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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Ivysaur #2

Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.50
Limited: 3.40

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

Ivysaur (Dark Explorers)

Hello and welcome to another week of CotD here on Pojo. We’ll be carrying on with our reviews of cards from the new Dark Explorers set.

We kick off the week with Ivysaur. Yes, he’s an evolving Stage 1, which I don’t normally like much (exceptions being Eelektrik NVI and Lampent NVI), but Ivysaur is one of the original 151 so he gets a bit more respect from me just for that.

As for the card itself though . . . not so much. There’s nothing going on here to impress a player. So-so 90 HP puts it in KO range of Darkrai-EX and most main attackers, so the Fire Weakness is almost an irrelevance. Water Resistance is better than no Resistance, but Water Pokémon are not that common these days, so it won’t come into play that often. The Retreat cost of three means you can go and fetch Ivysaur with Heavy Ball, but if you ever wanted to get him out of the active slot, you would use Switch.

The attacks are disappointingly generic and just a bit old-fashioned. For one Grass and one Colourless Energy you get Sleep Powder, which does a low 20 damage and (not surprisingly) inflicts Sleep. If the between turns coin flip goes you way, you could stall a turn with it I suppose, but hopefully your deck will have better things to do. Add another Grass Energy to the cost, and you can use Poison Powder: this ups the damage to 50, which is a bit more respectable, but still very inadequate in the context of the format. It does inflict Poison, but even so this is unlikely to trouble an opponent who can just Retreat out of the Status Condition of needed.

Basically, Ivysaur is the classic evolving Stage 1. It doesn’t have anything to offer except its ability to evolve into a Stage 2 (which you would rather do with Rare Candy anyway), and a couple of attacks that you would only use if desperate. You’ll probably need him if you run Venusaur in your deck, but he doesn’t add much value.


Modified: 1.75 (Generic evolving Stage 1. Nothing much to see here)

Limited: 2.75 (Status Conditions can be annoying and effective here, but it’s still just a filler card for when you decide to run Grass)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Ivysaur (Dark Explorers)

This week is all about the Grass Poke'mon, with our first being an evolving Stage 1 that has been with us since the beginning. Bulbasaur and company were the starting Poke'mon of the great Pojo himself when he first put his hands on the original Poke'mon, as well as many other players so you know the nostalgia is running high.

Unfortunately, if you are a long-time fan then you also know that the words "evolving Stage 1" mean "loses out to Rare Candy" in 99% of cases. This is no different.

90 HP, Fire Weakness and a retreat cost of 3 are all major obstacles to Ivysaur surviving a Catcher-hit-and-run, so if at all possible you'll want to have Rare Candy available to skip straight to Venusaur. The Water Resistance is helpful, but not enough to save Ivysaur from the binder.

The attacks don't do a great deal to help the situation either. Sleep Powder is decent enough, dealing 20 damage and auto-Sleep, but at [g][c] it's a little expensive, considering that Venusaur (whom we will discuss tomorrow) is a bench sitter. Poison Powder is more of the same, costing [g][g][c] to deal 50 damage and auto-Poison, which will likely never get used in a Modified match. In Limited though, this card can shut down and destroy anything you face provided you get lucky with energy draws and coin flips

In the end analysis, Ivysaur would be an above-average Stage 1 if it evolved into a Poke'mon intended as a main attacker, but as-is it feels like a waste of energy. Pack Switch and expect to lose at least one Ivysaur to Poke'mon Catcher.

Modified 3.25 (better than many evolving Stage 1 Poke'mon I've seen, but still not a cause for excitement)

Limited: 4 (if you get lucky enough to pull multiples, you have a very good response to the Poke'mon EX in this set, who generally hate Poison taking away their health. Tornadus and Entei will still fry you, but for an Uncommon card this is a really good response to big threats and having a Venusaur is just icing on the cake)

Combos with: an aggressive Venusaur

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