Pojo's Pokemon Card Reviews, news, tips, strategies and more!

Pick Up Our New 20th Anniversary Pokemon Book for your Collection!

Pokemon Home


Price Guide Set List

Message Board

Pokemon GO Tips

Pokemon News

Featured Articles

Trading Card Game
- Price Guide
- Price Guide
- Card of the Day
- Professional Grading
- Killer Deck Reports
- Deck Garage
- William Hung
- Jason Klaczynski
- Jeremy's Deck Garage
- Johnny Blaze's Banter
- TCG Strategies
- Rulings Help
- Apprentice & Patch
- Apprentice League
- Spoilers & Translations
- Official Rules
- Featured Event Reports
- Top of the World
- An X-Act Science
- Error Cards
- Printable Checklist
- Places to Play

Nintendo Tips
- Red/Blue
- Yellow
- Gold & Silver
- Crystal
- Ruby & Sapphire
- Fire Red & Leaf Green
- Emerald
- Pinball
- TCG cart
- Stadium
- PuPuzzle League
- Pinball: Ruby/Sapphire
- Pokemon Coliseum
- Pokemon Box
- Pokemon Channel

GameBoy Help
- ClownMasters Fixes
- Groudon's Den
- Pokemon of the Week

E-Card Reader FAQ's
- Expedition
- Aquapolis
- Skyridge
- Construction Action Function
- EON Ticket Manual

Deck Garage
- Pokemaster's Pit Stop
- Kyle's Garage
- Ghostly Gengar

- Episode Listing
- Character Bios
- Movies & Videos
- What's a Pokemon?
- Video List
- DVD List

Featured Articles

Pojo's Toy Box

Books & Videos


Advertise With Us
- Sponsors


About Us
Contact Us

Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 Cards Lost to Set Rotation

#2 - Forest of Giant Plants

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
August 10, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

See Below

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

Back to the main COTD Page


It's a bit of a testament to a card when you find it on multiple Top X Lists, but what really defines this card is the fact that they BANNED it from Expanded play.

That's right, today we're taking a look at Forest of Giant Plants, a card with an effect so powerful, they banned an otherwise mediocre card with a decent Ability for it. Funny enough, Shiftry (NXD) is coming back because this card is getting banned, so you can see how that all worked out for him in the long run. 

Forest of Giant Plants has a very simple effect, granting all of your Grass Pokemon the ability to evolve in the same turn they're played - or your first turn, if you happen to put this down then. It's an effect that wouldn't have garnered so much attention if there weren't incredible amounts of potential, especially in this day and age, for Pokemon evolutions to spark from it. As I mentioned before, Shiftry (NXD) became banned for a time because of this card granting Nuzleaf the ability to evolve right into it, which then allowed it to use its Ability Giant Fan to blow Pokemon away. Combined with devolution powers, and even if you failed the coin flip, you had a strong chance of donking your opponent with the combination. 

Course Shiftry wasn't the only one benefited. Vileplume (AOR) wouldn't have seen as much play if it hadn't been for this card, granted a quick lockdown on the opponent with its Ability. And now recently we've had Decidueye-GX, who can get out damage much faster when you can evolve right into it on Turn 1. It's incredible what was being done with Forest of Giant Plants, and when you take a look at all the designs for Grass Pokemon coming after its release...you start to notice that they rarely designed without keeping it in mind. 

Think about it. One old card got broken, and two other cards were dominant because of it, but what about the other reasons it got banned? The quick access to healing with Serperior (BLW), or the major boost to evolving with Leavanny (EPO)'s Nurturing? Amonguss (NXD)'s Sporprise was probably abused, or even Venusaur (DEX)'s Floral Scent for searching out Pokemon with ease. It becomes a lot harder to beat Accelgor (DEX) when he can Deck and Cover but then be immediately pulled out next turn for another swipe! Roserade (DRX) suddenly becomes appealing with Le Parfum adding ANY card you want upon evolution. And Dustox (DRX) can take advantage of a Grass-type Cascoon to hop out easily and unleash its Hazardous Scales to start taking a toll on the opponent. 

And I haven't even gotten to Boundaries Crossed or BEYOND that yet! We're still 5+ years what's happening now, let alone 3+ years before the release of Ancient Origins when this came out. 

Forest of Giant Plants may not break every card in existence, but it opens up the playing field to make what may otherwise be a mediocre or somewhat decent card into something that dominates the field. And that alone should warrant it getting looked at and watched. It seems that the Pokemon Company saw something amidst all these different possible combinations, because they decided that it was for the best to ban the card rather than risk designing something like a broken Grass-type.  

