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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Serperior #6

Black & White

Date Reviewed: May 6, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.30
Limited: 4.33

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

Serperior #6 (Black and White)

Our final card for this week is the good Serperior from the Black and White set. There has been a fair bit of interest in this card, and it’s nice to see that all of the Unova starters have been given cards which are at least decent.

Serperior has a solid 130 HP (although that’s actually the lowest of the three starter Stage 2s). To compensate for that, it has the lowest Retreat cost (a single Energy), and it’s the only one with Resistance (to Water . . . which is pretty good). It does however have a double Weakness to Fire, which sounds like it should be a big disadvantage in HGSS-on, where Reshiram and Emboar Fire decks are predicted to be hugely popular. In reality though, it’s not going to make much of a difference: even if Serperior had NO Weakness it would still be a one hit KO for Reshiram (with a PlusPower) or the non-Ability Emboar (no boost required).

The main reason why people are looking at this card is because of its Ability. Royal Heal is a mandatory Ability (you can’t ‘forget’ to use it) which heals 10 damage from each of your Pokémon between each turn. It is somewhat similar to Nidoqueen RR’s Maternal Comfort PokeBody, but with one important difference: it stacks. This means that if you have (for example) three Serperior in play, you get to use Royal Heal three times between turns and remove 30 damage from each of your Pokémon. Obviously, that’s a great Ability for any deck that likes to tank and heal its main attacker.

But can Serperior also fill that main attacker role? Well, its Leaf Tornado attack isn’t too bad, I guess. [G][C] for 60 damage is decent value in HGSS-on and the option to move your Grass Energy around is nice (prepare another attacker if Serperior is about to be KO’d). Unfortunately, compared to some of the real big hitters in the set (the other starter Stage 2s and the Legendaries), that damage output is rather sub-par, meaning that Serperior will be taking two or three turns to KO while other decks take one or two. That wouldn’t matter so much if its healing could keep it in the game but as pointed out earlier, Serperior is vulnerable to being one-shot, so no amount of healing can help it.

Because of this, I see Serperior being used (if at all), in a very similar way to Nidoqueen RR. Yes, there will be the rare deck that is built around it (taking advantage of the handy Grass support like Sunflora and Metapod from HGSS), but mainly it will be used as a Healing tech for other decks, allowing them to keep damaged Pokémon in the game.

Serperior isn’t a bad card at all and could well see some play. It just lacks the huge attack potential that encourages you to build a deck around it.

Rating

Modified: 2.75 (Not sure if the format will suit it, but it could become a great tech option)

Limited: 3 (Even on a Stage 2, healing rocks in Limited, and the damage is adequate)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Serperior 6/114 (Black and White)

I'm not sure if this Serperior is going to need a nickname, because the other Serperior in this set is totally inferior (sorry for the pun). Unlike Blitzboar and the Samurott from yesterday, players won't ever think of mixing the other Serpeior with this one, let alone substituting it. This version of Smugleaf, as it is affectionately known, is the only one you are going to want to play in this set.

The vital statistics: Serperior is a Grass Type Stage 2 with 130 HP, Fire weakness, Water resistance, a retreat cost of 1, and Ability and an attack.

The HP is acceptable but the more recent standards it is nothing brilliant. The ressistance is welcome and will prove quite useful when someone out there discovers the secret to a playable Rain Dance variant (or another new Water deck, I'm not going to stifle creativity). In the mean time that same resistance will slow Gyarados down and make Kingdra completely useless (when you add in the Ability). The weakness to Fire, however, is a fairly big problem. Fire is set to become quite common due to the support available for the type. To make matters worse, most of the techs and intermediate stages for Fire Poke'mon can reach the 70 damage needed to OHKO Serperior if it is Active (most will need Pluspower but you get the idea). Charizard PA and Blitzboar won't even need the weakness for an OHKO, so Fire remains a problem even if you nullify the weakness with Metapod HGSS.

The retreat cost is almost painless and is really quite brilliant when you consider what happened to the rest of the cards in Black and White. To be perfectly honest I thought free retreat had been abolished when Zebstricka came in with a retreat cost of 1 (wouldn't a Lightning zebra be fast enough to qualify for free retreat?) but then I saw the other Serperior and knew that free retreat would just be rare, not extinct.

