Crabominable (Unbroken Bonds UNB 105)
Crabominable (Unbroken Bonds UNB 105)

– Unbroken Bonds

Date Reviewed:
June 19, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 1.50
Expanded: 1.75
Limited: 2.90

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

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Crabominable’s (from Sun & Moon Unbroken Bonds) selling point is just the Fight Alone attack, and it’s a familiar attack first seen on Metal typed Lucario from XY Fates Collide. It costs CC for 30 damage, plus 50 more damage for each Pokémon fewer you have in play. Most likely you compare the amount of Pokémon you have in play VS the amount of Pokémon your opponent has in play. Say if you have three Pokémon in play and your opponent has five, then you get to deal 100 extra damage. If both players have the same amount of Pokémon in play, or if you have more Pokémon in play than your opponent, then you don’t get to deal any extra damage.

Even then, this attack is unreliable because you would have to count for your opponent to fully setup their board. Trying to shoot the moon for 280 damage (on a 1v6 scenario) won’t consistently happen, because your opponent can either make some of their Pokémon leave play or even flat out not put them down. Even if that’s not the case, Double Colorless Energy is about to leave the format, so unless you decide to go for Triple Acceleration Energy, then it’ll take two attachments to use that attack. Sadly, a familiar attack won’t reinvigorate certain decks. I did not factor Diancie Prism Star because you would lose 50 damage for just a 20 damage boost.


Standard: 1.5/5

Expanded: 2/5 (maybe it would punish Sky Field users by loading up too many Pokémon)

Limited: 2.5/5

Otaku Avatar

Crabominable (SM – Unbroken Bonds 105/214) would have been our 16th-place finisher if our last countdown had been just a top 11. Let’s see if we can answer the question “Why?”. We’ll begin by noting that there aren’t any other Crabominable cards that have proven worthwhile, which means neither competition nor combos with its elders. It is also a single-Prize Pokémon at a time when that’s becoming an advantage…and may be shifting back to an expectation. This is a [F] Type, which is actually pretty promising. Many [C], most [D], and most [L] Pokémon are [F] Weak in terms of raw numbers, though [F] Resistance is also abundant (relative to other forms of Resistance). There is quite a bit of [F] support, and while there are [F] Type-specific counters, once we filter it all through what has actually been proven to work… something to smack cards like Pikachu & Zekrom-GX or Zoroark-GX hard are starting off on the right foot. Being a Stage 1 isn’t as good as being a Basic, requiring a little more time and deck space, but it is still within reason to run… plus, with Ditto {*} you can sometimes take a Swiss army knife approach to the Stage.

Crabominable has 140 HP, enough to be a little more likely to survive a hit than not, excluding Weakness. Not great, but sufficient for a Stage 1. The [P] Weakness isn’t awful, but it definitely isn’t safe, either; there are potential [P] Type TecH attackers but not enough reason to run them at the moment. Lack of Resistance is typical, it is also the worst. The Retreat Cost of [CCCC] is also the worst, though access to Buff Padding is nice. Crabominable has two attacks, “Fight Alone” for [CC] and “Magnum Punch” for [FCC]. The former does 30 damage, plus 50 more for each Pokémon your opponent has in play in excess of your own, while the latter simply does 80 damage. Both attacks are priced in a manner that they can make good use of Double Colorless Energy, or other, similar Energy acceleration. Before we delve into Fight Alone, Magnum Punch is pretty clearly the “backup” attack in this case; if you don’t have fewer Pokémon in play, ideally you can afford Magnum Punch for a mediocre 80-for-three. That doesn’t sound much better than Fight Alone’s minimum 30-for-two, but Magnum Punch can OHKO a Zoroark-GX if it has a Choice Band equipped.

So, let’s explore Fight Alone. Its damage range is 30 to 280 under normal circumstances. In Expanded, your opponent might require a massive Bench and be running Sky Field; the damage range is then 30 to 430. Your opponent can always opt to Bench fewer Pokémon, in which case your damage cap could be much less than even the 280 figure; even if you run some of the cards that can force your opponent to Bench Pokémon, Parallel City is a commonly played card. One can use the Bench-capping effect on one’s self to counter such a strategy… at least in Expanded. Lucario (XY – Fates Collide 63/124) also had Fight Alone, and we looked at it here. We had some hope for the card, and so did others. I vaguely recall the deck being on the fringe of “competitive”, but the issue was pretty clear; the smaller your Bench, the less you can afford supporting Pokémon. Whether general or deck-specific, each such card drops your damage; you’ll be hurting just having a spare attacker so that you don’t lose should your “Fight Alone” user go down in one hit.

Crabominable does have many advantages over the Lucario in question. A better Type for exploiting Weakness, better HP, and being able to Fight Alone for just a Double Colorless Energy. You may even be able to risk something like Omastar (SM – Team Up 76/181) for support; you still need to keep the rest of your Bench mostly empty, but you’ll deny your opponent access to Items, which may force them to Bench more support Pokémon to compensate. Dusknoir (SM – Burning Shadows 53/147) would be an option as well, as its Ability lets you Bench a Basic Pokémon from your opponent’s hand once-per-turn. In Expanded, you could just use Target Whistle to Bench a Basic Pokémon from your opponent’s discard pile. We also have better options for clearing out your own Bench in the form of Giovanni’s Exile. This is not me recommending you build such decks, but brainstorming ideas for possible decks.

The best use for Crabominable, I think, is as TecH for the Pikachu & Zekrom-GX or Zoroark-GX matchups. Both decks are likely to have a hefty Bench and have a multi-Prize target with [F] Weakness. While I call it the best use for Crabominable, it still isn’t a good use; there aren’t any exceptional Crabrawlers to go with it, but there are other [F] Type TecH attackers. Still, if you already run Ditto {*} and Double Colorless Energy, I suppose Crabominable is an option. Expanded provides more combo opportunities for Crabominable, but also more competition and counters. In fact, the average damage output per turn may be a bit higher, which makes OHKO’s of Crabominable more likely; more of an issue than normal when you have to ding your damage output to prep a spare attacker (and avoid losing due to Bench Out). Yet you can utilize Focus Sash in this card pool, that leads to combos with Last Chance Potion. Crabominable is probably something to only bother with in the Limited Format; everything other than the Weakness and Retreat Cost are better here.  Fight Alone becomes an option rather than a requirement.


Standard: 1.5/5

Expanded: 1.5/5

Limited: 3.3/5

So… I’m not sad that Crabominable failed to make our actual countdown. It didn’t even come close to making my personal top 20, either. Still, Fight Alone caught my eye and some part of me hoped we might be able to make it work this time, but I think we’ll have to keep waiting.

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