Blastoise & Piplup-GX
– Cosmic Eclipse
November 1, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
After looking at a somewhat partial week of Halloween related Pokémon cards, we’re here with top 11 cards of Cosmic Eclipse, the final Sun & Moon expansion. And looking at the set list, it is just as enormous as Unified Minds, both tied to being the largest expansion – for now – with 236 cards before factoring in secret rares. And while some of our personal Top X lists seemed divided, only 11 cards made it onto the master list, with runner-ups after the countdown is over.
Our 11th best card is Blastoise & Piplup-GX. This is a Basic Water type with 270 HP, weak to Grass, a retreat cost of three, and two attacks. Splash Maker costs WWC for 150 damage and you may attach up to 3 Water energies from your hand to any of your Pokemon. And if you do, you heal 50 damage for each Energy attached to one of your Pokemon whose energy are attached to. So Splash Maker not only accelerates energy but also heals your Pokemon as well. It could be 50 damage from three of your Pokemon; 100 damage from one of your Pokémon and 50 damage from one of your other Pokémon; or 150 damage from one of your Pokemon. I don’t know how important healing is, but I guess if you sent out a Pokémon just to sit there and take damage, then you switch out that damaged Pokemon, use Splash Maker, attack three energy, and heal 150 damage, not only healing them but also get them ready to attack. So while they can easily accelerate energy, you have to fuel up Splash Maker in the first place, which isn’t much to work with in Standard outside of Quagsire/Naganadel, but Expanded has Aqua Patch that can accelerate energy via an item card, without needing both Pokémon mentioned earlier. At this point, Splash Maker is so good that I don’t think their GX attack is going to outdo their first attack. It also costs WWC for 100 damage plus automatic Paralysis. If it has six energies attached to them, then it does 250 instead of 100. While Splash Maker can lead in to this GX attack with the extra energies, I would’ve like it if it OHKOed something. Paralysis can be played around by cards that can switch the Paralyzed Pokemon and promote it back to the Active by using a free retreater.
Overall, this is a decent Tag Team that can 2HKO most of the time (or some OHKOs I’d backed with some damage boosting cards) as well as a possibly one-time surprise OHKO when you really need it, but I don’t think it can keep up against some of the most aggressive decks around. This could help set up some of the best Water type attackers (regardless of being a GX/EX or not), and the only one I can think of is NOT White Kyurem from Lost Thunder, but Black Kyurem from Cosmic Eclipse. This is a single prize big basic whose one of its attacks (Dazzling Blizzard) can already do over 200 damage for four energy if certain conditions are met (if there’s a Stadium card in play). Shrine of Punishment could be a natural pairing with Dazzling Blizzard, as it means that not only you do 200 damage, but you also place 10 damage between turns against EX/GX Pokemon. Such Pokémon being KOed between turns can avoid being punished in some way. Like your opponent not being able to use certain Supporter cards which requires strict timing (Rosa, Zinnia, etc.).
Splash Maker is perhaps the reason why Blastoise & Piplup secured the 11th spot. You might see this in water based decks, and it may very well replace Blastoise BCR and Archie in Expanded due to redundancy.
The final treat of our Halloween Week is the start of our Top 11 Cards of SM – Cosmic Eclipse Countdown! If you’re new to the site, this article explains the process, there was an added step. If you don’t feel like reading it, the short version is each reviewer creates a list of their top picks and those are combined to create the Pojo site list. This time, we also took a little time to discuss our picks and see if anyone changed their mind.
11th-place is Blastoise & Piplup-GX (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 38/326, 215/236, 214/236). Its [W] Typing should be useful, assuming that Reshiram & Charizard-GX still has a prominent place in the metagame… and we do still have Welder. Being a TAG TEAM means it is worth three Prizes when KO’d and (for better or worse) comes with the bonuses and drawbacks of being a Pokémon-GX.
Blastoise & Piplup-GX is a Basic Pokémon, making it easy to run. 270 HP is massive, the fourth highest printed HP score possible, and difficult to OHKO. With the new set, I’m unsure as to how bad [G] Weakness is, but at least it doesn’t correspond to any current, strong decks. No Resistance is the worst, but also typical, and may also have been necessary due to game balance, given how long it could make 270 HP last. The Retreat Cost of [CCC] is a pain to pay, and while easier than [CCCC], doesn’t qualify for cards like Buff Padding or Poké Maniac.
Blastoise & Piplup-GX have one regular attack and one GX-attack, both priced at [WWC]. Splash Maker does 150 damage and lets you attach up to three [W] Energy from your hand to your Pokémon. You also heal 50 damage per [W] Energy attached to that Pokémon. Only basic [W] Energy counts as [W] in the hand, but you do have the option of attaching 0, 1, 2, or 3 Energy (as opposed to all or nothing) and they can all go to one Pokémon or be split between two or three Pokémon. It is also good that all two Energy on a single target heals it by 100 and three by 150.
