

Forget about Wishiwashi-GX. Keep him in the binder, but know that he is nowhere near enough impressive to be used in most games. 


Standard: 1.5/5 (his moves are way too costly to be usable, and Water Gun on its own does not a threat make) 

Expanded: 1/5 (if you can Turbo him, great, but outside of that, he's gonna be pretty washed up) 

Limited: 3/5 (his only redemption might be in a format where the output is lower...but keep in mind that he'll still take a loooooong time to charge up)

Arora Notealus: I really wanted Wishiwashi-GX to be good - not even like tournament-worthy or anything, but like just good. Better than what we got. I couldn't begin to express my disappointment when I first saw the reveal. I hope that they'll come back to Wishiwashi in this form and give it better attacks that'll at least be reasonably useful. Heck, if it'll even make the Wishiwashi in this set playable? Even better! 

Weekend Thought: What did you think of this week's cards? Think there's potential in some? Think that some are just too powerful? Maybe there's a way to put them into your strategy! Or maybe they're better off as siding options.


Wishiwashi GX (Guardians Rising, 38/145) washes into the meta in the Guardians Rising expansion set.  A whopping 210 HP Basic Water Pokemon, it has three attacks.  For one Water energy, Water Gun does an unimpressive twenty damage.  Torrential Vortex does one hundred twenty damage and discards a special energy off your opponent’s active Pokemon, but it has a daunting five energy cost (three Water, 2 Colorless).  For the same three Water and two Colorless energy, Blue Surge GX does 220 damage.  It also has the advantage / disadvantage of forcing you to move all of the energy (Water and Colorless, Basic and Special, it doesn’t matter) to your benched Pokemon.  Fortunately, you can move the energy in any way you like.  This can benefit you if the Wishiwashi that plays Blue Surge gets damaged or KO’d.  Obviously, it works against you if that active Wishiwashi does not get KO’d because now you have to either get it out of the active or find some way to get five more energy on it really quickly.

To aid in moving Pokemon in and out of the active position, you’ll want to play Manaphy EX (Breakpoint, 32/122).  I had a couple of times where I played Blue Surge GX, and then the following turn just put a Water energy on the active and retreated it out and brought up another fully powered Wishiwashi.  I also ran Palkia EX (Breakpoint, 31/122), a Pokemon I had actually never teched into a deck before.  I have to say I was extremely surprised at how quickly Palkia’s Aqua Turbo helped to get Water energy on the board.  Palkia, Max Elixirs (Breakpoint, 102/122), Aqua Patch (Guardians Rising, 119/145), and Energy Loto (Guardians Rising, 122/145) all worked together to help me get a TON of energy on my Pokemon.  I rarely had any problem getting five energy on Wishiwashi, and I always had energy to spread around to other Pokemon as well.

And I did a whole lot better than I had expected – I actually went 5-5 in ten matches.  I will definitely say that this deck has absolutely NO chance of beating Garbodor (Guardians Rising, 51/145).  It decidedly lost both matches I played against Garb, and I also lost a match to Tapu Koko GX (Guardians Rising, 47/145) – Wishiwashi is weak to Lightning – and a couple to Decidueye GX (Sun & Moon, 12/149) variants (Palkia and Manaphy are weak to Grass).  Its signature win was against Drampa GX (Guardians Rising, 115/145) Zoroark Break (Breakthrough, 92/162) deck.  It did also beat Lycanroc GX (Guardians Rising, 74/145) a couple of times, a Volcanion EX (Steam Siege, 26/114) deck, and a Lunala GX (Sun & Moon, 66/149) deck.


Standard: 2.5 out of 5


It’s not even close to the best Water decks in the format today.  It’s not as good as Lapras GX (Sun & Moon, 35/149) or Alolan Ninetales GX (Guardians Rising, 132/145), but it is a lot better than I thought it would be.  It’s actually somewhat competitive.  I think, however, that I’m going to try to tech it into a Primarina GX (Sun & Moon, 42/149) deck because I’ve actually run across a couple Primarina GX decks recently and I’ve been really impressed with how good Bubble Beat can be.  I think a one of tech in of Wishiwashi GX might be a good fit because Primarina’s GX attack is very lacking.  I played Blue Surge in every match, and it was usually the first attack I played.  Put a Choice Band (Guardians Rising, 121/145) on Wishiwashi and Blue Surge will OHKO every Pokemon in the game.


Note: I learned of the impending September 1, 2017 Standard Format rotation to XY: BREAKthrough-On not long before writing this review; while I’ll try to forecast for it, I not only have done no testing but little study and research.  That’ll change soon, though. 

