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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Vivillion

- XY BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
January 6, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 2.00
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

Ohhhh, I see what you did there, otaku, sorting this out by coin flip effects. Kudos! 

Okay, so Vivillon also has a bit of chance involved with him, similarly to Reserved Ticket and Glalie-EX. UNLIKE the latter and similar to the former, Vivillon has a coin flip effect that can be very useful...if you're lucky. 

Vivillon's first trick is his Ability, Energy Color. This is actually really nice, because once per turn, you can flip a coin, and upon flipping heads, you can grab a basic Energy from your deck and give it to one of your Pokemon! That's pretty nice acceleration, and considering the numerous other forms of Energy acceleration available, this is...well, balanced. Sure it's chancy, sure it's not as reliable as stuff like Bronzong or Magnezone in terms of actual acceleration, but you know what, I think that's what makes it relatively balanced in the Pokemon TCG. 

Course "balanced" isn't "competitive," so that's about it. 

At least Vivillon can be used in decks that don't mind having multiple Energy types and don't want to run seven different forms of acceleration to get them all! 

And then there's his Sleep Powder attack, which is 3-for-60 and automatically puts the opponent's Pokemon to Sleep. Which in turn relies on a coin flip to get out of it. Lots of coin flips today! Course, that doesn't mean this attack is THAT phenomenal - if they flip heads or switch out, the condition's gone, so it's only a temporary moment of relief if that. 

That being said, Vivillon's not meant for attacking anyway, so his Ability should work out for whatever purposes you want to run him for. Granted, he's also a Stage 2, which takes some build-up in and of itself more than Stage 1s. And for a 50/50 shot each turn of getting the Energy you need? Well, it could be worth it, but it can also be a bit of a waste of time. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (a Stage 2 form of Energy acceleration for all decks...that may not always work) 

Expanded: 2/5 (chancy entirely, meaning he may not be as playable as some other Energy accelerators) 

Limited: 3/5 (but hey, you only need so much!) 

Arora Notealus: Man, Vivillon is so unique in so many ways. Depending on your physical geographic location, Vivillon could have a variety of different colorations! That's really really cool! I only wish they took more advantage of this, like what they did with the first print of this card where different colorations came out for different regions! Course, that's probably really difficult to do, but maybe that's where they can just depict Vivillon in different places with different colorations depending on its location on the card - just a thought!

Next Time: Now if you'll excuse me...I'm going back to sleep...


Otaku

Vivillon (XY: BREAKthrough 15/162) is a Grass-Type Pokémon; Grass is the most numerous of the three Weaknesses found on Water-Types (the other two being Lightning and Metal) and is also found on a chunk of Fighting-Types.  Grass Resistance does not actually exist unless you go with the Unlimited Format (... we aren’t going there) and there are some anti-Grass-Type cards but they aren’t particularly good, though I’ll just direct you towards Bouffalant (XY: Primal Clash 119/160) as that is the best of them and might be something you could plausible encounter.  Grass-Type support is largely negligible as well other than Forest of Giant Plants, which will come in very handy as this is a Stage 2 Pokémon!  Normally that means at least a turn of waiting for Vivillon to hit the field (and that is using generic evolution acceleration) but with this Stadium, you can Evolve your Grass-Type Pokémon (like Scatterbug and Spewpa) immediately. 

Vivillon has 120 HP, so it will most likely be OHKOed by any deck with a full set-up, though some of the decks more focused on effects over damage will also struggle to put it down in one.  Most decks though will pull it off so 120 - while not ridiculously bad is definitely not good.  Against Fire-Types it is even worse as they do double damage thanks to Weakness but as the HP isn’t that great to begin with it shall mostly matter when a Fire-Type either uses a weaker (but less costly or difficult to pull off) attack to score the OHKO.  Sometimes a main attack will have variable damage outputs and this will allow the less costly versions to take a OHKO as well.  Not great, but not as bad as something scoring a OHKO when normally nothing would.  Lack of Resistance doesn’t help but with 120 HP I’m uncertain as to how much use -20 would be; forcing a single Type to hit you for 140 instead of 120 doesn’t mean much unless most examples of it would struggle with that particular threshold.  Plus most Pokémon lack Resistance so not a big deal.  The Retreat Cost is a big deal… or rather a good deal.  While not a perfect “free” Retreat Cost, [C] is easy to afford and to recover from having paid. 

