Baby Sitting- A Review of the HGSS Baby Pokemon

by Pikkdogs ~ May 29th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there, this is Pikkdogs here with a kind of card review article.  This article will give a special review of the Baby Pokemon from the HGSS sets.

When they first were released, most players were not very happy about a lot of the Baby Pokemon being rare cards.  They were viewed as “crap rares” and most people did not want them.  The only exceptions were possibly Pichu and Mime Jr, who did receive some hype, but little play.   Now that the format will soon be HGSS-on, a lot of great players are talking about using Baby Pokemon.  This article will tell you everything you need to know about Baby Pokemon.

What Are They

Baby Pokemon were introduced along with the Gold and Silver Game Boy Games.  They are Basic Pokemon that are somehow un-evolved versions of other Basic Pokemon, I know it makes no sense.  In the TCG, they are usually known for there low HP, bad attacks, but wacky effects of an attack.  Both Cleffa and Tyrogue have been playable cards in the past.

All Baby Pokemon of this generation have 5 things in common.  First, they all have the lowest HP ever seen in Pokemon, 30.  Second, they all have attacks that put them to sleep.  Third, they all have the “Sweet Sleeping Face” Poke-Body that does not allow them to take damage when they are asleep.  Fourth, they all have attacks that do not cost any energy.  Finally, they all have no weakness, resistance, or retreat cost.

Look at Them Sleep,How Sweet!

The baby Pokemon all have the “Sweet Sleeping Face” Poke-Body.  This means that if these Pokemon are asleep, there is no way to damage them from an attack.  However, you can do things like Poison or Burn them.  This Poke-Body makes it possible for Pokemon with such meager HP to be around for a couple turns.  But, beware, if your baby Pokemon is asleep during your turn you will not be able to attack.  This makes them fairly unpredictable.

Baby Pokemon normally have the “Baby Evolution” Poke-Body.  Which lets you for example, evolve a Pichu into a Pikachu.  But, since they no longer have this body, the HGSS babies are not able to evolve.  This is not a huge blow to the playability of the babies, in rare cases it might be nice to evolve, but in most cases you won’t even miss the evolution.

Card Reviews  

Most of the HGSS baby Pokemon are now playable, but they each do a lot of different things.  You must know the right situation to use the Baby Pokemon.  I will give each Pokemon a rating and a rating for the card art, just for fun. Playability will be measured on a 1-10 scale, while art will be measured on a scale between 0-5.  The higher the score, the better I think it is.

Cleffa

The most talked about Baby Pokemon card is Cleffa. Its attack “Eeeeek” lets you shuffle your hand into your deck and draw 6 cards.  This is a great attack for a starting Pokemon to have because it lets you play out your entire hand, and then use the attack to get a new hand.  The ability to refresh your hand is always great, if you combine hand refreshing with a free attack and free retreat you have a good starting Pokemon.

It can be used in most all decks as a starter/hand refresher.  If you want a good start, or need to refresh your hand, Cleffa is a good choice.  The only drawback of Cleffa is the fact that you never know when it will be sleeping, and the 30 HP.

Playability Rating 8/10-It is a great starter that can be used in any deck to help you setup.  It is one of the best starters in a format that needs starters.

Card Art RatingHGSS: 5/5, Call of Legends: 1/5– Cleffa was released in two sets with 2 different kinds of art, so it needs 2 ratings. The HGSS version is awesome art.  It features Cleffa, who is looking very cute, apparently jumping off a cliff.  The scenery is drawn beautifully. The CL version of the card is pretty ugly.  The art is a closeup of Cleffa, and it features it making a weird face.  Don’t like it, but I have seen worse art.

Tyrogue 

Tyrogue is a card that nobody started to talk about before other Baby Pokemon were popular.  Its “Mischievous Punch” attack does 30 damage, the attack is not effected by weakness or resistance.  30 is just the amount you need to deal to knock out other Baby Pokemon.  So, if your opponent has a baby active and it is  not asleep, you will be able to knock it out with Tyrogue.

Getting the early prize lead could be essential since a lot of the games in the new format will be prize races.  If you can setup without a starter, you can use Tyrogue to knock out the other starter.

Playability Rating5.5/10– Most decks need a starter and its usually not worth the off chance that you will be able to play against another Baby Pokemon, and that Pokemon is awake.

Card Art Rating– HGSS: 4/5 CL- 2/5- In the HGSS version, Tyrogue kind of looks like a turn of the last century wrestler.  He seems to be getting ready to grapple.  The background is actually pretty nice, its look like he’s somewhere along a river or in a cave.  The Call of Legends artwork is really weird.  It makes him look like a Zombie or something.  His fingers also look dislocated.  But, the background is nice, so I will give it a 2.  Hey I just thought of a good set, Call of Zombies!

