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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


- S&M: Guardians Rising
- #GRI 3

Date Reviewed:
July 10, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.90
Expanded: 2.15
Limited: 3.55

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Well gee, it's been a while since we've seen a Victreebel card around! To think the last one came out in Furious Fists, so we haven't even had one in Standard for a while. 


His first attack, Pollen Hazard, doesn't seem like much at first. It's a 1-for-20 hit, which isn't that spectacular, but as is the case with such small attacks from a fully-evolved Stage 2, looks can be deceiving. Pollen Hazard also ends up inflicting not one, not two, but THREE Status Conditions on the opponent's Active - Poison, Burn, and Confusion! That means with one fell swoop, you'll inflict another guaranteed 30 damage between turns, making this more of a 1-for-50 on the first strike, and then if your opponent tries to attack, Confusion can keep them from hitting you and take even MORE damage! On their own, these statuses aren't too threatening - they can certainly stack on the damage in the right situation, but none is an absolute guarantee aside from Poison - but combined all together, it's a devastating combination with only a few solutions.

...like switching. 

In fact, that's probably why he's got his other attack, Stick and Absorb. It's aptly named, and at 3-for-80, it's not great but not terrible either. It's in that nice range where an extra 30 damage here and there could go a long way for it. It also heals off 20 damage from Victreebel and prevents the opponent's Pokemon from retreating during his next turn - it Absorbs health and Sticks the opponent! Go figure. 

All that being said, this is a combination that could potentially deal out 130 damage minimum over the course of 2 turns, healing off 20. It'll still be over the course of 2 turns regardless, and while 20 damage is an okay amount to heal, it won't keep Victreebel around for too long with his 140 HP. But maybe you could use APCA to hold off a good chunk of it! 

JUST KIDDING, APCA don't work with this guy since he's a Stage 2. 

I'm sure Victreebel will see play in some decks as long as Forest of Giant Plants remains in Standard, so keep a wary eye out for it. 


Standard: 2.5/5 (a solid pair of attacks, but it'll take time to make them work) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (and time will not always be on your side) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (definitely something to keep an eye on though - it does inflict 3 Statuses) 

Arora Notealus: Victreebel needs some loving, right? Like he's arguably one of the more iconic Pokemon in the franchise cause of his association with James from Team Rocket, so maybe he could have a Mega Evolution! Though I guess I don't know what you'd do with that...oh! How about an Alolan form? Though I guess that just makes him, like, bigger...hmmmm...what could you do with Victreebel to pump him up? 

Next Time: Slushies are great! Snow's alright. And then there's flurries!


Victreebel (Guardians Rising, 3/145) returns to the meta in the Guardians Rising expansion set.  A Stage 2, 140 HP Grass Pokemon, it has two attacks.  Pollen Hazard, for a single Grass energy, does twenty damage and your opponent’s active Pokemon is Burned, Poisoned, and Confused.  Stick and Absorb does eighty damage, heals twenty damage from your active Victreebel, and gives the small spif of preventing the opponent’s active Pokemon from retreating during the next turn.

I first paired Victreebel with Vileplume (Ancient Origins, 3/98) and threw in a Shiinotic (Sun & Moon, 17/149) as well since we’ve got some pretty good evidence that Shiinotic helps improve win percentage in decks with a ton of Grass Pokemon (see March 21’s review for reference).  After going one win and two losses in three matches, though, I decided to switch to Decidueye GX (Sun & Moon, 12/149), but I had even less success losing all three matches I played with that pairing.  I felt that it underperformed a little bit – I figured it would at least be somewhat competitive – but it seemed like it just didn’t do enough damage and took too long to get Victreebels out, even with Forest of Giant Plants (Ancient Origins, 74/98).  And, of course, Forest will rotate out in just a little more than a month from now, and then all Grass types will lose the major advantage they have over all other types and will become much less playable. 


Standard: 1.5 out of 5


Granted I didn’t have a whole lot of time to play test this deck this weekend, but I felt that compared to other Pokemon I have paired with Vileplume and Decidueye GX – for example, Lurantis GX (Sun & Moon, 15/149) or Tauros GX (100/149) – Victreebel falls way short of their competitiveness.  Maybe if I had played some more matches or made more adjustments to the decklists, my win percentage with Victreebel would improve, but I doubt that the conditions exist where it would ever win half of its matches with the meta as competitive as it is right now.


Dang, Victreebel! You just love inflicting special conditions, aren’t you?
Welcome to another week’s worth of reviews filled with cards from the guardian rising set and, of course, a card from Throwback Thursdays.  Today’s card is Victreebel from the Guardians Rising set.  From EX Legend Maker onwards, Victreebel cards tend to have an attack or an ability that inflicts at least two special conditions.  For today’s card, it has no abilities, so let’s get on to the attacks.
Pollen Hazard costs a grass energy that does 20 damage and it causes the defending Pokemon to be Burned, Confused, and Poisoned!  Like Salazzle, Burn and Poison ensures that the defending Pokemon will take three damage counters between turns (2 from burn and 1 from poison), and if the affected Pokemon doesn’t switch out, that Pokemon continues to take damage between turns.  Confusion can even help you place three damage counters if the opponent flipped tails as well as being invulnerable for that turn because the defending Pokemon has hit itself in confusion, causing the attack to fail.  The damage adds up pretty fast for opponents who think they can stay in hoping to take a chance of attacking while confused.  Stick and Absorb costs a grass and two colorless energy that does 80 damage and the defending Pokémon cannot retreat.
Special conditions do not last forever because the opponent has methods of getting the affected Pokémon out of the active spot.  That includes manually retreating, using cards related to switching, or flat out block special conditions.  Because of that effect being played around, I don’t see Pollen Hazard worth using.  And neither does Stick and Absorb since this card has some sort of design flaw.  These two attacks try to synergize well, but these attacks seem to forget that the opponent has answers to ruin this strategy on their next turn.
Standard: 2/5
Expanded: 2/5
Limited: 3.5/5
Notes: The format is so brutal, but Victreebel’s legacy of inflicting multiple specials conditions shall continue, until the designers stop giving such an effect.
Coming up: You look familiar, yet you’re covered in ice!


