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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Weavile

- Flashfire

Date Reviewed:
July 3, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.40
Limited: 2.50

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Weavile (Flashfire) 

This is our final review for the week as we take a mini-break for the 4th July weekend. I hope that all American readers have a great time, and good luck to everyone attending US Nationals. 

I wish I could send them off with a great card, but I’m afraid that’s not the case. I’m not even fond of the illustration, as it makes Weavile look a bit puny (those arms!) and bit more derpy than I would like. 

That aside, this Weavile tries to be useful, but just kind of misses the point. On the one hand, he seems to want to be a set up card with Call for Family to bench Basics, but that isn’t going to work on a Stage 1 card, as it would be faster and more efficient to use the resources you need for him to get the Basics in the first place. Meantime, Claw Rend is a very odd choice of attack to put on a Pokémon with starter pretensions: to get the most out of it (and even that is a moderate 90 for three Energy), it must be used against a Defending Pokémon with damage counters already on it, which it won’t have if you use the non-damaging Call for Family . . .  

Depending on your point of view, Weavile is either a weird contradictory card which doesn’t even have any synergy with itself, or one which tries to do two jobs (starter and ‘finisher’), and fails at both. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.5 (feels like bad card design)

Limited: 2.5 (slightly more useable in a slower format)


aroramage

And coming in just before the holiday, we've come back with another Pokemon card! aroramage here with an exciting Dark-type Pokemon! Ahhh, I remember when Dark and Steel were the new fancy types on the block. Makes me nostalgic for Gen II~ 

Anywho, let's take a look at Weavile, the evolved form of Sneasel (speaking of Gen II!). This guy here has an interesting build for a Stage 1 with 90 HP. And by interesting I mean he's got two attacks with more synergy with other cards rather than himself. He's a supporter/attacker depending on what you need him for, but now the question is, "Can he really do both well?" 

His first attack isn't something new, Call for Family. Everyone and their mother knows how to Call for Family at this point, and putting a colorless attack on a Stage 1 - while cheap - isn't exactly what I'd want on my Stage 1. I'd rather have Call for Family on another Basic so I don't have to wait to evolve my Sneasel to use it. It's the reason guys like Emolga (DRX) and Kangaskhan (PLB) are nice to have, especially in the case of the former where one could "attack" and bring out two Pokemon-EX to the bench in a flash and then retreat for free! 

But now, things have changed. Since the rules now include a clause about not attacking on the first turn, guys like Emolga and Kangaskhan aren't so hot anymore. That's where Weavile should come in; as a Stage 1, he gets around the "no attack on the first turn" rule because of another rule: you can't evolve a Pokemon on the first turn. So it's like this: Weavile can't come out of your hand until your next turn anyway, so let's give him an attack you wouldn't be able to use on your first turn! The problem with that? That only applies if you go first, and if you're running Emolga or Kangaskhan, chances are you're not planning on going first. 

So now we look at Weavile's second attack: Claw Rend. It's another one of those Giant Claw from Groudon-EX (DEX) or even better Tailspin Piledriver from Skarmory-EX (XY) attacks that does more damage if your opponent's Pokemon already has damage counters on it. In this case, it's 60 without counters and 90 with, and 90 is a rather infamous number in this game for being half of most Pokemon-EX's health. So here's what Weavile can do: either attack twice and hit a Pokemon for 150 damage total or wait to have some spread damage from Dusknoir or Florges or just general damage from stuff like Qwilfish or Rocky Helmet to damage a guy and go for 90 straight. 

Sounds nice on paper, but again we're talking about a Pokemon that only has 90 HP. Another Weavile could come in and, after it's taken a single point of damage, wipe it off the board for a Prize! And chances are you're not building up 3 Energy on this one guy to just hope that your opponent won't mop the floor with it. It's a Stage 1 that does things that other Pokemon - other BASIC Pokemon - can do better. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.5/5 (with the exception that you go first being an issue, this guy just can't make it work out here) 

Limited: 2/5 (you'd probably play him for his Call for Family more than Claw Rend, but be careful; he's only got so much HP) 

Arora Notealus: Apparently he lives in snowy regions, but anyone else noticing a distinct lack of snow? Maybe he swept it off with that broom-like head of his. 

Have a Happy Fourth of July, everybody! Unless you're somewhere else, in which case...a good July 4th to you!

 

As one might expect, my premature return means I have need to promote something; in this case, I am trying to raise funds for something a bit odd; an injured pet.  With some help we can get it the treatment it needs, instead of having to put it down. 

We end the week with early Weavile (XY: Flashfire 52/106); I get the strange feeling its designer also used it to end the week early. 

