Skuntank G PL seemed like a great card when it first came out. Its “Poison Structure” Pokémon Power, which allows you to automatically poison your opponent’s active Pokémon without using an attack is superb. However, the conditions under which you can accomplish this are becoming less and less favorable.
The first clause to the Pokémon Power is that you must have your own Stadium card in play. This is a problem at the moment for a few reasons. Decks that do not play SP Pokémon can use Skuntank G, but nearly every single one of these non-SP decks plays the exact same Stadium card, Broken Time-Space. The rules in Pokémon state that you cannot replace a Stadium card in play with a Stadium card of the same name. This means that if your opponent plays their Broken Time-Space before you can play yours, you will not be able to counter it and thus use Skuntank’s Pokémon Power. Of course, if you can get your Broken Time-Space in play before your opponent, you will be able to use Poison Structure all game (unless you are playing against Flygon, in which case it may be unwise to play your stadium down). Basically, you will only have a 50% chance of being able to use Skuntank.
The second clause to Poison Structure is that the defending Pokémon does not become poisoned if they are an SP Pokémon. SP Pokémon seem to be gaining a lot of popularity, especially considering they comprise the majority the cards released in the past two sets. Because Skuntank G cannot poison these Pokémon, this makes it a lot weaker.
I would most likely play Skuntank G in a non-SP deck, just because you really need to max out on Stadiums in order for it to work. Most SP decks do not have the room or necessity to play Stadium cards. Skuntank G can be best used in decks like Beedrill, Flygon, Gengar, or Kingdra. The strategy is to use Poison Structure, then retreat your active Pokémon to remove the poison special condition, and send up a new attacker. Your opponent’s active Pokémon will then be poisoned while yours is not. This approach works best in those decks because they have attackers with zero to one retreat cost and they try to swarm their attackers.
So is Skuntank G worth playing? I would say most likely not. Most decks use Pokémon with very little retreat cost anyway, so even if you are able to poison their active Pokémon, it will more than likely retreat the next turn. I can only see it being effective to do the extra 10 damage needed for a knock out.
Try it out if you would like and let us know what success you have with Skuntank G!