Golbat – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
When looking at Golbat from Battle Styles, the only noteworthy thing about this card is its ability. Discreet Draw states that if you play this card to evolve 1 of your Pokémon (could be any Zubat card or Ditto Prism Star in Expanded), you can draw 2 cards. This may not seem much, but it provides draw power via ability, meaning you can still use a Supporter card if you haven’t already. There’s no limit on how many times you can use this ability, so if you were to bounce Golbat, and if you have another Zubat in play that haven’t evolved, then you can play Golbat again and reap the effect again. Yeah, Golbat is a stage 1, when I was talking about Zubat a while ago. You actually have to wait for at least one turn before you get to evolve, and your opponent can try to do whatever they can to KO your Zubat, either by “gusting” or penetrating through its very low HP even on the Bench. It is searchable via Level Ball, though.
Golbat is made to be splashable, though, when you look at its attack. Air Slash is filler and detrimental, for 2 energy you’re dealing 50 damage AND you have to discard an energy card attached to it. Most of the time, it just sits there on the Bench after it does their thing. Even though it can fit into any decks, I think that a certain deck might make use of Golbat to the fullest extent: Eternatus VMAX. Both Zubat & Golbat are both Dark types, so Eternatus VMAX’s Eternal Zone ability can help expand your Bench space as long as you’re using strictly Dark types.
Unfortunately, the problem regarding Golbat is that if you really need to draw cards right away, you might have to look elsewhere. There is a lot of competition regarding draw based ability, that being:
Those examples are Basic Pokémon, which can be put into play, so they don’t need to wait a turn for anything. What Golbat needs is to evolve on the turn Zubat is put into play. We don’t have anything like that!!! No “Adaptive Evolution” equivalent nor any equivalent of Broken Time Space to get Golbat into play immediately. That’s probably for the best, as those kinds of examples caused balance issues.
Looking at Manectric from Vivid Voltage (https://www.pojo.com/zamazenta-vivid-voltage-pokemon-review-2/), aside from the incorrect Pokémon name in the URL, it had potential but wasn’t seen in decks due to reasons like deck space, waiting for one turn to evolve, and not enough draw power. The same could be said to Golbat and tomorrow’s COTD. It has a good ability, and Scoop Up Net can let you bounce and replay the entire evolutionary line, but both Dedenne-GX (soon to be rotated) and Crobat-V are still efficient for what they do, despite the risks of being “rule-box” cards.
Today we’re evolving from the Temp Reviews I’ve been posting to an abridged review. Still not as much detail, but at least there will be Ratings. Golbat (SW – Battle Styles 090/163) is an evolving Stage 1 with the Ability “Discreet Draw”. This is a coming-into-play Ability that triggers when you play Golbat from your hand, onto one of your Pokémon, during your turn. Discreet Draw lets you draw two cards, simple as that. You don’t have to if you don’t want to, and this isn’t even as much as you’d get from playing Hop… but this is from an Ability. You cannot reuse it without bouncing Golbat, and unless you have a Zubat waiting to evolve, you’ll have to wait a turn, but it can be done. Plus, if you have multiple Zubat waiting to evolve, you can drop that many Golbat and each will have Discreet Draw Activate.
This isn’t enough to be a deck’s main source of draw, and isn’t a strong form of supplemental draw, but if you’re already running Crobat or even other Golbat, this is decent. Besides Rare Candy, there’s an older Golbat that – in Expanded – offers some competition to this one: Golbat (XY – Phantom Forces 32/119; Generations 31/83). “Sneaky Bite” is a coming-into-play Ability, following the same guidelines as Discreet Draw. However, it places two damage counters on the opposing Pokémon (singular) of your choice. Not great alone, but potent in a swarm or backing up the right attacker. Depending on the Crobat, you might still want Rare Candy, but you’ll definitely want one Golbat, the other, or both in your deck.
In Standard, if you really want an Eternatus VMAX deck that doesn’t drop have to drop multiple copies of Crobat V in a turn, this might be a plausible alternative. You’ll still want Crobat V in your deck, but instead of four maybe just one or two. Use Crobat V on your first turn, but then drop Zubats instead of other Crobat V that cannot use their Ability. Next turn, start evolving to enjoy some draw. The other option would be certain control decks, but even with Scoop Up Net as potential back up, I would expect them to prefer easier-to-reuse options.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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