– Phantom Forces
May 30, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Today’s Throwback goes to one of the cards from the XY Phantom Forces: Wobbuffet! This also got a reprint on XY Generations as well. Wobbuffet’s goal to to annoy your opponent, and while it has Shadow Tag to trap and counter with Counter or Mirror Coat (if you predicted correctly or you know the opponent has locked itself into a move), today’s Wobbuffet has an ability that shuts down Abilities from all Pokemon except for Psychic types and as long as this Pokémon is in the Active.
Wobbuffet was released around the time Garbodor’s Garbotoxin was still legal (it was printed again in BW Legendary Treasures), and it had to be compared with that card. It’s either getting out a Stage 1 and a Pokémon Tool to eliminate all abilities or getting a Basic out that has to be in the Active and not affecting Psychic Pokemon. I suppose it could go either way for certain decks. Most of the time, Garbodor is giving you a better deal!
As for the attacks, Wobbuffet only has one. Psychic Assault costs PC for 10 damage (or just P with Dimension Valley in play), plus 10 more damage for each counter on your opponent’s Active Pokemon. This attack is weak on its own, but if you combo with other cards that places damage counters, mostly from trainer cards and abilities because you need to preserve your attack for your turn, then this attack will pack a punch. If you relied on Psychic Assault on its own, then you’ll do just 10, then 20, then 40, then 80, and then 160 to eventually KO Tag Team Pokemon. Five turns is extremely too long, and if the Defending Pokémon has Psychic Resistance, then forget about damaging it.
But if Psychic Assault isn’t good enough for you, then you may have to employ hit-and-run attacks. With a retreat cost of two, you’ll need Float Stone, or better yet, Mystery Energy to retreat for free! This tactic is pretty risky though, as certain abilities from Psychic Pokemon can mess up your strategy. Garbotoxin will override Bide Barricade, Bench Barrier from Mr. Mime and Mew will still protect their Bench Pokemon from spread damage, Necrozma-GX walls Colorless attackers cold!
Besides hit and run, you can evolve Wobbuffet into Wobbuffet BREAK. It raises its Max HP from 110 to 140 and adds another attack – that mimics Counter and Mirror Coat – called Right Back At You. It costs PC and makes you discard all energy attached to it. If your opponent’s Pokemon dared to damage it, then Wobbuffet Break does the same damage back to that attacker. 140 HP is a good amount to have for a Wobbuffet card, but even if your opponent does excessive damage, like Wobbuffet taking 300 damage, it does 300 damage right back. You could potentially win three prize cards for the price of one! Bursting Balloon can make sure you get six more damage counters on top of the original damage the opponent inflicted.
Overall, this Pokemon seem outclassed, but it can still hold its own. This card fell short of making into the top 10 cards of Phantom Forces, but it had competitive merit at the time, and I think it still does to this day.
Another abridged review, until I can get around to a proper one.
This Wobbuffet was and continues to be a strong play. The last major Expanded Format tournament predates SM – Unbroken Bonds, but I don’t think anything released there will dramatically alter this. As a Basic Pokémon that can disable the Abilities of all non-[P] Pokémon while Active, Wobbuffet has two major uses
Less significant, but still worth mentioning, is that Wobbuffet can sometimes bail you out of a bad situation by just buying a little time mid-to-late game, the same way it does early game but less likely to work. In some ways, Wobbuffet is less effective now, as it won’t stop things like Tapu Lele-GX or Marshadow (SLG), but it still stops many other supporting Pokémon. In others, it may be more; you’re seeing things like Trevenant BREAK decks or Zoroark-GX/Garbodors including one or two Wobbuffet, just for that early game disruption.
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