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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 New Pokémon Cards of 2010

#3 -
Vileplume #24/90

HS Undaunted

Date Reviewed: Jan. 12, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.10
Limited: 2.50

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:
 

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#3 Vileplume (Undaunted)

 

Once upon a time, there was a little card called Spiritomb. Slower decks loved this card because its Keystone Seal PokeBody stopped everyone from using Trainers when it was active. This meant that it could stop Trainer-heavy rush decks from obliterating a set up deck before it even got going.

 

However, there was a problem with Spiritomb . . . sooner or later it would get knocked out, or it would have to be retreated. At that point the opponent could explode with a massive Trainer turn and proceed to take a quick six prizes. If only there was some way of keeping that lock in place . . .

 

. . . and then along came Vileplume, complete with a PokeBody (Allergy Flower) that did the same job as Spiritomb, only it worked from the Bench. Now players had a way of shutting down Trainers for an entire game. All they had to do was build their deck in such a way that it could function without Trainers (which basically means relying on Supporters and Broken Time-Space), and they would have a huge advantage.

 

Because of its ability to lock out some of the most effective cards in the game (Rare Candy, SP Trainers, Luxury Ball), playing Vileplume is a strategy almost by itself. All it needs is the right attacker to partner it (the obvious choice being Gengar SF, thanks to the synergy with Poltergeist), and you have something which can compete with the Trainer-reliant speed decks that have dominated the format for what feels like years.

 

Of course, there are downsides to running a Vileplume-based deck. The card itself is worthless as an attacker and is very vulnerable to being dragged out and KO’d or sniped around. Also, recent changes to the rules (only needing a one Prize advantage to win a game on time) mean that it performs fairly poorly in  best-of-three situations (basically, any top cut and most Swiss rounds outside of the US): after all, a deck that takes its Prizes slowly is not brilliant in sudden death. This may be the reason that I haven’t seen very much of it in the UK, and also explains various rumours of Gengar/Vileplume players in the US going X-0 in Swiss and then dropping before the top cut to keep their ranking points safe.

 

Nevertheless, partnered with Gengar, Vileplume has shown itself to be a card which can compete with other top tier decks, and its effect is so powerful that I suspect players will be building lists with Vileplume until it gets rotated out of the modified format.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 3.75 (makes Trainer lock a viable deck type)

Limited: 1.25 (terrible attack and lack of Trainer use makes this not worth bothering with)

 

Combos with

 

Gengar SF

Spiritomb

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Vileplume (HS Undaunted)
 
Here is a card that received a lot of hype leading up to its release, and it isn’t hard to see why, since earlier versions of Vileplume with similar powers have proven devastating in the past.
 
Fortunately, Vileplume has lived up to the hype and is a powerful presence in the current metagame, even if it isn’t as popular as its partner, Spiritomb PA.
 
Alright, the stats: a Grass type Stage 2 with 120 HP, Psychic weakness, a retreat cost of 2, a Poke-body and an attack. Quite simply, the Poke-body is the reason this card made the list but, like Smeargle from yesterday, the well-balanced HP is what keeps this Pokémon alive long enough to be useful. Into the bargain, Vileplume is another of those rare Grass Pokémon that can make use of the ample support available without dying because the whole setup would be slower than continental drift.
 
Depending on what deck you are putting Vileplume in, you may skip out on all of the Grass support and stick with tried-and-true methods like Spiritomb PA but it is still nice to know that you have those options.
 
Okay, on to the abilities. The attack, Dazzling Pollen, costs [g][g][c] and deals 50 damage plus 20 more damage on a coin flip (heads), or just 50 damage with confusion on a tails result. This is deliberately weak to offset the powerful Poke-body, and although it is crap it is balanced. Just pray you don’t have to rely on it.
 
Now for the Poke-body. Allergy Flower (I’m sensing a theme here) stops both players from playing Trainers from their hands. Since you know you are going to have Vileplume in play you have the advantage because you can build your deck to work without Trainers while many other decks depend on the ability to play Trainers, or at least are a lot slower without them.
 
