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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Simisear #17

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Dec. 13, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.50
Limited: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Simisear 17/101 (Noble Victories)

The Pokémon card designers sure love the Monkey Trio, don’t they? So far we’ve had a Simisear in every set of the Black and White era. Me? I’m not all that keen on them as Pokémon and (with the possible exception of Simisear BW) I’m not the biggest fan of the cards they appear on either.

Stage 1 cards had some time in the limelight at the start of the HGSS-on rotation, and cards like Donphan and Yanmega Prime, though not quite as brilliant as they were, are still very playable, as are Cinccino and Zoroark BW. Nevertheless, the fact that each set brings us more and more high HP, big hitting Basics (the Dragons, the Genies, the Musketeers), makes it harder and harder for Stage 1s to be top tier in this format. If Simisear is going to see any play, it’s going to have to do something pretty special.

Nothing about the cards stats suggest it can manage that. The 90 HP is on the low side, and while the Water Weakness isn’t a total disaster (Kyurem is the only really popular Pokémon of that Type), the Retreat cost of two is a drawback that this card simply didn’t need. Oh well, let’s see if the attacks can do anything to make up for it.

As far as the first one is concerned, you get everything you would expect from an attack called Scratch (unfortunately): it’s cheap, vanilla, and it doesn’t do much damage. Thankfully, Double Fire is a bit more interesting. For the (quite steep) cost of [R][R][C] you get to flip two coins and do 80 damage for each heads. That means 25% of the time you do nothing (disastrous), 50% of the time you do 80 (not bad, but nothing special), and 25% of the time you do 160 (enough to OHKO pretty much anything in the game right now). The obvious card to play with this would be Victory Star Victini which allows a re-flip and gives you a 90+% chance of being able to do at least some damage. You could even use it to try and re-flip for the 160 damage instead of settling for 80, though to do this would mean that you were either a) extremely reckless or b) desperate.

Practically, speaking, the most likely outcome, even with Fliptini, is still 80 damage for three Energy and this isn’t really good enough to make a 90 HP Stage 1 truly competitive. Sure, you can accelerate Energy on to it with Ability Emboar or Typhlosion Prime, but at the end of the day why would you be picking Simisear as a partner for those cards instead of Reshiram? A Basic with 130 HP is so obviously superior to a frail Stage 1, while a guaranteed 120 damage will always be a better option than a chance of 0/80/160 that depends on coinflips.


Modified: 2 (Double Fire can be scary, but it’s too frail and flippy to be taken too seriously)

Limited: 4 (great if you pull Fliptini)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Simisear (Noble Victories)

The Monkey Trio don't get any respect!

Today's card is the third printing of Simisear, which is again accompanied by its colleagues Simipour and Simisage. This version follows the trend of its predecessors as a useful but unspectacular card at a Prerelease which is then utterly forgotten as a completely uninteresting card unworthy of consideration in even a casual deck.

Simisear is a non-evolving Fire type Stage 1 with 90 HP, Water Weakness, a retreat cost of 2 and two attacks. Even with spectacular attacks, Simisear would have serious survival issues with the rising popularity of Kyurem and friends that would hold it back, and other archetypes won't sweat much to roast this simian either.

Fortunately, the attacks aren't worth the effort. Scratch is a generic 20 for [c] which is decent value but in an age of 130 HP Dragons using Outrage it is actually detrimental to your health in most cases. Cheap attacks with either insane damage (see Donphan Prime, Jumpluff HGSS and Kingdra Prime) or really annoying secondary effects (see Mew Prime copying Muk's Sludge Drag, Lilligant EP with Bemusing Aroma and Teddiursa CL with Fake Tears) are the current favourites for an early offensive so Simisear is behind the pace.

Double Fire costs [r][r][c] and flips two coins, dealing 80 damage per Heads. Normally I'd say this attack is as terrible as the first, but currently Fire is the master of energy acceleration so paying the attack cost while Simisear is still alive isn't entirely unlikely. Also, with Victory Star Victini in the picture you can put the odds more in your favour, so gambling on Simisear for that devastating hit out of nowhere isn't an entirely crazy play. If you aim consistently for double Heads then the odds are 43.25% in your favour for an attack that beats even Reshiram's efforts, and realistically you have no reason to play it safe because even if Simisear is on full health it won't survive your opponent's counterstrike.

