Wigglytuff – Jungle
Date Reviewed: June 17, 2021
Standard: See Below
Expanded: See Below
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Our Throwback goes back to the Jungle set with Wigglytuff! A Stage 1 Colorless type with 80 HP, Fighting weakness, -30 Psychic resistance, and a retreat cost of CC, it has 2 attacks. Lullaby costs a single energy and puts the Defending Pokémon to sleep while Do The Wave costs three energy for 10 damage, plus 10 more damage for each of your Benched Pokemon. With a full Bench, Do The Wave will do sixty damage!
Do The Wave is the OG of such an effect and many future cards have followed Wigglytuff’s footsteps to revitalize that effect. Just to name a few, Zoroark DEX’s Brutal Bash and Raichu XY’s Circle Circuit had the 20x multiplier and they have seen some success during their time. Zoroark might not have much to exploit in terms of weaknesses, but Raichu was occasionally used to OHKO Yveltal-EX – and maybe some colorless attackers like Tornadus-EX or Lugia-EX – if a full bench is present and applying Lightning weakness. Later on, Sky Field served to help some of those “Do The Wave” variants deal even more damage, perhaps still enough to OHKO anything in the game when Weakness is applied. A full Bench (8 Pokémon) Circle Circuit with Sky Field Raichu? That’s 160 damage right there against everything else not weak to Lightning. Lapras VMAX and even Greninja V-UNION gets straight up OHKOed.
Back to Wigglytuff. The amount of damage (3 for 60) is almost unheard of at the time due to much lower damage outputs and HP counts. Put in a couple Plus Powers, and almost no Basic Pokémon will survive. I think the reason why Wigglytuff wasn’t prominent is that it is weak to one of the members of the Haymaker archetype. It takes two of Hitmonchan’s Jab attack to eventually KO Wigglytuff, while Wigglytuff needs 2 separate energy attachments (or considerably more if Energy Removal has been played). Wigglytuff will need something like Blastoise’s Rain Dance to be fully powered up in one turn. Yes, deck space is tight, but at least a Benched Blastoise contributed to raising the damage output of Do The Wave.
No ratings since Wigglytuff isn’t Standard or Expanded legal, and there’s no previous reviews of Wigglytuff from Jungle. Though if I were to rate this as if was my first time looking at it back in 2000, it probably been a three-out-of-five.
Wigglytuff (Jungle 16/64, 32/64; Base Set 2 19/130) is from the second TCG set ever released in North America, Jungle. I’m telling you now that this was a good card; let me explain why. It wasn’t due to the typing; not being able to exploit Weakness hurt, even if it meant never having to deal with Resistance. Then as now, being a Basic was the best but being a Stage 1 was still okay. 80 HP sounds awful, though we still see Stage 1 Pokémon with it now, but this was back when 120 HP was the rarely seen maximum printed score. More importantly, most competitive decks had a hard time hitting 80 reliably, outside of Weakness. Speaking of Weakness, [F] Weakness was terrible; Wigglytuff was running around in the era of Haymaker decks, so Hitmonchan (Base Set 7/102; Base Set 2 8/130; Best of Game 2; Platinum 129/127). -30 Psychic Resistance was actually good during this time. A Retreat Cost of [CC] was actually a tad worse than it now. The original rules for the game let you retreat as many times as you could afford in a turn, so you might feel [CC] a bit more than usual.
Wiggytuff knows two attacks. For [C], “Lullaby” left the Defending Pokémon Asleep. Underwhelming, but when you needed to buy time it might do the job. The star of the show is the attack, “Do the Wave”. Priced at [CCC], this attack let Wigglytuff do 10 damage plus another 10 for each of your Benched Pokémon. Filling your Bench was easier back then versus now; while we lacked good Pokémon search, this was the time when we had non-Ace Spec Computer Search, non-Supporter Bill, Professor Oak (non-Supporter Professor’s Research), and a few other of the most broken Trainer cards we’ve ever known. [CCC] Energy wasn’t easy, but it was doable with Double Colorless Energy. 60 was a good amount back in the day; most evolving Basics were smaller, and anything else was no more than 2HKO before protective effects or healing.
This was also the time when PlusPower was a pretty good card. so the 60 damage of Do the Wave could spike up to take out typical Haymaker Pokémon or even fellow Wigglytuff with just a copy or two. A surprisingly useful partner to Wigglytuff was its lower Stage, Jigglypuff (Jungle 54/64; Base Set 2 77/130). A Colorless, Basic Pokémon with 60 HP, [F] Weakness, -30 [P] Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], the same Lullaby attack as Wigglytuff, and the attack “Pound”. Pound is a straightforward 20 for [CC]… so how could Jigglypuff be anything but a stepping stone to Wigglytuff? Well, it was that, and 60 HP was pretty nice on an evolving Basic back then. However, Mr. Mime (Jungle 6/64, 22/64; Base Set 2 27/130) was a fresh, powerful addition to the metagame when Wigglytuff released, and Jigglypuff not only had to have 30 damage already on it for Mr. Mime’s “Meditate” attack to do any damage through its Resistance, but Jigglypuff’s Pound did 20 damage while Mr. Mime’s “Invisible Wall” Pokémon Power prevented all damage done if an attack did more than 20 damage.
I’m the type who holds that a deck isn’t a Haymaker deck if it includes Evolutions, but the typical Haymaker Pokémon did see play alongside Wigglytuff in Turbo Wiggly decks. It also started in multiple other decks, because Double Colorless Energy was a common play, it could make use of any kind of basic Energy, filling your Bench was a common approach to setting up, and slipping in a 2-2 Stage 1 line wasn’t that hard. You might see Wigglytuff as the main focus, or as backup. I don’t recall if it was a solid strategy, but I liked backing it with Muk (Fossil 13/62, 28/62; Legendary Collection 16/110), or some of the other useful Stage 1 Pokémon from that era. Wigglytuff predates the World Championship. I was able to confirm its presence in one ancient Theme Deck, “Psych Out”. This one released alongside Base Set 2, long before the PTCGO.
- Standard: N/A
- Expanded: N/A
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