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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 Sun & Moon: Guardians Rising

#15  Trevenant
- S&M: Guardians Rising

Date Reviewed:
May 15, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.62
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: 3.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page


WELCOME BACK TO THE NEW SET AND IT'S TOP 10 LIST!! Which is so big that IT'S ACTUALLY A TOP 15 LIST!! To be fair, this set had a lot of good cards in it, so let's take a look at what we generally agreed upon to be some of the best cards in the set! 

Trevenant starts out at #15, which is pretty good for a non-GX Stage 1. He's got two big things going for him right now - being a Grass-type means he can mooch off of Forest of Giant Plants until it rotates out this year, and then there's his attacks, one of which is cheap AND potentially explosive! 

That attack is Poltergeist, and at 2 Energy, it allows you to look at your opponent's hand and deal 30 damage times the number of Trainer cards there - that includes Items, Supporters, AND Stadiums! Now Items would probably be the least number of cards you see in their hand outside of niche picks, but Supporters and Stadiums may end up sticking around a while simply due to the nature of their play. And if you combine Trevenant with something like Vileplume (AOR) to lock down those Items, well then you've got a major attack on the way. Remember, it only takes 6 Trainer cards to KO an EX or Basic-GX, and only a couple more cards need to be used for most others. 

Add onto that Horn Leech, which is a 3-for-90 hit that heals for 30, and Trevenant does look decently solid. At least, that's the theory anyway. Unfortunately, the Vileplume-Trevenant build would be a very hefty one in terms of Pokemon, and even with Forest of Giant Plants pushing out the duo faster, it may be a bit cumbersome to execute if you don't get them out Turn 1. Still, it's probably the one deck that'll see play with Trevenant until the rotation, and after that he may fall back a bit in terms of usage simply because he'll be a little slower. Ideally by that point, though, a LOT of decks will be slower, not only because of the lack of Forest of Giant Plants or anything similar but also because of the focus on the more evolutionary GX Pokemon. 

For now though, it's easy to see why Trevenant's such a good pick, and if it's only in 15th place, then it makes you wonder what other great cards are in the set that outranked it! 


Standard: 3.5/5 (the main issue with Trevenant I find is his reliance on the opponent's moves) 

Expanded: 4/5 (but with the right set-up, he can be a devastating OHKO machine) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (even then, it'll be tough to work with) 

Arora Notealus: Trevenant's got a lot going on for him at the moment, and it may be a good time to try him out. He'll probably be on the cheaper side of things too, and if Vileplume-Trevenant builds turn out to be successful, we may see a lot of them come into play. 

Next Time: The return of a legend...in a slightly different form.


Trevenant (Guardians Rising, 7/145) debuts as our first review for a card from the new Guardians Rising expansion set.  A Grass type Pokemon, the attack that we will focus on is Poltergeist, which for two Colorless energy does damage equal to thirty times the number of Trainer cards in your opponent’s hand.  As you might guess, this attack begs to be paired with Vileplume’s (Ancient Origins, 3/98) ability Irritating Pollen.

This pairing worked extremely well for me.  I went 14-6 in twenty matches.  Even more impressive: my opponent had the advantage in twelve out of the twenty matches, and neither of us had the advantage in six matches.  I only had the advantage twice in twenty matches.  I went 7-5 in matches where the opponent had the advantage and 7-1 in the other eight games.  The list of Pokemon I beat with this deck stands without reproach: Tauros GX (Sun & Moon, 144/149), Solgaleo GX (Sun & Moon, 143/149), Garbodor (Guardians Rising, 51/145), Volcanion EX (Steam Siege, 107/114), Umbreon GX (Sun & Moon, 80/149), and more.

The list I used:

##Pokémon - 20 

* 1 Morelull SUM 16
* 1 Shiinotic SUM 17
* 2 Oddish AOR 1
* 2 Gloom AOR 2
* 2 Vileplume AOR 3
* 4 Phantump GRI 6
* 4 Trevenant GRI 7
* 4 Unown AOR 30

##Trainer Cards - 36

* 3 Professor Sycamore STS 114
* 4 Trainers' Mail ROS 92
* 4 N NVI 101
* 2 Revitalizer GEN 70
* 1 Olympia GEN 66
* 1 Professor Sycamore BKP 107
* 2 Acro Bike PRC 122
* 4 Forest of Giant Plants AOR 74
* 4 Ultra Ball SUM 135
* 1 Special Charge STS 105
* 4 Level Ball AOR 76
* 1 Lysandre FLF 104
* 4 Float Stone BKT 137
* 1 Professor Birch's Observations PRC 134

##Energy - 4

* 4 Double Colorless Energy EVO 90

Only one time did I note that item lock backfired on me.  Also, in only one match did playing only the four DCE backfire on me as well (I had two DCE prized in that match).  I did actually force myself to put N in this deck as well.  For those of you who don’t know, I strongly resist playing N because in a study I did about six months ago I found I gave my opponents more cards twice as often as I used N to reduce their hand size.  I also found that by giving your opponent one additional card, this increased the chances of improving the opponent’s hand by about 50%.  Two extra cards raised it to about 67%, and three more came to about a 75% chance of improving your opponent’s hand.  However, I knuckled down and decided to play N for the expressed purpose of putting more cards – specifically more Trainer cards – in my opponent’s hand.

