Pikkdogs Pikks Three: Cleffa HGSS, Stantler Unleashed, and Shuckle Promo

by Pikkdogs ~ May 13th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there, this is Pikkdogs here with another Pikk three article.  Before I get into the article I would like to congratulate Ed and all the other writers on the site.  We have now reached 200 published posts on teamomar/onehitko.com.  200 articles is a cool feat, and I hope we can do at least 200 more.

This article will review three cards that are being talked about as good tech cards in the new format.  These tech cards either help you setup or they help you draw cards.  With the eminent rotation of cards like Uxie La, Sableye Sf, and Spiritomb  Ar; the format will lose the best draw and support Pokemon.

The only other Pokemon that fits this bill in the current format is Smeragle Ud.  Smeargle Ud will be better after the rotation because of the fact that other people will play more supporters, which means that it will be easier to copy a supporter with “Portrait”.  Although Smeargle will have to be used differently because of the loss of Unown Q.  Smeragle will now be used as a starter, instead of a tech card used in the recovery process

But, this article is not about Smeargle, it is about three other Pokemon that has seen no play, but will probably see a lot more rotation after the rotation.

Card #1 Cleffa HGSS

In the past year, if you pulled a Cleffa in a HGSS or CL pack you probably cried.  It was known as one of the most infamous “crap rares”.  But now many people are using it as a more consistent Chatot.  Lots of good players are talking about using Cleffa as a starting Pokemon.  It works well with the new turn 1 supporter rule, you can use Pokemon Collector to get 3 Basic Pokemon and then use “eeeeeek” to get  a fresh hand.  Before we get into too much of a discussion lets look at the card.

Description– Cleffa is a normal basic Pokemon with 30 HP with a free retreat and no weakness and resistance.  Its Poke-Body “Sweet Sleeping Face”, does not allow Cleffa to be damaged by attacks when he is asleep.  It works well with “eeeeek” which lets you shuffle your hand into your deck and draw 6 cards, and then put Cleffa to sleep.

Analysis– Of course Cleffa’s HP is only 30, but I think it can work.  It’s Pokebody may prevent a knockout to Cleffa, although it is very inconsistent.  Even if Cleffa is knocked out, it will let you use Twins to grab any two cards that you need.  As long as you run a fast stage 1 deck, you should be able to setup on turn 2 with an early “eeeeek” and a twins.  I think Cleffa could be a good Pokemon if he is used right.  Another key to Cleffa is that he has free retreat, which is always great for any deck.       

Final Rating7.5/10-I can see a lot of decks running this as a starter.  It helps you use an early Twins and can give you hand refreshment that you can use at any point in the game.  I think Cleffa will be a decent Pokemon in the next format.

Card #2- Stantler Unleashed

If anyone out there is mourning the loss of Call Energy, here is a version of the card that might make you a little happier.

Description– Stantler is also a basic colorless Pokemon, it has 70 HP a fighting weakness and a 1 retreat cost.   For 1 energy, his “Call for Family” attack lets you put 2 basic Pokemon from your deck to your bench.  This makes it kind of like call energy.  It does have another attack, but it should only be used in desperate cases.

Analysis– Just like Cleffa, Stantler has been mentioned as a very popular starter in the coming format.  In my opinion. the problem with Stantler is that every deck will run 4 Pokemon Collectors, and you will be able to us it on your first turn.  It just doesn’t seem right to run 4 Stantlers and 4 Pokemon Collectors, it seems like overkill.  And if you run less than 4 Stantlers, you probably won’t start with it, which is the reason you want Stantler in the first place.  I can see Stantler being used in some decks that require a lot of Basic Pokemon, like Cincinno and the new Victini.

Final Rating6/10–  I think that Stantler may not be effective as a starter in most decks, but it will be great in others.  I think this is a Pokemon you should think about when you are looking for a good starter.

Card #3- Shuckle Promo  

Believe it or not, this Shuckle is a bit of a draw engine.  Onehitko.com contributor Renaecollects will love the shout out to Shuckle, since it is one of her favorite Pokemon and it does  not  normally get a lot of love.

