Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX
– Unbroken Bonds
June 14, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Now here’s another Tag Team Pokemon that we forgot to look at: Pheromosa & Buzzwole GX! Those Pokémon is made complete with three attacks, which can enable them to be used in different ways! They are a Grass Type Basic Pokémon with 260 HP, Fire Weakness, and a retreat cost of 2. Tag Teams were made to be pretty powerful, but giving up three prizes is a bigger liability if it gets Knocked Out, and Fire Weakness makes certain Pokémon’s job much easier. It takes just three energies from Fireball Circus to OHKO it, and even if it has a Fighting Fury Belt attached to them, three energies can still OHKO them. Meanwhile, you have all the anti-GX and even anti-Ultra Beast card effects that those Pokémon have to worry about. Matchups not only factor on type, but also who can set up faster.
Jet Punch is a recycled attack taken from Buzzwole-GX, doing the same 30 damage up front and 30 damage to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. If they were a Fighting Type, the amount of cards that can boost damage is absurd, ranging from Martial Arts Dojo, Diancie Prism Star, and Beast Energy for Standard, and even Regirock-EX and Strong Energy for Expanded! But as a Grass Type, Beast Energy is still a viable boosting damage due to being an Ultra Beast, and that energy card is a Prism Star! Additionally, the soon-to-be-rotated Lurantis promo has an ability called Sunny Day which grants a 20 damage boost for Grass and Fire Pokemon. While 60 total damage (or 90 with Beast Energy, or 110 thru 170 with a single or full four Lurantis in play) for one energy is still cost efficient and provides early game pressure, it isn’t going to win you any games alone, and we’ll eventually have to turn to other options.
Elegant Sole is their next attack, costing GGC for 190 damage, with the clause stating that those Pokémon’s Elegant Sole will only do 60 damage on your next turn. This attack alone isn’t something to repeatedly use due to the clause, but if you have any methods of switching via Trainer cards, Energy cards, or abilities, and getting them back to the Active, then this clause is reset and you’ll get to do 190 damage once more. Rinse & repeat! Again, Beast Energy or the soon-to-be-rotated Choice Band can aid on reaching even important numbers. Inconvenience aside, Elegant Sole is a decent attack, and would’ve been great without the clause.
And then we get to Beast Game, an attack that I think has the potential for you to win the game…if you put a LOT of work into achieving it. No pun intended though; the word “GAME” or “GAME SET” is used pretty frequently such as Super Smash Bros. related games and others. It usually describes the moment where the match is about to be concluded. Initially, it costs a single Grass energy for 50 damage (again, the damage can be boosted by whatever support you can come up with). Additionally, if the Defending Pokémon were to be knocked out by damage from this attack, you get to take one more prize card. However, if you have seven extra energies attached to them, totaling 8 energies on this Tag Team Pokemon, then you get to take THREE more Prize Cards instead of one. This may seem easy to achieve than done, so I’ll have to break it down to several parts.
Obviously you would have to damage some of your opponent’s Pokemon to eventually be on the range where Beast Game can KO them. That’s not an easy task because your opponent can see this coming and will employ healing or bounce cards to keep this vaunted attack from going through. If you do get some of their Pokémon in Beast Game’s KO range, you would have to load up energies to this Tag Team Pokemon in order to fulfill the extra requirements. Perhaps the method I think can work – because those extra seven energies can be any type – is Quagsire DRM and Naganadel LOT combo. Recover water energies from the discard pile to each Naganadel in play, and move them all from those Pokémon to your Active Tag Team Pokemon.
If that’s too slow for you, then another alternative method is to get the right moment for your opponent to have 3 or 4 prizes remaining, so that Beast Ring can accelerate energies faster. If you can play sufficient Beast Rings (and also Max Elixir in Expanded if those Pokémon are in your Bench) to get them to attain eight energies, then victory is almost within sight. Against single prize Pokémon, you take 4 total prizes. GX/EX Pokemon will get you 5 prizes. And if you’re KOing Tag Teams with this GX attack, you get all six prizes! Beast Bringer is a Pokémon Tool which works if you have exactly six prizes remaining, and if you are able to knock out a Pokémon by damage from your Ultra Beast’s attack, you get to take one more prize card. Beast Bringer eases your target to a minimum EX/GX Pokémon or above so that you can finish them off faster than if you’re dealing against Tag Teams.
Like I’ve said before, achieving this insta-win attack is easier said than done, because a lot of work is needed to be done to achieve this. Course, that’s not the only way to use this Tag Team card. If winning it all is not your thing, then you can use them as a defensive Pokémon. Weakness aside, 260 HP is hard to OHKO, and as a Grass Type, it can benefit from soon-to-be-rotated Aether Paradise Conservation Area (unless a existing Secret Rare from Japan will eventually be on a next few sets retain legality), which can reduce damage by 30 to Grass & Lightning Pokemon. Fighting Fury Belt bolsters its Max HP by 40 and Serperior from Black & White can help recover HP between turns via Royal Guard ability! Jet Punch is perhaps the best repeatable attack in this case, and even Beast Game can help get prizes faster, though for this particular deck style, I wouldn’t put eight energies on them, because I could also run Max Potion and Acerola to flush all damage away and put another fresh Tag Team Pokemon in play! On the other route, you can go full-on offensive with Lurantis’s Sunny Day. Jet Punch and Beast Game gets more powerful the more Lurantis you have in play. Having all 4 in play means both attacks can do 110 and 130 respectively. Choice Band and Beast Energy on top of those Lurantis means 170 to 200 damage respectively, all for just a single grass energy. Of course that would not realistically happen all the time, but one can set up so far like this if their moving pieces aren’t interrupted.
