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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Venusaur-EX

- Generations

Date Reviewed:
April 7, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.88
Expanded: 1.65
Limited: 3.88

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 now we've got the Venusaur-EX do-over and his Mega Evolution to go over, so let's get this one knocked out of the way. 

Both of Venusaur-EX's attacks are bulky amounts of expensive, with his leading attack in Frog Hop being a 3-for-40 strike that has a 50/50 shot at dealing 40 more damage, thus being a 3-for-80. It's not bad in terms of damage but not that great either in terms of attack. Compared to the original XY's Poison Powder, which effectively was 3-for-60 and did more damage based on how long that automatic Poisoned status lasted on your opponent's Active Pokemon, Frog Hop basically has lower damage in general. Not so great at the start, but maybe that can change? 

You bet it can! Poison Impact is a 4-for-80 hit that makes your opponent's Active fall Asleep AND Poisons them. Effectively, it's a weaker version of M Venusaur-EX (XY)'s Crisis Vine, dealing a little less damage and substituting Paralysis with Asleep. That being said, it's also a "more balanced" version of that attack, since it doesn't force your opponent into either Switching or just letting Poison take its toll as Venusaur-EX bludgeons it for the KO. And compared to Jungle Hammer, a 4-for-90 hit that heals off 30, it's more offensive and ends up pushing forward with a powerful attack. 

So Venusaur-EX could be run in a deck, but will it? I could understand actually pushing through with this version in order to use Poison Impact. Sleep may not be as powerful as Paralysis, but the Poison is still there, and combined with other damage-boosts from stuff like Muscle Band...which is really all Grass types have, Venusaur-EX has potential to force an opponent into dealing with its crazy shenanigans. 

...either that, or it'll take the route of the XY version and fade away into obscurity. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (Poison Impact's great, but with little actual Grass acceleration, it only goes so far) 

Expanded: 3/5 (some of the Grass support from Virizion-EX may prove to be Venusaur-EX's saving grace here though) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (never mind what you could do with it and the original M Venusaur-EX) 

Arora Notealus: AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH...what? That's clearly what he's saying!

Next Time: AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH...MEGA EVOLUTION


Otaku

Is Venusaur-EX (Generations 1/83) a second change for M Venusaur-EX or even for Venusaur-EX itself?  I wouldn’t hold your breath.  The good news is that it is a Grass Type so it can tap cards like Revitalizer and Forest of Giant Plants for direct support, Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) as an example of indirect support, and Ariados (XY: Ancient Origins 6/98) as support that is somewhere in between (it can work with any Type but specifically singles out performs better with Grass Types).  The Grass Type can hit many Water and some Fighting Types for Weakness, with older Water Types being more Type diverse and thus blunting this a bit in Expanded.  Still some notable examples include Seismitoad-EX, Greninja (all versions), Greninja BREAK, and Wailord-EX.  There are no Grass Resistant cards unless we go into the scary wastes of Unlimited.  There are not many cards that penalize the other player for using Grass Types, though one seems worth a brief mention: Bouffalant (XY: Primal Clash 119/160) has a “Sap Sipper” Ability that bumps the damage it does with attacks to Grass Types by 40, and a decent “Derail” attack that for [CCC] does 80 while discarding a Special Energy from the opponent’s Active. 

