This one was a request made by Samzilla33 on the forums. It’s also something different from a massive too-long rules page on a card that has had zero impact of the metagame so far. Cofagrigus is a pretty ignored rare, which got a little bit of attention for a while despite being arguably lackluster. However, the attention it received was mostly responded to with, “It’s a useless waste of space, put something else in.”
The biggest question on these cards that are summarized as “there’s a better option” is whether or not the card is actually bad. The Victreebel TM CotD just recently was in the same league: it looks cool, but it probably isn’t practical if you want to win. So we’re going to see how far its practicality reaches and if it’s even good enough for a fun deck, after the fairly negative reception.
pokemon-paradijs.comIn the current format, the Psychic type alone is notable, due to Mewtwo EX’s weakness. (Unfortunately this has little to no bearing on anything, but that’s for later.) But what’s more important than its type is its non-Psychic weakness. Like many Ghost-types, it has a Dark weakness. A plus side against Mewtwo, a solid negative against the sudden influx of Dark decks.
However, the Dark weakness means almost nothing. Honestly, it doesn’t look like this card was meant to last more than one or two turns (and if it is meant to last…seriously?). It only has 90 HP, meaning that without weakness, Zoroark DEX will probably 1HKO it, Darkrai EX will 1HKO it, Krookodile DEX will probably OKHO it, and… well 90 HP is fragile.
It has a three Retreat Cost, which generally won’t come into play; like I said, it won’t last very long so you probably won’t bother retreating it. It can be searched out by Heavy Ball, but putting Heavy Ball in just to search for Cofagrigus probably isn’t worth it unless there’s something else.
Guess what guys? Just guess. No resistance. I need help reacting to something because this is supposed to be an impartial review and I’d rather not be unfairly frustrated about it. I just really think this is a forgotten stat and for the most part, is only used on some Flying, Grass, Steel, and Dark types. Dark types get to resist Mewtwo which is kind of cool in their favor, but the others are almost never, if at all, used.
First attack: Damagriiigus
Let’s get the important part out of the way first: this is like some kind of ironically cool attack name on the same level as DarMAXitan. Although I personally think there are too many I’s and that Damagriigus, or even Damagrigus, reads better. For the less-opinionated part, this attack costs [PC] and doesn’t actually inflict damage.
It’s the cause of the mild bit of hype it got and is, like Seismitoad, more relevant to anything than its second attack. You take all of the damage counters off one of your Benched Pokémon, and put them on the Defending Pokémon.
I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of the card by any means, but this is still a cool idea. It heals your Pokémon and deals damage with a revenge-y method. Revenge Pokémon are just hands-down cool no matter what, just as a concept. But unfortunately, this attack was considered a flop and a junk rare, for the most part. Just how much does Cofagrigus deserve to be called garbage?
Effect of attack
This is something pretty important for a few reasons. When I said that Mewtwo’s Psychic Weakness doesn’t matter? This is pretty much why. Weakness doesn’t apply because you are meant to literally meant to pick up your damage counters and give them to your opponent, but as common courtesy in tournaments, we just use our own dice and move them metaphorically.
Since you’re just dropping the damage counters onto it, they can’t multiply on the way there just because of a Weakness. However this also means that most of the Dark Pokémon who resist you have no effect.
As an effect, this means that if the Defending Pokémon has Energy and there’s Espeon DEX in play, the damage counters aren’t put on the Defending Pokémon. But a neat trick comes into play here if you ever happen to see this scenario, much like moving Energy with Espeon in play.
The damage counters are picked up from your own Benched Pokémon, and they cannot be placed back down. Your Pokémon is healed. But they can’t be moved onto the Defending Pokémon and have nowhere to go, meaning you just drop them out of play.
It’s not unfair to compare a card to a similar card in the same format to guess at how well it would do. This Espeon is also a Stage 1 Psychic-type with 90 HP, and has an attack that takes damage counters off of your field and drops them on your opponent’s side. Kind of similar, but there’s a vital difference that prevents us from confirming for sure what its place in the metagame could be, or whether it even has a place.
The first difference? Espeon can spread it anywhere on the field, which can be a huge help. Think about healing a Raikou-EX with Damagriiigus, but you’re only staring down a Smeargle. It would be convenient to move it around everywhere, right? Wrong, Espeon’s flaw is that it can only move four damage counters from your side. That’s nothing in the current format, and you’ll end up losing more prizes just by having it out.
