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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Virizion

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
October 2, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.83
Expanded: 2.67
Limited: 3.75

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Well we wrap up this week with a look at Virizion, effectively wrapping up all the new Grass Pokemon we got. I know, isn't that weird that there were so few? Though to be fair, there were some REALLY good ones! 

Virizion here is...well, modest. As is apparently commonplace among all the Grass Pokemon of this set (seriously, I think Vileplume's the most expensive attack at 3), Virizion has two cheap attacks. Not exactly spectacular ones, but still fairly decent nevertheless. Bail Out doesn't actually do any damage, but it can retrieve Pokemon from your discard pile back to your hand. At first, that doesn't really seem like a whole lot, but considering there are NO restrictions on it, that means you can easily set yourself up for an instant summons on your next turn - and all you need is to use Battle Compressor on whatever you need to grab. 

Think of it this way: Virizion's a great lead if you get Battle Compressor and Forest of Giant Plants (which I think I'm gonna start abbreviating as ForGiP). That means on your next turn, you could have a Vileplume ready or a M Sceptile-EX done or even an Ariados in play - and that's just the stuff from this set!

Aside from that, her second attack's not too bad either - Prize Count starts out weak at 2-for-40, but then if you've got less Prizes than your opponent, it rockets up to 120, that most magic of numbers! I'm not saying Virizion's gonna be KOing Megas or anything - but she can get pretty close! I think she'd be able to KO the Primals though - they are weak to Grass after all! 

So Viridian's fairly decent in and of herself, helps set up your next turn, and if you're behind she can inflict a hefty amount of damage. Not bad for a non-evolving non-EX Basic!  

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (fairly solid support, her biggest weakness may just be whether or not you have the room for her) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (she's debatably the best non-EX Virizion I'd say, but I also think you'd wanna run Virizion-EX here - maybe) 

Limited: 4/5 (if you drop just one Prize, you're almost guaranteed to KO most anything in this format with Virizion - count on it!) 

Arora Notealus: Three, Three Muskedeers, 
Virizion, Cobalion, and Terrakion, 
and a little Keldeo 
to make things bit more so
And now we've got a fifth gen trioooooo~ 

Weekend Thought: Which of these Grass Pokemon are you most hyped for? I bet there's a couple you'll wanna run! Or maybe you're looking at some of the older Grass Pokemon in a new light thanks to Forest of Giant Plants - I'm willing to bet M Heracross-EX needs some love!


Otaku

We finish out or week with one final Grass-Type, Virizion (XY: Ancient Origins 12/98).  Like the others it can enjoy hitting the Weakness of at least a few worthwhile Pokémon; cards like M Groudon-EX, Keldeo-EX, etc. were big deals before the current format went into effect I doubt every single one of them will fail to have at least some competitive presence.  You won’t have to worry about Resistance at all and you shouldn’t need to worry about the anti-Grass-Type cards because they just aren’t that good: I mean the only one I can recall off the top of my head is Bouffalant (XY: Primal Clash 119/160) whose “Sap Sipper” Ability allows it to hit Grass-Types for 40 more damage, though even with a sturdy 110 HP and adequate attack, it is a three Energy attack and even with all Colorless requirements, that is a bit much for a Type-specific counter simply because Basic Pokémon plus three Energy can likely get more mileage out of something less specific.  As the best (or at least most influential) piece of Grass-Type support is Forest of Giant Plants, that doesn’t bring a lot to Virizion, though it isn’t entirely without merit simply because other Grass-Types may need it for a big, Basic non-Pokémon-EX, Grass-Type. 

