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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Virizion #17

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.62
Limited: 4.50

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:


Otaku

Today we look at Virizion, part of the “musketeer trio” of Legendary Pokémon according to Bulbapedia. Am I the only one who keeps reading that name as “Verizion”?

Long time readers (and of course savvy players) know the drill: a Basic Pokémon that has no Evolutions bears the full burden of earning its way into decks. Virizion is a Grass-Type, which makes sense since in the video games it is a Grass/Fighting hybrid, though since (as we’ll see tomorrow) all the “musketeer trio” Pokémon share one attack and have a similarly priced first attack, I kind of wish they’d made them all Fighting. Grass-Types don’t have a lot of support but even that little bit is more than most other types. Note that Energy-Type Support is not the same as Pokémon-Type Support. Unfortunately that “little bit” doesn’t see much play, anyway. Virizion has 100 HP, which is quite good for a Basic Pokémon, though it can be easy to forget that in the light of 130 HP monsters like Reshiram and Zekrom, and this is the lowest score of the musketeer trio. Even 100 HP is good enough for a Stage 1 after all! Fire Weakness hurts in the current format, of course, and means only the weakest will be unable to deliver a solid blow, and any substantial Fire-Type attack will be transformed into a OHKO. Pity it didn’t get a Psychic Weakness, as that isn’t too bad for a Grass-Type, fits its Fighting half, and is a definite improvement (given the current cardpool). Virizion enjoys Water Resistant -20, and while right now that doesn’t matter as much, it might come in handy real soon if Beartic even half-lives up to the hype. It also has a mere single Energy Retreat Cost, making it fairly easy to send it to the Bench without crippling your set-up.

The first attack on this card is Giga Drain for (GC) and doing 30 points of base damage while healing Virizion by as much total damage as the attack does. For the Energy this is good, but I question how it is being used: while off theme this would have been great with Terrakion and its 120 HP or Cobalion and its natural benefits from being a Metal-Type. Still, 100 HP might be enough outside of Weakness that with the right deck, it could still matter. At the very least it means you could use two Rainbow Energy to power the attack (I’ll explain why you’d do that later) and one shot would get rid of all the damage from them. The second attack is an adaptation of a video game attack with the same name (Sacred Sword) and common to all three members of the musketeer trio. I don’t know if it is a good conversion of the attack, but for (GGC) it does 100 points of damage, but you can’t use it the next turn! Between the two attacks you’ll average healing 15 points of damage and doing 65 points of damage a turn, and while that isn’t great, it might be good enough since its on a 100 HP Basic that is Resistant to Water-Types. Of course, just like Terrakion if the price was (CC) and (GCC) respectively, this would have likely been as potent as Reshiram and Zekrom.

So how can we use this? Honestly I am thinking of a kooky deck based around Serperior (Black & White 06/114) and Vileplume (HS: Undaunted 24/90). The catch is a player has to get those two out quickly to support it. Helping you set-up your initial one might work using Celebi “Prime” (HS: Triumphant 92/102) coupled with Shaymin (HS: Unleashed 8/95) to shunt those Energy to Virizion, but then you’ll be very reliant upon Seeker since you’ll want to get both those Basic Pokémon out of the way. In the end a sacrificial opener might be the best move, since that would enable Twins for even more set-up. You might even be able to use Rainbow Energy to get by with running the other two members of the trio, since Terrakion has enough HP to still work with the combo while Cobalion (as you’ll see in that CotD) even be better suited to the combo than Virizion.

