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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Virizion EX

- Plasma Blast

Date Reviewed:
August 13, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.5
Expanded: 3.5
Limited: 4.62

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Ahhh yes, Virizion-EX, half of the VirGen archetype, and half the reason the deck was so powerful for so long. I mean, what's left to say after two years and two different sets of reviews, one of which was a nationals review and the other for when it was ranked the best card in the set? 

I actually reviewed this card about this same time last year after the US Nationals, where VirGen managed to make a showing in some of the Top 8s. And all things considered, it's a pretty powerful deck - with Virizion-EX providing acceleration through Emerald Slash and protecting anything with Grass Energy on your field with Verdant Wind, and of course Genesect-EX dealing the heavy offense. Ever since the two were released together in Plasma Blast, they have been a formidable challenge. 

Of course, their popularity rose and fell depending on the meta. With teched-in Charizard-EXs roaming around, they needed to be careful - any deck could deal 120 damage straight to Genesect-EX, and with cards like Garbodor to nullify Verdant Wind, the loss could be devastating. Still, Furious Fists brought with it not only a lot of Fighting support but it also grabbed a nifty new Grass Special Energy with Herbal Energy, which could be attached to Genesect-EX to heal off 30 damage while also providing fodder for G Booster! 

Still, Genesect-EX would be nothing without Virizion-EX protecting him from HTLBank damage, but Virizion-EX doesn't have to necessarily support Genesect-EX. There was also the Exeggutor builds that could Blockade Supporters, which would be nice to have if they don't lose out on getting KO'd via Poison. That's where Virizion-EX comes in to save the day! 

That's about where Virizion-EX's support ends though. If decks aren't running Grass Energy, they've got few options to run with like Rainbow Energy and Double Dragon Energy, and while both are great utility cards, neither is worth running a whole 'nother EX that's sitting on the Bench being useless most of the time. So while Virizion-EX was seen in a lot of decks, it was mostly because they ran on Grass Energy.  

And as we all know, Virizion-EX does Grass decks proud. 

Rating 

Standard: 3.5/5 (of course, with power creep in Megas and the inclusion of Muscle Band, Virizion-EX's Status counter isn't as big as it used to be; still, negating status is pretty useful!) 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (at least she'll be able to mess up those HTLBanks still - VirGen will live on here) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (I suppose if you're not running Grass Energy, don't use Virizion-EX, but if you're using Virizion-EX, run Grass Energy) 

Arora Notealus: You know, if you asked me in the early days of Pokemon if Grass decks would ever be so powerful, I'd probably say something like, "Eh, maybe. Doesn't look like it though." To think that there's an archetype centered around a strategy that ultimately OHKOs anything in its path! I think that in and of itself is pretty awesome. But maybe that's just me being nostalgic~ 

Weekend Thought: So what cards from Ancient Origins are you thinking are good? Which ones do you think are overhyped, and what about the ones that you feel are underrated? What do you hope will make the Top 10 List this time?


Otaku

We wrap this week up early with Virizion-EX (BW: Plasma Blast ), which clocked in as the 15th place pick for the Pojo list of the top cards lost to rotation.  Unsurprisingly it has been more than a random the previous two times it has been the CotD: the first time it was the first place pick for BW: Plasma Blast and was re-reviewed because of the role it played at the 2014 U.S. Nationals.  So let us run through the card quick and we’ll cover why it is still a pretty impressive card and how that’s varied over its time in the format. 

Being a Grass-Type is solid; they have some support and the best of it is… Virizion-EX itself, and Virizion-EX often finds itself in non-Grass decks.  More on that later.  Some prominent cards like Seismitoad-EX are Grass Weak and in fact that currently might be the greatest strength of the Type; you also won’t have to worry about Resistance, which isn’t as impressive as it sounds since Resistance itself is overall uncommon in the TCG and even when present, doesn’t do much.  XY: Ancient Origins is expected to beef up the Grass-Type, but that will only help in future Expanded play.  Being a Basic Pokémon is as good as it gets: minimal card and time investment for a Pokémon.  Being a Pokémon-EX means being worth an extra Prize when KOed, dealing with cards specifically meant to counter Pokémon-EX and certain supporting cards explicitly excluding Pokémon-EX… but usually this is offset by increased HP and stronger-than-normal effects. 

