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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Archeops #67

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Feb. 10, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.50
Limited: 3.00

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

Archeops 67/101 (Noble Victories)

We finish the week with by far the best of the new Fossil cards, and basically the only one to get any hype at all: Archeops.

Ok, so we all know by now that getting Archeops into play involves working with a poor Stage 1 and an abysmal mechanic, but let’s try to forget that for a moment and see what he offers.

The 130 HP isn’t anything special for what is effectively a Stage 2, and the Retreat cost of two seems a bit much for a bird, even a 70lb bird like Archeops. The Grass Weakness is ok though, with only Virizion NV and Shaymin-EX likely to be the only attacking Grass Pokémon to see play. As for the attack? Nothing special here either: 60 damage to the active plus 10 to two Benched Pokémon is decent I guess, but not really enough for a Stage 2, especially considering the cost of [F][F][C].

But that’s ok because Archeops isn’t really meant to attack. Instead he’s there to sit on the Bench and use his Ability, Ancient Power, to prevent either player from evolving their Pokémon. Yep, older players will recognise this as being a return for Aerodactyl from the old Fossil set, but in one respect it’s actually better, as it has been ruled that Rare Candy does not get around Ancient Power.

Stopping evolution is obviously a very powerful weapon to have. There are still plenty of decks being played that rely heavily on being able to evolve their Pokémon (Magnezone decks, Chandelure, anything wanting to use Eelektrik, Typhlosion Prime, or Emboar), and Archeops has the Ability to shut them down completely . . . as long as it gets out quickly enough.

And that’s at least half the problem with Archeops. Ideally you want it (and Vileplume UD) on the Field well within the first few turns, and that presents problems due to the awkward Restored Pokémon mechanic and the fact that a lot of resources are required to do so. If you miss the early Archeops and only get it out when your opponent has evolved a few attackers . . . well then he is a bit of a waste of space. The other issue is that there are a lot of decks out there right now (and will be in future) that simply do not care about Archeops and his Ability: Mewtwo-EX/Celebi, Six Corners, Zekrom/Pachirisu/Shaymin, Durant . . . all of these simply laugh at the poor old Archeops that you devoted so much deck space to.

Will it always be so bad for Archeops? Who knows? Twist Mountain Stadium (whenever we get it) will make it easier to get into play for sure, but it really needs a format where Evolution decks rule. With all the powerful Basics and Basics support (Prism Energy, Eviolite) that have come out recently, it doesn’t look as though Pokémon want to move in that direction for the foreseeable future. I’d still hold on to a couple of copies though . . . you never can tell what will happen in Pokémon.

Rating

Modified: 2 (it may have it’s time to shine, but that time is not right now)

Limited: 1.75 (is it really worth all that effort to stop evolutions in this format? Not really)

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo! Today we end our COTD week with the evolution of yesterday's card. Today's Card of the Day is Archeops from Noble Victories.
 
Archeops is a Stage 1 Fighting Pokemon. The only common Fighting Pokemon right now are Terrakion and Donphan Prime due to their cheap and powerful attacks, mostly because Fighting lacks good Energy acceleration. Therefore, in order to see play, Archeops has to either have strong attacks for cheap or have a game-breaking effect. Fortunately, it has the latter in some situations. 130 HP is good for a Stage 1, but keep in mind that since Archen must come into play as a Revived Pokemon, we'd expect a higher score than average. Grass Weakness is great, as Virizion and Shaymin-EX are your two most common threats (and Shaymin would OHKO most of the time anyway). Additionally, Archeops has no Resistance, and a rather average Retreat Cost of 2. You can pay it if you must, but it's definitely worth avoiding if you can.
 
