– Unbroken Bonds
July 31, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Another card after I suggested Greninja is Snorlax because I think today’s Snorlax from Unbroken Bonds have some potential.
Lazy Eating is an ability that heals 10 damage from this Pokémon between turns. As someone who plays Serperior (Black & White 6/114) and Forest of Giant Plants in casual play, this is a good ability that could affect certain attacks that would’ve been a 2HKO. However, this ability, unlike Serperior, only works for just Snorlax only. Anyhow, with 150 HP, for 2HKOs to happen, you would have to deal at least 90 damage for the healing to be useless. But it’s not just for tanking damage. You can strategically move damage around so that it will remove it between turns; just assign the damage via Damage Mover or some sort to Snorlax.
Keeping it as durable as possible is nice, but it also has an attack. Big Counter might live up to its name, doing 60 damage for CCC plus 120 more damage if the Defending Pokémon is a Tag Team Pokemon. You’ll never OHKO any Tag Teams with this attack even with the rotated out Choice Band. Hustle Belt might reach OHKO levels against Gengar/Mimikyu and PikaRom. Shrine of Punishment on top of that covers Zoroninja and Slowpoke/Psyduck. If the target isn’t a Tag Team, then 60 for 3 energy is disappointing. This attack is really specific on what it does, but for the format it is entering, the timing couldn’t be better than what it already is. Tag Team are being used frequently, and Snorlax can be a tech attacker to nab three prizes.
I’ve mentioned Snorlax (SM – Unbroken Bonds 158/214) before, but today is the day the big guy (or gal) gets its own review. I’m going to start with the card’s attack, “Big Counter”, because I think it is what really defines this Snorlax. Big Counter costs [CCC], so you’ll really want at least some Energy acceleration (even just a Double Colorless Energy helps), if not a lot. Your rewards is… 60 damage, or 180 if you’re hitting a TAG TEAM Pokémon. 60-for-three, even when it can use any Energy, is bad. 180-for-three sounds amazing except the smallest TAG TEAM Pokémon currently available have 240 HP or more. That means even with both Choice Band and Professor Kukui, Big Counter falls short of the OHKO. Which doesn’t make it a “bad” counter, but it keeps it from being a particularly good one. Something like Pikachu & Zekrom-GX comes into KO range as soon as it has already taken 60 damage, while on the opposite end, Magikarp & Wailord-GX would need twice as much (120).
This is also where the rest of the card becomes more relevant. For three Energy, this Basic Pokémon can finish off an opposing, wounded TAG TEAM Pokémon. Snorlax has 150 HP with [F] Weakness and no Resistance, so it is a little more likely to survive an attack than be OHKO’d… though specializing in taking on TAG TEAM Pokémon may make it seem otherwise. I’ll bring up the Ability here as well; “Lazy Eating” is kind of like “reverse Poison” as it heals 10 damage from Snorlax between turns. This Snorlax; it only applies to the card itself. While not a massive swing, it means a failure to OHKO ups Snorlax’s effective HP. Speaking of which, Snorlax has a Retreat Cost of [CCCC]; you don’t want to have to pay that, but besides packing switching cards, it also means Snorlax could utilize Buff Padding to hit 200 HP and suddenly, surviving to 2HKO TAG TEAM Pokémon is a bit more realistic.
Even when it isn’t, there’s one other massively important thing about Snorlax: it is a single-Prize Pokémon. That means you can trade blows with your opponent and lose up to two Snorlax per TAG TEAM Pokémon and still come out ahead. Of course, plenty of TAG TEAM Pokémon can still OHKO this Snorlax, even with the defensive buffs, but they’ll have to use their bigger attacks and/or their own offensive combos. You might also combine Snorlax with some damage spread, though you’ll need at least 60 damage to fake a OHKO against even the smallest TAG TEAM Pokémon. This isn’t especially impressive for Standard, and it is about to get more difficult as we’ll lose the easiest shortcut for it (Double Colorless Energy).
Snorlax might actually have a better chance in Expanded; while it faces a lot more competition getting into decks, and TAG TEAM Pokémon might make up a smaller fraction of the metagame (I’m not sure), there are more tricks that can work with Snorlax. They work with many other cards as well, which normally would count against Snorlax, but in this case, it means Snorlax may indeed function as anti-TAG TEAM TecH, stacking an almost stupid amount of offensive buffs. If you pull a Snorlax at a Limited Format event, it should be a good pull. The Retreat Cost will be a pain, but even if you just want to toss it up front to soak hits, it has that 150 HP plus Lazy Eating. 60-for-[CCC] is even acceptable for a generic beatstick. If you actually run into an opponent with a TAG TEAM Pokémon, it can be a real lifesaver!
Standard: 2.5/5 (soon to be 2/5)
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