Once again, we come to the close of our
countdown, and the most Promising Pick
of Plasma Blast is…
Virizion EX (BW: Plasma Blast
9/101, BW: Plasma Blast 96/101)!
I’ll be honest, I was surprised
to see this come in at number one, but
read on to find out why I shouldn’t have
Consider the following a combination of
disclaimer and reminder: if you’re like
me you can gloss over even the obvious
too easily when excited by a card's
Stats, Effects, potential combos, etc.
So let us not forget that
Virizion EX is worth two Prizes when
KOed and may need assistance to deal
with the growing number of
Plus now we have
Silver Bangle and
Silver Mirror, two important,
“simple combo” pieces that help every
Pokémon other than Pokémon-EX.
Virizion EX is a Grass-Type Pokémon,
a Type that has been desperate for a
break out card.
The Grass-Type lacks any useful
Type support, which is part of why it
performed so poorly in the BW-On format,
despite not needing to worry about
Resistance (generally only an irritant
anyway) and hitting most pieces of one
of the top performing decks for double
damage (due to Grass Weakness).
So all in all, this is good
Virizion EX as there is beyond a
niche waiting for it.
As a Basic Pokémon,
Virizion EX enjoys the best this
game has to offer; it requires the least
amount of slots in a deck to run per
copy, it fills the requirement a deck
have at least one Basic Pokémon, it can
be put into play during set up, it can
be played from hand so long as there is
an open Bench slot without any
additional requirements, there are cards
that specifically benefit Basic Pokémon,
and Basic Pokémon even benefit more from
certain common card effects by virtue of
their simplicity e.g. one search card
results in one Basic Pokémon able to
enjoy all of the above, where as one
search card that results in an Evolution
still needs something to Evolve from.
170 HP is the second highest printed on
any Pokémon-EX, and the third highest
printed on anything in the Modified
legal card pool.
Despite being so high, it is no
longer as safe as it once was as decks
last format (and continuing into this
one) easily doll out 100 points of
damage per turn and many of the most
competitive can at least push themselves
to hit 170 (if not already being capable
of reliably hitting it).
At least hitting for 170 in one
turn isn’t inexpensive, even in the
decks where it is reliable.
Fire Weakness may be the new “best
Weakness” other than not having one at
There are definitely Fire-Type
Pokémon capable of dealing out great
damage in the card pool, but I am
unaware of any current, competitive
Fire-Type focused builds.
That won’t prevent decks from
running a Fire-Type splashed in, though
so it isn’t totally safe, and perhaps I
am just unaware of the next big thing.
It is just that compared to
having any other Weakness, there are
more Types that see heavy or widespread
play, be it as the driving force of a
deck or just something successful deck
Virizion EX actually has Resistance!
Specifically Water Resistance
good for reducing the damage a
Water-Type Pokémon does to
Virizion EX (through attacks) by 20
While very nice to have, it may
not often be game breaking; Resistance
is more a nuisance than a threat as -20
points of damage isn’t significant in
the current format unless it changes a
OHKO into a 2HKO, a 2HKO into a 3HKO,
Virizion EX requires just a single
Energy to retreat; this is low enough
that you’ll usually be able to afford
it, and that any Retreat Cost reducing
effect will end up zeroing it out.
In short, it’s great.
Verdant Wind both prevents Special
Conditions from affecting and removes
them from Pokémon with a source of (G)
In past formats, this probably
wouldn’t have meant much, but in a
format where we have an Item that
inflicts Poison with a 50% chance of
also afflicting the Defending Pokémon
Color me impressed.
This creates a form of pseudo-Grass-Type
support; not “true” Grass-Type support
as they are just the most likely Type to
require a source of Grass-Energy, but
there are plenty of off-Type Pokémon
that need it, and of course anything
with sufficient (C) Energy requirements
could elect to fill them with
Grass Energy, while any deck already
Prism Energy or
Blend Energy GRPD could be meeting
both non-(G) Energy and non-(C) Energy
requirements while still being able to
trigger this effect.
Emerald Slash requires (GC) and hits for
50 points of damage, but also allows you
to search your deck for two (G) Energy
cards and attach them to one of your
Benched Pokémon in play (shuffling your
deck afterwards, of course).
For the record, we have no Energy
cards that provide (G) while in the
deck, other than basic
Blend Energy GRPD and
Prism Energy, for example, provide
(C) while in the deck and don’t start
providing something else until they are
attached to Pokémon (a Basic Pokémon in
the case of
50 points of damage for two Energy isn’t
especially “good” but I wouldn’t call it
“bad” when it is backed up by an effect,
and one shot from Emerald Slash can
Virizion EX to essentially cover its
own Energy cost.