Last week was abridged, in that it was only three days of reviews instead of five due to Tuesday having been Independence Day here in the U.S.A.  This week will also be abridged, but in a much different way; I’m going to try to really shorten my review style because my options are to do that or not review.  Don’t worry: this only applies to me and everyone else can do their normal thing. 

Victreebel (SM: Guardians Rising 3/145).  It is a Grass-Type Stage 2 Pokémon with 140 HP, Fire Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], and two attacks.  Whether you use Bellsprout (XY: Furious Fists 1/111), Bellsprout (SM: Guardians Rising 1/145), Weepinbell (XY: Furious Fists 2/111), and Weepinbell (SM: Guardians Rising 2/145), you can employ Forest of Giant Plants to speed things up, sparring you these filler lower Stage; the only other notable thing about them is by all having under 90 HP, they can be searched out via Level Ball in addition to being easily OHKO’d.  Remember, while you can compensate for the (lack of) speed, you’re still on the hook for the massive resource investment of running a Stage 2.  Being a Grass-Type might help in exploiting Weakness as well, and it never has to worry about Resistance as we aren’t worried about Unlimited Format play.  Anti-Type effects rarely work out, but you’ll have a few cards like Parallel City that are good for something else but also contain an anti-Grass-Type effect, or Bouffalant (XY: Primal Clash 119/160) that might have been worth it if the Grass-Type and Special Energy focused deck in the metagame didn’t also make it hard to set-up a three Energy attacker.  Fire Weakness is not happy as we’ve got Volcanion-EX and a few others to worry about, especially as they are bucking the older trend of Fire-Types being Energy intensive.  You’ll still need basic Fire Energy cards to discard for its “Steam Up” Ability, but various low-cost attackers should easily manage a OHKO.  Lack of Resistance is typical, and its presence is usually just a small bonus, but I still wish it was here.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is awkward; low enough you can probably pay it once or twice, but high enough you can’t afford it more than that and won’t even want to pay it the first time. 

This Victreebel can use “Pollen Hazard” for [G], which does 20 damage and afflicts the opponent’s Active with Burn, Confusion, and Poison.  20 damage for one Energy is as low as you want to see without a truly stellar effect; three Special Conditions at once isn’t quite enough.  On a historical note, it might have been enough if the old Confusion rules for retreating applied, when you had to flip a coin before you attempted to retreat.  Still, you’ll get an effective 50 damage (base 20 + two counters from Burn + one counter from Poison) and frustration for your opponent from the deal, or 70 if Weakness is applied.  Backed up by something like Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98), and this could get really annoying for your opponent.  For [GCC] Victreebel can use “Stick and Absorb” to do 80 damage to the opponent’s Active while healing 20 from itself and preventing the Defending Pokémon from retreating.  Two minorly beneficial attacks and just slightly subpar damage for a Double Colorless Energy compliant [GCC] seems okay in theory, and I never got to see it in actual practice.  My concern is the total package seems wanting.  You can speed Victreebel into play and shoot for a T2 Pollen Hazard, then shift to Stick And Absorb.  If your opponent doesn’t shake the Special Conditions, that is a Two-turn-total of 100 damage plus six damage counters; any added buff should put most Pokémon shy of Mega Evolutions and Evolved Pokémon-GX into 2HKO range.  Sounds good, right? 

Until your opponent shakes the Special Conditions, and/or goes for a OHKO against Victreebel.  140 might be enough for that 20 healing to sometimes matter, but it isn’t like this is a 250 HP Stage 2 Pokémon-GX such as Decidueye-GX.  Given that is is the premiere partner for Vileplume and a fellow Stage 2 Grass-Type, it only makes sense to measure Victreebel against it, and Victreebel comes up short.  Pollen Hazard really needed to be an Ability, I think.  Go ahead and lose the 20 damage, make it once per turn while Active, or even only when Evolving into Victreebel… it just needs to happen the same turn you can pull off another attack.  If you are a Victreebel fan, go ahead and give it a try; in the Expanded Format you could use Victreebel (XY: Furious Fists 3/111) to back up our latest version; it does inflict Special Conditions via its Ability, but said Ability requires you discard a [G] Energy from it (which means you need one attached in the first place) and only inflicts Confusion and Poison.  For Limited play, Victreebel becomes a good deal, not unlike most Stage 2 lines if you can pull them in their entirety. 


Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.85/5 

Limited: 3.65/5 


I wish I could score it better, because frankly, I’m biased in favor of a successful, attacking Stage 2 (even though I shouldn’t be).  The individual “pieces” of Victreebel seem adequate, but when you put them together they have minimal synergy and have to compete against Decidueye-GX as a partner for Vileplume.  Even apart from Decidueye-GX, there are several other potential Vileplume partners.  In the end, that makes Victreebel go from maybe adequate to barely mediocre.

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