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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Vespiquen - #23/90

HS Undaunted

Date Reviewed: Oct. 12, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.40
Limited: 3.15

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

Vespiquen (Undaunted) 

Here’s a question: what Pokémon type do you think is the TCG designers favourite? Psychic maybe? Fire? 

Well, I don’t know for sure (obviously) but if I had to have a bet on it, I would go for Grass. That type has more support than all other Pokémon types combined including Weakness removal (Metapod HGSS), HP boost (Shaymin LV X), and deck searching (Sunflora HGSS). The irony? With the exception of a handful of ancient Torterra and Scizor SF decks, along with Jumpluff’s brief time in the sun last format, Grass really hasn’t made the grade in a long, long time. 

Up for review today is yet another Grass support Pokémon. What else could Grass decks possibly need, I hear you ask. How about Bench protection? Very useful in a format where the most feared attack is Garchomp C LV X’s Dragon Rush, no? 

Well, that’s just what Vespiquen UD offers. It’s Pokebody, Defense Sign, grants immunity from damage to all of your Benched Grass Pokémon. This means that your Cherrims, Sunfloras etc have nothing to fear from Garchomp or spread attackers like Tyranitar Prime (they are still affected by damage counter placers like Gengar SF and Dusknoir SF though). 

As it is intended to be a Bench-sitter, Vespiquen’s mediocre stats (100 HP, Fire Weakness) aren’t really all that important. More of a problem is its ridiculous retreat cost of three. This Pokémon really doesn’t want to be dragged active, especially as its own attack (Mach Wind) is pretty meh, doing only 60 for [G][C][C] (though it does give Vespiquen free retreat next turn, should it survive to use it). 

Despite this, Vespiquen UD offers solid support to any Grass deck, and is a must-play tech in a deck based around its SF version and Combee UD. If we get another tier 1 Grass Pokémon while snipe decks still rule the format, Vespiquen will probably be worth considering, alongside all the other cards that try and give Grass a helping hand. 

Rating 

Modified: 3 (Nice tech for Grass . . . but who plays Grass right now?)

Limited: 2.5 (sniping isn’t a problem in Limited, so this is little more than an average attacker) 

Combos with 

Grass decks in general

Combee UD

virusyosh

Hello yet again, Pojo readers! Today we are reviewing a potentially useful Grass tech from the HS Undaunted expansion. Today's Card of the Day is Vespiquen UD.

Vespiquen is a Stage 1 Grass Pokemon. Grass Pokemon are fairly common in the metagame today: Jumpluff is a very popular deck, Vileplume UD is seeing a lot of use along with Gengar, and there are a few other random decks involving Grass Pokemon, such as Scizor/Cherrim. 100 HP is fairly good for a Stage 1, and Vespiquen should be able to take multiple hits barring a random Blaziken or Charizard, which will prey on the queen bee's double Fire Weakness. Unfortunately, Vespiquen has no Resistance, and a terrible Retreat Cost of 3. Make sure to use Switch, Warp Point, or some other method of switching.

Vespiquen has a Poke-Body and a single attack. Defense Sign prevents all damage to your benched Grass Pokemon from attacks, which can be really useful in a dedicated Grass deck like Scizor/Cherrim, or in a deck based around Combee UD and Vespiquen + Memory Berry. Outside of a deck with many Grass types, the body naturally has little usefulness.

The single attack, Mach Wind, deals 60 damage for [GCC], and makes Vespiquen's Retreat Cost 0 during your next turn. Having your retreat reduced to 0 is always nice, but having to actually switch (as opposed to the attack switching for you, like Gengar AR's Shadow Skip) could end up problematic if your opponent has a big attacker to threaten Vespiquen. However, if Vespiquen is damaged and goes to the bench, Combee UD (Or Vespiquen + Memory Berry) can do significant damage with Enraged Assault. A deck based around this (Vespiquen, Memory Berry, Unown P to damage your benched Vespiquens while getting around Defense Sign, maybe Cherrim SF and Shaymin Lv. X) may work as some crazy rogue build. Who knows.

Modified: 3/5 Vespiquen is a pretty good support option for Grass decks, and may be able to have a nice rogue deck based around it. Try it out and see if it works for you, especially if spread is a big problem in your area and you're running Grass.

Limited: 3.5/5 A big body for a Stage 2, minimal Grass requirements, a defensive body, and a decent attack make Vespiquen a good choice for Limited. Just stay away from Fire types and you'll be fine.

Combos With: Combee UD + Memory Berry, Unown P (for a possible rogue deck)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Vespiquen (HS Undaunted)
 
Today we have the other half of the Combee combo from last week. I have to wonder if it would change the game much if cards were diferentiated by gender in the Black and White series?
 
Vespiquen has 100 HP (good, but standard for the Queen Bee), Fire weakness (expected, but still hurts) and a retreat cost of 3 (ouch, but there are ways to get around it).
 
