By Jack Snell
HGSS on Pokemon Prime Reviews continued:
Donphan Prime: A veritable behemoth of a Pokemon. Donphan hits like an absolute truck and has sturdy defenses to match. 120 HP is impressive for a stage 1, even more so when you read its PokeBody Exoskeleton. It reduces all damage done to Donphan by 20. Thats like a permanently inbuilt Defender and gives you effectively 140 HP if they can one shot you and effectively more if they cant. On that subject the only things that are realistically one shotting a Donphan in our format are Samurott, Magnezone, Badboar, Rayquaza Deoxys Legend and Swanna, excluding damage modifiers: Pluspower, Black Belt etc.
Donphan has great typing of fighting, allowing it to strike Zekrom, Magnezone Prime, Cincinno, Zoroark and many other common competitive pokemon for weakness. Weakness to water only hurts against Samurott and Beartic of note, and the -20 resistance to lightning makes it the ultimate Zekrom and Magnezone counter.
The 4 retreat cost is admittedly massive, but you can run Switch to remedy this, and under trainer lock you can just fight to the death with Donphan
Donphans first attack Earthquake for a single Fighting energy, deals 60 damage and 10 to each of your own benched Pokemon. This is both efficient and powerful. The disadvantage is quite large too but as you might expect from competitive Pokemon TCG players, they have found ways to convert it into an advantage. Thes include damaging Reshirams and Zekroms to power up their Outrage attack, manipulating the damage around with Reuniclus and running a swarm of DOnphan so the self damage from Earthquake is negated by Exoskeleton.
Heavy Impact for FFF is significantly less broken dealing a straight 90 damage. At first sight this looks mediocre but with Donphans bulk its easier to charge than it first looks.
Combos with: Pokemon Catcher, Yanmega Prime Overall I give Donphan a 9/10 for competitive play
Ampharos Prime: This card actually saw some hype when the HGSS on format was announced and everyone and their brother thought Magneboar was the BDIF, including myself. Ampharos’ primary function is as hate for energy acceleration. Its Poke-Body Conductivity places 1 damage counter on your opponents Pokemon for each energy they attach to it. This counters Emboars Inferno Fandango, Rain Dance, and to a lesser extent Pachirisu. Crucially its stackable meaning if you have 3 Ampharos Prime in play they take 3 damage counters for every energy they attach. However there are two issues with this, Mareep is an easily donkable 40 HP basic, and you need to get the Ampharos’ out before they have a board established with energy otherwise the effect is worthless
Ampharos weighs in at a slightly above average 140 HP so its not a liability. The weakness to fighting definitely hurts with the popularity of Donphan Prime, and the resistance to steel is irrelevant now with Reshiram, Typhlosion and Emboar keeping steel types off the competitive scene. The retreat cost of two is expensive. Finally the attack for LCC deals 40 damage with 80 on the flip of heads and 40 with paralysis on the flip of tails.Its not terrible in that it hits Yanmega, Kingdra, Blastoise etc. for weakness but its sub par. After the release of the next set you can combine it with fliptini to manipulate the result to what you want.
Ive seen a few concept lists combining it with Pidgeot TM, but for now sadly it combos with the binder
Combos with: The binder Overall rating: 4/10
Blissey Prime: Finally for HGSS Blissey Prime. Popularised in Ross Cawthons Worlds deck, Blissey Prime is a really neat tech in trainer lock decks. The concept was that you could flood your bench with frail basics like Oddish Solosis using Pichus playground, so your opponent wouldnt be able to take out all of them,and get out a fast Vileplume. Then your opponent wouldnt be able to Catcher or Reversal at the time, your Reuniclus’. Once you had your opponent in the lock you could attack with the tank Donphan Prime, doing 60 and 10 to each of your own field. Then use Reuniclus to move the damage around as you wish , and tactically place enough on Zekrom so that its Outrage can get crucial KOs. If your field becomes saturated with damage, you switch it all to Pokemon with no energy on them, drop down Blissey whose Blissful Nurse Power removes all damage on your Pokemon then discards all energy attached to them. It effectively wastes all of your opponents hard work.
With Pokemon Catcher in the format and both Chansey and Blissey having 2 retreat, I wouldnt consider running it in anything otehr than a Trainer lock deck, particularly given Max Potion does the same effect but only on one of your Pokemon.
In Plume variants Blissey is definitely the Superior option, but in Gothitelle the jury is still out because when Gothitelle is active it only locks your opponent from trainers, Id say Max Potion edges it slightly.
The 130 HP is largely irrelevant, but certainly high for a stage 1 Pokemon. The attack for CCC dealing 60 damage is nothing short of laughable
Combos with: Vileplume, Reuniclus, any attackers with High HP Overall rating: 7/10
So thats completed the reviews of all Pokemon Prime in the HGSS set, please return for my next article where I review Steelix Prime, Tyranitar Prime and Kingdra Prime. Hope you enjoyed it
Jack Snell x