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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Persian #81

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.65
Limited: 4.00

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Persian

Next up for review this week is Persian. One of the original 151 Pokémon that has never exactly taken the TCG by storm. Will this be the card to change all of that?

Well, it doesn’t get off to a very promising start: a Colourless Type, Fighting Weak Stage 1 with a mere 90 HP isn’t going to strike anyone as being especially playable in a format full of Pokemon with massive HP that do huge amounts of damage. Persian doesn’t even have an Ability either, so whatever it has to offer, it will have to do from the active slot as an attacking Pokémon.

The first option it offers, for the low cost of a single Energy, is Nasty Plot. We’ve seen this before (notably on Zoroark BW): the attack does no damage, but it does let you search for any card in your deck and put it in your hand. This is obviously a good thing (just ask anyone who remembers Pidgeot FRLG), but it’s not good enough to justify using an attack on a frail Stage 1. You will almost certainly be trading a Prize for that one card, and that’s if you even get to keep it (an opponent could simply use N or Judge to shuffle it back in to your deck).

If Persian’s second attack was good, then maybe Nasty Plot could have been something to use if you lacked the Energy for something better. Unfortunately this is not the case. Shadow Claw may only cost a Double Colourless, but its damage output is a pitiful 30. You do get a coin flip chance to discard a random card from your opponent’s hand, but that is still not enough to make it worthwhile. If it’s flippy hand disruption you are after then Persian HGSS is infinitely superior (yet has almost never seen play). An even better option would be Weavile UD, which uses a PokéPower to discard one from the hand, so you aren’t wasting an attack.

The card search and the hand disruption might have been nice bonuses if Persian had great HP and a solid damage output, but when they are the best things that a Pokémon has to offer, you know you are not looking at a competition-level card.

Rating

Modified: 1.5 (just doesn’t offer enough of anything)

Limited: 3.5 (almost any kind of search will do here)

virusyosh

Greetings, Pojo readers! Today we're going to review another Generation I Colorless-type Pokemon from the Next Destinies expansion. Today's Card of the Day is Persian.
 
Persian is a Stage 1 Colorless Pokemon. Much like Wigglytuff yesterday, Persian could be potentially useful due to its Colorless typing, which would allow it to fit easily into any deck due to its flexible Energy requirements. Of course, the card's overall playability ultimately depends on its stats and attacks. 90 HP is standard for a Stage 1 these days, and should be enough to withstand at least one weak attack, while falling against heavy hitters and most Pokemon-EX. Fighting Weakness is a problem against Terrakion and the rare Donphan Prime; no Resistance is no Resistance; and a Retreat Cost of 1 is good and easily paid.
 
Persian has two attacks. Nasty Plot allows you to grab any single card from your deck for a single Colorless Energy, shuffling afterward. This attack is pretty good in Limited, where search and draw power are lacking, but is pretty terrible in Modified, where using an attack on something other than a damage-dealing move needs to be carefully considered, since it's usually a horrible idea. Overall, Nasty Plot can get you anything you need, but make sure you aren't giving up easy Prizes because of it.
 
Shadow Claw is Persian's offensive maneuver, dealing 30 damage and discarding a random card from your opponent's hand on a coin flip for two Colorless Energy. The random discard and lax Energy requirements would make this attack a winner, but 30 damage is really pathetic for a final Evolution in today's game, even in both formats. In terms of discard, however, the attack is great.
 
Modified: 1.5/5 Low HP, terrible Weakness, and low damage output make sure that Persian won't have a future in Modified any time soon.
 
Limited: 3.25/5 Persian can easily fit into Limited decks due to its Colorless typing and cheap attacks. Nasty Plot is good for getting that one last specific card you need in Modified, and while Shadow Claw's damage output is sad, the random discard can really cause massive problems for your opponent. Overall, Persian is a solid choice as a supporting and disruptive Pokemon for Limited.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Persian (Next Destinies)
 
For today's review, we are covering the new Persian card. The version from the HGSS base set saw some play prior to the rotation, so maybe this card has a niche to fill as well.
 
The stats are nothing out of the ordinary, following the usual 90 HP non-evolving Stage 1 template. Fighting Weakness is a problem with Donphan still in the card pool, while the Retreat Cost of 1 is fair. Basically, as with so many Stage 1 Poke'mon, you aren't going to get more than a single turn in the Active slot if the opponent has an attacker up and running so you had bettter make it count.
 
