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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Whirlipede #39

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: October 3, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.75
Limited: 2.50

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:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Whirlipede 39/98 (Emerging Powers)

Hello and welcome to a new week of Pojo’s CotD. We have some interesting cards to look at over the next five days . . . better cards than we had last week, anyway.

We kick off with Whirlipede. Yes, Whirlipede is an evolving Stage 1, which normally makes for a pretty dull review (‘just use it to evolve when you don’t have Rare Candy’), but this one has a bit more going for it than most, and is worth a look.

Stats-wise, Whirlipede is nothing to get excited about. 90 HP on an evolving Stage 1 is decent, but no more than that. Weakness to Psychic is ok unless you run into Gothitelle, and the Retreat cost of three is pretty horrific. While we are mentioning the bad points, we could also look at Whirlpede’s second attack, Steamroller. This does a mere 40 damage for the outrageous cost of [C][C][C], and the fact that it isn’t affected by Resistance is not really going to frighten Tyranitar Prime (or any of the other borderline-playable Psychic Resistant Pokémon either).

Nope, the one thing that makes Whirlipede worth a second glance is its first attack, Venoshock. For one Psychic Energy, this does just 10 damage, but if the Defending Pokémon is Poisoned, it will do and extra 60. Factor in the Poison damage, and that’s 80 for one Energy on your turn, which is pretty good.

Of course, you are going to need some way of Poisoning in the first place. The Basic form, Venipede, will do this on a coin flip, but that’s hardly reliable. Since Skuntank G rotated out, the best option would be Roserade UL, which inflicts Poison via its PokéPower when you attach a Psychic Energy to it. It’s a neat combo, but is it something you could make a deck out of? I doubt it: it looks like an inferior version of the not-very-competitive Roserade/Leafeon UD deck, which is capable of bigger hitting (100 for one Energy!) and yet still doesn’t make the grade thanks to its dependence on setting up a relatively fragile support Pokémon which is vulnerable to being dragged out and KO’d, leaving the deck with nowhere to go.

I suppose teching in a Roserade could be something to consider in a Scolipede deck, allowing you to use the Stage 1 as an alternative, faster attacker, but you would still want to get Scolipede up and running as soon as possible for its big HP and better attacks. That would make Roserade somewhat redundant as both Scolipede are capable of inflicting Poison on their own. That said, at least Whirlipede is capable of doing something in the deck, even if it means just getting lucky with Venipede’s coin flip. For that reason alone, it is already better than 90% of evolving Stage 1s.


Modified: 2 (a Stage 1 that can actually be used for something other than evolution? What were they thinking? It’s still nothing to write home about though)

