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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Phantom Forces
Top 10

#4 - Xerosic

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 11, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.75
Expanded: 3.50
Limited: 4.00

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

#4 Xerosic 

Xerosic is the fat Team Flare Scientist who reneges on Lysandre’s promise to deactivate the ultimate weapon in the XY video game, luckily the card is a whole lot more likeable than the character. 

It’s a Supporter, so you would expect a pretty good effect to justify that once-per-turn use. While Xerosic doesn’t offer anything huge, he does have a lot of versatility to make up for that. This is because the card offers you two options: you can discard either a Tool or a Special Energy from any Pokémon in play (including yours). That last bit is important as Xerosic is one of the few ways we have to get rid of the Team Flare Hyper Gear Tools we looked at last week. I suppose he could also be used for something obscure such as removing a Strong Energy from a Donphan so it could attack Aegislash EX, but that’s reaching a bit.

Outside of these specialist uses, Xerosic offers some neat disruption to an opponent’s plans, removing such useful cards as Muscle Band, Float Stone, and Double Colourless Energy. While it is true that both of his functions can (mostly) be accomplished by Item cards (Startling Megaphone, Enhanced Hammer), being a Supporter may actually prove to be an advantage in a format where Seismitoad’s Item-locking Quaking Punch is so ubiquitous. 

Xerosic is a pretty effective card against the Toad anyway, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some players slip one or even two copies of it into their decks. It’s always hard to justify using a Supporter for anything other than draw, but Xerosic may offer just enough to be worthwhile as long as we have some form of Item lock in the game. 

Rating 

Modified: 3.25 (solid anti-Seismitoad card which is versatile enough not to be a total waste of space against other decks)

Expanded: 3.25 (could be useful to remove Float Stones from Trevenant)

Limited: 4 (there are Special Energy and Tool cards in the set, so you may as well run it) 


aroramage

There may be a couple of indicators from yesterday's review that Aegislash's Ability may not be 100% useful all the time, and there's a good reason for that - the game is going to be impacted by 1) the return of Enhanced Hammer, and 2) today's card, Xerosic. Welcome back to our #4 pick from the new Phantom Forces set, featuring Team Flare's second-in-command and lead scientist!
 
Xerosic is a simple man with a simple talent: he can discard a Tool or a Special Energy off of ANY Pokemon in play. Both of these are extremely useful right now in the format; with the presence of Muscle Band and Strong Energy, Xerosic is a direct counter to the popular Fighting decks, and given his expansive reach, he can be a defensive and offensive option in any deck. Take Aegislash-EX for example - if your Active Pokemon has a Special Energy attached, all you've gotta do to get around Aegislash-EX's Ability is use Xerosic to discard your Energy, reattach a basic, and you're good!
 
There is one catch to Xerosic, and that's the Supporter aspect. I mentioned the reprint of Enhanced Hammer made it into this set, meaning decks will have access to up to 4 Hammers - 4 Items - devoted to ridding the opponent of their Special Energy. While Xerosic does have the flexibility of targeting Tools, Hammers can be used in multiples and don't take up your Supporter for the turn. Still, this kind of combination can stun an offensive threat while at the same time taking off their damage-boosting Muscle Band - or perhaps their retreat-for-free Float Stone or damage-reducing Eviolite for basics! It can even stop Garbodor's effect from going off until the opponent gets a new Tool to attach!
 
Xerosic offers a flexible and useful effect to cripple the opponent's strategy, and I should think that he'll get run in 2s for most decks. Any more and you risk drawing him at a time you don't need him - any less, you may not draw him at the right time. So for a bad guy, Xerosic's not a bad guy!
 
Rating
 
Standard: 4/5 (a flexible Supporter that can hit offensively or defensively)
 
Expanded: 4/5 (still very powerful here)
 
Limited: 4.5/5 (should've mentioned that he can help remove those pesky Team Flare Tools in this format, which is fantastic considering their potential presence in the format)
 
Arora Notealus: I don't really remember much about Xerosic. He only appeared once in the main story line for X/Y, and even then it was just to battle you and activate a superweapon. Apparently he's got a major story in the post-game arc with Looker, so maybe I should go explore that route.
 
Next Time: And you thought Sycaper was useful for deck thinning...


