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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Leavanny #3

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Nov. 22, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.37
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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Leavanny 3/101 (Noble Victories)

This weird-looking stick-insect/praying mantis thing is apparently the ‘nurturing Pokémon’, and it is the ability to ‘look after’ other Pokémon that you have in play which has caused people to take a second look at this card to see if it could find a use in competitive decks.

Leavanny is a Stage 2 with a respectable (by which I mean ‘average these days’) 130 HP. The weakness to Fire would normally be catastrophic in today’s Reshiram-heavy format, but Leavanny has a way of dealing with that, as we shall see. The Retreat cost of two is not a good thing in a format full of Pokémon Catcher, so any deck running this card needs to be prepared to use Switch.

If Leavanny does manage to see any play, it won’t be for the attack. Cutting Arm costs {G][C][C] and does 40 damage with two coin flips giving you the opportunity to add another 20 damage for each heads. Even at its very best, 80 damage for three Energy from a Stage 2 is not very impressive: we have a whole slew of Basics (ie: the Unova Dragons and Weather Genies) that can do 80 or better for the same cost, and they don’t need coin flips either. So . . . by a process of elimination, the attraction of this card must be down to its Ability, Leaf Tailor, whose effect states that while Leavanny is in play, each of your Pokémon that has an Energy attached has no Weakness.

This kind of effect always has an immediate superficial appeal in the TCG. After all, there are many good Pokémon that are mostly denied a place in top tier decks because they have an unfortunate Weakness: think of Tyranitar Prime’s fear of Donphan, or Steelix’s Prime’s ability to tank being completely undermined by Reshiram. However, finding the deckspace for, and setting up, a Stage 2 line just to cancel Weakness has never really been worth it during the history of the game. It has always been preferable to either just accept that some match ups will be tough, or (better still) not play Pokémon that get destroyed by popular decks. Blastoise from Crystal Guardians and Great Encounters Exploud had exactly the same function as Leavanny, and yet they never really saw much play at all. In fact, Leavanny is actually worse than those other cards for a couple of reasons: firstly, it only removes Weakness if the Pokémon has an Energy attached (your opponent will say ‘fine, I’ll just Catcher one that doesn’t’); and secondly, the format at the moment revolves around Pokémon that can OHKO regardless of Weakness (I’m looking at you Reshiram and Zekrom).

Stage 2 techs need to do more than Leavanny can in order to see play (for example, Vileplume UD’s Trainer Lock, or Typhlosion Prime’s Energy acceleration). With Pokémon Catcher making Leavanny more of a free Prize liability than a genuine asset, I honestly don’t see it as the card that is going to make *insert favourite Pokémon with a bad Weakness here* playable. Sorry guys.

Rating

Modified: 2.25 (If the Weakness really hurts your deck that bad you should seriously consider playing something else)

Limited: 1.25 (Setting up a Stage 2 in limited should be a game-winning move. Stage 2 bench sitting techs just aren’t practical)

virusyosh

Hello once again, Pojo readers! Today we're continuing our reviews of cards from the new Noble Victories expansion. Today's Card of the Day is Leavanny.

Leavanny is a Stage 2 Grass Pokemon. Grass-types aren't so common in Modified, with only Yanmega being commonly seen; most Grass-types being weak to Fire certainly doesn't help their case. However, this particular Leavanny's Ability may allow it to see some play as a tech in a few decks. 130 HP is just about average for a Stage 2 now, and Leavanny should be able to survive at least two unboosted hits before going down. Fire Weakness is terrible against the likes of Reshiram, Typhlosion, and Emboar, so Leavanny should avoid these Pokemon whenever possible. Leavanny sadly has no Resistance, but it does have a Retreat Cost of 2, which is payable if it's absolutely necessary, but one would still probably rather use Switch.

Leavanny has an Ability and one attack. The Ability, Leaf Tailor, grants all of your Pokemon with Energy attached no Weakness. This is quite similar to the once-played Exploud from Supreme Victors, which was commonly seen as a 1-0-1 or 1-1-1 in decks that had major Weakness problems. That being said, Leavanny can fulfill a similar role. While requiring Energy to get the effect is a bit of a drawback, chances are your main hitters will have Energy attached, helping your offensive matchups. Then again, Leavanny is also a Stage 2, so it will require a few resources to get out.