Typically, LuxChomp, SP Hybrids and Gyarados decks depend on Trainers to get set up so they are brutalised by the denial while other, slightly slower decks like CharPhlosion, FlyChamp/Donphan and Rain Dance decks all like having their Trainers available to keep their game consistent. All of the decks generally have some way around Trainer Lock (Dialga G to shut off the Poke-body, just playing Supporters and using Poke-powers for draw) but they are still disrupted and put off balance by Vileplume.
 
Generally, Vileplume is seen with 2 different partners: Grass attackers (Leafeon UD and Victreebel TM come to mind) and Gengar SF. The first type of partner tends to back up Vileplume with some of that lovely Grass support (Shaymin Ground form Lv X, Metapod HGSS, etc.) and to focus on inflicting Special Conditions which become much harder to remove when Trainers are out of the picture.
 
The second, Gengar SF, partners up with Spiritomb PA to get the Trainer lock on right from the start and uses Nidoqueen RR to keep Vileplume healthy while it attacks with Poltergeist, dealing heavy damage for every Trainer, Supporter and Stadium the opponent has been unable to play.
 
In both decks, Vileplume really ruins the opponents day and the correct build (generally starting with Spiritomb PA and some good Supporters is the key) will ensure that Vileplume enters play quickly and stays there, crippling the opponent while ensuring that the rest of the strategy is effective, whether it be damage based on Trainers or Poison and Burn.
 
Admittedly, Vileplume and its common partners are always about Poke-bodies which means that Dialga G Lv X is murder on the giant (somewhat floppy) flower. Luckily for the more popular VileGar build, Gengar Lv X can be included to remove Pokémon Lv X from the field and get rid of that particular problem.
 
To be fair, Vileplume would not be such a presence in Modified if Spiritomb PA did not already exist, but it is definitely a presence that every player should keep in mind and plan to beat. I don’t see that changing for a long time.
 
Modified: 4.5 (it needs help and it should never be Active, but Vileplume is a monster for passive disruption)
Limited: 2 (Stage 2 Pokémon are almost never easy to play and there aren’t many Trainers to lock [worse is that you can’t prepare and you lose your own Trainers], but at least the attack seems better here)
 
Combos with: Spiritomb PA, Gengar SF, Victreebel TM

conical

1/12/11: Vileplume(Undaunted)-#3 Card, 2010

Spoiler alert: This is the last Pokemon on the top 10 list. The HGSS line of cards has definitely had more of a focus on quality Trainers/Supporters/Stadiums than on Pokemon. I rather like the design choice; good T/S/S make for more interesting formats, in my opinion.

I had Vileplume put rather uncomfortably high at #2; I think that it's more of a #3-ish card than a #2 card. However, I couldn't think of anything better(or rather, I had something better, then forgot that Double Colorless Energy was a reprint), so I moved it on up. Not that I'm slighting or anything; it's still clearly a dominant card. Allergy Flower, for those unfamiliar with the card, blocks both players from using Trainers, and unlike Spiritomb AR, can use this ability while on the bench. This has fueled the infamous VileGar deck, using Gengar SF's Poltergeist attack to deal massive damage while Trainer locking.

And yet, I feel that VileGar is a waste of this card's potential. VileGar is a powerful deck, but surely Vileplume should see play combined with other cards? Glaceon Lv. X? Victreebel TRI? Anything? I'm sure we'll see more decks using this card in some form, but for now, the immediate impact is the lone VileGar archetype, and vast potential.

Modified: 4.5/5
Limited: 3/5
Combos With: Gengar SF. For now...


Otaku

Vileplume from HS – Undaunted manages to make the top three of our top 10 of 2010.  I actually had this card placed a bit lower, with Twins a bit higher.  A Stage 2 Grass Pokémon, it clocks in at a reasonable 120 HP.  Being a Stage 2 makes it hard to squeeze into a deck but as we know, it gets some major compensation.  If you make the effort of running a Grass themed deck, you can fit in some very useful support for it.  It has to cope with a double Weakness to Psychic Pokémon; I like that they appealed to the (video game) Poison half of Vileplume for the Weakness, but Fire Weakness would have been safer: Uxie Lv.X just needs a Double Colorless Energy to score a OHKO.  The lack of Resistance is predictable and unfortunate as always, and a Retreat Cost of two Energy isn’t bad but is high enough you might want to pack some (non-Trainer) answers for it.

