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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Throwback Thursday

- Plasma Freeze

Date Reviewed:
June 30, 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


Going up way late because I had a full Wednesday, was slow to recover, and I’m stupid enough to read and respond to Youtube comments as I watch videos, today we look back to Exeggcute (BW: Plasma Freeze 2/116; BW: Plasma Blast 102/101) for Throwback Thursday.  This card is somewhat recent, as the two printings being a little over and a little under four years old.  It hasn’t been two full years yet since both expansions containing it rotated from Standard play.  You can see our original review here.  So, why look at it now?  Exeggcute still sees some competitive use in the Expanded Format, and a lot in the Legacy Format, that’s why.  I’m also going to cover things a little out of order, because Exeggcute is all about one of its effects, to the point that most of my usual points about Stages, Types, etc. won’t matter. 

The relevant effect is its Ability, “Propagation”; rather surprised they didn’t call it “Prop-egg-ation” or something like that.  This Ability allows only works while this Exeggcute is in your discard pile, and before you attack; you may add this Pokémon to your hand.  You’ll notice it clearly says Propagation works only once per turn, however, the effect resets each time it goes back to your hand and then back to the discard pile; effectively it is limitless.  Propagation is an easy way to functionally reduce or even eliminate generic discard costs from your hand… but if that is the case, shouldn’t it be a staple?  Some decks have other cards they need to discard, but with additional help like Battle Compressor, that doesn’t seem like reason enough to skip out on cards like Ultra Ball being a bit easier to play.  So now, let us look at the rest of the card.  Exeggcute has a single attack called “Seed Bomb” for [GC], which does 20 damage; overpriced or underpowered, either way, you shouldn’t worry about using it, which makes the cards Grass-Typing almost irrelevant.  The rest of what makes it irrelevant is we don’t currently have a worthwhile Exeggcutor to use (no need to cash in on Forest of Giant Plants, then) and Propagation means you shouldn’t need Revitalizer.  Being a Basic is normally, the best, but here?  Here you wish Exeggcute was any other Stage so that there is no risk you’re stuck using it as your opening Active.  If that happens, you have to use another effect to bounce it into your hand or wait for your opponent to KO it. 

Speaking of being KO’d, this card has the minimum printed HP score for actual Pokémon cards: 30!  Not only does it require an opponent to have a horrid setup to survive, but this is low enough that Exeggcute is often an easy bonus Prize for spread/snipe effects and an Active Exeggcute can be OHKO’d through Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym, even on the first turn of the game!  Credit where credit is due, it also means you can search it out with Level Ball.  It also means the Fire Weakness only just matters; an attack that does 10 damage still whiffs on the OHKO, an attack that does 30+ damage already scores a OHKO, but 20 damage is a typical amount for single Energy attacks, so something like Volcanion (XY: Black Star Promos XY145; XY: Steam Siege 25/114) is capable of scoring a OHKO with its “Power Heater” attack and no buffs.  Water Resistance is a surprise, and a welcome one, but again, the HP will make sure it rarely matters as attacks which do 50+ damage punch right through.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is normally a very good deal, but here feels like an added punishment; if you’re stuck with Exeggcute in play and upfront, you’ll have to commit additional resources to get it out of the way. 

Putting it all together, now we know why Exeggcute isn’t a staple; while it is useful for meeting discard requirements from hand (and sometimes even the deck or field), you can be stuck opening with it.  Exeggcutor also has to worry about effects like those of Target Whistle and Karen; being forced into play or shuffled back into the deck defeat the point of Propagation.  Decks that do need to constantly discard Pokémon from the hand or the field do still at least consider it in Expanded play.  Where Exeggcute really shines, however, is in the Legacy Format.  Not because of other Exeggcute or Exeggcutor; a few have hinted at being good but none have delivered, at least recently.  What makes Exeggcute better in the Legacy Format mostly boils down to a few added opportunities plus some older archetypes performing much better here.  Junk Arm is a staple; this Item has you discard two cards from hand but then allows you to add an Item (other than Junk Arm) to your hand.  The Legacy Format lacks VS Seeker, but has less Item hate than the Expanded or Standard Formats; plenty of potent Items love being recycled, and most decks run as many copies of Junk Arm as they can; three of four is typical unless that player owns fewer copies than that.  Next, we have Empoleon (BW: Dark Explorers 29/108; BW: Plasma Freeze 117/116) and Weavile (BW: Plasma Freeze 66/116).  That’s right, the powers-that-be must have wanted us to notice these combos because a version of all three Pokémon (Empoleon, Exeggcute, and Weavile) are all in the same set! 

Empoleon and Weavile are not deck mates.  Empoleon, however, does have its own successful deck in the Legacy Format and occasionally had one back when this card was Standard legal, as well.  I don’t recall if it has had any serious success while in the Expanded Format, though.  Exeggcute allows you to repeatedly use the “Diving Draw” Ability on Empoleon; said Ability requires a discard from hand to activate and then has you draw two cards.  I’m not sure when it rose to prominence in the Legacy Format, but there was recently a bonus weekend challenge requiring you score KO’s with an Evolution, and many folks reminded me how good this deck could be.  Almost always, it was partnered with Dusknoir (BW: Boundaries Crossed 63/149; BW: Plasma Blast 104/101).  The “Diving Draw” attack on Empoleon only costs [W] to do 10 damage times the number of Pokémon in play (for both players), making it difficult to score OHKO’s against opposing Pokémon-EX and even some larger non-Pokémon-EX, and often you end up in overkill territory.  Dusknoir provides its “Sinister Hand” Ability so you can move that damage around, taking out smaller targets on the Bench and avoiding waste, so that 2HKO’s can sometimes produce a pseudo-OHKO.  With Weavile, there is even less to explain; it is a Darkness-Type Stage 1 that for [DC] can use its “Vilify” attack to do 30 damage per Pokémon you discard from your hand.  It too had some success in Standard before it rotated, but in the Legacy Format, it has been the best deck in the format at times.  Just spam four Exeggcute, a spare copy of a Pokémon or two, maybe include Silver Bangle, and you’re able to OHKO anything in the card pool. 

If Exeggcute were reprinted, it probably would see at least a little competitive play, but I don’t think too much; in short, it would be more like the Expanded Format than the Legacy Format.  You should never forget about it in the Expanded Format, but you should probably only use it when you’ve got a lot of discards in your deck, especially when manipulating hand-size is also a concern.  A slightly dated example are some of the decks built around Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101), especially those also using Archie’s Ace in the Hole; don’t want to get stuck with Archie’s Ace in the Hole, Superior Energy Retrieval or Ultra Ball, and insufficient discard fodder in hand.  You cannot afford to run it in everything in the Legacy Format, but I often wish I could; I miss it in the many decks where I just can’t make room. Oh, and if you’re able to play in a Limited event with older cards, this isn’t as exciting as you might think; while there are some cards (even at sensible rarities) that benefit from discard fodder, you’ve got to have both them and Exeggcute in hand at the same time.  Even with both Ultra Ball and Professor Juniper in BW: Plasma Blast, odds aren’t great you’d need the discard fodder more than once.  You might want to run an Exeggutor, though.


Standard: N/A 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 1.75/5 

Legacy: 3.5/5 


Exeggcutor reminds me once of about the differences between Pokémon and most of the other TCG’s I’ve played.  In those games, Exeggcutor would be a powerful card, banned or restricted in usage or else a staple.  Here?  We tend to have the draw power, hand-size, and/or recycling effects to keep discard costs from being a big problem, so only certain decks find it worthwhile.  Still, always something to keep in mind.

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