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Thread: 2012-02-23 ND Pinsir 001

  1. #1
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    2012-02-23 ND Pinsir 001

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    2012-02-23 ND Pinsir 001
    Troll and Toad is NOT a Price Guide
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    Quote Originally Posted by PokePop View Post
    Sorry, you don't have a right to be annoying.


  2. #2
    Today we look at Pinsir, the Stag Beetle Pokemon that TPC seems to have forgotten. I began my Pokemon video game journey with Pokemon Blue, which had Pinsir and not perennial fan-favorite Scyther. As such I have long noticed that while Scyther regularly got great cards before Scizor came out, and still got some good cards afterwards, Pinsir always seems to get short-changed. Then we got Heracross and Pinsir got even less attention.

    Now to break this card down to see if that trend has continued.

    Stats
    Pinsir is a Basic Pokemon, but quite frankly it should be a Stage 1. No, not because it is so powerful, but because it was a Basic that didn't Evolve back in Gen 1 and still doesn't Evolve now! It even looks like its halfway from an attempt at making a "cute" insect and halfway to the fierce/formidable looking "cool" Stage 2 form at least I would desire.

    Still, as a Basic Pokemon it does enjoy the fundamental advantages they have always enjoyed: minimal deck space and ease of entering play. This format also allows it to tap significant sources of Basic only support: Dual Ball, Eviolite, Pokemon Collector, Prism Energy, and Skyarrow Bridge. Of course, not all of those are going to be especially helpful or see optimal use with Pinsir.

    Being a Grass-Type is both a blessing and a curse. The bad news is that most Grass-Type Pokemon struggle to see play, in part because no currently legal Grass-Type Pokemon has proven worthy of seeing major play, except those that either don't lend themselves to a Grass-Type deck, or at least have shown they are more effective off-type. Plus the two Types most likely to be Weak to Grass-Type Pokemon (Fighting and Water) have similarly been struggling (Water for the whole format). The good news is this does indeed create a void to be filled.

    80 HP would have been great on so many past Pinsir, but it a minor handicap in the current format: few decks will fail to do that in a turn, though part of this is due to the overpowered nature of the famous Zekrom, who can open for 120 in its own decks and Reshiram, who can easily keep a steady 120 barrage turn after turn where it is most often used. Even disregarding that, just to keep up with power creep, Pinsir deserved 90 to 100 HP. TCG HP is a combination of factors (since there is no direct equivalent to the Defense and Special Defense stats of the video games). At least at 90, an Eviolite would require most decks resort to a Pokemon EX or one of the Dragons.

    Fire Weakness is to be expected, and only hurts when a Fire-Type is able to OHKO Pinsir with a less resource intensive attack, such as Reshiram having two Fire Energy cards attached from the discard by Typhlosion Prime's Aferburner, then scoring a OHKO with just Outrage, instead of having to discard for Blue Fire. The lack of Resistance is disappointing. Given how historically weak and underplayed Pinsir is, it really couldn't have hurt.

    The Retreat Cost is quite bitter; is a bit big for a Basic Pokemon but manageable since a Double Colorless Energy can pay it in one. Normally you wouldn't want to use a Double Colorless Energy anyway, so running Switch would be a good idea. What makes this Retreat Cost worse than than it looks are missed combo opportunities. You can still use Skyarrow Bridge to knock it down to an easy to manage single Energy Retreat Cost, but if Pinsir had cost one less to Retreat like all but the 90 HP version of Pinsir, then it could have had a very useful free Retreat Cost. If you include Gionvanni's Pinsir, yes technically two have a two Energy Retreat Cost, but still, even the other 80 HP version had a single Energy Retreat Cost.

    Effects
    Pinsir has two attacks. The first, Power Pinch, requires (), so with a Double Colorless Energy it could be used first turn. You get to flip two coins and discard an Energy card attached to the Defending Pokemon for each result of "heads". I believe this is overpriced; you do no damage with the attack, so you have to attach two Energy and probably give up a Prize for the results.

    Either Power Pinch should do some damage or it should have at least the capacity to discard more Energy than this. It is also a format with a lot of Energy acceleration, where the discards will just be an annoyance, and if you take advantage of being able to rush it, you have nothing to discard first turn! Even if you hit Special Energy, you have to ask why you didn't just use a better attacker and run Lost Remover alongside it?

    Grip and Squeeze sadly can't make good use of Double Colorless Energy, clashing with Power Pinch. Still () is reasonable to meet for a "big attack". You pay for 40 points of damage and get 70 points (30 points extra) and a potentially useful effect: the Defending Pokemon you hit with this attack can't Retreat during the next turn. On its own Grip and Squeeze is a somewhat good attack.

