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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Virizion EX

- Plasma Blast

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 8, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.38
Limited: See Below

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Virizion EX (PLB)  

We end the week with a card I like a whole lot better than the one we reviewed yesterday. 

Virizion EX may be the single best support card we have in the format right now. This is because it can perform two functions very well indeed. For a start, we have Energy acceleration for Grass in the form of Emerald Slash. Normally, acceleration that comes from an attack is difficult to use, but in this case you get a nice chunk of damage to go with it. In fact, Muscle Band and Hypnotoxic Lasers are enough to turn Virizion from a support Pokémon into something that can actually take (or at least set up) KOs. So far, only Genesect or Mewtwo have really been used with Virizion’s Emerald Slash, but hopefully the options will widen in the future. 

However, there are decks that play Virizion, even though they have no need whatsoever of Emerald Slash. This is thanks to Verdant Wind: an Ability which protects any of your Pokémon with Grass Energy (that is, Rainbow or Prism), from being affected by Status Conditions. That means no Hypnotoxic Laser to worry about, no annoying Paralysis, or frustrating Sleep effects.  

That’s good enough protection to make Virizion a staple in any Grass deck and a very serious contender for inclusion in anything that runs Rainbow, Prism, or Blend GRPD (while it’s still legal). As long as Status is having an effect in the game, then this card will get some play. 

Rating 

Modified: 4.25 (always a good option to have around)

Limited: N/A


aroramage

So we've covered damage manipulators, powerhouse rockers, Ability negators, and Support snatches. What's there left to cover from Nationals? Welcome to our final card of the day this week, and let's just say there's a reason this card got the top spot in its set's Top 10 List. Today we take a look at Virizion-EX, the ultimate Grass support that's come out in recent years.
 
Now there were a few decks showing up in Nationals that ran a combination of Virizion-EX and Genesect-EX (usually abbreviated VirGen). While there wasn't a big showing in the Senior and Masters Top 4, the Junior Top 4 had two of these decks, played none other than by runner-up Jon-Luke Modory and Junior Champion Andy Younger. So how did Virizion-EX help out Jon-Luke and Andy?
 
Well truthfully, Virizion-EX has a lot going for it. First off, its attack, Emerald Slash, is a cheap 2-Energy that only does 50 damage but searches out 2 Grass Energy to throw onto a Benched Pokemon. That's damage AND a set-up, and in a deck that doesn't Deluge or Inferno Fandango (looking at you, Blastoise and Emboar), Energy Acceleration of this magnitude is outstanding! You can have Virizion-EX prepare your Genesect-EX and deal out damage at the same time!
 
But there's an even more important part to Virizion-EX, something has been prevalent since its introduction: a counter to Hypnotoxic Laser. Virizion-EX's Ability, Verdant Wind, nullifies all Status Conditions on Pokemon with Grass Energy attached to them and keeps them from getting any others! That means Hypnotoxic Laser is powerless in the face of Virizion-EX! Now the opponent is forced to relying on damage outside of comboing with Virbank City Gym (PLS) in order to get that KO! Not only that, unless they've got a Virizion-EX (or a special Tool coming up in the Furious Fists set, a card I imagine will get played frequently because of this), you can use your own Hypnotoxic Lasers on their Pokemon!
 
Of course, neither Jon-Luke nor Andy relied on that; instead, they opted to power through with a combination of Genesect-EX and his Ace Spec G Booster, which discards 2 Energy from Genesect-EX and delivers a crushing 200 damage - unaffected by any effects on the Defending Pokemon, I might add - for the KO! In combination with Virizion-EX's acceleration and protection, Genesect-EX can prove to be a real challenge; not even Pyroar's Intimidating Mane can block a G Booster, after all!
 
Still, it's proven that despite the influx of Fire-based support, Grass decks are not ready to lay down and wilt away! Virizion-EX will still be hanging around, giving her support to all those she can!...well, at least until she rotates out of Modified.
 
Rating
 
Modified: 5/5 (a counter to one of the most common Trainers AND energy acceleration? Count me in!...well, until that Trainer comes out, then it's a 4.5/5 for being less splashable)
 
Expanded: 4.5/5 (sure, Full Heal's technically around, but who needs Full Heal when you've got Virizion-EX?)
 
Limited: 5/5 (less status effects, no Hypnotoxic Laser, but still a powerful supporter for Genesect-EX, though she's not an unstoppable onslaught here)
 
Arora Notealus: I like how the full art for this one looks like Virizion's leaping out of a space-time vortex of color. Granted, she's got next to nothing to do with time travel, but that's a neat concept at least.
 
Weekend Thought: What deck at the Nationals did you like the most? Pyroar? VirGen? F.A.D.? Or more of the unique brand of decks like Brandon's?