So Espeon has no purpose right now, meaning that so far, this attack is useless. But personally, I think one turn of a higher potential damage output is more useful than four damage, since if your opponent is only dealing 40 damage per turn to you, you shouldn’t have any problems winning. But so far, that attack has absolutely zero place in the format.
Second attack: Perplex
BulbapediaThis isn’t an attack you’ll use often, but it’s always an option. First thing, it costs PCC, and we’re going to make another Espeon comparison (more Stage 1 Psychics with 90 HP). Espeon DEX, a Bench-sitter, has the same attack cost; remember that it does 60 and you can look at your opponent’s hand. Cofagrigus only does 30 damage, so it’s not looking good. It has an effect though: it Confuses the Defending Pokémon.
We know how Confusion isn’t the greatest effect as you can easily retreat out of it, and there’s still only a 50% chance of it working. Mildly disruptive, but not the best thing you could do. However, this does mean you have a 50/50 chance of doing as much damage as Espeon if your opponent doesn’t retreat or use Switch. There’s not much you could say about your standard “causes Confusion” attack.
One of the problems with Cofagrigus is that there’s a good chance of not being able to deal enough damage to put a dent in the Defending Pokémon, and you only have one chance at attacking. You would have to have previously retreated or Switched a Pokémon with high HP for it to have not been 1HKO’d. Unfortunately any opponent that can deal enough damage is also likely to have high HP and won’t cause a 1HKO on itself, short of Zoroark BW or several “Do the Wave” Pokémon.
The obvious solution to this would be to move the damage counters onto one high HP Pokémon with Reuniclus. With an EX, which most decks run, you can get up to 170 damage counters moved, Eviolite doesn’t count, and it 1HKOs nearly everything. The obvious problem is Catcher, which will destroy your entire strategy.
This is where Reuniclus got the most attention when it came out, with the ability to deal lots of damage, heal everything, and then work with Twins. The Truth’s unique engine meant that at the time, everything came only one damage counter short of OKHOing the Pokémon, so it maximized the damage that could be done with little effort.
Now with EXs in Truth, it can take even more abuse and increase chances of 1HKOing your opponent, short of them using one with 180 HP. It would require P Energy, but Truth often runs Rainbow Energy already, and if a Pokémon can hit their tank for 120 damage, knocking Cofagrigus from 90 HP to 80 won’t matter. Vileplume meant that it wouldn’t be Catchered while it was being powered up or still a Yamask, nearly perfect in theory.
pokemon-paradijs.comThe hard part was getting a damaged Pokémon out of the Active Spot and having a powered-up Cofagrigus ready to go. With Vileplume you couldn’t use Switch, manually retreating hurt because of the lack of Energy acceleration, and Cofagrigus hasn’t been in a format with Warp Energy yet. This left another option: sending it Active after something else has been KO’d, like Cleffa possibly.
But this means that you’re losing 2 Prizes just to heal your Pokémon and take 1 Prize, which isn’t necessarily a good exchange with all the options you have, especially when they run Seeker anyway to repeat Damagriiigus.
This deck is very similar to The Truth in how Cofagrigus can be used, with only one difference, so I won’t be covering that again. Gothitelle is one-sided lock, which means you can use Trainers like Switch. This does clear up one problem that The Truth suffered from, possibly making it a better tech for this situation.
It also already runs P Energy, but as stated in The Truth, Rainbow doesn’t hurt it. But there is something else that actually makes Cofagrigus one of the worst possible techs, and it’s the same reason that putting in any attacker that isn’t Gothitelle EP 47 is a bad idea.
To be fair, this wasn’t seen nearly as often as Truth, but it was still out there. Unless you’ve only joined the game within the last month and haven’t seen the Emerging Powers-based decks, we should all know that Gothitelle’s Magic Room only works if it’s in the Active Spot. The instant you take away that lock, even if your opponent loses a heavy-hitter, you’re at a disadvantage.
This is where they can start burning all their Trainers, Junk Arm away everything they don’t have a use for, and maybe even Catcher your Reuniclus. If their hand isn’t going to be full of dead Trainers every time a Supporter is used, they can play more consistently.
pokemon-paradijs.comAside from the problems I mentioned above about retreating and prizes and locks, there is one other thing they share: they require very tight lists in order to set up the lock before their opponent takes too many prizes, and there isn’t much wiggle room. It was tested that maybe if you freed up some space, it could work. But what could these tight lists remove? Well Reuniclus is used to remove damage counters, so why make it redundant by having two Pokémon with the same purpose?
