Spidops-ex – Scarlet & Violet

Date Reviewed:  May 27, 2023

Ratings Summary:

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

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Spidops-ex (Scarlet & Violet 19/198) seems to be a card that would either be inviting certain combos and/or giving your opponent’s Active Pokemon a hard time. A Stage 1 Grass type with 260 HP, Fire Weakness, and a retreat cost of CC, it has an ability and an attack. It’s Trap Territory ability states that your opponent’s Active Pokemon’s Retreat Cost is increased by one. To take advantage of that increased Retreat Cost, its Wire Hang attack costs GC for 90 damage plus 30 more damage for each (C) of the opponent’s Active Pokemon’s Retreat Cost.

Having four Spidops-ex means your opponent’s Active Pokemon’s Retreat Cost is increased by CCCC. Most Pokemon have a retreat cost between zero to CCCC, so Wire Hang doesn’t consistently deal as much damage as you like. So, assuming the retreat cost could be between CCCC to CCCCCCCC, Wire Hang does between 210 to 330 damage (210, 240, 270, 300, 330). And that’s before factoring in other cards that reduces retreat costs, which doesn’t seem to be any in Standard as Air Balloon just left rotation. Spidops-ex isn’t the only attacker that relies on retreat costs; Leafeon VMAX is still in Standard, and its Grass Knot may be a stronger alternative. Same attack cost of GC, but the multiplier is 60x for each C on your opponent’s Active Pokemon’s Retreat Cost. Again, with four Spidops-ex in play, the retreat cost is already CCCC or more, so Grass Knot already does 240 to begin with and can even deal more based on the Active Pokemon’s natural Retreat Cost. It could be 300, 360, 420, and 480! Pokemon with a retreat cost of at least CC or more will be at risk of being OHKOed by Grass Knot while Spidops-ex will fall short of OHKOing anything.

I recall a card that also does that: Absol (SM Team Up 88/181). Unlike Spidops-ex, Absol is a Basic while Spidops-ex is a Stage 1, so it might be a bit harder to be put into play to execute that strategy. It might be enough to work with in Standard, but Expanded has a major counter that could render the strategy nearly useless. Float Stone is a Pokemon Tool card that completely zeros out the retreat cost, as well as type specific Pokemon that can also completely eliminate the retreat cost as well (Darkrai-EX DEX, Manaphy-EX BKP, Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX ULP, and Zeraora-GX LOT). Switching and bouncing effects also bypass retreat costs because you don’t have to pay for them.


Standard: 3/5
Expanded: 1.5/5
Limited: 2/5

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