Stats 

Type 

The Darkness-Type still enjoys the most excellent Energy acceleration provided by Dark Patch, as well as the “pseudo” acceleration that actually supports Darkness Energy usage.  We have actually seen a few Darkness Weak Pokémon with attacks or Abilities that are tempting to use even knowing that the current top attacker - Yveltal EX - is an all but guaranteed sight in Darkness-Type decks. 

Stage 

Weavile is a Stage 1 Pokémon, which should be better than being a Stage 2, but even though it requires Rare Candy (an extra card) for a Stage 2 Pokémon to get into play the seem to be about on par, probably because Stage 2 Pokémon often have better Stats and Effects than many of the Stage 1 Pokémon.  Still, at least you’ll only need to run approximately twice as many cards as you would for an equivalent Basic Pokémon instead of three and can skip an awkward intermediary Evolution or the sometimes difficult task of getting both Stage 2 and Rare Candy into hand at the same time.  I will discuss the various Sneasel cards that Weavile can Evolve from later. 

Hit Points 

90 HP is currently a useful number; its bad in terms of survivability because its a probable OHKO; only a deck that hasn’t fully set-up or is otherwise suffering problems will fail to do the deed.  Until Level Ball rotates out, however, this is the maximum HP score for which said Level Ball can search, and I don’t know of any Basic Pokémon too large for Level Ball but with a small enough Evolution (though such a thing could exist). 

With the raw damage output, it is unlikely that Weavile could hit a high enough HP score to be significantly better, even after Level Ball is gone, so overall I’d label it “acceptable”, maybe even technically “good”. 

Weakness 

Fighting Type Weakness is a dangerous thing, so its not the worst to have at the time I am typing this up.  There are some Fighting-Type Pokémon that see a good amount of play, though I am drawing a blank for any decks focused on Fighting-Types that have regularly performed well.  The next set will make things worse, however, as we’ll see not only an influx of new Fighting-Type Pokémon but some very promising support; even if it all ended up falling short, it is highly improbable we won’t see at least a temporary spike in Fighting-Type decks at that point.   

Fighting-Types specialize in good Energy-to-damage attacks, so even though normally Weakness wouldn’t matter for something on the small side like this, that is not the case here.  Shadow Circle is an option, though; a piece of Darkness Energy-Type support, if a Pokémon has a source of Darkness Energy attached, Shadow Circle cancels out its Weakness: just remember that an opponent merely needs to play down their own Stadium to discard it, and you can’t play a potentially more useful Stadium down at the same time. 

Resistance 

While not often seen, Weavile does indeed enjoy Resistance.  Reducing  damage from attacks by Psychic Type Pokémon by 20 isn’t huge, but it can come in very handy; for example that is one more Energy (or damage boosting trick) for a Mewtwo-EX to need in order to X-Ball for a OHKO.  It also tends to make things extra annoying for the Darkness Weak Psychic-Types of the TCG (which correspond to video game Ghost-Types). 

Retreat Cost 

A single Energy retreat cost is the second best possible; its relatively easy to pay so you won’t get stranded too often.  If you did need to avoid it, most decks are going to run enough alternatives to manually Retreating and/or methods of zeroing out the Retreat Cost. 

Effects 

Attack#1: For (C) Weavile can use Call For Family.  This is a solid attack when found on a Basic Pokémon, but on a Stage 1 that is also a probable OHKO, its bad; better than nothing, but probably not better than your typical vanilla filler attack. 

Attack#2: Claw Rend requires (DCC) and does 60+ points of damage, where the “+” comes from attacking something that already has damage counters on it, in which case the effect text kicks in and the attack hits for an additional 30 points of damage.  It is nice that the attack is Double Colorless Energy compliant, but for the amount invested you really needed to be hitting for 90 points of damage before the effect, not after, so that you could at least attempt to 2HKO your typical Pokémon-EX (or OHKO it through a semi-elaborate combo). 

Intra-Card Synergy 

Unfortunately, the card doesn’t work to well with itself; the benefits of being a Darkness-Type do help it, but not much more than any other Darkness-Type Pokémon.  Given its size, it needs to be a Bench-sitter (not an option), possess a protective effect (it doesn’t), or be a glass-cannon (it isn’t). 

Card Family 

There are currently four legal versions of Sneasel from which Weavile may Evolve: BW: Next Destinies 69/99; BW: Plasma Freeze 65/116; and XY: Flashfire 50/106 and 51/106.  All four are Darkness-Type Basic Pokémon with Fighting Weakness, Psychic Resistance, and single Energy Retreat Costs, just like Weavile.  BW: Plasma Freeze 65/116 enjoys 70 HP, which is still well within range of a second turn OHKO, but at least out of range of “easy” second turn OHKOs; the rest each have 60 HP.  None have Abilities.

