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Espeon - Sandstorm


Date Reviewed: 10/03/03

Ratings & Reviews below

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Otaku

Name: Espeon

Color: Psychic

Type: Stage 1 (evolves from Eevee)

HP:  80

Weakness: Psychic

Resistance: None

Retreat: C

Attack#1: (P) Confuse Ray [20]

Flip a coin.  If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Confused.

Attack#2: (CCC) Energy Crush [20+]

Does 20 damage plus 10 more damage for each Energy attached to all your opponent’s Pokémon.

 

Attributes

Still trying to find what formats fits best for my reviews.  I use attributes to define anything that is more or less “static” on the card: in this case, anything listed in the brief text spoiler other than attacks or Pokémon Powers.  Everything clear?  Then let us begin.

 

Espeon, as you should know if you read the beginning of this review or just the card itself, is a Stage 1 Psychic Pokémon that evolves from Eevee.  Since Eevee was the first Pokémon with “branched” evolutions (it could evolve into 3 different Stage 1 Pokémon originally; now 5), its evolved forms are collectively known as “Eeveelutions”.   Like so many card aspects, this can be both a help and a hindrance to the card.  Not only is this Espeon vying for deck space against other Espeons and other Stage 1 Psychics, but also against every Flareon, Jolteon, Umbreon, Vaporeon and any Dark/Light counterparts they may be playing.  X_X The upside to all of that is most decks that use an Eeveelution also use multiple energy types including some Rainbow or Multi Energy, so you could add Espeon to such decks easily.  Similarly, for the formats where many Psychic Pokémon, particularly Stage 1 Psychic Pokémon are used, Espeon may be able to share their “niche” with them.  More importantly, Psychic types are seeing an increase in use, so that means there are probably several decks that could make use of this Espeon.  I will come back to this late in the review, since we have not evaluated what Espeon can do yet in terms of itself, so comparing it to other Pokémon is a tad premature.

 

Since Espeon evolves from Eevee, let’s evaluate them.  There are currently X Eevee’s: Jungle, Team Rocket, Blackstar Promo, Neo Discovery, Aquapolis, Skyridge, and Sandstorm.  All Eevee have Fighting Weakness and a Retreat of once, except for the Blackstar Promo, which has a free retreat.  All but the Team Rocket Set’s and Blackstar Promo #11 have 50 HP, but they have only 40 and 30 HP, respectively.  The Jungle, Team Rocket, Neo Discovery, and Blackstar Promo Eevees have Psychic Resistance, which the newer ones lack.  Since I am low on time, I’ll some up what your best choices to use are: Neo Discovery/Blackstar Eevee (tie), and Sandstorm.  When you attach an Energy card to it, Neo Discovery let’s use search for an “Eeveelution” that matches that type, but only if you get heads on a coin toss.  Problem is, no matter what color energy you attach, you still have to use the power, even if no Eeveelution exists for it.  This can be awkward at times.  The Blackstar version let’s you search out your deck for an Eeveelution if any Pokémon in play evolves, and evolve Eevee into it.  Originally, a combination of the two would be used in a deck for a lot of quick evolution.  That was before the rules change on absolutely no first turn evolution.  As such, one is probably better off playing all Blackstar Promo versions, and using a Rare Candy to evolve one and let the power evolve the rest.  Just remember that it’s the version with the lowest HP, so try to get them al into play at once when you can evolve one.  Next up would be the Sandstorm version, which has an attack that for (C) will let you search your deck for 3 Eeveelutions and put them in your hand.  The others tend to have attacks that are may be useful, but not as useful as the Power/Attacks of those three.

 

Espeon’s HP is a fairly solid 80.  This is high enough that (barring weakness), Espeon will likely be able to take at least one hit from most evolutions, as few straight (no flips, discards, or other restrictions) attacks can do more than 60, fewer yet can do 70 flat, and I don’t recall any that hit for a base 80 that don’t involve some sort of restriction or enhanced cost.  Psychic Weakness is about as bad as most Weaknesses-there are some major decks that use Psychic Pokémon, and most strong basics and at least average evolutions will be able to OHKO you due to your weakness.  Fortunately, most basic Psychic Pokémon that need to evolve won’t be able to do that much damage. ;) As usual, Psychic Pokémon get stiffed on a Resistance, though this is probably a balance issue: Psychics are Resistant to Fighting in the GB games, and to other Psychics.  Fighting Pokémon have fluctuated wildly in power before, and giving Psychics resistance to them probably would stabilize them… as being really, really bad. ;p Psychics have always been weak to Psychics in the TCG, so changing that now would be a huge upset in the game balance.  Last let’s address the retreat cost of one.  This is second only to a free retreat in Pokémon, and is quite affordable, particularly in a format with Recycle Energy.  This will allow you to save your Switches and the like for more dire circumstances.

