Magikarp & Wailord-GX
Magikarp & Wailord-GX

Today, we’re previewing another card: Magikarp & Wailord GX (SM Black Star Promos 166). This GX card will be in the Towering Splash GX Box that will be released on January 4, 2019. This means that this will be the first Tag Team GX card to get your hands on in a similar manner to Snorlax-GX before getting your first wave of other Tag Team GX cards. What does it mean for each and every attributes on this card? Being a GX means more HP, a GX attack, and being benefitted, hindered, or excluded from certain cards. Being a Tag Team, however, have even higher HP, but gives up THREE prizes if they are knocked out. Tag Team Pokemon usually has two Pokémon that shares the same type, like Magikarp & Wailord GX, whose both of them are Water types. Being a specific type (as it can hit weakness found on most Fire and some Fighting types), it can benefit with Aqua Patch to accelerate water energy for water types. Brooklet Hill fetches a Basic Water or Basic Fighting Pokemon from your deck into your Bench. As for Expanded support, there’s Rough Seas to heal 30 damage from water or Lightning Pokemon and Dive Ball for search. Overall, the water typing as a whole is decent.

300 sets the record for having the highest printed HP of a Pokémon card. You could argue that Black Kyurem EX has 300 HP, but that mandates having Crystal Wall attached to it, which makes you forfeit a tool slot for that specific Pokémon AND a Ace Spec slot for your deck, plus the risk of that Tool being discarded by Field Blower and the like to bring its HP down from 300 to 180. As it stands, with this much HP it is incredibly hard to OHKO or even 2HKO unless your deck actually can reach those numbers. Ranging from inefficient to efficient Pokemon, you’ve got Charizard cards whose attack does 300 damage, or even better, a Golisopod-GX’s well timed First Impression backed with Choice Band due to this Tag Team’s Grass weakness. At least that gives a reason to use them, even if they’re not competitive. The retreat cost of four is expensive, but it does have support based on retreat cost such as Heavy Ball in Expanded and the new Muscle Pad from Japan’s SM9 expansion, which bolsters its HP by 50 more if the Pokémon this card is attached to has a retreat cost of CCCC.

So they have HP going for it, but we’re not done with this card. They has two attacks. Super Splash costs WWWWW for 180 damage. This is an expensive attack to invest in as well as being risky because some Pokémon can punish you for having too many energy attached to it……enough to secure the KO. Taking Gardevoir-GX’s Infinite Force for example, it’ll take 5 energy from Magikarp & Wailord GX and 4 energy from Gardevoir-GX, plus a Choice Band, to secure the OHKO. At the same time, 180 damage takes care of nearly all non-GX Stage 2s and a handful of Basic EX/GX Pokemon, with Choice Band expanding to most Basic EX/GX Pokemon, some Mega Evolutions, and Stage 1 GX Pokemon. There’s also Towering Splash-GX, which costs W for 10 damage. Additionally, if you have at least seven extra water energy attached to them, totaling WWWWWWWW, it does 100 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. This…is also another expensive attack that can perform horribly; your opponent can see this coming and opt not to place a full bench. Even if they did, 100 damage isn’t enough to take care of most GX Pokemon, but it can be enough for smaller EX Pokémon and evolving stages. Shrine of Punishment can help pick off 110 HP EX Pokemon after using that GX attack.

So with two bad attacks, should we dismiss this card? Not completely. Seeing this card reminds me of Wailord-EX, who had 250 HP and worse effects. But they weren’t used for attacking. Instead, it just stands there. Based on several placings regarding a Wailord-EX deck, it was frequently ran at a full four, plus an Oranguru, Xurkitree-GX, a single Basic Lightning Energy, and 53 trainer cards. The goal was to make Wailord-EX survive as long as you can with defensive item cards like Max Potion, Rough Seas, and Hard Charm while disrupting your opponent with energy denial and top deck discards. Simply put, you can make a meme of saying “Wailord-EX wins by doing absolutely nothing.” I can expect the future Magikarp & Wailord-GX to fulfill a similar role, as its 300 HP – before any HP buffs – makes it more of a sturdier wall than Wailord-EX. Besides this niche (and Archie’s Blastoise variants), I can’t see those Pokémon used anywhere else.

This card isn’t legal in Limited play due to being a promo card.

Standard: 3/5

Expanded: 3/5

Limited: N/A