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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 Sun & Moon: Guardians Rising

#14 - Victini
- Sun & Moon: Guardians Rising

Date Reviewed:
May 16, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.37
Expanded: 3.50
Limited: 3.67

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

Back to the main COTD Page



Yep, the Noble Victories legendary version of Victini has been reborn in Guardians Rising, marking a return for one of the best cards for anything coin-reliant...well, at least for attacks. Victini famously gets his nickname from his Ability, Victory Star, which allows you to redo a coin toss for any attacks you may have. Basically, if you use an attack that requires a coin flip and get a result you're not happy with, you can reflip the coin using this Ability. 

...oh, and V-Flame is 2-for-50 vanilla, who cares- 

SO!! What does this mean? Well you know all those attacks that have "Flip a coin, if heads do this?" And you know how heads is usually what you want? And it's a 50/50 chance of getting it? Well on the REflip, you get ANOTHER 50/50 chance to land it! And by the general rule of calculating two coin flips, it means that 75% of the time, you're going to land heads one of those times. Sure, you're probably going to keep the result if you flip Heads first - unless you REALLY want the tails effect - but overall the chances are much improved for your end result to be Heads, which is good! And that's not even including those multi-flip attacks. 

Of course, that's where Fliptini's usefulness lies, so he won't see play in decks that aren't reliant on coin flips. All the more though, he'll see play in decks that have AMAZING coin flips. That is to say, decks like Vanilluxe (NVI) that could flip a coin, do damage, and as long as there was 1 of 2 heads, PARALYZE the opponent. I don't know off the top of my head if such a specifically powerful combination is around in this format, but it'll be interesting to see where Fliptini goes in the Sun/Moon era. 


Standard: 3.5/5 (it's certainly nice to have the ability to reflip coins) 

Expanded: 4/5 (of course, coin flips aren't going to be the most reliable thing ever still) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (but at least the better results will show up more often) 

Arora Notealus: I actually remember the old Fliptini cause I ran him in one of my first decks when I came back into the game during BW. Guess what? It was Vanilluxe! Yeah, shame there was no Wally back then, and that Water decks had no Forest of Giant Plants. But still! Maybe that's why I like Rare Candy so much... 

Next Time: When the moon shines bright, this wolf goes out on the prowl...


Victini (Guardians Rising, 10/145) makes a triumphant return to the game in the Guardians Rising expansion set.  Although this card has a different attack than prior incarnations, the ability Victory Star remains the same: if you have an attack that uses a coin flip and that coin flip doesn’t turn up the way you want it to, you can flip that coin again.

This opens a world of possibilities of combos with Victini.  We reviewed Torkoal (Sun & Moon, 23/149) last Friday, and I shared the success that I experienced with that combo.  Discount Pokemon Decks has the only video for a Victini deck that I’ve seen so far, featuring Doublade (Primal Clash, 99/160) and Spinda (Primal Clash, 115/160).  Other cards that would benefit from teching in Victini:

ˇ         Toxapex GX (Guardians Rising, 57/145)

ˇ         Incineroar GX (Sun & Moon, 27/149)

ˇ         Kangaskhan (Sun & Moon, 99/149)

ˇ         Gligar (Roaring Skies, 36/108)

ˇ         Swellow (Guardians Rising, 104/145)

ˇ         Pinsir (Sun & Moon, 6/149)

ˇ         Articuno (Roaring Skies, 17/108)

ˇ         Alolan Golem (Guardians Rising, 42/145)

ˇ         Marowak (Fates Collide, 37/124)

I’m sure there are a number of other Pokemon with coin flips built into their attacks as well, this is just the list I’ve come up with that I think have potential.  One Pokemon in particular that I was disappointed to realize that would not benefit from Victini is Darkrai (XY Promo 114).  Because the card specifically states that the opponent flips two coins, Victory Star does not apply to Darkrai.  Also, please be aware that Victory Star does not stack – if you have two or more Victini on your bench, you still only get to reflip once.


Standard: 3.5 out of 5


My rule of thumb is this: if a card has a nickname or a catch phrase, it’s got to be good.  I’m sure there’s a deck out there that Fliptini will significantly elevate.  I’ve already shown how it makes Torkoal quite competitive.  Good luck finding the combo that works for you!


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 explanation out of the way, we begin this review of Victini (SM: Guardians Rising 10/145).  Once again, I’m pressed for time and never got around to testing this card on the PTCGO (or even acquiring it there), so I’ve got to rely on Theorymon.  Victini is a Basic, almost always a good thing.  Being a Fire Type Basic is something I’m going to come back to for reasons that I hope will become apparent.  70 HP has one benefit - being a legal Level Ball target - but is mostly a matter of being an easy OHKO while active and being four steps removes from being super fragile on the Bench as well.  Water Weakness is less likely to matter with the HP: attacks that do 30 or less damage still fail to score a OHKO while those doing 70+ still score a OHKO.  Lack of Resistance is common and its presence isn’t usually a big deal (again, especially with the HP) but it also is still the worst a card can have (or not have?).  A single Energy Retreat Cost is the second best a card can have and is easy to pay and recover from having paid much of the time. 

“Victory Star” is a recycled Ability that originated with Victini (BW: Noble Victories 14/101; 98/101; BW: Black Star Promos BW32; BW: Legendary Treasures 23/113).  It allows you to re-flip coins but under very specific circumstances: 

  • Part of an attack
  • All or none
  • During your turn
  • Once per turn (even if you have multiple copies)
  • You must use the new result


Even with these restrictions, Victory Star is still a nice trick when you’ve got an attack with a relevant component decided by a coin flip.  We also need to rewind back to this card’s Stage; while being a Basic makes it much easier to access this effect (in terms of resource management), it also makes it much easier for the opponent to counter, due to Alolan Muk and Silent Lab.  The other thing Victini brings is its own attack, which lacks a coin flip.  For [RC] “V-Flame” does 50 damage.  For two Energy, that’s an adequate return, especially on a Fire Type due to various forms of Energy acceleration and the “Steam Up” Ability of Volcanion-EX. 

So what is going against this card?  Victory Star doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the desired result on the flip, and there are enough factors you can’t control that building a deck around another one is undesirable.  Its predecessor has 10 less HP and lower damage output from a similarly priced attack but said attack moves all attached Energy to your Benched Pokémon; pretty handy in your typical Volcanion-EX.  You also compete with all other versions of Victini, but either they have a clearly different niche like Victini (BW: Noble Victories 15/101) or something that combos with Victory Star, like Victini (BW: Noble Victories 43/101).  The big problem, though, is that I just don’t have a killer attack to combo with it.  The original Victory Star Victini had the same problem; there were decks that required “Fliptini” but they mostly for fun, or at least not competitive enough.  At the same time, though, they add up, and so it is nice that they have access to this effect once again in Standard, and in a new way for Expanded play.  This card should really be a star in Limited play; you’re more likely to have an attacker with a coin-flip affected attack. 


Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 


Victory Star can be a nice Ability to have, helping a lot of decks, but not ones I expect to see in the top cut of your typical tournament.  I scored it the same in Expanded, even though there is more competition there because there are more opportunities to utilize the effect as well. 

Victini is our 14th place finisher, just barely beating out our 15th and 16th place cards by one voting point.  While it caught my eye, it didn’t make my personal top 15 or even top 20.  I’ve been toying with ordering the rest of the set, as I rate and then re-rate all the cards to come up with my own top 10 list, but the best Victini could hope for is 26th place right now (though it probably will end up there). 

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