– Unbroken Bonds

Date Reviewed:
June 25, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.50
Expanded: 2.10
Limited: 3.50

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

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Whimsicott-GX looks like it’d be one of the most frustrating cards to use and be up against because of how luck can make or break a game. Why is it frustrating? Well, you can expect your opponent’s reaction to be extremely terrible such as foul language or flipping the entire table in rage. A Stage 1 Fairy Type with 190 HP, weak to Metal, resist Dark, and a retreat cost of one, it has an ability and two attacks. Fluffy Cotton works when Whimsicott is about to be damaged in any situation, from your opponent’s attack or even your own, you flip a coin. If heads prevent that damage. The wording can be interpreted into some things. If your attack requires to damage one of your Pokemon, you can direct the damage (not damage counter placement, that’s an effect) to Whimsicott, and hope it avoids that damage. For the perspective from the opponent, that ability can be a lethal weapon to sometimes completely avoid any damage!

While it can sometimes sit in the Active unscathed, it can use one of its two attacks. Energy Blow costs Y for 10 damage plus 30 more damage for each energy attached to this Pokémon. Already, it can do 40 for one energy, and you can continue to do even more if you wish to invest. The big question is how much you want to invest. Without Choice Band taking into account because it is about to rotate soon, 10 energies is needed to OHKO the biggest of Tag Teams, maybe 12 energies if Buff Padding is applied. You can reach that amount of damage by using a combination of Porygon-Z’s Crazy Code ability and Triple Acceleration Energy. Triple Acceleration Energy is effectively a one time 90 damage boost and Porygon-Z allows unlimited special energy attachments. When those energies are all used up, Double Colorless Energy is your second best option, though even that card is also about to be rotated. All in all, this attack can be made pretty good with the support it has.

Toy Box GX also needs one energy, and you get to search your deck for 5 cards, and put them into your hand. Even if you find what you exactly need, your opponent can shuffle your hand via Judge or Marshadow Let Loose and get you random cards, wasting your GX attack. So I suppose Whimsicott is only good for potentially cause rage quits and having a risky attack. Does that make this competitive? Not necessarily, there are other methods of going through it’s 50% protection, things like ability denial, Special conditions like burn, poison, or confusion, damage counter placement, or even anti-GX cards like Shrine of Punishment can still damage it. Such as the nature of being a specific card.


  • Standard: 2.5/5
  • Expanded: 2.5/5
  • Limited: 3/5
Otaku Avatar

Whimsicott-GX (SM – Unbroken Bonds 140/214, 206/214, 226/214) is largely defined by its Ability, so we’ll start with that. “Fluffy Cotton” activates anytime Whimsicott-GX would be damaged by an attack; you flip a coin, and if it comes up “heads”, that Whimsicott-GX takes no damage. Fluffy Cotton is unreliable in that it relies on a coin toss, but as long as Abilities are functioning, Fluffy Cotton has a chance of working; you don’t get to choose whether to activate it or not, it works whether Whimsicott-GX is your Active or on your Bench, and it works whether the attack doing the damage comes from your opponent’s Pokémon or one of your own. What does Fluffy Cotton not protect against? Anything that is not damage from an attack that is being done to the Whimsicott-GX whose Fluffy Coat has activated. While doing damage ultimately results in damage counters being placed on a Pokémon, some attacks skip that step and go straight to placing damage counters; Fluffy Cotton doesn’t stop that or Special Conditions. It certainly won’t stop attack effects which have nothing at all to do with damage. Fluffy Cotton also won’t protect OTHER Pokémon, even other copies of Whimsicott-GX.

