Clocking in at number nine of our Top
10, we look at
Vileplume (BW: Boundaries Crossed
Why do I think this isn’t the
only result of voting I’ll be
disappointed with this day?
is a Stage 2 Pokémon; BW: Boundaries
Crossed doesn’t appear to have
changed things; Stage 2 Pokémon face the
major twin hurdles of the slowest Stage
and requiring the most slots to run.
Still, we looked at a Stage 2
yesterday, and some of them do see play,
so let us press on.
is a Grass-Type Pokémon; as a Type it
has very little support and none of it
The Grass-Type Pokémon that are
currently proving good work in
Grass-Weakness is out there, and
BW: Boundaries Crossed will
likely give us a popular (and potent)
deck with two major pieces that are
Grass Resistance is no longer
present in Modified, which is a small
boost to the usefulness of the Type.
has 140 HP; this is solid for a Stage 2,
allowing it to survive most attacks and
if circumstances favor, even two attacks
if they don’t equal out to two “average”
The exception will be when it is
being hit for Weakness; fortunately
Fire-Type Weakness isn’t a major concern
right now, though I know some are eyeing
a certain Fire-Type Pokémon from BW:
As is clear if you peak ahead at
the Ability, you know that any Fire-Type
that hits for at least 40 points of
damage will score a OHKO.
has Water-Type Resistance, which will be
coming in handy (and I am just happy it
has any at all).
Vileplume has a chunky Retreat of
three, which is hard to pay; it makes
Vileplume a legal
Heavy Ball target but unless your
deck features a few more targets that
won’t be much help.
Regardless, make sure you pack
Switch or some other means of coping
with the Retreat.
has an Ability and an attack.
The former is Allergy Panic,
which causes Weakness to be treated as
if it read “x4”.
Quadruple damage is pretty
amazing, and certainly got my creative
This really is a potent effect…
but when we get to usage you’ll see that
it somehow isn’t good enough.
I will cover one reason right
here; it affects your own Pokémon as
well, and decks tend to run multiple
If you run a deck with a variety
of Types to take advantage of this,
you’re increasing the likelihood your
opponent will enjoy Type-matching
The attack is called Pollen Spray; for
Vileplume does 50 points of damage
plus guaranteed Sleep and Poison.
For four Energy, this is
terrible, and will only be worth using
Vileplume is scoring quadruple
damage due to its Ability and striking
Gloom, which in turn Evolves from
Oddish. The line also has an
alternative Stage 2 in the form of
Bellossom, there is currently a
single Modified legal version of each
that all were released in this set.
Oddish (BW: Boundaries Crossed
1/149) is a 50 HP Basic Grass-Type
Pokémon with Fire Weakness, Water
Resistance, and a single Energy Retreat.
50 HP is “small average” anymore
for a Basic Pokémon that Evolves twice
more, and because of it the Weakness and
Resistance are almost meaningless (most
serious attacks OHKO it either way.
For (G) it can attack with Absorb,
scoring 10 points of damage while
healing 10 from itself; the damage is so
low it will seldom matter, and both its
own HP and the amount healed are so low
that they too are irrelevant.
The second attack, Acid, is
almost useful; a vanilla 20 for (CC),
this could prove useful since
Vileplume begs to be played in a
multi-Type deck (more on that later).
(BW: Boundaries Crossed 2/149) is
an 80 HP Stage 1 Grass-Type Pokémon with
Fire Weakness, Water Resistance, and a
single Energy Retreat cost; not a
surprise and the HP is almost low enough
to repeat my message about
Weakness/Resistance but on occasion a
weaker Fire attack will score a OHKO
while a Water-Type attack of average
power won’t, due to Weakness/Resistance.
Foul Odor is a bad attack; for (CC) it
merely Confuses both
Gloom and the Defending Pokémon!
Poison Powder does 40 with
guaranteed Poison (to just the Defending
Pokémon) for (GCC); this is overpriced,
but at it isn’t worthless.
