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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Victini #98

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Dec. 1, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.5
Limited: 3.0 

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

Victini 98/101 (Noble Victories)

The mascot for Noble Victories features on no less than three cards, including this: one of the most highly anticipated cards in the set. Yep, today’s review is all about Victory Star Victini or, as it is better known (for reasons that will be obvious), ‘Fliptini’.

The stats on the card are all very meh: it’s an unevolving Basic, with a low 60 HP, Water Weakness, and a single Retreat cost. The attack, Stored Power, is not quite good enough to be called mediocre: 30 damage for [R][C] and you have to move all the Energy attached to Victini to one of your Benched Pokémon. Maybe if Victini unleashed some of that power instead of just storing it, things would have been better. So . . . what we have left is the Ability: Victory Star. This allows you, once per turn, to ignore the coin flips you got for an attack and re-flip once more.

First of all, let’s clear up some of the mistakes players make when trying to figure out what Victory Star does. Firstly, it does not ‘stack’: no matter how many Fliptinis you have on your Bench, you get to use that Ability once per turn. Secondly, Victory Star works with attacks ONLY: you CANNOT use it with a coin flip Ability or Power (like Krookodile EP’s Black Eyes), nor can you use it with a coin flip Trainers like PokéBall or Xtransceiver. Thirdly, you can’t use it to re-do between turns Status Condition coin flips for Sleep or Burn.

Now that’s cleared up, we can look at what we can use Victini with, and how it increases the chances of success with a few examples . . .

With Vanilluxe NV’s Double Freeze attack (where you need one of two flips to be heads), Victini increases the chances of Paralysis to 93.75%

With Sharpedo TM’s Strip Bare attack (where you need two out of two heads, Victini increases the chances of discarding your opponent’s entire hand to 43.75%.

With a straightforward 50-50 flip (like Lilligant EP’s Bemusing Aroma or Magmortar TM’s Top Burner) Victini increases the chances of a favourable outcome to 75%.

Now I don’t want to get into the maths here, but trust me, these probabilities are correct, even if they do seem a bit odd at first (I had them explained to me by people who know about these things). What should be clear is that any attack that relies on coin flips gets a huge boost from Fliptini. Vanilluxe goes from being a very risky play to a pretty solid one, while Sharpedo may start to seem worth taking a chance on, just for the incredible effect of Strip Bare. It doesn’t eliminate the risk of playing flippy cards altogether, but it can (in the case of Vanilluxe at least) make the risk small enough to be worth taking: after all, the reason so many attacks include the coin flip element is to balance the fact that they are extremely powerful.

There’s nothing Pokémon card designers like more than flippy cards, so we already have a ton of cards that can work well with it (eg: Cubone TM and Primeape UL get another chance to do some damage, while Teddiursa CL can now give you a 75% chance of Trainer Lock on the first turn if you have Victini out). I’m sure that in the future we will see more and more cards that players will try to abuse Victory Star with.

For now, Vanilluxe seems the most competitive Fliptini deck, but I am sure there is more to come from today’s card.

Rating

Modified: 3.5 (unique card that can make some flippy decks worth the risk. It is most definitely Catcher-bait unless you run Trainer Lock though)

Limited: 3 (pretty much depends on whether you pull any flippy cards like Vanilluxe or V-blast Victini)

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo readers! Today we end our Card of the Day week with one of the new cards from Noble Victories that shows up in both normal rare and full-art form and is thought to be a huge combo enabler. Today's Card of the Day is Victini (Noble Victories 98).

Victini is a Basic Fire Pokemon. Fire-types are fairly common in today's Modified, with Reshiram, Typhlosion Prime, and Emboar all seeing very common play. However, in spite of its generous typing, Victini will rarely be played on account of this. 60 HP is average for a Basic, and it should be able to take a weak attack early in the game or at least survive one snipe attack from the likes of Yanmega Prime or Kyurem. Water Weakness is bad against the aforementioned Kyurem, Beartic, and Feraligatr Prime. Victini also has no Resistance, and a a manageable Retreat Cost of 1.

