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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Weavile
- Steam Siege

Date Reviewed:
Sep. 7, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 1.50
Limited: 2.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Weavile's a pretty neat card. Naturally, it's not for his 2-for-40 Slash attack that's sub-optimal in terms of damage output, given that it's a vanilla hit, but there's another reason to take a look at Weavile. 

Tear Away is his Ability, giving you the Ability to take off any Tools attached to your Pokemon and put them into your hand. It's one of those effects that's pretty useful...provided you messed up somehow in attaching Tools to Pokemon. Honestly, I can't think of too many scenarios where you'd want to run Tear Away in your deck, but to give an idea of what I did come up with: 

-it can be used to retrieve a Tool from a Pokemon that's about to get KO'd

-you can grab a Tool to reuse it on another Pokemon, such as with Spirit Links

-...and that's about all I've got. 

Really there aren't too many things I can think of to use. Maybe if your Pokemon's got a Status that needs Sparkling Robes? Or you want to boost a Pokemon with Fighting Fury Belt? But yeah, Tear Away just isn't enough of an Ability on its own to justify running a whole Stage 1 line-up, in my opinion. Maybe he'd do well as a tech 1-1, but then again wouldn't those two cards be better suited towards your main strategy? 

That, and you could just not misplace your Tools. 

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (very niche scenarios are what I imagine using Weavile in) 

Expanded: 1.5/5 (very, very niche scenarios) 

Limited: 1/5 (the set he comes in barely has any Tools anyway, and the ones it does have...are Spirit Links!) 

Arora Notealus: Weavile may have potential, but a lackluster attack and lack of utility with his effect ultimately will keep him bound to the card binders of the world. Or some ridiculous Tool will come out that will make him get crazy good all of a sudden. It could happen! 

Next Time: Poke your poison!


Otaku

Weavile (XY: Steam Siege 61/114) is a Stage 1 Pokémon, which means that it’s slower than a Basic but still quite viable in competitive play.  As a Darkness Type Weavile will enjoy striking Weakness when attacking certain Psychic Types.  That’s it.  When it comes to Resistance I believe all Fairy Types (well, technically not the BREAK Evolutions) have Darkness Resistance.  There are some anti-Darkness Type effects but they aren’t very good and I’m trying to keep this moving, so we’ll discuss the varying forms of Darkness Type support.  Dark Patch is still a pretty great card in Expanded, and one side of Reverse Valley offers a nice +10 damage bonus, but that’s about it for the good support specific to Darkness Type Pokémon.  Darkness Type Energy offers a few decent tricks, but I think they mostly (if not all) tie into the formidable stable of Darkness Type Pokémon including (but not limited to) Darkrai-EX (BW: Dark Explorers 63/108, 107/108; BW: Black Star Promos BW46; BW: Legendary Treasures 88/113), Darkrai-EX (XY: BREAKpoint 74/122; 118/122), Yveltal (XY 78/146; XY: Black Star Promos XY06; Generations RC16/RC32; XY: Steam Siege 65/114), Yveltal (XY: BREAKthrough 94/162), Yveltal BREAK, Yveltal-EX, and Zoroark (XY: BREAKthrough 91/162).  The strength of these Pokémon means even in Standard play, where there is no Dark Patch, the Type remains a formidable presence on par with Types better supporter in other ways. 

Weavile has 90 HP; this is not enough to survive a hit from a complete setup unless the deck is focused on something other than attacking your Active Pokémon… unless it is focused on hitting your Bench in which case your opponent wouldn’t even have to burn a Lysandre on a Benched Weavile.  This is however enough that an indirect assault will take two or three turns, and keeps Weavile within search range for Level Ball.  I’m not saying I wouldn’t love a precedent violating Weavile with record setting HP, just that 90 might still prove functional.  The Fighting Weakness is deadly, though less so than it was prior to rotation.  Fighting Types no longer have Korrina to smooth out their set up, but at the same time other Types were doing pretty good without her, so still expect a OHKO in most Fighting matchups.  In fact the Weakness only matters because it saves these decks needing quite as much setup to do the deed.  Psychic Weakness won’t mean too much on just 90 HP, but it is still appreciated just for being there, and might even come in handy on rare occasions.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is good; easy to pay and usually easy to recover from having paid, but at the same time I could see this one getting a free Retreat Cost and not being overly good for it. 