Otaku

Today in the United States of America we honor and remember our military veterans with Veterans Day: both those still with us and those that have passed on.  It is also Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, depending upon where you are, commemorating the end of World War I.  Please take time to remember those who have served, especially among those you know personally, and if you aren’t familiar with World War I consider studying it at least a little; it sometimes seems to get lost in the shadow of World War II. 

We continue the second week of our Top 10 Promising Picks of XY: Phantom Forces with our fourth place choice!  As a reminder, reprint cards were not eligible for the Top 10 list, which was created through each member of the review crew submitting their own Top 10  list to Pojo, who then averages them out to produce the master Top 10 list we use for the review order.  The official release date for this set in the U.S. was November 5th, so XY: Phantom Forces cards aren’t tournament legal until November 21st; however we’ll be scoring them as if they were. 

I know nothing about his character, but its time for Xerosic (XY: Phantom Forces 110/119, 119/119)!  This is new Supporter takes an approach to the game I have been hoping to see; as a concept I like taking effects that are too strong to be Items but aren’t strong enough to be their own Supporter and… combining them with another similar effect.  Xerosic is “half” a Tool Scrapper or a slightly enhanced Enhanced Hammer: you don’t get both effects, but choose between discarding one Pokémon Tool or one Special Energy attached to a Pokémon in play (belonging to either player).  If you’re new to the party, I consider both Tool Scrapper and Enhanced Hammer to be overpowered, at least in the formats in which we’ve experienced them, but at the same time they are an almost necessary evil because without them other cards would be causing even more problems.  Of course Startling Megaphone replaced Tool Scrapper in Standard even before it rotated out. 

So how good is a card that combines them?  I’d try to be positive and focus on its advantages first, but it is necessary in this case to start with the negatives: 

  1. Draw power is still almost totally Supporter dependent, at least in mainstream, successful decks: this makes it hard to spare a Supporter for anything else.  Search is now becoming a “Supporter thing” again as well.
  2. Lysandre already owns the “non-draw/search Supporter slot” in most decks, and there are already a lot of near-misses (Pokémon Center Lady) or deck specific options (like Blacksmith).  Of course this set adds some other potential rivals like AZ and Lysandre’s Trump Card.
  3. While this can target your own cards (useful for countering Pokémon Tool F cards) and can do one of two jobs, when it comes to discarding your opponent’s Pokémon Tools Startling Megaphone has it covered and Enhanced Hammer is back so Items can handle Special Energy discards as well.

The main things going for Xerosic are 

  1. It can do the job of two different cards (though not at the same time).
  2. Pokémon Tool F cards give you a real reason to want to discard a Pokémon Tool from your own cards (though if that alone is your concern, Tool Retriever does it better).
  3. Thanks to Vs Seeker, a single copy of Xerosic can be used more than once.

 

If Supporters were a bit more free, I’d want this in many a deck.  Right now, I just don’t see the room, but perhaps I am underestimating its usage as TecH; Battle Compressor plus Vs Seeker is a potent combo as it allows Vs Seeker to have solid choices all game, including some “key moment” Supporters like Lysandre and Xerosic… and you’ve thinned your deck by three cards.  You lose the surprise factor to some extent, and you’ve also got to worry about Lysandre’s Trump Card.

Ratings 

Standard: 3.5/5 - Good card but not one that most decks will have room for and as a reminder, this is a general rating; some decks make better use of it, but its more or less this good in general. 

Expanded: 3.25/5 - You can run Tool Scrapper here, removing that anti-Pokémon Tool F factor.  There are also a few other Supporters that again, if you weren’t so reliant upon them for draw/search, you’d also be considering.  Otherwise, the same as for Standard. 

Limited: 3.5/5 - This is a must run, but the score reflects how its amazing in the few matches where your opponent has a Pokémon Tool or Special Energy worth discarding and Xerosic shows up in time, but obviously is dead weight if your opponent lacks both.
Summary: Right now though, I just don’t think decks have the room for Xerosic.  Lysandre is already an established non-draw Supporter and I think there might be another one worth running before Xerosic… and three non-draw Supporters seems too much, even if they are all singles.  Xerosic didn’t make my list, but it may be because I’m overestimating a few other cards or underestimating the utility of Battle Compressor plus Vs Seeker… a combo I neglected when making my Top 10 list.  Xerosic perhaps should have placed after all, especially given my fondness for general cards over the specific.


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