For (D), BW: Next Destinies 69/99 can hit for 10 points of damage and prevent the attacked Pokémon from manually retreating on the next turn, while for (CC) it just does a vanilla 20 points of damage.  BW: Plasma Freeze 65/116 has a single attack; for (DC) it hits for 20 points of damage, plus an additional 20 if you get “heads” on a mandatory coin flip.  XY: Flashfire 50/106 can do 10 for (C) or force the opponent to discard a card from his or her hand (opponent’s choice) at a price of (DC).  Lastly XY: Flashfire 51/106 can inflict Sleep for (C) or hit for 20 at a price of (DC) with no other effects.  None of these are good, though at least they all have some redeeming features, if ever so slight; go with the 70 HP version, BWL Plasma Freeze 65/116. 

There are also other Weavile you could run alongside today’s card, which can either be rivals for space or allies that work well together.  Weavile (BW: Next Destinies 70/99) has the same stats as today’s card, and also two attacks.  For (D) it can hit for 90, but the effect text states the attack does no damage if the Defending Pokémon has no Pokémon Tool attached, allowing an opponent to often disable this attack through shrewd play.  For (CCC) you get to flip three coins, doing 30 points of damage per “heads”... so only with the best possible outcome do you hit remotely hard enough. 

Weavile (BW: Plasma Freeze 66/116) a.k.a. Weavile [Plasma] is actually a solid card with its own deck.  Other than being a Team Plasma Pokémon (enjoying their support and suffering from their counters), it has identical Stats to todays card and once again, two attacks.  The difference is the attacks are good this time.  For (C) you can hit all your opponent’s Pokémon for 10 points of damage while for (DC) you can discard as many Pokémon as you like from your hand, doing 30 points of damage per.  The Energy costs make even the second attack easy to power-up in a single turn, and said second attack turns this into a glass cannon, all but guaranteed to be KOed in a single turn but also able to OHKO Pokémon-EX. 

You can see the official review for Weavile [Plasma] here; its a bit over a year old.  Updated for the current metagame, we’ve still had Weavile [Plasma] decks placing well at events, though not in the numbers of many other decks.  It is little surprise that BW: Next Destinies 70/99 got skipped: its first attack is interesting but too easy to sabotage, so it wasn’t even worth running before Tool Scrapper, let alone after Startling Megaphone.  It is pretty clear that today’s Weavile is getting no help from either. 

Usage

Modified 

If you insist on using this Weavile, the good news is that the various cards that support the Darkness-Type (both Pokémon and Energy) are so strong, you still might win some matches just due to their power.  Specifically, I suppose you could use Yveltal (XY 78/146) to open, powering things up while hitting for 30 points of damage: if this sets up well enough for Weavile go ahead and start attacking with it, otherwise use Darkrai-EX (or start with it if you can power it up in a single turn) and start talking bigger threats with two Night Spears, while the Bench hit from the attack sets up for Weavile and its Claw Rend. 

In such a deck, Weavile can be useful for attacking around certain effects that would block Yveltal and/or Darkrai-EX, or even Yveltal-EX (which you may as well include, even though it will make Weavile even less useful).  The thing is there are other Pokémon you could choose to use instead of this Weavile that would do the same job even better. 

Limited 

As is often the case, the card performs better in Limited.  The fact that there are two Sneasel in this set will make it easier to pull a more fleshed out Evolution line, and the attacks - while you still need a source of (D) Energy for Claw Rend, are still friendly to being splashed into decks, important as in Limited you’re often working with 2-3 different Types of Basic Energy cards in your deck.  Due to so many cards being useless (or close to it) in Limited play, the HP will last longer here and the damage output will seem much better.  Call For Family is actually likely to be as valuable or more valuable than Claw Rend! 

Ratings 

Modified: 1.25/5 - This Weavile is almost totally useless (and I am being generous in claiming that) and it isn’t very creative as the effects for both of its attacks have been seen before. 

Limited: 3/5 - Two options for the Basic in the set coupled with the lower-than-average HP scores and damage outputs allow both attacks to prove much more useful here. 

Summary 

Weavile screams “filler” when all is said and done; it isn’t as anywhere near as good as Weavile [Plasma], and many other Weavile just show a bit more creativity than recycling two older attacks that don’t compliment each other or the rest of the card.  Just to add insult to injury, remember that with the next set, it is likely to get even worse as its Weakness (Fighting) gets a lot of new attackers and support cards!

For those celebrating it sometime this weekend, Happy Independence Day!


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