Banette – Vivid Voltage

Date Reviewed:  March 7, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.00
Expanded: 2.00

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

Reviews Below:

Otaku Avatar

Banette (SV – Vivid Voltage 068/185) is a regular Pokémon; worth only one Prize when KO’d, no Rule Box, etc.  As a Psychic type, it isn’t too useful for exploiting Weakness, nor is its Standard-legal support all that great.  Being a Stage 1 is decent; Basics are better, but it is a lot easier to run than a Stage 2.  This also means Banette can work with Ditto {*} in Expanded, and that may prove important.  Banette has 90 HP; on the plus side, that means it works with Level Ball, but is an easy OHKO the majority of the time.  Even easier for Darkness types, due to [D] Weakness: 50, 60, 70, or 80 damage is enough for the OHKO.  Any Resistance is better than none, but with the HP, -30 to Fighting doesn’t mean much.  A Retreat Cost of [C] is nice and low, but given the rest of the card, I think a free Retreat Cost is warranted.

We’ll come back to Banette’s Ability, because its attack is “Spooky Shot” for [PC], doing 40 damage.  Yup, that’s filler.  Mediocre filler as well; we’ve seen worse, but even if Spooky Shot did twice as much damage, it would still be too low to bother.  So Banette’s value rests on its Ability, “Curse of Devolution”.  Gee, wonder what that does?  When this Banette is played from your hand, during your turn, to evolve one of your Pokémon, you may select one of your opponent’s Benched, evolved Pokémon and return the highest Evolution Stage card from it into your opponent’s hand.  On its own, all this can meaningfully do is deny your opponent access to an Ability that works during your turn or the Pokémon Checkup, or KO something if it has more damage counters on it than its next highest Stage of evolution.

Bouncing the highest Stage of evolution can let your opponent reuse coming-into-play powers and saves them needing another copy of that evolution in general.  There  are some relatively simple combos to use with Banette, and they’re even fairly general use.  First, you can devolve something before forcing it into the Active position with Boss’s Orders for an easier KO.  Second, you can force your opponent to shuffle away the evolution with hand disruption, like Reset Stamp, so they cannot just re-evolve next turn.  Third, and this relies on your opponent, some evolution shortcuts (like Rare Candy) can easily (or at all) be reused, and that means re-evolving may be impossible.


  • Standard: 2/5
  • Expanded: 2/5

Banette is a trick that might prove handy in control decks, but I’m not thinking of anything in particular for Standard or Expanded.  In Expanded, though, it seems like a solid candidate if you’re already running Ditto {*}.  As is typical, though, there are more counters and competition for Banette in Expanded, even though there are also more combos that compliment it.  Score wise, Banette ends up with a two-out-of-five in both Formats.

We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews.  If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email.  We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc.   😉Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive.  We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!