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Megaman



Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Umbreon EX

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
June 2, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.38
Expanded: 2.75
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

And now, the mighty Umbreon of darkness illuminates the night life with his graceful EX title!! BEHOLD HIS POWER AS HE DECIMATES THE COMPETITION!! 

...okay, so I like selling you on the cards, what's wrong with that? 

Anywho, Umbreon-EX strikes me personally as a fairly strong card to have in one's possession. There's a lot of potential in a card like this, and he may play a big role in certain decks in the future depending on what they rely upon. For instance, take Veil of Darkness! It's only a 1-for-20 hit, so it's not very good offensively at all, but the effect just begs to be abused in some manner. Under the Veil of Darkness, Umbreon-EX can discard any number of cards you want from your hand, and then you can draw an equal number of cards from your deck. In a way, it's like a refreshing cycle - you get rid of cards you don't want, or you set yourself up if you're a discard-oriented deck! Course this depends on what's actually in your hand at the time, but discarding unused Energy or Pokemon or even Supporters is what I'd say is a pretty good deal when they can be brought out from your discard pile. 

Then there's Endgame, and man oh man, I'm expecting to see a couple decks oriented around putting enough damage on one Pokemon before taking them out with Umbreon-EX. Cause if you beat a Pokemon with Umbreon-EX's Endgame - which, to keep in mind, is only 3-for-70, but if you do - you get to claim an additional 2 Prizes!! 2 MORE PRIZE CARDS!! Isn't that crazy? 

...wait...what's that text before "Pokemon"? Kinda looks like Evolution...MEGA Evolution...ohhhhh... 

Well, that one little stipulation, while a bit hurtful to Endgame's insanity, does make Umbreon-EX into an anti-Mega Pokemon of sorts. And hey, if he does take that last bit of HP, you're looking at drawing 4 Prize cards, which is enough to practically end most games - no wonder it's called Endgame! The damage output is a bit middling if only to offset the effect, but nailing it will no doubt end games. That being said, how many decks do you think run Megas anyway? 

And that's the main issue right now - Umbreon-EX can only really be useful against those Megas with Endgame, otherwise it's a 3-for-70 vanilla hit most of the time. I'd say Veil of Darkness is the bigger attack here, which is funny since it's the smaller between the two. The potential to cycle through your deck with a means other than an Ability or a Supporter and also toss cards into the discard pile, while again limited to what's already available in your hand, is still really really nice. 

Rating 

Standard: 3.5/5 (there's a lot of potential for Umbreon-EX to become his own threat machine) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (but that being said, he's still gonna have a lot of competition)

Limited: 4/5 (and there may be better options than him around and about) 

Arora Notealus: And that pretty much covers the Eeveelutions! At the very least, it was nice to see them all take form into various EX, and they really managed to pull it together in the end. Now to make more EX that are bigger and better than ever...or smaller and more timid...anyone else thinking of Kricketune-EX? 

Weekend Thought: A bit of a short week this time, given Memorial Day and our Friday getting cut off, but what did you think of these cards? They're pretty much all the Dark cards of the set, so it's good to see them up and about! And hey, with them out of the way, you've got an idea on how to counter things like Trevenant! Hopefully they can be a big help.


Otaku

We conclude our shortened week with Umbreon-EX (XY: Fates Collide 55/124, 119/124).  The Darkness Type has not changed since we discussed it the last two days.  First due to a simple submission error but then simply due to my own faulty planning, both Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s reviews went up late, so I have reason beyond my usual compulsion to repeat (while rephrasing) those thoughts.  The Darkness Type is far better than it looks at a glance.  Only some Psychic Pokémon are Darkness Weak, but both Night March decks and decks built around Trevenant BREAK have key cards that are Darkness Weak; so this Type is actually good at hitting Weakness when it looked like it ought to be bad at it.  Resistance isn’t normally a big deal because it is only -20 damage, but the only Fairy Type released that is not Darkness Resistance is Florges BREAK… because BREAK Evolutions have no Weakness printed on them (they get it from whichever Pokémon they Evolved).  There is even Klefki (XY: Furious Fists 73/111) which has an Ability that makes Resistance on Fairy Types function as if it were -40, and -40 is an amount that tends to matter.  Except the Fairy Type really only has one current stand out attacker starring in a competitive deck - Xerneas (XY: BREAKthrough 107/162) - and its Rainbow Force attack requires the deck diversify on Pokémon Type as much as possible, lessening the relevance of Resistance. 

It doesn’t stop there; the Darkness Type has several explicit counters.  Cobalion (BW: Black Star Promos BW72), Terrakion (BW: Black Star Promos BW71), and Virizion (BW: Black Star Promos BW70) all have the Ability “Justified” that allow them to hit Darkness Types for +50 damage before Weakness and Resistance (“before” being rather significant for Terrakion).  Fortunately for Darkness Types they also all do substandard damage so they really only “break even” when used against Darkness Types and are underpowered everywhere else.  Zygarde (XY: Fates Collide 52/124) has a 70-for-[FCC] attack that prevents Fairy or Darkness Type Pokémon it hits from being able to attack the next turn.  Jigglypuff (XY 87/146) can attack for [Y] to discard a [D] Energy attached to the opponent’s Active.  There may be more I have missed, but only Zygarde is new enough that it might have much hope; the rest have all been around (some for quite a while) and if someone did try them, I am guessing they were found wanting as it didn’t become a trend.  So five examples isn’t the most we’ve seen, but for something beyond the usual “This Pokémon takes [insert amount] less damage from [insert Type].” kinds of hard counters, it is still quite a bit.  As for support, the direct support restricted to the Pokémon Type boasts Dark Patch but little else still relevant, but there are a few bits that support Darkness Energy and several excellent attackers.  So in the end what could risk being a mediocre Type ends up being one currently near the top. 

