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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Vespiquen #10

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
September 30, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.5
Expanded: 3.53
Limited: 3.13

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Tired of playing the same old Night March deck? Already missing Flareon and his thirst for Vengeance? Need something to fill in that hole in your deck that has access to a powerful growth Stadium in Forest of Giant Plants? Well look no further than Vespiquen, or as I'm sure she'll be called, Flareon v.2.0! 

Vespiquen and Flareon have a few major differences that may change how you play it, and needless to say Vespiquen will probably end up playing very differently from Flareon. One of the bigger differences would be their attacks; sure, Bee Revenge is effectively just Vengeance reskinned to be more thematic with Vespiquen, dealing 20 damage plus an extra 10 for each Pokemon in the discard pile - BUT, Vespiquen has a cheaper attack than Flareon's Heat Tackle that's got its own uses in Intelligence Gathering, a 1-for-10 strike that lets you draw until you've got 6 cards. 

...oh, right, you're not ever going to use that. 

Effectively the highlight of Vespiquen is Bee Revenge, and while she's got a little less HP than Flareon did (not to mention Combee in general have lower HP than Eevee, at the moment), she does have that Free Retreat Cost which is better than Flareon's 2-Energy worth. On top of that, she's also Grass-typed, which means if need be, you can evolve straight from a Combee into her with Forest of Giant Plants! In that regard, they may be competing for the spot of whichever one is better - and technically, Flareon would win due to Vespiquen's Fire Weakness. 

......eehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :D 

Needless to say, the Vengeance deck was an interesting idea that won a few tourneys, so expect the bee queen to rise to the challenge and take Standard back to the vengeful days of old! 

Rating 

Standard: 3.5/5 (a very solid - if not better - revenge killer for the Vengeful decks out there) 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (Flareon will still be in for a rough time, or maybe those Eeveelutions can help the deck even more...) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (there's not really a fast way of getting Pokemon into the discard, but luckily the damage output's low enough that Vespiquen's Intelligence Gathering can go off a few times) 

Arora Notealus: I think Vespiquen is a cool concept for a Pokemon - the classic bee queen to the hive of bees that are the Combee. It's like if Beedrill had a female variant that was...okay. And didn't have a Mega Evo. And was just meh.

...VESPIQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!! 

Next Time: NOT THE BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES


Otaku

If you missed yesterday… I goofed.  I misread the schedule (even though I selected the cards) and submitted a review of today’s subject instead of Tuesday’s actual Card of the Day.  Then through another mix-up, a four month old review went up instead!  If it isn’t there already, shortly after this review goes up, the correct previous CotD should as well. 

So today is Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98): no surprise we are still dealing with a Grass-Type.  That means it enjoys hitting at least a few key cards for a massive damage bonus (via Weakness), never needs to worry about Resistance, enjoys some solid support like Forest of Giant Plants and while there are some “anti-Grass” cards, they see little-to-no competitive play.  Being a Stage 1 is a bit of a drawback (twice the space requirement as a Basic) but the aforementioned Stadium means a successful setup can still be as fast as a Basic Pokémon.  The 90 HP should be a OHKO for your opponent, though the usual exceptions apply: incomplete setup or an attack that isn’t being used for its damage.  The Fire Weakness is odd because of the HP; simply put it might fall into the sweet spot where the weakest Fire-Type attacks just barely whiff while most would be a OHKO before Weakness anyway.   No Resistance which is the worst but also so common it doesn’t detract from the card and no Retreat Cost which is the best and is not that common thus being a nice feature. 

Vespiquen has no Ancient Trait or Ability but two attacks.  For [C] it can use “Intelligence Gathering” for 10 damage, but more importantly this attack also allows you to draw until you have six cards in hand.  The second attack merely costs [CC] and is “Bee Revenge”; it does 20 damage plus 10 more per Pokémon in your discard pile.  Intelligence Gathering is a nice fallback for when your deck stalls out but the important one is Bee Revenge; for the price of a Double Colorless Energy and (admittedly) a lot of Pokémon in your discard pile, Vespiquen achieves “glass cannon” status as it can OHKO theoretically anything in the game right now, though in practice you’ll probably be getting more of a 2HKO for the larger things that are (fortunately) worth two Prizes to just one for Vespiquen itself. 