Archeops has an Ability and a single attack. Ancient Power, the Ability, prevents Evolutions from being played from players' hands, hearkening back to the days of Fossil Aerodactyl's Prehistoric Power. It is important to note that attacks that evolve are still usable, and Rare Candy will NOT block Ancient Power's effect, despite earlier rulings. While Ancient Power is definitely powerful in the right metagame, there are a few things that will keep Archeops from seeing a lot of play. First of all, getting out an Evolution of a Revived Pokemon is difficult, even if you have your deck built around it. That may change in a few sets with Twist Mountain (a new Stadium dedicated to Revived Pokemon), but until then, you'll have to rely on the unreliable Fossils to get the lower forms out. Second, Ancient Power simply isn't that relevant in today's Modified metagame. Many important decks are build around big Basics with even bigger attacks, making the need for something like Archeops unnecessary. However, many decks revolving around big Basics still run support Pokemon that evolve (Eelektrik, Typhlosion, Vileplume, Electrode Prime, etc.), so Archeops does still have a niche in blocking those Pokemon from coming into play. Additionally, if evolution decks become popular again, Archeops could make a comeback as well.
 
Rock Slide, Archeops' only attack, deals 60 damage for two Fighting and a Colorless, while also doing 10 damage to two of your opponent's Benched Pokemon. The attack isn't terrible, but for the effort required to get Archeops out, it could do a bit more damage. Fortunately, if your opponent is playing an Evolution deck and you get an early Archeops, 60 damage may be enough to get the necessary KOs anyway.
 
Modified: 2.5/5 Archeops isn't bad, but it isn't great either. Ancient Power has the potential to be game-changing, however the format is incredibly unkind to Archeops right now given all of the big Basics. As previously stated, getting Revived Pokemon out isn't as easy as it should be yet, either. All in all, Archeops could be a great combo piece or lock Pokemon in the right deck with the right metagame, or it could be easily underwhelming when surrounded by the big dragons, musketeers, and Pokemon-EX.
 
Limited: 3.25/5 Archeops is amazing in Limited - if you can get it out. Ancient Power is absolutely devastating here unless your opponent pulls a musketeer trio member or a Kyurem, and this First Bird has fairly good HP to boot. Rock Slide isn't the most powerful attack in the world, but will be more than serviceable if your opponent is unable to evolve. Archeops should win you the game if you can get it out, but getting out is quite a challenge.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Archeops (Noble Victories)
 
Today is the review of the only Fossil Poke'mon in Noble Victories that actually has a chance of seeing play. Say hello to a worm's worst nightmare, Archeops!
 
Being the earliest bird there is, Archeops isn't much into flying which explains the lack of Fighting Resistance. On the plus side though is the Grass Weakness (again, only Virizion, a Shaymin or two and the near extinct Jumpluff can take advantage) and the healthy 130 HP. If it wasn't for the setup delays caused by the new Restored Poke'mon mechanic, it would be easy to keep Archeops alive on the Bench but alas, the opponent will likely be decently set up when the bald parrot finally hits the table, so prepare to face Poke'mon Catcher followed by oblivion.
 
But all is not lost, because Archeops has something to make all of the effort worthwhile. Rock Slide isn't what I'm talking about, since an attack costing [f][c][c] needs to do more than 60 damage and a pair of 10 damage snipes to the Bench. No, what has me excited is the Ability.
 
Ancient Power is a powerful effect that prevents both players from playing Evolutions out of their hand onto their Poke'mon. Obviously this is a double edged sword so you had best have all of your own evolutions in play before evolving Archen, but the capacity to counter popular behemoths like Typhlosion Prime, Magnezone Prime, Vilplume UD and Feraligatr Prime is too powerful to be missed.
 
Sadly, common sense has to rain on our parade by pointing out some glaring flaws. By necessity, Archeops won't get into play until your own setup is complete so if your opponent can evolve faster than you Archeops is just dead weight. You could slow your opponent down with Vileplume UD but that will only work once Twist Mountain has been released to get around using Plume Fossil and will eat up deck and Bench space very quickly.
 
To make matters worse, there are plenty of brutal Basic Poke'mon who won't care if you seal off any Evolution cards (Haymaker and Zekrom Rush don't even run Evolutions). Unlike Vileplume UD, which is a major pain to any opponent and can be built around to minimise the drawbacks, Archeops is too much of a niche card.
 
