Stakataka (Unbroken Bonds UNB 106)
Stakataka (Unbroken Bonds UNB 106)

– Unbroken Bonds

Date Reviewed:
September 24, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 2.00
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

Stakataka from Unbroken Bonds doesn’t have anything special to offer until a specific scenario happens. 120 HP is quite low for a Basic Pokémon, but decent for a single prize Pokémon. It’s only attack, Top Down, costs FFC for 110 and makes you flip coins until you flip tails. For each heads, you discard the top card of your opponent’s deck. Depending on how lucky you are, you might (but VERY UNLIKELY) make your opponent deck out, winning you the game. Unless you have some fast methods of fueling up this attack, you might have to look elsewhere.

However, once your opponent gets down to three or fewer prizes left, that’s where Stakataka true colors are at. It’s maximum HP becomes 200, or 250 with Buff Padding. Also, Beast Ring works when your opponent has exactly 3 or 4 prizes left, and you get to accelerate two energies to your Ultra Beast! Combined with manual attachment and Beast Ring, you can attack right away! There might be very few Pokémon than can shut off abilities in Standard, but it becomes a problem for Expanded. If Stakataka has 200 HP and Garbotoxin turns it off, then the HP goes down by 80. And if Stakataka has 80 or less HP remaining, Garbotoxin Knocks Out that Pokémon!!! HP boosts aren’t sustainable because those boosts can be removed by other cards.

In Limited, since players start with four prizes, it takes just a single KO to trigger Stakataka’s ability.

  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 2/5
  • Limited: 4/5
Otaku Avatar

Our second subject this week is Stakataka (SM – Unbroken Bonds 106/214; SM – Black Star Promos SM180, SM209). This is an Ultra Beast, which means dealing with counters specific to them, sometimes being excluded from card effects, and accessing their themed support. Being a [F] Type is useful for striking the [F] Weakness found on most [D] and [L] Types, as well as many [C]Types. [F] Resistance is one of the most abundant and spread out through all nearly all the Pokémon Types, however, “No Resistance” is by far the most common. Diancie {*} provides simple but worthwhile support to [F] Types in Standard, while everything else (whether it helps or hurts) doesn’t see much play or wouldn’t directly affect Stakataka e.g. Fairy Charm [F]. As a reminder, other than being an Ultra Beast there is nothing unusual about Stakataka’s attributes; it is only worth a single Prize when KO’d.

Stakataka is a Basic, the most space-efficient and speediest of the Stages. Many effects (like bounce) naturally work better with it than they would with other Stages, and for both better and worse it can function as your opening Active; there are effects that both support and counter Basic Pokémon in the cardpool, though the former outweigh the latter in my opinion. Stakataka has 120 HP, a little more likely to be OHKO’d than not, but still somewhat sturdy given that this is a Basic Ultra Beast; more on why that is later. Its [G] Weakness isn’t too bad right now, as [G] Types aren’t seeing much competitive success at the moment. No Resistance is typical, so it is more disappointing than disadvantageous. The Retreat Cost of [CCCC] is as high as is currently being printed and difficult to afford but gives Stakataka the option of using cards like Buff Padding.

Ultra Beasts often have an attack that gets better when your opponent has a specific amount of Prizes left in play; Stakataka instead the Ability “Wall of Stone”. This Ability activates while your opponent has three or fewer Prizes remaining. Under those circumstances, its maximum HP becomes 200! This is higher than the actual printed maximum HP for any single Prize Pokémon and is fairly sturdy. Stakataka has just one attack, “Top Down”, which costs [FFC] and does 110 damage, plus you flip a coin until you get “tails”. For each “heads”, you discard a card from the top of your opponent’s deck. For the Energy going into it, 110 damage is adequate but not thrilling. The effect could be but suffers as there is not currently a Standard-legal option to improve your odds with the coin flip. While some decks can benefit from you discarding certain cards, you do lose if you cannot draw a card at the start of your turn; a lucky streak late game can net you the win regardless of Prizes!

I haven’t seen any high-performing decklists using Stakataka but it does have some potential. Once your opponent is down to three or fewer Prizes, this becomes a nice, single-Prize wall. We’ll need a ruling about whether Wall of Stone is like Float Stone, “setting” Stakataka’s maximum HP to 200 so that other effects which raise or lower HP won’t matter, or whether you could further bolster it with a card like Buff Padding. In a general stall deck, Stakataka suffers because such decks usually don’t want to give up as few Prizes as possible, which would likely mean Stakatak is just a 120 HP Basic in such decks; in other words, not worth it. In a general [F] Type deck, I don’t know if we need such a wall either, and its attack is neither hard-hitting, affordable, nor reliable in milling, so why run it?

Ultra Beast decks can tap more support, and that may be where Stakataka finds its purpose. There, an emergency wall with a desperation move of unreliable milling on top of decent damage could be worth a deck slot. Beast Ring makes attacking with Stakataka a little more affordable, Stakataka-GX helps Ultra Beasts soak damage, etc. You might even be able to make a deck focused on [F] Type Ultra Beasts, as Buzzwole still provides a solid offense, and Pikachu & Zekrom-GX decks are still popular and potent. That’s for the Standard Format, though; Abilities – especially on Basic Pokémon – are easier to shut off in Expanded, and I’m not seeing any worthwhile combos to make Stakataka worth the effort. Finally, for the Limited Format, remember that you use 40 card decks and set aside only four Prizes at the beginning. While Stakataka requires some effort to work into off-Type decks, its Ability triggers after you give up only one Prize and your opponent likely cannot recover from cards being milled.


Standard: 3/5

Expanded: 2/5

Limited: 4/5

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