Morpeko – Fusion Strike
December 17, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Morpeko (SW – Fusion Strike 179/264) is one of the newest additions to the family of Single Strike Pokémon. There is finally a counter to this Battle Style – Huntail (SW – Fusion Strike 066/264) – but otherwise, there are no drawbacks to having a Battle Style. There are no Rule Boxes on this card, and it is only worth a single Prize when KO’d. Morpeko is a Darkness type, handy for punishing many (but not all) modern Psychic types, but not so great in terms of type support. Being a Basic makes Morpeko easy to max out, to run as a single, or anything in between. Its 50 HP is low, even for a single-Prize Basic; Morpeko is getting OHKO’d if left Active, and even on the Bench it is fairly vulnerable. At least this means its [G] Weakness only matters when an attack does 30 or 40 damage. The HP also means the lack of Resistance is even more of a non-issue than it usually is. Morpeko’s Retreat Cost of [C] is good; low enough you can often afford it.
Morpeko knows just one attack, “Explosive Discontent”. This attack costs just [D], and let’s Morpeko do 30 damage for each damage counter on itself. Now, does this sound familiar? Spiritomb (SM – Unbroken Bonds 112/214) had a slightly better version of this attack, called “Anguish Cry”. In fact, Spiritomb was better pretty much all around: 10 more HP, no Weakness, and Anguish Cry did 10 more damage than Explosive Discontent… and with 10 more HP, that means it could hit for up to 40 more! The real thing that made Spiritomb so great at this kind of strategy, though, was its Ability, “Building Spite”. Once during your turn, you could activate Building Spite to place a damage counter on that Spiritomb. If you had multiples, each instance of that Spiritomb could use its Ability once during your turn. Still not super impressive, but players were able to combine it with a variety of combos that basically meant a good Spiritomb deck could go from zero damage counters to five on your attacking Spiritomb in a single turn!
Morpeko doesn’t have all the great tricks that Spiritomb had, but it does have some that it did not have. The best example is Houndoom (SW – Battle Styles 096/163, 179/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH90). You can use its “Single Strike Roar” Ability to attach a Single Strike Energy from your deck to one of your Single Strike Pokémon. This has a side effect of placing two damage counters on the Pokémon that recieved the Energy. If you have more than one of this Houndoom in play, each can use its Ability once during your turn. Two of them can prep Morpeko, getting it to just 10 HP left… and Single Strike Energy itself adds 20 damage (per copy of itself) attached to your Single Strike Pokémon. It is a simple little combo that lets Morpeko go from zero to attacking and doing 160 damage! Only a select few Basic Pokémon V can be OHKO’d by this, but you get a solid 2HKO attack. Wait, what about when you run out of Single Strike Energy? While you may only run four of it in your deck, Urn of Vitality is an Item that lets you shuffle up to two Single Strike Energy from your discard pile into your deck. If you do want to push for OHKOs, there are a few other tricks available to Single Strike Pokémon, like Karen’s Conviction.
I know of no wins by Morpeko decks, but there’s enough here to get me daydreaming. Plus, given Houndoom is one of the better bits of support for Single Strike Pokémon, a TecH Morpeko is plausible in a general Single Strike deck. There’s enough here I’m actually giving Morpeko a three-out-of-five in Standard. Yeah, I’m actually rounding up from a slightly lower score. In Expanded, Morpeko has access to more support and more counters… but you’re probably better off just sticking with Spiritomb. Still, there’s enough there for me to round up and avoid giving it a minimum score.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 2/5
Morpeko from Sword & Shield Fusion Strike is a Basic Single Strike Pokemon Dark type with 50 HP, Grass weakness, and a retreat cost of C. It’s only attack, Explosive Discontent, costs a single Darkness Energy and does 30 damage times for each damage counter on this Pokémon.
This card kinda reminds me of Spiritomb from Sun & Moon Unbroken Bonds, but Morpeko is far weaker than Spiritomb in many ways. Anguish Cry does 10 more damage than Explosive Discontent; Morpeko doesn’t have any Ability while Spiritomb’s Building Spite lets it damage itself; and Spiritomb has 10 more HP than Morpeko. As for Morpeko, since it has 50 HP, it can store up to four damage counters for Explosive Discontent to deal 120 damage. While it lacks an ability to damage itself, it can find ways to damage itself from other sources. Houndoom’s Single Strike Roar let’s you attach a Single Strike Energy from your deck to Morpeko, putting 2 damage counters in the process. If you do this two times, then it reaches some potential. Morpeko will have two Single Strike Energies and four damage counters to itself; Explosive Discontent will deal 160 damage (120 for the damage counters and 40 for those two energies), which could 2HKO most cards (or OHKO most cards that are weak to Dark).
Could a deck be made with Morpeko being the main attacker? Certainly. Would it be the only attacker you’ll rely on? Probably not. There are only a certain amount of opportunities to use Morpeko, and once all four of your Morpeko gets Knocked Out, you’ll need a different attacker by then. For Expanded, you’ve got Spiritomb that I’ve mentioned earlier that outclasses Morpeko, so it’s mostly going to be dropped in favor of Spiritomb, despite some amount of support such as Fighting Fury Belt giving you more HP to store damage counters and a small 10 damage boost. As far as Standard goes, I suppose it is nice that they have reinforced such a strategy on a different Pokemon. Albeit weaker, it could still get the job done.
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