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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Porygon-Z

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Dec. 3, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.50
Limited: 2.13

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Porygon-Z (Triumphant)

 

Porygon-Z is a quirky little Pokémon that usually offers something different to players from the usual run of the mill attacks. This one is no different  . . . though the actual value of what it offers is questionable.

 

For a Stage 2, Porygon-Z has some unimpressive stats: low, low 110 HP, a nasty Fighting Weakness (watch Donphan OHKO this with ease), and an unnecessarily high Retreat cost of two. It does have a Power though: Dimension Transfer gives you a coin flip chance of getting a Trainer out of your Discard pile and putting it on top of your deck every turn.

 

Obviously, this could be generally useful (who wouldn’t like to get back a Luxury Ball now and then?), but I imagine its true purpose is to work in combination with the Porygon-Z Promo that needs Technical Machine cards to fuel its Overload attack. If you look closely at the Power though, it is a lot less useful than first appears. For one thing, it only works 50% of the time, and for another, the Trainer gets put on top of the deck, rather than going into the hand. That wasn’t such a problem when Claydol GE was in the format and you could take advantage of its constant draw, but now you either have to wait for it, or play something like a draw Supporter or Pokedex Handy to get the most out of it. Honestly, they could easily have lost the flip, or sent the card to the hand, and Porygon-Z would still not be broken. As it is, you would almost certainly be better off just using Junk Arm.

 

Porygon-Z’s attack is nothing to get excited about either. At first glance this too looks decent: Suspicious Beam β does 80 damage for the reasonable cost of [C][C][C], but unfortunately there is a drawback: if Porygon-Z does not have a Rainbow Energy attached, it does 20 damage to itself and becomes Confused. This is bad for two reasons: firstly, Porygon-Z’s HP is poor enough, without reducing it further with Rainbow Energy or self-damage; secondly, Porygon-Z decks really don’t want to be running Rainbow in the first place: being Colourless, they thrive on their ability to make the most of Double Colourless, Call, and Upper Energy.

 

With its unreliable Power and self-defeating attack, I’m not even sure I would play this in a Porygon-Z deck. The designers seem to have gone overboard with the drawbacks in an attempt to balance the card, and the result is that they have created something which simply isn’t very good.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 2 (possible tech in Porygon-Z decks, but not really needed)

Limited: 1.25 (Only 1 Trainer in the set and no Rainbow Energy . . . don’t bother setting up this Stage 2 here)

 

We end the week, perhaps appropriately enough, with Porygon-Z.  The Pokémon whose name ends with the last letter of the English alphabet is a Stage 2 Colorless Pokémon.  Something of a mixed blessing, with the evolution acceleration we currently have, being a Stage 2 Pokémon only has one real drawback, the amount of slots required (and don’t forget to count the slots eaten by the accelerant).  Some good news is that there are a few cards with Colorless Weakness that are actually being regularly played, so being Colorless is still pretty good this format.  The 110 HP is a step below the last version released, but still puts Porygon-Z into the practical range for Stage 2 Pokémon.  120 HP is roughly the average amount for a card that isn’t compensating with bad HP to offset good abilities or vice versa, and being 10 less is bad but usually won’t matter a whole lot: most major attackers still two-hit KO you, and your Weakness will usually score a OHKO.  Speaking of Weakness, you get the most common Weakness for Colorless Pokémon, Fighting x2.  It will make you vulnerable to Donphan Prime and Toxicroak G pulling off an easy OHKO.  You’ll have to address that in any deck you build with it, even if it is as simple a Porygon-Z (and it’s lower Stages) being the only Fighting weak Pokémon in your build.  You won’t get any Resistance to compensate for this increased vulnerability and slightly sub par HP, and even though I expect it I still find it disappointing.  At least the two Energy needed to retreat is alright: especially with a Double Colorless Energy, you can pay it without crippling your set-up, but that isn’t easy for most decks to shrug off either.  Like so much of this card, it’s the standard drill: don’t worry about loading your deck down with cards to change out your Active, but pack a few for tight spots.

