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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Unfezant #81

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
July 22, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.45
Expanded: 2.15
Limited: 2.15

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Alright, as far as Unfezant go, this one's pretty nice. And as far as cards with Delta Evolution go, it's not bad. Unfortunately, it's got a big bold strategy that's essentially going to keep it out of the realm of competition, and that's a bit of a shame. Still, I imagine there will be a casual player running a deck built around Unfezant here, with things like Trick Coin included. 

...oh no, I mentioned Trick Coin. 

Well lemme distract you from that by pointing out that this Unfezant has FREE Retreat! Not too often you see that on a Pokemon, am I right? Huh? Pretty crazy, huh? Okay, that's all in the past now, time to focus on the attacks.  

Feather Dance is a 2-cost attack that gets Unfezant to deal an extra 80 damage - yes, EIGHTY DAMAGE - on his next turn for the attack. As far as setups go, that's pretty bold, and seeing that Sky Attack only costs 1 more Energy and deals 120 damage, that's a stupid amount of damage to deal with. Never mind that Delta Evolution speeds up the whole process, allowing you to evolve to Unfezant on Turn 1 and then give it a DCE to use Feather Dance. There's just one teensy-weensy itty-bitty little problem, and you probably have figured it out from looking at the card. 

"Flip a coin. If tails, this attack does nothing." 

That's right, Unfezant's main attack is a 50/50 shot. Remember that Trick Coin I mentioned earlier? You're probably gonna NEED that in case your luck runs terribly, which at least that should increase your chances to 75% rather than a 50/50 shot, but then you lose out on other Tools like Muscle Band. Still, the sad part is that Unfezant's Sky Attack, if not set-up by Feather Dance, is going to be...pretty underwhelming. Let's face it, there are PLENTY of Pokemon that hit for 120+ damage already, and they don't require you to flip a coin. 

Casual play for you, Unfezant. Casual play for you. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (it's a shame too, cause Unfezant has a LOT going for it - Delta Evolution, free Retreat, an attack booster) 

Expanded: 1.5/5 (but that coin flip really does him in, and there are so many others that do better without the risk) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (even here in Limited, where 120 damage is such a high number, a 50/50 shot is a risky endeavor) 

Arora Notealus: You know I bet this entire game would get flipped upside-down if the more powerful effects were assigned these coin flips. Think about it; what if Seismitoad-EX had to flip a coin for Quaking Punch to work? Or Garbodor's Garbotoxin needed the coin flip to be active instead of a Tool? Or if Lysandre's Banned Card shuffled either your discard pile or your opponent's based on a coin flip? Who knows how crazy things would get! 

Next Time: I am the bird that flaps in the night! And the day! Leading a flock of younger birds to fight against electric rodents!


Emma Starr

            After yesterday’s card of a male Unfezant, today’s card is…also of a male Unfezant. No love for the female Unfezant, I suppose…

            Right away you’ll see he has the Ancient Trait of Alpha Growth, which lets you evolve him during your first turn, or the first turn he is in play. However, I’m not why Unfezant even got this, since he is a Stage 2, but I guess if you ever have a Pidove, Tranquil, and Unfezant in your hand at once, or a Pidove, Rare Candy, and Unfezant, you’re in luck… *shrugs* He also has the standard 140 HP and Electric Weakness, so things are pretty normal there as well. However, the free Retreat Cost is always a nice perk.

            For Two Colorless, Unfezant can use Feather Dance to increase the damage it does next turn by a whopping 80. Normally you’d expect it’s only other attack to be very weak, but nope! Not this time! Sky Attack does 120 for 3 Colorless! The catch? It’s a tails-fails kind of attack. However, this is where the beauty of Trick Coin (or in Expanded, Victini (NV 14)) comes in, reducing the fail rate of 50% down to 25%. Basically, you can either use two turns to do a 200 damage attack, or one turn to do a 120 damage attack, as long as luck is on your side, of course. Although it’s definitely luck-based, you don’t often see this kind of power printed on a non-EX card, and especially on a splashable Colorless! You’re basically getting all of the power of an EX without sacrificing another prize when it goes down! However, if you’re in a competitive game, luck may not be the route you want to go down, especially if you’re playing in Limited, where you don’t have access to Trick Coin (or Victini). But I can see this as a really fun card to play, if you can set it up quickly enough, which the Ancient Trait may just be able to help you with. And if things get bad, just use that free Retreat Cost! 

