Pikachu #141 – V-Union
October 26, 2021
Standard: See Below
Expanded: See Below
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Today we’re covering the third of the four Pikachu V-Union cards, Pikachu V-Union (SW – Black Star Promos SWSH141). If you haven’t yet, I recommend checking out this article from the official Pokémon website, as well as Sunday and Monday’s Card of the Day reviews, as they cover the first and second cards that makeup Pikachu V-Union. If you’re lost, here’s the short version: Pokémon V-Union is the latest addition to the Pokémon V family. Each Pokémon V-Union consists of four cards, all sharing the same name, typing, Stage (V-Union is also a Stage), and Rule Box. The last one explains how you put them into play: all four parts of a V-Union must be in your discard pile. During your turn, if you have a free spot on your Bench, you can take the cards from the discard pile and play them to your Bench. While in play, the four cards count as a singular Pokémon.
A Pokémon V-Union is worth three Prizes when KO’d, and each quarter can an attack, an Ability, or even both! While you can run multiple Pokémon V-Union in the same deck, each can only be put into play as stated above once per game via the method described above. Covering all four cards at once is overwhelming: we will be giving each piece a Card of the Day review. While unlikely, there is always the chance some future release will contain a “replacement part” for an existing V-Union. With that said, let us return to today’s piece of Pikachu V-Union! The lower-right portion of Pikachu V-Union has the shared traits of the card on it. As stated, all these cards are named “Pikachu V-Union”: if you want a functional Pokémon V-Union, you must run only one of each. A piece stuck in your Prize cards can be a big problem, while even just one V-Union card sent to the Lost Zone means the rest are worthless.
As a Lightning type, Pikachu V-Union can benefit from Speed [L] Energy and often will have an edge against Water types, given their [L] Weakness. As far as a Stage of Evolution goes, a Pokémon V-Union counts as neither a Basic Pokémon nor an Evolution. It does still count as a Pokémon, albeit an incomplete one on its own. If an effect doesn’t specify “V-Union” but specifies another Stage, it won’t work with V-Union cards. Pokémon V-Union cards are not complete Pokémon and cannot be put into play except through their built-in mechanic that requires you Bench the set of four from your discard pile. This quadrant of Pikachu V-Union contains its Weakness and (lack of) Resistance. Fighting types have a decent share of the metagame, so this alone might render Pikachu V-Union dead on arrival. The lack of Resistance is typical; any Resistance is better than none, and with 300 HP it likely could buy an entire extra turn of life. Talk about a missed opportunity.
Pikachu V-Union has just one attack: for [LLC] it can use “Disconnect”. Doing so lets Pikachu V-Union attack your opponent’s Active and do 150 damage, plus your opponent cannot play any Item cards from their hand during their next turn. Three Energy isn’t easy to meet, but Flaaffy (SW – Evolving Skies 055/203; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH122) keeps it from being difficult. If you go second, Pikachu V-Union could hit the field and attack during your first turn (overall Turn 2 of the game), but not using Disconnect. At least, not reliably, and without some dubious combos. If you go first and end your turn with enough Mareep on your Bench, then evolve the survivors into Flaaffy, just two Flaaffy plus your manual Energy attachment mean a Turn 3 Disconnect. If this succeeds, your opponent will not only be taking 150 damage per turn, they’ll only ever have one turn of Item usage.
This part of Pikachu V-Union may be both the best and the worst. That Weakness is a serious issue right now, but Disconnect is a pretty solid move unless you’re exclusively trading blows with the minority of cards that are not 2HKO’d by it. Drop a Path to the Peak (no Abilities for Rule Box Pokémon), maybe include some other disruptive cards (Marnie, Crushing Hammer, etc.) and your opponent will have to play well and/or get lucky to outpace you under a double soft-lock. Powerful combos in Expanded mean a Turn 2 Disconnect is much more reasonable.
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