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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Victini #15

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Dec. 14, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.50
Limited: 3.83

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Victini 15/101 (Noble Victories)

Today’s card is one of three Victini released in the Noble Victories set. Victory Star Victini quickly earned the nickname ‘Fliptini’. This one usually gets called either ‘Benchtini’ or ‘100tini’ for reasons that will soon become clear.

Victini is an unevolving Basic with 70 HP (pretty low these days), a Water Weakness which won’t matter much with that HP, and a Retreat cost of one (Not much to say about that: it’s acceptable, if sometime inconvenient, to pay).

V-create is Victini’s only attack, and straight away people will notice the number on the right-hand side of the card which tells you that it does a massive 100 damage. The attack cost doesn’t seem too bad either: just one Fire and one Colourless Energy is all it takes, so there must be some drawback, right? Of course there is: you must have a full bench when you use V-create or the attack fails. Remind you of anything? Yep, it’s very similar to Cinncino BW’s Do the Wave attack: both need 5 Benched Pokémon to hit for 100 damage. You would think that this would make Victini the superior card: after all, it’s a Basic vs a Stage 1, but things are not quite that straightforward . . .

Although Victini may superficially seem faster than Cinccino, it isn’t really the case. That [R][C] attack cost means that it will take two turns to power up Victini (without Energy acceleration), and that’s the same amount of turns that it takes to evolve Cinccino and attach 2 Energy or a Double Colourless. More importantly though, Cinccino doesn’t need a full Bench to do damage. With three Pokémon there, it can still hit for 60; with four it does 80 damage. Victini on the other hand is an all-or-nothing card: if you can’t fill your Bench for whatever reason, it’s utterly useless.

So, does this mean that there is no use for 100tini as Cinccino will always be the better choice? Hmmm . . . not quite. One thing that Victini has going for it is its Fire Typing and low(ish) attack cost, which makes it a viable tech in decks that have a poor match up with certain Fire-Weak Pokémon. Vanilluxe decks, for example, are completely at the mercy of Steelix Prime unless they do something about it, and Kyurem often has a difficult time against Cobalion. With Victini being just about the only splashable Fire Pokémon that can OHKO those threats, regardless of the amount of Special Metal they have stacked on them, it does sometimes see play as an anti-Metal Type tech.

Although I definitely wouldn’t recommend building a deck around 100tini in preference to Cinncino, I would certainly bear him in mind if your deck struggles against anything that is Weak to Fire.

Rating

Modified: 2.25 (May find a place as a tech in some decks)

Limited: 3 (not always easy to use because you can’t always draw into the Basics, but can be effective)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Victini 15/101 (Noble Victories)
 
This is the other Fire type Victini, which uses V-Create instead of Victory Star as the signature move. A good thing too, as this card has some potential that doesn't involve coin flips.
 
The Creator is a Fire type non-evolving Basic with 70 HP, Water Weakness, a retreat cost of 1 and a single attack.
 
Although the little fellow is small by today's standards, it's strange to think that as little as 3 years ago that HP was the high end of the scale. In today's meta it won't last long, but much like the Simipour of yesterday's review, the current level of energy acceleration that Fire can access makes that less of a problem. The Weakness is expected and acceptable although it won't do you any favours against Mantine HGSS and Kyurem NV. Finally, the retreat cost is fair but largely redundant due to the short lifespan of the average Victini.
 
Now the attack. V-Create costs a mere [r][c] and deals 100 damage, although there is an added cost of having a full Bench or V-Create does nothing. That drawback is a problem as although you would probably want to fill your bench anyway, Vicitni is at its most useful when you are trying to recover from a bad start. Which is the time when you are least likely to have a full Bench.
 
Still, Victini could do well in a ReshiPhlosion deck. That build tends to suffer from a lack of Basic Poke'mon at the start of the game, so Victini can help fill in the gaps and deal some nasty damage without having to discard energy.
 
I don't see Victini making a big splash in Modified, but you should give it a try if you need some more Basic Poke'mon in your deck to avoid those annoying donk wins. And 100 damage for 2 energy without any other costs is just begging to be abused!
 
Modified: 3.25 (Victini is another possible choice if you need to fill some slots in your ReshiPhlosion deck, especially if you don't like having to start with a Vulpix or Cyndaquil)
 
Limited: 4 (V-Create works like a charm here so long as you can fill your Bench. Happy roasting!)
 
Combos with: a Haymaker style deck that relies on a Basic to win.


Otaku

So what are we reviewing today? I’ll take “Cards Crowded Out” for $500, Alex! Normally I try not to bias my readers by flat out naming what I think of a card before breaking it down, but today I am trying something a little different. Plus I really wanted to use that opening.

Stats

This Victini is a Basic Fire-Type Pokémon that doesn’t Evolve. The bad news is that means you get what you get with it, but it can make full use of cards like Eviolite that only have an effect on Basic Pokémon. The Type doesn’t really help in terms of Fire support, and I’ll be honest I am uncertain of how useful hitting Fire Weakness is or will be now or in the coming months: it really depends on what the players collectively choose to play. The only real advice I can offer is know your metagame.

