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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Liepard #67

Black & White

Date Reviewed: June 21, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.60
Limited: 3.50

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Liepard #67/114 (Black and White)

I must admit to liking today’s card. For one thing, Liepard is one of the better-designed Pokémon from Generation V in my opinion. For another, the card that he appears on is at least interesting, even if it doesn’t end up being especially playable.

It should be immediately obvious that Liepard is not cut out to be a main attacker. Low HP Stage 1s just can’t cut it in that role unless they can do massive amounts of damage very quickly (see Cinccino, and even that’s debatable). Liepard certainly isn’t helped by Fighting Weakness (there’s a LOT of Donphan around right now), and the Psychic Resistance, though nice, won’t be all that useful until some decent Psychic attackers get released (Mew and Gengar Prime don’t count for obvious reasons). The Retreat cost of one is ok, and seems to be pretty standard, even for fast Pokémon, in the B&W block.

Liepard’s first attack, Taunt is as cheap as it gets these days (not including the Babies). For one Colourless Energy, you get to choose a Pokémon on the opponent’s Bench and switch it with the Defending Pokémon. The fact that it’s your choice makes Taunt a decently disruptive attack: bring up something your opponent won’t want active and either make them dig for Switch or waste Energy retreating it. If they can’t, then just KO it on the next turn. Although it doesn’t look like much, Taunt can be very effective at dragging out Pokémon like Tepig which your opponent would rather build up on the Bench. Of course, once Pokémon Catcher is released, this move becomes obsolete – who would waste an attack doing what you can do with a Trainer? For now though, it could have its uses.

The same can be said for Sucker Punch. This too is a reasonably priced attack, needing just two Energy of any Colour. Yes, it only does a poor 30 damage, but if you have any Dark Energy attached, that figure goes up to 60. If Special Dark Energy is involved, you can have Liepard hitting for 70-80 damage. Even so, this isn’t going to be all that effective against the majority of Pokémon in the format. If a card like Gengar Prime (or Chandelure - coming in the next Japanese set) ever become popular, then it’s possible that Liepard will be a viable tech option against those cards (Note: other Dark Types are available).

Putting aside my bias towards Liepard, the card probably doesn’t do enough to make the grade competitively. However, its attacks are just about interesting enough to save it from becoming automatic binder fodder, and raise it to the status of obscure tech.

Rating

Modified (HGSS-on): 2.25 (Lots to like about Liepard, but there are better Pokémon out there)

Limited: 3.75 (Taunt is so good here, and Sucker Punch is not bad either)


Otaku

Kitty! =^w^= I mean… er… Today we have something that is starting to become a "staple" of the Pokémon series, the new default evil Stage 1. In the original generation, it was Persian, making Giovanni look like a bond villain (and Meowth jealous). The second generation gave us Darkness-Type Pokémon and Houndoom, and I am half surprised they didn't change Persian to a Darkness-Type given how so many later, similar Pokémon are part of that group. Team Aqua and Magma always seemed to have Mightyena as their faithful but evil Pokémon partner, and Team Galactic had... wait, what was their default non-Flying Type? Skuntank? Anyway, I am told that Team Plasma at least slightly favors today's Pokémon, Liepard. Clearly this is because it’s... it’s... itza pwetty kitty yes you are yes you are!

Okay, seriously, the review: Liepard enjoys the distinction of being a Darkness-Type, able to tap the Special Energy Darkness Energy card for extra damage, little to no Resistance (historically), and increasing Weakness (usually on Psychic-Type Pokémon that were Ghost-Type Pokémon in the video games). As a Stage 1 Pokémon it needs to find that sweet spot between (balanced) Basic and Stage 2 Pokémon. Liepard has a paltry 80 HP (for a Stage 1) and as such is begging to be taken out in one solid hit by most decks. Fighting-Types don't even have to strain because of its Fighting Weakness: Donphan Prime doesn’t need PlusPower and even guys like Sawk are a major threat! At least Resistance will annoy the few Psychic decks that do attack for straight damage. The single Energy needed to retreat is easy to pay but given how small this Pokémon is, it probably just should have been allowed a free Retreat Cost.

