October 30, 2021
Standard: See Below
Expanded: See Below
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Today we continue vivisecting Greninja V-Union with SW – Black Star Promos SWSH156. For the full story, please read this article from the official Pokémon site. The short version is that Pokémon V-Union are Rule Box Pokémon, a new kind of Pokémon V. They’re made up of four cards that are played together as if they were one, single, oversized card. In Greninja V-Union’s case, that would be SW – Black Star Promos SWSH155 through SWSH158. The four pieces share the same name, type, Stage (V-Union), and Rule Box explaining how to put them in play. These four things are printed on each piece, but not in the same place or using the same font size. Putting them into play requires having one of each piece in your discard pile and an open Bench space on your turn. You can then summon (for want of a better term) once per game. Now, it is once for each different V-Union you’re running.
While reviewing Pokémon V-Union cards, we’re tackling one piece at a time because for all they share in common, some stats are only found on a single card and each card can have an attack, an Ability, or both. We’ll avoid specifics (unless necessary) about information from the other V-Union cards when not reviewing that particular card. As a Pokémon V-Union, you’ll need to mind anti-Pokémon V and anti-Rule Box effects, and Greninja V-Union is worth three Prizes when KO’d, not just one or two. V-Union is also these card’s Stage of Evolution, so you can use something like Ultra Ball to fetch a V-Union card from your deck but not Quick Ball or Evolution Incense. Since they share the same name, if you want a functional V-Union in your deck, you must run one of each piece. This can be a problem if one of those pieces is stuck in your Prizes, or worse, gets sent to the Lost Zone! In this way, Pokémon V-Union are less reliable than the other Stages. At least you won’t lose time waiting to evolve: if you can satisfy the “summoning” conditions, you can put a V-Union into play Turn 1!
Greninja V-Union is a Water type, so it enjoys exploiting the almost universal [W] Weakness found on Fire types, and the available [W] support. The latter includes Frosmoth and Melony in Standard and Aqua Patch in Expanded. As a reminder, even though Archie’s Ace in the Hole does work with Water types regardless of being a Basic or Evolution, it does not work for those that are “incomplete” as stand-alone cards. Much like how BREAK Evolutions have no bottom stats of their own, V-Union quarters are missing too many stats to be a legal target. Greninja V-Union’s 300 HP is as sturdy as a small V-Max; not immune to OHKO’s, but most attackers have to settle for a 2HKO. Weakness is an exception, but we’ll discuss that when we get to the piece that actually shows it.
This portion of Greninja V-Union has one Ability and one Attack. “Ninja Body” states that, whenever your opponent plays an Item card from their hand, you get to ignore any and all effects that Item card has on Greninja V-Union. Items not played from hand still work! Mostly, this means Tools that are already in play, but if we ever get an Item that works without being played from your hand, it could still affect Greninja. Don’t take that as the Ability being bad; it’s good! I just wanted to make the one exception clear. As for the attack, “Aqua Edge” costs [W] and lets Greninja V-Union do 130 damage to your opponent’s Active. In terms of damage-to-Energy, this is great. We’re also talking about a single attachment of any compatible Energy that provides [W]; unless it was priced at [C] or , it doesn’t get better! The concern is that it will only OHKO the bottom third of Pokémon HP scores. Still, it is enough to 2HKO most Basic Pokémon V and 3HKO its fellow three-Prize Pokémon, so… yeah, this is good.
Greninja V-Union might be better in Expanded than in Standard. Besides Battle Compressor (applies to all Pokémon V-Union), there’s Max Potion. You can’t exploit AZ or Acerola, due to the Rule Box requirements for putting a V-Union into play. Even if you bounce them, you’ve already used the once-per-game mechanic for putting that particular V-Union into play. Aqua Edge gives you a decent attack to just spam, and even if it didn’t, there are also cards like Aqua Patch, Frosmoth, and/or Melony… so the more expensive attacks from other pieces are still on the table. Ninja Body might prove more valuable in Expanded as well, if only because any Items legal in Standard are joined by other, older ones. In the end, I’m giving solid marks to this piece of Greninja V-Union in both Formats.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 4700 Pokemon cards over the last 20 years!