Skiploom – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This Sunday, we’re reviewing Skiploom (SW – Evolving Skies 003/203). When we look at an evolving Stage 1, you know something is up. This Stage is typically wasted space; if you’re able, you just skip them and use Rare Candy instead. Still, a few have something to redeem them, and Skiploom might be just such a case. Skiploom is a Grass type Stage 1, so you can use Turffield Stadium to search it from your deck, though it does stink that Metal types are naturally [G] Resistant. Being a Rapid Strike Pokémon is nice… I think. I’m not sure how well Skiploom can leverage this trait. Skiploom has 60 HP; I suppose it is nice that Level Ball can grab it if you don’t want to or cannot use Turffield Stadium, but Skiploom is quite vulnerable to damage spread and bonus Bench hits.
The HP means [R] Weakness and lack of Resistance don’t matter, but we do enjoy that perfect Retreat Cost. Skiploom can use “Spinning Attack” for [G] to do 20 damage. This attack is pure filler, especially in light of its Ability, “Solar Evolution”. Solar Evolution states that, when you attach an Energy card from your hand to it, you may search your deck for a Pokémon that evolves from this Pokémon and play that Evolution onto Skiploom. In other words, as long as you can attach a single Energy to Skiploom, and you have Jumpluff in your deck, you can hop, sip, and jump right to it! Which is great, because there’s no reason to stick with Skiploom.
None of the Hoppip are all that great. Hoppup (SW – Evolving Skies 002/203) wins just by having 40 HP with a free Retreat Cost. It is also a Rapid Strike Pokémon, so perhaps that will help as well. Now, for Jumpluff… therein lies the rub. There are only two Jumpluff worth considering in Expanded: Jumpluff (SM – Lost Thunder 14/214) and Jumpluff (SW – Evolving Skies 004/203). The former works better with Skiploom (SM – Lost Thunder 13/214). If you don’t recognize it, this is the Jumpluff with “Lost March”, and the older Skiploom is the one with an Ability that sends itself to the Lost Zone, then plays a Jumpluff from your deck directly to your Bench. Yeah, the ones that were stars in Lost March decks.
The newer Jumpluff I mentioned is getting a review tomorrow, so I don’t be detailing it here. Maybe we’ll get another Jumpluff in the future for Skiploom to work with. Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you the latest Jumpluff is amazing and well worth running. What we do know is that this? This is possibly the best Skiploom ever printed. In Expanded, you could choose between either today’s Skiploom or SM – Lost Thunder 13/214. The older one won’t be in play after using its Ability, so it cannot be devolved. Today’s has the benefit that you can attach Energy and/or Tools to it, and they’ll be in place for when Jumpluff drops. They also work better with Pokémon recycling.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
Skiploom from Sword & Shield Evolving Skies has an interesting feature that may or may not be useful depending on the available options that you currently have. It’s ability, Solar Evolution, states that whenever you attach an energy card from your hand to this Pokemon, you may search your deck for a card that evolves from Skiploom and evolve it. This seems nice, except that Skiploom evolves from Hoppip, so you have to wait for at least one turn to evolve Hoppip. Once you do, however, Skiploom fakes being Rare Candy; you evolve Hoppip into Skiploom, and then attach an energy card to trigger Solar Evolution to evolve it. It’s Spinning Attack costs a single grass energy for 20 damage, but it’s not likely you’ll get to use that because you’ll be evolving it.
So far in the Standard Format, your only option is Jumpluff from Evolving Skies. This will be reviewed tomorrow, but in case I aren’t able to chime in, it is a Stage 2 Grass type Rapid Strike card with 90 HP, Fire weakness, no resistance, and free retreat. It has the Fluffy Barrage ability, which lets Jumpluff attack twice each turn. Also, if the first attack Knocks Out the Defending Pokemon, you can attack again after your opponent chooses a new Active Pokemon to replace it. It’s only attack is called Spinning Attack, which costs a single Grass energy for 60 damage, though the ability makes it deal a total of 120 damage. I also believe that any external damage boosting effects can be applied twice; if you’ve played Leon during your turn, then Spinning Attack deals a total of 180 damage (90 on the first one and another 90 on the second one). Weakness will be applied twice (which is good) and even resistance will be applied twice (which is bad since Sword & Shield-era Metal types has a -30 resistance against grass). There’s also the unfortunate thing of not having any control on your second attack. If your opponent sends out a Pokémon with -30 resistance, then your second Spinning Attack does only 30 damage (or even none of further damage reduction effects apply).