Liepard has two attacks, and in short both are good but not good enough. Taunt lets you dictate which of your opponent's Pokémon will be Active for one of any Energy. Unfortunately, it does nothing else. Your opponent will thus have an entire turn to adjust for this, and some decks won’t even have to burn any non-renewable resources to remedy the situation! Sucker Punch makes me look like a liar because it suffers for being Double Colorless Energy compatible. How can that be? Both attacks are even Double Colorless Energy compatible so surely that helps? Not really in this case; while you can indeed drop a Double Colorless Energy and power both attacks, look at what Sucker Punch does: 30 points of damage and another 30 if there are any (even just one) Energy card providing (D) Energy attached. I normally like having variable attacks but with returns this low on a body this small, it doesn’t work out just to change up the damage. It is almost like the card has three attacks: Taunt and two straight damage attacks doing 30 for (CC) and 60 for (DC), respectively. Looking at it that way, you see that sure enough, Double Colorless Energy just buys you a single turn advance on your “weaker” attacks and is wasted on the “third” attack, the only good attack.

There is one last inherent aspect of this card that could save it: what does it Evolve from? If Purrloin is actually good in and of itself, a single copy of Liepard could be useful. Unfortunately it isn’t. Purrloin is a Darkness-Type Basic Pokémon with 60 HP (a little low since it only Evolves once), Fighting Weakness, Psychic Resistance, a single Energy Retreat cost, an attack that does 10 for (C), and lastly an attack that does 20 for (CC).

In Limited, due to the raw power of Bench manipulation, ability to function without actual Darkness Energy, lower average HP scores, greater difficulty of prepping Pokémon, and lower average damage output in general, Liepard becomes playable. It still isn't a top pick, but it becomes reasonably good. Just remember that while it is apt to get you a Prize by taunting up something hiding on your opponent’s Bench, after you KO that something, Liepard is probably going down. In fact, if you are trying to take out a heavy hitter that your opponent retreated to avoid giving up a Prize, Liepard might go down before it can follow up Taunt with Sucker Punch.


Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5 - Completely overshadowed in this format.

Modified (MD-On): 1.25/5 - Almost completely overshadowed in this format.

Modified (HGSS-On): 1.75/5 - Regularly outperformed by several similar Pokémon in this format.

Limited: 3/5 - Solid pick but mind the Weakness and low HP in general.

Summary

I like the basic idea behind the "Cruel Pokémon", but the actual execution results in something clearly too weak to run in a constructed format but with just enough potential to make you wish it had been designed better.

virusyosh

Greetings, Pojo viewers! Today we are continuing our reviews of Black and White with a new Darkness-type Pokemon, Liepard.

As stated before, Liepard is a Stage 1 Darkness-type Pokemon. Darkness is not a commonly seen type in TCG decks, although Tyranitar Prime and snipe decks with Mandibuzz will likely see some play. It is also worth mentioning that since Liepard is a Dark type, it gets the benefits of Special Darkness Energy. 80 HP isn't great for a final evolution, meaning Liepard will probably be taken out in the middle and late game by more powerful threats. Fighting Weakness is to be expected for a Dark type, but is especially unfortunate with the popularity of Donphan Prime, which easily OHKOs with Earthquake due to Weakness. Psychic Resistance is a nice addition, although there really aren't any notable Psychic-types around in Modified right now. Finally, a Retreat Cost of 1 rounds out the top and bottom stats of the card, and is easily payable.

