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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Leavanny

- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Dec. 8, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.50
Expanded: 1.50
Limited: 2.42

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

Leavanny (Phantom Forces) 

Let’s not beat around the bush . . . Leavanny is a bad card. I don’t mean bad in the sense that vanilla, mediocre cards are bad, I mean bad in the sense that it offers something very small and niche, but in such a way that you could never use it. 

I’m talking about the Coordinate attack here. It lets you search for 2 Tools and attach them to two of your Benched Pokémon. Of course, we already have card which searches out multiple Tools without having to waste an attack (Elesa), but an attack effect at least gives you the opportunity to get around the Item Lock from Seismitoad EX’s Quaking Punch or Trevenant XY’s Forest Curse Ability. You could use it to get a Tool down on Garbodor, a Muscle Band on an attacker, or a G Booster on Genesect EX, among other things. 

Except you won’t ever use this card for any number of reasons. Most importantly, the effect is of such marginal use that it isn’t worth taking up deck space for. Leaving that aside, setting up a Stage 2 under Item Lock is incredibly difficult, and as for having to run a specific Energy Type or Rainbow just to use it . . . ugh. It’s just too many cards for way too little gain, especially when you consider the poor second attack. 

If Coordinate had a Colourless cost and was printed on a Basic then just maybe we would have had a very specialised, metagame-specific tech. On a Stage 2 though? Waste of time. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.25 (useless)

Expanded: 1.25 (terrible)

Limited: 1.25 (rubbish)


aroramage

Welcome to another exciting week of Pokemon to catch! Today's card has been seen many a time since its introduction in Gen V's Black and White sets (more specifically starting out in Emerging Powers), but since the inception of the Pokemon-EX and the strain of evolution, it hasn't been particularly viable in competitive play. Can this one turn it around, or will it fall prey to the ongoing EX saga? Say hello to Leavanny once again!
 
Now unlike most of the other Leavanny, this one doesn't rely on coin flips for any of her attacks - huzzah! Too long have they been flipping coins, so it's about time she got something less chancy to use! Her first attack, Coordinate, may remind you of Leavanny (EPO)'s Nurturing attack; both cost 1 Energy to use, and both of them search through the deck to help out a Pokemon on your Bench. While Nurturing accelerated Evolution by allowing you to evolve a Benched Pokemon, Coordinate picks out up to 2 Benched Pokemon to bring out any Tools you've got laying around in your deck and attach them to those Pokemon. It can turn on a Garbodor's Ability and fuel any attacker with a Muscle Band instantly while simultaneously thinning out the deck for more useful cards to show up!
 
Leavanny's Leaf Storm attack isn't half-bad either, letting her deal 70 damage (the highest printed damage on any Leavanny, it would seem) and heal off 20 damage on all your Grass Pokemon. This can be useful for removing any spread damage inflicted on them from certain attacks and can help out a MHeracross-EX that's retreated to the Bench to a healthy rate again, but it's not exactly a game-breaking attack.
 
Yes, sadly our Leavanny here still has problems, as most Evolution Pokemon tend to have. There are much more efficient ways of healing damage off of Pokemon aside from an attack, and while Coordinate is useful, Battle Compressor thins decks out faster and doesn't require an attack. Not to mention the existence of Team Flare Tools means Coordinate's only going to be good as a preventive measure, since it can't attach Tools to Benched Pokemon who've already got Tools on them. And of course Leavanny has to take her time in evolving, whether by contributing resources to evolving Sewaddle with Rare Candy or with Evosoda into Swadloon to go on to Leavanny.
 
Leavanny is much more trouble to get out than she's ultimately worth, so she's going to remain a casual at best type of card. Still, who knows? Maybe she'll get her own EX card to show off some real talent; if Florges can get an EX, I don't see why Leavanny can't.
 
Rating
 
Standard: 2/5 (too slow for the format and doesn't do enough)
 
Expanded: 2/5 (same as above)
 
Limited: 2.5/5 (her healing is much more beneficial here than her Tool-searching, not to mention she's decently bulky with the ability to heal off 20 damage off herself each attack)
 
Arora Notealus: Leavanny are like the natural tailors of the Pokemon world, sewing clothes up for Pokemon as it cares for them. That actually could explain how a lot of wild Pokemon like Sawk and Throh have clothing on them despite being wild.
 
Next Time: I get the feeling "Rawk Hawk" would be a very appropriate name for one of these guys.


Otaku

Leavanny (XY: Phantom Forces 7/119) is the TCG’s latest attempt at this Pokémon; if I’ve counted right there are five different versions (one re-released) and yet most of the time I barely remember that there is one.  Will this version finally make an impression? 

