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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Venusaur #3

Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.40
Limited: 3.40

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

Venusaur (Dark Explorers)

After yesterday’s review, I guess you could see this one coming. Venusaur hasn’t had a review for a few years now, and he’s a sentimental choice for those people who started their games with Bulbasaur way back in the days of the Red and Blue video games (like most people, I went with Charmander. Bulbasaur was the hipster choice!). This card has been getting some attention prior to release, so let’s see if there is any potential there to be fulfilled.

Venusaur is a Stage 2, so right away you know that he has to be doing something spectacularly good if he wants to get some time at the playing tables. This format, full of huge fast Basic EX Pokémon is not a welcoming place for the slower Stage 2. The 140 HP is good, but really no more than seems standard these days. Fire Weakness is . . . ok: Reshiram usage is way down from its early-season peak and the major threat these days are mono Entei-EX decks. Water Resistance is handy, I suppose, but won’t come into play too often right now. The Retreat cost of four is unsurprising and horrible, but at least it means you can search out Venusaur with Heavy Ball.

With an attack as poor as Venusaur’s Poison Powder, you won’t want him in the active slot anyway. Two Grass and two Energy of any Colour for just 70 damage and Poison is massively underpowered and overcosted. You will never want to invest that amount of Energy for such a limited return. So, why were people talking about this card again? It must be the Ability, I guess.

Floral Scent is pretty good, I have to admit. Once per turn, you can search your deck for any Pokémon and put it into your hand. It’s nowhere near as good as the old Pidgeot from FireRed LeafGreen, which could search for any card whatsoever, but you can see why it brings back memories for people who played it. The question is, does what Venusaur has to offer good enough to make it a worthwhile play? That massive Retreat cost and worthless attack make it an obvious target for Pokémon Catcher – it’s not as if you can expect Venusaur to sit on the Bench for the entire game, feeding you a non-stop stream of needed Pokémon. In fact, most of the time, the resources you need to dedicate to searching out and evolving Venusaur could have been used to grab the Pokémon you need in the first place, and as for deck space . . . well, you are going to need at least a 2-0-2 line to have a good chance of getting it out, plus a few Rare Candy . . .

I guess what I’m saying is that Venusaur has a great Ability, but it is not best placed to use it in the current format. Existing Pokémon search Items, plus consistent draw, should be able to do the job for you, without the need to employ a clunky Stage 2. Sorry Venusaur, but the copies of you in my binder are likely to be staying there.

Rating

Modified: 2.25 (Wrong time, wrong place for this card)

Limited: 2.5 (It takes a lot of time and effort to get out Stage 2s in Limited – this isn’t enough of a reward)

virusyosh

Greetings once again, Pojo viewers! Today we're reviewing the evolution of yesterday's COTD, which happens to be a Pokemon that we haven't reviewing in a really long time. Today's Card of the Day is a Gen I starter, the Seed Pokemon, Venusaur.
 
Venusaur is a Stage 2 Grass Pokemon. Grass is almost never played in Modified right now, as the type has been very underrepresented ever since Yanmega Prime and Virizion waned in popularity. Vileplume and other support cards of the type can still be seen occasionally, however. 140 HP is just about standard for a Stage 2, allowing Venusaur to take a medium-sized hit before going down. Fire Weakness isn't too bad right now, as Reshiram and Reshiram-EX are somewhat rare these days. Water Resistance is nice to have, although rarely relevant. Finally, a Retreat Cost of 4 is massive, so you'll want to Switch Venusaur from the Active spot. The huge Retreat Cost isn't all a downside, though: Venusaur can be searched out with Heavy Ball.
 
Venusaur has an Ability and a single attack. Floral Scent allows you to search your deck for a Pokemon once per turn, show it to your opponent, and put it into your hand, shuffling afterward. Searching your deck for any Pokemon is great in any format (especially Limited), but Venusaur has some competition with Sunflora HGSS in Modified. While Sunflora can only fetch Grass Pokemon, Sunflora is also only a Stage 1, requiring fewer resources to get into play than Venusaur. Additionally, the Pokemon TCG has a wide variety of search options right now (Pokemon Collector, the Ball Engine) that can search out nearly any Pokemon you can think of without the need of setting up a Stage 2. Therefore, most decks will benefit from running Level Ball, Heavy Ball, and Ultra Ball in some combination rather than the space necessary to run Venusaur, its lower forms, and Rare Candy in order to fetch Pokemon.
 
