– Darkness Ablaze

Date Reviewed:
November 11, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 2.25
Limited: 3.25

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

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Golisopod from SS Darkness Ablaze seems to have a feature which tries to counter against Pokemon-V and Pokemon-GX with its Hard Times Slash, which can be readied by a single attachment of Twin Energy to do 30 damage plus 50 more damage for each Pokémon-GX/V your opponent has in play. That means the amount of damage it can deal varies, ranging from 30 damage to 330 damage (or 480 damage if you’re dealing with an Eternatus deck that has all nine Darkness type Pokemon-GX/V in play). As a grass type, it could be easy to play if you have Rowlet & Alolan Exeggcutor-GX and use Super Growth to evolve Grass type Wimpods.

Golisopod’s usage might fluctuate; if I’m facing a lot of decks using GX/V Pokémon, then I would tech in maybe a 1-1 or 2-2 line; if I’m up against lots of single prize Pokémon (or if they use Pokémon-EX in Expanded), then I’ll set it aside.

Standard: 3

Expanded: 2.5

Limited: 3.5/5

Otaku Avatar

Golisopod (SW – Darkness Ablaze 018/189) is a baseline Pokémon; only worth one Prize when KO’d, no special mechanics like being a Prism Star or Ultra Beast.  In the current climate, this is an advantage.  Being a Grass type has one or two perks, like working with Turffield Stadium, but it is only so-so at exploiting Weakness (some Fighting, some Darkness, some SM-era Water), not now it crashes into -30 Resistance against the dominant type in Standard (Metal, due to Zacian V decks).  As a Stage 1, Golisopod is that happy medium between the too-good Basics and the not-so-good Stage 2 Pokémon.  It is worth noting that, unless you field Golisopod through Ditto {*}, you’ll be telegraphing your play by at least a turn.

Golisopod’s 130 HP is okay; just enough to avoid easier and/or weaker attacks still being used, but not enough to stand up to serious 2HKO strategies, let alone those going for OHKO’s.  Its [R] Weakness is a concern – that’s another strong type right now – but its lack of Resistance and Retreat Cost of [CC] are typical, even if the former is technically the worst.  Golisopod knows two attacks.  “Hard Times Slash” requires [CC] to do 30 damage, but also does 50 more damage for each of your opponent’s Pokémon-GX and Pokémon V they have in play.  For [GCC], its “Smash Turn” can do 70 damage then requires you switch it with one of your Benched Pokémon.

Hard Times Slash has a damage range of 30 to 330, or 480 if Bench expansion is available, but your opponent technically is in control of this.  If you’re facing a true single-Prize deck, Hard Times Slash can only do 30.  If your opponent runs only a few Pokémon-GX or V, then they might be able to avoid playing them, or at least, get them off the field before Golisopod can do its thing.  Decks running moderate or heavy amounts of Pokémon-GX and/or Pokémon V may be able to constrain themselves, though that could be trading one problem for another.  Smash Turn might give Golisopod a shot at some sort of porter deck, or just be the better-than-nothing option.  The fact that both attacks can make use of Twin Energy, with that covering the full cost of Hard Times Slash, is definitely a good thing.

I don’t think we have enough for Golisopod to be the focus of its own deck.  The Porter strategy of hiding on the Bench is itself hit or miss; even with some good dance partners to hide behind, we have a decent amount of Bench-hitters plus Boss’s Orders to completely undermine the combo.  Golisopod might be a nice back-up attacker for single-Prize decks already running Twin Energy, or another form of compatible Energy acceleration.  While your opponent will see it coming, maybe you want to force them to choke up because it benefits your other attacker, or maybe you only need it to handle those times when you’re staring down an opposing Bench that lets Golisopod swing hard enough to OHKO multi-Prize Pokémon.

Things are better and worse for Golisopod in Expanded.  Double Colorless Energy and Twin Energy have become natural partners, Golisopod can function as Ditto {*} TecH, but you’re facing a wider variety of decks… well, maybe you are.  As TecH that doesn’t matter, but if you’re looking for a hard-hitting backup attacker in general, it might not be up to snuff.  It will be so metagame dependent you might need to consider it a pseudo-Side Deck option; work out whether to run it right before you register on the first day of an Event.  When there are in-person events, anyway.  Hard Times Slash probably isn’t hitting very hard in Limited, but Smash Turn isn’t as underpowered here, so it is still a decent pull.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 2/5
  • Limited: 3/5

Golisopod isn’t the be-all-end-all counter for Pokémon-GX and Pokémon V, but it is a nice option to club the decks that run heavy on one or both of these multi-Prize Pokémon.  Maybe its hit-and-run second attack will also be a factor, maybe not… but on the whole, it is a decent card.

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