– Sword & Shield
April 7, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Dhelmise V (009/202, 187/202) is a [G] Type Pokémon. Being a [G] Type is okay; you’ll have to deal with some Resistance but you’re able to exploit at least a bit of Weakness as well. The Type support may matter more; while they don’t have anything fantastic at the moment, they still have some nice tricks like Net Ball. As a Pokémon V, Dhelmise V gives up an extra Prize when KO’d, but should have better stats and effects than it would have as a single Prize Pokémon. We already have one anti-V effect, and more are on the way, so keep that in mind.
Being a Basic is the best, and this means Dhelmise V is fast to the field, requires minimal deck space per copy, can function as your opening Active, and even just naturally works better with certain effects, such as bounce. Anti-Basic effects exist, but so does Basic support, so this is very much a net positive. 220 HP is a solid amount, though typical of Basic Pokémon V; your opponent will need to exploit Weakness or have a fairly decent setup to score a OHKO. [R] Weakness isn’t happy right now, the lack of Resistance is technically the worst (but doesn’t really hurt), and a Retreat Cost of [CC] is average (in terms of performance, not mean values).
Dhelmise V knows two attacks. For [G] it can use “Anchor Anger” to do 30 damage, however, if one of your Pokémon was KO’d by damage from an opponent’s attack during your previous turn, then Anchor Anger does 120 base damage. [GGC] pays for Giga Hammer, which does 200 damage while placing an effect on Dhelmise V, stating it can’t use Giga Hammer during your next turn. It isn’t too terrible to use Anchor Anger off-Type, but Giga Hammer means you want [G] friendly Energy acceleration… or Aurora Energy friendly Energy acceleration, which is even harder to come by.
That’s because, while both attacks are good, they’re not great, even considered together and with the rest of the card. 120 damage per turn (approximately) OHKO’s the bottom third of HP scores, 2HKO’s the middle third,and 3HKO’s the top third. For one Energy, that’s great… except it only does that under certain conditions. Most decks win through taking Prizes via attacking for damage, so that isn’t our main worry. This attack being on a 2-Prize Pokémon is the problem; if you’re hitting for 120 each turn, that means your opponent is OHKOing your 220 HP Pokémon V each turn! Anchor Anger is still a good option to have in a deck, though.
How about Giga Hammer? 200 damage falls short of OHKOing most Basic Pokémon V, though it should easily 2HKO TAG TEAM Pokémon, Pokémon V MAX, and really anything that was too big to OHKO and/or doesn’t have some serious form of protection. The effect of Giga Hammer isn’t too difficult to shake, so that isn’t a major concern, either. A fairly good attack, for what you’re investing, maybe not good enough.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need some Energy acceleration to pull off Giga Hammer in a timely manner. The obvious option is Rillaboom (Sword & Shield 014/202, SSH – Black Star Promos SWSH006), accelerating Energy via its Ability, though this might be a nice dance partner for Eldegoss (Sword & Shield 021/202). It is a Stage 1 most notable for attaching up to three [G] Energy from your deck to your Pokémon. It only has 80 HP, so it easily feeds into either of Dhelmise V’s attacks. No such decks have shown up in the tournament results available over at LimitlessTCG, however.
What could be the nail in the coffin for this card stems from two promo cards we’ll eventually look at. As such, I’m not going to get into the details yet, but Rillaboom V (SSH – Black Star Promos SWSH014) is a comparable attack that can evolve into Rillaboom VMAX… well, when Rillaboom VMAX officially releases. Again, keeping it simple since we don’t have the card yet but will look at it when it (hopefully) releases, a big VMAX attacker that can reliably 2HKO other VMAX attackers and OHKO most else is doing the job better than either Rillaboom V or Dhelmise V. That is before we get to how the aforementioned Energy accelerators can attach to non-[G] Pokémon…
In the Limited Format, Dhelmise V is good but you need to plan ahead. I don’t think this is a good Mulligan deck candidate; Anchor Anger won’t ever gets its bonus damage, and Giga Hammer is an every-other-turn attack you don’t get to use until your third turn. Unless Anchor Anger can take some cheeky KO’s with its 30 damage, four uses of Giga Hammer means your opponent has nine turns (if I counted correctly) to overwhelm your 220 HP. Even supporting a deck with other Pokémon, its worth half your Prizes when it is KO’d.
Dhelmise V is unfortunately mediocre. At first blush, it looks like the attacks could work well together, but they really don’t. Dhelmise V isn’t useless, just not useful enough between other options that would use the same resources.
Something I noticed in the Sword and Shield expansion is that they provide at least two Pokemon-V of the same type with the exception of dark types (in which there’s only Sableye). Dhelmise-V is another Grass Type Pokemon-V after Celebi-V but before Rillaboom-V, so let’s see if this is another Grass Pokemon worth using.
Well, as usual, it avoids all the problematic effects designed to hinder Pokemon-EX and Pokemon-GX. It also has a good amount of HP which is 220, and two attacks which may consider itself to be a backup attacker. Something like bringing a 2-prize Pokémon for when your 3-prize pokemon is in trouble. And it also benefits from Ability Rillaboom since it could actually go from zero to attacking, and it’s attack cost is designed in a way in which Dhelmise can do so right away.
Anchor Anger is another familiar style that were used to seeing, perhaps as far as I could remember when Terrakion’s Retaliate used to be trendy back then (OHKOing fighting weak Pokémon that managed to KO your Pokemon). Granted, it’s not always a good idea to always go for boosted damage because your opponent’s already taking prizes. And if they take multiple prizes, there will be far less opportunities to use Anchor Anger. The payoff might be good; 120 for one Energy is definitely a bargain than 30 for one energy, but it’s not achieving any KOs, even with weakness. HP scores have made Anchor Anger out of reach for OHKOs, and there’s not much to exploit weakness in Sword & Shield onwards; some Darkness Pokemon are weak to Grass, and Metal Pokemon resist Grass, weakening Anchor Anger even more.
Giga Hammer is another attack that is good at securing 2HKOs, doing 200 damage for 3 energy. And even if you couldn’t use Giga Hammer on your next turn, switching resets the clause. Comparing Rillaboom-V’s Wood Hammer that does 220 damage for GGGC and does 30 damage to itself, and I think Giga Hammer is better of doing damage for the cost. Also, Rillaboom-V would eventually evolve to Rillaboom V-Max, so it’s not a big deal losing Forest Feast and Wood Hammer.
Dhelmise slots nicely in Grass decks that doesn’t have to deal with some problems previous mechanics had (except for when certain cards counters Basic Pokémon, looking at you Galarian Obstagoon or Pyroar XY Flashfire).
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