 

Abilities

Espeons first attack is nice.  For (P), you would normally do 10 damage and get the flip at Confusion, but we get an extra 10 damage-a value of (C).  Some would argue that Confusion needs to be automatic now… in which case just think of getting 5 bonus damage and a free flip at Confusion. ;) Single Energy attacks are more important on evolutions are more important now that Rare Candy allows them to evolve in one turn.  With it, it almost makes Espeon seem like a basic… almost.  Espeon’s second attack is the real deal though: (CCC) should give you 30, but for merely losing 10 damage (and probably being an evolution) you get plus 10 for each energy on all of your opponents’ Pokémon.  This means about 95% of the time, you can hit with it for at least 30, and probably half the time you’ll do a good 40-60.  Considering you can power the attack with any Energy but Miracle Energy to pay for it.  More importantly, you can fuel it with a Recycle and a Double Colorless Energy, or really surprise an opponent by Rare Candying a fresh Eevee and slapping down a Boost Energy to Energy Crush right away!  In formats with a lot of energy, it’s a devastating move.

 

Comparisons

So, how does this compare with the other Espeons?  There are 2 in Neo Discovery, another in Aquapolis, and a Dark Espeon in Neo Destiny.  The Holo-version in Neo Discovery only has one thing on the Sandstorm version: a free retreat.  Other than that, they have the same attributes.  Sandstorm seems to be a turbo-charged version of Neo Discovery’s: it does a flat 20 for (CC), and for (PPC), it does 30 damage to the Defending Pokémon, plus 10 damage for each Energy attached to it alone.  So Sandstorms wins paws down.  The non-Holo version is more or less a joke-its best attack is Psybeam for (PPC) doing just 30 with a 50% chance of Confusing them. =/ Oh, and it has 10 less HP.. X_X Yeah.  So, next let’s look at the Aquapolis version: though its attack is overall weaker, but it has a really strategic but strong Poké-POWER that lets it return an Energy in play to your hand.  This sounds a bit lame, until you start abusing Warp and Potion Energy, or just need to move energies around on Eeveelutions.  It has the same attributes as the Neo Discovery version.  I saved the best for last though: Dark Espeon has an attack that is sort of the flip side of Energy Crush: Psysplash does 10 damage to each of your opponents’ Pokémon for each energy card attached to that Pokémon, and ignores weakness and resistance, and for only (PCC).  Its downfall is that its got a pitiful 60 HP, though it does have a free retreat and Rocket’s hideout would make it 80…  Long story short, this may be the best Espeon available, and that is saying a lot (only the non-holo Neo Discovery version was bad).  Adding to that is that this one’s potent attack is (CCC), so it can slip into any deck with an Eevee already in it, or any deck looking for a solid Stage 1 line.  Oh, and no, I am not going to go over every other Eeveelution; I don’t have time for it, and given what we have already discussed, it would be somewhat pointless.

 

Uses/Combinations

Well, as just implied, it goes great in any deck with Eevee and its Eeveelutions and is a wonderful Stage 1 Psychic line (and Stage 1 line in general).  It is not unlike a toned down Gardevoir ex: lacking a counter placement attack and only counting the opponents energy.  Still, it’s rare for someone to go light on energy for all their Pokémon combined, even in Unlimited: Sneasel may only need 2 energies, but most people want at least one back up ready, and Cleffa usually still has one from beginning play.  So it can still hit pretty hard.  It can also go well with its Aquapolis brethren: bouncing useful effect energy off it.  One might want to go light on Energy removal with it, and of course, Rare Candy makes it almost act like a basic (yeah, I already said it, but it is important).  Thee are few other uses I can think of… but this is a powerful Pokémon and as such, it really doesn’t need a lot of fancy combos.

 

Ratings

 

 

Unlimited: 3/5-It could be viable if you pair it with Slowking and maybe an Aquapolis Espeon to bounce a Potion Energy off of it repeatedly to give it more longevity.