Due to Liepard's low HP and rather crippling Weakness, it had better have some very good attacks or abilities. Unfortunately, Liepard has no abilities, but only two attacks. Taunt costs a single Colorless Energy, and forces your opponent to switch their Active Pokemon (acting like a Gust of Wind or Bright Look). This is great, however these effects are often better off when you don't have to use an attack to get them, potentially setting yourself up for a Prize in the same turn. The second attack, Sucker Punch, starts off at a decent 30 damage for two Colorless Energy (or a Double Colorless), but if Liepard has a Darkness Energy attached, it does 30 more. This works well with two Special Darkness Energies, as Sucker Punch will then be dealing a very respectable 80 damage for two Energy (there is only one +30 boost for any amount of Darkness Energy), however Liepard's HP really lets it down in Modified for it to be of much use in the format. In Limited, however, Liepard's Colorless Energy requirements, disruption, and decent damage output make it a decent choice.

Modified: 1.5/5 Low HP and a terrible Weakness really offset what could be a decent card. Then again, with the sudden influx of decent/good/interesting Darkness Pokemon available to us in Black and White, Liepard already had a lot of competition to begin with.

Limited: 3.5/5 As stated above, Colorless Energy requirements are amazing in Limited, as is Taunt, since your opponent won't be able to recover from it quite as easily. Sucker Punch can even work here as well, although with the lack of Special Darkness Energy, you'll still be doing only 60 damage a turn. Then again, 60 damage per turn is actually pretty good in Limited.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia
Liepard (Black and White)
 
Today's card is some kind of leopard, which as Otaku has said fits in as this generation's 'Evil Companion Animal'. I must say the kitty remarks caused me to cry tears of laughter, much like this card will cause tears of laughter for any opponents you face. It seems like Persian and Delcatty are the only cats to get any respect, I've never seen a good Glameow/Purugly card set released. At least Houndoom and Mightyena have been printed with interesting/usable attacks in recent years.
 
Now for the statistics: Liepard is a Dark type non-evolving Stage 1 with 80 HP, Fighting weakness, Psychic resistance, a retreat cost of 1 and two attacks.
 
It's a good thing that both the card art and Liepard in general are so compelling to look at, because those stats are just plain ugly. The HP is far too low for any sustained attacking and the weakness means that Donphan and company won't have to break a sweat to knock Liepard out. The retreat is at least cheap enough but you probably won't live long enough to retreat after attacking.
 
Liepard lacks any Abilities so the attacks had better be awesome if it wants any table time. Sadly they aren't awesome but at least they are cheap.
 
Taunt is a fun move that costs [c] and allows you to pick one of your opponent's benched Poke'mon which you then switch with the Defending Poke'mon. We have spent years telling you how awesome that kind of bench manipulation can be... but only when it isn't an attack. Attacking ends your turn, forcing you to wait another turn to KO the target you dragged up if your opponent doesn't bench it again before you get the chance.
 
Taunt is fun in prereleases but it just won't work out in a competitive environment. Neither will Sucker Punch, but at least the name is attractive (Sucker Punch is one of my favourite viedogame moves). For [c][c] you deal 30 damage, but if at least one of those energy is a [d] energy (Special or Basic) then you deal 60 damage (along with any damage bonuses from Special Dark energy). This is awesome as you can deal 80 damage for 2 energy with no drawback other than having to get the Special energy out of you deck, but the problem of Liepard's abysmal HP remains. Dealing 80 damage quickly is brilliant as it is an almost guaranteed 2HKO on any Poke'mon you face, but only if you survive long enough for that second shot, and Liepard can't take even a moderate hit.
 
Liepard will sit in the binder as a fine example of how to be pretty and inventive but I never expect to see it played aginst me. If you pulled this at a prerelease like I did, have fun!
 
Modified: 2 (not every card can be playable, but Liepard gets props for trying and being worth having a quick look at before the HP and weakness drag it down)
 
Limited: 3 (there are no Special Dark energy here but Taunt becomes a lot more useful due to lack of competition and The Colourless energy requirements make it easy to play)
 
Combos with: the binder to keep the pretty kitty safe


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