Being a Pokémon-EX means Umbreon-EX can’t make use of a few (and I mean very few) beneficial effects, will have to deal with the various Pokémon-EX counters, and most important it means Umbreon-EX is worth an extra Prize when KO’d.  This comes with one guaranteed benefits plus a few probable ones.  Normally Umbreon-EX is a Stage 1, so it is the best Stage in the game right now.  Easy to play, easy to fit into decks, easier to combo, and while there are some anti-Basic effects that can cause problems for Umbreon-EX, there are also some nice bits of Basic-only support that keeps this all squarely tipped in the favor of Basic Pokémon.  Next we come to one of the probable benefits confirmed to be present: Umbreon-EX has 170 HP, the lower of the two typical HP scores.  This is enough to often survive a hit.  Nothing is OHKO-proof, and 170 is one of the thresholds a deck aims to clear, but even with that being the case, it seems to be just a bit more likely to survive than not.  One of the exceptions will be when Weakness comes into play; Fighting Weakness may be the worst because it is a Type that specializes in stacking damage bonuses on low-cost, high damage yield attacks.  Thanks to all the available bonuses, it is plausible for any Fighting Type that can do 10 damage for a single Energy to manage a OHKO for that cost.  Some of the established strong Fighting Type attackers can do more like 30 damage for [F], so of course it can reach that same amount with less effort.  Psychic Resistance isn’t going to make a huge difference, but it is definitely appreciated; for example this means a the Psychic Type Night March attackers need one more Pokémon in the discard pile.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is low and easy to pay, and a definite benefit, even if not as potent as retreating for free. 

Umbreon-EX has two attacks.  The first is “Veil of Darkness” which costs only [C].  Since they stopped printing attacks with no Energy requirements, this is as good as it gets.  This attack does 20 damage while allowing you to discard as many cards from your hand as you like, and then you get to draw an equal number of cards.  This isn’t great, but it is nice when you need some quick damage and/or draw power, though the latter requires you have either discard fodder, or at least something you can spare.  The second attack is “Endgame”, which costs [DCC]; it does 70 damage and has a highly specialized effect where if Endgame KOs a Mega Evolution then you take two additional Prizes.  70-for-three is weak, but not so low that it needs an amazing effect backing it, just something solid.  The Energy cost means just about any Energy acceleration, including Double Colorless Energy, speeds it up by a turn.  With the mostly [C] Energy costs Umbreon-EX should even be relatively simple to splash into a deck, so long as said deck has a little bit of compatible Energy acceleration.  It doesn’t hit hard enough to 2HKO Mega Evolutions on its own but I don’t think it has to; it can slip in as the follow up attacker after something delivered a beefier hit or be combined with other cards to set up a pseudo-OHKO with damage counter placing effects.  Even if Umbreon-EX had to 4HKO something, which means you’re probably using two Umbreon-EX against one Mega Evolution, you still break even in terms of Prizes (4 for 4). 

There are two reasons that Umbreon-EX isn’t must-run single for for your typical Darkness Type deck.  The first is yet another point that I fear seems like I am telling you “Water is wet.”: decks are in no way less crowded now than in the weeks before XY: Fates Collide released.  Umbreon-EX is not just competing against other attackers you might benefit from even as singles, but against any card you would run as TecH or additional copies of cards already in the deck but not yet maxed out.  The second is that not every deck uses Mega Evolutions.  In fact looking at the Masters Division results from the 2016 Spring Regionals for Expanded and the 2016 State Championships for Standard results, there just might not be enough Mega Evolution focused decks floating around to justify it for either of those Formats.  For Limited, odds are low you’ll ever get to attack into a Mega Evolution, but Umbreon-EX should be a great pull as it is a big, Basic Pokémon that can provide extra draw power.  With all the Fighting this set I do not recommend trying to run Umbreon-EX solo, but instead use it in another deck.  If you can slip in a source of [D] Energy as well, then go ahead and enjoy Endgame even if it will functionally be a vanilla attack. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 

Summary: Umbreon-EX is a game changer when you can use it to finish off a Mega Evolution; you take two thirds of the Prizes needed to win the game (all of them in Limited play!).  The real catch is that a lot of decks won’t be able to do that.  Since it can’t manage a OHKO on its own but will need help even for the 2HKO, the big deal is the sudden rush of Prizes as you may not be any actual turns ahead.  Try to make a spot for it in your Darkness Type decks, but don’t lose any sleep over it if it has to be left out.  All in all this still makes it a worthwhile addition to the game; there is nothing wrong with being a niche card, so long as you are effective in that niche.

the
grovyle
kid
tgk


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