– Sword & Shield
April 24, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Note: I’ve had some late reviews this week. If something was up when you checked in, please give it a second look.
Wobuffet V (Sword & Shield 086/202, 191/202) is a [P] Type Pokémon, handy for exploiting the Weakness on like Mewtwo & Mew-GX and taking advantage of support like Mysterious Treasure and Spell Tag. Being a Pokémon V potentially means power at a price; better HP (maybe other stats) and effects than the card would otherwise enjoy, though filler or bad ideas are still filler or bad ideas. There currently are no supporting effects for Pokémon V, so far just one forgettable one that counters them, but the new Twin Energy won’t work for them.
Wobbuffet V is a Basic Pokémon, the easiest Stage to run; minimum space per copy, can be instantly dropped into play, can be your opening Active, etc. 220 HP is not uncommon for Basic Pokémon V, but it is still good. [D] Weakness can still be a problem thanks to Galarian Obstagoon, but there are definitely worse ones to have right now. [F] Resistance is greatly appreciated, even if [F] Type attackers aren’t big right now. A Retreat Cost of [CCC] is either one too high (Air Balloon) or one too low (Buff Padding, Poké Maniac).
Wobbuffet V has two attacks, “Gritty Comeback” and “Shadow Bind”. Gritty Comeback requires [CC], so it can work with multiple forms of Energy acceleration, though it is significantly easier to power up in Expanded. This lets Wobbuffet V – or anything copying the attack – swap the damage counters from your opponent’s Active and Wobbuffet V’s own. Shadow Bind isn’t as easy to fuel, as it requires [PP], but in the right deck that is still reasonable. Shadow Bind lets Wobbuffet V swing for 70 damage, and it keeps the Defending Pokémon from retreating during your opponent’s next turn.
Gritty Comeback trades the damage counters on Wobbuffet V with those on your opponent’s Active. Against OHKO’s, Gritty Comeback never even has the chance to be used. Against 2HKO’s where your opponent’s Active has enough HP to survive the first exchange, it buys an extra turn. Against something that doesn’t hit hard enough for a OHKO but does do more damage to Wobbuffet V than the attacker has HP, Wobbuffet V becomes immortal as it trades up to 21 damage counters for the zero damage counters on your opponent’s Active. Of course, that only works if your opponent is foolish enough to keep sending up such attackers; they can literally sit there and do nothing, forcing a stalemate…
…unless you’re able and willing to attach [PP] to Wobbuffet V so that it can use Shadow Bind. The damage is low for the specific Energy requirement, though the effect compensates a little. If you are using Gritty Comeback to wall, you’re only using Shadow Ball because something means that strategy isn’t worth it. Like finishing off an injured opponent’s Active for the win, or because Gritty Comeback can’t help you, you can afford the Energy cost, so you may as well score some damage before Wobbuffet V falls.
On paper, Wobbuffet V looks like it should at least be a decent card, maybe even competent one. Not for every deck, but for those that need this kind of wall. Big Charm or Fighting Fury Belt make it a bit harder to OHKO, and you could add some healing to help avert your opponent scoring a multi-hit KO. Raw power will still punch through it, however, and that is probably why I’m not finding any high-performing decklists that include it over at LimitlessTCG. All hope isn’t lost, though; in either the Standard or Expanded Format, Wobbuffet V still has some potential.
Wobbuffet V looks like a good pull for the Limited Format. Your opponent just isn’t too likely to have something that can OHKO Wobbuffet V, which means their only hope is timing things just right so that a small amount of damage builds up until a multi-hit KO happens. If they just sit there doing nothing, you’ve got Shadow Bind. Another place where Wobbuffet V may be pretty useful is the Expanded Format of the PTCGO. Specifically, Ultra Necrozma (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 164/236) decks are popular for grinding out wins on the Reward Ladder, and that deck hates Wobbuffet V. Well, unless they’re prepared by adding a different attacker.
Wobbuffet V tends to be really effective at stalling, or not worth it. Part of its strength is actually that it is not being run in a wide variety of decks, so tweaking your build just to counter it – assuming your deck can’t handle things as is – is only worth it if you think you’ll actually run into some. I almost docked Wobbuffet V a point because Spiritomb (SM – Unbroken Bonds 112/214) decks may be making a comeback, and that card is a natural counter to Wobbuffet V. Not just because it exploits Wobbuffet V’s [D] Weakness, but because it also usually has damage counters on it, so if you use Gritty Comeback to take one out, Wobbuffet V has less HP to endure the next attack.
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