 

All in all, Porygon-Z looks to have a mediocre beginning: not bad, but not especially promising.  We get a generic, universally useful effect on the card in its Poké-Power Dimension Transfer, which lets you top deck a Trainer from your discard pile, provided you get “heads” on a coin toss and Porygon-Z isn’t afflicted by a Special Condition.  Under the old (and purportedly pending) definition of Trainer, that’d be pretty sweet, but under the current rules it can’t snag Supporters or Stadiums, and that will still apply under the anticipated Black & White rules changes.  Now, it is still pretty useful, especially if you have the draw power to get the Trainer back that turn.  There in lies the rub: you either need to dedicate more slots and space in play to a Pokémon that has non-shuffling draw power so you don’t disturb the order of your deck before you can draw the recycled card right away, or you take the chance that not only won’t you get the card you just recycled immediately, but you might bury it long enough that it won’t be useful when you do get it.  The attack is less useful.  For (CCC), you’ll score 80 points of damage, but unless you waste a Rainbow Energy, you’ll hit yourself for 20 points of damage and Confusion!  Besides wasting what will either be a really useful Special Energy card or one your deck wouldn’t otherwise run, you’ll also be dinging the HP of Porygon-Z as Rainbow Energy places a damage counter on it, effectively turning the maximum HP score for an attacking Porygon-Z into 100 with the Rainbow Energy or 110-20x, where “x” is the number of turns you’ll want to attack with it.  So 90 HP if you only attacked once, 70 if you attacked twice, etc.

 

Is this card worth using?  For certain decks, yes it is: a deck focused on abusing specific Trainers springs to mind.  What specific Trainers?  Well the most obvious is Luxury Ball; its first use can help set up Porygon-Z, and then top deck it from the discard to use again and again.  Granted that is true of just about any Trainer, but of course Luxury Ball has that clause that would prevent you from simply running multiple copies since it can’t be played if another is in your discard pile.  Poké Blower+, Poké Drawer+, and Poké Healer+ can be run in lower counts but still get multiple uses of the “play 2 [of this card]” second effect.  As an added bonus, a single Poke Drawer+ would at least let you get a different Trainer you’d top-decked in the same turn.  Many cards just end up being useful because you’re able to re-use an effect over and over again that, as the one-and-done Trainer they are, are often not quite worth the space.  VS Seeker, especially if you can get one early in the game, is useful not because Dimension Transfer makes it better, but because it removes one of my earlier complaints about the Poké-Power: by recycling VS Seeker you can effectively use Dimension Transfer to indirectly recycle Supporter cards.  You also may enjoy a variety of Trainer (and with VS Seeker, Supporter) TecH, and “fake” having run that single card as a maxed out set of four!

 

Don’t expect the other Porygon-Z (a promo) to make this one worth running: I didn’t even realize there was a card to forcibly Level-Up your own Pokémon!  Investing in a Stage 2 to help you Level-Up cards with an attack, even a zero Energy one, just isn’t cost (or time) effective.  I am a bit intrigued with trying to constantly recycle Technical Machines and using them to fuel a big hit by forcing them all onto Promo Porygon-Z, but you’d have to burn three a turn in order to hit good damage, and even with the new Porygon-Z to recycle them it just sounds like too much work for not enough return.

 

Now, one of the characteristics of Porygon-Z I began the review with was its status as a Stage 2 Pokémon.  There is only one Porygon2 and Porygon legal to evolve from, so it made more sense to discuss them as I evaluated the card for Limited play: you have no choice but to run them in Modified.  Porygon can heal itself completely for (CC) and discarding an Energy: when your maximum HP is 50, 4 damage counters is all of it!  Sounds great until you remember that you can’t heal then evolve before your opponent smacks you.  The only other thing it can do is Sharpen for 10.  It requires a single Energy, so it is pretty underwhelming: I won’t be running Porygon for its own sake, even in Limited.  Poyrgon2 has a handy Poké-Power for a few decks: when you play it from your hand to Evolve one of your Pokémon, you get to search your deck for a Stadium.  Too bad there is only a single Stadium this set and it boosts Pokémon LEGEND only.  I suppose if you are able to pull one of the two Pokémon that get extra damage from Stadiums this set, it could be worthwhile.  Unlike Porygon, Porygon2 also has a decent filler attack: (CC) gives you three coin tosses with 20 points of damage per “heads”.  Nothing remarkable, and at 80 HP it is just barely big enough to function as a Stage 1 Colorless filler Pokémon.  So, what about Porygon-Z itself?  Stage 2 Colorless filler Pokémon, I am afraid.  Its HP and damage output are better, but this set only has two Trainers in it: Junk Arm and Alph Lithograph.  The former can’t be used without another Trainer, and the latter appears to be some sort of Secret Rare and doesn’t have an effect that is worth using more than once.  You’re playing Porygon-Z for its Suspicious Beam attack, and since the set doesn’t have Rainbow Energy, you’re hoping to KO enough to offset this suicidal investment.

