Galarian Perrserker
Galarian Perrserker

Galarian Perrserker
– Sword & Shield

Date Reviewed:
March 17, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.50
Expanded: 2.50
Limited: 3.00

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

Reviews Below:

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Standard: 3/5 (effects like this have seen some play before)

Expanded: 3/5

Limited: 3/5 (one of the prerelease promo you could pull, and it also has the 2-2 Bisharp line)

Galarian Perrserker generates a certain amount of attention because of what it does. It provides support for Metal Pokemon, and it’s ability, Steely Spirit demonstrates such support by making your Metal Pokemon deal 20 more damage to the Defending Pokémon. Having all four of them in play means you could do 80 more damage!

Damage boosting effects tend to see a good amount of play because they’re designed to help you achieve certain KOs that you would otherwise fall short of. However, in a format where decks need to achieve OHKOs more often than 2HKOs? If Perrserker – even four of them in play – couldn’t get you OHKOs, then you would have to look elsewhere, though I can’t think of any competent metal attackers unless they also got enough bulk to stay in. Perhaps two prominent metal type attackers would have to be Zacian-V and Lucario & Melmetal-GX. Zacian’s Brave Blade starts with 230 damage, and could go as high as 320 if you had 4 Perrserker in play and a Vitality Band attached to it (330 damage if Muscle Band is attached to it in Expanded). Lucario & Melmetal-GX, on the other hand, is stuck at 150 base damage via Heavy Impact, but the permanent effect of Full Metal Wall and possibly Metal Frying Pan can allow them to tank certain hits. I have yet to see a good single prize Metal Pokemon making the most out of this ability.

I can see Perrserker being used as bait to be knocked out and give up a single prize if that’s what your opponent is trying to do. But then they still got the main attacker to deal with…still, and they can still deal a good amount of damage – even without Perrserker – back to them. Some problems that could keep those effects from seeing play could be ability denial, deck space, being forced to start with Galarian Meowth, and being dragged out front and be OHKOed. If this was a Basic, it would’ve been much better. Most of the time, they’ll provide a minimal damage boost if they’re were a basic….such as Regirock-EX, Deoxys-EX, and Diancie Prism Star (because you can only have one, not four).

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Is Galarian Perrserker (Sword & Shield 128/202; SSH – Black Star Promos SWSH008) more or less confusing as a regional variant since there are no non-Galarian versions of the line?  It even evolves from Galarian Meowth, so as far as the PTCG is concerned, the two aren’t even related.  Given that Alolan Pokémon eventually saw a few effects that referenced their shared identiy as regional variants, it is likely Galarian Pokémon will too… eventually.

Galarian Perrserker is a [M] Pokémon at a time when they’re decent for exploiting Weakness but great when it comes to Type-based support.  Being a Stage 1 isn’t as good as being a Basic, but just one turn to evolve and one extra slot in your decks per copy is still manageable.  120 HP is a little more likely to be OHKO’d than not, but isn’t especially fragile; another middle-of-the-road stat.  So is the Retreat Cost of [CC]; too high to be good, but too low to be bad.  The [R] Weakness is very bad right now, and while the [G] Resistance isn’t great, any Resistance is better than the usual none.

Galarian Perrserker knows the Ability “Steely Spirit” and the attack “Metal Claw”.  Steely Spirit increases the damage of attacks from your [M] Type Pokémon by 20.  Attacks have to be capable of normally doing damage in the first place to receive this boost, and the bonus is applied before Weakness and Resistance.  Multiple copies do stack e.g. two instances of Steely Spirit means +40 damage.  Metal Claw costs [MMC] and does 70, though unless something is blocking Steely Spirit, it should actually do 90.

Steely Spirit has significant potential, and is why you’d run Galarian Perrserker.  You need to find a [M] Type attacker where doing another 10-20 damage is going to make a significant difference; if something doesn’t need the boost then no sense wasting deck or Bench space on it.  Metal Claw is filler, but is saved from being bad filler by the combination of Steely Spirit and other [M] Type support (most notably Metal Saucer).  You’re still only using it when desperate, though.

Diancie {*} is a [F] deck staple, but other, similar damage enhancers have sometimes meet with little to no competitive success.  Why?  They didn’t shift the turns it takes to score a KO enough to be worth the effort.  Diancie {*} has the huge advantage of being a Basic Pokémon; running Galarian Perrserker requires running Galarian Meowth or Ditto {*}.  So… how is Galarian Perrserker doing right now, in a metagame where [M] decks are one of the most played and most successful?

None.  Zacian V decks are the Metal deck to run right now, and come in three major variants:

  • One focused on Zacian V
  • One where Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX leads into Zacian V or other attackers
  • One where Lucario & Melmetal-GX leads into tanks or walls

Those focused on Zacian V without a TAG TEAM Pokémon lead-in sometimes include Dhelmise (SM – Guardians Rising 59/145; SM – Black Star Promos SM53)… in Expanded.  Yeah, in Standard, if you want to bolster Zacian V’s attacks, you just use Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX’s “Altered Creation” GX-attack instead.  In either Format, you might also include a Tool to help further boost the damage being done, but what you’re not doing is using Galarian Perrserker.

In the Limited Format, Galarian Perrserker is a solid-to-great Stage 1, depending on how many worthwhile [M] Types you pulled to run alongside it, as well as if you pulled any copies of Metal Saucer.  While the selection isn’t massive, there’s some good (for Limited) pulls, even at some of the lower rarity levels.  Just being a 120 HP Stage 1 that can do 90 (70+20) for three Energy ain’t bad, either.

The future should treat Galarian Perrserker better.  Besides the chance that the existing metagame shifts in Standard or Expanded, and the vague hope of future releases, there’s a confirmed combo coming.  Japan received a promo Galarian Meowth of with a nice looking Ability: you discard two cards from your hand to add a Galarian Perrserker into your hand.  You should wait to use it until you can manually evolve, but that makes a slender Galarian Perrserker Evolution line reliable.


Standard: 2/5

Expanded: 2/5

Limited: 3/5

The above scores do not take into account the promo Galarian Meowth I mentioned. For now, Galarian Perrserker has potential, but it hasn’t been living up to it in what seems like ideal circumstances.  I may be being too hard on it, because I worried my general love of cats and it almost making my own top 20 biased me in its favor.  I did leave it off my list, but it placed high enough on another reviewer’s own to take 18th-place on a top 11.  Joking aside, that is too high for it, but only because of what we’ve seen other cards accomplish already.

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