Vespiquen might be able to Evolve instantly, but we should still look at our options for Combee: BW: Plasma Storm 4/135 (Expanded only) and XY: Ancient Origins 9/98.  Both are Basic Grass-Type Pokémon with Fire Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ability, no Ancient Trait and just a single attack.  BW: Plasma Storm 4/135 has just 30 HP and for [G] can use “Sting Missile” to hit for 30 damage before shuffling itself into your deck.  XY: Ancient Origins 9/98 has 40 HP and for [G] it can use “Bug Bite” for a flat 10 damage.  While Sting Missile is interesting, if you’re trying to get to Vespiquen you probably should go with XY: Ancient Origins 9/98.  There are two other Vespiquen to consider: BW: Plasma Storm 5/135 (Expanded only) and XY: Ancient Origins 11/98.  Both are Stage 1 Grass-Types with Fire Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Abilities and two attacks.  BW: Plasma Storm 5/135 has 100 HP; for [G] it can use “Gather Order” to search your deck for as many Combee as you like and put them onto your Bench or for [GC] it can use “Damage Beat” to hit for 20 damage times the number of damage counters on the opponent’s Active.  XY: Ancient Origins 11/98 has 90 HP and the Ancient Trait “Θ Double” which allows it to have two Pokémon Tools attached at the same time.  For [G] it can use “Bee Drain” to hit for 20 damage and heal itself by an amount equal to the damage.  For [CC] it can use the classic “Fury Swipes” attack to flip three coins, good for 30 damage per “heads”. 

Both other Vespiquen have been reviewed, or rather BW: Plasma Storm 5/135 was reviewed here while XY: Ancient Origins 11/98 is tomorrow’s review.  The former suffers because while getting three Basics from your deck is handy, it probably isn’t worth it as an attack on a Stage 1 card, while its “big” attack requires a target already damaged and doesn’t do any base damage itself (so you need a combo to get it to work) and its cost doesn’t allow you to simply rely on a Double Colorless Energy (unlike today’s version).  I don’t want to get too much into tomorrow’s card, but it might be “okay” if you want something different to lead with, but players have already found better “opening” attack options for Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) decks that won’t force you to run less of it. 

So Vespiquen has been showing up as either an alternative or and addition to Night March decks; use a similar approach to fill your discard pile with Pokémon with each successive Vespiquen hitting a bit harder because of the ones that fell prior.  It takes a lot to ramp up the damage to OHKO level against typical Basic Pokémon-EX: even with a Muscle Band you are talking 14 Pokémon in the discard pile.  That is why when used alongside Night March it is saved as a sweeper (or for hitting Grass Weak targets).  On its own players have been trying it with Flareon (XY: Ancient Origins 13/98), Jolteon (XY: Ancient Origins 26/98) and Vaporeon (XY: Ancient Origins 22/98) so that you can hit for four different forms of Weakness (with the unneeded Eeveelutions for a particular match used as fodder).  Hitting for Weakness (of course) roughly halves the amount of Pokémon needed for your discard pile.  You might even be able to splash Vespiquen into certain decks as a Grass-Type attacker (it doesn’t have to use Forest of Giant Plants and it can use any Energy): the downside is that it won’t hit hard enough to matter until you’ve filled your discard pile a bit. 

So in Standard give it a try either on its own or with Night March.  In Expanded, it is a little less certain because you still have access to Flareon (BW: Plasma Freeze 12/116); I’ve got to admit that I don’t know if people are sticking with Flareon [Plasma] for a reason or just going with what they’ve been running as I don’t exactly have a lot of data from which to draw conclusions.  In Limited this is a great pull; unless you’re running a +39 deck (where you run a single Basic Pokémon so that you always start with it) this is a must run, and the kind that will almost always come in handy unless all your Combee get KO'd before you can Evolve (or you don’t pull any Combee at all of course).  Not for Bee Revenge though, at least without both lucky pulls and game states; I don’t recall this set having a lot of effects to discard Pokémon, so you’re probably just getting a solid 50 for two if you manage to bring Vespiquen in as your final attacker.  Instead Intelligence Gathering, the free retreat and being only an Uncommon make it a good deal here. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.5/5 

Expanded: 3.35/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: Vespiquen brings a familiar tactic back into Standard, but with a twist given the different Typing and other recent support.  On the PTCGO I run into it often enough but I’ve seen the deck seem near unstoppable and I’ve seen it fail utterly; personally I end up with the latter result but I also never had much luck with Night March.  In the end I think it is going to be a presence that neither dominates nor vanishes from competitive play, at least until the next major shake-up. 