Otaku

This week we’ve been looking at some of the cards that played role at the U.S. Nationals, as a precursor to the pending World Championships, and we finish with Virizion-EX (BW: Plasma Blast 9/101, 96/101).  VIrizion-EX was the somewhat surprising number one pick of the Pojo CotD crew for our Top 12 of BW: Plasma Blast, but for the most part I think it lived up to the placement.  How? 

Well let us recap.  First, its a Grass-Type.  While far less of a big deal now, at the time we got it we were aching for a solid Grass-Type attacker to exploit Grass-Type Weakness, which was most prominent on the popular Water-Types of the day.  As of now, its still actually a pretty solid Typing; a little bit more Grass support is out but so far hasn’t led to anything, the Grass Weak Pokémon to KO aren’t as big of a deal as they once were, but then again now the Fighting-Types that are Grass Weak will be getting access to the same support as their kin, so perhaps it will be a boon to Grass-Types like Virizion-EX. 

Being a Basic Pokémon is great except for being unable to touch Pyroar (BW: Flashfire 20/106); it makes Virizion-EX fairly easy to work into decks, ignoring Energy requirements.  Being a Pokémon-EX has its usual drawbacks; opponent takes an extra Prize when Virizion-EX is KOed, it can’t tap certain pieces of support, and its vulnerable to various anti-Pokémon-EX cards.  The trade off is that (as we already know), Virizion-EX ended up well endowed.  For starters, its 170 HP isn’t guaranteed to survive for a turn, but most decks can’t reliably, repeatedly score OHKOs and some will really struggle at it.  Its Fire Weakness is unfortunate right now as XY: Flashfire still has people running more Fire-Type decks more than they used to.  Its Water Resistance won’t matter too often, but it does come in handy from time to time.  Its single Energy Retreat Cost is very good and also pretty important; Skyarrow Bridge allows it to retreat for free, and that’s a combo that sees a decent amount of play with the card. 

The main star is its Ability; Verdant Wind allows anything with a source of [G] Energy to ignore Special Conditions.  Said Pokémon can’t be afflicted with Special Conditions, and if they already are then attaching a source of [G] Energy cures them.  Any deck running Blend Energy GRPD, Grass Energy, Prism Energy or Rainbow Energy needs a good reason for not running Virizion-EX.  The attack is much more deck specific; Emerald Slash requires [GC], which is not too deck specific, but it does 50 damage plus allows you to search your deck for up to two [G] Energy cards and attach them to one of your Benched Pokémon.  It doesn’t specify Basic Energy, so it will work for Special Energy cards like the upcoming Herbal Energy.  Unfortunately Herbal Energy states it must be attached from the hand for its healing effect to trigger, so you don’t have much of a reason to do so. 

Virizion-EX only showed up in the VirGen decks alongside Genesect-EX; this may make it seem like an odd choice to review over say Genesect-EX itself.  Part of why I chose Virizion-EX was that Genesect-EX actually got two reviews fairly close together, as it made both the Top 12 list for BW: Plasma Blast as well as the Top 10 list for 2013.  While it wasn’t apparent based on the top finishers, the average deck really does have a good deal of incentive to work Virizion-EX in so long as it can tap the Ability.  Hypnotoxic Laser isn’t in every deck, but it was in half of the top finishers for the U.S. Nationals, and this time three out four Masters’ Division finishers were running them, so you can expect to run into it almost constantly. 

I would expect it to remain as good as it currently is once the rotation happens; possibly a little bit better if some of the Grass Weak Fighting-Types see a surge in play due to XY: Furious Fists, but I currently don’t think such a shift will be significant.  We’ll lose some of the Special Energy cards that made it easier to work into decks, but we also lose Enhanced Hammer.  Once again, I believe it will more or less perform the same in Expanded, as I doubt all the decks that use Hypnotoxic Laser are going to stop.  For Limited play, Virizion-EX is a great pick, but probably not for a +39 build.  You’d have nothing to attach to and thus you’d just have a big Basic Pokémon able to swing for 50 points of damage for two Energy.  That isn’t bad, but there’s a decent enough chance your opponent will outpace you in damage since they just need a single KO.  Try to work it into anything else you pull, though. 

Ratings 

Modified (NXD-On)/Modified (BCR)/Expanded (BW-On): 4/5 - It isn’t quite the staple I expected it to be, but its still proven to be a valuable card.  Most of the changes that happen between the formats seem likely to even out. 

Limited: 4.5/5 - Slight chance you’ll pull it but be unable to use it well. 

Summary: Virizion-EX is a solid attacker with an amazing Ability, but a lot of decks can’t make use of its Energy acceleration effect without making themselves worse, meaning only a few decks will tap its full potential.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t a great card, but it does mean that its often got to share credit with something else.


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