Poison Powder is Venusaur's attack, dealing 70 damage and automatically Poisoning the opponent for two Grass and two Colorless. This attack is far too expensive for Modified play, as 70 damage and an underwhelming Status Condition aren't often worth it in the fast-paced format. In Limited, Poison Powder is serviceable, but unspectacular, as even here, four Energy should do more that 70 damage and Poison.
 
Modified: 2.25/5 Poor Venusaur never seems to get much love. In this case, Venusaur is a support option that is generally outclassed by Items and Supporters that do its job better. While searching for any Pokemon is great, it's usually easier to just run something like Heavy Ball or Ultra Ball or get whatever you need. While it's true that Venusaur's search is unconditional, the Seed Pokemon is very slow to get out and will likely not be as useful as you'd expect it to be. Additionally, it has stiff competition in Grass decks with Sunflora, but with Grass decks being practically nonexistent, that argument is moot.
 
Limited: 3.75/5 Venusaur is a good Pokemon in Limited, but it's very slow. Floral Scent can help you accelerate your Evolution lines, and Poison Powder deals consistent and decent damage. It's a shame that the attack costs so much, though, as you may not be able to fully power up Venusaur until it's about to be KOed due to the heavy Energy requirements. Even still, Venusaur is a great Pokemon to draft if you decide to run a lot of Grass and manage to draft its line.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Venusaur (Dark Explorers)
 
Today we review the evolution of yesterday's card, the venerable Venusaur. If you want to build a deck themed around Grass starting Poke'mon or just can't get enough of free Poke'mon searching, this is the card for you!
 
Venusaur has 140 HP and Water resistance to keep it alive against the Catcher-happy players of today, but the Fire Weakness is still likely to be a problem and the heavy retreat cost of 4 is going to keep the big beastie glued to the Active position. Pack Switch and Heavy Ball to get Venusaur where he needs to be and you should get enough use of the Ability to justify the investment.
 
That Ability is Floral Scent, which allows you to search your deck for a Poke'mon, reveal it and put it into your hand. The lack of restrictions means that it is great for searching out Restored Poke'mon to play with Twisted Mountain, and it also works beautifully for grabbing Legend pieces. On top of that, it is a good way to thin your deck so that the Professor Juniper or N you are about to drop will be more likely to net you the Item cards you need. Best of all, it's an extra card in your hand to fuel discard effects like Junk Arm and Absol Prime's Vicious Claw.
 
Of course, if there was no downside to playing Venusaur we would all be crying foul and complaining about the release of yet another broken card. Part of that is the lacklustre attack, which for the steep price of [g][g][c][c] deals 70 damage and inflicts Poison automatically. It's definitely worth the price of admission in Limited if you have enough Grass energy, but anywhere else it feels underwhelming.
 
The larger penalty attached to Venusaur is that it is a Stage 2 with a less than stellar pair of lower stages. If you are cutting into your deck space to run this card then you have less room for all of the toys enjoyed by the all-Basics-all-the-time decks that currently own the format.
 
Those negative traits mean Venusaur faces an uphill battle, but what truly relegates this dinosaur to the binder is the number of cheap alternatives we have in the format. Poke'mon Collector has a monopoly on search at the moment with the explosion of great Basic Poke'mon being thrown together in various archetypes, while Poke'mon Communication turns any Poke'mon in hand into the one you actually need. Heavy Ball, Level Ball and Ultra Ball also give plenty of search options that don't involve the hassle of playing a Stage 2 (which usually requires you to search out the Stage 2 and others stages to begin with anyway).
 
I can see Venusaur DEX having a niche to fill in future formats if some cards that punish Basics are released and Vileplum gets reprinted, but at the moment it can't compete with the more popular search options.
 
Right now it could fit well into a Vileplume UD/Mew Prime deck since that build needs an Item-free alternative way to search out the singletons sacrificed the Relicanth CL and Absol Prime, but that deck hasn't been very popular at tournaments recently and Venusaur won't change that. It would be good for a laugh at League though!
 
Modified: 2.75 (a case of wrong time, wrong place, wrong format)
 
Limited: 4 (as always, Stage 2 Poke'mon are difficult to get out but this set has some decent draw from the reprints and Venusaur effectively replaces itself by letting you get out all of your other worthy Poke'mon. You'll be hard pressed to justify not using Venusaur even if your energy is stretched with Cilan around to find what you need)
 
Combos with: any situation where Poke'mon search is necessary and Trainers have been locked out. Pray for a Vileplume EX in the near future!


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