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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Archen #66

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Feb. 9, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.00
Limited: 2.15

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Archen 66/101 (Noble Victories)

Aargh! Today’s review is for one of the new Fossil-esque Pokémon. Doesn’t matter how good they are, the elephant in the corner will always be the horrible luck-based mechanic for getting them into play. Inevitably, that will affect the score the card receives: Twist Mountain is still a set (possibly two) away from being released outside of Japan, and obviously that will make things a whole lot better for these Pokémon, but for now we have to work with what we have.

Archen is a Restored Pokémon, which is another way of saying it’s a Stage 1 that is an utter pain to get into play. And no, thanks to the mechanic it can’t be skipped with Rare Candy. Basically its job is to hang in there for a turn while you desperately try and get an Archeops out, but how well is it equipped for that role?

The answer is ‘not very well at all’. For a start Archen has only 80 HP, which means that virtually any competitive deck has no problems Catchering it up and delivering a OHKO . . . which, if they are at all worried about its evolution, they will do. Now the obvious answer to this would be to Trainer Lock with Vileplume UD, but then you couldn’t play the Fossil Trainer if you set Vileplume up before Archen, so this requires quite precise timing, not to mention an awful lot of resources, to get them both out in the same turn.

As an attacker? Forget it. Archen has Rock Throw, which does 20 for a single Fighting Energy, and Acrobatics which costs two Energy of any Colour and will do 20 plus 20 more for each heads you get from two coin flips. Neither of those is going to cause an opponent to lose much sleep.

So, with Archen, you basically have to a) count on luck going your way to get it to the Bench and b) pray that your opponent can’t draw into a Pokémon Catcher on their next turn. If all goes well with that, then you get to use tomorrow’s card . . .

Rating

Modified: 1.25 (a Stage 1 which does little or nothing to help itself or its evolution)

Limited: 1.25 (really not worth the hassle)

virusyosh

Hello once again, Pojo viewers! Today we're going to review one of the Revived Pokemon from Noble Victories. Today's Card of the Day is Archen.
 
Archen is a Fighting-type Revived Pokemon. As a Revived Pokemon, Archen can only be put into play with the effect of its associated Item card, Plume Fossil. As such, since it is more difficult to get into play, the evolved forms are supposed to be more impressive than their normal counterparts. Archen has 80 HP, which is just about right for a Revived Pokemon, and should be able to take a weak hit or two in both Modified and Limited. Grass Weakness is fairly nice to have, as the only really common Grass Pokemon right now are Virizion and Shaymin-EX. Sadly, Archen has no Resistance, but it does have a very manageable single Retreat Cost.
 
Archen has two attacks. Rock Throw does a vanilla 20 damage for a single Fighting Energy, which is good in the early game and not really any other time. In Limited, the attack is fairly decent for the cost, but considering what you have to do in order to get Archen out, it still may not be worth it. Acrobatics starts off at 20 damage for two Colorless Energy, and allows you to flip two coins, doing 20 more damage for each heads. The attack can max out at 60 damage if you flip two heads, but most of the time you'll be doing 40. Even still, if you're able to get out an early Archen, this attack could be fairly good. Otherwise, Archen should probably sit on the Bench until it can evolve into Archeops.
 
Modified: 2.5/5 Archen is a fairly serviceable Revived Pokemon, but you'll really only want to run it if you're running Archeops. 80 HP is decent for a lower form, and the attacks are well-costed, despite them being kind of weak. Unfortunately, Archen also has another major problem: Plume Fossil. Since Archen can only be put into play with Plume Fossil's effect, you'll have to make sure that you stock up on Plume Fossils and have a way to make sure that Archen doesn't stay in your hand, as Archens in hand are useless (for now). All in all, if you're running Archeops, you'll definitely run it; otherwise, you probably won't.
 
Limited: 2.75/5 Archen would be fairly good in Limited with its decent HP and aggressively-costed attacks, but the Plume Fossil effect brings it down once again. Of course, if you're able to get out an Archeops you should win most Limited matches by that alone, provided your opponent doesn't have any strong Basics or was able to set up more quickly than you.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Archen (Noble Victories)
 
Today we are looking at the other Restored Poke'mon from the Noble Victories expansion, and as you can probably guess it isn't going to be pretty.
 
Archen is a Restored Poke'mon, which in terms of deckbuilding and play style makes it akin to a Stage 1 but as far as I can tell the current rulings will treat any Archen in play as a Basic Poke'mon, so cards like Skyarrow Bridge, Prism Energy and Eviolite will all work their magic when attached to Archen. As far as any Archen in the deck are concerned, the card doesn't actually have 'Basic' printed anywhere on it so I'm pretty sure that you can't search for Archen with Poke'mon Collector or Dual Ball and I'm absolutely certain that you can't play as your starting Active. I must stress, I haven't found any actual rulings about Restored Poke'mon yet so this is just my best guess at how all of the different rules will come together and you should keep your eyes peeled for a rulings release in the near future.
 
