Crabominable Burning Shadows BUS 74
Crabominable – Burning Shadows

– Burning Shadows #BUS74

Date Reviewed:
October 24, 2017

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.81
Expanded: 3.33
Limited: 3.17

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

Reviews Below:


You know what I think is the natural evolutionary progression for a tropical crab that lives under palm trees? A YETI!! Yeah, that makes sense…sometimes I wonder about those crazy designers.

In any case, Crabominable here is another interesting card with a very cheap attack and a…well, less cheap, more boring attack. Double Stomp is a 3-for-80 that flips 2 coins for up to 80 more damage, which is fine on its own, better than what I could say for Alolan Raticate from yesterday, but it’s not the absolute pinnacle of attacks either.

So Gutsy Hammer is what draws our attention today, being a simple 1-for-80. Yes, that’s right, a 1-for-80. There is a very severe drawback though, that’s meant to supplement this momentous overreach of offensive power. For every damage counter on Crabominable, he’ll deal himself another damage counter for it. It’s called “Gutsy” for a reason, after all.

Obviously the best value is when the damage counters on Crabominable…well, aren’t. That is, when Crabominable has no damage on him, he won’t take any damage from Gutsy Hammer, and that means he’s freely swinging a powerful 1-for-80 attack! On the other hand, though, the more damage he accumulates, the closer he gets to his 140 HP max. Assuming he doesn’t have any HP boosting Tools attached and is instead roughing it out with a hearty Choice band, he’ll be best at only 1 or 2 damage counters. Remember, Gutsy Hammer doubles the amount of damage he has on him at any given time, so 0 damage = 0 damage, but 10 = 20, 20 = 40, 30 = 60, etc. And the danger zone is around 50 or 60 damage on him, as that makes it so anything, especially a sniping attack, effective enough to KO Crabominable. 70 or more means you’re KOing Crabominable yourself.

So is it worth running Crabominable with Gutsy Hammer? Well, considering Choice Band could make this a 1-for-110, and a Strong Energy could add on to make it 130, he’d be able to 2HKO anything in the game…in theory. I don’t think I’d trust your opponent to be so generous in letting you get all that in play, but sometimes they can’t help it, which means Crabominable could sweep games…if it weren’t for that clause that makes him double the damage he’s taken. He could possibly make a good solid KO before either the damage your opponent inflicts on him catches up, or they’ve begun mounting their own offense on Crabominable.

Could be good, but is extremely risky.


Standard: 2.5/5 (there’s potential in a cheap powerful move)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (but the drawback is REALLY dangerous)
Limited: 3.5/5 (use with caution)

Arora Notealus: Seriously though, a yeti crab? Who writes this stuff?

Next Time: Let’s go to the fishing pond and hang out with this gal!


Crabominable (Burning Shadows, 74/147), like Alolan Raticate (Burning Shadows, 82/147) yesterday, got a new version in the Burning Shadows expansion set even though it just had a card debut in the Sun & Moon base set.  This Crabominable is a 140 HP, Stage 1 Fighting type Pokemon with two attacks.  Gutsy Hammer does eighty damage for only one energy… but does ten damage to itself for every damage counter on it.  This means that if Crabominable has seventy or more damage on it when it goes to use Gutsy Hammer, it will KO itself immediately after it attacks.  You could play Bodybuilding Dumbbells (Burning Shadows, 113/147), and that would extend its HP up to a very impressive 180 HP, meaning that it would avoid KO’ing itself with eighty or less damage on it.

Crabominable’s second attack, Double Stomp, does eighty damage as well, plus forty more damage for each heads that you flip (you get to flip twice).  Obviously, this naturally pairs with Victini (Guardians Rising, 10/145).  Add in a Strong Energy (Fates Collide, 115/124) or two, and you could have a single prize Pokemon with possibly 180 HP that can hit for 180 or even 200 damage.

Or you could play Wishful Baton (Burning Shadows, 128/147) and try to roll energy from one Crabominable to the next.  Or you could run Acerolas (Burning Shadows, 112/147), Super Scoop Ups (Burning Shadows, 124/147), and Max Potions (Sun & Moon, 128/145) and try to constantly pick Crabominable back up and just use Gutsy Hammer over and over again.  Crabominable seems to have some versatility and potential playability; however, I’ve gone 3 W 0 L against it since its debut at the beginning of August.  I have seen it have some success in some videos, so I don’t think that it has zero potential, but I think you won’t win more than half your matches with it.  I haven’t actually tested this, though, so Crabby might surprise me at some point.


Standard: 2.5 out of 5


This bizarre combination of a giant crab and the Abominable Snowman might have some potential in the future.  Not many single prize Pokemon can hit in the high 100’s for damage.  Or, if you go the Bodybuilding Dumbbells route, not many single prize Pokemon have 180 HP and a decent single attachment attack.  Either way, I will try to make some time to test this in the near future, and I’ll update this review after I do.


