With the incredible popularity of my article “Is Lickilicky a Good Pokemon?” I decided to finally pen an article about the often maligned pocket monster in the Pokemon Trading Card Game. As of January 2022, there are only nine Lickilicky cards in the card game. Considering it’s from the 4th generation of games, Diamond and Pearl, that’s not a terrible number. While I could review each card in its own article, it seems a better choice to show how Lickilicky’s cards have evolved over time (no pun intended) culminating with one of its most recent cards being actually quite playable in competitive trading card game action.
Overall, these Pokemon cards appear to be more playable in the actual card game than the Purugly cards I reviewed in December 2021. Notably, no Lickilicky cards appeared during the Black and White era, but they have in every other generation: Heart Gold/Soul Silver, X & Y, Sun & Moon, and Sword & Shield.
After reviewing all nine of these cards, we will then rank them in order to determine which is the best Lickilicky cards both from a collector’s standpoint and a trading card game player’s view.
Lickilicky #12/132 – Diamond and Pearl: Secret Wonders
The first ever Lickilicky Pokemon TCG card features rather uninspired 3D artwork in which its trademark tongue looks more like a massive elongated nose. Artwork aside, this Holo rare card has 110 HP and two attacks. As a Stage 1 Pokemon, it requires a Lickitung in play in order to evolve. Its first attack, Tongue Reel, requires two of any type of energy. This attack lets you choose one of your opponent’s Pokemon to deal 20 damage to, and it can be any of them. If you choose a benched Pokemon, you switch that Pokemon with your opponent’s active Pokemon.
Already, Tongue Reel is a nice way to force your opponent to switch in a Pokemon that isn’t ready for action. But, that’s only the first part of this attack. The last half offers you a coin flip, and if heads, that Pokemon is paralyzed, meaning it won’t be able to attack or retreat on the next turn. This attack is already useful enough if it just does the 20 damage to a Pokemon that won’t be able to do anything on the next turn. Adding the potential of Paralysis is just icing on the cake.
The second attack, Boundless Power, requires a whopping four energy for 80 damage. At the time, this was probably a passable attack, but Lickilicky can’t attack at all during your next turn if you use it. For some reason, I feel like this uninspiring second attack holds this Lickilicky card back.
Indeed, I can’t find this particular Lickilicky #12 card mentioned in any deck profiles, and if it did see play, those results have been lost to time. But, as a holographic card in a Diamond and Pearl card set from 2007, this card holds value for serious set collectors.
Lickilicky #33/127 – Platinum
Lickilicky takes a downgrade in rarity from Secret Wonders to the Platinum set, falling from holo rare to regular star rare. However, it gets prettier artwork, in which it appears to be happily flopping about in fallen autumn leaves, while whipping about its tongue playfully. It’s a huge step up from a collector’s standpoint.
Also, this Lickilicky gets an uptick in HP (120) and a bit of an upgrade to its attacking arsenal. Its first attack, Harrumph, does 40 damage to one of your opponent’s Pokemon. It costs three energy, but before doing damage, you discard all Trainer cards attached to the target Pokemon. This is a fairly powerful attack, but it feels like you need too much setup for this attack to be worth it.
The second attack, Body Press, is a much improved attack over the Secret Wonders edition. It deals 60 damage for four energy, which is a downgrade, but you get an additional coin flip ability. If you get heads, not only is the Defending Pokemon Paralyzed, but you also discard an Energy card from that Pokemon.
While this is clearly a more playable card than the Secret Wonders edition, and looks better too, it doesn’t seem like this Lickilicky card saw much play, either. While its attacks certainly do a lot, there are a lot more powerful things you can do for less energy.
Lickilicky C #30/147 – Platinum: Supreme Victors
When you think of the Diamond and Pearl era champion Cynthia, you don’t think of Lickilicky being one of her Pokemon. But, in the Trading Card Game, Cynthia apparently sports a Lickilicky. Also, in Supreme Victors, these character-owned Pokemon are basic Pokemon, rather than their typical evolutions. That means you don’t need a Lickitung to evolve for this particular Lickilicky. The downside is that its HP drops to 90, and honestly, the artwork isn’t all that exciting. The upside is two useful attacks.
Its first attack is Licking-Licking Heal, which despite being an odd name, it does a lot for a single energy. Not only do you attach an Energy card from your hand to any of your Pokemon, but you also remove two damage counters from said Pokemon. That’s an interesting “cleric” type effect you’d expect to be good in the trading card game.
The second attack is a bit more underwhelming, costing three energy in order to draw you cards up until you have six cards in hand. While this appears to be some substantial card advantage, that’s a lot of energy just to draw cards and deal no damage.
While it’s really neat to see Cynthia have a Lickilicky, and collectors seem to agree this is one of the Pokemon’s more desirable cards, it never really got much competitive attention. Still, if you wanted to build a deck around Cynthia’s Pokemon in the Trading Card Game, it probably wouldn’t hurt to include a single copy in the deck.