But I believe I have found a home for Archeops anyway! Picture this possible new Psychic build: the latest Gardevoir card has a beautiful Ability to double any [p] energy attached to your Psychic Poke'mon, which is bound to be popular in conjunction with Mewtwo EX and Magic Room Gothitelle (both of which will give your opponent too many headaches for them to worry about Archeops). Supporting from the Bench will be Mismagius UL and Jirachi UL which give the necessary energy acceleration to power Gothitelle and Mewtwo to victory, which is when Archeops comes in. Jirachi has an attack called Time Hollow that has the effect of devolving as many of your opponent's Poke'mon as Jirachi has [p] energy, which now thanks to Archeops are trapped as dead cards in your opponent's hand, leaving their evolving Basics and Stage 1 Poke'mon open for a beatdown!
 
Admittedly this means your opponent gets a turn without Gothitelle's Item lock bringing them down, so be prepared to lose the Archeops to a Poke'mon Catcher and Pluspower-fuelled Dragon assault. But they won't be able to play the Evolutions until Archeops is gone, which gives you time to drop a Judge to scramble their hand and then smash your way to victory before they can rebuild their team. This move would cripple so many decks, since Rain Dance is nothing with Feraligatr and ditto the ReshiPhlosion deck without Typhlosion. The same goes for any Lightning deck without Eelektrik, and anyone who relies on Vileplume and Reuniclus would be sinking faster than a lead balloon!
 
I admit that this theory won't be tested until Twist Mountain is released and even then there are plenty of big Legendary Poke'mon who won't be too bothered by Ancient Power, but I personally wnat to try this out even if it winds up being nothing more than a League deck. Completely and peramanetly devolving the opposing team sounds like too much fun to miss!
 
Modified: 3 (I'm cautiously optimistic about someone being able to pull this trick off now that Mewtwo and Gardevoir will bring Gothitelle back into the spotlight, but I can't help feeling that crowding with other TecHs like Leavanny NV and Metagross UL will mean Archeops never gets to shine like it should)
 
Limited: 3.75 (if you actually manage to get Archeops out in the first few turns your opponent will just scoop then and there because no Evolutions means no hope, but aside from that Archeops is still a solid attacker for Limited)
 
Combos with: Jirachi UL, Twist Mountain, Gothitelle EP (Magic Room)


Otaku

We end the week with Archeops, which seems somewhat ironic… or maybe not given how misused the word is (I don’t trust myself to use it anymore). Oh well, we are ending the week with a prehistoric Pokémon that technically would have predated most other Pokémon (thus “beginning” Pokémon).

Stats

Archeops is a Fighting Type, which is handy in terms of exploiting Weakness but lousy in terms of actual Type support. It is a Stage 1, but a Stage 1 that Evolves from a “Revived” Pokémon, a non-Evolved Pokémon that can only be played through the effect of a specific Trainer. In short, this makes it about as hard to play as a Stage 2, or at least harder than your average Stage 1 Pokémon, and will be judged accordingly.

The HP score is 130, which I consider good, but only just. Even before we had Pokémon EX skewing things, we had abnormally large Basic Pokémon dominating the format. So while 150 HP is the maximum for a non-Pokémon EX in the current format and thus being 20 less than that should be great, even for a pseudo Stage 2 Pokémon, we still have Basic Pokémon that are not Pokémon EX that have just as much HP and just need a PlusPower to OHKO Archeops.

Grass Weakness is okay to have: there are far worse forms of Weakness to have right now (though not necessarily logical for the Typing on this card), but it isn’t safe either, due to cards like Virizion from BW: Noble Victories and (possibly) the upcoming Shaymin EX. The lack of Resistance is irritating, both because it always feels like a copout to me when cards lack it and the fact that with 130 HP, reducing damage taken by 20 could have been quite important. The Retreat Cost of two is more or less average: in a well built deck you can afford to pay it but usually won’t want to. Again it also feels wrong, given that Archeops in the video games is part Flying and known for being adept at running; even if it was a bad flyer you’d think that would qualify for less.

