Once upon a time, there was a little card called
Spiritomb. Slower decks
loved this card because its Keystone Seal PokeBody
stopped everyone from using Trainers when it was active.
This meant that it could stop Trainer-heavy rush decks
from obliterating a set up deck before it even got
However, there was a problem with
Spiritomb . . . sooner or later it would get
knocked out, or it would have to be retreated. At that
point the opponent could explode with a massive Trainer
turn and proceed to take a quick six prizes. If only
there was some way of keeping that lock in place . . .
. . . and then along came
Vileplume, complete with a
PokeBody (Allergy Flower) that did the same job as
Spiritomb, only it worked
from the Bench. Now players had a way of shutting down
Trainers for an entire game. All they had to do was
build their deck in such a way that it could function
without Trainers (which basically means relying on
Supporters and Broken Time-Space), and they would have a
Because of its ability to lock out some of the most
effective cards in the game (Rare Candy, SP Trainers,
Luxury Ball), playing Vileplume
is a strategy almost by itself. All it needs is the
right attacker to partner it (the obvious choice being
Gengar SF, thanks to the
synergy with Poltergeist), and you have something which
can compete with the Trainer-reliant speed decks that
have dominated the format for what feels like years.
Of course, there are downsides to running a
Vileplume-based deck. The
card itself is worthless as an attacker and is very
vulnerable to being dragged out and KO’d or sniped
around. Also, recent changes to the rules (only needing
a one Prize advantage to win a game on time) mean that
it performs fairly poorly in
situations (basically, any top cut and most Swiss rounds
outside of the US): after all, a deck that takes its
Prizes slowly is not brilliant in sudden death. This may
be the reason that I haven’t seen very much of it in the
UK, and also explains various rumours of
Gengar/Vileplume players in
the US going X-0 in Swiss and then dropping before the
top cut to keep their ranking points safe.
Nevertheless, partnered with Gengar,
Vileplume has shown itself
to be a card which can compete with other top tier
decks, and its effect is so powerful that I suspect
players will be building lists with
Vileplume until it gets rotated out of the
Modified: 3.75 (makes Trainer lock a viable deck type)
Limited: 1.25 (terrible attack and lack of Trainer use
makes this not worth bothering with)
Mad Mattezhion Professor Bathurst League Australia
Vileplume (HS Undaunted)
Here is a card that received a lot of hype leading up to
its release, and it isn’t hard to see why, since earlier
versions of Vileplume with similar powers have proven
devastating in the past.
Fortunately, Vileplume has lived up to the hype and is a
powerful presence in the current metagame, even if it
isn’t as popular as its partner, Spiritomb PA.
Alright, the stats: a Grass type Stage 2 with 120 HP,
Psychic weakness, a retreat cost of 2, a Poke-body and
an attack. Quite simply, the Poke-body is the reason
this card made the list but, like Smeargle from
yesterday, the well-balanced HP is what keeps this
Pokémon alive long enough to be useful. Into the
bargain, Vileplume is another of those rare Grass
Pokémon that can make use of the ample support available
without dying because the whole setup would be slower
than continental drift.
Depending on what deck you are putting Vileplume in, you
may skip out on all of the Grass support and stick with
tried-and-true methods like Spiritomb PA but it is still
nice to know that you have those options.
Okay, on to the abilities. The attack, Dazzling Pollen,
costs [g][g][c] and deals 50 damage plus 20 more damage
on a coin flip (heads), or just 50 damage with confusion
on a tails result. This is deliberately weak to offset
the powerful Poke-body, and although it is crap it is
balanced. Just pray you don’t have to rely on it.
Now for the Poke-body. Allergy Flower (I’m sensing a
theme here) stops both players from playing Trainers
from their hands. Since you know you are going to have
Vileplume in play you have the advantage because you can
build your deck to work without Trainers while many
other decks depend on the ability to play Trainers, or
at least are a lot slower without them.
