Butterfree – Sword & Shield Fusion Strike 3/264
January 10, 2022
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Looks like we have another special condition inducer after Weepinbell from Sword & Shield Battle Styles.
Butterfree from Sword & Shield Fusion Strike provides another method of inflicting multiple special conditions other than Weepinbell with its ability called Tricolored Scales, which states that if you play this Pokemon to evolve 1 of your Pokemon – mostly from a Stage 1 Metapod, or from a Caterpie with Rare Candy – you may leave your opponent’s Active Pokemon Burned, Confused, and Poison. Paralysis or Asleep would’ve been too good, and the TCG isn’t too kind regarding the ability to inflict such special conditions; they may either make you flip some coins, accept a detrimental effect, or consume certain resources to inflict Paralysis or Asleep. Confusion is one of the worst Special Conditions, but at least Burn and Poison lets you put three damage counters in between turns. Meanwhile, Butterfree has the Gust attack, which costs GC for 90 damage without any effects, and that’s something you should avoid attacking with.
Arguably, Weepinbell may be somewhat superior because it is a Stage 1 despite only inflicting two Special Conditions. However, Butterfree does have a method of getting itself into play in one turn. This may sound crazy, but I’m not talking about Forest of Giant Plants; Instead, Butterfree has both Caterpie and Metapod from Sword & Shield Rebel Clash that can help you. They both have the Adaptive Evolution ability that states that they can evolve on your first turn or the turn you play it. Assuming you have 1 of each – Caterpie, Metapod, and Butterfree (today’s card) – you can play Caterpie first, then evolve into Metapod, then evolve into Butterfree. All in one turn! Turffield Stadium helps you search your deck for more Grass Pokemon while Scoop Up Net gives you multiple instances of Tricolored Scales if you’ve already used one. From there, with three Special Conditions inflicted on your opponent’s Active Pokemon, you can have Salazzle from Sword & Shield Battle Styles do the work with Derisive Roasting, which costs CC and does 90 damage times for each Special Condition affecting your opponent’s Active Pokemon. Derisive Roasting does 270 damage in this case, plus 30 damage due to Burn and Poison, for a total of 300 damage! This greatly reduces the need for additional resources. Before, you need Weepinbell and Team Yell Horn to put three Special Conditions, now Butterfree renders these cards obsolete.
Ultimately, Butterfree’s potency depends on the combos one could take advantage of. Salazzle is already one example, but let’s assume that’s all Butterfree can do without other combo pieces. It’d be no better than Galarian Obstagoon’s Untamed Shout ability, which also places three damage counters on 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon. Except that Special Conditions could last indefinitely and puts even more damage counters if left on the Active Spot. Multiple instances of Untamed Shout mean more damage counter placements in a single turn, but multiple instances of Tricolored Scales in a single turn won’t do you any good as it replaces older special conditions with new ones. Still, Butterfree seems promising in Standard. Unfortunately for Expanded, with ability denial on top of few Pokemon that provide immunity from Special Conditions such as Virizion-EX and Comfey GRI, it’ll be hard for Butterfree to accomplish what Tricolored Scales is supposed to do.
Overall, this seems to be one of the best Butterfree cards ever printed, though that isn’t saying much. It makes certain Pokemon or trainer cards obsolete and can be in a deck that specializes in Special Conditions, which is still unheard of. It has the speed to be in play with their previous stages that provide instant evolution by themselves, all of what gives players incentive to use today’s card. I only worry that abilities like Adaptive Evolution on certain Pokemon would get banned depending on future Butterfree cards that possess a busted ability; Flababe from Sun & Moon Forbidden Light got the ban hammer because of this.
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