Igglybuff

Igglybuff is another Pokemon like Tyrogue that is being used to counter other starting Pokemon.  Its attack, “Graffiti”, lets you increase the attack cost of every Pokemon your Opponent has by 1.  This means that it will be a lot harder for your opponent to attack next turn.  It may not be much of a problem for decks that use Emboar, but it could hurt other decks.  If you are using a slower stage 2 deck, Igglybuff could buy you some more time to evolve.  But, I am afraid I don’t think it will be a great addition to most decks.

Playability Rating5/10– In the right situation it could be nice to run 1 Igglybuff.  But, I don’t see it seeing a lot of play.

Card Art Rating2/5- The card art here is pretty average.  It does look nice sitting in a field, but nothing really special.

Pichu

Pichu was the only Baby Pokemon that had any kind of hype.  It was first used in some Jumpluff decks, but its use was never really popular.  After Jumpluff saw a drop in playability, Pichu was not talked about too much.  Now, some people are bringing up the possibility of Pichu being a good card.  Its attack is called “Playground” and lets each player search their deck for as many basic Pokemon as they want, and put them on their bench. “Playground” is an awesome attack, few things can help you setup better, but it also helps your opponent setup.  For that reason, I don’t know if I could ever play Pichu.

Playability Rating5/10– It just helps your opponent way too much.  Since using the attack ends your turn, your opponent will be free to evolve at will.

Card Art Rating3/5– A nice closeup of Pichu against a Pastoral setting is pretty cool.  Its nothng special, but its pretty cool.

Smoochum

This is probably the worst of all the Baby Pokemon cards.  Its attack, “Energy Antics”, lets you move an energy card attached to one of your Pokemon to another Pokemon.  Right now Shaymin is a much better Pokemon for moving energies.  It just doesn’t make sense to use Smoochum.

Playability Rating3/10-Not a good card, its not really a starting Pokemon, yet it doesn’t really do anything else.  Unless you can find a use for Smoochum, just use Shaymin. 

Card Art Rating 2/5– The Smoochum in the background is a nice touch, but I don’t wanna see Smoochum’s butt.

Elekid

Elekid is another card that people are thinking of using. Its attack “Sparking Ball” does 20 damage to any one of your opponent’s Pokemon.   It is being thought of as a starter because it will let you snipe for 20 damage on Pokemon like Reshiram, setting them up for a knockout when they become active.  It seems like a solid strategy for decks that can’t quite get the OHKO on Reshiram.  I think there are other ways to counter Reshiram, but if this is the only way for your deck, it is not a bad way.

Playability Rating6/10– I can see some people using this card, but I don’t see it being super popular.  If you find a deck that needs it, it won’t be a bad play, but its not going to be close to being a staple.

Card Art Rating4/5- An Elekid being consumed by lightning is pretty crazy.  It looks like an electric plug sending energy right at you, pretty cool.

Mime Jr.

Mime Jr. is different from most of the Baby Pokemon because it is being used in a role other than a starter.  “Sleepy Lost” lets you put the top card of your opponent’s deck in the Lost Zone.People are using Mime Jr. in Lost Zone decks to put Pokemon or other important cards in the Lost Zone.  A good combo with Mime Jr. is Slowking Cl. Slowking lets you rearrange the top of your opponent’s deck, so you have a good chance of putting a Pokmeon in the Lost Zone.  I use it in my Gengar Prime/Mew Prime Lost World deck, and it works really well.  

Playability Rating7/10– In the right deck Mime Jr. can be a very impactful card.  I really like the card in the right deck, and think its a good card.

Card Art Rating-5/5- Really like the scene here.  Its Mime Jr. looking on as the Lost Zone is expanding all around him.  It is set in a cool forest scene.  Really cute and cool card art.

Magby

Like Smoochum, Magby is a good card that just doesn’t have a purpose right now.  Its attack, “Play with Fire” burns the active Pokemon.  Burning the opponent is nice, and could come in handy.  However, it is just doesn’t have a good combo right now.  In the last format Blaziken FB Lv.X could have been a good combo, but he has since rotated out.  There just doesn’t seem to be a good enough reason to burn Pokemon right now, so I don’t see this card getting a lot of play.

Playability Rating3.5/10-This could be a good card is given the right combo, but right now it is just not playable.

Card Art Rating– TM and CL-3/5– Some nice solid cart art.  Both versions of the card are pretty similar, they both picture Magby running around a grassy/swampy area.

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  • Bob

    Great reviews. One note: Igglybuff increases attack cost of the defending pokemon, not retreat cost. This makes it pretty much worthless in Emboar but can be an interesting tech against one energy attackers (so thus low energy count in deck) such as Kingdra, Jumpluff, or Donphan. 

    • Anonymous

       thanks, I read that wrong, will fix it.

      • Bob

        sure, no problem :)

        • Bob

          one other thing: smoochum moves energy from opponent to opponent (like Tail Code on Ambi G). It’s still pretty bad though.

          • Anonymous

            I screwed up another one. thanks again I will fix that.