Emma Starr

            Today, we start talking about two cards talking about the much underrated Vespiquen! Well, underrated in the video games at least. This card has already seen quite a good amount of play already, and to be honest, I have no idea how this didn’t make our Top 15 anywhere, considering I see so many more people running this than say…Hoopa EX. And I don’t think it’s just because Vespiquen is an uncommon, either…

            Being a Stage 1 Grass Type, Vespiquen can make lots of use of many tools to get out very quickly, despite being a Stage 1 – Forest of Giant Plants or Wally can really help get her out on Turn 1 or 2, and for just 1 Colorless Energy, she can use Intelligence Gathering to let you draw cards until you have six in your hand! That’s great and all, and decent if you don’t start off with a Double Colorless Energy, but Vespiquen is no Shaymin EX (ROS 77), so her real bread and butter is her second attack…

            For only two Colorless (!) Bee Revenge does 20 + 10 more damage for each Pokemon in your discard pile! And how could you possibly get that many into your discard pile, you ask? Battle Compressor (PHF 92), Ultra Ball, and Unown (30), baby! Since Battle Compressor lets you discard any 3 Pokemon from your deck, Ultra Ball can let you discard two cards from your hand as usual, while making it easier to find more Unown, and, of course, Unown can discard itself (and let you draw a card to boot!). Using these great cards, you can get tons of Pokemon into your discard pile without your opponent ever taking a prize!

            With all of this discarding though, Vespiquen also begs to be the center of her own deck. Since you’ll want all of your Pokemon to be in your discard pile, there’s not much they can be able to do once they’re in it (although Ho-Oh EX could save you if Vespiquen goes down, but only in Expanded). Revives or Max Revives would just take up space in a deck like this, and it may be best to always run another Vespiquen or two on your bench, in case your attacking one goes down. Just make sure it has enough energy for when this time comes! For that reason, I’d run at least 3 Sycipers just to get that needed draw power, to quickly find all of your Double Colorlesses, since with only 90 HP, Vespiquen isn’t going to survive a full-powered hit from most EXs. So, although it may be tempting to discard some Combees and Vespiquens in your discarding spree, it may be best to keep some safe on your bench instead, and if you run into a Fire Deck, you could run into quite a few problems too. BUT, I can see Vespiquen working wonders when being included in one of those annoying Night March decks, which also run on your discarded Pokemon, but your Joltiks (PHF 26) may start competing with your Vespiquens for your Double Colorlesses, and with no way currently to retrieve them from your discard pile, it could become a problem, and of course, where there’s a Special Energy, most decks have a Team Plasma Grunt ready to retaliate, so I’d definitely run some normal energies in a deck like Vepiquen’s, though it may slow her up in some situations. Intelligence Gathering is pretty useful in a deck like this too of course, but just try not to deck out! Well, enough with me pointing out the flaws and advantages of using a Vespiquen deck, let’s head to my ratings! 

            Standard: 3.5/5 (Only belongs in her own deck, not a general Grass one, but if you build it right, maybe using some of the tips I mention in that huge paragraph above, you may be able to use Vespiquen much more effectively, though it still rely on a little luck at times, which some people may not prefer.)

            Expanded: 3.8/5 (You have the Ho-Oh EX I mentioned here, which could save you from emergencies, but that Retreat Cost of, you guessed it…two, can be bothersome, especially in this deck. Thankully, you also have Float Stones, which could really help your Vespiquens which I didn’t actually mention anywhere in the review. Good thing you read both parts of my review, huh? ;) )

            Limited: 2/5 (Well, it’s splashable, and you have Unown. That’s all you have, aside from normal discards, though. It could help you very late game, but with only 4 Prizes, that time may come sooner than you’d want it to.)


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