– SM Ultra Prism
February 12, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Ultra Prism brings two more Eeveelutions, but the one we’re looking at today is…Leafeon GX! This is one of the most anticipated cards in the set because she has features to work with.
Her ability, Breath of the Leaves, works when she is on the Active. If she is, then you can heal 50 damage from one of your Pokemon that has any energy attached to it. The amount of healing is good, occasionally turning 2HKOs into 3HKOs or more.
Next, we have Solarbeam, which does 110 for GCC. Not too exciting for an attack. However, when back with a Choice Band, 140 damage can soundly 2HKO the game. If you have some Eeveelutions from XY Ancient Origins, you could exploit three more type weaknesses which could lead to OHKOs. Not too bad being an attacker as well!
Grand Bloom GX costs G and states for each Basic Pokemon on your bench, search your deck for a card that evolves from that Pokémon and put it onto that Pokémon to evolve it. Then, shuffle your deck. This is an phenomenal attack! This effect also affects all Basic EXs that can Mega Evolve and other basics that can BREAK Evolve or Stage 1 GXs. The catch is that you can’t choose your Stage 1 to evolve into Stage 2s.
The scary thing is that Leafeon GX can setup as quickly as turn 1. It’s ideal for the Leafeon player to go second, so that the all-mighty Eevee can use Energy Evolution to evolve into Leafeon GX, heal 50 damage from itself or others due to her being active, and use Grand Bloom GX to evolve all of your Basic Pokemon. After that, what you need is energy acceleration left, and your board state is set to swing! So far, Leafeon GX can partner with Rowlet, so that it’s GX attack can evolve Rowlet into Dartrix, and on your next turn, Decidueye GX assuming you have that Pokémon in your hand. Or, you can use Grand Bloom on your Eevee, and it’ll evolve into…………………..pretty much any type you desire. Imagine searching your deck for a Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon and put them on your Eevees, you’ve just created a weakness toolbox.
Like Sylveon GX and Glaceon GX, Leafeon GX is another great starting Pokemon card to consider using.
Leafeon GX (UP 157) breezes into the meta from the Ultra Prism expansion set. This GX Pokemon follows the 1 ability, 1 normal attack, 1 GX attack pattern that has become the norm to expect from this mold of GX Pokemon. Its ability, Breath of the Leaves, allows you to heal fifty damage from any Pokemon you have with Grass energy attached to it… as long as Leafeon is in the active. Of course, we have a TON of switching cards available to us, so it won’t be hard to heal 100 damage each turn. 150 might be stretching it a little bit and won’t be consistently supportable, but there’s no question that you’ll be able to pull it off once or twice a game.
It’s main attack Solar Beam does 110, so with a Choice Band you’re two shotting everything in the game.
But its GX attack Grand Bloom has caught everyone’s eye. This attack costs only a single Grass energy and allows you to instantly evolve any Basic Pokemon on your bench. Rowlet becomes Dartrix. Fomantis becomes Lurantis. Zorua becomes Zoroark. The coolest one I’ve seen so far is Mewtwo EX to Mega Mewtwo… without needing a Spirit Link! And you need a Grass energy to evolve Leafeon anyone with Enegy Evolution. So here are the stats behind pulling off Grand Bloom:
So basically, executing the perfect turn one Grand Bloom isn’t going to happen every time. I would say it’s probably going to be a 50-50 occurrence, but I would guess that that number goes way up on turn 2, probably 75-25, and probably 90-10 turn 3. However, this new meta moves FAST – if you’re not hitting triple digit damage by turn 3, you’re probably not going to win.
Also, this archetype is very susceptible to Parallel City and Cyrus. And it’s weak to fire, which I have no doubt will be well represented at Collinsville. I’ve got a pretty good Turtonator (UP 27) Volcanion EX deck that will eat this deck for dinner. And your healing ability goes out the window against the three G’s: Glaceon, Greninja, and Garbodor.
Leafeon is a fun deck that will inspire a massive amount of creativity. And being able to heal 100 damage on a fairly consistent basis is HUGE… although we are starting to move towards a meta where it’s not that hard to find Pokemon that do a sustainable 200+ damage over multiple turns. I’m not considering Leafeon for Collinsville, but I’m sure I’ll play it a lot after next weekend.
We begin the second week of our Top 10 countdown with our fifth-place finisher, Leafeon-GX (SM – Ultra Prism 13/156, 139/156, 157/156). Right off the bat, let us remember that this is an “Eeveelution”, giving it a large card family from which to draw support, the most important of which is Eevee (Sun & Moon 101/149) and its “Energy Evolution” Ability. With Energy Evolution, you can get Leafeon-GX into play on your first turn, or even the very first turn of the game and it just requires attaching a basic Grass Energy card from your hand to Eevee. Well, also it requires Abilities are working and that your Leafeon-GX aren’t all Prized. Yes, you could use Wally to turn any Eevee into any Eeveelution, even T1, but that eats up your Supporter for the turn. Being a [G] Type helps mostly because there are a few decent [G] Weak targets to exploit, but the main thing is that effectively opening with a 200 HP Stage 1 Pokémon is its own reward, even when that Pokémon is worth two Prizes. The HP will usually allow Leafeon-GX to survive an attack, with [R] Weakness making for an obvious exception. The lack of Resistance and even the Retreat Cost of [CC] are pretty typical, with the latter mattering because you really can’t afford to pay that over and over again if you need to retreat Leafeon-GX.