“Bubble Launcher-GX” does 100 damage with Paralysis. If you have at least an extra [WWW] attached, Bubble Launcher-GX does an extra 150 damage. This isn’t bad, but it is underwhelming. Guaranteed Paralysis is handy, but if you hit harder, it might not even be necessary; the three-Energy version is going to fail to OHKO quite a bit, though the six Energy should only fall short against the biggest targets. There will be times when this is useful, but I think I’d rather rely on Splash Maker.
Splash Maker not only lets you pull off the classic trick of attacking while accelerating Energy onto your next attacker, but the healing means your opponent has to OHKO Blastoise & Piplup-GX or risk you retreating into a second copy, using its Splash Maker, and simultaneously powering up and healing the original one. Probably on top of the other healing tricks TAG TEAM focused decks are known to pull!
The difficult part is getting Splash Maker going in our Standard Format, as we lack Aqua Patch to get it up and running with relative ease. Perhaps the new Kyogre (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 53/236) could work, as for [C] its “High Water” attack attached two [W] Energy cards from your discard pile to one of your Pokémon, and it is a single-Prize Basic with 130 HP. In Expanded, Max Elixir becomes another option.
For the Limited Format, you could play Blastoise & Piplup-GX without any other Basics and have a viable strategy; you’ll need three turns to build up Splash Maker, at which point you can do 150 while healing and building to Bubble Launcher… assuming you have enough Energy in hand. There’s always the risk that your opponent will have enough [G] Type attackers, or those that do damage based on how much Energy you have attached, though.
Blastoise & Piplup-GX is very impressive, but only our 11th-place pick; this set is full of amazing cards! I didn’t even include this one in my own Top 11 because of all the competition! If exploiting [W] Weakness stops being so useful and exploiting [G] Weakness becomes quite valuable, this card is in trouble. Its real fear, however, is being too slow in the initial setup. This isn’t a concern for Blastoise & Piplup-GX in Japan, where they have already experienced some success… and Aqua Patch is legal for their equivalent of Standard!
Oh hi! I just got back from my Drifblim trip! It was pretty nice actually, got to see all the cool costumes, met a really hungry clown, good times. And just like that, I’ve landed back in the nick of time to talk about THE TOP 11 OF COSMIC ECLIPSE!! And we get to talk about a really powerhouse duo right off the bat.
Blastoise & Piplup-GX is a Basic Water Tag Team-GX, 270 HP, with a Grass Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 3. Splash Maker is the main attack, a 3-for-150 that lets you attach up to 3 Water Energy from your hand to Pokemon you have, and on top of that you get to heal off 50 damage from each of those Pokemon for each Energy you attach. This feeds really well into Bubble Launcher-GX, a 3-for-100 move that also Paralyzes the opposing Pokemon and, if you have at least 3 more Water Energy attached, does another 150 damage!
So needless to say, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is: does this compete with Reshiram & Charizard-GX? Since the biggest deck of the format is weak to Water, having a Pokemon that can not only hit it for weakness and OHKO it but also have the long-standing durability to beat off any other attackers they might have is probably in the realms of “ideal”. But there is a LOT to unpack with that. Unlike the fiery Tag Team-GX, Blastoise & Piplup-GX don’t really have a lot of Water support and acceleration. The closest thing we have is the new Tag Team Supporter – which by the way that’s a thing now – Misty & Lorelei, which all they do is add 3 Water Energy to your hand.
So getting to Splash Maker is the real trick, compared against Reshiram & Charizard-GX’s Welder and Giant Hearth. It’s doable, certainly, but it’s slower by comparison, which means you’ll need to play out the long game if you want to get those first 3 Energy attached. The good news is, once you do get those out, the match-up against Reshiram & Charizard-GX becomes much easier! And then there’s just the matter of beating everyone else, which is really where Bubble Launcher-GX can shine. For the most part though, these guys are what you might call “anti-meta”, and that puts them in a solid spot for making a big splash on the competition!
Standard: 4/5 (a couple of good attacks mixed up with some slowwwwwwwwwww gameplay is the only thing really holding them back)
Expanded: 3/5 (the differences are even more apparent with more Fire support)
Limited: 5/5 (but otherwise, these guys are pretty strong in general)
Arora Notealus: Blastoise & Piplup-GX made it up to about 6th place on my list, since I think they’ll have a decent chance of doing something to the meta. I don’t know if they’ll be competitive in the long run, but at the very least they can deal with putting out the fires that Reshiram & Charizard-GX come up with. It’s really annoying to have to deal with SO MUCH FIRE!!!
Weekend Thought: Hope you had a spooktacular Halloween! What did you dress up as? What about your friends? Did you get some good candy? What about any houses giving out Pokemon TCG Boosters? Probably not, but you never know. What’s the scariest Pokemon in your opinion?
Next Time: I JUST SAID WE HAVE TOO MUCH FIRE, STOP BRINGING UP MORE FIRE
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