Cutting Arm is Leavanny's only offense, dealing an unimpressive 40 damage for a Grass and two Colorless, allowing you to flip two coins and deal 20 more damage for each heads. This attack won't see a whole lot of play outside of Limited due to its disappointing damage output. I guess if you wanted to get cute you could always pair it with Victory Star Victini, but there are other options that are better in this regard.

Modified: 2.5/5 Leavanny has a good chance of seeing play for Leaf Tailor and Leaf Tailor alone, as Cutting Arm isn't going to meet Modified's high-damage standards. Leaf Tailor could work well in decks that have a major crippling Weakness to other Pokemon in the metagame (such as in a Grass deck or Metal deck), but Leavanny being a Stage 2 makes it fairly difficult to get out and as as bench sitter, Leavanny is definitely Pokemon Catcher bait. Leavanny doesn't belong in every deck, but if you can play around these drawbacks, it can be a very solid tech.

Limited: 3.5/5 Leavanny is a Stage 2, so getting it out is going to be difficult. However, Leaf Tailor is quite excellent here, as negating Weakness can greatly aid in survivability. Cutting Arm, while not amazing, is serviceable here with only one Grass requirement and gets even better if you pull a Victory Star Victini. Overall, Leavanny is a nice choice for a Limited deck.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Leavanny (Noble Victories)
 
Today we have a card similar to one of my favourite techs from the Supreme Victors sets. Say hello to Leavanny!
 
Now, despite the fact that Leavanny has grown on me as I've played through the videogames and despite the decent fan base for the big mantis, Leavanny has yet to be printed as a card that is even marginally useful. The second version from Emerging Powers came close with its Nurturing attack, but to be honest playing a Stage 2 (or going to the trouble of putting Leavanny in the Lost Zone for Mew Prime's Poke-body)  has proven to not be worth the effect.
 
Maybe this card will change Leavanny's fortunes, as well as finally bring Grass and Metal Poke'mon back to the tables.
 
Leavanny is a Grass type Stage 2 with 130 HP, Fire Weakness, a retreat cost of, an Ability and an attack.
 
These stats are usually a death sentence due to the brutal presence of ReshiPhlosion, but the Ability may go some way towards fixing that. Still, even without Fire Weakness the HP is on the low side for this format and the lack of Water Resistance adds insult to injury (in Black & White and Emerging Powers Water Resistance came standard on Grass Poke'mon).
 
Noone could give a toss for the attack (3 energy for a flippy attack that maxes out at 80 effect free damage) so I'll move straight to the Ability. Leaf Tailor removes the Weakness of any of your Poke'mon who have at least 1 energy attached to them, which varies between being a luxury you can live without to being an absolute neccesity if you don't want to get anhilated.
 
Flash back to Expolud SV, which despite being one of my favourite cards never quite caught on in the competitive arena. However, the early Rain Dance build needed Exploud to remove the crippling Lightning Weakness so the a single Luxray GL Lv X didn't devour the entire deck.
 
Now we move forward to the present day where powerhouses such as Ability Samurott BW, Tyranitar Prime and Steelix Prime are bing flattened by Zekrom, Donphan Prime and Reshiram. Leavanny could help even the odds by removing the type advantage, especially since each of the disadvantaged cards is energy hungry and will rarely fail to activate Leaf Tailor.
 
So we've established that removing Weakness is a good thing but is it worth the price? leavanny is a Stage 2 so it has a heavy cost in both deck space and the time it takes to get it into play. Also, Leavanny itself will rarely have any energy attached to it so if your opponent uses Poke'mon Catcher it will look like a fat target as well as costing you your immunity to Weakness.
 
I think this Leavanny will be about as popular as Exploud was, but I can still see a place for it as a 1-0-1 line in decks that use powerful but vulnerable Poke'mon (Steelix Prime, Scizor Prime, Armourott) and have room for lots of Rare Candy (Maybe the Metal Gear Klingklang will finally have a home?).
 
Modified: 3 (I want to score Leavanny higher but I suspect that this card will be quickly forgotten)
 
Limited: 2.5 (Leaf Tailor is more useful in this format but it is also a lot harder to get Leavanny into play)
 
Combos with: Steelix Prime, Klingklang BW, Scizor Prime, Armourott, Tyranitar Prime


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