November 1, 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.
Time to cover Greninja V-Union (SW – Black Star Promos SWSH158), the final piece of Greninja V-Union. Due to the complex nature of Pokémon V-Union, we’re covering each piece one at a time. We’ve already looked at
If you’re totally lost, you probably should check out this article, from the official Pokémon website: it does a good job of explaining this newest TCG mechanic. If you really can’t, Pokémon V-Union are a new kind of Pokémon V (and thus a new kind of Pokémon with a Rule Box). It is kind of like they took one oversized card, then cut it up into four pieces. To put one into play, you need all four of the correct pieces in your discard pile, plus an open space on your Bench. Then, so long as it is your turn, you can assemble the four cards that make up that particular Pokémon V-Union onto your Bench. You can only do this for a given Pokémon V-Union once-per-game. If you are running more than one V-Union, you cannot mix and match pieces but you can put each completed V-Union into place once per game.
There is a bit more to being a V-Union, but it overlaps with other stats so I’ll address those aspects when we come to them… like “Card Name”. All four pieces of a Pokémon V-Union share the same name: that’s why I listed them by card number earlier. This means each piece counts against each other for the 4 Copy Rule; if you want a functional Pokémon V-Union, you’re stuck running just one of each! If that isn’t alarming, think of what that does to a deck’s reliability. If even one piece is stuck in your Prizes, you won’t be able to make use of Greninja V-Union. If a piece is sent to the Lost Zone… that’s it! We never have gotten a card that can reclaim something from the Lost Zone. That is kind of the idea behind the Lost Zone!
Grenina V-Union is a Water type. Besides letting you hit Fire Pokémon for Weakness the vast majority of the time, it grants access to support like Frosmoth and Melony. In Expanded, you can add even more options, like Aqua Patch. Being a Water type isn’t the best, but it seems reasonably good. If you’re thinking about using Archie’s Ace in the Hole to sneak a piece of Greninja V-Union into play, or even the whole thing… don’t. Just like the BREAK Evolutions from the XY-era, they don’t count as “whole” Pokémon on their own and are illegal targets for such effects.
The Stage of evolution for Greninja V-Union is… “V-Union”. Yep, like Pokémon VMAX it is both a specialty mechanic and a Stage of Evolution. Unlike Pokémon VMAX, however, Pokémon V-Union do not count as Evolution or Evolved Pokémon. Neither do they count as Basics. So effects that work only with Basics (like Quick Ball), or only with Evolutions (Evolution Incense), won’t work with Pokémon V-Union but effects that work with any Pokémon do (like Ultra Ball). As mentioned earlier, all effects that talk about Pokémon V or Rule Box Pokémon will apply to Greninja V-Union, as well as any that specify Pokémon V-Union (not that any exist at this moment). Pokémon V-Union are worth three Prizes when KO’d, just like Pokémon VMAX and TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX.
The card’s name, type, Stage of Evolution, and a Rule Box explaining how to put the (whole) V-Union into play are found on each card, and are recognized by the game even when the Pokémon V-Union is not in play. Stats that appear on other cards are recognized as being absent: meaning no, you cannot use Level Ball to fetch all the pieces that lack an HP score. While not found on this last piece, Greninja V-Union has 300 HP. This is the minimum found on Pokémon V-Union, just as it is the minimum found on Pokémon VMAX. Fortunately, it is still a good score that is tricky to OHKO. Greninja V-Union is [L] Weak; while not safe, [L] attackers aren’t prominent right now. Lack of Resistance is typical (even if it is the worst), while a Retreat Cost of [CC] is neither low enough to be good nor high enough to be bad.
The other pieces of Greninja V-Union have had attacks, and two of the three have had Abilities. Today’s card also features an Ability and attack. “Feel the Way” forces your opponent to reveal their hand once, during your turn. While you won’t have constant knowledge, this is a nice little trick to guide you in decision making. Just remember that changing out your hand isn’t exactly hard in Pokémon. For the attack, we have “Waterfall Bind”. Priced at [WWC], it does 180 damage. It also keeps the Defending Pokémon from retreating during your opponent’s next turn. The damage output is just enough to OHKO a Crobat V, as well as most single-Prize Pokémon. Anything larger should be in 2HKO range, barring protective effects.
Neither of these effects are great, but they should have their uses in your typical deck (typical [W] deck in the case of the attack). As a reminder, Greninja V-Union’s other Abilities protect it from the effects of an opponent’s Items and keeps it from being Poisoned, while its other attacks allow it to do 130 damage to your opponent’s Active for just [W] or do 100 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon for [WWC]. There is some synergy between the different Abilities and attacks, but I think the main thing is how diverse your options are with Greninja V-Union. To the point I think a Greninja V-Union deck seems at least plausible, if not likely. Not just for Standard, either; Expanded has Battle Compressor (every V-Union loves this) and various pieces that should combo with the card’s other attacks. There’s more competition in Expanded, though, so the next result is a solid three-out-of-five for this piece in both Formats, and for Greninja V-Union overall.
SW – Black Star Promos SWSH158
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
Greninja V-Union Overall
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
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