Typically, LuxChomp, SP Hybrids and Gyarados decks
depend on Trainers to get set up so they are brutalised
by the denial while other, slightly slower decks like
CharPhlosion, FlyChamp/Donphan and Rain Dance decks all
like having their Trainers available to keep their game
consistent. All of the decks generally have some way
around Trainer Lock (Dialga G to shut off the Poke-body,
just playing Supporters and using Poke-powers for draw)
but they are still disrupted and put off balance by
Generally, Vileplume is seen with 2 different partners:
Grass attackers (Leafeon UD and Victreebel TM come to
mind) and Gengar SF. The first type of partner tends to
back up Vileplume with some of that lovely Grass support
(Shaymin Ground form Lv X, Metapod HGSS, etc.) and to
focus on inflicting Special Conditions which become much
harder to remove when Trainers are out of the picture.
The second, Gengar SF, partners up with Spiritomb PA to
get the Trainer lock on right from the start and uses
Nidoqueen RR to keep Vileplume healthy while it attacks
with Poltergeist, dealing heavy damage for every
Trainer, Supporter and Stadium the opponent has been
unable to play.
In both decks, Vileplume really ruins the opponents day
and the correct build (generally starting with Spiritomb
PA and some good Supporters is the key) will ensure that
Vileplume enters play quickly and stays there, crippling
the opponent while ensuring that the rest of the
strategy is effective, whether it be damage based on
Trainers or Poison and Burn.
Admittedly, Vileplume and its common partners are always
about Poke-bodies which means that Dialga G Lv X is
murder on the giant (somewhat floppy) flower. Luckily
for the more popular VileGar build, Gengar Lv X can be
included to remove Pokémon Lv X from the field and get
rid of that particular problem.
To be fair, Vileplume would not be such a presence in
Modified if Spiritomb PA did not already exist, but it
is definitely a presence that every player should keep
in mind and plan to beat. I don’t see that changing for
a long time.
Modified: 4.5 (it needs help and it should never be
Active, but Vileplume is a monster for passive
Limited: 2 (Stage 2 Pokémon are almost never easy to
play and there aren’t many Trainers to lock [worse is
that you can’t prepare and you lose your own Trainers],
but at least the attack seems better here)
Spoiler alert: This is the last Pokemon on the top 10
list. The HGSS line of cards has definitely had more of
a focus on quality Trainers/Supporters/Stadiums than on
Pokemon. I rather like the design choice; good T/S/S
make for more interesting formats, in my opinion.
I had Vileplume put rather uncomfortably high at #2;
I think that it's more of a #3-ish card than a #2 card.
However, I couldn't think of anything better(or rather,
I had something better, then forgot that Double
Colorless Energy was a reprint), so I moved it on up.
Not that I'm slighting or anything; it's still clearly a
dominant card. Allergy Flower, for those unfamiliar with
the card, blocks both players from using Trainers, and
unlike Spiritomb AR, can use this ability while on the
bench. This has fueled the infamous VileGar deck, using
Gengar SF's Poltergeist attack to deal massive damage
while Trainer locking.
And yet, I feel that VileGar is a waste of this
card's potential. VileGar is a powerful deck, but surely
Vileplume should see play combined with other cards?
Glaceon Lv. X? Victreebel TRI? Anything? I'm sure we'll
see more decks using this card in some form, but for
now, the immediate impact is the lone VileGar archetype,
and vast potential.
Combos With: Gengar SF. For now...
from HS – Undaunted manages to make the
top three of our top 10 of 2010. I
actually had this card placed a bit
Twins a bit higher.A Stage 2 Grass Pokémon, it
clocks in at a reasonable 120 HP. Being
a Stage 2 makes it hard to squeeze into
a deck but as we know, it gets some
major compensation.If you make the effort of running
a Grass themed deck, you can fit in some
very useful support for it.It has to cope with a double
Weakness to Psychic Pokémon; I like that
they appealed to the (video game) Poison
half of Vileplume for the
Weakness, but Fire Weakness would have
Uxie Lv.X just needs a
Double Colorless Energy to score a
OHKO. The lack of Resistance is
predictable and unfortunate as always,
and a Retreat Cost of two Energy isn’t
bad but is high enough you might want to
pack some (non-Trainer) answers for it.
The Poké-Body makes this card: it shuts
down all Trainers for both players.