Victini has an Ability and a single attack. Victory Star, Victini's ability, is what this card is known (and widely hyped) for. Once per turn, if you flip coins for an attack, you may ignore ALL of the coin flips and re-flip them. A few important points regarding this Ability are that you must re-flip all of the coins if you choose to do so (so you can't keep all of your heads and just re-flip your tails), and you can only use one Victory Star per turn, regardless of how many Victini you have in play. Due to the inherent combo potential of this Ability, Victini can be easily paired with any Pokemon with a flip attack, though some combinations are more potent than others. Two notable examples are Vanilluxe NV and Sharpedo TM, as Victini works incredibly well with their Double Freeze and Strip Bare attacks, respectively.

Victini's attack is Stored Power, dealing 30 damage for a Fire and a Colorless with the effect of moving all Energy attached to Victini to one of your Benched Pokemon. This attack doesn't seem worth using in either Modified or Limited, and isn't commonly used in any deck I can think of. In general, Victini will be used for Victory Star, and little else.

Modified: 3.5/5 Victini's strength lies entirely in being a combo piece for decks that use flip-reliant attacks. Flip attacks are generally looked down upon in the competitive Pokemon community as they are unreliable and therefore decrease your chances of winning, but Victini can be a major help by allowing the re-flipping of coins, adding consistency to these otherwise inconsistent attacks.

Limited: 3/5 Victini isn't always a great play in Limited, as its usefulness is largely dependent on other cards with flip attacks. Otherwise, Victini's low HP and lackluster attack probably won't help you out too much. However, if you manage to pull some other cards with flip attacks (Escavalier, V-blast Victini, Vanilluxe), Victini should be able to do quite well for you.

Combos With: Any Pokemon with a flip attack, notably Vanilluxe NV, Sharpedo TM

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

 
Victini  (Noble Victories)
 
This has to be one of the most anticipated card of the Noble Victories set. Today we bring you the Victory Star Victini!
 
Victini is a non-evolving Fire type with 60 HP, Water Weakness, a retreat cost of 1, an Ability and an attack.
 
Being a Fire Poke'mon is almost irrelevant as Victini doesn't combo well with any of the other Tournament-calibre Fire types, and you'll never want to have Victini Active so the Weakness is a non-problem. The HP on the other hand is the biggest downside to this card but at least the retreat cost is cheap (although I have to say this is one Poke'mon that deserves free retreat for being a squishy Bench sitter). All in all, there are better Basics around.
 
The attack is Stored Power, which costs [r][c] and deals 30 damage while moving all energy attached to Victini to one of your Benched Poke'mon. The energy manipulation is actually a good thing as Victini will definitely not survive a return hit, but I can't really imagine anyone using this attack. Sure there are two great Fire energy accelerators and a bunch of bad ones, but I doubt anyone will play Victini in a deck that uses [r] energy.
 
The reason for that is Victory Star, an Ability that alllows you, once during your turn, to ignore the outcome of all coin flips associated with your attack and reflip those coins for a shot at a better outcome, which has many players very excited. Unfortunately you can't use more than 1 Victory Star Ability per turn so having multiple 'Flipitini' in play doesn't give you any advantages but even one 'redo' is valuable... for the right attack.
 
In order to figure out what Victini actually does for you, you really need to know how much Vicitin affects your odds of getting a good result. And to understand that, you need to know basic probability. WARNING: Mathematics ahead! Skip the next five-and-a-half paragraphs if you just want my opinions and not my maths skills/boring-lecture-style explanation.
 
Each time you flip a coin (assuming that each side is properly balanced) you have a 50% chance of either a Heads or a Tails result because there are 2 equally likely possible outcomes (and half of 100% is 50%). If you flip 2 coins, there are 4 outcomes (Heads-Heads, Heads-Tails, Tails-Heads and Tails-Tails) so each outcome has a 25% chance of happening. If you use 3 coins, then there are 8 outcomes that each have a 12.5% chance of happening. As you can see, each extra coin flip doubles the number of outcomes and halves the chance of each happening.
 