Lickilicky #38/102 – Heart Gold Soul Silver: Triumphant
After Platinum, Lickilicky made a “triumphant” return during the HeartGold SoulSilver era of the Pokemon Trading Card Game. The artwork of Lickilicky against a sunset background looks pretty enough, although I prefer the Platinum artwork from the cards so far. Also, despite once again being its usual Stage 1, requiring Lickitung in play to evolve, it has just 100 HP. But, it makes up for this loss in toughness with two useful attacks.
The first attack costs a single energy in Licking Shot. You choose one of your opponent’s Pokemon and deal 10 damage to that Pokemon for each Energy attached to Lickilicky. This doesn’t sound all that great, but sniping Pokemon on your opponent’s bench is a good strategy.
Licking Shot also looks much better once you consider Lickilicky’s second attack, Stick and Absorb. It deals 50 base damage, which is underwhelming for three energy, but you remove 2 damage counters from Lickilicky, and the Defending Pokemon can’t retreat during your opponent’s next turn. Yes, they could use a trainer card to switch it, but trapping a Pokemon without needing a coin flip is a nice move.
This Lickilicky is easily the most competitive of those seen so far in the Trading Card Game. Unfortunately, it still just didn’t do quite enough to get competitive players excited. It’s just another Lickilicky card for set collectors to stick and absorb into a binder.
Lickilicky #79/111 – XY: Furious Fists
As the years progressed, Lickilicky cards certainly started to gain in power level. The XY edition certainly doesn’t disappoint in power creep, with two attacks that both do decent damage. The artwork of Lickilicky charging an opponent is solid enough, but this card is a mere uncommon compared to the rares of Pokemon TCG past. Yet, this is the most powerful Lickilicky card yet.
Regaining its 120 HP, Lickilicky gets both Knock Off and Lickichop. The first, Knock Off, does 50 damage, but also discards a random card from your opponent’s hand. Unfortunately, it costs a whopping three energy, which by the XY era certainly isn’t getting the job done competitively. The second attack, however, Lickichop, can do a massive amount of damage. Not only does it do a base 60 damage, but it allows you to additionally flip a coin until you get tails. For each heads, you deal an additional 30 damage. Of course, for four energy, that type of luck isn’t a game-winning strategy.
Still, can you imagine a Lickilicky getting lucky and wiping out Pokemon EX cards in one shot? It could happen, but it certainly hasn’t happened in the professional scene, at least not to my knowledge. It’s the most powerful Lickilicky in terms of power level so far, but it’s a mere uncommon, and while the action artwork is good, it’s not enough to make it noteworthy for a collector.
Lickilicky #103/156 – Sun and Moon: Ultra Prism
Finally in the Sun and Moon era, Lickilicky received a card that’s not only the best it’s received yet in terms of power level, it actually saw competitive play! This rare has pretty nondescript artwork; Lickilicky is just sort of standing there. But, he now has 130 HP, and his attacks are absolutely brutal. This YouTube video here shows a Lickilicky deck from 2018 in action.
We’ve seen how Lickilicky continues to get attacks that focus on Paralysis and not allowing opposing Pokemon to retreat. The Ultra Prism Lickilicky takes this to an extreme. It does a bare minimum of 50 damage for three energy, which isn’t fantastic until you see the other parts of the attack. First, it allows you to flip a coin until you get tails, already a more efficient version of Lickichop from the Furious Fists card. But, if the first flip is tails, your opponent’s Active Pokemon is Paralyzed. Then, the second attack is Rolling Tackle for four energy, for a base 110 damage with no downside. Either way, this Lickilicky is going to mess somebody up pretty badly.
It doesn’t hurt that at this point in the Trading Card Game, Double Colorless Energy was around. This is especially important for the Lickitung you also need to play. The Lickitung from Ultra Prism has two usable attacks itself, the first of which draws you 3 cards for two energy. The second attack is Slam for three energy: you flip two coins and deal 50 damage for each heads.
Lickitung and Lickilicky are good enough to actually form the core of a deck, plus the trainer Choice Band makes all of their attacks deal 30 more damage to your opponent’s active GX or EX Pokemon. You also have Oranguru with Instruct to make sure you have at least 3 cards in hand, and Victini from Guardians Rising to get one additional chance at different coin flip results each turn. However, some times you actually want a tails against the bigger GX Pokemon, Paralyzing them first before potentially finishing them on the next turn. Dawn Wings Necrozma GX could also serve as a nice finisher for when Lickilicky can’t finish the job alone.
While this deck isn’t legal in standard Trading Card Game play anymore, it’s still available to play in Expanded, which goes back to Black and White base set. Believe it or not, this wouldn’t be the last time we’d see Lickilicky in competitive TCG action, either.
Lickilicky #153/214 – Sun and Moon: Unbroken Bonds
After Lickilicky’s enormous success in Ultra Prism, the next incarnation of Lickilicky in the Sun and Moon era took a step back. While the watercolor artwork is super cute, with its tongue looking like a fruit rollup, this rare is nowhere as powerful. That’s not to say it’s bad, per se, with 130 HP, and two decent attacks.