Side note, you notice how there weren't really any crazy Grass-type Pokemon BREAK? Crazy thought? 


Standard: N/A (Forest of Giant Plants enables a lot) 

Expanded: Banned (and in a format with a lot of cards, that's a LOT of enabling) 

Limited: 5/5 (that's probably why it wasn't banned in Standard during its lifespan, since it wasn't enabling anything that was game-breaking) 

Arora Notealus: Truly it was the Forest of Broken Plants. 

Next Time: And the #1 card being lost to rotation...is gonna have to search for something else...


Forest of Giant Plants (Ancient Origins, 74/98) snuck up on us a little bit earlier this year with the release of the Sun & Moon base set.  This card serves as an excellent example of how you can know something and yet not completely understand it.  We all knew what FoGP could do, we knew what the words on the card meant – we just never realized how completely broken the card was, though, until it actually got some potent Pokemon to partner with it.  Prior to SUM, the best Grass Pokemon we had to work with were Serperior (Fates Collide, 7/124) and Mega Sceptile (Ancient Origins, 85/98).  When Lurantis GX (Sun & Moon, 15/149) and Decidueye GX (Sun & Moon, 12/149) came on the scene, we all recognized the true potency of FoGP.  Especially now that we could pair Vileplume (Ancient Origins, 3/98) with good attacking Grass Pokemon, most of 2017 has been the golden age of Grass decks.

And the highlights (yes, this isn’t a complete list, just the top placements) of decks that ran FoGP since SUM include St. Louis 2nd, Oceania 2nd, Salt Lake City 3rd, Brazil 1st, Virginia 4th and 5th, Toronto 1st, Madison 1st, NAIC 2nd.  Expanded or Standard, the top eight of virtually every major tournament this year are littered with decks that run FoGP.  Prior to SUM?  Only one top eight placement (2nd in Orlando).

This makes me wonder: what will happen to Grass decks in a post-FoGP meta?  Forest is not only leaving Standard but the game altogether as it has been banned from Expanded as well.  Certainly, Grass decks aren’t solely reliant upon Vileplume – I won 21 of the 26 matches I played last month with my Decidueye GX Lurantis GX deck.  How will these titans of the Pokemon universe do in a meta that doesn’t allow them to evolve quickly into their highest Stages?  Only time will tell, Theorymon can only guess.


Standard: 4 out of 5


Although tempted to give it a 5 out of 5 rating, because it only helps one type of Pokemon, I had to downgrade it at least a little bit.  One of the most “broken” Pokemon of the past three years, we have only in the past few months seen it achieve its full potential.  With the banning of the card as well, I doubt we’ll see a card that allows free evolutionary acceleration for a long time … if ever again.


Our second place finish is Forest of Giant Plants (XY: Ancient Origins 74/98), a Stadium now famous for allowing the turn player to Evolve his or her [G] Pokémon as soon as they hit the field (including first turn), which includes Evolving more than once if the Evolution that was just played is also a [G] Type.  I’m a bit surprised that it doesn’t specify “before your attack…”, though I suppose there isn’t an effect where that would matter.  Then again, I’m also surprised that Stadium cards don’t include the rule about how you may only play one Stadium from your hand during your turn.  Forest of Giant Plants only managed 12th place on our Top 15 countdown for XY: Ancient Origins but jumped all the way to fourth place for the Top 10 of 2015 countdown.  This card has been a tremendous boon to Pokémon which can Evolve from all Grass-Type lower Stages (it doesn’t help much if one of said lower Stages isn’t a Grass-Type).  Evolutions often struggle to keep pace with Basics, and the higher the Stage of Evolution the rougher it tends to be; Basics require less time and resources to hit the field, so even you give Evolutions more HP, better attacks, etc. it may not be enough.  However, I come not to praise Forest of Giant Plants, but to bury it. 


After realizing that an abridged version of the article on how and why we ought to balance out the Types and Stages of Pokémon would still be massive, I must once again apologize for my failure to get something written up in a semi-official manner (I’ve often explained it on message boards and the like).  What I can point out is how this kind of Evolution acceleration guarantees failure when it comes to card balance.  This does not preclude it enabling phenomenal decks; you have things like Decidueye-GX, Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) or the deck built around the banned Shiftry (BW: Next Destinies 72/99) to prove that it does do amazing things with so many Pokémon, but competitive success does not prove a card produces properly balanced gameplay… depressingly, for most (all?) of the game’s history, it suggests the opposite.  Whether you take my approach, where the designers finally start 