Nasty Plot is a great first attack, costing [c] and allowing you to search your deck for any one card to add to your hand. If it wasn't for the existence of Zoroark, Professor Juniper, Sage's Training and Twins this attack would get Persian a space in many Item-dependent decks to search out all of the most important toys. Unfortunately, we are so used to power creep that an attack which was critical a few years ago barely merits a mention now.
 
Since we already have non-attack options to search out normally unsearchable cards, Persian has to rely on Shadow Claw, which despite the impressive name is next to useless. For [c][c] you get 30 damage and a flip to discard a random card from your opponent's hand. There are already much more effective ways to strip an opponent's hand away that don't involve attacking (Weavile UD, Judge and N spring to mind), so Persian is left out in the cold.
 
There is nothing to reccomend this beautiful feline in this format, which just goes to show how a seemingly good combination of cheap attacks can be ruined by intense competition with near-broken cards.
 
Modified: 2 (if Twins didn't exist and the hand destruction cards were in a type other than dark, Persian may have been able to justify its existence)
 
Limited: 4.5 (Nasty Plot is an auto-inclusion here, giving you the freedom to get to the best cards in your deck quickly. Shadow Claw is also improved by virtue of being easy to pay for, with the occasional chance of discarding something useful)
 
Combos with: would have been awesome in any old Modified format that did not contain Computer Search or a related card such as Pidgeot FRLG, Furret SW, Claydol GE, Uxie LA, Magnezone Prime, Twins or Zoroark BW. Wow, that is a lot of powerful search/repeatble draw effects over the years!


Otaku

Yay! Kitty! =^w^=

So… anything else to this card? Let’s find out.

Stats
Persian is a Stage 1 Colorless-Type Pokémon. Being an Evolution is tough right now; this format greatly favors Basic Pokémon, both the plain and the Pokémon EX variety. Persian will need at least good stats and effects, and probably at least "great" in one of those categories.

Colorless-Types don't have any real support, and Weakness/Resistance to the Type is pretty rarely seen. Personally I wish
TPC would bite the bullet and re-classify Persian in the video games as part Dark-Type or part Poison-Type, or even as a Dark/Poison hybrid. Yes, I know we've got other Pokémon that do even the cat aspect of that, but they are the ones that don't make Persian stand out as a Normal-Type/Colorless-Type Pokémon.

90 HP is pretty bad for a Stage 1 that can't further Evolve. I mean, even on Stage 1 Pokémon that do Evolve it isn't enough, and the ultra aggressive format just makes it even more apparent. Most competitive decks won't struggle to OHKO Persian, especially with the deck's "big" attackers. The Fighting Resistance is almost inconsequential, given that Fighting Pokémon mostly show up in the form of Terrakion from BW: Noble Victories. Most of the time it OHKOs Persian without needing to factor in Weakness, so the doubling of damage is overkill. Landorus from BW: Emerging Powers just saves on a PlusPower. If you encounter a Donphan Prime deck (never count out older decks completely), that's about the only Fighting Pokémon that really benefits from the boost.

No Resistance is quite common, but still disappointing. I wish they'd up Resistance so that it would matter again: HP scores are skyrocketing, as is the average damage per turn, and yet Resistance is 10 points less than when then game began, if it is present at all. At least the single Energy Retreat Cost is good; easy to pay and recover from paying, though given how the rest of the Stats are pretty poor, a free Retreat Cost might have been acceptable.

Effects
Persian has two attacks: Nasty Plot and Shadow Claw. Nasty Plot only requires (C) and lets you search your deck for the card of your choice. If this was a slower format, this might make Persian a half-decent opening Pokémon; you'd probably get two or three uses of Nasty Plot before it went down. In even a remotely fast format (let alone the brutal speed it at which it currently blurs by) this is at best a consolation prize: your Stage 1 is going to be OHKOed, so if you can spare an Energy at least you can get something of your choice from your deck. Definitely not worth a Prize, but better than nothing.

Shadow Claw does 30 points of damage for (CC), plus gives you a coin toss to discard a claw. Hand disruption only works if it is severe or easy to stack. When a Pokémon uses an attack to do it that attack had better be reliable, highly damaging, or amazingly potent in the hand disruption field. Shadow Claw would be okay on a Meowth as its big attack, but for a Stage 1 Pokémon the damage yield is low and the effect unimpressive. You’re not getting much damage considering this is the only attack on a Stage 1 Pokémon or you’re not getting enough hand disruption, possibly both. If the Lost Zone hadn’t been abandoned and they wanted to make Persian this vulnerable but with an attack that was worth it, perhaps they should have allowed Shadow Claw to attack the deck or send cards to the Lost Zone.