Before anything, just think about it. Truth without Reuniclus. The lock is useless at that point because the gimmick of “nothing can be KO’d under normal circumstances” is replaced by “everything is 2HKO’d at most.” Truth doesn’t recover well, and there still sits the problem of it not easily getting into the Active slot. Even if you manage to set up the lock while having your attackers KO’d early, you won’t be able to keep up with constant attacking and being unable to move the damage to heal it as easily.
The same thing as above applies to Gothitelle/Reuniclus. But on the other hand, it does have a variant without Reuniclus. It uses Gardevoir NXD and Exp. Share to stream constant Gothitelle and cause as much damage as possible with fewer Energy than what is normally necessary. But again, you don’t want to break the lock. This variant of Gothitelle doesn’t rely on healing, but on making a Stage 2 deck as fast as possible. It doesn’t need Damagriiigus either way.
Or another way to put it, “attacks that do more damage if your Pokémon has damage counters on it.” The most common are the three Outrage dragons, but this kind of attack is also seen on Regigigas-EX, Zoroark DEX, Ursaring Prime, and a few other Pokémon almost never seen. Ursaring is rarely used and Zoroark is best for its other attack (it only has 100 HP anyway), but the others have high HP and are seen using Outrage often.
The dragons all have the same stats for the most part; since separating them would be redundant, I’m referring to them collectively as Greymon. Several decks use Greymon specifically for Outrage, like Donphan/Dragons (or Landorus/Dragons) and The Truth. You rack up some damage on it, and then Outrage, hopefully hitting for Weakness since there are three different types of Greymon. Teching Cofagrigus into a deck that uses Greymon and Outrage is a bad idea because it ruins your strategy by removing all damage counters and preventing more than 20 damage from Outrage.
Regigigas is sometimes used in decks, including the same ones as Greymon, for the same purposes. Its advantage is that it’s independently synergetic, causing damage to itself through Giga Power (or just uses Eviolite) to make Raging Hammer (super-Outrage) stronger. So without Eviolite, it can power itself back up after a Damagriiigus.
pokemon-paradijs.comBut Regigigas not only has a four Retreat Cost, making Switch the “only” option for making Cofagrigus available, your opponent essentially takes 3 Prizes for Knocking it Out. It’s not worth it unless you can manage to retreat it when it has 170 HP on it, and then make them fight the same fresh one, essentially KOing two EXs for 3 Prizes.
Regigigas was covered above, but the EX cards themselves are special just because of the massive damage threshold. If you’re aiming to 1HKO anything, you’re going to want to put damage counters from your EX to your opponent’s non-EX. For the most part, most of the EX cards don’t actually have a damage output much higher than normal Pokémon unless under certain circumstances.
Raikou does 100; Kyurem, Darkrai, and Mewtwo do 120; Reshiram and Zekrom do 150 but have a downside; and others sometimes deal even less damage. To do more, it requires things like Mewtwo to have a boatload of Energy, Regigigas needs damage counters, and your opponent needs to have taken a lot of prizes before you use Shaymin.
So basically, a Pokémon-EX won’t 1HKO itself in terms of damage counters, not counting Weakness, Resistance, or Eviolite. This means that Cofagrigus is an ineffective counter against EX cards on its own, and would need something to soften the Defending EX’s HP before you can take it out. However, if that Pokémon is strong enough to deal heavy damage to an EX and has enough HP that it can survive a 1HKO, you’re still better off attacking with that main Pokémon instead of dedicating space for a Stage 1 line that faints when you breathe on it.
There are many ways to heal Pokémon that aren’t Cofagrigus, and these are the ones you’re more likely to see. Max Potion has been kind of spotty on its use until a few decks started being able to use it more consistently. At first, it was occasionally used here and there in Reshiram decks, since Reshiram discarded the Energy anyway. Lately it’s been used in some Eelektrik decks, more often in Raikou-EX variants, because when the Energy is discarded, Eelektrik’s Ability puts it right back on the Pokémon.