The stats are good to great, but what about the other stuff? Leaf Tornado is the attack, and for the Perfectly reasonable cost of [g][c] you deal 60 damage with the ability to move your [g] energy around any way you like. You aren't going to take many KOs with this attack but considering the good stats and the brilliant Ability, this is better than I expected. The effect can even be quite useful in a mono Grass deck, or any deck that runs enough Grass energy and Poke'mon using Colourless attack requirements.

Royal Heal is the Ability, and this is the big draw of Serperior. The text says "At any time between turns, heal 10 damage from each of your Poke'mon". Basically, this is the same ability as Nidoqueen RR, except that there is no rule saying that you can't stack it and use 2 or more Royal Heal Abilities if you have 2 or more Serperiors in play (a limitation was written into Nidoqueen RR's Poke-body Maternal Comfort which stopped you using multiple Nidoqueens for more healing).

If your opponent is using spread attacks (like Feraligatr HGSS Spinning Tail) then Serperior is your best friend and it is also pretty effective at healing your main attacker if your opponent can't get an OHKO. In between each of your opponent's attacks, you are healing 20 damage from each of your Poke'mon per Royal Heal you use and if you throw in Reuniclus BW you can remove all damage counters from your Active and spread them across your bench to be quickly healed off.

In the end, Serperior is meant to make us feel better about losing the much loved Nidoqueen RR in the coming rotation. The attacks and type are not as good as Nidoqueen's but the top and bottom stats are better and the possibility of stacking the Ability (barring an errata) as well as the fact that Abilities cannot be blocked at the moment means that Serperior is definitely compeitive material.

Modified: 4 (Serperior offers the best healing in the game at the moment but as a strategy healing and tanking have never been all that brilliant in the Poke'mon TCG. Add to that the Fire weakness of all of the biggest tanks in the game and you know that Serperior doesn't quite fit in yet, but you will want a set of these and you may well want to run a line in any evolution deck you build)

Limited: 5 (Serperior my be a Stage 2 but that isn't such a drawback with all of the search in this set, and the healing will give you a huge advantage. Just watch out for Simisear and Reshiram)

Combos with: Reuniclus BW, Metapod HGSS, Steelix Prime, any other tank you can find


Otaku

Name : Serperior
Set/#/Rarity :
Black & White 6/114, Holo-Rare
Stage :
2 (Evolves from Servine)
Type :
Grass
Hit Points :
130
Weakness :
Fire x2
Resistance :
Water -20
Retreat Cost :
C
Ability :
Royal Heal

At any time between turns, heal 10 damaged from each of your Pokémon.

Attack : (GC) Leaf Tornado [60]
Move as many (G) Energy attached to your Pokémon to your other Pokémon in any way you like.

------------------------------------------------------------

Name : Serperior
Set/#/Rarity :
Black & White 5/114, Holo-Rare
Stage :
2 (Evolves from Servine)
Type :
Grass
Hit Points :
130
Weakness :
Fire x2
Resistance :
Water -20
Retreat Cost :
C
Attack#1 :
(CC) Vine Whip [40]
Attack#2 :
(GC) Leaf Storm [60]
Heal 20 damage from each of your Grass Pokémon.

------------------------------------------------------------

Name : Servine
Set/#/Rarity :
Black & White 4/114, Uncommon
Stage :
1 (Evolves from Snivy)
Type :
Grass
Hit Points :
80
Weakness :
Fire x2
Resistance :
Water -20
Retreat Cost :
C
Attack :
(GC) Wring Out [30]
Flip a coin. If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Paralyzed and discard an Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon.

------------------------------------------------------------

Name : Servine
Set/#/Rarity :
Black & White 3/114, Uncommon
Stage :
1 (Evolves from Snivy)
Type :
Grass
Hit Points :
80
Weakness :
Fire x2
Resistance :
Water -20
Retreat Cost :
C
Attack#1 :
(C) Wrap [20]
Flip a coin. If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Paralyzed.

Attack#2 :
(GC) Rollout [30]

------------------------------------------------------------

Name : Snivy
Set/#/Rarity :
Black & White 2/114, Common
Stage :
Basic
Type :
Grass
Hit Points :
60
Weakness :
Fire x2
Resistance :
None
Retreat Cost :
C
Attack#2 :
(GC) Leaf Blade [10+]
Flip a coin. If heads, this attack does 30 more damage.

