– Champion’s Path
September 25, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Welcome to our countdown of the top 10 cards of Champion’s Path… sort of! We are trying something a little different. Instead of glossing over evolving Pokémon that are (probably) worth their own review but nowhere near good enough to make the countdown, or trying to do two reviews in one, or two separate reviews on the same day, we’re going to just cover those cards during the countdown, without them taking up a placement. This change also meant our countdown no longer neatly fit our schedule, so there will be some “honorable mentions” worked into the schedule as well. So, Alcremie V (Champion’s Path 022/073) is not our 10th-Place pick, but it is a good hint at what is.
As a Pokémon V, Alcremie V is worth two Prizes when KO’d, cannot make use of certain beneficial effects, and is vulnerable to detrimental effects specific to Pokémon V, or rather, Pokémon and and Pokémon-GX given my fondness for such specifics. Being a Pokémon V comes with many bonuses as well; better HP than the baseline version of a card, and often better effects. Another added bonus is that, even if the baseline version of the Pokémon is normally an evolution, it will be a Basic Pokémon instead; the only evolved Pokémon V are their Pokémon VMAX forms. Being a Basic is usually the best, and has been for most of the TCG’s history.
Alcremie V is a Psychic type, and it isn’t what it used to be. They still have some solid support, but besides losing the greatness that was Mysterious Treasure, the shifting of their Weakness/Resistance relationships means they cannot exploit Weakness as readily among the newer cards. They also don’t encounter as much Resistance, but the former is much more important. 170 HP is very low for a Pokémon V, with only Falinks V possessing less. It is enough to make Alcremie V more likely to survive a hit than be OHKO’d, but plenty of decks will still be able to manage it, and even those that have to burn additional resources have the incentive given it is worth an extra Prize. [M] Weakness is likely the worst you can have right now; the only upside to it is that the HP means Zacian V already had a OHKO coming. Some – but not all – of the supporting attackers in Zacian V decks will still be able to take advantage of it, though. No Weakness is the worst, while a retreat cost is neither good nor bad.
Alcremie V knows two attacks. For [P] it can use “Sugary Sprinkles” to heal 30 damage from each of your Pokémon. This is better than nothing, but rarely will it be worth your attack, even with its low Energy cost. “Sweet Splash” requires [PCC] and does 100 damage, and if the Defending Pokémon is a Basic, that Pokémon cannot attack during your opponent’s next turn. This one is good; the damage output is a bit low, and while being a Basic Pokémon V precludes using Triple Acceleration Energy, Twin Energy, or Welder, there are still some options for speeding it up, and the payout might be worth it. Your opponent can shake the effect somewhat easily, and doesn’t even have to sweat it if they’re attacking with an evolution, but its decent damage with a decent soft-lock, and together the two are more than the sum of their parts.
So, as hinted, we’re looking at Alcremie V now because sometime soon we’ll be reviewing Alcremie VMAX (Champion’s Path 022/073). That means no in-depth review of that card, but know that yes, Alcremie V is a solid foundation for it, and being able to evolve into it is definitely a plus for Alcremie V. So, will Alcremie V be tearing up the Standard or Expanded Format? Probably not, but it could see some play, either in [P] focused control decks that can power-up Sweet Splash quickly enough, or anything running Alcremie VMAX. Even if official, in-person events weren’t canceled through the rest of 2020, as the “bonus” set available only through buying product like tins and gift sets, there wouldn’t be a Champion’s Path Pre-Release. You can still pay a lot of money for the packs, so I’ll still score it for Limited, and here it’s good, but maybe a little too small to run in a Mulligan build. There’s only one [M] type Pokémon in this set, Duraludon V, so that’s good for anything that is [M] Weak in this set!
For a card that didn’t make the actual countdown, Alcremie V seems decent. Now, I will stress that it is only just scoring a three-out-of-five in Standard and Expanded; it does something decent in its own right, and also is your path to Alcremie VMAX. You probably shouldn’t rush out and acquire a play set unless you really want to run Alcremie VMAX, or can find Alcremie V at a good price. For what are often filler Basics, though, Alcremie V is decent, maybe even good.
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