Unfortunately for Vileplume
players this is the modern definition of
Trainer that still allows Stadiums and
Supporters through.Blocking anything but those will
seriously slowdown most decks and
cripples a few, so it is still worth it.The attack, Dazzling Pollen, is
fancy filler, I am afraid. The
triple Energy investment should yield at
least 60 damage on a Stage 2 and
instead, this merely has you flip a coin
to decide if it is really 70 total
damage or 50 with Confusion. I can
only surmise that the attack is
intentionally weakened to compensate for
an expected-to-be potent Poké-Body.
Any strategy that relies on disruption
seems to favor this card.Anytime I’ve tried to make a go
out of inflicting Special Conditions,
this is a must.A well known, successful deck
that uses this would be “VileGar”,
composed of this and
I really would love to see how Unlimited
play treats this card: many older
players neglect to utilize Supporters in
my personal experience. Spoiled by
all those old, powerful Trainers they
forget that many Supporters offer unique
opportunities no Trainers can quite
match. In Limited play, this might
be a good pick if another set is being
run alongside it: there just aren’t that
many Trainers in this set to worry
about, though at least inflicting
Confusion is more useful.
Happy midweek, Pojo readers! We are nearing the end
of our countdown of the Top 10 Cards of 2010. Today's
card, at the #3 position, is a Pokemon that has a very
important place in VileGar, one of the most popular
decks in the Modified format right now, and most players
hate seeing this card hit the field. Today's Card of the
Day is Vileplume from the HS Undaunted expansion.
Vileplume is a Stage 2 Grass Pokemon, although its
typing really doesn't matter all of that much for the
deck that the card resides in, as it is rarely the
Active Pokemon. 120 HP is decent for a Stage 2, and is
important because Vileplume will rarely be OHKOed,
especially by snipe damage. Weakness to Psychic is bad,
as Gengar and even Uxie Lv. X can OHKO Vileplume if it
is somehow made active. No Resistance is unfortunate.
Finally, a Retreat Cost of 2 is not terrible, but given
that most VileGar builds will not want to pay the full
retreat cost, make sure to use something like Warp Point
or Warp Energy.
Vileplume has a Poke-Body and a single attack, but the
Poke-Body is what makes this card see so much play.
Allergy Flower blocks the use of Trainer cards for both
players, preventing them from playing them from their
hand. This is commonly paired together with Gengar SF,
as it has great synergy with its Poltergeist attack to
hit for obscene amounts of damage. Most Gengar players
will start with a Spiritomb AR, and then Darkness Grace
until they have a Gengar and a Vileplume out, and then
proceed to beat the hindered opponent under Trainer lock
conditions. However, getting two Stage 2 Pokemon out is
very difficult to do, so the Gengar builds tend to be
much slower than other commonly played Modified decks
such as SP variants and Gyarados. Then again, because so
many of these decks rely on Trainers for their speed,
perhaps it really isn't such a problem at all.
Vileplume's attack, Dazzling Pollen, costs [GGC] and
starts off at 50 damage, but can add 20 more if you flip
heads. This attack is still decent even if you flip
tails, as the opponent will be Confused. This attack is
a bit expensive, but in most cases Vileplume will
probably not be attacking very often anyway, and will
simply be sitting on the Bench as a support Pokemon.
Modified: 4/5 Vileplume's Poke-Body is really good, and
causes a ton of problems whenever it hits the field.
However, there are a few things to note. If up against
an SP deck, this will often be the first thing that they
Bright Look, as Vileplume's 2 retreat cost isn't getting
it to the Bench any time soon in Modified. Additionally,
if you are facing a deck that runs Dialga G Lv. X, Time
Crystal shuts off Allergy Flower completely, making your
matchup that much more difficult. Most other decks will
not be able to deal with being constantly Trainer
locked, however, so Vileplume can be an excellent choice
if you decide to play Trainer lock.
Limited: 3/5 It's a Stage 2 with relatively heavy
attacking requirements, and the Trainer lock ability
isn't quite as useful here, as the only Trainers in
Undaunted are Defender, Energy Exchanger, and Legend
Box. Then again, if you are able to power it up, there
probably won't be much your opponent will be able to do,
as a steady 50-70 damage per turn and the possibility of
Confusion will probably hurt.