Crabominable (SM: Black Star Promos SM 47; SM: Burning Shadows 74/147) is a Stage 1 Fighting-Type Pokémon with 140 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of [CCCC]. It has two attacks: the first being “Gutsy Hammer” for [F], which allows Crabominable to do 80 damage to the opponent but also 10 to itself for each damage counter already on itself, and the second being “Double Stomp” for [FFF], which does 80 damage and has you flip two coins good for another 40 damage per heads. There is a previous version of CrabominableSun & Moon 43/149 – but while it is still a Stage 1 with 140 HP, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCCC] and two attacks, it is a Water-Type with Metal Weakness. For [WWC] it can use “Avalanche” to do 80 damage to the opponent’s Active and 10 to each of his or her Benched Pokémon, while [WWWC] pays for it to use “Ice Hammer” to do 140 damage. I won’t be bringing Sun & Moon 43/149 up again, as the differences are enough it is very unlikely (though not impossible) to run the two together successfully.

We’ve reviewed a few Stage 1 Pokémon lately, and it is still the second best Stage of Evolution to be, with BREAK Evolutions of Basics being a close third. Being a Fighting-Type looks awesome on paper, but in reality, they’ve been struggling for a little while now. Some of it is the usual; their best support is Expanded-Only, but they are still awesome for hitting Weakness (even if they ram into Resistance fairly often as well). It isn’t like the few anti-Fighting effects are worth the effort, either; for some reason, the Type just can’t seem to gel outside of a few rare examples, often run in multi-Type decks. 140 HP is a solid amount; even most good decks are only going to manage two of the three “R’s” (rapid OHKO’s, reliable OHKO’s, repeated OHKO’s). With the proper support, it may even drop to just one “R”.

I say things like this too often, but Psychic Weakness is best described as “complicated”.  Some of them swing for big damage, which normally just means overkill with Weakness, but something like Night March needs a less developed setup than normal when exploiting Weakness.  Some are all about attack effects, in which case Weakness doesn’t matter.  Some are an odd mix, which usually allows them to hit hard while accessing a potent effect.  A serious concern in Expanded, still a threat in Standard. No Resistance is typical; wish it was here, hard to see how -20 damage is going to “break” something, and at least one video game Resistance (Dark) translates easily to the TCG (Darkness). The Retreat Cost of four is painfully high; either Crabominable is stuck up front, you add a reusable combo to get it out of there, or you’re just hoping you have enough switching cards to cover yourself for the game. It does give Crabominable access to Heavy Ball and Heavy Boots, but until we get a Crabrawler (the Basic that Evolves into Crabominable), Heavy Ball probably can’t justify itself. Heavy Boots… I’ve pretty much given up on it ever proving useful.

Gutsy Hammer is brilliant if Crabominable has no damage on it; 80 damage for one Energy! You can even make this better with Strong Energy, thanks to it being a Fighting-Type, and of course, you’ve got the option of slapping something like Choice Band onto it for an even bigger hit. So what about the self-damage? It all depends on the specifics of the match-up. Sometimes, no matter how much damage is on Crabominable, your opponent will score a OHKO. Sometimes, it is worth swinging away with Gutsy Hammer even though it will cause Crabominable to KO itself. Other times, there will be a pretty precise threshold; don’t get over X damage counters on yourself, and you’re golden, but exceed that, and it causes problems.

We’ll talk more about combos in a bit; now we’ll address the second attack. Double Stomp is somewhere between mediocre and adequate. You’ll always want some sort of damage buff added in because another 20-30 is enough to ensure most Basic Pokémon-EX/GX are OHKO’d when you flip double-heads, while even making two swings and flipping double-tails into a probable 2HKO. Half the possibles results are split with one of each, and does 120; you’ll need multiple boosts to turn this into a OHKO, but on its own its adequate for a 2HKO. Then we consider the Typing. The good? Strong Energy as an added damage buff, Focus Sash to resist being OHKO’d (at least in Expanded), and a good amount of Weakness to exploit. The bad? Your best Energy acceleration options are Carbink BREAK (slow) or Max Elixir onto Crabrawler (unreliable). Also, when numbers are this tight, Resistance finally starts to matter. For now, this isn’t an attack to worry about, but when Counter Energy releases, it might finally be worth some fuss (and additional combo options).