------------------------------------------------------------

Name : Snivy
Set/#/Rarity :
Black & White 1/114, Common
Stage :
Basic
Type :
Grass
Hit Points :
60
Weakness :
Fire x2
Resistance :
None
Retreat Cost :
C
Attack#1 :
(G) Tackle [10]
Attack#2 :
(GC) Vine Whip [20]

------------------------------------------------------------

Name : Snivy
#/Rarity :
BW06, Promo
Stage :
Basic
Type :
Grass
Hit Points :
60
Weakness :
Fire x2
Resistance :
None
Retreat Cost :
C
Attack#1 :
(C) Paralyzing Gaze
Flip a coin. If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Paralyzed.

Attack#2 :
(GC) Tail Smack [20]

------------------------------------------------------------

Name : Snivy
#/Rarity :
BW01, Promo
Stage :
Basic
Type :
Grass
Hit Points :
60
Weakness :
Fire x2
Resistance :
None
Retreat Cost :
C
Attack :
(GC) Slam [20x]
Flip 2 coins. This attack does 20 damage times the number of heads.

------------------------------------------------------------

Quite a lot of text spoilers today, but I had the time so I decided to be thorough. Today we look at the Serperior, specifically the first one in that list of spoilers. So why did I include the rest? As usual I’ll be doing a “micro” review of the lower Stages since if they are nearly worthless or brilliant, it can really affect Serperior. I also missed my chance at reviewing the other Serperior. This gives me a chance to weigh in and it could help or hurt this version’s score depending on whether it supports or surpasses this version. Though of course it could do neither.

As a change of pace, let’s look at the Basics. All have the exact same stats: Basic Grass Pokémon (of course) with 60 HP (okay), Fire Weakness (okay now, troublesome next format), Water Resistance (hurray!), and a Retreat Cost of one (good). The Weakness/Resistance aren’t important now, but probably will be next format, so either way, these are decent stats. If all the attacks are bad, it will really hurt Serperior, even though Snivy is being looked at basically as the means to an End Stage. First let us see if there are any strategic attacks that can disrupt the opponent, directly protect Snivy, or aid in set-up. Only one version (BW06) has a defensive move, and it is just a 50% chance at Paralysis (before outside factors) and still needs (C). The second attack is bad in the current format and still poor in the next one, though not by as much: (GC) for 20 just isn’t good. The thing is, the others aren’t really any stronger of attackers (those that can do more rely on flips), so we might as well go with the slightly defensive one and hope for heads and an opponent with a poor hand.

Contrary to Snivy, both Servine actually have solid attacks. They still aren’t brilliant cards, having 80 HP and the same other stats is a good start. Black & White 4/114 needs (GC) to attack, and it only hits for 30 points of damage, however you get to toss a coin and if it is heads the attack Paralyzes and lets you discard an Energy from the Defending Pokémon. Black & White 3/114 enjoys quick damage, and while it isn’t especially high the first attack needs only one Energy and can Paralyze (on a “heads”) while doing 20 points of damage. Rollout is a vanilla 30 for (GC), low but better than the Basics. It really depends on whether you think giving up that one attack is worth the extra effect, and since it is a transitory Stage 1, testing and observing your metagame is the only way to get the answer.

At last we come to Serperior! Just because I might as well, I’ll look Black & White 5/114 first. Don’t worry, the review is short because the rest of the staff pretty much nailed it in their reviews: being a Stage 2 requires a card (and soon a time) investment that can be challenging, being a Grass Pokémon gives it access to some solid support, 130 HP is about average, Fire Weakness is okay now and probably bad next format, Water Resistance is okay now and probably good next format, a Free Retreat is great, and the attacks are… redundant. The damage for the Energy (and effect of the second attack) isn’t bad, but the first attack is only not a waste if played in a deck no source of Grass Energy (and thus probably no other Grass Pokémon) or if you run Double Colorless Energy (which can’t be used at all for the second attack’s cost). Otherwise if you drop two Grass Energy cards on it, you can skip its first attack and use the better second attack. As we’ll see, the second attack is okay except that today’s card outclasses it in every way, making the Retreat Cost the only real benefit here, and that isn’t enough to be worth playing.

We finally, truly come to today’s CotD. This Superior has the same stats as the other, except it does have a single Energy Retreat Cost, which is still a good stat in its own right. It has an Ability, Royal Heal, which lets you remove a damage counter from each of your Pokémon between turns and an attack for (GC) that hits for 60 and let’s you freely move Grass Energy around on your Pokémon. Well, as freely as you can as one effective action: you re-arrange the Grass Energy as you wish and then your turn ends. I am betting if there is a useful Ability or Poké-Power or Poké-Body that triggers when an Energy card is attached to a Pokémon, you couldn’t say you were infinitely moving the Energy around to trigger it as often as you liked. Essentially each Grass Energy can be moved once, but from any Pokémon to any other Pokémon. That is still pretty good.