So that’s the only Jumpluff card that can be used in the Standard format. What about Expanded? There are a couple more Jumpluff cards there, though only three of them:
-The Black & White Dragons Exalted expansion that has Jumpluff in it has an ability and an attack. It’s ability, Leave it to the Wind, lets you return Jumpluff and all cards attached to it into your hand. Acrobatics costs a single grass energy for 20 damage, plus 30 more damage if you flipped heads (can only let you flip 2 coins). This card seems incredibly counter-productive. I don’t know a single useful situation where you would evolve your Hoppip all the way to Jumpluff, just to let it leave play.
-XY Steam Siege also has a Jumpluff card with two attacks. Fluffy Transport costs a single energy and functions like Boss’s Orders. Solar Step costs a single Grass energy and does 20 damage times the amount of prize cards you have (maximum being 120 damage before factoring various Ultra Beasts from the Sun & Moon series altering prize cards while minimal damage is 20 if you’re down to your last prize). Good attack for early game, but terrible late game. Still not worth it for a Stage 2.
-SM Lost Thunder also has a Jumpluff, and it’s one of those cards where it is a terrible idea to make today’s card evolve into. Jumpluff NEEDS the other Skiploom from Lost Thunder to be in the Lost Zone so that the Lost March attack does a lot of damage. If you were to use today’s Skiploom to evolve it, then both Hoppip and Skiploom will be underneath Jumpluff instead of being at the Lost Zone, losing out the opportunity to dish out 40 more damage! At this point, you need at least 17 Pokemon in the Lost Zone to OHKO anything in the game before factoring Resistances and other damage reduction effects. That’s going to cause major consistency issues in such a deck.
Seems like none of the Jumpluff cards in the Expanded format would be of any use for today’s card to evolve into, so let me tell you what I think about the new Jumpluff. Jumpluff is another case of recycling a certain effect. Having the ability to attack twice in one turn is extremely unheard of. The few instances of attacking twice can be seen in the XY series, particularly between XY Primal Clash and XY Ancient Origins. Certain Pokémon had the Omega Barrage Ancient Trait, which has the same word-by-word effect Jumpluff’s ability has. It is not an ability, so it can’t be shut down by anti-abilities; Jumpluff’s ability, unfortunately, can be shut down by ability denial. Only five Pokémon has the Omega Barrage Ancient Trait: Torchic, Nidoqueen, Medicham, Excadrill, and Bunnelby, all from XY Primal Clash. All five have been reviewed by the review crew, and while some of them may have potential, they weren’t taking the metagame by storm. This incredible ancient trait was offset by giving Pokémon underpowered or situational attacks to counteract this. I don’t think the new Jumpluff card will change things, other than to give us an incentive to try again with recycled effects. It does have a good damage-to-energy ratio (60-for-1), but in the face of VMAX Pokemon, even with the ability, it would be a 3HKO at best. And because of its 90 HP, Jumpluff won’t be sticking around for long.
However, today’s card is about Skiploom, not Jumpluff, and I have drifted to another topic, so apologies for that. Skiploom is a solid card for what it does, being able to evolve into any Jumpluff card the same turn you evolve your Hoppip. I believe it may have future potential. There may not be good-to-great Jumpluff cards at the moment (besides tommorow’s card), but if there were to be a Jumpluff card that had either an incredible ability and/or an attack, then today’s card will definitely garner some attention. Here’s hoping that it might happen eventually…only time will tell.
In Expanded, there is another Skiploom card from SM Lost Thunder, and this may cause today’s Skiploom to face some competition. It also has an ability that can make it evolve, but instead of attaching an energy card to it, you can send Skiploom and all cards attached to it onto the Lost Zone and put a Jumpluff card from your deck and take over Skiploom’s place. While this could theoretically save your manual attachment so that you can attach it to someone else, the Achilles Heel of Skiploom LOT is that all cards attached to it gets put in the Lost Zone, so you still have to manually attach an energy card to Jumpluff. Skiploom LOT isn’t much better than today’s card.
Another thing to point out (if anyone still plays Unlimited) is that Jumpluff from the HGSS series might be another ideal card to evolve into, as it’s Mass Attack costs a single grass energy and deals 10 damage for each Pokémon in play. That card did see play when it came out, but seemed to be fade into obscurity. Even Empoleon DEX, a better version of Jumpluff, got power crept as well, not helping HGSS Jumpluff’s case.
This was a surprising long review to write on a Stage 1, but because of what Skiploom does, I have to address the other cards to see if it’s worth using alongside Skiploom. For any rogue decks using Jumpluff, you have another good-to-great Skiploom card to use!
Also, it is pretty hard for me to rate Skiploom. Part of me wants to rate good because of what it does while the other part of me wants to rate it lower because of currently available Jumpluff options. In the end, I decide to settle on the good side of average:
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