So what about Unlimited play? Too slow and self-healing like Giga Drain can’t keep up with the “OHKO or Focus Band” nature of Unlimited play (when you are not facing donk decks). At least it is less sad than most first attempts at Legendary Pokémon. Even if you got it set-up, the rest of the deck would be better used on something different. In Limited play I am assuming this card will be great. Unless there are a lot of decent Fire Pokémon in this set, the Weakness shouldn’t ruin the card. If there are a lot of Water, the Resistance and HP alone make the card tempting. You’ll also need to be able to work four or five Grass Energy into your deck so at least powering the first attack should be simple (and hopefully the second if you aren’t too unlucky). Virizion will have almost as much or more HP than what it faces, unless the rest of the set is also abnormally large Pokémon. The Basic Pokémon we have seen are all “legendary” Pokémon that usually have inflated stats in the video games, so among them it isn’t especially large, but average Pokémon usually need to be at least Stage 1 to hit 100 HP, and playing Evolutions is difficult in Limited. The first attack goes from “okay” to “awesome” in Limited play where opponent’s will struggle to keep the damage on Virizion, especially if you can use Sacred Sword to KO the Defending Pokémon every other turn. Your opponent will most have to power up something strong on the Bench, and thus can’t invest enough in something else to hit hard in the mean time.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1.25/5

Modified: 3.25/5

Limited: 4.5/5

Summary

I really doubt Virizion will make the impact of Zekrom or Reshiram, but like its fellow I see real potential. Maybe we’ll finally get a “big Grass” deck?

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virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo readers! The 2011 Pokemon TCG World Championships are quickly coming upon us in San Diego (the Last Chance Qualifier starts today!), and us here at Pojo have started to review some preview cards from the upcoming Emerging Powers expansion, which we will continue to do at least into next week. This week we've reviewed the "musketeer trio" this week, ending with today's Card of the Day, Virizion.

Virizion is a Basic Grass Pokemon. Grass-types are somewhat common in our current incarnation of Modified, with Yanmega Prime recently finding success in many decks as well as increased use of Serperior in some areas. Virizion has 100 HP, which is fairly solid for a non-evolving Basic, and it should be able to stand up to a hit or two, unless it's up against a Reshiram or Zekrom's Bolt Strike. Fire Weakness is to be expected, and really hurts this card's usefulness against Reshiram, Typhlosion, and Emboar. Water Resistance is good against the likes of the random Feraligatr, Blastoise, and Floatzel you may see, and will also come in handy against Beartic. Finally, a Retreat Cost of 1 is decent and easily payable.

Virizion, like its other two trio members, has two attacks: Giga Drain and Sacred Sword. Giga Drain does an on-cost 30 damage for [GC], having you heal as much damage as you did to the Defending Pokemon. Rather uninspired in my opinion as it won't really do a whole lot for you in Modified (aside from KOing the occasional Baby Pokemon), but it can help Virizion tank in Limited, especially if the Defending Pokemon is weak to Grass.

Sacred Sword is identical to the other to the other Sacred Sword attacks on Cobalion and Terrakion, dealing 100 damage for [GGC] but with the side effect that Virizion can't use Sacred Sword during your next turn. 100 damage is fairly good for the cost, but only being able to use that attack every other turn is kind of annoying. Sure, you can Retreat and Switch Virizion and then move it back into the Active Position in order to re-use the attack, but there are generally easier ways to deal 100 damage for three Energy in this format, like Reshiram or Zekrom. In Limited, this attack will probably ruin your opponent's Pokemon pretty well if it gets powered up, as only being able to use it every other turn isn't such a problem in that format.

Modified: 2/5 I'll be honest: I don't really know how to rate this card. It's a powerful Basic in an underrepresented type with the capability for dealing a lot of damage. Virizion doesn't really combo that well with anything that we currently have in Modified, though Emerging Powers may end up changing that. In general, Sacred Sword would be much better if it were a single Grass Energy and two Colorless, even still doing 100 damage with the drawback of not being able to attack next turn, as it would make Virizion much more playable (along with Cobalion and Terrakion too), being able to fire off Sacred Swords as soon as the second turn. However, due to the double typed Energy requirement and the relative weakness of the first attack, Virizion, as well as Cobalion and Terrakion, will likely struggle to find their way into decks, despite being very powerful Basic Pokemon in their own right. We may get something to help them out later on, but for now, I just can't see them being that useful.

Limited: 4.5/5 Virizion is a big Basic with the capability of doing 100 damage for a relatively small drawback, and Giga Drain allows it to heal itself. If you pull one here, it's worth the inclusion of a few Grass Energy. It could have really used more friendly Energy requirements, though.


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