Suicune V – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: September 11, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
With the proper countdown finished, it is time to take a look at the cards that either Vince or I nominated, but which did not make the actual list. Up first is Suicune V (SW – Evolving Skies 031/203, 173/203). It is another Pokémon chiefly defined by one of its effects, in this case, the Ability “Fleet-Footed”. This Ability states that, if Suicune V is your Active Pokémon, you may draw a card. So, if Suicune is at least a solid attacker, or just relatively easy to play, promote, and re-Bench, this could be a solid effect. For [WC], Suicune V can use the attack “Blizzard Rondo”, doing 20 damage plus another 20 for each Benched Pokémon. It doesn’t care which player has those Pokémon in play, so under normal circumstances, the attack does between 20 and 220 damage. In Expanded, Sky Field means the attack can reach up to 340 damage, but that requires both players fill their respective Benches.
This is where the rest of the card begins to matter. Suicune V has a Rule Box, so Path to the Peak can shut Fleet-Footed down. As a Pokémon V, Suicune is worth an extra Prize when KO’d, cannot make use of certain beneficial effects, and is targeted by some detrimental ones. Being a Pokémon V comes with some upsides, of course; the cards effects may be better than they’d normally be allowed, but we can clearly see that Suicune V has a solid 210 HP. Suicune V is a [W] type, and [W] does have some decent support, and is handy for dousing Fire types, but I don’t know how valuable that will be in now that we’re past rotation. [L] Weakness is a big concern to me, because I think Flaaffy (SW – Evolving Skies 055/203; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH122) will lead to more budget [L] decks, if not competitive ones.
The lack of Resistance is typical, and the Retreat Cost of [CC] is fairly common as well. Thanks to the Ability, though, that Retreat Cost is quite important. It is low enough that Air Balloon can zero it out, which seems pretty important. You can promote Suicune V anytime something of yours was KO’d, or anytime you used a switching card effect, use its Ability, then manually retreat (for free) into whatever you actually need Active. Blizzard Rondo also falls into the “good, but not as good as it could be”. In this case, [WC] isn’t difficult to pay in most [W] decks, but Suicune V’s Ability makes it seem like a general usage card. Which means that single specific Energy type in its cost hurts it a bit, but it isn’t a be all, end all attacker so focusing on just the Ability still seems good.
Okay, so why didn’t Suicune V make the countdown? It didn’t quite make my final list. Wait, final list? Yeah, I revise my list multiple times, and originally I had Suicune V on it. Then I realized I was insanely hyped about Flaaffy, and even if Flaaffy ends up only being used with Rayquaza VMAX, how hard would it be to include one half-decent [L] attacker? The answer is “Not very.” Something I only realized after the fact is… if you’re only promoting Suicune V after KOs and/or switching effects, how many cards are you actually drawing off it? Suicune V doesn’t look as vulnerable as something like Crobat V, but you drop Crobat V and get to draw as many cards as it is giving you. Suicune V, your opponent can cut your yield short by forcing it Active or using a strong enough Bench hit.
In the Expanded Format, Suicune V has more options for lowering its Retreat Cost but I think I’d rather use Audino (SM – Unified Minds 177/236). Basically the same Ability, but on a 90 HP, single Prize Pokémon. While easier to OHKO, it just seems more… expendable. Maybe the difference is all in my head, given how hard of a time I am having explaining myself.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
With our countdown over with, we’ve got runner-up cards to review, though only two, today’s card and tommorow’s card. Pretty surprising; despite Evolving Skies being another one of those large expansions that exceeded 200 cards, few cards from that set had potential. Especially Suicune-V, which didn’t make it on the countdown, though I had it on my personal list, albeit on the lower end of my list as well as Eevee.
Suicune-V has some interesting features, in terms of its ability and its attack. It’s ability, Fleet-Footed, states that if this Pokémon is in your Active Spot, you may draw a card. This ability is functionally identical to Audino’s Hearing ability from SM Unified Minds, and that card never got a review. One card might not seem much, but it still draws cards without using up your Supporter for the turn. There’s also the trick of attaching an Air Balloon to shave off Suicune-V’s retreat cost so that it can retreat for free. You can either retreat to a different Pokémon or bring out another Suicune-V to draw another card.
Blizzard Rondo is another attack that seems familiar, going back to Empoleon DEX or even Jumpluff HGSS, as it costs WC and does 20 damage for each Benched Pokemon in play. That could range from zero to 200 damage (or 320 damage if Sky Field is operable in Expanded under a full Bench). While this attack used to be good in a bygone era, it isn’t good now due to being underpowered. For something with such a variable, the worthwhile multiplier should be 40x or more, and even then, you need both players to fill up their Benches.
Suicune-V was my 14th place pick due to the ability. It helps thin your deck and make certain plays. While Suicune-V may not be considered in every deck, it is something to keep in mind in the future.
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