Arctovish V – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: October 20, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Arctovish V (SW – Evolving Skies 048/203, 176/203) is a Rue Box Pokémon, but as it has no Abilities and we probably weren’t going to fuel it with the Ability of Cherrim (SW – Battle Styles 008/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH088), that doesn’t really matter with our current cardpool. What does is that it is a Pokémon V: it gives up an extra Prize when KO’d, can’t make use of support like Twin Energy, and has to deal with anti-V effects like the “Deep Forest Camo” Ability found on Decidueye (SW – Darkness Ablaze 013/189; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH035; Shining Fates 008/072, SV003/SV122). Fortunately, being a Pokémon V comes with many perks, like improved HP (relative to the baseline version of the Pokémon), possibly better effects, and one other benefit that doesn’t always make a difference but certainly does here…
…Arctovish V is a Basic Pokémon when they are normally Stage 1 Pokémon. In fact, they’re not just regular Stage 1 Pokémon but “Fossil” Stage 1 Pokémon. *gets on soap box* Yeah, avoid that failed mechanic they abandoned for Restored Pokémon, then returned to when they realized Restored Pokémon weren’t really worth it either. Instead of copying something else I think worked well. Why not handle them like Ultra Beasts, just adding tag/label/etc. to the card so that they can have their own shared support and counters, but otherwise function normally. *gets off soap box* Okay, back on topic, Arctovish V avoids that hot mess, and is a Basic Pokémon, the easiest and most efficient Stage to run.
Arctovish V is a Water type, giving it access to some decent support like Melony or Frosmoth, and synergy with other Water types in general. There are a few competitive Fire decks right now, and they’re Water Weak, so that helps as well. As already mentioned, being a Pokémon V means more HP than normal, and Arctovish V has 220. Besides being 70 more than a regular Arctovish card, it is the middle value of the typical Basic Pokémon V range (210 to 230). This isn’t high enough to be safe from a OHKO, but there’s a decent chance Arctovish V can survive. Arctovish V is [L] Weak; not as bad as it was pre-rotation, and not the worst to have right now, but far from safe. No Resistance is the worst, but is also the norm, so moving on, we have a Retreat Cost of [CC]. This is neither high enough to be a problem nor low enough to be a real advantage.
Arctovish V knows two attacks. For [WCC] it can use “Ancient Freeze” to do 80 damage, plus a conditional effect: if the Defending Pokémon is a Pokémon V or Pokémon-GX, it won’t be able to attack during your opponent’s next turn. 80 damage for three Energy is low, but thanks to the added Energy acceleration available to Arctovish V, it isn’t awful… but you’re using this attack for the effect. There are non-Pokémon V attackers, and the effect isn’t hard to shake… but when it happens over and over again, it can grind certain decks to a halt. The main thing is you’ll need either additional disruption, additional damage, or both to make a deck where this lock is truly worthwhile… but if Arctovish V is easy enough for your deck to run (Frosmoth), you could just run a copy as TecH for opposing decks that can’t shake the effect easily.
Arctovish V has another effect, “Giga Impact”. For [WWCC] this attack lets Arctovish V do 220 damage to your opponent’s Active but then the attacking Arctovish V can’t attack again next turn. Just like how Ancient Freeze’s effect can be shaken by switching out to another attacker or even switching/retreating to the Bench then switching/retreating the new Active back into the old, the same can be done so Arctovish V can use Giga Impact over and over again. For four Energy, 220 damage is… okay. It gets better if – again – it is run with something like Frosmoth so you can power it all up in a single turn. I wouldn’t run this card for Giga Impact but for Ancient Freeze, but as long as powering your attacks is easy, Giga Impact is a decent backup option.
Expanded has more combos, but more competition and counters. I’d say Arctovish V still has potential if a deck can easily power-it up, both in terms of accelerating Energy and increasing its damage output. Plus, again, you’ll probably need added disruption so shaking Ancient Freeze’s effects won’t be that easy for your opponent. All in all, I think Arctovish V has less potential here, but it isn’t worthless. It is better in Standard, but still not brilliant… at least, not yet. This is the kind of card you keep an eye on; the right partners could turn it into a deck’s main attacker.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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