True, the exact Energy cards you
attached to it are committed but you’ll
get to attach (GG) to something else
(assuming you meet all requirements).
This also means you need to
attack twice to do more than break even
(in terms of Energy).
50 points of damage isn’t likely
to score a OHKO, but it can soften
Anything you power-up with Emerald Slash
(even if you can only attach one
Grass Energy) will benefit from
Verdant Wind, so this is a very direct
Well, not necessarily Emerald
Slash and Verdant Wind from the same
Pokémon; obviously if
Virizion EX is up attacking, nothing
else is Active.
If your opponent forces something
up without finishing off
Virizion EX or you’ve got a second
on the Bench, you’re good.
This would also allow the first
Virizion EX to “go down swinging”,
hopefully powering up two or three other
Pokémon with Emerald Slash.
So the big combo talked about for
Virizion EX was to use it to open
(or help open) for
Not having had a chance to test
Energy Switch gone), this seems less
likely, though if you really wanted a
first turn Emerald Slash you might use
Team Plasma Badge so that
Virizion EX could make use of
Colress Machine and
Plasma Energy, but I have not had
any testing to know if that first turn
Emerald Slash is really worth it.
your opponent take a false lead by
allowing them to KO
Virizion EX while it uses Emerald
Slash to either load up one or multiple
Genesect EX and help set-up for
G Booster spam after an
N takes their hand down to four
cards might be the opening strategy, or
it might be fanciful thinking.
At least having a Benched
Virizion EX is important to protect
So what else should
Virizion EX be used with?
Well any deck that runs
Blend Energy GRPD,
Prism Energy, or basic
Grass Energy should at least run a
single copy for the Ability; it really
is that handy in our
Hypnotoxic Laser happy metagame.
Next we have decks wanting to use
some of the better Grass-Type Pokémon.
Genesect EX there were two that made
my Top 20 list;
Genesect (BW: Plasma Blast
Tropius (BW: Plasma Blast
Such a deck would have an awful
lot of Fire-Type Weakness, however.
The last major branch I can think of are
decks that can simply be reworked to run
Grass Energy, allowing both Verdant
Wind and Emerald Slash to be effective.
In some cases, this can be easier
than you would think; perhaps we’ll be
seeing some “Green Tea” decks where
popular Colorless-Type attackers enjoy
optional Energy acceleration and “Laser
Doesn’t help the dominant strategies of
this format, though like all Pokémon-EX
just being so huge counters a few.
Older Pokémon have lower HP
scores, so a brute force assault might
be adequate for those not wanting to run
a complex lock or FTW deck.
Virizion EX is something most
players will want to run in their decks,
but actually doing so effectively won’t
work with just anything.
Laser made an already fast, brutal
format even more so; I suspect this will
again shift the playing field and the
teams, though for the most part the
players will remain the same.
If you pull this, you run it.
If you have to it with 39 Energy
cards, it won’t be as impressive as some
other Pokémon-EX were, but they aren’t
in this set.
While the raw attack power isn’t
Virizion EX hits one turn sooner
than the other Pokémon-EX this set and
has built in protection from Special
Conditions, and if your 39 other cards
includes some Trainers then you can
attack to thin your deck and increase
the odds of pulling them.
If you are insanely lucky and
pull another Pokémon-EX worth running…
use them both!
is another “answer” card, like our
second and fourth place picks.
This has lead to some strange
scoring by me, because even though a
card may not meet my requirements for a
higher numerical score, it still remains
the most significant because of how it
will force the metagame to respond to
In the end, I scored
Virizion EX just as high as I scored
our runner up,
The former is harder to work into
decks, but as most decks use
Hypnotoxic Laser it could create
another “cycle”, similar to
Tool Scrapper and
Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted
54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze
Tool Scrapper and Pokémon Tool usage
Silver Mirror will only affect a few
match-ups, but it hits them even harder
and is easier to work into a deck.
Virizion EX as my number one pick…
yes I was surprised that apparently a
good deal of the crew agreed with me or
else disagreed with each other so much
that this was the “least debated” card!
While I am not 100% sure whether
Silver Mirror, or
Silver Bangle will ultimate affect
the metagame the most, all three are
“answers” to complaints about the
metagame and while they won’t reverse
how things play out, they will upset the