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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Serperior

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
June 21, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.5
Expanded: 2.5
Limited: 3.5

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've got the potential superior Serperior that Servine from yesterday could evolve into! Though I'm not sure if he's going to be able to do much, but there's always potential. 

On the plus side, Serperior has two attacks that are both really cheap at only 1 Energy each. And they build up into each other too! Coil is a 1-for-40 that boosts up the damage from all of Serperior's attacks on the next turn by 60 damage, so even on his next turn, Coil is doing 100 damage for only 1 Energy - that's pretty ridiculously in and of itself! And Slashing Strike does twice as much damage for the same amount of Energy, with the only restriction being he can't use it on consecutive turns. Still, combined with Coil, it can do 140 damage, which is just enough to KO a Pokemon-EX with the 40 damage from Coil! 

So lots of potential for sure, but is there anything more we can do with Serperior? The truth is that he can only 2HKO stuff, and 3 Coils in a row will do 240 damage - more than an alternating Coil-Slashing Strike-Coil (40+140+40 = 220 vs 40+100+100 = 240). Well, there's also combining him with yesterday's Servine, which further combined with Forest of Giant Plants means that Serperior could, by way of Servine's Strangle, be able to last the turns he needs to do the damage he needs to do. 

But that is relying on a coin flip...and the opponent not to switch out...and Serperior doing enough with his maneuvers that he won't get KO'd by the opponent somewhere inbetween, but aside from that, it could totally work! 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (normally I'd give him a 2, but with the combination of other cards, at least he's able to be useful) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (is he the best Serperior? maybe, maybe not, but he's a contender at least) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (so there's not much to say about him here) 

Arora Notealus: Freaking Smugleaf. 

Next Time: Rising above the world is a mighty tower...


Otaku

Finishing what we started yesterday, now we’ll look at Serperior (XY: Fates Collide 7/124).  As a Grass Type, it enjoys attacking into Weakness against a good chunk of the Water some of the Fighting Types, without anything having Resistance.  The only specific anti-Grass effects I can find just soak 20 damage from Grass (and other) Types and aren’t particularly significant.  The support on the other hand is significant.  While less than the Fighting Type, you’ll enjoy being able to Evolve quickly into Serperior, aided by Forest of Giant Plants to Evolving immediately (instead of having to wait) and possibly Revitalizer as it allows Battle Compressor to be a double Pokémon search.  Being a Stage 2 is pretty bad right now as it means extra time and cards to get a Pokémon into play, but as just stated, Grass Type support alleviates many of the drawbacks.  All in all, a good start.  140 HP is large enough that being OHKO’d is less likely than being 2HKO’d, but I am uncertain by how much.  It sits in a nice, awkward place where attacks that are either going to OHKO or 2HKO most Pokémon will find Serperior in the latter half; bad for that attacker, good for Serperior.  Fire Types will still burn through it rapidly, which is less a ding to Serperior and more an indictment of how damage doubling Weakness is probably not a balanced mechanic for the TCG.  No Resistance is unfortunate, though I am uncertain how much of a difference it would have made.  It is also typical, so it won’t affect the card’s performance (or score) much, if at all; -20 damage doesn’t make a dramatic difference, and that actually is well balanced.  Serperior has a Retreat Cost of [CC], low enough you can pay if you must but high enough you ought to find away around it. 

Serperior has two attacks, “Coil” and “Slashing Strike”, which cost [C] and [G] respectively.  Coil can thus be used totally off Type, while Slashing Strike can be used mostly off Type (a single [G] isn’t usually hard to provide).  Coil does 40 damage, while placing an effect on Serperior itself so that the attacks on Serperior do an extra 60 damage to the opponent’s Active during your next turn.  So you could use Coil to do 40, then so long as your Active Serperior (or something like Mew-EX copying the attack) aren’t Benched or bounced or KO’d it would do 100 on each successive use.  The wording allows any attack Serperior (or another card copying Coil) can use to gets the bonus the damage bonus.  Slashing Strike does 80 damage, a great return for a single Energy, but it also places an effect on Serperior (or Pokémon copying Slashing Strike) so that it cannot use Slashing Strike the next turn.  Like most such effects, this will reset if Serperior is Benched and then promoted back into the Active slot, or if it Devolves and then re-Evolves, and definitely if it is bounced to hand and played back down.  Even with the drawback, it is still a pretty good return for the Energy invested.  Together you set up to 2HKO most Basic Pokémon-EX and that isn’t bad, but it probably isn’t good enough to be competitive. 