Let’s examine the rest of Whimsicott-GX now. It is a Pokémon-GX, worth an extra Prize when KO’d, having to deal with stuff like Shrine of Punishment and being unable to use cards like Counter Energy, but while having better HP and (probably) better effects than it otherwise would have possessed. Whimsicott-GX is a [Y] Type, giving it access to some interesting pieces of support. [N] Types from the XY-era and after are [Y] Weak, and nothing is naturally [Y] Resistant. Whimsicott-GX is a Stage 1; not as fast and efficient as a Basic but far more reasonable to include than a Stage 2. If your deck is already running Ditto {*} in a non-vital role, you could even slip a single Whimsicott-GX into an otherwise unrelated deck. 190 HP is the minimum we’ve seen on a Stage 1 Pokémon-GX, but still a decent amount that isn’t easy to OHKO even when Fluffy Cotton fails. [M] Weakness might be one of the safer ones to have right now; the popularity of [R] decks means we’re not seeing a lot of decks focused on [M] Types as damage-inflicting attackers. [D] Resistance can be handy; Zoroark-GX is still one of the most played Pokémon, even if that is more for its Ability than its attack. The Retreat Cost of [C] is also pretty good; as long as you’re not strapped for Energy in the first place, you should be able to afford it.

Whimsicott-GX has one regular attack and one GX-attack. The former is “Energy Blow” for [Y], doing 10 damage plus 30 per Energy attached to the Pokémon using the attack. Barring combos to cancel out the actual cost of Energy Blow, that means the attack is actually swinging for at least 40 damage, before other effects. 40-for-one is a good return, and we already know from covering Fluffy Coat that Whimsicott-GX has a trick to make attacking for lower amounts of damage still prove worthwhile. Thanks to Fluffy Coat, you may have time to build up the Energy you have attached to Whimsicott-GX, and just one extra turn to attach a Double Colorless Energy or Triple Acceleration Energy means a big, budget-friendly hit from Energy Blow. “Toy Box-GX” costs [Y] and lets you search your deck for five cards to add to your hand. Not bad for the cost, but not especially good. Even for stall/control decks, [Y] Types typically have better options. After all, Syvleon-GX lets you search for any three cards with its “Magical Ribbon” attack. In either case, your opponent has a turn to either mess up your hand or mess up your field enough to undo some or all of the benefits of such attacks; Toy Box-GX is a nice option to have, but unless you’re going for a very focused Whimsicott-GX stall/control deck, I wouldn’t prioritize its use.

Whimsicott-GX is a lot like yesterday’s Landorus (SM – Unbroken Bonds 103/214), in that it hasn’t seen any significant success since its release outside of Japan, but did have at least a flash of it over there. Kohei Miwa piloted a Whimsicott-GX deck to a 35th-place finish at the Champions League Kyoto. Again, that tournament had 1489 Masters, so he finished in the top 3% with this deck. The build isn’t quite what I expected – you can see the full list here – but it is close; probably a matter of me not being as good at building decks, or wanting to include more than one could actually fit into an actual deck. There is nothing here which suggests to me that Whimsicott-GX is just waiting on a soon-to-be-released card, unlike with Landorus, so I’m not optimistic about its future.

I’m not pessimistic about it, either. It could be as simple as the 2020 Standard Format’s rotation going into effect, removing a lot of the established competition, that improves Whimsicott-GX’s performance. It may even have the chops now, but no one who knows is showing off their deck yet at high-level tournaments. Effects like Fluffy Cotton have historically been pretty potent. My main concern right now is how nearly all decks can use field disruption (like Guzma) to try and simply get around Fluffy Cotton, in addition to just trying for OHKO’s and hoping the Whimsicott-GX player flips “tails”. Kohei Miwa’s list didn’t include any bounce or healing, so Fluffy Cotton may even be overwhelmed through constant attacking, so long as the end result is it costing you fewer Prizes than your opponent. In Expanded, most decks aren’t going to shut down your Abilities, but enough of them are to make it a serious concern. In the Limited Format, Whimsicott-GX’s only concerns are universal or near-universal ones, so run it and enjoy!


  • Standard: 2.5/5
  • Expanded: 1.7/5
  • Limited: 4/5

Again, like with Landorus, this is a card to pick up as soon as you can provided the price is right. Whimsicott-GX may never be more than a non-competitive but functional “fun” deck, but it also has a real chance of becoming something more during the next one to two years it is in Standard.

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