    Together the two attacks would have some symmetry: strip something of Energy, then trap it up front while it is helpless. Unfortunately the Energy involved and likelihood it will be KOed in a single shot mean that the attacks leave much to be desired.

    Usage
    Sadly not much. If you absolutely just want to run a Pinsir, there is another version (HS: Undaunted 32/90) to consider for Modified. It has 10 less HP but a single Energy Retreat Cost and better "small" attack; for () it does 10, plus another 20 if you get "heads" on a mandatory coin toss. Given the format the 80 HP of today's version isn't going to last any longer than the 70 of the slightly older version.

    If you can come up with some sort of Poison and/or Confusion combo to work with it, maybe Grip and Squeeze could actually justify including Pinsir. There are numerous cards that can inflict Special Conditions from the Bench, so if you really wanted to, packing Pinsir up with them and Vileplume (HS: Undaunted 24/90) to block Trainers. It'd be an inferior version of a more serious strategy, but it could at least be a "fun Pinsir deck".

    Unlimited is no kinder: decks that win first turn make removing Energy from an attack even less useful than you'd expect in a format with cards like Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal, and you can get a lot more damage on a lot better stats than Pinsir delivers.

    In Limited, though, you can at last enjoy Pinsir. You can use it in any deck to strip away an opponent's Energy, turn after turn, you can power up your "real" attacker. In a Grass Energy using deck, that would be Pinsir itself! If your opponent is careless or you're lucky, you may be able to discard enough Energy they won't be able to attack with anything worthwhile.

    Ratings

    Unlimited: 1/10

    Modified: 2.5/10

    Limited: 6.75/10


    Summary
    Pinsir is a Pokemon that seems to be a good idea with poor execution and even worse timing. Too small and too low of damage to hang with the current Big Basic Pokemon, and removing Energy isn't worth a Prize/won't protect from being OHKOed.
    Last edited by Otaku; 02/23/2012 at 11:12 AM. Reason: Expanded to a full review.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pokepop View Post
    Subtlety is not Pokemon's strong suit.
    Too bad the real issue is one of clarity.

  3. #3
    I was looking at this card its first attack is pretty mean but this card would be a hasle to attach energy cards on it. i give this a 6/10

  4. #4
    Front Page Article Editor jjkkl's Avatar
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    Satoshi, this is a stag beetle:

    http://www.insects.org/images/stag.jpeg

    I know you guys have them in Japan, but seriously. Demon Spawn Pokemon is more appropriate to describe Pinsir's design, since Stag Beetles don't have symmetrical rows of needle-like teeth within a lightless void that is the mouth.

    EDIT ADD because I got in trouble: Cut down Power Pinch to Zero energy cost, then we can talk. Become the new Absol, Pinsir. Become the new Absol. 3/10.
    Last edited by jjkkl; 02/24/2012 at 11:12 AM.
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  5. #5
    Pinsir is underappreciated, even the card shows that.

    4/10

  6. #6
    Forum Moderator Regis_Neo's Avatar
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    Today's CotD is Pinsir from ND, kind of an eh card. Statwise 80 HP is nice for a Basic, x2 Weakness to is meh, no Resistance is common (come on, give it Resistance, it's a Bug type in game for pete's sake), and to Retreat is a bit pricey. Power Pinch is kinda junky, for 2 coin flips to discard an Energy off the Defending for each Heads is generally worthless, I mean if it at least was guaranteed then it'd be moderately useful, but otherwise even with say the extreme end with Fliptini...meh. Grip and Squeeze is ok at for 70 and Retreat prevention, but given Pinsir's low HP, makes him impractical with that kind of Energy investment.

    Modified - 1/10 - Gets literally squished by most of the popular cards, while offering nothing in return

    Limited - 8/10 - Well you can easily tell what format he was made for though being a filler otherwise, adequate HP here and a fairly damaging secondary attack makes him a solid fit for decks

    Unlimited - 1/10 - No use here, weak and easily KOed
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  7. #7
    No one has mentioned the combo with Fliptini. It might make for a fun gimmick deck if it wasn't for Eelektrik, who seems to be in half of the decks out there, not to mention Typhlosion, Flower Shop Lady, Super Rod, Fisherman, Energy Retrieval,etc. all able to get back the energy Pinsir discards.

    "It grips prey in its pincers until the prey is torn in half"??? Did they ever show him doing that to another Pokemon in the cartoon? LOL.

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