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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 M Venusaur-EX
- XY: Evolutions

Date Reviewed:
Dec. 9, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.13
Expanded: 3.25
Limited: 3.82

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

When Megas were first introduced, cards like M Blastoise-EX and M Venusaur-EX both had a very similar problem: the Mega Rule. When you played one down, your turn would immediately end, making them extremely risky to even play. Do you set one down and let your opponent have at you with their own attackers, or do you hold off until you've got the advantage for a "win more" situation? 

Thankfully over the years, we've gotten Spirit Links printed with these cards to circumvent the rule, though even they bring up their own set of problems. After all, you're occupying the Tool slot just to make sure you don't forcibly end your turn and can attack with your behemoth! This is the challenge that M Venasaur-EX had with Crisis Vine. On the one hand, it's an amazing attack, dealing 4-for-120 and not only Paralyzing but Poisoning the opponent's Pokemon, making a lethal combination of brutality.  

On the other hand, even in the era of Spirit Links, he never received one, and that was probably for the best. After all, not only did the idea of getting a Spirit Link bring up a certain amount of competitive viability to the card, but Forest of Giant Plants meant that he could accelerate himself out even faster, meaning only the high cost of 4 Energy was really the only deterrent to playing him in the first place. 

In a dual mix of fortune and misfortune, M Venusaur-EX has been reprinted and been given a Spirit Link card, only to have it follow after a set where his main weakness has received a lot of support and become a general threat in the metagame. Perhaps the designers anticipated that to some degree, letting Volcanion decks take up their time to see their impact before pushing in M Venusaur-EX back into the fray. Which is funny, cause they did the same thing with M Blastoise-EX. 

Don't be fooled though. M Venusaur-EX is a potent threat, and if you're not prepared to take a Crisis Vine to the face, you'll end up losing very, very quickly.

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (against most decks, M Venusaur-EX can provide quite a problem)

Expanded: 3.5/5 (but he's also got major problems with Fire, which for the moment is prominent) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (that being said, he's nothing to shy away from, and I'm sure that people will work to build decks centered around him) 

Arora Notealus: I ended up skipping out on M Blastoise-EX last week, so as a brief review, lemme just say that he came back in on even ground with M Venusaur-EX. Now with a Spirit Link, he's pretty much better off than before, and he'll probably end up playing a big role in the game as a counter to Volcanion decks for the time being. Until the next big deck comes out, consider him at around the same level if not currently better than M Venusaur-EX. 

Weekend Thought: Liked this week's cards? Think there are some combos to be made? Some decks to build? How about last week's, since I didn't ask? Do the Spirit Links make these old Megas viable again? Do the BREAK Evolutions bring new life to these older cards? Do the updates and upgrades make you wanna pick out a couple of cards to play in your new decks?


Otaku

That’s right, last Friday we reviewed M Blastoise-EX (XY 30/146; XY: Evolutions 22/108, 102/108) because it has a brand new shiny Blastoise Spirit Link card when it was reprinted in our latest set, and thanks to Venusaur Spirit Link we’ll be re-reviewing M Venusaur-EX (XY 2/146; XY: Evolutions 2/108, 100/108).  The original review for it is here.  So to begin this is a Mega Evolution.  Before you had no choice but to end your turn when you Mega Evolved, but now you can avoid that penalty by utilizing Venusaur Spirit Link.  Other than that, being a Mega Evolution means access to Mega Stage support (like Mega Turbo), suffering Mega Evolution counters (like Faded Town), and then all the stuff that goes with being a Pokémon-EX: extra Prize when KO’d, Pokémon-EX counters, exclusion from some support, Basic/Mega Evolution instead of usual Stage, better HP than “regular” versions, possibly other better stats and effects.  As M Venusaur-EX is a Grass Type it will strike many Water Types and some Fighting Types for double damage via Weakness, while nothing Standard or Expanded legal is Grass Resistant.  There are some anti-Grass Type effects, but they aren’t too great; most likely one you’ll encounter is Parallel City.  Yes, the Stadium that shrinks a player’s max Bench size down to three; the other side of it reduces the damage from the attacks of Fire, Grass, and Water Types by 20, so if your opponent can handle having that tiny Bench they can ding your damage. 

The Grass Type offers some nice tricks specific to the Type, like Forest of Giant Plants and Revitalizer, though the former technically cares about Venusaur-EX being a Grass Type, not M Venusaur-EX.  Still, it is a pretty big deal since all  Venusaur-EX are Grass Types and now it has Venusaur Spirit Link, plus we know it has Mega Turbo as well for Energy needs.  Speaking of Energy, I’m drawing a blank on great Grass Energy tricks, at least for Standard.  Virizion-EX is an option for Expanded though; technically it works with anything that can make use of [G] Energy, but that makes it a natural for fellow Grass Types.  Virizion-EX provides both [G] Energy acceleration from the deck via its attack and protection from Special Conditions via its Ability.  There are a few solid Grass Type attackers or Bench-sitters that might also aid M Venusaur-EX and like Virizion-EX at least some are used off Type as well, but being in a Grass Type deck just provides more synergy with Grass Type support. 

