Salamence LV X
I want to make one thing clear . . .
I think that this card is absolutely brilliant.
Everyone should think this card is
brilliant. I mean, what is there not to love about it?
(Ok, maybe the Retreat Cost and the X2 Weakness to
First off, it has 160 HP, which is
just huge and should keep it on the Field for a few
turns. It has Fighting Resistance, which means that
pesky Machamps (and the odd Rampardos) are going to have
a very hard time knocking it out.
It even has a pretty good (if
expensive) attack. Steam Twister does 100 damage for
[R][W][C][C]. Yes you have a discard, but it is a
manageable single Energy discard.
The main selling point, though, is
the Double Fall PokePower. When you play Salamence LV X
from your hand, and KO a Pokémon with one of Salamence’s
attacks, you get to draw an extra prize. Obviously
that’s a fantastic bonus, but it does have to be used
with care. Against an SP deck, you have to be pretty
sure that your opponent isn’t going to Power Spray you.
Against other decks, you might want to be wary of
activating your opponent’s Upper Energy. Those drawbacks
aside, this is a very useful and perhaps game-winning
So, is this going to be the new
dominant deck in the format? Well, it’s definitely worth
testing, and it is certainly going to see some play.
Before you all rush off to eBay, though, I should give a
word of warning. The biggest problem a Salamence deck
will face is the lack of good Stage 2 Salamence.
What you have is a choice of three.
Salamence SW has an attack which would be pretty good if
it wasn’t for its absolutely insane Energy costs and
discard. Salamence from the new set has an Energy
accelerating PokePower, which is great for a bulky,
Energy-intensive card like Salamence. Unfortunately, to
make the Power actually work requires even more setting
up with Delcatty PL, thus slowing down the deck even
more. Salamence AR also has absolutely abysmal attacks.
Probably your best bet is the SF Salamence, with the
PokeBody which ignores Colourless Energy costs if your
opponent has a Pokémon with 120+ HP in play. The attacks
are not too bad either, though if you want to do big
damage you will need [R] and [W] Energy on Salamence
and you also need to discard them for the attack.
There’s a reason why Salamence has
failed to make any impact on the tournament scene before
the LV X was released, and that’s because of the high
Energy demands and lack of speed that the Stage 2s all
share. Unfortunately, while this means that Salamence
has a good match up against other bulky set up decks, it
has real problems coping with the speed and disruption
offered by SP Pokemon. Like I said at the start of this
review, Salamence LV X is a brilliant card. Whether it
is brilliant enough to make up for the deficiencies of
its Stage 2s remains to be seen.
Modified: 3.5 (if we ever get a good
Salamence, this would rate much higher)
Limited: 1.75 (taking half your
prizes with one attack would be amazing. But it’s not
going to happen)