We covered which Snivy and Servine to use yesterday: you have no choice for Standard play as only Snivy (XY: Fates Collide 05/124) and Servine (XY: Fates Collide 06/124) are legal there, but in Expanded I recommend Snivy (BW: Black Star Promos BW06) and Servine (XY: Fates Collide 06/124) because they can Paralyze.  Specifically, the latter Paralyzes via an Ability that triggers when you Evolve into it from hand, though it does also require a successful coin flip.  Thanks to Forest of Giant Plants as well as bounce effects like AZ, Devolution Spray, and Super Scoop Up you should be able to spam the Ability to improve your odds of it working.  So we really are looking to see if any other Serperior works better with it.  There is Black & White 5/114, Black & White 6/114 (reprinted as BW: Black Star Promos BW20, BW: Dragons Exalted 125/124, BW: Legendary Treasures 8/113), BW: Boundaries Crossed 13/149, and BW: Legendary Treasures RC3/RC25.  All are Stage 2 Grass Type Pokémon with Fire Weakness and none are Standard legal. 

Black & White 5/114 has 130 HP, Water Resistance, a free Retreat Cost, and two attacks.  For [CC] it can use “Vine Whip” to do 40, while for [GG] it can use “Leaf Storm” to hit for 60 while healing 20 damage from all of your [G] Pokémon.  It was reviewed here.  Black & White 6/114 also has 130 HP with Water Resistance, but a Retreat Cost of [C], one Ability, and an attack.  The Ability is “Royal Heal”, which heals 10 damage from each of your Pokémon between turns, while the attack is “Leaf Tornado” for [GC], which does 60 damage and allows you to move your [G] Energy attached to your Pokémon around as you wish.  This one was reviewed here and here.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 13/149 has 140 HP, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], and two attacks.  For [GC] it can use “Double Slash” to flip two coins and do 50 damage per “heads”, and for [GCC] it can use “Mega Drain” to do 70 damage while healing 30 from itself.  This one too was reviewed.  BW: Legendary Treasures RC3/RC25 also has 140 HP with no Resistance, but with a Retreat Cost of [CC], one Ability and one attack.  The Ability is “Royal Garden” which zeroes out its Retreat Cost if it has any [G] Energy attached to it.  The attack is “Solar Beam” for [GCC] which does 80.  Black & White 6/114 is somewhat tempting due to its healing Ability, but none of these have proven worthwhile. 

So if you want to use Serperior (XY: Fates Collide 7/124), stick to just that version.  Forest of Giant Plants, bounce effects, and spamming Servine (XY: Fates Collide 6/124) are in order, as well as Ariados (XY: Ancient Origins 6/98) so that you can get some Poison to help with larger targets.  You’ll still need Muscle Band as well for things like Mega Evolutions.  I also suspect you’ll need to just use Slashing Strike and not worry about Coil, as the effect of Coil can be reset by things like Escape Rope and Lysandre or simply by being KO’d.  As you need to bounce Serperior for the sake of reusing Servine, it seems more prudent to just hit for 80 each turn and ensure Serperior just has to avoid a OHKO.  So with Muscle Band and Ariados, it can be 100 plus one or two damage counters each turn.  This kind of deck has already surfaced, though I don’t know of any top cut finishes for it at recent events.  So for Standard or Expanded, that is how I think one uses Serperior.  In Limited you just enjoy the line for what it is; no spamming Abilities but it is an easy to splash Stage 2 with a useful Stage 1.  Unless you’re deck absolutely can’t, then you run it.  Only being a Stage 2 keeps it from being quite strong. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.8/5 

Expanded: 2.5/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 

Summary: Serperior alone isn’t strong enough to be competitive, but with its set-mate Servine it might stand a chance as you can deliver solid blows while often Paralyzing your opponent (thus avoiding retaliation).  Its low Energy attack helps with the bounce tactics needed to spam the Evolution line with Forest of Giant Plants.


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