– Ultra Prism
March 26, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Fossil Pokemon are some of the coolest Pokemon in the game – just in general! I mean who doesn’t wanna fight with dinosaurs by their side? They’ve made shows and games about that sort of thing! I think we just all agree dinosaurs are cool – even when they’re being Pokemon or a Pokemon clone.
Rampardos is a Stage 2 Fighting Pokemon, 150 HP, with a Grass Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 2. He’s a Stage 2 technically since he evolves from a Stage 1 Pokemon in Cranidos, which in turn evolves from Unidentified Fossil now – the latest version of the Fossil mechanic in the TCG, although it’s really more of a rehash of Mysterious Fossil. Basically it’s an Item that can be played as a Basic Pokemon with 60 HP and is used to get Pokemon like Cranidos – and subsequently Rampardos – into play more easily. Keep that in mind.
His first attack, Clean Hit, does 1-for-60, which is already pretty good, but if he’s attacking an Evolution, he gets to add 60 more damage for 120 total. Wild Crash is his other move, which for 3 Energy – all Fighting – he can KO the opposing Pokemon if it’s a Basic. Pretty much means that Rampardos is extremely versatile in his attack strategy…sort of. He has the benefits of being able to attack either side extremely well – dealing out either lots of damage or just straight up KOing them – but there are some complications to this.
For starters, Wild Crash costs 3 Fighting Energy, and with no real quick way to turbo out Energy, he falls a little short in terms of fighting other Basic Pokemon, since he’s normally only doing 60 damage prior to any boosts. Evolution Pokemon will have something to worry about, as he can hit them for 120 before boosts, but that still 2HKOs most things in the game, which opens up a little breathing room to get a couple solid hits on Rampardos in turn. And Rampardos, being effectively a Stage 2, takes some time to set-up.
Because he is a Stage 2 though, technically I think you can use Rare Candy on an Unidentified Fossil and evolve straight into him, so perhaps that makes him a little easier. However, given that Unidentified Fossil itself is an Item card that’s not as searchable, it makes things a little bit more difficult. If they get a search card for the Fossil, then I can see Rampardos decks being a big part of the casual game, but in the meantime, they’ll be far and few between simply due to the level of inconsistency inherent within the mechanic.
Standard: 2.5/5 (for now, Rampardos makes a pretty strong case to consider)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (I think with the right tools, it could be quite prominent in its own right)
Limited: 3/5 (but for now, it’s just a bit too difficult to bring out)
Arora Notealus: Interestingly, there was a deck recently that partnered Rampardos with Talonflame from Steam Siege – which can search out 2 cards with its Aero Blitz attack and can be used as your starter on your first turn, which is quite nice! This addresses a lot of the problems with having to rely on Unidentified Fossil as an Item by just searching for it right out, and combined with Counter Energy, both Rampardos and Talonflame – notably Talonflame BREAK – can benefit from a quick boost and be able to dish out some major damage. Give it a try, as this deck is looking pretty good!
Side Review: #7 Cyrus <Prism> – unlike some cards off the list, I do think I’ve caught sight of Cyrus <Prism> in a couple of Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX decks. It’s a very optional card for Water/Metal decks, but its effect is powerful against the right board. Worst case scenario, it could be useful discard fodder for another effect of some kind…except there aren’t too many of those at the moment. Still, be wary of having a large Bench against such decks – one Cyrus <Prism> could definitely ruin your day.
#6 Alolan Dugtrio – I still maintain that Alolan Dugtrio is a great meme deck if nothing else, and I would definitely be playing this deck. The ability to put out tons of damage for virtually no cost other than discarding them from your hand allows for a cheap attacker that can take out major Prizes for a surprisingly low investment on the field. The only problems come from the amount of Energy required for a solid OHKO, the recuperation after making such an attack, and the fact that he’s only got 60 HP, meaning he’s likely to get KO’d the turn after you’ve used his attack. Mt. Coronet helps with recuperating, but on its own it won’t be enough to make Alolan Dugtrio a top tier threat. Love this guy!
#5 Leafeon-GX – catching up on all the cards I’ve missed out on reviewing for both the week and the side reviews, Leafeon-GX has become a big part of certain decks already. It’s been combined with Decidueye-GX predictably, but there have also been pairings with a promo of Lurantis and Lurantis-GX. I feel like you’d want to gear yourself more towards good Stage 1 cards, given the lack of Forest of Giant Plants, just to take advantage of Grand Bloom GX as much as possible. A strong attacker like Lurantis-GX who doesn’t need its GX Attack can make for a great pairing with Leafeon-GX and prove difficult to overcome for your opponent if they don’t run Fire.
Next Time: He’s the last guy to face on the way to Victory Road!
Rampardos (UP 65) lopes into the meta from the Ultra Prism expansion set. This Pokemon evolves from Cranidos, which evolves from everyone’s favorite Unidentified Fossil. Fortunately, fossil Pokemon are WAY easier to evolve now than in the recent past when you had to find an Item card which would let you search the bottom seven cards of your deck and if you found a fossil Pokemon there you could put it on your bench but if you didn’t then you had to try to get another item card to help you get those original item cards back out of your discard and, to quote Austin Powers, “Oh no I’ve gone cross eyed.”
Now, all you have to do is drop Unidentified Fossil down on your bench and you’re good to go, it evolves just like any other Basic Pokemon. It’s so much easier – you can simply evolve to Cranidos, use Evosoda, or even Rare Candy right into Rampardos. It’s not even really more difficult than a typical Stage 2 Pokemon. You just can’t Brigette into Unidentified Fossil. Plus, and I know I’m not the only person to use this, Order Pad can be great at helping find Unidentified Fossil, or Evosoda, or even Rare Candy. Unfortuantely, Rampardos only has a two retreat cost, so you can’t use Heavy Ball to get him, you have to resort to Ultra Ball or Evosoda. I’m still waiting for the Supporter that lets you grab two or even three evolution non-EX or non-GX Pokemon. We have Olivia which would let you grab two GX’s that are Stage 1’s or 2’s, why not a non-GX version of that card? How about something to show some love for the Stage 2’s? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
And I know I’ve recently written at length about the plight of Stage 2 Pokemon. It’s not like I’m telling you anything you don’t already know – Stage 2 Pokemon are virtually noncompetitive right now. Therefore, when I put a Rampardos deck together, I knew I couldn’t put it together with just Talonflame and Rampardos (I tried that earllier this month when I spent the weekend losing almost three quarters of the matches I played using all Stage 2 feature decks). This time I threw in a couple of guys I’ve been having success with recently (like my article says, If you can’t beat ’em…): I added two Buzzwoles and a Spiritomb. I had some success with this decklist, going 7 W 5 L, but it was not against the best competition – I would say that I didn’t face even a single meta deck in any of the twelve matches I played.
Rampardos did make for an ok partner with Buzzwole though. Not as good as Buzzgarb, but BuzzRamp did alright. A single attachment attack that does 120 damage and a three attachment attack that essentially does 250 make for a good Pokemon.
Standard: 3 out of 5
Rampardos isn’t that hard to get out (compared to fossil Pokemon of the past), and it can make for a decent pairing with Buzzwole. It suffers from being a Stage 2 Pokemon, unfortunately, and right now that means that you’re pretty much minimally competitive.
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