– Cosmic Eclipse
January 22, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
It might seem like a stretch to review Koffing (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 76/236, 243/236) on its own, but even if I fail to convince you on substance, I’d like to think showing off the art of the Full Art is worth the indulgence. Koffing’s selling point is its Ability, “Blow-Away Bomb”. This Ability may only be used if you discard this card from your hand via Roxie, who we covered in our “main” review for today. When used, Blow-Away Bomb lets you place a damage counter on each of your opponent’s Pokémon. That’s some very nice damage counter spread, though the activation condition is demanding.
Koffing also has an attack, “Poison Gas”, that costs [PC] and does 10 damage while Poisoning your opponent’s Active. This is a filler attack, and while not totally useless, means we’re using Koffing for its Ability, to Evolve into Weezing, or both. Koffing’s Typing would normally be quite relevant for exploiting Weakness and even having to deal with Resistance, but we’ve already established it is a poor attacker. Fortunately, [P] Type support like Mysterious Treasure, still makes it valuable. Being a Basic is normally the best, and if you want to evolve into Weezing, still is. If you’re just using Koffing for Blow-Away Bomb, though, being a Basic means it might be stuck as your opening Active.
60 HP is a good amount for Koffing, though it is easy to OHKO. 60 HP is low enough for both Professor Elm’s Lecture and Level Ball to fetch it from your deck. If you’re focused on the Ability, you’ll almost never have to worry about Koffing being KO’d, and even if you are trying to evolve, the 60 HP won’t matter most of the time. It also means the card’s [P] Weakness and lack of Resistance is similarly superficial. I will credit it for its Retreat Cost of [C]; it can still be annoying, like when you open with Koffing, but much of the time it isn’t too difficult to pay.
If you’re running Roxie, you’re either running this Koffing, running Weezing (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 77/236), or both. That Weezing has the same Blow-Away Bomb Ability. In Expanded, Weezing seems to be preferred, but in Standard, it is Koffing. This is probably because Roxie-using decks in Standard often have Professor Elm’s Lecture but those in Expanded don’t. If you’re running Koffing to evolve into Weezing and are not running Roxie, definitely go with a different version. None of them are great, but a few have slightly better HP and/or attacks. If you’re doing both, be glad there are plenty of Pokémon recycling options and stick with today’s Koffing. Not that you’ll have a choice in the Limited Format, but at least Koffing’s attack is a bit better here.
Koffing almost does “evolving Basic” right. The Ability means it is more than just a stepping stone to Weezing, and the damage spread is great, but only triggering via Roxie’s effect is really constraining. This means I’ve got to score Koffing on the low side. While Roxie has done better in Expanded than in Standard, it has been with Weezing (so far). The net effect is I’m scoring Koffing the same in both Constructed Formats.
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