– Ultra Prism
April 17, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Ya know come to think of it, it feels like the Fossil Pokemon tend to come in pairs as an offensive and a defensive one – Kabutops is Offensive, Omastar is Defensive. Armaldo is Offensive, Cradily is Defensive. Rampardos is Offensive, and Bastiodon is kinda okay all things considered.
…oh, and Defensive.
Bastiodon is a Stage 2 Metal Pokemon, 160 HP, with a Fire Weakness, a Psychic Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 3. His Ability Earthen Shield keeps your Metal Pokemon safe from any attacks from opposing Pokemon with a Special Energy attached to them, while his attack Push Down is a 3-for-110 move with a built-in Gust of Wind or Lysandre effect.
He seems pretty solid all things considered, but given how Fossil Pokemon are…of course, reliant on the new version of the Fossil mechanic to get going, Bastiodon is just a bit too slow to be running alongside other Metal support like Magnezone. Heck, Magnezone on its own is a handfull to get out sometimes, so having both of them out together? Not saying it’s impossible, but the chances are slim. On top of that, Earthen Shield is at its best against a deck reliably running Special Energy as its source of attack – decks running mainly DCE or Rainbow Energy are prime targets for it. The only problem with that is that most decks that do run those cards have attacks that are complimentary to the speed, and Fossil Pokemon are…notoriously slow to get out, even by Stage 2 standards.
So it’s not that Bastiodon won’t see play, but it’s not likely to show up in competition that much. Push Down’s pretty effective for swapping out to another target and/or forcing something off of the Bench, but outside of those moves, Bastiodon can’t really do a whole lot. He’s a bit meta-dependent, but he’s also dependent on your ability to accommodate for…well, digging for fossils, basically.
Standard: 2/5 (not sure that Bastiodon is a must-have for the world)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (but I do think he benefits from having more to counter)
Limited: 3/5 (in a more Limited environment, his Ability is bad but his attack is pretty solid, and 160 HP is nothing to snuff at)
Arora Notealus: For the record, it’s probably Archeops as Offensive, Carracosta as Defensive, Tyrantrum Offensive, and Aurorus for Defensive, despite the bad Typing. The only other Fossil Pokemon, Aerodactyl, is definitively Offensive, but there’s not really a Defensive counterpart to him, unless you figure Kabutops and Omastar are the Defensive counterparts to Aerodactyl’s offensive power. On that note, ever notice how many of the carnivores are Offensive?
Order Pad’s also probably a good card in any Fossil deck.
Side Review: Mars – well, like many of the other “draw 2” Supporters, it feels like Mars has fallen by the wayside. Perhaps it’s the overwhelming draw power that Cynthia provides not only outpacing her draw power but also counteracting her discard power, and with so many routes to draw more cards, discarding doesn’t even begin to look that strong. Sorry Mars, you did your best.
Next Time: Haven’t I seen this guy somewhere before?
Bastiodon (UP 85) lumbers its way into the meta out of the Ultra Prism expansion set. This Stage 2 fossil Pokemon got attention as one of the many presents Metal decks got out of the Ultra Prism expansion. Bastiodon, however, universally got passed over by everyone doing pre-release reviews of the UP expansion (yours truly included). A big part of it was the fact that it was a fossil – even though fossils are so much easier to get out now than they were previously, being a fossil means that you have to work harder than any other Pokemon in the game to get it out and evolved all the way to its Stage 2 maturity.
Moreover, would it even be worth it? Would it be worth the effort to try to get this Pokemon fully evolved? Certainly, it wouldn’t be for its attack. Push Down, for two Metals and a Colorless, isn’t going to be confused with Meteor Tempest. So would Earthen Shield create enough value to justify putting this Pokemon in a decklist? Immunity from damage (not effects though) by Pokemon with SPE attached was enough to tempt me into trying Bastiodon.
I went 12 W 8 L with Bastiodon in a DM Necrozma deck. I detailed the deck out here, but what it basically came down to was that if you really want to get Bastiodon out more consistently, you have to sacrifice other resources that I felt were more essential to my version of this archetype. Bastiodon definitely helped at times – there were some games when my opponents simply conceded after I got it online. Other games it served as a decoy for my opponents to Guzma out and KO instead of attacking the main Pokemon in my deck. Overall, however, I am going to give Bastiodon a pass, and part of that is because I’m only seeing SPE 61% of the time this month. If it were higher, at least two thirds of the time, I’d consider it more. Plus, it doesn’t do anything to help against the deck’s most difficult matchup against Fire decks.
Standard: 2 out of 5
If more decks start running SPE, then maybe I’ll revisit Bastiodon, but right now it takes up too many card slots in a decklist to make it worthwhile.
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