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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Weezing #51/101

EX: Deoxys

Date Reviewed: August 1, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary - See Below

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


Otaku

We have a Reviewer’s Choice CotD for you, and my choice is EX: Deoxys 51/107, Weezing! I chose it in part because it was part of one of my favorite decks, Liability (named after its first attack). There were multiple versions of the deck, and recall one doing well (possibly going undefeated) at the Grinder before Worlds one of the formats in which Weezing was legal. The deck it ran in requires a lot of outside-the-box thinking and that is the other reason I chose it.

Normally I start with a Pokémon’s stats and then do its effects, but this is a card that makes more sense if we work backwards. This Weezing has a good stalling attack called Smogscreen for (GC) that does 20 points of damage, Poisons the Defending Pokémon, and that Defending Pokémon you just hit has to flip a coin if it tries to attack Weezing next turn. If it gets “tails” the attack does nothing. Of course the effect can be removed in the usual ways of Evolving, Devolving or sending either Pokémon to the Bench. Thanks to Double Rainbow Energy being legal, Wally’s Training or Rare Candy (since it was the old wording) you could even get this out and attacking your first turn (if you went second). It is still a good attack for the price, though was a little better back then, but it was just the icing on the cake. The real deal was Liability as I mentioned in my opening paragraph. Liability reduced the Defending Pokémon to 10 HP and did 70 to Weezing itself. Yes, this usually resulted in a self-inflicted KO while your opponent’s Pokémon survived, but as I’ll get to there were some combos that made it so this wasn’t the case. Even as a “doomsday” option this wasn’t too bad since seriously, against a wise target (say a Stage 2 Pokémon loaded with Energy) it is difficult to recover and you can probably finish it off next turn. Even in modern Modified you’d basically have to try a Super Scoop Up and hope for heads, or drop a Switch and burn your Seeker use for the turn. With proper timing, even that is worth a Stage 1 Pokémon and a single Energy.

So what about the rest of the card? Weezing was a Stage 1 Pokémon as usual, and since this was before the video game Poison-Type was shifted to the Psychic-Type, it was also a Grass-Type Pokémon, and this was to its benefit due to making it naturally combo with some important cards. Weezing only had 70 HP but as I outlined above, the card was designed so as not to need much HP, rendering it a minor problem instead of a debilitating problem. Back then the Psychic Weakness could be a problem but wasn’t crippling, but it still a problem despite the suicidal approach of the card. I would have loved Resistance but alas, it had none. Likewise a single Energy Retreat Cost was great but boy would the deck have loved it to have had a free Retreat Cost: there were times when I couldn’t afford that single Energy!

So what is the rest of this combo/deck? To stat with, let us look at Koffing. While not the only option, the Koffing from EX: Deoxys (card number 62/107) was a natural fit because for (G) it could automatically inflict Poison, setting up for Liability next turn if your opponent didn’t shake it. This Koffing had 50 HP and otherwise the same stats as Weezing. The meat of the deck was that Weezing co-existed with several cards that could KO the opponent between turns via an effect. You could use Victreebel (EX: FireRed/LeafGreen 17/112), Exploud ex (EX: Crystal Guardians 92/100), Weezing (EX: Delta Species 33/113), Desert Ruins (EX: Hidden Legends 88/101), Cursed Stone (EX: Legend Maker 72/92). Looking at those cards, you’ll find they all placed damage counters on either the Active Pokémon or a class of Pokémon (Pokémon ex, Pokémon with Poké-Powers, Poké-Bodies, etc.). They were not all used in the same deck of course: usually you packed something general like the Victreebel (it placed damage counters on the opponent’s Active Pokémon between turns) alongside some of the Stadiums. There were also Pokémon that could Poison via a Poké-Power but the only one I recall having any success with (limited as it was) would have been Vileplume δ (EX: Holon Phantoms 17/110). Unfortunately its Poké-Power required a successful coin toss and so the other methods were usually more reliable even if it required a diverse deck.

There were a few tricks to allow Weezing to survive using Liability, but usually you wanted it to fall so you could bring up something like Victreebel. If you did want it to survive, I remember two cards that were sometimes used: Low Pressure System (reprinted as OP Series 3 11/17) for an extra 10 HP or Energy Root (EX: Unseen Forces 83/115) as the drawbacks didn’t matter for Weezing. If you are wondering Energy Root shut off Poké-Bodies/Poké-Powers on the equipped Pokémon, and couldn’t be used on Pokémon-ex or those with “Dark” in their name. This generally worked best when using something that didn’t need to be Active for the final damage counter, of course.

The other huge boon to the deck was cards that rewarded you for having more Prize cards left than your opponent. This was recently revisited by some modern cards, but they pale in comparison to what we had back then: Pow! Hand Extension (EX: Team Rocket Returns 85/109), Rocket’s Admin. (EX: Team Rocket Returns 86/109), Solid Rage (EX: Unseen Forces 92/115), and Scramble Energy (multiple printings, originally EX: Deoxys 95/107). Solid Rage was the least of these and quite frankly all of the rest were brilliant, though I suppose Pow! Hand Extension or Scramble Energy was best.

Now put this all together. There were generally three plans of attack once the game actually began. If your opponent failed to get a second Pokémon in play, you could go for broke and a second/third-turn donk. Normally I would consider such a tactic cheap but by that point it meant your opponent was playing foolishly, built a bad deck, or just had rotten luck (and what’s the difference between taking full advantage of that kind of bad luck versus another?). If your opponent played poorly, you might push to KO something (through a Liability Combo) and seek to dominate in a more traditional manner. Most of the time, though, you’d intentionally let your opening Pokémon aide your set-up but get KO’d first, then assault them with come from behind cards while carefully timing your deck to jump from being behind a Prize to being ahead a Prize. How could you do that? This was the era of Pokémon-ex: few decks lacked them and those Pokémon were worth two Prizes a pop and often vulnerable to the more specialized damage counter placement cards, including an easy to run Stadium (Desert Ruins).

Liability decks were not especially easy to run but they were fun and I honestly believe the reason they didn’t win any significant major events is that for whatever reason, most skilled players seemed to avoid them. Even if it did go undefeated at a pre-World’s Grinder (and I am fairly certain it did), I can understand why many people would avoid it: most of the time you were engaged in “controlled losing”. Still this is the kind of creative thinking you need when trying to create a powerful rogue deck.

For the record, the card is almost totally useless in Unlimited play: much as I love it so many Pokémon can just go for a OHKO instead. It was wonderful for Limited play, since it only required one Grass Energy to run, was an Uncommon that Evolve from a Common, the usual lower average HP/lower average damage for the format, and both attacks were great here. Smogscreen could stall quite well without Trainers or Evolutions getting in the way, and you could either lead into the Poison/Liability combo with it. Liability could also just be used as a crazy deathblow, though you either had to send up something else as a meat shield or give your opponent a free shot at your next attacker.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5 – No point to the combo here.

Modified: N/A - I’d put it at a 3.25/5 if legal, and back in the day I’d have… well probably overrated it but it deserved a 3.75/5.

Limited: 4.75/5 – Too bad it’s so expensive to experience this now.

Summary

Weezing was a fascinating card that required creative thinking and combos to bring about brutal not-quite-OHKOs.

Check out my eBay auctions! Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions, though.


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