Vespiquen gets a Pokebody and an attack, both of which can be useful. The attack is Mach Wind, which costs GCC and deals 60 damage with the added bonus of giving Vespiquen free retreat during your next turn. Situationally useful, and you can speed it up with Leafeon Lv X for energy acceleration, as well as the always dependable DCE.
 
The body is Defence Sign, and simply gives all of your Grass benched Pokemon protection form any and all damage. Obviously, there are plenty of ways to play around this (drag the target active or use Pokepowers and attacks for damage counters instead of damage) but it is useful, especially when you consider the combo with multiple Vespiquens and Memory Berries to use the Combee's attack for brutal damage. Also, Shaymin Lv X (Ground Form) can give a considerable boost to Vespiquen to keep it alive while Active, and the Shaymin itself will be protected from most snipers. Add to this to all the other support Grass decks can access, and you have a playable protector/backup attacker in Vespiquen and Combee UD.
 
Modified: 3.75 (this card is a strong pick in a ShayMega deck or a Jumpluff deck using Shaymin for the health boost, and gives some options for stalling and/or counterattacking)
Limited: 3 (the attacks are harder to power up here and the Combee is vulnerable, but if you pull enough copies run with it.)
Combos with: Shaymin Lv X (Ground Form), Memory Berry, Combee UD, Leafeon Lv X

RocketProf

Happy Tuesday All!! Sorry I missed yesterday's COTD, I was recovering from a fantastic weekend at the New York City Comic Con!! If anyone else was there I was dressed as Professor Birch on Saturday... but enough of that, on to today's review!!

Today we're looking at Undaunted's Stage 1 Grass type, Vespiquen.  The Queen Bee has 100HP (ok), a 2X weakness to Fire (depends on your meta), no resistance (why not a fighting resistance?!?) and a displeasing retreat cost of 3.  The PokeBody on Vespiquen is certain to come in handy as Defense Sign protects all Grass types on your Bench from receiving damage, not placed damage counters, just damage (definitely not complaining, just clarifying).  Lastly Vespiquen has the attack Mach Wind, which for GCC will hit for 60 and remove Vespiquen's Retreat cost during your next turn. 

So here's the good parts to this seemingly meh card: if you reference my COTD review for Combee from UD you'll see my brief look into the Combee Rush deck and this card will play into that strategy well.  With a Memory Berry from PT attached The Queen can use Combee's attack as it's own, but you must take note that you still require another Vespiquen on the bench with at least one damage counter on it for the attack to be as successful as possible.  While I would prefer not to have this Vespiquen as an attacker because of its huge retreat cost its PokeBody makes it a real gem for this deck because once you have a damaged 'Quen on the bench it will be protected as long as the PokeBody remains activated *Shakes fist at Dialga G Lv. X*

Modified-3.9/5 (Weakness and Failure to Dialga G Lv. X's popularity kept it from a 4)

Limited-4/5 Build a deck full of Grass types and completely protect the bench, and if you have enough Combees chances are you can set the combo up and have that little guy swing for easy KO's in this format.

conical

 
10/12/10:Vespiquen(Undaunted)
 
It's pretty rare in this day and age for an evolved Pokemon card to be overshadowed by its basic form. I guess that's what happens when the basic does more damage than what its evolved form deals.
 
Still, Vespiquen has things going for it that don't include Combee. The 100 HP is nice(especially for the Combee+Memory Berry combo) but what interests me more is Defense Sign, the Poke-Body. With Garchomp C being the best attacker in the format and all, preventing your Grass-types from getting sniped is handy, especially when you're relying on a 30 HP basic.
 
Mach Wind is also handy, allowing Vespiquen to retreat for free(presumably damaged, to set up Enraged Assault). Even with the attack, though, Vespiquen's retreat cost is atrocious, especially for something that in theory needs to get active*. Not to mention, every other Vespiquen has a retreat cost of one, so did this really merit the jump?
*The other possibility is using Unown P to damage it from the bench. The Unown is mostly useless after that, and is not protected by Vespiquen's Body, but it beats using Switch often, especially with Trainer lock running rampant.
 
Combee does have another option: it could run Vespiquen SF in place of this card. The SF version does more damage, and has a better retreat cost, but I think the anti-sniping Body is more useful in a Garchomp-heavy metagame. You could run both versions and do fairly well, I think.
 
In Limited, the body will be less effective, the retreat cost makes it more of a liability, but the attack is quite better. You might want some Combees first, though.
 
