The Pokémon card designers sure love the Monkey Trio,
don’t they? So far we’ve had a
Simisear in every set of the Black and White era.
Me? I’m not all that keen on them as Pokémon and (with
the possible exception of Simisear
BW) I’m not the biggest fan of the cards they appear on
Stage 1 cards had some time in the limelight at the
start of the HGSS-on rotation, and cards like
Yanmega Prime, though not
quite as brilliant as they were, are still very
playable, as are Cinccino
and Zoroark BW.
Nevertheless, the fact that each set brings us more and
more high HP, big hitting Basics (the Dragons, the
Genies, the Musketeers), makes it harder and harder for
Stage 1s to be top tier in this format. If
Simisear is going to see any
play, it’s going to have to do something pretty special.
Nothing about the cards stats suggest it can manage
that. The 90 HP is on the low side, and while the Water
Weakness isn’t a total disaster (Kyurem
is the only really popular Pokémon of that Type), the
Retreat cost of two is a drawback that this card simply
didn’t need. Oh well, let’s see if the attacks can do
anything to make up for it.
As far as the first one is concerned, you get everything
you would expect from an attack called Scratch
(unfortunately): it’s cheap, vanilla, and it doesn’t do
much damage. Thankfully, Double Fire is a bit more
interesting. For the (quite steep) cost of [R][R][C]
you get to flip two coins and do 80 damage for each
heads. That means 25% of the time you do nothing
(disastrous), 50% of the time you do 80 (not bad, but
nothing special), and 25% of the time you do 160 (enough
to OHKO pretty much anything in the game right now). The
obvious card to play with this would be Victory Star
Victini which allows a
re-flip and gives you a 90+% chance of being able to do
at least some damage. You could even use it to try and
re-flip for the 160 damage instead of settling for 80,
though to do this would mean that you were either a)
extremely reckless or b) desperate.
Practically, speaking, the most likely outcome, even
with Fliptini, is
still 80 damage for three
Energy and this isn’t really good enough to make a 90 HP
Stage 1 truly competitive. Sure, you can accelerate
Energy on to it with Ability Emboar
or Typhlosion Prime, but at
the end of the day why would you be picking
Simisear as a partner for
those cards instead of Reshiram?
A Basic with 130 HP is so obviously superior to a frail
Stage 1, while a guaranteed 120 damage will always be a
better option than a chance of 0/80/160 that depends on
Modified: 2 (Double Fire can be scary, but it’s too
frail and flippy to be taken
Limited: 4 (great if you pull
Mad Mattezhion Professor Bathurst League Australia
Simisear (Noble Victories)
The Monkey Trio don't get any respect!
Today's card is the third printing of Simisear, which
is again accompanied by its colleagues Simipour and
Simisage. This version follows the trend of its
predecessors as a useful but unspectacular card at a
Prerelease which is then utterly forgotten as a
completely uninteresting card unworthy of consideration
in even a casual deck.
Simisear is a non-evolving Fire type Stage 1 with 90
HP, Water Weakness, a retreat cost of 2 and two attacks.
Even with spectacular attacks, Simisear would have
serious survival issues with the rising popularity of
Kyurem and friends that would hold it back, and other
archetypes won't sweat much to roast this simian either.
Fortunately, the attacks aren't worth the effort.
Scratch is a generic 20 for [c] which is decent value
but in an age of 130 HP Dragons using Outrage it is
actually detrimental to your health in most cases. Cheap
attacks with either insane damage (see Donphan Prime,
Jumpluff HGSS and Kingdra Prime) or really annoying
secondary effects (see Mew Prime copying Muk's Sludge
Drag, Lilligant EP with Bemusing Aroma and Teddiursa CL
with Fake Tears) are the current favourites for an early
offensive so Simisear is behind the pace.