Aisde from needing to be put into play by the effect of Plume Fossil (which is a massive handicap), Archen has decent stats for an evolving Basic and horrible stats for a Stage 1. 80 HP is acceptable as is the Grass Weakness (only the odd Virizion and Jumpluff will give you trouble). The retreat cost of 1 won't be much of an issue and the attacks are at least cheap. The problem here isn't so much the stats themselves as the fact that Archen will most likely come into play later than most Poke'mon (again I say curse the new Fossil mechanic!) so it won't have the luxury of being able to set up without being dragged Active and smashed to smithereens.
 
Neither of the attacks is very impressive, respectively being 20 damage for [f] or 20-60 damage (depending on coin flips) for [c][c]. Solid enough for the first or second turn, but there are so many more impressive options. Plus Archen's evolution is a bench sitter at heart (more on that tomorrow) so Archen shouldn't ever be Active anyway.
 
Whether or nor Archen sees play will ultimately depend on the playability of Archeops, but so far my crystal ball is predicting obscurity and missed opportunities for Archen.
 
Modified: 2 (the Restored Poke'mon Mechanic has taken Fossil Poke'mon from terrible to utterly unusable even in League decks. Hope is on the horizon with a new stadium I've been hearing chatter about, but only time will tell)
 
Limited: 2.5 (Archeops can prove a major pain to your opponent here and Plume Fossil works better with the smaller deck size, but Archen is still a handicap)
 
Combos with: a redesign for Fossil Poke'mon that keeps the flavour while getting them past the Trainer Lock that destroyed them last format as well as allowing them to be more easily searched from the deck/played from the hand.


Otaku

Today we cover Archen, who gave me headaches since I wanted to find rulings about Restored Pokémon (and a basic definition) and didn’t have much luck. Granted I didn’t have an instruction booklet handy or a cooperative enough computer to go try and look it up on the website. Oh well, I finally got the information anyway.

Stats

Archen is a Fighting-Type, which is useful because we see Fighting as a common Weakness, but we also see that Fighting decks aren’t doing so well right now. Why? They lack the kind of Type (or Energy Type) support that most of the top decks have. Even some of the previously good Fighting decks have seen a decline lately, though I am having trouble verifying that isn’t just a matter of where I am looking.

Archen is unusual in that it is a “Restored” Pokémon for its Stage. Restored Pokémon are basically a creative way of giving players a headache… well that is how I feel about it. It is an intriguing concept: Restored Pokémon aren’t Basic Pokémon but they aren’t Evolved Pokémon either – they are simply Pokémon. They also can only be played through effect of the Item card they specify, in this case Plume Fossil. Plume Fossil states you may reveal the bottom seven cards of your deck, and if you reveal an Archen there, you may Bench it. So I guess it is dead if it is in your hand then, definitely not good.

After all that you get an Unevolved Pokémon with 80 HP. It is good that at least it is bigger than many Evolving Basic Pokémon, but given the effort to get this into play I think a little more is deserved. At least the Grass Weakness is currently not a huge issue: much like Donphan Prime, I don’t hear as much about Yanmega Prime anymore, though Virizion will put the hurt on Archen. No Resistance is lame, but a single Energy Retreat is good – you should be able to get it out of the Active slot with only minor inconvenience.

Effects

So what does Archen do? It has two attacks. For (F), Rock Throw does a flat 20 points of damage. For (CC), Acrobatics will do 20 points of damage, plus it lets you flip two coins for another 20 points of damage per heads. Rock Throw feels a little dinky – it wouldn’t be bad for a true Basic Pokémon but for what a player has to do to get Archen into play? Since Acrobatics can use Double Colorless Energy, it can serve as the “speedy” attack, and indeed since its minimum damage is the same as that of Rock Throw, it makes Rock Throw only selectively useful. Rock Throw could have been replaced with a useful Ability, or Acrobatics could have been the “small” attack and something a little pricier the “big” attack.

Usage

For the effort that goes into getting Archen in play, it isn’t a “good” card. Fortunately it exists to Evolve into Archeops, which we will look at tomorrow, so if you want to run Archeops, you have reason to play Archen. I will point out that the only Archeops we have can’t make good use of Double Colorless Energy (only a single Colorless Energy requirement on its attack) so that makes it a poor choice for fueling Acrobatics after all.

For Unlimited play, it again depends on whether or not you want to use Archeops, but between speed issues (and the dominance of First Turn Win decks) and Trainer denial, I doubt I’d want to use Archen or Archeops here.

So what about Limited play? Unless I am wrong about Archen being dead in hand, it seems like a poor pick. Once in play it’d be alright, but first you’ll need Plume Fossil and then to successfully use said Plume Fossil.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 1.75/5

Limited: 1/5

Summary

The Restored mechanic is an interesting one, but unless it gets a lot more support or the next Archen is more powerful, it will be a wasted one. This little sort-of-birdie has adequate attacks on top of so-so stats, and that doesn’t cut it with the need to play it through Plume Fossil.

I am still chipping away at my various collectibles and collections, and yes I wish I could have used that line with Conkeldurr. Oh well. Feel free to click here and check out what I have up for bids, but remember that Pojo.com is in no way responsible for the transaction, merely kind enough to let me link to them.


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