Wishiwashi – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: September 29, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Wishiwashi (SW – Evolving Skies 046/203) is one of the latest wave of Rapid Strike Pokémon, granting it access to Rapid Strike support, such as Rapid Strike Energy. It has no Rule Box or other alterations, though. It is a [W] type, so you can attach to it with Frosmoth’s Ability, be reclaimed from the discard pile with Nessa, and protected from opposing Pokémon’s attack effects by Wash [W] Energy. You might even be able to exploit some Weakness, as almost all [R] types are [W] Weak. Wishiwashi has 30 HP, the lowest printed HP score for a Pokémon: it is all but guaranteed to be KO’d when Active, and even bonus Bench hits and/or damage spread can take it out quickly. This does make it Level Ball legal, and in Expanded, also a valid option for Professor Elm’s Lecture and Hustle Belt. This also means that [L] Weakness is and lack of Resistance are pretty meaningless, and the normally good Retreat Cost of [C] “feels” a tad high (but in reality, is still good).
Wishiwashi has one Ability and one attack. “Group Power” stated that, if this Wishiwashi has three or more [W] Energy attached to itself, its has +150 HP. So with no damage counters on it, Wishiwshi would have 180 HP! From one end of the spectrum to the other in terms of HP. At 180, Wishiwashi has a solid shot of surviving a hit. There is a downside to this, though; if your opponent can discard enough [W] Energy from Wishiwashi, or shut down Wishiwashi’s Ability, it drops back to a max HP of 30. If Wishiwashi has at least three damage counters on itself when that happens, it’ll be KO’d. Attaching three [W] Energy isn’t easy, but neither is it hard. A Rapid Strike Energy will give you two, or Frosmoth’s Ability can just drop multiple basic Water Energy cards onto Wishiwashi. You could also slap something like Cape of Toughness to give it 230 HP with its Ability and 80 without.
Okay, but what about its attack? “Schooling Shot” has a printed cost of [CC] and does 30+ damage. In this case, the plus means an extra 30 damage per basic Energy attached to this Pokémon. So we’re talking a progression of 30, 60, 90, 120, etc. Schooling Shot doesn’t play nicely with Rapid Strike Energy; you can use it to cover the [CC] cost, but it will not increase the attack’s damage. Still, if you can get something like Frosmoth behind Wishiwashi, three basic Water Energy yields 120 damage on a 180 HP, single-Prize attacker. Of course, a single successful Crushing Hammer discards one of those Energy and Wishiwashi immediately drops back down to 30 HP…
…but Frosmoth can almost as easily attack four basic Water Energy. Your HP won’t be any larger, but Schooling Shot now can do 150 and your opponent will have to discard two basic Water Energy cards to shrink it. Of course, there’s more. While it gets trickier and trickier, you can dump as many basic Water Energy cards as you want on Wishiwashi. At six, Schooling Shot can do 210 damage, enough to OHKO smallish Basic Pokémon V. If you can do seven, then most Basic Pokémon V go down with one attack. Get kind of crazy with 11 basic Water Energy cards, and Schooling Shot can OHKO anything in terms of printed HP scores.
The next question is how much play is this seeing, and the answer is… not much. Chris Franco went 4-2-0 at a fun focused tournament with a Frosmoth deck packing Wishiwashi, as well as yesterday’s Eldegoss (SW – Evolving Skies 016/203), which I’d overlooked. So, not bad for a fun deck in a fun tournament, but seems like Frosmoth decks as a whole haven’t been doing anything post-rotation. Maybe I’m being too generous then, because I still think this Wishwashi is a three-out-of-five card for Standard. For Expanded, I’ll give it a two-out-of-five; it has been even longer since I saw a deck that really supported it, and shutting down Abilities is much easier here but even as a glass cannon, just focusing on Schooling Shot for one big blow, Wishwashi is decent.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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