Ness' Card of the Day
"I sure don't like that Magmar fellow."-Venusaur
"One of the closest cards to having a popular archetype. Stupid Super Energy Removal."
"If it wasn't Stage 2, didn't have a retreat cost, and didn't need four energy to attack, it'd be broken."-Joe Brom
"Used to be good, and still can, in 15/3. Nothing spectacular."-Jedi
"Good HP, good power, good enough attack."-Kristian Alvarez
"My original favorite Pokemon." - Clefairy Doll
11.27.00 Venusaur got more votes than all the others, so let's take a look at it. There are a lot of things people overlook on this card.
Not really much news. I played in my own little tournament against my friend Alex over the weekend, where we each take turns picking decks, and play best 2/3 out of 2 randomly selected decks. We have the archetypes(trappers, hay variants, wigglys, stalls, rain dance) and other things like Clefable, Dark Vileplume, Chansey Flows.. things that are slightly weaker. Through this tournament I confirmed my belief of first turn Lass the deadliest weapon against Rain Dance, and Trapper, and still very effective against Hays.
Energy Trans- Nothing Else has an Ability Like This!
Energy Trans is a great thing. It has a lot of things that people overlook. I'll talk about the basics, and then go into more complicated strategies with it.
Sneak Attacks: Your opponent just brought out a Wigglytuff and knocked out your Scyther. They don't have much back-up. You have a Chansey and a Double Colorless in your hand, and Venusaur's got two grass energy attached. You get that Chansey out somehow(switch, scoop up, or having another Scyther out to retreat) attach the colorless, move the two grass, and Double-Edge. They never expected it. Energy Trans allows you to launch powerful attacks your opponent may not expect, which can really be an advantage. Another sneak attack that you might actually see or use is Scyther's Swords Dance and Slash. You might not have the colorless. Oh well, you can just Breeder that Bulbasaur, and drag a couple grass around Scyther to it, Slash for 60.
Rainbow Energy: Rainbow Energy provides grass energy, allowing it to be effected by the same things that could effect a grass energy card. Rainbow Energy is great with Mewtwo. If you get a couple in play, they can be moved all over, to different types of Pokémon. Of course, moving the energy to other Pokémon doesn't make them take 10, and absorbing it from the discard with Mewtwo doesn't either, which is a great combo with Venusaur. Energy Absorption some Rainbow(or just grass) and distribute it all over. If your opponent dare gives you 2+ turns to get two rainbow/grass, you'll be hard to stop.
Pokémon Center: What a combo! This is one of the best things to play with Venusaur. You can be full of damage, and near defeat. You draw a Pokémon Center. Energy Trans allows you to move all your gass energy to an undamaged Pokémon, play Pokémon Center, losing no energy, and then move it back. This can really hurt. When your opponent thinks they have you defeated, you can really turn the game around.
Erika's Oddish/Ditto: Originally this was ruled illegal, I believe WotC now allows it. A potion energy, full heal energy, or double colorless energy sitting on an Erika's Oddish or Ditto can be moved with a Venusaur, but once it's off that Oddish or Ditto, it can't be, as it stops providing grass energy. This allows you to really get some sneaky, powerful attacks off at the right time.
Defense against Super Energy Removal: You're building your Venusaur, but you're afraid of losing two energy to Super Energy Removal. Energy Trans can help against Super. You're holding a Lass, but are going to need some trainers before you Lass to get rid of their removals, drawing etc., so Venusaur has a strong advantage. You move one energy to each of your Pokémon. Super cannot remove two energy from two Pokémon, and it now can only remove one energy. It's like a weakened Energy Removal now. This is probably one of the most overlooked strategies of Energy Trans.
These are some of the things that make Energy Trans pretty good. Now you know, it's for more than giving you the ability to use the same energy to attack with different Pokémon.
With things like movie promo Mewtwo, it is possible to get an attack like this off, but removal can still really hurt it. Venusaur still needs a PlusPower with this attack to take out the good basics. Veusaur is something that you can attack with though, as it can go through everything when powered up. The only problem is actually getting the energy on it, and hopefully, Energy Trans can help you.
Weakness to Fire / Retreat
Magmar and now Blaine's Rapidash are popular in tournament environments today. Magmar, and I'm not just talking about fossil, base Magmar is actually extremely powerful against Venusaur, getting a one-hit KO. Luckily, not many people play base set Magmar, but fossil Magmar can still be a good weapon against Venusaur. It's retreat is two, making it something that can't easily get out of smokescreen and poison easily.
Wow, 100 HP. This is a nice amount, especially because of Pokémon Center, which works extremely well with 100 HP, as it's hard to get a one-hit KO on it, making it something that can have it's damage constantly removed.
Bulbasaur and Ivysaur
Bulbasaur, with 40 HP, can be Gusted and Thunderpunched/Psyburned/Smogged/Pulled Punched/Special Punched/anything for the knockout. PlusPowers make Bulbasaur immediately able to be gusted KO'd when benched, it's important to evolve it immediately, there may not even be time to go to Ivysaur, and Venusaur, without Ivysaur getting knocked out, as that's still only 60 HP. It's normally best to Breeder this thing immediately.
You can see the HP go up by 20, then 40, making it pretty much safe against Gust at Stage 2.
My Rating (1- Almost completely useless, 3- Pretty bad, 5- Useable, 7-Tournament level, 10-Totally broken)
Venusaur can be played in tournament level, but normally will fail mostly because of Bulbasaurs being too easy to get KO'd, and Super Energy Removal still being effective against an attacking Venusaur. Occasionally, a strong Venusaur deck can really pound a Hay if everything goes right, though. I'd give Venusaur a 6.5.
In 15/3, Stage 2 evolutions are among the things that actually do work a lot better, and it's power is great in the format. Venusaur, in this format, used at the East STS, is an 8.5 card. Venusaur, simply, works better, in this format.