– Ultra Prism
July 4, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Araquanid (SM – Ultra Prism 17/156) is our final card this week, and that’s because of its “Water Bubble” Ability and bad luck on its part. Water Bubble prevents all damage done to itself by attacks from your opponent’s [R] Pokémon. This isn’t a new trick; Araquanid (Sun & Moon 46/149) is the exact same card except it is a [W] Type and not a [G] Type. When the metagame is Fire-heavy, this is a pretty great Ability, providing some serious stall. Araquanid doesn’t have a good attack to go with it, but “Aqua Edge” isn’t horrible, either; [GCC] for 70 is less generic or hard-hitting than we’d like, but at least its mostly Colorless.
I’m not sure how much its [G] Typing matters; it doesn’t seem to be in any recent Grass decks… oh wait, there really aren’t many of those in the first place. Its 100 HP means its not even a speed-bump without its Ability, let alone a wall. [R] Weakness only mattes if the Ability is off, so almost never in Standard, and I’m-not-sure-how-much in Expanded. Expanded has plenty of anti-Ability decks, but I don’t recall any specializing in Fire attackers… at least, not that would affect this particular Ability. No Resistance is the worst but doesn’t really matter with 100 HP. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is too high to be good but too low to be bad. I don’t think any version of Dewpider is particularly special.
Fire was dominant for a time, and this card saw some success… just none I know of recently. While it is a Stage 1, so not as easy to slip into a deck as a Basic, it still could come in handy should the metagame shift again. Keep in mind, Araquanid was used in a deck with other walls, so it wasn’t doing the job alone. I’m less confident that this will prove to be a worthwhile trick in Expanded, so it scores pretty bad there. In the Limited Format, SM – Ultra Prism doesn’t have huge amount of Fire Pokémon; if you need a filler Stage 1 anyway, go for it, but I don’t think it brings enough to justify itself, otherwise.
Not the greatest note on which to end the week, but Araquanid has been competitive before, so there’s a reasonable chance it could be again. Fire just has to be a major, if not the dominant, force in the metagame. Of course, there’s also the difference of having Boss’s Orders now as well… so I wouldn’t hold your breath over this, either.
Today we are rewinding back to look at Araquanid from Sun & Moon Ultra Prism. This is also another one of those cards which looks like a reprint from that Araquanid from Sun & Moon Base Set, but it is not an actual reprint due to being a different type. Yup, it’s another one of those cards that does the same exact thing as the original but alternate type (in terms of its own type, attack cost, and weakness). While today’s review is about the Grass type Araquanid, the Sun & Moon version was a Water type, and the type differences might actually matter.
Araqunaid has the the Water Bubble ability, which prevents all damage done to this Pokémon from opposing Fire Pokemon. Depending on which decks you’re facing, it could be an auto-win from Fire based decks such as ReshiZard, Blacephalon (both GX and non-GX), and more. Against everything else, it is pretty useless. Because of what it does, it could be considered TecH, and it could be used to evolve from Ditto Prism Star, so your opponent might not expect this card to counter a specific deck. I guess one of the reasons why we’re looking at it, despite being about to leave rotation, is that it is searchable via Turffield Stadium, which this card can fetch for Evolution Grass Pokemon. Sure, there’s Giovanni and Guzma that can switch Pokémon around…but that makes your opponent waste that card, and other Supporters opportunities of that specific turn.
While it can be on the Active Spot protecting itself from certain type, it has the Aqua Edge Attack, which cost GCC for 70 without any effect. Against VMAX Pokemon, it’ll be about 5 turns to eventually KO that Pokemon, and that’s way too long. The Water type Araqunaid might do that faster than today’s card due to not only protecting itself from Fire Pokemon, but also exploiting Water weakness found on most Fire types (before factoring damage boosting cards). But since the Water type Araqunaid is only Expanded legal, Muscle Band seems to be the better damaging boosting card. I didn’t mention Choice Band or Silver Bangle because the things it target are getting smaller (can strike harder against EX and GX but not V). Plus it can be rapidly fueled by Aqua Patch while today’s card doesn’t have reliable Grass acceleration.
This isn’t a card for any deck. If players anticipate certain fire decks to be heavily played in upcoming tournaments, then Araqunaid would be the first thing to consider.
I would score the Water type Araqunaid about the same had it remained Standard legal (albeit a bit higher), though with different reasons such as how it would be searched, how it would exploit weakness, etc. I feel like the Water type Araqunaid actually does a better job than today’s card.
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