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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

M Venusaur EX  

- XY

Date Reviewed:
February 25, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.00
Limited: 4.50

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

Mega Venusaur EX 

Today we look at our first TCG example of Pokémon’s new mechanic: Mega Evolution. In the games, these work well as they are mostly terrific designs (not Manectric) and turn previously poor Pokémon like Mawile and Kangaskhan into total powerhouses of destruction as well as giving us cool new versions of already good stuff such as Gengar and Lucario. 

The mechanic’s transition into the world of the TCG is a little bit more awkward, however. Mega Evolution succeeds in giving us access to even more powerful incarnations of EX Pokémon (just look at the ridiculous HP!), but it also comes with some severe downsides. Mega Evolution is still an Evolution, and that means it can’t be accomplished on the first turn, or on a Pokémon that wasn’t in play at the start of a turn. More seriously, just the act of playing a Mega Evolution brings your turn to a juddering halt. Obviously, the worst part of that is having to end your turn without attacking or using Tropical Beach, but the effect is more far reaching. Suppose you are holding a Mega and a Juniper in your hand: you can’t evolve and then play Juniper, so you are forced to choose between not using a Supporter that turn or discarding the Mega. That’s unfortunate to say the least. 

So if these things are going to be playable, they will need to be astonishingly good, and apart from the massively inflated HP, Venusaur can’t really cut it on that score. I mean, Crisis Vine is a pretty good attack: 120 damage and Poison and Paralysis has the potential to shut down and dispose of most other Pokémon very quickly. The Energy cost is steep, as you would expect, at 3 Grass and one Colourless Energy. Combine that with the ends-your-turn rule, and Venusaur becomes a very slow and cumbersome Pokémon: let’s not forget that with damage boosters like Muscle Band, Deoxys EX and Hypnotoxic Laser in the format, even a 230 HP monster like this can be taken out in a couple of hits, while Crisis Vine is a whole lot less effective if the opponent is running Virizion EX to stop the Status effects. 

I’m sure that there will eventually be top tier Mega Pokémon decks, but we are going to have to wait a while for them. Mega Venusaur is kind of impressive with its huge numbers, but seems to fall some way short of being practical. 

Rating 

Modified: 2.5 (big, but not that scary)

Limited: 4.5 (but you’re not really going to pull this and the EX in six packs are you?)


HEZ
Intro to
Unlimited 150

M Venusaur EX.

Standard.
Following on from yesterday’s Venusaur EX is only makes sense to look at its Mega Evolution today. What we’re looking at is essentially a 230 HP Stage 1! The turn ending Mega Evolution mechanic helps balance this slightly but it does mean that Mega Pokémon naturally will want to go into tank decks as opposed to more aggressive ones that won’t want to lose a turn not attacking. Luckily for M Venusaur EX this is exactly what its designed to do. 120 and Poison is enough to KO most non-EX Pokémon and the Paralysis means that it almost guarantees a KO on any other Pokémon it hits outside of Keldeo EX’s Rush In or an Escape Rope/Switch. Unfortunately Mega Evolution doesn’t work like LV.X so it doesn’t get access to its previous Stage’s healing attack so you will need to provide it with outside support like Damage Swap Reuniclus or the newly released Super Potion. There’s also the option of running Celebi EX so it can use its Basic’s attack, but this means running Celebi EX which just begs to give away 2 prizes.
It could do with some Energy support such as Virizion EX to power that 4 Energy attack, but you will have to think, would I rather be using Virizion EX to support M Venusaur EX or just stick with the tried and tested Genesect EX? There’s even Articuno EX with a similar attack but much easier to get into play.

Unlimited 150.
In U150 M Venusaur EX is a totally different Pokémon. There’s no legal Basic Venusaur EX for it to evolve from so it has to evolve from a Stage 2, essentially making it a Stage 3 Pokémon in this format! This doesn’t mean it’s worse off here though, in fact, it’s probably better. The format is much friendlier to Evolutions with support like Broken Time-Space and Spiritomb (Arceus) so it’s not actually that hard to get out. The turn it makes you skip is easier to negate too using the Stadium Holon Circle which prevents all attacks until a Pokémon does attack or the old favourite Mr.Mime (Jungle) providing a solid wall for M Venusaur EX to hide behind during its set up turn.

Most of the time its attack will be overkill, 130 damage KOs a decent percentage of played Pokémon but as more and more Megas get released into the format Paralyse locking them for a 2 hit KO will become more relevant. As for things that can 1 hit KO this behemoth, they’re few and far between! Even a Fire type would have to do 120, so old, reliable Reshiram can handle it. For other decks there’s Clefable (Jungle) that can Metronome Crisis Vine for just one Energy to Paralyse lock it for a 2 hit KO.

It gets some good support from other Venusaurs in its evolution line. Both the Base Set version and the ex from Fire Red Leaf Green can move Energy around freely so you can abuse cards like Max Potion and Pokémon Nurse by moving all the Energy off it, healing it, then putting the Energy back on. Supreme Victors Venusaur protects all Grass Pokémon from Special Conditions which further aids the Mega’s tanking potential.

Overall, Venusaur was decent Pokémon to build around with plenty of different effects to utilise but never much raw power. The Mega fixes this problem in a Venusaur deck by providing one of the bulkiest Pokémon ever printed with an attack that is both heavy hitting and disruptive.

Ratings.
Standard: 3.5
Unlimited 150: 4


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