Virizion-EX is a reasonably big Basic because it is not a Pokémon-EX; so far Basic Pokémon lack printed HP scores beyond 130 so its 110 HP is only 20 shy of the best.  It is still well within OHKO range of most decks, but an incomplete set-up, awkward match-up or deck not focused on damage provides plenty of exceptions.  Being a Basic Pokémon itself is quite useful; each slot of deck space allowed it yields another copy you can play and you can just put it directly into play (space permitting).  The Fire Weakness isn’t a surprise but it can hurt, as lesser attacks may be bolstered into OHKO range as well as some of the less impressive “big” attacks; still Fire-Types tend towards big damage at a big price so most of the time it will just save your opponent a few resources, or nothing at all (the attack would be a OHKO regardless).  Lack of Resistance is typical (for better or worse) so let’s move on to the Retreat Cost of [C].  This is low enough that a single manual Energy attachment to cover and shouldn’t be overly difficult to recover from, plus if you can get an effect that lowers Retreat Costs at all, like Skyarrow Bridge, it retreats for free! 

Virizion doesn’t have any Ability or Ancient Trait, but it does sport two attacks.  For [G] you get “Bail Out”, which puts two Pokémon (your choice, of course) from your discard pile to your hand.  For [GG] “Prize Count” becomes available.  It hits for 40 damage, plus another 80 (so 120 total) if you have more Prize cards left than your opponent.  Bail Out can be handy simply for requiring less Energy than Prize Count; its main calling seems to be situations where you couldn’t or wouldn’t want to use Sacred Ash or Super Rod or Revive.  Perhaps while under Item lock?  Prize Count is a powerful move when you’re behind, mediocre otherwise.  That isn’t a bad split though, even though most potential Prize counts won’t allow you the bonus; when it does come through, it’s a nice big hit from a non-Pokémon-EX.  Probably its bigger drawback is that [GG] - while not outlandish - requires more significant Energy acceleration than say [CC]. 

There are three other cards named Virizion but only for Expanded play.  The first is BW: Emerging Powers 17/98, the second is BW: Noble Victories 13/101 (reprinted as BW: Noble Victories 97/101, BW: Plasma Blast 130/101 and BW: Legendary Treasures 15/113) and the third version is BW: Black Star Promos BW70.  All are Grass-Type Basic Pokémon with at least 100 HP, Fire Weakness, Water Resistance (it was common to Grass-Types in the BW-era), Retreat Cost [C] and no Ancient Trait.  BW: Emerging Powers 17/98 has two attacks, the first of which is “Giga Drain” for [GC], doing 30 damage while healing Virizion by an amount equal to the damage done.  For [GGC] it can use “Sacred Sword” to hit for 100 damage, with the drawback of being unable to attack again next turn.  BW: Noble Victories 13/101 and its later releases has the same 110 HP as today’s version, plus two attacks: “Double Draw” for [C] which has you draw two cards and “Leaf Wallop” for [GC] which does 40 damage, and then if you use it again the next turn, 40+40 (or 80).  BW: Black Star Promos BW70 again only has 100 HP but this time is has an Ability as well as an attack; the former is “Justified” which causes its attacks to do 50 more damage (before Weakness and Resistance) to Darkness-Type Pokémon while the latter is “Leaf Blade” for [GCC] which does 50 damage plus has you flip a coin with “heads” doing an additional 30 damage (or 80 total) while “tails” just means the base 50. 

All but the promo have been reviewed at before: you can find BW: Emerging Powers 17/98 here and BW: Noble Victories 13/101 here.  I thought we actually had covered the promo but I can’t find any trace of it; I am pretty sure I mentioned it for a while when discussing the Darkness-Type before, at least some of the time specifically (as opposed to general “anti-Darkness-Type” cards).  So are any of these other Virizion worth using?  Not especially.  BW: Emerging Powers 17/98 wasn’t really keeping up with power creep when it released so it is badly overpriced by now.  BW: Emerging Powers 17/98 and company saw some use because the attacks aren’t bad for a nice, large Grass-Type Basic that isn’t a Pokémon-EX, but they aren’t that good either with the big deal breaker being how easy it is for your opponent to “reset” the effect of Leaf Wallop (besides KOing Virizion, forcing it to your bench or hand).   BW: Black Star Promos BW70 has a very underwhelming attack as well, though the Ability might tempt you to try it against Darkness-Types, trust me it doesn’t work out all that well: after all you’re basically just hitting them as hard as you ought to have in the first place. 

