Alcremie – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: February 14, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Alcremie (SW – Vivid Voltage 081/185) is a (hopefully) sweet treat for those celebrating Valentine’s Day! This is a baseline Pokémon, keeping things nice and simple; nothing added to its name, no Rule Boxes, etc. That also means Alcremie is worth only one Prize when KO’d, and that’s practically an advantage in a metagame dominated by multi-Prize Pokémon. Alcremie is a Psychic type, because the Fairy type is now represented as such in the TCG. It isn’t overly useful for exploiting Weakness in the modern game, but it also doesn’t crash into Resistance against fellow SW-era cards; there’s more Weakness and Resistance to Psychics in the previous eras of the game. [P] support exists in both Standard and Expanded, but only a few pieces are likely to favor Alcremie (more on that later). Anti-[P] effects exist, but also aren’t likely to matter.
Alcremie is a Stage 1 Pokémon, evolving from Milcery and… no surprise, no Milcery cards are anything more than filler. Still, Stage 1 Pokémon are still pretty reasonable to run, only requiring (approximately) twice the cards and turns as a Basic, even without shortcuts. Alcremie has 90 HP, which is low. It is enough to survive some of the weaker, technical attacks, such as Seismitoad-EX using “Quaking Punch” or Vikavolt V using “Paralyzing Bolt”, attacks that both prevent your opponent from playing Item cards from hand during your opponent’s next turn, but which only do 30 and 50 damage, respectively. Slight perk that may prove relevant; 90 is the highest HP score you can have and still be a legal Level Ball target. The HP means Alcremie’s [M] Weakness and lack of Resistance are minor issues, instead of major. Alcremie’s Retreat Cost of [C] is a small, but appreciated, bonus; most of the time, this should be easy to pay and recover from having paid. U-Turn Board can zero it out entirely!
Alcremie’s Ability is “Sharing Sweets”. During your turn, when you play this card from your hand to evolve one of your Pokémon, you may use Sharing Sweets. If you do, each player draws a card. There are other Abilities on Stage 1 Pokémon that let you draw a card once per turn, or draw more than just one card. Why draw less and help your opponent? Because they have to draw, so it brings them closer to decking out! Cards your opponent draws during your turn usually do them no good until their turn. You could use something to force them to shuffle cards back into their deck but in this case, that’s stupid. Again, you’d use something else to help you draw, without having to worry about your opponent. Instead, we want effects that make your opponent discard from their hand or their deck, in order to try and deck them out.
Alcremie’s attack is “Wonder Shine”. For [PCC] it does 60 damage and leaves your opponent’s Active confused. The good news is the pricing makes Wonder Shine compatible with a lot of generic Energy acceleration, like Twin Energy. You’ll still need to attach a source of [P] Energy as well. There are combos for that, but Wonder Shine isn’t worth it. 60 for three was poor back in the BW-era. Confusing your opponent is handy, but not enough to offset the cost of the attack. This isn’t an abysmal filler attack, but it is bad. As in, this attack would be better if even if it did less damage, still Confused, but was priced at [C] or [CC]. Still, since Wonder Shine does not hit very hard and Confuses, it might help buy time for you to work on milling your opponent.
Most of the time, when you try to deck out your opponent, you discard cards from the top of their deck. Having them draw is less effective, and it isn’t like we’re having them draw more cards than typical mill effects discard. However, as you also draw, that means you can keep your deck going. Scoop Up Net can easily bounce Alcremie. Level Ball is getting a reprint, so Level Ball and Quick Ball can provide easy search. In Expanded, you also have Mysterious Treasure. I believe the biggest issue Alcremie faces is… there isn’t a good option for reusable bounce, or mass bounce. Say you run a 4-4 Alcremie line, with four Scoop Up Net. Even if you evolve all four without issue, then use all four Scoop Up Net and do it again the next turn, that is only eight cards spread between two turns. Expanded adds more options, but you also might have better pure mill options for Alcremie to compete with, or combo with as the case may be. So you’ll run out quickly…
…or you’ll have no room in your deck for other essentials. As for attackers, you either want something that mills, something that restricts what cards your opponent may play from hand, or something that discards from your opponent’s hand. Other forms of disruption may be worthwhile as well: in Expanded, Wobbuffet (XY – Phantom Forces 36/119; Generations RC11/RC32). Its “Bide Barricade” stops the Abilities of non-[P] Pokémon while it is Active. That means Alcremie works fine while Crobat V, Dedenne-GX, etc. do not. All of this is pure Theorymon, and it is a dangerous game you’re playing when you bulk up your opponent’s hand.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
I am most definitely being generous with these scores, but I do like the idea behind Alcremie. I just wish it had both players draw more cards. Three and three would feed your own combos, helping to free up your Supporter for other purposes, and give you the option of pushing harder, sooner. With an appropriate level of risk, I think, as if you don’t win or make your opponent discard down before their next turn, you just gave them a “free” Hop. As is, you each just get one card per Sharing Sweets, making it harder to push for a victory but also making it less likely you’ll set your opponent up for a power play the next turn.
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