The reason I'm trying to find a use for Simisear, aside from not wanting to write another boring 'this card is completely unplayable' article, is because the Pansear from Emerging Powers is halfway decent as a starter Poke'mon. With 70 HP and a single energy attack to draw a card (the old Collect standby), it can do a decent job of opening games for you if you run Reshiram and Emboar/Typhlosion and then surprise your opponents by being upgraded into a credible threat (if they haven't already squished it).

Using a single copy of the BW Simisear is a great upgrade for Pansear because without even investing another energy you get 60 damage spread across 3 targets, which is very helpful for saving on Pluspowers when you go into full attack mode with Reshiram's Blue Flare. Adding this Simisear to the mix is a risky move, especially if you don't have room for Fliptini, but on those occasions where it pays off it will be worth it simply for the laughs!

All in all, you'll have more consistency attacking with Reshiram than you will with Simisear NV (and the deck will be less crowded too), so I doubt the fiery little chimp will force the fluffy powerhouse off of its pedestal any time soon. But I hope that some enterprising players out there will give the Pansear EP/Simisear BW combo a try in their ReshiPhlosion decks, simply because I want at least one of the Monkey Trio to earn a place in player's hearts. Besides, it has improved the performance of my Afterburner deck at the local League, and there is nothing quite as satisfying as hitting a Kyurem with a spread attack!

Modified: 3 (While I truly believe that thePansear EP/Simisear BW combo playable at the tournament level provided you relearn how to snipe, this version of the card probably won't see play even at the League. Although a 1-of copy in your ReshiPhlosion deck isn't entirely crazy as a surprise tactic to save yourself from a bad start, the better answer would probably be to run more consistency cards instead of gambling on a few coin flips)

Limited: 4 (The NV Pansear is the weakest of the three printed so far and the Water types, especially Kyurem, will stomp all over Simisear's face. However, the cheap damage from Scratch is more useful in this slower format and there are several decent Metal and Grass types like Virizion and Cobalion that Simisear will destroy with ease. Plus, who's going to argue with you when you get that sweet double Heads result, helped out by Flipini?)


Happy Tuesday, Pojo readers! I hope your weeks are going well. Today we're going to review yet another monkey trio evolution, this time from Noble Victories. Today's Card of the Day is Simisear.

Simisear is a Stage 1 Fire Pokemon. Fire Pokemon are fairly popular, as Reshiram, Typhlosion, and Emboar all appear fairly often in common decks, although Fire's popularity has dwindled somewhat, at least in my local metagame. However, aside from those three, a Fire-type really needs to be able to differentiate itself in order to be played. 90 HP is fairly average for a Stage 1, and Simisear should be able to withstand a single hit (or two weaker hits) before going down. Water Weakness is a problem against Kyurem, Beartic, and Vanilluxe; no Resistance is rather unfortunate; and a Retreat Cost of 2 is rather costly, but payable if you absolutely must.

Simisear has two attacks. Scratch deals a vanilla 20 damage for a single Colorless Energy, which is really only useful in Limited while you are waiting to power up the second attack. Double Fire is a somewhat powerful flip attack, allowing you to flip two coins and deal 80 damage times the number of heads for two Fire and a Colorless. Double Fire can work well with Victory Star Victini in Limited, but there are generally better options in Modified. If you want to use a powerful flip attack in Modified, go with Vanilluxe NV's Double Freeze or Sharpedo TM's Strip Bare.

Modified: 1.5/5 Simisear could be fun to use with Victory Star Victini, but there are generally better options, especially in the Fire type.

Limited: 3.5/5 Simisear is actually fairly decent in Limited. Scratch is rather weak, but has a nice Colorless Energy requirement and can be used until you power up Double Fire. Double Fire will average you 80 damage per turn (although it's important to note that you also have a 25% chance of doing nothing), and you could easily get even more than that if you also draft a Victory Star Victini. While a flip attack may not be very appealing, the large number of Grass-types and playable Metal-types should also make Simisear's value rise in this format.

Combos With: Victory Star Victini

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