Galarian Perrserker – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: March 1, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Galarian Perrserker (SW – Vivid Voltage 113/185) is a not quite a baseline Pokémon. They finally revealed a card (in Japan, of course) with an effect just for Galarian Pokémon. Still only worth one Prize when KO’d, without any Rule Box or additional classifications. It is a Metal type, which is actually a mixed blessing. The Metal type has been riding high since Sword & Shield, though not always the top type. They have good support, some prominent members, though they aren’t particularly good at type-matching. The issue is that a Metal type needs to compliment or else outperform Zacian V, or why bother with it? Galarian Perrserker is a Stage 1; a little more involved than running a Basic, but not too demanding. It is a totally separate evolution line from Persian and Persian-GX, Alolan Persian and Alolan Persian-GX, etc.
Galarian Perrserker evolves from Galarian Meowth, and Galarian Meowth (SW – Rebel Clash 126/192; Shining Fates SV086/SV122) is actually pretty good. Use its “Evolution Roar” Ability to snag a Galarian Perrserker from your deck… or just to thin your hand. 120 HP is on the low side, though not terrible; even decks focused on 2HKOs should score a OHKO, but weaker supporting or technical attacks often still fall short. [R] Weakness is typical for Metal types, creating a chink in their defenses. -30 [G] Resistance isn’t all that handy, but is better than nothing. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is typical; low enough you can often pay, but high enough you’d prefer not to.
Galarian Perrserker knows two attacks, and we’ll start with the second because it matters less. For [MCC], Galarian Perrserker can use “Claw Slash” for 90 damage. Not good, but not too bad; you can use general Energy acceleration like Twin Energy to cover the [CC], and as a Metal type, a Metal Saucer to cover the cost in a single turn. 90 damage just isn’t enough damage, though, even for (relatively easy) effort. 90 is still enough to deliver a decent hit from time to time, so if this attack is “filler”, its somewhat decent. So, what about the first attack we skipped? “Stealy Claws” costs [M] to do 20 damage, and has you flip three coins. If at least one is “heads”, your opponent reveals their hand. After that, for each heads you flipped, you discard a Trainer card from their hand. 20-for-one Energy is low, but as long as the attack does some damage, you can use other effects to build it up. The attack isn’t really about the damage, though…
…it is about the disruption! Two of the most difficult resources to recycle are Special Energy and Trainers. You aren’t touching the former, but you’re nailing the latter with Stealy Claws. Yes, there is a chance you’ll whiff entirely, but there are effects such as that of Glimwood Tangle that let you re-flip, or Will that lets you dictate the result of your next coin flip for an attack, Ability, or Trainer effect. With three coin flips, you should be in a good place to discard a Trainer or two from their hand. Most decks require a balance between having a Supporter card handy each turn, either for powerful plays (Boss’s Orders) or to just keep the deck running (draw/search). However, you normally may only use one Trainer card per turn. As you get to select which Trainer(s) you discard, and your opponent probably doesn’t have a lot of Supporters in hand, you can somewhat easily leave them in a lurch.
Besides Glimwood Tangle, typical Metal support should also be considered. Galarian Perrserker could be rushed to the field via Wally, at least, once Wally’s unbanning officially occurs, but it might be better to lead with something like Lucario & Melmetal-GX, using its “Full Metal Wall-GX” attack to reduce the damage all of your Metal types take by 30. Toss a copy of Metal Goggles on Perrserker, and now it is safely soaking 60 damage per turn; even with just 120 HP, not heavy-hitting decks are likely to need two attacks to KO it. Add in enough additional disruption, so that what your opponent has in play is less effective, maybe even with some healing, and you might be able to stretch a Galarian Perrserker’s life to three turns.
It isn’t all good for Galarian Perrserker, however. The biggest issue it faces is that your typical Zacian V deck probably doesn’t have room for it and/or would just be better off swinging away with Zacian V. Just scoring OHKO after OHKO can be plenty disruptive to your opponent, after all. Stealy Claws can’t touch Pokémon or Energy cards, which can make it difficult to combo Stealy Claws with other hand disruption. If you’re hitting random cards, or worse still, your opponent is the one who picks what is discarded, a partial counter to Stealy Claws is to ditch your Trainers early, so that all Stealy Claws does is 20 damage, but you can keep vital Pokémon and Energy in your hand. If that Pokémon is something like Crobat V, Dedenne-GX, or Eldegoss V, they could easily “restart” their deck, making your plans act as a mere speed bump.
A mixed blessing for Galarian Perrserker is that there is another notable example of it: Galarian Perrserker (Sword & Shield 128/202; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH008; SW – Rebel Clash 205/192; Shining Fates SV087/SV122). Its “Steely Spirit” Ability adds 20 damage to what is already being done to your opponent’s Active by attacks from your Metal Pokémon. It has seen some success in certain Zacian V variants, but it isn’t a staple… however, if you’re looking to add a Stage 1 line to Zacian V, it seems like a better choice. Even if you’re running today’s Galarian Perrserker as your deck’s main attacker, you’ll have to split the line. You cannot have more than four total Galarian Perrserker, so you’re probably only able to afford one or two of the version with Steely Spirit. 40 for [M] or 60 for [M] is still better than just 20, but you’re still going to need several turns to chip away at your opponent’s Active.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
In the Standard Format, I think we might see some control decks use Galarian Perrserker. I have not seen any yet, but it isn’t like there are a lot of tournaments happening right now. The Expanded Format is similar, but with more competition and more potential combo partners. If Stealy Claws discarded any card of your choice per heads, I’d be a little more confident in it. Still, if only for the wonderful pun in the name, I wanted us to look at this card.
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