Tapu Koko V – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: May 2, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Tapu Koko V (SW – Battle Styles 050/163, 147/163) is not the first card we’ve seen with that name. A little over a year ago, we reviewed Tapu Koko V (Sword & Shield 072/202). We’ll definitely be comparing and contrasting the two. As Pokémon V, both have Rule Boxes, give up an extra Prize when KO’d, cannot make use of certain beneficial effects, and is vulnerable to certain detrimental ones. The compensation for this can be found in the HP scores, and maybe the attack effects. Both are [L] Pokémon, giving them access to some decent support, but you’re probably not hitting much for Weakness, at least, in the current metagame. They are also both Basic Pokémon, so minimum resource requirements.
Today’s Tapu Koko V has 210 HP, just barely clearing one of the damage thresholds. Plenty of attacks can hit hard enough to still OHKO Tapu Koko V, but there are enough that do 200 on the dot that having even 10 more HP matters. Of course, there are tricks to do that extra 10 damage (or place a damage counter), so it still only extends so far. The original Tapu Koko V has just 200 HP. Both cards are Fighting Weak with no Resistance. [F] Weakness has always mattered due to fringe decks or off-type attacks sneaking into something else, but it definitely matters now that Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX has officially made its (metagame) presence known. Lack of Resistance is typical, even if any Resistance would be better. The original Tapu Koko V had a perfect free Retreat Cost, while today’s has a still-good [C].
The new Tapu Koko V knows the attack “Electro Ball”, which does 40 damage for [L]. 40-for-one is decent… well, decent-ish. You’re not taking a lot of key OHKO’s with it early game, but its an easy-to-use fallback attack. Not as good as the original Tapu Koko V’s “Spike Draw”, though. Spike Draw has the same cost, only does half the damage, but it draws two cards. A little damage, and a little boost to your setup can do wonders early game, or when you’re trying to recover from your hand or field being wrecked. Today’s Tapu Koko V also knows “Spiral Thunder”. Priced at [LCC] it does 20 damage plus 40 more for each Energy attached to all of your opponent’s Pokémon.
Your opponent needs five Energy in play for Spiral Thunder to reliably OHKO most Basic Pokémon V. That’s not good. Even though it counts Energy attached to any and all of your opponent’s Pokémon, you need the odd combo of something being Energy intensive while having low HP to pull off quick OHKO’s. If this sounds good to you, consider the original Tapu Koko V once again; 200 damage for the same Energy cost if you use “Thunderous Bolt”. It does come with the drawback of whatever used the attack being unable to use Thunderous Bolt again the next turn, but this effect is easily reset with the right application of retreating and switching effects.
- Standard: 1/5
- Expanded: 1/5
I can’t recommend today’s Tapu Koko V over the original. Even with what it has going for it, as I’m no longer messing with decimal scores, Tapu Koko V is getting minimal marks. No, I didn’t mention Tapu Koko VMAX… we’ll get around to it in its own review. As we have an older Tapu Koko V we may use with it instead, the specifics of the VMAX don’t really matter to this review.
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