  • Slowing down fully Evolved Basic Pokémon so that - unless designed for aiding opening setup - they aren’t immediately awesome, allowing Evolutions time to hit the field
  • Front-loading HP scores so Evolving Basics and Stage 1 cards aren’t so fragile (this isn’t the video game, where you almost literally pick your battles)
  • Evolving Pokémon have better effects so that they contribute to the success of the entire Evolution line, keeping the final Stage from needing to be extra awesome to cover for them being mere stepping stones

or don’t care at all about the Stages being balanced against each other, Evolution acceleration only makes sense on a card-specific basis.  Just by existing, Forest of Giant Plants forces the developers into a bind.  Either they pre-nerf everything to preserve game balance or they just accept that eventually, something is going to be overly potent thanks to the Evolution acceleration.  Actually, that is underselling it; eventually, Forest of Giant Plants will break something by your standards, whatever they are, unless you think nothing can be broken.  Given that Forest of Giant Plants will be banned from Expanded play as of September 1st (same day as rotation) and Shiftry will return, either the powers-that-be seem to agree.  Soon, the only place you’ll be able to enjoy Forest of Giant Plants is in the Unlimited and Limited Formats.  I’ve long since lost track of what does and does not work in the Unlimited Format, but barring dramatic change, Forest of Giant Plants has only one hope; that a lock or first-turn-win deck built around Evolutions that Evolve from Grass-Types is a thing.  If not, Broken Time-Space is the obvious choice because it would work for all your Evolutions, not just the Grass-Types.  If you’re able to arrange a Limited Format event with XY: Ancient Origins booster packs, then the heavy amount of Grass-Types will likely make Forest of Giant Plants a useful pull.  Just remember, all those Grass-Types also make it likely your opponent can use it as well. 


Standard: 3.75/5 (Soon to be N/A) 

Expanded: 3.75/5 (Soon to be N/A) 

Limited: 3.5/5 


I keep ranting about how problematic and potent Broken Vine-Space a.k.a. Forest of Giant Plants is but I didn’t even score it as a four-out-of-five?  What gives?  The one upside of a card like this is that, as Evolution and Type support, its potency depends even more on the cardpool than most other cards.  Right now, it has some great partners, even more than when it first released, even though the powers-that-be designed those cards knowing this was lurking in the metagame.  That is why I scored it higher than I did in previous reviews.


Forest of Giant Plants secured second place with 34 voting points, beating out third place’s Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) by five points but losing to tomorrow’s first place finisher by a five point margin as well.  It appeared on all five of our personal lists.  On my list, Forest of Giant Plants was 10th place.  Why so low?  The answers lie in what I said above: it is a catalyst that causes broken reactions, so it must share credit with other cards for its success, and its pending ban would almost certainly have applied to the Standard Format as well, if not for rotation having already effectively banned it.


Our runner up is Forest of Giant Plants from XY Ancient Origins.  It took 12th place on the top 10 cards of XY Ancient Origins and 5th place on the top 10 cards of 2015.  It also gets its own nickname such as Forest of Broken Plants or Broken Vine Space.  This is a stadium which breaks the rule regarding evolutions for Grass Pokemon.  We might have mentioned it in our Broken Time Space review on Throwback Thursdays.  Being able to evolve instantly destroys the purpose of evolution cards that are meant to take some time before it eventually becomes the final stage.  It might have helped grass Pokemon to get a Stage 2/Break Evolutions/Mega Evolutions into play right away, but invited crazy combos that may be too much for the opponent to handle.  Some grass Pokemon that gave players a hard time include Vileplume’s Allergic Pollen (item lock), Decidueye’s Feather Arrow (damage counter placements), and Shiftry’s Giant Fan (blows one of your opponent Pokemon away from play).


With Forest of Giant Plants gone, we don’t have to deal with the ridiculousness of grass Pokemon and their crazy tactics.  In case you haven’t noticed, Forest of Giant Plants will be banned for Expanded play starting September.  So enjoy the last month of the rotation until the ban takes into effect.  In limited, this is a must run if you pulled any worthwhile Stage 1/2 grass Pokemon to use in prerelease.




Standard: 5/5 (Enjoy while it lasts!)


Expanded: 5/5 (Well, it’s about to be banned soon, so N/A would’ve been reasonable.)


Limited: 5/5 (If you pulled any grass Pokemon, why not?)


Notes: Seeing a card that’s about to be banned would be ranked considerably higher.  My personal list had Forest of Giant Plants at number four.


Copyright© 1998-2017 pojo.com
This site is not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise affiliated with any of the companies or products featured on this site. This is not an Official Site.
Pokémon card reviews - Pokemon Set Reviews