We end this week with Wishiwashi-GX (SM: Guardians Rising 38/145, 133/145, 151/145).  This is a Water-Type Basic Pokémon-GX with 210 HP, Lightning Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCC], two regular attacks and one GX-attack.  For a liquid, being a Water-Type is quite solid in terms of support and exploiting Weakness, while only having to deal with so-so or incidental Type-based counters and Resistance only showing up in Expanded and Unlimited Format play.  Being a Basic is still the best, and being a Pokémon-GX ain’t bad either as the pros (increased HP, two effects plus a GX-attack) outweigh the cons (worth an extra Prize when KO’d, vulnerable to certain counters).  210 HP sets the record for Basic Pokémon-GX and means it to survive an attack most of the time, possibly more than one.  Like most Pokémon, Weakness provides an exception to that; Lightning Weakness is a bit of a surprise because it seemed like the designers were trying to stick to Grass Weakness for TCG Water-Types which were only or primarily VG Water-Types.  Probably an advantage right now as I’m more worried about being hit by Grass-Type attacks than Lightning-Type, but the former is on the rise and no Weakness is really safe.  Lack of Resistance is typical but a little more significant than normal; it is still a matter of missed opportunity rather than an actual deficit, as 210 HP plus some Water-Type tricks (like Rough Seas) could leverage Resistance unless it was to a badly underused Type.  That Retreat Cost of [CCC] requires your deck pack assists or alternatives to manually retreating and makes Wishiwashi-GX a legal Heavy Ball target. 

The first attack on Wishiwashi-GX is a simple 20 for [W] called “Water Gun”.  Ignoring what I think the game needs for balance, for this specific Pokémon to be more effective, hitting for 30 or having a small bonus effect would have been nice.  I don’t want to complain too loudly though as if it were built in the manner I think is more balanced and how past examples (like Wailord-EX) of extra-large Basics have prepared us, it wouldn’t have any inexpensive attacks.  After all, both remaining attacks cost [WWWCC]!  Five Energy is a massive investment and will require Energy acceleration, preferably two Types or one easily reused one that works more than once per turn.  Having a GX-attack with the same cost as the bigger of the two regular attacks is normally a positive, as it means you won’t have to go above and beyond for a one-time trick but five Energy is already above and beyond.  So the second (and final) regular attack is “Torrential Vortex” and it does 120 damage while discarding a Special Energy of your choice (if one is present) from the opponent’s Active Pokémon.  Past experience leads me to prefer disruptive effects on faster attacks focus on disruption, as by the time I’m paying for something big, I need to be creating a literal or effective win condition: scoring KO’s, mass discard from the opponent’s hand or deck, locks, etc.  The damage is for somewhat reliable 2HKO’s instead, though discarding Special Energy can be handy and improve the odds of Wishiwashi-GX surviving to land that second blow.  The GX-attack is “Blue Surge-GX” and does 220 damage while requiring you move all Energy from Wishiwashi-GX itself to your Benched Pokémon.  Exactly who gets what is up to you, but this leaves your Active Wishiwashi-GX starting from scratch again.  It also opens up some nice tricks, but it can be hard to justify (for example) a heavy Switch and Max Potion count to take advantage of this when it is a one-time trick.  With a Choice Band, though, Blue Surge-GX should deliver a OHKO again anything lacking defensive buffs. 

There are no other Wishiwashi-GX, but there is a regular Wishiwashi that references today’s card.  Wishiwashi (SM: Guardians Rising 37/145) is a Basic Water-Type Pokémon with 30 HP, Lightning Weakness, no Resistance, free Retreat Cost, Ability, and one attack.  The Ability allows you to swap it with a Wishiwashi-GX from your hand: attached cards, effects, damage counters, etc. all transfer from the Wishiwashi to the Wishiwashi-GX when you do this.  The effect states it may only be used once during your turn but leaving the field resets such effects, and multiple copies can definitely be used in the same turn.  For [W], its “Sharpshooting” attack allows you to place one damage counter on your opponent’s Pokémon.  30 HP is as low as it gets for actual Pokémon in the Pokémon HP (a few Trainers that behave like Pokémon have had less); this is so fragile that bonus Bench damage is often enough to score the OHKO, which can enable a multi-OHKO for an opponent.  In short, this is really bad.  The rest of the card isn’t much of a problem, but other than the free Retreat Cost, it isn’t a bonus either.  Sharpshooting is filler, though at least it is decent filler.  While the Ability is a nice way to connect these cards to their video game counterparts, where Wishiwashi of Level 20+ can use an Ability called “Schooling” under certain conditions, going from chump to champ in terms of stats, the execution in the TCG doesn’t help out much. 

This could change if we get some Energy acceleration that excludes Pokémon-GX or something that prevents Pokémon-GX from hitting the field in the normal way, but for now, Wishiwashi-GX wishes this effect worked the other way and/or during your opponent’s turn.  Surprising an opponent by changing a 30 HP Pokémon into a 210 HP one on their turn or getting a nearly KO’d Wishiwashi-GX off the field for one Prize (instead of the two your opponent was about to take) might have been nice… but enough Create-A-Card daydreaming.  What about actually using Wishiwashi-GX?  I don’t have any decks for it right now but it might pull a Wailord-EX and become the new meat shield of choice in the future.  Wailord-EX is leaving the Standard Format come rotation, while most of the tricks that helped it are sticking around.  I wouldn’t expect something with 40 less HP to pull off the Wailord-EX stall/mill strategy, but there are a few decks that used it in a more supporting role.  It also could go on the offensive a bit, if you can spare room for some Energy, thanks to Water Gun; 20 per turn is pathetic under normal circumstances, but if your opponent is effectively doing zero per turn and you’ve got more HP, it could work.  Still, I’m not expecting much in Standard and even less in Expanded.  This might be worth running solo in a +39 deck for Limited play and certainly is worth including in all but the most crowded decks otherwise.  Even though this format has you start with only four Prizes, the immense HP and damage output are much better here as players must make use of what they pull… and a lot of that will be decks that lack the consistency, HP, and power of the Constructed Formats. 