I’ve played quite a bit of item lock since SUM.  I don’t know that Trevenant will win more than Decidueye GX (Guardians Rising, 12/149) Vileplume with Tauros GX, and I don’t know if Golisopod (Guardians Rising, 9/145) might not work better either(I haven’t played a single match with Golisopod yet).  I enjoyed playing Trevenant Vileplume, though, and I would highly recommend giving this deck a whirl.


Standard: 4 out of 5


Trevenant Vileplume combined as an excellent duo that frustrated many very good opponents and dominated lesser ones.  If I can say one more thing, dear reader: if you have the misfortune of playing against this deck (or any Vileplume) deck, let me give you a word of advice – don’t Lysandre (Ancient Origins, 78/98) up Vileplume and KO it.  Every time my opponent KO’s Vileplume it never fails: I am ALWAYS able to use the items now available to me to return Vileplume back into play.  This happens one hundred percent of the time – there has never been an exception.  I ALWAYS can put Vileplume back on the board.  I’m not saying this to brag, but just to state a fact: it’s not hard for anyone playing item lock to bring Vileplume back into play.  By KO’ing Vileplume, all you do is give your opponent a free turn with items.  I actually use this as part of my strategy – if I feel I’m falling behind in the match, I will frequently serve up Vileplume, hoping my opponent will KO it so I can use all of the item cards clogging up my hand to get me back into the game.  Therefore, if you take nothing else away from this review, at least remember not to KO Vileplume.


Welcome to our Top 15 Countdown for SM: Guardians Rising!  If you’re new, how we compile our list is each current Card of the Day reviewer submits his or her own top 10 list; each card receives “voting points” based on its ranking on each list, and these voting points are tallied at the end to create the site’s official list.  Sometimes we have contributors beyond the usual CotD crew, and sometimes reviewers submit a list that is a little longer or shorter than 10 cards.  This time, everyone submitted at least a top 15 list, so we decided to countdown from 15 instead of 10.  After all, we often end up doing a runners-up week anyway, which is just a Top 15 presented out of order.  Another important thing to know is that under normal circumstances, reprints aren’t allowed.  Pokémon is pretty good about reprinting key cards, but that makes for some boring countdowns when we all know first hand that a card like Decidueye-GX, Double Colorless Energy, Enhanced Hammer, and Max Potion are quite good.  We may make exceptions if a card has been absent Standard and/or Expanded play for some time, and it does have to be an actual reprint; if it wouldn’t be considered the same card in terms of deck building, it was a potential pick for these lists.  Finally, I’ll add that we sometimes bundle cards together.  This can happen because you need to use the cards together, or because they occupy a similar niche in deck building, or probably something I can’t think of right now.

So with that out of the way, let us begin our abridged review of Trevenant (SM: Guardians Rising 7/145).  As I’ve been slacking off when it comes to the PTCGO, I don’t have the vast majority of new SM: Guardians Rising cards, nor is this set tournament legal yet.  In short, I’m operating on pure Theorymon.  I’m also short on time, so I’m just going to cover the more important bits.  The Typing is useful because this latest set pumps up the often Grass Weak Water Type, plus improved synergy with Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98).  Being a Stage 1 is adequate; being a Basic is better, but at least it isn’t a Restored Pokémon, Stage 2, etc.  120 HP is decent; OHKOing this amount rapidly, reliably, and repeatedly is hard for most decks, and even competitive decks are probably just doing two of the three.  Fire Weakness means those attackers should accomplish those three R’s, while the lack of Resistance is typical but the worst.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can probably afford it in the short term, but high enough that it hurts in the long run.  Trevenant is bringing back “Poltergeist”, with its classic effect of hitting harder based on the number of Trainers (Item, Stadium, and Supporter cards) in your opponent’s hand.  This time, the cost is an easy to meet [CC] and the damage is 30 per Trainer; not overwhelming, but definitely showing potential.  Don’t forget the bonus of seeing your opponent’s hand.  “Horn Leech” has also shown up before, but what matters is that this version costs [GGC] to do 90 damage to the opponent’s Active while healing the attacker by 30.  A friendlier Energy cost could have made this a nice fallback, but as is, it’s subpar. 

