pokebeach.comWelcome to today’s Card of the Evening! I will be reviewing Donphan from the Heart Gold Soul Silver expansion set. Let’s get started!
Donphan is a fighting type Pokémon, which is an average type to have. There are some Pokémon that have a resistance to fighting, such as Gyarados, which will give Donphan problems, but Luxray GL LV.X also has x2 weakness to fighting, so it has some benefit at the same time. Donphan has a monstrous Retreat Cost of 4, which is terrible, but expected. It has a x2 weakness to Water, meaning he will be 1HKO’d by Gyarados and Kingdra Prime will take it down relatively easily. The resistance to lightning is nice.
Its Poké-Body, “Exoskeleton”, reduces all damage done to it by 20, which combined with its huge 120 HP (for a Stage 1), makes Donphan a pretty good potential tank. Its first attack, “Earthquake”, will do 60 damage to the defending Pokémon and 10 to your bench, for just 1 Fighting Eenergy. That is a very powerful, fast attack. Its second attack, “Heavy Impact”, does 90 for FFF.
As you can see, Donphan is a card that is meant to be fast, aggressive and take a lot of damage before going down. It does a pretty good job at that.
If you’re wondering what’s stopping Donphan from being Tier 1, there are a few things. The first is the x2 Water weakness, which means it’ll be 1HKO’d by two popular attackers, meaning the tanking idea won’t work very well. The second is that it typically doesn’t have enough power for to keep up with decks like Jumpluff and other big attackers late game.
There are a lot of different cards that have been put in decks with Donphan. People have used Flygon to get free Retreat Cost, Nidoqueen to heal, Machamp to ensure SP is an auto-Win, in SP as a mirror-match tech and with Entei & Raikou LEGEND. One other combination that seems to be gaining popularity is putting Donphan with Kingdra Prime.
What was once a very hyped card is now a Tier 3 deck that just couldn’t survive in this LuxChomp dominated format. To make things worse for the card, Dialga G LV.X is now seeing more play than Luxray GL LV.X meaning that Exoskeleton is shut off and it has less of an advantage in that match up.
Perhaps something in the upcoming boosters will be able to give Donphan the support it needs, but until then.
Modified Rating: 3/5 (The more Dialga is played, the more power Donphan looses.)