Inteleon – Chilling Reign
Date Reviewed: December 30, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
At last, it is time for the one we’ve mentions so very, very often: Inteleon (SW – Chilling Reign 043/198; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH113; SW – Evolving Skies 227/203). Originally, we had this as the 5th-best card from SW – Chilling Reign… but I only had it as my 10th-Place pick, so credit goes to Vince! I saw some potential, but Vince saw more, and has been proven correct!
Inteleon is a Stage 2 Pokémon, and often, this ruins an otherwise promising card. Fortunately for this Inteleon, not only was that not the case, but it had some advantages:
- Sobble (SW – Chilling Reign 041/198)
- Drizzile (Sword & Shield 056/202; Shining Fates SV026/122)
- Inteleon (Sword & Shield 058/202; SV027/SV122)
While the above Sobble isn’t brilliant, for [C] its “Keep Calling” attack lets you search your deck for up to three Rapid Strike Pokémon and Bench them. Drizzile’s contribution is a bit more substantial: it’s coming-into-play Ability, “Shady Dealings”, allows you to add a Trainer from your deck to your hand. Is that better than running Rare Candy? You’ll still want some Rare Candy as well, but it is good enough that Drizzile still typically sees play in Inteleon decks. As a reminder, yes you can evolve a Pokémon with a Battle Style into one without, and vice versa. Speaking of Inteleon, we have the OG Ability Inteleon. It has a stronger version of Shady Dealings, fetching two Trainer cards from your deck when you evolve one of your in-play Pokémon into it.
As for Rapid Strike Inteleon, “Rapid Strike Inteleon” for ease of discussion, its claim to fame is its “Quick Shooting” Ability. Each instance of Quick Shooting you have in play may be used once during your turn. That means even a single Benched Rapid Strike Inteleon is handy, and multiples can decimate your opponent… given enough turns and/or enough Pokémon with just a little HP remaining. The rest of Inteleon is not awful; being a Water type does let it access some nice support. Having 150 HP is decent (given that this is a Stage 2). It being a Rapid Strike card let’s it share support with Pokémon such as Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX. [L] Weakness isn’t safe, but it also isn’t the worst right now. No Resistance is the worst, but lacking it isn’t actually a problem. The Retreat Cost of [C] is good, especially for a Stage 2. Finally, the “Waterfall” attack is okay: 70 damage for [CC], and that can be paid with Twin Energy or Rapid Strike Energy.
Rapid Strike Inteleon of various stripes began showing up after it became tournament legal. Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX clocked in 3rd-Place, in terms of metagame share, according to LimitlessTCG. Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX/Rapid Strike Inteleon decks managed 5th. With SW – Evolving Skies added in, those two decks jumped up to 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Post-rotation, Dragapult VMAX with Rapid Strike Inteleon ruled the roost, with Leafeon VMAX/Rapid Strike Inteleon decks in 4th, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX with Rapid Strike Inteleon decks in 5th, Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX plus Rapid Strike Inteleon in 8th, and Jolteon VMAX with Rapid Strike Inteleon in 9th. There are more variants, but they are far enough down we won’t sweat them. At the time of writing this, the Jolteon VMAX version ranks 3rd, the Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX version ranks 4th, the Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX version ranks 7th, the previously not mentioned Inteleon VMAX (SW – Fusion Strike 079/264266/264) paired with Rapid Strike Inteleon ranks 11th, and the Leafeon VMAX version is in 12th-place. With this kind of performance, I am going to have to do something I didn’t expect: score this card a five out of five in Standard! I am rounding up to do so, and this is by no means the perfect Stage 2… but it is probably the best one we have at the moment, and a fine card.
People even tried it in Expanded. The results were far less impressive, and most appear to be people who tried to use a Standard Format deck in an Expanded Format tournament, but a few people are trying to get Rapid Strike Inteleon up and running even here. They don’t seem to be meeting with much success, but anything that isn’t a flat out losing record impresses me here. Not enough to round up to a four-out-of-five, but enough for an easy three-out-of-five. In the end, you could make a very compelling case for this being the number one card of 2021, as opposed to “just” 2nd-Place.
- Standard: 5/5
- Expanded: 3/5
Oh look, we got Decidueye-GX 2.0!
Our second best card of 2021 is Inteleon from Sword & Shield Chilling Reign! The reason why it is a very good card is that it has the Quick Shooting ability, which lets you put 2 damage counters at one of your opponent’s Pokemon. This is the same as Decidueye-GX’s Feather Arrow ability, and that card was the 2nd best card of Sun & Moon and the 8th best card of 2017. As usual, if placing extra damage counters didn’t help shift from a 3HKO to a 2HKO or a 2HKO to a OHKO, then this ability still won’t help you. However, placing damage counters without using up your attack is still a nice trait to have. It might not supplement it’s Waterfall attack, which does 70 damage for two energy, but it’s ability can help others.
As Otaku explained, Inteleon (this card) and the other Inteleon from Sword & Sheild has seen a lot of competitive success. It has been splashed into many archetypes that uses the entire evolutionary line. The other Inteleon (and Drizzile) from Sword & Shield has the Shady Dealings ability that lets you fetch one – and even two – trainer cards that you can play right away in most cases. When you put it all together, you have one of the few baseline stage 2s that will pull its weight in the current season.
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