Double Fire costs [r][r][c] and flips two coins,
dealing 80 damage per Heads. Normally I'd say this
attack is as terrible as the first, but currently Fire
is the master of energy acceleration so paying the
attack cost while Simisear is still alive isn't entirely
unlikely. Also, with Victory Star Victini in the picture
you can put the odds more in your favour, so gambling on
Simisear for that devastating hit out of nowhere isn't
an entirely crazy play. If you aim consistently for
double Heads then the odds are 43.25% in your favour for
an attack that beats even Reshiram's efforts, and
realistically you have no reason to play it safe because
even if Simisear is on full health it won't survive your
The reason I'm trying to find a use for Simisear,
aside from not wanting to write another boring 'this
card is completely unplayable' article, is because the
Pansear from Emerging Powers is halfway decent as a
starter Poke'mon. With 70 HP and a single energy attack
to draw a card (the old Collect standby), it can do a
decent job of opening games for you if you run Reshiram
and Emboar/Typhlosion and then surprise your opponents
by being upgraded into a credible threat (if they
haven't already squished it).
Using a single copy of the BW Simisear is a great
upgrade for Pansear because without even investing
another energy you get 60 damage spread across 3
targets, which is very helpful for saving on Pluspowers
when you go into full attack mode with Reshiram's Blue
Flare. Adding this Simisear to the mix is a risky move,
especially if you don't have room for Fliptini, but on
those occasions where it pays off it will be worth it
simply for the laughs!
All in all, you'll have more consistency attacking
with Reshiram than you will with Simisear NV (and the
deck will be less crowded too), so I doubt the fiery
little chimp will force the fluffy powerhouse off of its
pedestal any time soon. But I hope that some
enterprising players out there will give the Pansear EP/Simisear
BW combo a try in their ReshiPhlosion decks, simply
because I want at least one of the Monkey Trio to earn a
place in player's hearts. Besides, it has improved the
performance of my Afterburner deck at the local League,
and there is nothing quite as satisfying as hitting a
Kyurem with a spread attack!
Modified: 3 (While I truly believe that thePansear
EP/Simisear BW combo playable at the tournament level
provided you relearn how to snipe, this version of the
card probably won't see play even at the League.
Although a 1-of copy in your ReshiPhlosion deck isn't
entirely crazy as a surprise tactic to save yourself
from a bad start, the better answer would probably be to
run more consistency cards instead of gambling on a few
Limited: 4 (The NV Pansear is the weakest of the
three printed so far and the Water types, especially
Kyurem, will stomp all over Simisear's face. However,
the cheap damage from Scratch is more useful in this
slower format and there are several decent Metal and
Grass types like Virizion and Cobalion that Simisear
will destroy with ease. Plus, who's going to argue with
you when you get that sweet double Heads result, helped
out by Flipini?)
Happy Tuesday, Pojo readers! I hope your weeks are
going well. Today we're going to review yet another
monkey trio evolution, this time from Noble Victories.
Today's Card of the Day is Simisear.
Simisear is a Stage 1 Fire Pokemon. Fire Pokemon are
fairly popular, as Reshiram, Typhlosion, and Emboar all
appear fairly often in common decks, although Fire's
popularity has dwindled somewhat, at least in my local
metagame. However, aside from those three, a Fire-type
really needs to be able to differentiate itself in order
to be played. 90 HP is fairly average for a Stage 1, and
Simisear should be able to withstand a single hit (or
two weaker hits) before going down. Water Weakness is a
problem against Kyurem, Beartic, and Vanilluxe; no
Resistance is rather unfortunate; and a Retreat Cost of
2 is rather costly, but payable if you absolutely must.
Simisear has two attacks. Scratch deals a vanilla 20
damage for a single Colorless Energy, which is really
only useful in Limited while you are waiting to power up
the second attack. Double Fire is a somewhat powerful
flip attack, allowing you to flip two coins and deal 80
damage times the number of heads for two Fire and a
Colorless. Double Fire can work well with Victory Star
Victini in Limited, but there are generally better
options in Modified. If you want to use a powerful flip
attack in Modified, go with Vanilluxe NV's Double Freeze
or Sharpedo TM's Strip Bare.
Modified: 1.5/5 Simisear could be fun to use with
Victory Star Victini, but there are generally better
options, especially in the Fire type.
Limited: 3.5/5 Simisear is actually fairly decent in
Limited. Scratch is rather weak, but has a nice
Colorless Energy requirement and can be used until you
power up Double Fire. Double Fire will average you 80
damage per turn (although it's important to note that
you also have a 25% chance of doing nothing), and you
could easily get even more than that if you also draft a
Victory Star Victini. While a flip attack may not be
very appealing, the large number of Grass-types and
playable Metal-types should also make Simisear's value
rise in this format.
Combos With: Victory Star Victini
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