Standard: 2.75/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 4.25/5 


Wishiwashi-GX could be Wailord-EX “2.0”; not quite as big but with better attacks, including a weak but affordable single Energy affair.  I was more optimistic with Wailord-EX when we reviewed it and that actually surprised me, as I recall initially having a dim impression of it: guessing someone explained how it could be used to stall shortly before I reviewed it.  Even with that trick in mind here, I’m not sure if Wishiwashi-GX is in the same boat.

Hello readers! Vince here, and before I enjoy my weekent, I've took a look at Wishiwashi-GX. There's two forms: a small Pokémon like Tynamo and its school form looks like over one-half of the size of a Wailord (Wishiwashi School form is almost 27 feet long while Wailord is 47 feet long). It the TCG, the school form tries to be some sort of a Wailord wannabe by virtue of its HP and overcosted attacks. So, the first impression I got was to dismiss as a card nobody would use. However, I took another look and I think this might be a good GX to use. But let's go through the attributes of this card.
Wishiwashi-GX is a water type, tapping in various support such as Rough Seas that heals HP between turns, Splash Energy to put defeated Water Pokémon back to your hand, Aqua Patch to fuel up energy for water Pokémon, Manaphy-EX to make free retreat for Pokemon with water energy, and Blastoise to attach multiple water energy for other attackers. It has 210 HP, now the second highest HP printed on a basic (Wailord-EX has 250 HP). It is weak to Lightning (surprised because I though post BW Boundaries Crossed had most water types weak to grass, and Wishiwashi isn't a flying type). Retreat cost of three is high, but you would be able to be searched by Heavy Ball. Being a basic Pokémon is great for being on the field and for a Pokémon that does not further evolve, saving deck space and not worrying about filling up necessary evolutionary stages.
Wishiwashi GX sports three attacks. Water Gun does 20 for W. Kind of a filler attack but cheap to begin with. Torrential Vortex cost WWWCC for 120 and it forces a special energy discard from your opponent's active Pokémon. Extremely expensive, but it can still 2HKO nearly anything and sets the opponent back a turn or two as they see their Double Colorless Energies and Double Dragon Energies being taken away. Blue Surge GX also costs WWWCC for 220 damage and it moves all energy from Wishiwashi GX to your benched Pokémon in any way you like. This GX attack is great for when you know that Wishiwashi is about to be knocked out next turn and you want to conserve the energy in the field. 220 backed with a Choice Band can reach OHKO levels against 250 HP Stage 2 GXs. Wailord EX with Fighting Fury Belt can survive, but the player can get rid of it with Field Blower.
So how do we use Wishiwashi-GX? Unlike Wailord-EX, not only it can act as a meat shield, but it has two of these 5 energy attacks that are better than Wailord-EX. Wishiwashi can actually get its attacks from zero into fully charged it you've used three Aqua Patches, have a DCE in hand, and bring that GX onto the active spot. I can't think of a deck idea to use it, but I'm sure it may be somewhere. It may thrive in Standard and Expanded in a similar role like Wailord-EX. In limited, it is a great pull and you can even use one Wishiwashi-GX and 39 energy cards. Keep in mind that you're able to launch big attacks on your fifth turn while you keep spamming Water Gun until you eventually meet the attack costs of Torrential Vortex and Blue Surge GX. Choice Band can make Water Gun do 50 for W against GXs in limited, but Field Blower is in the set, too, so don't expect your Choice Band to hang around. Also, Max Potion is also in that set so if Water Gun is your focus and not the other two, then that'll greatly enhance its staying power. Aether Paradise can render Water Gun useless, however, since the reduction by 30 to basic grass and lightning Pokémon can hinder its damage output.
Something to add after I imported this review that there’s another card related to the GX: Wishiwashi (Guardians Rising 37/145).  It is a Basic Water Type with 30 HP that has an ability and an attack.  The reason that I bring this up is the ability: Schooling.  This ability lets you swap a Wishiwashi with a Wishiwashi GX from your hand, changing it from a tiny 30 HP creature to a 210 HP monster.  Since it has to come from your hand, you’ll need search cards to get that GX onto your hand and then swap them.  If it was from the deck, it would’ve been far easier. Oh well…
Standard: 3/5
Expanded: 3/5
Limited: 4.5/5
Notes: As mentioned before, I previously dismissed Wishiwashi-GX as an inferior Wailord-EX, but after taking a second look, this card does some useful things that will see moderate play.
Hope you all have a great weekend!

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