The first attack, Eat Up, deals 40 damage, with an additional effect. Before doing damage, discard all Pokemon Tool cards from your opponent’s Active Pokemon. Tool cards were and still are very popular in the competitive scene, so this is a good ability. But, it gets better: if you do discard a Pokemon Tool card this way, heal all damage from this Lickilicky.
You may think that this alone is a playable ability. Unfortunately, it’s so far short of its Ultra Prism counterpart that why would you consider playing it? On top of that, Tonguenado, despite an awesome name, costs four energy for four coin flips. It does do 60 damage for each heads, and you still had Victini around for do-overs. But, despite being able to play this alongside the other Lickilicky, there wasn’t much point. Why pick away at opponents when you could Paralyze then smash them for potentially multiple prizes?
While I still like this card aesthetically and it’s not a bad card, you can understand why the Ultra Prism card is so much superior from a player’s standpoint. Fortunately, Lickilicky would return to the competitive scene before long!
Lickilicky #162/236 – Sun and Moon Unified Minds
The Lickilicky depicted on this card is happily dancing in a forest, and it deserves to be extremely happy based on what it can do. This latest Lickilicky does its damage in a very different way from the Ultra Prism version, this time based on its second attack.
Once again, this Lickilicky has 130 HP, a solid number. It has an attack for a single energy, Rollout, for 40 base damage. Already, this is a solid start, but it gets much better. Licks Go Crazy deals a whopping 90 base damage for three energy, then discards a random card from your opponent’s hand, discards the top card of your opponent’s deck, and discards an Energy card from your opponent’s Active Pokemon. Ouch! Plus, with Triple Acceleration Energy from Unbroken Bonds, you could attack with Licks Go Crazy as soon as you evolve your Lickilicky! Granted you’d have to discard the Acceleration Energy at the end of the turn, but the damage would already be done.
This card is so good that an entire deck could be built around this Lickilicky, even more so than the Ultra Prism one. You’d just need four copies of Lickitung and some other support mons to round out the monster lineup. The disruption on this Lickilicky is that powerful, potentially energy locking your opponent and milling your opponent’s deck in the process, all the while keeping your opponent from having answers. Here’s one particularly powerful Lickilicky deck with a strong energy denial strategy featured on YouTube.
Lickilicky #114/163 – Sword and Shield: Battle Styles
In a set that’s mostly maligned by collectors, Battle Styles does have quite a few good cards in competitive play. This Lickilicky, sadly, is not among them. By no means is this Lickilicky card bad. In fact, it’s likely the third best of the nine printed thus far. It has 140 HP, the highest total yet for a Lickilicky, with two attacks.
The first attack, Selickt, is reminiscent of the Unified Minds’ Licks Go Crazy. It does cost three energy, but it does no damage. However, your opponent does discard three cards, their choice whether they come from the top of their deck or from their hand. While this is certainly powerful, it lacks the punch of the 90 base damage of its predecessor, already putting this Lickilicky at quite a disadvantage.
The second attack isn’t bad, Pitch, which does 100 base damage for four energy. While that’s not bad, it forces your opponent to switch their Active Pokemon with one of their benched Pokemon. The issue here is that it’s the opponent’s choice, so if your opponent has a Pokemon ready to go on their bench, you won’t want to use this attack.
It’s too bad that this Battle Styles Lickilicky is so underwhelming compared to its two powerful Sun and Moon incarnations. The artwork of Lickilicky standing in a lake with boats in the background probably makes this my favorite picture of the Pokemon in the card game. It also doesn’t help that the Lickitung in the set needs three energy just to attack and do a vanilla 50 damage, with its second attack needing four energy to deal a vanilla 80 damage.
With the Diamond and Pearl remakes released in 2021, I’d hope we see at least one new Lickilicky card in 2022. It would be fun to see our big boy finally get some ultra rare power creep love.
For now, here’s the ranking of the Lickilicky cards so far:
#9: Secret Wonders
#8: Furious Fists
#6: Supreme Victors
#4: Battle Styles
#3: Unbroken Bonds
#2: Unified Minds
#1: Ultra Prism
Interestingly, the Diamond and Pearl Secret Wonders is the worst card in the TCG, yet the most valuable thus far. The drop-off after the first two is so large, though, and numbers five through nine are probably mostly interchangeable. You could even argue that the discard power of the Unified Minds Lickilicky outweighs the sheer power of the Ultra Prism Lickilicky. What is the best Lickilicky card in the Pokemon TCG? It’s probably Ultra Prism, simply because of the sheer force it can unleash.
Here’s hoping that Lickilicky gets more love with the fourth generation of Pokemon in the spotlight over the next year or so. Our big boy has gotten some love in the Trading Card Game, is a completely useful Pokemon in the games, and deserves the full-art treatment in my humble opinion.