Pumpkaboo – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Pumpkaboo (SW – Evolving Skies 076/203) is an evolving Basic Pokémon, so on its own it is easy and efficient to run, but it might require more space if you also wish to run its Stage 1 form. Pumpkaboo is a Psychic type, and spoiler, we’re not running it as an attacker so this mostly matters because Fog Crystal can snag it from your deck. Not something to use in any deck, but if you’re already focused on [P] types, it can be handy. Pumpkaboo has 60 HP, so it is an easy OHKO while Active, and a relatively easy KO on the Bench for spread or bonus Bench hits. At least this makes it a legal Level Ball target, and in Expanded, Professor Elm’s Lecture. The HP means the [D] Weakness and [F] Resistance hardly matter. The Retreat Cost of [CC] is normally neutral, but for a 60 HP Basic, it seems high.
Pumpkaboo has one Ability and one attack. The latter, “Stampede” is filler: [CC] to do 20 damage. The Ability, “Pumpkin Pit”, is fairly nice. It states that, during your turn, when you play this Pokémon from your hand to your Bench, you may discard a Stadium in play. This clearly isn’t as good as Marshadow (SM – Unbroken Bonds 81/214). Besides Marshadow having better stats and a better (but niche) attack, Marshadow’s Ability also discards a Stadium in play, but is not a coming-into-play Ability (just a regular Ability) and discards Marshadow as well. Because, if you’re just running Pumpkaboo to discard Stadiums, you don’t really need it eating up Bench space and potentially being an easy KO. Pumpkaboo can be bounced by Scoop Up Net to recycle it, but Marshadow can just be recycled like any other Pokémon.
Unfortunately, this really hurts Pumpkaboo. In Expanded, you should just run Marshadow, unless you actually have a Gourgeist deck. Note that I don’t expect to see such things in Expanded. What about Standard? Expanded is where we still have Chaotic Swell and Prism Star Stadiums. The Former can be dealt with by Trainer cards like Field Blower, but if you play a Stadium to discard Chaotic Swell, it takes that other Stadium with it to the discard pile. With Prism Star Stadium cards, they’re immune to an opponent’s Items and Supporters, but can be dealt with by other Stadium cards. So Marshadow has at least a niche role here. In Standard, we just have “regular” Stadium cards that can be safely discarded by any Stadium that has a different name from them. There’s also Flannery, who can discard a Special Energy and/or a Stadium, if you really don’t want to run Stadium cards of your own.
Still, Pumpkaboo is functional and circumstances might change in the future. So I’ll give it a two-out-of-five in Standard. Just minimum marks in Expanded, however.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 1/5
Pumpkaboo’s only selling point is it’s Pumpkin Pit ability, which states that when you play this Pokemon from your hand onto your Bench during your turn, you may discard a Stadium card in play. While this effect may seem redundant due to the argument of “I can play a Stadium card of mine to replace the other”, there are times where you don’t have any Stadium cards in your hand to replace an existing one, and Pumpkaboo provides a way to get rid of a Stadium card so that your opponent doesn’t get to benefit from their Stadium card for too long.
In Expanded, Pumpkaboo provides a loophole against certain cards like ALL of the Prism Star stadium cards and Chaotic Swell. While Prism Star Stadium cards are unaffected by effects from an Item or a Supporter card, it doesn’t protect it from abilities (like this card), attacks, and being replaced with another stadium. In the case of Chaotic Swell, once it gets removed by Pumpkin Pit, the player that played Pumpkaboo earlier will have no fear playing their own Stadium card without being automatically discarded (because Chaotic Swell was removed beforehand by something else that isn’t a Stadium card).
Even though Pumpkaboo won’t be able to contribute much after serving it’s purpose, you could let it sit here helping out Sylveon VMAX by increasing the damage output Max Harmony does. Alternatively, you could evolve it onto a Gourgeist, and I don’t think I have time to list all of them, sadly.
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