However, as you may have noticed some of the outcomes look the same. For instance, the Heads-Tails and Tails-Heads outcomes from the 2 coin example would both have the same effect if they came up in a game. As such, you add them together to get a 50% chance of having 1 Heads and 1 Tails, while having 2 Heads is a 25% chance and the same chance applies to having 2 Tails. As you add more and more coins to an attack, you have more of the same results coming in different orders and affecting the odds. For example, when you flip 3 coins you get a 12.5% chance of 3 Heads or 3 Tails and you get a 37.5% chance of having 1 heads and 2 Tails, as well as a 37.5% chance of 2 Heads and 1 Tails.
 
All of that is simple enough, but how does Victini improve the odds? Well, for an attack that flips a single coin (like Teddiursa CL's Fake Tears) you normall have a 50% split, but Victory Star gives you a choice. Presumably if you get the result you want you'll take it, but if you get the 50% failure then you reflip and effectively use the odds for 2 coins, where anything but 2 Tails is good. So your odds go up from 50% to 75%, a big improvement.
 
When you start adding in more coins though, things get more tricky. For 2 or more coins, getting all Tails is always enough to cause a frown so you'll always reflip when you get that, reducing your odds of total failure considerably. What if you get a few of each though? Now you have to decide whether or not to risk what you have for something better (more Heads) but possibly fail (all Tails) with the same odds as before you used Victini. Is the little cheerleader worth including when it won't really help your Metagross UD hit 200 damage any more often?
 
For attacks that say 'flip until you get Tails' it gets even more difficult to decide whether or not you should reflip. The odds are that you'll fail 50% of the time and then you'll deal at least [X multiplied by 1] effects the other 50% of the time. For each successive Heads flip you halve the odds, so its 25% to get at least [X multiplied by 2] effects, 12.5% to get at least [X multiplied by 3] effects, 6.25% to get at least [X multiplied by 4] effects, 3.125% to get at least [X multiplied by 5] effects, and so on. With Victini, you're basically betting that you'll get better than your last flip so you are only improving your odds to avoid that first Tails and after that your fate is in the hands of Chance. It's easy to see why 'flip until you get Tails' attacks never really catch on, despite the attractive possibility of infinite damage.
 
I've been quite hard on Fliptini so far but in most cases the numbers just don't make the red Munchkin more useful (or more importantly, Fliptini doesn't make other risky big hitters much more likely to swing for their maximum damage). However, there are cards that can effectively abuse Victory Star for far better odds of devastating secondary effects. An attack like Vanilluxe's Double Freeze rises from 75% chance of Paralysis to a 93.75% chance of success, and Sharpedo's Strip Bare rises from a 25% chance to 43.75% odds to discard your opponent's entire hand. The reason these attacks work? First of all, because the secondary effects either work or don't work (so you don't have to debate whether or not to keep the flips you have, you simply reflip) and secondly because the attacks still deal damage even if the extra effect fails. Other cards with attacks in this vein are Lilligant EP, Dodrio UD and Ampahros Prime.
 
While Fliptini looks like a card that is going to take the skill and luck out of the Poke'mon TCG, it will actually do the complete opposite. The more coin flips are added to an attack, the more your choices affect the odds of success and failure, and reflipping coins will definitely not save a player with a lazy deck build or strategy from being outplayed.
 
For those of you who want to delve deep into the pool of strategy and really make something out of Victory Star, I wish you the best of luck. The possible partners (both strong and lacklustre) are too numerous to list here so I'm just going to say that best way I can see to use Victini is to always take a pass/fail attitude (this many Heads is good, otherwise reflip) so that you don't ruin an acceptable set of flips by second-guessing yourself. Unless you absolutely have to take that KO, don't reflip just to get more damage!
 
Modified: 4 (if you are still reading and managed to follow my logic, thank you for staying with me. Fliptini is going to get used, but I suspect that it will be to abuse secondary effects rather than deal large amounts of damage. If you want to use Victory Star, know what you are aiming for and don't get greedy!)
 
Limited: 4.5 (there are plenty of flippy attacks in here that could use a boost here such as the promo Victini and Vanilluxe, but again you need to know the difference between wishing for more damage/effects and actually needing it to properly use Victory Star)
 
Combos with: Vanilluxe NV, Lilligant EP, Ampharos Prime, Sharpedo TM, other cards with powerful secondary effects based on coin flips.


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