Falinks – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Falinks (SW – Battles Styles 083/163) is a Rapid Strike Pokémon, which seems like a good deal to me, as the only current drawback to it is that Falinks could have hypothetically been a Single Strike Pokémon instead. Falinks is a pure Fighting type in the video games, so it isn’t like it would be anything else in the TCG, but it is a nice typing nonetheless. Useful for exploiting Weakness, though it does crash into Resistance more than most other types. [F] Pokemon-based support isn’t too hot in Standard, and isn’t really compatible with Falinks in Expanded (more on that soon), but the [F] Energy-based support in Standard is solid; if the rest of the deck can make use of it, Martial Arts Dojo and Karate Belt could be helpful.
Falinks has 110 HP, well within most decks OHKO range. Even on the Bench, there are some attackers that can drop it an one, while taking out another target at the same time. If your opponent has a poor setup, or isn’t focused on doing damage, Falinks might survive a turn while Active. It is even possible Falinks would be better of with just 90 HP, as that would make it Level Ball legal. No guarantees, though. [P] Weakness can be dangers, but probably won’t matter given the current metagame, and fact that attacks doing 50 or less still whiff on the OHKO, while 90+ already had it. No Resistance is typical, and so is the Retreat Cost of [CC].
For [FC], Falinks can use “Rapid Strike Squad” to do 20 damage per Rapid Strike Pokémon you have in play. As it counts itself, that means a minimum of 20 damage. So Falinks is itself a form of Rapid Strike support. If nothing is altering Bench-size, the attack’s maximum base damage is 120, though in Expanded, Sky Field can let it do as much as 180. You’re probably going to need five or more Rapid Strike Pokémon for the damage to be even remotely worthwhile. A 110 HP Basic that can do 100 or 120 for a single Special Energy attachment isn’t great, but it might be decent.
If the deck includes enough compatible attackers to justify it, basic Fighting Energy, Martial Arts Dojo, and Karate Belt are options. Then, if your opponent has fewer Prize cards remaining in play than you do, you can use Karate Belt to drop Rapid Strike Squad’s cost to [C], pay it with a basic Fighting Energy, and Martial Arts Dojo will let you do an extra 40 damage. A full six Rapid Strike Pokémon Bench would then mean 160 damage for one Energy! You’re missing on the (Weakness-enabled) OHKO of Eternatus VMAX by 20 damage still, but anything [F] Weak with less than the current printed max HP is a goner. Well, barring miscellaneous protective effects. Of particular note, even three Benched Rapid Strikers will let Falinks one-shot an Active Dedenne-GX.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
Falinks doesn’t seem overly strong to me, but I think it has a little niche carved out for itself, and at least it seems on point for Rapid Strike Pokémon thematically. None of the Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX decks we saw do well at the Players Cup III Global Championship bothered with it, but at least it would be a plausible addition.
Falinks (SS Battle Styles 83/163) is a Basic Rapid Strike Fighting Type with 110 HP, Psychic Weakness, and a retreat cost of CC. Its only attack, Rapid Strike Squad, costs FC and does 20 damage for each Rapid Strike Pokemon in play. By itself, it would only do 20 damage, but if you have a full bench filled with Rapid Strike Pokémon, then it does 120 damage (or 180 damage if Sky Field is in play with a full Bench of 8 Pokémon).
To get the most of Rapid Strike Squad, your deck has to be filled with just Rapid Strike Pokémon. If you have other non-Rapid Strike Pokémon, then it might be a wasted Bench slot as well as wasted damage potential if you played them. Fortunately, there are more Rapid Strike Pokémon coming in future sets; Even the Japanese set dedicated to Eeveelutions contains Rapid Strike Pokémon, like my favorite Psychic type Sylveon-V (this might see some play as it has an ability that fetches a single item card but instantly end your turn) as well as Vaporeon-V! The attack cost might suggest that it’ll take a while to fuel up, but Rapid Strike Energy provides 2 units of energy covering certain attack costs involving Water and Fighting energies.
Falinks is a nice tech for Rapid Strike decks, but whether it’s needed or not remains to be seen, and looking at the damage multiplier, it doesn’t seem to do enough.
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