– Crimson Invasion CRI 54

Date Reviewed:
January 30, 2018

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 1.67
Expanded: 1.75
Limited: 3.25
Theme: 3.43

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

Reviews Below:


…I think it’s a sea slug, right? Water/Ground typing doesn’t mean it’s not a sea slug…looks kinda sluggish…what are you…

Oh wait, right there, “Sea Slug Pokemon”. Now I can’t be wrong!

Gastrodon’s a Stage 1 Fighting-type this time around, kinda different for him since he’s usually a Water-type. Not that that changes much. The first attack Eerie Fluid…ewwww…it’s a 2-for-30 move that Confuses the opponent’s Pokemon. While it’s nice to have a guaranteed Status Condition, Confusion is probably the weakest Status you could have guaranteed. The best you’ll get out of it is 30 damage and a little extra if the opponent attacks and flips poorly, but your opponent’s likely to just Switch it out for something else. Not really that impactful.

Earthquake is a strong follow-up move, doing 3-for-120 but hitting all your Pokemon for 10 damage. It’s a minimal amount, and it triggers Drampa-GX at the least, so if that’s something you want to work with, by all means. Still feels like a bit of a waste to use a Stage 1 to set-up a Basic-GX. Probably not the best partner for Drampa-GX, but it’s a serviceable casual deck?

I wouldn’t advertise Gastrodon as THE POWERHOUSE or anything, but it’s a decent casual card I suppose. Never mind the benefits from the Fighting support in Expanded.


Standard: 2/5 (not exactly the greatest, but he’s got decent attacks)

Expanded: 2.5/5 (even Earthquake, which normally does damage to your Pokemon, doesn’t decimate your team that much without multiple uses – you can 2HKO things at the cost of only putting 20 damage on a Benched Pokemon)

Limited: 3/5 (it’s the little things with Gastrodon, so maybe that’s what makes it shine)

Arora Notealus: Gastrodon has some things going for it, but I don’t think it’s the best pick for every situation. Its main appeal comes from what Pokemon it can make work, rather than being outstanding in and of itself, and that’s where I imagine his strengths hold. Being Fighting-type is always a nice bonus though!

Side Reviews: Shining Mew – with a new few Energies coming out in Ultra Prism, it’s not too far a stretch to see Shining Mew come back to retrieve such things with its attack, especially since one of them can only be run as a one-of copy. It gives some new targets for Shining Mew’s attack, but whether or not they’ll be successful and warrant Shining Mew starring in a new deck, it’s up for debate. Still, any time a new Energy comes out warrants another look at Shining Mew, so keep an eye on this guy!

Next Time: Imploring you to take a new look at attacking~


Due to yesterday’s review being late, I’ll introduce this week’s theme again: SM – Crimson Invasion Theme Decks!  Why?  Theme decks have been a joke for most of the Pokémon TCG’s lifespan.  Unfortunately, this means people sometimes miss when a good card is readily available in one, and more importantly, that most of the SM-era Theme Decks at least border on being “competent” and competitive with each other and all Theme Decks that came before them… at least with how the PTCGO defines a Theme Deck.  Hint: I expect a Battle Arena Deck to has quite the edge, but the PTCGO doesn’t count those as Theme Decks.  These decks tend to have less wasted space and more draw power (both Pokémon and Trainer-based) than in the past.  Not only does this make them finally a good option for teaching new players the game, I’ve actually had fun using them in the Theme Format of the PTCGO!  Before we dive in, let me state that I’ll be covering the cards this week from the Theme Format perspective, then at the end I’ll cover Standard, Expanded and Limited Format play.

Gastrodon (SM – Crimson Invasion 54/111)comes from the “Clanging Thunder” Theme Deck, the same as yesterday’s Kommo-O (SM – Crimson Invasion 77/111).  While Kommo-O is the star and MVP of the deck, it is also a Stage 2 and so sometimes it shows up late or not at all to the party.  Gastrodon is a Stage 1, so it too can be tardy or absent, but it is a bit easier to assemble.  As an [F] Type, it won’t be tapping into a lot of Type-based support simply because the deck doesn’t include it but it proves great for Type-matching.  Yes, [F] Resistance is one of the most common, and you’ll find anti-[F] effects can sometimes be worth it in the Theme Format, but hitting many [C], most [D], and most [L] Pokémon for double damage is well worth it.  Also worth it is the 120 HP; what is a probable OHKO in Constructed Formats might survive several attacks here, and often survive at least one against fully powered-up attackers.  No Weakness is safe, but for now [G] is one of the better ones to have; again the SM-era decks are a cut above all but the best of what came before them, and there is only one [G] based SM-era Theme Deck (“Forest Shadow”).  It is also one of the mediocre ones, with only one or two I consider worse.  No Resistance is the worst, but its typical, so moving on we have a Retreat Cost of [CCC]; no silverlining here as the deck doesn’t contain something like Heavy Ball to make use of it, though at least we have and Escape Rope and a Switch.

Gastrodon has two attacks: for [FC] it can use “Eerie Fluid” while [FFC] pays for Earth Quake.  The former does 30 and Confuses the opponent’s Active, while the latter does 120 but hits each of your own Benched Pokémon for 10 damage.  Special Conditions are much better here, similar to the Limited Format, and you’re a little more likely than in the Constructed Formats to have time to manually attach two Energy.  You’re a lot more likely to catch something with 60 HP in the Active position; [F] Weak targets go down in one hit, neutral targets risk KOing themselves if they fail the Confusion check, and Resistant targets still have to deal with Confusion, even if it isn’t as pressing an issue for them.  120 damage for three is very impressive here, and while the Bench damage is also more of a concern, Gastrodon appears in a deck that intentionally wants to minimize its own Bench already (thanks to Kommo-o).

So, Gastrodon is well suited to the Theme Format.  It performs similarly in the Limited Format, which isn’t too much of a surprise.  Also unsurprising is that no one is likely to ever bother with it in the Expanded or Standard Formats; while still handy for Type-matching and gaining access to combos to seemingly improve its performance all around, it runs afoul of the usual issue in the Constructed Formats; superior competition.  At all Stages, there are just better [F] Type Pokémon to consider, and just restricting things to Stage 1 Pokémon but allowing all Types, there is again so much competition Gastrodon cannot hope to compete.  The combos available here, even the simple ones, often produce attackers that can should manage at least one of the three R’s (rapid, reliable, repeated) even on a poor setup; a good setup means you should expect all three.



Standard: 1.5/5

Expanded: 1.25/5

Limited: 3.75/5

Theme: 3.85/5



Standard: 1.5/5
Expanded: 1.5/5
Limited: 3/5
Theme: 3/5

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