I’ve heard some people talk about running Serperior with Reuniclus, but I think I’d rather have a different support Pokémon, extra attacker, or final copy of Serperior instead of cluttering up my deck with another Stage 2 line. A good suggestion from a player who goes by Vaporeon on Pokegym was a perfect example of cross-type tanking and taking advantage of the hype surrounding Zekrom: Donphan Prime. Even without fleshing out a full deck, it looks like a challenging match-up for anything that isn’t Water or Fire.

In Limited play, as long as you have at least a 1-1-1 line, I’d say risk running Serperior. Simply put, the Ability is that powerful here. Even if you run no Grass Energy and you occasionally have to start with Snivy… it doesn’t matter, Serperior is that good! If you can run even a few Grass Energy, you’ll get some nice combo opportunities and a possible wall. Just mind the Fire Pokémon.

Ratings

Modified (Current): 3.75/5 – This is actually a pretty high score considering the rest of the format.

Modified (HGSS-On): 4/5 – This could be part of what creates a balance in the upcoming format. Even if not, stackable healing!

Limited: 5/5 – Run it if you can!

Combos with: Donphan Prime

Summary

Automatic, costless (except for running a particular Stage 2), mass healing has already proven useful in past cards. Serperior actually cranks it up unless I’ve missed some errata for the Ability: you should be able to stack up to four of them together. This allows a lot of cards to tank. Essentially expect a metadeck of [insert tank Pokémon/]/Serperior to arise, though most probably won’t be of significance.

My eyes are starting to blur as I type, so I’ll just be short and obvious: please buy my stuff here, or at least take a look. Thanks. :)

virusyosh

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you've all had good weeks, and are ready to have a great weekend! We end our COTD week with another one of the Black and White Starters, and this one will probably see a fair amount of play as well. Today's Card of the Day is Serperior BW #6.

Serperior is a Stage 2 Grass Pokemon. Grass Pokemon are nearly non-existent in MD-on Modified, with the occasional Jumpluff deck being played and not much else. However, with the changeover to HGSS-on, Grass should see a bit more play, even though the format is thought to be dominated by Fire (I'll get to that in a minute). 130 HP is decent for a Stage 2, but since it's a Grass type, it has a lot of potential support, such as Metapod HGSS to get rid of its admittedly terrible Fire Weakness. Water Resistance is awesome for Serperior, meaning that it should be able to take a few hits from Gyarados and from random Rain Dance builds that will probably appear once the rotation occurs. Finally, a Retreat Cost of 1 is decent and totally payable.

This Regal Pokemon has an Ability and an attack. Royal Heal allows you to remove a damage counter from each of your Pokemon in between turns, and unlike Nidoqueen RR, it's cumulative! Therefore, if you manage to get multiple Serperiors into play, that's a lot of healing for you in between turns. This Ability also pairs well with any other Pokemon that likes constant healing (such as a big-HP tank), and just generally works well against spread damage.

Serperior's attack, Leaf Tornado, does 60 damage for GC, allowing you to rearrange your Grass Energy however you like. 60 damage for 2 Energy is quite nice, and Leaf Tornado can be quite useful if your Serperior is about to get KOed, as you are able to move the Energy from it to your next attacker. The only downside is that while cheap, 60 damage isn't very much, so Serperior could struggle against non-Grass Weak Pokemon with a lot of HP, such as Emboar and the dragons.

Modified: 3.25/5 I like Serperior. Despite its rather unfortunate Fire Weakness in a format soon to be dominated by the type, Serperior has just the right amount of support available to it to be effective, namely Metapod HGSS. Likewise, with the influx of Fire we expect to see, Water decks will naturally pop up, and Feraligatr Prime (the main crutch of most future Water decks) is weak to Grass, meaning that Serperior can form quite a nice niche in order to take Feraligatr down. In the current MD-on, however, there are generally better options.

Limited: 4/5 Big body, cheap yet effective attack, and constant healing make Serperior amazing for Limited. Just watch out for all of the high-powered Fire types in the format!

Combos With: Metapod HGSS, big tanks with a lot of HP


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