– Sword & Shield
March 13, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Morpeko V (Sword & Shield 079/202, 190/202) is a Pokémon V, worth two Prizes when KO’d, having to deal with Pokémon V counters (or exclusion from beneficial effects). For a more see this article all about Pokémon V. Morpeko V is a Basic Pokémon, easy to run and field as a Pokémon can get. Its [L] Typing is decent for hitting Weakness, but likely to get better. Even with out, Pikarom decks are already great and show of the strong Type support Lightning enjoys.
Morpeko V has 170 HP, on the small side for a Basic Pokémon V. It has a decent chance of surviving a hit while Active, and it’ll take something like the “Venom Shot” attack on Naganadel-GX (SM – Unified Mind 160/236; 230/236, 249/236) to OHKO Morpkeo V on the Bench… and we’ll get to why that matters in a moment. [F] Weakness isn’t too bad for now. Lack of Resistance is the worst, but also the most common; it doesn’t really matter. The Retreat Cost of [CC] isn’t hard to pay, but it isn’t always easy.
Morpeko V knows two attacks. It can use “Spark” for [C] to do 20 damage to your opponent’s Active, as well as one of their Benched Pokémon. [LLC] pays for “Electro Wheel”, letting Morpeko V do 150, but it also discards an Energy from itself. You then switch Morpeko V with one of your Benched Pokémon. You must discard the Energy and you must swap Morpeko with a Benched Pokémon if you are able. If you have no Bench, you still have to discard an Energy. If you find someway to use Electro Wheel for no Energy, you won’t be able to discard and thus won’t be able to swap.
Spark can be handy; it doesn’t hit hard, but it is low cost and hits both the Active and something on the Bench. The star of the show is Electro Wheel. 150 damage for three is good, and while the discard is a bit annoying, we’re in a metagame where hiding on your Bench is very effective, and we’ve got some nice meatshileds to toss into your Active position. Your opponent should have a few effects that can force Morpeko V into the Active spot, maybe even some attackers that hit the Bench…
…but how many decks have enough to cope with a sustained hit-and-run strategy. Especially when we have help like Lillie’s Poké Doll to force your opponent to waste up to four attacks, and Mew (SM – Unbroken Bonds 76/214; SM – Black Star Promos SM215) so that Bench hits have to place damage counters or else they won’t work. There’s quite a lot going for this deck, but there’s one big problem: it isn’t showing up in the top cut. Not even the extended top cut a.k.a. “What LimitlessTCG is willing and able to post!”. The deck did well at some Japanese events that I don’t think are even listed there, but the only place Morpeko V has done well…
…is in an Expanded Format deck. I’m linking to the decklist, but I’ve never seen it in action and am uncertain how it works. Dusknoir (XY – Flashfire 40/106) is there, to move damage counters around your opponent’s side of the field. That could work with the hit-and-run strategy… but there’s no support for it there. Instead, the deck seems to be built around Morpeko VMAX, a card we’ll review tomorrow. For now, I’ll just explain that being able to evolve into Morpeko VMAX is a good thing, whether early predictions that thought Morpeko V was better are proven true or false.
In the Limited Format, we see why that ruling about not having a Bench was in the Pre-Release FAQ. The bad news is running Morpeko V in a Mulligan build means you can’t hit and run, but it also means you can just attach an Energy each turn and likely score OHKO after OHKO… at least, once you’ve built up to Electro Wheel, which will take at least three of your turns. If you can afford to run your deck on half or more [L] Energy, definitely run Morpeko V.
I’m taking a bit of a risk here, and rating Morpeko V on its potential; it hasn’t proven itself as a three-out-of-five in Standard or Expanded. I think there is a better chance of it working in Standard, but Expanded scores the same since Morpeko VMAX managed to finish 34th in Collinsville. Besides the amount of hit-and-run attackers that never pan out, the risk in Standard comes because we’re getting a Lysandre replacement next set… at which point I doubt the deck can work anymore.
Finally, Morpeko V finished 23rd in our countdown, or would have if we’d counted down from a high enough amount. This was due entirely to me having it as my 13th-place pick in my top 20, based on early reports out of Japan. I’m fine with it ranking as low as it did, given what it has (and mostly has not) accomplished. There are plenty of cards that – as of now – deserved to be ranked above it.
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