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 3/5

 

Limited: 2.5/5

 

Summary

 

Porygon-Z has some cool tricks and could be used in any deck, but not in a manner to offset the investment.  It isn’t much of an attacker is meant to recycle Trainers, which unfortunately it does unreliably and in a manner you have to burn another resource if you want the Trainer back right away.  There are some potent combos and you certainly can build a functional deck around the recycling aspect: indeed that is the best way to run it, despite it being “functional” in just about any deck.  The real hard part is figuring out what to have out front fighting.

virusyosh

Welcome back, Pojo readers! Today we end our COTD week with a potentially useful Rare card from the new HS Triumphant expansion. Today's Card of the Day is Porygon-Z.

Porygon-Z is a Stage 2 Colorless Pokemon. Colorless Pokemon are excellent because they can use any type of Energy, although this isn't necessarily the case for Porygon-Z (we'll get to that later). 110 HP is a bit disappointing for a Stage 2, but it's definitely better than Jumpluff's abysmal 90. Weakness to Fighting is bad for Machamp, Promocroak, and Donphan matchups, no Resistance is also pretty bad, and a Retreat Cost of 2 isn't terrible, though you wouldn't want to pay it under most circumstances.

Porygon-Z has a Poke-Power and an attack. Dimension Transfer allows you to flip a coin, and if you get heads, you can take a Trainer card from your discard pile, show it to your opponent, and put it on the top of your deck. This is actually a fairly decent power, and there are very few ways of recurring Trainers in Modified. However, there are a few drawbacks to this Power. First of all, it is reliant on a coin-flip, so it is unreliable. Second, the Trainer card only goes to the top of your deck, not directly into your hand, so you have to find some other way of drawing the Trainer. Finally, with all of the Trainer lock that seems to be currently in the metagame (Spiritomb, Vileplume), your recurred Trainers may not be of use to you.

Porygon-Z's attack, Suspicious Beam β, deals a solid 80 damage for [CCC], but if Porygon-Z doesn't have a Rainbow Energy attached to it, it will deal 20 damage and Confuse itself. 80 damage for 3 Energy is actually not too bad in this format, especially because it can easily take down your opponent's Garchomp Cs and non-Leveled Up SPs. However, the secondary effect, while very original, really kills this attack. Requiring Rainbow Energy to get rid of the bad effects is unfortunate, as it effectively gives Porygon-Z an energy requirement, and a rather difficult one at that. Even still, adding the Rainbow to it is better than the alternative, as dealing 20 damage and Confusing yourself every turn will definitely not help Porygon-Z's survivability.

Modified: 2/5 Dimension Transfer may eventually have a place as a support option, but probably not in this current metagame, where there are generally better options. Unfortunately, the attack has a lot of problems, and will only really work in the right deck. Low top and bottom stats certainly don't help, either.

Limited: 1/5 I think that Porygon-Z is actually worse in Limited than in Modified. Rainbow Energy isn't available in Limited, so Suspicious Beam β will always have the negative drawback of dealing damage to yourself and Confusion, and the only Trainer in the Triumphant set is Junk Arm, which is totally useless in Limited, since it can't get back itself. Despite the Colorless Energy requirements, I would use something else.

Also, as a side note: Good luck to everyone that still have City Championships this weekend!


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