Vivillon has the Ability “Energy Color” and the attack “Sleep Powder”.  The former requires a coin flip to work, but it is a “once per turn per copy” Ability: “tails” and it does nothing while “heads” means you can search your deck for a Basic Energy card and attach it to one of your Pokémon.  On a Basic this would be pretty major but on a Stage 2?  I’m not so sure; without Forest of Giant Plants I wouldn’t even consider it as you can try to get it into play in a single turn (even first turn of the game) so you’ll have at least a chance of cashing in on the Ability before your opponent can KO something of yours.  Sleep Powder requires [GCC] and does 60 damage while leaving the opponent’s Active Asleep.  The damage is underwhelming but it isn’t too terrible to meet the cost if you absolutely needed to attack with Vivillon; a successful use of Energy Color plus a Double Colorless Energy can take it from zero to Sleep Powder in a single turn… and again Forest of Giant Plants allows Vivillon to immediately Evolve from Spewpa which immediately Evolved from Scatterbug, so the whole thing can just show up in a single turn, though it requires specific cards at specific times.

Even with Forest of Giant Plants, Vivillon has to come from somewhere; you can either go Scatterbug, Spewpa and then Vivillon or use Rare Candy to go directly from Scatterbug to Vivillon however you can’t use Forest of Giant Plants to immediately play Rare Candy.  You might still run a Rare Candy for times when Scatterbug survives a turn in play and Forest of Giant Plants is a no-show.  As for your choices of Scatterbug and Spewpa, all are both Standard and Expanded legal as well as all being Grass-Types with Fire Weakness, no Resistance, no Ancient Trait and no Ability.  Scatterbug has two options: XY 15/146 and XY: BREAKthrough 13/162, both of which are Basic Pokémon (of course) with a Retreat Cost of [C].  The former has 40 HP and a single attack (Bug Bite) for [C] which does 10 damage.  The latter has 30 HP and two attacks, the first being “String Shot” and the second being “Tackle”.  String Shot requires [G] and Paralyzes the opponent’s Active on a successful coin flip while for [GC] Tackle does 20 damage. 

There are two Spewpa as well, both of which are Stage 1 Pokémon with two attacks: XY 16/146 and XY: BREAKthrough 14/162.  XY 16/146 has 80 HP, a Retreat Cost of [CCC], “Bug Bite” for [C] doing 10 damage and “Stun Spore” for [GCC] doing 40 damage and (on a successful coin flip) inflicting Paralysis.  XY: BREAKthrough 14/162 has 70 HP with a Retreat Cost of [CC] and the attacks “Protect” for [G] and “Tackle” for [GC].  The former again requires a coin flip with “tails” doing nothing.  On “heads” all effects of your opponent’s attacks (including damage!) done to the Spewpa that used Protect are prevented.  Tackle simply does 30 damage.  There is also one other Vivillon, though it is a bit confusing as there are multiple versions of XY 17/146 (including some with different art) but all that same numbering and game relevant text.  It has the same attributes as today’s Vivillon but with 10 more HP (so 130), no Ability and two attacks.  The first attack is “Conversion Powder” for [G] and the opponent’s Active is either Asleep or Poisoned (your choice of which).  “Colorful Wind” is the second attack and requires [CCC] to do 30 points of damage, plus another 30 for each different Type of Basic Energy attached to it.  Hypothetically it could hit for up to [30+(30*9)]=300 points of damage… but odds are so low it will survive long enough to do that I mostly mention it as fun trivia.  Even with three different Basic Energy Types allowing it to hit for 120, it just doesn’t seem worth it to me and while it might seem like a good fit with this version, you probably want as many shots at Energy Color as possible. 

This time I have no examples of winning decks using this card.  At first glance I figured this would be awful and I haven’t heard that it is not however with decks capable of ripping through most of themselves in a single turn, Forest of Giant Plants allowing Vivillon to hit the field in a single turn and both Pokémon and Basic Energy still being relatively simple things to recycle… it gives me just a little hope that someone will find something not only worth using, but that works best with this card (as opposed to other Energy acceleration).  As this is mostly gut feeling (and not even a strong one) I have no clue whether having more combo partners but also more competition is better, the worst or roughly the same as having less competition but also fewer options for combos… so I’ll be scoring it the same for Standard and Expanded.  For Limited play, only skip it if you are running a +39 deck (Scatterbug is not worth being your only Basic).  Everything else should be able to squeeze it as three slots (more if you pull it) for from-the-deck-Energy-acceleration that works with any Basic Energy Type is totally worth it. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 

Summary: Vivillon would be a non-issue if you couldn’t attempt to drop the entire line in a single turn and we didn’t have a format where you might draw enough cards in a single turn to make it happen.  As is, the Energy acceleration isn’t guaranteed and you need to find an attacker to partner up with that is not served as well or better by other Energy acceleration.


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