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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Servine

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
June 20, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.5
Expanded: 2.5
Limited: 3.38

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Now we start off this week with an unusual choice, Servine. Nothing really of note for a Stage 1 Evolving Pokemon, right? Well, maybe that's why we oughta take a closer look. 

Servine has 70 HP, Fire Weakness, and a 1-for-20 vanilla Vine Whip. Nothing more remarkable than having access to Forest of Giant Plants. But that's where his Ability comes in for sure. With Serpentine Strangle, Servine Evolving from one of your Pokemon lets you use the Strangle to flip a coin to maybe Paralyze the opponent. 

There's definitely a lot of potential, but Servine is a combination piece at best. There is no way that Servine himself can do much, but for what his Ability does, he's certainly worth pushing forth in a deck that can work with him. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (combined with other Pokemon, Servine is very useful) 

Expanded: 2/5 (but aside from that...well, not much) 

Limited: 3/5 (definitely useful in this format though) 

Arora Notealus: And this is primarily why we're not usually reviewing these kinds of cards, since most of them tend not to have anything particularly special about them or are unfairly costed for what they give. Servine offers potential as one of many exceptions, but whether people will be able to take advantage of that remains a mystery. 

Next Time: The evolution of Servine!!


Otaku

We begin this week with Servine (XY: Fates Collide 6/124).  It is a Grass Type, allowing it to hit the Weakness on a good chunk of the Water Type and some of the Fighting Type, with no Resistance in sight.  There are almost no Type specific counters for the Grass Type, and while there isn’t a huge amount of support, there is a key piece that matters greatly to this card: Forest of Giant Plants.  If you need a refresher, this Stadium allows you to immediately Evolve your Grass Type Pokémon, whether it is their first turn in play or even the first turn of the game.  Servine is a Stage 1 so that might seem kind of obvious, but there is a bit more too it that you probably have figured out if you’ve read the rest of the card.  As a Stage 1 it isn’t as efficient as a Basic but it is easier than other Stages to run.  Its 70 HP isn’t much; expect Servine to be OHKO’d, especially against Fire Types thanks to Fire Weakness.  No Resistance is typical and even if it was present, -20 damage against a single Type doesn’t mean much with 70 HP.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is low and easy to pay up front and recover from having paid. 

Servine has the Ability “Serpentine Strangle”, which triggers when you play it from hand to Evolve one of your Pokémon.  This Ability allows you to flip a coin and if “heads”, the opponent’s Active is Paralyzed; “tails” does nothing.  Paralysis is one of the better Special Conditions; your opponent can’t attack or retreat.  Besides effects that specifically block or remove Special Conditions, you can ditch Paralysis by Evolving, using an effect to send your Active to the Bench, or to bounce your Active.  This is a good effect, the kind we need to see more of on Evolving Stage 1 Pokémon to help offset the added resources and time needed to manually Evolve into them.  Servine also has an attack called “Vine Whip” which needs [G] to do 20 damage.  Vanilla and a bit weak, but at least it is almost as inexpensive as it could be. 

We aren’t going to be running Servine alone, obviously; it will at least require a Snivy.  Only XY: Fates Collide 5/124 is legal for Standard play; for Expanded you can pick between BW: Black Star Promos BW01 (reprinted as McDonald’s Collection 2011 1/12), Black & White 1/114, Black & White 2/114 (reprinted as BW: Legendary Treasures 6/113), BW: Black Star Promos BW06, BW: Boundaries Crossed 11/149, and BW: Legendary Treasures RC1/RC25.  All are Basic, Grass Type Pokémon with Fire Weakness, Retreat Cost [C], and no Ability.  All but BW: Legendary Treasures RC1/RC25 have 60 HP (it has 50).  All but XY: Fates Collide 5/124 are Water Resistant (it has no Resistance).  BW: Black Star Promos BW01 has one attack (Slam) that requires [GC] to flip two coins good for 20 damage per “heads”.  Black & White 1/114 can use “Tackle” for [G] to do 10 damage or for [GC] can use “Vine Whip” to do 20 damage.  Black & White 2/114 can use “Leaf Blade” for [GC] to do 10 damage and flip a coin; “heads” means an extra 30 damage (“tails” means just the base 10).  BW: Black Star Promos BW06 can use “Paralyzing Gaze” for [C] to flip a coin and try to Paralyze the opponent’s Active, while for [GC] it can use “Tail Smack” to do 20 damage.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 11/149 can also use Vine Whip, but this time for [G] and only doing 10 damage, or for [GC] it can use “Cut” to do 20.  BW: Legendary Treasures RC1/RC25 can use “Growth” for [C] to attach a [G] Energy to itself or for [GCC] can use “Razor Leaf” to do 30 damage.  XY: Fates Collide 5/124 can do 10 while healing 10 with “Blot” at a cost of [G].  This card unfortunately is only useful for Evolving, so I favor BW: Black Star Promos BW06 for Expanded play because the Paralysis it can inflict via attacking may buy another turn to Evolve.  Fortunately it is mostly a moot point if you can use it with Forest of Giant Plants. 

