– Cosmic Eclipse

Date Reviewed:
April 25, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 2.25
Limited: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Sawsbuck from SM Cosmic Eclipse caught my eye when making our personal top X lists from almost half a year ago. That’s because it has an ability which guarantees that you will draw a card. And because this effect is an ability, it doesn’t use up your Supporter for your turn. Drawing a single card might not look like much, but even one card can be enough to turn around the match. Though if you like, you can pair it with Magcargo’s Smooth Over ability so that this ability makes you search your deck for any card and put it on top of your deck, which will then be drawn by Sawsbuck’s Seasonal Blessings. Getting any card is nice, but it DOES require you to get two specific Stage 1s in play, which could make your deck inconsistent, not to mention that if abilities are being offline, then they won’t be helping you any time soon. If you can’t get Magcargo in play, then Sawsbuck alone is decent.

Which brings me to mention another similar card to Sawsbuck, but in a different expansion (I wished I would switch one of the COTD for another card, but being pretty busy at work due to an epidemic, I would feel unreasonable to mention/override it last second). Audino from SM Unified Minds has an ability called Hearing, which lets you draw a card as long as this is your Active Pokémon. Because it’s retreat cost is one, Escape Board or U-Turn Board can shave off that single retreat cost, making Audino retreat for free. Then you can bring in another Audino to draw another card (totaling 2 cards per turn). This could’ve been playable if Jirachi’s Stellar Wish didn’t become so dominant the moment it was released. Audino, however, could be a nice budget option if you are unable to get your hands on Jirachi. The only thing Audino has over Jirachi is that it guarantees you a random card while Jirachi can sometimes FAIL to get you a Trainer card from the top 5 cards of your deck. Plus, once Escape Board rotates out, then Jirachi won’t be able to retreat while it’s Asleep (unless you use a different switching related card that falls under Team Up onwards) while Audino has no aftermath from using it’s ability (meaning they could be using 2 of the Hearing ability while Jirachi can only use 1 Stellar Wish at best).

I know I hijacked Sawsbuck’s review with Audino, but this came with the realization that Audino could be better than Sawsbuck on some way. Sawsbuck takes up an extra stage with an extra retreat cost than Audino. But what Sawsbuck has over Audino is that there might be anti-basic counters such as Silent Lab in Expanded turning off abilities of basic Pokémon while it doesn’t affect Sawsbuck. And it can also get into play with Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX’s Super Growth attack, being able to evolve your Grass type Deerling on the same turn (albeit when your turn is about to end). So it’s pretty hard to tell which one is better, but it’s worth mentioning those two cards as they both draw a single card. It also goes to show that how much power creep has went regarding such abilities. I recall Crobat from BW Plasma Storm possessing that same ability that draws a single card, but it’s on a Stage 2. When you have something identical that can be brought out much sooner than older cards, then you would drop the previous card in favor of an efficient one. Alolan Sandslash from SM Guardians Rising might have left rotation, but Sawsbuck’s the one to take over what it left behind.

Since prereleases of Cosmic Eclipse is over with, Sawsbuck happens to appear on one of the four evolution packs that you could possibly pull from the Build & Battle boxes (a 2-2 line).


Standard: 2.5/5
Expanded: 2.5/5
Limited: 4/5

Otaku Avatar

Sawsbuck (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 16/236) has the Ability “Seasonal Blessings”; you can use Seasonal Blessings once during your turn to draw a card from your deck.  Multiple instances may each be used during your turn, so the more the merrier… assuming you have the Bench-space to spare.  Seasonal Blessings only draws one card, but don’t have to discard, to shuffle away, to flip a coin, or worry about having the right hand size in order to draw, or any other conditions I may have forgotten.  Barring deck-specific combos, this is the best form of draw power.

For [GC],  Sawbuck can use the attack “Bounce” to do 60 damage, with the option of switching it with one of your Benched Pokémon.  It is great that switching out is optional, and porter (or hit-and-run) effects have proven competitive in the past.  You’ll need a good partner, and once Boss’s Order officially releases, your opponent will have a reliable, generic, reasonably priced way of forcing Sawbuck into the Active.  The damage is in an awkward place for the Energy; you’ll need some form of Energy acceleration but you’re looking at three to five attacks to KO most common attackers… more for something especially large, like Snorlax VMAX.

