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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Cherrim  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
April 15, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.65
Limited: 3.10

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

Cherrim (Plasma Storm) 

Hello and welcome to the week of reviews here on Pojo’s CotD. We’ve reached that slightly awkward point in time where we have looked at the impact cards from the latest set and are now reviewing the more neglected Pokémon while we wait for Plasma Freeze to hit the shops next month. Will we manage to unearth any hidden gems? Let’s find out. 

First up this week is Cherrim, a card that always seems to be designed with support in mind, rather than attacking, and that is definitely the case here. Cherrim may have decent Weakness, Resistance, and Retreat cost, but as a Stage 1 with just 70 HP, it really isn’t something you want in the active slot if you can help it. This becomes even more the case when you look at the attack: Random Peck costs one Grass and one Colourless Energy and does 20 damage, plus you get to flip two coins and do 20 more for each heads. So . . . that’s a maximum of 60 for two Energy – very poor value, especially when you consider the coin flip factor. Even with stellar luck, the output is really too low to give an opponent anything to worry about. 

As I said earlier, though, Cherrim is meant purely as a support Pokémon, and it achieves this through its Fair-Weather Heal Ability. This states that once during your turn, you can remove 20 damage from one of your Pokémon that has Grass Energy attached. Is this any good? In a word, no. Why not? Ugh, where should I begin? For a start, decks using Grass Energy are more or less non-existent right now, meaning it’s only going to be playable in decks that use Prism or the relevant Blend. But that isn’t even the worst thing about it: the 20 on your turn is really insignificant . . . like, worse than Potion. In fact, you are much better off dedicating four deck slots to Potion than to a 2-2 line of Cherrim – Potion neither takes up Bench space nor offers an easy Prize to the opponent. Oh, and it doesn’t have a horrible restrictive condition on its use either. 

Potion is actually a pretty good card right now, and appears in tournament decks a fair bit. Even so, when a Stage 1 Pokémon is much, much worse than that particular Trainer, then you know that it doesn’t deserve to get any play. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.5 (weak and mostly useless)

Limited: 2.5 (if you are running a lot of Grass Types, it could be handy I guess)

virusyosh

Welcome back, Pojo readers! Today we're going to look at a potentially interesting Grass-type support Pokemon. Today's Card of the Day is Cherrim from Plasma Storm.

Cherrim is a Stage 1 Grass Pokemon. Grass types aren't all that common right now, but they could see a rise in play if Blastoise/Keldeo get more popular (and if they get some better attackers). 70 HP is terrible for a Stage 1, as Cherrim probably won't be able to take any damage except from really weak attacks. Fire Weakness isn't so big of a problem anymore now that Ho-Oh doesn't see much play; Water Resistance is always good against Keldeo-EX (who will still sadly OHKO easily); and a Retreat Cost of 1 is easy to pay if you have to.

Cherrim has an Ability and a single attack. Fair-Weather Heal allows you to heal 20 damage from one of your Pokemon with a Grass Energy attached to it once per turn. Healing 20 damage won't get you very far in Modified, where attackers hit much harder, but this is an excellent Ability in Limited for dedicated Grass builds, since removing 20 damage will likely nullify your opponent's weaker attacks and will greatly increase the survival of your own attackers.

Random Peck, Cherrim's attack, starts off at 20 damage, and then allows you to flip two coins, dealing 20 more damage for each heads for a Grass and a Colorless. Once again, this attack won't deal nearly enough damage in Modified (you'll average 40), but it can work nicely in Limited. However, just be aware that Cherrim is really fragile even in the slower Limited format, so you'll likely want to keep it on your Bench to support your other attackers with Fair-Weather Heal.

Modified: 1.75/5 Cherrim's Ability isn't that bad here, but it doesn't really fit into any commonly-played deck very easily as of right now. As for Cherrim itself, 70 HP isn't going to survive for long in Modified, and Random Peck just simply isn't very good. There are generally better options, even for Grass support.

Limited: 3.75/5 Cherrim is quite good in Limited. Fair-Weather Heal supports your other team members nicely, and Random Peck isn't that bad here for its cost. Still be careful of Cherrim's dreadfully low HP, though - it still won't be able to take that many hits!