70 HP is no longer the “magic number” like it was in the beginning of the game. Besides its normal usefulness, until the release of Erika’s Jigglypuff in Gym Challenge (sixth English set, not counting Base Set 2), this number meant you were safe from your opponent scoring a lucky first turn KO, barring Weakness. Usually this meant a Base Set Hitmonchan using Jab for 20 plus 40 thanks to four PlusPower. If you aren’t aware, Gym Challenge wasn’t released in the U.S. until October of 2000, so that means nearly two years of this being the standard.

Even after a decade of stat inflation, 70 HP remains a good, solid amount. Against the strongest and/or most popular decks, it is still within OHKO range, though the slowest/weakest of the top decks aren’t guaranteed to take the Prize. Against less competitive decks, you probably survive one hit outside of the card’s Water Weakness. Water Weakness, just like the Type, is murky as to how dangerous it is to know you the metagame: in one area it might be non-existent while in another it might be common.

The Retreat Cost of one is easy to pay, but I wouldn’t have minded a free Retreat Cost: that seems to be the only thing left to give anything that isn’t a “big” Basic Pokémon and doesn’t Evolve, and while Victini isn’t a Flying-Type, doesn’t learn Flying-Type moves, and doesn’t come with Levitate, it is depicted in the animé as flying around. Yes, another example of why I would love for the video games to re-evaluate their Type-system. Kind of like how I wish the TCG would embrace Resistance again, as this card has none (which is automatically the worst possible option for it).

Effect

Victini has a single attack, V-Create, and it is… actually quite reasonable, requiring (RC) and a full Bench, but then giving you a great 100 points of damage. Note that while I said full Bench, that is if nothing is altering Bench size. The wording is specifically the attack doesn’t work if you have four or less Pokémon on your Bench. Some effects to shrink your allowable Bench size, and one of the old Team Multi-Player formats restricted your Bench to three Pokémon, so sometimes this will render the card useless.

Overall though this is quite a solid attack; while it is nice to keep a single slot open on your Bench “just in case” it isn’t that big a concern and most decks like a fairly robust Bench anyway. In short, most decks will be geared toward quickly filling their Bench anyway. The Energy cost is fine with almost any form of Energy acceleration; though Fire based Energy acceleration is preferable. This is because if you can’t meet the (RC) requirement in one turn, odds are Victini isn’t lasting another one.

Use

So how and why would you use this card? Sadly, the actual question should read “would have”. Without Reshiram, the format would certainly be different, and we would be lacking a big, basic Fire Pokémon. Typhlosion Prime and Emboar w/Inferno Fandango decks would find it to be a great opening attacker, though they probably would like something else for back-up since some games it would just be too hard to fill one’s Bench and keep it full.

Plus we have two other Victini and the one most people would use is the version with the Victory Star Ability, allowing you once per turn (as in doesn’t stack) to re-flip all the coin tosses used for an attack. Still needing just (RC) besides the full Bench makes it reasonably easy to splash, and so if Fire Weakness climbs (or is just your deck’s poor match-up), after said Fire Weakness a Metal-Type Pokémon needs a lot of extra help to survive. After all, 100 doubled is 200, so even with four Special Energy Metal Energy a Metal-Type Pokémon with 160 HP just got slagged.

Unlimited might have a small niche use for this card. With the restoration (for the most part) of the older Trainer usage rules, Unlimited is plagued by decks that win first turn and decks that gain so much advantage (or rob you of so much of your set-up) that you might as well be losing to them. Still if you aren’t quite facing such steep odds, this card isn’t bad. It is Unlimited: OHKOs happen frequently, and many smaller Pokémon with vicious effects still see play. Likewise filling your Bench is almost effortless, and you even have some Energy acceleration/manipulation options that won’t require huge amounts of your deck. I wouldn’t count on seeing someone play this card, but if you feel like it you should be able to cobble together a good second/third string deck. You know the drill: Bench full of Slowking and the usual staples of the format. The hard part will be finding targets not wearing Focus Band to OHKO.

In Limited, this isn’t a must pick, but it rates pretty high with only one real provision: can you afford to run some Fire Energy? If you can, yes the card is all but useless until you fill your Bench, only capable of being a small meat shield. Yes in Limited play filling your Bench can be a bit challenging… but just a bit. Normally your deck in Limited play is between 40-60% Pokémon, with the rest divided between the few Trainers you were lucky to pull and the rest being basic Energy cards. My personal experience is that about every three games, you’ve got more Pokémon in hand than you can play, about one in three your struggling, and about one in three if you could fill your Bench if you needed to, but don’t want to because the Basics you’d be dropping aren’t that good. Well if you’ve got this Victini, that last outcome becomes “fill your Bench”. It is a crude estimate, but I’d say being great 2/3s of the time makes it worth it.

Ratings

Unlimited: 3/5

Modified: 2/5

Limited: 4.5/5

Summary

Poor Victini: if you could have beaten the Dragons to the format, you might have enjoyed some time in the sun… assuming you weren’t stampeded to death by Donphan Prime and Yanmega Prime. Not a bad card, just not good enough with the behemoths we currently have available.

This comes as no surprise to most, but I am still selling my former collectibles on eBay here and would appreciate people taking a look. Just remember that Pojo.com is in no way responsible for any transactions, just kind enough to let me link to the auctions.


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