Overall, Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX is another good Tag Team Pokemon to experiment with, and it has at least a couple ways to use them. But looking at Limitless, there’s only one deck that uses Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX, and it is being paired with Vileplume from Burning Shadows. Vileplume’s Ability makes it that if this was your Active Pokemon, your opponent’s Basic Pokémon can’t attack. This could help stall until you finally have eight energies to use the added effect of Beast Game. I won’t go too far, but this is the partner that placed on a tournament. While Expanded got some good support cards for those Tag Team Pokémon such as Fighting Fury Belt and Max Elixir, the biggest heat on the block is Volcanion-EX, whose Volcanic Heat can already OHKO them for three prizes, and even if this attack is not used as much, it can support other basic Fire Pokémon with it’s Steam Up ability, which can amplify damage output. Even a puny 10 damage will get boosted four times via Steam Up to achieve the same OHKO Volcanic Heat does. Lastly, if you pulled one in Limited, they are a good pull unless you’re facing a fire deck, most notably Volcanion and Blacephalon, and there’s decent Fire based support on this set (Fire Crystal and Welder).
We close the week with a quick look at Buzzwole & Pheremosa-GX (SM – Unbroken Bonds 1/214, 191/214, 192/214, 215/214) because it has shown up in some decently performing decks. The confusing part is that they aren’t the same decks. I don’t just mean different players or different versions of the same deck, I mean we’re seeing it in some Zapdos (SM – Team Up 40/181; SM – Black Star Promos SM159) lists, some Lucario & Melmetal-GX stall lists, some Vileplume (Burning Shadows 6/147) lists, and some Quagsire (Dragon Majesty 28/70)/Naganadel lists. These decks don’t even use the same general strategies, so it has me a bit puzzled… so let’s run through the card very quickly, so this review doesn’t go up late yesterday’s (which has been posted by now).
Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX are Ultra Beasts, letting them tap that support (and having to deal with counters for them as well). This is a Tag Team Pokémon, so it comes with all the same stuff Pokémon-GX come with, except it gives up three Prizes when KO’d (instead of one), should have better HP and effects than “regular” Pokémon-GX, and also has to deal with a few (so far, only one) effect that specifically references Tag Team Pokémon. It is a [G] Type and Basic Pokémon, so it is fast and easy to field and can access support like Net Ball. There are some anti-[G] effects, but nothing to really worry about. There is no [G] Resistance outside of the Unlimited Format, but many [W] and some [F] Pokémon are [G] Weak. 260 HP is massive, making OHKO’s outside of Weakness-exploitation and “raw power” attackers unlikely. The Weakness in question is [R] and that may be the absolute worst Weakness to have right now, with Blacephalon, Blacephalon-GX, and Reshiram & Charizard-GX decks all proving fairly popular and quite competitive at the moment. No Resistance doesn’t help but it is typical, same for the Retreat Cost of [CC].
Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX has three attacks. Up first is “Jet Punch”, the same attack that made Buzzwole-GX famous. Here, however, it costs [G], though it still does 30 damage to your opponent’s Active and another 30 to one of their Benched Pokémon. [GGC] pays for the second attack, “Elegant Sole”. It does 190 damage but places an effect on the Pokémon using it, stating the attack will only do 60 next turn. The good news is that this wording means anything that resets effects let Elegant Sole swing for 190, the bad news is that, if you don’t, you could be stuck doing 190 then 60, 60, 60… It beats being unable to use Elegant Sole, or even attack at all the next turn. Which is where what we’ve seen similarly priced, slightly weaker attacks require, so I’d say this is a good deal. A simple Choice Band means it can OHKO even some Stage 1 Pokémon-GX. “Beast Game-GX” costs [G] to use and does 50 damage; if you KO an opponent’s Pokémon with the damage from this attack, you get to take an extra Prize card. If this Pokémon has at least seven extra Energy attached, you take three extra Prizes instead.
Yeah, I think I figured out why this is seeing play as single in seemingly random decks. If your opponent has something with 50 or less HP remaining, no protective effects to mess things up, etc. you drop Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX then swing for the KO and a bonus Prize: zero becomes one, one becomes two, two becomes three, etc. Even as the second part of a 2HKO, odds are good you can come out ahead. In the decks that can actually get seven extra Energy attached Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX, getting an extra three Prizes is pretty ridiculous. That’s six Prizes at once for finishing off an opponent’s near death Tag Team Pokémon! Maybe this alone wouldn’t be worth the effort and risk of your own Tag Team (with [R] Weakness, mind you), but then we have Jet Punch. Elegant Sole is good, too, but Jet Punch has the same printed Energy requirement as Beast Game-GX: a single [G] isn’t too bad for a lot of decks to include.
Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX were the focus of a highly competitive deck in the Japanese tournament scene… until Reshiram & Charizard-GX, Welder, etc. turned up the heat on an already iffy Weakness. Its GX-attack is still so good that it is very tempting to work into just about any deck, hoping for an opportunistic KO. I can finally stop beating myself up for making it my personal 11th place pick, which helped make it our 18th place finisher overall. 18th does sound about right for a card like this; Expanded ought to offer similar opportunities to Standard, and maybe a lesser [R] presence (still don’t have good data for current Expanded). For the Limited Format, absolutely run this, unless you get a better option to run solo. You can work this into whatever, or you can run Pheromosa & Buzzwole-GX on their own; they’re that good!
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!