Trevenant has some key cards to combo and compete with in its own Evolution line.  Phantump (XY: BREAKpoint 64/122) can use its “Ascension” attack for [C] to search out and Evolve into Trevenant; very useful if you’re going second.  It can even cash in on Dimension Valley (in Expanded) to use the attack for free.  The new Phantump (SM: Guardians Rising 6/145) is a Grass Type, so in either Standard or Expanded Formats, Forest of Giant Plants this simple combo enables a first turn Trevenant, possibly multiples, and even if you’re going first.  Trevenant (XY 55/146) has been reviewed twice before, and it is still a competitive deck… possibly more with the new Phantump.  While its “Tree Slam” attack isn’t on par with Poltergeist, it has the “Forest’s Curse” Ability that locks down your opponent’s Items while it is Active.  I’m not sure if the deck can take the hit to reliability to sneak in a single copy of today’s Trevenant as a cleaner, though the two would complement each other.  Trevenant BREAK is another familiar face, but even though it is still legal, it hasn’t been doing anything in Standard.  Possibly, it could work with this new Trevenant; it retains access to the attacks of its previous Stage, so it could make use of Poltergeist while shifting to the Psychic Type and jumping to 160 HP.  If you can afford to run it with a source of [P] Energy, you would also gain access to “Silent Fear”, a solid spread attack that places three damage counters on each of your opponent’s Pokémon for [PC].  I’m not expecting this, though. 

The obvious use for Trevenant (SM: Guardians Rising 7/145) is as a new partner for Vileplume… which is why I mentioned it already.  Of course, pretty much everything that can Evolve from a Grass Type Basic is worth looking at in this light, but “Irritating Pollen” keeps your opponent from playing Items so Poltergeist can hit bigger numbers.  If you can also squeeze in Decidueye-GX, “Feather Arrow” also helps with hitting key numbers.  You could also pair Trevenant with the new Garbodor (SM: Guardians Rising 51/145); its “Trashalanche” attack does more damage based on the number of Items in your opponent’s discard pile.  If your opponent burns through Items to avoid powering up Poltergeist, you shift to Trashalance.  Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122) and Trevenant BREAK might even be options in such a build.  Even with something to prevent or discourage Item usage, you need to remember that hand-size is something a player can try to control and that even with decks being up to two-thirds Trainers, a four or five card hand by the end of your turn means Poltergeist might whiff on damage.  Even with help, you’ll be hard pressed to OHKO bigger targets with Poltergeist; one Trainer for 30 damage, two for 60, three for 90, four for 120, five for 150, six for 180, seven for 210, eight for 240, nine for 270, etc.  So, I am not sure if it is worth using with Vileplume in place of another attacker, but now I’m intrigued with what it might accomplish with Garbodor.  Plus, I really am expecting a spike in Grass Weakness; needing half as many cards for a KO addresses that concern about damage. 

With all that being said, the buzz I’ve heard about this card means we will be seeing Trevenant in competitive Standard play, and I think it will meet with at least a little success there.  For Expanded, it might get a little face time, but the original Trevenant is the real star.  As for Limited play, Poltergeist is more valuable for seeing your opponent’s hand and forcing him or her to quickly use up Trainers that may otherwise be more valuable saved for later… which wouldn’t be worth much except Horn Leech suddenly carries its weight.  The lower average damage output and HP scores mean the 120 HP on Trevenant, the 90 damage output and 30 points of healing all mean more here.  It isn’t super easy to splash with another Type due to the Energy requirements, but it should be possible. 


Standard: 3.35/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 3.5/5 


Trevenant (SM: Guardians Rising 7/145) has a nifty attack in Poltergeist, but I don’t think that will do it much good in Expanded.  I do expect something in Standard, but not where I expected it.  Decidueye-GX/Vileplume decks have a lot to include already, including some other potential new attackers, but I can’t deny the appeal.  I also can’t deny that I like the idea of pairing this with the new Garbodor (and the old one for that matter), though in both cases Trevenant is riding on the coattails of other strong cards. 

I realize I’ve been putting my fellow reviewers in a bit of a bind by giving such exacting details about voting point, so instead of the exact amount of voting points Trevenant garnered, I’ll just state its relative performance.  Trevenant actually tied with another card, which I’ll reveal when we get around to reviewing it after the countdown.  Trevenant won the dice off to take 15th place.  14th place only beat Trevenant by a single voting point.  Finally, for my personal Top 15, Trevenant didn’t make it.  I did award it 20th place; we’ll soon know if I lowballed it.

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