Generally speaking, the card would be better if the effects of one attack or the other was part of an Ability. At least having all Colorless Energy requirements and needing only two Energy for the second attack makes it easy to run with any other Type and almost every form of Energy acceleration works with it. I suppose there is even a little bit of synergy with the attacks: improve your resources or hurt your opponent's, or alternate freely between the two.

Usage
In Modified or Unlimited, not much. There are better options for control decks that focus on hand disruption with more coming (or being made viable) in the next set or two. In Unlimited you're better off using Trainers to do the dirty work than attacks, anyway; let your Pokémon focus on other things. Still, just in case someone insists on running it, I’ll cover the other Modified Legal Persian and the versions of Meowth one or the other would have to Evolve from.

There are three Modified Legal versions of Meowth; all are Basic, Colorless Pokémon with Fighting Weakness, no Resistance, and single Energy Retreat Costs. Two versions (HeartGold/SoulSilver and BW: Noble Victories) have 60 HP, but the newest version from BW: Next Destinies has 70. All three have two attacks. HeartGold/SoulSilver 75/123 can use Payday for (C) Dig Claws for (CC). Payday does 10 and draws a card while Dig Claws is a vanilla 20. Not bad, but not especially good. BW: Noble Victories 102/101 is a Secret Rare, but if you want a bling version of the deck or perhaps want to make a Modified legal Giovanni themed deck (actually the best reason to use Persian) you might consider it (either it isn’t that rare or demand is low, as I am seeing it for about $5 USD mint). Of course, that benefit depends on your opponent’s reaction… it knows Fury Swipes and Pay Day. It’s version of Fury Swipes costs (C) and gives you three coin flips at 10 damage per “heads”, and Payday costs (CC), still only draws one card, but hits for 20.

BW: Next Destinies 80/99 is the set-mate to today’s card, and besides that extra 10 HP it brings Double Scratch for (C) and Cat Kick for (CC). Double Scratch gives you two coin flips at 10 points of damage per “heads” and Cat Kick just gives a vanilla 20. This may come as a copout, but I’d say that each is worth running for different reasons. Despite being unimpressed with Persian, Meowth is still just here to Evolve. No version directly helps to Evolve itself or increase its ability to survive your opponent’s turn. All the BW: Next Destinies version really has going for is an extra 10 HP: the attacks are generic filler. HeartGold/SoulSilver at least lets you draw a card while slapping something for 10 points of damage – that is not great but again, it is something. BW: Noble Victories really is about intimidation through expensive looking cards, or misdirection that maybe you don’t really know what you’re doing; either can legitimately help you win games if you’re careful.

The only other Persian that is Modified legal is HeartGold/SoulSilver 27/123. It has 80 HP (10 less), but otherwise identical stats and also has two attacks. For (C), Sharpen Claws gives you three coin flips, and discards a card from your opponent’s hand for each “heads”, but its blind discarding. For (CC), Sneaky Attack does 30 points of damage, or 60 if you have a source of Darkness Energy attached. This was another ambitious idea that just didn’t do enough, and it is almost painful since it even combos with this version. It is mild synergy, but it allows you to tailor a Persian according to whether setting up (Nasty Plot, via today’s version) or disruption (Sharpen Claws, from the HeartGold/SoulSilver version) is more important. Sneaky Attack also allows for a slightly harder hit, but the boost from having a single Darkness Energy (whatever is providing it) isn’t enough; normally you’d want to power up instantly through a Double Colorless Energy, and if you’ve got actual Darkness Energy in the deck you have better discarding options.


Limited is another story. Average HP and damage outputs are lower, and just about any deck search (let alone unrestricted) is practically a must run. Since it can use any type of Energy it is indeed a must run, unless you lack a single Meowth. Shadow Claw isn't going to be as important as improving your own set-up, but if you don't need to search your deck for anything at all, it is an adequate fall back attack. Meowth is also solid filler for your average deck: the attacks still aren’t good, but on a 70 HP body that can work with any Type of Energy, they’ll do the job, and 70 HP is in the upper half for Basic, Common rarity Pokémon.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5


Modified: 1.25/5

Limited: 4.75/5

Summary

Unfortunately Persian is once again going to be a card players should simply skip outside of Limited. It is a shame that when designing a format where OHKOs are common, TPC didn’t realize how many formerly great set-up attacks are no longer worth giving up a Prize, let alone a Prize and a Stage 1 Pokémon.

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