– Rebel Clash
August 12, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Spiritomb (SSH – Rebel Clash 116/192) can’t attack for damage, so its [D] typing isn’t much help right now, though that might change after SSH – Darkness Ablaze. What is a mark in Spiritomb’s favor is that it is a Basic Pokémon: minimum space to run, minimum time to hit the field, natural synergy with certain mechanics, etc. 60 HP is bad, though it isn’t the absolute worst. [G] Weakness is relatively safe right now. Lack of Resistance is relatively the worse… but it also would almost never matter thanks to the HP. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is functionally average, but “feels” a bit chunky, given this is a 60 HP Basic.
Spiritomb knows two attacks. For [D] it can use “Splitting Strike” to discard the top card of each player’s deck. This is weak mill that also hits your own deck, so it feels overpriced. [DC] pays for “Dripping Grudge”; for each Pokémon in your discard pile, this attack lets you place a damage counter on your opponent’s Active. This also seems a bit overpriced; placing damage counters bypasses some protective effects, but runs smack dab into others. I’d probably consider it a net positive but it also means you don’t apply Weakness or Resistance. Nothing new Resists the Darkness type, and even if it did, exploiting Weakness is much more beneficial than crashing into Resistance is detrimental.
Dripping Grudge could be pretty sweet if it let you pick where the damage counters were placed, but their restricted to your opponent’s Active. Even then, Dripping Grudge almost works, because it has no cap; it could OHKO even Pokémon VMAX! However, taking out a 340 HP target means having 34 Pokémon in your discard pile.
60 (max deck) – 7 (opening hand) – 6 (Prizes) = 43
Even before your first draw, with no mulligans, your deck is down to 43 cards. Even if you’re not shooting for a OHKO of Pokémon VMAX, you’re still going to need to discard a good 12 to 17 cards just to reach typical 2HKO levels.
Expanded isn’t much kinder to Spiritomb. It might serve as TecH for decks which already have a reason to drop many Pokémon into the discard pile, especially if they can use an attack copier with a more favorable typing, such as Marshadow-GX or Mew (XY – Fates Collide 29/124). I’m not sure how Night March is doing right now… but maybe that’s an option. Unfortunately, instead of being able to exploit [D] Weakness, it’d just be to get around effects that prevent doing damage. I’m not sure if Spiritomb is even worth it in the Limited Format; with only 40 cards in your entire deck, mill is more potent. HP scores are lower on average, and you may just need to run more “filler” Pokémon (hopefully discarded through Splitting Spite)… but you’ll have to run Darkness Energy, and hit Spiritomb at the right time. Oh, and 60 HP is still low, even here.
Spiritomb is what I refer to as Johnny Bait (or just “bait” for short). You can build a functional deck around this card… but it probably isn’t going to be especially competitive. Could I be mistaken? Absolutely, but we either need something this hard counters to become prominent, or some ideal support to be released.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!