Crabrawler doesn’t add much to Crabominable. We’ve got two options, Sun & Moon 72/149 and SM: Burning Shadows 73/147. Both are Basic, Fighting-Type Pokémon with 80 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, and Retreat Cost [CC]. Sun & Moon 72/149 has two attacks: “Punch” for [CC] to do 20 and “Crabhammer” for [FCC] to do 40. SM: Burning Shadows 73/147 just has the attack “Light Punch” for [FF] to do 40. I wonder if the Japanese names for Punch and Light Punch make more sense; the slower to power, but harder hitting of the two in English is “Light Punch”. Which is the most interesting thing I can probably say about these; the 80 HP is better than most Evolving Basics, but given the pacing of the game it still isn’t great. Both of these are forgettable, but if they aren’t focused on providing something more useful (like aiding in setup), at least you can reliably do some damage with them. Some damage, but not much, and you’re paying for 50-100% more than you’re getting.

With the foundation finally complete, let’s discuss how Crabominable decks I’ve encountered work. Full disclosure, I once again failed to test the card myself, and this time it was one I really wanted to; I like how the deck seems to work. The goal is to stream Crabominable, relying exclusively on Gutsy Hammer. In Expanded, you go with a mix of Choice Band and Focus Sash (maybe some Muscle Band as well). I’m not sure what to do with Standard, perhaps Assault Vest or Body Building Dumbbells plus Choice Band? If you survive, Acerola or Max Potion take care of the damage while another Crabominable starts attacking. Your opponent can try to work around your Active attacker, so you need to avoid having too many juicy Bench-sitters.

Yes, that is it. I mean, build it as a 60 card deck with most of the usual bits, save minimizing how many two-Prize Pokémon you’re running. As people usually don’t run as much Tool removal as they ought, while some of the Tool-based combos will fail miserably, sooner or later they start to stick. Other than healing, it is a straightforward beatdown approach; just keep chipping away at your opponent, and try to OHKO Pokémon-EX/GX when you can to pull ahead. Doing a quick search, this card has seen a tiny bit of competitive success, with Bryan Ortiz making top eight at a 7 Round League Cup in California in the Standard Format; it was actually doing quite well before crashing into not just a Gardevoir-GX deck, but the one that went on to win the event.

For Limited Format play, this is a Normal Rare that Evolves from a Common, so it shouldn’t be too terrible to get a 1-1 line going if you pull Crabominable. If you are willing to risk relying on Gutsy Hammer, you can run with most of the other cards you’re likely to pull, and if you can afford to run all or mostly Fighting Energy, then Double Stomp should also serve you well. At the same time, it still suffers for being a Stage 1 you might have to simply draw into and how you might be stuck promoting Crabrawler early… where it could get damaged before taking advantage of Gutsy Hammer. Even if Crabominable makes its way up front sans damage counters, still be careful with Gutsy Hammer; I wouldn’t count on using it more twice, and probably only once before the self-damage becomes a big problem (maybe even a self-KO).


Standard: 3.25/5
Expanded: 3.5/5
Limited: 3.5/5


Crabominable might give us the somewhat rare beatdown deck backed by healing. As that healing comes from Trainers with steep costs, I don’t know if that will make it better or worse for newer players. Between the promo version and it being simply a normal Rare, it shouldn’t be too bad to obtain a playset either for the PTCG or PTCGO. Especially if you already have the pricier cards you might want for it, I think it at least qualifies as a good budget deck and maybe, just maybe, something more.

We are almost done with cards that 21times had on his Top 24 or I had on my Top 25 list for SM: Burning Shadows. Crabominable barely made my list as my 24th place pick and given some of the cards I had above it, I can’t really brag, even if it ends up being something special as opposed to just enjoying its 15 minutes of (minor) fame. It tied tomorrow’s card, the final card from these “extended” Top 10 lists and only got to go first because… I forgot to break the tie and that’s just how my spreadsheet sorted them. Oops.


Upon looking at this card, I think I’ll say this:

Use with caution and care!

Crabominable has two attacks. The second one is Double Stomp that costs FFF and does between 80-160 depending on 2 coin flips. The attack cost will make that attack take a while to meet.

The first attack has got me the most attention. Gutsy Hammer does 80 for F. This is easily the best single energy attack that can be further boosted with Strong Energy and Choice Band. However, there is a drawback that does 10 damage to itself for each damage counter on this Pokémon. So if Crabominable has 10 damage, then each use would make it into 20, then 40, then 80, then 160! It’s important to keep this Pokémon fully healed to avoid the drawback. Fortunately, Max Potion will bring its HP to full and is one Energy attachment away from attacking, something that M Garchomp EX couldn’t do.

This is a Pokémon worth considering, and in Expanded, you can use Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick to ignore evolving basics and just put that Pokémon down. As a Stage 1, it can call on Eeveelutions for additional type coverage. I don’t think it’s safe to use in Limited, even though the attack is awesome; the recoil of doubling your current damage, on top of the Defending Pokemon attacking you, has made Crabominable’s staying power severely limited in this format.


Standard: 3/5
Expanded: 4/5
Limited: 2.5/5