            Standard: 2.9/5 (The huge damage it can do shouldn’t be ignored, but like yesterday’s Unfezant, it’s still a Stage 2, despite how fun it can be to use.)

            Expanded: 2.8/5

            Limited: 2/5 (As stated before, no Trick Coin/Victini makes this a much more scary card to use.)


Otaku

Today’s review will be unpleasant because we are reviewing… another Unfezant (XY: Roaring Skies 81/108): today’s review will be Unfezant.  Why on earth should that be so bad?  Well if you don’t enjoy the rhyme, then perhaps “awkward” is the more appropriate term.  I’ll try to avoid qualifying as “redundant” but I am afraid that in my zeal I have set the other reviewers and myself up for such a thing since there will be so much overlap with yesterday’s CotD. 

The Colorless-Type exists as a somewhat “neutral” Type in the TCG: nothing is Colorless Weak or Resistant.  This is similar but not identical to the video games where the corresponding Types there (Normal and Flying) both face Resistance and one (Flying) can hit for Weakness.  The TCG also supports explicitly with cards like Aspertia City Gym and Winona.  All in all it is a good Type though with some room for improvement: Colorless Weakness and Resistance have been a thing in the past and should they be restored, hitting targets for double damage is a far bigger gain than hitting them for -20 is a loss and even if that seems too odd and a Type specific Special Energy for Colorless Pokémon isn’t really that much of a stretch.  What can be a stretch is making a Stage 2 work in the modern metagame.  Evolutions are more resource dependent and (usually) slower to get into play.  If the Evolving forms aren’t even good filler (ideally, they’d just be fully realized cards on their own but I digress) then playability takes an even bigger hit.  At the same time, we do see some Stage 2 decks proving competitive, so it isn’t a deathblow to the card’s prospects. 

Unfezant has 140 HP; while hardly enough to guarantee it will survive a hit, it is well into “more likely to survive than not” territory… though my usual guidelines apply (I’m considering all the times your opponent’s set-up will be incomplete or when they won’t be focusing on raw damage).  If you face a deck meant to simply hit hard, 140 could easily be within OHKO range.  Lightning Weakness exacerbates this; another Otaku confession is that I sometimes forget that the Lightning-Type is actually out there and doing well.  There isn’t a strong “pure” Lightning-Type deck right now, but you’ve got the likes of M Manectric-EX, Manectric-EX, Raichu (XY 43/16) and Joltik (XY: Phantom Forces 26/119) bouncing around either in their own decks or worked into other decks.  While it isn’t much, having any Resistance is better than none and the Fighting-Type has enough of a presence that Unfezant should have a chance to work that -20 damage.  There is also a perfect free Retreat Cost. 

Unfezant has the Ancient Trait “Δ Evolution” which allows you to immediately Evolve one of your Pokémon in play into this Unfezant even if said Pokémon just entered play this turn and even if it is the first turn of the game.  It also has two attacks: the first (Feather Dance) needs [CC] and causes its attacks to hit for 80 more damage the next turn.  If you’re new to the TCG, remember that an attack has to do damage before these kinds of damage boosts can work and that it is a limited time offer that goes away at the end of your next turn.  So unless you give Unfezant access to another attack, this just gives you the option of giving up an attack to make its second attack hit harder.  Said second attack is “Sky Attack” and it requires [CCC] to hit for 120 damage, which would be good… except it requires a coin flip and “tails fails”.  So you’re risking doing nothing or 120 when you’re paying for a solid 90 damage.  The intended combo seems to be is to basically give up an attack for damage to use Feather Dance, hope your opponent can’t prevent Unfezant from attacking next turn (such as by Paralyzing it) or force its attack effect to reset (for example by forcing it to the Bench) and then hope you get “heads” on Sky Attack for 200 damage… instead of just hoping you can get “heads” twice with Sky Attack.  There is more to this but first we’ll need to go over both the card’s lower Stages and the other Unfezant.  We did this yesterday and due to a time crunch, I am just going to copy and paste the relevant write up from there; it will be slightly new when I give a summary of yesterday’s Unfezant and then after that I’ll get into some more new (or at least new-ish) stuff. 