Being a Pokémon-EX means giving up an extra Prize when KOed, an inability to take advantage of certain card effects, and being the target of some detrimental card effects.  The only positive thing guaranteed by it is that it means a card is either a Basic or a Mega Evolution, so Venusaur-EX gets to be a Basic instead of a Stage 2.  Often a Pokémon-EX has better attributes and/or effects than it would otherwise have, but that is not always the case.  What seems like it is has always been the case (but I do remember when it wasn’t): Being a Basic is the best!  One slot in your deck and one slot on the field equals one Pokémon.  There is no time waiting to Evolve or dependency on another card for a Basic to hit the field.  It is the only Stage that can serve as your opening Pokémon.  Many card effects simply work better for Basics due to these facts and while there are some anti-Basic effects out there, the Stage also has a few pieces of support.  Venusaur-EX does bring the HP as 180 is better than it would have enjoyed as a Stage 2.  It isn’t more than is typically seen on Basic Pokémon-EX, but at least it is the higher of the two common scores and enough to often take a hit.  Nothing is safe from OHKOs though.  Fire Weakness is mostly a risk in Standard due to players still using Entei (XY: Ancient Origins 15/98) decks and Flareon-EX starting to pop up as well, sometimes as a supporting attacker and sometimes as the main.  In Expanded there are a few other risks, but mostly it just means Flareon (XY: Plasma Freeze 12/116) scores the OHKO a little easier.  No Resistance so moving onto the Retreat Cost, it is a massive [CCCC]: make sure to include cards to get it out of the Active slot, to allow it to tank in the Active slot, or both. 

So what can this Venusaur-EX do?  For [GCC] it can use “Frog Hop” for 40 damage and on a successful coin flip you get an extra 40 damage.  80-for-three is decent, but a bit low.  40-for-three is bad without an effect, but an effect that just gives you a 50% chance of decent damage is not what I mean.  This is a very disappointing attack, so onto the next.  “Poison Impact” requires [GGCC] and only does 80 damage, but it does afflict the opponent’s Active with both Poison and Sleep.  80 damage is quite low for four Energy and two Special Conditions are not enough of a bonus to offset this.  Poison means an effective 90 damage most of the time and Sleep can help protect you on the next turn but they also have ways of being inflicted outside of attacks: Ariados as mentioned earlier can Poison from the Bench while Hypno (XY: BREAKpoint 51/122) can put both Active Pokémon to Sleep in either format while Hypnotoxic Laser can easily do the job in Expanded (assuming you get the flip).  This is not a card worth running for its own sake, but then again we all know it was meant as a lead-in for M Venusaur-EX. 

So as a precursor to M Venusaur-EX it competes directly with the old Venusaur-EX (XY 1/146, 141/146; XY: Black Star Promos XY28), which we looked at here.  It is almost identical to today’s version, at least for the bits relevant to the TCG.  The only differences are the attacks but not by much as they have the same Energy costs while doing similar amounts of damage.  The [GCC] attack is “Poison Powder” and it does 60 damage with guaranteed Poison while for [GGCC] it can use “Jungle Hammer” to do 90 damage to the opponent’s Active while healing 30 damage from itself.  The damage output is still poor and the effects are still underwhelming.  I think I prefer the reliable damage of Poison Powder but again, supplying Poison isn’t that hard right now.  Jungle Hammer does more damage than Poison Impact but not enough and healing as part of an attack often does not help much.  I might favor the Sleep to just trying to avoid damage.  So while not by much, I think I prefer the older to today’s.  Unless M Venusaur-EX does something that somehow combos with today’s Venusaur-EX, you’re going to want to go with Venusaur-EX (XY 1/146, 141/146; XY: Black Star Promos XY28). 

As I am going to save that for tomorrow when we review M Venusaur-EX (Generations 2/83), I am just going to tell you that no, neither M Venusaur-EX does anything that makes this Venusaur-EX better.  You shouldn’t bother with it in Expanded or Standard.  Generations has this odd release method so I don’t know if there will be a chance to really use it in Limited play, but if it happens then finally Venusaur-EX has a place where it’s good.  You might even risk running it without any other Basics (ensuring you open with it) as in the 40 card, four Prize Limited format it might be able to take four KOs without being overwhelmed, but I don’t know if I would risk it myself.  Fortunately the Energy costs are half Colorless which means mixing it with multiple Types isn’t too bad.

Ratings 

Standard: 1.25/5 

Expanded: 1.25/5 

Limited: 4.25/5 

Summary: Venusaur-EX is only really worth it in Limited play and I’m not sure Generations even really does that.  Another reminder that this set was really targeting nostalgic collectors more than players, I suppose.


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