How do you handle midweek stress?
Perhaps it is the double scoop
that is the “Snowstorm Pokémon”,
Let’s dig in!
I think my attempt at a witty opening
feels more like an ice cream headache.
is a Stage 2 Pokémon, so it has to bring
a lot to the table if it wants to see
Basic Pokémon dominate this
format, which means even with
Vanilluxe is a turn slower and
requires two extra cards to see play.
With many Basic Pokémon rivaling
the attacks and stats of Stage 1 and
Stage 2 Pokémon, it will probably
require a killer Ability, and the
question becomes if the Ability
delivers, will the Stats spoil or
Being a Water Type should be pretty good
right now: several major decks have been
Water Weak and even when those lose
popularity, another seems to replace it
(be it new or revived).
Water has some support as well,
but it never seems to come together, so
the best part of being Water is
Vanilluxe might become a surprise
fallback or even main attacker.
130 HP makes me think it would be
fallback or not at all; all but one
Pokémon EX fails to OHKO it and the
harder hitting Basic Pokémon need just a
small boost to do likewise; 130 HP does
appear to be the “low-but-but-crippling”
score for Stage 2 Pokémon.
In the video games, Ice-Type
only Type) are weak to Fighting, Rock,
Steel, and Fire.
Converting those to TCG types,
they would be Fighting (made of
Fighting, Rock, and Ground), Metal, and
Fire; Metal is certainly appropriate and
definitely less of a concern than a
Fire-Type Weakness, though I can’t say
for certain if Fighting would have been
better or worse.
Cobalion can show up in several
decks (some easier than others), so
don’t think I am saying it doesn’t
No Resistance is a bit disappointing but
unfortunately expected, so let us move
onto the Retreat Cost of two.
Functionally this is average; two
Energy is low enough you usually have
the Energy to pay for it, and not so
high that you can’t deal with the
ramifications of setting yourself back
In many decks you make the call
of whether or not to burn a
Double Colorless Energy.
Stage 2 Pokémon often get the
chunkier Retreat Costs so it is a bit
better than it seems.
The Ability of
Vanilluxe is “Slippery Soles”, a
“once-per-turn” Ability that does stack
and allows you to select one of your
Benched Pokémon and switch it with your
Active and then forces your opponent to
do the same.
In essence, this is a “free”
Warp Point per turn (“free” if you
ignore the cost of running a Stage 2
Warp Point has historically been a
useful card, and many wish it had been
reprinted instead of getting the
Gust of Wind update,
Generally speaking, you end your
turn with the Pokémon you desire in the
Active Position… so when you run
Vanilluxe and your opponent ends his
or her turn, if you have something with
a free or low Retreat Cost on your Bench
you can really mess your opponent up.
You’ll also more easily exploit
Abilities/Poké-Powers that require a
Pokémon be Active, since you can get it
out of the way more easily, and cope
better with attacks that need to be
reset by Benching the attacker between
The attack is Crushing Ice for (WCC),
which isn’t cheap but isn’t hard to work
onto off Type decks.
The damage output is pretty low,
though: base damage of 60 with an extra
10 on top of that for each Energy in the
Defending Pokémon’s Retreat Cost.
As such I expect about 80 points
of damage a pop, about “average” range
for an attack, and an average attack
with a good (or perhaps better) Ability
is a good deal; with an Ability taking
focus it really is important for an
attack to be at least accessible, if not
easy to use in an off-Type deck.
(CCC) would have made Crushing
Ice great, but just having to work in
Rainbow Energy or
Water Energy is well within reason.
Let us first address Usage by examining
Vanilluxe Evolves from, and the
There are two
Vanillite: BW: Noble Victories
27/101 and BW: Next Destinies
Both are Basic Water-Type Pokémon
with Metal-Weakness, no Resistance, and
a single Energy Retreat Cost.
Neither has good effects,
especially the important “help me Evolve
or keep me alive long enough to Evolve”
variety, so I’d go with the BW: Next
Destinies version just because it
has 10 more HP (a token amount, but
better than nothing).
The Stage 1 form of the line is
Vanillish; there are two
Vanillish and each one is a
Water-Type with 80 HP, Metal-Weakness,
no Resistance, and two Energy required
First let me say that 80 HP is
lousy for a Stage 1. Both have solid
attacks, including inflicting Special
Conditions that just barely improve
their odds of survival.
In this case I still go for the
newer version (BW: Next Destinies
32/99) because I favor the attacks just
a bit more.
Of course you can choose to run
neither version and rely solely on
Rare Candy, but with Trainer/Item
denial decks running around, that seems
There is one other
Vanilluxe (BW: Noble Victories
29/101) and I forgot it even existed,
even though it has an archetype: just a
reminder that I don’t play enough and my
advice is from the sidelines.