To get Unfezant into play you need to go through Pidove and then use either Rare Candy or Tranquill.  There are six distinct versions of Pidove though some versions have seen multiple releases.  Black & White 84/114 plus BW: Trainer Kit Zoroark Half Deck 14/30 and 21/30 are all one version.  The next two that are actually one are BW: Black Star Promo BW15 and BW: Emerging Powers 80/98.  The rest are all single releases of different cards: McDonald’s Collection 2011 11/12, BW: Next Destinies 83/99, BW: Boundaries Crossed 123/149 and XY: Roaring Skies 78/108.  Only BW: Boundaries Crossed 123/149 and XY: Roaring Skies 78/108 are Standard legal and post rotation, we’ll be down to XY: Roaring Skies 78/108.  All are Colorless-Type Basic Pokémon with Lightning Weakness, Fighting Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ability and no Ancient Trait.  Black & White 84/114 (as well as BW: Trainer Kit Zoroark Half Deck 14/30 and 21/30) have just one attack (Quick Attack), still only requiring [C] but doing just 10 damage plus another 10 on “heads”, unlike the more robust version of Unfezant.  BW: Black Star Promo BW15 and BW: Emerging Powers 80/98 have 50 HP and also have just one attack (Gust) that requires [CC] and hits for 20.  McDonald’s Collection 2011 11/12 has the lowest HP at 40 but enjoys two attacks: “Growl” for [C] reduces damage done by your opponent’s Defending Pokémon by 20 points before Weakness or Resistance is applied and for [C] it can also use “Gust” to do 10 damage (no other effects). 

BW: Next Destinies 83/99 jumps up to 60 HP and also has two attacks: “Scout” requires [C] and lets you see your opponent’s hand, while it also sports “Gust” for [CC] and hitting for 20.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 123/149 also has 60 HP but its lone attack (Razor Wind) needs [CC] to hit for 30, and then only with a successful coin flip (tails fails).  XY: Roaring Skies 78/108 can look at the top card of your deck for [C] with the option to shuffle afterwards via its “Homing Pidove” attack or like multiple others can use Gust at a cost of [CC] to hit for 20.  Pick one of the 60 HP versions and remember the attacks are all bad.  Moving on we have four versions of Tranquill spanning five releases: Black & White 85/114 and BW: Trainer Kit Zoroark Half Deck 15/30 are the same card for game purposes, plus we have BW: Emerging Powers 81/98, BW: Boundaries Crossed 124/149 and XY: Roaring Skies 79/108.  All are Stage 1 Colorless-Type Pokémon with Lightning Weakness, Fighting Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Abilities and no Ancient Trait.  Black & White 85/114 and BW: Trainer Kit Zoroark Half Deck 15/30 and BW: Emerging Powers 81/98 are Expanded legal only and have 70 HP.  Black & White 85/114 and BW: Trainer Kit Zoroark Half Deck 15/30 can use “Gust” for 20, this time only needing [C], and also have another version of “Quick Attack” though this one costs [CC] and does 20 damage plus another 30 on “heads”.  BW: Emerging Powers 81/98 has “Claw” for [C] to hit for 30, but requires a coin flip and does nothing on “tails”.  For [CCC] it can use Wing Attack for a flat 50. 

BW: Boundaries Crossed 124/149 and XY: Roaring Skies 79/108 are both Standard legal and have 80 HP though again, after the next rotation we’ll be down to XY: Roaring Skies 79/108 (barring future releases): each has just one attack.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 124/149 requires [CCC] to use “Air Slash” for 60 damage but it has to discard an Energy from itself afterwards.  That is worded as an effect of the attack so even cards that copy the effects (and damage) of an attack but not its cost will still have to discard.  XY: Roaring Skies 79/108 has “Fly” for [CC]; it hits for 40 and prevents all effects of attacks done to itself including damage during your opponent’s next turn but is yet another attack that does nothing if you get “tails” on the mandatory coin toss.  That protective effect can help it survive to Evolve costs just low enough that a Double Colorless Energy can pay for the entire thing so as it also has 80 HP I recommend using it over the others. 