Overall, this is another reason
you’ll probably want to use
(BW: Boundaries Crossed 4/149)is
a Stage 2 Grass-Type Pokémon with 110
HP, Fire Weakness, Water Resistance, and
that same single Energy to retreat,
meaning that no other Pokémon in this
Vileplume can use
It also means it needs amazing
attacks, because that is what it has;
For (G) Grass Knot hits for 10 points of
damage plus 20 per (C) in the Retreat of
the Defending Pokémon, which would be
good except this is a format where it is
common to use effects that reduce or
even zero out the Retreat scores on
Bellossom can use Petal Dance for
three coin flips yielding 50 points of
damage per “heads”, but also Confuses
Overall, this doesn’t help
Vileplume (as we will finally
discuss) is either being run heavy (and
every slot becomes essential) or being
run light (…and every slot is still
Bellossom ever proves itself worth
playing, then such a deck might consider
Vileplume as TecH.
appears to be meant as the Bench-sitter
anchoring a deck built around
The problem is this may be the
worst format and card pool for such a
I haven’t even succeeded in
building a deck around it, so
frustrating do I find this combination.
This is a format where normal “double
damage” Weakness basically results in a
OHKO from a serious attacker using its
As such, Allergy Panic triggering
quadruple Weakness results in overkill
when you can use such attacks.
What of smaller attack?
Those could work some of the
time, but most that are “fast” enough
aren’t quite strong enough to still OHKO
a Pokémon-EX even with quadruple
is a space heavy Stage 2, and the
Weaknesses this format are likely to
become more diverse, not less.
Colorless Weakness isn’t a thing
anymore and Darkness-Type Weakness will
likely remain a rare sight.
Fire Weakness and Metal Weakness
aren’t especially prominent right now,
so for the sake of argument let’s assume
they are safe to skip.
Dragon-Types are still “new” and since
they are Weak to themselves, this is a
Weakness you can’t ignore.
Decks utilizing Colorless-,
Darkness-, or Lightning-Type Pokémon are
going to sport Fighting-Type Weakness,
making Fighting-Type probably the most
important Weakness to be able to
Psychic-Type Weakness remains
Mewtwo EX (BW: Next Destinies
54/99, 98/99) remains huge.
Lightning-Type Weakness shouldn’t be
skipped because of Pokémon like
Empoleon (BW: Dark Explorers
Tornadus EX (BW: Dark Explorers
As of BW: Boundaries Crossed,
hitting Water- and Grass-Type Weakness
is important for dealing with the
Fighting-Type Pokémon worth playing,
with Grass-Type Weakness also becoming
more important for dealing with some
potent new Water-Type Pokémon.
Next I want to focus on how this is not
a format where it is easy to spam Basic
Pokémon, especially compared to HGSS-On,
and as I realized most Types don’t have
a good single Energy attacker or a good
splashable attacker… that isn’t already
a phenomenal card in its own right.
I’ve seen some lists but most are
forced to run heavy on Special Energy,
and heavy on Pokémon that frankly would
be more effective losing
Vileplume and settling for slower
KOs that don’t require Weakness, just an
extra turn or two of attaching Energy.
So I am not digging
Vileplume for Modified… what about
There might be a fun deck here,
because we’ve got Pokémon with more than
Some are dual-Types printed with
two Types, while others possess effects
that allow them to change their Type,
some even assuming all Types at once!
If the change of
Computer Search slows things down
enough, this should at least be a fun
Vileplume is a gamble; the good news
is that its attack (and the attacks of
its lower Stages) is decent here due to
lower average HP scores, damage output,
and the need to run multi-Type decks.
However the odds of building a
deck to Type-match well is low, and
since you lack the infrastructure of
constructed play there is a huge risk
you not only won’t be able to exploit
your opponent’s quadruple Weakness, but
enable them to exploit your own.
If you can’t tell,
Vileplume did not make my Top 10
list; it just barely makes my Top 20 for
the novelty value.
This is the wrong format for this
kind of effect; with the effort required
to run a Stage 2 behind strong Basic
attackers, I would rather dedicate those
resources to fortifying said strong
If this effect was on a Stadium
or a Basic Pokémon, possibly even a
Stage 1 I would be much more optimistic
(in fact, on a Stadium it would make
Those in the
who are able to vote, remember to
fulfill your civic duty today; as soon
as you’ve educated yourself on the
candidates and issues, get out there and