Samurott – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: February 8, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Samurott (SW – Vivid Voltage 035/185) is a regular Pokémon; no special “Rule Boxes” of text, only worth one Prize when KO’d, etc. It is a Water-type; nice to punish Fire types, and they have some tricks in Standard, but not great. Being a Stage 2 means Samurott is slow and resource intensive. 160 HP is fairly normal for a Stage 2 worth just one Prize; it isn’t an easy OHKO, but it isn’t as durable as I’d like, given the Stage. [L] Weakness is pretty bad, as Pikarom decks are pretty good. No Resistance is the worst, but typical. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can afford it, but high enough you’re better off if you can avoid paying it. At least it is low enough Air Balloon can zero it out completely.
Samurott has one Ability and attack. The former is “Shell Armor”, and it reduces the damage Samurott receives from attacks by 30, after applying Weakness and Resistance. While not an exciting or brilliant Ability, it certainly can be useful. Samurott has an effective 190 HP against OHKOs,220 HP against 2HKOs, etc. 190 still isn’t as durable as your typical, Basic Pokémon V, but it puts Samurott on par with some of the largest Stage 2 Pokémon (excluding Pokémon-GX). [WCC] pays for “Aqua Wash”, which does 120 damage while letting you bounce two Energy attached to your opponent’s Active back into their hand. Three Energy isn’t exactly cheap, but it isn’t too bad when you can use Twin Energy or similar Energy acceleration. 120 damage is decent; too slow if you need to KO Pokémon VMAX or larger TAG TEAM Pokémon, but a solid 2HKO against medium-sized targets and OHKO against smaller ones. The bounce effect is optional, which is good; if you are scoring the OHKO, no sense saving your opponent’s Energy from the discard pile. Otherwise, when you are facing something that can survive Aqua Wash, you can set it back two Energy attachments. That can really, really slow an opponent’s deck down!
The Ability and attack have some synergy, as you try to keep your opponent from hitting bigger attacks that could OHKO Samurott, even through Shell Armor. Plus, if you are fortunate enough to keep them down to single attachment attacks, the weakest of those attacks might not even penetrate Shell Armor. Is that enough for a competitive deck? Probably not. Maybe a fun deck or a budget deck, but not a true competitive deck. Another issue is Frosmoth; while Frosmoth is a huge help for Samurott, it ends up being overkill. Frosmoth helps even more expensive attackers, including big, Basic or Stage 1 attackers that are easier to field than Samurott. When you can afford big attacks, the small damage plus disruption of Aqua Wash. There is a place where Samurott is handy.
No, not Expanded; you gain access to Aqua Patch, so that Aqua Patch (for a Water Energy) and a manually attached Double Colorless Energy or Twin Energy can ready Samurott in a single turn… but the competition is so fierce here, I don’t think that is anywhere near enough. I am speaking of the Theme Format. Samurott serves the Drednaw Theme Deck well. Evolving into Samurott and powering it in a timely manner can be a pain, but once it hits the field, most decks will struggle keep an active attacker energized.
- Standard: 1/5
- Expanded: 1/5
- Theme: 3/5
Just a few days ago, I’ve watched the first episode of Top Deck Academy, and Samurott was the star of the show in that episode, as the Samurott deck also contained Frosmoth. I’ll link to this episode here for you to see one of the ways to use Samurott (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=608MuM7VtBA).
Anyhow, Samurott has an ability and an attack. It’s Shell Armor ability makes Samurott take 30 less damage while it’s Aqua Wash attack does 120 damage for WCC with the option to put 2 energy from the defending Pokémon into the opponent’s hand. The damage reduction along with its 160 HP means it might be able to stay for at least one more turn, but there are others that can hit for over 200 damage, so it is still hopeless there. Not to mention that with Lightning weakness, anything hitting for 100 or more base damage can OHKO Samurott. The attack isn’t impressive, but at least you can actually undo some of your opponent’s setup of their Active Pokemon until it sets something up on the Bench. Abilities that provide unlimited energy acceleration will make Aqua Wash’s effect inconsequential.
In terms of viability, Samurott is good for casual play at best. Seems like a slight improvement from the older Samurott card from Black & White.
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