Modified: 2.75/5
Limited: 2.25/5
Combos With: Memory Berry


Otaku

Today we look as Vespiquen, a card we touched on when we reviewed its HS – Undaunted Combee.  Being a Grass Pokémon isn’t going to let you coast to victory with a lot of auto-wins, but neither is the damage doubling Fire Weakness going to force you into a lot of futile matches.  It is a Stage 1 Pokémon, so it has to do a lot or have remarkable stats (and really both) to see competitive play: thanks Rare Candy Stage 2 Pokémon are almost as easy to play as Stage 1 Pokémon, but have their superior abilities and attributes to make things rather uneven.  The 100 HP is a solid score for a Stage 1 Pokémon.  It isn’t going to last long against a lot of main deck attackers, probably just a single hit if Vespiquen is at full HP.  However, it is a Stage 1 Pokémon, so you can just use Broken Time Space or even risk evolving manually a turn later and spare yourself running Rare Candy.  On shouldn’t ignore that this frees up at least a few extra slots in your deck.  I already commented on the Fire Weakness, but to clarify it will make winning against Fire decks very hard: the big attacks on most Fire cards are going to hit for 50 or more damage, and thus be able to OHKO Vespiquen.  If you can outrace a Fire deck you can still win, or perhaps you should just pack the necessary protective cards to cover your Weakness.  The Resistance is missing!  Even though past versions of the card have always had Fighting Resistance, this one doesn’t.  While we haven’t discussed this card, it isn’t so potent as to need this to keep “poor Fighting” decks from being ruined by its mere presence in the metagame; therefore I really don’t like this.  Something else not to like is the high Retreat Cost of three!  This is very high and should never be paid.  While you should pack some options to lower your Retreat and/or change out your Active Pokémon, at least Vespiquen has a built in solution as well in the form of its attack.

 

Sadly, the card only has one attack: Mach Wind.  The good news is that TPC actually almost did what I was complaining about in the last few Pokémon reviews and structured it to make good use of Double Colorless Energy.  The attack needs (GCC), so if you go first, drop your Combee into play and slap a Grass Energy on one of them, then on your next turn evolve and add a Double Colorless Energy and you’re fully loaded and able to attack.  The less good (but not bad) news is that Mach Wind hits for 60 damage and zeros out the retreat cost of Vespiquen during your next turn.  The damage is adequate and some positive effect is better than nothing, but neither aspect is remarkable in and of itself.  It is the fact you can get it out without any complicated combos and power it up so quickly that matter.  This slightly reduces the need to have a card to change out Vespiquen, since it allows you to retreat an injured one and try to hide it on the Bench.  You’ll still want to pack cards like Switch to get it out of the Active slot since most of the time you’d want to Retreat before you attacked (or when you are unable to attack, etc).

 

Now, hiding on the Bench isn’t a good thing… except perhaps for this card.  Its other ability is Defense Sign.  Grass Pokémon on your Bench won’t take damage from attacks.  Of course, Defense Sign is probably most useful to counter the common sniping tactics of many a metagame and provides a small incentive to “hide the Vespiquen” when normally you’d either pack healing/healing alternatives or just go down swinging.  This would be a forgettable technique, until we factor in Combee.  As you’ll recall, we reviewers were pretty impressed with the little one: a mere 30 HP Pokémon capable of delivering 80 damage inflicting automatic Poison for a single Energy, as long as you have a Vespiquen with at least one damage counter on it in play.  On its own, this gives you tiny terrors to tenderize the opposition while waiting to unleash another attacker (or even Vespiquen herself when the time is right).  When combined with Memory Berry the whole thing comes together quite nicely: you’ll have a Stage 1 Pokémon that can use Rainbow Energy and Memory Berry to make Donphan looks a little weak.

 

In Limited play, the score is variable.  A single Vespiquen with a single Combee is a decent 1-1 TecH line to add a Grass Pokémon into your deck.  Wait… was there any Grass Weakness in the set?  It looks like it is only Kyogre & Groudon Legend. Oh well, it still gains the normal benefits of players being forced to run whatever they have: 100 HP goes from adequate to great since Stage 2 Pokémon have to Evolve properly and often won’t see play due to a missing lower Stage or poor line pulled.  It also faces attacks that do less damage on average and take more time to power up.  The Weakness is still a concern: the few Fire Pokémon in the set are actually quite good for Limited play, though it is unlikely your entire deck would be Fire Weak so it’s more an unfortunate congruence should the two Pokémon face-off.  The attack will be able to offset the Retreat Cost more often and both the Poké-Body and attack are just more useful here.  If you pull multiple copies of Combee, especially with multiple Vespiquen, it just skyrockets in play value.

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 3/5 – On its own, this is an okay card.  Like many of the best cards in the game, the combos available for it make it.  The net result is a score higher than its own attributes and abilities warrant, but lower than how the deck in general would score.

 

Limited: 3.5/5 – This is the score for pulling one Vespiquen and Combee.  Add approximately 0.25 to the score for each Combee pulled alongside the first.  If you managed to pull a 2-2 line or better, just run them!

 

Art: 3/5 – Not thrilling, but functional.

 

Combos with: Combee from Undaunted and Memory Berry.

 

I am still selling my former collectables on eBay.  I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various times I’ll have comic books, manga, action figures, and video games on the auction block.  You can take a look at what’s up for bids here.  Just a reminder, Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions and was merely kind enough to let me mention the auctions here. ;) 


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