Description– Shuckle is a 60 HP fighting Pokemon with a weakness to water and a 1 retreat cost.  Shuckle is part of a draw engine because of his Poke-Body “Fermenting Liquid” (how can it not be a great Poke-Body, who doesn’t love Fermented Liquid?).  The body allows you to draw a card every time you attach an energy to Shuckle.  If you combine this with Emboar and his “Inferno Fandango” Ability, you will be able to draw a lot of cards in one turn.  Its attack is not that good, so it should not be relied upon.

Analysis– If you are using an Emboar deck, you should use Shuckle, it does not make sense not to use Shuckle.  It will not be a great draw power, but it is an easy add to any Emboar deck.  I don’t think it will be great, but it will be a good card.  It certainly is not good enough to justify putting in Emboar for no other reason.  The play ability of this card will rely on the playability of Emboar.  If Emboar makes a good deck, Shuckle will be good.  If Embaor is not a great deck, than Shuckle will go back into the trade binder.

Final Rating6/10– Since I do not know how good Emboar will be, I do not know how playable Shuckle will be.  I do think it has potential, so it should not be forgotten.  But, I am not sure if Emboar, or any Stage 2 will be playable.

So what do you think of these cards?  Will they be really good and playable?  Or have we hyped up these cards too much?  Please tell me what you think about these cards in the comment box.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

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  • Bob

     Hey, good picks, but Imo Stantler really helps consistency in a lot of decks more than cleffa. No matter how you put it, cleffa only has 30hp. Stantler at least can take a hit and can enable a 2nd turn evolution (also, cleffa may still be asleep on your turn, or wake up before your opponents). Cleffa is just too weak. 

    • Nysportsfn

      Cleffa is better as a tech then a starter.

      • Bob

         absolutely right :)

        • Anonymous

          I love Cleffa. I’ve got plenty of cards that can get me basic Pokemon, so I typically run just 1 Stantler. Stantler’s actually good if you go first, and you have lots of evolutions or evolution-searching cards in your hand (PETM, Poke Ball) that you don’t want to shuffle back in. If you go second and you’re in that same boat, Pichu’s usually better. (I run 1.) And in all other situations, I’ll take Cleffa.

          • Bob

             question: how many starters do you run? you say one stantler, one pichu and x cleffa’s? is that consistent? anyway, how do you deal with a 50/50 chance of losing a prize and a 25% chance of not being able to attack? There was a reason almost every deck last format ran call energy. Stantler can kind of replace that. 

          • Anonymous

            Just like you wrote, I run one Stantler, one Pichu, and 2 Cleffa. And then I run 13 other cards that can I can play the very first turn to get me at least one of those guys. Last format, it was important that your Spiritomb or Sableye was active at the very beginning of the game because of their Bodies, and so it made sense to run four. But the current starters are only useful at the end of your turn, so it actually doesn’t matter what placeholder is active at the beginning, as long as you can retreat it for one energy or less, and you’ve got one of your preferred starters on the bench. That means my current two decks’ most-frequent placeholders are Machop or Tepig, both of which fit that bill. Actually, Stantler fits that bill too, and I sometimes find myself retreating Stantler for Cleffa (if I was able to put down enough basics during my turn).

            Switch helps with the 25% chance of not being able to attack, though I have to admit I rarely have one in hand turn 2. (Then again, 25% is also not bad odds.) As for losing a prize, decks in this format don’t seem to run many attackers that hit for 30-50; they hit for 10 as basics, or they hit for 100-120 rarrr. People have been talking about Tyrogue as a 30-hitting baby counter, but I haven’t seen it in the wild yet. So I actually don’t see much difference between Stantler & the babies on that front–if you’re going to give up a prize to Zekrom or Cinccino or Donphan or whatever, you’re going to give up a prize.

            But as always, test test test!

          • Bob

            good point :) Only time will tell which starter (if any) is the best. :)

      • Anonymous

        Cleffa is good even as a starter, if it gets KOed, you can easliy use a Twins to get set up.

        • Bob

           But how do you make sure you have twins in your hand? cleffa has its advantages; but every other starter pretty much gives up a prize too. running cleffa just to use twins isn’t very useful.