New decks have been popping up using Darkrai EX, Rainbow Energy, and either Klinklang BW or Meganium Prime to abuse Max Potion as much as possible. Any of these decks would be slowed down by using Damagriiigus instead, especially Klinklang/Meganium, which needs a usable Energy attachment every turn.
pokemon-paradijs.comSeeker and SSU are a lot more common, especially with decks that use Shaymin UL or other coming-into-play Poké-Powers. In this case, the strategy is simple: pick up the Pokémon and it’s healed. With all of the Basics that can be powered up in one turn, it doesn’t hurt to just take them off the field.
SSU is actually almost common for this purpose in Quad decks and other Basic-filled decks. If you fail the 50/50 coin toss on this, you can play more than one or Junk Arm for it to try again. Much more efficient in saving your resources, and multi-use.
Bellossom is seen far less, but it does show up in some Vileplume decks, mostly Truth. Basically, all you have to do is evolve a second Oddish or Gloom and it’s free healing every turn. Up to 60 damage cleared from your field easily, no need to lose a prize on Cofagrigus.
Serperior BLW 6 is similar, and technically better, but not as usable because it’s a Stage 2 and doesn’t evolve from something that’s already used commonly. Pokémon Center is also seen sometimes, but can help your opponent too.
These are all used for the same purpose, so I’m not splitting them up. Some decks have Pokémon with fairly low HP and are used to rush attackers as fast as possible, and don’t benefit from being healed. Or you just don’t have the room for the above cards to heal, or just don’t use them enough for them to be worth the space.
In this case, you use cards that would put your Pokémon back onto the field with Revive, or put them in your deck and search them back out. Almost every deck plays one copy of Super Rod at this point for this reason, and it only takes up one slot.
BulbapediaAgain, brief, just because I think something is kind of cool. In terms of stats, all three Yamask have 60 HP, a Darkness Weakness, and one Retreat Cost. Something else? They all have one attack that costs one Energy, it deals 10 base damage, and has a coin flip for an effect. All three, it’s just something I found cool.
The first is Yamask NVI 45, which is a mini version of the other NVI Cofagrigus (47) and even has the same attack name. Ambush costs C, and if you win the coin flip, it does 10 more damage. I least recommend this one, because going from 10 damage to 20 is unrelated to what Cofagrigus does.
Yamask NVI 44 is a mini version of this Cofagrigus, but for Perplex instead. For a cost of P, if you win the coin flip, the Defending Pokémon is Confused. This is kind of cool, but only barely recommended on a personal level. You could safely run it, but only if your deck already uses P Energy.
Yamask DEX is my favorite of the three. It costs C, which is perfect, and winning the coin flip means you pick a random card from your opponent’s hand. They show you the card and then shuffle it into their deck. I’ve never been a big fan of flippy Confusion, but this has a chance of nabbing your opponent’s Supporter and is pretty cool. My personal recommendation, not that it matters.
Where could it fit?
So after all this discussion of why Cofagrigus doesn’t have a place in these decks, you’re probably wondering where it does fit. In fact, I’m wondering that too. And I don’t have an answer for you because I’m still looking. Does anybody have a legitimate working use for this card? It looks cool, looks like it could make a fun league deck. But other than the novelty of moving the damage counters onto your opponent’s Pokémon, it can be replaced by several different things that won’t take up too much space (the average in decklists I saw was 2-2).
captainsdead.comWhat catches my attention first about this card is the pose, I think. Or not so much the pose as the angle it’s at. This might or might not be intentional, but Cofagrigus seems warped or curved, like the lower half of its body is smaller than it should be, or that it’s too short. Given the warped bricks in the background, I’m thinking that this is an intentional effect, and it looks cool for a creepy gold-eating ghost. They were able to take what looks like an unmoving sarcophagus and do something with it.
The hands are all pretty much reaching for the viewer. Again, cool, and there’s not much you could do with it. (To see where something cool is done with the hand poses, check out Cofagrigus DEX.) The stone room in the background fits it, you know, pyramids. Creepy environment. The coloring is textured and gives it a nice rustic look, like the gold color has worn down from years in a sandy pyramid. I don’t think it works as well with the hands than the metallic body, but it’s a nice touch.
This card. It’s hard to sum it up, really. It’s a novelty at best, I think. It takes up too much space and takes too long to set up for its purpose, requiring two Energy and an evolution. This is something else I can’t give a strict rating (definitely under 5/10 if I did) because it’s not the worst card on its own, but where it has its possible good sides, it’s outclassed.
Unfortunately, without it having a deck to work in, even as a tech, it’s hard to judge its potential. So that’s my rating. “To my current knowledge, this card is unusable in a working deck.”