– Darkness Ablaze
September 18, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Seems like we’re looking at a card that is the Star of the Show in Theme Decks? Let’s see how good Galarian Sirfetch’d is.
So, it is a Stage 1, which is not easy to be put into play due to needing to wait a turn to evolve, but it does have two simple attacks which may or may not have an impact in the format. Pierce is a cheap attack that does 40 damage for 1 Energy, and due to the Fighting energy cost, it makes Martial Arts Dojo – or Strong Energy in Expanded – help you deal more damage. This might outclass older cards that previously had single energy attacks that cost only one energy for 30 damage. As for Meteor Assault, which costs FCC, does 180 damage, but the you can’t use that attack for the next turn, which can be worked around by switching/retreating to remove the clause.
Meteor Assault is reasonably priced to the point where you can use Welder to attach RR to it and then use your manual attachment of your F Energy to go from zero into attacking. It is also enough to OHKO VMAX Pokemon whose weak to Fighting such as Snorlax and Eternatus, so it might be a tecH option to use a single prize Pokémon to OHKO them. But other than that, it’s a solid 2HKO machine!
Galarian Sirfetch’d (SW – Rebel Clash 95/122; SW Darkness Ablaze- 098/192) demonstrates something I actually would like the Pokémon TCG to consider. Rather than having a bunch of “filler” – cards with little to no competitive use – in sets, what if cards from higher rarities were reprinted at a lower rarity in the next set? Alternate artwork means (non-completionist) collectors still have a reason for getting both versions. The practice would need to be standardized, however, so everyone knows either it will happen, or at least that it is a possibility… and are (hopefully) okay with that. I mean, if it is a very good card, you could think of it as paying (or lucking into) “early access” by getting the original, higher rarity version. In this case, Galarian Sirfetch’d originally released as a Holographic Rare (SW – Rebel Clash 95/122), but now has a “normal” Rare counterpart (SW – Darkness Ablaze 098/192) that also is available in the Galarian Sirfetch’d Theme deck.
Currently, no card effects mention Pokémon with “Galarian” in their name, but it happened for Alolan Pokémon, so I suspect it will happen sooner or later. The fact that this card is Galarian Sirfetch’d and not just “Sirfetch’d” lends some support to this; as with Obstagoon and Galarian Obstagoon, Galar is the only region with Sirfetch’d at all in the video games, at least for now. As a Fighting type, Galarian Sirfetch’d can exploit a decent amount of prominent Weakness, and enjoys some very nice type-based support. It does have to deal with the odd anti-Fighting effect, or relatively common Fighting Resistance. As a Stage 1, Galarian Sirfetch’d is neither fast nor slow, neither space-efficient nor inefficient. 130 HP is the high end of “low”; a few decks focused on OHKO’s and 2HKO’s will barely fall short. [P] Weakness isn’t too bad to have right now, but as long as Mewtwo & Mew-GX is in the Format, I won’t be happy to see it. No Resistance is typical, as is a Retreat Cost of [CC].
Galarian Sirfetch’d knows two attacks, “Pierce” and “Meteor Assault”. The former is a vanilla 40-for-[F], the latter 180 for [FCC] with a twist; in order to use Meteor Assault again, Galarian Sirfetch’d must leave (and then return) to the Active Spot. In terms of Energy costs, you have a nice progression; attach a source of [F] Energy and use the first attack, then drop a Triple Acceleration Energy or Twin Energy or utilize some other form of Energy acceleration to use Meteor Assault the next turn. 220 over two turns is a solid 2HKO of most Basic Pokémon V, let alone single-Prize Pokémon, non-TAG TEAM Basic Pokémon-GX, and old-school Basic Pokémon-EX. There’s a catch, of course, and it is not having to switch out Galarian Sirfetch’d after it uses Meteor Assault…
…it is that Galarian Sirfetch’d isn’t likely to survive to land the second blow. You can use two Galarian Sirfetch’d and still break even against two-Prize Pokémon, but now you’ll need additional Energy acceleration and have to prep two Stage 1 Pokémon. We’re at the point where 40-for-one just isn’t that good, even on a type likely to exploit Weakness. We no longer can a lot of damage buffs on our Fighting types in Standard. Martial Arts Dojo is certainly nice, as it means Pierce – fueled by a basic Fighting Energy card, when you’re behind in Prizes – can OHKO a Dedenne-GX. If that sounds good, ask yourself why you don’t just put approximately the same amount of effort into powering up Meteor Assault in a single turn? That way, whether you have to ready a second Galarian Sirfetch’d next turn because Galarian Sirfetch’d was KO’d or just to reuse Meteor Assault, you’re taking out targets with 180 or less HP.
Unfortunately, 180-per-turn, even from a single-Prize Stage 1, isn’t enough. We can try to add that Martial Arts Dojo combo back in, and then we’re about right. Most Basic Pokémon V are suddenly in OHKO range, but only if you’re down at least one Prize compared to your opponent. It isn’t bad, but only when you’re exploiting Weakness while also using Meteor Assault does it seem like Galarian Sirfetch’d can deliver in Standard. In Expanded, you have the option of adding more damage buffs, but you’re facing stiffer competition… both from other Fighting options, and from decks in general. There’s also the mixed blessing of diversifying the component’s of your strategy; you are less likely to lose all of your damage buffs, but more likely to lose at least one. Where Galarian Sirfetch’d can shine is the Limited and the Theme Formats. As long as you’re not running a Mulligan build and pull at least a one Galariarn Farfetch’d to go with Galarian Sirfetch’d, make sure your deck runs at least three basic Fighting Energy cards enjoy what it can do. I haven’t tested the Galarian Sirfetch’d Theme Deck anywhere near as well as I ought to have, but my early impression was that this is a pretty good attacker, though not great. Your opponent will try to maneuver you into “wasting” Meteor Assault on a low priority target… a concern for the Limited Format as well.
So, does my re-review contradict my original review for this card? Galarian Farfetch’d is an odd one, in that it left enough of an impression I thought we really ought to review it, especially with it being capable of OHKOing Eternatus VMAX… but not enough of an impression to score sell or for me to remember that we’d already covered it, back when the selling point was smashing Pikachu & Zekrom-GX! We have experienced a set rotation since then, but it seems like, for each thing Galarian Sirfetch’d has gained since then, it lost something else.
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