pokebeach.comHey guys, Captain here with yet another Card of the Day. So today’s card is Stantler from HS: Unleashed.
This is a very interesting card with high potential in the upcoming HGSS-on format. A lot of great 0 energy starter options are about to be rotated out (namely Sableye and Spritomb), and this could function as a new starter.
First are its stats. It’s a Basic Pokémon, which is pretty much a prerequisite for a good starter. It has no evolution, though popular starters of the past didn’t either. 70 HP is pretty solid, x2 weakness is a bit unfortunate but not a huge deal, no resistance is fairly standard, and Retreat Cost of 1 isn’t bad.
Delving a bit further into it’s weakness, the only realistic possibility that could Knock it Out before you can retreat it would be Donphan, and by then you should have been able to set up with it anyway. However, you could actually use this to your advantage by using Twins in your deck and then letting your opponent Knock Out your Stantler turn 2. Then you can grab any 2 cards you want with Twins, such as important evolution lines. Seeing as Donphan variants are predicted to be top tier next format, this could be something to certainly consider, and it could work very well in ReshiBoar, possibly allowing it to set up on turn 2, assuming it went second.
But enough about its weakness; it’s time for the attacks. The first one is the significant one: “Call for Family”. For 1 of any energy, you search your deck for 2 Basic Pokémon and bench them. It’s as simple as that. This is pretty similar to Pokémon Collector, but has a few pros and cons. For example, you only get 2 basics, you must bench them, and it uses up your attack for the turn. However, you can still use a Supporter that turn, and sometimes this is crucial for a very fast setup.
“Mystifying Horns”, its other attack, is basically terrible. For 3 of any energy, you deal 30 damage and confuse the Defending Pokémon. It’s better than nothing at all, but it should only be an absolute last resort attack.
Stantler can be a solid starter, and Stantler starts have generally gone very well in tests of my ReshiBoar build. The other significant starters to compare this to are Smeargle and Pichu.
pokebeach.comSmeargle has basically the same stats and a worse attack, but a Poké-Power that lets you see your opponent’s hand and also use a Supporter from it as the effect of that power. It’s more luck-based, but can sometimes work a lot more in your favor, as well as hopefully letting you know what deck your opponent is playing (which can affect the way you set up early on). Of course, since Smeargle still has a Retreat Cost of 1, it might as well be using your attack except maybe in a good Zekrom start or with Switch in your hand. Smeargle is also a lot more expensive than Stantler.
As for Pichu, it helps both you and your opponent set up by benched as many basics from your deck as you want. While this can be great for setting up Cinccino or Jumpluff, it could very well hurt you more than it helps you with other matchups.
So overall, it has its uses and I think it will certainly see play. There are a few other good starter possibilities, and out of them I think this is the most consistent one. Cleffa and Smeargle could both be very good, but are fairly luck based, and Stantler will always let you get 2 Basic Pokémon for 1 Energy. I give it a 3 out of 5.
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