– Cosmic Eclipse
December 10, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Flareon (SM Cosmic Eclipse 25/236) is our next subject for review. Something I forgot to note yesterday is that Cosmic Eclipse has three Eeveelutions that support GX version of Stage 1 Eeveelutions while the fourth Eeveelution is a standalone. Also similar is that you can’t apply more than one of the same ability. With that in mind, Flareon’s claim to fame is Power Cheer, which enables GX Eeveelutions to deal 30 extra damage to the Defending Pokemon. Depending on the attacks on existing cards, this may or may not alter the turns needed for KOs, and we’re going to look at each and every single one of those GX Eeveelutions.
Espeon-GX: Psybeam does 30 damage plus confusion. Power Cheer makes it do 60 damage. Psychic does 60 plus 30 more damage for each energy attached to the Defending Pokemon. Power Cheer makes it do 90+ damage. Divide-GX is unaffected by Power Cheer because it is an effect that places damage counters.
Umbreon-GX: Strafe does 30 damage plus a switch effect. Power Cheer makes it to 60 damage. Shadow Bullet does 90 damage and 30 damage to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. Power Cheer only boost damage to 120 to the Active, but bench damage remains 30. Dark Call-GX is unaffected as it is an effect.
Sylveon GX: Only Fairy Wind get affected by Power Cheer, boosting from 110 to 140. Magical Ribbon and Plea-GX are effects and don’t deal damage.
Leafeon-GX: Again, only Solar Beam gets affected by Power Cheer, boosting from 110 to 140. Breath of the Leaves is an ability while Grand Bloom-GX is an effect.
Glaceon-GX: Frost Bullet does 90 damage and 30 damage to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. Power Cheer only boost damage to 120 to the Active, but bench damage remains 30. Polar Spear-GX’s 50x multiplier will become 30+50X due to Power Cheer.
Vaporeon-GX: Only Hydro Pump is affected by Power Cheer. 40+30x will become 70+30x due to Power Cheer. Hydrating Drops is an ability and Cure Shower is an effect.
Flareon-GX: Heat Stage’s 30 damage becomes 60 damage. Bright Flame’s 190 damage becomes 220 damage. And Power Burner’s 20x multiplier becomes 30+20x.
Jolteon-GX: Electrobullet’s 30 damage becomes 60 damage, but still does 30 damage to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. Head Bolt and Speed Run do 110 damage, but Power Cheer boost them to do 140 damage.
As you can see, Power Cheer does significantly help boost the damage output of those attacks from various Eeveelutions, but sadly, most attacks won’t reach 2HKO range, even with boosted attacks. That’s because a new mechanic of Pokemon V-Max has Pokemon exceeding 300 HP, with Snorlax V-Max topping it with 340 HP. Vaporeon could do it with nine energies. Glaceon could do it, but the target has to have six damage counters in question.
Looks like Eeveelution decks won’t be competitive anytime soon with new mechanics under the horizon, but I do respect Flareon’s ability to help others. It does face competition with other Eeveelutions in Expanded, mainly ones from XY Ancient Origins because the three of them have abilities that add another type for Stage 1 Pokemon. Vaporeon’s Aqua Effect adds Water typing; Jolteon’s Electric Effect adds Lightning Typing; and Flareon’s Flare Effect adds Fire typing. For limited, the ability won’t be of use, so it’s only attacking option is Flamethrower, which does 90 damage with an energy discard.
Flareon provides a good damage boost for GX versions of Eeveelutions, which could help pass certain thresholds when it comes to OHKOs or 2HKOs. Even though I scored it generously now, know that these scores will soon take a small hit due to future cards having considerable high HP that could cause certain attacks to fall short of KOs. There are already some examples of Pokémon V and V-Max cards posted on various media, so definitely check out on those.
The first actual Eeveelution we’re looking at this week is Flareon (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 25/236). “Power Cheer” causes the attacks of your Pokémon-GX Eeveelutions to do an extra 30 damage when hitting your opponent’s Active. If it isn’t a Pokémon-GX, it receives no damage bonus. The Pokémon receiving the bonus must normally Evolve from Eevee; Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX are ineligible, but something like a Vaporeon fielded via Archie’s Ace in the Hole still does. The +30 applies before Weakness and Resistance, and attacks that don’t do any damage in the first place cannot receive it. Power Cheer is worded so that only one instance of it can be used at a time. +30 is a good amount, but remember damage buffs have to reduce how many turns it takes to score a KO or help trigger/avoid triggering an effect to really matter.
As it will affect how we view Flareon’s stats, let us look at the attack next: “Flame Thrower” requires [RCC] to use to do 90 damage, and also says you discard an Energy from “this Pokémon”. For the costs, the damage is a bit low but the Energy requirements are also mostly [C] and even the discard requirement can be of any Type. An added bonus is Welder making both [R] and [C] Energy requirements better for cards that need enough of both to justify that Supporter in a deck. This seems like “functional filler”; what would seem like an under-powered, stock attack may be adequate because of the circumstances.
One of those circumstances is being a [R] Type. Technically, Welder doesn’t care about Pokémon Type, but Energy Type. Flareon-GX is a [R] Type, which might be handy with the right combo but probably won’t matter all that often. Being a Stage 1 is kind of expected seeing as this is an Eeveelution. 110 HP is a probable OHKO from most decks with even a half-decent setup, though the [W] Weakness may still matter as it allows a more technical or less prepared attacker to still take Flareon down in one hit most of the time. The lack of Resistance is typical. A Retreat Cost of [CC] isn’t too bad; a bit painful to pay at full price, but this also isn’t a likely card to put up front.
In the Standard Format, Flareon lets your Pokémon-GX Eeveelutions (Flareon-GX, Glaceon-GX, Jolteon-GX, Leafon-GX, and Vaporeon-GX). All of these cards do benefit from the extra damage provided by Power Cheer, but some better than others. Those designed more to stay on-Type (like Vaporeon-GX) probably shouldn’t bother. For the Expanded Format, we add Espeon-GX, Sylveon-GX, and Umbreon-GX to the list; they also clear some key damage thresholds. Your Bench is more vulnerable here but you also have more damage bonuses you can stack with Power Cheer; Flareon still won’t be worth it in decks that cannot afford something this small on their Bench or that are better off sticking to existing support, but most Evolutions benefit enough to at least consider Flareon for the deck.
I’m not sure either Constructed Format really rewards you enough to make an Eeveelution-focused deck competitive, but the card family does have some impressive members; it is just I normally think of cards like Jolteon-GX working in a [L] Type deck and not an Eeveelutions deck. Even in an Eeveelution deck, you also may simply lack the space for Bench-sitters. The Limited Format is a bit happier for Flaeron. The obvious downside is there are no Pokémon-GX Eeveelutions that can take advantage of Power Cheer. The upside is that Flareon becomes a solid, mostly splashable Stage 1 for most deck you’re likely to build.
Yes, I’m letting myself slip back into half-points for this review. Flareon has some long-term prospects; while Pokémon-GX seem to have been abandoned in favor of Pokémon-V and V-Man in future sets, other support could make an existing Eeveelution-GX worthwhile, in which case Flareon itself might also benefit. It is hard to argue against the +30 bonus for most Eeveelution decks but with no such deck winning big in competitive play, that’s still a niche calling.
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