The Poké-Body makes this card: it shuts down all Trainers for both players.  Unfortunately for Vileplume players this is the modern definition of Trainer that still allows Stadiums and Supporters through.  Blocking anything but those will seriously slowdown most decks and cripples a few, so it is still worth it.  The attack, Dazzling Pollen, is fancy filler, I am afraid.  The triple Energy investment should yield at least 60 damage on a Stage 2 and instead, this merely has you flip a coin to decide if it is really 70 total damage or 50 with Confusion.  I can only surmise that the attack is intentionally weakened to compensate for an expected-to-be potent Poké-Body.

Any strategy that relies on disruption seems to favor this card.  Anytime I’ve tried to make a go out of inflicting Special Conditions, this is a must.  A well known, successful deck that uses this would be “VileGar”, composed of this and Gengar Lv.X. 

I really would love to see how Unlimited play treats this card: many older players neglect to utilize Supporters in my personal experience.  Spoiled by all those old, powerful Trainers they forget that many Supporters offer unique opportunities no Trainers can quite match.  In Limited play, this might be a good pick if another set is being run alongside it: there just aren’t that many Trainers in this set to worry about, though at least inflicting Confusion is more useful.

Ratings

Modified: 4/5

Limited: 3/5  

virusyosh

Happy midweek, Pojo readers! We are nearing the end of our countdown of the Top 10 Cards of 2010. Today's card, at the #3 position, is a Pokemon that has a very important place in VileGar, one of the most popular decks in the Modified format right now, and most players hate seeing this card hit the field. Today's Card of the Day is Vileplume from the HS Undaunted expansion.

Vileplume is a Stage 2 Grass Pokemon, although its typing really doesn't matter all of that much for the deck that the card resides in, as it is rarely the Active Pokemon. 120 HP is decent for a Stage 2, and is important because Vileplume will rarely be OHKOed, especially by snipe damage. Weakness to Psychic is bad, as Gengar and even Uxie Lv. X can OHKO Vileplume if it is somehow made active. No Resistance is unfortunate. Finally, a Retreat Cost of 2 is not terrible, but given that most VileGar builds will not want to pay the full retreat cost, make sure to use something like Warp Point or Warp Energy.

Vileplume has a Poke-Body and a single attack, but the Poke-Body is what makes this card see so much play. Allergy Flower blocks the use of Trainer cards for both players, preventing them from playing them from their hand. This is commonly paired together with Gengar SF, as it has great synergy with its Poltergeist attack to hit for obscene amounts of damage. Most Gengar players will start with a Spiritomb AR, and then Darkness Grace until they have a Gengar and a Vileplume out, and then proceed to beat the hindered opponent under Trainer lock conditions. However, getting two Stage 2 Pokemon out is very difficult to do, so the Gengar builds tend to be much slower than other commonly played Modified decks such as SP variants and Gyarados. Then again, because so many of these decks rely on Trainers for their speed, perhaps it really isn't such a problem at all.

Vileplume's attack, Dazzling Pollen, costs [GGC] and starts off at 50 damage, but can add 20 more if you flip heads. This attack is still decent even if you flip tails, as the opponent will be Confused. This attack is a bit expensive, but in most cases Vileplume will probably not be attacking very often anyway, and will simply be sitting on the Bench as a support Pokemon.

Modified: 4/5 Vileplume's Poke-Body is really good, and causes a ton of problems whenever it hits the field. However, there are a few things to note. If up against an SP deck, this will often be the first thing that they Bright Look, as Vileplume's 2 retreat cost isn't getting it to the Bench any time soon in Modified. Additionally, if you are facing a deck that runs Dialga G Lv. X, Time Crystal shuts off Allergy Flower completely, making your matchup that much more difficult. Most other decks will not be able to deal with being constantly Trainer locked, however, so Vileplume can be an excellent choice if you decide to play Trainer lock.

Limited: 3/5 It's a Stage 2 with relatively heavy attacking requirements, and the Trainer lock ability isn't quite as useful here, as the only Trainers in Undaunted are Defender, Energy Exchanger, and Legend Box. Then again, if you are able to power it up, there probably won't be much your opponent will be able to do, as a steady 50-70 damage per turn and the possibility of Confusion will probably hurt.

Combos With: Gengar SF


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