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.