So what about today’s card?  I’ve been trying it out a bit myself in decks where I could use a Basic Grass-Type that packs a mean punch, even if only “some” of the time.  M Sceptile-EX can power it up quickly and it helps compensate for some of the weaknesses in the deck (being a non-Pokémon-EX attacker, only needing two Energy, not relying on Poison from Ariados, etc.) while if you’re running a Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) doesn’t always run a source of [G] Energy with it (it is a Bench-sitter not meant to attack, after all) but when it does this gives you a way to reclaim lost Pokémon while still under the Item lock.  In Expanded you might consider it for VirGen decks as Virizion-EX can power it up with a single Emerald Slash.  Otherwise the big place to enjoy it is in Limited play but not as a “+39” Pokémon.  It doesn’t become strong unless there are other Pokémon for it to work with, either reclaiming from the discard pile or that can be KOed without you losing the game (not an option when it is your only Basic in the deck).  If it does show up early or you take and hold the lead, in this format the 40 for two decent given the rest of the card (just not enough to run as your only Basic).  As it needs [G] or [GG] to attack it might be an issue to work into a deck. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 

Summary: Though not a powerhouse Virizion seems adequate and there is a dearth of other qualified candidates.  If you need a non-Pokémon-EX Grass-Type Basic attacker (kind of niche) then give it a try!


Emma Starr

            And, finishing up the week, we have the legendary Virizion, who has a strong legacy to live up to, after her sister Virizion EX tore up the metagame back in the Plasma sets. Does Virizion still have what it takes today?

            For one Grass Energy, Virizion can use Bail Out, which moves two Pokemon from your discard pile, to your hand. This effect can be rather nice, since unlike Revive, it includes non-Basics in its effect, and it doesn’t force you to put them on your bench afterward (thus making them Lysandre bait), and unlike Max Revive, it doesn’t waste time at the top of your deck by ‘wasting’ your next draw phase. They may be easier to play, but if you’re being Vilelocked, this attack is still an option, and it actually lets you return two Pokemon back, rather than just the one with Max Revive. So, just look at which one your deck would need more, and evaluate the pros and cons of both options.

            For two Grass Energy, Virizion can use the not-so-subtly-named Prize Count to inflict 40 damage, and if you have more Prize Cards left than your opponent, does 80 more damage, for 120 damage instead! This can be tricky to time right, though, as this is the opposite of Shaymin EXs (ND 5) Revenge Blast, which does 30 plus 30 more damage for each Prize Card your opponent has taken. Unlike with Shaymin EX, whom you could normally just switch to after your opponent had beaten one of your Pokemon, with Virizion, if you currently have more Prize Cards than your opponent, you may actually have to switch Virizion in, in most circumstances, which can prove to be annoying. No one likes to use Switch unless they really have to, as some sort of emergency insurance. Switching for just a little more damage just won’t be worth it most times. This could have some more symmetry with Pokemon who have a free Retreat Cost, but once Virizion does become active, it’s annoying Retreat Cost of one rears its head. Sure, it’s just one, but with 110 HP, she’ll be lucky not to get OHKOed most of the time. At least she’s not an EX though, so if she does happen to knock one out with this, if they KO Virizion in the next turn, your ‘trade’ would still have been successful, as you would have gotten 2 Prizes from taking out the EX, and your opponent would have only gotten one Prize. But with all the Grass Pokemon available to you now, don’t you think the deck space Virizion used could have been utilized better by another card? 

            Standard: 2.5/5 (Not awful, with the nice attack potential on a non-EX basic, but other cards can do it’s jobs better, in some cases.)

            Expanded: 2.5/5

                Limited: 3.4/5 (Great non-EX attackers don’t come around too often!)


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