For my third card review for this site, I decided to review my favorite pokemon. Nidoking. As a child, his pure masculine physique made me believe he was all powerful. He had bulky and thick arms, a thrashing tail that looked as if it could smash through steel, and the menacing large drill atop his forehead, a beacon of his testosterone. In the early days, this pokemon lived up to his name. King. Nidoking is a family man. A father, a husband, a king. Nido means nest so respectively, Nidoking is the monarch of his nest. After evolving, he stands upright and becomes very territorial. Its this "You don't mess with MY family," male bravado that makes me love this pokemon so much more. Nidoking is a man's man..er.. a pokemon's pokemon? A pokeman's pokeman! Enough of the introductions, lets get into this specific card's breakdown!
Nidoking, a second stage pokemon, comes with a poke-body called Pheromone Stamina. This ability gives Nidoking 20 more HP for every Nidoqueen you have in play. Nidoking starts with 140HP as it is. Having just three Nidoqueens on the bench boosts Nidoking to staggering 200HP. A true beast. Since its a poke body, Nidoking doesn't have to be in play to get the HP boost OR he can be nearly defeated when you evolve a Nidorina into a Nidoqueen, to save him from defeat. I always find it handy to be able to boost an already strong pokemon up to be even greater.
Nidoking only has one actual attack. venomous horn. Venomous horn is just as deadly as it sounds. As we all know, the difference between a poison/venom is that venom has to be injected. A snake bite is venomous because it injects its venom into its prey. Poisonous would be when you eat something that has poison in it. It has to be eaten or absorbed through the skin. So, with that said, venomous horn automatically poisons the enemy. As you just read in my little biology breakdown, this means Nidoking's attack stabs the opponent and injects venom into them. Its a very brutal and violent attack. The attack does 80 damage and automatically inflicts poison making it a 90 point attack right off the bat. Essentially, its DoT effect makes it even greater if your opponent can't get rid of the poison. Although this is Nidoking's only ability, there isn't any harmful side effect to your pokemon. He doesn't have to discard any energy nor is the a risk of hurting himself. He simply deals 80 damage every time, any time. its a strong and pretty solid attack that deals poison for DoT effects. Gruesome.
The card itself is pretty self explanatory. As a fighting type, Nidoking is weak against water pokemon but resistant to electric types. If you have Nidoqueens on your bench, his HP gets a boost. His attack has no draw backs other than needing 4 energy to use.
Combos with other cards:
I'm going to stick simply to boosting your Nidoking by adding combos. Firstly, he gets a health boost from Nidoqueen's being on your bench. The obvious route to take would be to try to boost Nidoking in ever way you can by stacking your bench with Nidoqueens. But lets break down the specific Nidoqueens you want. Firstly, the Skyridge H21 Nidoqueen has a poke power that allows you to search your deck to find an evolution for your active pokemon and evolve him immediately. Having her on your bench, you can quickly evolve your Nidorino and Nidorinas into their top forms. Combine THIS Nidoqueen with the Delta Nidoqueen's poke power and it becomes even greater. The Delta Nidoqueen makes it so you are allowed to search your deck for an evolution card and place it into your hand. You use this to be able to evolve Nidorino into Nidoking with skyridge Nidoqueen, then evolve a third Nidoqueen on the bench. They'll boost Nidoking's health to 200HP right from the start.
The FR&LG Nidoqueen has its own Poke power that reduces retreat costs from all the other evolutions (male and female) to zero as long as she's on your bench. That makes it easy to swap nidorinas and nidorinos into active position, be evolved by the skyridge H21 Nidoqueen and easily swapped out. The EX-DPMT Nidoqueen makes it so each attack from your nido family tree takes one less energy to use. That pushes Nidoking's venomous horn to only requiring 3 energies. Just having this one Nidoqueen makes Nidoking have 160HP and his 80+poison attack only cost 3 energies. Pretty solid boost.
Obviously, you'll need a pretty heavy "Monarch" Pokemon deck filled with king's and queen's and their prevolutions. Fortunately, this review is on the specific card and not the deck so I don't have to go into details on what the deck would need.
Ways to counteract it:
Obvious ways would be to damage it with water pokemon. He is a solid pokemon. His poke body doesn't change no matter his status and his attack always hits. Your best bet vs. this pokemon titan would be to just slug him with water attacks or try to remove his energy cards. Without them, he can't attack due to having only one physical attack. Other than that, I don't see how he can be stopped. Man's man!
As stated above, his one attack always hits and leaves a poison DoT effect. His poke body is always active and can't be stopped unless there aren't any Nidoqueens on your bench. Even still, he has a 140HP making him a threat to any pokemon your opponent uses. With the right Nidoqueen's on the bench, he can retreat with ease if he needs to, have damage counters removed from him, or have an energy requirement reduction.
Without the Nidoqueen, his attack takes four energy to use. He is weak against water types so a lot of stage one evolutions can wipe him out in two turns.
Nidoking was released as a grass type pokemon in his early years. Since then he as moved to being more known as a fighting type pokemon like this particular card. There are variations of Nidoking being a psychic and a 'delta' dark type as well. One form of Nidoking is colorless and has the ability to change his pokemon type depending on the last energy you placed on him. This makes him any type you want for one turn. He is a rare pokemon and mostly comes in holofoil form.
Artwork and aesthetics:
The artwork has always inspired me to like him. The base form the most. The base cards usually were just an image of the pokemon with a complete holofoil backdrop. The newer cards began to add backgrounds or having Nidoking breaking something. He is a purple pokemon, signifying how venomous he is. Additionally, he always looks like a tank in his artwork, making me fear his brutality so much more.
Rating for this pokemon would be 7/10. He is very powerful with very little drawbacks. Unfortunately, it does take time to get a stage 2 evolution and to optimize him you'll need Nidoqueen who is also a stage 2 evolution. By the time you get this pokemon right where you want him, an experienced opponent may have already won.