– Cosmic Eclipse
December 4, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Drampa (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 159/236) is an easily run Basic Pokémon. Its [N] Typing isn’t much help when it comes to striking Weakness, but it does let it take advantage of cards like Mysterious Treasure and N’s Resolve. Being a Basic is the best, though, making Drampa easy to run and to field, at least relative to other Stages of Evolution. The 120 HP is decent; most serious attackers will OHKO it, but those focused more on effects than damage, or just lacking their full setup behind them, may fall short.
The [Y] Weakness is scarier than it looks; Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX just won the Daytona Beach, FL Regional Championship but they hit hard enough to OHKO Drampa before Weakness. Lack of Resistance is technically the worst, but most Pokémon lack it, and the HP is in that odd place where maybe it would have mattered, maybe it wouldn’t have. A Retreat Cost of [C] is nice and affordable, and low enough that common plays like Escape Board or U-Turn Board can zero it out completely.
Drampa has two attacks. “Scratch” costs [C] and does 20 damage, while “Dragon Arcana” costs [CCC] it does 70 damage, but if it has at least two kinds of basic Energy attached, Dragon Arcana hits for 140 damage instead. 140 is enough to OHKO the lower half of HP scores, and 2HKO most of the upper half. If you’ve got some damage buffs and the right Energy acceleration, this could actually prove quite formidable.
Enter Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX: Drampa made our list because of its performance in Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX decks at the Regional Championship, that was just held in Daytona Beach, FL. The highest placing of these decks took 5th. Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX’s “Altered Creation-GX” attack lets your Pokémon do 30 extra damage with their attacks, even if you don’t also activate the secondary effect (which lets you take an extra Prize when scoring KO’s via your attack damage). Dragon Arcana hits for 100 or 170 damage after that, the latter amount easily in 2HKO range of anything lacking defensive buffs, and even OHKOing most single-Prize targets and smaller Basic Pokémon-GX! Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX’s “Ultimate Ray” attack also lets you avoid taking so long to power up Dragon Arcana.
Other Energy acceleration such as Malamar (SM – Forbidden Light 51/131; SM – Black Star Promos SM117; Shiny Vault SV18/SV94), N’s Resolve, or Welder could also work so long as there are enough basic Energy Types in the deck. Only N’s Resolve can attach multiple Types (and units) of basic Energy, but your manual Energy attachment can be combined with the others to still quickly pay for Dragon Arcana. Only N’s Resolve is shown in the lists for Florida, and even then, only in the one that finished in 40th-place (still impressive – it was out of 464 players). Counter Gain was also in some of the lists using Drampa.
So, Drampa likely has a role as a solid, single-Prize attacker in Acreus & Dialga & Palkia-GX decks, and may work in a few others skilled at basic Energy acceleration in Standard. It could also be used in Expanded, where it gains a lot more competition and may struggle as Special Energy-based acceleration like Double Colorless Energy and Double Dragon Energy are so common but don’t really help Dragon Arcana. The flip-side is that it gains access to other damage buffs as well, so Dragon Arcana can take out larger targets. I think it won’t perform as well, but at least has some potential. As for the Limited Format, unless you pulled something that demands you only one one Basic Pokémon or basic Energy Type, you run this card. It should be a phenomenal attacker, at least when it shows up.
Drampa was not on my radar for SM – Cosmic Eclipse, and this an oversight on my part. It isn’t like I didn’t expect Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX to see at least a little success, and this is a natural partner for that TAG TEAM. This card’s future isn’t guaranteed, but at least for now, it has a useful – if niche – role in a competitive deck, and that’s good enough for me.
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