Dragapult – Fusion Strike
December 6, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Dragapult (SW – Fusion Strike 130/264) is one of the new Fusion Strike Pokémon. This lets it tap valuable support like Fusion Strike Energy and Power Tablet. Dragapult is a [P] type, useful for exploiting Weakness against Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX. Though you’ll have to deal with it in Expanded, nothing in Standard is [P] Resistant. There’s also access to [P] support, but I’m not sure how well Dragapult can cash in on that. What I am sure of is that Dragapult is going to be demanding to run: it is a Stage 2 after all. There’s more than one successful Stage 2 deck at the moment, but a Pokémon really needs to bring it if it is a Stage 2.
Dragapult has 150 HP, a solid amount for a Stage 2. It isn’t overly good, but at least Weaker attacks can’t OHKO Dragapult. At least, not without help and one form of that help is exploiting Weakness. Dragapult is [D] Weak; while not the worst right now, there are still some Darkness decks kicking around and Hoopa V means you’ve got to worry [P] decks can easily exploit [D] Weakness. Dragapult does enjoy [F] Resistance, far better than the usual lack of Resistance. Dragapult has a perfect free Retreat Cost, so it should be easy to Bench if it can survive being Active. Let’s jump to the card’s second attack. For [PC], this Dragapult can use “Speed Attack” to do 120 damage. Again, this is kinda good. The damage is solid for the Energy, and with Elesa’s Sparkle and Fusion Strike Energy, you can probably ready it in a single turn! If you have at least four Fusion Strike Pokémon in play, you may as well use the 1st attack…
Why did I skip the 1st attack? It is the centerpiece of the card and… I just had a really small paragraph that didn’t have enough room for the 1st attack but could squeeze in the 2nd. For [P], Dragapult can use “Fusion Strike Assault”. This attack lets it do 30 damage for each of your Fusion Strike Pokémon in play and… it’s alright. Not bad, but also not overly good. If you have a full five Fusion Strike Pokémon on your Bench, Dragapult can do 180 damage for just [P]! After all, it is a Fusion Strike Pokémon itself, so that means 6 x 30. In Expanded, you could use Sky Field to try for a staggering 270 damage, all for just one Energy. So, what’s the problem? This is a Stage 2 Pokémon; swarming it isn’t impossible, but it still isn’t easy. Outside of abnormally small examples like Crobat V, most Basic Pokémon V can take two hits and keep on kicking. Even if you’re breaking even in terms of Prizes, you’re investing a lot of cards per Dragapult.
Now, most Pokémon VMAX can also only take two hits, and there’s you’re probably good, but there’s still that risk of your comparatively complex setup falling apart. Also the fact that you never know if you’re face some healing, some Bench hits, etc. from such foes that let them steal the Prize lead. There’s some more to this, like how Dragapult can be backed up by Oricorio (SW – Fusion Strike 042/264; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH168). Another piece of Fusion Strike support, Oricorio’s Ability reduces the damage your Fusion Strike Pokémon take by 30, whether those Fusion Strike Pokémon are Active or on your Bench. An effective 180 HP against OHKO’s is a lot better. This can also help with Bench hits, as you’re going to have to field at least some Dreepy, maybe some Drakloak as well. Dreepy (SW – Fusion Strike 128/264) and Drakloak (SW – Fusion Strike 129/264) are Fusion Strike Pokémon as well. They’re just filler, but at least they’re Fusion Strike. They’re small enough that additional Bench hits can add up fast (60 and 90 HP, respectively).
All in all, there’s enough going for Dragapult that I can’t bring myself to award it minimal scores in Standard or Expanded. The latter has even more competition, but access to Sky Field is so tempting! So two out of five for both Formats.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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