It has the same stats as today’s
version, but two attacks instead of an
Ability with an attack.
Had I faced a
Vanilluxe deck in actual play, I’d
like to think I’d have remembered
something with an attack like Double
Freeze: for (WC) you flip two coins and
score 40 points of damage per heads
plus if you get at least one “heads”
you inflict Paralysis.
Frost Breath for (WW) provides
reliable damage without any extra Energy
attachments, making it good via synergy.
Speaking of synergy, this
provides the first and perhaps most
basic use for
Vanilluxe of BW: Next Destinies,
backing up the BW: Noble Victories
The deck needs to run
Vileplume (HS: Undaunted
24/90) for the Item denial needed to
make Paralysis effective, which cuts off
its own access to useful cards like
Pokémon Catcher: enter Slippery
So what else can use this
As useful as a sort-of-free
Warp Point is per turn, this is a
Pokémon Catcher; you aren’t running
this card just for that.
So you’re focusing on what it
does directly for your deck if you’re
running it; Slippery Soles can really
impact some specific decks.
Chandelure decks spring readily to
mind: the version with Cursed Shadow (BW:
Noble Victories 60/101, BW: Next
Destinies 101/99) is much more
effective when it can pop up front,
spread three damage counters, and then
get out of the way for an attacker or
another copy of itself.
Smeargle (HS: Undaunted 8/90,
Call of Legends 21/95) of course
is better as an opening play, but if you
have one hanging around your Bench,
there is no harm sending it up after
your Defending Pokémon was KOed to use
Portrait before yanking it out of the
way of your next attacker.
Kyurem EX has that irritating clause
preventing it from using its big attack
(Hail Blizzard) each turn, but now you
can easily rotate between two (or
something with a free Retreat Cost;
Benching terminates the memory of the
I’d say this holds a lot of
potential, with only the difficulty of
running a Stage 2 (most likely alongside
another Stage 2) holding it back.
Vileplume, you have to have a
strategy so spread out it doesn’t matter
that your opponent is likely OHKOing a
piece of it each turn.
For Unlimited play, I don’t think there
is a lot of potential.
There are certainly some
interesting and even powerful combos
available, but unless it is a first turn
win it isn’t going to matter against the
top tier of decks, and even the next
level are pretty brutal; setting up the
best attackers and Trainer-denial
backing on their first turn.
If you’re not bound by an
opponent’s (or your own) Trainer denial,
it is likely easier to spam
Switch than to run a Stage 2: you
shouldn’t get to use Slippery Soles that
many times before one player or the
other wins (assuming competitive builds
Before I write this off
completely, when you’re past the ultra
competitive decks (e.g. first turn win,
donk, or lock decks), and the super
competitive decks (everything that used
to be ultra competitive before the rules
switched back to allowing first turn
Trainers), you might find your current
deck (using both
Vanilluxe, of course) has the
potential to be quite vexing.
With the non-Trainer near staples
of Unlimited backing it up against decks
that run few Supporters, both
Vanilluxe can be excellent
attackers; the lower HP and higher
Retreat Costs make for some OHKOs for
Crushing Ice, let alone BW: Noble
For Limited play I’d call it a must run.
If you can run a few
Water Energy in the deck that is
great, but the attacks are the icing on
the cake… er… sprinkles on the ice
Trainers are power here, and
Warp Point (historically a good or
great Trainer unless overshadowed by
In Limited, Trainers are amazing.
So a Stage 2 Pokémon you can run
without any support but the lower Stages
is well worth that “free”
Warp Point per turn, even as a 1-1-1
It takes quite a lot of luck to
amass enough higher utility or potency
cards to oust it.
is that odd combination of useful and
cumbersome; without combos its Ability
does not compensate for the trouble of
running it, but once you start seeing
Vanilluxe both enhances and is
enhanced by the results.
Perhaps it is because I haven’t
been able to test it, but I would think
from now on a single copy of this
Vanilluxe a staple for the actual
decks: when no one can use
Pokémon Catcher, Slippery Soles goes
from useful to amazing, and several
other decks show the promise that
another Stage 2 is actually worth the
This leads to an odd score:
generally where it works it works better
than the numbers tell, but everywhere
else it may actually be a little worse.
For perspective, outside of this
and the last format (or two), this would
probably have been a major force in
Modified due to the Ability
(appropriately scaling down the Stats
and attack wouldn’t diminish it there).
Please check out my eBay sales by
It’s me whittling away at about
two decades worth of attempted
collecting, spanning action figures,
comic books, TCGs, and video games.
Exactly what is up is a bit
random; as of writing this there are
some Transformers and some video games,
including Pokémon Trading Card Game
for the Game Boy Color!
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the end of my reviews.