Sawsbuck is a [G] Type Pokémon; it can make use of [G] support but I’m not seeing any particularly great combos.  Anti-[G] Type effects exist, but probably won’t be a concern.  Exploiting [G] Weakness doesn’t seem to be a major concern right now, but Zacian V means [G] Resistance is widespread.  100 HP is too high for stuff like Professor Elm’s Lecture, but low enough Sawsbuck is quite likely to be OHKO’d while Active, and not last too long on your Bench against damage spread.  Combined with [R] Weakness, attacks doing 50 to 90 damage enjoy a OHKO (40 and less still falls short, 100+ already had it).

The HP and the amount of Types in the game means any hypothetical Resistance wouldn’t barely matter.  So, even though no Resistance is technically the worst, it is an acceptable stat.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you often can pay but high enough you’re prefer a discount or to skip it; thankfully, Air Balloon can zero it out completely.  All of the above has to be understood in the context that Sawsbuck is a Stage 1.  If it was a Basic, everything about it would be better, if only by technically being “less bad”.  Just the Ability and (not terrible) HP would probably have made it into a deck staple.

The reality, however, is that we have to go through Deerling or Ditto {*} to field Sawsbuck.  Maybe there is something I’ve forgotten about, but even the really crazy Evolution shortcuts I can recall are reserved for Stage 2 Pokémon, or those of a different Type.  All the Deerling are Basic, [G] Type Pokémon so Net Ball, Professor Elm’s Lecture, etc. can help but… that’s all they contribute.  They’re filler, stepping stones to reach Sawsbuck.  I wasn’t expecting better, but it would be great if they offered at least a little something more.

Theoretically, Sawbuck has (had?) the chance to be the start of its own porter deck, probably one taking advantage of its Ability to keep things flowing smoothly, and offset being a tad clunkier than the weaker attackers, or not as strong as the other, clunkier options.  Options that have seen (at best) a moderate amount of competitive success, like Hitmonchan (SM – Team Up 74/181).  It isn’t all bad news, though; Sawbuck was already part of a successful deck.  Emphasis on the “was”, unfortunately.

“Florges Dolls” refers to a stall/control deck built around Lillie’s Poké Doll backed by – among other things – Florges (SM – Forbidden Light 86/131).  Sawsbuck’s Seasonal Blessings lets you immediately draw any Item cards you recycle via Florges’ “Wondrous Gift” Ability, making it a valuable asset to the deck.  So… what happened?  Florges Dolls decks dropped off after the release of Sword & Shield, so I’m guessing it just hasn’t been able to hang in the new metagame.  Even if it makes a comeback, its days would be limited, anyway; it won’t like Boss’s Orders joining the cardpool… and – if raw card count in hand isn’t an issue – Oranguru (Sword & Shield 148/202) lets you access the top card of your deck but is a Basic.

Sawsbuck doesn’t have a lot going for it in Expanded, either.  Florges Doll decks are clinging on here, but they have a trick that wouldn’t benefit Sawsbuck, even though it is a Standard-legal card: Ribombee (SM – Lost Thunder 146/214).  It’s Ability protects your [Y] Type Pokémon from the effects of your opponent’s Supporters.  That means no Guzma, Lysandre, or Boss’s Orders woes for Florges… but Sawsbuck would still be a valid target.  The most recent list for the deck I’m looking at didn’t run Sawsbuck, relying on Trainer-based draw instead… but if they did want a Pokémon, Slurpuff (XY – Phantom Forces 69/119) is, overall, a slightly better Sawsbuck.

Sawsbuck didn’t make it into any Theme Decks of which I am aware, so the only place to really enjoy it is in the Limited Format, and with social distancing in effect for most of us, that becomes a less and less likely occurrence every day (as the set becomes older and thus less available).  At least it is a must-run in the Limited Format, unless you pull something worth building a Mulligan Deck around it.


  • Standard: 2/5
  • Expanded: 1/5
  • Limited: 4/5

Sawbuck’s 15 minutes of fame is likely over, though future [G] support could give it a new lease on life… not that I know of any such support slated for release.  Its stats are decent and its effects are as well, and if it had been a Basic it would have been a staple for how much better that makes the Ability. On a more superficial note, I’m surprised not only by how few Sawsbuck and Deelring cards have been released.  Out of three and four, respectively (five counting a Japan-only release), we haven’t even gotten one of each of their forms yet!

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