Effects

Archeops has the Ability “Ancient Power”, the latest form of Evolution denial. While Archeops is in play, neither player may play Evolution cards from their hands, including using Rare Candy to Evolve the Pokémon, since the Evolution is still coming from the hand. An effect that pulls the Evolution card from someplace else (most likely the player’s deck) will function as normal. Given the speed of the game, focus on Basic Pokémon, and fact that Ancient Power affects both players, it isn’t especially good. Neither is it bad in and of itself, though placing it on an Evolution was a clearly intentional attempt at “nerfing” it: I believe it is impossible to get multiple Archeops in play with the current card pool, since it is an Evolution itself and thus blocks other copies.

Being on an Evolution further impedes it, and if that wasn’t enough it is on an Evolution that requires successful use of Plume Fossil. So you must get a Plume Fossil to work on your first turn, and then be able to Evolve Archen into Archeops on your next turn to completely stop an opponent from Evolving. With the current pace, this is of dubious usefulness.

Rock Slide is underwhelming. First it requires (FFC) to use, meaning three turns to power up unless you use some risky or complicated combos, as opposed to if this card required one of the many types that have Energy acceleration. If one of the Fighting Energy requirements was a Colorless Energy requirement instead, it would have helped since obviously Double Colorless Energy would have allowed both Archen to use its better attack right away and then Evolve and use Rock Slide the next turn.

Rock Slide is not only slow, but weak. To put this into perspective, Donphan Prime, and easier to play “normal” Stage 1 Pokémon can do 60 points of damage for a single Fighting Energy, though it hits its own Bench when doing so. Donphan Prime has comparable stats to Archeops and both a Poké-Body and second attack. So basically, the additional Fighting Energy requirement and Colorless Energy requirement are just enough to stop self damage, and to let you peck two opposing Pokémon on the Bench. This ignores the utility of having a single Energy attack and the fact that Donphan Prime had a second attack as well. In short, this is overpriced.

I can see the intended combo: block your opponent from Evolving, and then pick off the smaller Basic Pokémon, with the spread damage building over time. It was a good idea, but too weak, even if this wasn’t a Basic friendly format of amazing speed.

Usage

Archeops needs to be the focus of its own deck, which hurts. There is only one Archen and one Plume Fossil, so you have to use them. It would be tempting to go for a double lock on Items and Evolutions by combining this with Vileplume, but they also clash since Archeops needs an Item to eventually get into play, and Vileplume of course is an Evolution, and as I keep saying, Evolutions just aren’t important enough to several decks. Blocking them certainly hurts a lot of decks, but only a few (some of which are already on shaky ground) actually will be crippled by Archeops coming into play quickly.

If you really want to use it, I’d basically focus on running it with many big, Basic Pokémon, so that your opponent has to choose between taking out serious threats and the inconvenient Bench-sitter blocking Evolutions.

In Unlimited, it is useless because you need to block Evolutions as soon as possible. As such I’d rather use Fossil Aerodactyl: there are some nice tricks to get it into play fast, including first turn (though I believe all require a successful coin toss). Keep in mind, this would be a niche strategy anyway.

Limited is where this card could shine… if it didn’t Evolve from a Revived Pokémon. That almost totally kills it for me. Otherwise Evolutions are more powerful here and while decks struggle to run them, they are power cards even if in Constructed formats they’d never see play. Also Bench damage adds up more quickly here, and retreating an injured Pokémon to deny an opponent a Prize actually works in Limited, so Rock Slide is also much more useful. The risk of being completely unable to play this means I’d avoid it unless you pulled at least two each of Plume Fossil and Archen.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 1.5/5

Limited: 1.5/5

Summary

Denying the ability to Evolve, especially to both players, isn’t very useful in a format focused on Basic Pokémon. A lackluster attack and odd Evolution pattern for itself mean Archeops will likely have to hope for a lucky break the next format, or that there is even more support coming for it than I’ve seen in some spoilers.

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