 

Modified: 3.5/5-Strong card, but there are stronger Pokémon, and they are both Psychic Weak Psychics.  The downside, they will almost always OHKO you.  The upside, you have a good shot at OHKOing them.  This is a must have for Eeveelution decks for this reason.  If those two were gone, this could be the top dog… er… cat? o_O

 

TMP: ???/5-Until I find out if Nintendo is going to resurrect this, I don’t want to comment on it.

 

2-on-2: 3.5/5-Basically the same as before, but I do caution that I have little experience in this format.  I can’t see it being more or less useful with more than one Pokémon active…

 

Draft: 4/5-If you can get it, it’s a killer.  Confusion from its first attack, and big damage from the second, at least versus any serious attackers.  Eevee’s first attack from Sandstorm makes it easier to evolve, and that is a big plus.  Being an Eeveelution makes it more likely you’ll that you’ll get at least one Stage 1 that evolves from it.  Finally, it only needs one real Psychic Energy for its first attack, and any energy for its second attack.  Overall, a strong contender.

 

-Otaku

Thundachu Espeon

Overview: I like this card. It is kind of an upgrade from the original Espeon. For 1 psychic energy, Confuse Ray does 20 with a chance at confusion and for 3 colorless energy, Energy Crush does 20 damage plus 10 more for every energy on ALL of your opponent's pokemon, which is wonderful. Weakness to Psychic makes Gardevoir/Gardevoir ex a small problem for espeon. 80HP is cool for a stage 1.

Unlimited: In Unlimited I would still stick with the Neo Discovery espeon. IMO it is still better then this one. 2.5/5

Modified: 3/5

Draft: I drafted 2 of these in the Pre-Release tourney(1 reverse 1 regular), but I didnt draft ANY eevee which was the problem. If you are able to draft both, I highly suggest using this card. 4/5
Ralphy
Espeon, the squirrel-cat thing with magical powers. But is this one as magical as the Espeons of years past? It's that plus more.
 
Unlimited- No use here. Too much resistance to get off the ground and your opponents Pokemon shouldn't really have that much energy on them anyway in this format. Espeon does punish the occasional Charizard that you might see in this format. 1.75/5 because of the resistance.
 
Modified- I think Nintendo was hinting all along that Modified was going to be E-on. They put out the EON Ticket to get to Southern Island. It's all in the name. Anyway, this card is great against big fire, which always has a strong showing in Modified. Your opponent loads their Pokes with lot's off energy ready for the discard and bam, you play one of these and start doing tons of damage. Much better than old Espeon outside of the one retreat he now has, but that can be dealt with for the awesome attack. 4/5 here.
 
Limited- The first attack has 20 and possible confusion for *P* which is nice for a draft. 80 HP is also nice. The second attack won't be doing that much damage, put you opponent might second guess powering up the back-up hitter on the bench. 3.25/5
PerfectOne Espeon (Sandstorm)

"That thing is so scary...I can't do it" quoted from one of my matches in the SS prerelease at Kings Games in Brooklyn NY.

Unlimited-  Well it can use boost energy for its second attack, but other than that, too many archetypes resist psychic and removals are very rampant.
rating--- 1.5

Modified-  Although it can wipe out a Gardevoir ex pretty easily, it cant handle most other decks.  Against either Cargo ex(Dragon), Salamence(Dragon), Sceptile, Wobuffets and Sneasel ex(I have seen it played) it really doesn't do very well.  Combined with (exp) Typhlosion- Cargo ex will be a true giant... espeon falls to right there and all of those slots in your deck are lost!
rating--- 3

Draft-  With Eevee ( my dogs name ^_^ ) having the ability to fetch him for one energy makes him quite easy to get out.  His one energy attack is very cost efficient and his second attack is either a great come-back move or sweeper.  Against one specific opponent, after KOing a few pokemon with this beast, he had to send up pokemon- merely to retreat to get rid of his energy!  That's where my quote came from, but anywho, he really is a reliable monster in this format.
rating--- 4.125

2 vs. 2-  There generally is more energy support used in this format, as well as Gardevoir(ex) decks, so hes a little better here.
rating--- 3.5

Multiplayer-  He DOES count both opponents energy cards in play, so he packs on even more damage, but that fear will easily draw your opponents to take him out much faster anyway.
rating--- 3.675


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