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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


 Leafeon EX

- Generations

Date Reviewed:
April 25, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.13
Expanded: 213
Limited: 3.75

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Hello and welcome to a super special week! This week, it's all about the Eeveelutions, but not just because they're all out and about - now they've all been given the EX treatment! So to start, let's take a look at Leafeon-EX from Generations! 

Now Leafeon-EX here isn't EXceptional (see what I did there?), but he's got some neat perks. For starters, his HP is at 170, which is nice as it shows that Eeveelutions won't get the really short end of the stick like some other EX Pokemon have - they'll average out around this number more than not. Beyond that though, Leafeon-EX doesn't really have that much else going for him. 

He's only got two attacks, the first of which being Leaf Blade. It's nothing special - 2-for-30 with a coin flip for an extra 30 damage. So it's got potential to be good, but it's not something to rely upon. Nature's Breath, on the other hand, is pretty nice - 3-for-90 is a bit low for an EX, but if there's a Stadium in play, Leafeon-EX can do 30 more damage and heal off 30 damage too. That gives him a bit more staying power in the long run, and having a Stadium in play puts his attack in 2HKO range for most Pokemon! 

That being said, it's not anything too impressive. Don't get me wrong, Leafeon-EX is pretty solid, but compared to some of the other EXs out there, he does have a few shortcomings. His damage output is otherwise low for his costs, and it's only by the boosting effects they've got that he's even playable. Still, he's worth a shot in running if you wanna try out something different, I'd say. 

Just keep away from Fire decks. They'll tear Leafeon apart...like a leaf...eon...


Standard: 2.5/5 (low damage for high costs isn't exactly stellar, but again, the attacks themselves are relatively solid) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (he just needs the right support for what he can do, and then he might be passable) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (BE THE LEAF~) 

Arora Notealus: Dang, I almost got through this review without making that Korra reference. 

Next Time: If you do end up having trouble with Fire though, why not try...


Welcome to a week of not just Eeveelutions, but of the EX variety! 

Up first is Leafeon-EX (Generations 10/83).  Being a Grass Type is a good example of the “Your Mileage May Vary” principle?  Why?  In terms of Type support the best Grass Types enjoy (Forest of Giant Plants) does nothing for Leafeon-EX.  Battle Compressor plus Revitalizer is still a great combo, but if the deck only has a few Grass Type Pokémon in it, it may not be worth the space.  In terms of Grass Type specific counters, nothing has proven particularly worthwhile.  Resistance doesn’t even exist for Grass Types unless we start messing with Unlimited cards.  In terms of exploiting Weakness, a good chunk of the Water Type and some of the Fighting Type are Grass Weak.  Greninja BREAK and Primal Groudon-EX are Grass weak main attackers in their own deck, while Seismitoad-EX and Keldeo-EX can be supporting or primary attackers and Grass Weak.  Next set may give us a few more key Grass Weak cards, but those don’t count for scoring purposes right now.  If these decks have little presence in your metagame, being a Grass Type for something that doesn’t Evolve is fairly neutral, but some or all of those decks are played heavily then it becomes a huge advantage; odds are it will fall somewhere in between. 

Being a Pokémon-EX means giving up an extra Prize when KOed, dealing with anti-Pokémon-ex effects, and being unable to access certain pieces of support (as they exclude Pokémon-EX).  It usually means the card’s attributes and/or effects are better, but many cards are lacking in one or the other.  In this case though there is an additional benefit: Leafeon-EX is a Basic instead of a Stage 1 card.  Being a Basic is the best because even though there are anti-Basic Pokémon-EX, the Basic Stage support has proven more relevant, being a Basic takes less time and/or deck space than Evolutions, and it even provides better synergy with what should be neutral card effects.  Leafeon-EX does cash in on the promise of extra HP as it has 170 while “regular” recent Leafeon have 90 and Leafeon [Plasma] has 100: a 70 or 80 HP bonus is good!  With 170 HP Leafeon-EX has durability; most decks can go for a OHKO but several will need to commit extra resources and/or get a bit lucky, while a few decks just can’t manage it.  The Fire Weakness is an example of how a deck may get lucky; Fire Types aren’t everywhere but they exist and this should ensure the OHKO unless their setup is quite weak.  The lack of Resistance simply because the mechanic is relatively tame compared to important avoiding/exploiting Weakness has been since reverting to the x2 for all cards.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can probably pay it if you must but high enough you really want to avoid the full price; pack some means of lowering or bypassing the cost entirely.

Leafeon-EX lacks an Ancient Trait or Ability but at least it has two attacks.  The first is “Leaf Blade” for [GC], which does 30 damage plus has a coin flip: “heads” does an extra 30 (so 60 total) while “tails” means just the original 30 is done.  At a cost of [GGC] Leafeon-EX can use “Nature’s Breath” for 90 damage plus a little extra if a Stadium is in play: +30 damage to the opponent’s Active while healing 30 from Leafeon-EX itself.  The attacks aren’t burdened with difficult Energy costs and are structured to lead into each other, but neither are they as fast as most of the competitive attackers.  The obvious thing is that it cannot use Double Colorless Energy to shave a turn off of your build time, nor is there a particularly good substitute.  Don’t get me wrong; I wish the rest of the format was like that but it isn’t, so compared to what dominates this is slow.  It doesn’t offset that with its effects or raw power, but it doesn’t fail completely in those areas.  Leaf Blade is as simple as the tails/heads divide: 30 for two is filler while 60 for two is good (though still not great).  Nature’s Breath is a bit more complicated; even without a Stadium you’re at that crucial “2HKO 180 HP Basic Pokémon-EX” level.  With a Stadium it gets bumped up to the next important benchmark, scoring a 2HKO against a 240 HP (or less) Mega Evolution, barring those with protective effects like M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 61/108).  When Weakness is factored in, we see some OHKOs at these levels.  The healing is a small bonus as it often won’t change how quickly Leafeon-EX will be KOed. 

So should you use this card and if so, where?  There are no other Leafeon-EX to pick from but there are many other Basic Pokémon-EX that easily beat it out in terms of a general beatstick.  Even focusing on the Grass-Type, the competition is just too much.  With Virbank City Gym, a Muscle Band, and a source of Poison you can get Nature’s Breath up to an effective 170 damage, but the same thing allows Sceptile-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 7/98, 84/98) to do fake 180 damage for just [GC] with its “Unseen Claw” attack.  The story is similar for any other use which occurred to me; if we make Leafeon-EX decent, then something else takes the same resources and does at least a little better.  The only place where this isn’t an issue is in Limited; on the off chance you are using Generations for some sort of Limited Format play, Leafeon-EX is a good pull; you might even risk running it completely on its own to ensure you open with it. 


Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.75/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: Leafeon-EX isn’t as bad of a card as its score suggests, but like many it suffers from the crowded field.  We have better Basic beatsticks.  We have better Grass Type attackers.  With the same resources supporting them, we even have slightly better candidates for various Grass Type Basic Pokémon-EX beatsticks.

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