Leavanny is a Grass-Type Pokémon, useful for hitting Weakness on a few key cards, never needing to worry about Resistance and enjoying some support (both direct and indirect) but with mostly one deck (VirGen) giving it its presence in the format.  As a Stage 2 it will have a hard time; with Item lock being a common strategy once again, Stage 2 Pokémon get hit the worst of all: not only do you lose access to useful Items in general, but most commonly played search cards like Ultra Ball or Evolution aids like Rare Candy or cards that do both like Evosoda are all denied.  Its 130 HP is on the low end of “average” for a Stage 2, or else the high end of “small”: as decks seem more and more prone to at least attempting OHKOs against 170 or 180 HP Pokémon-EX, they also seem to be hitting those lower numbers a bit more easily.  The Fire Weakness isn’t the worst but its bad; the slight upside is that it’s often going to result in overkill or save the opponent the need for a small damage boost as Fire-Types tend to hit hard but with a cost.  No Resistance is common and might have helped, depending on if it bumped Leavanny from OHKO to 2HKO status (or 2HKO to 3HKO) but it is more a missed opportunity since most decks can alternate attackers to bypass it anyway.  The single Energy Retreat Cost is very good and will serve the card well, making it easy to get it out of the Active slot, assuming it can survive a hit. 

Leavanny has two attacks.  The first is Coordinate, which requires [G] to use and allows you to select up to two of your Benched Pokémon that lack Pokémon Tools and search your deck for Pokémon Tools to attach to them.  The second attack is Leaf Storm, which requires [GGC] and does 70 points of damage while healing 20 points of damage from each of your Grass-Type Pokémon (making it a form of direct Grass-Type support).  These attacks aren’t your standard affair, but unfortunately still aren’t any good.  Coordinate might not be bad on a Basic or if Pokémon Tools were easier to protect, but neither is the case.  By the time you get a Stage 2 Pokémon up and attacking, even if only for a single Energy, it needs to do some pretty impressive things as (in this case) with 130 HP it probably isn’t sticking around for a second turn… plus Pokémon Tools are easy to discard en masse.  Leaf Storm will take three Energy attachments or Energy acceleration beyond something simple (re: it isn’t Double Colorless Energy compliant) and still needs a Muscle Band to 2HKO Pokémon-EX.  Healing a 20 from everything is also likely to be a waste unless you’ve got an effect to move damage counters around on your side of the field or your opponent is doing spread damage.  In the case of the former I can think of nothing to do it efficiently and in the case of the latter, why not run something to block said Bench damage instead? 

Leavanny has to go through its Basic and Stage 1 forms (or use Rare Candy) to enter play.  Sewaddle has four Standard legal options (five if for some reason you count a reprint separately) with two additional versions legal in Expanded.  They are BW: Emerging Powers 3/98 and BW: Emerging Powers 4/98 for Expanded and for both BW: Noble Victories 1/101, its reprint BW: Legendary Treasures 9/113, BW: Plasma Storm 8/135, BW: Legendary Treasures 10/113 (not a reprint) and the most recent, XY: Phantom Forces 5/119.  All are Grass-Type Basic Pokémon with Fire Weakness, no Resistance, a single Energy Retreat Cost and no Ability.  BW: Emerging Powers 3/98 and BW: Plasma Storm 8/135 have 40 HP while the rest have 50.  BW: Emerging Powers 3/98 has two attacks: for [C] it can hit for 10 and for [G] you get a coin flip to try and Paralyze the Defending Pokémon.  BW: Emerging Powers 4/98 can also do 10 for [C] but its second attack does 20 for [GC].  BW: Noble Victories 1/101 and BW: Legendary Treasures 9/113 just have a single attack that costs [GC] and has you flip two coins, doing 20 points of damage per “heads”.  BW: Plasma Storm 8/135 can do 20 for [G] but has no second attack.  XY: Phantom Forces 5/119 can just do 20 for [CC] as it also has no second attack.  All of these are bad, but at least also all have slightly different strengths.  The 40 HP versions have better attacks but at that size is begging for an X-Ball OHKO (among many other OHKO options).  Against many attackers, however, the 50 HP will go just as quickly. 

