Jumpluff – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: September 20, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Following up from yesterday’s COTD is Jumpluff from Sword & Shield Evolving Skies. This is a Stage 2 Grass type Rapid Strike card with 90 HP, Fire weakness, and free retreat. It’s ability, Fluffy Barrage, allows Jumpluff to attack twice during your turn, and if your opponent’s Active Pokemon were to be Knocked Out after its first attack, you can attack again after your opponent sends out a new Active Pokemon. Spinning Attack costs a single grass energy for sixty damage, though with the ability, it could deal another sixty damage. However, if your opponent were to send out their new Active Pokemon with -30 Grass resistance found on SS-era Metal types, then Spinning Attack would only deal thirty damage. As briefly mentioned yesterday, Fluffy Barrage reminded me of the Omega Barrage Ancient Trait on certain cards that appeared on XY Primal Clash. Although there were only five Pokemon in that set with that particular Ancient Trait, they didn’t see a lot of play. They did have some potential at the time, especially Medicham, Bunnelby, and Torchic. Unfortunately for Jumpluff, the ability to attack twice is tacked on an ability, not an Ancient Trait, so abilities can go offline. I don’t recall if there are ability denial for baseline Pokemon, but there are already existing ones in Expanded.
Because it is also a Rapid Strike card, Jumpluff can benefit from certain effects that interact with Rapid Strike cards. In Jumpluff’s case, with the ability to attack twice? We would look at certain Pokemon Tool cards, specifically ones that provide an extra attack that you can choose. Rapid Strike Scroll of Swirls gives you the option to use Matchless Mealstrom, which costs FCC and does 30 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokemon. Rapid Strike Scroll of the Skies gives you the option to use Gravdrop, which costs LC for 10 damage, plus 50 more damage for each energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokemon. Rapid Strike Scroll of the Dragons gives you the option to use Meteor, which costs RC, and makes you discard two energies attached to Jumpluff while dealing 90 damage to 1 of your opponent’s pokemon. Matchless Mealstrom might be useful in building some pressure to your opponent’s entire field, racking up multiple KOs if it indeed knocks them out. Meteor isn’t worth repeatedly using because you have to keep discarding FOUR energies attached to Jumpluff to make two uses of Meteor. However, in the case of Gravdrop, if you can make room for some Lightning/Aurora energies, then Gravdrop will do wonders for you. If your opponent’s Pokemon VMAX already has three energies attached to it, then Gravdrop combined with Fluffy Barrage would net you 320 total damage on the same Pokemon that is being attacked twice (160 and 160)! Keep in mind that if you were to attach any one of the Rapid Strike Pokemon Tool cards, you’ll miss the opportunity to attach different Pokemon Tools.
Jumpluff might have some potential due to the ability as well as being a Rapid Strike card to make use of additional attack options, but I don’t know how far it can accomplish. In Expanded, there’s another Jumpluff card in Sun & Moon Lost Thunder, which has the Lost March attack which could achieve OHKOs depending on the amount of Pokemon you have in the Lost Zone (excluding Prism Star Pokemon). In the present time, that’ll be at least 17 Pokemon in the Lost Zone to OHKO the maximum printed HP at the time. This significantly takes up a lot of deck space just to achieve certain damage outputs, even with ways to get Pokemon in the Lost Zone. Yeah, I think I would stick to today’s Jumpluff with the Rapid Strike Scroll of the Skies as it takes up considerably less deck space than the Lost March version. Most of the competitive Pokemon cards had their Pokemon with around two, three, and even four energies attached to it, so Jumpluff can easily punish them for multiple prizes! The threat of Fluffy Barrage going offline is inevitable at times in Expanded.
Jumpluff reintroduces an familiar effect seen on much older cards, and even then, having the ability to attack twice is unheard of. Of course, it has to have good attacks to make the ability worthwhile, and fortunately for Jumpluff, it has not only Spinning Attack, but also three Rapid Strike Pokemon Tool cards to choose from. While being searchable via Level Ball, Jumpluff’s frailty means it probably isn’t sticking around for long.
As telegraphed yesterday, today’s subject is Jumpluff (SW – Evolving Skies 004/203). Time to deviate substantially from my usual review order. Jumpluff is a Rapid Strike Pokémon, granting access to their pool of support. So we could field Jumpluff directly with Rapid Strike Style Mustard, but there’s a better option we’ll discuss shortly. There are no drawbacks to being a Rapid Strike Pokémon. While not restricted to the Rapid Strike versions, Hoppip (SW – Evolving Skies 002) and Skiploom (SW – Evolving Skies 002) are the best fit for Jumpluff. In particular, Skiploom has the “Solar Evolution” Ability, which activates when you attach an Energy to it from your hand, during your turn. Solar Evolution lets you search your deck from something that evolves from Skiploom e.g. Jumpluff, then play it directly on Skiploom. Built in search and Evolution acceleration!