The other Servine are BW: Black & White 3/114 (reprinted as McDonald’s Collection 2012 1/12), Black & White 4/114 (reprinted as BW: Legendary Treasures 7/113), BW: Boundaries Crossed 12/149, and BW: Legendary Treasures RC2/RC25.  All are Grass Type Stage 1 Pokémon with 80 HP, Fire Weakness, Retreat Cost [C] and no Abilities.  All but BW: Boundaries Crossed 12/149 and BW: Legendary Treasures RC2/RC25 are Water Resistant. BW: Black & White 3/114 can use “Wrap” for [C] to do 20 damage and flip a coin; “heads” means the opponent’s Active is Paralyzed.  For [GC] it can use Tackle to hit for 30 damage.  Black & White 4/114 can use “Wring Out” for [GC] to do 30 damage and flip a coin; if “heads” the Defending Pokémon is now Paralyzed and you get to discard an Energy from it.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 12/149 brings Vine Whip back yet again, for [G] doing 20, while for [GCC] it can use “Double Slash” to flip two coins, good for 40 damage per “heads”.  BW: Legendary Treasures RC2/RC25 features two more recycled attacks, though the cost and damage output is different: Leaf Blade for [C] to do 10 (“tails”) or 10 plus 30 (“heads”), while [GCC] does 40 with Vine Whip.  Some of these are better than the usual Evolving Stage 1 cards, but none are anywhere near as good as today’s Servine (XY: Fates Collide 6/124).  Oddly enough, Black & White 3/114 was even reviewed here. 

So what Serperior should we use with it?  Well, we’ll be reviewing XY: Fates Collide 7/124) tomorrow; I think we’ll run through those others then.  For now I can tell you if a deck runs Serperior, it ought to Evolve from Servine (XY: Fates Collide 6/124), since Rare Candy is not compatible with Forest of Giant Plants.  If you have a deck that already runs Forest of Giant Plants, a 1-1 Snivy - Servine line might be a nice trick, possibly even something more fleshed out.  If you want to build a deck around Servine you’ll also want a Serperior (again, we’ll discuss that tomorrow) but also cards like AZ, Devolution Spray, and Super Scoop Up to repeatedly use Serpentine Strangle; as long as Forest of Giant Plants is on the field, you can ignore the usual Evolution restrictions so any of those allows you to immediately play everything you returned to hand back to the field.  You can’t run everything you need to try and force the Paralysis to stick as it would interfere with other parts of the combo, but I don’t believe the goal should be a permanent Paralysis lock, but using it to enhance something else the deck is doing.  Also, if you pull this and a Snivy in Limited, run them unless you’re doing a +39 deck (1 Basic Pokémon in a 40 card Limited deck). 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 

Summary: This is a lot closer to what Evolving Stage 1 Pokémon need to be; something that makes them worth running instead of using a shortcut like Rare Candy.  A little worried because it also makes it worth running a super-short-cut like Forest of Giant Plants, but Servine being able to try and Paralyze via Ability when it is played to the field helps level the playing field between its Stage 2 (Serperior) and a big, Basic Pokémon or even a non-Evolving Stage 1 attacker, as they need less space and so have that room for other Pokémon or Trainers or Energy cards.


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