Kricketune V – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: April 1, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
2nd-Place in our countdown goes to (two?) Kricketune V (SW – Battle Styles 006/163, 142/163)! This card is all about its Ability, “Exciting Stage”. This is an Ability you may only use once during your turn. Period. Not per instance of it in play, but overall. Exciting Stage may be used to let you draw until you have three cards in hand. If Kricketune is your Active when you use it, instead you draw until you have four cards. As we learned from Oranguru (Sun & Moon 113/149; SM – Black Star Promos SM13; Shiny Vault SV44/SV94), its similar “Instruct” Ability, this kind of effect is great insurance against hand disruption in any deck. In a deck that can easily play out most (if not all) of its hand, it grants even more speed and stability. However, you also need to remember that getting your hand down to less than three or four cards is not guaranteed to happen every turn.
There are differences between the two Exciting Stage and Instruct that are relevant, though not necessarily major. Exciting Stage is a true once-during-your-turn effect, but Instruct is your typical once-during-your-turn (per instance) effect. In other words, if you have multiple copies of that Oranguru in play, each may use its Instruct if your hand is low enough. Fortunately for Kricketune V (and us?), most decks only had room for a single Oranguru on their Bench anyway. What about the bonus draw? While not revolutionary, it is good. It probably isn’t worth, for example, burning a Switch and manually retreating just to get an extra card, but it is a nice option. Now, anytime you needed to use Switch anyway, or promote Kricketune V after something else has been KO’d and then Switch or manually retreat, enjoy that extra card!
With that out of the way, let us finally address the rest of the card. As a Pokémon V, Kricketune V gives up an extra Prize when KO’d, is excluded from certain beneficial card effects, is included in certain detrimental effects, counts as a Rule Box Pokémon, will have more HP than its baseline counterpart, and is more likely to have better effects than its baseline counterpart. As it is not a Pokémon VMAX, this also means it must be a Basic Pokémon, as those are the only two Stages currently available to Pokémon V. Baseline Kricketune are Stage 1 Pokémon, so that’s another advantage right there. We’ll address the rest as they do (or don’t) pop up.
Kricketune V is a Grass type and currently? That isn’t that helpful right now. In Standard, while there are a few pieces of useful Grass Pokémon support, they won’t help Kricketune V. When it comes to Grass Energy support, it is a similar story, though a little better. The real kicker is that anti-Grass effects might actually matter here. Flareon (SW – Vivid Voltage 026/185) has an Ability that shuts down the Abilities of [G] Pokémon, at least, when it has Memory Capsule attack. Bouffalant (SW – Battle Styles 118/163) might even matter; for [CCC] it can do 120 to your opponent’s Active and 30 to itself, but its “Sap Sipper” Ability lets it do an extra 60 to [G] Pokémon. 180 is enough to OHKO Kricketune V…
…yeah, Kricketune V only has 180 HP. Now, this is 80 more than the biggest baseline Kricketune, but it is 30 to 50 below what is typical of Basic Pokémon V. It isn’t an easy OHKO, but it is an easier KO than most other Basic Pokémon V. This is Crobat V level of “easy”. Kricketune V is [R] Weak; not the worst Weakness to have, but I’d say it is up there. While not consistently near the top, we’ve had multiple Fire decks perform well over the last three months. Plus, there are the odd decks that run on Welder and basic Fire Energy but are normally focused on a non-Fire attacker, like some Mewtwo & Mew-GX. Which means they might include some Fire attackers in them, and now attacks that do 90 to 170 damage go from 2HKO to OHKO.
Kricketune V’s lack of Resistance isn’t good, but it also isn’t bad. It is what most cards have, and while -30 against a single-type can be handy, it is also somewhat easy to bypass even in the games where it would otherwise be relevant. Kricketune V’s Retreat Cost of [C] is good. Most of the time it should be easy to pay and recover from having paid, and you can use a card like U-Turn Board to zero it out completely. Being able to promote Kricketune V anytime something of yours is KO’d and/or after using a switching effect lets you milk Exciting Stage for an extra card, after all. There’s also the general usefulness of having a pivot Pokémon.
Last and possibly least important is Kricketune V’s attack, “X-Scissor”. [GCC] pays for 80 damage, plus a coin flip that adds another 80 if you get “heads”. 80-for-three is underwhelming, though 160-for-three is somewhat good. The Energy cost is mostly [C], so using Kricketune V to attack in an off-type deck is plausible, but the vast majority of the time, it likely won’t be worth it. You’re not able to use Twin Energy here, and you’re still a 180 HP target worth two Prizes when KO’d. The reward simply isn’t worth the risk, but in a pinch, the attack is far better than nothing. Which may be adequate, given we’re here for the Ability.
There is a strong argument that Kricketune V is going to be a staple but… I’m not sure. At least, right now, the main issue is the competition. Plenty of decks already run both Crobat V and Dedenne-GX, but they’re not running a lot of them. Running a single copy of each or running two Dedenne-GX and one Crobat V seems common. Maybe decks will drop a copy of one of those two for a copy of Kricketune V… but there’s more. Even before we get into more deck-specific options, there’s Eldegoss V, Galarian Zigzagoon (Sword & Shield 117/202; Shining Fates SV078/SV122), and Oranguru (Sword & Shield 148/202; SW – Vivid Voltage 199/185; Shining Fates SV098/122), which are still fairly general. Bench space is also tight.
There is also the issue of having too many low HP multi-Prize Pokémon. Not every deck runs three or four Boss’s Orders, or can hit the Bench really hard, but some do. The current answer, unless you have room for Mew (SM – Unbroken Bonds 76/214; SM – Black Star Promos SM215) and ample Bench space, is to just use the ones you absolutely need that game. Exciting Stage is really good because you can use it turn after turn, even it is a one-time deal within that turn. However, if you only get to use it once because your opponent immediately OHKO’s Kricketune V, its just a much worse Crobat V! With Crobat V (and Dedenne-GX), they’re as or more fragile, but they’ve already served their full purpose when KO’d.
Looking at the one tournament containing it, for which I have comprehensive results… yeah, it showed up in two decks that made Top 16 out of nearly 2000 players, but that is nothing compared to Crobat V and Dedenne-GX. One tournament is hardly conclusive, and this was a Taiwanese tournament as well (so Japanese Standard Format), not our Standard Format. Kricketune V is good now, but likely to become great in a few months, after the next rotation. Unless we get an extremely abnormal rotation, Dedenne-GX is gone. Unless we get something better, that means Kricketune V now slots in for a similar-but-distinct form of extra draw power. As for the Expanded Format, stick with Oranguru (Sun & Moon 113/149; SM – Black Star Promos SM13; Shiny Vault SV44/SV94) if you need this kind of effect. It isn’t quite as good across the board, but it only gives up one Prize when KO’d.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 2/5
Kricketune V still scores well in Standard; from my perspective, I’m being a bit generous because I expect it to be decent now but really prove itself in the future. While I think my scores are fine, I’m a bit worried the actual review sold Kricketune V a bit short, based on the hype the few people I listen to on such matters gave it. Kricketune V was only my 5th-Place pick, so if you’re wondering why Kricketune V isn’t in 1st-Place, that’s my fault.
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