Weavile has both an attack and an Ability.  The Ability is “Tear Away” and it allows you to take a Pokémon Tool attached to one of your in play Pokémon and return it to your hand, as often as you want before you attack.  This is a renamed “Tool Reversal”, the Ability found on Masquerain (BW: Plasma Blast 2/101).  Pokémon Tools can have some very impressive effects, and several of them are much better when you don’t have to be stuck with the same one all the time.  Without Startling Megaphone, Tool Scrapper, or Xerosic, most of your Tools will be safe in play; you can thus keep handy things like Float Stone on one card, only to transfer it to your Active immediately before you need to retreat it; you can have other Tools attached until then, plus switch something else to it after.  This is actually a pretty good Ability!  The mixed blessing is that the Tool goes to your hand; if it just moved around your in play Pokémon, you would have the risk of something useless cluttering up the field, but as is Item lock is still a problem.  The attack is “Slash” for [DC], doing 40; subpar filler, but not totally useless either. 

You have five choices for which Sneasel to Evolve into Weavile: BW: Next Destinies 69/99, BW: Plasma Freeze 65/116, XY: Flashfire 50/106, XY: Flashfire 51/106, and XY: Steam Siege 60/114.  All are Basic Darkness Type Pokémon with at least 60 HP (BW: Plasma Freeze 65/116 has 70), Fighting Weakness, Psychic Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ancient Traits and no Abilities.  BW: Next Destinies 69/99 has two attacks: for [D] it can use “Corner” to do 10 damage while preventing the Defending Pokémon from retreating until the end of your opponent’s next turn,while for [CC] it can use “Scratch” to do 20.  BW: Plasma Freeze 65/116 can use “Quick Attack” for [DC] to do 20 damage plus a coin flip; “tails” is just the base 20 while “heads” means plus 20 (or 40 total).  It only has this one attack.  XY: Flashfire 50/106 brings back Scratch but this time it costs [C] and does 10 while its “Flash Claw” costs [DC] and forces the opponent to discard a card from hand (opponent’s choice).  XY: Flashfire 51/106 may use “Icy Wind” for [D] to leave the opponent’s Active Asleep or can use Scratch (yet again), with this version costing [DC] but still doing 20 damage.  XY: Steam Siege 60/114 is the only Standard legal option and it… is… adorable!  It only has one attack, but its “Nyan Roll” does 10 damage while having you flip a coin; if “tails” it still does the 10 damage, but if “heads” it also prevents all effects of attacks including damage done to Sneasel during your opponent’s next turn.  The cost is just [D], so unless you’re running Sneasel totally (or almost totally) off Type, this is the version; its only job here is to Evolve and while nothing helps directly, not being KO’d while Active is a good start. 

So what about the other versions of Weavile?  We have three to evaluate: BW: Next Destinies 70/99, BW: Plasma Freeze 66/116, and XY: Flashfire 52/106.  All have the same Stage, Type, HP, Weakness, Resistance, Retreat Cost, and lack of Ancient Trait as today’s card, but all lack an Ability and instead have two attacks.  The first attack on BW: Next Destinies 70/99 is “Dark Penalty” for [D], hitting for 90 damage, but only if the opponent’s Active has a Pokémon Tool attached.  This isn’t a bad bit of damage for the Energy involved, but it means leaving a Tool attached you might otherwise want gone... possibly multiple Tools as Startling Megaphone isn’t selective in the discard.  Overall it actually is a good attack, but not good enough to make a Stage 1 with 90 HP.  Just to be clear, it does no damage if there is no Tool.  The second attack is “Fury Swipes” for [CCC], flipping three coins good for 30 damage per “heads”; this also is not good enough but in this case, it’s actually a bad attack as you are paying almost enough (even at the time of this card’s release) for 90 damage and only getting that with three “heads”!  This card is better than when it first released thanks to Pokémon Tool F cards, but it still isn’t worth running. 

BW: Plasma Freeze 66/116 is a Team Plasma Pokémon, allowing it to access Team Plasma support but also leaving it vulnerable to Team Plasma counters like Silver Mirror.  Its first attack is “Hail” with a cost of [C] and doing 10 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokémon.  As this is doing damage and not placing damage counters, there are a couple extra cards which can block the spread, but that does mean something like Silver Bangle or Muscle Band can increase how much is being done to the opponent’s Active.  Not a great attack, but a good one I think.  For [DC] it can use “Vilify”, which has you select as many Pokémon from your hand as you like, discard them, then do 30 damage for each discarded.  This is a great attack, though specifically because of Exeggcute (BW: Plasma Freeze 4/116; BW: Plasma Blast 102/101).  Exeggcute has an Ability allowing you to add it to your hand from the discard pile before you attack.  Technically it is a once-per-turn effect but it has been ruled that moving from one zone to the other like that resets it, so functionally it is unlimited… at least until you attack.  This plus a few other tricks lead to Weavile [Plasma] decks being a competitive deck for a time in Standard, and has it among the top decks in the Legacy Format.  Baby Mario and virusyosh reviewed the card here, but this was before it enjoyed its 15 minutes of fame. 