170 HP is good but not great: it just isn’t like the earliest days of Pokémon-EX where decks struggled to hit that amount.  It still isn’t easy but you’re “probably” safe from a OHKO instead of more compelling durability.  The Fire Weakness isn’t too bad right now; the Fire-Types that see play are more about “raw power” and thus less likely to need Weakness and very, very few actually have seen recent, successful competitive play.  XY: Ancient Origins might change this as the newly released Flareon (XY: Ancient Origins 13/98) has an Ability (Flare Effect) that causes all of your Stage 1 Pokémon to gain Fire-Typing.  As an older Grass-Type, Virizion-EX still has Water Resistance, which isn’t huge but is handy when it does matter.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is usually low enough to afford without much issue and being so low have been pretty important due to how Virizion-EX has been used; when it was new Skyarrow Bridge being able to shave off that last [C] for a perfect free Retreat Cost was a big deal! 

Virizion-EX enjoys both a great Ability and attack, with the Ability being just a bit more important.  Said Ability is “Verdant Wind” which protects any of your Pokémon with a source of [G] Energy attached from being affected by Special Conditions.  Having been released while Hypnotoxic Laser was even more heavily used than now, this was a pretty big deal.  Emerald Slash requires [GC] but the Energy invested in it is replaced instantly by hitting for 50 damage plus searching your deck for and attaching two [G] Energy cards (only basic Grass Energy counts as [G] Type while in the deck) to one of your Benched Pokémon.  It is a mandatory effect; while you don’t have to use it when you have no Bench, if all you have are targets (like Safeguard Pokémon) unaffected by Pokémon-EX attacks, you end up discarding the attached Energy (as opposed to doing nothing at all).  It can be an issue in our relatively low Energy count format as even Grass-Type decks often run single digit basic Grass Energy counts. 

For a time just about every deck included TecH Virizion-EX; it was skipped only if absolutely no room could be made (a bit more likely if you also had to add a source of [G] Energy).  Now it is mostly remembered for the deck it helped name: VirGen.  As we have more means of shutting down Abilities now than when the card released, I believe this is another reason why the card seems weakened from what it once was.  There is also the returned emphasis on discarding Energy - even if Verdant Wind is functioning, if one has no [G] Energy attached one can still be hit by Special Conditions.  The other major part of said deck was Genesect-EX and Virizion-EX both sheltered it from stalling Special Conditions while powering up multiple attackers… including the Energy-hungry-but-awesome G Booster.  Losing this card isn’t going to leave Grass-Types totally helpless as they have a new Energy accelerating attacker coming in XY: Ancient Origins: M Sceptile-EX.  What many decks will lack is a good background effect that protects against Special Conditions, which can be quite huge as though we are losing Hypnotoxic Laser, we are gaining other methods of inflicting Special Conditions.  If your deck is already using it, enjoy it while you can.  For Expanded Play I expect it to still play an important role, though diminished at the very least because of having a larger pool of potent cards, possibly by being outclassed by some of the newer stuff.  In Limited it is a good pull but probably not worth a +39 deck as the Energy acceleration is totally wasted and 50 damage for two is just “okay”; unlikely to take four Prizes before Virizion-EX is KOed and you lose.  As long as you can afford to run about half your Energy as basic Grass Energy cards, Virizion-EX should do some amazing things in a fleshed out Limited deck. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.5/5 

Expanded: 3.5/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Summary: Virizion-EX will be missed for Standard play but it was no where near as important to the metagame as it once was.  While it managed a 15th place finish for the Pojo master list, for my personal Top 20 Cards Lost To Rotation it came in as the 20th place pick… and that was as a “Wild Card” pick I added because I thought it worth mentioning: my list was based on how well used cards were at this year’s U.S. National Championship and for the Top 8 decks of each age bracket (so 24 decks in all) none included a Virizion-EX.  Technically this is a card most decks that have a source of [G] Energy in them would want to include, but due to fierce competition for space that is less decks than it used to be so its score mostly stays high because there are a few decks where it is still a must run!


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