There are the other Unfezant to consider; no reprints this time so we have Black & White 86/114, BW: Emerging Powers 82/98, BW: Boundaries Crossed 125/149 and XY: Roaring Skies 81/108.  All are Stage 2 Colorless-Type Pokémon with Lightning Weakness, Fighting Resistance, no Abilities, no Ancient Traits and two attacks with the second attack always needing [CCC].  Black & White 86/114 has 120 HP with a Retreat Cost of [C]; for [CC] has “Fly” with the same effect it had on Tranquill (XY: Roaring Skies 79/108) but doing 50 damage (not 40) and its second attack (Cutting Wind) does 70 damage.  BW: Emerging Powers 82/98 also has 120 HP but this time with a perfect free Retreat Cost; its first attack (Tailwind) allows you to attach an Energy from your hand to one of your Pokémon while the second (Feather Strike) does 40 damage with a coin flip deciding between another 40 damage (so 80 total) on “heads” or discarding an Energy from the opponent’s Active on “tails”.  For the record, this is the only version where the art depicts the female Unfezant. 

BW: Boundaries Crossed 125/149 matches today’s 130 HP as well as its Retreat Cost of [C]; its first attack (Wing Flick) needs [CC] to do 40 and forces your opponent to change out their Active after doing the damage while “big attack” an improved “Air Slash” that hits for 80 damage and gives you a coin flip to see if you need to discard an Energy attached to itself (happens on “tails”; “heads” means you just do the damage).  XY: Roaring Skies 80/108 has 10 less HP and a Retreat Cost of [C].  It’s first option is “Quick Attack” for [C]; this time Quick Attack hits for 30 damage plus another 30 if you get “heads” on the coin flip.  Tts big attack is “Strong Winds”, which allows you to shuffle all cards attached to each player’s Pokémon into his or her deck.  Quick Attack isn’t brilliant (you won’t be building a deck around it) but it looks like an adequate budget attack.  Strong Winds isn’t without precedence but I don’t know if there has been a similar effect that works on all Pokémon in play.  Depending on the matchup this can be incredibly disruptive or a mild irritation for your opponent… and given the cost to use you’ll have to build a deck around it for it to be something you can make good use of without messing up your own field worse.  For a little more detail we looked at Black & White 86/114 it here and BW: Emerging Powers 82/98 here when each card was a recent release while XY: Roaring Skies 80/108 was reviewed here, yesterday.  There isn’t really a good reason to run the others on their own or with today’s, except perhaps XY: Roaring Skies 82/108. 

Both XY: Roaring Skies 80/108 and XY: Roaring Skies 81/108 have some useful tricks but don’t include a lot to really exploit them and involve a lot of set-up: I think their best use is with Mew-EX.  Dimension Valley shaves a [C] Energy cost off of its attacks, making it so that you need at most Double Colorless Energy to use any attack off of either of these Unfezant; technically you can just use one or the other but it seems like a bit of a waste not keeping the two useful trick attacks available.  No, you don’t combine Feather Dance and Strong Winds directly; you’re right that there is no damage to boost. If your opponent goes after Unfezant they aren’t hitting Mew-EX and odds are you don’t need to attack with Strong Winds again.  If your opponent has a set-up that Strong Winds can gut and your opponent will be stuck nearly helpless for a few turns… you do that.  XY: Roaring Skies 81/108 is there so that you can try to set-up some crazy spread damage with Feather Dance and something like Spinda (XY: Primal Clash 115/160); you’re still investing two attacks on a potentially fragile combo, but the end result is 90 damage to everything on your opponent’s side of the field.  There may also be some other attacks that - when boosted by Feather Dance - can be made far more effective than intended.  Not something you expect to win tournaments, but a fun combo when it works.  Otherwise, Unfezant is only suited to limited play where being Colorless allows it to work in most decks and being a Stage 2 makes it hard to pull a full line and get it into play but where it can dominate once there, even if half of its Sky Attacks are expected to fail. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 (deck specific) 

Expanded: 2/5 (deck specific) 

Limited: 3.5/5 

Summary: Perhaps even more niche than yesterday’s iteration, Unfezant (XY: Roaring Skies 81/108 combined with Mew-EX could do some crazy, crazy tricks.  Enough to be a competitive play?  Probably not.  Remember, a deck specific rating can be quite misleading and even in doing so, it didn’t score very high.  It ties with its set sibling because when its crazy combo works, as long as something like Mountain Ring is not in play, you’ll get a great return while the field altering effect we looked at before might mean very little against a deck that doesn’t use a lot of Energy or Pokémon Tools. 


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