Otaku

Welcome to a new week of CotDs.  As someone living in the Midwestern U.S.A. our spring weather is looking more like winter, as we just got hit by an ice storm (and further north, are still being hit by ice and snowstorms). 

So I am trying to think optimistic thoughts looking at today’s card; Cherrim (BW: Plasma Storm 7/135), with its festive, warm and sunny feel. 

Stats 

Miscellaneous: This art is of a Cherrim in its Sunshine Forme; in fact, of all Cherrim cards released, only Cherrim (Arceus 15/99) is depicted in its Overcast Forme. 

Type: Cherrim is unsurprisingly a Grass-Type (the only Type it would have in the video games).  Right now, hitting Grass Typing is strong when it comes to damage as nothing is Resistant (or has been since the Poison-Type shifted from the TCG Grass-Type to the TCG Psychic-Type), and some key Pokémon in the format are also Grass Weak, like Keldeo EX and Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135). 

Most Pokémon-Types lack support true, Type-based support and instead are lucky if an Energy-Type they can use is backed by useful cards.  There are a few attackers that specifically have beneficial effects for Grass-Type Pokémon, but they aren’t even remotely competitive. 

Stage: As a Stage 1, Cherrim is at a disadvantage in our format dominated by big, Basic Pokémon (which are mostly Pokémon-EX).  Ignoring overly complex combos, you’ll need two cards per Cherrim; the Pokémon itself and its Basic form Cherubi.  You also need two turns (again, barring overly complex combos) to get Cherrim into play.  The earliest it can hit the field right now is Turn 2, and in this fast of a format, that isn’t abysmal but it is at best average. 

Hit Points: 70 HP is very, very small.  This is so small it looks like something you would have seen in the original Base Set.  Cherrim is simply a OHKO for all competitive decks I can think of, and even supporting attacks/attackers have a decent shot of taking it down in one hit (especially factoring in combos like Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym). 

Probably not intentional, but in the video games the Base HP Stat for Cherrim is 70 as well, though the Base HP Stat is merely used to calculate a Pokémon’s actual hit points.  So while this score will require this card do some pretty amazing things to justify playing it, at least it is somewhat accurate.  There is one small benefit; it is a legal target for Level Ball, as is its lower Stage. 

Weakness: Cherrim has the traditional Grass-Type Pokémon Weakness to Fire.  Fire-Type Pokémon see very little competitive play that I am aware of, though when I say that it seems like a new deck (or revived old deck) either just popped up or soon will.  In this case, it hardly matters as any Fire-Type that hits for 40 points of damage will score a OHKO after Weakness.  As usual, that is the bittersweet aspect of having a low HP score; your Weakness will often be superfluous. 

Resistance: Cherrim enjoys Water Resistance; still a solid and relatively average attack scoring 90 points of damage will punch through that, again for a OHKO.  Considering that in the video games, a Cherrim (as a Grass-Type) is naturally Resistant to Water-Type damage but takes double damage from Ice-Types (the other half of the TCG Water-Type); making this a “standard” Resistance for Grass-Types honestly seems a bit off. 

For the record, in keeping true to the source material, Lightning-Type Resistance would have been interesting and avoided “clashing”. 

Retreat: Cherrim has a single Energy Retreat cost.  This isn’t too hard to pay, but given what we have seen of the card so far and it having an above average speed in the game, I honestly think they should have just given it a free Retreat cost. 

Effects 

Ability: Fair Weather Heal is what I tend to think of as pseudo-Type support, meaning instead of supporting a Pokémon based on its own Type, it supports an Energy-Type.  In this case, if a Pokémon has a source of (G) Energy attached, Fair Weather Heal allows you to heal 20 points of damage off of it. 

The Ability does stack, so if you were to Bench multiples, you could heal as much as 80 points of damage in a turn.  In fact, without multiples, it would seem a bit underwhelming as this isn’t even as much healing as one enjoys from Potion (at least since it received that last erratum). 

