Stonjourner – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Stonjourner (SW – Battle Styles 084/163) has the Single Strike Battle Style, but is otherwise a baseline Pokémon: worth just one Prize when KO’d, no Rule Box, etc. We’ll come back to whether Single Strike support will matter or not after we cover the rest of the card. As a Fighting type, Stonjourner can hit some big names for Weakness: Crobat V, Dedenne-GX, and Eternatus VMAX being standouts. Fighting support is also on the table, though the best of what is available in Standard is really more Fighting Energy support, not caring about Stonjourner’s type. You’ll also crash into Resistance a little more often than with most other types, but overall,this is still clearly a net positive.
Stonjourner is a Basic, and that is for the best; minimum time and resources to use, plus a few perks because of how being a Basic plays with game mechanics. 130 HP is solid; while still likely to be OHKO’d, it clears the the “easy” KO threshold, for want of a better term. On a Stage 2 or VMAX, this would be bad, but on a Basic? It works. [G] Weakness is one of the less dangerous, though it still matters unless Decidueye (SW – Darkness Ablaze 013/189; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH035; Shining Fates 008/072, SV003/SV122) is no longer a thing. No Resistance is typical, so moving on we have a Retreat Cost of [CCC]; too high to manually retreat most of the time, and a little too high for something like Air Balloon to zero out. Switching effects work regardless of retreat cost, but if Stonjourner had had a higher Retreat Cost, then it could have tapped support like Buff Padding.
Stonjourner knows two attacks. For [FC] it can use “Land’s Pulse” to do 30 damage, plus another 30 if there is a Stadium in play. Not an easy-to-meet cost, it isn’t overly difficult either. Having a Stadium in play is quite likely much of the time as well. The issue is that we’re at a point when 60-for-two would be underwhelming as the base damage, and we’re only getting it here when conditions are met. “Giga Hammer” costs [FFC] and does 120 damage. It also places an effect on the Pokémon that uses it; it cannot use Giga Hammer on your next turn. 120-for-three is decent, maybe even somewhat good; the drawback can be a pain, but is usually not too hard to deal with thanks to switching effects.
Stonjourner is almost pure filler. What might, and I mean might save it from that fate is the combination of the stats and effects it does have going for it. Fighting Weakness is relatively common, with most decks having juicy KO’s you can score by one-shotting Dedenne-GX or Crobat V. Not enough to make it worth running Stonjourner in general; it isn’t like its attacks have easily met Energy costs outside of certain decks. The combination of Single Strike support and Fighting support can do quite a bit for a Basic with 130 HP. Martial Arts Dojo can grant +10 damage if you have one (or more) basic Fighting Energy attached to Stonjourner. That isn’t much but there’s more.
If you have fewer Prizes left in play than your opponent, now you’re looking at +40. Land’s Pulse can OHKO Crobat and Dedenne-GX under these conditions, thanks to exploiting Weakness. Giga Hammer OHKO’s anything [F] Weak except cards with protection, or have more than 320 HP. If you want more speed, Karate Belt only helps when you have more Prize cards left in play than your opponent, but it shaves [F] off of Energy costs. With a Stadium in play, that means Land’s Pulse can do 60-for-one, and Giga Hammer 120 for [FC]. Still doesn’t sound great, but if that Stadium is Martial Arts Dojo and Land’s Pulse can do 100 for just a basic Fighting Energy, while a basic Fighting Energy and anything else attached let’s Giga Hammer do 160!
Then there’s Single Strike support. Single Strike Energy covers [F] (and [D], not that it matters here) Energy costs for Single Strike Pokémon and grants +20 damage. Fueled using just these, and Land’s Pulse does 70 damage, or 100 with a Stadium in play. Giga Hammer can do 180… but getting three Single Strike Energy is probably asking a bit much. Yes, even with Houndoom (SW – Battle Styles 096/163, 179/163, SW – Black Star Promos SWSH090) to accelerate Single Strike Energy and Urn of Vitality to recycle Single Strike Energy. So… let’s combine these approaches. If you’re down in Prizes, Karate Belt with Martial Arts Dojo and a basic Fighting Energy, and a Single Strike Energy deal 180 damage!
Does this mean we all ought to be running Stonjourner decks? Nope. It gives Stonjourner some hope of slipping into other Single Strike decks, or Fighting decks. Even though we don’t have any proven Single Strike decks now, there’s enough overlap between Single Strike and Fighting types for me to remain optimistic. Even in Expanded; more competition, more counters, but a lot more combos.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
I worry I’m being too generous, and this is definitely a time sensitive deal. Hypothetically, future Single Strike support could ramp up what Stonjourner can do, but it also might lead to replacement for it. Still, with Fighting Weakness being what it is, and the support available, Stonjourner fills the niche of Basic, Single Strike Fighting attacker reasonably well.
Stonjourner (SS Battle Styles 84/163) is a Basic Fighting type Single Strike Pokémon with 130 HP, Grass weakness, and a retreat cost of CCC. Land’s Pulse costs FC for 30 damage, plus 30 more damage if there is a stadium card in play. Giga Hammer costs FFC for 120 damage with the clause of not being able to use Giga Hammer on your next turn (although this clause can be reset by switching, bounce, etc).
Looking at those attacks, it may seem underwhelming if that’s all it has, but they can be improved, whether it’s from Single Strike support or fighting type support. Those support may include (in both Standard & Expanded):
-Martial Arts Dojo
-Fighting Fury Belt
-Stone F Energy
-Diancie Prism Star
-Emboar Single Strike
-Houndoom Single Strike
-Single Strike Energy
-Fighting Stadium (though this stadium card is heavily outdated)
So far, that’s all I can think of, and that’s enough for me to think that Stonejourner to be a decent attacker with the help of those cards. Giga Hammer may not be repeatedly used, but it can deliver a heavier blow. Land’s Pulse can be repeatedly used, and luckily you have either Martial Arts Dojo or Tower of Darkness to fulfill that condition. Houndoom’s Single Strike Rose can help you easily meet any attack costs that involve (F), (D), or (C) energies. Putting it all together, Stonjourner is a decent choice if you’re deciding to use a non “rule box” Pokemon just to get around certain counters. Ideally Land’s Pulse backed by Martial Arts Dojo and 2 Single Strike Energy makes it deal 100 total damage, more if you add in a basic Fighting Energy (either 110 or 140 damage depending on how the prize trade is going. Expanded you can include Muscle Band and Diancie (*) on the mix on top of existing cards mentioned in the previous sentence to deal 150-180 damage!
Stonjourner may not be amazing, but with the right amount of support, it can be a nice backup attacker if Single Strike Urshifu somehow gets countered.
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