For Swadloon, your choices are almost as numerous, including two that are Expanded only (BW: Emerging Powers 5/98 and BW: Emerging Powers 6/98), two that are the same card but with different art and ID numbers (BW: Noble Victories 2/101 and BW: Legendary Treasures 11/113) but this time just two more after those (BW: Plasma Storm 9/135 and XY: Phantom Forces 5/119).  All are Stage 1 Grass-Type Pokémon with Fire Weakness, no Resistance, no Abilities but this time at least they all have two attacks.  BW: Emerging Powers 5/98 and BW: Plasma Storm 9/135 have 80 HP while the rest have 70.  BW: Emerging Powers 6/98 and BW: Plasma Storm 9/135 get stuck with a Retreat Cost of two (note that only one of those is an 80 HP version).  BW: Emerging Powers 5/98 (the 80 HP, single Retreat Cost version) can do 20 for [C] or for [GCC] flip two coins at 50 damage per “heads”.  BW: Emerging Powers 6/98 (the 70 HP, Retreat Cost [CC]) Swadloon does can heal 40 for [G] or do 20 damage for [GC]; yes, it is the worst Swadloon.  BW: Noble Victories 2/101 and BW: Legendary Treasures 11/113 both can do 20 for [G] or for [CC] do 20 with a coin flip to inflict Paralysis on the Defending Pokémon.  BW: Plasma Storm 9/135 can reduce the damage it takes from attacks by the opponent’s Pokémon 40 (after applying Weakness and Resistance) at a cost of [G] or it can try to do 40 for [CC], but the attack is “tails fails”.  Last but not least is XY: Phantom Forces 5/119, which for [G] can flip a coin and if “heads”, ignores all damage and effects done by attacks from your opponent’s Pokémon during your opponent’s next turn, while for [GGC] it can do a flat 40 points of damage.  Again, all of these are pretty bad.  With 70 HP being about as useful as 80, I’d select a version with an effect that protects it from damage or Paralyzes the Defending Pokémon.  As it should never be attacking and possibly should be skipped entirely via Rare Candy, it isn’t something to really fret about. 

The options for Leavanny are BW: Emerging Powers 7/98 and BW: Emerging Powers 8/98 for Expanded only play, BW: Noble Victories 3/101 and BW: Legendary Treasures 12/113 for the one version that got a reprint and then the latest one (excluding today’s of course), BW: Plasma Storm 10/135.  All have the same attributes as today’s CotD except for Retreat Cost and HP.  BW: Emerging Powers 7/98 and BW: Emerging Powers 8/98 also have single Energy Retreat Costs, but the rest until today’s candidate have Retreat Costs of [CC].  BW: Plasma Storm 10/135 enjoys 140 HP.  BW: Emerging Powers 7/98 has two attacks.  For [C] you select one of your Pokémon and search your deck for a card that Evolves from it, then put the one you searched out onto the one you selected initially.  As the attack specifies it counts as Evolving, its just Evosoda in attack form.  For [GC] it does 30 damage, with a coin flip for an additional 50.  It isn’t all bad, but as the main attack on a 130 HP Stage 2, too little damage for too much Energy and also unreliable is very bad.  BW: Emerging Powers 8/98 simply does 30 for [C] or for [GGC] flips three coins, scoring 60 damage per “heads”.  The attacks are underwhelming for a Stage 2, though the second might not be terrible if it were easier to power up. 

BW: Noble Victories 3/101 and BW: Legendary Treasures 12/113 have an Ability called Leaf Tailor; each of your Pokémon that have an Energy attached have no Weakness.  For [GCC] it can also hit for 40 points of damage, plus flip two coins for an additional 20 points of damage per “heads”.  The attack is still underpowered and/or overpriced, but the Ability is enough to consider it in a deck… consider it but probably never play it because even though Weakness is a big deal, odds are your opponent will can either still push for a more difficult OHKO anyway or force Leavanny Active, OHKO it, and then resume punishing the rest of your deck.  BW: Plasma Storm 10/135 can do 30 for [CC] with the added effect of discarding all Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon if you can get double “heads” on the mandatory double coin flip.  Besides being unreliable even with a card like Trick Coin, many decks rely on Pokémon that have at least one worthwhile attack they can use with a single turn of powering-up in that deck.  In a slower format this attack might be formidable, even while still being so “flippy”.  Its second attack sadly gets back to the level we’ve seen on the other versions: [GGC] for 70 and a coin flip to do an additional 20. 

So none of these really compliment today’s card.  You might think the Leaf Tailor versions would, as running one so that a different Leavanny could attack without worrying about its Weakness but none are worth competitive play (and possibly not even casual play) and the Leaf Tailor version is the only one even close to being worth the hassle of running.  Yeah, sorry: no kookie deck ideas to try and make today’s card work, even in a fun deck. 

Ratings

 

Standard: 1.25/5 

Expanded: 1.25/5 

Limited: 3.5/5 

Summary: The only place this should see any play is in Limited, and even then mostly because by virtue of the format, if you can pull a decent Evolution line and afford the space for Grass Energy, it’ll be strong compared to Evolving Pokémon that lack Evolutions but still end up seeing play in this format.  Plus you might have a few other Grass-Types and/or Pokémon Tools to make some use of the attacks’ effects.  Said effects are why I gave Leavanny a quarter point over the minimum score in Standard and Expanded: at least it does something, it just doesn’t do them anywhere near well enough to justify playing it.


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