Attack: Random Peck requires (GC) and does 20 points of damage, plus has you flip two coins and does an additional 20 points of damage per “heads”.  For a fully Evolved Stage 1 Pokémon, this is a poor return: right now most competitive attackers, for two Energy, are hitting for at least 30 unconditionally or 60 with some drawbacks.  If we don’t worry about a Pokémon being part of a competitive deck, Pokémon can actually hit even harder!  Strange as that sounds, something like Infernape (BW: Plasma Storm 17/135) can hit for 120 at the price of (RC), though it has to discard all Energy attached to itself. 

Random Peck, before Weakness, Resistance, or other effects, one in four possible coin flip results (no heads) yields 20 points of damage, two of four (so half) yield one “head” and thus 40, and the remaining one in four possible results is double “heads” for 40. 

Synergy: Minimal synergy; as the card is a Grass-Type that needs a Grass-Type Energy to attack, it is reasonably likely it could use its Ability to heal itself.  This ignores, however, that the card is an almost guaranteed OHKO. 

Usage 

Card Family: There is only one Modified legal Cherubi, BW: Plasma Storm 6/135.  It is a Basic, Grass-Type Pokémon with only 40 HP, Fire Weakness, Water Resistance, and a Retreat of one.  Despite being so small as to be an effective OHKO even first turn for many decks (10 points of damage plus Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym, or 30 points of damage if you only have Hypnotoxic Laser), it has a healing attack that for (G) does 10 points of damage while healing 10 points of damage from itself.

There really are better versions of Magikarp than this.  At least it did keep the Resistance.

Combos: The best thing I can think of is to swarm it behind Togekiss (BW: Plasma Storm 104/135); its Bright Veil Ability will protect a Bench full of Cherrim, which in turn may allow for significant healing, given all the other Items Bright Veil negates.  Togekiss doesn’t have a very good attack, but it can easily use Grass Energy or Blend Energy GRPD.  Toss in Aspertia City Gym and some fun Pokémon Tools and you might have a fun deck that is really, really annoying to face. 

Unlimited: There are many better forms of healing here, so even if you find yourself facing decks that give you a chance to heal, even tapping the added options provided here (like Broken Time-Space to speed up Evolving), this card is not worth playing. 

Modified: The above Togekiss deck might be fun, but it doesn’t sound very fast and thus likely couldn’t win; Togekiss really is not an offensive attacker (it can hit for 30 points of damage), so taking an early Prize or two means even if you try to stall with a Bright Veil/Fair-Weather Heal deck, good chance you will lose.  That is also before considering the decks prepared for the lock or most importantly, the decks that just don’t care about the lock because they hit hard enough that a fully protected Togekiss (Aspertia City Gym plus Giant Cape) can still OHKO Togekiss. 

Limited: Cherrim is very valuable here, though mostly as a Bench-sitter.  It is by no means a perfect card to run; Cherubi is better, but as it was almost completely useless in constructed play, that isn’t saying much.  You also need to be able to run Grass Energy in your deck; you don’t need a lot as a single copy will enable healing of your Pokémon, but given you won’t have a lot of search or additional draw power at your disposal, you will still want probably four, five, or even six copies.  If you only pull a 1-1 Cherrim line, that may not be worth the effort. 

Future: The reason I only paired Cherrim with Togekiss is that without protection from Pokémon Catcher, your opponent has little reason to worry about taking out your main attacker, but instead would constantly OHKO your copies of Cherrim.  Yes it means your main attacker(s) would go untouched, but you would be wasting effort setting up a Stage 1 Pokémon just for slaughter. 

So I see no better attackers to pair it with, though there is one card that technically would help; a future Mr. Mime likely in our next set protects your Benched Pokémon from being damaged by attacks, which in turn reinforces the Togekiss strategy. 

Ratings 

Unlimited: 1/5 

Modified: 1.5/5 

Limited: 3/5 

Summary

Cherrim is a very weak supporting Pokémon, and in the current hard-hitting, fast-paced format, that means it actually can support very little.  I think that a Bright Veil focused deck can find better Pokémon to sit on its Bench, but if you really wanted to this could make for a fun, functional deck that is unlikely to win a tournament, but can win single matches.


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