XY: Flashfire 52/106 can use “Call for Family” at a cost of [C] to search your deck for up to two Basic Pokémon and Bench them.  [DCC] pays for “Claw Rend” which does 60 damage, plus another 30 if the opponent’s Active has any damage counters already on it.  Like with Fury Swipes earlier, you’re already paying for the 90 damage Claw Rend only yields under conditional circumstances, and Call for Family is an iffy proposition on an opening Basic anymore and so not something you want to see on a Stage 1.  Surprisingly this received a review here.  It scored poorly, and frankly we were too generous.  None of these older Weavile are Standard legal, and only Weavile [Plasma] offers potential competition or combo partnership.  So… how should you use Weavile (XY: Steam Siege 61/114)?  In Expanded you could try to insert it into a Tool Drop deck built around Trubbish (BW: Plasma Storm 65/135) but I don’t think those are particularly effective, plus it would just be to replace Masquerain [Plasma] (see above).  In a Standard format without any convenient Tool removal but with some strong Pokémon Tools, this might be a Bench-sitter to consider. 

The big concern is of course Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122); it brought “Garbotoxin” back, and without a card like Tool Scrapper, Startling Megaphone, or even Xerosic to relieve it of its Tool, it already seems to be shaping Standard.  Not quite the shape some expected; either we are going to get into a cycle of where Garbodor usage chases after Ability usage going up and down, or we’ll enter a format where it is all pretty steady, but Ability Reliant Deck > Ability Lacking (or Light) Deck > Ability Denial Deck > Ability Reliant Deck.  I am not aware of any killer decks that need this Weavile but a lot could benefit from bouncing Tools around.  Assault Vest out of the way if it becomes clear your opponent can avoid Special Energy.  Float Stone on demand for when you need a free Retreat.  Exp. Share while on the Bench but get rid of it once the Pokémon in question goes on the offensive.  Spirit Link cards can be ditched for anything else once a Basic Pokémon-EX has already Mega Evolved, and that also means you might get by running fewer copies of said Spirit Link.  These aren’t going to be game breaking, but as they also aren’t likely deck making you shouldn’t suffer too badly when running into Garbotoxin (or any other effect that shuts down Abilities).  Just mind Item lock and some of the other effects capable of discarding Pokémon Tools. 

You shouldn’t need a thick line for this; a 1-1 or 2-2 ought to be sufficient.  Give it a try in Standard.  In Expanded your Tools are relatively easy to discard so it’s a lot less appealing, even though Eco Arm can help you recycle up to three Tools per copy.  Masquerain [Plasma] wasn’t seeing play so this Weavile isn’t going to either.  In Limited play I am only seeing Spirit Links and Klefki (XY: Steam Siege 80/114) for Tools; as such this almost certainly just going to function as a Darkness Type Stage 1 that only needs one actual [D] Energy for its mediocre attack.  Still might be decent deck filler if your other pulls are lacking or if you happened to get some of the great Darkness Types in this set.  Plus Sneasel (XY: Steam Siege 60/114) is both adorable and decent for stalling. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 1.5/5 

Limited: 3/5 

Summary: Weavile provides an almost surprisingly useful effect that won’t make a deck, but will enhance it.  This means losing that Ability won’t ruin the deck either, just diminish it.  Right now we have some very good Pokémon Tools, but that also aren’t good all the time.  Bouncing them allows you to move them around (barring your opponent’s card effects), maximizing opportunities and minimizing drawbacks.  Garbodor is the better Stage 1 Bench-sitter for a lot of decks, but this is a nice alternative, especially if you notice the rest of the metagame shifting away from Abilities.  You would likely barely have to alter your deck; both Stage 1 Pokémon need room for some extra Tools, so swap the Evolution lines then tweak the Tool assortment! 

Keep an eye on this one, unless we get something like Startling Megaphone again. 


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