Abomasnow – Chilling Reigns
Date Reviewed: July 6, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Abomasnow (SW – Chilling Reign 010/198) is the card that would have been our 19th-Place pick, and the next Runner-Up. It is a Stage 1, [G] type Single Strike Pokémon with 140 HP, [R] Weakness, no Resistance, and Retreat Cost [CCC]. It’s Ability is “Toughness Boost”, which grants +50 HP to all of your Single Strike Pokémon except for any Abomasnow. Multiple instances of Toughness Boost do not stack; apply just one of them at a time. For [GCC] Abomasnow can use the attack “Mega Punch” to do 90 damage.
This combination of Stage and HP is decent, as is being a Grass type. The Weakness is poor, but not the worst, while the lack of Resistance and Retreat Cost are the worst, but the stats aren’t as significant to gameplay as most of the others. Mega Punch is a vanilla, filler attack, and not a quality one. That one [G] requirement means you’re using it in a Grass type Single Strike, or you’ll have to splash in some basic Grass Energy alongside it, or you’ll have to burn a Special Energy like Rainbow Energy or Impact Energy. 90 damage isn’t enough to OHKO your typical, [G] Weak Basic Pokémon V. Even if Houndoom (SW – Battle Styles 096/163, 179/163, SW – Black Star Promos SWSH090) is used to attach Single Strike Energy to help Abomasnow, it would only be to exploit key cases of [G] Weakness should they pop up (no guarantee they will).
Thankfully, what matters most is the Ability. Abomasnow not helping itself – and being one [C] short in its Retreat Cost to access Buff Padding – does hurt, but it isn’t a deal breaker. As long as it isn’t an especially easy OHKO or, worse still, a bonus KO, it is doing its job of keeping your other Single Strike Pokémon alive longer. If I wasn’t clear earlier, not only does Toughness Boost not up the HP of the Abomasnow it is printed on, it doesn’t help any Pokémon named “Abomasnow”. If we ever get another Single Strike Abomasnow, with different stats or effects, it won’t help it. If we get an Abomasnow V and it is a Rapid Strike Pokémon, it will help it, as Toughness Boost specifies “Abomasnow” and not “with Abomasnow in its name” or some similar, more inclusive wording.
+50HP is not enough to guarantee an extra turn of life, but it is a better boost than we’re used to when you compare it to the +20 damage granted by Single Strike Energy, the +20 HP from Heat [R] Energy, the -20 to damage received from Stone [F] Energy, etc. Toughness Boost won’t heal the damage done by Houndoom’s “Single Strike Roar” Ability, but it is enough to compensate for two-and-a-half uses of it. I’ll resist playing Create-A-Card, telling you what tweaks I’d make so that Abomasnow was a top contender… but as is, it seems like a solid option for Single Strike decks. Probably just as a 1-1 or 2-2 line. Not a staple, but something you should at least strongly consider. I had Abomasnow as my 14th-Place pick, hence it finishing as the site’s pseudo-19th-Place pick.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
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