Limited: 2 (if you pull something that reliably inflicts Poison (Lilligant?), you could make use of Whirlipede)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Whirlipede (Emerging Powers)
Another week, another rogue's gallery of Emerging Powers cards. While we wait for the release of Noble Victories in six weeks or so we still have some cards worth reviewing in the current set. Today's card is one example.
Whirlipede is an evolving Psychic type Stage 1 with 90 HP, Psychic Weakness, a retreat cost of 3 and two attacks.
Aside from evolving into Scolipede, Whirlipede can take a hit from most of the Poke'mon you would expect to see around in the first 3 turns. The retreat cost is nasty though, so you had better have Metagross UL or a Switch to get Whirlipede away from danger (or just let it go down swinging). The type is pretty unfortunate because all of the feared Psychic cards of the recent past have been rotated, ending years of Psychic dominance. At least the weakness is obscure as opposed to easily exploited like it was in the last format. If you want to use a Scolipede, this Whirlipede should last long enough to evolve which in the end is all you really need.
However, Whirlipede does offer something more with it's first attack. Venoshock is a cheap attack that costs a single [p] energy to do 10 damage, which isn't very impressive. However, if you hit a target that is already Poisoned you deal an additional 60 damage which beats almost all of the other single energy attacks in this format.
The trouble is Poisoning your target In the first place but it isn't all that difficult in the current format. Venipede BW has an attack for the same cost as Venoshock, dealing 10 damage and a coin flip for Poison which you can exploit by evolving next turn, but you run the risk of either failing the coin flip or letting your opponent remove the Poison (it is getting harder but it is still fairly easy). A more certain method is to use Roserade UL and drop an energy to inflict Poison with the Signal Beam Poke-power right before you attack, but this requires much more setup and most players who use that method prefer Leafeon UD which deals even more damage for the same cost.
Venoshock doesn't seem like an attack that you can build a deck around but it is extremely powerful for an evolving Stage 1. If you plan to use either of the Scolipede cards that have ben printed as a main attacker, you will want to use this Whirlipede.
Steamroller has become the signature move of the Scolipede line and so far it has usually been somewhere between mediocre and terrible in the TCG. This version is terrible, costing [c][c][c] for 40 damage with the effect of ignoring Resistance. While I've said that having an overly expensive but more powerful second attack is still a good thing for an evolving Basic and I think the same applies to evolving Stage 1 Poke'mon, this does not count as powerful. At least it is DCE compatible, along with every other Venipede, Whirlipede and Scolipede ever printed.
I haven't seen a Scolipede worth running but if one does come along this is the Whirlipede you'll want to use. With a little more power it could even stand on its own as an attacker in a Poison-based deck, should such an archetype ever become viable.
Modified: 3.5 (I haven't seen a way to properly abuse either a Scolipede or Poison so this card will simply wait in the wings for now, but it is better than the average evolving Stage 1)
Limited: 3 (the Scolipede from this set  rocks in Limited but without the ability to easily inflict Poison, Whirlipede is just a light hitter with a high retreat cost so you'll need to evolve it as soon as humanly possible)
Combos with: Roserade UL, some Psychic HP/damage boosting support cards that have yet to be printed


Welcome back, Pojo readers! I hope that all of you are still doing well while competing at Battle Roads. We're continuing our Emerging Powers reviews once again this week, and we'll kick things off by reviewing the new Whirlipede from the set.

Whirlipede is a Stage 1 Psychic Pokemon. Psychics have been seeing a lot of play recently, with both Gothitelle and Mew Prime emerging as potential Tier 1 decks in Modified. Whirlipede is part of the Scolipede evolutionary line, however, and since Scolipede isn't seeing any play, chances are Whirlipede won't either. 90 HP is fairly decent for an evolving Stage 1, and it should be able to take at least one weak hit. Unfortunately, Gothitelle and Mew will have an easy time against Whirlipede with its Psychic Weakness. The whirling bug also has no Resistance, and a rather massive Retreat Cost of 3.

Whirlipede has two attacks: Venoshock and Steamroller. Venoshock deals 10 damage for a single Psychic Energy, but does 60 more damage if the Defending Pokemon is Poisoned. This attack is great if you have a consistent way of Poisoning the opponent, but since Whirlipede can't Poison the opponent by itself, this can be problematic. Venomoth TM comes to mind as a potential combo partner here, but it's really too unreliable (and too easily KOed) to be actually useful. In Limited, 10 damage for a single Psychic is below average, but if you're able to Poison your opponent, you'll be in great shape. Steamroller is similar to Scolipede BW's attack, dealing 40 damage not affected by Resistance for three Colorless Energy. Colorless Energy requirements for attacks are fairly nice, but 40 damage is very low (even for Limited).

Modified: 1/5 I can't see Whirlipede seeing much play here. Both Scolipedes are much too slow to see any real play in the format, and Psychic Weakness is a killer with how common Mew Prime and Gothitelle are.

Limited: 2.5/5 Whirlipede is decent in Limited, but not amazing. Venoshock doesn't deal very good damage unless the opponent is Poisoned, but getting reliable Poison in this format is quite difficult. Additionally, Steamroller does have nice Energy requirements, but it generally doesn't do enough damage to be worthwhile. Whirlipede is worth using if you absolutely need another Psychic line in your Limited deck or if you draft a Scolipede, but outside of that, other Pokemon are probably worth more consideration.

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