Jumpluff is a [G] type, which isn’t too good right now. [G] Resistance returned to Metal types with the coming of Sword & Shield, and there’s something we have yet to cover that makes it more relevant than normal. At least Turffield Stadium can help you search out Skiploom when your Hoppip is ready to evolve, and then you can hopefully use Solar Evolution to evolve into Jumpluff. 90 HP is awful. Yes, it means Jumpluff is Level Ball legal, but we already have two ways to search out Jumpluff (Solar Revelation and Turffield Stadium). Assume Jumpluff will be OHKO’d. It does mean that [R] Resistance isn’t as bad as it could be; attacks doing 40 or less still fail to OHKO Jumpluff, while attacks doing 90+ score a OHKO before Weakness is applied. Lack of Resistance is a bit disappointing, just because this line used to have [F] Resistance, but again, the HP means it probably wouldn’t matter. That free Retreat Cost is great, though!
Jumpluff has an Ability and an attack. The latter is “Spinning Attack”, priced at [G] and doing 60 damage. While the damage-to-Energy ratio is good, the end result is not. Even if you could somehow attack twice in one turn, Spinning attack would be too weak to really matter. Yes, I’m being cheeky; Jumpluff has the Ability “Fluffy Barrage” and it does let this Jumpluff attack twice! At a glance, it seems like such waste; Jumpluff would seemingly be better off doing 120 for [G]. This is where being a Rapid Strike Pokémon might be Jumpluff’s salvation, as it has access to Tools that give it alternate attacks:
- Rapid Strike Scroll of Swirls (SW – Battle Styles 131/163) allows Rapid Strike Pokémon to attack with “Matchless Maelstrom”. The attack costs [FCC] and does 30 to all of your opponent’s Pokémon.
- Rapid Strike Scroll of the Flying Dragon (SW – Evolving Skies 153/203) grants Rapid Strike Pokémon access to “Meteor”. Priced at [RL] and requiring you discard two Energy from the Pokémon using it, Meteor does 90 damage to the opposing Pokémon of your choice.
- Rapid Strike Scroll of the Skies (SW – Evolving Skies 151/198) lets Rapid Strike Pokémon attack with “Gravdrop”. For [LC], this attack does 10 damage plus 50 per Energy attached to your opponent’s Active.
The Energy costs for Rapid Strike Scroll of Swirls is easier than it looks to meet. Drop any compatible Energy onto a freshly benched Hoppip, next turn evolve into Skiploom and attach a Rapid Strike Energy, then use Solar Evolution to become Jumpluff. Of course, attach Rapid Strike Scroll of Swirls at some point, and enjoy doing two waves o 30 damage to all of your opponent’s Pokémon, usually totaling 60 to each. If you can do this turn after turn, it can really add up. Of course, your opponent may not fill their Bench ASAP, may run healing, something you need may be Prizes, etc. so this isn’t enough to guarantee clean sweeps. Still, pretty nice.
Rapid Strike Scroll of the Flying Dragon would requite some additional forms of Energy acceleration, and the end result is a Stage 2 that gets OHKO’d and doesn’t do the job as good as Rapid Strike Style Urshifu VMAX. Rapid Strike Scroll of the Skies requires running a source of Lightning Energy, and is mostly only useful against targets with two or more Energy attached, but it tends to be very useful against such targets. Just two Energy attached to your opponent’s Active means Gravdrop does 110 damage twice in one turn. If there’s no protective effects or Resistant, that means even 220 HP Basic Pokémon V are gone in one turn. Three Energy mean two 160 HP shots, putting most Pokémon VMAX into OHKO range. Well, one turn KO, since you’re still hitting them twice.
Overall, I think Jumpluff would require a pretty demanding deck. Yes, you can stream them with relative ease, but you have to because they’re getting OHKO’d. You’ll need some Energy acceleration to go with it, because odds are you’re using one of the Rapid Strike Scroll cards to attack, and their attacks aren’t cheap. I’m tempted to label this as Johnny Bait, but I’m going to be optimistic for Standard and award a three-out-of-five. As for Expanded, more ways to counter this trick (like shutting down Fluffy Barrage), but now we have access to multiple ways of upping the damage done for Spinning Attack. Less promising than Standard, but it is just enough to avoid a one-out-of-five.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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