Leafeon V – Evolving Skies
September 5, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Our sweet, Sunday, 6th-Place Pick is Leafeon V (SW – Evolving Skies 007/203, 166/203, 167/203)! This card is (almost) all about its Ability “Greening Cells”. This Ability may be used once, during your turn. You search your deck for a [G] Energy card, then attach it to one of your Pokémon. Then your turn ends, even if you whiffed on finding a [G] Energy to attach. Basic Grass Energy cards are the only ones that count as [G] when not already attached to a Pokémon, so that is what Greening Cells can fetch and attach. The Grass Energy card is attached directly from your deck, which is a massive benefit, especially early game. You can attach this Grass Energy to any of your Pokémon, which is great! Energy acceleration can be very potent, but sometimes it just isn’t worth the cost. This is where the rest of Leafeon V comes into play. Literally.
Leafeon V is a Pokémon with a Rule Box, so Path to the Peak can shut it down, but Empoleon V’s Ability will not. It also means Leafeon V cannot receive Grass Energy via the “Spring Bloom” Ability found on Cherrim (SW – Battle Styles 008/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH088), for whatever that proves to be worth. As for its blatant stats as a Pokémon V, as usual, it has many positive and negative elements. Leafeon V cannot make use of certain beneficial effects, is affected by multiple detrimental ones, and gives up an extra Prize when KO’d, all because it is a Pokémon V. On the other hand, being a Pokémon V is likely the only reason it was permitted its potentially potent Ability. Being a Pokémon V means Leafeon V is a Basic Pokémon instead of a Stage 1 (like regular Leafeon cards). No waiting to Evolve or additional cards required to run Leafeon V.
Another benefit of Pokémon V status is elevated HP. Leafeon V is actually a bit small, as it only has 200 HP, while scores of 210 to 230 are much more common. Still, this isn’t an easy amount to OHKO, though it is plausible for many decks. [R] types will have an easier time doing it, thanks to the card’s Fire Weakness. Not the worst Weakness to have, but definitely not the best. Even if no other Grass types prove viable, we already have Metal types like Zacian V giving players a reason to try Fire (even in a post-Welder metagame). No Resistance is the worst, but the -30 provided by Resistance doesn’t compare to the x2 provided by Weakness. Combine that with most cards having no Resistance and this isn’t actually a problem.
Leafeon V has a Retreat Cost of [C]. This is nice and low, so retreating Leafeon V shouldn’t be much of a problem. Leafeon V does have an attack, “Leaf Blade”. Unlike the Ability, this is vanilla filler. 90 damage for [GCC], plus a coin toss where “heads” means another 60 (150 total) damage and “tails” means just the base 90. Of course it would be a better attack if Leaf Blade did 150 without a coin toss, but for as nice as that would be it still might not be enough to make using the attack worthwhile. It does help that the attack only requires a single [G] Energy, so Greening Cells could take care of that and then some other form of Energy acceleration (give or take a manual attachment) can cover the attack’s cost, but I don’t think that it will be worth it most of the time.
Leafeon V can evolve into Leafevon VMAX, a card we’ll probably review sooner or later. What I’ll tell you is that being able to evolve is a bonus, but Leafeon VMAX didn’t thrill me. So, why is Leafeon V so good? Because it can be generic Turn 1 Energy acceleration. You don’t get to attack that turn, so the main drawback to Greening Cells (ending your turn) scarcely matters. Being a Basic Pokémon and Greening Cells attaching a basic Grass Energy from your deck means you can risk running extremely low counts of basic Grass Energy, but still pull off a Turn 1 combo. Have a piece of discard fodder and a Quick Ball and – so long as all your Grass Energy isn’t Prized and/or in hand – you’ve got a [G] Energy attached to something on your side of the field. Turn 2 is similar, but you do have an attack you’ll have to sacrifice, and your opponent may have dropped something like Path to the Peak into play during their turn.
As such, I think Leafeon V has a good chance of becoming general deck support. You can run between one and three Grass Energy cards alongside it, and have a very good Turn 1 play and a still solid Turn 2 play. If you do still have at least one Grass Energy left in your deck, it can also help those turns you – for whatever reason – cannot attack. Yes, you’re using Grass Energy, but plenty of cards have a single [C] Energy cost you can cover with that basic Grass Energy. Now, there are reasons to not use Leafeon V. If you’re fixated on getting Path to the Peak in play, then either you’re not using Leafeon V’s Ability or you’re waiting a turn to drop Path to the Peak so that you can still use Greening Cells. You also may not have any space left in your deck, or no space left on your Bench. You also may be avoiding any kind of Pokémon V in your deck, or only have room for so many.
Apart from that, you have a 200 HP Basic Pokémon V sitting on your Bench. Yes, that’s vulnerable, but nowhere near as much as something like Crobat V. Of course, Crobat V’s effect is better, but honestly? Not by that much. Since I no longer award partial points out of five, that means I’ll be rounding up Leafeon V’s scores to a four-out-of-five in both Formats. The usual considerations apply when running something in Standard versus Expanded; there will be more counters and more competition, though also more combo potential. For as hyped as I may sound for this card, I still only had it as my 7th-Place pick.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 4/5
20210907 Addendum: While it won’t alter Leafeon V’s score, I realized I forgot to discuss the new Tool, Snow Leaf Badge. This Tool may be attached to any Pokémon, but its effect only works for Pokémon V with “Glaceon” or “Leafeon” in their names. In other words, for Glaceon V and VMAX, and Leafeon V and VMAX. When that condition is fulfilled, Snow Leaf Badge removes the Weakness and Retreat Cost of the Pokémon to which it is attached. I won’t be discussing Snow Leaf Badge usage in detail, as it will probably receive its own CotD, but if you’re running enough copies of Glaceon V/MAX and/or Leafeon V/MAX, it might be worth considering. However, even with both of these effects, the majority of the time I don’t think it will be worth it for low counts of Leafeon V.
One down, two more Eeveelutions to look at, and that is Leafeon-V, the 6th best card of Evolving Skies!
Leafeon-V has an ability called Greening Cells, which lets you search your deck for a Grass energy and attach it to one of your Pokémon. Your turn ends afterward. With that drawback, it would require a full four count of Leafeon-V hoping that you’ll be able to get it onto play in the beginning of the match. If Leafeon doesn’t appear, then you have to hope that you have a full four count of Quick Balls for a even better chance to fetch Leafeon. Despite the drawback, energy acceleration is a good trait, as even a single Grass energy can make the difference between being able to meet the attack cost or not. Leaf Blade costs GCC for 90 damage, plus 60 more if you flipped heads on a coin flip.
Luckily, this isn’t the only thing Leafeon has, as it can evolve into Leafeon VMAX. That card has two attacks. Grass Knot costs GC and does 60 damage for each (C) in their retreat cost. Given that the retreat cost ranges from zero to four before modifications, Grass Knot will deal between zero to 240 damage. If your opponent has an Air Balloon attached to a Pokémon, your damage output is reduced by 120. If your opponent has a Float Stone in Expanded, Grass Knot does completely nothing! Grass Knot may or may not be useful depending on what you’re facing. Max Leaf costs GGC for 170 damage while healing 30 damage from itself. This might be decent, barely 2HKOing anything while letting you tank certain attacks. Even better is if you’ve attached Snow Leaf Badge to either Pokemon-V with “Leafeon” or “Glaceon” in its name; it removes the retreat cost and weakness, meaning it has no weakness and can retreat for free!
With this ability, I have to choose between using Leafeon-V or Rillaboom from Sword & Shield. Rillaboom does a far better job and is worth a single prize, but Leafeon-V can be brought into play right away.
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