Retreating Leafeon-GX is somewhat important because of its Ability, “Breath of Leaves”. This allows you to heal 50 damage from one of your Pokémon that has any Energy to it once per turn before you attack, but only while this Leafeon-GX is Active. This isn’t a lot of healing, but it can be nice, especially if you can easily get Leafeon-GX out of the Active slot afterward, such as with Escape Rope, Float Stone, Guzma, or some other option. Focusing too much on this is very misleading, as the strength of this card lies in its two attacks. The regular attack, “Solar Beam”, just does 110 damage for [GCC]. Since it is compatible with many forms of Energy acceleration, like a simple Double Colorless Energy, 110 damage for three is pretty good; slap on a Choice Band and just about anything goes down in two hits. If you are hitting something [G] Weak, the same thing applies but with a single attack! Still not enough to be really impressive, so let us look at the card’s GX-attack, “Grand Bloom-GX”. This only requires [G], so you can use it straight off of Energy Evolution, at least if it isn’t the first turn of the game. This allows you to not only search for a card that Evolves from each of your Benched Basic Pokémon, but to Evolve those Basics into those Evolutions!
Grand Bloom-GX provides a big burst of speed and reliability for setting up Evolutions, at least if you can get your Basics into play behind Leafeon-GX. You really need to pull this off T2, meaning you need to go second; Grand Bloom-GX doesn’t do anything for non-Basic Pokémon, and if you aren’t using it T2 then you probably could use general draw/search power to Evolve your Basic Pokémon into either Stage 1 or Stage 2 forms (the latter via Rare Candy). If you include the right kind of support, you could use this in a mostly off-Type deck; a few copies of Professor’s Letter and a few basic Grass Energy aren’t too bad to slip into a deck that is otherwise non-Grass. The three most likely candidates for this are
These are not mutually exclusive options, and when you are Evolving a full of any of them, it is pretty amazing. Still, I’m pretty hung up on giving up your GX-attack and making yourself go second for this one time bit of acceleration. You’ve got to pull of this setup or you’re just wasting time. This seems like it should work for either the Standard or Expanded Formats, but I’m not sure if it works better in one or the other. For the Limited Format, this is a fantastic pull, but remember you’re stuck with Eevee (SM – Ultra Prism 105/156) and not the Energy Evolution Eevee. You may also not pull enough worthwhile Evolutions to take advantage of Grand Bloom-GX or be able to maneuver easily enough to make good use of Breath of the Leaves. Solar Beam on a 200 HP Stage 1 is a good enough reason to run it in Limited, though, and the mostly [C] Energy requirements will make running it with other Types much easier. Leafeon-GX takes fifth place with 54 voting points and appeared on four of our five personal lists; I’m the one who left it off, and I think I sold it a bit short. I mean, I submitted a top 20 list, and while I think fifth place is too high, it should be in there somewhere.
So rounding off our Top 5 is Leafeon-GX, which yes that is yet another Eeveelution GX on the list. I think the only ones we’re missing at this point are…the original trio of Eeveelutions. Weird, you’d think they’d hit those guys first.
Leafeon-GX is a Stage 1 Grass-Type, 200 HP, with a Fire Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 2. He comes with the handy Ability Breath of the Leaves, which heals 50 damage off of any 1 Pokemon with Energy attached to it once a turn while Leafeon-GX is Active. It’s a lot of circumstance, but a free 50 heal on any Pokemon – including himself – can make up for a lot even in today’s game. It can make 2HKOs into 3HKOs easy enough, even against other copies of himself, considering the only attack is Solar Beam, a 3-for-110 vanilla strike. It’s actually a pretty solid damage output for the cost, and it gives Leafeon-GX the ability to 2HKO most things before a Choice Band boost, which can let it 2HKO anything else.
The GX Attack is Grand Bloom GX, which in a weird twist of fate actually costs less than any of Leafeon-GX’s attacks. You only need 1 Grass Energy, and then you get to Evolve any of your Benched Basic Pokemon straight from the deck, which can include Stage 1 GX. Eeveelution decks aside, this move is clearly designed to be used in the early game, given its cheap cost and set-up potential, which means you’d want to combine it with Eevee (SM) to take advantage of Energy Evolution to get Leafeon-GX out quick, and then of course you’ll want several other evolving Basics on your Bench to get the most mileage out of this move. Ideally you’re evolving at least 2 Basics this way, which will either make it easier to bring out Pokemon like Decidueye-GX (evolving Rowlett to Dartrix) that can support your assault or pulling out the big guns of your deck like Golisopod-GX (evolving from Wimpod).
Leafeon-GX has a certain potential to be tapped into, and it’s clear that having the ability to push through simultaneous evolutions as early as your first turn is an exceptional power to have. Coupled with a solid attacking move and the Ability to heal off a good chunk of damage, and you’ve got yourself a solid Grass Pokemon.
Standard: 4/5 (definitely one of the most solid Pokemon to come out in recent memory)
Expanded: 4/5 (he’s not overpowered or underpowered – he’s about just right)
Limited: 4.5/5 (utilizing him well will likely not be a problem)
Arora Notealus: Leafeon-GX has a pretty amazing support role that puts it in a similar vein to that of Forest of Giant Plants, but it does so without being completely broken. Limiting the Evolution off of Grand Bloom GX helps to circumvent free Evolutions that go straight up to Stage 2s and gives the opponent a little bit of time to prepare themselves accordingly against it. It makes for a fairly solid card all around, and I think Leafeon-GX is probably one of my personal favorite card designs in the current game.
Next Time: BZZZT BRRZZTT BBLLRRRZZZTT
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