– Sword & Shield
March 22, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Since I brought it up while reviewing Regirock V, we’ll start this week with Stonjourner V (Sword & Shield 115/202, 193/202). Being a Pokémon V – at least so far – always means power at a price, but a price often worth paying (extra Prize when KO’d, anti-V effects, etc.). Being a [F] Type is very good; they can exploit a decent amount of Weakness and have great Type support. You might run into anti-[F] effects or Resistance, but on the whole this is a net advantage. No current, successful [F] Type lists to work into, though.
Stonjourner V is a Basic Pokémon, which is still the best. Minimum deck space, fastest to the field, a natural synergy with various game mechanics, and the Basic support easily outweighs the Stage-based counters. 220 HP is good, though also typical of a Basic Pokémon V. [G] Weakness isn’t a huge concern but rumors are that Rillaboom (Sword & Shield 014/202; SSH – Black Star Promos SWSH006) should be taking off soon, so keep an eye on it. Lack of Resistance is the worst, and so is a Retreat Cost of [CCC]. The latter is high but not high enough for stuff like Buff Padding; the former…
…ties into Stonjourner V’s first attack, “Guard Press”. For [F], this attack lets Stonjourner V do 40 damage to your opponent’s Active while placing an effect on itself that reduces the damage it takes from attacks by 20 (after applying Weakness/Resistance) during your opponent’s next turn. In terms of damage-for-Energy, this ain’t bad. You’re not trying for multi-turn KO’s witht his, just setting up for something better. The protection offers is small but you’ve got the HP for it. What really helps is the Energy cost; you can get this up and going easily and it should play nice with most (if not all) [F] Type support.
Stonjourner V’s second attack, “Mega Kick”, is much simpler, requiring [FFF] so Stonjourner V can hit for 150 damage. No effect text at all, whether helpful or a hindrance. Is it worth it? Some of the time. This much Energy can pay for some amazing attacks, and Mega Kick is not one of them. Still, if you have other reasons for running Stonjourner V, the [F] Type is known for stacking damage buffs. You can get to the point where most single Prize Pokémon and/or [F] Weak Pokémon are in OHKO range, while everything else is in 2HKO range, sans protective effects (of course). This wouldn’t cut it as the new, 2-Prize focus of a [F] deck but…
…Stonjourner V isn’t alone. It evolves into Stonjourner VMAX, which we’ll be reviewing tomorrow. For now, just know that Stonjourner V provides a solid foundation to build on with its VMAX in Standard and maybe even Expanded. Backed by [F] Type support and healing, I’m a little surprised we don’t already have a proven Stonjourner VMAX deck. At least, I can’t find one in the results available at LimitlessTCG. I’ve heard of one such deck having won an unspecified event in Japan, but nothing since.
I’ve got no data for Expanded, but I think there might be something here; solid HP, low damage attack. As for Limited Format play, this is exactly the kind of big, Basic Pokémon V you can run in a Mulligan build and only fear a decent deck built around your Weakness, or someone with even luckier pulls and the skill to back them up. Do 40 while soaking damage for two turns, then start going for OHKO with Mega Kick… unless Guard press can still do the job. [F] Weakness is a fairly common sight, after all. If you pull Stonjourner V and/or healing to support Stonjourner, even better!
Stonjourner V is a good card. A great card? I think there actually is a small chance, but probably not. What I want to stress is that this is an evolving Basic Pokémon and its attacks form a simple, but effective combo. Which is why I was so disappointed with last week’s Regirock V.
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