M Venusaur-EX has 230 HP; second highest we’ve seen on a Mega Evolution and hard for most decks to OHKO.  Fire is the major exception because M Venusaur-EX is Fire Weak and unfortunately its x2.  Isn’t all Weakness x2?  Well yeah but from Diamond & Pearl through PL: Arceus the designers experimented with additive Weakness, where the range was from +10 to +40.  This overall didn’t work the best, and we saw some cards still get x2 Weakness during this time, and it got a bit confusing.  Going back to x2 Weakness reminded us why we left it; it is crazy strong as something with this much HP can be so easily OHKO’d due to Weakness.  A flat +20 (or so) would probably be much better.  No Resistance is the worst Resistance, but both typical and more like a missed opportunity than a real problem.  The massive Retreat Cost of [CCCC] is a problem, though; you’ll need to pack multiple copies of multiple options for either reducing this cost, bypassing manually retreating, and/or tanking hits.  M Venusaur-EX has a single attack called “Crisis Vine” with a hefty Energy cost of [GGGC].  Crisis Vine does 120 damage which is actually a bit low given the cost, but Crisis Vine both Paralyzes and Poisons the opponent’s Active as well, giving it a chance of scoring 2HKOs with minimal hassle.  Most decks will have an answer for this but you have the entire rest of your deck to include answers to those answers… or find other ways of capitalizing upon it all. 

Time to cover the rest of the Pokémon in this Evolution line.  We have the ofte printed Venusaur-EX (XY 1/146, 141/146; XY: Black Star Promos XY28, XY123; XY: Evolutions 1/108), the other Venusaur-EX (Generations 1/83), and the other M Venusaur-EX (Generations 2/83).  All are Expanded and Standard legal Grass Type Pokémon-EX with Fire Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCCC], no Ability, and no Ancient Trait.  Both Venusaur-EX are Basic Pokémon with 180 HP and two attacks, the first for [GCC] and the second for [GGCC].  The smaller of the two attacks on Venusaur-EX (XY 1/146, 141/146; XY: Black Star Promos XY28, XY123; XY: Evolutions 1/108) is “Poison Powder”, which does 60 damage and leaves the opponent’s Active Poisoned.  The larger attack is “Jungle Hammer” which does 90 damage and heals 30 from itself.  The smaller attack on Generations 1/83 is “Frog Hop” which does 40 damage and has you flip a coin; “heads” means +40 damage (so 80 total) while “tails” means just the base 40.  The second attack on this one is “Poison Impact” which hits for 80 damage and afflicts the opponent’s Active with both Poison and Sleep.  All of these attacks are badly underpowered.  Go with whichever one you like because you should almost never have to attack with it due to how much Energy is required, Forest of Giant Plants, and Venusaur Spirit Link. 

M Venusaur-EX (Generations 2/83) has 230 HP Mega Evolution and a single attack, like today’s version, but its attack is slightly less expensive as it costs [GGCC] instead of [GGGC].  Two Mega Turbo and one Double Colorless Energy attached from hand is tricky, but easier than needing three Mega Turbo and one Energy from hand.  The attack is named “Bloom Buster” and does 130 damage plus it has you flip a coin, “heads” means you hit your opponent’s entire Bench for 30 damage each.  Not great, but decent.  You want to support it differently than you would today’s M Venusaur-EX, but a single of either version might not be bad backing the other.  While this other version seems easier to fuel and hits a tiny bit harder (ignoring Poison damage), iffy Bench spread isn’t super impressive, or at least less so than automatic Paralysis.  You can read the Venusaur-EX (XY 1/146, 141/146; XY: Black Star Promos XY28, XY123; XY: Evolutions 1/108) review here, but it’s pretty out of date.  The Venusaur-EX (Generations 1/83) review can be read here.  Lastly M Venusaur-EX (Generations 2/83) and it’s sort of dated review is here. 

So, should you give M Venusaur-EX (XY 2/146; XY: Evolutions 2/108, 100/108) a shot?  I think so, but don’t put yourself out trying to build the deck.  You might back it with Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) as without Items, it can be much harder to deal with Crisis Vine.  However this also makes it harder to set up M Venusaur-EX, and while you can try to toss it all down first turn, that conflict can make the deck trip over itself.  You might try Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122), or in Expanded Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113); if you’re not using an Ability to fuel Energy attachments to M Venusaur-EX (and your options aren’t all that great in that department) then shutting down Abilities with “Garbotoxin” also reduces your opponent’s options for blocking or ditching Special Conditions.  It also messes with other strong decks perhaps even worse than Vileplume does.  Otherwise, enjoy M Venusaur-EX in Limited play if you manage to pull both it and Venusaur-EX; Venusaur-EX isn’t super special awesome, but it’s solid here and Mega Evolving might be worth it even if you don’t have Venusaur Spirit Link.  I’m not sure about building a Limited deck around nothing but Venusaur-EX and M Venusaur-EX (meaning no other Basic Pokémon), but you can hopefully find enough other Pokémon that even if they are not Grass Types can still run on Grass Energy, or a deck split between Grass Energy and their own Type. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 3.15/5 

Summary: If you go back and check, you’ll see I scored M Venusaur-EX the same as I did M Blastoise-EX a week ago.  That isn’t me saying the two work the exact same way, just that after all is said and done they have similar potential.  They should work quite differently.  If I could combine all the strengths of the two together… well mostly if Crisis Vine was a three Energy attack instead of a four Energy attack, you wouldn’t need me to try and persuade you to give M Venusaur-EX a try.  M Venusaur-EX won’t give you an unbeatable lock, but once you meet the Energy costs you get an easily made lock so it is okay if it is easily broken.  Without the Paralysis soft lock you still have a solid 2HKO attacker.


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